Talk:Chinese water torture

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I was taught that the "Chinese" water torture involved dripping BOILING water on the head of the victim. (talk) 14:51, 5 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have this vague recollection of hearing that, whereas water torture is generally understood to mean repetative dripping of water on the forehead, the real deal involved unpredictable, intermitt Definition

Yet another variation of the myth, but this one is: put the victim in a watertight container, and drip water into it. After enough water has dripped, the water level is sufficient to drown the victim. In this case, it's not the dripping itself, but the expectation of their imminent death that causes the person to go insane. Ojw 19:18, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

A chunk of this article seems to be repeated in other articles - especially the water boarding and water cure. The reference to South America is irrelevant. Tibet is still part of China (whatever anyone might think of that fact) and there is no evidence I know of to suggest it is particularly commonly used by the Chinese government. As if they cared about marks. So I would delete everything after the Houdini bit with a link to the waterboarding page. Anyone have any strong opinions on the subject? Lao Wai 6 July 2005 10:44 (UTC)

I did not get a clear picture on what chinese water torture is? Does anyone have a NON-BIASED definition of what CWT is? --Angieinpitt (talk) 20:36, 2 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

unpredictability, not repetition[edit]

I also heard the nature of the torture was it's unpredictability. The idea being, that though the water drop is not especially disturbing in itself, it is the victim's sole source of stimuli, and over a period of days, he/she becomes obsessed by the dripping water. This obsession then leads to insanity, as the victim stives to, but is never able to, predict the next drop. From what I have read, the method was invented and used in Italy, at some stage several hundred years ago.

comment on unpredictability and reptition[edit]

This type of torture is not restricted to just water. Short simple musical lyrics or electronic tones repeated often but at random intervals is currently being used for psychological warfare in a community setting. The purpose is to distrupt the concentration of the victim and provoke anger so as to have reason to inter the victim into the mental health system. For a simple example to justify this statement see the web site concerning the "mind molester" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:20, 31 March 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]


This section is in contradiction with the Water Torture article that links to it.--Jack Upland 00:01, 28 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Yet another variation of the myth, but this one is: put the victim in a watertight container, and drip water into it. After enough water has dripped, the water level is sufficient to drown the victim. In this case, it's not the dripping itself, but the expectation of their imminent death that causes the person to go insane. Ojw 19:19, 1 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


While mythbusters showed that it was ineffective against someone who was not restrained, I do believe that the water torture is a legitimate and actually used... Also, part of the problem with the MythBusters experiment is that they only did it once. They did not switch the test-subjects' places, nor did they test the restraints without the water. To my knowledge, restraints alone aren't considered torture.--Vercalos 05:53, 28 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lo Wai, that wasn't exactly a cordial response you gave to that anonymous user.--Vercalos 16:48, 11 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Really? Sorry. There is only so much you can fit into one line. Maybe I was a little terse. If anon is out there, I apologise. But by all means try to prove it is fictional. I would like to see some evidence. Lao Wai 17:35, 11 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can't really prove it one way or another, and as I said before, Mythbusters didn't test it thoroughly enough. The only variable they tested was the restraints, and on two entirely different people. I'm inclined to believe it is at least a plausible torture method, when accompanied by restraints. And restraints alone typically don't induce terror unless someone has a phobia relating to being restrained.--Vercalos 03:32, 12 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I checked around and found this. To summarize, it says that it is a real torture, but a misnomer, as it is not from China, but invented in 16th Century Italy..--Vercalos 03:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that it is nonfictional strictly due to its popularity. The simple fact that the Mythbusters used it, even though for testing, for torture validates its use there. Maotx 20:05, 13 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sorry? It is non-fictional because people talk about it a lot? You bring all the references you can find to Chinese water torture, I'll bring all the ones I can find to Orcs and goblins. Which do you think is more popular? Which is more true? Mythbusters did not use it, they tried to prove it and failed. Lao Wai 10:42, 15 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I still don't think they tested it thorougly enough. They should have done restraints and no restraints without the water as well. Perhaps even switched people, so Adam would be the one restrained instead of Kari... Who knows, they might have reacted differently. Regardless, I have found some information indicating that it's a real torture, just not Chinese. As I'd mentioned before, it was invented in 16th century Italy. And I have to agree with Lo Wai, popularity doesn't make it real.--Vercalos 16:07, 15 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I kidnap you, I can't feed you to a goblin. If I kidnap you, I can restrain you and drip water on your head. While it may not be torture for you it may be for others. As big as this world is, I find it impossible to find that somewhere someone hasn't used this method of "torture" simply because they have heard of it. I vote nonfiction simply on principle, but I can live with fictional until their is a documented case. Maotx 17:56, 8 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mythbusters Reference[edit]

