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death and interrigation

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what is your favorite kind of torture?
nothing serious, just tie them up and tickle them
44%
 44%  [ 8 ]
the uncomfortable ones. like, sitting in a tub of sh*t
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
the really painful ones like the rack
16%
 16%  [ 3 ]
the horrible, tell me or i'll crush your head, ones
33%
 33%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 18

Tango 1
72774.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:58 am Reply with quote

Well, lets hope we never find out for real. As far as other torture goes I was kneed in the nuts by my niece at the weekend and that hurt like buggery.

 
Flash
72775.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:04 am Reply with quote

The Wikipedia entry I think you're referring to says this:
Quote:
Chinese Bamboo Torture is an ancient form of torture which utilises the natural properties of bamboo.

The victim is taken outside and either strung between two posts or trees or strapped to a base composed of widely separated slats. The aim is to have the victim suspended horizontally with access to his or her torso from below.

This takes place directly above a patch of young bamboo plants, a plant which is very strong and grows rapidly reaching staggering heights. Hence as the victim lay suspended in mid air the bamboo would begin to grow towards them.

The pain and discomfort at being held in such an unnatural position for several days was in itself a bad experience. However the torturers would also cut the tips of the stems to ensure a sharp point as they grew towards the victim. When the bamboo reached the victims skin the real pain began as the sharp points dug in.

If the victim refused to cooperate at this point (or if the torturer was particularly sadistic) they were left there as the bamboo continued to grow. Owing to the incredible strength of the bamboo stem and the sharpness of the tip, the plant would on most occasions pierce the skin and continue to grow through the abdomen (and any other flesh in its way) eventually causing death.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Bamboo_Torture

The entry would seem to violate Wikipedia policy in that it's unsourced (Violetriga, if you see this: is that how it works?) and the discussion page has this rather crisp response:
Quote:
Come on, this is another bullsh1t page about Chinese torture. As it is stupid, ill-logical, childish, a-historical and not worth the bandwidth it is written on I suggest a speedy deletion. Anyone have any problems with that? And by the way has the genius that wrote this seen a bamboo shoot? It is soft and bendy. It is no more likely to pierce skin than a soggy noodle. How fast do you think bamboo grows anyway? Lao Wai 15:23, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

 
Tango 1
72777.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:11 am Reply with quote

Hmm. I cannot see why there is such opposition to the existence of such a method of torture. It does not seem the most far fetched thing I have ever heard and chances are if someone can think of it, it has probably been done. It's no more outlandish than water torture.
Mr.Lao Wai certainly dis-agrees with the idea. Can't say I know too much about the properties of bamboo, certainly wouldn't want it growing through me though!

 
Flash
72778.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:25 am Reply with quote

I don't know that there's 'opposition' to the idea - not from me anyway. Here's the thinking:

1) if we make an assertion we like to have some basis for believing it, so that we're not just repeating old wives' tales;

2) this particular assertion seems inherently improbable, in that a torture which takes two weeks to administer would have rather limited uses, most plants grow towards the light, most plants don't have sharp growing tips, etc;

3) if we're wrong about this assertion, then it deserves to be challenged because it's really just a Fu Manchu-style slur on fiendish orientals generally (Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, Malay, and Vietnamese);

4) if, on the other hand, we're right about it, then it seems likely that there will be some interesting anecdotage to back it up (who did it to whom, where, when, why, etc); and

5) it might make good material for the show in either case, ie whether there turns out to be either a myth or a good story behind it.

 
Tango 1
72779.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:32 am Reply with quote

I wasn't suggesting that you are opposed to the existence of this torture (if that makes sense?).

Whether or not it would have been used as a fact finding torture or just as a sadistic practice is open to debate also.

Also, I wouldn't want to continue speculating unless I can find some evidence because some people may take offence.

 
Tango 1
72782.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:46 am Reply with quote

I think methods such as beating are generally considered to be ineffective in present day.
Most regimes that use torture go for sensory depravation and threats to family members. A general feeling of humiliation and powerlessness is regarded as more effective than a beating as this discourages the victim to rely on or trust the torturer.
Although beatings are still used to build a good cop/bad cop dynamic, with one interrogator being the punisher and one being seen as sympathetic and trustworthy.

 
djgordy
72783.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:50 am Reply with quote

Tango 1 wrote:
Well, lets hope we never find out for real. As far as other torture goes I was kneed in the nuts by my niece at the weekend and that hurt like buggery.


I think you'll find that buggery hurts somewhere else other than the nuts.

 
Flash
72784.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:52 am Reply with quote

Let's not give up so easily. A Google image search on the words "bamboo torture" is quite productive; it even yields a Falun Gong site which lists, amongst other alleged Chinese torture practices, the Comfy Chair (seriously: http://www.clearharmony.net/articles/200410/22312.html). No mention of the technique we're after, though, and I can't find it on the net in connection with the McCullin book you cited either (though I don't have the book itself).

 
djgordy
72786.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:55 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
It doesn't sound like it would be a very effective means of torture, even supposing it would work (who'd wait a fortnight for a piece of information when a smack on the head could extract it in a minute?)


Because the purpose of torture isn't to extract information. The purpose of torture is to torture someone.

 
Flash
72788.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:01 am Reply with quote

Very likely - but if so, which would a torturer find more gratifying: slapping someone around or spending a fortnight waiting for a plant to grow through them?

 
Tango 1
72789.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:01 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
Flash wrote:
It doesn't sound like it would be a very effective means of torture, even supposing it would work (who'd wait a fortnight for a piece of information when a smack on the head could extract it in a minute?)


Because the purpose of torture isn't to extract information. The purpose of torture is to torture someone.


Torture is used to extract information as well as for sadistic purposes but information given under physical torture is very unreliable, therefore physical torture is best used only when trying to force a victim into a certain action, such as commiting a crime, rather than extracting tangible information.

 
QI Individual
72803.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:39 am Reply with quote

As I mentioned I have Bamboo growing in my garden and although there are many (91 genera and about 1,000 species) different kinds of bamboo I don't see this Bamboo growing any other way than growing around things (where there's light). Plants grow by means of undifferentiated meristematic cells. These are soft and only once the cells start to differentiate they can become harder.

The Bamboo in my garden is green and relatively soft during its growth. Its tips are very thin and soft like any other growing plant. Only after it has stopped growing the stems begin to harden. If you cut off the stem while they are still growing they will turn softer and decay. Only after the stems have matured and hardened after they have stopped growing the stems become yellow and durable; I assume as the result of the formation of lignin.

 
Tango 1
72805.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:42 am Reply with quote

Yeah, but it would still be weird having bamboo growing all around you I should think. Not very effective though.

 
Dr. Know
72813.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:30 am Reply with quote

i remember seeing on qi one time that the world most primitive helicopters were made of bamboo. could anyone clue me in? where? when? who? did it work? also did they have bamboo air rescue? bamboo parachutes? bamboo helipads?

 
Dr. Know
72816.  Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:42 am Reply with quote

gaazy, just to clarify i knew the hands were cuffed behind you and your right it would hurt like hell

 

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