Reply ID "Solitary Panel"
LaRon McKinley Bey
WCI- PO Box 351
Greetings Dear Panelist and Audience Members:
Having spent more that 25 consecutive years in solitary confinement status across several states, within some of America's worst prisons, I have directly experienced or have witnessed every conceivable condition and every knnown atrocity of contemporary American penalogical practice. This unfortunate experience, I think has given me some unique perspectives that few prisoners can match.
In today's parlance the term "Solitary Confinement" could well be regarded antiquated in the sense it is more an umbrella term which now includes state-of-the-art facilities called "Supermaxes", "Control units", "Special housing units", "health segregation complexes", and a litany of euphemistic names. They all hold one common trait: acute isolation.
During the Reagan Era defunding of mental health facilities nation-wide had the effect of creating an epidemic of "street people". This, along with "The War on Drugs" and prison expansion, both Reagan-Bush policies, left many without adequate mental healthcare and drug treatment programs support. Consequently many were sent to fill the expanding prisons. Those who couldn't adapt or conform to the structured demands of the prison environment and prison officials, having given up on the concept of rehabilitation, without resources or experience on how to effectively treat the mentally ill or the drug addicted, consigned many to languish in solitary confinement with the rest of the undesirables, and to add more chaos to that envionment.
Prisons and mental institutions, if expressed on a genealogical chart, fall on a close line. So today we have a sort of incestuous marriage between the sciences of penology and psychology, i.e. prison management and psychologist: Each of today's state-of-the-art prison facilities in design and purpose were devised by and built to the specifications of psychologists. Most, if not all, are sensory deprivation chambers in part or whole. Sensory deprivation chambers are no less than experimental torture chambers designed to inflict acute forms of isolation on its subjects.
Originally invented to test the effects of severe isolation on animals, today this de facto torture is being used to study the effects of acute isolation upon the behavior control of American prisoners. Isolation is the greatest, most destructive instrument to the human psyche and spirit in the tool box of prison officials. These sensory deprivation units and prisons constitute not only conditions of "solitary confinement" but also constitute ongoing forced human experimentation, the deleterious effects of which prisoners have very little recourse to protect themselves psychologically or legally from.
Besides being ongoing experiments at a macro-level, there exists a veiled aspect of modern American penalogy that even versed prison activists are unacquainted with. I'm referring to the low-intensity (covert) forced psychological experimentation (for behavioral change purposes) conducted upon certain targetted prisoners and directed and overseen by behaviorist in collusion with prison officials. Sophisticated techniques of psychological coercion and coercive manipulation are tested; aversion therapy, classical condition, operant conditioning, among other things, are used to try to forcefully shape behavior.
I'm addressing this panel firsthand; for several years I have been subjected to these tormenting methods as incredible as that may seem. At present I am being subjected to the techniques and tactics of a vigorous attempt to insidiously condition me through means of reflex conditioning. These techniques are being directed upon me in a covert way, involving skillful and elaborate manipulation of the environment i.e. continuously placing me into orchestrated situations etc.
Most people are skeptical upon hearing these claims. Americans are easily deluded that their prisoners are not being mistreated, let along being psychologically tortures and brainwashed; and so it is no enigma to me how the German people likewise were deluded at the Nazi atrocities right under their noses. It took me a while to understand what I was being subjected to and learn to develop some sort of defense. I often wonder about the prisoners who have unwittingly or will unwittingly suffer these methods. I will not abandon them in this fight.
These facilities, in function, are similar to the "re-education" centres operated by certain communist governments in the past, except in America its veiled but not completely invisible to those who have eyes to see. Re-educaion and (forced) behavior modifications are but euphemisms for what is, in fact, brainwashing. The prisoner exposed to this extreme form of solitary confinement, for long-term,is put in peril of losing his sanity, or suffering an array of psycho-somatic illnesses and effects. In some cases the prisoners' behavior is unwittingly modified either through voluntary group participation, or insidiously via forced tactic and techniques as they have been attempting with me. It is supposed that shoudl the latter strategies not work, then the prisoner will be given no reprieve until she/he succombs to death or insanity under a withering onslaught of coercive psychological pressure. In many ways these methods often can be more effective than pain, torture, drugs or the use of physical brutality.
What I need, and what I am directly requesting of this panel, is that you join me in being proactive on this issue. I request assistance and support to file and litigate a lawsuit on behalf not only of myself, if successful, but every prisoner in solitary confinement throughout this country. Without strong support I will be crushed by the juggernaut Prison Industrial Complex should I take on an issue half-cocked. I need fraternity in struggle and the assistance of an attorney and psychologist who will extend some pro bono assistacne with information and resources and an effort of trying to locate an attorney and psychologist in my area who will litigate and/or testify in support of a civil trial. The most effective way to attack and solve this problem of overuse of solitary confinement is from the inside-out and the outside in. Only together in solidarity can we possess such a unique position.
