Beginning in 1952, both the CIA and Fort Detrick’s Special Operations Division (SOD) had formalized a written 2-year $1,000,000 contract with the NYS Psychiatric Institute (1952–53). It was officially referred to as Project MK-NAOMI, an adjunct to the larger CIA behavior modification projects (ARTICHOKE) and MK-ULTRA. As stated in a Top Secret CIA memorandum dated January 1954 that was uncovered forty-six years later (in 2000) by “cold case” prosecutors in the NYC Attorney General’s office. The memo provides detailed information about contractual relationships, including the fact that the SOD contract with the NYSPI was established for the exclusive purposes of devising biological weapons that could be targeted at “individuals for the purposes of affecting human behavior with the objectives ranging from very temporary minor disablement to more serious and longer incapacitation to death.” (Albarelli and Kelly. A Terrible Mistake, 2001)
In 1953, Henry Blauer, a 42-year old professional tennis player, sought treatment at NYS Psychiatric Institute for depression following a divorce. Without his knowledge or consent, he was used as a guinea human pig in a horrific mescaline drug experiment that killed him. Drs. Paul Hoch and James Cattell subjected Mr. Blauer to multiple injections of massive doses of a mescaline derivative whose ingredients they did not even know. Cattell reportedly told Army investigators, “We didn’t know whether it was dog piss or what it was we were giving him.” (Manchurian Candidate, 1979 Chapter 4, footnote )
“Moments after receiving the fifth and final injection on Jan. 8, 1953, according to notes from the experiment, Mr. Blauer began sweating profusely and flailing his arms, his body stiffened and he frothed at the mouth. He lapsed into a coma and died in two hours . . . a doctor’s written report said the injection was for ‘‘diagnostic purposes’’ and failed to mention the experiment.” Government officials covered up the cause of his death for 23 years. (New York Times, 1987)
The 1954 CIA memo provides evidence of collusion and criminal cover-ups by medical doctors and State, City and Federal government agencies. Within 48 hours of Henry Blauer’s death, Dr. Amedeo Marrazzi, the Chemical Corps contract officer met with Hoch at NYS Psychiatric Institute and instructed him to conceal the Army’s involvement. The document also reveals that,
Marrazzi prevailed on one of the New York City Medical Examiners with whom he was well acquainted to place all the records (regarding Blauer) in a confidential file in the medical examiners’ office. Thus the Medical Examiner was informed that Blauer’s death was connected with secret Army experiments, but he was also told that this information was not to be disclosed. (Albarelli and Kelly. A Terrible Mistake Excerpt)
This document — which had been concealed for 50 years — further acknowledges:
an incident involving the use of chemical compounds at the New York Psychiatric Institute, which is affiliated with Columbia University. Dr. Paul Hoch was the Institute’s principal investigator. He was carrying out experiments involving the injection of Mescalin [sic] derivatives into patients. In this particular case the patient died. Relatives of the deceased have brought the action. (Albarelli. A Terrible Mistake. . . Excerpt)
Dr. Paul Hoch and Dr. James Cattell exposed unwitting patients to high dose psychedelic drug experiments whose foreseeable risks of brain damage, mental incapacity and death were known. Their maltreatment caused Henry Blauer’s death. Within two years Hoch was appointed Commissioner of Mental Hygiene of NYS (1955) overseeing 28 hospitals and 100,000 patients.
Hoch had led an effort to destroy the career of psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, MD who criticized the psychiatric profession for its coercive involuntary interventions. Dr. Szasz is one of the heroes on AHRP’s Honor Roll * Paul Hoch died suddenly of a heart attack at age 62; he was eulogized by the equally monstrous psychiatrist, Dr. Ewen Cameron and by Nelson Rockefeller. Mainstream psychiatry continues to be lauded Hoch as:
one of the most respected and honored psychiatrists of his generation. . . The impact of Paul Hoch’s research in psychopharmacology cannot be overestimated. . . a pioneer in the investigation of new psychotropic agents. He was fascinated by hallucinogens, at first believing they might hold a key to the causes of schizophrenia through their induction of a “model psychosis.
A bronze plaque and bust prominently displayed in the lobby of NYS Psychiatric Institute states: “Compassionate physician, inspiring teacher, original researcher, dedicated to scientist, dynamic administrator.” (Sidney Malitz, MD. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1996)