Read the letter to the European Association of Urology here (or below on this page as part of my letter to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, general secretary of NATO)
For Anders Fogh Rasmussen:
Übersetzung von dänisch:
Lieber Anders Fogh, (Generalsekretär NATO)
du erinnerst dich mit Sicherheit an unseren kurzen Briefwechsel (siehe http://126.96.36.199/larsgpetersson.com/military-abuse/dansk/anders-fogh-breve/ ) vor einigen Jahren über das Thema Wehrpflicht/individuelle Freiheit. Ausganspunkt war dein damals neues Buch über den “schlanken Staat”, ein Staat mit maximaler Freiheit für den einzelnen Bürger und minimaler Verantwortung für den Staat. Als Fortsetzung dieser Diskussion finde ich das Thema in dem beigelegten Brief äußerst wichtig und relevant. Ich werde diesen Brief an alle nationalen und internationalen ärzlichen Organisation schicken.
Aber weil du jetzt Generalsekretär von NATO bist und damit aussert verantwortlich für diesen Missbrauch, finde ich es richtig, dass du informiert wirst und Gelegenheit bekommst, hier einzugreifen. Junge Männer die ihr Leben aufs Spiel setzten sollen bestimmt nicht auch noch von ihrem eigenen Staat sexuel erniedrigt werden. Bitte sag mal den deutschen Behörden bescheid. Sie müssen mit diesem Missbrauch von Medizin aufhören.
Lars G Petersson
Original (auf dänisch):
Til Generalsekretær af NATO
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Kære Anders Fogh,
Du vil huske vores korte brevveksling (se del af det her http://188.8.131.52/larsgpetersson.com/military-abuse/dansk/anders-fogh-breve/ ) for en del år siden omkring militær og pligt/individuel frihed, alt med udgangspunkt i din den gang nyudgivne bog om “minimalstaten”, en stat med maksimal individuel frihed og minimalt offentligt ansvar.
I forlængelse af denne diskussion finder jeg det emne jeg behandler i vedlagte brev rettet til lægelige organisationer i nabolande til Tyskland yderst relevant, ikke mindst efter at du, nu som generalsekretær af NATO, vil være den moralskt yderst ansvarlige person for denne (iform af statssanktionered seksuel nedværdigelse) alvorlige indkrænkelse af individuel frihed for soldater som tjener NATO og risikerer sine liv i dets tjeneste.
Det er min opfattelse at en ung mand skal kunne tjene denne sag uden at samtidig blive krænket på sin værdighed af en af NATO’s største medlemslande. Venligst lad mig vide hvad din reakton til denne skandale vil blive og hvad du agter at gøre.
Med venlig hilsen
Lars G Petersson
PO Box 30016
6803 AA Arnhem
23rd September 2012,
As you will all know, in 1948, as a response to crimes committed by medical personal in Nazi Germany, a revision of the old Oath of Hippocrates, the Declaration of Geneva, was adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association. In this declaration the basic rules for decent behaviour that is to be expected from a medical doctor are outlined.
Among these rules I note: “I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;”
“I will practise my profession with conscience and dignity;” “the health of my patient will be my first consideration;” “I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat,” and “I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession.”
I (http://www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/coreteamlong.php#petersson ) write to you as I am extremely concerned about serious, yearlong violations of precisely this basic code of conduct by medical staff in the very same country which policies (domestic and foreign) once were the sole cause for its declaration. And, as I trust you and your organisation will find the medical abuse you in this letter soon will be made aware of just as repulsive and inconsistent with above named declaration as I find myself, I trust you will use your influence to push not only for an immediate stop for further ill-treatment but also for the whole issue to be independently investigated and dealt with.
|“Strip naked; pull back the foreskin; turn; bend forward; spread your buttocks.”|
A medical practitioner’s main area is (apart from generally helping to prevent ill health) to investigate, diagnose and treat diseases and injuries for which patients seek help – all this, of course, with the individual patient’s best interest as first priority. Another area of practise could be to perform assessments of individual ability for certain professions and duties, for example service (conscripted or professional) in a country’s armed forces. Also here the main purpose must ultimately be to help protect vulnerable individuals – now from being picked for service beyond their physical and mental ability. If, in the course of this assessment, medical assistance/check of other areas than relevant for the duty in question should be offered, this must be strictly on a volunteer basis, absolutely under no pressure and only be performed after full consent has been given by a fully informed patient. After all, in a truly free society, the body of an individual is his or her own property, and, with the exemption of legal investigation, off limit for any unwanted intrusion.