I earnestly ask that panelist Attorney Grainne O'Neill, Jules Lobel and Dr Stuart Grassian open a correspondence with me, taking this as my first letter and an SOS directed to them, but as well I invite all of the panelist and any pro-active and concerned audience members to contact me at the address given at the head of this open letter.
Peace and love,
LaRon McKinley Bey
2016 jul 20
2015 mar 12
2013 may 23
2013 may 22
2012 jun 18
2012 jun 15
Anthropology and Counterinsurgency: The Strange Story of their Curious Relationship
Something mysterious is going on inside the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Over the past 2 years, senior leaders have been calling for something unusual and unexpected-cultural knowledge of the adversary. In august 2004, retired Major General Robert H. Scales, Jr., wrote an article for the Naval War College's Proceedings magazine that opposed the commonly held view within the U.S. military that success in war is best achieved by overwhelming technological advantage. Scales argues that the type of conflict we are now witnessing in Iraq requires "an exceptional ability to understand people, their culture, and their motivation." 1 In October 2004, Arthur Cebrowski, Director of the Office of Force Transformation, concluded that "knowledge of one's enemy and his culture and society may be more important than knowledge of his order of battle."2 In November 2004, the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored the Adversary Cultural Knowledge and National Security Conference, the first major DOD conference on the social sciences since 1962.
The major combat operations that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime were relatively simple because they required the U.S. military to do what it does best-conduct maneuver warfare in flat terrain using overwhelming firepower with air support. However, since the end of the "hot" phase of the war, coalition forces have been fighting a complex war against an enemy they do not understand. The insurgents' organizational structure is not military, but tribal. Their tactics are not conventional, but asymmetrical. Their weapons are not tanks and fighter planes, but improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They do not abide by the Geneva Conventions, nor do they appear to have any informal rules of engagement.
Countering the insurgency in Iraq requires cultural and social knowledge of the adversary. Yet, none of the elements of U.S. national power-diplomatic, military, intelligence, or economic-explicitly take adversary culture into account in the formation or execution of policy. This cultural knowledge gap has a simple cause-the almost total absence of anthropology within the national-security establishment.
Once called "the handmaiden of colonialism," anthropology has had a long, fruitful relationship with various elements of national power, which ended suddenly following the Vietnam War. The strange story of anthropology's birth as a warfighting discipline, and its sudden plunge into the abyss of postmodernism, is intertwined with the U.S. failure in Vietnam. The curious and conspicuous lack of anthropology in the national-security arena since the Vietnam War has had grave consequences for countering the insurgency in Iraq, particularly because political policy and military operations based on partial and incomplete cultural knowledge are often worse than none at all.
A Lack of Cultural Awareness
In a conflict between symmetric adversaries, where both are evenly matched and using similar technology, understanding the adversary's culture is largely irrelevant. The Cold War, for all its complexity, pitted two powers of European heritage against each other. In a counterinsurgency operation against a non-Western adversary, however, culture matters.
As this example indicates, U.S. forces frequently do not know who their friends are, and just as often they do not know who their enemies are. A returning commander from the 3d Infantry Division observed: "I had perfect situational awareness. What I lacked was cultural awareness. I knew where every enemy tank was dug in on the outskirts of Tallil. Only problem was, my soldiers had to fight fanatics charging on foot or in pickups and firing AK-47s and RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades]. Great technical intelligence. Wrong enemy."5
While the consequences of a lack of cultural knowledge might be most apparent (or perhaps most deadly) in a counterinsurgency, a failure to understand foreign cultures has been a major contributing factor in multiple national-security and intelligence failures. In her 1962 study, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision, Roberta Wohlstetter demonstrated that although the U.S. Government picked up Japanese signals (including conversations, decoded cables, and ship movements), it failed to distinguish signals from noise-to understand which signals were meaningful-because it was unimaginable that the Japanese might do something as "irrational" as attacking the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific fleet.6
Such ethnocentrism (the inability to put aside one's own cultural attitudes and imagine the world from the perspective of a different group) is especially dangerous in a national-security context because it can distort strategic thinking and result in assumptions that the adversary will behave exactly as one might behave. India's nuclear tests on 11 and 13 May 1998 came as a complete surprise because of this type of "mirror-imaging" among CIA analysts. According to the internal investigation conducted by former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff David Jeremiah, the real problem was an assumption by intelligence analysts and policymakers that the Indians would not test their nuclear weapons because Americans would not test nuclear weapons in similar circumstances. According to Jeremiah, "The intelligence and the policy communities had an underlying mind-set going into these tests that the B.J.P. [Bharatiya Janata Party] would behave as we [would] behave."7
The primary task of anthropology has historically been translating knowledge gained in the "field" back to the West. While it might seem self-evident that such a perspective would be beneficial to the nationalsecurity establishment, only one of the national defense universities (which provide master's degreelevel education to military personnel) currently has an anthropologist on its faculty. At West Point, which traditionally places a heavy emphasis on engineering, anthropology is disparagingly referred to by cadets as "nuts and huts." And, although political science is well represented as a discipline in senior policymaking circles, there has never been an anthropologist on the National Security Council.
