In 1983 a man was tested to see if he could sense god if all his senses were taken away. Every sense nerve in his brain was disconnected. He could not feel, hear, see or smell. He began reporting he could hear the voices of the dead and gave precise details that he could have not known. He then said he could see them and began clawing at his eyes, it turned to screaming and biting chunks of his flesh off. His last words were “I have spoken with God, and he has abandoned us” and died.
There was no 1983 sensory deprivation experiment like the one described in this post. The story was first published on creepypasta.com in 2009 (in fact, if you click that link you’ll see a much better and longer version of the tale). But this is the internet, and once stories like that start spreading, and people conveniently leave off the source, then other people take it as fact. And on a site like tumblr, where it can be so readily spread (over 110,000 notes on this post alone, and that doesn’t even take reposts or other versions of the story into account), that’s a lot of people buying into a bunch of hooey if they’re the type to believe everything they read without questioning it.
This photo is actually from the Tuskegee syphilis experiment — a pretty heinous medical experiment that was conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Alabama, in which people were told that they were being treated for “bad blood,” but the experiment was actually designed to study the effects of untreated syphilis. The person in the photo above is about to be subjected to a spinal tap, a very painful procedure in which a needle is inserted into the spinal column to collect fluid.
None of the test subjects in the Tuskegee experiment were aware that they were being used as human guinea pigs. They were just told that they were getting free medical treatment. And even after the 1940s, when penicillin was found to be an effective treatment for syphilis, doctors did not treat the test subjects and withheld information from them about the potential to be cured because they wanted to see what would happen.
American history is pretty ugly when you get past the flag-waving and the pretending that we’re somehow better than other nations.