January 18

1950s: Dr. Max Fink is considered the godfather of electroshock therapy in the United States.

In the early 1950s and beyond, Fink was a CIA Project Artichoke consultant. In 1951, Paul Gaynor and Morse Allen of CIA’s Security Research Service (SRS) oversaw ARTICHOKE. They worked closely with Fink in New York City to thoroughly explore the merits of electroshock techniques for interrogations. The CIA was especially interested in the use of standard electroshock machines in producing amnesia, inducing subjects to talk and making subjects more prone to hypnotic control. According to one CIA document, Fink told officials “an individual could gradually be reduced through the use to electroshock treatment to the vegetable level.” (Albarelli and Kaye. CIA’s Shocking Experiments on Children Exposed — Drugging, Electroshocks and Brainwashing, TruthOut, 2010)


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