ARTICHOKE (1951–1973) a major multi-faceted military-CIA project

Artichoke was launched by Allen Dulles, then deputy director of the CIA to replace and expand Bluebird as the major, multi-faceted military-CIA project. Within weeks, the CIA had acquired secret prisons in the Canal Zone, West Germany, and Japan; Artichoke teams were sent overseas for brutal interrogations with drugs, hypnosis and “psychological harassment” and “special interrogation techniques.” In other words Artichoke is a project for “refining” torture techniques and field testing operations. (McCoy. Torture and Impunity. . .2012). Its objectives were summarized in a 1952 memorandum:

“[e]valuation and development of any method by which we can get information from a person against his will and without his knowledge. . . . Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against such fundamental laws of nature such as self-preservation?” ARTICHOKE documents

The objective was to subvert a human being’s freedom of thought and action, to enable the government to have total control over its citizens. That objective was the connecting thread for all subsequent covert CIA mind control/ behavior modification projects. The subjects of ARTICHOKE experiments included American soldiers, prisoners in federal penitentiaries, POWs, and suspected counterintelligence agents and mental patients. In one of the rare, surviving official documents from Deputy Director of the CIA Allen Dulles sent a secret memo to Richard Helms and CIA Deputy Director for Plans Frank Wisner regarding the specific kinds of interrogation techniques that would be used:

In our conversation of 9 February 1951, I outlined to you the possibilities of augmenting the usual interrogation methods by the use of drugs, hypnosis, shock, etc., and emphasized the defensive aspects as well as the offensive opportunities in this field of applied medical science. The enclosed folder, ‘Interrogation Techniques,’ was prepared in my Medical Division to provide you with a suitable background. (Jacobsen. Operation Paperclip, 2014 Excerpt)

Camp King was the perfect location to conduct these radical trials. Dulles explained that overseas locations were preferred for Artichoke interrogations, since foreign governments “permitted certain activities which were not permitted by the United States government (i.e. anthrax etc.).” Contrary to the erroneous perception, ARTICHOKE did not meld into the massive nationwide mind-control project, MK-ULTRA (which began in 1953). ARTICHOKE continued and one of its major objectives was to create assassins — Manchurian Candidates.