On November 28th, 1953 at 2 a.m., a man crashed through a closed window and fell to his death from the tenth floor of the Statler Hotel in New York City. He was identified as Frank Olson, a bacteriologist with the U.S. Army Research Center at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He had fallen from a room he shared with another scientist, Robert Lashbrook. It was ruled a suicide.
Twenty-two years later in 1975, William Colby, then CIA director, declassified documents that changed the complexion of the case. It was revealed that Olson had actually been an undercover CIA operative at Fort Detrick, and that one week prior to his death, he had been drinking Cointreau at a high-level meeting with scientists at Deep Creek Lodge in rural Maryland. The Cointreau was laced with a large dose of LSD administered by his CIA boss, Sidney Gottleib. He was then sent to New York with Lashbrook, also with the CIA, to see a psychiatrist because the LSD had induced a psychosis. It was also revealed that Olson had been part of the top secret CIA program that was known as Project MK-ULTRA, exploring the use of chemicals and drugs for purposes of mind control, and bacteriological agents for covert assassination. Olson had been working on ways to deliver anthrax in aerosol form for use as a weapon.
New evidence that came to light through the persistent efforts of Olson’s son Eric made the suicide ruling highly suspect. It turned out that Olson had been labeled a security risk by British intelligence after getting upset witnessing human experimentation on a trip to Frankfurt, Germany during the previous summer. Eric Olson now believes that his father was drugged and then murdered to make sure that he didn’t reveal the secrets of the MK-ULTRA project. Following the 1975 revelations, the government must have felt more than a little guilt about the affair, because Olson’s family was given a 17-minute audience with President Ford who apologized to them, and they were awarded damages in the amount of $750,000.
Controlling Human Behavior
The MK-ULTRA program was instituted on April 13, 1953, by CIA Director Allen Dulles, ostensibly to counter the brainwashing techniques of American prisoners being held by the North Koreans during the Korean War, and to duplicate those techniques on enemy prisoners, i.e., the creation of “Manchurian Candidates.” This was the claim used to obtain funding for the project. However, the POW brainwashing program was just the tip of the iceberg, and the CIA-sponsored experiments ventured far and wide into areas of mind control under the aegis of MK-ULTRA that had little or nothing to do with methods of interrogation. The Colby revelations were part of a sweeping investigation of the CIA in January, 1975 by the “Commission on CIA Activities within the United States,” chaired by Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller. Their Report to the President in June of 1975 said, “The drug program was part of a much larger CIA program to study possible means for controlling human behavior. Other studies explored the effects of radiation, electric-shock, psychology, psychiatry, sociology and harassment substances.”
Even though the program got off to a rocky start with the Olson affair, it recovered quickly and became an umbrella project with 149 sub-projects. The overall guiding principle was succinctly stated in an internal CIA memo dated January, 1952: “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature such as self-preservation?”
The drug program came under the aegis of the Chemical Division of the Technical Services Staff headed up by Sidney Gottleib from 1951 to 1956. Gottleib was a highly intelligent eccentric who drank goat’s milk, enjoyed folk dancing, and raised Christmas trees on his farm outside Washington. The Agency funded LSD research programs at major medical centers and universities including Boston Psychopathic, Mt. Sinai Hospital at Columbia University, University of Illinois Medical School, University of Oklahoma and others. The funding was carried out secretly through the Josiah Macy Foundation and the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research in Washington, D.C. The CIA claimed the secrecy was necessary to keep it from the Russians, but we have already seen that it was part of much larger project to learn how to control human behavior in general. Gottlieb told Dr. Harold Abramson at Mt. Sinai (who just happened to be the psychiatrist that Olson was supposed to see!) that he wanted “operationally pertinent materials (about): a. Disturbance of Memory, b. Discrediting by Aberrant Behavior, c. Alteration of Sex Patterns, d. Eliciting of Information, e. Suggestibility, f. Creation of Dependence.”
