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Aug 18 2011

Archaic religion + modern technology → horror in Bolivia

We think of Mennonites as an extremely conservative Christian sect that is cautious about adopting modern technology. But apparently, with the right incentive, they can innovate, as a group of Bolivian Mennonites demonstrate.

Wall is among 130 women and girls of the Mennonite colony in Manitoba Colony, who claim that from 2005 to ’09, the same cloudy horror visited them. They’re the victims of what is allegedly one of the ugliest sex scandals in the history of the Mennonites, a pacifist Christian Anabaptist denomination founded in Europe in the 1500s, if not Bolivia and South America. In a criminal trial now under way in nearby Santa Cruz, Peter Weiber, 48, a Mennonite veterinarian, is accused of transforming a chemical meant to anesthetize cows into a spray to be used on humans. For four years, Weiber and eight other Mennonite men allegedly sprayed the chemical through bedroom windows in Manitoba at night, sedating entire families and raping the females.

Charming fellows. Old-timey farmers. Quaint horse-drawn buggies. Insular, inbred, arrogant patriarchal monsters.

The accused didn’t just commit horrible acts, but don’t seem to feel guilt or remorse.

The men range in ages from 20 to 48. Four of them, including Weiber, are married. But they don’t seem to take the case too seriously: they often joke with guards or fall asleep during trial proceedings, and during one victim’s testimony the judge had to reprimand them for laughing and making faces. That may be one reason victims rarely go to the courthouse. “My heart was racing and my head hurt,” Susana Banman, 55, tells TIME about her one day at the trial.

Suddenly, I don’t find myself as distressed at the thought of the imminent potential extinction of humanity by ecological disaster as I once was. So that’s a bit of good news.

(via Jen)

250 comments

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  1. 1
    Yoav

    Maybe someone can spray their cell and then bring in some lifers just to help them get a better perspective on what they were doing. As an added bonus they will be too sore to fall asleep at court.

  2. 2
    Shane Evans

    Back in the early 80′s I was a mormon missionary in a rural area outside of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I often saw Mennonites. I was amazed at the time that they had set up a colony there. They seemed so out of place.

  3. 3
    Loqi

    It’s not even 9 yet and and my blood is almost at boiling already. Religion really is going to kill me. If it’s not a fanatic killing me, it’s going to be a fanatic causing me to stroke out in a fit of rage over his/her harming someone else.

  4. 4
    raven

    Don’t tell Warren Jeffs and the FLDS.

    That sound you hear in the distance is a run on cow anesthetics.

  5. 5
    Glodson

    Holy shit.

    Really. Now I’m one of those people who is concerned about the death penalty, and I believe it should never be used. And these assholes make me reconsider my position. Hell, I think that, for the most part, people are mostly good and try to do the right thing. Yes, many are woefully misguided, but still the intention is there…

    That is the most disgusting thing that I have read in a good, long while.

  6. 6
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    Maybe someone can spray their cell and then bring in some lifers just to help them get a better perspective on what they were doing. As an added bonus they will be too sore to fall asleep at court.

    We do not punish rape with rape. Rape is torture. We are allegedly more civilized than this. At least, I am. If you aren’t, then you are simply not part of the same “we” as me.

    I’ll thank you to refrain from contributing to the normalization of rape in our culture.

    I request anyone thinking about contributing, who hasn’t read anything about the concept of rape culture, to take just a few paltry moments before venting your spleen to read about it.

    If you can’t be bothered to do that much (and even a tiny amount of self-education can go a long way), don’t be surprised if you get lumped in with the large segment of society (note that the anti-feminist, misogynist “False Rape Society” commands the third spot on google’s results for “rape culture 101,” that is, misogynists. They’re distressingly common. Try to differentiate yourself from them, or else don’t be surprised if you’re mistaken for one of them.

    *musical interlude* The more you knooooww…

  7. 7
    Quodlibet

    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu,

    Thanks for jumping in early with that caution. Well said, well timed.

  8. 8
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    It’s hard to blame them: shockingly, some of Manitoba Colony’s male leaders have suggested that because the women were usually sedated during the rapes, they have no psychological wounds. None have yet received counseling. “I’d like to be able to talk to someone, but it will have to be when I learn Spanish,” says Banman. “I rarely sleep through the night anymore.”

    What a lovely close-knit community. Even if we try to forget that their attackers were a part of that lovely community, the non-reaction of the leaders still shows how much women there are worth.

    Then there’s the stigma. Out of shame, many of the women no longer attend church, the colony’s only real social space; the younger among them say they fear they are “stained” and will never be able to marry. The day Wall went to the Santa Cruz courthouse to testify, she did not tell her 13-year-old daughter where she was headed. The teenager was raped the same night as her mother — but she has no idea her mom was a victim too.

    I was managing to hold in the tears until this last sentence. Mother and daughter were both raped and are now not only unable to share their pain with anyone else, but also unable to comfort each other. Their community did this to them and now their community has basically washed their hands of them.

  9. 9
    llewelly

    Thank you, Sally. I was thinking the same thing in response to Yaov’s ugly remark.

  10. 10
    Marcus Ranum

    Some day, being religious will be recognized as a sign of mental instability. All the attributes of extreme religion – insularity, patriarchy, celibacy, authoritarianism – will be recognized as symptoms that cluster together. Once religion’s claim to the moral high ground is finally rejected, we’ll be able to look at someone who claims that god wants them to be celibate and recognize that it’s a sexual disorder and there’s probably something else wrong with them.

  11. 11
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    SallyStrange:

    Let me add my thanks for this:

    We do not punish rape with rape.

    I thought we got over snarking about prison rape a long time ago ’round here… but then I don’t recognize Yoav as a regular. On the (apparently hypothetical) Pharyngula Commentors’ FAQ, “No, prison rape is not funny, no matter how heinous the prisoner’s acts” should be way up near the top.

  12. 12
    pharylon

    What sucks about Mennonites is that their shunning of technology leaves much of the youth without a good picture of what the rest of the world has. The Internet is a very democratizing force, but one that they don’t get exposed to much.

  13. 13
    Fatboy

    Charming fellows. Old-timey farmers. Quaint horse-drawn buggies.

    Actually, that’s mostly the Amish and other sub-sects of the Mennonites. Mennonites in general are a little more open to technology and drive cars, albeit black ones with the chrome covered up.

  14. 14
    Marcus Ranum

    I thought it interesting that the article mentioned one of the perpetrators is a vegetarian. I’m trying to think how that’s relevant – are vegetarians supposed to be more moral? Or weird? It’s a weird detail to throw in.

  15. 15
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Also, Yoav, let me add to SallyStrange’s cogent critique the fact that, in addition to being misogynist, promoting prison rape as “just” retribution is also homophobic.

    Perhaps you only meant it as a throw-away line, and are feeling a bit piled-on about now. Well, it’s good to learn that sometimes “throw-away” remarks… aren’t!

  16. 16
    Algernon

    Suddenly, I don’t find myself as distressed at the thought of the imminent potential extinction of humanity by ecological disaster as I once was. So that’s a bit of good news.

    I’m with you there.

  17. 17
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Occam’s Blunt Instrument,

    I can’t find it in the text. They said one was a veterinarian, so maybe you misremembered that. And being a veterinarian would explain his knowledge about the chemical that was used.

  18. 18
    Marcus Ranum

    They said one was a veterinarian

    Oh, dear! That farting noise I heard was my brain. I mis-read! THat makes a lot more sense.

  19. 19
    rodriguez

    Algernon, I feel the same as you, but I was too weirded out by the rape culture starting right at the beginning to say so until you did.

  20. 20
    Mikey

    What sucks about Mennonites is that their shunning of technology leaves much of the youth without a good picture of what the rest of the world has.

    This is of course entirely by design, and is a feature shared with all fundamentalist religious denominations. They have long restricted access to information about the real world. I was raised Seventh-day Adventist, and went to SDA schools, and I remember having to go through the “Weekly Reader” book catalog and putting big black X’s over the books we weren’t allowed to order. Thankfully, I recovered from that particular disease once I was out on my own.

  21. 21
    MFHeadcase

    Hmmm, a post about sanctimonious serial rapists, how long before the “what a bout the menz?’ and “true scotsman” brigades show up?

    I should probably log out until the drugs take hold, but the damned migraine is already screwing with my impuls control.

  22. 22
    tytalus

    Whew. I really push my luck sometimes, checking out this site during my breakfast… /gag

    So much for their precious religion supposedly teaching them to be well-behaved human beings.

  23. 23
    NancyNew

    I live in Lancaster CO, PA, with a big Amish and Mennonite population, and have done some research for a local project on the sects. Here’s some background information on Mennonites and related sects.

    Mennonites come in a bunch of different varieties. They’re related to, but not the same as Amish. Old Order Mennonites behave and appear similar to Amish (buggies, hats, headcoverings for the women, modest dresses for the women). Other Monnonite sects are much more modern–locally we recognize “black bumper” Mennonites–they drive cars, but the cars must be totally black, including the bumpers. Still other sects would be hard to differentiate from any other American of Germanic descent, unless you know exactly what you’re looking for or know the people.

    Incidentally, 10-15 (?) years ago, the local PBS station and a local director did quite an interesting documentary on the Lancaster Co Amish–”The Amish and Us”), which talks about the distinctions between various sects, including Old Order Monnonite and “ex-Amish,” who frequently then join one or another of the Monnonite sects. It’s very well done, informative, and very clever. (http://www.lib.muohio.edu/multifacet/record/mu3ugb2718703)

    What seems odd to the “English” (ie, non-Amish or Mennonite) is related to church decision-making processes for use of technology. Basically, the elders get together and determine if a new technology will help keep family members at home, on the farm–so many Amish and Old Order Mennonites around here have phones (set up in separate little out-house-type buildings by the road) and computers and internet access (if that allows you to run a home business that keeps you and family members on the farms, it’s approved).

    My point? It’s entirely possible that members of this sect had access to materials and information far removed from the stereotypical Monnonite image. Chances are they aren’t as isolated and remote as you might think.

    Within my memory (nearly 30 years here now), we’ve had scandals involving young Amish/OOM men working construction sites and developing problems with cocaine use; a mass-murderer opening fire in a one-room schoolhouse and killing a bunch of little girls; issues with “english” assholes making a practice of knocking Amish or Old Order Mennonites off their bicycles with broom handles or baseball bats (the Amish elders, in a highly unusual move, got together and decided to let the police prosecute in this circumstance–the reason the attacks were happening is that Amish/OOM usually won’t go to court for any reason (god is supposed to take care of justice), so they could get away with it with impunity). We’ve also had the Dover trials and local religious thugs wialing and railing against the Harry Potter books for promoting witchcraft.

    You know what they say about PA… Pittsburg and Philly and Alabama inbetween.

  24. 24
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Even most peaceful and mainstream of “God’s children” can often be heard railing against evils of media and internet. Sex and violence are said to be prime reasons for that, but there is always a sense of animosity towards media as access to anything that might be considered against that particular religion or denomination. That anything most often includes knowledge in general.

  25. 25
    NancyNew

    Dammit! Finger-fail! Mennonite/Monnonite. Damn!

  26. 26
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    …during one victim’s testimony the judge had to reprimand them for laughing and making faces.

    How come I have images of the friends of the accused intimidating the victims outside of court?

  27. 27
    j_brisby

    How sure are we that these acts actually occurred? Because it has the ring of hysteria to me. Mennonite sex-gangs using magical rape-mist? Where’s our skepticism?

  28. 28
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    j_brisby,

    Must be those unhinged hysterical women making elaborate schemes to destroy lives of innocent men. You’re right, that one sounds much more plausible.

  29. 29
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    That’s patriarchal privilege at work: they’re entitled to anything they can pry loose because they’re the ones that matter.

    Too bad they can’t be sentenced to a few years of Biblical Chastisement from the previous post.

  30. 30
    Ed Darrell

    P.Z., I worry about your close of the post. Happily, no Mimsics here yet — but watch out for those who might show up, saying you’re demonstrating the evil side of Eric Pianka, and urging the extinction of humans. Of course you didn’t — but neither did Pianka.

    Perhaps the sheer horror of this event will keep the nuts at bay.

  31. 31
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    Mennonite sex-gangs using magical rape-mist?

    J_fuckface, so fucking typical of you to be dismissive. Did you miss this?

    is accused of transforming a chemical meant to anesthetize cows into a spray to be used on humans.

    Not fucking magical. It knocks organisms out. Leaving victims prone.

    Assclam.

  32. 32
    ehmm

    I’m waiting with baited breath for the Mennonite Bill Donahue to issue a press release saying it’s no big deal.

    Crucifiction would be too good for these clowns.

  33. 33
    GravityIsJustATheory

    Suddenly, I don’t find myself as distressed at the thought of the imminent potential extinction of humanity by ecological disaster as I once was.

    So after the Romans, the Huns, the Crusades, the Mongols, the Inquisition, the slave trade, the Indian Wars, the Holocaust, the Stalinist purges, the Cultural Revolution, the Khymer Rouge, the Rwandan genocide, and Assad’s crackdown in Syria, this was the straw that broke the camal’s back?

  34. 34
    Ing

    Goddamn, PZ! this is why it was a stupid idea to not just transfer over the dungeon? Did you honestly forget that some of these people were real assholes and brutally nasty as hell to some commentators? Throw him back in.

  35. 35
    Ing

    Like it’s not frustrating enough treading water on any feminist issue and knowing there’s a never ending tide of idiots that’s going to force us to repeat the issue, but now you’re gonna have us deal with some of them a second time?

  36. 36
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    Ing, j_brisby was never sent to the dungeon. He is just an annoying little pissant of a troll.

  37. 37
    Ing

    My bad…I could have sworn that he was.

    Not that the argument doesn’t stand and it still annoys me but…yeah.

  38. 38
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    I understand. I had the pissant in my killfile.

  39. 39
    Ulgaa

    I miss the use of killfile.

  40. 40
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    J,
    Well, of course we can’t take those hysterical women seriously! Tell me, would you automatically doubt a man who was a victim of a crime?

    I am so sick of what about the menz? J, your schtick has gotten really old.

  41. 41
    Gyeong Hwa

    Even more hysterical are the men decrying rape convictions as persecution and “hysterical”, much like what j_brisby is doing.

  42. 42
    Quodlibet

    j_brisby says:

    How sure are we that these acts actually occurred? Because it has the ring of hysteria to me. Mennonite sex-gangs using magical rape-mist?

    Yep, that’s every woman’s fantasy. We just go all out making up these sorts of things just to get guys in trouble, don’t we, gals? WINK WINK!

    Seriously. Take a look at just a few of the horror stories – yes, horror stories — posted here in the past few days: ritualized, systematic, rape, torture, humiliation, and physical and psyschologal abuse of women and children by religious people who are taking advantage of their positions of power to control and abuse. It is really happening, and it is happening a lot, and it is primarily men, many of whom are doing it in the name of relgion/god or because their religion has put them in position of power over others.

    “ring of hysteria”

    Fuck off.

  43. 43
    DLC

    Now, if only all religious cults were like the Shakers.

  44. 44
    Quodlibet

    Perhaps if any of the victims had actually died* there would be more concern, since the perpetrators would be charged with murder, which is a crime. As opposed to a premeditated mass rape which, according to j_brisby, is a hysterical fantasy invented by women and imposed on men.

    .

    *From the highly dangerous administration, to humans of various ages, size, and health conditions, of an anaesthetic mist derived from a drug intended for use in very large animals, probably untested for human use

  45. 45
    MFHeadcase

    j_brisby, which is more plausible, that a group of 8 or more men, in a rigidly patriarchal subculture decide to get together to drug and rape women for shits and giggles.

    Or in the same rigidly patriarchal culture, dozens of women decide to get together and fuck over 8 men by making false accusations?

    Hint, the fewer people in a conspiracy, the longer it generally lasts.

    Hint, once they were caught, some elder members of the community flat out admit that rape is common in that community.

    Here’s you fucking porcupine asshole, I’ve had it marinating in habanero sauce.

  46. 46
    Chris Tucker

    Religion: Fucking over Humanity since the Dawn of Time.

  47. 47
    Mattir-ritated

    Presumably j-brisby would think a crime had been committed only if the MALE family members who were anesthetized suffered some bad reaction to the cow tranquilizer and died as a result. Mass hysteria is a serious problem, but in this case, it seems likely that there’s actual physical evidence of crime, including the use of “magic rape mist.”

    So go hoggle yourself with a porcupine already.

  48. 48
    Francisco Bacopa

    OK, here I go forth into very dangerous waters. I have never found myself defending an accused rapist. In fact, I once suffered some pretty serious consequences for backing a rape victim in college when the administration wanted to keep things quiet. I also seem to give off bad vibes to defense attorneys reviewing a jury pool in rape cases. But oh well, here I go. Got my Nomex fireproof undies on.

    The case just doesn’t ring true. If the headline was “Mennonites accused of raping their own community members” I’d find it more believable. That’s how it usually goes. Rape and abuse are an outgrowth of the isolation and concentration of power within the community. But what really sets off alarm bells is the similarity of this case to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. Also, it would seem that these amateur chemists have succeeded in formulating The Gas of Peace from the film Things to Come. This is quite an advanced achievement. Many attempts to make such a gas have had less than satisfactory results. We should also consider that the Burundanga business card legend is widely propagated in South America and mad gassers are more plausible than that. But mad gassers just aren’t that plausible themselves. Don’t you think that if there were some reliable way to make a rape mist there would actually be some documented cases of someone doing it? In fact, I think rapists are so creepy that they would probably sharing how to do it on the internet. Anyone know of a site where we can find this information? I didn’t think so.

    If the allegations are completely false, that would also explain why the accused don’t seem to be taking things too seriously. That is a huge mistake; just ask the McMartins.

    I think we should not rule out the possibility that we’re dealing with some kind of mass community panic. I could be totally wrong about this and I will come back here and eat my words if serious evidence comes out in this trial. And please note, I do not take rape lightly. I understand the rape culture atmosphere of threat that made Watson (oh noes! I have spoken the name of troll summoning) be rightfully creeped out by elevator guy. I just think this particular case in Bolivia has enough similarities to moral panics of the past that it’s got me doing some serious head scratching. And like I said, if the headline had been “Religious community members rape their own” I would totally believe it.

    So, what does everyone else think?

  49. 49
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So, what does everyone else think?

    Yawn.

  50. 50
    Francisco Bacopa

    I am so totally an idiot! Crap! Why can’t I seem to read articles today.

    I WAS COMPLETELY WRONG. THEY WERE ACCUSED OF RAPING WOMEN WITHIN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY. AS I SAID ABOVE, THIS KICKS IT WAY UP ON THE PLAUSIBILITY SCALE AND MAKES TOTAL SENSE WITH HOW POWER IS ABUSED WITHIN RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES, PARTICULARLY ISOLATED ONES.

    I was reading this as Mennonites being accused of raping outsiders. I still find the gas thing implausible, but maybe they had access to lots of experimental victims.

