MK Ultra & PURE AMERICAN PRIDE

America in the 1950s was a special time full of Elvis Presley, The Golden Age of Television, and LSD brainwashing initiatives covertly run by the CIA. Join us on a deep dive of MK Ultra that will make you question any remaining American pride you may have.
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MK ULTRA is probably one of the most fucked up projects that our government has ever tried on its own people. The project was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Nazi doctors had been experimenting heavily with mescaline at the Dachau concentration camp. This intrigued our CIA and from there MKULTRA began. Not only was this program roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research.

CIA and the Covert Brainwashing Initiative

During the Cold War The CIA feared that Soviet, Chinese and North Korean agents were using mind control to brainwash U.S. prisoners of war in Korea.
In response, Allan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), approved a new program – codename MK ULTRA – to try and find ways for our military to use the same tactics. The program was to perform experiments on human subjects – often unwittingly —to assess the potential use of LSD and other drugs for mind control, information gathering and psychological torture.

The program involved more than 150 human experiments. Sometimes the test subjects knew they were participating in a study—but at other times, they had no idea, even as the drugs were kicking in. Evidently Sidney Gottlieb, the man in charge of MK ULTRA and the CIA paid $240,000 to buy the world’s entire supply of LSD.

Along with high doses of LSD and other hallucinogenic chemicals, electroshocks, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of torture were used.

“Gottlieb wanted to create a way to seize control of people’s minds, and he realized it was a two-part process. First, you had to blast away the existing mind. Second, you had to find a way to insert a new mind into that resulting void. We didn’t get too far on number two, but he did a lot of work on number one.”
Steven Kinzer author: Poisoner in Chief about Gottlieb and MK-ULTRA

Regardless of how intense this program was he was running – Gottlieb worked almost completely without supervision.

The Man in Charge: Sidney Gottlieb

SidneyMK

Sidney Gottlieb, born Born August 3, 1918

An American chemist and spymaster.

He joined the CIA in 1951 as a poison expert and headed the chemical division of the Technical Services Staff. He supervised preparations of lethal poisons and drug experiments in mind control. In 1953, he became the head of MK ULTRA.

Over two decades, he oversaw medical experiments and “special interrogation” projects in which hundreds of people were tormented and many minds were permanently shattered. This guy did A LOT of terrible things.

Due to the nature of MK ULTRA experiments, Sidney Gottlieb, can now be seen as the man who brought LSD to America – the unwitting godfather of the entire LSD counterculture. (and its pretty hilarious that the drug he thought would gain control over people, actually lead to the 60s sexual free loving revolution. IRONY AMIRITE

Not That Important…
In 1960, Gottlieb proposed spraying Fidel Castro’s television studio with LSD and saturating Castro’s shoes with thallium to make his beard fall out. Gottlieb also hatched schemes to assassinate Castro, including the use of a poisoned cigar, a poisoned wetsuit, an exploding conch shell, and a poisonous fountain pen. He also played a role in the CIA’s attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Congo. Gottlieb also wanted Iraqi General Abdul Karim Qassim’s handkerchief to be contaminated with botulism. The CIA liked to call him “The Black Sorcerer”

Over two decades, he oversaw medical experiments and “special interrogation” projects in which hundreds of people were tormented and many minds were permanently shattered. This guy did A LOT of terrible things.

Human Test Subjects

Canadian Experiments

British psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, creator of the “psychic driving” concept, which the CIA found interesting. Cameron had been hoping to correct schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. He commuted from Albany, New York to Montreal every week to work at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University, and was paid $69,000 from 1957 to 1964 (which would be US$558,915 in 2018, adjusting for inflation) to carry out MKUltra experiments there, the Montreal experiments.

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In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy at thirty to forty times the normal power.

Other experiments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced comas for weeks at a time (up to three months in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements. His experiments were often carried on patients who entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression, many of whom suffered permanent effects from his actions.

His treatments resulted in victims’ incontinence, amnesia, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents and thinking their interrogators were their parents

During this era, Cameron became known worldwide as the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association as well as president of the American and Canadian psychiatric associations. WTF??

In the 1980s, several of Cameron’s former patients sued the CIA for damages.

American Experiments

In April 1953 the CIA began experiments administering LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and sex workers—”people who could not fight back,” as one agency officer put it.

Dr. Sidney Gottlieb also thought LSD could be used in covert operations – to affect the course of important meetings, speeches, etc. due to the difference in testing the drug in a laboratory and vs surprising them with it, he initiated a series of experiments where LSD was given to people in “normal” settings without warning. A typical experiment involved two people in a room where they observed each other for hours and took notes. As the experimentation progressed, a point arrived where outsiders were drugged with no explanation whatsoever and surprise acid trips became something of an occupational hazard among CIA operatives. Not shockingly, people freaked out, evidently one operative had his morning coffee dosed and became psychotic and ran across Washington, seeing a monster in every car passing him.

