The CIA has been studying how to control human consciousness for years. US intelligence agencies used methods such as in Nazi concentration camps, as well as an entire arsenal of poisons.
However, the secret program fails. Experimenters only destroy the mind, failing to subordinate it to themselves.
At the same time, many of the resulting developments were subsequently used at Guantanamo Bay as well as in military campaigns in Vietnam and the Middle East.
In an interview with RT America, American journalist and writer Stephen Kinzer tells Chris Hughes about the Secret Service, which he investigates in his book, “The Poisoner. Sydney Gottlieb and the CIA in Search of Mind Control. “
K.H.: There are two types of power in the United States. The first, visible, is the White House, the Congress, the courts, the legislatures of the state, the governors. The second type is the so-called Deep State, which continues to operate, regardless of which party wins the election.
Its most powerful organs are the intelligence services. They control a vast shadow world whose mission is to support the functioning of the “invisible” government. Can you tell us more about this?
S.K.: In fact, my entire career is dedicated to what you just talked about – trying to figure out what lies behind the facade of foreign and domestic policy. And I found a lot of amazing things. I can’t believe what it is and that these people really exist.
But let me talk in order. Even before Sidney Gottlieb, an American chemist who participated in the CIA’s undercover programs, CIA propagandists appear on the scene, introducing the term brainwashing.
It was first used by someone who worked at the CIA and who tried to convince Americans that the USSR wanted to “brainwash” them. The CIA believed this for a number of reasons. First, there were events that were interpreted this way by the intelligence department.
K.H.: What events are we talking about?
S.K.: One of them is the Catholic Cardinal process in Hungary in 1949. During the process, his speech seemed at times too monotonous and his eyes “glazed”. In general, he “acknowledges” what he has not actually done. And then, in the US, they decide: brainwashes.
It later turns out that the cardinal was forced to “admit” his guilt through the methods that investigators have used for centuries.
But the CIA decided that in the USSR they invented a kind of “pill” that allows them to control the mind. The situation with US POWs released after the Korean War prompts the same thoughts as they have signed statements condemning the US.
Plus, some of them admitted to using bacteriological weapons that, according to Washington, the US did not use. Again, the only explanation the CIA wanted to see was “they are brainwashed.”
Then, the 5th CIA Director, Alan Dulles, thought that the key to world domination was “mind control.” And that if you find a way to control the minds of others, you can control the world! He really believed it was possible. In part because of the events I mentioned above. But, there was another circumstance.
I’m talking about popular culture – all these movies, books and stories about manipulators. For example, someone drops a “something” into someone else’s glass and the person who drinks the drink commits a murder, which subsequently disappears without a trace of his memory. And the CIA is deciding: if fiction writers can come up with such a thing, scientists are certainly able to do it.
They needed a chemist who thought promisingly and at the same time was prepared to ignore ethical standards that seemed binding on the majority. So, I come across Sydney Gottlieb, who is central to my book.
KH: Back to the postwar period. Operation Paper Clamp: The US recruits war criminals to conduct medical experiments on people in concentration camps in the Manchuria-occupied Japan. Tell us about the scientists involved in this program.
S.K.: Gottlieb reasoned this way: before you “put” a new mind in someone’s head, you must somehow destroy the previous one, destroy the human psyche, his soul and body, if possible.
Where to start? Are there any experts on such issues? Of course – the doctors from the Nazi concentration camps and those who were doing vivisection in Manchuria (during World War II, the Japanese Army set up a Unit 731 in the occupied territory of China, conducting experiments on humans).
Instead of hanging these people, the US decided to hire and use them. It is they that form the basis of the American Consciousness Control Program.
KH: You write that their research has become available to Americans, including tissue samples that are often taken by still-living people in Japan …
S.K.: In the US, they were incredibly happy to learn the results of fatal experiments. And the people who conducted them became valuable colleagues of CIA doctors.
As I was studying the material for the book, it seemed that I had discovered the CIA’s first secret prison, a wonderful hut in Germany. At first glance, you might think that this is a hotel. The owner, a young German businessman, was very kind. He let me in and took me to the basement. There he said:
“There were cameras where CIA doctors, along with their Nazi colleagues, were shooting experiments that were just a continuation of the concentration camp experiments.”
According to him, all the elderly living in the area know very well what exactly happened in this building. He told me about the graves. There used to be a “forest” of them where bodies are buried, but now they are below tall buildings.
K.H.: These people are even described with the term “supplies” …
S.K.: These are called those who were tortured to death or used in experiments leading to the death of the victim. These were people from Europe and East Asia: alleged enemy agents, refugees with no connection to anyone who could file a complaint. On such material, Sidney Gottlieb and his team carried out the most impossible experiments.
K.H.: What exactly were they looking for?
S.K.: They wanted to understand how to destroy a person’s psyche. Gottlieb’s projects have taken place both in the US and in other countries. In America, he preferred to experiment with prisoners.
