The “Pit of Despair Experiment” Trump is Recreating

in news •  last year  (edited)

pit of despair experiment.jpg

Trump has offered immigrant families a Harlowesque choice

In the 1970’s, psychologist Harry Harlow ran an experiment that should never have been conducted but it seems our society needs to be reminded of its results.

Harlow placed newborn monkeys in isolation chambers where they had the choice of wire mesh “mothers” which either had soft comforting coatings or provided milk. The monkeys chose the comforting “mothers” over the food.

The baby monkeys deprived of parental comfort grew up damaged, incapable of finding mates or having sexual relations by themselves. When the monkeys were forced to mate by the researchers and have babies, the new mothers either ignored their children or abused them. One mother crushed her child’s head, another chewed off its feet and fingers. Harlow infamously said of the mothers his experiment created: “Not even in our most devious dreams could we have designed a surrogate as evil as these real monkey mothers were”. The damage was lasting and passed on to their young.

As the world looks on, Donald Trump has been conducting a similar experiment, separating immigrant children and babies from their caregivers and housing them with only foil sheets for comfort.

trump family separations.jpg

It will be impossible to calculate the damage that has been caused to these children by the policy which has already seen children treated for mental illness and suicidal behaviour.

CNN has reported multiple allegations of serious abuses including reports of children strapped naked to chairs with bags placed over their heads for over two days, children being given addictive psychiatric drugs and told they were vitamins and children forcibly being injected with powerful psychiatric medications.

Leaked footage shows children being warned not to speak to reporters and being prevented from speaking to their parents on the phone.

On Saturday night Trump offered to reunite parents and children only if they agreed to deportation, a more Harlowesque choice the world has never seen.

A US judge has now ordered the separations be ended, I sincerely hope all of you that are located in the US lobby your representatives to make sure this happens. If you do so, you may want to mention Harlow’s experiment and the U.N.’s definition of “torture” in part 1 article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, coercing a person by causing suffering including mental suffering. You can also point them to the statement from the Association for Research in Personality that states its position the policy is immoral, unethical, and unconscionable. The American Medical Association has warned that even briefly separating children from their parents has been shown to cause long-lasting harm.

By Simon Oxenham. Find me on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to weekly email updates on my posts. Don't forget to upvote, resteem and subscribe.

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  ·  last year (edited)

You are pulling the same spin as the legacy media. You are leaving out an important word. ILLEGAL.

If people come to a PORT OF ENTRY and are allowed entry that is immigration.

If people come to a PORT OF ENTRY and request asylum and have a good reason and are allowed in that is immigration. You don't get to claim asylum for just ANY reason.

If you cross the border at ANY point other than a port of entry, even if you are a citizen of the country in question. That is a crime.

If you are not a citizen it is NOT immigration. It is trespassing. Depending upon your motivations it could be also invasion.

Anyone that does that has committed a crime. Simple. No spin. If you spin it, you are lying to yourself and to others.

I don't know of anyone against legal immigration. There are a lot of us against illegal immigration. Huge difference.

As to Trump.

How long do you think this has been going on? Doesn't matter? Are you one of those single issue people that don't care about facts as long as you can somehow try to spin it and blame Trump?

Example: Are you one of those that calls the Travel Ban from countries that have produced terrorists against the U.S. a Muslim ban even though the initial list Trump implemented was created and USED by the Obama administration. Even though those locations only account for 8% of the Muslim population.

The truth of the matter is the ban does not mention Muslim, or Islam anywhere. It actually has nothing to do with that. It has to do with places that have harbored and produced terrorists. Those that choose to call it a Muslim ban are lying to themselves and to others, as if there happens to be anyone not muslim from those countries they won't be allowed in either.

If it is a Muslim ban it is poorly designed since it doesn't screen based upon religion, and it misses 92% of the Muslims.

I call bullshit.

This post is about psychological damage to children. They haven't committed a crime and they don't have anything to do with the Muslim ban. Please keep your comments related to the article.


Psychological damage caused them by their parents who put them in that situation.

[-]tking77798I upvoted for you and I think you will vote for me.

don't be a thought fascist, this is an open forum, what a weak tactic it is to respond to well thought out arguments that destroy your narrative by saying, "please keep your comments related to "xyz" when what you are really talking about is "abc".

