Inside Mind Control
May 11, 2010 3:13 PM   Subscribe

More than 30 years after it was written, the Pentagon has released a memorandum detailing its involvement in the CIA’s infamous Cold War mind-control experiments. The entire document, as linked to in the article, is available as a pdf.
posted by gman (18 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
And the Navy is reported to have “obtain[ed] heroin and marijuana” in an effort to develop speech-inducing drugs for use on defectors and prisoners of war. The drugs were eventually tested on 14 people: six volunteer research assistants, and eight unwitting Soviet defectors.

Least. Effective. Interrogation. EVER.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:26 PM on May 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

Currently in the 9th Circuit:


"... A federal judge in San Francisco has given the green light to an action by Vietnam vets saying the CIA prevented roughly 7,000 human subjects from getting medical care after they were subjected to experiments on mind control, implantation of electronics and the effects of exotic drugs.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken allowed a challenge to the consent forms signed by individual plaintiffs involved in the experiments, to the extent that they required an oath of secrecy.

At the same time, she dismissed the challenge to the legality of the CIA's human testing program of the 1950s and '60s

But the plaintiffs ... may seek a declaration concerning the lawfulness of consent forms provided to the individual plaintiffs, since the extent of their potential injuries was not fully disclosed and the forms required them to take a secrecy oath.

Plaintiffs ... allege that the oaths cause ongoing harm because they prohibit individuals from seeking treatment and counseling for the harm caused by the experiments.

The court also denied the CIA's motion for judgment that the plaintiffs' claims are time-barred and that the court lacks jurisdiction because the plaintiffs' medical care "has been wrongfully withheld," causing them injury due to the agency's failure to act....
posted by hank at 3:53 PM on May 11, 2010

I think this is a great argument for paying your taxes. Relatively small sums were spent on the experiments - seemingly, under a million in total, although I have not tabulated all the costs - and yet they have produced many millions of dollars in economic activity related to the production of books and audiovisial works purporting to fully explain various conspiracies.

Based on the information here and the continuing public fascination with 'Area 51', I propose the government invest a modest amount, on the order a few million dollars, in the redesignation and securing of some otherwise dull military facility in order to give the appearance of Top Secret activity taking place within. Military personnel at the facility - ideally those who have proved unfit for active service owing to defects of intellect or character - can be assigned routine and unimportant maintenance tasks, but warned on a regular basis not to talk about them.

At small expense, underutilized vehicles with darkened windows, tightly-sealed cargo containers, and helicopters can travel to and from the facility for no particular reason. Utility buildings with basic but otherwise inadequate security can be fitted with otherwise redundant or obsolete electrical equipment such as strobe light generators and loudspeakers, whose output can be triggered at random intervals during nocturnal periods to create the impression that Something Is Going On.

Similarly, senior officers and members of the general staff can occasionally be required to waste some of their valuable time by paying a completely pointless visit to the facilities, where they will evince an impatient and irritated demeanor, while failing to provide any guidance about the facility's real purpose. Even if such personnel explicitly state that the purpose of the facility is to mislead and confuse lower-ranked service personnel and, by extension, the general public, such statements will be regarded by interested parties as evidence of obfuscation and concealment, heightening speculation and imagination.

We estimate that such a program, for substantially less than the cost of a single main battle tank could indirectly generate tens or even hundreds of millions worth of new creative output about government secrets and conspiracies, much of which would find its way back to the United States Government via taxation of profits from international sales. We note in particular the significant economic revenue brought to the US by artists such as film director Steven Spielberg, half of whose career consists of motion pictures predicated on the existence of inscrutable space aliens.

Additionally, the inevitable tide of speculation and misinformation about the 'real' purpose of apparently secret but actually pointless activity on a military facility would draw attention away from facilities of more serious purpose and generally confound and perplex America's enemies. The more time they spend trying to figure out what the hell we are actually doing, the less time they have to plot the destruction of our freedoms. Finally, by attempting to maintain an inordinate degree of secrecy and urgency about a facility which is otherwise completely lacking in value, we will gain valuable information about the fundamental weaknesses in our security apparatus which will allow us to anticipate and mitigate similar failures in more important military contexts.

It would, of course, be honor to lead a team charged with the planning and implementation of such a program, before suddenly disappearing for an extended period, and furiously denying any involvement in such an operation upon my reintegration into public life. For added effect, I could then recant and admit the truth of the whole affair some time later, thereby upholding the high standards of honesty and probity required of all employees of the Federal Government while simultaneously intensifying the air of mystery and conspiracy in fulfillment of the mission's purpose.

You know where to find me, gentlemen.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:04 PM on May 11, 2010 [62 favorites]

Well .... did they work?
posted by Afroblanco at 4:24 PM on May 11, 2010

Well .... did they work?

I would answer this, but then I'd have to kill you... WITH MY DRUG ADDLED MIND.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:35 PM on May 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

This is what we pay for with our taxes...for people to release a pointless article that everyone had forgotten about until now...Waste of money.
posted by NotSoSiniSter at 4:37 PM on May 11, 2010

These experiments were doomed to fail because they undermined the target individual's ability to process and respond to information. What they really needed was a system to bombard the user with information which they can greedily and obessively process, to the detriment of all other sensory perception.

I'm just saying is all
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:53 PM on May 11, 2010 [4 favorites]

implantation of electronics

So the next time you hear "the CIA put a radio in my brain" from your patient, you may want to consider the possibility that they are telling the truth. We live a in truly enlightened age.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:13 PM on May 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

[stares at goat]
posted by digitalprimate at 5:43 PM on May 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

Sometimes you've just got to take a step back and have a good belly-laugh at your own species. Either that or surrender to the madness.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:56 PM on May 11, 2010

I'd just like to thank the Army for that oil drum sized container of DMT they made on the late 60s that's still supplying me today. Best military project yet.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:39 PM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I loved that document. It's much better than Cats. I want to read it again and again.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:43 PM on May 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Least. Effective. Interrogation. EVER.

I ain't tellin' you shit, man.

...unless you get me some cheetos and a six pack.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:52 PM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

[stares at goat]

That was such a good book! Too bad they totally fucked up the movie.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:59 PM on May 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

For some reason I suddenly feel no desire to read this....
posted by Hicksu at 9:40 PM on May 11, 2010

Well, you could watch The Net (2003, German with English Subtitles) instead.
posted by telstar at 9:45 PM on May 11, 2010

They are very forthcoming about the things that didn't work. I wonder if they had successes as well.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:53 AM on May 12, 2010

Operation Midnight Climax
posted by homunculus at 8:49 AM on May 12, 2010

« Older An exclusive interview with Mr. Robert Dutu   |   Fifty Extraordinary Churches Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments