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Operation Midnight Climax
July 4, 2009 10:00 AM   Subscribe

Operation Midnight Climax is a new web series about how the CIA used prostitutes to test LSD on unsuspecting American citizens. "Operation Midnight Climax was a CIA mind-control research program that began in the 1950's. The project consisted of CIA-run safehouses in San Francisco, Marin and New York. It was established in order to study the effects of LSD on unconsenting individuals. Prostitutes on the CIA payroll were instructed to lure clients back to the safehouses, where they were given a wide range of substances, including LSD, and monitored behind two-way mirrors." [Via]
posted by homunculus (71 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
you stay classy, CIA
posted by mrstrotsky at 10:05 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Recent related post.
posted by homunculus at 10:07 AM on July 4, 2009


Dick-melting.
posted by ZaneJ. at 10:09 AM on July 4, 2009


This is some serious made-for-TV quality scriptwriting right here. And the acting to go with it. I did like the trip scene though.
posted by idiopath at 10:21 AM on July 4, 2009


So San Francisco's anti-authoritarian, drug-friendly atmosphere stems from the CIA? That's just wonderful.
posted by boo_radley at 10:23 AM on July 4, 2009


Operation Midnight Climax is my new band name
posted by Ironmouth at 10:25 AM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's stuff like this that always reminds me to give even the craziest-sounding tinfoil-hattery a second look.
posted by rokusan at 10:27 AM on July 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


Wow, the first article has some tortured writing too (not to mention some word for word plagiarism between that article and the wikipedia page):
After recruitment efforts became increasingly difficult to find volunteers of these programs the CIA sought out other means of conducting their "studies".
posted by idiopath at 10:32 AM on July 4, 2009


So San Francisco's anti-authoritarian, drug-friendly atmosphere stems from the CIA? That's just wonderful.

This is more or less accurate. As is detailed in Tom Wolfe's Electric Koolaid Acid Test, Ken Kesey, who many believe was San Francisco's "Johnny Appleseed" of LSD, was introduced to LSD via a CIA sponsored research project at Stanford University. As the story goes, he was so impressed by the stuff, he stole a bunch and took it to the streets.

The rest is, shall we say, stranger than history.
posted by philip-random at 10:40 AM on July 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


nothing to see here
posted by mkultra at 10:49 AM on July 4, 2009 [22 favorites]


It's stuff like this that always reminds me to give even the craziest-sounding tinfoil-hattery a second look.

It's always been a tactic of the so-called "Men-In-Black" and their "networks of information control" to encourage and give greater voice to the most lunatic of the tinfoil crowd, thus neutralizing the few who are actually pitching genuine information, however weird it may seem.

But the truth is weird. It always has been. And thank God for that. He's even weirder than the truth.
posted by philip-random at 10:49 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Porn remake: Jacob's Laid Her.
posted by permafrost at 10:59 AM on July 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Your tax dollars at work.
posted by furtive at 11:02 AM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


And thank God for that. He's even weirder than the truth.

And now, seeing as I've just connected God directly with LSD and Ken Kesey as if it's the most obvious thing in the known Universe, a link to the old BBC doc The Beyond Within feels relevant.

I saw it a long, long time ago (on PBS I believe) but I distinctly remember there being a point where Mr. Kesey says, "God chose the CIA to be his international LSD dispersion agents," (or words to that effect), his point being that no other organization on planet earth could have spread LSD to so many places (including behind the Iron Curtain) so quickly and efficiently.

And ... it was this dispersion at the height of the Cold War which, more than any other factor, raised human kind's consciousness enough to avoid the nuclear Armageddon that seemed inevitable at the time.

And now, I'll have that coffee.
posted by philip-random at 11:05 AM on July 4, 2009 [16 favorites]


I always suspected Timothy Leary worked for The Man
posted by Restless Day at 11:06 AM on July 4, 2009


I think we've found Joss Whedon's new show idea.
posted by Arbac at 11:26 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


He did Restless Day, he was an informant for the FBI at one point.
posted by longbaugh at 11:27 AM on July 4, 2009


I'd prefer to be randomly dosed with ecstasy if i have a choice :(
posted by empath at 11:29 AM on July 4, 2009


Ken Kesey was guinea pig in the LSD tests via the Veterans' Administration, not Stanford. The closest Kesey and LSD get via Stanford is his Perry Lane house, which is pretty darned close.
posted by lothar at 11:34 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


nothing to see here

You've obviously never dropped acid. There's plenty to see.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:34 AM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


philip-random: thanks SO much for the documentary link. Excellent July 4th watching, indeed!
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on July 4, 2009


I always suspected Timothy Leary worked for The Man

"I like the CIA!" he said. "The game they're playing is better than the FBI. Better than the Saigon police. Better than Franco's police. Better than the Israeli police. They're a thousand times better than the KGB. So it comes down to: who are you going to work for? The Yankees or the Dodgers?"
posted by philip-random at 11:38 AM on July 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Ken Kesey was guinea pig in the LSD tests via the Veterans' Administration, not Stanford. The closest Kesey and LSD get via Stanford is his Perry Lane house, which is pretty darned close.