    WHAT I JUST POSTED IS ABOUT THE DUMBEST THING I EVER POSTED. WHY CAN’T I SEEM TO READ TODAY?

    PZ knows about the gasser of Mattoon. He knows how things work. Why did I ever mistrust him?

  51. 51
    MFHeadcase

    Francisco Bacopa @48
    Yes, this is an insular religious community, but it is NOT a monastery or convent in the middle ages. This is not hysteria about a Succubus or Incubus leading “holy” folk to lustful sin.

    Two of the men were caught red handed, many ratted each other out, and there is physical evidence, torn clothing, bruising and vaginal bleeding.

    And based on the article, the dosage of the sedative was as dodgy as would be expected. Some of the women did wake during the assaults.

  52. 52
    Francisco Bacopa

    Seriously folks, I just read the two paragraphs and didn’t read the whole article. I understand there is some compelling physical evidence. I understand that it must have been extremely difficult for the victims to come forward. It also sounds like the Bolivian courts are doing a good job in what must be a very difficult case. I wholeheartedly hope that justice is served in this case

    If it would help I will borrow a video camera and make my own version of the Venomfangx apologizes to Thunderf00t video and post it here.

    I have no idea why I didn’t actually read the article before posting.

    What was I thinking?

  53. 53
    raven

    J-brisby the xian defender:

    How sure are we that these acts actually occurred?

    Sure. Because wacko fundie xians never perform atrocities.

    BTW, you are needed on the “mortification” thread to explain that the Shatzes’ 7 year old daughter wasn’t really beaten and is now dead. She is only faking it.

    Then go ahead and defend Warren Jeffs and the FLDS. Just quaint old timey Mormons living a perfect and prescribed Old Testament lifestyle.

    After that, go ahead and defend the Catholic church. It’s not the priests fault little boys have cute rear ends.

    And for an encore, why not defend the Reverend Jim Jones and the 900 people who are only sleeping in Guyana. No one forced them to drink poisoned koolade and besides they wanted to.

  54. 54
    raven

    *From the highly dangerous administration, to humans of various ages, size, and health conditions, of an anaesthetic mist derived from a drug intended for use in very large animals, probably untested for human use.

    Yeah, that is what I was thinking.

    It’s a thin line between putting someone out and putting someone out forever.

    That is why anesthesiology is a highly trained, high paying specialty.

    They are real lucky they didn’t kill someone.

  55. 55
    Ing

    They said they gassed entire houses right?

    How do we know they didn’t? It’s a enclosed community. Have any of their children died “mysteriously” in their sleep?

  56. 56
    Acronym

    I don’t buy it either, at least not from what i’ve read so far.

    It has all the elements of mass hysteria. This is an incredibly religious community, the women aren’t educated beyond 12 years old so it’s un-surprising that any embarrassing sexual happenings (a child’s broken hymen, ripped night-clothes, blood) are very likely to be attributed to an evil 3rd party such as demons or intruders than for what they really are.

    Also the logistics render this unlikely. Has anyone tried to fumigate a whole household? Even if the family are considerate enough to leave all their windows and doors open it still takes some industrial pumping equipment to do it. Not to mention the protective gear for the team of assailants. This is one expensive, complicated and NOISY procedure. A team of men with barrels of ‘mixture’, ladders, piping, a compressor, pump….I find it difficult to believe they could have been doing this for god knows how many years without someone wondering just what that strange noise is coming from next door’s garden.

    There may be some smoke here but I’ll wait till I hear more.

  57. 57
    Ermine

    I was about to jump all over you, Francisco, but your quick about-face and clear admission of error have gone quite a way to make up for the initial stupidity. Please try to look before you leap next time, huh?

    J. Brisby on the other hand, has once again demonstrated hir true character for us all – Thanks a lot, now GO AWAY you waste of human excrement!

    Did you miss the part where several of the perpetrators were caught red-handed, and others CONFESSED? But of course, it’s still more likely that it’s a plot on the part of all those *hysterical* women, right?

    You disgust me more than I can possibly say. Thank goodness I don’t have to ever actually meet you, as I’m not sure I’d be able to hold in my gorge – and I’d DEFINITELY aim in your direction before I lost it!

  58. 58
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    a child’s broken hymen, ripped night-clothes, blood

    OK, the first might happen accidentally when doing some sports or with an unfortunate landing after a fall, but the later two.. How often do your night-clothes rip for no apparent reason? Also, no matter how uneducated those women might be, I’m pretty sure that grown women have noticed that they bleed in fairly regular intervals.

  59. 59
    Ing

    @Acroym

    Did you miss the part where several of the perpetrators were caught red-handed, and others CONFESSED? But of course, it’s still more likely that it’s a plot on the part of all those *hysterical* women, right?

    fucking idiot.

  60. 60
    Acronym

    I see the brainless pitchforks are out in force.

    “The defendants, who are being tried as a group (they either all go to prison or all go free), pleaded not guilty because they say their confessions to Manitoba leaders were given “only under threat of lynching,” says defense attorney Luis Loza.”

    To those delicate souls who have already tried and convicted and sentenced the accused men based solely on a news article, you have my sympathies.

  61. 61
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Acronym,

    What exactly about my post indicated that I am a brainless pitchfork? (At most, I might be a brainless pitchfork wielder. I can assure you I am not a pitchfork. )

    That citation proves they are innocent…. how?

    You got two responses. That is not “in force”. Oh, my dear, that is not even close to “in force”.

  62. 62
    Random

    The quotation was to counter balance the reported confessions given by the defendants. I am not attempting to prove their innocence.

    I am presuming it.

  63. 63
    Tethys

    Words fail me right now. This could so easily be me if my ancestors had not decided to immigrate to North America rather than South America.

    Grandma is Mennonite. Grandpa was Alemannic German. (his sect is more aligned with the Shakers and Quakers, but was simply referred to as The Friends.)

    Grandpa had to convert in order to marry Grandma.

    In a mennonite community, should you be sexually assaulted or raped and are brave enough to actually say so, you WILL be forced to stand-up in front of the congregation and apologize if you wish to remain a member of the church.

    This led to Grandpa quitting the mennonite faith some years later, with a sincere wish that they all be damned and burn in hell for eternity.

    In related news, lynching in this community did not involve death by hanging. It did involve an isolated abandoned building, a vise with a removable handle, gasoline, a match, and a dull knife.

    Ending on a slightly happier note. That congregation has pretty much died out, and their church mysteriously burned to the ground years ago.

  64. 64
    Walton

    Maybe someone can spray their cell and then bring in some lifers just to help them get a better perspective on what they were doing. As an added bonus they will be too sore to fall asleep at court.

    *headdesk*

    I am absolutely fed up with this kind of vicious, punitive hate being spouted in the comment thread every single time I read a blog post or a news story about these kinds of crimes.

    In a civilized, compassionate society, we should not be in the business of revenge. Revenge is an irrational response. It does nothing to undo the harm of the original crime, and only creates more suffering. Wishing for someone to be raped and beaten in prison is never acceptable, and advocating such things makes you no better than the people on whom you are wishing them. Torture is equally wrong no matter on whom it is being inflicted, and no matter what the victim has done in the past.

    A rational response to crime is not to wish suffering on the offender, but, rather, to consider what can be done to prevent such acts occurring in the future. In a rational society, the purpose of the penal system should be containment and rehabilitation, not punishment.

  65. 65
    Erp

    BTW the arrests took place in July 2009 and this has been simmering in the news for awhile.

    One article (Jan 2010) from a US Mennonite source gives numbers in the colony (about 2000 people [there are another 30-40 thousand Mennonites in Bolivia and Paraguay though not all are the same type]). It also shows that the colony was not above using violence against those suspected (one died after such treatment (hung from a tree for 9 hours by his arms)) so coerced confessions are a distinct possibility (note that doesn’t mean the men aren’t guilty just that the confessions aren’t good evidence).

    I personally worry about the statement if it is accurate that the 8 are convicted together or go free together. What if the judge feels that one innocent (or at least less guilty) person is in the group?

    The women are really stuck, they have no power in the community except through their husbands, fathers or brothers. They don’t usually speak Spanish so can’t easily communicate with the authorities or leave the colony for greater Bolivia. And since I suspect most are only citizens of Bolivia they can’t leave Bolivia for a German speaking country (even if their German is easily understood in other German speaking countries).

  66. 66
    Ichthyic

    The quotation was to counter balance the reported confessions given by the defendants. I am not attempting to prove their innocence.
    I am presuming it.

    uh huh.

    and when they ARE found guilty.. will you come back and tell us what you really wanted to say?

  67. 67
    Wes

    We need to use our skeptical sensibilities on this one, guys.

    Nearly identical cases have popped up numerous times in the past (someone prowling around, spraying some kind of anesthetic into homes, then raping people while they’re paralyzed). Each time, it turned out to be a condition called sleep paralysis (which is quite normal) combined with some mass delusion.

    Hypnopompic hallucinations are the source of the myths about “succubus” and “incubus”, ghosts that come in during the night, paralyze you, then rape you. I bet most people here have probably experienced these–you wake up, unable to move, feeling something pressing down on you, and in many cases, have sex with you. It’s a common sleeping disorder that lots of people have.

    Please don’t let your desire to show the corruption of religion lead you to rush to judgment before all the facts are known. There are plenty of indisputable cases of sexual abuse by religious people–we don’t need to harp on the more dubious ones. I’m not saying these women weren’t raped, but I do find the story quite fishy. I’d wait for more information to come out before I made a judgment on this one. I suspect that these incidents were hypnopompic hallucinations reinforced by groupthink. But I could be wrong. Hopefully more information will come out as time passes.

  68. 68
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I bet most people here have probably experienced these–you wake up, unable to move, feeling something pressing down on you, and in many cases, have sex with you. It’s a common sleeping disorder that lots of people have.

    But the man behind the curtain told me those were the aliens!
    Seriously, WTF?

  69. 69
    Friendly

    On TIME’s website, in the same list of articles as the one detailing this atrocity, is one about another insular and patriarchal community. After a group of them used a Russian Orthodox cross as a battering ram against Ukrainian police, a Cossack leader had this to say:

    “These actions send an effective message, and we will continue them,” said Vitaly Khramov, one of Ukraine’s most prominent Cossack elders. “We want them to understand that the state of Ukraine is a stillborn project, a tumor that Ukrainians must extract from themselves … We are the immunity against this disease.” As the head of Sobol, the radical Cossack battalion whose flags adorned the training camp last week, Khramov is one of the movement’s key ideologues in Ukraine, and his preaching has reached many of the boys who attend the Cossack camps. (Among the ideas he spouted during his interview with TIME were the notions that the U.S. is a satanic nation secretly run by the Rockefeller family, that Jews practice ritual sacrifice and necrophilia, and that Vladimir Putin, Khramov’s political hero, is a future saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.)

    Inbred Christian societies turn out the loveliest people, I must say…

  70. 70
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Hypnopompic hallucination: A vivid dreamlike hallucination that occurs as one is waking up.

    Wes,
    I’m going to assume you didn’t deliberately make it seem like those hallucinations are mostly sexually themed.

  71. 71
    Acronym

    Ichthyic, by all means entertain us on what you think “I really wanted to say”.

  72. 72
    Wes

    Wes,
    I’m going to assume you didn’t deliberately make it seem like those hallucinations are mostly sexually themed.

    I didn’t say that at all. I said that many times they are. Sleep paralysis is common. It’s not always sexual, but it frequently is. Like I said, it’s the source of the incubus and succubus myths, among other things. It’s been documented:

    Females also reported significantly more intense Incubus
    experiences and higher levels of fear than did men. Recall that
    the Incubus hallucinations accompanied by fear are often
    interpreted as assault by human or demonic intruders. SP
    experiences in traditional cultures are sometimes thought to be a
    kind of demonic rape by supernatural beings (Adler 1994).
    Although erotic feelings are not strongly associated with
    Incubus hallucinations or fear all three experiences do sometimes
    co-occur. When this happens the combined experience can
    be experienced as rape. In the present survey 37 women and five
    men spontaneously mentioned the term ‘rape’ when attempting
    to describe their experiences. Aside from these few sex differences
    all other effects held equally for males and males.

    http://www.sciencesleep.org/ziliao/Situational%20factors%20affecting%20sleep%20paralysis%20and%20associated%20hallucinations-position%20and%20timing%20effects.pdf

    Like I said, I’m not certain that this is the explanation. But I think it’s more likely than the story given in the article. The article, for its length, actually contains surprisingly few details for such a major story, which is why I said I’m reserving judgment until more information comes out.

  73. 73
    Friendly

    I bet most people here have probably experienced these–you wake up, unable to move, feeling something pressing down on you, and in many cases, have sex with you.

    Um, no. No I haven’t. In any way. Ever.

    It’s a common sleeping disorder that lots of people have.

    I looked this up. 12.5% of the responders to this study reported experiencing hypnopompic hallucinations. As for hypnopompically hallucinating a *rape*, I’ve found a few reports of it online, but *imagined* assaults don’t cause bleeding, torn sleepwear, etc. Discounting the testimony of these women as “mass hysteria” is the very last thing I would presume to do if I were you.

  74. 74
    Friendly

    Sleep paralysis is common. [...] it’s the source of the incubus and succubus myths, among other things.

    This link is suspected but there’s no proof for it.

  75. 75
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    The article you cited only says that women experience Incubus hallucinations more often than men, not that they are generally that often experienced (among other kinds of hypnopompic hallucinations). It’s a study about how different sleep positions affect hallucinations, and how they are often timed.

  76. 76
    Ulgaa

    Why can’t I get the sex hallucinations? All I get are spiders. Not fair.

  77. 77
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Why can’t I get the sex hallucinations? All I get are spiders. Not fair.

    From what I’ve understood, they are more rape hallucinations than sex hallucinations. I’m happier with my spiders or the sense I can’t breath.

  78. 78
    Ulgaa

    Spiders terrify my to no end. So a change would be nice. Never read about the rape hallucinations before. Will have to google that.

  79. 79
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    [OT]
    Ulgaa,

    Wes was talking about Incubus hallucinations, describing them as

    Hypnopompic hallucinations are the source of the myths about “succubus” and “incubus”, ghosts that come in during the night, paralyze you, then rape you. I bet most people here have probably experienced these–you wake up, unable to move, feeling something pressing down on you, and in many cases, have sex with you. It’s a common sleeping disorder that lots of people have.

    That kinda endears those spiders to me.

  80. 80
    Wes

    Discounting the testimony of these women as “mass hysteria” is the very last thing I would presume to do if I were you.

    Look up the “Mad Gasser of Mattoon”. It’s an almost identical story that occurred first in Virginia in the 1930s, and was very likely a mass delusion (let’s avoid the word “hysteria” since it has a lot of baggage). He allegedly popped up again in Mattoon, Illinois, in the 1940s, reported ironically from the same magazine that reported the Mennonite story, TIME:

    Five Chicago chemists disturbed the case with cries of “Hoax!” But the next night 17 families on one block reported that they had been gassed. Victims continued to say the mysterious substance made them vomit and sometimes affected the use of arms & legs.

    By week’s end Mattoon was gripped by semi-hysteria. Authorities were poring over records of patients released from Illinois insane asylums, seeking a clue to the Mad Anesthetist’s identity; five state police cars arrived to help. Private automobiles full of vigilantes armed with shotguns rolled slowly along the streets at night. Other citizens were taking pistols and shotguns to bed, and sleeping behind closed windows. Mattoon’s police commissioner, as alarmed by this display of armament as by the depredations of the Anesthetist, pleaded with the vigilantes to disband.

    Said he: “I wouldn’t walk through anybody’s backyard at night now for $10,000.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,796678,00.html#ixzz1VQLZklkP

    It’s the same story. Over and over and over. Even in the same magazine. And yet, each time, no one ever conjures up any proof that anything actually happened.

    So, yes, I am justified in suspecting a possible mass delusion. Maybe I’m wrong. We’ll see when more information comes out.

  81. 81
    Tethys

    Wes

    The fact that you read such a horrible story and your first reaction is denial is very telling.

    Your oh so logical and fair conclusion is that “All these ignorant women are obviously hallucinating and having mass hysteria attacks.” while ignoring the facts that there is physical evidence of rape, and that some of the rapists were caught in the act of committing the rapes.

    Way to be an asshole rape apologist tho’. Fuck you very much!

  82. 82
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    1940s vs. 2011. I’m pretty sure investigators will have a couple of more advanced methods available to find out the truth.

    And it’s not exactly often that these stories pop up. Not over and over and over again, so that this one can be easily dismissed as a common occurrence. One case of a false gassing isn’t proof this one is false too. Btw. wikipedia says that it wasn’t proved that there wasn’t an actual attacker, at least in some cases. So it’s not a cut-and-dry case of mass delusion.

  83. 83
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    To posit that accepting rape victims’ claims at face value, particularly when said rape victims are members of an insular, highly patriarchal religious society, violates skepticism, requires a staggering amount of ignorance about the actual state of women’s rights in our global society. Rape gangs are, unfortunately, far more plausible than hypnopompic hallucinations and mass hysteria. 12% of people report experiencing hypnopompic hallucinations? That’s funny, about 12% of men report raping or attempting to rape someone. That’s in the US. In South Africa, about 73% of men admit to raping or attempting to rape someone. If one took a survey of men in that Mennonite community, what would the rate be? Who knows? The point is that taking the accusations of rape at face value is not in any way an indication of a failure of skepticism.

  84. 84
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    In fact, I think that a reasonable conclusion would be that accusations being true is much more probable than a mass delusion. Mass delusions are not really all that common. I don’t have any statistics, but my layman opinion would be that they are a lot less common than gang rapes.

    Also, what Tethys said. I fear I have been dragged into this weird conversation about Incubus and delusions, when there is real evidence of a crime that actually isn’t as surreal as some are making it sound in order to dismiss it.

  85. 85
    Wes

    1940s vs. 2011. I’m pretty sure investigators will have a couple of more advanced methods available to find out the truth.

    And it’s not exactly often that these stories pop up. Not over and over and over again, so that this one can be easily dismissed as a common occurrence. One case of a false gassing isn’t proof this one is false too. Btw. wikipedia says that it wasn’t proved that there wasn’t an actual attacker, at least in some cases. So it’s not a cut-and-dry case of mass delusion.

    There very well may have been isolated attacks that were real that got lumped in with the Mad Gasser legend. That happens.

    Again, I’m not saying it’s definitely delusion. I’m saying that I suspect delusion.

    One of the things that strikes me about the 2011 article is that it doesn’t contain very many references to the modern scientific methods of investigating these things. It says nothing about a rape kit being performed on the victims, nothing about DNA evidence. Hell, it doesn’t even say whether the police have even found the spray or confirmed that it’s even real.

    It says almost nothing but reports from some of the members of the Mennonite sect and “confessions” which were admittedly obtained under threat of lynching. That’s very weak evidence. If I were on the jury, I wouldn’t convict if that’s all the prosecutor showed me.