It's the only way the left can win an argument - if no body speaks after they state their position and call it 'fact'.

..the psychological damage to a child knowing that their _own parent s_put them through that, you mean?
I see your point...


lol, yup, three fake news sources.

It would seem that you need to get your senator and representitives to do their job. As the president does not have the constitutional power to set immagration policy. Unless the Congress deligates it to the executive branch.

The executive branch only has law enforcement capabilities.

Hi @simoxenham

You have a new follower in me..!!

And the way the media has been distorting the facts so consistently is crossing the point where it is becoming dangerous.

It's creating a level of division in the US, that could potentially lead to violence.

There's already been that person who compiled a database of ice employees and released it. Putting a Target on them and their families for nothing more than having a job. That is bordering on terrorism.

Then when you factor in that many of these people trying to cross the border are taking children in order to have cover and pretend like they are the family. Other times the parents died on route and the adult the child is with just happened to be the person that went with them the last leg of the journey.

As it is, it is a complex issue, doesn't help how the issue gets fogged over by the media in order to increase ratings.

Exactly. That is also why I think it is so important to speak up and challenge when people are repeating the same falsities.

would you mind upvoting your own comment? my vote is not enough and your comment ought to be on the top.

  ·  last year Reveal Comment

Truth does not care about feelings.

  ·  last year (edited)

Hmm. Maybe not feelings, per se, but we only have senses/ sensations available to us to try to discern the real truth(s) from the apparent truth(s) and the outright lies. As much as I'd love to get outside of my mind and my nervous system to know that there's something outside of myself, alas, it seems as though that's not an option at the moment, so I, hopefully, make the correct assumption that there is an objective world, not entirely contained in my own consciousness.

And that's just the VERY IMPORTANT, and probably mostly overlooked, first step to determining the truth.

To arrive at an absolute fact, even waving the issue of the basis of reality as it relates to our subjectivity, seems like a rather unlikely achievement, given how many "filters" there are between the actual event(s) and and our coming to be aware of them, especially, but not limited to, the cases where we have to take some else's word for what happened, as, we're all well aware, people have a tendency to be both deceitful and forgetful, which will, at best, distort the facts and, at worst, pass off an outright lie as a fact.

Even when relying on our own eyes, cognitive biases and mood and overall state of alertness, etc., will naturally distort what is happening at a space and time, which explains why when several people try to describe the same accident, they hardly ever agree on many of the broad details, let alone the finer ones.

If we happened to be present as a witness to this vehicular accident and observe one of the men involved having his head decapitated, odds are we didn't hallucinate it (assuming that we aren't schizophrenic or on some type of hallucinogenic drug), especially if one or more of the witnesses present corroborate that detail. In that case, we've likely arrived at a fact (that a man died/ was decapitated), but, again, this is based on a few assumptions: one being that you're not dreaming it, that it actually happened.

However, if you're getting the facts second hand, through a media site or what-have-you, it's really "facts" in quotations, because there's no getting around the FACT that you're forced either to take their word for it (that it actually happened as they state) or, if you're someone closer to my camp, to be suspicious as to the actual factualness of their statement(s) that are passed off as factual. The space and time when the proof could have been witnessed directly has already passed and every second hand source, or "filter", brings with it that much more chance for distortion or deception, either unintentionally or intentionally.

And that's how 10,000 death tolls in historical battles rather inconveniently becomes 100,000 many years after the fact (inconvenient for us truth-seekers, that is). I think we, as a species, have a tendency to see the word "stat" (statistic) and to then conclude the data that it presents as a fact (as if someone taking the time to write down the number is proof enough that it's factual), but it often times is actually one group or person's claim as to what is fact and, in many cases, there is no way to reliably audit their data (therefore, stat =/= fact in more cases than we may tend to assume).

And that's just the VERY IMPORTANT, and probably mostly overlooked, first step to determining the truth.

Yep. I write about this quite a bit.

Truth is subjective since each of us can only know what we have encountered and experienced, and we don't know everything though some of us may be confused and think we do.