I stand corrected, although I believe he was a Stanford student at the time.
posted by philip-random at 11:40 AM on July 4, 2009


Other scientists tried out brainwashing techniques—including isolation and sensory deprivation—on patients at McGill University's Allan Memorial Institute of Psychiatry in Montreal.

My grandmother was an involuntary test subject in this program. It's the stuff of paranoid schizophrenic ramblings, but she came down with a case of post-partum depression after my mother's birth, and this was given to her as experimental treatment, along with electro shock therapy. To this day, we can't tell if the sad, mad addict who molests family members and muddles fantasy with reality is a byproduct of her own problems or what they did to her. Congenital Aspergers and a genius level intellect were present before this, as well as a familial tendency towards depression, but not the addictions and the hungry need for an identity that led her to declare herself a lesbian and abandon her marriage, change her mind, join a satanic cult, and then alienate her entire family. Before the treatments, she was a hippy, a feminist and a socialist, definitely a social outlier (and my own paranoia makes me worry if these characteristics made her an ideal candidate for that sort of perverse torture), but would she have turned into the dangerous nightmare she is today, if left alone?

She did get a cash payout from her ordeal, a court settlement which she used to buy a house in Montreal. It's long since been sold and she never talks about what happened, but reading the radical lesbian zines she contributed to, where she talked about what she remembered from her time in the treatment, it sounds like they rattled her already fragile brain until something serious broke. Certainly my oldest aunt still has memories of a normal, nerdy, nervous woman who was her mother, and not the mental health nightmare she is now.
posted by Phalene at 11:40 AM on July 4, 2009 [46 favorites]


Operation Midnight Climax is my new band name
posted by Avenger at 11:41 AM on July 4, 2009


And ... it was this dispersion at the height of the Cold War which, more than any other factor, raised human kind's consciousness enough to avoid the nuclear Armageddon that seemed inevitable at the time

And maybe, conversely, the reason people on average seem to be getting dumber is because LSD is so much harder to obtain than it used to be, and people now prefer brain-bashing crap like meth and alcohol. People my age are probably the very last to trip on acid hundreds of times. I can remember just 15 or so years ago it was everywhere, and you could practically throw a rock in a random direction and hit somebody with a couple 10 strips. Then shortly after the turn of the century it just started to disappear, and now it's quite difficult to find some.

Although, on the other hand, psilocybin shrooms are said to have the same consciousness-raising properties, and they're still around and easy to find.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:44 AM on July 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon, I suspect mkultra was being eponi--epon--epony--wo
posted by Restless Day at 11:52 AM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nice. The audio for part 5 of the BBC documentary has been disabled for some arcane reason. *grumble*
posted by hippybear at 12:16 PM on July 4, 2009


Better video link at Google Video for The Beyond Within.

Part 1
Part 2
posted by hippybear at 12:24 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Central. Intelligence. Agency. When you think about it, the name does sound like an organization for the dissemination of the Wit and Wisdom of Timothy Leary.
posted by kozad at 12:27 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


wow, Phalene, that's intense.
posted by subatomiczoo at 12:32 PM on July 4, 2009


Shouldn't this thread be in full color?
posted by Cranberry at 12:45 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shrooms are not nearly as good DecemberBoy.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:00 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


What ever happened to Mescaline?
posted by fcummins at 1:10 PM on July 4, 2009


Shouldn't this thread be in full color?

Click the link called "Make It Start" at the bottom of the page.
posted by loquacious at 1:16 PM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Shouldn't this thread be in full color?

