BREAKING: WCW lawsuit reveals secret videos of NIH monkey business

Posted by Daniel Lopez
23 February 2020 | Blog

UPDATE December 30, 2020: As a result of our investigation, Congress has directed the NIH to commission an independent study by the National Academies of the NIH’s intramural primate testing and how modern alternatives can reduce their use. This direction is in the NIH’s 2021 funding bill (see page 69). You can read more about this and other WCW wins for animals and taxpayers in the government’s 2021 funding bill in our new blog!

*** Original post: 
This past December, White Coat Waste Project (WCW) sued the National Institutes of Health (NIH) after it refused to release videos and other materials related to wasteful and bizarre psychological experiments on primates that have cost taxpayers nearly $100 million just since 2007. Now, we know what they were trying to hide: a taxpayer-funded fear factory.


As reported in The Washington Times, “The White Coat Waste Project released video Monday that it pried loose from the National Institutes of Health showing the experiments, which the activists said have yet to produce drugs or cures for ailments.”

Never-before-seen videos released to WCW depict distraught monkeys chained by the neck in tiny cages being tormented with rubber spiders and mechanical snakes, objects the primates instinctively fear, just to observe their reactions. NIH “white coats” sucked out parts of these monkeys’ brains or destroyed them with toxic acid to intentionally worsen the primates’ fear.  In the video, a callous NIH “white coat” can be heard joking,  “Where the hell is the dancing monkey?,” after one of the tests on the terrified monkeys ends.

These videotaped experiments at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland have cost taxpayers over $16 million since 2007, and $1.7 million in 2019 alone.

Some monkeys in the NIH lab are chained by the neck.

According to the documents, 149 monkeys are slated to be used in this single project. The NIH writes that 60 of these animals will be purchased new and the rest obtained via the “NIH NHP [nonhuman primate] Recycling Program,” meaning instead of being retired from testing, they were transferred from other experiments. The documents state that some of the transferred monkeys have been given brain damage, have restraint posts screwed into their skulls and have electrodes implanted into their brains. Footage of these monkeys has not yet been released to WCW, and the Law Office of Matthew Strugar continues to fight NIH on WCW’s behalf to secure the tapes’ release.

Many of the monkeys were obtained from the so-called “NIH NHP [nonhuman primate] Recycling Program” that subjects individual monkeys to repeated experiments until they’re no longer useful and killed.

WCW is also still fighting NIH for the release of videos depicting experiments in which monkeys are observed to they can tell the difference between photos of monkeys’ faces and pieces of fruit and watching “commercially produced nature documentaries.” Some of these tests have been continuously funded by taxpayers for more than 40 years.

In December, Congress and the President enacted first-ever legislation directing the NIH to report by the end of 2020 on its efforts to reduce and replace wasteful primate testing. These experiments are Exhibit A for why reforms are so badly needed.

Is this how you want your money spent? Tell Congress to cut funding for wasteful NIH primate testing that is irrelevant to human health and opposed by a growing majority of taxpayers.

Blog Comments

Please stop torturing these animals for useless results. Spend my money on something positive,

This. Is. A. Cruel. And. Wasteful. Use. Of. Our. //The.
Taxpayer’s.// Money… You. Have. A. Fiduciary. Responsibility. To. Use. The. Money. Wisely…
These. Experiments. Are. Immoral…

Shame on NIH

Fucking hate the NIH. They torture monkeys, dogs, cats etc just so useless doctors can get their names on publications.

This is horribly inhumane, to cycle these poor animals through fear, torture and abuse. How many years and animals will it take to find what your looking for? Can you prove relevance. Sad.

Outdated shit. Just stop you heartless morons!

This needs to stop now, why are they allowed to torture and abuse animals

With all the technology available today, why do they have to abuse animals? The Mental Hospitals are full of good
test subjects.

This has to stop. The world is watching. There are far better uses for our tax dollars.

Shut this down

Please, don’t heart innocent animals.

cut funding for wasteful NIH primate testing that is irrelevant to human health and opposed by a growing majority of taxpayers.

Stop this nonsense!!!!

Stop this now!!


This sickness has got to cease.

stop this kind of experimenting , shut them down , take away funding . Release all the animals .

This is horrible and so unnecessary. Stop this animal abuse. As a taxpayer I do not choose to pay for misuse and misery of animals when there are other and better methods for your rather insane procedures or experiments. Stop now.

Leave the beautiful animals alone, I’m speaking for those who don’t have a voice.

Stop wasting tax payer’s money on these completely STUPID, ASS HOLE experiments !!!

What the hell is going on here. How is it possible that our government, or its agencies, do things like this? This has to stop!

Why are you doing this ? What purpose is this serving . Stop wasting tax dollars and stop abusing these monkeys .

This is barbaric, useless torture and unacceptable. Yet the feds STRICTLY monitor, limit and “protect” monkeys imported as pets. WHAT HYPOCRISY!

This horrible cruelty is unnecessary. It’s time to end it for good.

Stop wasting money and the abuse of innocent animals.

Fucking barbarians! May you all rot in hell for what you do to these poor animals. How do you live with yourselves?

I am not willing to pay for these inhuman experiments! This is not ok by any means.

This practice is beyond barbaric!

This is animal abuse, clearly. There is a recently signed national abuse law. They should be held accountable more so than the individual abuser.

Congress needs to cut funding for wasteful NIH primate testing that is irrelevant to human health and opposed by a growing majority of taxpayers.

Please stop NIH from performing the wasteful cruel experiments on monkeys. Some of the experiments have been performed for the last 40 years. The results are clearly already known — why hasn’t this experiment been discontinue?

