PDA

View Full Version : Humiliating Torture



SabaFromMars
01-07-2013, 09:50 PM
Hello :) I did a lot of researches about the title "above" but, unfortunately, I couldn't find what I exactly need.

I have a male character who get's abducted by a gang related to his "old enemy". He is a very single-minded man, very confident of his decisions, and a very... very control freak, so his enemy wants to break his strong personality & self-confidence by torturing him for days before releasing him so that, after the whole abduction thing, he changes, he becomes less-confident, hesitent, and unable to call the decisions like before.

My question is: What type of torture that should be a mix of "physical & mental" that can have such effect on my character. I need it to be both because "his enemy wants to take his revenge from his body as long as his mind".
P.S. I don't want it to be a sexual abuse, for many reasons, the most important one of them is that doesn't fit my storyline.

I appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you :)

Sonneillon
01-07-2013, 09:58 PM
While I don't generally favor it as a plot device, sexual assault has a unique way of breaking people down fast and hard. Especially for men, most of whom figure it will never happen to them and whose sense of masculinity is challenged by it. I'd also do some reading on brainwashing techniques - things like dehumanization (calling him by a number or an insulting nickname instead of his name, making him crawl on the floor and eat out of a dog bowl, forcing him to behave like an animal, forcing him to serve or service his captors, treating him like an object such as a footstool) tend to break down barriers in a person's mind very quickly. If these gang members are sophisticated and have the time they can police every aspect of his existence and/or self-expression by punishing him for speaking, for having a certain expression, for sitting a certain way, for not adhering to a rigid schedule. Or alternatively, they can keep things as creative and chaotic as possible so he never knows what's going to happen next and his ability to plan, or to cope with an established challenge, becomes overwhelmed and useless.

Kerosene
01-07-2013, 10:01 PM
Sexual torture. No Will, bad! Bad!

First, physical torture is only good to inflict pain, and nothing else. If he has information or something, it doesn't work.

How about this:

Give him free reign of an environment. Something like a boarded up building that can be pitch dark with the lights off.
Then you have certain operatives working in the building (hidden) to torture him. Pretty much, every action he makes can turn off the lights, and when that happens, he's taken away and the people hurt him. His actions, anything, leads to pain for him. It's negative reinforcement towards anything. Like he tried to escape, the lights turn off and he's thrown down to the ground and burned. Then the lights come back on and the people are gone.
But this'll take weeks to set in.

The result would be he's afraid of the dark, that he can't stands bright lights nor buildings, that his actions are taken with extreme scrutiny like he could be punished at any time.

Drachen Jager
01-07-2013, 10:02 PM
Google Abu Ghraib. No shortage of ideas there.

Nekko
01-07-2013, 10:51 PM
I want to emphasize that Will's suggested scenario would be an excellent way to break a confident-control freak character's will.

I'd add - at first, every decision he makes, he is punished for. Then (perhaps only 2-3 days later) start to make it that the punishment is intermittent - not every action.
My husband's a cognitive behavioral psychologist, and he would tell you that intermittent reinforcement is the strongest way to ingrain something.

So start switching it up, perhaps the punishment comes after the second action, then the fourth, then switch back to every for a few, then go for punishment on the third.
Now your guy doesn't know when the punishment is going to come. He will be twitchy and hesitant in no time. Really, it doesn't take long.

Jo Zebedee
01-07-2013, 11:03 PM
Um, i did a lot of research on this for a wip. Loss of control is the biggy, and if you don't want to go sexual which, as someone mentioned, is a biggie for a man, then losing control over where they are, sensory deprivation, taking away identity, enforced servility, not being able to predict the next attack or when, threatened attacks that don't happen, but the victim is waiting for. There is a lot on line if you google it, although your recently visited list might look a bit odd.

thothguard51
01-07-2013, 11:04 PM
Surgically remove his testicles...

Drachen Jager
01-07-2013, 11:08 PM
Starve him for a few days, then feed him a loved one, prepared as if they were pork. Reveal the truth mid-way through the meal.

