High Society – The CIA on LSD

Due to the glut of on-line resources on the subject, DML creates a timeline of the CIA’s attempts at creating the perfect mind-control drug. Starring Aldous Huxley, Albert Hoffman, Allen Dulles, Gordon Wasson, Anthony Burgess Tim Leary, Ken Kesey, the Unibomber and Jim Jones! Also included: a 1997 CBC documentary “Bad Trip” about Steve Smith and his experience with coercive brainwashing and forced drugging in Oak Ridge Hospital in Ontario. WARNING – not to be watched on anything over 200 micrograms.

Thanks to Steve Smith and the CBC for the “Bad Trip” documentary (1997).

Movie clips from this show:

The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), Titicut Follies (1969), One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest (1975), Altered States (1980), Jacob’s Ladder (1991), The Ibogane Story (1998)

Please check out our Narconon section for more drugs & brainwashing history:


Online video on mind control drugs:







Mind Control Drug History Timeline

The origins of mind control as a war weapon were in Nazi Germany. In the Nazi ideology they had something called weltanshauungskrieg, which means world view warfare; and it was – the idea for them was imposing the Nazi world view on the countries that they had occupied. The Americans quickly picked up on this idea, created an American version of it, and called that psychological warfare.

Aldous Huxley writes “Propaganda and Pharmacology” – a more detailed prediction of mind-control drug technology than the “soma” found in his 1932 novel “Brave New World”. Huxley predicts:
“The propagandists of the future will probably be chemists and physiologists as well as writers.”
“Moksha – Writings on Psychedelics and the visionary experience 1931-1963” Aldous Huxley, Penguin, 1983, p.38

1938 – Sandoz’s pharmaceutical-chemical department lab in Basel, Switzerland.
L.S.D. is first synthesized by Albert Hoffman.

Looking for a truth serum in 1942, the OSS’ General William Donovan enlisted Harry Anslinger, no doubt for access to the FBN’s operational capacity, along with a few prominent physicians and pychiatrists. They experimented with a potent cannabis extract, THC acetate, finding that it induced “great loquacity and hilarity…”

April 16,1943 – Sandoz’s lab in Basel, Switzerland.
The effects of LSD noted for the first time by Albert Hoffman.

1943 – Dachau Concentration Camp, Munich, Germany.
Less than 200 miles from Hofmann’s laboratory, doctors connected to the S.S. and Gestapo were doing experiments that led to the testing of mescaline (a drug which has many of the mind-changing qualities of LSD) on prisoners at Dachau.

Germany’s secret policemen had the notion, completely alien to Hofmann, that they could use drugs like mescaline to bring unwilling people under their control. According to research team member Walter Neff, the goal of the Dachau experiments was “to eliminate the will of the person examined.” … The mescaline tests at Dachau run by Dr. Kurt Plotner were not nearly so lethal as the others in the “aviation” series, but the drug could still cause grave damage, particularly to anyone who already had some degree of mental instability. The danger was increased by the fact that the mescaline was administered covertly by S.S. men who spiked the prisoners’ drinks. Unlike Dr. Hofmann, the subjects had no idea that a drug was causing their extreme disorientation. Many must have feared they had gone stark mad all on their own. Always, the subjects of these experiments were Jews, gypsies, Russians, and other groups on whose lives the Nazis placed little or no value. In no way were any of them true volunteers, although some may have come forward under the delusion that they would receive better treatment.
After the war, Neff told American investigators that the subjects showed a wide variety of reactions. Some became furious; others were melancholy or gay, as if they were drunk. Not surprisingly, “sentiments of hatred and revenge were exposed in every case.” Neff’ noted that the drug caused certain people to reveal their “most intimate secrets.” Still, the Germans were not ready to accept mescaline as a substitute for their more physical methods of interrogation. They went on to try hypnosis in combination with the drug, but they apparently never felt confident that they had found a way to assume command of their victim’s mind.