If that is not respected, if a medical person without consent intrudes into another person’s private sphere we would consider this as an sexual assault – in the worst of scenarios arguably rape. Unfortunately, such abuse happens; it happens because individual practitioners have “forgotten” the oath they once swore, and, and this is much worse, it happens in some countries, and now on a massive scale, because of state-sanctioned regulations which in themselves constitute and condone sexual abuse/harassment. Germany is one of those countries.
|“According to my old boss’ principals: ‘no diagnosis through the trousers.’ Only through a physical examination of a totally naked (my underlining here and below) patient diseases and/or abnormalities, specifically in the urological speciality, can be detected.” “Dem Leitspruch meines alten Chef folgend: ‘Durch die Hose keine Diagnose’ ist die körperliche Untersuchung am völlig entkleideten Menschen notwendig um gerade im urologischen Gebiet Krankheiten und Auffälligkeiten zu erkennen” Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Stefan C. Müller, Präsident der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Urologie (DGU)|
That comment by the president of DGU, the association of German urologists, must have been greeted warmly by his colleagues working for the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces. With that comment this man helped them defend a long tradition of sexual abuse in form of forced strip-examinations of young men.
|Of course, testicles and backsides of young people can hardly have anything to do with defence of a country. Even for the defence authorities themselves that seems to make sense, as, certainly, nothing in this area would serve as a reason for anybody to be excluded from forced service or for that sake not to be accepted as a professional soldier or reservist. Despite that, however, eager officials continue to order these parts of the body to be checked as to their optimal function – as said not only repeatedly before but also after ending the service. After all, the foreskin might have got stuck since the last examination…. Better make sure it hasn’t.|
Nowhere it is said that military medicine should be exempted from normal ethical standards of professional behaviour. In fact, in no other area of medicine it would be more important to stress the importance of strict enforcement, this due to the fact that this medical speciality traditionally would attract people looking for a job where they with impunity would be free sexually to humiliate other human beings.
If you question that, and if you question that “specific people” might even be looked for, have a look at this advert where the German military looks for applicants for a vacancy as medical assessor of conscripts. Yes, it beggars belief but this is a genuine BW ad for a “musterung” doctor!
Advert for Position by the Armed Forces:
“Since about a year Ms Dr X works as Musterung doctor at the Bundeswehr draft office in Y-stadt. (…) ‘Of course it’s embarrassing for them when the trousers have to be dropped. And there are so many rumours about these exams. But, most young men take it all fairly relaxed. I have even experienced that some are happy that it’s being done by a female and not a male.’” www.karriere.de/beruf/ arbeiten-bei-der-bundeswehr-8315/5 – 67k
The person being quoted in the ad goes on saying this job was exactly as she had imagined it…. Alright, what kind of job seeker is it who could possibly be attracted by an ad like this one? To realize that fully we only need to swap the involved people’s genders…. After that I leave it to yourself to decide how you think society and its moral watch dogs would have reacted had that been the case….
For years I have challenged this behaviour in an ongoing campaign addressed to (all) German members of parliament, all ministers of the government and to all responsible people within the German armed forces – to no avail. So what about the medical association closest to the problem, the DGU (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Urologie), the German professional association for urologists? Would they be helpful? After all, it is their medical speciality that for years has been used to humiliate young men in Germany- as the first step in the process of changing them into obedient soldiers. Unfortunately today I know better: DGU is well aware of what is going on. Several appeals have been addressed to them directly, asking them to interfere, but no action.
