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The intense potency of LSD - d-lysergic acid diethylamide – made it ideal for the intelligence community to administer covertly. The euphoria, disorientation and hallucinations encouraged free flowing information – the rational censor was asleep at the wheel.  Some believed the very state of am individual’s being could be rewired, even converting their loyalties, distorting and reprogramming their memories and thoughts, and manipulating behavior.  Mind manipulation became the Agency’s deepest Cold War secret.  Only those with “need to know” were aware of activities and contractors.

On April 13, 1953 Allen Dulles approved the project.  The program was to be known as "Project MKULTRA.   The “ULTRA” hearkened back to the most closely guarded American-British secret of the Second World War: the breaking of Germany’s military codes. The “M-K” identified the initiative as a CIA Technical Services Staff (TSS) project. This was the division within the Agency responsible for such things as weapons, forgeries, disguises, surveillance equipment and the kindred tools of the espionage trade. Within the TSS, MKULTRA was assigned to the Chemical Division (TSS/CD), a component with functions few others – even within the Technical Services Staff – knew about.

This unit was, , the agency's most far-reaching drug and mind-control program at the height of the Cold War, designed and headed by Sidney Gottlieb (1918-19  ), then a 34-year old Bronx native with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. A brilliant biochemist, Gottlieb was a remarkable, if totally eccentric, man. A socialist in his youth and a Buddhist as an adult, he was on a constant search for meaning in his life. He found some of it in an unrelenting passion for his clandestine labors.

Gottlieb did not appear to be the least bit troubled by the moral ambiguities of intelligence work. He would do virtually anything if he believed it to be in the American interest.  Overcoming a pronounced stutter and a clubfoot to rise through the ranks of the CIA, he would later describe himself as the Agency’s “Dr. Strangelove.”  Others were less kind. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair termed him America’s “official poisoner.”

Though the super-secret MK-ULTRA was ended in 1964, a streamlined version called MK-SEARCH was continued—with Gottlieb in charge—until 1972.  MKULTRA itself was technically closed out in 1964, but some of its work was transferred to the Office of Research and Development (ORD) within the DS&T under the name MKSEARCH and continued into the 1970s.  In 1994, a report concerning the MKULTRA program was issued:

"In the 1950s and '60s, the CIA engaged in an extensive program of human experimentation, using drugs, psychological, and other means, in search of techniques to control human behavior for counterintelligence and covert action purposes.  According to Bowart, the CIA was the world's largest consumer of Sandoz LSD; that they'd worked with the Bureau of Narcotics, the NIMH, LEAA and other agencies to covertly give LSD to unwitting persons in "real life settings."

"In 1973, the CIA purposefully destroyed most of the MKULTRA files concerning its research and testing on human behaviour. In 1977, the agency uncovered additional MKULTRA files in the budget and fiscal records that were not indexed under the name MKULTRA. These documents detailed over 150 subprojects that the CIA funded in this area, but no evidence was uncovered at that time concerning the use of radiation.

The Church Committee found some records, but also noted that the practice of MKULTRA at that time was 'to maintain no records of the planning and approval of test programs'.  "The CIA worked closely with the Army in conducting the LSD experiments. This connection with the Army is significant because MKULTRA began at the same time that Secretary of Defense Wilson issued his 1953 directive to the military services on ethical guidelines for human experiments.

In experimental test situations, people were given acid without their knowledge, then interrogated under bright lights with doctors sitting in the background taking notes. Threats would be made. The test subjects were told that their LSD "downer trips" would be extended indefinitely if they refused to reveal their closely-guarded military secrets. The people being interrogated in this way were CIA employees, U.S. military personnel and, abroad, agents suspected of working for the other side in the Cold War. Long-term severe debilitation and several documented deaths resulted. (Jon Rappaport)

"Throughout the course of MKULTRA, the CIA sponsored numerous experiments on unwitting humans. After the death of one such individual (Frank Olson, an army scientist, was given LSD in 1953 and committed suicide a week later), an internal CIA investigation warned about the dangers of such experimentation. The CIA persisted in this practice for at least the next ten years.

Dr. Robert Lashbrook was number two in the MKULTRA experiments which consumed tens of thousands of unwitting human guinea pigs, causing at least one known death to a non-volunteer victim. Lashbrook was given immunity to testify before Kennedy's congressional committee investigating the CIA's mind control operations. (Bowart).

After the 1963 IG (Inspector-General) report recommended termination of unwitting testing, Deputy Director for Plans Richard Helms (who later became Director of Central Intelligence) continued to advocate covert testing on the ground that 'positive operational capability to use drugs is diminishing, owing to a lack of realistic testing. With increasing knowledge of state of the art, we are less capable of staying up with the Soviet advances in this field'.

Helms attributed the cessation of the unwitting testing to the high risk of embarrassment to the Agency as well as the 'moral problem'. He noted that no better covert situation had been devised than that which had been used, and that 'we have no answer to the moral issue'."

They did have the answers to the moral questions on human experimentation but chose to ignore them, destroy the records, hide the truth and still continue in their efforts. Nothing has changed as each participating organization, using national security laws, avoids disclosure and accountability.

The records which were destroyed contained the evidence necessary perhaps to send some participants to jail for society's version of behaviour modification. Once again, there was no accountability and no recognition of the rights of the individuals damaged by these experiments. (Begich, 2006)

Once they were done with unwitting individuals, CIA let the LSD genie out of the bottle into the general population with their own choice of High Priest, who they had already initiated in their trial by fire.  Was “the Pope of Dope” a “tool” of the cryptocracy?

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