The second and related reason for the current lack of cultural knowledge is the failure of the U.S. military to achieve anything resembling victory in Vietnam. Following the Vietnam War, the Joint Chiefs of Staff collectively put their heads in the sand and determined they would never fight an unconventional war again. From a purely military perspective, it was easier for them to focus on the threat of Soviet tanks rolling through the Fulda Gap, prompting a major European land war-a war they could easily fight using existing doctrine and technology and that would have a clear, unequivocal winner.8
The preference for the use of overwhelming force and clear campaign objectives was formalized in what has become known as the Weinberger doctrine. In a 1984 speech, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger articulated six principles designed to ensure the Nation would never become involved in another Vietnam. By the mid-1980s, there was cause for concern: deployment of troops to El Salvador seemed likely and the involvement in Lebanon had proved disastrous following the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. Responding to these events, Weinberger believed troops should be committed only if U.S. national interests were at stake; only in support of clearly defined political and military objectives; and only "with the clear intention of winning."9
We have no doctrine for "nationbuilding," which the military eschews as a responsibility because it is not covered by Title 10 of the U.S. Code, which outlines the responsibilities of the military as an element of national power. Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations and Support Operations, was not finalized until February 2003, despite the fact the U.S. military was already deeply engaged in such operations in Iraq. Field Manual 3-07.22-meant to be a temporary document-is still primarily geared toward fighting an enemy engaged in Maoist revolutionary warfare, a type of insurgency that has little application to the situation in Iraq where multiple organizations are competing for multiple, confusing objectives.11
Since 1923, the core tenet of U.S. warfighting strategy has been that overwhelming force deployed against an equally powerful state will result in military victory. Yet in a counterinsurgency situation such as the one the United States currently faces in Iraq, "winning" through overwhelming force is often inapplicable as a concept, if not problematic as a goal. While negotiating in Hanoi a few days before Saigon fell, U.S. Army Colonel Harry Summers, Jr., said to a North Vietnamese colonel, "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield." The Vietnamese colonel replied, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant." 12 The same could be said of the conflict in Iraq.
Winning on the battlefield is irrelevant against an insurgent adversary because the struggle for power and legitimacy among competing factions has no purely military solution. Often, the application of overwhelming force has the negative, unintended effect of strengthening the insurgency by creating martyrs, increasing recruitment, and demonstrating the "brutality" of state forces.
Although cultural knowledge of the adversary matters in counterinsurgency, it has little importance in major combat operations. Because the Powell- Weinberger doctrine meant conventional, large-scale war was the only acceptable type of conflict, no discernable present or future need existed to develop doctrine and expertise in unconventional war, including counterinsurgency. Thus, there was no need to incorporate cultural knowledge into doctrine, training, or warfighting. Until now, that is.
On 21 October 2003, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing to examine lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Scales' testimony at the hearing prompted U.S. Representative "Ike" Skelton to write a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in which he said: "In simple terms, if we had better understood the Iraqi culture and mindset, our war plans would have been even better than they were, the plan for the postwar period and all of its challenges would have been far better, and we [would have been] better prepared for the 'long slog' . . . to win the peace in Iraq."14
The Current State of the Discipline
Although anthropology is the only academic discipline that explicitly seeks to understand foreign cultures and societies, it is a marginal contributor to U.S. national-security policy at best and a punch line at worst. Over the past 30 years, as a result of anthropologists' individual career choices and the tendency toward reflexive self-criticism contained within the discipline itself, the discipline has become hermetically sealed within its Ivory Tower.