This letter is not an attempt to promote my book MEDICAL RAPE State Authorised German Perversion (it is free to down load, see below), but the following short text from the back of its cover sums up what we actually talk about and what they all know is going on both behind the walls of the barracks and in the Bundeswehr draft offices: ‘“Strip naked; pull back the foreskin; turn; bend forward; spread your buttocks.’ In the hands of a perverted military establishment generations of German young men have always done what they were told. And it has got worse with time: during the Nazi era at least male doctors performed the degrading military ‘medicals’; thereafter, as a bizarre result of ‘equal opportunities’, zealous women have taken over. Mental anguish due to such humiliation is widespread in society, but nobody seems to care. Protection of young men is not a priority.”
It is true, economic woes (not calls for human rights) have put a stop to conscription. But, on a smaller scale the abuse will continue – now with ‘volunteers’ as new victims (in most cases young people trying to escape unemployment and therefore dependent on the medical examination for a job). Refuse at the draft office and no job: refuse while serving and it will be seen as refusal to obey orders, i.e. a criminal military offence. These are the young men who will continue as victims of a perverted medical practice.
The text continues: “MEDICAL RAPE presents a shocking story that might look like fictitious sadomasochistic porno. However, it isn’t: it is a true account of state-authorised sexual abuse. Therefore, in the name of millions of defenceless young victims, the author calls for an unconditional apology for what they were exposed to by their own country. He also demands an immediate stop to further ill-treatment.”
(If you can endure more of this you can quickly download part of the English language book for free here:
or, if you read German, the more detailed version here:
Both complete versions are available from http://www.chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/site/ – also for free)
Horrifying examples of abuse and shocking recounts of year long mental suffering as a consequence are presented in details in this book, but here I will limit it to one witness account, an extract of the book that says it all: “…………. In this document a complainant describes and criticizes the humiliating examinations. Part of this document has been leaked to me by a friendly source with access to such complaints. Thanks to this person I can here disclose what this insider has to tell. Some of these experiences are indeed remarkable: in one example it is referred to a young man who is in the process of having his genitals examined. The female doctor had, as it is described in the complaint, ‘been manipulating so much with the penis that the young man had got an erection and was standing like that with a red face right in the middle of the room’. Now something quite extraordinary follows: as the examiner thereafter wanted to examine the testicles, they were gone…. disappeared! Faced with this inexplicable ‘mystery’ the woman panicked and a male doctor was called into the room to assist. Fortunately for all involved this man was then able to explain to his female colleague that when having an erection it is fully normal that the testicles disappear up into the inguinal canal. Indeed comforting news for an incompetent doctor, but it would probably be very difficult to name a more humiliating and degrading situation in which one could find oneself than the one in which this young man had been placed. I have heard quite a lot by now, but still, that story shocked me. It was, however, just an example. In another that is also described in this complaint a young man is laying stark naked on a couch in the examination room. He is in full view of everyone present. Again a male colleague is called upon. This time he is asked this question: ‘are the genitals here not to small?”’
So what does DGU say about all this? After all, these people have devoted themselves to male health. Would they now rise in unison in order to protect vulnerable patients – or, at least, the honour of their own profession? Obviously not, it seems like they fully support their medical colleagues in the armed forces – this regardless of the extreme consequences this practice is having on the future health of young males. After all, the likelihood that many of these victims in the future will not seek medical help in time is overwhelming.
Professor Dr. Frank Sommer took upon himself a huge responsibility as he sent out a remarkable press-statement on 9th February 2011. In this statement Dr Sommer, Präsident of DGMG (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Mann und Gesundheit, a German association for male health…), announced that his organisation deplored the termination of the general “musterung” examinations, which had happened as a consequence of the 2010 (at least temporary) stop of conscription.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read what this man was proclaiming. He obviously found that forced (often repeated) military examinations of genitals, with the implication of total strip, taking place within a year or two around the age of 18 (for the young person thereafter to be left to himself, though the risk of cancer will remain for years to come), would constitute a suitable preventive program aimed at detecting testicular cancer in young men…. This professor obviously saw these forced short-termed interventions as a good alternative to the regular screening program offered to women throughout their lives.
