1. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Getting an ideologue to turn

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Birmingham, Apr 8, 2015.

    Let us say there's a conspiracy. Let us say that one or more conspirators are caught, and one or more have escaped. You have a few hours, or maybe less, to get the captured fella to give up the info.

    If you're a liberal democracy, but you also need the info, how do you get the person to turn? One way is to torture him (he's hurt in the back and leg, so there is the old "finger in the bullethole" torture cliche).
    But we're talking true ideologe. If this was a Benedict Arnold you could flash money at his face and he'll switch sides like nobody's business. But if it's a John Wilkes Booth type, what do you have left other than physical pain? You can threaten his family, but would he believe you? Probably not. At least not in what I'm writing. He either won't believe the bluff (and it will be a bluff) or he will simply choose to remain silent because all sacrifice is right with him. The only real issue with him could be arrogance, but even then....

    We're talking captors who may suspend habeas corpus but won't go ISIS on his ass. And if they threaten to kill him, they would be met with a yawn. So why should he fear?

    If you were fighting for what you believe in, held by a government that you hate but one that is not like ISIS or anything like that, and had no fear of dying, what would make YOU turn?
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pain. It's oft repeated that torture doesn't work, and I wish it was true, but I call bullshit.
     
  3. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is no sure fire way, pain yields the highest results, but it is a known fact that it isn't reliable. They will feed you lies and then you end up bombing a medicinal factory and killing hundreds of innocent citizens. Making such a mistake isn't acceptable. How about instead of 'turning' them you read their mind?
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You should look at the research then, because according to the experts and the research, people only give up information that is either false or they say what the torturer tells them to say.

    Torture is a political tool, state sponsored terrorism, that's all it gets results for.

    @Birmingham, I think you need to come up with a Mission Impossible plot, tricking the guy to give up information. Maybe put a mole in the cell with him. Maybe put a mole in the cell with him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
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  5. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Again, I call bullshit. In a specific circumstance where one person is known to have information and another wishes to extract it, torture works. I know people don't like that, and want to show that it fails, and some"research" may reflect this, but I simply don't believe it.

    And your or my political or moral view on the subject is irrelevant and will only muddy matters, so let's avoid referring to them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Truth serum?
     
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  7. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't read those studies, but I'm not sure even on a common sense analysis. Even if the torturer knows that the person has the information he wants, he doesn't know when the person being tortured is telling the truth. Because of this, the torturer does not immediately stop as soon as he hears any answer, and because of that, the tortured person knows that only answers the torturer finds acceptable are what will make the torture stop--not necessarily the truth. If I'm being tortured, I'm telling the torturer ANYTHING that will make it stop as soon as possible--I'm not even capable of thinking about whether telling him a lie might hurt me later because. It may be the truth, but that is not my main goal at the moment. Because of this, I could definitely see how false information would be prevalent.
     
  8. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It might pass some people's suspension of disbelief, but there's a reason why truth serum is not considered credible evidence in US courts (except this crazy judge, and I cannot belief the stupidity of some people in power).
     
  9. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or you might just tell the truth knowing that the truth can be verified and a lie can't. Let's assume in this matter that the torturer has an ounce of common sense as to how best to extract information and isn't just a sadist. Plus repeating the truth under duress must be a lot easier than remembering a lie.
     
  10. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm assuming you're thinking of periods of torture where information is not sought followed by periods of rest where the person is allowed to regain his rational thought process, followed by trying to retrieve the information, and then repeated as necessary?

    There could only be two scenarios: (1) The torturer only accepts answers he finds acceptable, which I believe would lead to inaccuracies as I stated above; or (2) The torturer listens to any answer, determines if it's true, and then continues the torture/interrogation process if it isn't. In this case, I'm still not sure how well a person would be thinking rationally in terms of how they evaluate "I tell him anything now, and I get x days off until he finds out it's false" versus "I tell the truth, I get x days off, and then..." Actually, this might be a problem. What happens to the person if he tells the truth? Is he further punished? Is he guaranteed to not face further punishment? Clearly if he went through any torture at all without divulging the truth beforehand, he clearly values keeping this secret which will factor into his action. Realistically, he would probably face an uncertain future no matter what he did. Because of this and the value he places on keeping the secret and other factors such as 'sticking it to the torturer by not telling the truth,' I'm not sure his future would hold much sway either way if he was able to rationally think about it at all.

    Of course, this is mostly pointless dialogue as neither of us have the relevant expertise to come to any hard conclusions.
     
