RNC Finance Chair Steve Wynn Accused Of Decades Of Sexual Misconduct: Report
The Las Vegas mogul has been accused of sexually harassing and abusing female employees.
By Antonia Blumberg 01/26/2018
President Donald Trump has called Steve Wynn, seen here in March 2016, a “great friend.”
Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn has been accused of a decades-long pattern of sexual harassment and abuse toward workers at his casinos, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal.
Dozens of current and former employees at Wynn’s gambling establishments told the Journal they had experienced or witnessed chronic abuse by the billionaire, who was named finance chairman for the Republican National Convention last year.
The allegations range from lewd comments and inappropriate touching to soliciting sex acts from women who worked as manicurists and massage therapists at Wynn’s Las Vegas casinos.
One former employee at Wynn Las Vegas said the mogul pressured her into having unwanted sex with him after she gave him a manicure in 2005. Wynn later agreed to pay the woman a $7.5 million settlement after she filed a report.
“The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous,” Wynn said in a statement shared with HuffPost. “We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multi-year lawsuits. It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.”….
Current and former employees who spoke with the Journal said they were nervous about coming forward due to Wynn’s influence in the casino industry. Wynn is worth over $3.5 billion, by Forbes’ estimate. He owns two sprawling Las Vegas casinos ― the Wynn and Encore resorts ― as well as two other complexes in Macau. Another $2.4 billion Wynn casino is in construction in the Boston area.
His power and influence, like those of other prominent men who have been accused of recurrent sexual abuse, may have led him to feel invincible in his own domain.
Current and former employees told the Journal that Wynn would frequently walk around in short shorts with no underwear, exposing his genitals when he sat to receive a pedicure. He would proposition female employees in his private office and even allegedly asked a former executive to get him the phone numbers of casino cocktail waitresses.
“Everybody was petrified,” said Jorgen Nielsen, a former artistic director at the resort’s on-site salon, who told the Journal that female employees would hide in bathrooms and back closets when they heard Wynn was approaching….
Wormwood: Inside the CIA’s cold war ‘mind control’ program by Tamsin Shaw Jan 30 2018
In Errol Morris’ new series, Wormwood, which blends documentary with dramatic reconstructions, he sets out to explore an episode in the history of US intelligence that is irresistibly sensational, the CIA’s cold war “mind control” program of the 1950s and 1960s.
Code-named MK-ULTRA, the program involved agents experimenting with methods for gaining full control of a person’s thoughts and behaviour using LSD, hypnosis, electric shocks, and other bizarre means….
The six-part series focuses on the death of Frank Olson, an army scientist who worked on biological weapons research at Camp Detrick, a US army camp in Maryland, but who subsequently became a CIA operative involved in Project ARTICHOKE, a predecessor to MK-ULTRA that focused, with brutal rigour, on interrogation methods…..
Surprisingly, though, the most jarring and psychologically revealing interviews are not with Olson’s son, but with Hersh. More than 40 years after Hersh broke the story, Eric Olson confronted him in 2016 (the year before Morris made the documentary) with fresh evidence, including a new autopsy report that, he claimed, demonstrated the suicide story was false; it was a murder.
Eric also insisted that Hersh had been taken in, by the CIA, that he had “swallowed the cover story” about LSD, when, in fact, his father was silenced because of his involvement in Project ARTICHOKE and in bioweapons research, about which he had loudly expressed serious moral qualms….
Truman published a National Security Committee paper that essentially legitimised the doctrine of “plausible deniability” for the CIA, specifying its role in covert operations with effect that “any US government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorised persons and that if uncovered the US government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them”. This gave the CIA (and any other parties involved in such covert operations) broad licence to deceive Americans.
Allen Dulles was unrestrained in his cultivation of behavioural science initiatives that would assist in the manipulation of individuals and societies.
The dramatic term “brainwashing” became popular in describing this attempt to discover fundamental mechanisms through which human thought and behaviour could be controlled. Many of America’s most distinguished behavioural scientists, who had served in the OSS (forerunner to the CIA) during the war, competing with the Nazis to develop techniques of manipulation, then transitioned seamlessly into this new cold war effort. (The Americans prosecuted Dachau’s doctors at Nuremberg – but not before they had plundered Dachau for the results of the Nazis’ studies on the use of mescaline and other drugs for mind control.)
In a 1949 study for the US Air Force, Yale’s Irving Janis claimed that the Soviets were using hypnosis, drugs, electroshock, and other means to extract false confessions. He thereby helped to lay out the program followed in the CIA’s mind-control research.
This program was funded primarily via the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation, and, under various pretexts, the most prominent social psychologists at America’s Ivy League universities experimented very freely with those methods.
Social psychologists also studied mind control on a societal scale. During the war, Janis and MIT’s Ithiel de Sola Pool had already begun comparing Nazi and Soviet propaganda and conducting systematic content analysis of Soviet publications. Propaganda researchers naturally continued to receive lavish CIA funding afterwards.
Hadley Cantril’s Institute for International Social Research at Princeton, for example, received at least $US1 million from the CIA via the Rockefeller Foundation (Cantril’s reports on the social psychology of the Soviets were sent directly to Eisenhower).
Harvard’s Herbert Kelman described his work as part of a social-psychological effort to develop “general principles of social influence and socially induced behaviour change”, inspired, in his own case, by Chinese Communist methods of “thought reform”…..
Morris shows footage of articulate but apparently “brainwashed” prisoners making “false confessions” to using germ warfare. Eric Olson feels certain that his father, who had worked in the bioweapons program at Camp Detrick, discovered that these weapons actually were being used in Korea and that this discovery instigated his outspoken dissent.
In his view, the CIA claims of brainwashing were part of a cover story invented to discredit what were, in fact, true confessions. No evidence has been found that the American prisoners of war were subjected to any special methods of psychological manipulation, such as hypnosis, drugs, or shocks.
Equally, though, no evidence that is not circumstantial has been found to corroborate the Korean claims about air-drops of infected insects used to spread deadly pathogens.
We do know that the cold war bequeathed a branch of behavioural science built around the desire to discover universal psychological mechanisms through which human beings could be manipulated.
The most famous experiments of mind-control research from the era are the shock experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram at Yale in 1961-1962. (Peter Sarsgaard, as it happens, played Milgram in a 2015 movie about these tests called Experimenter.)
Milgram led his subjects to believe that they were administering electric shocks to a man in an adjacent room whenever he got an answer wrong on a quiz, but the man apparently screaming in pain was a hired actor.