Home / Delaware Doctor Accused of Waterboarding His 11-Year-Old Daughter

Delaware Doctor Accused of Waterboarding His 11-Year-Old Daughter

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Pediatrician Melvin Morse specializes in the study of near-death experiences in children. In 1991 Dr. Morse wrote a book called Closer to the Light which includes hundreds of interviews with children who at some point in their early lives were declared clinically dead. Morse believes that children who have escaped the grip of death can impart an accurate account of a theorized afterlife. He feels so strongly about these issues that he established and runs an Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. Morse’s website contains a stream of semi-coherent observations about God, love, family, and death.

Police in Delaware became aware of the pediatrician when they received an anonymous tip about a parent dragging his 11-year-old daughter across a gravel driveway. The young girl had related the incident to her friend, who went on to report it to her mother. The friend’s mother appears to be the source of the anonymous tip.

As social workers talked with the young alleged victim, she told them she had often been waterboarded by her father. Waterboarding is a form of torture that has been used in the past to extricate testimony from those accused of terrorism and in other situations as well. In waterboarding, the victim is tied or strapped to a board, and water is forced into his lungs. The subject fights and struggles, and then drowns. He is revived by the interrogators and in some cases the drowning is repeated time and again.

In the case of the daughter of Dr. Melvin Morse and his wife Pauline Morse, the girl said he, on four occasions, held her head under a running water faucet, forcing water into her mouth and nose. The girl reported that her mother stood by, doing nothing to stop the abuse.

Dr. Morse often referred on his website to a “Big Idea.” He claims that a large bird, a falcon, told him to “Move quickly in the dark of night” to the East Coast, where his study of the “Big Idea” could grow. The Big Idea that Morse has been instructed to pursue is that children who have not yet developed conventional views on death can accurately describe encounters with dead relatives and friends. He believes they experience out-of-body travel, and telepathic communication. Dr. Morse says his studies span years and his descriptions of life after death come from children. He says his revelations “made a lot of people cry.”

Deleware court records indicate that on July 13 the same Dr. Morse was charged with threatening to kill a 65-year-old man. The charges however were later dropped, as were the charges of dragging the girl in the gravel.

On Tuesday, August 7, Morse and his wife were arrested on the waterboarding charges and charged with several felony counts, including reckless endangerment, conspiracy, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Photo Credit: Delaware On Line

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • John Lake

    At no point did I use the word, “alleged.” But I did maintain that “The girl said…”
    I am not trying to influence any jury decisions, but my life long interest in psychology, normal and abnormal, is easily perceived in my recount.
    Maybe the young girl was so disobedient as to deserve to be drowned in the sink. Perhaps her father’s interest in dead children who have been revived, and their out of body experiences, is irrelevant. Would a judge allow that testimony in court? But yes, Cindy, I do agree the story has a lot of “tabloid” in it.

  • I think my point was lost in my presentation.

    John you have much more faith in both the tabloid news world and in the authorities than I to determine guilt. Perhaps that is because you already have made your own decision.

    What do you find horrendous as an impartial writer, John? I see a story about something potentially horrendous. I also see something else that IS horrendous.

    Hanging someone before their guilt is in any way known based on titillating (Oh the horror of it!) gossip.

    (Yes, the police and reporters–all malicious, self-serving gossip. The whole world is one big Jerry Springer show.)

    If it turns out to be true, THEN it will be horrible. But for now the only thing horrible I see is the behavior of the police and the press.

  • John Lake

    I presented all the facts that were available as the story broke. You seem to view it as less horrendous than I. We shouldn’t take the value of human life for granted.
    The article which I found interesting in a dark sort of way is found in “culture”. Most here don’t know that I was active in the theater for years; did summer stock in New London, NH.
    I worked with Murray and Ramos on Groundhog Day, and was seen on the major local networks as Bush was preparing to invade Iraq.
    So I am aware that at it’s heart Blogcritic is about review. But there is also room for Politics and Breaking News. With the coming decline in Facebook, sites like BC will hopefully see an increase in readership.
    Lastly, I reminded the reading public of the horror of water-boarding.

  • Igor

    Maybe the guy is trying out for a high-level job in the CIAs torture department.

  • Tabloid news, John?

    Hey thing one and two, won’t you feel bad about getting out your pitchforks if it s revealed his step-daughter hates him and she’s got some, uh…issues.

    Since his beliefs are all weird and stuff, that’s probably enough for an indictment (or minimally a Jerry Springer-like tar and feathering spectacle) based on an angry kid’s accusation, but still I am curious. John, did the guy have anything at all to say in his defense? Anything?

  • Interesting story John….looks like the guy has a dark side to him…..

  • peter petterson

    Very strange people John. Hope they get put away for a long time and can’t hurt any other children.