Peer Review Comments on the Experiment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


Reviewer 1: “I would like to address the study’s complete absence of a control group, for starters, but the study design isn’t the only thing here that’s out of control. The clinical applications for this type of, uh, ‘research’ are frankly rather limited, and the study’s contributions to science are quite small given the countless existing, documented cases of personality disorder (though, admittedly, most of those involve opiate- or ethanol-based agents). A quick scroll through the local arrest records existing literature on the subject should provide a sufficient overview.

Regarding the activating agent here, described as a ‘chemical salt’, it appears from the PI’s notes that the integrity of the solvent (and definitely that of the experimenter) may have been compromised. Might be something to look into.

Finally, though it seems the intent was a generous gesture, giving the experimental subject access to his own private residence, domestic staff and personal bank account appears to grossly exceed the definition of a “study incentive”. The IRS has been duly informed.”

Reviewer 2: “There appears to be no provision for reporting adverse effects, and no plans to stop the experiment as required in such cases — it’s almost as if the researchers thought the FDA’s entire regulatory protocol was ‘What the hell, let’s just see where this goes’. For some of the events recounted here in this little one-man Stanford Prison Experiment, I would like to speak to the IRB and the FDA and probably also the FBl.”

Reviewer 3: “Setting aside the question of the study’s contributions, it appears that the manuscript itself was a source of some tension. It seems from the numerous pen marks and annotations that the PI and the experimental subject had some lingering, rancorous disagreement over who, exactly, was to be first author.”

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Lois the Mean Girl

Source Text: Lois the Witch

With apologies to Tina Fey, et. al.

Engraving of the Salem Witch Trials

Image Source / Public Domain

Lois was brought before Mr. Hathorn, justice of Salem, to be publicly accused, in a dress that was probably from Sears. At the sight of her Prudence snickered, then covered it with weeping and stretched forth a finger in blame. Justice Hathorn bade Prudence keep her peace, though she wailed that she had been sorely persecuted. Then he commenced.

“Lois Barclay, you are hereby accused of witchcraft for having committed the following crimes: for having worn pink on Wednesdays, for having said that Pastor Nolan’s hair looked sexy when it was pushed back, for having opened an unholy book and therein written that Prudence Hickson was…was a…”

“Fugly slut!” Prudence burst forth. She lapsed again into tears as the crowd glared at Lois and muttered.

“I am innocent, my good sir,” Lois said quietly. “I protest, these are not such crimes as they may seem.”

The abhorrent multitude clamored. “Boo, you whore!”

A voice cried out suddenly from the courtroom. “Why cannot we all get along? I would that I could bake everyone a cake made of rainbows and smiles. Forsooth everyone would then be happy.” It was Widow Smith.

The crowd ignored her, for she was from Boston and did not even go here.

Then the judge called forth as witness Lois’ aunt, Grace Hickson, with whom Lois had lived these past several months. She was Lois’ only remaining relative.

“Lord knows I did my best, out of memory for her own dear parents. But she is a most unnatural child and a stain upon our family forever,” spoke Grace. “Though I must own I am partly at fault. For though I was like a mother to her, I was not as other moms were. I was a cool mom. Because if she were going to do such witchcraft, I would rather she do it in the house.”

The crowd murmured again. In the close and stifling room, they began to stir.

Suddenly the courtroom was rent by a piercing cry. Prudence began to shriek and roll around on the floor. She cried out to Lois, and pleaded with her to cease her torment.

The masses started to declaim. Judge Hathorn called for silence.

“Is there no end to your demonic abilities?” he roared at Lois. “Have your powers no earthly bounds?”

Lois sighed, and said stoutly, “The limit does not exist.”

“Lois Barclay,” the judge intoned, “I find you guilty of the crimes you are charged with. I sentence you to be– what’s the word? Grounded. For two weeks you shall be confined to your home, and you shall not venture forth during that time.”

The multitude howled in approval, and cried out against her evil ways. Lois hung her head, overcome, and was borne out of the courtroom.

Prudence recovered her senses and fled outside, whereupon she was hit by a stagecoach.

As the mob clamored and raged, Judge Hathorn stared out over the court and shook his head. “I would that I had never left the South Side of Massachusetts for this.”