Facts are objective.

pass off an outright lie as a fact.

Facts truly are only the immutable information. The details that do not change with interpretation. People that are passing OFF facts that are not such and can be interpreted another way are not dealing in facts, but they are dealing in truths.

They pass off their truth as the only truth. To them at the time it is. If we are intelligent thinking people then our concept of the ultimate truth should be in constant flux and change as we encounter new information.

A lot of people do not know the difference between facts and truth and they try to treat them as synonyms. Some thesaurus may list them as synonyms but in reality they are not.

"stat" (statistic) and to then conclude the data that it presents as a fact

Nope though it may tie into probabilities. Most of what we do in life seems to be related into risk and probabilities in one way or another.

For three years now, since Anus Orange first took his ride down the escalator to decry Mexicans as being murderers and rapists, that we are heading towards fascism. It is here now and people are still blind.

There are no words to describe my disgust.

And I am sure some are good people. Fascism is where you don't let people illegally enter your country, got it.

  ·  last year (edited)

No, it isn't. Moreover, from your article:

Requiring unaccompanied minors to go through deportation alone is not a new practice.

You understand that "unaccompanied" means they came here alone?

they don't have anyone with them, thus they go to their hearings alone, the same way their parents sent them to this country.

If it was fascism they would not have hearings, they would go directly to the ovens.

the judges who take the cases were trained during the last administration on children’s developmental stages, impulse control and making sure the proceedings are understandable to children.

There are no valid comparisons to fascism here. During WW2 were people fleeing into Germany?

There were people Fleeing Germany that were not admitted here. Just look at Anne Frank and her family they tried to come here, but the progressives said no.

yup, moreover the idea that there are children going to hearings alone is a lie, the people complaining are the lawyers who are representing the kids at these hearings!

Not, to mention....Everyone knows a toddler doesn't show up without at least a volunteer child advocate.

Good call!


They make it sound like they just rouse them from their cages and toss them naked and alone, screaming before some heartless cruel judge.

trump posted an Instagram the other day of all prominent democrats calling for tough immigration stances.

In addition to the trauma and excessive fear of separation, illegal immigrant children who were forced to separate from their parents by Donald Trump's policies some time ago may also cause other problems. Even though the president of the United States has terminated the policy.

Quoting The Washington Post on Thursday (21 / 6/2018), assistant professor Jodi Berger Cardoso, who studies the effects of trauma on immigrants at the University of Houston, USA, if left untreated can cause other problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse, to suicide. children intercepted on the border are vulnerable to developing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as other disruptions because their families are fleeing violence and disaster.

Cordoso and other experts say

they worry about what happens even though the children, united with their parents . Some even put together in the detention center.

Studies show, term detention long has a damaging effect on the child. That's why there are some rules that limit the length of the authorities holding children back.

Research also sees that boys who are detained in such a short time as two or three weeks develop anti-social behavior, violence, and substance abuse issues. While the women show symptoms of depression.

While those deported to certain countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who have the highest murder rates for children and adolescents, will face many of the same dangers and traumas when running away.

"The anger that people have faced the last few days, I hope will make us think this continues to happen in our country every day,"

Cardoso said.

"What we have done on the border, it is just a small part of the trauma that is going on and will continue,"

he added.

Right, because we forced them to come here. How dare we?

I can never get used to how abhorrent humans become in our practices when we objectify and separate everything, alienate ourselves from everything, so that experiments like this could have been performed in the first place.

I don't think humans are evil creatures. But I think we are capable of monstrous evil all the same when we operate out of this alienated, separated mindset that demonises and objectifies other beings as things.

And yet, as oftquoted, Hitler loved his dog. And he did. This is what we are up against in dealing with our selves.

My heart breaks for those children. The convo here about illegality reminds me of the exact same conversations that have been raging in my own dullhearted country, Australia, where we blame asylum seekers for not joining the appropriate queues when talking about the offshore detention for fricken YEARS of people and children on islands not-Australia like Manus and Nauru. One more young person killed themselves on Nauru last week. Heartbusting.

LOL can you imagine any Australian having the gall to criticize America's immigration policies?

I criticise my own, too. It's disgusting and pathetic.

On a whole other scale.

