Kill it with fire
"We thought for a long time that we belonged there, that we were not part of the species. We thought we were some kind of, you know, people that wasn't supposed to be born," says Boyce.
And that was precisely the idea.
The Fernald School, and others like it, was part of a popular American movement in the early 20th century called the Eugenics movement. The idea was to separate people considered to be genetically inferior from the rest of society, to prevent them from reproducing. Eugenics is usually associated with Nazi Germany, but in fact, it started in America. Not only that, it continued here long after Hitler's Germany was in ruins. At the height of the movement - in the '20s and '30s - exhibits were set up at fairs to teach people about eugenics. It was good for America, and good for the human race. That was the message."
"In 1946, one study exposed seventeen subjects to radioactive iron. The second study, which involved a series of seventeen related subexperiments, exposed fifty-seven subjects to radioactive calcium between 1950 and 1953. It is clear that the doses involved were low and that it is extremely unlikely that any of the children who were used as subjects were harmed as a consequence. These studies remain morally troubling, however, for several reasons. First, although parents or guardians were asked for their permission to have their children involved in the research, the available evidence suggests that the information provided was, at best, incomplete. Second, there is the question of the fairness of selecting institutionalized children at all, children whose life circumstances were by any standard already heavily burdened."
...a kid whose scalp resembles that of a frontier settler worked over by a furious native
Instead, the footage showed him tied face down to a four-point restraint board, each limb held in place by a locked cuff, his head encased in a helmet. She learned he had been held in this position for six hours, hollering and pleading whenever he got another shock.
Robert von Heyn, then the director of psychology, explained that Andre had been shocked for “tensing up” his body, which was considered an unhealthy behavior.
“Superficially … the program is very impressive,” [...] But, they concluded, “the children are controlled by the threat of punishment. When that threat is removed, they revert to their original behaviors.” Ultimately, the officials found the program’s effect on its students to be “the singular most depressing experience that team members have had in numerous visitations to human-service programs.”
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