Renegade Psychological Experiments

July 20th, 2013   Submitted by Davi Barker

DAThis year at PorcFest X I took first place in the Agorist Pitch contest. In short, I want to conduct Milgram style renegade psychological experiments on obedience to authority, specifically into police brutality. The video is behind the “read more” link, but what you can’t tell from the video is that I felt like I was going to throw up the whole time.

Scroll ahead to 15:45 to see my pitch. (I’m the guy in the pajama pants)
The contest was organized by author, Tarrin Lupo. The gold first prize and silver third prize were donated by Tim Frey from Roberts & Roberts, and the Bitcoin second prize was donated by Erik Voorhees from Coinapult. When I heard about it I joked that if I won first place I would ask to take second place and take the Bitcoin instead of the gold, but then I found out the gold was not simply a gold ounce, it was 2006 NORFED Liberty Dollar, which is an heirloom of the liberty movement that is priceless as far as I’m concerned.

The idea for the pitch struck me the moment I heard about the contest, and I spent the next day practicing the pitch on friends like Drew Phillips and Derrick J, so when I went to the event the concept was only about 48 hours old. As I watched the other contestants I was so nervous I was shaking. My guts were all tied in knots. Will Coley brought me a bowl of beef stew, but I honestly felt like I would be sick if I ate anything of substance. Instead, I drank all the broth, thinking it would settle my stomach.

When I took the stage my heart was pounding, but once it was time to speak a sense of calm washed over me. Given my state, I’m amazed my delivery was as good as it was. I felt more like a spectator myself while it was happening. It felt more like I was a medium for the idea as it manifested itself.

That kind of peak tranquility is something I’ve experienced only a handful of times in my life, and always when I’m doing something more important than I realize at the time. In hind sight, this experience certainly fits the bill.

When I finished I couldn’t stay for the rest of the pitches. I had to walk off all the nervous energy. My heart didn’t stop pounding until I walked all the way back to my site and I could sit and compose myself. Then I was ravaged with hunger. So, I ate and went back to the pavilion to hear the winners. I was not surprised to have won. I was confident this idea would win from the first moment it came to me because it felt bigger than me. It needs to happen.

After the contest I was struck with terror, because I saw the size and importance of the project, but I had no idea how to actually do it. I felt accountable to the audience, and the judges to actually do it, even though there was no contract or agreement that I would, but I also knew I could not do this alone.

Unfortunately, I am more of a writer than a scientist, psychologist or ethicist. So, I am soliciting the aid of the experts we have in the liberty movement. If you, dear reader, are a scientist, psychologist, ethicist, or even an activist who’s interested in supporting this important work, please get in contact with me. Or if you know someone who is, pass their contact info along to me.

I want to make clear from the outset that this is an Agorist enterprise, rejecting the State’s ethical guidelines for experimentation and devising our own. Here’s a rough draft of how I see this playing out.

Step One: Assemble the team

This is not something that’s going to be completed in a weekend. Ensuring that it is both ethical and scientifically rigorous is going to require a lot of work from a committed team. I’m currently in the process of assembling a series of working groups including, scientists, ethicists, production, media, finance and perhaps an encryption/anonymizing working group depending on how criminal the plan becomes.

Step Two: Ethical Guidelines

Perhaps more important than the Experiment itself, I’d like to work with the science and ethics work groups to draft our own voluntaryist/anarchist ethical guidelines for scientific experimentation. This is unprecedented as far as I know, and I hope it can have far reaching influence on civil disobedience, demonstrations, and future experiments after this project is finished. But having these guidelines is crucial before we begin crafting the experiment.

Step Three: Design the Experiment

With ethical guidelines established, the science and production work groups can devise the experiment itself. The original pitch was to discover the degree of police brutality that average citizens would witness before intervening, but I’ll fully submit to a better idea. I’d like the entire team to brainstorm what areas of study might best advance the voluntaryist/anarchist mission, and once an experiment is devised I’d like the production and finance work groups to outline a budget.

Step Four: Funding

Because of the numismatic value I intend to keep the Liberty Dollar as a prize, but I will contribute one of my own gold Krugerrands as start-up capital. I’ve been a full time Agorist for almost a year, which means I spend a lot of time hustling for food and rent. I can’t personally afford to do a lot of work pro bono, and I’d like for those most committed to the project to be compensated. So, we’re going to be calling on the media and finance work groups to devise fundraising drives, secure sponsors, maybe even pitch it as a documentary or reality TV show to a major production company. But profitability is the key to sustainability, so if we aim to demonstrate that the free market can handle scientific research without the State, and we aim to conduct future experiments, funding is key.

Step Five: Conducting the Experiment

This is the work of the science and production work groups, and if all the prep work has been done properly by this point we should be in our stride.

