In 1961, Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, wanted an answer to a simple question: Was there something specific to Germans that allowed the Holocaust to occur? At the time, many people assumed that there was. Germans were said to be especially obedient to authority. Americans reassured themselves that nothing like that could happen here. Dr. Milgram decided to test this assumption.
He put an ad in the newspaper soliciting volunteers for what was said to be a learning experiment. When they entered the laboratory, there was an “experimenter” and another apparent volunteer. In reality, the “experimenter” was a biology teacher chosen for his stern and authoritative demeanor. The other “volunteer” was actually an actor just playing a role assigned by Milgram. The real volunteer was told that he and the other person would draw lots to see who would be the “teacher” and who would be the “learner”. This was rigged so that the real volunteer was always assigned the role of the “teacher”. A series of switches were set up so that the “teacher” could deliver electric shocks that would be increasingly painful to the “learner”. The “learner” would indicate that he had a heart condition before going into a room where he would be strapped to a chair and have electrodes attached. The “teacher” would get a shock, said to be the lowest level, so that he would know what the “learner” was experiencing. Every time the “learner” made a mistake, the “teacher” was told to increase the level of shock.
The results from this experiment were disturbing. Americans of all walks of life and socioeconomic groups continued raising the level of shocks, even though the actor portraying the “learner” feigned intense pain. At the tenth level, he screamed. Most “teachers” continued to increase the apparent shocks after being reassured by the authority figure that this was required by the experiment.
Milgram’s conclusion was that most people will obey an authority figure, even if he orders them to perform an act they know to be immoral.
Today, we are faced with a similar moral choice. Dr. Frieden, Director of the CDC, is strongly suggesting that schools stay open despite substantial evidence that this will cause the H1N1 virus to spread rapidly among children. The inevitable consequence of this policy is that many people will become sick and die. This is obvious.
The CDC’s recommendation that schools stay open is guidance. It is not law. State public health authorities do not have to obey. They can say no to the CDC. School administrators do not have to obey. They can say no to the CDC. Parents do not have to obey. They can say no to the CDC.
One man in Ireland said no to the Irish public health establishment:
A RESPECTED doctor has condemned the opening of schools as normal before a vaccine for rapidly spreading swine flu is readily available.
Having identified the young and teenage groups as the most vulnerable to the illness, Dr Eamonn McDwyer told the Herald it would make more sense to postpone the re-opening of primary, secondary and third level facilities until all of those groups have been vaccinated in October.
Dr McDwyer, based in Cavan, said: “I’ve seen it all before every September. Viral infections spread by the hundreds in the first weeks of school.”
He is one of the few medical officials to publicly criticise the Government’s decision to keep schools open in spite of the widespread illness.
Herald.ie, August 26, 2009
Children in the United States who started school about two weeks ago are starting to get sick. Some of them, very sick.
Do we need to hear their screams before we say no to this madness?
It is painfully clear that CDC staffers will continue to obey their authority figure, Dr. Frieden, despite knowing that his orders are immoral.
If we don’t stand up and insist that this evil “experiment” be stopped, then we are no different than the people who obeyed the authority figure in the “Tenth Level” experiments.
Real children will start to die.
Real teachers will die.
Real pregnant women will lose their babies and die.
Real nurses will die.
Real paramedics will die.
Real people will die.
And it will be our fault.
Because we didn’t say no.