Finding this press statement remarkable and shocking, I addressed DGU for an explanation and comment. On Feb 21, 2012 I received an email from Professor Stefan C. Müller, president of DGU and consultant in urology at the university hospital in Bonn. In his email Professor Müller stressed that he wrote in agreement with the board of this German association of specialists in urology and that they supported, as he expressed it, my views that examinations of young men should be performed in a “human and medically normal” way. Alright, to start with, that sounded very good, but we were in for a disappointment as we continued to read: further down in his email Professor Müller’s and (as above) DGU’s definition of what they actually consider a “human and medically normal” way of conducting urological examinations was outlined, and that was no pleasant reading; it was in fact shocking.
Because male genitalia is “freely accessible” (yes, believe it or not, that is what the armed forces regularly use as reason for their specific interest in male genitalia – and not the female equivalence…) these are to be regularly checked and inspected by armed forces medicals, but nothing in Dr Müller’s response to me showed that he and/or DGU saw a problem with that – though they are well informed about normal practise within the armed forces and at draft offices, not least because most of the DGU men would have been through the same treatment themselves…. They also supported that these inspections and assessments of individual young men’s genitalia’s suitability for military service must be conducted with the patient completely naked(!). In a glib stile the professor made his own former boss’s basic principals to his own. “Through the trousers no diagnosis,” we learn. We can of course accept that, but not when it comes in context with “only a physical examination of a totally naked patient, specifically in the urological area, can show diseases and/or abnormalities”. Any person with just a minimal knowledge of human anatomy (roughly knowing where to find the main parts, such as brain, lungs, heart, genitals and feet) would of course find such a statement absolutely extraordinary, not to use stronger language.
Among examples of looked for conditions used to support his remarkable ideas about having to totally strip his patients, this man, a leading German urologist and president of the association of all German urologists, mentions congenital penis deviations, hypospadias and phimosis… in no way conditions which would request the removal of both shirt and socks…. Apart from that, none of the conditions mentioned by Dr Müller has anything to do with possible service in the armed forces and should therefore, in the first place, never have been subject for this discussion.
Nevertheless, while declaring that he himself and his association are aware of young male (as female, my comment) embarrassment during puberty, the professor, in his e-mail, defends this (as it is unnecessary and therefore an unacceptable intrusion into other people’s privacy) perverted practise of stripping patients. So much for human dignity and respect for young people when it comes to Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Stefan C. Müller, not only president of the German association of urologists, DGU, but also director for the urological policlinic and child urology clinic at the university clinic in Bonn. Shocking!
Let us have a closer look at what Professor Müller obviously seems to agree with the German Bundeswehr about. I will call this behaviour of the armed forces’ medical staff nothing but sexual perversion, but I will leave each individual reader to pass their own judgement – all in accordance with not only their own view (and sexual preference) on sexual deviations and abuse but also on what a medical consultation should be allowed to be used for. If you thereafter share my view I take for granted you will act accordingly and push for a stop to further abuse of young people.
The practise we are talking about is: first, serious abuse in the form of forced naked inspections concealed as medical assessments of military ability and, second, blatant gender discrimination. All of it is state sanctioned and, though individual misconduct often makes it even worse, completely in accordance with official instructions.
As anybody now will understand, the internal medical instructions within the Bundeswehr and their draft offices go far beyond assessing mental and physical fitness for military service, and the excesses are all related to young men’s genitals. Yes, while both men AND women today can apply for work in the German armed forces some readers might assume that I have just forgotten the other gender when I wrote this. However, I haven’t: all this abuse is directed on males only, while their female counterparts – though a number of them themselves are being used to conduct the same inappropriate intrusion – are carefully protected by rules and regulations from any indecency and inappropriate behaviour. Inspections of genitalia and anus are only conducted on male applicants and soldiers: female genitalia will only be a matter for the armed forces’ medicals if the history indicates that a further investigation might be requested. And, if so, then the woman will be recommended to be seen by a civilian gynaecologist of her own choice. Obviously, here there is no need to assess genitals’ fitness for military service… Interesting, isn’t it?