May 27, 1943 – St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington.
Even as the S.S. doctors were carrying on their experiments at Dachau, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), America’s wartime intelligence agency, set up a “truth drug” committee under Dr. Winfred Overholser. The committee quickly tried and rejected mescaline, several barbiturates, and scopolamine. Then, during the spring of 1943, the committee decided that Cannabis indica-or marijuana-showed the most promise, and it started a testing program in cooperation with the Manhattan Project, the TOP SECRET effort to build an atomic bomb. It is not clear why OSS turned to the bomb makers for help, except that, as one former Project official puts it, “Our secret was so great, I guess we were safer than anyone else.”
Apparently, top Project leaders, who went to incredible lengths to preserve security, saw no danger in trying out drugs on their personnel. The Manhattan Project supplied the first dozen test subjects, who were asked to swallow a concentrated, liquid form of marijuana that an American pharmaceutical company furnished in small glass vials. A Project man who was present recalls: “It didn’t work the way we wanted. Apparently the human system would not take it all at once orally. The subjects would lean over and vomit.” What is more, they disclosed no secrets, and one subject wound up in the hospital.

Back to the drawing board went the OSS experts. They decided that the best way to administer the marijuana was inhalation of its fumes. Attempts were made to pour the solution on burning charcoal, and an OSS officer named George White (who had already succeeded in knocking himself out with an overdose of the relatively potent substance) tried out the vapor, without sufficient effect, at St. Elizabeth’s. Finally, the OSS group discovered a delivery system which had been known for years to jazz musicians and other users: the cigarette. OSS documents reported that smoking a mix of tobacco and the marijuana essence brought on a “state of irresponsibility, causing the subject to be loquacious and free in his impartation of information.”

The first field test of these marijuana-laced cigarettes took place on May 27, 1943. The subject was one August Del Gracio, who was described in OSS documents as a “notorious New York gangster.”[2] George White, an Army captain who had come to OSS from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, administered the drug by inviting Del Gracio up to his apartment for a smoke and a chat. White had been talking to Del Gracio earlier about securing the Mafia’s cooperation to keep Axis agents out of the New York waterfront and to prepare the way for the invasion of Sicily.[3]
Del Gracio had already made it clear to White that he personally had taken part in killing informers who had squealed to the Feds. The gangster was as tough as they came, and if he could be induced to talk under the influence of a truth drug, certainly German prisoners could-or so the reasoning went. White plied him with cigarettes until “subject became high and extremely garrulous.” Over the next two hours, Del Gracio told the Federal agent about the ins and outs of the drug trade (revealing information so sensitive that the CIA deleted it from the OSS documents it released 34 years later). At one point in the conversation, after Del Gracio had begun to talk, the gangster told White, “Whatever you do, don’t ever use any of the stuff I’m telling you.” In a subsequent session, White packed the cigarettes with so much marijuana that Del Gracio became unconscious for about an hour. Yet, on the whole the experiment was considered a success in “loosening the subject’s tongue.”

While members of the truth-drug committee never believed that the concentrated marijuana could compel a person to confess his deepest secrets, they authorized White to push ahead with the testing. On the next stage, he and a Manhattan Project counterintelligence man borrowed 15 to 18 thick dossiers from the FBI and went off to try the marijuana on suspected Communist soldiers stationed in military camps outside Atlanta, Memphis, and New Orleans. According to White’s Manhattan Project sidekick, a Harvard Law graduate and future judge, they worked out a standard interrogation technique:
Before we went in, George and I would buy cigarettes, remove them from the bottom of the pack, use a hypodermic needle to put in the fluid, and leave the cigarettes in a shot glass to dry. Then, we resealed the pack…. We sat down with a particular soldier and tried to win his confidence. We would say something like “This is better than being overseas and getting shot at,” and we would try to break them. We started asking questions from their [FBI] folder, and we would let them see that we had the folder on them… We had a pitcher of ice water on the table, and we knew the drug had taken effect when they reached for a glass. The stuff actually worked…. Everyone but one-and he didn’t smoke-gave us more information than we had before.

The Manhattan Project lawyer remembers this swing through the South with George White as a “good time.” The two men ate in the best restaurants and took in all the sights. “George was quite a guy,” he says. “At the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans after we had interviewed our men, we were lying on the beds when George took out his pistol and shot his initials into the molding that ran along the ceiling. He used his.22 automatic, equipped with a silencer, and he emptied several clips.” Asked if he tried out the truth drug himself, the lawyer says, “Yes. The cigarettes gave you a feeling of walking a couple of feet off the floor. I had a pleasant sensation of well-being. … The fellows from my office wouldn’t take a cigarette from me for the rest of the war.”

