Anatomy of an Instantaneous
The Milgram Experiment at Yale University
On the willingness of people to obey an authority figure
The ONLY Prevention of this Hideous Snare is a Deep Faith
Is your level o Faith up to it?
The purpose of this document is to "put a face" to the reason behind our continual exhortation, to
one and all, to seek from God the level of Faith that He has ordained for each individual from all
Eternity. A "face" that can be recognized and, hopefully, acted upon.
BACKGROUND and INTRODUCTION
Most Christians should know that the belief in Jesus Resurrection is the key requirement for
Salvation and Eternal Life. One can lead a christian-like life but if, when given the choice, the
individual rejects the notion of the Resurrection of Jesus, their chances for Salvation/Eternal
Life are the proverbial "slim to none".
Of course, it is very easy to say "I believe!"; another is to factually prove it, until death, if
necessary as pre-Constantinian Christians did.
In this document we will present to the reader the highlights of the results of Yale's Milgram
Experiment. We know that you will view life quite differently afterwards and that the chances are
that your number one priority may become the strengthening of your Faith - no matter how strong
you may think it is now.
Quoting from the extensive article (1)
on the subject matter which appears
in Wikipedia (our highlighting):
The Milgram experiment was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University
psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an
authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal
Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal
and Social Psychology, and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book,
Obedience to Authority
Obviously Faith is the Sculptor or Architect as well as the Corner Stone of a Christian's personal
conscience. Just like a poor sculptor cannot produce a beautiful sculpture nor an architect
design an enduring structure, without the right Corner Stone we would experience what Jesus warned
us about nearly 2000 years ago:
Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth
them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, And the rain fell, and the
floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it
was founded on a rock.
And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that
built his house upon the sand, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and
they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.
[Matthew 7: 24-26]
We will now reproduce the key portions of the Wikipedia report on Milgram's experiment.
[Highlighting will be from The M+G+R Foundation
Milgram's testing revealed that it could have been that the millions of (Adolf Hitler's)
accomplices were merely following orders, despite violating their deepest moral beliefs Milgram
summarized the experiment in his 1974 article, "The Perils of Obedience", writing:
The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they
say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple
experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another
person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted
against the subjects' [participants'] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and,
with the subjects' [participants'] ears ringing with the screams of the victims,
authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to
almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and
the fact most urgently demanding explanation.
Three people take part in the experiment: "experimenter"; "learner" ("victim"); and "teacher"
(participant). Only the "teacher" is an actual participant, i.e., unaware about the actual setup,
while the "learner" is a confederate of the experimenter. The role of the experimenter was played
by a stern, impassive biology teacher dressed in a grey technician's coat, and the victim
(learner) was played by a 47-year-old Irish-American accountant trained to act for the role. The
participant and the learner were told by the experimenter that they would be participating in an
experiment helping his study of memory and learning in different situations.
Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can
become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of
their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with
fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to
The subject was given the title teacher, and the confederate, learner. The participants drew lots
to 'determine' their roles. Unknown to them, both slips said "teacher", and the actor claimed to
have the slip that read "learner", thus guaranteeing that the participant would always be the
"teacher". At this point, the "teacher" and "learner" were separated into different rooms where
they could communicate but not see each other. In one version of the experiment, the confederate
was sure to mention to the participant that he had a heart condition.
The "teacher" was given an electric shock from the electro-shock generator as a sample of the
shock that the "learner" would supposedly receive during the experiment. The "teacher" was then
given a list of word pairs which he was to teach the learner. The teacher began by reading the
list of word pairs to the learner. The teacher would then read the first word of each pair and
read four possible answers. The learner would press a button to indicate his response. If the
answer was incorrect, the teacher would administer a shock to the learner, with the voltage
increasing in 15-volt increments for each wrong answer. If correct, the teacher would read the
next word pair.
The subjects believed that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual shocks. In
reality, there were no shocks. After the confederate was separated from the subject, the
confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played
pre-recorded sounds for each shock level. After a number of voltage level increases, the actor
started to bang on the wall that separated him from the subject. After several times banging on
the wall and complaining about his heart condition, all responses by the learner would cease.
At this point, many people indicated their desire to stop the experiment and check on the learner.
Some test subjects paused at 135 volts and began to question the purpose of the experiment. Most
continued after being assured that they would not be held responsible. A few subjects began to
laugh nervously or exhibit other signs of extreme stress once they heard the screams of pain
coming from the learner.
If at any time the subject indicated his desire to halt the experiment, he was given a succession
of verbal prods by the experimenter, in this order:
1. Please continue.
If the subject still wished to stop after all four successive verbal prods, the experiment was
halted. Otherwise, it was halted after the subject had given the maximum 450-volt shock three
times in succession.
Before conducting the experiment, Milgram polled fourteen Yale University senior-year
psychology majors as to what they thought would be the results. All of the poll
respondents believed that only a few (average 1.2%) would be prepared to inflict the
maximum voltage. Milgram also informally polled his colleagues and
found that they, too, believed very few subjects would progress beyond a very strong
2. The experiment requires that you continue.
3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
4. You have no other choice, you must go on.
In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants
administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very
uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment,
some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment.
Only one participant steadfastly refused to administer shocks above the 300-volt level.
Later, Prof. Milgram and other psychologists performed variations of the experiment throughout the
world, with similar results although unlike the Yale experiment, resistance to
the experimenter was reported anecdotally elsewhere. Milgram later investigated the effect of the
experiment's locale on obedience levels by holding an experiment in an unregistered, backstreet
office in a bustling city, as opposed to at Yale, a respectable university. The level of
obedience, "although somewhat reduced, was not significantly lower." What made more of a
difference was the proximity of the "learner" and the experimenter. There were also variations
tested involving groups.
Dr. Thomas Blass of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County performed a meta-analysis on the
results of repeated performances of the experiment. He found that the percentage of
participants who are prepared to inflict fatal voltages remains remarkably constant, 61–66
percent, regardless of time or place.
The thoroughness of the experiments and the repeatability of the results show that even if an
average of 1.2 % of the participants believe
that he/she will not be coerced into
inflicting harm on another human being, and average of 65 % will do it!
The only way to ensure that a Christian will do what he/she believes is right according to the
pure and unadulterated (2)
Christian Faith is a Christian whose Faith
is built upon the Rock of Jesus Christ as He pointed out through Matthew 7: 24-26, quoted at the
beginning of this document.
We understand that many will not like the contents of this Epilogue, but most did not like what
Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago.
Since miguel de Portugal's conversion in 1985, through the time of "leave all behind and
follow Me" of 1991 and to this date - he has found that the real Faith of 99 % of the thousands
upon thousands of those with whom he has entered into contact (personally or virtually) does not
even come close to what they believe the level of their Faith is.
miguel de Portugal does not need to be convinced of anyone's Faith - it is not his business; his
"business", that is, his function, is sounding "the alarm trumpet" as God Wills it so that Heaven
is stormed with the prayers of one and all seeking an increase of Faith to the level that God has
ordained for each individual from all Eternity.
A mind set, for example, which brings us comfort and consolation is that of our dear IC [see
Public Forum Posting of October 2nd and 7th (3)
]. Being fully aware of his
Faith limitations, we know that, with the Grace of God - with Whom
all is possible for man
- IC's Faith will be all that it has to be to safely navigate to an Eternity of bliss.
(2) Not the version to which exceptions have been "penciled in" the Divine Law, like
"Thou shall not kill" to which a number of footnotes have been added to justify the wanton
violation of that Divine Law.
Published on October 7, 2009 - Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
On Brainwashing and Intoxication of Public Opinion
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