MK-Ultra – CIA Quest for Mind Control
Sept. 25, 2022 - The CIA spent nearly $20 million on its MKULTRA program, reportedly as a means of programming people to carry out assassinations and, to a lesser degree, inducing anxieties and erasing memories, before it was supposedly shut down. Yet as journalist Lorraine Boissoneault concludes, “Despite MK-ULTRA violating ethical norms for human experiments, the legacy of brainwashing experiments continued to live on in U.S. policy.”
During the early period of the Cold War, the CIA became convinced that communists had discovered a drug or technique that would allow them to control human minds. In response, the CIA began its own secret program, called MK-ULTRA, to search for a mind control drug that could be weaponized against enemies.
MK-ULTRA, which operated from the 1950s until the early '60s, was created and run by a chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. Journalist Stephen Kinzer, who spent several years investigating the program, calls the operation the "most sustained search in history for techniques of mind control."
Some of Gottlieb's experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers, Kinzer says, while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD, according to Kinzer's research.
"Gottlieb wanted to create a way to seize control of people's minds, and he realized it was a two-part process," Kinzer says. "First, you had to blast away the existing mind. Second, you had to find a way to insert a new mind into that resulting void. We didn't get too far on number two, but he did a lot of work on number one."
Kinzer notes that the top-secret nature of Gottlieb's work makes it impossible to measure the human cost of his experiments. "We don't know how many people died, but a number did, and many lives were permanently destroyed," he says.
Ultimately, Gottlieb concluded that mind control was not possible. After MK-ULTRA shut down, he went on to lead a CIA program that created poisons and high-tech gadgets for spies to use.
Kinzer writes about Gottlieb and MK-ULTRA in his new book, Poisoner in Chief. NPR
MK Ultra: CIA Mind Control Program In Canada (1980) – The Fifth Estate
Sept. 24, 2022 - Mind control experiments on human subjects at Montreal's Allan Memorial Institute were investigated by The Fifth Estate. Starting in the late 1980s, both the CIA and the Canadian government became embroiled in lawsuits related to the programs and reached compensation settlements with many of the victims.
MK-Ultra: The Shocking Cold War Experiments Hidden By The CIA – BBC REEL
Sept. 25, 2022 - In the early days of the Cold War, the CIA ordered the creation of a secret programme intended to find ways of mind control. Psychiatric institutions across the United States and Canada were funded by the CIA to perform experiments on patients using psychedelic drugs, sensory deprivation, electroshock treatment and more. The programme was known by its now infamous code name: MK-Ultra. Video by Adrian Hartrick & Dominika Ożyńska