Mind Control & Propaganda

1977 Senate Hearing on MKUltra

[1] Senate Resolution 21 directs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities to investigate a number of issues:

"(a) Whether agencies within the intelligence community conducted illegal domestic activities (Section 2 (1) and (2));

"(b) The extent to which agencies within the intelligence community cooperate (Section 2 (4) and (8));

"(c) The adequacy of executive branch and congressional oversight of intelligence activities (Section 2 (7) and (11));

"(d) The adequacy of existing laws to safeguard the rights of American citizens (Section 2 (13))."

[2] The details of these programs may never be known. The programs were highly compartmented. Few records were kept. What little documentation existed for the CIA's principal program was destroyed early in 1973.

[3] CIA Inspector General's Survey of TSD, 1957, p. 217.

[3a] On January 8, 1953, Mr. Harold Blauer died of circulatory collapse and heart failure following an intravenous injection of a synthetic mescaline derivative while a subject of tests conducted by New York State Psychiatric Institute under a contract let by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. The Committee's investigation into drug testing by U.S. intelligence agencies focused on the testing of LSD, however, the committee did receive a copy of the U.S. Army Inspector General's Report, issued on October 1975, on the events and circumstances of Mr. Blauer's death. His death was directly attributable to the administration of the synthetic mescaline derivative.

[4] CIA memorandum to the Select Committee, "Behavioral Drugs and Testing," 2/11/75.

[5] Memorandum from Robert Taylor, O/DD/P to the Assistant Deputy (Inspection and Security) and Chief of the Medical Staff, 3/22/52.

[6] Memorandum from H. Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director, Scientific Intelligence, to the Deputy Director/Plans (DDP) "Project ARTICHOKE," 8/29/52.

[8] "Progress Report, Project ARTICHOKE." 1/12/53.

[9] Memorandum from Chief, TSD/Biological Branch to Chief, TSD "MKNAOMI: Funding. Objectives, and Accomplishments." 10/18/67, p. 1. For a fuller description of MKNAOMI and the relationship between CIA and SOD, see p. 360.

[9a] Ibid. p. 2.

[10] Senate Select Committee, 9/16/75, Hearings, Vol. 1.

[11] Memorandum from the CIA Inspector General to the Director, 7/26/63.

[12] Memorandum from ADDP Helms to DCI Dulles, 4/3/53, Tab A, pp. 1-2. [13] I.G. Report on MKULTRA, 1963, pp. 1-2. [14] Ibid, p. 4.

[15] Ibid, P. 21.

[16] Ibid., pp. 11-12.

[17] Ibid, 1957, p. 201.

[18] Thus an officer in the Office of Security of the CIA stressed the "urgency of the discovery of techniques and method that would permit our personnel, in the event of their capture by the enemy, to resist or defeat enemy interrogation." (Minutes of the ARTICHOKE conference of 10/22/53.)

[19] Testimony of CIA officer, 11/21/75, p. 33.

[20] Memorandum from the Director of Security to ARTICHOKE representatives, Subject: "ARTICHOKE Restatement of Program."

[21] ARTICHOKE memorandum, 7/30/53.

[22] The Inspector General's Report of 1957 on the Technical Services Division noted that "Six specific products have been developed and are available for operational use. Three of them are discrediting and disabling materials which can be administered unwittingly and permit the exercise of a measure of control over the actions of the subject."

[23] Memorandum from the Chief of the Medical Staff, 1/25/52.

[25] Ibid., pp. 2-3.

[26] I.G. survey of TSD, 1957, p. 217.

[27] Staff summary of Vincent Ruwet Interview, 8/13/75, p. 3.

[28] Memorandum of Col. Vincent Ruwet, To Whom It May Concern, no date, p. 2.

[29] Ruwet Memorandum, p. 3.

[30] Joseph B. Treaster, New York Times, 7/19/75, p. 1.