    We’ll know more when an actual investigation is performed, DNA tests are done, the spray’s existence is either confirmed or denied, etc.

    Wes

    The fact that you read such a horrible story and your first reaction is denial is very telling.

    Your oh so logical and fair conclusion is that “All these ignorant women are obviously hallucinating and having mass hysteria attacks.” while ignoring the facts that there is physical evidence of rape, and that some of the rapists were caught in the act of committing the rapes.

    Way to be an asshole rape apologist tho’. Fuck you very much!

    Fuck off.

  86. 86
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Wes,
    They found out that three-year-old’s hymen was torn,

    Court-ordered medical exams reveal a 3-year-old girl with a broken hymen (most likely, doctors note, from finger and not penis penetration).

    I kinda assumed those court-ordered medical exams were done on the women as well. It would be a shoddy investigation that examined just one of the victims, ignoring the rest. But I sense you are going to claim they did exactly that.

    …is accused of transforming a chemical meant to anesthetize cows into a spray to be used on humans.

    I assume they also pulled the theory about the nature of the chemical used out of their ass? It’s a newspaper article, it doesn’t mention every single detail about every single thing.

  87. 87
    pharylon

    Mass hallucinations sure ain’t common. Plus, the way the men are described as acting seems pretty stereotypical entitled male. I’ve seen enough guys like that to know their type. You’d think that being accused of such a serious crime that (they claim) they didn’t commit would leave them mortified. But, no, they don’t take it seriously, because who could really blame them for a little rape here and there?

    On the other hand, the idea of creating a anesthetic in mist form to perform gang rapes seems… strange. If it was the plot of a CSI episode, I’d call bullshit.

    So, my gut is that the rape allegations are true. I’m not going to say that for 100%, though, and I understand a little skepticism.

  88. 88
    pharylon

    Wes,
    They found out that three-year-old’s hymen was torn,

    Whoops! I take back my last post. Sounds pretty open and shut that something happened.

  89. 89
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    Wes.

    If you want to be skeptical about rape claims, fine. Knock yourself out. It runs contrary to the data that we, as women and feminists and activists, have access to, but that’s okay. You’re probably ignorant about a lot of this data.

    It does grate, however, when you insist that it’s a failure of skepticism to take rape claims at face value. You should really take that back because it is demonstrably false. It is really not at all implausible that a group of patriarchal men might get together and conspire to rape or to cover up rape. Have you heard of this thing called the Catholic Church? It is simply not that unusual, far less unusual, at least to my layman’s eyes, than the phenomenon of mass hysteria.

    Skepticism does not dictate that you treat women as silly hysterical hallucinating rape-inventing hyperventilating crazy people. The data, should you care to look them up, will show that it’s far more likely that a man will be a rapist than that a woman will be a silly hysterical hallucinating rape-inventing hyperventilating crazy person.

    I’m skeptical about your skeptic bona fides.

  90. 90
    Acronym

    Wow, so now ‘Skeptic’ = Rape Apologist.

    Oh, to be such a freethinker!

    “…while ignoring the facts that there is physical evidence of rape, and that some of the rapists were caught in the act of committing the rapes.”

    Where is this coming from? I’ve read the article and the only incriminating evidence against the defendants is that two were caught breaking and entering. I’ve read nothing to suggest anyone was “caught in the act of committing the rapes”.

  91. 91
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Fuck off.

    You’re the troll here, you fuck off fuckwit. I’m a 25+ year skeptic, and I find your bullshit much less compelling than the evidence. So, why are you still here loser?

  92. 92
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Nor can he explain how the community failed for so long to investigate rumors of the crimes — although many of the victims have no recollection of being raped, the spray drug couldn’t hide the pain and ripped clothing discovered the mornings after.

    Was pain also part of the delusion? Clothes ripped themselves?

    And in case you didn’t notice in the previous post, medical examinations are mentioned in the article. Not that I expect a newspaper article to mention every single piece of evidence that would satisfy “skeptics” as yourself.

    But maybe doctors are having a mass delusion as well. Or they just hate religion. Prosecutors too.

  93. 93
    'Tis Himself

    Okay, Wes, we got it. Despite the physical evidence, despite several of the rapists being caught red-handed, despite police investigations, the Bolivian incident is a mass delusion caused by hysterical women making false rape accusations (and we all know that’s what women always do, the last authenticated rape was in 752 BCE with the rape of the Sabine women).

    In short, you’re a rape apologist. Please collect your decaying porcupine. If you don’t know what to do with it, just ask.

  94. 94
    'Tis Himself

    Acronym #90

    Wow, so now ‘Skeptic’ = Rape Apologist.

    No, asshole, in your’s and Wes’s cases, Rape Apologist = Rape Apologist. Your “skepticism” is just an excuse you’re using for your rape apologies.

  95. 95
    ckitching

    This sounds like a job for Zulway: God of Mercy.

    “Hello, I am Zulway, God of Mercy. Rapist, you have broken one of Zulway’s twelve tenets of mercy, prepare for destruction.”

  96. 96
    Wes

    They found out that three-year-old’s hymen was torn,

    It’s not necessarily the case that you can tell whether or not a woman or girl is a virgin by whether they have an in tact hymen.

    I kinda assumed those court-ordered medical exams were done on the women as well. It would be a shoddy investigation that examined just one of the victims, ignoring the rest. But I sense you are going to claim they did exactly that.

    No, but I will claim that the article is extremely unclear on its sources, and what kind of investigation has been done.

    …is accused of transforming a chemical meant to anesthetize cows into a spray to be used on humans.

    Accused by whom? Based on what?

    I assume they also pulled the theory about the nature of the chemical used out of their ass? It’s a newspaper article, it doesn’t mention every single detail about every single thing.

    Usually articles will at least tell you where they’re getting the information from. Is the accusation of the paralyzing spray coming from chemists who examined evidence taken from the perpetrators? I’m serious about this. The similarities to earlier dubious “spray” cases struck me when I read that line, and I’d really like to know what kind of evidence this is based on.

    If you want to be skeptical about rape claims, fine. Knock yourself out. It runs contrary to the data that we, as women and feminists and activists, have access to, but that’s okay. You’re probably ignorant about a lot of this data.

    No, I’m quite up to date on feminism. My adviser is a well known feminist, and consider myself a feminist as well.

    I’m not being skeptical of the rape claims, per se. In fact, I seriously doubt that a conservative, isolated religious cult could exist WITHOUT rape being a frequent part of life in it.

    However, the spray thing seems really dubious to me. I mean REALLY dubious. Combine that with the assumption that all these incidents must be related (how do we know that?), the description of the attacker that sounds exactly like a hypnopompic hallucination (I have that particular sleep disorder myself and know how it feels), the witch hunt resulting in “confessions” obtained by threat of lynching, and the overall atmosphere of fear and distress that is obviously gripping this community, and I just can’t take the story at face value.

    Something may have happened, but I doubt it happened the way the article describes it. I’m not the type to rush to judgment. I really don’t feel comfortable giving full credence to this story given the evidence presented. Similar incidents have happened in the past that turned out to be delusions. For example, during the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s, many people’s lives were ruined based on accusations of child rape derived from extremely dubious reports of “repressed memories” and such. Occasionally real examples of child rape occurred, but there were also many incidents of mass delusion where people rushed to judgment on flimsy evidence and destroyed people’s lives.

    The facts matter. And there really just aren’t very many facts in that TIMES article. What’s especially striking to me is that the “facts” in the 2011 article are about on par with the “facts” reported in the 1944 article on an almost identical incident which is now thought to be the result of mass delusion. In fact, the 1944 article is in some ways a little more fact-filled, since it at least alleges that there are actual samples of the supposed spray.

    My opinion is that we should reserve judgment for now, and wait for more information to become available. We’ll know eventually what happened. Hopefully.

  97. 97
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    It’s not necessarily the case that you can tell whether or not a woman or girl is a virgin by whether they have an in tact hymen.

    I never claimed that, I only mentioned it because it was proof of medical examinations being made.

  98. 98
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    My opinion is that we should reserve judgment for now, and wait for more information to become available.

    Instead, we’ll tell women who know they have been raped that it’s all in their heads because a newspaper article didn’t provide all the evidence an ardent rape-skeptic expects. You realize that the more you claim it was a delusion ,less believable it sounds (not that it started as very believable).

    “Why yes, they claim that they have been raped.. Erm, yes, they were examined by doctors.. There were rumors going on before, but no one believed those women…. Because , because .. I know! It’s all a mass delusion! About 12% of people have hypnopompic hallucinations, a certain number of which are Incubus hallucinations. That must mean those two things combined made those women accuse some innocent men of rape. That must be it!”

    Right, next time go with the alien abduction. It might sound more plausible.

  99. 99
    Friendly

    Article on The Mennonite website:

    Twelve men are accused for the 140 officially confirmed cases of rape [emphasis mine] on 2,000-member Manitoba Colony in Bolivia.

    It goes on to say:

    Missionaries have been concerned about domestic abuse on the colonies for years, and Kurze Nachrichten Aus Mexiko, a Latin American news source, says a drugging-and-rape incident was reported five years ago. Family Life Network staff reported in 2000 about “the church in crisis” on Old Colony settlements in Mexico (home of the original Old Colony Bolivian settlers in 1967). In 2008, FLN staff said letters received from Old Colony teen listeners in Bolivia told of “addictions, depression, and sexual abuse common in the colonies.”

    A Canadian Mennonite who went to Bolivia to investigate heard quite a few anecdotal reports about life on the local Mennonite colonies and has formulated a lengthy report/analysis:

    Leaders in the Villa Nueva community say that everyone living in that community has been either a victim or a perpetrator of especially sexual abuse in the Old Colony context, and often both.

    Further probing indicated that it was common practice for gangs of youth from one village to travel to another village on Saturday or Sunday evenings in order to carry on “beatings” of the youth gang in that village. On one such occasion a young person had been killed by receiving a blow from an iron pipe.

    His conversation with a bishop is enlightening (sorry for the lengthy quote, but it’s a textbook case):

    Hans Schroeder and I had a very civil but forthright conversation with Bishop Neudorf. I told him that I was a minister in Canada and was interested in getting solid information to share with people back home. I told him that the news of happenings on his colony had spread around the world and that many in the North are seriously concerned about the situation. He could understand that and told us so.

    The story he told differed remarkably from the story I had heard in the Cotoca prison, which I had expected. According to him, the men now in prison had voluntarily admitted their involvement in the sex crimes and colony leaders had kept them in isolation for a number of days before bringing them to Cotoca in order to protect them from enraged colonists. I told him that the Cotoca prisoners had insisted on their innocence and that they had been forced to confess under threat of beatings, burnings and death. This the bishop denied vehemently.

    Hans and I pressed Bishop Neudorf a number of times during our conversation about our perceived need to get some counseling help for the women who had been raped. We suggested to him that if women who are sexually abused do not get help, they frequently experience various forms of dysfunction later in life. His response was to say that if these women had been violated sexually while drugged, they would have no recollection of the experience and therefore would not need any help either.

    I asked the bishop where such gross sexual misconduct had come from. He implied that this was a special case involving outside influences and an alignment with evil spirits in order to carry out these evil deeds. I posed the question whether there was any connection between these rapes and the reports I had heard of rampant sexual misconduct among Mennonites. I asked him to tell me if what I had heard was not true. I then told him what one man in prison had related to me. How that the standard practice for colony youth was to begin drinking on Sunday afternoon, then when they were quite drunk by evening they would go to the end of the village to participate in sex with one another. The bishop did not deny any of this but did lament how the drinking of alcohol had brought a lot of trouble into the colony.

    I asked him whether it might not be helpful to offer the young people something else to do in their spare time – perhaps some volley ball, Bible lessons, something to eat, etc. to give the youth something else to do that was pleasurable. He responded by saying that, in spite of a wayward life during their younger years, when these young people come to baptism before they get married they always promise to leave this wayward life-style in favor of a straight and narrow walk. I responded that I thought for some this would in fact work, but that it would be very hard for others to simply turn away from a life to which they had become addicted and therefore would continue on into adulthood with these patterns of life. I suggested that it would be better for the whole colony if these youth had not become addicted to alcohol and sex before their baptismal vows. I told him about having lived in Santa Cruz and how I had connected with Spanish-speaking Bolivians who had reported to me how many Mennonite men used city prostitutes on a regular basis. This too, he did not deny. However, in the end he insisted that since their forefathers had at one time left Canada in order to maintain things the way their elders had had things, there was nothing they were willing to change to address these issues among their people.

    I then queried whether wide-spread sexual deviancy among Old Colony Mennonites, which he did not deny, could possibly be the root problem that had most recently found expression in more overt kinds of sexual misconduct in terms of rapes using chemical sprays. I do not recall that he responded directly to this idea. As I had heard from other reports, the official colony line that this was an isolated experience inspired by outside forces seemed to be what he was most comfortable with.

    I asked him how the truth would ever really come out, especially in the light of the fact that the judicial system in Bolivia can be manipulated with money. He insisted that the truth would eventually come out. When I asked him how the colony would respond if, in a trial, the accused were given life sentences, he responded that then the colony would be able to breathe more easily and carry on with life as usual. And the abused women would find their way through quite well in that case. When I posed the possibility that there might not be enough evidence in court to convict these men, he simply stated that that would be an impossible outcome and he would not even speculate what the colony would do in such a case.

    Three of his conclusions:

    1. Is it true that there have been a series of rapes on the Manitoba Colony and beyond? I believe it is quite likely that women and girls have been used sexually against their will. Something major happened at the Manitoba Colony and beyond involving sexual misconduct, most likely including rapes. [...]

    3. Is it possible that the men now in prison are not guilty of the crimes as alleged? According to the men in prison, they are not guilty of the crimes they have been charged with. However, on the colony witnesses insist that they voluntarily admitted to their evil deeds. How will the truth ever really be known? Willi Reimer, who meets with the prisoners regularly in Cotoca, told me shortly before we left Bolivia, that at first he had believed the prisoners who said they were all innocent. But, he noted, that more recent discussions would seem to indicate that at least some of them may have been involved in sexually deviant behavior. However all insist they never used a chemical spray as alleged. Those insisting a chemical spray was used to anesthetize women and girls do not have any specific evidence of such spray or containers. One rumor is circulating that after a raid on the home of the man who is said to have supplied the spray cans they did find a few such cans. Other sources say that these cans were planted in the house and then later “discovered”. It is not clear that the chemical in these containers had the anesthetizing effect as suggested.

    4. Is it possible that the official line coming from the colony involves a certain amount of “scape-goating”? In my mind, given the consistent and persistent reports of sexual deviance among colony Mennonites, especially involving the abuse of women and young girls, it is possible that whatever happened in this situation was a spill-over of sexual misconduct carried on regularly within the colonies. No one had anticipated that sexual license on and off the colony would lead to such gross behavior as breaking into houses and raping drugged women and girls. However, once it did, the natural response was to place all the sexual sins of the community on a few individuals and send them off into the desert to perish – to use the biblical imagery. In that way, attention would be focused away from their on-going sexual sin and their reputation would once again be “clean.”

    His prediction:

    I suggest that in the next few decades we will continue to witness the disintegration of colony life in Bolivia.

    On the one hand, I hope he’s correct that this destructive religious phenomenon will collapse. On the other, I mourn for the many more people who’ll be damaged and lost if it truly takes decades for that to happen.

  100. 100
    Acronym

    “No, asshole, in your’s and Wes’s cases, Rape Apologist = Rape Apologist. Your “skepticism” is just an excuse you’re using for your rape apologies.”

    Using my rape apologies. That’s a keeper. How dare anyone express skepticism. How dare anyone suggest that the notion of roaming gangs gassing whole families and raping their women might not be all it first appears. Hell, might as well hang them now, eh? Defence team? Fucking RAPE APOLOGISTS every filthy, stinking one of them!

    “Using my rape apologies”. Fuck me, you’re good.

  101. 101
    Tethys, la zombi feministe calmar-garou.

    Wes the rape apologist,

    I highly doubt you understand anything about this particular “cult” as you termed it.

    140 OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED cases of rape is of no importance whatsoever, because they are just ignorant cultists having mass delusions.

    The Mennonite article

    I repeat, fuck you VERY much, and you are not a feminist.

  102. 102
    Acronym

    Good post, Friendly. You’ve surely earned your RAPE APOLOGIST pin.

  103. 103
    Tethys, la zombi feministe calmar-garou.

    Acronym,

    A. Reading comprehension much?
    B. You can fuck right off too, shit for brains.

    Friendly
    jinx!

  104. 104
    Wes

    Jesus Christ on a cracker, people. I’m not denying the indisputable fact that rape is part of normal life in these hard-line religious societies. I’d be shocked if it weren’t, given the way these things usually work.

    But the story about the cow-anesthetic converted to a spray that incapacitates an entire household so that people can come in and rape them? I’m sorry, but I find it very hard to believe. These kinds of stories have cropped up before, and they were the result of people interpreting hypnopompic hallucinations as reality.

    I’m sure that all kinds of sexual abuse goes on in Mennonite colonies. But this particular story is dubious, and I won’t form an opinion on it until some more solid evidence is available.

  105. 105
    Friendly

    You’ve surely earned your RAPE APOLOGIST pin.

    I don’t question whether rapes and sexual abuse have occurred. Whether it was done by the accused with gas in people’s houses, and/or by a teen gang with alcohol or roofies or brute force in an arroyo somewhere, and/or by a group of elders with threats of excommunication in their bedrooms, a lot of women in those colonies have been (and continue to be) victims of physical and/or psychological sexual violence, and that’s a terrible and evil thing.

  106. 106
    J_Brisby

    Beatrice, Jeanine, Quodlibet et al:

    Have you already forgotten the Satanist sex cult hysteria of the 80s and 90s? I make a plea for a note of skepticism, and your response is to label me a patriarchist troll?

    You’re right, doesn’t sound even slightly hysterical.

    This story sounds absurd on the face of it. Don’t any of you idiots read the literature on witchhunts? You really think mass hysteria is some sexist myth?

    Seek help. You and Mabus can share crayons.

  107. 107
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yawn, J-Brisby, you still being a fuckwitted delusional fool? What a loser like Mabus…

  108. 108
    Acronym

    Sorry, Friendly….I was being sarcastic. I didn’t expect you to bite! Your post brought to light a lot more information on the situation over there.

  109. 109
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Did someone say that there is no such thing as a mass delusion?
    ….
    Anyone?

    So, now that we have determined that no one said that, let’s acknowledge that mass delusions are not really a common occurrence. On the other hand, abuse in isolated, patriarchal communities is quite common.

  110. 110
    Quodlibet

    J_Brisby,

    Show me, please, where I labeled you a “patriarchist troll.”

  111. 111
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    j-brisby, you are a troll. Everyone knows it, no one cares, and there’s nothing hysterical about our contempt for you.

