Underground Knowledge — A discussion group discussion

The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy
This topic is about The Orphan Conspiracies
379 views
EXPERIMENTS ON ORPHANS > The Monster Study

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lance, Group Founder (last edited Jan 13, 2017 04:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2824 comments Excerpt from The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy:


“I’m one of twenty-three orphan prodigies. We were created using genetic engineering technologies that have been suppressed from the mainstream. I’m at least half a century ahead of our times in terms of official science. The embryologists who created me selected the strongest genes from about a thousand sperm donors then used in-vitro fertilization to impregnate my mother and other women.” –The Ninth Orphan


Experimentation on orphans features prominently throughout our thriller series The Orphan Trilogy – not surprising given our central characters are products of the Pedemont Orphanage, a secretive institution on Chicago’s impoverished South Side, where experimentation is the rule, not the exception.

Keen to maintain at least a level of believability, we spent a considerable amount of time researching this somewhat unsavory and unpalatable topic. What we found makes for disturbing reading.

Records of experimentation on children and orphans are often indistinguishable, and for good reason: in many if not most cases the children involved are, or were, orphans. Those who weren’t technically classed as such were from one-parent families where, for one reason or another, that parent – usually the mother – was absent or negligent. In which case the child might as well have been an orphan.

Those records date right back to biblical times – to experiments performed on young Jewish prisoners in the Book of Daniel.

To remain reasonably contemporary, we chose to limit most of our research to the 1930’s onwards.


"The man tried to shut out the voices from his childhood which now echoed in his head. He could hear the other orphans calling his name. Nine! Suppressed memories of his time spent at the Pedemont Orphanage surfaced from the depths of his psyche." –The Ninth Orphan


The very first case that caught our eye was tame compared to others that followed, but nevertheless was devastating for those children involved. Popularly known as The Monster Study, it entailed conducting an experiment on 22 children – including 10 orphans – in Davenport, Iowa, in 1939.

The brainchild of one Wendell Johnson, himself a stutterer, at the University of Iowa, the experiment was conducted by grad student Mary Tudor who was tasked with giving half the children positive speech therapy and half negative speech therapy. Those in the former group were praised for their speech fluency while those in the latter were ridiculed and told they were stutterers.

Most disturbingly, many of the orphan children in the ‘negative’ group suffered psychologically and developed permanent speech problems even though they were once normal speaking children.

The experiment, which was cynically described as The Monster Study by Johnson’s peers, coincided with news of Nazi experiments on Jewish and other children early in World War Two, and so was kept hidden from the public at large.

In a New York Times article dated March 16, 2003, columnist Gretchen Reynolds says Johnson’s findings about the nature of stuttering, once it has begun, remains the accepted wisdom to this day. “The disorder does respond to conditioning, and once established, stuttering can have a ruinous momentum. Often, the worse someone stutters, the more he fears speaking, and the worse his speech becomes.”

Reynolds adds, “It is an ugly thing, after all, to experiment on orphans. And Johnson’s admirers, who still are legion, struggle to understand why he proposed and designed the project.”

No doubt many assumed Johnson believed it was okay to sacrifice a few to help the many other children who stuttered. The ends justify the means mindset has been the impetus behind many a cruel medical or social experiment.

Wikipedia reports that the University of Iowa publicly apologized for The Monster Study in 2001. It quotes University of Iowa assistant professor of speech pathology [name redacted] as saying “we still don’t know what causes stuttering, but the ‘Iowa’ way of approaching study and treatment is still heavily influenced by Johnson, but with an added emphasis on speech production”.

Well that’s all fine and dandy, but what about the experiment’s subjects? By all accounts the State of Iowa awarded six of the orphan children close to US$1 millionfor lifelong psychological and emotional scars caused by six months of torment during the study. And before her death, Tudor expressed deep regret, claiming Johnson should have done more to reverse thenegative effects on the orphan children’s speech.

Too little, too late, we say.


The Orphan Conspiracies 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy by James Morcan The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1) by James Morcan The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) by James Morcan The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy, #3) by James Morcan The Orphan Trilogy (The Orphan Trilogy #1-3) by James Morcan


message 2: by James, Group Founder (last edited Sep 09, 2014 09:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Morcan | 11246 comments Wikipedia entry for the Monster Study: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_...


message 3: by James, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Morcan | 11246 comments The Monster Study was a stuttering experiment performed on 22 orphan children in Davenport, Iowa in 1939. It was conducted by Wendell Johnson at the University of Iowa. Graduate student Mary Tudor conducted the experiment under Johnson's supervision.


message 4: by Lance, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lance Morcan | 2824 comments The Monster Study and other experiments on orphans https://morcanbooksandfilms.com/tag/t...


message 5: by James, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Morcan | 11246 comments The New York Times: The Stuttering Doctor's 'Monster Study'
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/16/mag...


message 6: by James, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Morcan | 11246 comments Conspiracy FACT #13: The Monster Study https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvjG9...


message 7: by James, Group Founder (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Morcan | 11246 comments The Monster Study: A Stuttering Experiment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LanY7...


back to top