It all sounds like pretty deep stuff for the spy game. Apparently, they feared public reaction and congressional condemnation, especially since the CIA charter did not allow domestic operations, and certainly prohibited experimentation on U.S. citizens. The callousness of the research is best exemplified by the CIA-funded work of Dr. Harris Isbell, the Director of the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The drug-addict hospital inmates, who were mostly black, were encouraged to volunteer for LSD research in return for hard drugs of their choice or time off their sentences. In most cases, they were given pure morphine or heroin. At one point, Isbell kept seven men on LSD for 77 straight days. Many others were on it for up to 42 days. Concerning extended LSD usage, John Marks in his landmark book, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, says about writer Hunter S. Thompson (recently deceased) that he “frightened his readers with accounts of drug (LSD) binges lasting a few days, during which Thompson felt his brain boiling away in the sun, his nerves wrapping around enormous barbed wire forts, and his remaining faculties reduced to their reptilian antecedents.”
The CIA Turns on the Counterculture
Not satisfied with university research, Gottleib recruited New York narcotics agent George White to distribute LSD surreptitiously to the “borderline underworld.” Operating through safe houses in Greenwich Village, Haight-Ashbury and Marin County, White gave doses to prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts and other “marginal people” and then observed the results and reported to Gottleib. John Marks says they were people “who would be powerless to seek any sort of revenge if they ever found out what the CIA had done to them. In addition to their being unlikely whistle-blowers, such people lived in a world where an unwitting dose of some drug… was an occupational hazard anyway.” Eventually, White started using it randomly all over New York and San Francisco. Regarding the results, Marks says, “The MK-ULTRA scientists reaped little but disaster, mischief, and disappointment from their efforts to use LSD as a miracle weapon against the minds of their opponents.” Yet, they continued this program for 10 years until 1963.
Ironically, since the CIA had pretty much cornered the market on LSD internationally, buying up all the product of Sandoz and Eli Lilly, the spread of the drug to the counter-culture was through the agency. Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsburg and Tom Wolfe were first “turned on” thanks to the CIA, and that’s how the “flower children” became psychedelic. But, the LSD experiments may have been more successful than Marks realized. They were carefully noting the precise effects on brain chemistry, and in the six areas that Gottleib was concerned with: memory disturbance, aberrant behavior, altered sexual patterns, eliciting information, suggestibility and creation of dependence. This became evident when they started using LSD as an adjunct in hypnotic and electronic experiments.
Re-Patterning the Brain
Perhaps the most notorious and nefarious MK-ULTRA sub-project was carried out at the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal, Canada under the directorship of Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron, an American from Albany, New York. Cameron had trained at the Royal Mental Hospital in Glasgow under eugenicist Sir David Henderson, and founded the Canadian branch of the World Federation for Mental Health. At various times, he was elected president of the Canadian, American, and World psychiatric associations. In other words, Cameron was no renegade but had the full faith and endorsement of the world psychiatric establishment. The CIA wanted Cameron to “depattern” the contents of the brain to make it receptive to new patterning.
David Remnick in a Washington Post article on July 28, 1985 said, “The heart of the laboratory was the Grid Room… The subject was strapped into a chair involuntarily, by force, his head bristling with electrodes and transducers. Any resistance was met with a paralyzing dose of curare. The subject’s brainwaves were beamed to a nearby reception room crammed with voice analyzers, a wire recorder and radio receivers cobbled together… The systematic annihilation or “depatterning” of a subject’s mind and memory was accomplished with overdoses of LSD, barbiturate sleep for 65 days at a stretch and ECT shocks at 75 times the recommended dosage. Psychic driving, the repetition of a recorded message for 16 hours a day, programmed the empty mind. Fragile patients referred to Allen Memorial for help were thus turned into carbuncular jellyfish.”
Anton Chaitkin in his essay, British Psychiatry: From Eugenics to Assassination, says: “Patients lost all or part of their memories, and some lost the ability to control their bodily functions, and to speak. At least one patient was reduced almost to a vegetable; then Cameron had the cognitive centers of her brain surgically cut apart, while keeping her alive. Some subjects were deposited permanently in institutions for the hopelessly insane..” The CIA funded these horrors through a front called “The Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology” affiliated with Cornell University. Other supporters of the Allen Institute were the Rockefeller Foundation, the Geschickter Foundation, and the Canadian government.