In other experiments where people were given LSD without their knowledge, they were interrogated under bright lights with doctors in the background taking notes. They told subjects they would extend their “trips” if they refused to reveal their secrets. The people under this interrogation were CIA employees, U.S. military personnel, and agents suspected of working for the other side in the Cold War. Long-term debilitation and several deaths resulted from this. Heroin addicts were bribed into taking LSD with offers of more heroin

Aside from LSD, they also used a barbiturate/amphetamine IV combo – barbiturate into one arm and an amphetamine into the other. the barbiturates were released into the person first, and as soon as the person began to fall asleep, the amphetamines were released. The person would begin babbling incoherently, and it was sometimes possible to ask questions and get useful answers.

Other experiments involved heroin, morphine, temazepam, mescaline, psilocybin, scopolamine, cannabis, alcohol and sodium pentothal. and again, this is all on americans.

midnight

Operation Midnight Climax

Operation Midnight Climax was an MK ULTRA project set up by Gottlieb in 1954.

The CIA set up several brothels within agency safehouses in San Francisco and NYC. Prostitutes on the CIA payroll were instructed to lure clients back to the safehouses, where they were dosed heavily with a wide range of substances, including LSD, and monitored behind one-way glass. The hope was that these men who would be too embarrassed to talk about the events. The brothels were equipped with one-way mirrors, and the sessions were filmed for later viewing and study.

Every aspect of this project was illegal – drugs – sexual blackmail – I mean, come on…

The program had little oversight and the CIA agents involved admitted that a freewheeling, party-like atmosphere prevailed.

MK Ultra's Experiments Abroad

CIA officers in Europe and Asia were capturing enemy agents and others who they felt might be suspected persons or were otherwise what they called “expendable.” They would grab these people and throw them into cells and then test all kinds of, not just drug potions, but other techniques, like electroshock, extremes of temperature, sensory isolation — all the meantime bombarding them with questions, trying to see if they could break down resistance and find a way to destroy the human ego.

The "Suicide" of Frank Olsen

frank olson 2

“In CIA safe-houses in Germany,” according to one study, “Olson witnessed horrific brutal interrogations on a regular basis. Detainees who were deemed ‘expendable’ – suspected spies or moles, security leaks, etc – were literally interrogated to death in experimental methods combining drugs, hypnosis and torture, to attempt to master brainwashing techniques and memory erasing.”

Working at Fort Detrick in Maryland, MK ULTRA headquarters, essentially, Olson’s speciality was “the airborne distribution of biological germs”, according to one study. “Dr Olson had developed a range of lethal aerosols in handy sized containers. They were disguised as shaving cream and insect repellants.

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A cigarette lighter which gave out an almost instant lethal gas, a lipstick that would kill on contact with skin and a neat pocket spray for asthma sufferers that induced pneumonia – cool dude, cool dude.

1953 joined CIA -and began to work for Sidney Gottlieb and his deputy, Robert Lashbrook, the two scientists who would soon be running a top-secret CIA project codenamed MK-Ultra.

Olson directed experiments that involved gassing or poisoning laboratory animals. These experiences disturbed him.

I started watching the Netflix series, “Wormwood” about this whole mystery and his son mentioned that his father would have a “successful day” if all of his test monkeys had died. “He’d come to work in the morning and see piles of dead monkeys,” he said. “That messes with you. He wasn’t the right guy for that.”

He also observed and monitored torture sessions of humans in several countries.

“In CIA safe-houses in Germany,” according to one study, “Olson witnessed horrific brutal interrogations on a regular basis. Detainees who were deemed ‘expendable’ – suspected spies or moles, security leaks, etc – were literally interrogated to death in experimental methods combining drugs, hypnosis and torture, to attempt to master brainwashing techniques and memory erasing.”

SoOoOoO fast forward to November 18, 1953. Sidney Gottlieb organized a retreat for some MK ULTRA/CIA guys – he did these often, but this time Oleson was invited. One night – I think the 2nd of the trip, Gottlieb and Lashbrook spiked a bottle of Cointreau and poured glasses for the company. After 20 minutes, Gottlieb asked if anyone was feeling odd. Several said they were at which point they were told that their drinks had been spiked with LSD.

Not shockingly – this upset these guys and they had bad trips. Gottlieb said everyone was laughing and having fun eventually, though, saying they were “boisterous and laughing … unable to continue the meeting or engage in sensible conversations”

On that, Olson’s boss, Victor Ruwet later called that night “the most frightening experience I have ever had or hope to have”

Anyway – this whole situation really fucked Frank Olson up. He wanted to quit, but he had so so so so much top secret info – like fucked up shit about deaths and chemical/biological warfare SECRETS. He really did a lot of messed up stuff – created deadly things and witnessed people actually dying in front of his face. adding LSD to that is a bad idea. So, he ended up talking to a CIA shrink and then they sent him to Long Island, along with Robert Lashbrook to meet Dr. Harold Abramson – LSD expert and one of the CIA’s medical collaborators.

Olson told Abramson that ever since the Deep Creek Lake retreat, he had been unable to work well. Abramson persuaded Olson to voluntarily check into Maryland sanatorium. Oleson agreed, so he and Lashbrook got a room at the Statler Hotel, prepared to check into the hospital the next day.