It isn't?
posted by pracowity at 1:17 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Embryonic Journey
posted by Restless Day at 1:42 PM on July 4, 2009


I would just like to point out that these CIA stories are always so crazy because the Agency has always been an incompetent, delusional bureaucratic nightmare. They have never been a successful orginazation. Just read Legacy of Ashes, the definitive CIA history which basically reads like a comedy. These guys are not scheming masterminds; they're fucking useless.
posted by martens at 1:48 PM on July 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


And once again reality is proven to be 10 tens more crazy than any opium dream. Suck it Samuel Taylor Coleridge!
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on July 4, 2009


Operation Midnight Climax

*Adds to possible sockpuppet list*
posted by The Whelk at 1:54 PM on July 4, 2009


> "I like the CIA!" he said.

This link is well worth the read.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:02 PM on July 4, 2009


Shouldn't this thread be in full color?

Click the "make it start" link at the bottom of the page.
posted by rtha at 2:04 PM on July 4, 2009


People my age are probably the very last to trip on acid hundreds of times.

I'm not sure exactly how old you are, but I wouldn't bet on it. There was definitely a serious drought for a while, but LSD has made quite a resurgence.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:11 PM on July 4, 2009


Yeah, acid was pretty hip during the ABC NORIO/DUMBA COLLECIVE heyday, if I recall.
posted by The Whelk at 2:13 PM on July 4, 2009


There was a guy here in my town who wrote a book about fifteen years ago about the whole CIA-MKUltra thing. I met him while I was freelance writing. He had a great story, a very professional press kit and a lot of freely confessed experience with LSD. I decided to write a story about his book, and took his press kit home to read the excerpt.

His writing was terrible. The worst I have ever read.

It was so bad, I couldn't finish it. I certainly couldn't write a story about it. I gingerly tried to ask what he thought about his own writing; he thought it was great.

I Google his name every now and then; it's always interesting.
posted by atchafalaya at 2:31 PM on July 4, 2009


LSD has made quite a resurgence.

LSD is always resurging. I seem to recall it was very scarce in my corner of the world for a while in the late 1970s ... then KABLAMMM!!! welcome to December 1980, seriously strong acid all over the place, too strong. A friend of mine always connected this with the murder of John Lennon. I always thought it had more to do with Ronald Raygun in the White House ...

Either way, it seemed to be something that the world required.
posted by philip-random at 2:40 PM on July 4, 2009


whoa i didn't know the image tag was allowed again
posted by Pronoiac at 3:03 PM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


The CIA giveth, the DEA taketh away
posted by TedW at 3:21 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


For more on the disappearance and reappearance of LSD, I highly recommend Ryan Grim's new book, This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America. I would recommend it no matter what, but it covers that particular issue extensively.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:30 PM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jesus, Phalene.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:03 PM on July 4, 2009


But is it good acid? I mean, there's LDS and there's whatever that stuff is.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:09 PM on July 4, 2009


I was all "wha...I know this has been on Mefi before". But it was only a flashback.
posted by telstar at 4:43 PM on July 4, 2009


Funny this is on here today. I started here (the band Muse's twitter site, where they are releasing information on their new album) and due to some of the postings ended up here where I perused the "tin-foil hattery" government documents about mind control. I wasn't sure what to think about them, and eventually came here to see if anyone had mentioned the site. Lo and behold I stumble upon this.
posted by Defenestrator at 4:48 PM on July 4, 2009


I'm not much of a conspiracy nut, but some of the (limited) documents I had time to read are pretty weird and sci-fi esque. Not sure about their legitimacy or accuracy though, I didn't have time to take a really good look at them.
posted by Defenestrator at 5:06 PM on July 4, 2009


Although, on the other hand, psilocybin shrooms are said to have the same consciousness-raising properties, and they're still around and easy to find.

It's not exactly the same, but all roads down that path lead to the same place. Thing is, LSD is the purest path, the essence of the entheogen. All psychedelics have certain characteristics and sometimes a bit of personality. LSD is an open road and can take on other characteristics, but sometimes not, although the trip can potentially be like a mushroom trip, or mescaline, etc. This is why it's so interesting compared to psilocybin, amanita muscaria, mescaline, 2c-b, etc. It's the Real Deal, as good as it gets. Shrooms are great, however, and pretty easy to grow if they're not being sold anywhere.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:31 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


But is it good acid? I mean, there's LDS and there's whatever that stuff is.

Well, I don't know how high you're going to get on Mormonism, but there is LSA, derived from morning glory seeds. It's becoming more common since the chemist in the missile silo got busted. He was supplying roughly 1/3 of all the trips for quite a while. The chemistry is pretty hard, so not a lot of people take it up.

