CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

Materials Regarding Mind Control

1. The beginning point for research in this area should be with the material generated by various congressional hearings in the 1975-1977 timeframe. The items immediately below are particularly relevant.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Human Resources. Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research. Human Drug Testing by the CIA: Hearings. 95th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1977.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure of the Committee on the Judiciary. Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Human-use Experimentation Programs of the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency: Joint Hearings, Sept. 10, 12 and Nov. 7, 1975. 94th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1976.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Intelligence and Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources. Project MKULTRA, the CIA's Program of Research in Behavioral Modification: Joint Hearing, Aug. 3, 1977. 95th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1977.

Much of the material in this report comes from the testimony under grant of immunity of Sidney Gottlieb, who headed the CIA's MKULTRA project and Technical Services Division. Gottlieb died on 7 March 1999. See Tim Weiner, "Sidney Gottlieb, 80, Dies; Took LSD to C.I.A.," New York Times, 10 Mar. 1999; and Bart Barnes, "CIA Official Sidney Gottlieb, 80, Dies: Directed Tests With LSD in '50s, '60s," Washington Post, 11 Mar. 1999, B5.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Final Report. 94th Cong., 2d sess. S. Report No. 94-755, 6 vols. Washington, DC: GPO, 1976.

(I) Foreign and Military Intelligence; (II) Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans; (III) Supplemental Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence and the Rights of Americans; (IV) Supplemental Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence and Military Intelligence; (V) The Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy -- Performance of the Intelligence Agencies; (VI) Supplemental Reports on Intelligence Activities.

 

2. See also:

Bimmerle, George. "'Truth' Drugs in Interrogation." Studies in Intelligence 5, no. 2 (Spring 1961): A1-A19. [Westerfield]

3. What follows is a mixed bag. Do with it what you will.

Petersen states somewhat mildly that "[w]hile CIA abuses in this field did occur,... much of the literature on the subject is tendentious and unreliable." (p. 113)

Albarelli, H.P., Jr. A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments. Walterville, OR: Trine Day LLC, 2009.

Peake, Studies 54.1 (Mar. 2010), notes that the author argues "Olson was murdered by two CIA employees to keep him from revealing secrets." The reviewer's conclusion: "Those who demand documentation for such serious charges will discover that investing time to find it in Albarelli's narrative would be a terrible mistake."

Bain, Donald. The Control of Candy Jones. Chicago: Playboy Press, 1976.

NameBase: "Candy Jones was America's leading cover girl during the forties and fifties. In 1960 she fell on hard times and agreed to act as a courier for the CIA.... [S]he began a 12-year relationship with a CIA psychiatrist who used her to exhibit his mastery of mind control techniques. He nurtured a second personality within Candy.... The first personality could not recall later what the second had been doing, as the second traveled to distant countries on courier missions.... In 1972, Candy married New York radio talk-show host Long John Nebel. Concerned over her mood shifts and insomnia, Nebel, an amateur hypnotist, tried to help her sleep. Over many sessions Candy's story emerged.... Author Donald Bain, a friend of the couple, compiled this book from more than 200 hours of taped sessions between Nebel and Candy. Although this book is not fiction [?], unfortunately Bain does not reveal the name of the CIA psychiatrist."

Bowart, Walter H. Operation Mind Control: Our Secret Government's War Against Its Own People. New York: Dell, 1978. [Petersen]

Buckman, John. "Brainwashing, LSD, and the CIA: Historical and Ethical Perspectives." International Journal of Social Psychology 23 (Spring 1977): 8-19. [Petersen]

Collins, Anne. In the Sleep Room: The Story of the CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada. Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1988.

In a review in I&NS 5.1, Whitaker seems to take Collins' book at face value, calling it "a very accomplished piece of work." The reviewer does note that much of the story of Canadian psychiatrist Ewan Cameron "has already been told" in John Marks' Search for the "Manchurian Candidate" (1979). Clark comment: I would add that if this particular instance of bureaucratic paranoia interests you, Marks' book is better done if only because it lacks Collins' lament of jingoistic outrage.

Gillmor, Don. I Swear by Apollo: Dr. Ewen Cameron, the CIA, and the Canadian Mind-Control Experiments. Fountain Valley, CA: Eden Press, 1986. [Wilcox]

Gup, Ted. "The Coldest Warrior." Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2001, W9. Intelligencer 13, no. 2 (Winter-Spring 2003): 63-72.

Professor Gup takes on a difficult task -- trying to understand Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA scientist most associated with the MKULTRA experiments. He fits his narrative around the issues surrounding Frank Olson's death after being administered a dose of LSD in 1953, but also seeks to reach beyond that highly publicized case. That the author cannot reconcile the contradictions in Gottlieb's life comes as no surprise to either Gup or the reader.

Lee, Martin A., and Bruce Shlain.

1. Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD, and the Sixties Rebellion. New York: Grove, 1986.

The focus is the CIA's MKULTRA project. Wilcox identifies the book as belonging to the genre of conspiracy theory. "CIA doped hippies with LSD, etc." Badrich, NameBase, seems to buy the conspiracy, calling Acid Dreams "a compulsively-readable history of LSD culture" that "details how the CIA, apparently by accident, promoted LSD from a chem-lab curiosity to an American folkway."

2. Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD -- the CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond. New York: Grove/Weidenfeld, 1992.

Surveillant 3.2/3 identifies this as a "reprint of the 1985 edition with a new introduction ... and an afterword.... Many reviewers have referred to this as one of the best books to-date on CIA drug experimentation and analysis of its impact on American culture and the Agency's decision to use it."

Marks, John. The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate": The CIA and Mind Control. London: Allen Lane, 1979. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980. New York: Norton, 1991.

Clark comment: The focus is the CIA's MKULTRA project. According to Badrich, NameBase, calls this "a pioneering overview of CIA efforts to control human behavior." Constantinides comments that Marks "allowed the facts to speak for themselves with only an occasional sally into judgment for emphasis or summary."

Marks, John D. "Sex, Drugs, and the CIA: The Shocking Search for an 'Ultimate Weapon.'" Saturday Review 6 (3 Feb. 1979): 12-17. [Petersen]

Streatfeild, Dominic. Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2006.

Peake, Studies 51.1 (Mar. 2007), calls Brainwash "a valuable treatment of a historical and contemporary topic."

Thomas, Gordon.

1. Journey Into Madness: Medical Torture and the Mind Controllers. London: Bantam, 1988. [Peake, Studies 52.2] Journey Into Madness: The True Story of CIA Mind Control and Medical Abuse. New York: Bantam, 1989. [Petersen]

2. Secrets and Lies: A History of CIA Mind Control and Germ Warfare. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky, 2007.

Peake, Studies 52.2, (Jun. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), notes that this is a revision of Journey Into Madness (1988), and suggests that "[s]cholars and other serious students of intelligence may ignore it without penalty."

Weberman, A.J. "Mind Control: The Story of Mankind Research Unlimited, Inc." Covert Action Information Bulletin 9 (June 1990): 15-21.

Far out, man, far out....

Weinstein, Harvey M. Psychiatry and the CIA: Victims of Mind Control. [US]: American Psychiatric Press, 1990.

Surveillant 1.2 identifies this as a revised edition of A Father, A Son and the CIA published in 1988: "A reissue of the Canadian book about Ewen Cameron (1901-1967) and the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal where Dr. Cameron conducted brainwashing experiments. CIA provided some of his funding, and got most of the blame."

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