From the Dachau experiments came the cruelty that man was capable of heaping upon his fellows in the name of advancing science and helping his country gain advantage in war. To say that the Dachau experiments are object lessons of how far people can stretch ends to justify means is to belittle by cliché what occurred in the concentration camps. Nothing the CIA ever did in its postwar search for mind-control technology came close to the callous killing of the Nazi “aviation research.” Nevertheless, in their attempts to find ways to manipulate people, Agency officials and their agents crossed many of the same ethical barriers. They experimented with dangerous and unknown techniques on people who had no idea what was happening. They systematically violated the free will and mental dignity of their subjects, and, like the Germans, they chose to victimize special groups of people whose existence they considered, out of prejudice and convenience, less worthy than their own. Wherever their extreme experiments went, the CIA sponsors picked for subjects their own equivalents of the Nazis’ Jews and gypsies: mental patients, prostitutes, foreigners, drug addicts, and prisoners, often from minority ethnic groups.
http://images.google.ca/images?q=truth serum&svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&start=0&sa=N
http://erproject.lanl.gov/projects/Current/Acid Canyon/ER2001_0973Reneau_Public-Mtg_2/img003.gif

1946 – Washington, D.C.
President Truman authorizes the CIA to recruit Nazi “mind scientists” under “Project Paperclip” so that the Soviet Union won’t recruit them. These Nazi mind scientists continue to do mind control research within the US Military Industrial Complex, including the CIA’s “Bluebird” and “Artichoke” operations.
See also: “Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola” by L. Horowitz, 1997, p. 333

1946-47 – Nuremburg Germany
The judges at Nuremberg put forth what came to be known as the Nuremberg Code on scientific research. Its main points were simple: Researchers must obtain full voluntary consent from all subjects; experiments should yield fruitful results for the good of society that can be obtained in no other way; researchers should not conduct tests where death or serious injury might occur, “except, perhaps” when the supervising doctors also serve as subjects.

In the postwar era, American officials straddled the ethical and the cutthroat approaches to scientific research. After an Allied tribunal had convicted the first echelon of surviving Nazi war criminals-the Görings and Speers-American prosecutors charged the Dachau doctors with “crimes against humanity” at a second Nuremberg trial. None of the German scientists expressed remorse. Most claimed that someone else had carried out the vilest experiments. All said that issues of moral and personal responsibility are moot in state-sponsored research. What is critical, testified Dr. Karl Brandt, Hitler’s personal physician, is “whether the experiment is important or unimportant.” Asked his attitude toward killing human beings in the course of medical research, Brandt replied, “Do you think that one can obtain any worthwhile fundamental results without a definite toll of lives?” The judges at Nuremberg rejected such defenses and put forth what came to be known as the Nuremberg Code on scientific research.[5] Its main points were simple: Researchers must obtain full voluntary consent from all subjects; experiments should yield fruitful results for the good of society that can be obtained in no other way; researchers should not conduct tests where death or serious injury might occur, “except, perhaps” when the supervising doctors also serve as subjects. The judges-all Americans- sentenced seven of the Germans, including Dr. Brandt, to death by hanging. Nine others received long prison sentences. Thus, the U.S. government put its full moral force behind the idea that there were limits on what scientists could do to human subjects, even when a country’s security was thought to hang in the balance.

The Nuremberg Code has remained official American policy ever since 1946, but, even before the verdicts were in, special U.S. investigating teams were sifting through the experimental records at Dachau for information of military value. The report of one such team found that while part of the data was “inaccurate,” some of the conclusions, if confirmed, would be “an important complement to existing knowledge.” Military authorities sent the records, including a description of the mescaline and hypnosis experiments, back to the United States. None of the German mind-control research was ever made public.

In 1946, the American Medical Association officially proclaimed it’s support for the principles expressed in the Nuremburg Code. It was the first and the last time the A.M.A. ever condemned medical experiments.
-“Science without Shame”, March 1976, Oui magazine, p. 88

Animal trials of LSD proceed at Sandoz, leading to human trials at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Zurich. LSD is categorised a “phantasticum”.