    Wes, you need to understand that what you’re actually doing by talking about this case in this way is of necessity calling all of the women who reported these rapes hysterical and delusional. Because they reported rapes. In a context in which rape occurs frequently and reporting rape is received with great hostility. Please understand that rape victims are constantly dismissed as hysterical, crazy, delusional, or making it up. I don’t care how good you think your reasons are. (I don’t think they’re very good, myself.) Does your desire to assert your superior skepticism really justify adding to that extremely destructive culture? Because that’s what you’re doing.

  112. 112
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Wes #96:

    It’s not necessarily the case that you can tell whether or not a woman or girl is a virgin by whether they have an in tact hymen.

    From the article:

    Court-ordered medical exams reveal a 3-year-old girl with a broken hymen (most likely, doctors note, from finger and not penis penetration).

    Why are you commenting on an article that you have not read?

    No, but I will claim that the article is extremely unclear on its sources, and what kind of investigation has been done.

    And why are you making claims about an article that you have not read?

    I’m not being skeptical of the rape claims, per se.

    Of course not, which is why you opened up by saying that a broken hymen is not necessarily indicative of having had sexual intercourse and attempted to throw doubt on an article that you appear to not even have read — and only on the claims of the victims, at that. So how much for the Brooklyn Bridge, then?

  113. 113
    pharylon

    I don’t think Wes is being a rape apologist. It just sounds like he’s skeptical of this particular story’s details.

  114. 114
    J_Brisby

    Quodlibet:

    Sure, just as soon as you explain to me how a vet gains the expertise to convert an animal anaesthetic into a gas that can knock out a house full of people by spraying it into a window.

    This story is absurd on the face of it. Has any evidence of such a gas been collected? DNA evidence? Fingerprints? Maybe someone could explain why a man raping an unconscious woman would tear her clothes? Or maybe you could rub your overheated brain-cells together and see if you can think of other reasons cloth might tear, hymens might break, or vaginas might bleed.

    Maybe you could open your mind enough to notice that there’s NOTHING here but rumour and accusation, and a bunch of dimwitted Gender Studies majors lashing out because they’re not mature enough to admit they jumped the gun.

    If you’re really not smart enough to recognize the plot of a bad horror movie, that’s your problem.

  115. 115
    Wes

    So, now that we have determined that no one said that, let’s acknowledge that mass delusions are not really a common occurrence. On the other hand, abuse in isolated, patriarchal communities is quite common.

    Actually, mass delusions happen quite often. There are several going on as we speak. The witch scare in Nigeria, the gay scare in Uganda, the Muslim scare in Europe. In my home state of Oklahoma, there was a scare that lesbians were infiltrating the public schools just a few years ago. This shit is normal.

    But let’s get to the specific issue: A cow anesthetic converted to a spray which incapacitates entire households, after which the perpetrators enter (presumably wearing gas masks, so they don’t also get paralyzed, if we’re to believe what this spray can do), and rape the inhabitants–tearing their clothes up despite the fact that they’re paralyzed and not resisting.

    Seriously. Let’s all acknowledge that sexual abuse is common in religious communities. I believe it is. But does that particular scenario sound plausible?

    Whatever happened in Bolivia is probably quite different from the single report we have from one magazine. We don’t have the facts on this issue. We don’t know what’s happening to these people. Is it too much to ask that people wait for a while to see what really happened?

  116. 116
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I don’t think Wes is being a rape apologist. It just sounds like he’s skeptical of this particular story’s details.

    In being skeptical, he sounds like a rape apologist. He is trying to impugn the testimony and evidence that convicted menz of rape. That is a rape apologist, whether a skeptic or not. And I find his alleged evidence uncompelling, as I have previously said, and I have been a skeptic for a lot longer than he has…

  117. 117
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    pharylon, really, no one gives a millifuck what you think.

  118. 118
    Samantha Vimes, Chalkboard Monitor

    For the doubters– why are the men on trial so amused by the whole thing? On trial, railroaded by a community gone mad, they aren’t terrified, upset, angry, or worried? Seems unusual. People’s reaction to stress is unpredictable, but they don’t seem to be taking it seriously.
    On the other hand, if they are sociopaths– and seems to me it would take sociopaths to do this– then their lack of reaction isn’t that odd (is it? IANA Psychiatrist, but it seems in line with cases I’ve read of).
    Now, it’s estimated only 2% of the general population may be sociopathic. But maybe an isolated community might have more problems, as with other uncommon conditions.

  119. 119
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Maybe someone could explain why a man raping an unconscious woman would tear her clothes?

    Maybe someone else has an explanation, but you got me here! That woman must have unconsciously ripped those clothes in her sleep. Because there is no chance of said man being in a hurry or too worked up to worry about clothes or wtf? how are clothes ripped in someone’s sleep suddenly proof they couldn’t have possibly been assaulted?

    Yeah, clothes tear all the time while you sleep. You have no idea how many t-shirts I ruined that way. I wake up in the morning and my shirt is in shreds, unbelievable!

    Now that we have latched on that one, in the large scheme of things quite insignificant detail, can we get to any sane arguments? Or not, I think I’m going to bed, finally.

  120. 120
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Actually, mass delusions happen quite often. There are several going on as we speak. The witch scare in Nigeria, the gay scare in Uganda, the Muslim scare in Europe. In my home state of Oklahoma, there was a scare that lesbians were infiltrating the public schools just a few years ago. This shit is normal.

    I feel like I’m talking about apples, and you’re just talking nuts.

  121. 121
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Maybe someone could explain why a man raping an unconscious woman would tear her clothes?

    Wow. Are you really this stupid, j-brisby? I have trouble believing even you are really this stupid.

  122. 122
    Quodlibet

    J_Brisby,

    OK, I spent five minutes looking for information other than the Time magazine article and other than blogs and opinion pieces, and perhaps something a little older. There are several sources, but here’s one that has interviews with plenty of people:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/10/mennonites-rape-bolivia

    There are several websites devoted to this case, which you can find in a fifteen-second search, and you can take another minute or two to find the better sources among those. And don’t ask me to do that for you, as I assume that you are an adult with basic internet skills.

    J_Brisby, I think most reasonable people will agree that more information is needed on this case. However, the main objection to your statements is that you reject the women’s allegations out of hand as impossible, absurd, etc. It’s that general attitude of discounting women’s reports of rape that is troubling.

    And I’m still waiting for you to show me exactly where I called you a “patriarchist troll.” I looked at every single one of my posts and just don’t see it.

  123. 123
    Wes

    In being skeptical, he sounds like a rape apologist.

    That’s a troubling sentiment.

    He is trying to impugn the testimony and evidence that convicted menz of rape.

    No convictions have occurred. None. No one has been convicted.

    That is a rape apologist, whether a skeptic or not.

    No. A rape apologist would be someone who tries to make it out that rape can be excused. It can’t. But questioning a “cow anesthetic paralyzes entire household” story line has nothing to do with excusing rape. It’s more a matter of, “Seriously? We’re doing that story again?”

    And I find his alleged evidence uncompelling, as I have previously said, and I have been a skeptic for a lot longer than he has…

    Good for you. But skepticism isn’t about how long you’ve been part of a movement. It’s about applying critical reasoning skills to information you receive. And the “cow spray” story stinks. There’s more to this story than we know. It’s incredibly inappropriate to tar the Mennonites before we even know what really happened. And I say this as a guy who spends his free time going on youtube and making fun of religion.

  124. 124
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    Actually, mass delusions happen quite often. There are several going on as we speak. The witch scare in Nigeria, the gay scare in Uganda, the Muslim scare in Europe. In my home state of Oklahoma, there was a scare that lesbians were infiltrating the public schools just a few years ago. This shit is normal.

    There’s a categorical difference between the mass delusion of a bunch of women claiming they were raped, and a bunch of powerful people claiming they are afraid of a marginalized group and therefore have the duty to persecute the marginalized.

    The fact that you think these situations are analogous, and that you place the persecution of marginalized minority groups by those in power in the same category with a bunch of people from a marginalized, powerless group (women in a very patriarchal society) accusing members of a powerful group of persecuting and abusing them shows me that your thinking about this really isn’t clear at all.

    Like I said, I’m skeptical about your skepticism. And as Nerd observed, you appear to be using “skepticism” as a handy shield to deflect the obvious accusation that you are basically, with even less evidence than is presented in the article you are critiquing, accusing the women who claimed they were raped of being hysterical, hallucinating crazy people.

  125. 125
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Wes, I direct you to my post above, at 111. Please read it and respond to the question I posed. You are right now actively participating in a culture that dissuades women from reporting rape. Is that something you find acceptable?

  126. 126
    Acronym

    Also, read the fist paragraph of the article PZ linked….

    “Katarina Wall remembers little about the worst night of her life. She recalls waking up in her bed, seeing a man on top of her and feeling her arms too heavy to lift in resistance. The next thing she knew, it was morning — but her pajamas were torn, and the sheets beneath her and her sleeping husband were stained with blood from her vagina. “It was like a terrible dream,””

    Seems like in a community racked with sexual abuse there are quite a few “sleeping husbands” that would do very well to circulate rumours of gassing intruders.

  127. 127
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    If we’ve accepted that

    1. Rape by intoxication with various drugs is common everywhere

    2. Rape is very common in insular patriarchal communities

    3. Conspiracy to cover up rape is common in insular patriarchal communities

    …then why is the prospect of some insular, patriarchal farmers modifying a drug they already use in order to incapacitate women in their community so bloody outrageous? Perhaps I’m missing something. We need some expert testimony. Anyone know any actual veterinarians or dairy farmers?

    In any case, fixating on the mechanics of the drugging, and confining one’s skepticism to that, is one thing. But to leap from, “it’s quite implausible that that drug would work that way” to “it’s quite plausible that all those women just made the whole thing up” just doesn’t follow. And yes, it does look like rape apology, Wes, regardless of your intentions. If you’d just stuck with talking about how that drug doesn’t work that way then I’d be right on board with you. Acronym presents a somewhat plausible alternative theory, MUCH more plausible than mass hysteria in any case. And your conflation of persecution of marginalized minorities with mass hysteria, which are, I believe, two very different phenomena, does not speak well for the clarity of your ideas on this subject.

  128. 128
    Pierce R. Butler

    A friend to whom I forwarded the original post experienced the delights of Mennonite missionary boarding school discipline firsthand.

    Being averse to registration before commenting (“reclusive menno genes”), he asked me to forward his reaction:

    no surprise. whatsoever.
    violence and the threat of violence (mennonites are pacifists, right) were everpresent behavioral constraints at both Mennonite dormitory (for missionary kids) boarding schools in the Congo. extreme discipline was not considered freak behavior (sure, the perpetrators were freaks) in this situation but known and supported by the home missions board and the parents of the missionary kids.

  129. 129
    Wes

    Like I said, I’m skeptical about your skepticism. And as Nerd observed, you appear to be using “skepticism” as a handy shield to deflect the obvious accusation that you are basically, with even less evidence than is presented in the article you are critiquing, accusing the women who claimed they were raped of being hysterical, hallucinating crazy people.

    Wes, I direct you to my post above, at 111. Please read it and respond to the question I posed. You are right now actively participating in a culture that dissuades women from reporting rape. Is that something you find acceptable?

    No. My stance on this particular story is not reflective of my overall opinion on women’s issues.

    The fact that I doubt the “cow spray that incapacitates an entire household” narrative should not be construed as a general rejection of rape claims. There are lots of rape claims, some more plausible than others. This one falls on the less plausible end of the scale. I’m sure that actual rape occurs all the time in Mennonite colonies, but I seriously doubt the cow spray version of that story.

  130. 130
    Tethys, zombi feministe calmar-garou.

    Wes

    Do you know any Mennonites personally? Do you have a basic understanding of their society and religious beliefs? I think not. So much simpler to just dismiss them as “cultists”.

    Are you a pharmacist, veterinarian, or medical Dr.? Do you know anything about anesthesia? Judging by your words, again I think you do not.

    But you do feel completely comfortable dismissing 140 confirmed cases of rape as mass delusions, because you’re such a good skeptic.

  131. 131
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    No. My stance on this particular story is not reflective of my overall opinion on women’s issues. The fact that I doubt the “cow spray that incapacitates an entire household” narrative should not be construed as a general rejection of rape claims.

    Very few people reject rape claims “in general.” I didn’t say you did. What you’re doing right now is using the possibility of hysteria and delusion as a reason to reject the rape claims of dozens of victims. This is something frequently done by rape apologists, as has been pointed out to you, and it is contributing to a culture in which calling reporting rape victims delusional, hysterical, crazy, and untrustworthy is considered acceptable.

  132. 132
    Quodlibet

    A few sites of interest

    http://mennonitecoverup.ca/

    http://www.laht.com/article.asp?CategoryId=14919&ArticleId=337959

    .

    Also

    “…Twelve men are accused [in] the 140 officially confirmed cases of rape at the 2,000-member Manitoba Colony”

    “Jacob and Helen Funk, coordinators of Low German programming for FLN for 15 years, ‘know [that] the problem of sexual and physical abuse is widespread in most if not all colonies in Bolivia,’ Jacob Funk wrote in an e-mail.
    http://www.mennoweekly.org/2010/1/11/response-tentative-rapes-bolivia/

  133. 133
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Wes, you have had your say, not just drop it. I’m not going to agree with you, without solid evidence not available at this time. The longer you repeat your claims without the conclusive evidence, the more you sound like mythmagus, who went on forever how the evidence for bigfoot, using the Patterson tape (later acknowledged by on the filmmakers as being a fake), was enough evidence to convince this skeptic. It wasn’t. You have offered a potentially viable alternative hypothesis. Now, let the rest of us make up our mind, and quit trying to make it up for us.

  134. 134
    Lyn M: droit de seignorita

    Were there drugs or is there other evidence?

    Denying the charges against him, the suspect said he was a veterinary surgeon and used the drugs in his work.

    From BBC news, Bolivian Mennonite women ‘raped’
    I’m assuming that the quote around rape is because there is no conviction at this stage, if ever. So there appear to be drugs in fact. Other stories report this man as being an untrained veterinary.
    There are also many references to various forensic studies.
    Because this matter is actually at trial, reports of details are usually not encouraged or even forbidden until the matter is concluded. Reporting on a trial in session can amount to a contempt of court, so most stories are on the vague side until the hearing is over.

    BBC story about the case.

  135. 135
    Wes

    Wes

    Do you know any Mennonites personally? Do you have a basic understanding of their society and religious beliefs? I think not. So much simpler to just dismiss them as “cultists”.

    Ugh. You are a truly pathetic human.

    I’ve known many Mennonites personally. The Boy Scout troop I joined as a kid met in a Mennonite church which was about a half mile from my parents’ home. So, yes, I’ve interacted with many Mennonites personally. I respect them, even though I don’t agree with them.

    Are you a pharmacist, veterinarian, or medical Dr.? Do you know anything about anesthesia? Judging by your words, again I think you do not.

    Well, your judgment sucks. My mother is a medical professional, as is my little brother. And several of my best friends. In fact, if there’s one industry that has constantly defined my approach to things since childhood, it’s medicine.

    But you do feel completely comfortable dismissing 140 confirmed cases of rape as mass delusions, because you’re such a good skeptic.

    I didn’t dismiss any rapes. I dismissed the “cow anesthetic converted to rape mist” story. It sounds implausible to me, and I’ll need more evidence before I believe it.

  136. 136
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    I didn’t dismiss any rapes.

    I suspect that these incidents were hypnopompic hallucinations reinforced by groupthink.

    Liar.

  137. 137
    Tethys, zombi feministe calmar-garou.

    To any further idjits who feel the need to complain that they just can’t see how this gas thing could be anything but a delusion, try googling this phrase.

    chemical restraint

    You will find some interesting information.

  138. 138
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    Wes,

    spin it however you like. The fact remains that a rape by drugging conspiracy remains more plausible than a mass hysteria/rape hallucination event.

    I’m still curious as to why you class the thing you described as hypnopompic hallucinations in with “the witch scare in Nigeria, the gay scare in Uganda, the Muslim scare in Europe.”

    Those are categorically different things. Please explain why you used those examples to justify your claim that mass hysteria is common, rather than referring to examples that actually are similar to the thing you are claiming is common.

  139. 139
    Tethys, zombi feministe calmar-garou.

    So you think that because you went to boy scouts meetings in a Mennonite church, you understand their society and religion?

    Sure, thats completely rational.

  140. 140
    Wes

    Those are categorically different things. Please explain why you used those examples to justify your claim that mass hysteria is common, rather than referring to examples that actually are similar to the thing you are claiming is common.

    I referred to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, which was nearly identical to the events described in Bolivia. I also referred to other events, such as the Satanic Panic, which are similar but not identical.

    So you think that because you went to boy scouts meetings in a Mennonite church, you understand their society and religion?

    Sure, thats completely rational.

    The question I was responding to was whether I know any Mennonites. And the answer is yes. I grew up around them. They’re not bad people. Being a Mennonite doesn’t make you evil. It’s wrong to assume the worst about somebody just because of their religion.

  141. 141
    Ichthyic

    don’t know which drug was involved here, but even 20 years ago we used to use metomidate hydrochloride to anesthetize fish…

    by simply squirting it near then and having them breathe it in.

    it’s a very slight chemically similar product to metomidate hydrobromide, which was in use in prison systems in North America as a strong hypnotic.

    it can indeed be absorbed through the skin.

    I’d note that many other popular drugs that are hypnotics and hallucinogens can also be absorbed through the skin.

    I guess Wes never heard of putting a tab of acid under a headband…

    so, the mechanism is far from implausible in this case.

    that said, Wes has apparently backed off from the actually UNSUPPORTED idea that this is all just a case of hysteria.

    fuck me, I thought hysteria hypotheses died in the early 20th century.

  142. 142
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    that said, Wes has apparently backed off from the actually UNSUPPORTED idea that this is all just a case of hysteria.

    All while denying he ever advocated it in the first place! A charming display.

  143. 143
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Still not convincing me Wes. You’ve had your say, more from you at this point makes you sound more like a rape apologist, not a skeptic. Think about that before another post tonight.

  144. 144
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    Those are categorically different things. Please explain why you used those examples to justify your claim that mass hysteria is common, rather than referring to examples that actually are similar to the thing you are claiming is common.

    I referred to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, which was nearly identical to the events described in Bolivia. I also referred to other events, such as the Satanic Panic, which are similar but not identical.

    1. One incident that is remarkably similar.

    2. “Other events” which are similar but not identical.

    How does this support your contention that mass hysteria (remember the origin of the word “hysteria”?) events are common? You’ve cited a grand total of one other truly similar event.

    And you’ve still failed to explain why you wanted us to take “the witch scare in Nigeria, the gay scare in Uganda, the Muslim scare in Europe” as evidence to support your claim that mass hysteria events are common.

    Basically, you sound like you’re full of shit.

