Friday, February 15, 2013

have you heard of this bizarre crime wave...

This week, Netflix recommended "Compliance" to me, and I generally do what Netflix tells me to do. After reading the user reviews, I clicked play. Compliance tells the TRUE STORY of a prank call to a McDonald's that resulted in a rape and ruined lives. HERE is the trailer.

Basically, some horrible guy in Florida (I know, right?) calls up fast food restaurants, pretends to be a cop, and claims he's calling about a theft. He then describes a young, attractive woman until the manager says, "You mean Becky?" Yes, yes. Rebecca. That's who I'm calling about. Through some spectacular powers of persuasion and McDonald's manager's blind following of orders, the fake cop talks these McDonalds employees into strip searches, and in some cases, rape. Literally, the "cop" is on the phone saying, "I didn't like her tone. Spank her." AND THEY COMPLIED.

This didn't just happen once in Kentucky (I know, right?) It happened 70 times all over the country at different fast food joints. It's unclear in my post-movie research, but it would seem that one guy was behind most of them. He was a prison guard, married, and had five kids.

The best article I've found covering the entire thing is RIGHT HERE, and mentions several psychological studies of how relatively normal people have been ordered to commit acts of incredibly cruelty and followed through with it, all because someone they deemed an authority figure told them to do so. It's an amazing article, it's like 14 pages, and I really recommend you read it so that you can discuss it with me.

Can you imagine the circumstances or words someone would have to use to get you to perform a strip search on a co-worker? "Oh yes, officer. I will perform a remote strip search for you? Oh, she needs to blow me now? If you say so." But seriously. This happened.

You can watch Compliance on Netflix on Demand, and it's really well done. Also, it's never okay to strip search someone at work. FYI...

3 comments:

Traci said...

I can't even believe what I am reading. I just read the entire article in shock. I can't believe what people in this position did, how little the caller is being sentenced for and just how sick this whole thing is. Totally want to see this film now, though I think I might be a little horrified.

Occasional Commentor said...

Original ABC News story and video from 2005 that covered this is available here.

Philip Zimbardo (of the infamous Stanford prison experiment) explains here.

Beth Spotswood said...

Exceptional links! Thank you.