S.K.: Mostly. By the way, one of the most unimaginable experiments was performed on them. Gottlieb chose seven African-Americans among federal prisoners in Kentucky. He gave them three doses of LSD each day for 77 days, which, of course, they did not know.
The task in this case was to determine whether such an intake of LSD could destroy the human psyche. It turns out he can. The fate of these seven is unknown to us, we also do not know their names – all documents have been destroyed.
In Europe and East Asia, the Gottlieb team conducted even more terrifying experiments, during which people were tortured to death. One used barbiturates on “supplies”, first, the victims were “immersed” in a deep coma and then colossal doses of stimulants were administered. During the transition from coma to hyperactivity, they are shocked by the sharp drops in temperature – from extremely low to extremely high.
Does such a test destroy the psyche? Of course!
KH : Gottlieb is known to have equipped the so-called “havens” in New York, San Francisco and Marin County. How did it happen?
SK : He organized a series of experiments – 149 so-called “subprojects”. The purpose of one of them was to find out if a person could be “separated” using sex and drugs in different combinations. To this end, he opened a public house in San Francisco, near Telegraph Hill.
KH : We need to mention here White, who ran the brothel …
SK : Yes. According to a decision by Gottlieb, the agent of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics – George Hunter White, becomes the manager of a public house in San Francisco. This whole experiment was called Operation Midnight Climax.
White, was the guardian of the law, but he himself did not follow it. His position did not prevent him from using drugs and alcohol in huge quantities.
KH : By the way, he previously broke the life of jazz star Billie Holiday …
SK : Yes, in New York he pursued the jazz man, then moved to San Francisco. A group of prostitutes were hired to work in a public house and were paid to entice men. George Hunter White – a man with no psychologist education and no experience, watching what happens through a mirror while drinking martinis.
In ten years of experimentation, Gottlieb has come to the conclusion that there are many ways to physically and mentally destroy a person. But, he never found a way to “put a new mind into the emptiness received.”
In fact, he concluded that mind control is a myth. For ten years he tortured people for nothing.
Later, however, it turns out that Gotlib leaves a noticeable imprint on the CIA’s work. He even wrote a number of materials on interrogation methods. I also note that Gottlieb understood poisons, perhaps the best in America, and perhaps the world.
KH : Yes, Gottlieb and his team, working with biological agents, had a whole arsenal of such weapons. I think it’s worth mentioning the CIA scientist – Olson …
In the summer of 1953, Olson traveled to Europe, where he saw people tortured, probably to death, with poisons of his own design. He was so stunned that he intended to leave the CIA, telling his colleagues everything.
The information quickly reached Gottlieb. Of the entire group, Olson was the only one who was tormented by conscience. A few weeks after he began to talk about his doubts, Olson was dying when he fell through a thirteenth-floor window.
KH : Gottlieb secretly gave LSD even to his subordinates, including Olson, to see the effect …
SK : Gottlieb was delighted with LSD. 22 years later, Olson’s family was informed that he was not suicidal because of depression. They are told, “We must admit that we secretly gave him LSD. He had narcotic psychosis that we contributed to. “
Then, US President Gerald Ford, Jr. , invites his relatives to apologize. This has never happened before! However, even now, the family believes the LSD circumstance is just another attempt to hide information, and that Olson did not commit suicide but was pushed out the window.
KH : Exhumation was done. What turns out?
SK : A huge hematoma was found on his forehead …
KH: And he fell on his back …
SK : We later found a “murder instruction” written by Gottlieb at the time. It states that the most effective way is to fall a person from a great height. But first you have to “disable” it with a blow to the forehead. So, everything fits …
KH : Now, about McGill University, which is studying how to break a person. Subsequently, this became applicable in the so-called ’emergency transfer of persons’ – in Guantanamo, etc.
SK : Yes. All the methods used by Gottlieb are described and form the basis of the manuals used in Vietnam, Latin America and the Middle East.
KH : An exceptional degree of isolation, sensory overload, deprivation was used. And it turns out that with their help, you can very quickly make a person into a state of complete dependence on the one who is questioning him…
SK : Addiction plays a key role. Gottlieb was the first CIA to develop the following idea: ” in order for a person to fulfill your will, you must “cut him from all sensory impulses and make him believe that you are his only way of returning to the real world .” That’s how they acted in Vietnam and Latin America, and then in places like Guantanamo.
KH : So this is essentially an updated version of the same methods?
SK : This is just one example of how Gottlieb’s work is still being felt.
At the outset of the Cold War, authorities said that in the event of an emergency, in the face of an unprecedented threat to the United States, Americans would have to compromise on some of the legal, ethical, and moral principles that we normally adhere to. Now they tell us the same thing.
There are all kinds of emergencies that make us vulnerable to statements such as:
“We need to strengthen surveillance, strengthen control and restrict civil liberties. When the threat disappears, everything will fall back. “
But this, of course, does not happen.