from the book

The CIAs Greatest Hits

by Mark Zepezauer


The CIA says its mind-control experiments were a strictly defensive response to Chinese 'brainwashing" of US POWs during the Korean War (captured US pilots were making public statements denouncing US germ warfare against civilians). Actually, US brainwashing experiments predate the CIA itself.

CIA mind control activities (also called behavior control) did accelerate in 1953, under a program that was exempt from the usual oversight procedures. Code-named MK-ULTRA, many of its files were destroyed by CIA Director Richard Helms (who was with it from the start) when he left office in 1973, but the surviving history is nasty enough..

MK-ULTRA spooks and shrinks tested radiation, electric shocks, electrode implants, microwaves, ultrasound and a wide range of drugs on unwitting subjects, including hundreds of prisoners at California's infamous Vacaville State Prison.

The CIA saw mind control as a way to create torture-proof couriers (by implanting memories that can only be retrieved with a prearranged signal) and programmed assassins, as in The Manchurian Candidate. There's evidence Sirhan was treated by a CIA-linked shrink before killing RFK.

The agency also wondered if it could disorient its adversaries with mind-altering substances like LSD. It was so fascinated with LSD that, in 1953, it tried to buy up the entire world supply. For many years, the agency was the principal source of LSD in the US, both legal and otherwise (one ClA-connected dealer produced tens of millions of doses).

Before ultimately dismissing LSD as unpredictable, the CIA tested it on countless people-including its own-without their consent, provoking several suicides. One CIA germ warfare expert hurled himself out of a tenth-story window after a "surprise" dose. It was 22 years before his family found out the real reason for his death.

The agency also rented a series of apartments, staffed them with prostitutes and watched through one way mirrors to see the effects of various substances the prostitutes slipped to the unlucky johns. When CIA auditors found out about this (in 1963), MK-ULTRA was supposedly shut down. In fact, it was simply renamed MKSEARCH, and some of it s more exotic projects were trimmed.

The CIA says all its behavior control operations ended when Helms left in 1973. If you believe that, maybe they did learn some useful techniques from all those brainwashing experiments.

CIAs Greatest Hits

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