[31] Memorandum for the Record from Lyman Kirkpatrick, 12/1/53, p. 1.

[32] Ruwet (staff summary), 8/1.3/75, p. 6.

[33] Inspector General Diary, 12/2/53.

[34] Ibid. Dr. Gottleib has testified that he does not remember either the meeting with Helms nor the Wisner memorandum. (Gottlieb, 10/18/75, p. 16.)

[36] Memorandum of Sheffield Edwards for the record, 11/28/53, p. 2.

[37] Lashbrook (staff summary), 7/19/75, p. 3.

[37a] Gottlieb Memorandum, 12/7/53. p. 2.

[38] Edwards memorandum, 11/28/53, p. 3.

[39] Gottlieb memorandum. 12/7/53, p. 3.

[40] Ruwet memorandum, p. 3.

[41] Ibid., p. 4.

[42] Lashbrook memorandum, 12/7/53, p. 1.

[43] Staff summary of Dr. Harold Abramson interview, 7/29/75, p. 2.

[44] Lashbrook memorandum, 12/7/53, P. 3.

[45] Abramson memorandum, 12/4/53.

[46] Lashbrook memorandum, 12/7/53, p. 3.

[47] Ibid., p. 4.

[48] Ibid.

[49] CIA Field Office Report, 12/3/53, p. 3.

[50] Ruwet Memorandum, p. 11.

[51] CIA Field Office Report, 12/3/53, p. 3.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Memorandum from the General Counsel to the Inspector General. 1/4/54.

[54] Memorandum from DCI to Chief, Technical Operations, TSS, 2/12/54.

[55] Memorandum from DCI to Sidney Gottlieb, 2/12/54.

[56] Note from DDCI to Richard Helms, 2/13/54.

[57] The 1963 IG Report, which described the project involving the surreptitious administration of LSD, placed the project beginning In 1955. Other CIA documents reveal that it was in existence as early as February 1954. The CIA has told the Committee that the project began in 1953 and that the experiment which led to Dr. Olson's death was part of the project.

[58] Memorandum from ADDP items to DOI Dulles, 4/3/53, tab A, p. 2.

[59] Memorandum from DCI to Sidney Gottlieb, 2/12/54; and memorandum from DCI to Chief of operations, TSS, 2/12/54.

[60] Memorandum to Inspector General from Chief, Inspection and Review, on Subproject #3 of MKULTRA, 2/10/54.

[61] IG Report on MKULTRA, 1903.

[62] Ibid., p. 12.

[63] Ibid. According to the IG's survey in 1963, physicians associated with MKULTRA could be made available in an emergency.

[64] The Technical Services Division which was responsible for the operational use of LSD abroad took the position that "no physical examination of the subject is required prior to administration of [LSD] by TSS trained personnel. A physician need not be present. There is no danger medically in the use of this material as handled by TSS trained personnel." The Office of Medical Services had taken the position that LSD was "medically dangerous." Both the Office of Security and the Office of Medical Services argued that LSD "should not be administered unless preceded by a medical examination... and should be administered only by or in the presence of a physician who had studied it and its effect." (Memorandum from James Angleton, Chief, Counterintelligence Staff to Chief of Operations, 12/12/57, pp. 1-2.

[65] Physicians might be called with the hope that they would make a diagnosis of mental breakdown which would be useful in discrediting the individual who was the subject of the CIA interest.

[66] Memorandum for the Record prepared by the Inspector General, 5/15/63, p. 1.

[67] Ibid., p. 2.

[68] Memorandum from DDP Helms to DDCI Carter, 12/17/63.

[69] Memorandum from DDP Helms to DCI, 6/9/64, p. 3.

[70] Ibid., 11/9/64, p. 1.

[71] Ibid., pp. 1-2.

[72] Ibid., p. 2.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Section 2(9) of S. Res. 21 instructs the Committee to examine: the "extent to which United States intelligence agencies are governed by Executive Orders, rules, or regulations either published or secret."

