Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
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Archer torture

Captain Archer is tortured by Dolim

Kirk Adams Chair 2266

Captain Kirk is tortured by Tristan Adams

Picard tortured

Captain Picard tortured in 2369

Torture was the practice of inflicting extreme pain on a captive subject.

While the pain inflicted during torture was often physical in nature, it could also possess an emotional or mental character.

Purposes Edit

Torture (or the threat of torture) could be intended to:

  • Serve as a disincentive to the subject against withholding information from the torturer
  • Force the subject into an altered state of mind in which they were more likely to confess misdeeds or swear on lies, as a consequence of the autonomic elevation of neurotransmitter levels
  • Intimidate the subject
  • Induce someone responsible for the safety of the subject to provide information desired by the torturer
  • Punish the subject for disobedience or unsuccessful escape from captivity
  • Condition the subject to accept the torturer's authority without question
  • Please the torturer, for example, sadism
  • Test the reactions or limits of the subject

Torture could be directed not only to the subject tortured, but to persons forced to watch or whom the cruelty of the act is told for any purpose described above, as well as in order to force sacrifice.

Torture was considered by some to be useful during interrogations. However, Captain Jean-Luc Picard asserted to Gul Madred that "torture has never been a reliable means of extracting information. It is ultimately self-defeating as a means of control. One wonders it is still practiced." (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II")

Acts of torture were in theory banned by the Seldonis IV Convention, however governments who were signatories to the treaty would often attempt to find ways around this restriction. The Cardassians were one such example, justifying their torture of Jean-Luc Picard in 2369 by claiming the treaty only applied to those acting on behalf of a treaty signatory, which Picard would not admit to doing. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II")

In 2259 of the alternate reality, Nyota Uhura assured James T. Kirk that a Klingon patrol would torture, question, and kill them and the other crew members who were inside their K'normian trading ship. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Incidence Edit

Races known to sanction the use of torture included:

Torture was common in the mirror universe. In 2371, Elim Garak would torture Terran slaves in an attempt to increase the amount of ore that they processed in Terok Nor's ore processing center. Doing so, along with bribes and executing unproductive slaves, failed to increase production enough to meet quotas set by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. Intendant Kira Nerys suggested randomly executing workers instead. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass")

Torture was also a common practice in Earth's authoritarian and anarchic nation states prior to the founding of the United Earth government. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

Officers of the Andorian Imperial Guard also tortured their prisoners and beat and kick them during their interrogations. In June of 2151, Commander Thy'lek Shran tortured Captain Jonathan Archer to get information about a Vulcan listening post at P'Jem from him. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident")

Ryan torturing the nausicaan prisoner

Ryan torturing the Nausicaan

In August of 2151, Matthew Ryan and the crew of the ECS Fortunate held a Nausicaan as prisoner and tortured him during interrogations to get the frequencies of the Nausicaan ship shields from him. Ryan kicked the Nausicaan into his chest with his foot. (ENT: "Fortunate Son")

In the first draft script of ENT: "Fortunate Son", Jonathan Archer spoke about the consequences of committing torture on Earth in the 22nd century, stating, "Torturing of a prisoner would get you arrested and tried for assault. Or worse. We have strict laws about that."
In In After Trek: "Episode 6", Rainn Wilson suggested that the Klingons were torturing Gormaganders in "some intergalactic zoo somewhere".

As part of a bluff to the con artist Dala, Tuvok stated that torture was commonplace in Telsian prisons. (VOY: "Live Fast and Prosper")

Appearances Edit

References Edit

External link Edit

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