Hell on Earth: The American Eugenics Movement and the Fernald Boys Home
As boys, they were confined to the Fernald State School in Waltham, Mass. during the 1940s into the 1970s, often on the basis of a single faulty intelligence test. With no possible way of being released, they were considered “morons” or “imbeciles”… less than human. They were completely at the mercy of the state run institution. Torture and sexual abuse was rampant.
One example was “Red Cherry Day” where all the boys were required to sit in a circle. Then each boy’s name would be called, one by one. The boy who was called would be required to stand up, go to the middle of the circle, pull down his pants, and then be beaten with a switch until his buttocks were “Cherry Red”.
But perhaps the worst part is the human experimentation at the boys home. In doing research for nutritional study for Quaker Oats, scientists from MIT started serving up oatmeal dosed with high levels of radiation. Those boys that participated in the study were told that they were joining a science club.
Of course the boys thought that they were given special treatment in receiving the oatmeal every day. In fact, if requested they would get to have additional helpings of the oatmeal along with extra milk. But nobody mentioned to the boys that the milk was also dosed with radiation as well.
How could such a horrific condition occur? Doesn’t this sound like something during the concentration camps of Nazi Germany? The link may surprise you.