[75] Richard Helms testimony, 9/11/75, p. 5.

Many Agency documents recording confidential relationships with individuals and organizations are retained without public disclosure. Moreover, in the case of MKULTRA the CIA had spent millions of dollars developing both materials and delivery systems which could be used by the Clandestine Services; the reconstruction of the research and development program would be difficult if not impossible, without the documents, and at least one assistant to Dr. Gottlieb protested against the document destruction on those grounds.

[76] Clandestine Services Institution (CSI) 70-10. When asked by the Select Committee about the regularity of the procedure by which he authorized Dr. Gottlieb to destroy the MKULTRA records, Helms responded:

"Well, that's hard to say whether it would be part of the regular procedure or not, because the record destruction program is conducted according to a certain pattern. There's a regular record destruction pattern in the Agency monitored by certain people and done a certain way. So that anything outside of that, I suppose, would have been unusual. In other words, there were documents being destroyed because somebody had raised this specific issue rather than because they were encompassed in the regular records destruction program. So I think the answer to your question is probably yes." (Helms testimony, 9/11/75, p. 6.)

[77] Even prior to the destruction of documents, the MKULTRA records were far from complete. As the Inspector General noted in 1963:

"Files are notably incomplete, poorly organized, and lacking in evaluative statements that might give perspective to management policies over time. A substantial portion of the MKULTRA record appears to rest in the memories of the principal officers and is therefore almost certain to be lost with their departures." (IG Report on MKULTRA, p. 23.)

[78] Memorandum from ADDP Helms to DCI Dulles, 4/3/53, Tab. A, p. 2.

[79] Memorandum from IG to Chief, TSD, 11/8/63, as quoted in memorandum from Chief, Audit Branch.

[80] The memorandum suggested that administrative exclusions, because of the importance of such decisions, should require the personal approval of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence on an individual case basis. Present CIA policy is that only the DCI can authorize certain exemptions from regulations.

[81] Sidney Gottlieb testimony, 10/18/75, Hearings, Vol. 1, p. 51.

[82] IG Report on MKULTRA, 1963, p. 14.

[83] According to an assistant to Dr. Gottlieb, there were annual briefings of the DCI and the DDP on MKULTRA by the Chief of TSD or his deputy. However, a Nay 15, 1963 Memorandum for the Record from the Inspector General noted that Mr. McCone had not been briefed in detail about the program. Mr. McCone's Executive Officer, Walter Elder, testified that it was "perfectly apparent to me" that neither Mr. McCone nor General Carter, then the DDCI, was aware of the surreptitious administration project "or if they had been briefed they had not understood it." (Elder, 12/18/75, p. 13.) Mr. McCone testified that lie "did not know" whether he talked to anyone about the project but that no one had told him about it in a way that "would have turned on all the lights." (John McCone testimony, 2/3/76, p. 10.)

[84] According to Elder's testimony, "no Deputy Director, to my knowledge, has ever been briefed or was it ever thought necessary to brief them to the extent to which you would brief the Director."

[85] IG Memorandum for the Record. 5/15/63.

On the question of authorization of the covert testing program, Elder testified as follows:

"But my reasonable judgment is that this was considered to be in the area of continuing approval, having once been approved by the Director."

The theory of authorization carrying over from one administration to the next seems particularly inappropriate for less visible, highly sensitive operations which, unless brought to his attention by subordinates, would not come to the attention of the Director.

[86] Mr. Elder was asked whether the process of bringing forward a description of actions by the Agency in getting approval through the absence of disagreement was a common one. He responded, "It was not uncommon.... The more sensitive the project the more likely it would lean toward being a common practice, based on the need to keep the written record to a minimum."

[87] Nathan Gordan testimony, 9/16/75, Hearings, Vol. 1.

[88] 1957 IG Report.

[89] Gottlieb, 10/18/75, p. 28.

