by Stephen Lendman / February 16th, 2010
was the code name for a secret CIA mind control program, begun in 1953,
under Director Allen Dulles. Its purpose was multifold, including to
perfect a truth drug for interrogating suspected Soviet spies during
the Cold War. It followed earlier WW II hypnosis, primitive drugs
research, and the US Navy’s Project Chatter, explained by its Bureau of
Medicine and Surgery in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request as follows:
It began “in the fall of 1947 focusing on the identification and
testing of drugs (LSD and others) in interrogations and the recruitment
of agents. The research included laboratory experiments on both animal
and human subjects. The program ended shortly after the Korean War in
It was run under the direction of Dr. Charles Savage of the Naval
Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, MD from 1947-1953, after which
CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence continued it under the name
Project Bluebird, its first mind control program to:
- earn how to condition subjects to withstand information from being extracted from them by known means;
- develop interrogation methods to exert control;
- develop memory enhancement techniques; and
- establish ways to prevent hostile control of Agency personnel.
In 1951, it was renamed Project Artichoke, then MK-ULTRA under
Deputy CIA Director Richard Helms in 1953. It aimed to control human
behavior through psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs, electroshock,
radiation, graphology, paramilitary techniques, and
psychological/sociological/anthropological methods, among others — a
vast open-field of mind experimentation trying anything that might
work, legal or otherwise on willing and unwitting subjects.
Ongoing at different times were 149 sub-projects in 80 US and
Canadian universities, medical centers and three prisons, involving 185
researchers, 15 foundations and numerous drug companies. Everything was
top secret, and most records later destroyed, yet FOIA suits salvaged
thousands of pages with documented evidence of the horrific experiments
and their effects on human subjects.
Most were unwitting guinea pigs, and those consenting were
misinformed of the dangers. James Stanley was a career soldier when
given LSD in 1958 along with 1,000 other military “volunteers.” They
suffered hallucinations, memory loss, incoherence, and severe
personality changes. Stanley exhibited uncontrollable violence. It
destroyed his family, impeded his working ability, and he never knew
why until the Army asked him to participate in a follow-up study.
He sued for damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), his case reaching the Supreme Court in United States v. Stanley.
Argued and decided in 1987, the Court dismissed his claim (5-4), ruling
his injuries occurred during military service. Justices Thurgood
Marshall, William Brennan and Sandra Day O’Conner wrote dissenting
opinions, saying the Nuremberg Code applies to soldiers as well as
civilians. In 1996, Stanley got $400,000 in compensation, but no
apology from the government.
Perhaps MK-ULTRA’s most publicized victim was Frank Olsen, a
biochemist working for the Army Chemical Corps’ Special Operations
Division at Ft. Detrick, MD. On November 18, 1953, he was administered
LSD. Immediately, he became agitated and severely paranoid. Nine days
later, he reportedly committed suicide by jumping 13 stories to his
death through a New York hotel’s closed window. His family members
didn’t know he was drugged until MK-ULTRA was exposed in 1975.
President Gerald Ford apologized, granted a $750,000 settlement, but
Olson’s son discovered documents suggesting his father was killed. In
1994, he exhumed the body, had it forensically evaluated, and the
conclusion was homicide based on a previously undetected skull fracture
suggesting a blow on the head and other disturbing evidence.
Stanley Glickman was another MK-ULTRA tragedy, an unwitting victim
of hallucinogenic drugs and electroshock treatment. He became
traumatized, couldn’t work, barely ate, suffered a psychological
breakdown and never fully recovered. After learning about the CIA’s LSD
experiments, he sued in 1983. The trial was delayed 16 years, he died,
but his sister Gloria Kronisch pursued the case.
MK-ULTRA chief Stanley Gottleib was at issue, hired to run its
Technical Service Staff (TSS) to develop poisons to assassinate
political opponents, truth serum drugs for interrogating spies, and
mind control techniques to create robot assassins or unwitting double
agents. He used Nazi scientists and their state of the art methods,
perfected on concentration camp victims. Some were known as
programmers, skilled professionals in the art of breaking down and
controlling the human mind. More……………………