by Sid Taylor

An article from Nexus Magazine April/May1992

Techniques used by Government agencies for mind control

Skeletons in the Closet: Part 2


This was Dr. Cameron's ongoing "attempts to establish lasting effects in a patient's behaviour" using a combination of particularly intensive electroshock, intensive repetition of prearranged verbal signals, partial sensory isolation, and repression of the driving period carried out by inducing continuous sleep for seven to ten days at the end of the treatment period. During research on sensor deprivation, Cameron experimented with the use of Curare, (the deadly poison used by South American Indians to tip their arrow heads), to immobilise his patients. After one test he noted: "Although the patient was prepared by both prolonged sensory isolation (35 days) and by repeated depatterning, and although she received 101 days of positive driving, no favourable results were obtained." Patients were regularly treated with hallucinogenic drugs, long periods in the "sleep room", and testing in the Radio Telemetry Laboratory that was built by Rubinstein under Dr. Cameron's direction. Here, patients were exposed to a range of RF and electromagnetic signals and monitored for changes in behaviour. It was later stated by other staff members who had worked at the Institute that not one patient sent to the Radio Telemetry Lab showed any signs of improvement afterwards.


A project designed to assess the use of sexual entrapment in covert operations. It became known unofficially as Operation Midnight Climax. Included in the operation were attempts by CIA agents to infiltrate public gatherings, such as cocktail parties, where unsuspecting guests were sprayed with LSD in canisters variously labelled as insect repellent, deodorant and perfume. An operation conducted in an apartment in New York's Greenwich Village focused specifically on drug testing. Another apartment was rented on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco and used for further drug testing. It was also set up as a brothel at which was used to discover more about the psychological aspects of sexual behaviour and prostitution, and to scout for potential CIA "assets". (Moles, informers, snoops, field agents). A report by a Senate investigating committee recorded in 1975 that, "Prior consent was obviously not obtained from any of the subjects. There was, obviously, no medical pre-screening. In addition, the tests were conducted by individuals who were not qualified scientific observers. There was no medical personnel on hand to administer the drugs or to observe their effects and no follow up was conducted on the subjects".


There were an enormous number of MKUltra operations. The project farmed out work to eighty institutions, of which forty-four were colleges or universities, fifteen research facilities or private companies, twelve hospitals and three prisons. The estimated total cost of the operation was 10-25 million dollars.

Prisoners were used in experiments conducted at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville State Prison by Dr. James Hamilton. Funded by another chain of front organisations, Dr. Hamilton conducted "clinical testing of behavioural control materials." In New Jersey, testing was conducted by Dr. Carl Pfieffer at the Borden Reformatory, on similar materials. At Holmesburg State Prison in Philadelphia volunteers were used to test a particularly violent incapacitating drug. Around the same time as these tests were being conducted by the CIA the US Army initiated two projects, THIRD CHANCE and DERBY HAT. They conducted experiments both home and abroad, and at one time the New York State Psychiatric Institute was conducting research under contract to the Army. Between 1955 and 1958 the Army also tested LSD on 1,000 volunteer US servicemen at Fort Bragg and the Army's Chemical Warfare Laboratories at Edgewood.


This operation focused on the interrogation of people who were suspected as being foreign agents spying upon US installations, or native Americans suspected of being foreign agents. Much of the testing was conducted off the American mainland in CIA safe houses and American occupied war zones.


A covert operation conducted in Mexico City that involved the use of undercover hypnotherapists to determine whether an unsuspecting victim could be influenced, by a combination of drugs and hypnosis, into becoming an assassin who would carry out an order to kill after being triggered into action by a pre-programmed signal.


An operation that included over a dozen sub-projects. The projects were under the control of Dr. Sydney Gottlieb. Most were a continuation of projects conducted under MKUltra that were renamed after Dr. Cameron's time with the Agency had come to an end. Some were to be conducted in CIA safe houses set aside in a number of American cities including, Washington, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The intention was to use them as locations where "expendables", (that is a subject who might die, but whose disappearance was unlikely to arouse suspicion), could be tested under full medical supervision. Other sub-projects concentrated specifically on exploiting human weaknesses and destabilising personalities.

