Facing a budget shortfall amid the coronavirus crisis, the Stanford administration has announced plans to reinvigorate school finances by reintroducing those fucked up experiments they used to do back in the ‘60s. You know, the ones where they’d, like, give a bunch of local teens psilocybin and then electrocute them with a car battery? Just to, I dunno… see what would happen? For “psychology?”
Yeah, they’re bringing those back.
“Remember back in the day when you could just lock a bunch of coeds in the basement of the philosophy department, give ‘em 20 tabs of acid and a few staple guns, and pay a graduate jail guard, sorry —student —, $4/hr to write down everything that happened?” reminisced Provost Persis Drell fondly while announcing the initiative. “Well, we’re getting back into that shit. No more control variables, no more informed consent, no more of that goddamned ethics review board — we’re just gonna say every experiment is about ‘the darkness at the heart of the human soul’ or something and be good to go.”
The university has already begun identifying students currently on campus who’d be willing to participate in this important new research, with recruitment efforts specifically targeting any undergrads who have their own Vietnam War-era military clothes.
“We’re starting things off with an experiment about, you know, power and authority and violence and… uhhh… power…” explained psych department chair Milo Yakst, trailing off as his eyes glazed over. “You know — psychology shit. Well, anyways… If any students can bring their own Army gear, we’ll make sure they’re in the subject group that gets to push The Button whenever the other group misbehaves.”
Yakst declined to clarify what The Button does or what misbehavior might prompt it to be pushed, instead only insisting that The Button will reveal “startling insights about power, fascism… umm, conformity… the human condition… and uh… power”
Meanwhile, Stanford’s head archivist has been tasked with poring over original records from the Stanford Prison Experiment, with direct orders to identify any places where the original researchers missed an opportunity to incorporate DMT and/or timber wolves.
“Resuming these experiments might not solve all of Stanford’s financial woes,” conceded Provost Drell. “But at least it’ll all make for a sick HBO miniseries in a few decades.”