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  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Experienced interrogators disagree with you.

    (Emphasis mine)
     
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  12. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, we are going a little far into the territory of "what ifs" here without the necessary expertise.
     
  13. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    And I'm sure others agree, or are you asserting that there is a consensus of opinion?

    Edit: And I'm not going to enter into some google battle with you, as we are all capable of finding articles to support our stances. All it proves is that we can use google.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  14. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    In this day and age it is easy to find 'evidence' for any side of a debate. Especially for political issues. Is it that we are trying to hate on ourselves? Is it because they're enough conspiracy theorist? Take a step back man, you'd be surprise how much power the minority have when it's the elite. And how little minority groups have when they aren't part of the 'elites.' The contrived 'evidence' that results from unrepresented groups of interest, and overly represented groups of private interest make it nearly impossible to make heads or tails of our government. And that is exactly how they want it to stay.
     
  15. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    This sounds like a prelude to a statement to the effect of: Only the evidence that supports my argument is correct.
     
  16. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nah, just that this filthy world makes it harder on us then necessary. I value transparency as the most virtuous of ideals. That makes me uber suspicious of secret agencies. They have a motive to give out bad and incorrect information, and we expect that we are protected behind it in exchange, but I have serious doubts. Especially when you look at the patterns, it is not a pretty prediction, let me tell you.
     
  17. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dude, anyone who's already said "some "research" may reflect this, but I simply don't believe it," in a thread has pretty much lost the right to accuse anyone else of only believing evidence that supports their own opinion.

    Anyway, the OP mentioned that we have a few hours or less to get this information from the character. Regardless of whether torture is an effective interrogation tool, I think we can agree that it takes time? A true believer is not going to be tortured into revealing information within a few hours, right?

    Not a few hours of torture, not threats... and I don't think there'd be time for brainwashing/conversion. I think the only way to make this happen is going to be some sort of trickery. You'll have to make the character believe that he's furthering his cause by revealing information, or trick him into saying more than he should - maybe bragging? Or having a "mentalist" character in the room to pick up on subtle responses to questions? (not sure how fanciful you're willing to get).

    You know the character better than us, so maybe you know his weakness? Pride? He could get into a sort of bragging match with the captors, and reveal more than he should. (Don't know how specific the information you need is). Not fear, it sounds like, at least for himself. If your captors are willing to go totally hardcore and have the resources, you could use use love, and actually show someone hurting his family, or bring in someone he KNOWS is cruel enough to do so and threaten him with that. Nice moral mess there.

    Or, more easily, have some sort of physical evidence on him when he's captured, and use that to find the truth?
     
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  18. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why? Anyone else is just as welcome to counter my statement in the same manner.
     
  19. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    So there's no need for evidence, we all just state what we believe and refuse to look at anything contradictory. That's one way to have a conversation, I guess.
     
  20. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, countering my statement would necessarily identity that this would be rather stupid.

    I'd imagine the evidence on this particular issue is contradictory, and varies depending upon many factors probably on a case by case basis. I would also imagine that much of the presentation of the evidence is biased on both sides of the debate because of the above. Honestly though, I don't have the time or inclination to find out.
     
  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hmm, how about we try to offer ideas to the OP instead of criticize other members' approach to evidence?

    Thank you.
     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm wondering why members have missed the very clear filter that the OP has given in the case of this question. The question isn't about Joe Schmo or Jane Doe. The OP is asking about YOU. You-you. Not someone else. Not the average person falling somewhere on a bell-curve. You.


    You would have to have a family member of mine, held where I can see that person, like in the same room, and that person would be the one subjected to [fill in the bad thing]. Given the very tight description you give, that's just about the only chink in my armor that may fit within the stipulated timeline. If the family member is equally invested in the idea that makes us hypothetically both ideologues then even this may not be sufficient.
     
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  23. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    Very little, if truth be told. No really, I'm a fairly pragmatic and selfish type of person, and would be unlikely to consider martyring myself for any cause. While it would be extremely easy for me to say I would stand by my honour until the bitter end, if I'll be honest, I would be content to give them the information in exchange for my release.
     
  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You can call BS all you want, it doesn't change what the research shows. Whether it works or not has nothing to do with my moral or political views on the matter. I looked into the subject thoroughly years ago when the US use of torture was revealed.

    Torture only works on TV, so I suppose in a work of fiction one could continue that myth and use it.
     
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  25. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Thanks Jack. I really didn't want to Web surfing this early. :D
     

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