One operation funded under MKSearch by Dr. Gottlieb was researching micro-organisms with the capacity to kill. The work was carried out by two separate laboratories who were unaware of each other's activities. One was a private research facility in Baltimore, the other was at the Army Biological Laboratory at For Detrick, which had been running an operation since May 1952 known as MKNaomi. The civilian researchers in Baltimore were instructed to attempt to find chemicals that could induce anything from the desire for kinky sex, to stimulating death by carbon dioxide, that is, to produce a chemical that could fake suicide. At Mount Sinai Hospital an immunologist by the name of Dr Harold Abramson was allocated $85, 000 by Dr. Gottlieb and was told that the Agency wanted experiments done on disturbance memory.

They wanted disturbance by aberrant behaviour, changes of sex patterns, suggestibility and the creation of dependence, to be used in the obtaining of information.


In their search for a chemical material "which would cause a reversible non-toxic aberrant mental state, the specific nature of which could be reasonably well-predicted for each individual", Operation Big City was launched.

A 1953 Mercury car was modified so that it's exhaust pipe extended 18 inches beyond it's normal length. The car was then driven a total of eighty miles around New York emitting a gas to test it's effect on passers-by. In another test operatives travelled on the New York subway with battery powered emission equipment fitted into suitcases, to see if LSD could be sprayed in confined areas and affect people. The operators wore nasal filters. In San Francisco a biological gas was released off the Golden Gate Bridge, with the intention of covering the city and monitoring the gases disorientating effects. It blew away before it could cause any harm. In 1957, the CIA Inspector General, Lyman Kirkpatrick issued an internal memo which stated that "precautions must be taken not only to protect the operations from exposure to enemy forces, but also to conceal these activities from the American public in general. The knowledge that the Agency is engaging in unethical and illicit activities would have serious repercussions in political and diplomatic circles and would be detrimental to the accomplishment of its mission."


In this MKSearch sub-project the isolation chamber that had been constructed earlier by Dr. Cameron at the Allan Memorial Institute was rebuilt at a laboratory of the National Institutes of Mental Health. This time, instead of humans, apes were to be subjected to a cruel combination of treatments. After first being lobotomised, the animals were kept in total isolation. The radio telemetry techniques developed earlier by Leonard Rubenstein were adapted so that radio frequency energy could be beamed into the brains of the highly disturbed animals. Many were then decapitated and their heads would be transplanted onto another body to see if the RF energy would bring them back to life. The apes that were not killed in this way were later bombarded with radio waves until they fell unconscious. Autopsies revealed that their brain tissue had literally been fried. These experiments were conducted around 1965/66, so it is a frightening reality that it is around 25 years since intelligence agencies covertly started experimenting with the use of radiated energy to control behaviour.

Around the same time the Agency set up the Amazon Natural Drug Company in Iquitos, Peru. It acted as a channel for the Agency to collect drugs for their operations. A small team of botanists gathered leaves, roots and barks from the jungle, which were then sent back to the TSS laboratories where they were pulverised into dust and fed to more apes to see if they were driven mad or would kill each other. They did both.


On June 30th, 1966, Richard Helms became Director of Central Intelligence. He was the first DCI since Dulles to push hard for results in the mind control field. Operation MKSearch went into overdrive. Old projects were resurrected, abandoned projects reactivated. The safe houses were told to expect a steady supply of Viet Cong expendables to experiment on. One of the projects to be revived was the less than successful Operation Mindbender. Renamed Operation Spellbinder, the assignment was to create a sleeper killer, a real life "Manchurian Candidate". A hypnotist was recruited from the American Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. He became known amongst the Agency staff as "Dr. Fingers" and was selected because his file stated that he would have no qualms about conducting potentially terminal experiments. The intended victim of the experiment was Fidel Castro. After attempts to program several would-be assassins, the operation was discontinued and written off as a complete failure.


What the agency wanted more than anything was the capability to influence or control subjects remotely. This would open an entirely new set of operational possibilities to the world of covert intelligence. Due to the obviously sensitive nature of any research in this area, special precautions were taken to isolate operations financially from other projects and the Agency.


Subproject 142 was "a small biological program of electrical brain stimulation involving some new approaches to the subject." The project would "engage in some very practical experiments at some point in the work that would present security problems if this effort were to be handled in the usual way. Some of the work proposed for these animals would involve possible delivery systems for direct executive type action operations as distinguished from the eavesdropping application." The term "executive action" was the CIA's euphemism for assassination.

Subproject 94 was similar, its purpose "to provide for a continuation of investigations on the remote directional control of activities in selected species of animals. Miniaturised stimulating electrode implants in specific brain centre areas will be used."

