Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

October 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

-“Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control”

The mad scientist behind America’s mind-control quest with LSD
The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments

 

” Nazi doctors had conducted extensive experiments with mescaline at the Dachau concentration camp, and the CIA was very interested in figuring out whether mescaline could be the key to mind control that was one of their big avenues of investigation. So they hired the Nazi doctors who had been involved in that project to advise them.”

” 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. So these were projects designed not only to understand the human mind but to figure out how to destroy it.”

The mad scientist behind America’s mind-control quest with LSD
By Larry Getlen September 16, 2019

In his mid-20s, future crime kingpin Whitey Bulger spent time in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for hijacking and armed robbery. While there, he volunteered to be part of a drug experiment that sought to find a cure for schizophrenia.

Or so he was told.

In reality, the experiment sought to determine how much LSD the human mind could take before it snapped. Bulger was fed large doses of the drug nearly every day for 15 months without being told what it was.

He later wrote of the horrors he experienced during this time.

“Hallucinating. Hours of paranoia and feeling violent. We experienced horrible periods of living nightmares and even blood coming out of the walls. Guys turning to skeletons in front of me. I saw a camera change into the head of a dog. I felt like I was going insane.”

When Bulger asked to be released from the experiment, he was refused since, he was told, “We are close to finding the cure.”

Bulger, who was later convicted of 11 murders, may be an unsympathetic victim, but these same experiments were being conducted on unsuspecting civilians at the behest of one power-mad CIA official.

“Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control”

by Stephen Kinzer tells the story of Gottlieb, a chemist obsessed with finding a way to control the human brain, no matter how many innocent minds he destroyed in the process….

Born in The Bronx in 1918, Gottlieb received a doctorate in biochemistry and after working several research jobs for the government, was recruited by the CIA in 1951 by Deputy Director Allen Dulles, who would later lead the agency.

Dulles believed that there were undiscovered methods for controlling the human mind, and that these processes could help the US win wars. He hired Gottlieb to lead the effort into mind-control research, which he named “Artichoke,” by any means necessary.

Many in the intelligence community were convinced that the Soviet Union and China had made great advancements in brainwashing, and they sought to perfect the technique themselves. Hypnosis and electroshock were among the methods tested, but Gottlieb became obsessed with the potential of LSD.

After sampling the drug himself and feeling “as though I am in a kind of transparent sausage skin that covers my whole body,” he began testing it on military volunteers. Soon after, he stopped caring whether people had volunteered and began administering the drug to unwitting subjects, including CIA trainees.

Gottlieb and many around him truly believed that LSD held the secret to controlling minds.

“CIA employees were given LSD and then induced to violate oaths and promises,” Kinzer writes. “In one [mock interrogation], a military officer swore never to reveal a secret, revealed it under the influence of LSD, and afterward forgot the entire episode . . . Gottlieb came to believe that [LSD] could be the key to mind control. He was the first acid visionary.”….

Gottlieb, given free rein by the CIA, authorized and funded “experiments” like this across the country, victimizing countless innocent people who simply sought relief for medical and psychological issues.

“Under Gottlieb’s direction, with Dulles’ encouragement . . . Artichoke had became one of the most violently abusive projects ever sponsored by an agency of the United States government,” Kinzer writes.

The eventual breadth of the program, which was rechristened MK-ULTRA and given an even larger budget, was stunning….

In time, Gottlieb was running similar safe houses around the world, and his experiments became even more audacious and cruel. When he decided to try to learn just how much LSD the human mind could take, he recruited prison doctors around the country. While Bulger was one victim, most were African American.

He also got more doctors and hospitals around the country involved, funneling the money through front groups to hide the CIA’s involvement.

At the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, “hundreds of students from Harvard, Emerson and MIT were paid $15 to drink a little vial of a clear, colorless, odorless liquid that might produce an altered state.” It was later found that “none of those involved in the experiments had the proper training or understanding to guide participants . . . [and] several [students] had negative reactions. One hanged herself in a clinic bathroom.”

In experiments conducted by a New York allergist named Harold Abramson, who received $85,000 from Gottlieb, Kinzer writes that “12 ‘pre-puberty’ boys were fed psilocybin, and 14 children between the ages of 6 and 11, diagnosed as schizophrenic, were given 100 micrograms of LSD each day for six weeks.”….

Gottlieb continued on at the CIA, working on more conventional spy-craft devices like rocket launchers and bomb sensors to help the Vietnam War effort.

He retired in 1973 after 22 years with the agency, destroying all the MK-ULTRA files (or so he thought) before he left.

When another secret CIA program was exposed by reporter Seymour Hersh in 1974, it ignited a slew of investigations into the CIA, and Gottlieb’s name was made public in regard to the LSD experiments in 1975. He eventually testified before Congress several times, but only after being granted immunity from prosecution.