1949 – Boston Psychopathic Hospital
LSD comes to America. A famous Viennese doctor named Otto Kauders traveled to the United States in search of research funds. He gave a conference at Boston Psychopathic Hospital, a pioneering mental-health institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and he spoke about a new experimental drug called d-lysergic acid diethylamide. Milton Greenblatt, the hospital’s research director, vividly recalls Kauders’ description of how an infinitesimally small dose had rendered Dr. Hofmann temporarily “crazy.” “We were very interested in anything that could make someone schizophrenic,” says Greenblatt. If the drug really did induce psychosis for a short time, the Boston doctors reasoned, an antidote-which they hoped to find-might cure schizophrenia. It would take many years of research to show that LSD did not, in fact, produce a “model psychosis,” but to the Boston doctors in 1949, the drug showed incredible promise. Max Rinkel, a neuropsychiatrist and refugee from Hitler’s Germany, was so intrigued by Kauders’ presentation that he quickly contacted Sandoz, the huge Swiss pharmaceutical firm where Albert Hofmann worked. Sandoz officials arranged to ship some LSD across the Atlantic. The first American trip followed.

Hoch, along with associates Dr. Harold A. Abramson and Dr. Max Rinkel, was among an elite group of five private researchers and six U.S. Army physicians who began quietly conducting LSD experiments in the U.S. in 1949. Rinkel, the man responsible for first transporting LSD into this country, supplied the drug to Hoch and Abramson in that same year. Rinkel, who fled Nazi Germany before the war to work at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, had known both Abramson and Hoch when all three studied together at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Germany. According to 1998 interviews with former-CIA official Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, it was Rinkel’s close associate, Dr. H.E. Himwich, along with the Army’s Dr. L. Wilson Greene, who first drew the CIA’s attention to the “wonders of LSD.” When he died in 1965, Hoch was eulogized by two of his closest friends, Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, who would soon be exposed as administrator of some of the most horrendous CIA-funded experiments on record, and New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller.

1951-1974, Philadelphia’s Holmesburg Prison
Secret medical experiments, which included radioactive isotopes, LSD, BZ, infectious diseases and a variety of drug-company products, were conducted in the now-closed county prison beginning in 1951 and lasting to 1974. The 1991 movie “Jacob’s Ladder” was inspired by stories of the Army’s experiments with BZ.
‘Human guinea pigs’ demand justice – Ex-cons who participated in government experiments continue fight, H.P. Albarelli Jr. © 2002 WorldNetDaily.com
http://www.popriot.com/images/riotrushes/Porton Down/jacobred.jpg

1952 – USA
“Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all-highest,” George White wrote in a letter to Sid Gottlieb, chief chemist of MK-ULTRA.. White had come into the CIA from the Office of Strategic Services, America’s wartime intelligence agency. For years White was in charge of MK-ULTRA’s Operation Midnight Climax, a project set up to study the effects of LSD on sex. CIA-run brothels were maintained in San Francisco, New York and Marin County; drug-addicted prostitutes were paid $100 a night to bring their johns to these “safehouses,” where they spiked the drinks with LSD. CIA personnel watched the action from behind one-way mirrors. The johns were never told they had been unwitting subjects in drug studies.

April 3, 1953, Arlington, Virginia
Richard Helms proposed to Director Allen Dulles that the CIA set up a program under Sidney Gottlieb for “covert use of biological and chemical materials.” Helms made clear that the Agency could use these methods in “present and future clandestine operations” and then added, “Aside from the offensive potential, the development of a comprehensive capability in this field . . . gives us a thorough knowledge of the enemy’s theoretical potential, thus enabling us to defend ourselves against a foe who might not be as restrained in the use of these techniques as we are.” Once again, as it would throughout the history of the behavioral programs, defense justified offense.
Allen Dulles approved the program, essentially as put forth by Helms. Dulles took note of the “ultra-sensitive work” involved and agreed that the project would be called MKULTRA. The MK stood for “Mind Kontrol”.

January 1954 – Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest reprints “Boston Psycho Breaks Rules and Cures Patients” – an article originally found in the American Medical Association journal “Today’s Health”. LSD research is touted as a potential cure for schitzophrenics.

1954 – Indianapolis
Eli Lilly & Company scored a major breakthrough in 1954 when its researchers worked out a complicated 12- to 15-step process to manufacture first lysergic acid (the basic building block) and then LSD itself from chemicals available on the open market. Given a relatively sophisticated lab, a competent chemist could now make LSD without a supply of the hard-to-grow ergot fungus. Lilly officers confidentially informed the government of their triumph. They also held an unprecedented press conference to trumpet their synthesis of lysergic acid, but they did not publish for another five years their success with the closely related LSD. MK-ULTRA technicians soon sent a memo to Allen Dulles, explaining that the Lilly discovery was important because the government henceforth could buy LSD in “tonnage quantities,” which made it a potential chemical-warfare agent.