These projects were initially conducted on animals. Dogs, cats and monkeys were tested as guided microphones and bombs. By 1960, "the feasibility of remote control of several species" had been demonstrated. By April 1961, Sidney Gottlieb's team had "a 'production' capability." After successful testing of electrode implants in animals brains, it was only a matter of time before human subjects were to be used.

In July 1968 an Agency team flew into Saigon to experiment on three Viet-Cong prisoners at Bien Hoa Hospital. Working in an enclosed compound, the team's neurosurgeon and neurologist inserted tiny electrodes into their brains. Behaviourists then experimented on the men, arming them with knives and trying to induce violent behaviour in them using the direct electrical stimulation. After a week of experimentation which failed to incite the men to attack each other, they were shot dead and their bodies burned. One cannot even begin to guess at the number of people who have been subjected to brain implants since these early experiments.


By 1969 TSS had been replaced by the Office of Research and Development (ORD) as the Agencies "Department of the Unorthodox". The most innovative and daring doctors were transferred to ORD and a number of bizarre and far-reaching experiments were put into action. The roots of the new research could be traced back to the earlier work Dr. Cameron had approved which tried to establish links between eye colouring and mental illness.

The ORD chemical and biological team started off trying to create a deadly virus by exposing a range of already deadly bacteria to ultraviolet light. While they continued with that line of research, the psychiatrists and behaviourists on the ORD team set off to explore an even stranger possibility. The world of the supernatural and black magic. Agents spread out across the country in search of fortune-tellers, palm readers, psychics and clairvoyants. The agents would introduce themselves as researchers from the Scientific Engineering Institute.

They worked with their new found subjects searching for ways to use the paranormal in spying and counter-intelligence. By May 1971, Operation Often had three astrologers on its payroll whose specific task was to predict the future. They would sit for hours in soundproof booths scouring magazines and newspapers looking for items that would alert them psychically. They then taped whatever thoughts came into their minds about how the particular situation may develop. By 1972 two Chinese-American palmists had been employed to probe how hand reading could be developed for intelligence work. Palmists had already been consulted after the Agency went to considerable lengths to obtain Fidel Castro's palm prints. A medium was used to scout the United Nations for "evil types" and an approach was even made to the minister in charge of exorcisms for the Catholic archdiocese of New York. Whatever the offer, it was firmly rejected. Research was conducted into black magic, complete with an analysis on the covens operating in the United States. The Scientific Engineering Institute funded a course in sorcery at the University of South Carolina. The CIA's scientists carefully studied the results of the classes devoted to fertility rites and raising the dead. Simultaneously, research into brain implant technology was stepped up.


After consultation with the DCI, Richard Helmes, Dr. Gottlieb hired the former director of the Agency's Office of Scientific Intelligence, Dr. Stephen Aldrich, and set him up in a safe house where a KGB defector had recently been interrogated and tortured continuously for almost three years, so that he could experiment with a device known as the Schwitzgebel Machine. This was a 'Behavioural Transmitter-Reinforcer' (BT-R) fitted to a body belt that received signals from, and transmitted signals to, a radio module. The machine was "linked to a missile tracking device which graphs the wearer's location and displays it on a screen." It was developed by Ralph K. Schwitzgebel in the Laboratory of Community Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His brother, Robert, subsequently modified the prototype into a more refined final product. The machine drew enthusiastic praise from criminologists who were supportive of ORD's concepts for the intelligence techniques of the new world order.

On December 10th 1972, Helmes cancelled Operation Often. The memo sent to Dr. Gottlieb to notify him was marked READ DESTROY. Dr Gottlieb resigned from the agency in January 1973. Before he left he was ordered by Helmes to shred all records from MKUltra - MKSearch.

130 boxes would later be discovered in the Langley archives that inexplicably, Dr Gottlieb had failed to destroy. It was thought that the records had been misfiled and would have been destroyed if Helmes and Gottlieb had been aware of them.


In July 1974 the Watergate scandal climaxed with the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, and Vice-President Gerald R. Ford stepping in to take the reigns. Ford immediately became aware of the scope of the CIA' wholesale misbehaviour. They had tried everything from blackmail, bribery, and sexual harassment to violence and murder, in a genuinely horrific abuse of their privilege to classify anything they deemed fit to cover up TOP-SECRET, ULTRA or EYES-ONLY. Upon hearing the truth, Gerald Ford's reaction was reportedly to shake his head in disbelief and mutter, "My God. Oh, My God."

