, Research Paper
The Dark Conspiracy Behind The CIA
During the early 1950s and into the mid 1960s there were a
number of unusual activities involving the CIA, The Canadian
Government, and the American Government. It was a conspiracy. No
one would ever guess that it was being supported by all three
During this time a number of experiments involving
hallucinogenic, along with what some might consider inhuman methods
of psychiatry, were performed on patients. This wasn’t the end of
the story. After three decades through endless court battles, a
mysterious death of one of the world’s most famous
psychiatrists/doctor, and numerous investigations, The CIA ended
up being the most dominant player and winner of this international
yet mysterious case.
Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA), U.S. agency est.(1947)
by the National Security Act. It conducts intelligence and
counterintelligence activities outside the U.S. It also engages in
domestic counterintelligence operations, but only in coordination
with the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and subject to the
attorney general’s approval. These limitations were mandated by a
1978 executive order, issued in the wake of abuses related to the
WATERGATE AFFAIR and of a presidential commission’s charge (1975)
that the CIA had engaged in unlawful domestic spying. The CIA has
also been criticized for taking an active role in the internal
affairs of foreign governments.
source:Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright 1994
Columbia University Press.
The Beginning of MKultra
The MKultra program emerged in 1953. It dealt with drugs and
counter-drugs involved in research and development.
MKultra immediate inspiration came from confessions made at
Stalin’s show trials and a public confession of Cardinal Mindzenty
of Hungary on February 3, 1949. He showed signs that made the
impression of being “broken down”. As a result of theses incidents
the C.I.A was interested in the reason behind all this.
Another factor was the Korean War. During the war, U.S
servicemen made radio propaganda which broadcasts for The Soviets.
Behind these broadcasts was the plea for an end with U.S
involvement in the war. People were confessing to the most
extraordinary charges in the communist courts. These events lead
The Senior C.I.A Staff to suspect that The Soviets had mind control
over the people. It was a time that the memory of The Nazi death
camps was still in the air, and previously facing massive bombing,
the best and brightest of the U.S Government thought that another
totalitarian threat was about to emerge and they were facing new
From all this paranoia, MKultra was created. It showed that the
CIA was in the context of it’s time, “sharing the concerns of
society, not removed from them” These concerns were reflected in
the following CIA analysis:
Since the notorious Moscow trial of 1937, overt Russian judicial procedure has been noteworthy for
the dramatic trials in which the defendants have exhibited anomalous and incomprehensible behaviour
and confessions. Characteristics and manner of the defendants, and formulation and delivery of the
“confessions” have been so similar in a large number of cases as to suggest factitious origin. Most
noteworthy and incredible has been the recent “confession” of His Eminence Cardinal Mindszenty while
on trial in the People’s Court of Hungary….
The evident incongruities prompted this study…It became apparent at the outset of the study that
the style, context and manner of delivery of “confessions were such as to be inexplicable unless
there had been a reorganization and reorientation of the minds of the confessees. There is adequate
historical experience to establish that basic changes in the functional organization of the human
mind cannot be brought about by the traditional methods of physical torture-these, at the most,
achieve a reluctant, temporary yielding and, moreover, leave their mark upon the victim. Newer or
more subtle techniques had, therefore, to be considered . .
a. Psychosurgery: a surgical separation of the frontal lobes of the brain.
b. Shock method: (1) electrical (2) drug: metrazol, cannabis, indica, insulin, cocaine.
c.Psychoanalytic methods: (1) psychoanalysis (2) narcoanalysis and synthesis
(3) hypnoanalysis and synthesis.
d.Combinations of the foregoing.
For the next twenty years, under several of names,the CIA began
research on controlling human behaviour. The first being Project
During WWII the military hospitals discovered that soldiers and
patients intend to speak freely when they where under the influence
of anesthetics. For this reason the OSS used cannabis in their drug
experiments. The first field test was performed on underworld
figure known as August Del Gracio, a member of Charles “Lucky”
Luciano crime family in New York. He was given cigarettes heavily
laced with cannabis. As he smoked they questioned him about
underworld activities. Del Gracio and the OSS were also involved
in attempt to arrange and prepare for an invasion of Sicily, and
the protection of the New York docks against enemy sabotage.
Directed by Shefields Edwards (head of the CIA’s Office of
Security) the project goal was to determed whether a team
consisting of psychiatrists, lie detector experts, hypnotists, and
technicians could get better results with drugs over other means of
A month later the Korean War, the team worked in Tokyo to
investigate four people suspected to be double agents. The results
were considered to be successful. In October 1950 the team worked
on captured North Koreans.
