Humanosity says…Phrases like the CIA paid $240,000 for the world’s entire supply of LSD caught my attention. For those unaware this article delves into a dark chapter of the cold war where mind control was all the rage and humans were used as guinea pigs….
NPR has taken an in depth look at the how the quest for mind control led the CIA in to some very dark practices. Initially they were convinced that their enemies, the Soviets, had discovered a drug or psychological technique that allowed them to control human minds.
The CIA response was a top secret programme called MK-Ultra. The programme was operational from the 1950s to the early 1960s and was run by top CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb. Investigative journalist Stephen Kinzer, described Gottlieb’s work as the “most sustained search in history for techniques of mind control.”
The covert research was undertaken at universities and prisons in the US Germany, Japan and the Philippines. Participants were subjected to a range of procedures including electroshock therapy, psychological torture and high doses of LSD.
“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.”
Due to the secrecy that still shrouds much of the programme no-one knows how many died and the number of people whose lives and minds were destroyed. The sad truth was that Gottlieb concluded that mind control wasn’t possible and the programme was shut down.