Yes, I know, I get the sicko award.

jaksen
01-08-2013, 01:49 AM
I read an MG story a long time ago about a 'princess' or girl from a noble family who was put on display in a cage in a courtyard. The cage was barred, but open to the elements. I believe she was initially placed in the cage naked, but over time passersby gave her rags, a dress, etc. She depended on the same people for food, water, whatever she needed. She was rained on. She was not allowed to leave the cage for any purpose. Those who passed by were as likely to spit at her as give her a crust of bread. Sometimes rotten food was thrown at her; she was teased and jeered. Small boys tossed rocks at her, horse manure, etc. Once in a while someone would bring her a drink of water or food - maybe.

This was all based on a real story and a real method of punishment and involved both (public) humiliation and physical suffering. If anyone knows the name of the story or the history behind it, thank you. (I believe the story happened somewhere in England.)

Found it myself: 'Girl in a Cage' by Jane Yolen, the story of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce. She was eleven when she was placed in the cage and put on public display.

SabaFromMars
01-08-2013, 09:42 PM
While I don't generally favor it as a plot device, sexual assault has a unique way of breaking people down fast and hard. Especially for men, most of whom figure it will never happen to them and whose sense of masculinity is challenged by it. I'd also do some reading on brainwashing techniques - things like dehumanization (calling him by a number or an insulting nickname instead of his name, making him crawl on the floor and eat out of a dog bowl, forcing him to behave like an animal, forcing him to serve or service his captors, treating him like an object such as a footstool) tend to break down barriers in a person's mind very quickly. If these gang members are sophisticated and have the time they can police every aspect of his existence and/or self-expression by punishing him for speaking, for having a certain expression, for sitting a certain way, for not adhering to a rigid schedule. Or alternatively, they can keep things as creative and chaotic as possible so he never knows what's going to happen next and his ability to plan, or to cope with an established challenge, becomes overwhelmed and useless.

Very useful info, thanks. I'll do more researches about the brainwashing techniques, it seems effected to my storyline.

SabaFromMars
01-08-2013, 09:45 PM
Sexual torture. No Will, bad! Bad!

First, physical torture is only good to inflict pain, and nothing else. If he has information or something, it doesn't work.

How about this:

Give him free reign of an environment. Something like a boarded up building that can be pitch dark with the lights off.
Then you have certain operatives working in the building (hidden) to torture him. Pretty much, every action he makes can turn off the lights, and when that happens, he's taken away and the people hurt him. His actions, anything, leads to pain for him. It's negative reinforcement towards anything. Like he tried to escape, the lights turn off and he's thrown down to the ground and burned. Then the lights come back on and the people are gone.
But this'll take weeks to set in.

The result would be he's afraid of the dark, that he can't stands bright lights nor buildings, that his actions are taken with extreme scrutiny like he could be punished at any time.

Wow!! I like this, I'll figure a way to get it into the story. Thanks :)

SabaFromMars
01-08-2013, 09:50 PM
Google Abu Ghraib. No shortage of ideas there.

In fact, I don't need to Google it, I'm Iraqi so I know exactly what happened there, but thanks for the tip :)


Starve him for a few days, then feed him a loved one, prepared as if they were pork. Reveal the truth mid-way through the meal.

Yes, I know, I get the sicko award.

OH! brutal! I don't think I can go this far!
BTW we all have "sicko" brains, that's why we're here right? ;)

SabaFromMars
01-08-2013, 09:54 PM
I want to emphasize that Will's suggested scenario would be an excellent way to break a confident-control freak character's will.

I'd add - at first, every decision he makes, he is punished for. Then (perhaps only 2-3 days later) start to make it that the punishment is intermittent - not every action.
My husband's a cognitive behavioral psychologist, and he would tell you that intermittent reinforcement is the strongest way to ingrain something.

So start switching it up, perhaps the punishment comes after the second action, then the fourth, then switch back to every for a few, then go for punishment on the third.
Now your guy doesn't know when the punishment is going to come. He will be twitchy and hesitant in no time. Really, it doesn't take long.