July 14, 1954, Addiction Research Center, Lexington, Kentucky
A document which outlines CIA experiments with massive amounts of LSD at the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky, is written, and later made public.
“Our experiments on tolerance to LSD-25 have been proceeding well, although I continue to be somewhat surprised by the results, which to me are the most amazing demonstration of drug tolerance I have ever seen. I have seven patients who have now been taking the drug for more than forty two days. One of these patients receives 1 mcgm./kg. daily, four receive 1.5 mcgm/kg. daily, and two receive 2 mcgm/kg. daily. All seven are quite tolerant to both the physiological and mental effects of the drug. We have attempted to break through this tolerance by administering double, triple and quadruple doses…”

1954 – According to an anonymous source, Anthony Burgess became
involved with the CIA while working as a Colonial Service education officer
in Malaya in the 1950s. The CIA mind-control trials were the inspiration behind his most famous novel, ‘A Clockwork Orange – which was adapted into an equally famous film of the same name by Stanely Kubrick.’ ”
CIA mind-control trials revealed as secret inspiration behind ‘A Clockwork
Orange’ By James Morrison Arts and Media Correspondent 10/13/02
“Anthony Burgess was inspired to write his most famous novel A Clockwork Orange by his
real-life involvement in CIA-run mind-control experiments, a new biography
claims….The new biography claims A Clockwork Orange’s central theme – the
use of brainwashing to quell evil impulses in the criminal mind – arose from
Burgess’s involvement with the British secret service and the CIA
experiments. It argues that many of the novel’s other trademarks, including
Nadsat, the fictional slang in which it is written, stem from the author’s
dealings with secret agents. Burgess, a curmudgeonly interviewee, always
refused to be drawn in any detail on his inspiration for A Clockwork Orange.
When asked about the famous scene in which government scientists pump images
of torture into the mind of its delinquent antihero, Alex, to rid him of
violent thoughts, he dismissed it as an idea that came to him in a dream.
Now, a decade after Burgess’s death, respected biographer Roger Lewis
believes he may have uncovered the truth, thanks to a mysterious retired
British intelligence agent.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1940, he entered the Royal Army Medical Corps, later transferring to the Education Corps. In 1942 he married Llewela Isherwood Jones, who he first met when both were students at Manchester. Burgess remained in the Army until 1946, serving in Gibraltar. After the war, he held teaching positions with Birmingham University, the Ministry of Education, and Banbury Grammar School. In 1954 he accepted a position with the Colonial Office teaching in Malaya and later Brunei.
” ‘You realise,’ said the spook, ‘that the capitalised lines on page twenty-nine of A Clockwork Orange gives the HQ location of the psychotropic warfare technology?’ “

The winter of 1955-56
James Moore (a 29-year-old chemist at Parke, Davis & Company in Detroit and an agent for the CIA) wrote to R. Gordon Wasson (vice-president of J. P. Morgan & Company and amateur mycologist) and expressed a desire to look into the chemical properties of Mexican fungi. Moore eventually suggested that he would like to accompany Wasson’s party, and, to sweeten the proposition, he mentioned that he knew a foundation that might be willing to help underwrite the expedition. Sure enough, the CIA’s conduit, the Geschickter Fund, made a $2,000 grant. Inside the MKULTRA program, the quest for the divine mushroom became Subproject 58.

Gottlieb’s dream of a CIA monopoly on the divine mushroom vanished quickly under the influence of unwanted competitors, and indeed, the Agency soon faced a control problem of burgeoning proportions. While Moore toiled in his lab, Roger Heim in Paris unexpectedly pulled off the remarkable feat of growing the mushrooms in artificial culture from spore prints he had made in Mexico. Heim then sent samples to none other than Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD, who quickly isolated and chemically reproduced the active chemical ingredient. He named it psilocybin.

