All the references, lovingly collated


The Chinese didn't invent it... (2.50)

Wendy: Buy up the price on names they want to increase their size in. Costing them upside and picking tiny little percentages off their profits. It'll be like the old water torture drip, drip, drip.

Wags: Like the Japanese in W.W.II. Even though the Chinese invented it.

Wendy: No they didn't.

Wags: Then why is it called 'Chinese Water Torture?'

Bobby: Taylor will try to ignore it. Tell themselves that it's just a few bips here or there. But it won't work.

Wendy: Their need for mathematical perfection will erode their well-being. Then a real mistake can be induced.

Hall: If you ever get tired of working for him, call me.

Bobby: Oh, she's not going anywhere.

Hall: She's right, you know. The Chinese didn't invent it.

Wendy: Hippolytus de Marsiliis did, an Italian.

Chinese water torture is a process in which water is slowly dripped onto one's scalp, allegedly making the restrained victim insane. This form of torture was first described under a different name by Hippolytus de Marsiliis in Italy in the 15th or 16th century. The term "Chinese water torture" may have arisen from Chinese Water Torture Cell (a feat of escapology introduced in Berlin at Circus Busch September 13, 1910; the escape entailed Harry Houdini being bound and suspended upside-down in a locked glass and steel cabinet full to overflowing with water, from which he escaped), together with the Fu Manchu stories of Sax Rohmer that were popular in the 1930s (in which Fu Manchu subjected his victims to various ingenious tortures, such as the wired jacket). Hippolytus de Marsiliis is credited with the invention of a form of water torture. Having observed how drops of water falling one by one on a stone gradually created a hollow, he applied the method to the human body. Other suggestions say that the term "Chinese water torture" was invented merely to grant the method a sense of ominous mystery. The victim would be stripped of their clothes, shown to the public, then tortured. They would be driven insane while bystanders watched and mocked them.

Hippolytus de Marsiliis (born 1451 Bologna; date of death unknown) was a lawyer and doctor utriusque iuris (Lat. 'doctor of either law' — one who studied civil as well as canon law). He received his doctorate in 1480 but the date at which he became a lawyer is unknown. Throughout his life, he wrote many repetitiones and notabilia on many canons and decretals. In addition, he taught Roman law beginning in the year 1482. He is best known for documenting the Chinese water torture method, in which drops of water would consistently fall on a victim's forehead, causing the victim to go insane. He also was the first person to document sleep deprivation as a means of torture, wherein the interrogators would repeat same questions, shaking the victim at random intervals, pricking him with a sharp pin, or forcing him to march down a hallway endlessly. If the interrogators grew weary, they would switch out with another group, who then would ask the same questions (today police use this method, but it is known as the third degree).