When Bedell Smith became DCI, Project Bluebird goals were to
develop human robots. This experiment was called Project
Artichoke. It was carried out by CIA’s Office of Scientific
Intelligence. It’s intentions were ” to exploit along operational
lines, scientific method and knowledge that can be utilized in
altering attitudes, beliefs thought process and behaviour patterns
of agent personnel” Due to the sensitivity of the techniques
carried out and substances used, this was a highly confidential
project. Within a short time, there were rumours in the Dictorate
of Plans about double agents that were killed in the prior MKultra
experiments. Both projects were conducted in Germany, Far East,
and the United States.
In April 1953, under the direction of Allen Dulles and Richard
Helms, the program began to involve biological and chemical
materials. At the time, Dr. Harris Isabell was head of the drug
treatment center in Lexington, Kentucky, where he carried out
numerous experiments on drug addicts. The drugs used in the
experiments were supplied by the CIA. Here the testees where
informed of what exactly was involved in the research and their
consents were obtained ( no where else did this happen).
At the time L.S.D particularly interested the agency. The long
term effects of this drug was not known. There were one case where
the doctor kept seven men on L.S.D for 77 days. It was considered
to be even too much for “acid heads” of the 1960’s to handle! The
object of the experiments conducted were to see if it was possible
to control people for a long period of time, from faraway
distances. “The spectacle of people’s behaviour being controlled
in Soviet show trials indicated that the Russians had perfected
such techniques” The experiments wasn’t usually successful
because the patients that were used were previously hardened drug
addicts. So as in 1953 “normal” people were used.
Dr.Sidney Gotlieb was currently head of TSS at the time, where
he reported to Frank Wisner and Richard helms in the Dictorate of
Plans. He was mainly responsible for coordinating the MKultra
programs. In 1953 numerous projects under MKultra came into
existence and were under Gotlieb’s authority. There was Project
Chatter(1947), a navy program attempted to test and identify truth
drugs, due to the report of the amazing results obtained by the
Soviets. MKNaomi (1952), was designed for the production of
biological chemical weapons and substances for the agency’s use.
MKDelta (1952) was the procedure for governing the use of MKultra
material abroad. In all there were 149 MKultra subprojects, 33
additional subprojects that were solely funded by MKultra itself.
The 33 additional subprojects had nothing to do with behavioral
modification, toxins, or drugs. By then MKultra indicated how the
agency was ready, willing and prepared to face the world on a
There was one of the subproject that was considered to be
humorous, Subproject #94 involving cats, dogs, and monkeys. These
animals were used as guided bombs and microphones for
eavesdropping. Audio device was considered inefficient and didn’t
work effectively enough. They acted like cameras and would record
what they saw and the results were sometimes incomprehensive. An
example would be at cocktail parties where these devices would
record everything, therefore the outcome was fuzzy. So the CIA
began to invest alot of money and time on training a cat. This cat
was cut open and a microphone would be inserted in it’s cochlea and
an antenna in it’s tail. At first the cat would wander off
everytime it got hungary, so they split the cat in half once again
and wired it in order for it not to have the hunger sensation.
Finally when they released it and instructed in to listen into two
men talking in the park, it got ran over as it crossed the street.
Similar events took place in Canada during 1957 to 1962. Under
a false front called the Society for the Investigation of Human
Ecology. Experiments were led by Scottish-born Dr. Ewen Cameron.
Cameron was considered to some as “the godfather of Canadian
He worked at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal and was
the director there as well. He was also known for helping Allen
Dulles analyze the phycological mentality of some of the Nazi
leaders in WWII. In various stages of his life he served as the
President of Canadian, and American world psychiatric associations.
His experiments consisted of L.S.D, mesabine, truth serum, and
other mind altering chemicals. These experiments were also
followed by sleep deprivation, isolation chambers and massive
electro-shock treatments. “Some experiments involved patients
putting on black foot-ball helmets for up to 16 hours so they could
listen to a tape playing back their most painful memories.” During
his career, he seeked cures for shizophremia, depression, and
other mental disorders, and always had the belief of “doctor-knows-
All research subjects signed consent forms, which enable the
medical staff to do whatever they feel was necessary. Obviously
consents weren’t enough, in all there were 53 Canadians that were
victimized. Nine impaired for life.