1957 – Life Magazine
In 1957, before the Russian sputnik shook America later that year, Life introduced its millions of readers to the mysteries of hallucinogens, with a tone of glowing but dignified respect. Wasson wrote movingly of his long search for mushroom lore, and he became positively rhapsodic in reflecting on his Mexican “trip”: The article caused a sensation in the United States, where people had already been awakened to ideas like these by Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception. It lured waves of respectable adults-precursors of later hippie travelers-to Mexico in search of the mushroom. … One person whose curiosity was stimulated by the article was a young psychology professor named Timothy Leary. In 1959, in Mexico on vacation, he ate his first mushrooms. He recalls he “had no idea it was going to change my life.” Leary had just been promised tenure at Harvard, but his life of conventional prestige lost appeal for him within five hours of swallowing the mushroom: “The revelation had come. The veil had been pulled back…. The prophetic call. The works. God had spoken.”

And what about Leary’s own statement’s that he wittingly followed the directions of the CIA in the 1960’s? When former CIA Director, Admiral Stansfield Turner was asked whether or not the CIA supported Timothy Leary or gave Leary LSD, he replied only, “The CIA gave it to those who were doing the research.”

1957-64 Allan Memorial Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Dr. Ewen Cameron rendered many “patients” unconcious or under the influence of LSD and used repeated recorded messages to drive thoughts into people’s minds. Dr. Cameron headed Allan Memorial since 1943, when the Rockefeller Foundation had donated funds to set up a psychiatric facility at McGill University. With continuing help from the Rockefellers, McGill had built a hospital known far beyond Canada’s borders as innovative and exciting. Cameron was elected president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1953, and he became the first president of the World Psychiatric Association.

1955-1959 – Federal Narcotic Bureau, Lexington, Kentucky
The CIA conducts Ibogane experiments with unwitting blacks.
“The Ibogane Story”, Paul De Rienzo, Dana Beal & members of the project, 1997, Autonomedia, p. 18-20

The 1959 novel The Manchurian Candidate, by Richard Condon, popularized the notion of military-sponsored mind control. The best-seller, later a movie starring Frank Sinatra, featured a communist plot to brainwash a captured American soldier in Manchuria, programming him to assassinate the U.S. president. The film came out in 1962, but both the film and the book disapeared from mention in the mass media after the Kennedy assassination. Both of the Kennedy assasins are considered by many to be pawns – both having been subjected to hypnotism.
Steven Hagar, “Nomenclature of an Octopus Cabal”, High Times, Nov. 2003, p.74

The late 1950s and early 1960s
Theodore Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber, was a volunteer in mind-control experiments sponsored by the CIA at Harvard . … The overall program was under the control of the late Sidney Gottlieb, head of the CIA’s technical services division.
Mind Control / Manchurian Candidates
By Alexander Cockburn
Copyright 1999, Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, July 6, 1999

1960 – Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, California.
From 1959 on, Dr. Leo Hollister was testing LSD at the Veterans Administration Hospital. … hoping to improve on CIA and military-funded work, Hollister tried drugs out on student volunteers, including a certain Ken Kesey, in 1960. Kesey said he was a jock who had only been drunk once before, but on three successive Tuesdays, he tried different psychedelics. “Six weeks later I’d bought my first ounce of grass,” Kesey later wrote, adding, “Six months later I had a job at that hospital as a psychiatric aide.” Out of that experience, using drugs while he wrote, Kesey turned out One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He went on to become the counterculture’s second most famous LSD visionary, spreading the creed throughout the land, as Tom Wolfe would chronicle in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Ken Kesey, at Stanford, volunteered himself to a classified CIA drug experiment, under the rubric of what we know today was Project MK-ULTRA. Kesey was given LSD, psylocibin, mescaline, IT-290, and god knows what else…

June 6, 1961 –
In a handwritten letter from Aldous Huxley to Timothy Leary, Huxley mentions meeting Dr. “Jolly” West, a CIA MK-ULTRA operative. Huxley goes on to note that: “You are right about the hopelessness of the “Scientific” approach. These idiots want to be Pavlovians, not Lorenzian Ethnologists. Pavlov never saw an animal in its natural state, only under duress. The “Scientific” LSD boys do the same with their subjects. No wonder they report psychoses.”