Step Six: Publicity

This is the work of the science and media work groups. With all the data collected, and analyzed it’s time to reveal our findings in as public and credible a venue as we can manage. Maybe it’s a research paper. Maybe it’s a book. I’d like to follow the model for success demonstrated by Morgan Spurlock who began with the documentary “Super Size Me” and leveraged that success into the similarly themed Reality TV show “30 Days.” If the first experiment could produce a documentary that evolved into a TV show with a dozen or a hundred different experiments on obedience and authority that would be amazing.

The next step for me is to get myself to Libertopia in San Diego at the end of August to present the idea to a larger audience, and perhaps court some other experts and investors to get the project to the next phase. I’ll be selling the Krugerrand to Roberts & Roberts to fund this trip. Tim and I have been in contact and we’ll work out the details next week. I’m already scheduled in the Libertopia program.

This could be truly game changing for liberty and anarchy. If done correctly the right cluster of renegade psychological experiments, with the right publicity, could remove all doubt, and make people look the State in the face and see it for what it is.

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14 Responses to “Renegade Psychological Experiments”

  1. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    This is a really interesting project. It seems that the goal is one specific experiment, but perhaps something everlasting could come of it. You hinted of it in your article. Perhaps what could be born is an entirely voluntary research institute. One that does not rely on state funding, and thus, is not beholden to the state in any way, such as what to study and what to conclude.

  2. Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll see you at Libertopia and we can discuss this. You earned 1st prize.

    The “chicken lady” has had all her preplanning done by another entrepreneur, Mary’s Chicken in Fresno, CA.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      Uh, what DB wants to do is similar to what has already been done at least twice.

        • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

          If you had read what DB wrote or watched the video you would know. DB got the idea from the Milgram experiment and the Stanford experiment. The Milgram experiment has been conducted more than once.

          • Davi BarkerNo Gravatar says:

            It’s true the Milgram experiment was repeated, mostly overseas. Slight miss speak in the opening pitch. But I’m not proposing repeating the Milgram experiment. As far as I know what I’m proposing hasn’t been done.

            • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

              I didn’t say that what you want to do has been done. I stated that it is similar to what has been done.

  3. ErvNo Gravatar says:

    I like the proposal, but if you want to see how far people will let things go, try a Milgram type experiment with regulation, licensing, and permits.
    Here is the scenario; friends of mine in two different states (ID and UT) have run into the same thing, the necessity to get a permit from planning and zoning to replace the water heater in their home. Yes, it is a stupid as it appears, water heater failure, go to replace it (matched fuel and capacity), and have to pay for a permit that states that it is up to current building codes. For one of my friends, it was a nominal 75 FRN fee, for the other, it approached 400 FRN (55% of the cost of material and labor) due to having to bring the installation “up to current code” for earthquake something or other.
    The best part is when I started looking into this, it is apparently not unique to a couple of municipalities, it is already rampant. Look it up, it will make you sick to your stomach.
    Unrelated to the first, the municipality that I currently reside in was implementing licensing for massage therapists (to combat prostitution) and my massage therapist was completely in favor of it. Her justification was that it “legitimized” her profession.
    My point is that the psychological warfare is being most effectively being waged in this space. The sheeple believe that the government in its many forms is benevolent and will do the “thank you sir may I have another” all day long.

    The other scenario to run the experiment with is with the TSA Search and Seizure routine. See how far people will allow the same sex grope to go…

    • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

      Erv: These fees are highway robbery. Why would anyone volunteer to pay? How would the govt. know if you didn’t tell? I built a complete patio cover (attached) 20 years ago in CA which violated code. I had no problem and paid no fees. I was told I would be in big trouble when I sold. That was 6 years ago.

      I have been a tax rebel since 1972. I was in open rebellion for a few years, and everyone I worked with told me I would soon go to jail. It took some quick thinking but I found a way to be less enslaved than most, and have been living underground (in plain sight). RESISTANCE IS NOT FUTILE.

      • ErvNo Gravatar says:

        Don – agree with the highway robbery statement, but that is why it would be a good target. When I suggested that the fees should be ignored, both friends simply accepted them as the cost of doing business. The one in UT started to challenge until informed that there were fines that would be imposed should she ever want to sell the house.
        The sheeple accept this garbage simply because it comes from some official sounding government agency.

  4. will wehnerNo Gravatar says:

    DUI tickets prank. A prankster tests compliance when issuing fake DUI tickets on the street.

    • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

      I was horrified at the Boston neighborhood house-house search. It gave me flash backs to old film of Nazis rounding up Jews. But the threat of instant death was there, with the heavily armed military/police. No such threat is present in the DUI pranks. PEOPLE STILL OBEY.

      Land of the free, home of the brave??? I don’t think so.

  5. Nicholas CarterNo Gravatar says:

    I have a college education in Psychology and Philosophy, so I feel able to contribute to theory and design, but I have headed only a single experiment. How may I best contact your group?