MKULTRA Hypnosis Experiments

This memo, written by the CIA's Sidney Gottlieb, is one of the earliest records available from the MKULTRA project. One month after CIA Director Allen Dulles authorized the program, Gottlieb writes of a "planned series of five major experiments" which are to examine "hypnotically induced anxieties," the "relationship of personality to hypnosis," and other matters of the hypnotized mind.

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DRAFT-SG/111 11 May 1953


SUBJECT: Visit to Project [deleted]

1. On this day the writer spent the day observing experiments with Mr. [deleted] on project [deleted] and in planning next year's work on the project (Mr. [deleted] has already submitted his proposal to the [deleted]).

2. The general picture of the present status of the project is one of a carefully planned series of five major experiments. Most of the year has been spent in screening and standardizing a large group of subjects (approximately 100) and the months between now and September 1 should yield much data, so that these five experiments should be completed by September 1. The five experiments are: (N stands for the total number of subjects involved in the experiment.)

Experiment 1 - N-18 Hypnotically induced anxieties to be completed by September 1.

Experiment 2 - N-24 Hypnotically increasing the ability to learn and recall complex written matter, to be completed by September 1.

Experiment 3 - N-30 Polygraph response under Hypnosis, to be completed by June 15.

Experiment 4 - N-24 Hypnotically increasing ability to observe and recall a complex arrangement of physical objects.

Experiment 5 - N-100 Relationship of personality to susceptibility to hypnosis.

3. The work for next year (September 1, 1953 to June 1, 1954) will concentrate on:

Experiment 6 - The morse code problem, with the emphasis on relatively loser I.Q. subjects than found on University volunteers.

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Experiment 7 - Recall of hypnotically acquired information by very specific signals.

[deleted] will submit detailed research plans on all experiments not yet submitted.

4. A system of reports was decided upon, receivable in June, September and December 1953, and in March and June, 1954. These reports besides giving a summary of progress on each of the seven experiments, will also include the raw data obtained in each experiment. At the completion of any of the experiments a complete, organized final report will be sent to us.

5. After June 1, [deleted] new address will be:


6. A new journal was observed in [deleted] office:

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
published quarterly by the Society for CF. & E.H.
publisher is Woodrow Press, Inc.
227 E. 45th Street
New York 17, N.Y.
Price is $6.00

To date two numbers issued, Vol. 1 #1 January 1953, and Vol. 1 #2 April 1953.

7. A Very favorable impression was made on the writer by the group. The experimental design of each experiment is very carefully done, and the standards of detail and instrumentation seems to be very high.

Sidney Gottlieb
Chemical Division, TSS

Original Only.


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