  145. 145
    Ichthyic

    Another example of skin absorbable sedative/hypnotic in common veterinary usage:

    http://www.jmloveridge.com/cosh/Pentobarbital%20Sodium%20Solution.pdf

    “Can be absorbed through skin.
    Pentobarbitone is a potent hypnotic and sedative (Schedule 3 Controlled Drug).”

    this stuff is relatively easy for any vet to get.

  146. 146
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    fuck me, I thought hysteria hypotheses died in the early 20th century.

    I wish. Between Wes in this thread and John D in the parody thread, it’s obvious it’s alive and well. It’s ever so interesting how menz like these never bother to be so skeptical until it comes to women and rape. Then all of a sudden, it’s “well, I don’t find this believable, I mean really, taking a woman at her word!”

    It’s disgusting.

  147. 147
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    How does this support your contention that mass hysteria (remember the origin of the word “hysteria”?) events are common? You’ve cited a grand total of one other truly similar event.

    And frankly, not actually that similar. That was a public, publicized panic. The symptoms of being attacked by the “Mad Gasser” were easily imagined and could be triggered by smelling something out of the ordinary. Unlike being raped, not to mention torn clothing, bleeding, and pain.

  148. 148
    Ichthyic

    to continue….

    I’ve listed two drugs used in animal husbandry (and human :) ) that are skin absorbable.

    that said, just about ANY hypnotic or sedative can be MADE skin absorbable simply by mixing with DMSO.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_sulfoxide

    I could easily envision taking your standard garden sprayer, filling it with a mix of easily available hypnotics, pumping it up, and putting the nozzle on “fine mist”, then spraying someone in a bedroom with it.

    it would make ZERO noise.

    it would be entirely undetectable if done correctly.

    It actually would surprise me if a casual search did not indicate this had been done before.

    scary thoughts….

  149. 149
    Ichthyic

    ..so, after I have posted this data, Wes…

    would you care to revise your incredulity of the mechanism of “rape mist” again?

    do you see now how it could easily be accomplished?

  150. 150
    Ichthyic

    yeesh, too easily, in fact.

    anyone with even a basic vet license could do this.

    again… I have literally scared myself thinking about how easy this would be to do, and am now wondering not IF it has been done, but how often?

  151. 151
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I have literally scared myself thinking about how easy this would be to do, and am now wondering not IF it has been done, but how often?

    Ichthyic:

    And now I’m wondering if the jokes tossed around by the dairy farmer boys in high school regarding dating success (success being defined, in this case, as getting laid), and the tactics used, were actually jokes. Bleah.

  152. 152
    Ichthyic

    actually jokes

    :/

    indeed. pentobarbitol has been around for over 80 years.

    I’m not sure what dosage would be needed to actually significantly sedate someone through skin absorption, but I’m not sure I really WANT to know either.

    then of course, like I said, there are far, far more powerful and newer hypnotics available…

    I really don’t like where this thought train is going.

  153. 153
    Cath the Canberra Cook

    They’re not bad people. Being a Mennonite doesn’t make you evil. It’s wrong to assume the worst about somebody just because of their religion. Oh. So why are you assuming that these religious Mennonite women are lying or delusional? It’s not because of their religion, so it must be, umm, err, because… Nope, not seeing it, why?

    Why is it that the JAQ-offs never want their questions actually answered? Because, OK, is it a case of mass hysteria (do we have a better word for that these days?) – that can be asked. These things happen. There’s witch burnings and communist hunts, and “boy touched our wimminz” as an excuse for lynching.

    And then we read thoroughly and find all the evidence. Plenty of testimony. Police and medical investigations. Bleeding toddlers, ffs! And we have our answer. No, it isn’t. But that answer isn’t acceptable, apparently.

  154. 154
    Cath the Canberra Cook

    Fuck. Blockquote fail. Repeating:

    They’re not bad people. Being a Mennonite doesn’t make you evil. It’s wrong to assume the worst about somebody just because of their religion.

    Oh. So why are you assuming that these religious Mennonite women are lying or delusional? It’s not because of their religion, so it must be, umm, err, because… Nope, not seeing it, why?

    Why is it that the JAQ-offs never want their questions actually answered? Because, OK, is it a case of mass hysteria (do we have a better word for that these days?) – that can be asked. These things happen. There’s witch burnings and communist hunts, and “boy touched our wimminz” as an excuse for lynching.

    And then we read thoroughly and find all the evidence. Plenty of testimony. Police and medical investigations. Bleeding toddlers, ffs! And we have our answer. No, it isn’t. But that answer isn’t acceptable, apparently.

  155. 155
    Wes

    How does this support your contention that mass hysteria (remember the origin of the word “hysteria”?) events are common? You’ve cited a grand total of one other truly similar event.

    I have specifically denounced the term “hysteria” in this thread. I don’t use that term.

    And the Mad Gasser events were actually two different incidents which were lumped together by the press. But there’s not solid evidence to link the two. Surprise. One was in Virginia, the other in Illinois, but the press connected them. Fuck evidence!

    “One other truly similar event?” Fuck that. An identical event would be a better description. An alleged perpetrator was spraying a paralyzing gas into homes. That’s the story. Cow-spray.

  156. 156
    Francisco Bacopa

    Just got off work. You don’t have to tell me about delusions. I started off my day bu reading two sentences of PZ’s post without even thinking and immediately became totally deluded into thinking this was another mad gasser panic. It almost certainly isn’t. The courts have real evidence and possible DNA evidence. and even my dreaded post #48 said I would find all this plausible if it was happening within the Mennonite community. And it was within the community.

    I Will never again post bullshit based on not reading the article in the link. Everyone, please forgive me. I imagined the story as commune against townies, mad gasser mania, and moral panic. I was truly an idiot about this.

  157. 157
    Ichthyic

    “Being a Mennonite doesn’t make you evil. It’s wrong to assume the worst about somebody just because of their religion. ”

    I guess it’s time to quote Weinberg again:

    “Good people will do good things, and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things — that takes religion.”

    – Steven Weinberg

  158. 158
    Ichthyic

    That’s the story. Cow-spray.

    are you’re going to ignore the data I just provided for you regarding this potential mechanism?

    are you sure you want to be the class dunce?

    people here will force you to wear that hat for a quite a long time.

  159. 159
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    Have you already forgotten the Satanist sex cult hysteria of the 80s and 90s? I make a plea for a note of skepticism, and your response is to label me a patriarchist troll?

    Yes, j_fuckface, I remember. I even read books like Satanic Panic. Not sure how the case in Bolivia is like that.

    Blow it out your ass, assclam.

  160. 160
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    “One other truly similar event?” Fuck that. An identical event would be a better description. An alleged perpetrator was spraying a paralyzing gas into homes. That’s the story.

    Yeah, Wes, the two stories are identical – that mass rape part of the second story is just an irrelevant detail.

  161. 161
    Ichthyic

    “I have specifically denounced the term “hysteria” in this thread. I don’t use that term.”

    Wes’ first post:

    “I suspect that these incidents were hypnopompic hallucinations reinforced by groupthink”

    yup, technically that’s NOT mass hysteria.

    but it’s so close as to be indistinguishable from what you used.

    I’m fast deciding your level of “skepticism” is better described as intellectual dishonesty.

  162. 162
    Ichthyic

    “Fuck evidence!”

    that does appear to be what you are trying to do there, Wes.

    done yet?

  163. 163
    Wes

    Yeah, Wes, the two stories are identical – that mass rape part of the second story is just an irrelevant detail.

    You assume rape has nothing to do with the Mad Gasser story. You’re wrong.

  164. 164
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    are you sure you want to be the class dunce?

    people here will force you to wear that hat for a quite a long time.

    I imagine he’s been wearing the dunce hat for quite a long time now.

  165. 165
    Ichthyic

    keep avoiding that data there, Wes.

    let’s watch that scene one more time, eh?

  166. 166
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    You assume rape has nothing to do with the Mad Gasser story. You’re wrong.

    Citation needed. Just for fun, that applies to both sentences of your disingenuous little post. And you might want to try reading or responding to Ichthyic’s information. And acknowledging that you’ve backpedaled since your first post in this thread.

  167. 167
    Lyn M: droit de seignorita

    ichthyic

    The article I linked to, commented that the vet was also charged with supplying drugs to people. They only specified viagra, but said that other drugs were involved.

  168. 168
    Tethys

    Wes

    I guarantee that attending boy scouts in the church basement, and having Mennonite neighbors means that you know fuck all about their society. Because you’re an outsider.

    You are the one who insinuated that they are a cult, and so you can dismiss them as being ignorant.

    Perhaps you would like to explain the practice of “shunning” since you’re so knowledgeable on their traditions?

    Or perhaps apologize for your unsupported claims of mass delusion and eat your words?

  169. 169
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    Dude. You are avoiding answering my question. Not cool. Seems like you want to backtrack from what you said about “the witch scare in Nigeria, the gay scare in Uganda, the Muslim scare in Europe.”

    I will reiterate, because you seem either dense or dishonest.

    I asked you to back up the assertion that sleep hallucinations or mass hysteria events (however you label them) are common. In response, you specifically referred to “the witch scare in Nigeria, the gay scare in Uganda, the Muslim scare in Europe.”

    1. The witch scare in Nigeria: persecution of an oppressed minority, with a fictionalized offense for justification

    2. The gay scare in Nigeria: persecution of an oppressed minority with a fictionalized offense for justification

    3. The Muslim scare in Europe: persecution of an oppressed minority with a fictionalized offense for justification

    4. The rape drug spray in Bolivia: apparently, in your version of events, members of an oppressed minority suffering a delusion that causes them to accuse the most powerful members of their community of a terrible crime

    One of these things is not like the other. One of these things does not belong.

    Why did you bring those things up as if they were similar events and therefore supportive of your hypothesis that this sort of thing is common? What is the commonality you are seeing?

    I trust that was simple enough for you to understand, and that you will do your best to answer next time you respond.

  170. 170
    Ichthyic

    commented that the vet was also charged with supplying drugs to people.

    so more than happy to violate the conditions of his veterinary permit to hand out class-3 drugs.

    less and less of a stretch here.

  171. 171
    Tethys

    ichtyic

    All the details are behind paywalls, but ketamine is commonly used out in the field to immobilize/ chemically restrain cattle.

    I shudder at the implications.

  172. 172
    Ichthyic

    Ketamine, btw, is yet another strong hypnotic that can be absorbed through the skin by humans.

    It’s even on the warning label for the product.

    http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ketamine/ketamine_data_sheet2.pdf

    Ketamine sprayed via garden sprayer…

    Should be expensive as hell, but fucking scary nonetheless.

  173. 173
    Lyn M: droit de seignorita

    icthyic

    I agree. I recall Karla Homulka (Paul Bernardo case) was a vet’s assistant. She stole Halothane which was used in one murder. I understand they did not use a spray, but the point is that drugs were easily accessed that did work.

  174. 174
    elwoodius

    Ichthyic has essentially beaten me to it. I have no issue with the method allegedly used. An early poster (Acronym) claimed a fumigation set-up with “…A team of men with barrels of ‘mixture’, ladders, piping, a compressor, pump…” is underestimating how easy it is to convert a liquid drug into an aerosol.
    And it’s easy to see how creating an aerosol is reported as a gassing.

  175. 175
    RowanVT

    I don’t find anything terribly implausible about the method of chemical restraint. If the endotracheal tube cuff is not properly inflated, it’s easy to become light headed from the gas being exhaled from the lungs of a patient. That’s why, when we have to “box down” a truly fractious animal to anesthetize it, we have a second person standing by to run the anesthetic chamber outside AND we hold our breath when the chamber is opened.

    Equally, a common after-effect of anesthesia is feeling tired. As I have witnessed from the animals I help our veterinarians treat, and from my own recent experience with surgery, it’s very easy to conk out again even though the patient is no longer being anesthetized.

    Furthermore, it can sometimes take upwards of 15 to 20 minutes for a patient to fully recover from anesthesia (that is, be awake and able to be extubated safely) even though they are no longer having an anesthetic gas delivered to them. That 15 to 20 minutes is likely more than long enough to commit rape.

  176. 176
    Kevin

    I am very significantly dubious of the suggestion that any drug that a Bolivian veterinarian would have access to would be capable of reliable anesthetizing as many people as were involved in this series of incidents without causing any fatal consequences.

    There are plenty of drug candidates that could knock someone out, and plenty of ways to aerosolize them – but which of the candidate drugs could:
    a) Reliably produce unconscious when not directly administered (because the reporting doesn’t make it look like they broke in/held people down/directly drugged each person 1 on 1)
    b) Reliably induce amnesia
    c) Do A and B in a dose still low enough that none of the victims would experience significant medical consequences from the drug without receiving medical care during the experience?

    To the best of my knowledge, no one has publicly come up with anything that will reliably meet more than 2 of the 3 points above. This scenario as described requires all three points met. There’s been a lot of law enforcement (and in some places military) interest in developing something that would meet all three points, but all of the publicly available research on it not succeeded – surely, if a Bolivian vet could pull this off, one of the well-funded research labs interested in this would’ve managed it by now?

    I hate questioning the stories of assault victims, but I do find this aspect of this story really hard to swallow. I find it more than plausible that such crimes would occur in a community like this one – but the press description of the druggings involved does not match up with my understanding of what is possible. It would make more sense if it has been reported somewhere that the victims were individually held down and drugged or something, or that some of those knocked out had died.

  177. 177
    RowanVT

    @Kevin

    Well… B somewhat naturally follows A- You don’t remember what happens while anesthetized. An-esthesia.

    And some of the victims have said that they partially awoke during the assaults.

  178. 178
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Wes:

    A rape apologist would be someone who tries to make it out that rape can be excused.

    Yes, and a misogynist is someone who froths at the mouth with conscious hatred of women, and a homophobe is someone who is shaking with fear of gays. Feels like we’ve done this before.

    No, a rape apologist is not necessarily someone who goes around yelling “The bitch had it coming to her”. “Subtly suggesting” that her clothing may have given the rapist the wrong idea, setting up an extraordinarily high standard of evidence for rape (e.g., regarding it as less likely than alternative explanations which are actually not as common), using an unreasonably narrow definition of ‘rape’ which leaves out a large percentage of rape cases, exaggerating the commonness of false rape complaints, – all these fit the ‘rape apologist’ ticket quite nicely as well.

    The Argument from Dictionary: it works even less well when the term in question isn’t in the dictionary.

  179. 179
    Ichthyic

    any drug that a Bolivian veterinarian would have access to

    *headdesk*

    any vet has access to what would be considered in the US to be category 3 drugs.

    there are any number of them that would do the job, 3 of which HAVE ALREADY BEEN MENTIONED AND LINKED TO.

    the only question would be dosages necessary for skin absorption, but some of the more powerful hypnotics you should know require VERY low dosages to be effective.

  180. 180
    Ichthyic

    I swear, it’s like the people who find this incredulous have never dropped acid or something…

  181. 181
    Ichthyic

    There’s been a lot of law enforcement (and in some places military) interest in developing something that would meet all three points, but all of the publicly available research on it not succeeded

    funny, that’s not been my recollection.

    do you have any cites to support your contention? I recall reading CIA work from the 50s even that had created reliable hypnotics that were deliverable via aerosols.

    the question never was that these weren’t possible, but why they weren’t used in the field, which is an entirely different question.

  182. 182
    Wes

    I recall reading CIA work from the 50s even that had created reliable hypnotics that were deliverable via aerosols.

    Seriously. Are we going into this territory? Are we that desperate to justify the story given in the article? Fucking seriously.

  183. 183
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Are we that desperate to justify the story given in the article?

    It is sad that we have to justify ourselves for believing women who claim they were raped, rather than a person with no more information about the case than us who is claiming they were only having a mass delusion.

  184. 184
    Therrin

    Words like to be read. Try scrolling up.

  185. 185
    Kevin

    @RowanVT -

    I should’ve been more clear, but I meant for the period when you are not actually knocked out :) Some drugs, like benzodiazepines, produce retrograde and anterograde amnesia that would be very convenient for this sort of thing, but other reasons make them unlikely to have been used.

    @ichthyic –

    I am fully aware of what drugs a vet would have access to. It’s just that absolutely none of them would perform as seems to be indicated by the story. I’ll respond in more depth shortly explaining why every drug mentioned so far on this thread would not perform as the mystery agent supposedly did (and for good measure, I’ll cover some drugs that haven’t been mentioned as well.)

    As for your recollection – well, apparently, your memory sucks. None of the CIA programs from that era ever produced reliable and safe incapacitants of the nature that would be required here – and if anyone has managed to do so since that time, there has been no public record of it. The only remotely successful safe incapacitants tested in that time period were not hypnotics. The only remotely successful or successfulish incapacitants tested in that time period were not hypnotics and have unique enough symptom profiles that they would have been identified by name.

    I’m too lazy to do all your googling for you, because it’s three in the morning and I still have half a reply to write. If you haven’t done so by tomorrow I’ll do it for you. For now, I’ll just toss out two reports that give a passable summary of the current state of research re: chemical incapacitants:
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/publications/icrc-002-4051.pdf
    http://www.bordeninstitute.army.mil/published_volumes/chemwarfare/Ch12_pgs411-440.pdf

  186. 186
    The Lone Coyote

    I worked with one of those south american mennonites once. He was a trucker with a huge beard, bowlegs, and a big ol paunchy gutbag.

    He was creepy. His stories were creepy. I thought he was sorta harmless-creepy at the time…. but looking back…. ugh.

    Wes, I see the point you’re trying to make, and it’s not a very good one. :/

  187. 187
    Ichthyic

    I’ll just toss out two reports that give a passable summary of the current state of research re: chemical incapacitants:

    are you sure you actually read those reports?

    there are in fact several compounds listed that did indeed work in lab tests as aerosols, the only reason they were rejected for field use was the high number of variables in a a battlefield situation could not be controlled for.

    this case, otoh, was NOT a battlefield scenario; a controllable dose could indeed easily be administered to an already unconscious (sleeping) individual.

    “I’ll respond in more depth shortly ”

    looking forward to it.

  188. 188
    Ichthyic

    and, btw, the reports confirm what i thought about such tests being run in the 50s, though these detailed UK and not US measures from that time period.

    the second link was busted, so I can’t tell what it covers.

  189. 189
    Wes

    It is sad that we have to justify ourselves for believing women who claim they were raped, rather than a person with no more information about the case than us who is claiming they were only having a mass delusion.

    The “person with no more information about the case than us” part should stand out to you. We don’t know much about this case. That’s as true for me as it is for you. We just don’t have much information.

  190. 190
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Wes,

    Mhm, whenever I don’t have enough information about someone’s claim, the first thing that comes to mind is “They must be delusional!”

  191. 191
    Ichthyic

    …and as far as the CIA, I know for a fact that they worked with a great number of sedatives and hypnotics during the 50s and 60s; scopolamine being one (though I can’t figure they would have tried aerosolizing it).

    so, my memory might not be perfect… hell it’s been 20 years since I read that stuff, but it doesn’t “suck” either.