We cannot say for certain that it was the restraints that caused Kari's distress, as she was only tested with restraints and water. She was not tested with water alone, and she was not tested with restraints alone, so saying that one or the other affected her is a matter of opinion. The sentence in it's current form is factually accurate. After being restrained and subjected to Chinese Water Torture, she broke down. The statement doesn't say that it was because of either one or the other, and is less subjective than the other version.--Vercalos 00:48, 4 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By the way, it was recently shown that they did more experiments with water torture(in a blooper/flashback show), and I do believe that restraints+water made for torture.
The use of restraints is part of the torture. You can't separate the two parts and still be testing the same thing. It would be like testing the effects of solitary confinement by allowing the prisoner to have a fully active cell phone in his cell for the duration.
If all you do is test dripping water without restraints, all you have is a leaky faucet, not "water torture". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:07, 10 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MythBusters; Scientifically Significant?[edit]

Is Mythbusters a scientifically significant source? And could anyone link me to the criteria that defines what is and what isn't a scientifically significant source?--Vercalos 07:03, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also word usage "fixed variable water drop schedule" is highly confusing. Replacing the phrase with "random, water drop schedule" would be better. In fact, "random" is being used in the beginning of the next paragraph. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eugene (talkcontribs) 20:57, 5 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would be very careful using Mythbusters as a source. It is pretty easy to spot errors in their "tests", and that is from the scattered viewings I've had. If they bust a myth, one may assume the myth has been busted, but you've also got to remember they are, first and foremost, making a TV show.So, even if the myth is "busted", it may not be well and truly tested. (talk) 17:40, 11 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Claims of actual use[edit]

The photo at the HCMC museum is also cited at Waterboarding, and as waterboarding was used extensively in the Algerian civil war, odds are the neighboring Tunisians picked that up too. Jpatokal (talk) 10:42, 6 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The following is quoted in the article "Victims were strapped down so that they could not move, and cold water was then dripped slowly on to a small area of the body. The forehead was found to be the most suitable point for this form of torture: prisoners could see each drop coming, and after long durations were gradually driven frantic as a perceived hollow would form in the centre of the forehead. Many of the people that were being tortured suffered a great deal of mental retardation." But there is no source whatsoever. If there is no source I wouldn't put this in quotes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 18 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Chinese water torture" is mentioned in a dime novel, The Bradys and the "Prince" of Pekin; Or, Called on a Chinese Clew, published in 1905. So the term was already known when Houdini performed his Chinese Water Torture Cell escape. Ssscienccce (talk) 23:57, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Whatever way it was, the Chinese were geniuses. DudeWithAFeud (talk) 18:36, 6 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I just made a huge edit to this article. Florence Hansen (talk) 04:53, 1 February 2020 (UTC)Florence HansenReply[reply]

Multiple new revisions[edit]

I have recently made multiple big revisions in this article. First and most importantly, valuable information previously vandalized/deleted has been re-inserted. A recent edit even argued that being tortured is not Painful. The general description of this Torture Method has been clarified and expanded. WikiProject Human rights importance for this article was changed from "low" to "high" as according to the official rating scheme: "Article/subject contributes a substantial depth of knowledge. Significant impact outside context of article. Impact is global, regional or national. Very much needed, even vital." New sources have been added, but some are still missing.

A much needed explanation of the damage caused by this method is appended to the general description, as previous description made no mention of any effects except causing "insanity". The primary reason for the change in WikiProject Human rights importance scale is the fact that Psychological Torture is not as extensively prohibited and recognized as Torture in many countries, especially where Torture is still practiced and legalized today.

Recommended future considerations for future editions: In the past edits many have assumed that the torture victim knows for a fact they are being exposed to harmless water, even though this is mentioned nowhere. The victim is mentally not aware of the treatment as being harmless, hence causing suffering due to exposure.

Vitdom (talk) 12:45, 4 March 2021 (UTC) Apparently large parts of the revised content was removed and altered in order to emphasize that the victim knows for a fact they are being exposed to harmless water, again. This is obviously not in the nature of psychological Torture, hence I call ongoing censorship of this article, for unknown reasons possibly to hide public knowledge. I am however inexperienced in dealing with persistent vandalism/censorship on Wikipedia and will leave it for someone else to handle. Vitdom (talk) 21:56, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]