Dr. Charles Geschickter was an extremely important asset for Gottlieb’s division, with his connections in high places and as a funding conduit. In 1955 he convinced Agency officials to contribute $375,000 in secret funds toward the construction of a new research building at Georgetown University Hospital. (That amount was doubled under the Federal matching grant program for hospital construction.) Marks cites a CIA document indicating that there was a clear understanding with Geschickter that in return for the CIA contribution, he would make sure the agency received use of one-sixth of the beds and total space in the facility for their own “hospital safehouse” and they would have a ready source of “human patients and volunteers for experimental use,” and the research program in the building would provide cover for up to three TSS staff members.
“Allen Dulles personally approved the contribution and then, to make sure, he took it to President Eisenhower’s special committee to review covert operations. The committee also gave its assent. . .” According to Marks, “this was the only time in a whole quarter-century of Agency behavior-control activities when the documents show that CIA officials went to the White House for approval of anything. . .” (Manchurian Candidate, p.161)
Under MK-SEARCH, Geschickter continued to provide TSS with the means to assess drugs rapidly. CIA documents show that Geschickter tested stress producing chemicals, knockout drugs, and mind-altering substances on mental patients and terminal cancer patients at the Georgetown University Hospital in Washington. But his principal service to TSS officials was putting his family foundation at the disposal of the CIA — both to channel funds and to serve as a source of cover to Agency operators. About $2.1 million flowed through this tightly controlled foundation to other researchers. The Geschickter Fund for Medical Research remained available as a conduit for a decade, until 1967. Geschickter testified before the Kennedy committee (1977) that he had not tested stress-producing drugs on human subjects while both his own 1960 proposal and the CIA’s documents indicate the opposite. (Marks, p. 151)