Recently, certain people at parties have been selling "acid" in vials and blotter which is not LSD at all, nor anything similar to it. I'm not sure what it is, possibly a GHB-like chemical which does very little in small doses, but it's not in any way psychedelic, it's much more expensive than most people sell LSD for, and it's the first time I've seen purely fake crap for quite a while. The people who were passing it off acted like it was normal, and they stuck around and didn't disappear, so maybe it's been accepted that some "acid" is this crap, whatever it is. Someone said it was diluted about 8:1, but I don't think it was chemically related to any entheogen.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:38 PM on July 4, 2009


I was all "wha...I know this has been on Mefi before". But it was only a flashback.

Flashback. Whoa.
posted by homunculus at 5:41 PM on July 4, 2009


But is it good acid? I mean, there's LDS and there's whatever that stuff is.

BTW, if this is a question about what the CIA was using, yes, they had good acid, meaning they had real acid in known doses. They were using LSD-25, IIRC, which is the "classic" LSD chemical, the one Albert Hofman accidentally discovered on his infamous bike ride.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:50 PM on July 4, 2009


Certainly my oldest aunt still has memories of a normal, nerdy, nervous woman who was her mother, and not the mental health nightmare she is now.

The sad thing is the CIA really demonstrated the potential for evil with this stuff, but it was being used by "the establishment" at the same time for psychotherapy with very good results. Especially promising was the work on PTSD and trauma, but definitely plain old Freudian psychoanalysis also benefited. It has great potential to be a very useful tool for therapy and for spiritual growth, but it can definitely be misused, particularly in the form of people manipulating others who are on it. Making it illegal hasn't really helped, because a lot of people are introduced to it in circumstances which aren't entirely conducive to the best experience, and education on how to make it the best experience is difficult when it's underground and widely misunderstood.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:56 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine always connected this with the murder of John Lennon. I always thought it had more to do with Ronald Raygun in the White House ...

Well, the addition or loss of even one chemist has a big effect on the supply. Only a handful are left.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:59 PM on July 4, 2009


Having myself dropped acid a couple of times back in the late seventies I can confidently say that anyone who purposely gives it to someone without their consent or knowledge is EVIL. That stuff is wack enough if you ARE expecting the hallucinations. I can't imagine what it would be like to experience such a thing without expecting it. That's just wrong.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:59 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was on the Oberlin campus, in the Summer of 1970, on a flight layover, to visit a friend. On that Friday night it was said that some 26,000 hits of pure LSD had been stolen out of an Army lab, in on of the Great Lakes states, Michigan, I think. Anyway, some of said LSD was distributed all over the campus, and the student body, was in a special state that night. Now that would be an experiment, if I didn't know better, without actively administering, it was simply offered as something fun for Friday, free. I can't imagine how that experiment could have been observed, but right after landing way North in Ontario, where I was going, we were pulled over my Mom, brother and I, by Canadian Agents, in cars front and back, and the agents were only interested in my bags. I was so annoyed by the intrusion, that I dumped my luggage in the snow, and kicked every, single item, until it was at least a foot from any other item, and I asked the men to look very carefully. Check it all out. They kind of fell all over themselves putting it all back. It was whey they started handling my clothes, and underwear, the I "offered to help" with the process.

My Father sat on a ship, in Hiroshima Harbor, for three days just after the close of WW2, until "they" said they had to bug out, because it was too "hot". The troops said, "It don't seem hot to me, it seems quite nice here." It was only then that there was any explanation made of the radiation dangers, and away they went down to Nara, Japan. Now if that wasn't a massive radiation experiment, conducted on unwitting, young American soldiers, I don't know what could be. Never mind, I just don't want to imagine more things.

Keep in mind, there are huge experiments going on with worldwide consequences, stuff thrown into the upper atmosphere to cool the planet, and various strains of sundry, and half-baked experimental cures tested in the third world and sold as solid science, and genetically altered munchies, and animals all "beefed" up, in various ways. There is a lot to worry about, why contribute to the generalized anxiety disorder? The genie is out of the bottle, except the "genie" is a slice of rat brain, flying the airplane, you know, it is a collection of sociopaths of every stripe and nation, all over the world, who have no consideration for anything but controlling information, and thereby power and capital. OK, I get it. Whatever.

If you got some free LSD, if some people invited you to a special party where they gave you a powder and your head never really quit buzzing, then take up playing the lute, and attend renaissance fairs, joust, or grow a garden.