  192. 192
    Wes

    Mhm, whenever I don’t have enough information about someone’s claim, the first thing that comes to mind is “They must be delusional!”

    No. That’s not what I said.

  193. 193
    Ichthyic

    We don’t know much about this case.</i.

    Wes, at this point YOU should spell out what we actually DO know about this case.

    I'm curious as to what you think is actually known at this point?

  194. 194
    Ichthyic

    seriously, Wes…

    go to the original news story in the link:

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2087711,00.html

    read that and tell me what you can pick out as presented evidence in the case from the reports of the victims and other things.

    then read any other stories on the subject you can find.

    that these women were raped isn’t even in question in ANY of them. Even the clients own DEFENSE ATTORNEY does not claim there was no rape, only that his clients aren’t the ones responsible.

    why do you think that is?

    dozens of women invented their medically documented injuries, their torn clothes, etc… over years?

    the defense attorney figures it easier to get his clients off by admitting that there was indeed rape when there wasn’t?

    don’t be fucking dense.

  195. 195
    Wes

    don’t be fucking dense.

    So the story about the cow anesthetic is true?

  196. 196
    Kevin

    To reiterate before this post: again, my ONLY claim is that the incidents could not have happened as described in news reports.

    @ichthyic

    I did, but I don’t think you did :) Also the second link works fine, there may be something wrong with your browser. I just tried it on my laptop, desktop, and mobile. I’m also profoundly unsure as to why you think a veterinarian pumping chemicals through a bedroom window is a situation with ‘fewer variables’ than one with military members trained in the use of incapacitants.

    Of course tests were run in the 50′s and 60′s – I sure as hell never said they weren’t. It’s just that none of those tests found effective incapacitants that could be used in this situation.

    Also, um… I’m going to overlook the fact that you just called scopolamine a sedative/hypnotic. It’s an anticholinergic – the same family of drugs that most other remotely effective incapacitants from that period were from. Delirium and sedation are not the same thing :). It’s very unlikely a deleriant was the drug used here – the ones that can be effective incapacitants last way too damn long, and have very distinctive symptoms. The CIA did experiment with (actual) sedatives and (actual) hypnotics, but none of them were remotely suited for the purpose of being an aerosolized incapacitant.

    I realized I have to work in a few hours so I should sleep, but a partial list is below. So far I have not addressed disassociatives (e.g., ketamine/PCP,) benzos, or metomidate, but I hit on most of the other ones covered in this thread. None of the ones I did not address would work, but I have to sleep.

    To be very clear since I think you missed it – I am NOT saying that there are not drugs that can knock people out. That would be fucking stupid as hell of me. I am simply saying that there is no way in balls that the story happened as described. Given your suggestion that “a controllable dose could indeed easily be administered to an already unconscious (sleeping) individual” I think you missed this very important point. Of COURSE there are drugs that could be administered directly to individuals in controlled doses that would produce these effects. Quoting the Time article: “For four years, Weiber and eight other Mennonite men allegedly sprayed the chemical through bedroom windows in Manitoba at night, sedating entire families and raping the females.” There’s a massive difference between walking up to someone asleep, putting your hand over their mouth so they can’t scream and putting a needle in their neck, vs spraying chemicals through windows knocking out multiple people.

    Halothane (and other volatile anesthetics):

    FAR too risky. A vet would likely have access to them, and it might be possible to deliver them appropriately, but their narrow therapeutic range would mean that if they had been used then multiple deaths would be reported and these guys would be getting charged with murder and not just rape. Most volatile anesthetics have a TI of under 4 – there’s no way a drug with a TI that small could be used in this fashion, especially with mixed age groups.

    Opiates:

    Opiates, although obviously accessibly by a vet, are so absurdly silly that I feel weird even explaining why they fail. In fact, I’m not really going to bother. There’s not anywhere near enough room between an incapacitating dose and a fatal one (read: respiratory depression,) especially with mixed age groups. If you want a real-life example of why these could not have been the agent used here, look in to the Moscow theater hostage crisis.

    Pentobarbitone (and other sedative hypnotics):
    You’re going to – again – run in to fun problems with the dose range. It needs a high enough dose that you’ll have trouble getting it with most possible airborne delivery systems, and on top of that, it’s TI means that if they managed to successfully incapacitate even half of the people they were shooting for, if the story occurred as presented, there would have been deaths. Every study that looked at barbs as incapacitants decided that they would perform poorly and also kill people.

  197. 197
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Wes,

    you were claiming they were suffering from hallucinations. That pretty much sounded like you were denying the whole thing happened. It’s one thing to say that the method that is said to have been used is suspicious, and another thing to repeatedly claim that those women are suffering from mass delusion and hysteria, as a result of having Incubus hallucinations.

  198. 198
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Kevin, still not buying it, and Wes still is still full of shit. Why are you two essentially apologizing for the rapists? It’s hidden under skepticism, but I have been a skeptic for 25+ years, and I simply can’t buy the mass hysteria option in this case.

  199. 199
    Ichthyic

    with ‘fewer variables’ than one with military members trained in the use of incapacitants.

    are you shitting me?

    people asleep in their beds in an enclosed room…

    vs variously dressed people in an open environment, all moving about….

    you really see few variables in the latter?

    your reasoning skills are… unique…

    “Delirium and sedation are not the same thing :).”

    yes, let’s play semantics.

    “It’s just that none of those tests found effective incapacitants that could be used in this situation. ”

    not what the report you linked to indicates. They list several.

    again, I think you haven’t read it.

    “The CIA did experiment with (actual) sedatives and (actual) hypnotics, but none of them were remotely suited for the purpose of being an aerosolized incapacitant.”

    you have no evidence in support of that, just a claim.

    there is no reason to think that any of those drugs could not easily have been combined with something like DMSO to make them topically useful.

    “So far I have not addressed disassociatives (e.g., ketamine/PCP,) benzos, or metomidate, but I hit on most of the other ones covered in this thread. ”

    the only other one listed is the old barbituate, so you’re essentially saying you’re not dealing with 2/3 of the ones already listed, let alone the dozens more that might also work.

    “I am simply saying that there is no way in balls that the story happened as described.”

    well, I’ll hold off on judgement on that, since this is the part of the story we have the least details on, and some versions mention “anesthetizing people in their rooms” without any mention of aerosols.

    this, however, does not address the POSSIBILITY of this as a mechanism, which is what I am concerned with.

    already established:

    powerful sedatives/hypnotics CAN have useful dosages given cutaneously. I sincerely hope you don’t plan to argue against that, as this information, as you like to point out, is readily available. Lots and lots and lots of studies on this.

    Given that…

    Here’s what I want to see from you, if you know it, and if you don’t, what you have to say otherwise is irrelevant:

    what cutaneous dosages would be required to provide sufficient anaesthetic effect for the most POWERFUL (not the fucking weakest) hypnotic or sedative available to someone with a vet license in Bolivia?

    If you know the answer to that (I’m betting you don’t), then it wouldn’t be hard to rule in/out whether one could easily create a means of distributing sufficient cutaneous dosages, aerosol or otherwise.

    since I’m sure you actually don’t know the answer, I for one am going to leave the idea that some means of introducing a cutaneous or inhaled, or both means of anaesthesia in this case IS plausible.

    so far, you haven’t actually given any reason to think otherwise, and the reports you link to actually REINFORCE the idea that you CAN aerosolize an immobilizing agent successfully.

    do I need to actually quote the pages of the report you linked to that list the compounds they considered successful in lab tests?

  200. 200
    Ichthyic

    “So the story about the cow anesthetic is true?”

    Hey, Wes, what was the contention you were making that I addressed in the post you just responded to again?

    you keep bouncing back and forth between your rape apologetics and your incredulity.

    pick one.

  201. 201
    Ichthyic

    Opiates, although obviously accessibly by a vet, are so absurdly silly that I feel weird even explaining why they fail.

    I do too.

    why are you then?

    I never mentioned them.

  202. 202
    David Marjanović, OM

    and we all know that’s what women always do, the last authenticated rape was in 752 BCE with the rape of the Sabine women

    Mistranslation. The Sabine women were robbed, not raped. (…Totally not raped. When the Sabine army arrived, the women wanted to stay with the Romans. Like, totally.)

    How about the rape of Lucretia a few decades later? Lucretia killed herself afterwards – it was well-established* that she only didn’t resist because the rapist threatened to kill her slave and then blame her for adultery with him, nobody accused her of adultery, and yet she still felt too guilty to live with it… and went on to be praised as an example of virtue for centuries.

    * I mean, in the story.

    that said, just about ANY hypnotic or sedative can be MADE skin absorbable simply by mixing with DMSO.

    Just about anything, in general, can be made skin-absorbable simply by mixing it with DMSO. Being a practically universal solvent, DMSO passes through skin unhindered. When sensitive people touch it with their fingers, they taste it on their tongue a few heartbeats later.

    I swear, it’s like the people who find this incredulous have never dropped acid or something…

    I hate to break it to you, but most people have never dropped acid. It’s not as easily available as marijuana or ecstasy!

  203. 203
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    I hate to break it to you, but most people have never dropped acid. It’s not as easily available as marijuana or ecstasy!

    And I can’t be the only one here (can I?) who has never tried those, either. Or any other recreational drug, legal or illegal (other than a little alcohol. To which I react so badly I have had fewer than twenty units in my whole life).

  204. 204
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    [OT]
    Tigger_the_Wing:

    And I can’t be the only one here (can I?) who has never tried those, either.

    You are not the only one.

  205. 205
    Inaji

    David:

    I hate to break it to you, but most people have never dropped acid. It’s not as easily available as marijuana or ecstasy!

    Ummmm, pretty much everyone I know my age (or a bit younger) has dropped acid. The stuff was ubiquitous back in the day, ya know. Yeesh, you couldn’t take three steps at California Jam without being offered a wide variety of tabs…

  206. 206
    Kevin

    Ah jesus christ almighty, I guess I am not sleeping immediately.

    Okay, here’s a different tack: If anyone can provide solid evidence that the drugging as described in the news articles could have happened, I will donate $30 to any organization of your choice. I define solid evidence as one of two things:
    1) A statement by a qualified expert that there is any chemical that could be “pumped through a bedroom window to sedate an entire family” without killing someone in this many applications. I define ‘relevant expert’ as a chem warfare scientist or an academic with relevant expertise.

    or

    2) Provide a link to any academic paper that supports the assertion that any drug in the standard veterinary formulary could be aerosolized and used as an agent in a manner close to that described in the article without producing extraordinary symptoms (like longlasting hallucinations or delerium) that would have been reported independently.

    This is a real offer, and if anyone manages to meet the conditions, evidence will be provided of a donation actually being made. Despite not using a user account, I’m sure there are people around who know me – I was at both SSA/CFI this year. In the event that I disagree with you as to whether the conditions have been met, I’ll defer to the judgement of a third party who is someone familiar to the community.

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dancer on Trolls –

    Given that I am an unfamiliar person to you, I can understand why you have interpreted my posts the way you have. In a similar situation, I can very easily see myself doing the same thing.

    I know that given the general community response to anything having to do with rape, it is easy to make it your first reaction to assume that any questioning is not good faith, but I think that denying that good faith questioning of such things can exist (or equating good faith questioning of such things with rape apologism) is out of place in a skeptical community.

    I know there’s no easy way for me to prove it to you, especially as an unknown, but I do hope that a careful reading of my posts will convince you that I am not doing anything beyond questioning the literal possibility of the circumstances as described by the reporter involved.

    Generally in situations like this I avoid questioning assertions that strike me as dubious, but given that if the reporter’s description is actually true it would be incredibly significant in a much broader context than this article, I decided to do so in this instance. Also – I am emphatically not suggesting that this was mass hysteria.

    If you would like, I would be more than up for trying to explain my case better somewhere other than this forum (since I think the tone of the discussion here will make further productive conversation in this individual vein difficult.) I regret coming off the way that I did to you, and should have worded my original post more clearly.

    @ich
    “with ‘fewer variables’ than one with military members trained in the use of incapacitants.

    are you shitting me?

    people asleep in their beds in an enclosed room…

    vs variously dressed people in an open environment, all moving about….

    you really see few variables in the latter?

    your reasoning skills are… unique…”

    Okay, at least that explains something. You fail to understand what the authors of the reports are defining military utility as. Hint: a drug that could reliably and safely knock out a building full of people would have great military utility.

    ““Delirium and sedation are not the same thing :).”

    yes, let’s play semantics.’
    It is not semantics. Calling a goddamn deleriant a sedative is like calling methamphetamine a sedative.

    ““It’s just that none of those tests found effective incapacitants that could be used in this situation. ”

    not what the report you linked to indicates. They list several.

    again, I think you haven’t read it.”

    No, it doesn’t. I just reread both of them, and they both emphatically state that none of the studied agents have practical application with the current state of research, and both furthermore state that it’s unlikely that any of them ever will be. Stop claiming that they do, or quote the relevant portions of the reports.

    ““The CIA did experiment with (actual) sedatives and (actual) hypnotics, but none of them were remotely suited for the purpose of being an aerosolized incapacitant.”

    you have no evidence in support of that, just a claim.

    there is no reason to think that any of those drugs could not easily have been combined with something like DMSO to make them topically useful.”

    If by ‘topically useful’ you mean transdermally useful, then, again, you are not reading a single word I am saying. I’m not saying there are not effective transdermal sedatives. I am saying there are absolutely no drugs that can create the situation described in the article – and a transdermal ROA is inherently inadequate. (I am not entirely sure if you mean topically as in transdermally or topically as in relevant-to-this-particular-situation.)

    If you’re unsatisfied, google the damn original reports from the projects. They have all been FOIA’ed and are easily googleable – most of them are hosted by the sunshine project. I am not going to bother digging up thirty sources to combat your incorrect memory of something you think you possibly might have maybe read in the 1980′s.

    ““So far I have not addressed disassociatives (e.g., ketamine/PCP,) benzos, or metomidate, but I hit on most of the other ones covered in this thread. ”

    the only other one listed is the old barbituate, so you’re essentially saying you’re not dealing with 2/3 of the ones already listed, let alone the dozens more that might also work.”

    I’m not saying I’m not addressing them, I’m saying I’m not addressing them at 330 in the goddamn morning. Although I have to say – there is absolutely no reason I would even consider addressing the apparent ‘dozens more’ that you think might also work, when I already linked two modern academic papers confirming that no such thing exists at the present time. Since you seem to be chronically incapable of actually reading the papers I linked, here’s a direct quote from the ICRC one: ‘My conclusion is that a true incapacitating chemical weapon is beyond the reach of current pharmacological capability, although this could change with additional research.’

    You would massacre anyone who tried to employ your current logic in any other setting – you are almost god-of-the-gaps’ing.

    “powerful sedatives/hypnotics CAN have useful dosages given cutaneously. I sincerely hope you don’t plan to argue against that, as this information, as you like to point out, is readily available. Lots and lots and lots of studies on this.

    Given that…

    Here’s what I want to see from you, if you know it, and if you don’t, what you have to say otherwise is irrelevant:

    what cutaneous dosages would be required to provide sufficient anaesthetic effect for the most POWERFUL (not the fucking weakest) hypnotic or sedative available to someone with a vet license in Bolivia?”

    It is well established and universally accepted that the only plausible route of administration for an effective incapacitating agent is through the respiratory tract. Look at page 24 in the ICRC report for an example of an academic confirming this.

    But that’s a little bit irrelevant, because you are missing something really important: the TI matters FAR FAR FAR FAR MORE than the minimum effective dose. There is not a SINGLE barbituate or benzodiazepine with an adequate TI to reliably incapacitate an adult man without killing a child. I refer you to page 21 in the ICRC report and page 418/419/420 of the Borden report in support of this assertion

    I am not going to reply to any further posts by you (ichthyic) unless your next post contains at least some indication that you understand what a therapeutic index is and why it is important in the context of talking about hypnotics as incapacitating agents.

  207. 207
    Kevin

    Slight clarification. To fulfill #2, it also has to be able to sedate the number of people suggested by the story without killing some of them.

  208. 208
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Caine:

    David:

    I hate to break it to you, but most people have never dropped acid. It’s not as easily available as marijuana or ecstasy!

    Ummmm, pretty much everyone I know my age (or a bit younger) has dropped acid. The stuff was ubiquitous back in the day, ya know. Yeesh, you couldn’t take three steps at California Jam without being offered a wide variety of tabs…

    Ah, I’m your age give-or-take (b.1957) but, like David, was born and raised on the Eastern side of the Atlantic. Perhaps acid was easier to obtain on the Western side? I don’t recall it being popular (unlike weed) or easy to obtain the way ecstasy, for example, seems to be. Perhaps I moved in the wrong circles? Although I would have thought that pharmacology researchers in South London in the ‘seventies would have known how to get hold of the stuff, if anyone could.

    I had easy access to cocaine but never tried it (unless you count accidentally splashing some in my eye once!).

  209. 209
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    Hey Wes.

    I note with displeasure that you are still avoiding answering my question.

    Conclusion: you are a bullshitter. Further conclusion: the rest of your statements are suspect. Further conclusion: you are contributing to rape culture while attempting to deny you are doing so, by using “skepticism” to mask your hostility towards rape victims.

    You suck.

    If you don’t enjoy being labeled as a rape apologist then try harder to not act like one. A little intellectual honesty would go a long way.

  210. 210
    Inaji

    Tig:

    Ah, I’m your age give-or-take (b.1957) but, like David, was born and raised on the Eastern side of the Atlantic.

    I was born in Nov. ’57, born and raised in Southern California. Owsley had a lot to do with the proliferation of acid in SoCal. Of course, Leary didn’t hurt things, either.

    I had easy access to cocaine but never tried it (unless you count accidentally splashing some in my eye once!).

    Oh cocaine. Mmmm, my most favourite drug. I misses it, I does.

  211. 211
    SQB

    ichthyic, thank you for your clarifications. I was about to say that, while I don’t have any reason to doubt that the rapes have occurred, I was still a bit doubtful about whether the method described would be plausible.

    Kevin, I think you need to consider that the method of delivery might not be exactly as described, i.e. not fumigation of the entire house, but the assailants entering the house and drugging their victims person by person.

    <off-topic>
    Caine, California Jam? Consider me green with envy(*) of you having seen Deep Purple.

    *: As a non-native English speaker, I’m not sure whether it’s envy or jealousy I mean, it’s just that I wish I had been born a decade and a half earlier and somewhere in the vicinity.
    </off-topic>

  212. 212
    Kevin

    @SQB – oh, I totally realize that. I didn’t manage to get sucked in to a lineitem debate about possibilities. In my original post (#176) I tried to make it clear that the only thing I was doing was doubting the reported mechanic of the druggings. I’m just bad at not getting sucked in to such debates when the someone responds like ichthyic’s initial response :)

    I am (as I mentioned, albeit poorly phrasedly) very curious for any media reports (or for that matter court docs) that anyone has come across that report it differently, or that go in to greater details about it. (Partly, because on the offchance I am in fact wrong, it would be really a significant piece of information.)