LOVE THIS! Thanks so much, it's very helpful specially with "it shouldn't take long" idea :)

Drachen Jager
01-08-2013, 10:54 PM
To add to Will's idea, if you really want to mess him up, have them reward him randomly too. Not as often as the torture, but often enough that it completely confuses him, he has no idea why he's being punished or rewarded.

Also, a low-protein diet will add to the effect, it reduces brain function, so he'll have more difficulty rationalizing his situation. That's part of what cults do for brainwashing people.

Kittens Starburst
01-09-2013, 01:36 AM
My first instinct was to suggest the threat of sadistic violence rather than have the real thing. But you've said the violence needs to be physical as well as mental, so I'd definitely say make it intermittent. The longer the threat gets drawn out, the tenser and more powerless over his situation the victim would become. If he's physically tortured all the time, a guy like him might be able to bear it heroically.

Monkey
01-09-2013, 08:00 AM
I read an MG story a long time ago about a 'princess' or girl from a noble family who was put on display in a cage in a courtyard. The cage was barred, but open to the elements. I believe she was initially placed in the cage naked, but over time passersby gave her rags, a dress, etc. She depended on the same people for food, water, whatever she needed. She was rained on. She was not allowed to leave the cage for any purpose. Those who passed by were as likely to spit at her as give her a crust of bread. Sometimes rotten food was thrown at her; she was teased and jeered. Small boys tossed rocks at her, horse manure, etc. Once in a while someone would bring her a drink of water or food - maybe.

This was all based on a real story and a real method of punishment and involved both (public) humiliation and physical suffering. If anyone knows the name of the story or the history behind it, thank you. (I believe the story happened somewhere in England.)

Found it myself: 'Girl in a Cage' by Jane Yolen, the story of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce. She was eleven when she was placed in the cage and put on public display.

This sort of torture can be "improved upon" if you used a wire mesh dog kennel.

Take the MC's clothes, bind his hands behind him, and force him to squirm into the cage. Once he's in there, his position can be manipulated and held indefinitely simply by putting metal or wooden rods through the cage - in one side and out the other, say, just over the small of his back, pushing it farther down than is comfortable. Especially if another is under his chest, holding it up a bit.

This leaves the MC completely compromised and helpless, forced to beg for food or water, with no way to avoid defecating/urinating in his tiny prison. The positioning would grow incredibly painful in very short order, with no way to escape it. From there, it would be very easy to add in other humiliations/tortures - most people would break in short order, I imagine.

Just an idea in case you wanted something quick.

SabaFromMars
01-09-2013, 08:47 PM
To add to Will's idea, if you really want to mess him up, have them reward him randomly too. Not as often as the torture, but often enough that it completely confuses him, he has no idea why he's being punished or rewarded.

Also, a low-protein diet will add to the effect, it reduces brain function, so he'll have more difficulty rationalizing his situation. That's part of what cults do for brainwashing people.

Cool! I like those ideas, the law-protein diet will perfectly work for the storyline since they'll not give him any "actual" food.

SabaFromMars
01-09-2013, 08:52 PM
My first instinct was to suggest the threat of sadistic violence rather than have the real thing. But you've said the violence needs to be physical as well as mental, so I'd definitely say make it intermittent. The longer the threat gets drawn out, the tenser and more powerless over his situation the victim would become. If he's physically tortured all the time, a guy like him might be able to bear it heroically.

I thought about that too, that's why I didn't want to focus ONLY on the physical torture. Yes, I want some pain, but I want the mental pain to be the biggest part of the whole matter.

SabaFromMars
01-09-2013, 08:55 PM
This sort of torture can be "improved upon" if you used a wire mesh dog kennel.

Take the MC's clothes, bind his hands behind him, and force him to squirm into the cage. Once he's in there, his position can be manipulated and held indefinitely simply by putting metal or wooden rods through the cage - in one side and out the other, say, just over the small of his back, pushing it farther down than is comfortable. Especially if another is under his chest, holding it up a bit.

This leaves the MC completely compromised and helpless, forced to beg for food or water, with no way to avoid defecating/urinating in his tiny prison. The positioning would grow incredibly painful in very short order, with no way to escape it. From there, it would be very easy to add in other humiliations/tortures - most people would break in short order, I imagine.