Dec. 17th, 1963
CIA director Richard Helms writes a three page memo, later leaked, that plainly contradicts his earlier assertions that uninformed Americans would never be used as guinea pigs in drug tests. The memo states that: “… In the circumstances of potential operational use of this technique, it is virtually certain that the target will be unwitting. Any testing program which does not attempt to approximate this real situation will result in a false sense of accomplishment and readiness…”

1964-65, Island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

In a series of private experiments, Dr. John Lilly pushed himself into the complete unknown by injecting pure Sandoz LSD into his thigh before climbing into the sensory-deprivation tank. When the counterculture sprang up, Lilly became something of a cult figure, and served as the inspiration for the films “The Day of the Dolphin” and “Altered States”.
“The Scientist”, John C. Lilly, Bantam, 1981, pp. 113-126

October 16, 1966
LSD was made illegal in California.

Jean Houston has described one of her initial observations of LSD administration. The subject was told by the psychiatrist that he would have “a terrible, terrible experience” filled with “strong anxiety and delusions”. The drug was administered in an antiseptic hospital room with several observers in white coats watching him. As the effects came on, the psychiatrist asked such questions as “Is your anxiety increasing?” At the end of the experiment, the subject was in a state of panic”.
Dr. Stanley Krippner, “The effects of Psychedelic Experience on Language Functioning”, 1970, cited in “High Times Encyclopedia of Recreational Drugs”, 1978, p. 184

The Documentary Film “Titicut Follies” – an expose on the Bridgewater, Mass. State Prison for the Criminally Insane – is banned from public screening (for the next 25 years) for it’s realistic portrayal of the systemic abuses – including the over-use of tranquillizers – on it’s “patients”.
Fred Wiseman “Titicut Follies”, 1967

After a series of mishaps and some manipulation by the Canadian prison system, a young hippie named Steve Smith is put into the Oak Ridge Hospital for the criminally insane in Midland, Ontario. There he is housed with Canada’s worst criminals, and forced to undergo constant harassment and drug intervention by his fellow inmates. LSD, methamphetemine, Benzedrine, and the near-death experience “scopolamine” were all administered by the patients as “defence disruption” therapy. The experiments continue during the 1970’s.

LSD possession declared a misdemeanor, sale a felony.

November 1968
In a November 1968 experiment, rats were injected with compounds including LSD and BZ, an even more powerful hallucinogen that could induce week-long highs and maniacal behaviour. A report on the experiment says the drugs “rapidly affected the animals.” The psychedelics were supplied by Edgewood Arsenal, while another drug used in the tests, BOL-148, came from the Montreal branch of Sandoz, the Swiss company that invented LSD. “Currently there are at least two compounds, BZ and LSD-25, which have been considered as candidates for military use,” says the report. “They are extremely potent and have a profound effect on man.” Madill said the research was intended to help understand how the chemicals worked so the military could devise antidotes against them, in keeping with the defensive nature of postwar work at Suffield.

LSD outlawed in Canada.

August 2, 1977, New York Times
“Drugs Tested by CIA on Mental Patients” – The Ewen Cameron story is finally told in the world’s most important newspaper.

1978 – Jonestown, Guyana
Recent journalism hints that the 900 Black North American “suicides” in Jonestown may have been a CIA operation. Many othe the lethal drugs used at the scene “were the same ones tested under MKULTRA”. Apparently, Jim Jones and one of his aids had CIA connections, the father of Jonestown leader Larry Layton was head of Chemical and Biological Weapons Research at the Army’s Dugway Proving Grounds in the 1950’s, and contributed 25,000 to the “People’s Temple”. According to the researcher, “Public Exposure of experiments in U.S. prisons and mental institutions was, in all likelyhood, a major impetus for relocating this testing to the jungles of a virtually unknown country.
Lederer, R., “Precedents for AIDS? Chemical-biological warfare, medical experiments, and population control”, Cover Action Information Bulletin, 1987, 28:33-42, cited in “Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola” by L. Horowitz, 1997, p. 322

The story of the CIA and their experiments with mind-control drugs is not over. Mind control, both over and covert, is still very much with us. Current structural controls, such as booze, pills, television and materialism can only keep people distracted as long as these controls themselves remain amusing – hardly a certainty. It stands to reason that the search for the perfect mind control drug continues. As one researcher put it – they have more money to experiment with these days. With the re-release of “The Manchurian Candidate” film set for 2004, the debate over mind-control is also still very much with us.

LSD / Hippie images

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Bibliography / online documents / Links:


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It’s especially for activists and people who want to know the nitty gritty on the herb. The most recent issues were the “Ancient History” issues – sure to please.



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