[90] The IG's report on MKULTRA in 1963 stated:

"The original charter documents specified that TSD maintain exacting control of MKULTRA activities. in so doing, however, TSD has pursued a philosophy of minimum documentation in keeping with the high sensitivity of some of the projects. Some files were found to present a reasonably complete record, including most sensitive matters, while others with parallel objectives contained little or no data at all. The lack of consistent records precluded use of routine inspection procedures and raised a variety of questions concerning management and fiscal controls."

[91] CIA, Inspector General's report on TSD, 1957, p. 217.

[92] Even after the Inspector came upon it the IG did not perform a complete investigation of it. It was discovered at the end of an extensive survey of TSD and the Inspector was in the process of being transferred to another post within the Agency.

[93] Testimony of CIA officer, 11/21/75, p. 14.

[94] The one set of minutes from a QKHILLTOP meeting indicated that individuals in the Office of Medical Services stressed the need for more contact.

[95] When asked why information on the surreptitious administration of LSD was not presented to the ARTICHOKE committee, Dr. Gottlieb responded: "I imagine the only reason would have been a concern for broadening the awareness of its existence."

[96] CIA Officer, 11/21/75, p. 14

[97] IG Survey of TSD, 1957, p. 217.

[98] Ibid.

[99] USAINTC staff study, "Material Testing Program, EA 1729," 10/15/59, p. 4.

[100] This same USAINTC study cited "A 1952 (several years prior to initial U.S. interest in LSD-25) report that the Soviets purchased a large quantity of LSD-25 from the Sandoz Company in 1951, reputed to be sufficient for 50 million doses." (Ibid., p. 16.)

[101] Inspector General of the Army Report. "Use of Volunteers in Chemical Agent Research," 3/10/76, p. 138.

[102] USAINTC staff study, "Material Testing Program EA 1729," 10/15/59, p. 4.

[103] Ibid, p. 4.

[104] Ibid, p. 25.

[105] Ibid.

[106] Ibid, p. 6

[107] Mehovsky Fact Sheet, 12/9/60, p. 1.

[108] Ibid, p. 2.

[109] SPT Trip Report, Operation THIRD CHANCE, 9/6/61, p. 5.

[110] Ibid, pp. 17-18.

[111] Ibid, p. 13.

[112] "DERBY HAT" Medical and Pharmacological Report: Case #1, 9/20/62, 1). p. D10-2.

[113] Ibid., p. D10-3.

[115] SPT Trip Report, Operation THIRD CHANCE, 7/25/61, p. 1.

[116] USAINTC staff study, Material Testing Program EA 1729," 10/15/59, p. 26.

[118] Sample volunteer consent form.

[119] Sample Volunteer Security Statement.

[120] Inspector General of the Army Report, "Use of Volunteers in Chemical Agent Research," 3/10/76, p. 109.

[121] Ibid, pp. 135, 137, 138.

[122] Mehovsky Fact Sheet, 12/9/60.

[123] Memorandum from Leonard to Wheeler, 2/4/63.

[124] SGS memorandum to Wheeler through Hamlett, 2/5/63.

[125] Ibid.

[126] Maj. F. Barnett, memorandum for the record, 8/12/63.

[127] Yamaki memorandum for the record, 7/16/63.

[128] Ibid.

[129] Undated ASCI memorandum, p. 2.

[130] Memorandum from the DDP to the DCI, 11/9/64, p. 2.

[131] ARTICHOKE Memorandum, 6/13/52.

[132] IG Report on MKULTRA, 1963, p.14.

[133] Ibid This was taken by one Agency official to mean that there would be no written contract and no formal mechanism for payment. (Eider, 12/18/75, p. 31.)

[134] Ibid p. 9.

[135] Ibid p. 10.

Govern America Radio




Govern America airs Saturdays at 11AM-2PM Eastern or 8AM-11AM Pacific time.

Govern America playlist of latest episodes

Popular from this Category