  213. 213
    Kevin

    Whoops – should read “didnt mean” not “didnt manage.” As mentioned earlier, quite tired.

  214. 214
    Inaji

    SQB:

    Caine, California Jam? Consider me green with envy(*) of you having seen Deep Purple.

    Heh. Those three days were somethin’. I was 16. Oh, Deep Purple…the guitar throwing was a helluva thing.

  215. 215
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    SQB, as a native English speaker (from England, no less!) I am sometimes unsure how to use them.

    Generally, I use ‘envy’ when I wish I had similar luck/opportunities/items to someone else; and I would use ‘jealousy’ (if I ever felt it) to describe wanting the very thing they have to the extent of wishing I could deprive them of it!

    So I often feel envy of all the lucky women here who have motorcycles to ride (my health precludes me riding any more) but I am not jealous (I don’t want their particular motorcycles!).

    Ooh, Caine, I was born in November ’57 too! In London, England. I’m a Lambeth lass.

    Time twins! =^_^=

    To all those posters who are using the excuse of skepticism towards the method of drugging to doubt the whole story – STOP IT!

    You are using the same method that creationists use to cast doubt on evolution; if a particular mechanism for one small part of an event isn’t entirely known, it doesn’t cast doubt on all the rest which has plenty of evidence, whether you like it or not.

  216. 216
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I hate to break it to you, but most people have never dropped acid. It’s not as easily available as marijuana or ecstasy!

    Acid was always easy to get until a few years back when a major producer in the mid west US was busted (so i understand). It’s making a resurgence, at least from what I can tell at the various concerts I attend.

    Ecstacy is the big boy on the block, though what you get usually isn’t real MDMA.

    Fungus is always among us.

    Cocaine is easy to sniff out.

    Marijuana? Might as well just call that beer v.2

    Fortunately, meth has stayed out of the circles in which I run.

    H. Seen it. Stay as far away as I can.

    The real problem drugs these days appear to be prescription drugs. That oxy shit is just prettied up H but it’s a beast.

  217. 217
    Forbidden Snowflake

    SQB:

    *: As a non-native English speaker, I’m not sure whether it’s envy or jealousy I mean, it’s just that I wish I had been born a decade and a half earlier and somewhere in the vicinity.

    As another non-native English speaker, I think that:

    Envy: Caine saw Deep Purple! I wish I could see Deep Purple!
    Jealousy: Damn it, Caine’s been sneaking around with Deep Purple behind my back! I want them* all to myself!

    *or her

    However, if you need an adjective, you can use ‘jealous’ for either condition, or ‘envious’ for the former.
    Any better English speakers care to correct me?

  218. 218
    SQB

    I was at T minus 4 months and counting when California Jam was held.

  219. 219
    Kevin

    @Tigger

    “You are using the same method that creationists use to cast doubt on evolution; if a particular mechanism for one small part of an event isn’t entirely known, it doesn’t cast doubt on all the rest which has plenty of evidence, whether you like it or not.”

    It’s also, coincidentally, the same mechanism that is used by scientists, for, well, science. You are perfectly correct that one mechanic being confusingly unexplained does not cast doubt on the rest. I have tried to emphasize that multiple times in every post I’ve made about it.

    I’m not entirely sure your post was directed at me, but since I’m one of two-ish people talking about problems with the drugging mechanism, I am guessing you probably are. If it was directed towards me, I would encourage you to reread my last several posts (at least, the nonsilly parts not talking about drugs. Or, at least-least, the part I addressed to redhead a little bit up.) and re-examine how you feel about them.

    (And to be clear, I can definitely understand the sentiment, and oftentimes it would be mine. This is just a really unusual issue for me, because it’s something I was well familiar with ahead of time. In my head, it is something close to having the phrase “Alien spacebats descended from the moon and abducted a pony” in the middle of the article. It indicates at worst a problem with the reporting or editing, but it’s still bizarre enough to shake your head and go WTF.)

  220. 220
    Inaji

    Rev. BDC:

    The real problem drugs these days appear to be prescription drugs. That oxy shit is just prettied up H but it’s a beast.

    That’s a fact. I have a ‘scrip for it, but I rarely take it.

  221. 221
    Kevin

    Also, another tired clarification: I wasn’t trying to say that scientists try to discredit something by poking at one small part of it. I just meant that pointing out problems in one small part of something is not at all something limited to creationists when it’s not coupled with the ‘trying to discredit the whole thing’ thing.

  222. 222
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Kevin, I get that you aren’t trying to dismiss the rapes the way j_brisby and Acronym, for example, were. They were the ones trying to discredit the women because of the inadequate reporting of the drugging.

    But you are right about needing sleep. My point was entirely to do with the ‘discrediting the whole thing’ thing!

    Please try to turn of the SIWOTI syndrome and get some sleep; this thread will still be here when you next get to it!

  223. 223
    SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu

    Let’s go back to Wes’ original post, shall we?

    We need to use our skeptical sensibilities on this one, guys.

    Indeed. It’s incumbent upon us women too. But will Wes actually be capable of following his own advice?

    Nearly identical cases have popped up numerous times in the past (someone prowling around, spraying some kind of anesthetic into homes, then raping people while they’re paralyzed). Each time, it turned out to be a condition called sleep paralysis (which is quite normal) combined with some mass delusion.

    Wes has been unable to substantiate that these “nearly identical” cases were indeed “numerous.” When asked to back up this assertion, he has repeatedly dodged the question or answered with vague generalities. It’s been an extremely poor showing from a skeptical point of view. This is probably the area where Wes comes off the worst, asserting facts not in evidence, facts which should be relatively easy to support, then refusing to support them when requested to.

    Hypnopompic hallucinations are the source of the myths about “succubus” and “incubus”, ghosts that come in during the night, paralyze you, then rape you. I bet most people here have probably experienced these–you wake up, unable to move, feeling something pressing down on you, and in many cases, have sex with you. It’s a common sleeping disorder that lots of people have.

    That sleeping disorders are common, and possibly responsible for hallucinations, including hallucinations or rape, is plausible. But is it more plausible than the idea that a bunch of men got together and decided to use some drugs that they already had access to in order to rape a bunch of women? Wes later went on to state that about 12% of the population suffers from these sleep disorders as a way of backing up the plausibility of this theory. However, if you’re going to use the relative frequency of an event to support its plausibility as an explanation for another event, you have to look at the frequency of the alternative hypothesis as well. Studies have shown that, in the US, about 12% of men admit to raping or trying to rape someone. In South Africa, that rate is a staggering 73%. In the USA, about 1 in 6 women will experience rape or sexual assault during their lifetimes. I don’t know what the rate in Bolivia is, but I’d be utterly shocked and gobsmacked if it were lower. Rape coverups are also extremely common, as evidenced by the problems in the Catholic Church, the Warren Jeffs case, the Pitcairn Island cases, and so on. Relative frequency does not give hallucinations the edge over actual rapes and rape conspiracy in this case. If the high relative frequency of sleep disorders and hallucinations are supportive of Wes’ hypothesis that the Mennonite women were delusional rather than raped, why is the high relative frequency of rapists, rape conspiracies, and rape coverups not a point of evidence in favor of the null hypothesis, that the Mennonite women are telling the truth? Wes isn’t making an argument a true skeptic could embrace.

    Please don’t let your desire to show the corruption of religion lead you to rush to judgment before all the facts are known. There are plenty of indisputable cases of sexual abuse by religious people–we don’t need to harp on the more dubious ones.

    Wes fails to quote a person or persons who have written things that could honestly be described as rushing to judgment because of a desire to show the corruption of religion. Indeed, he fails to make the case that simply taking the allegations at face value could qualify as a “rush to judgment.” Wes appears to be revealing a bit of his own bias here: he seems to be partially motivated by a desire to defend the Mennonites. But only the male ones. Someone who makes unreasonable efforts to defend male members of a community from accusations of rape by female members of the same community, while couching this defense as a defense of the community itself, can reasonably be described as practicing misogyny.

    I’m not saying these women weren’t raped, but I do find the story quite fishy. I’d wait for more information to come out before I made a judgment on this one. I suspect that these incidents were hypnopompic hallucinations reinforced by groupthink.

    Right there in his first post, he already demonstrates that he is suffering from a degree of cognitive dissonance. Of course he’s saying that these women weren’t raped. What other conclusion could one draw from the sentence, “I suspect that these incidents were hypnopompic hallucinations reinforced by groupthink”?

    Either the Mennonite men raped some women, using a method that’s not fully explained or understood so far, or the Mennonite women hallucinated the rapes thanks to “hypnopompic hallucinations” and “groupthink.” Note also that Wes has failed to explain how groupthink works in a small patriarchal community to encourage women to bring unfounded accusations of rape against the more powerful members of their community.

    (Put “I’m not saying these women weren’t raped, but…” down on the list of things people only ever say when they mean the exact opposite. Like, “I’m not racist, but…” or “I don’t mean to offend you, but…”)

    But I could be wrong. Hopefully more information will come out as time passes.

    As the conversation progressed, it became clear that Wes was not being truthful when he wrote these two sentences. He’s not open to the possibility that he could be wrong, and he doesn’t seem particularly interested in absorbing more information.

    In short, Wes is a lying, cognitively impaired sack of shit misogynist and has been so from the beginning. Three post rule has been more than exceeded; proceed with vitriol and insults at will.

    Please note: Kevin does not come in for the same abuse, because although I don’t agree with his skepticism about the method of drug delivery, he’s not using that skepticism to mask an agenda of calling rape victims’ veracity into question. He’s restricting himself to questioning how it’s possible the drugs could have worked, not asserting a wildly implausible alternative hypothesis of mass sleep hallucination. Frankly, Wes sounds like an escapee from the False Rape Society. His particular brand of rape apologetics seems like it would be right up their alley.

  224. 224
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Thank you, SallyStrange, for that excellent post. I’m not sure how Wes’s name got left out of my reply to Kevin up there, but you ripped his position apart brilliantly! (I think I’d better take my own advice and get some sleep; I took seven attempts to spell ‘brilliantly’).

  225. 225
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    but I think that denying that good faith questioning of such things can exist (or equating good faith questioning of such things with rape apologism) is out of place in a skeptical community.

    Skepticism does not give one free rein. If what you are doing sounds like rape apology, you need to give what you are doing a second thought.

    I have no problem with the legal scenario. A high TI anesthesia, introduced surrepticiously into the room as an aerosol/mist then inhaled/absorbed through the skin, in a reasonably enclosed room with people sleeping. Not anywhere outside of a reasonable possibility that such an event can occur. Essentially the victims fall into a deeper sleep. Which means your skeptical models must follow such a scenario.

    The army works were against awake soldiers. If one soldier starts nodding or drops, the others can and will take action to alleviate the problem. So your citations in this area fail to meet the proper criteria of sleeping inhabitants. One must be skeptical of ones skepticism. Which requires careful consideration of what one is proposing.

  226. 226
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Kevin, you’re also assuming that no one died as a result of the anaesthesia, and that no long-term effects occurred. I’m not sure those are supported assumptions at this point. You’re perhaps not taking into account the likelihood that these communities are very secluded and insular – which seems to be supported by what various articles have said about this case: the men were only reported to the police because the community elders realized the problem was so widespread they couldn’t handle the situation themselves. Other incidents that, here, would have been reported to the police there instead resulted in lynching and various horrific kinds of vigilante justice. Someone dying in their bed for unexplained reasons, or a person experiencing hallucinations, might not actually be reported to outside authorities.

  227. 227
    Ichthyic

    “Okay, here’s a different tack:”

    meaning, as I suspected, you haven’t a clue what you were talking about, and you AREN’T an expert on these substances.

    have you ever even used an anesthetic in the field?

    I have.

    “It is not semantics. Calling a goddamn deleriant a sedative is like calling methamphetamine a sedative. ”

    in this context, it is semantics.

    hypnotics and sedatives both do the same thing wrt to the behavior indicated:

    they immobilize.

    so, take your condescension and shove it up your ass.

    “No, it doesn’t. I just reread both of them, and they both emphatically state that none of the studied agents have practical application with the current state of research”

    NO, they both state they have no practical FIELD application, for the reasons I mentioned.

    stop lying you damn fuckhead.

    tired of debating this with someone who pretends to be knowledgeable, but so obvious now… Isn’t.

    you totally wasted my time, asswipe.

    “It is well established and universally accepted that the only plausible route of administration for an effective incapacitating agent is through the respiratory tract. Look at page 24 in the ICRC report for an example of an academic confirming this.”

    LOL

    go check out pub med sometime, idiot.

    seriously, you so obviously haven’t a clue what you’re on about, and just want to play games in the interwebs.

    “I am not going to reply to any further posts by you (ichthyic) unless your next post contains at least some indication that you understand what a therapeutic index is and why it is important in the context of talking about hypnotics as incapacitating agents.”

    LOL

    why?

    you haven’t yourself.

    Tell you what though, since you can’t actually offer anything substantive to this, and actually can’t answer ANY PART of what I asked… why don’t you just go ahead and ignore EVERYONE’S posts here and run along and play somewhere else?

    thanks.

  228. 228
    Tethys

    Maybe Kevin could demonstrate the proper method of tranquilizing a 2500 lb bull in its pasture via hypodermic injection?

    No tranq guns allowed in Mennonite country, and I’m sure any method they could come up with to eliminate the need for the hypodermic needle would be highly valuable.

    Mennonites value self sufficiency as a godly virtue.

    Does anyone know where or if I can find a detailed census breakdown of this community? My google-fu isn’t turning up anything.

  229. 229
    Pierce Harlan

    Sally Strange, you need to be careful who you libel. And I do mean libel.

  230. 230
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Who has Sally Strange libelled, and how?

    You had better have something to back up that accusation, or there will be a decayed porcupine awaiting insertion…

  231. 231
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And I do mean libel.

    Quoting someone’s writings, with attribution, is libel? When did this happen?

  232. 232
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Brother Ogvorbis, mousing over xir ‘nym brings up a link in the status bar to some blog called falserapesociety (which I won’t visit, needless to say).

    I think xe is trying to bully Sally Strange.

  233. 233
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I think xe is trying to bully Sally Strange.

    No think my my part, Fuckwit thinks it has something, not peer reviewed, so it is meaningless. Unless, of course, the peers are actual rapists, then I wouldn’t trust it within several light years, and several courts of law might be interested, not not for libel.

  234. 234
    Ichthyic

    Harlan is bugfuck nuts.

    just click his nym and see.

    Hey, Harlan?

    If I call you bugfuck nuts, is that libel, you think?

  235. 235
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Tigger:

    No question Xe is trying to bully Sally Strange. I was just hoping for an absolutely absurd redefinition of libel which could be used down through eternity as an example of idiocy. Looks like a rather plain driveby though.

  236. 236
    SallyStrange

    Sally Strange, you need to be careful who you libel. And I do mean libel.

    LOLWUT

    That is all.

  237. 237
    SallyStrange

    Oh. Oh! That Harlan Pierce.

    Harlan Pierce of the False Rape Society, which I casually mentioned in my above post.

    Yes, Harlan Pierce, I will be very careful about who I libel. I don’t know this guy Wes, after all, and despite him being intellectually dishonest and mildly sexist, he might still be offended at having his tactics compared to yours.

  238. 238
    Kevin

    @Classical –

    I’m not really sure that they are supported, either. That would certainly be one explanation for the difference between what was reported in the overseas (w/r/t to the incident) press, and what is possible. It may be the most likely one, I’m not sure. I’d suspect that you are either correct, the reporter just got something drastically wrong, or that there is some element of coverup in the community (like, putting forward the drugging as an explanation as to why the community did not take action sooner.)

    @Ich -

    … lol.

    So you go from accusing me of not being willing to back up my statements with reliable sources to refusing to do so yourself.

    Surely, if I am as wrong as you claim, it would take like five minutes for you to provide evidence of such instead of just saying “fuck off and look at pubmed.” Is five minutes of your time not worth $30 to camp inquiry or whatever other organization you might choose?

    Shit or get off the pot. I’ve provided academic citations for most of my controversial claims. You’ve shot off a ton of chaff and flares without sourcing a single one of your statements, even while railing against me for failing to do the same.

    If you have a heart, surely you’ll spend five minutes proving me wrong to benefit a charitable organization of your choice. I’m not going to bother trying to argue about content – I trust that your continued refusal to legitimately engage will make it apparent to any passers-by that you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    @tethys -

    I know you didn’t intend it in a serious way, but tranq guns wouldn’t be a problem with them. They’re pacifist in the sense of people only – many Mennonite hunt, etc. I haven’t looked in depth in to the demographics of the community, but a quick googling suggests that mennonites in Bolivia are generally bolivian, paraguayan, canadian, or russian – and suggests that this group was probably predominantly russian.

    http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B665.html

    @Nerd

    You are right that skepticism is not a blanket license for anything, and you are also right that people who post things that can be interpreted as rape apologia should be careful about doing so.

    My first post definitely could have been better (and would have been in a different hour/exasperation level,) but it did also make a clear point of separating the issue of “Did this individual aspect of the incident happen as described in a couple news articles” vs “did this incident happen at all.” I can understand why my second post would’ve given you substantial pause, but assuming you read my initial post before responding to me, I do not think it was bad enough to make your response great.

    If I were to read something like my initial post coming from someone else, three possible situations would’ve occurred to me. The first situation would be that the poster was a rape apologist trying to discredit the story in bad faith. The second would’ve been that the poster was someone who genuinely found part of the story dubious, and had never been exposed to the idea of rape apologism. The third (and what did represent) would be that the poster was someone who was aware of the problems inherent in questioning part of a story in a situation like this, was actively trying to avoid being a rape apologist, and had simply not made their point clearly enough to leave an unambiguous situation.

    One of these three people (the first) deserves to be eaten alive. One of them is uneducated rather than in opposition to you, and needs education, not a flamefest. And one of them simply needs to clarify their meaning.

    If it’s clear that someone is an irredeemable jackass – sure, flame the everliving shit out of them. But figure out what’s actually going on first. Replying with something like: “Hey – do you realize that what you said could be considered offensive? Here are some links explaining why: (insert a link to FF101 here.) If you did not mean it in this way, could you please clarify what you did mean?” is so much more productive for everyone involved. If it turns out they were person #1, then you’ve lost very little – and can proceed to torch them. If it turns out they were person #2, you’ve bettered the world. If it turns out they were person #3, then you’ve still generated a positive situation from a negative one.

    I’m not going to reply in depth to the content issues that you brought up, because I suspect you don’t care very much about the explicit details of this particular aspect of the scenario. I will say, though, that many of the studies about incapacitating agents just looked at ED to LD to figure out whether the agent could incapacitate enough people without killing many, and generally the numbers were civilian in origin. It was nothing like “It won’t work because the soldiers will wake each other up.” There are no known potential agents with a high enough TI to work as suggested – remifentanil, with a TI of like 30,000, still cannot incapacitate enough people to be an effective drug for this purpose without killing some people.