Nothing objectifies the human condition more than government - nothing ...

For once something in the trending section that is worth it!

Fantastic work with this one,kudos.

Great article! Very informative for an outsider to read. It's a shame most people are so afraid of danger, they don't really care to help anyone but themselves.

We will all need each other one day guys.. Kinda what this platforms all about!

@simoxenham these are very bad policies taken by trump for these innocent children's. the result of this step is very worse for these children's hope trump will take back the policies.

he already has.

Having no social experience themselves, they were incapable of appropriate social interaction. One mother held her baby's face to the floor and chewed off his feet and fingers. Another crushed her baby's head. Most of them simply ignored their offspring.

Thanks you for the thoughtful piece .

I remember reading about the pit of despair a while back. Thanks for jogging my memory. The impact to the children's future and their children is concerning. I hope they will be ok mentally.

CNN has reported LOL !

Did Donald Trump do that to them or was it their parents sending them alone to another country what got them in that predicament, how are we supposed to know if that photo is current or from the Obama era?

Not to mention it's been going on at least since the late 1970s with the current laws, and was upped by a bill voted on by a Democrat lead congress in 2002.

The only difference now. Trump is president. Trump = bad. Trump gone = only issue many of these people seem to grasp.

Common sense, rational thought, and reason be damned. All they care about is emotion.

Compassion untempered by reason leads to folly.

It's something I call Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is caused by believing the MSM.

Yeah the MSM is the Priests and they approach it much like a religion.

The type of religion most people would call a cult.

All religions start out as cults. :) It is only when they become "Accepted" by most that they stop being labeled as such.

assuming they don't commit mass suicide first.

True that. Though that suicide can come in many forms. Jihad, Crusades, etc. :)

While I respect your opinion piece, I have two observations:

incapable of finding mates or having sexual relations by themselves.

As a relationship consultant, I have observed many scenarios of people who grew up in healthy, happy homes with two parents who have commitment issues. So, while I'm sure this 'experiment' may be used to settle a few lawsuits a few decades from now, it's not isolated to the situation of which you speak. Commitment-phobias are quite common in the most 'normal' of living environments.

One mother crushed her child’s head,

Again, there are a multitude of stories worldwide, regarding mothers who grew up in 'normal' households; but, for a multitude of reasons, snapped, resulting in heinous acts, including murdering her child by bashing the child's head into a wall because it wouldn't stop crying. And, there's the tragic story of the mother/housewife who drowned all five of her beautiful sons in the bath tub a few years back. And, I'm reminded of the mother who's serving life for strapping her child in, and pushing the car into the lake, blaming it on a black male abductor.

So, while I respect your piece, and deem it both tragic and sad that parents are so frightened of what's going on in their country that they put their family in such situations, one would have to believe that the trek through desert terrain might be more devastatingly lingering than a secure place in temporary care for a time.

It's tragic that there are so many layers to this story, including Mexico giving them permission to continue on to the U.S., that we all have to be careful to not point judgmental fingers at any one human being. This immigration issue is decades' old. This is simply the first POTUS who's trying to get a handle of who's entering into his country.

If someone tried to get into some countries without permission, they'd be shot on the spot...not given shelter, food, education, clothing as in the U.S....Russia comes to mind.

I hope this makes sense.


one would have to believe that the trek through desert terrain might be more devastatingly lingering than a secure place in temporary care for a time.

Bingo, unless one was trying really hard to make Donald Trump/America look bad.

If I told you this was bigger than POTUS, it might blow your mind.


I did say "America"

@funbobby51, got it! ;+)

Now, let's extend the thought...Imagine this being bigger than the U.S.

I do believe the goal is to fulfill a jaw-dropping speech by Bush 1...NWO...

Best regards...Thanks for the clarification...


W sure did all he could to bring about the Revelations.

W sure did
All he could to bring about
The Revelations.

                 - funbobby51

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

Wow, another amazing haiku, thanks @haikubot, you should make a utility that stores all the haikus so you can search them.

My oh my, this comments section devolved quickly!

