January 18

1964–1970s: MK-SEARCH experiments were conducted on “expendables”

The subjects in MK-SEARCH were deemed “expendables” — people whose death or disappearance would arouse no suspicion. The experiments were designed to destabilize human personality by creating behavior disturbances, altered sex patterns, aberrant behavior using sensory deprivation and various powerful stress-producing chemicals, and mind-altering substances. Some of the experiments were carried out at CIA “safe houses” in Washington, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Others were conducted by Dr. Maitland Baldwin at the National Institutes of Health.

“Baldwin performed lobotomies on apes and then put these simian subjects into sensory deprivation — presumably in the same “box” he had built himself at NIH and then had to repair after a desperate soldier kicked his way out. There is no information available on whether Baldwin extended this work to humans, although he did discuss with an outside consultant how lobotomized patients reacted to prolonged isolation. . . Baldwin used [ ] Agency money to buy his own electroshock machine, and he did some kind of unspecified work at a TSS safehouse that caused the CIA to shell out $1450 to renovate and repair the place. (Manchurian Candidate, Ch. 12)

Dr. Charles Geschickter served the CIA both as researcher and funding conduit. Geschickter tested powerful knockout drugs, stress-producing chemicals, and mind-altering substances on mental defectives and terminal cancer patients at the Georgetown University Hospital in Washington. He branched out into trying to knock out monkeys with radar waves to the head (a technique that risked frying vital parts of the brain). Geschickter’s principal service to TSS officials seems to have been 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.

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