This is sickening. What a travesty to do this to these poor animals. Why? There is absolutely no useful data coming from these experiments and the money being spent – for what. Thru all my schooling the National Institute of Health was suppose to be doing good for all. What a shame – they are not!


I have always detested animal experimentation & vivisection! I find it sadistic, cruel and barbaric, not to mention almost completely useless! Very few true medical advancements in combating life-threatening illnesses have been accomplished over the years from animal experimentation. It is nothing more that a method for laboratories and universities to keep the government money flowing, year after year, doing the same cruel tests on animals over & over, yet expecting different results. Anyone who has had any experience with Big Pharma knows that they will NEVER release affordable cures for the big, money-making diseases to the world under their own volition. They make FAR too much money on the death and suffering of humans who come down with diabetes, cancer, MS, etc., as well as the death and suffering of animals they continue to experiment on in their hellish laboratories!

These experiments are of not of use for humans. They must be stopped.

This is so sad! Let’s stop torturing animals unnecessarily and wasting tax payers money.

Siete dei MOSTRI!!!!!!

Stop the torture of animals. Do not fund experiments on animals.

This is CRUEL. & Sick

This needs to stop. It is cruel and pointless.

Do not abuse animals

Christ just let them go! Stop this ridiculous nonsense. It’s a disgusting way to treat animals!

END ALL, NIH primate testing.


Please let these inhuman tortures stop

Stop this


None of my taxes should be spent on this torture of animals. These are not scientific experiments, it’s demented people taking out money for their pleasure of animal abuse. Forty years and still getting away with it. Passing them on to the next set of nutcases to “experiment” on is disgusting. Please, stop. Please.

Time to stop the torture and abuse of other species at the expense of the tax payers. There are scientific means to obtain information rather than using animals.

Please cut funding for wasteful NIH primate testing that is irrelevant to human health and opposed by a growing majority of taxpayers.

Disgusting procedures

Shut this evil place down, not necessary these days.

This makes me sick. These tests are absolutely unnecessary. Why test for ‘reactions’ when you already know the monkey is naturally scared of spiders and snakes. This is emotional torture for no gain. It is heartbreaking to see their faces/expressions. Sickening. No words.

How horrible is this ??? The people that are doing this, are even less than animals….. they don’t deserve anything good in live.

If we don’t protect our wildlife and environment now it’s going to be too late and we have to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.

millions wasted, rhesus monkeys lives ruined for nothing, millions wasted. keep monkeys free and let me keep my tax $$ instead of you wasting it

What is the absolute F@#$ is wrong with our GOVERMENT!!!! I will continue to say our GOVERMENT is wasting tax payer mony with funding SERIAL KILLERS!!!these SO CALLED SCIENTIST are Fu%%ing EVIL SICK DEMENTED SOULS. that have found themselves perfect jobs!! And the people have no clue!!! OUR GOVERMENT IS ATROISIOUS!!!! this is beyond SICK!!! STOP THESE ABSURD ACTS OF VIOLENCE. NO BEING DESREVES THIS !!!!!! EXCEPT FOR THESE SICK INDIVIDULAS THAT ARE INFLICKTING THESE BASELEAS WXPERIMENTS. SICK SICK SICK PEOPLE!!!

Stop the insanity
Cruelty is not


This pointless torture on monkeys and other animals is ridiculous stop the abuse all involved your going to hell this behavior is pure evil shame on you all .

This has to end !!! Deplorable

Deplorable! This has to end


The experimenters are psychopaths.

Who the Bloody Hell do they think they are? Their barbaric, cruel & inhumane. What are they trying to prove, & to who??? They have no purpose but to commit heinous sick crimes against nature.

Unacceptable! Stop abusing animals.

I don’t understand why this is happening. That money could go toward feeding our children or to combat homelessness. Instead we let these issues grow and they waste millions on scaring these poor creatures. There is something wrong with our government and it needs to be fixed. Let these poor creatures go and start putting that money where it belongs; taking care of the people in this country that are struggling to survive in this economy. You are sick if you think torturing these creatures is ok, it’s NOT.

Stop from waste taxpayers money on useless and inhumane experiments.

these atrocious acts must stop and leave the animals alone


This barbaric practice of no scientific value must be stopped.

Horrible! I do not want my taxpayer dollars to go to through disgusting “experiments” like these.

This is disgusting , and very disturbing. These poor animals need to be nurtured, not tortured! We have millions of people hungry and homeless in this country and this is what they are using our tax money for? Hey Trump! You let convicted criminals go free! How about freeing these innocent animals????

This is so archaic and totally barbaric! Please stop testing now! These animals deserve their freedom. They are more human than the monsters who are using them for so called “research”!

Nonhuman would do such experiments! Pure evil!

I wish someone would explain to me why humans “get off” on torturing animals. Does it give them some kind of power sense?

Are you serious!?! This is some fucked up bullshit… a whole lot of waste of time, tax payer money, and innocent lives. At this time and age this should NOT be happening or exist. Everyone knows all animals including these monkeys, react the same way, they have feelings, experience emotions, and yes, they do have an inner soul like humans. Hello?! This is no surprise! Let them be and let them live in their own natural habitat where they ALL belong, not on cold concrete floors and jail cells. This is absolutely disgusting and downright EVIL, CRUEL, and HEARTLESS!!! Karma is real….

stop this atrocity!!!!!!

40 years to prove what?????? That they can become rich as hell on taxpayer money while torturing animals?????

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