By the end of his life, he was working as a speech pathologist for children. He died in 1999, and never paid for his cruelty….

https://nypost.com/2019/09/16/the-mad-scientist-behind-americas-mind-control-quest-with-lsd/

The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments
Today, it’s a cutting-edge lab. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was the center of the U.S. government’s darkest experiments.
By STEPHEN KINZER September 15, 2019

In 1954, a prison doctor in Kentucky isolated seven black inmates and fed them “double, triple and quadruple” doses of LSD for 77 days straight. No one knows what became of the victims. They may have died without knowing they were part of the CIA’s highly secretive program to develop ways to control minds—a program based out of a little-known Army base with a dark past, Fort Detrick.

Suburban sprawl has engulfed Fort Detrick, an Army base 50 miles from Washington in the Maryland town of Frederick. Seventy-six years ago, however, when the Army selected Detrick as the place to develop its super-secret plans to wage germ warfare, the area around the base looked much different. In fact, it was chosen for its isolation. That’s because Detrick, still thriving today as the Army’s principal base for biological research and now encompassing nearly 600 buildings on 13,000 acres, was for years the nerve center of the CIA’s hidden chemical and mind control empire.

….For decades, though, much of what went on at the base was a closely held secret. Directors of the CIA mind control program MK-ULTRA, which used Detrick as a key base, destroyed most of their records in 1973. Some of its secrets have been revealed in declassified documents, through interviews and as a result of congressional investigations. Together, those sources reveal Detrick’s central role in MK-ULTRA and in the manufacture of poisons intended to kill foreign leaders….

Allen Dulles, who ran the CIA’s covert-operations directorate and would soon be promoted to direct the agency, considered his mind control project—first named Bluebird, then Artichoke, then MK-ULTRA—to be of supreme importance, the difference between the survival and extinction of the United States.

In 1951, Dulles hired a chemist to design and oversee a systematic search for the key to mind control. The man he chose, Sidney Gottlieb, was not part of the silver-spoon aristocracy from which most officers of the early CIA were recruited….

Gottlieb searched relentlessly for a way to blast away human minds so new ones could be implanted in their place. He tested an astonishing variety of drug combinations, often in conjunction with other torments like electroshock or sensory deprivation. In the United States, his victims were unwitting subjects at jails and hospitals, including a federal prison in Atlanta and an addiction research center in Lexington, Kentucky.

In Europe and East Asia, Gottlieb’s victims were prisoners in secret detention centers. One of those centers, built in the basement of a former villa in the German town of Kronberg, might have been the first secret CIA prison. While CIA scientists and their former Nazi comrades sat before a stone fireplace discussing the techniques of mind control, prisoners in basement cells were being prepared as subjects in brutal and sometimes fatal experiments.

These were the most gruesome experiments the U.S. government ever conducted on human beings. In one of the them, seven prisoners in Lexington, Kentucky, were given multiple doses of LSD for 77 days straight. In another, captured North Koreans were given depressant drugs, then dosed with potent stimulants and exposed to intense heat and electroshock while they were in the weakened state of transition. These experiments destroyed many minds and caused an unknown number of deaths. Many of the potions, pills and aerosols administered to victims were created at Detrick.

One of the most well-known victims of the MK-ULTRA experiments was Frank Olson. Olson was a CIA officer who had spent his entire career at Detrick and knew its deepest secrets. When he began musing about quitting the CIA, his comrades saw a security threat. Gottlieb summoned the team to a retreat and arranged for Olson to be drugged with LSD. A week later, Olson died in a plunge from a hotel window in New York. The CIA called it suicide. Olson’s family believes he was thrown from the window to prevent him from revealing what was brewing inside Camp Detrick….
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/15/cia-fort-detrick-stephen-kinzer-228109

The CIA’s Secret Quest For Mind Control: Torture, LSD And A ‘Poisoner In Chief’
September 9, 2019 Heard on Fresh Air Terry Gross

….On the CIA hiring Nazi doctors and Japanese torturers to learn methods

The CIA mind control project, MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps.

Stephen Kinzer, author of ‘Poisoner in Chief’

The CIA mind control project, MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it 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.

For example, Nazi doctors had conducted extensive experiments with mescaline at the Dachau concentration camp, and the CIA was very interested in figuring out whether mescaline could be the key to mind control that was one of their big avenues of investigation. So they hired the Nazi doctors who had been involved in that project to advise them.

Another thing the Nazis provided was information about poison gases like sarin, which is still being used. Nazi doctors came to America to Fort Detrick in Maryland, which was the center of this project, to lecture to CIA officers to tell them how long it took for people to die from sarin.

On the more extreme experiments Gottlieb conducted overseas

Gottlieb and the CIA established secret detention centers throughout Europe and East Asia, particularly in Japan, Germany and the Philippines, which were largely under American control in the period of the early ’50s, and therefore Gottlieb didn’t have to worry about any legal entanglements in these places. …

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. So these were projects designed not only to understand the human mind but to figure out how to destroy it….

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/09/758989641/the-cias-secret-quest-for-mind-control-torture-lsd-and-a-poisoner-in-chief

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