The attempt is underway to patent intelligence, and create anti-intelligent agents by any means, history can be controlled if intelligence is held as the possession of a certain elite group, who grows intelligent enough to deny that state to others, by devious means. In case you haven't noticed, viral warfare is on the rise. Have you not considered that drug dementia is reversible, mostly, but what happens when they start experimenting with dementia caused by viral activity? Whoops, I am sure that is well underway. Research recently discusses cerebral Toxoplasmosis as a cause of Schizophrenia. As soon as this stuff shows up, in credible studies, the creeps come around to appropriate the science. Since so much of our government is now subbed out to private contractors, I shudder to think what they are up to, with out government supervision, but butt-loads of government money.

I am often pleasantly surprised by the kindness of humans I encounter in the real, everyday world, but I am never surprised by the rumors and facts of the darkness, that humans are capable of. Intelligence agencies don't hold the patent on intelligence, because they are not hired to be intelligent, they are hired to seem intelligent, while working in a black bag of some sort, for the largest financial stake holders, in an increasingly globalized economy, like a private army to defend special interests. If their bosses decide that we are toast, then they will push down the toaster's lever for them.
posted by Oyéah at 9:02 PM on July 4, 2009 [16 favorites]


Conspiracy confession: I've vaguely wondered for a long time if George W weren't an MKULTRA guinea pig, with his dad's connections and involvement with the CIA. W, born in 1946, and never looking or acting as if he's playing with a full deck, would have been just the right age for the MKULTRA experiments. *ducks getting pelted with tinfoil hats

Phalene
, yours is one of the most devastating personal stories I've ever read here on the blue. Thank you for your courage in sharing it and making the horror of the exploitation done by the CIA in these grotesque "experiments" less easy to dismiss as almost unreal. My God, they involuntarily doped a mother suffering from post-partum depression with acid???!!! That is so outrageous! It makes my blood boil to think about this. And what did they think the impact would be on her defenseless, newborn infant? Her family? They obviously didn't care.

I hope you don't mind if I express my deep sympathy for all that you and your extended family survived, having to endure the multigenerational impact created by the disgusting treachery, betrayal and abuse the CIA committed on your grandmother.

The therapist, Kali Munro, who is in Toronto and online, is an informed and respected resource for issues related to some of the issues you mentioned in your moving comment.
posted by nickyskye at 12:54 AM on July 5, 2009


A good, well-researched book on the topic of the CIA and the testing and dissemination of LSD is Acid Dreams. Starting with the OSS looking for a "truth drug" and the Navy running Project CHATTER, it covers the period before the 60s in depth. The bathhouse dosings were just outgrowths of what they had been doing for 20 years at that point.
posted by now i'm piste at 7:57 AM on July 5, 2009


MeFi: the truth is weird...
posted by aldus_manutius at 9:18 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


A good, well-researched book on the topic of the CIA and the testing and dissemination of LSD

Storming Heaven is also a good reference, and an excellent read.
posted by philip-random at 9:56 AM on July 5, 2009


I will admit, I've done a lot of acid. A lot. Easily hundreds of hits. I once tripped for so long that I was worried I was never going to come down, and I was frankly tired of tangerine skies.

The few times when I've been accidentally dosed (I forgot which pitcher had the acid and which pitcher had the juice), or the very, very few times I've been dosed by someone who didn't tell me in advance; even though I wasn't prepared for the trip, I was able to navigate it...because I knew what was coming. You recognize the ramp-up long before you hit hallucination...assuming you understand what it feels like.

I've never had a "bad trip" the way that propaganda films and books have portrayed bad trips...with the jumping out of windows and what have you, but I have been in situations where acid was certainly not making the situation any better. (Those were times when I didn't expect to be tripping, and someone else thought I should be. Those people are assholes and I still get angry about it, 20 some odd years later.) But, because I knew from experience what was happening, it didn't become a serious crisis where my sanity or safety was at risk.

I cannot even imagine how fucked up someone could become if they were dosed without a control. That is cruelty on the highest order.

I've seen people come to realizations on acid that forever changed their lives. I'll never forget a quiet night in the woods where we realized one of our dearest friends got broken. Seriously, irretrievably, broken. The sweet boy he once was...that boy never came back. It's been 25 years, and that boy is still broken, and even now, those of us that were there feel responsible...although we couldn't have known that an acid fueled discussion of sacred mushrooms and Sumerian resurrection myths would send him off the edge.

On the other side, I've seen a metric ton of people make spiritual and psychological breakthroughs that were so astounding it was like sunshine filled them, and lo these many years later, those people are still beacons of hope and caring and compassion.

