January 18

A vast web of clandestine collaborations between medical academics and the CIA

The CIA and DOD penetrated and compromised the research integrity of 88 non-government American institutions — universities, medical centers, hospitals; and covertly bankrolled substantially all of the post — World War II generation’s research into mass communication and techniques of persuasion, opinion measurement, and interrogation. This alliance between covert intelligence and academia proved seminal in perverting academic medical professionals and undermining the fabric of democracy.

MK-ULTRA quickly grew into a mammoth undertaking that outflanked earlier mind control initiatives, encompassing a wide-range of 149 sub-projects whose overarching goal was to develop covert “mind control” techniques that could alter an individual’s mental state and brain function. An extensive secret network of 185 psychiatrists and cognitive scientists who specialized in, psychopharmacology, psychological behavior conditioning, and behavior modification were recruited at 88 participating academic institutions.

These included: Harvard University and its affiliated, Boston Psychopathic Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital; Cornell Medical School, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Columbia University / NYS Psychiatric Institute; the University of Rochester; the University of Illinois Medical School, the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), Lexington Kentucky, Center for Drug Addiction operated under the respectable cover of the Navy; Johns Hopkins, Princeton University, Yale University; Emory, the Universities of Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont; and McGill University in Canada.

Even before Sidney Gottlieb was appointed CIA’s chief of TSS Division (1953) to oversee MK-ULTRA mind control projects, he offered medical researchers whose skill and expertise the CIA sought, a golden opportunity since he had a sizable treasure chest to dispense. Funds started flowing secretly through CIA’s conduits — 15 foundations served as money funneling fronts. These included: the Society for the Study of Human Ecology, the Josiah Macy Foundation, Geschickter Fund for Medical Research, Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and the Bureau of Social Science Research. (Marks. Manchurian Candidate, 1979; McCoy, Science in Dachau’s Shadow 2006) Government agencies also served as CIA conduits for mind control/ behavior modification experiments. These include: the Departments of Defense, Justice, Labor, Health Education and Welfare (HEW), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Science Fund (NSF), Veterans Administration (VA), Law Enforcement Assistance (LEA), and others. (Glen Yeadon. Nazi Hydra, 2008)

In effect, the CIA gained control of cognitive science, channeling the focus of research toward its dubious goal — to develop a psychological paradigm for mind control, and to perfect “scientific” techniques of torture for use in interrogations (euphemistically described as “effective techniques of persuasion”). The linchpin of MK-ULTRA was LSD whose potential use in psychological warfare and interrogation were extensively explored by CIA officials who sought to develop “extreme interrogation” techniques to effectively incapacitate an individual’s ability to make autonomous decisions, reducing humans to robots who could be controlled.

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