On top of that, though male medical assistant staff are completely excluded from attending a physical examination of a female soldier or applicant (though the woman never will be stripped), the male counterparts (until a year ago also conscripted) are as normal standard strip examined as above by complete women teams consisting of a doctor (sometimes two) and at least one assistant, sometimes two or more. Part of these female secretaries/assistants job is to follow every detail in these humiliating “examinations”; they have been instructed to do so by nobody less than the leading medical director of the Bundeswehr, Bernhard Rymus.
In order to protect the doctors from allegations of abuse Medical Director Rymus in 2009 issued an instruction to his medical staff saying that all screens, which in a (very) few draft offices actually were used to protect the dignity (at least to some degree) of conscripts, should be removed, this with the clear purpose of giving assistant female staff free view to witness all details of these inspections/”examinations”. The reason behind this remarkable and detestable move was to provide the doctors with protection against any potential allegation of misbehaviour. This way any complaint, if ever anybody would dare complain, would be dismissed as baseless with the support of these witnesses. I.e. any potential complaint about abuse would be dismissed as baseless with the help of people who, with their sheer presence, are part of and aggravate the abuse…. Shocking? Yes. But that was the orders from the leader of all medical staff conducting medical examinations in the German armed forces and at their recruiting/draft offices around the country. The humiliating aspect here is (I am in no doubt about that) part of the making of a soldier.
The German military establishment regularly defends this practise of male humiliation by claiming that their doctors are, as they call it, “gender neutral”. Also their secretaries and female assistant staff are, as must be concluded “gender neutral”, i.e. “neuter”, but, obviously, their male counterparts are still “masculine” – a remarkable fabrication, to put it mildly. Extraordinary or not, with support of this construction they have concocted a system where males with impunity can be exposed to severe sexual abuse and harassment (further supported by the concept of “equal rights at work”… and, believe it or not, “gender equality”) but women cannot.
While trying to defend the indefensible, the proponents of this system of degrading treatment has come up with “the need for cancer screening of male genitalia”, though this, as we all know, in no way is the purpose of the Bundeswehr – just as little as it was the purpose of Hitler’s Wehrmacht or the Emperor’s armed forces before that. Nevertheless, it seems to work, though the real word that rightfully should be attached to this kind of behaviour is sexual ABUSE. This abuse always had a purpose: for years armed forces have used the same methods in order to change peaceful male civilians into soldiers. The resulting anger and hate was (and is?) good for the “moral”. Unfortunately, this happens in other parts of the world as well. But, what makes Germany in the 21st century special, at least in the western world (further to the east they do the same with their young people), is that they have invented the gender question to add to the usual strip humiliation.
Degrading treatment in the form of forced nakedness is in fact very effective in order to break down a human being (see all the resent examples in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay… the list is long), and most of the time the perpetrator can go about his (and now her) business with impunity. Research on sexual torture has shown this last point very clearly: very few will ever speak about the experience afterwards; the shame is too great, so the method is safe (for the aggressor). I am not claiming that also this story is about torture. However, it is about degrading treatment, and those two concepts are often mentioned in the same sentence – also in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed and adopted on 10th December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. There it is written in Article 5 that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and that sentence also covers this issue.
It is now my hope and sincere demand that you as responsible, decent health professionals will stand up against this abuse of vulnerable “patients”/victims and ask for this practice to stop. I have full confidence that you have that courage, though, as far as I am aware, only once before a professional health organisation has called for a stop to sexual medical abuse – and this abuse was not state sanctioned.
A few years ago the Medical Association in Basel, Switzerland, declared that the “scope of sexual abuse in doctors’ surgeries and in hospitals is shocking”. Following that they declared that “no woman shall ever stand naked in front of a doctor” and demanded that indecent behaviour and abuse of authority must stop.
