There is little to no question about the unethical basis of the system behind Wammy’s House.
We are shown a place with barely any adult supervision in which the children are allowed to be aggressive or behave however they please, with a warden who seems to care very little for the children under his care to the point of simply letting one of them walk out and expecting another to do the same.
Not only that but the house itself seems to have almost no furniture.
In the story, it may not seem so odd since, by the time we are introduced to Wammy’s House, we are aware it isn’t just a common orphanage housing children. But that only makes the existence of such place even more disturbing.
If the children are taught to find a hobby and to find their own way of achieving the goals of said hobby, can we talk about indoctrination in Wammy’s House? Considering John White’s definition that indoctrination takes place if the intention of the teacher is to make it so that “(t)he child should believe that ‘p’ is true, in a such way that nothing will shake this belief” (White 1972a, 119 and 1973, 179), it could be said the point behind Wammy’s is to make sure the children believe their goal is worth everything.
If they want to solve a case, anything they do to accomplish that (be it breaking the law or putting themselves at risk or indirectly getting people killed or cheating) is worth it. Their conclusion is absolute to the point their actions are justified as if they are justice.
It’s important to point out that they are not acting for the sake of justice or in the name of justice. They act as if them themselves are the embodiment of justice.
In this sense, they can do no wrong because their actions are just, they are right because they are their actions.
For example, to sacrifice the Mafia in order to get a chance to capture Kira was a selfish action; Mello wasn’t acting in the name of justice. And it was because it was a selfish decision considering his own goals that he acts as if he is justice. Those lives are worth less than capturing this criminal.
This is an educational system Watari established for a reason canon doesn’t explore. Why would he want to indoctrinate children to believe their own conclusions and decisions, even when perceived as selfish ones, were right not only to themselves but to the world?
None of the Wammy’s kids wonder if Kira could possibly be right as we see Matsuda doing. They know he is a criminal; they know they have to stop him.
If we consider they are meant to solve crimes, it could be Watari actually had an altruistic goal in mind such as world peace. But there is no interference from him in the direction those children take, and, in fact, quite a few ex-Wammy’s kids are willing to become criminals in order to achieve a goal or prove a point.
As it is, Watari died before his experiment was complete and we only have bits and pieces of it to try and make sense of his project. But why was it important to Watari to create a group of people with that level of confidence in their own reasoning? Why was it important to let them loose in the world with no guidance or direction?
Article by Lua Cruz