I've seen friends of my parents get 25 year sentences because they had 50 hits of acid on them at a Dead show, leaving their children to be raised by friends and a community that kept the kids off the grid and away from social services. Those kids are now in their 30's and 40's and have only ever seen their parents through a glass window and spoken to them through a grill.

LSD is a powerful tool in the right hands, and a dangerous weapon in the wrong ones. I think it's safe to assume that any three-initial government organization qualifies as the "wrong hands".
posted by dejah420 at 11:23 AM on July 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


There was a guy here in my town who wrote a book about fifteen years ago about the whole CIA-MKUltra thing...His writing was terrible. The worst I have ever read.

posted by atchafalaya at 5:31 PM on July 4 [+] [!]


Was it this book, by any chance?

Even if it isn't, the linked book is the worst I personally have ever read.
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 1:03 PM on July 5, 2009


@nickyskye: That would explain why the Jonathan Demme/Denzel Washington remake was so bad -- it had to be.

Back in 2003 or so, when they announced a remake, I thought it was going to be a brilliant retelling -- not based upon some Cold War/Red Threat, but the King-making capacity of America's upper-class.

George W.'s history was one that was paid-for, if ever there was a life that wasn't earned. Yale, a gentleman's pass on the draft, Harvard Business School and the intellectual curiosity of a turnip. He wasn't even his own family's Chosen Son -- that was Jeb -- the Republican Party leadership chose him, much as they'd chosen Dan Quayle to be his Dad's running-mate. Their arrogance in picking such a poorly-qualified candidate, albeit, a guy with gaping holes in his resume -- the paid-for assignment in the Texas Air Force Reserve, the transfer to Alabama and then his subsequent 'disappearance' to Harvard Business School.

I even recall GOP insiders, weeks before the 2000 GOP convention, that "George W. Bush was not ready for prime-time", yet, weeks later he was the Republican front-runner. George W. a Manchurian Candidate for the moneyed interests of the GOP? You betcha.

Maybe they'll do a better job within the next 40 years.


</tinfoil-hat off>
posted by vhsiv at 5:40 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


vhsiv, thanks for the validation that W was a Manchurian Candidate, even if not MKULTRA brainwashed. Puppet was always the adjective that came to mind when thinking about him, Howdy Doody in particular.

Personal anecdotes: *dons tinfoil hat, gets out shield to deflect rotten tomatoes

A relative went to Yale with W, was in the same fraternity. When W was elected, this relative said if ever there were a President to start a war as a practical joke, W was it. When he half-mischievously speculated, he chuckled sardonically, as is his wont, but I felt sick at this prospect.

The author of the book, Manchurian Candidate, Richard Condon, was a longtime 'friend' and lover of another, late relative of mine, who I suspected was depicted in part in his book as the mother of Sergeant Raymond Shaw, Eleanor Shaw. I learned that Condon plagiarized bits of the ultimate Manchurian Candidate book, I, Claudius by Robert Graves. In I, Claudius, Livia, wife of Augustus, is a classic malignant narcissist momster.

I also suspect that Eleanor Shaw, as a character in the book, was an amalgam that included not only Livia in I, Claudius but also Clare Boothe Luce. Clare's husband, Henry Robinson Luce, co-founder of Time magazine, was very much enmeshed with Allen Dulles, founder of the CIA. Her husband, Henry Luce, covertly used Time magazine journalists as CIA operatives and openly discussed using LSD, even bragging about it at a gala dinner at the posh Hotel Pierre.

I've also wondered if Henry Luce's son and Clare Boothe's stepson, were also one of those MKULTRA guinea pigs. But he would have been in his mid-thirties during the LSD years.

In order to have a Manchurian Candidate, or something like that, there had to be momsters to offer up their child/ren as brainwashees. So convincing momsters, were, I think, part of the CIA agenda and getting a high profile one, like Clare Boothe Luce, to endorse LSD, seems quite strategic and deliberate.

I imagine that Allen Dulles, Henry Luce, Clare Boothe and Richard Helms (CIA director who founded the MK-ULTRA and its later incarnation, MK-SEARCH) could be considered pathological narcissists and that they were cynical about core human values, such as free will and integrity. I speculate that the MKULTRA and CIA's LSD experiments were as much about denigrating core human values as they were about any attempt to brainwash people for military or political purposes.
posted by nickyskye at 7:36 PM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


PS an excellent free online book, Acid Dreams: History of LSD, the CIA, the Sixties and Beyond by Martin A. Lee, Bruce Shlain
posted by nickyskye at 7:50 PM on July 5, 2009


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