Just an idea in case you wanted something quick.

Awesome idea, thanks :) the "being helpless" idea has so many sides, that's why I need to be more careful with it.

joebill
01-10-2013, 01:55 AM
cramped space, nakedness, lots of strong laxatives in the food....Joe

Kerosene
01-10-2013, 02:16 AM
To add to Will's idea, if you really want to mess him up, have them reward him randomly too. Not as often as the torture, but often enough that it completely confuses him, he has no idea why he's being punished or rewarded.

Also, a low-protein diet will add to the effect, it reduces brain function, so he'll have more difficulty rationalizing his situation. That's part of what cults do for brainwashing people.


Cool! I like those ideas, the law-protein diet will perfectly work for the storyline since they'll not give him any "actual" food.

Food and water as a lure might work well. Make him starve and leave food out. If he goes running for it, lights off, beating. Light on, and the food is gone.

Junk food would be accessible and easy to throw in, with low protein. A bag of chips, to most people, would be very tempting.

Salt water would be good too. Have a high concentration of salt water given to him after he's eaten, he runs and drinks it, throws everything up. Lights out. Taken away. Spew is cleaned up. Lights on, he's back to starving.

Now, I'm just being evil. :evil


The real story starts when he's reacting to everything afterward. You want him to keep everything inside, but a bundle of confusion, chaos, and fear inside.

SabaFromMars
01-10-2013, 08:55 PM
cramped space, nakedness, lots of strong laxatives in the food....Joe

Nakedness, hmmm... interesting :evil

SabaFromMars
01-10-2013, 09:04 PM
Food and water as a lure might work well. Make him starve and leave food out. If he goes running for it, lights off, beating. Light on, and the food is gone.

Junk food would be accessible and easy to throw in, with low protein. A bag of chips, to most people, would be very tempting.

Salt water would be good too. Have a high concentration of salt water given to him after he's eaten, he runs and drinks it, throws everything up. Lights out. Taken away. Spew is cleaned up. Lights on, he's back to starving.

Now, I'm just being evil. :evil

I can't get enough of your ideas! :D


The real story starts when he's reacting to everything afterward. You want him to keep everything inside, but a bundle of confusion, chaos, and fear inside.

Exactly! That's how I want it to be, I want it to be a gradational process, so, when all this ends, he should be another person, completely another person.

Gynn
01-11-2013, 07:44 AM
Hello :) I did a lot of researches about the title "above" but, unfortunately, I couldn't find what I exactly need.

I have a male character who get's abducted by a gang related to his "old enemy". He is a very single-minded man, very confident of his decisions, and a very... very control freak, so his enemy wants to break his strong personality & self-confidence by torturing him for days before releasing him so that, after the whole abduction thing, he changes, he becomes less-confident, hesitent, and unable to call the decisions like before.

My question is: What type of torture that should be a mix of "physical & mental" that can have such effect on my character. I need it to be both because "his enemy wants to take his revenge from his body as long as his mind".
P.S. I don't want it to be a sexual abuse, for many reasons, the most important one of them is that doesn't fit my storyline.

I appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you :)

Have him locked in a pig sty with no clothes. His food is slop in a bucket and he has to go to the bathroom wherever he can. At night, he sleeps with the pigs for warmth. Occasionally, the bad guys might hose him down with freezing cold water.

Aztecsince79
01-14-2013, 07:28 AM
Read "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. The Japanese in World War II were all about trying to break the spirit of their prisoners of war.

triceretops
01-14-2013, 07:34 AM
Stocks and dunking was considered very humiliating in its time.

SabaFromMars
01-16-2013, 12:09 AM
Have him locked in a pig sty with no clothes. His food is slop in a bucket and he has to go to the bathroom wherever he can. At night, he sleeps with the pigs for warmth. Occasionally, the bad guys might hose him down with freezing cold water.

Animals. Good idea :) and another vote for the "hose"!

SabaFromMars
01-16-2013, 12:12 AM
Read "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. The Japanese in World War II were all about trying to break the spirit of their prisoners of war.

Thanks for the tip, I'll try to get it :)