I enjoyed reading the article, and I even found myself reading it without a political lens through which to view it. I remember reading about the experiment you discuss. I hadn't thought of the separation of the children in that light before. You are correct though; this will certainly have a profound impact on the personalities of these children, particularly those who are in that situation for an extended time.

I am reminded of another experiment, although I don't recall its name. In it, subjects were told, by an authority figure, to electrocute people. Although hesitant, the subjects complied, even when they believed they were causing grave harm to others. I'm certain there is a lot of this in evidence along our southern border at the moment. People are doing what they believe is right by following the law of the land even if their conscience disagrees. It is a difficult situation for anyone to be in, regardless of one's position on immigration policy.

I hope the children grow and thrive with better outcomes than those poor rhesus monkeys.

I do not finish coming out of my astonishment

President of the United States (US) Donald Trump began to soften toward immigration policy that reaped controversial. Trump signed an executive decision that promises migrant children do not need to be separated from their parents.

"It's about the unity of a family,"

said the president of 72 years mentioned in the decision signing ceremony.
Trump said he was deeply grieved by the figure showing the cries of children when separated by their parents for entering the US illegally.

"I do not like the sight of a family should be separate,"

explained the president of the 45th in the history of the United States. Trump increasingly consider their policies after his wife, Melania, and daughter simultaneously counselors, Ivanka, urging him to reconsider.

"I think anyone who has a sense of reality would be sad to see it that way. No one likes if the family is separated," said Trump.

However, Trump promised a policy called "Zero Tolerance" will continue to prevent legal migrants at the border. He submitted to Congress to make rules that could stop the separation of migrant children, but also strengthen US immigration law.

यह पोस्ट बच्चों को मनोवैज्ञानिक क्षति के बारे में है। उन्होंने अपराध नहीं किया है और उनके पास मुस्लिम प्रतिबंध के साथ कुछ भी नहीं है। कृपया लेख से संबंधित अपनी टिप्पणियां रखें।

boldYour post very interesting!

Leaked footage shows

Will it be too frank if I confess - I comment on it in order to draw attention to my post ... sorry, I somehow frankly write in my blog and comments. This quote inspires me to write frankly. Menn is wounded just like this.


Hey dear sir your profile is so wonderful

They reality doesn't care about feelings.

Truth doesn't care about feelings.

What is happened to us?Where are we going?
This type of experiments are never be conducted neither with human nor with any other animal.We have enough problems in the world to solve don't create another problem which is so inhuman.

Hii IM just follow u pls follow me back thanks

You need to start buying the mainstream media outrage of the day and realize you are being manipulated to promote international human traffic with your "migrant family's"

simoxenham I upvoted for you and I think you will vote for me.

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Very Good Experiment

Our economies are crumbling because of trump

great post

waitng for the next one:)

Why is the blame on Donald Trump? The only one putting children in harm's way are the parents or smugglers who bring their children to cross the border illegally. If these immigrants are truly seeking asylum, why don't they enter an embassy? Why don't they stop in Mexico, which is 2,000+ miles closer to their home countries than the US?

Congratulations @simoxenham!
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Gave you my upvote , it's a little but I hope one day will give you bigger ones

sorry for the spam please do not insult me or give me a negative vote I just want to tell you that if there is an anime fan go through my blog there is a lot of anime here I leave my latest publication on the deadly sins:

its not fair to judge a people on the basis of caste or religion , however every caste / religion should try to maintain their dignity and identity

every time you believe these lies and distractions you are hitting the snooze button on your awakening.

....yeah, the parents choosing to initiate this action had nothing to do with it, then?

Thanks for sharing.

Nice Post, Simoshenam Sir, the information you give is very accurate, I am deeply affected by the information you provided

Right kids learnt more and they are precious gift

Immigration is the symptom of synchronized global collapse ... expect more of it, and not just across national boundaries ... believe me, I live in Seattle, and this "liberal paradise" is constantly complaining about "homeless people from other places", which is pretty much the definition of an immigrant or refugee. Whatever faux compassion your article demonstrates is nothing compared to the cascading failure of human society, and the coming chaos - which will mean more people displaced, more towns and cities putting up their own "walls". Seattle's walls against the homeless? - metal spikes, bike racks where they don't belong, construction shielding, etc. ... after this comes the "camps".


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