  239. 239
    SallyStrange

    Kevin, please click on the link I included in the post just before yours. It will help you understand why tolerance levels are low and suspicion levels are high. Thanks.

  240. 240
    Kevin

    I haven’t read your link yet, although I will after I submit this. I’m definitely aware of why they are generally speaking – part of the reason why I ended up as exasperated as I did as quickly as I did was that I spent most of the previous 24 hours trying to address an incredibly negative issue in one of the (rl) communities that I am a part of. Since it isn’t resolved yet I cannot detail it, but essentially irl rape apologia taken to the absolute extreme.

    Obviously I should not have carried over exasperation to dealing with someone in a conversation where I knew ahead of time I was likely going to be perceived as I was likely to be perceived here – but it’s hard to not carry that exasperation over when confronted with an idiot in another setting.

    My posts can (and should) have been substantially better and less ambiguous, and even though I firmly believe that such a line of questioning is not inherently inappropriate, I do understand that the tone of my posts was in part responsible for the reaction.

    I do think that a response as I suggested in my last post would be significantly better than Nerd’s initial response to me, but I don’t hold her initial response to me against her, and can completely understand where she was coming from.

    I do also hold that it is critically important that we (as in the skeptical community) maintains the freedom to question issues about which we are very sensitive. I don’t mean that I expect that to come unquestioningly or at the beginning of a conversation – but if anyone feels, at the end of this thread, that my initial line of questioning was genuinely inappropriate, I think they should not self-describe as skeptical.

  241. 241
    Kevin

    Also, to be very clear: idiot in my last post refers to Ichthyic, and no one else.

  242. 242
    Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM

    I do think that a response as I suggested in my last post would be significantly better than Nerd’s initial response to me, but I don’t hold her initial response to me against her, and can completely understand where she was coming from.

    Yet more proof, as if more is needed, that Nerd is the only lady at Pharyngula.

  243. 243
    Kevin

    … Whoops. Sorry Nerd. I’m not always good at assigning pronouns on the internet.

  244. 244
    Tethys

    Kevin replied:

    I know you didn’t intend it in a serious way, but tranq guns wouldn’t be a problem with them. They’re pacifist in the sense of people only – many Mennonite hunt, etc. I haven’t looked in depth in to the demographics of the community, but a quick googling suggests that mennonites in Bolivia are generally bolivian, paraguayan, canadian, or russian – and suggests that this group was probably predominantly russian.

    I was completely serious. A tranq gun would be considered a modern convenience = possibly of the devil, and not to be used if at all possible because they can’t make it themselves. It’s got nothing to do with pacifism.
    Please read my post #63 before you presume. I am well aware of how they came to be living in Bolivia in the first place.

    They are in fact German, and were settlers in the former Russian Empire by invitation of Catherine the Great. They were forced out by the Russian Revolution. They excel at dry land farming, dairying, and raising cattle.

    Keep in mind that these people do not have electricity. Water comes from cisterns and wells. They use horse-buggys as transportation. They strive to be completely self-sufficient and do not rely on material goods from the “outside world” if at all possible. Exceptions (modern medicine) are made for the cattle, because they are a major source of income.

    Also keep in mind that these rapists probably knew their victims well enough to know exactly who was in the house and where they slept. I cannot find any pictures of the actual houses, but I will guess that they are very small by American standards. Think “Little House on the Prairie”.

    I think a spray of any number of chemicals directly into the face of a sleeper through an open window is entirely plausible.

  245. 245
    Kevin

    I could be wrong about tranq guns – it didn’t occur to me that they are a substantially more modern innovation than, well, actual guns. Not making the distinction in newness between firearms and tranq guns in my head, I assumed that tranq guns wouldn’t be a problem, mostly from knowing a large number of mennonites and amish with family firearms (I lived in PA dutch country for a while.)

    The reason I brought up pacifism was that I have frequently encountered people supposing that such groups do not hunt/keep firearms for other purposes based off of their pacifism. I know you didn’t mention it explicitly.

    It seems weird that they would be willing to use both firearms and modern veterinary drugs and not tranq guns… but a hell of a lot about mennonites seems pretty cuckoo to me, so that has pretty much no bearing on likelihood of truth :p

  246. 246
    Ichthyic

    “So you go from accusing me of not being willing to back up my statements with reliable sources to refusing to do so yourself. ”

    tu quoque.

    “Surely, if I am as wrong as you claim”

    I claimed you were ignorant,and still do.

    try this:

    “skin absorbable sedatives”

    in a pub med search, or even Google Scholar ffs.

    modify the search terms as you see fit to narrow down the results.

    here’s the bottom line, assclam:

    My contention was:

    - that it was not implausible for someone to create an aerosol delivery system for a anesthetic that would be readily available to a vet, in the states, let alone in Bolivia.

    -that there are plenty of readily available hypnotics and sedatives that are dosable via skin absorption (I provided several examples, and even added DMSO as an enhancer), and a simple pub-med search turns up hundreds of published articles showing it cutaneously applied sedatives and hypnotics actually work.

    -the only way to reject the plausibility of this is to show that the dosages needed to achieve anesthetic effect in an average human via cutaneous application are unrealistic for the drugs involved.

    -I narrowed this down for you even, to pick ONLY the absolute worst-case scenario; the strongest drugs available to someone with a vet license in Bolivia.

    -all you provided was the excuse that “if this was possible, the army would have already done it” which is about the lamest logic I have ever heard.

    -your provided references actually list compounds that WERE APPROVED for battlefield use, IN EXACTLY THIS MANNER, but were later withdrawn because of uncontrollable variables regarding dosages and bad reactions.

    so what’s next?

    you want to make this implausible?

    all you have to do is what I asked: go figure out what the dosages of the available drugs for a vet in Bolivia would have to be, and that they would be unrealistically high for this kind of application.

    simple, really, if you had any clue about where to find such information.

    I personally don’t, so will tend to retain the idea as plausible until it is rejected.

    “I’ve provided academic citations”

    what?

    liar.

    one, those TWO links you provided are summaries from meetings, and not academic publications.

    two, they tell us NOTHING about the IMPLAUSIBILITY of this, in fact, and since you’re so keen on them, I’ll fucking quote it for you:

    BZ (3-quinuclidinyl benzilate) was the only “incapacitating chemical agent” that has so far
    been weaponized for battlefield use. However, negative side effects such as poor
    predictability of effects were identified at an early stage and eventually lead to the withdrawal
    of BZ from service.

    and, as far as those reports are concerned?

    did you bother to read the discussions?

    check the section under risks… when they talk about what the public release of information regarding positive research on this type of thing might lead to.

    do you REALLY think, that a readily available public document from the military, or a meeting of chemical producers, is going to tell you everything that was learned?

    really?

    aside from the fact, that, as I said, they really have NO BEARING on the circumstances under discussion HERE, as I have already addressed.

    again, kindly take your idiocy and condescension and shove it

  247. 247
    Ichthyic

    “but tranq guns wouldn’t be a problem with them. ”

    if they were using tranq guns, there would be evidence of that readily available from the victims.

    It’s possible, but there is no information to support it yet.

    oh, and for Kevin….

    here’s an OLD article that details various drugs that can be readily introduced cutaneously by combining with DMSO (which itself is quite old and readily available):

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0024320564900797

    topical application (even including patents!) of hypnotics and sedatives goes back at least as far as 1975:

    http://www.google.co.nz/patents?hl=en&lr=&vid=USPAT3891757&id=_OMtAAAAEBAJ&oi=fnd&dq=Percutaneous+absorption+sedatives&printsec=abstract#v=onepage&q=Percutaneous%20absorption%20sedatives&f=false

    this is NOT new.

  248. 248
    Tethys

    Kevin

    I will assume that you didn’t read my post #63.

    Otherwise you would understand that I’m familiar with the culture because I am native to it. Of course they hunt, and have firearms. How else do you put down a horse with a broken leg, or a dog who kills calves?

    I think it is very difficult for a modern American to comprehend the all encompassing nature of these colonies. Everything is kept strictly within the colony. They still speak their native low German despite 200 years of living in other counties for petes sake.

    The reports also firmly place the source of this chemical restraint type drug as coming from a Mennonite vet who originally came from a Canadian colony.

  249. 249
    Kevin

    I’m not going to bother returning to this thread for a while – I’ll wander back in two weeks or so to see if anyone managed to come up with something that meets either of the two criteria I posted earlier, and if someone has at that time I shall make a $30 donation to an organization of their choice and provide proper confirmation. (At least a couple people who know me are also tracking this thread, so there’s a good chance if someone provides such a thing, they’ll point it out to me and I’ll be back by earlier.)

    Ichthyic: you have proven yourself to be both dishonest and too stupid to have a productive conversation with. I am going to respond to you one last time, to hopefully demonstrate to anyone still bothering to read this that you are dishonest and incompetent. I will not be responding to any of your posts further. (My donation offer ($30 to anyone who can meet either of the criteria I outlined) still stands to anyone, including you.)

    ““I’ve provided academic citations”

    what?

    liar.

    one, those TWO links you provided are summaries from meetings, and not academic publications.”

    Okay, so, anyone else still bothering to read this, please take note. This conclusively demonstrates that ich has not actually looked at both links I posted, despite repeatedly claiming to do so/repeatedly claiming that I had not read my own sources.

    You are correct that the ICRC link I posted is a copy of the proceedings of a meeting, although everything I have quoted has been from the presenting people, rather than from the discussions. Yes, I know that still means that is not a reviewed document. However, the presenting people were invited experts in the field, which makes them a fuck of a lot more qualified than you are.

    The other link (the borden one) is not anything that could fall under the aegis of “summaries from meetings.” It’s a chapter taken from a textbook published by Borden. There are plenty of reasons why you could argue that a military medicine textbook is not the strongest source, but you could only describe it as not academic (or as a summary of a meeting) if you had literally never clicked the link. It is, completely unarguably, an academic publication written by credentialed experts reviewed by other credentialed experts prior to publication.

    Also, later on you refer to one of the provided links as being from a “meeting of chemical producers.” I assume you are referring to the ICRC link when you said that, because the borden link was not about any sort of meeting. The ICRC is not some sort of organization of chemical producers; it’s the red cross you ridiculously stupid fuck.

    I would provide additional sources in almost any other situation, because every published source agrees with me, but I’m tired of wasting time talking to an incompetent fuckwit who won’t read what I post anyway.

    “- that it was not implausible for someone to create an aerosol delivery system for a anesthetic that would be readily available to a vet, in the states, let alone in Bolivia.”
    Which is something I have never disputed.

    “-that there are plenty of readily available hypnotics and sedatives that are dosable via skin absorption (I provided several examples, and even added DMSO as an enhancer)”
    Which is again, something I have never disputed.

    “and a simple pub-med search turns up hundreds of published articles showing it cutaneously applied sedatives and hypnotics actually work.”
    Which is something I have never disputed, except inasmuch as “actually work” and “work effectively when introduced via aerosol without killing anyone” are two completely different things.

    “-the only way to reject the plausibility of this is to show that the dosages needed to achieve anesthetic effect in an average human via cutaneous application are unrealistic for the drugs involved.”

    And here is where your brain completely breaks down. There’s a difference between “there are drugs that work transdermally” and “there are drugs that can be aerosolized in a way that they will effectively render mixed agegroups unconscious through any route of administration without killing at least an occasional person.”

    “all you have to do is what I asked: go figure out what the dosages of the available drugs for a vet in Bolivia would have to be, and that they would be unrealistically high for this kind of application.

    simple, really, if you had any clue about where to find such information.

    I personally don’t, so will tend to retain the idea as plausible until it is rejected.”

    The size of a dosage – although it *would* present a problem for some potential chemicals – is not the problem that kills this entire thing.

    The problem that kills the entire thing is, as I tried to stress previously – the dose needed to render people unconscious even 80% of the time will be a dose high enough to cause more than occasional fatalities.

    This is not a factor of potency, but of therapeutic index. There is no drug that any vet would have access to (or any drug known for that matter) that can effectively incapacitate even 80% of people when administered in the manner described in the story that would not kill people.

    Here’s a little demonstration to show you the problem:

    Diazepam in normal clinical use has a TI of about 100 – one of the highest you’ll find. Benzodiazepines in general have very high TI’s compared to other drug classes, and diazepam is one of the safer benzos. Since we’re looking to render people unconscious, not just anxiety-free, the TI will be lower than 100 in this situation. I’m too lazy to go figure out what the actual amount of diazepam needed to knock someone out – but I don’t think anyone would disagree that saying “three times as much as it takes to render someone anxiety-free” would be an overestimate – it’s pretty obviously an underestimate.

    But for the sake of this demonstration, lets assume that to be true. If the ED50 is three times the dose in this application as it is in a normal clinical setting, the TI will be a third of what it is in a normal setting – that is to say, 33 and a third. Let’s assume that at least 80% of people exposed would need to reach an effective dose in this situation – if more than 20% of the victims and their family members were awake, you would have expected attention to be drawn to the crimes sooner.

    I think all of the numbers I’ve suggested so far err on the side of conservativeness – the actual TI would be a lot less than , and 20% of people being wide awake would have meant the spree wouldn’t have been able to continue as it apparently did, but lets run through the numbers like these anyway. It’s pretty easy to figure out how many people would die given these assumptions, but the equations to do so are also laid out in this paper: http://www.fas.org/bwc/papers/sirens_song.pdf.

    Lets run through the numbers now.

    Using the first equation in the paper, we can see that the ED80 would be four times higher than the ED50. (1/(1/.8-1))

    Using the next equation, we can see that with a TI of 33.3…, a dose sufficient to knock out 80% of the victims would kill about 11% of all of the victims. (1/(1+33.333/4))

    For the story to have happened as described, at least 130 people have to have been exposed – and probably, more like 300 (since the rape victims were presumably not alone in their houses.) At the lowend, even with this scenario which is very conservative in terms of death rate, that means that about 14 people would have died from the drug. At the upper (but still kind of conservative end) it would mean that about 32 people would have died.

    Those numbers assume the rapists were able to achieve a perfectly equal concentration of the gas to everyone – and also assume that everyone involved was an adult, when clearly and tragically there were children involved. Both of those factors would have upped the death rate substantially.

    Volatile anesthetics have a TI of 3 or 4. Barbiturates have a TI of 4 or 5 in their normal clinical use – it will be much lower when the goal is to induce unconsciousness in 80% of people. Benzodiazepines generally don’t have a TI of over 100 in their normal setting – and that will again be reduced greatly here (diazepam is the highest TI common benzo.) Opiates have a TI of less than 70 generally, which is again much lower in this setting.

    Fentanyl has a TI of 270ish and is about the only candidate drug a vet would have access to with a higher TI than valium, but since it is dosed in 100′s of mcg instead of mg, it would’ve been very difficult to impossible to dose uniformly at a proper dosage via aerosol when you aren’t in a lab. Even if they overcame those problems, using the equations and assumptions above, a minimum of five or six people would have died – and likely more like 12 or 13 probably.

    Remifentanil – with a TI of 33,000 (but, again, lower for this purpose – the internet suggests 1,000 or less) – might be able to knock out 80% of everyone without killing anyone – but a bolivian vet is not going to have access to remifentanil and since it’s dosed in the individual micrograms, would not have been able to aerosolize it in a way that would uniformly distribute it.

    So, if the situation happened as described in the story, a lot of people would have died. This leaves several situations possible:

    a) More than a dozen people died, and the rapists need to be facing a dozen counts of murder but for some reason are not.
    b) A Bolivian veterinarian somehow got his hands on remifentanil and figured out how to aerosolize it in a way that distributed it uniformly without ever fucking up.
    c) A reporter got a detail wrong.

    Which of those seems more likely to you? (A) would be horrific and need to be addressed, (B) would be shocking (because it’s expensive, not a vet drug, and dosing it even intravenously accurately is so challenging that anesthetists rely on complicated automated technology to do so,) and (C) happens all the goddamn time.

    Yes, the drug have been delivered in another way, like sneaking in and injecting individual people. Of course it could have – I’ve never tried to argue that it couldn’t have. It would not surprise me in the least if something like that happened. All I have been saying this entire time is that it could not have happened as described in the media.

    “two, they tell us NOTHING about the IMPLAUSIBILITY of this, in fact, and since you’re so keen on them, I’ll fucking quote it for you:”
    We’ve already gone over why BZ (and other anticholinergics) would not work here; they last too long and cause unique enough symptoms that they would’ve been mentioned. BZ lasts for three goddamn days and causes severe hallucinations the entire time. Every other anticholinergic that could be plausibly used has the same problem.

    Both sources I initially provided explicitly disclaim the possibility of any non-anticholinergic agent yet discovered having any use as a nonlethal incapacitating agent.

    “and, as far as those reports are concerned?

    did you bother to read the discussions?

    check the section under risks… when they talk about what the public release of information regarding positive research on this type of thing might lead to.

    do you REALLY think, that a readily available public document from the military, or a meeting of chemical producers, is going to tell you everything that was learned?”

    You are right that it is possible that not publicly disclosed research has found a solution. However, all publicly disclosed research – both by the military and academic communities – has failed to find a solution, and has agreed that if a solution exists it will be technically challenging. This is further backed up by the fact that in every publicly disclosed circumstance where these agents have been tested in (such as the moscow theater hostage situation) they were either unable to produce effective sedation, or were fatal to a significant number of the people involved.

    Your argument here is basically coming down to “the fact that every published source in the world agrees that I’m incorrect is irrelevant, because I am correct, it’s just that all of the sources proving this are being covered up.” That’s is not an okay argument. It belongs on a 911 truther board, or maybe an antivax forum. It’s not an argument that should ever be advanced by any intellectually honest person.

    “aside from the fact, that, as I said, they really have NO BEARING on the circumstances under discussion HERE, as I have already addressed.”
    … lol. I don’t even know where to begin with this.

    “oh, and for Kevin….

    here’s an OLD article that details various drugs that can be readily introduced cutaneously by combining with DMSO (which itself is quite old and readily available):”
    Congratulations, you have finally proven you are able to use a search engine. Unfortunately, none of your links are remotely relevant in any way shape or form.

    btw: I made absolutely no suggestion that tranq guns were involved in this incident whatsoever, demonstrating again that you are reading, like, every fifth line of what I have been saying at absolute best.

    @Tethys -

    You are correct that when initially responding to you, I did not realize you are the person who talked earlier about mennonite relatives. If I had realized that, I would not have assumed that talking about firearms was relevant. After you pointed it out I reread your earlier post, but since my next reply to you was explaining why I had posted my previous reply, it may not have been obvious that I did reread #67 at that point.

  250. 250
    drbunsen, le savant fous

    Kevin, you may well be correct, technically speaking.

    But there is something disturbingly cold and clinical about watching this thread descend into a parlour game of Who’s The Bigger Internet Smartass…

    … when meanwhile, back at the ranch, 140 rapes …

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