According to this medical association words like “please, remove bra and knickers as well” were repeatedly heard in surgeries and hospitals in the alps country, and they stressed and underlined that “it is important to say that the removal of both of these garments (at the same time) is practically never needed”. Because of what they rightfully called an “alarming situation” the association started a campaign to tidy up among their own colleagues in order to stop some of them from abusing their patients. As a mean to achieve this aim these responsible doctors issued a clearly written instruction meant to teach misbehaving colleagues the most basic rules of decent behaviour. Indeed a sad fact that such thing should be needed…. After all, one should think that patients seeking help in surgeries and hospitals (whatever their gender and/or age) should be able to do so without the risk of abuse. As we know well, it is absolutely possible to listen to a chest without having to remove the bra – just as it is possible to perform all other examinations (including checking a small boy’s foreskin for phimosis…) without having to strip the patient.
Nevertheless, in order to help abusive doctors (whether they are male or female) to control themselves, let us have a look at what this Basel based organisation listed in their written instruction to members. These rules can easily be transferred to any patient/doctor relationship, and it is obvious that a number of health professionals, not least our German friends, could benefit of having a close look at these basic rules of conduct. Summing it all up in this sentence: “A patient shall never be fully undressed; there is no need for that. Only the area that is to be examined needs to be uncovered, nothing else.”
One would think that there should have been no need for a more detailed approach – after all, the message was directed to reasonably intelligent people. But, obviously it was; it seemed like this Swiss medical organisation did not have complete trust in their abusive colleagues’ ability to think for themselves, so they also issued a remarkably detailed instruction in which they outlined precisely what piece of garment that needed to be removed for each and every possible physical examination… all of that showing the magnitude of the problem. They also addressed other ethical matters such as patients’ right to decide themselves what is to be done to them, as if that shouldn’t be obvious. For example: “in the course of a general physical examination the doctor must always ask whether or not the patient also wants to have the genitals examined.”
As we have seen here, just because you, as a health professional, have got a green light to do one thing (for example assess somebody’s physical and mental ability for military service) you should not be automatically given a season card to invade the same person’s privacy at your own will. And, though women were thought of in Switzerland, in a twenty-first century democracy and “equal rights” society it shouldn’t be necessary to stress that both sexes, when being patients or subjects to medicals, must be entitled to protection against indecent behaviour and improper intrusion.
In this context I will add what Psychiatrist Werner Tschan, leader of a clinic for sexually abused patients (yes, such one exists), says: “the ‘interested’ doctor would specifically pick patients who are less able to defend themselves against voyeurism, people who are insecure and who would let themselves be manipulated.” Any subject to a military medical – whether he is conscripted or not – would fit that description very well (by the very nature of the whole procedure).
I personally know a middle aged man who has sworn never ever to set his foot in a medical surgery – all this because what was once done to him on three separate occasions by a German draft board. This man is unfortunately not alone. Mental anguish due to such humiliation is widespread. After having researched the subject in Germany, I would dare say it is endemic, though safely hidden away – due to the massive taboo. Therefore, in the name of millions of defenceless victims and victims-to-be, no matter if conscripts or volunteers, the civilised world must demand that at least health professionals refuse to further participate in ruining young men’s lives and frighten them away from future health care – with dire consequences for their life and health.
We must demand a complete stop to sadomasochistic medical “examinations”, which pure objective is to remove the last remnant of dignity from vulnerable young men. Also, we must openly recognise and acknowledge the damage this kind of universal abusive treatment through the years has done to millions of men’s mental well-being and sexual development. We must place the shame where it belongs: on the perpetrators, not the victims.
Abuse of medicine must stop no matter where it takes place. Therefore, use your power to put pressure on your German colleagues, both those within the DGU, who think that urological problems only can be diagnosed with the patient totally naked, and those working for the armed forces, the Bundeswehr, who mistakenly seem to believe their job is to sexually humiliate young men into submission. Tell them to respect human dignity at all times and remember that omission to act in support of abused vulnerable individuals is the same as harming them yourself. Let me know what your action will be. I am looking forward to your reply.
Lars G Petersson