In December 1974 The New York Times ran a story exposing some of the Agency's illegal activities during the Johnson and Nixon administration, and a public outcry ensued. President Ford quelled the public reaction by appointing a committee, chaired by Vice-President A. Rockefeller, to investigate the allegations. Ronald Reagan, who was Governor of California at the time, was one of the eight members sitting on the committee. He rallied strongly in favour of the CIA and claimed that "in any bureaucracy of about sixteen million people there are going to be people who make mistakes and do things they shouldn't do." Over dinner with William Casey, Reagan vowed that if he were ever elected President he would make sure that the CIA would never have to fight with one arm tied behind it's back. George Bush became DCI on January 31, 1976, and departed to become Reagan's running mate on January 20, 1977. On January 26, 1981, William Casey made his first trip to the White House as Director of Central Intelligence. Within a short space of time, the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, who had also been in the running to become DCI, helped forge closer ties with the CIA, attempts were made to smooth the competitive relationship between the two agencies, the NSA allowing the CIA unprecedented access to their extensive data and computerised intelligence gathering facilities.

On December 11 1980, a law suit was filed against the CIA by a former patient under the "care" of Dr. Ewen Cameron. Shortly afterwards another patient became a co-plaintiff. It was expected that more victims of the CIA's covert mind-control research operations would shortly join in. Casey ordered the legal staff to delay any court hearings for as long as possible, his plan being that if the elderly plaintiffs were to die before the trial, the case would die with them. Casey then set about collecting damming evidence about the medical torture practices of over eighty countries deemed to be unfriendly to the United States. The case eventually made it to trial. The plaintiffs settled for a sum of $100,000 each which was released to them on the understanding that they would never publicly discuss the case again.

The operations listed above only became public knowledge because of the public's awareness of the Senate investigations, and checks made by researchers under the Freedom of Information Act. Today, in almost every country in the world, torture involving the manipulation of the human mind is performed on someone very single day. Techniques have become so sophisticated that even victims who become statistics may be unaware of what, or who, has been interfering with their minds. The techniques that are in use today are more subtle, silent, and deadly than ever before. There is no way of knowing just how many research projects, or perhaps more importantly, deployment operations, are conducted at the present time. Perhaps the sudden change of attitude by many of the Iraqi personnel on the ground in the recent Gulf War could be related to the possible of secret long-range behaviour-modifying technologies.

Much of the research conducted by the CIA and the Soviets has inspired both the Intelligence community and the Defense Department to a close look at the potential of parapsychology for covert psychic warfare purposes. This topic will be covered in detail in a future issue of Nexus.

The intention of publishing this story is not to shock or scare you. It is to remind you that behind the veil of secrecy that masquerades as "national security" , there are people perfecting mind-control techniques that can relieve you of your self-control. Only by being aware of the silent hand that would like to control your mind will you recognise where the veil starts and deception begins. Only by being aware can we begin to lift the veil.


Journey Into Madness - Gordon Thomas, Bantam Books 1989 CIA - The Honourable Company - Brian Freemantle, Futura Books 1984 Psychic Warfare - Fact or Fiction? Edited by John White, Aquarian Press 1988 The Search for the Manchurian Candidate - John Marks, Times Books 1979


Protester knocks down top brass



Mind Control Protest in Australia

Military protest: two soldiers grapple with a man who ran from the crowd and attacked Australia's two most senoir defense force officers, General John Baker and Air Marshall Doug Riding, knocking them to the ground at a parade in Canberra.


Canberra [From "The West Australian" published on July 4 1998. ]

A man was charged with assault yesterday after an attack on Australia's two most senior defence chiefs put one of them in hospital with a broken wrist.

In an astonishing security lapse, a lone protester knocked down retiring defence force chief General John Baker and Vice Chief Air Marshall Doug Riding. The incident occurred at the passing out parade from General Baker

Witnesses said the man yelled "If you want war, I'll give you war", as he ran from the crowd and knocked general Baker and Air Marshall Riding to the ground. Spectators wrestled the attacker to the ground and handed home to the police.

General Baker, who ended his career in the defence force yesterday, was not injured and was able to carry on with the parade.

Air Marshall Riding took the brunt of the assault and was taken to hospital with a broken wrist and underwent surgery last night.

His attacker was not carrying a weapon.

A 36 Albury man was remanded in custody to appear in Canberra magistrates court this morning charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. Sources said he recently wrote to the armed forces that he was a former service man who had been injected with drugs to control his mind and was the victim of a conspiracy by General Baker.