Behavioral research was transferred from Sid Gottlieb and his Technical Support Division to the Office of Research and Development (ORD). Dr. Stephen Aldrich took over the leadership role, and ORD continued to probe for ways to control human behavior until 1979; and they were doing so with space-age technology that made the days of MKULTRA look like the horse-and-buggy era. Creating a subservient society was not out of sight. Aldridge inaugurated Operation OFTEN which incorporated the occult and demonology. Psychiatrists and behaviorists on the ORD team set off to explore the world of the supernatural and black magic. Agents spread out across the country in search of fortune-tellers, palm readers, psychics and clairvoyants. The agents would introduce themselves as researchers from the Scientific Engineering Institute (SEI), but they were dubbed the “Department of the Unorthodox.”
Aldrich was a doyen of occult and parapsychological studies who awarded the Agency’s most lucrative research funds to the University of Pennsylvania to study the effects of 16 newly-concocted biochemical warfare agents on humans. These included choking, blistering and vomiting agents, toxins, poison gas and incapacitating chemicals. They searched for ways to use the paranormal in spying and counter-intelligence. ORD sponsored work in parapsychology. Along with the military services, Agency officials wanted to know whether psychics could read minds or control them from afar (telepathy), if they could gain information about distant places or people (clairvoyance or remote viewing), if they could predict the future (precognition), or influence the movement of physical objects or even the human mind (photokinesis).
In 1968 they set up a joint program, called Project OFTEN, with the Army Chemical Corps at Edgewood, Maryland to study the effects of various drugs on animals and humans. The Army helped the Agency put together a computerized data base for drug testing and supplied military volunteers for some of the experiments. By May 1971, Operation Often had three astrologers on its payroll whose specific task was to predict the future. By 1972 two Chinese-American palmists had been employed to probe how hand reading could be developed for intelligence work. Research was conducted into black magic. The Scientific Engineering Institute funded a course in sorcery at the University of South Carolina. The CIA’s scientists carefully studied the results of the classes devoted to fertility rites and raising the dead. Simultaneously, research into brain implant technology was stepped up. The tests were abruptly halted in 1972 when the prison’s medical lab burned to the ground. (http://wariscrime.com/new/the-cia-connections-to-the-mind-control-cults/
In 1940, Winston Churchill spoke of a world “made darker and more sinister by the dark lights of perverted science.” He was referring to the Nazis, but his remarks are applicable to CIA’s mind-control experiments that subjected a host of unwitting human subjects to mentally destabilizing psychotropic drugs and sensory deprivation and implanted electrodes in the quest for finding a “magic formula” for winning the Cold War.