At 2:25am he jumped from the window to his death.

It was ruled a suicide.

ALLEGED!!

In later interviews about the case:

In all my years in the hotel business I never encountered a case where someone got up in the middle of the night, ran across a dark room in his underwear, avoiding two beds, and dove through a closed window with the shade and curtains drawn.

Night Manager of the Statler Hotel

“In all my years in the hotel business I never encountered a case where someone got up in the middle of the night, ran across a dark room in his underwear, avoiding two beds, and dove through a closed window with the shade and curtains drawn.” The night manager had said.

He checked to see if any calls had been made from the room since it seemed kinda suspect to him and there had been – the hotel operator eves dropped on the call too – weird, but i guess that wasn’t unusual back then. Someone in the room had called a number on Long Island, which was listed as belonging to Dr Harold Abramson

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“Well, he’s gone,” the caller had said. Abramson replied: “Well, that’s too bad.”

His family had a second autopsy in 1994 – they found injuries that had been sustained before the fall – CoNsPiRaCy TiMe!

The findings sparked conspiracy theories that Olson might have been assassinated by the CIA.

After prolonged legal proceedings, Olson’s family was awarded a settlement of $750,000, and received a personal apology from President Gerald Ford and then-CIA Director William Colby.

Famous MK Ultra "Volunteer" Subjects

  • James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster was told was an experiment aimed at finding a cure for schizophrenia. As part of this experiment, he was given LSD every day for more than a year. He later realized that this had nothing to do with schizophrenia and he was a guinea pig in a government experiment aimed at seeing what people’s long-term reactions to LSD was.

    He wrote, “I was in prison for committing a crime, but they committed a greater crime on me.” And towards the end of his life, Bulger came to realize the truth of what had happened to him, and he actually told his friends that he was going to find that doctor in Atlanta who was the head of that experiment program in the penitentiary and go kill him.

  • During Ted Kaczynski’s (The Unabomber) sophomore year at Harvard, in 1959, he was recruited for a psychological experiment that, unbeknownst to him, would last three years. The experiment involved psychological torment and humiliation. 
  • Ken Kesey, author One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – MKULTRA volunteer FOR experiments with LSD while he was a student at Stanford.
  • Robert Hunter Grateful Dead lyricist and Allen Ginsberg, poet, were also said to be volunteers for the program.

The End of the Program

In 1973, everyone was freaking out about watergate so CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed in the hopes of making a full investigation of MKUltra impossible.

In December 1974, The New York Times alleged that the CIA had conducted illegal domestic activities, including experiments on U.S. citizens, during the 1960s. That report prompted investigations by the United States Congress, in the form of the Church Committee, and by a commission known as the Rockefeller Commission that looked into the illegal domestic activities of the CIA, the FBI and intelligence-related agencies of the military- luckily around 20,000 documents survived Helms’ purge, as they had been incorrectly stored in a financial records building and were discovered following a FOIA request in 1977. These documents were fully investigated during the Senate Hearings of 1977.

In December 1974, The New York Times alleged that the CIA had conducted illegal domestic activities, including experiments on U.S. citizens, during the 1960s. Finally the illegal domestic activities of the CIA, the FBI and intelligence-related agencies of the military were being looked at. In 1975
it was revealed to the public for the first time that the CIA and the Department of Defense had conducted experiments on both unwitting and cognizant human subjects as part of an extensive program to find out how to influence and control human behavior through the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and mescaline and other chemical, biological, and psychological means. They also revealed that at least one subject, Frank Olson had died after administration of LSD.

Sidney Gottlieb, who had retired from the CIA two years previously, was interviewed by the committee but claimed to have very little recollection of the activities of MKUltra. SUREEEE

The congressional committee investigating the CIA research concluded that “prior consent was obviously not obtained from any of the subjects”. The committee noted that the “experiments sponsored by these researchers … call into question the decision by the agencies not to fix guidelines for experiments.”

Ford’s 1976 Executive Order on Intelligence Activities that prohibited “experimentation with drugs on human subjects, except with the informed consent, in writing and witnessed by a disinterested party, of each such human subject.

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about jolie

mom, ex-dancer, jack of all trades and master of none, lover of educational pursuits

jolie has had an obsessive approach to research since she was old enough to read. recently diagnosed with add, a learning disorder commonly thought to mean you couldn’t focus on anything, she learned that her hyperfocus on topics of interest is a dead-giveaway for the disorder. while she can’t pay attention to someone talking about things that bore her, she cannot step away from things that make her brain light up even if it means other necessities are neglected (who needs water, anyway).

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about emma

Emma is the kind of person who googles the type of sandwich she is eating. “Cottage cheese and tomato toast” is currently in her search history. Needless to say, she is a fantastic party guest. She finds joy in the little things, like when people zoom past her for “driving too slow” only to be stopped at the same light up ahead. Grocery shopping is in her top 10 favorite things to do. She’s usually spaced out, but when she isn’t you can find her binge watching 90 day fiancé, listening to children’s music long after her children have left the room or lusting over donuts.

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