Little Bits of History

What Were They Thinking?

Posted in History by patriciahysell on April 13, 2012

Allen Dulles

April 13, 1953: Allen Dulles launches MK-ULTRA. Dulles was the fifth director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), taking over in February 1953 and relinquishing control to John McCone in November 1961. He was just shy of his 60th birthday as he took over the leadership role. He entered the Diplomatic Service after graduating from Princeton University and eventually worked in intelligence (during World War II). He was the first civilian CIA Director.

MK-ULTRA was a program designed to study mind control and to research chemical interrogation techniques. It was based on a similar program begun in 1945 by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency’s Operation Paperclip. This project was launched to recruit former Nazi scientists, some who were specialists in torture and brainwashing. Two other intermediate programs were undertaken to study the topic before MK-ULTRA began.

The Red Menace scare based on the Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean treatment of POWs in Korea led to some study in the US. The hope was not only to learn how to extract information, but to actually be able to use mind control to manipulate foreign, antagonistic world leaders. The studies were done in secret, without informed consent of the subjects. LSD and other drugs were used to elicit the hoped for responses, but were unsuccessful. Hypnosis was used as well. Overall, the study was a failure and hushed up.

The program ended in the late 1960s. In 1973 CIA Director Richard Helms order all MK-ULTRA documents to be destroyed. By December 1974 the New York Times printed a story accusing the CIA of performing illegal experiments on US citizens and Congress ordered a full investigation. The Church Committee investigated for Congress and the Rockefeller Commission was formed by the President. New protocols were immediately instituted and have since been given even greater breadth. Protecting the subjects used in any experimental studies became standard operating procedure.

At least we’re getting the kind of experience we need for the next war. – Allen Dulles

The excrement bubbles, the century slime decays, and the brainwashing government lackeys would have us say it’s under control. – Jethro Tull

Brainwashing [is] the systematic, scientific and coercive elimination of the individuality of the mind of another. – Alan W. Scheflin and Edward M. Opton, Jr.

The aim of brainwashing is to retrieve enemies and transform rather than eliminate them. – Jacques Ellul

Also on this day:

Houston We Have a Problem – In 1970 there is an explosion on the Apollo 13 lunar mission.
Freedom of Religion – In 1829, Britain granted Roman Catholics to practice their religion.
Hallelujah! – In 1742, Handel’s Messiah debuted.

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