MK-ULTRA: The CIA's Mind Control Program - by Stephen Lendman
MK-ULTRA 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 1953."
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:
-- learn 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.