Idiocracy and Outbreak vs. real human experimentation

Although Idiocracy seemed like a different style of film than we had previously watched, the satire in it actually made me laugh. Brought me back a little to Goode’s Satire class last year. One thing I found more creepy than funny, though, was the fact that this all started because of a secret government plan to experiment on humans to test for the military. In the movie, the hibernation equipment was built in order to preserve soldiers at their peak to be used at the army’s disposal when necessary. The weird thing is I actually did some research on it and found that in reality this happens all the time. Outbreak was similar to this also because the general guy knew the cure for the virus yet denied it to the people because he wanted to use it for biological warfare. When bringing it back to Hollywood versus reality, these occurances sound like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, yet they are completely true. Here are some other examples of government experimentation, often for the improvement of warfare and the military:

  • In 1931, a doctor by the name of Cornelius Rhoads purposefully infected humans with cancer cells as an experiment. He later established the US Armey Biological Warfare facilities in several states. They gave this doctor so much power that he became part of the US Atomic Energy Commission, which experimented with radiation on both prisoners and soldiers.
  • In 1942, the government used about 4,000 servicemen to test the effects of mustard gas on humans. Some individuals suffered severe pain while many others died. The sad part is that they utilized the fact that some religious groups did not wish to participate in the war. Many of the people experimented on were Seventh Day Adventists, who allowed the experiments in exchange for not serving active duty. The mustard gas was used for WWII warfare.
  • In 1945, the government initiated Project Paperclip. This was an operation that recruited Nazi scientists, those who had previously experimented on innocent Jewish lives, to the US. We offered them immunity in exchange for their knowledge of German science and their work on our own top secret projects.
  • In 1953, a subproject of Paperclip was established called Project MKULTRA. This began a decades long infatuation with mind-control experimentation in which the CIA tested the effects of LSD and other drugs to be used for mind-altering during war times. Many of the experiments were tested upon unconsenting individuals. This led to further research which even included luring men into brothels where they were drugged with LSD and filmed behind a two way mirror for their reaction.

These are just a few examples of how the government had used Americans for experiments throughout the years. The purpose of most of their research is for the advancement of the military or war strategy, often for biological warfare. In Idiocracy, they especially sought out average individuals so as not to endanger those with vital intelligence. This mirrors real science now because most of the experiments include minorities, unconsenting Americans in poor areas, or soldiers who are simply seem as replaceable. It’s crazy the lengths some will go to be on top.

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