An Orwellian Nightmare
As one would expect, the technologies now available to the mind-controllers have zoomed off the chart to the point where George Orwell’s world of omni-surveillance now seems almost quaint. Of course, it is true that 1984 was 21 years ago. But even as far back as 1970, U.S. congressman James Scheur was able to say, “As a result of spinoffs from medical, military aerospace and industrial research, we are now in the process of developing devices and products capable of controlling violent mobs without injury. We can tranquilize, impede, immobilize (sic), harass, shock, upset, stupefy, nauseate, chill, temporarily blind, deafen or just plain scare the wits out of anyone the police have a proper need to control and restrain.”
A brief survey of some of the scariest products known to be in the arsenal of the secretive alphabet agencies arrayed against public enemies are such devices as the Neurophone, patented by Dr. Patrick Flanagan in 1968. It converts sound to electrical impulses that can be delivered from satellites. When aimed at individuals, the impulses travel directly to the brain where the sounds are re-assembled and appear to be voices inside the head, which can be perceived as coming from God, or telepathic aliens, or whatever. Or the sounds can come out of a turned-off TV or radio. Through software, the device can mimic anyone’s voice and translate into any language. It is believed that the CIA, DIA, NSA, et. al. use the Neurophone to deliver threats and propaganda to selected targets, or just to torment someone they don’t like. One can imagine the possibilities.
We’ve all heard about the “Thought Police” and laughed because it seemed so impossible. Well, the joke may be on us. Brain-scanning technology is now well advanced. In 1974, Lawrence Pinneo, a neurophysiologist and electronic engineer with the Stanford Research Institute succeeded in correlating brain wave patterns from EEGs with specific words. In 1994, the brain wave patterns of 40 subjects were officially correlated with both spoken words and silent thought at the University of Missouri.
It is believed by some that U.S. intelligence agencies now have a brainwave vocabulary of over 60,000 words in most common languages. Brain waves constitute a magnetic field around the head (the aura), each person having a unique, identifiable electromagnetic signature, which becomes visible through Kirlian photography, and these fields can be monitored by satellites. The translated results, it is said, are then fed back to ground-side supercomputers at speeds of up to 20 gigabytes/second. Neurophone messages can then be beamed to selected individuals based on their thoughts. It is believed by some that about one million people around the globe are now monitored on a regular basis. As British writer Paul Baird has observed, “no-one will ever be able to even think about expressing an opinion contrary to those forced on us by the New World Order. There will literally be no intellectual property that cannot be stolen, no writing that cannot be censored, no thought that cannot be suppressed (by the most oppressive and invasive means).”
Other technologies such as microwave bombardment to confuse and disorient field personnel, microchip implantation, silently delivered acoustical subliminal messages, population pacification and suppression of dissent… through psychiatric drugs, and extreme close-up satellite-based viewing able to read documents indoors, are all well-developed and in use by military and intelligence agencies. This doesn’t even address the monitoring of overt spoken and written material. Under Project ECHELON, The NSA monitors every call, fax, e-mail, telex and computer data message in and out of the U.S., Canada and several other countries. Their computers then search for key words and phrases. Anything or anyone of interest draws the attention of agency operatives, who can then commence surveillance operations by the NSA or other intelligence agencies.
We conclude with a chilling vision of the future from the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. It is from New World Vistas of Air and Space Power for the 21st Century:
“Prior to the mid-21st century, there will be a virtual explosion of knowledge in the field of neuroscience. We will have achieved a clear understanding of how the human brain works, how it really controls the various functions of the body, and how it can be manipulated (both positively and negatively). One can envision the development of electromagnetic energy sources, the output of which can be pulsed, shaped, and focused, that can couple with the human body in a fashion that will allow one to prevent voluntary muscular movements, control emotions (and thus actions), produce sleep, transmit suggestions, interfere with both short-term and long-term memory, produce an experience set, and delete an experience set. This will open the door for the development of some novel capabilities that can be used in armed conflict, in terrorist/hostage situations, and in training.”