People of the past were a creative lot that took great pride in devising horrific methods to torture their enemies. Whether to extract information directly or use the victim’s excruciating pain to coax his cohorts into telling all they know in order to avoid the same treatment, doesn’t really matter. Life in those days was cheap, and suffering was a daily occurrence, especially in latter life. Some forms of torture were death sentences carried out in front of crowds. It showed the adoring citizens just who is really in charge and non-compliance, to some silly decree, can get you a ticket to an extremely painful exit, right off this planet. Some of the more insidious methods are to be boiled in oil starting at room temperature and slowly cooked like a cannibal stew. Disruption: a European specialty that was borrowed from the horse-riding Arabs, was where the 4 limbs of a human were tied to 4 horses heading in 4 directions. They plied the victim for 15 minutes with little, painful jerks until the quartering command was given. No mention was made of the horseman who ended up with the torso attached. The winner perhaps? There were also honorable mentions such as grilled, skinned alive, fed to the lions, inserted into the breaking wheel, the rack, burned at the stake, crucified, and a host of other creative techniques. Death by door must have been invented by a disgruntled carpenter.  It involves finding a pyramid shaped rock and placing it on the ground, flat side down. The condemned is then placed face up, over the rock with the pinnacle just under the victim’s spine. Their own front door is placed on the body and weight is added incrementally. Somewhere between 300 to 1000 pounds of weight, the backbone breaks, and paralysis prevents any opposing muscle resistance. The unfortunate’s lungs are slowly crushed to death. In today’s sissy society, the worst torture we can come up with is sitting next to a screaming baby on a long haul, international airline flight.  

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