Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cries From the Past: Torture's Ugly Echoes

Truthout posted an article about the mind control programs run by the CIA. The article was written by Hank Albarelli and Jeffrey Kaye. According to the authors, many people believe that MKULTRA was the most important mind control program run by the CIA. However, according to them, in reality the most important mind control program was Project Artichoke. In fact, MKULTRA was just a diversion the CIA used to get the media’s attention away from Project Artichoke.

Remember, back in 1975, the government was investigating the CIA through the Church Committee and several other organizations, one of which was the Rockefeller Commission. That commission completed its work on June 6. Its final report contained information about MKULTRA. But according to the authors, the report should have contained information about Project Artichoke. However, in a meeting held in June, the CIA convinced the White House suppress information related to that operation.

In that meeting, President Ford, Don Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney met with Lawrence Houston, the general counsel of the CIA. At that time, Don Rumsfeld was the White House chief of staff and Dick Cheney was his chief assistant. In the meetings, Houston told the White House that the CIA could be abolished if the public were to learn about Project Artichoke. However, with the recent revelations in the media, Houston apparently felt the government had to give the media something, and so he recommended to the White House that the government release information on MKULTRA. This effort to divert attention away from Project Artichoke using MKULTRA became known as Operation Dormouse.

According to the authors, Project Artichoke had its origins in another CIA operation, Project Bluebird, which was a program the CIA used to handle POWs returning from the Korean War.

Actually, the CIA did not conduct its mind control experiments by itself. Scientists from Fort Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal also participated in the experiments. One such experiment was conducted in the summer of 1951. In this experiment, the CIA and the military experimented with LSD, mescaline, peyote, and something called “Smasher,” which contained amphetamines and a drug similar to LSD. Apparently, these experiments did not go well. For example, in one experiment conducted in France, nearly 700 people went completely insane one morning. Four of them killed themselves.

In August of 1951, a few weeks after these failed experiments, the CIA renamed Project Bluebird. The program would now be known as Project Artichoke. The CIA was pretty gung ho about this project right from the beginning. In February of 1953, Paul Gaynor wrote the following.

“It is imperative that we move forward more aggressively on identifying and securing a reliable, ready group, or groups, of human research subjects for ongoing Artichoke experimentation. There can be no delays in this extremely important work.”

As for who would be the lab rats, the director of Project Artichoke recommended using U.S. military soldiers who were serving time in jail. In exchange for participating in a series of dangerous experiments, the government would offer to reduce their prison sentence.

The CIA had several goals for Project Artichoke. First, they wanted to determine if “effective and practical techniques exist, or could be developed, which could be utilized to render an individual subservient to an imposed will or control, thereby posing a potential threat to National Security.”

The mind control “techniques” investigated by the CIA included “covertly administered drugs, ‘Black Psychiatry,’ hypnosis, and brain damaging processes.”

Based on the rhetoric of Project Artichoke officials a few years later, it would appear the CIA was successful in developing these techniques.

“All individuals can be broken under mental and physical assaults and by such techniques as denying sleep, exhaustion, persuasion, starvation, pain, humiliation, and sickness,” said Paul Gaynor, the CIA Security Research chief, in April of 1954.

But the CIA did not simply want to determine if these techniques were effective, they also wanted to use them. The “ultimate goal” of Project Artichoke was “the running of selected foreign nationals back into Europe for specific work for this Agency.”

As part of Project Artichoke, the CIA wanted to find some alien citizens in the United States, label them as a threat, and have them deported to a foreign country where they would perform missions for the CIA. To recruit people who would participate in this program, the CIA wanted to create a bunch of left-wing organizations. After joining these organizations, the CIA would indoctrinate them and use hypnosis on them.

Apparently, the CIA was successful because later on they referred to these “hypnotically controlled agents” as a “dangerous army.” They also called this development “mildly hair-raising.” Many who saw what the CIA was doing described the results as sheer madness.

As for what the CIA did using the techniques developed under Project Artichoke, while not saying it explicitly, the authors hint that the CIA used them to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. As for evidence, they mention one Project Artichoke memo written in 1965 which said that someone in the CIA wanted to assassinate him.

Towards the end of their article, the authors assail the information published by Charles S. Viar. Viar claims that Project Artichoke had been developed by the Soviets, the Nazis and Western intelligence services from 1920 to 1973. Actually, I think Albarelli and Kaye are wrong here. They’re not putting two and two together.

In fact, towards the beginning of their article, they mention that when Lawrence Houston met with Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, in addition to talking about Project Artichoke, they also discussed Operation Paperclip, which involved bringing Nazi scientists to America so they could tell us their secrets. Presumably, the reason why they talked about Project Artichoke and Operation Paperclip in the same meetings was because the CIA learned about the existence of these mind control techniques from the Nazi scientists who came to America as part of Operation Paperclip.

In fact, based on my own participation in the CIA’s mind control program, I believe strongly that someone – presumably some European government – used mind control techniques in order to radicalize Adolf Hitler. That means Germany had this mind control technology before the war.1

The authors note that these Nazi scientists, after entering America, worked in Fort Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal. And the authors note that officials from Fort Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal participated in the Project Artichoke experiments. But for some reason, the authors don’t say that America was conducting these experimented based on the information they gained from those Nazi scientists.

Doesn’t it seem a little odd to you that suddenly, after the war, the CIA decides that they urgently need to investigate mind control techniques? Why would they need to urgently investigate these techniques unless they already knew they existed? And if these techniques already existed, that means some other government must have had them.

In fact, in regards to the early experiments which went poorly, my government has “told” me that the Europeans who were advising them on how to conduct mind control experiments deliberately misinformed them and that is why those experiments turned out to be disasters. The Europeans wanted the CIA to kill a bunch of innocent people because then Europe would have information which they could use to extort the CIA – the information about those experiments which went wrong.

In case you are wondering how the CIA can get away with stuff like this, in 1954, the Justice Department agreed to refrain from prosecuting CIA officials if their prosecution would expose classified CIA operations.2

The authors note that the CIA has not ended its mind control research programs. For example, recently, the CIA has been investigating a mind control drug called ETX.

And, of course, I can personally vouch for the fact that the CIA has not ended its mind control program. But it will. Soon.

History end here.


1 In fact, my government has “told” me that these mind control techniques date back centuries. They “told” me that the West tried to use these techniques in Japan during the Tokugawa period in an effort to gain control of the country. And that is why the Tokugawa shogunate banned Christianity, banned Japanese citizens from leaving Japan, and banned all Japanese citizens who managed to leave Japan from ever returning.

2 The authors note the government made this agreement soon after the death of Frank Olson and they imply that the CIA and the Justice Department made this agreement because of his death.

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