Chinese water torture

Drew Danielson drew.danielson at CMU.EDU
Sat Dec 9 20:41:53 UTC 2000

Laurence Horn wrote:
> Does everyone else associate "Chinese water torture" with the idea of
> being tied down and having the torturer drip water on your forehead
> drop by drop until your forehead begins to give way under the
> pressure?  Would water really do this?  It does somehow sound a bit
> like the alligators in the sewers or the
> theft-of-suitcase-with-dead-dog-inside story.

This is the definition of Chinese water torture that I remember learning
as a young boy...  It's something that I learned from a friend who was
interested in experimenting with this technique on our little brothers
(good thing he didn't know about the rag-in-the-mouth method).

I think that eventually one could drill a hole in someone's forehead
using this method, but it would be over the course of geological eons,
and we weren't able to hold our brothers down for that long.  Actually,
it was described to me as primarily a psychological rather than physical
form of torture.  The rhythmic drip-drip-drip & the accompanying
physical sensation was intended to drive the victim insane (our results
tended to support this conclusion :)

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