January 18

1945: U.S. Naval Technical Mission, the Genesis for U.S. Psychological Torture Experiments

The secret US Naval Technical Mission Report described the “interrogation” techniques and mescaline experiments at Dachau; they were conducted by Dr. Kurt Ploetner, one of the most prominent Nazi researchers in this area. The report was based on a cache of secret documents captured in Himmler’s cave depository — those documents have since disappeared. The report was prepared for the US military and intelligence agencies who sought information about the potential use of mescaline as an effective interrogation agent. The mescaline experiments at Dachau were combined with hypnotism; they were conducted in 1942, by Dr. Kurt Ploetner, one of the most prominent Nazi researchers in this area; the SS head of the Institute for Military and Scientific Research. The experiments tested mescaline as a potential interrogation tool on 30 prisoners at Dachau concentration camp. It has been suggested that these experiments stemmed from an assassination attempt on Hitler in 1941; that Heinrich Himmler sought to develop a method by which loyalty and innocence within the Nazi ranks could be tested. (Chris Rudge. Making Madness Before America) The Nazi doctors concluded:

“[It is] impossible to impose one’s will on another person as in hypnosis even when the strongest dose of mescaline had been given.” However “the examining person succeeded in every case in drawing even the most intimate secrets from the P.E. when the questions were cleverly put.” (Lee and Shlain, Acid Dreams)


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