It hasn't been a good week for psychologists. Perhaps they should stay out of matters of torture or school policy -- two realms that have far too much overlap these days. The evidence, while not conclusively damning, is deeply concerning. A central figure in the assertions is University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman , a leading figure in the positive psychology field. While his role in the emerging scandal is unclear, at least one group of colleagues has presented cause for further investigation. The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology documents a number of intersections between Seligman, the CIA and other psychologists and law enforcement luminaries.
Although the physical effects of torture in surviving persons are well known, psychological wounds are lesser known and investigated. A new aspect of considerable impact is the notion of shame, self-humiliation, and the ensuing problems of degradation. Further research on the evolving concept of post-torture illness should be performed. Anyone who has suffered torture never again will be at ease in the world. Faith in humanity, already cracked by the first slap in the face, then demolished by torture, is never acquired again. In his book At the Mind's Limit , 1 which describes his experience as a torture victim in Auschwitz, he deals with one central topic, namely, the state of mind of a victim. Unfortunately, torture is a worldwide phenomenon that affects humans in nearly all cultures and countries, ranging from physical methods up to psychological persecution.
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After being forced to go to Misiolek's home, the man was ordered to strip naked and suffer the pain and indignity of self-degradation — shockingly filmed by the attacker's fiancee, Anna Baszak. This included being forced to insert objects up his own anus and to endure Misiolek urinating into his mouth. All the while his ankles and wrists were bound and he was made to hop around the flat between attacks. Eventually he heard the trio leave and managed to kick his way out.