When Cameron was investigated, he was found dead under
mysterious circumstances after a fall off a cliff in New England.
Shortly after his death his son Duncan, deliberately burned all of
his father’s files which contained information on the experiments
As the connections between the CIA and the institute began to
emerged in the 1970’s, nine of the Canadians launched lawsuits
against the U.S Government. They were unaware that the CIA had
contributed $85,000 to such experiments. They also found out that
the Canadian Government also contributed $70,000. But the trial
proved less damaging to the governments and agency than to the nine
victims that were impaired for life. The CIA also tried to switch
the blame on the Canadian Government. In the end the nine victims
received $20,000 Canadian dollars each.
Presently today all investigations have not ended. The trials
are taking too slow in the courts, and both governments are too
ashamed to admit their involvements so the rely on delaying time
and expecting the victims deaths to silence the history of the
The CIA has been investigated a number of times by different task
force groups. In 1949 it was recommended that the organization
reorganized it’s itself and it’s operations. After the Bay of Pigs
invasion in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed groups to
analyze the agency. In 1975 the CIA was under congressional and
White House examination. “It was found that the agency had been
engaged in “unlawful” domestic spying activities and had been
implicated in assassination attempts abroad.” Among the
Rockefeller commission it stated in it disclosure that:
“As part of a (CIA) program to test the influence of drugs on humans, research included the
administration of LSD to persons who were unaware that they were being tested. This was clearly
illegal. One person died in 1953, apparently result.
The victim was Frank Olson, who, a month later digesting L.S.D,
committed suicide. He jumped out a window from the tenth floor of
his apartment. President Ford at the time decided to apologize to
Olson’s widow. In 1976 the Congress passed a bill in order to pay
Mrs.Olson $750,000 in compensation.
As a result of these investigations, these committees were formed
and exists as of today to check on the agency. These committees
had jurisdiction over review of the CIA’s activities.
Current Developments and Reports
These are some of the most recent issues that originated or
relate to the program and intentions of MKultra:
- Over the past ten to fifteen years, a group of military personnel
( The New Age Army) in the Military Intelligence, directed programs
or projects that explored paranormal activities and capabilities.
Studies on Enhancing Human Performance has occurred during this
- Dr. Ian Wickramasekera of Eastern Virginia Medical School has
studied the expansion of sensory input during trauma which would
lead to time dilation, etc. This gentleman has also studied the
effects of sensory deprivation on hypnotic susceptibility in young
- In a recent article in U.S News & World Report, John Gittinger,
a CIA psychologist associated with a CIA front organization, the
Human Ecology Society admitted to knowledge of experiments in
developing ESP by giving electric shocks to subjects when they gave
- Recently, a Russian researcher in psychotronics, Dr. Igor
Smirnov, has helped to start up a new Virginia company, called
Psyco-Technologies. It is supposed to conduct research on various
kinds of LTL technology, with a concentration on Soviet-developed
psychotronic warfare capabilities involving the use of
electromagnetic and sonic waves to influence and disable
individuals or crowds. Supposedly this ranges from simply falling
to influencing people thought via audio or visual subliminal
From looking for ways to counter suspect communist breakthroughs
in techniques of interrogration, to causing death and emotional
pain to victims, one might conclude that the actual purpose and
intentions of such programs funded by the CIA, has minor
advantages. Looking at the whole picture abroad with the CIA
contributing over $25 million into these programs with altogether
50 universities and 21 countries involved, it might seem such
experiments were disadvantages and a waste of time in the long
run. The importance of such programs clearly indicates and
questions if society is entitled to know certain information, if
even though the keeper is a well respected organization, of any
sort. Who is entitled to know such information?
“…clinical research is designed not only to provide care to
patients but to generate scientific knowledge..”
1.Ranelagh, John.The Rise and Decline of CIA.New York:Simon and
2.Fotheringham Allan.Nominating a hero for 1987 Toronto:Maclean’s
Magazine. Issue Jan/19/87. pp.64
3.Andrew, Christopher.For The President’s Eyes Only.New York:
Harper Collins Publishers.,1995.
4.Microsoft Encarta ‘ 96 Encyclopedia. Central Intelligence
Agency.article by: Kirkpatrick Lyman. U.S.A:(c)1993-1995 Microsoft
.All Rights Reserved.(CD-ROM)
5.Lowther, William.Settling with the CIA.Toronto. Maclean’s