“The torture of a bad conscience

is the hell of a living soul.”

–John Calvin

Torture as an act is abhorrent in today’s humanitarian society. We argue about the newly devised methods of tortures created, like force feeding through nasal tubes, to be a crime against humanity but it was during medieval times when the people were punished through the worst possible methods of torture.

One such form was known as ‘sitting in the tub’, according to which a convict would sit in a wooden tub as the executioner paints his face with milk and honey. As time passed flies would soon begin to feed on their faces maggots and worms would devour their decaying body alive. Heretics’ Fork was another tool used for torture that forced prisoners awake as bi-pronged forks pressed against their neck and chest as they hung suspended from a ceiling.

These forms of punishments were used mostly during the 19th and 20th centuries. During World War II, a concentration camp survivor by the name of Heinz Heger, narrated that tickling, something we associate laughter and good memories with, was used as a form of torture. His body was restraint and he was tickled until he eventually started crying out of pain and helplessness. It was one form of torture that allowed the victim to recover quickly thus allowing prolonged agony and left no physical mark.

It is good that as a society we are slowly progressing towards a stage where it is acknowledged that extremity was a defining character of the past and that no matter what crime is committed, basic human values and rights should not be let go off under any circumstances.