Unlike political science or economics, anthropology is primarily an academic discipline. The majority of newly minted anthropologists brutally compete for a limited number of underpaid university faculty appointments, and although there is an increasing demand from industry for applied anthropologists to advise on product design, marketing, and organizational culture, anthropologists still prefer to study the "exotic and useless," in the words of A.L. Kroeber.16
The retreat to the Ivory Tower is also a product of the deep isolationist tendencies within the discipline. Following the Vietnam War, it was fashionable among anthropologists to reject the discipline's historic ties to colonialism. Anthropologists began to reinvent their discipline, as demonstrated by Kathleen Gough's 1968 article, Anthropology: Child of Imperialism, followed by Dell Hymes' 1972 anthology, Reinventing Anthropology, and culminating in editor Talal Asad's Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter.17
Rejecting anthropology's status as the handmaiden of colonialism, anthropologists refused to "collaborate" with the powerful,
sorry i cant find document u refered too i got go back drumming now then wen class finish this centre shuts so i cant use internet again i will try go library 2mor or thurs order enveolopes for u i got letter of u today how i read about cia...Jah rastafari Bless u i love u comrade.
Declassified MKUltra documentsProject MKUltra was the code name of a U.S. government covert research operation experimenting in the behavioral engineering of humans (mind control) through the CIA's Scientific Intelligence Division. The program began in the early 1950s, was officially sanctioned in 1953, was reduced in scope in 1964, further curtailed in 1967 and "officially halted" in 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities; in particular it used unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens as its test subjects, which led to controversy regarding its legitimacy. MKUltra involved the use of many methodologies to manipulate people's mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as various forms of torture.
The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at 80 institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, as well as hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated through these institutions using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement.
Project MKUltra was first brought to public attention in 1975 by the Church Committee of the U.S. Congress, and a Gerald Ford commission to investigate CIA activities within the United States. Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms' destruction order.
In 1977, a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to project MKUltra, which led to Senate hearings later that same year. In July 2001 some surviving information regarding MKUltra was officially declassified.
Dr. Sidney Gottlieb approved of an MKUltra subproject on LSD in this June 9, 1953 letter. Precursor experimentsA precursor of the MKUltra program began in 1945 when the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was established and given direct responsibility for Operation Paperclip. The program recruited former Nazi scientists, some of whom studied torture and brainwashing, and several who had been identified and prosecuted as war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials.
Several secret U.S. government projects grew out of Operation Paperclip. These projects included Project CHATTER (established 1947), and Project BLUEBIRD (established 1950), which was renamed Project ARTICHOKE in 1951. Their purpose was to study mind control, interrogation, behavior modification and related
Headed by Sidney Gottlieb, the MKUltra project was started on the order of CIA director Allen Welsh Dulles on April 13, 1953. Its remit was to develop mind-controlling drugs for use against the Soviet bloc, largely in response to alleged Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean use of mind control techniques on U.S. prisoners of war in Korea. The CIA wanted to use similar methods on their own captives. The CIA was also interested in being able to manipulate foreign leaders with such techniques, and would later invent several schemes to drug Fidel Castro. Experiments were often conducted without the subjects' knowledge or consent. In some cases, academic researchers being funded through grants from CIA front organizations were unaware that their work was being used for these purposes.
Because most MKUltra records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 by order of then CIA director Richard Helms, it has been difficult, if not impossible, for investigators to gain a complete understanding of the more than 150 individually funded research sub-projects sponsored by MKUltra and related CIA programs.
The project began during a period of what Rupert Cornwell described as "paranoia" at the CIA, when America had lost its nuclear monopoly, and fear of Communism was at its height. James Jesus Angleton, head of CIA counter-intelligence, believed that the organization had been penetrated by a mole at the highest levels.
 GoalsThe Agency poured millions of dollars into studies examining methods of influencing and controlling the mind, and of enhancing their ability to extract information from resistant subjects during interrogation.
Some historians have asserted that creating a "Manchurian Candidate" subject through "mind control" techniques was a goal of MKUltra and related CIA projects. Alfred McCoy has claimed that the CIA attempted to focus media attention on these sorts of "ridiculous" programs, so that the public would not look at the primary goal of the research, which was developing effective methods of torture and interrogation. Such authors cite as one example that the CIA's KUBARK interrogation manual refers to "studies at McGill University", and that most of the techniques recommended in KUBARK are exactly those that researcher Donald Ewen Cameron used on his test subjects (sensory deprivation, drugs, isolation, etc.).
1.Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.
2.Substances which increase the efficiency of mentation and perception.
3.Materials which will cause the victim to age faster/slower in maturity.
4.Materials which will promote the intoxicating effect of alcohol.
5.Materials which will produce the signs and symptoms of recognized diseases in a reversible way so that they may be used for malingering, etc.
6.Materials will cause temporary/permanent brain damage and loss of memory.
7.Substances which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation and so-called "brain-washing".
8.Materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use.
9.Physical methods of producing shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use.
10.Substances which produce physical disablement such as paralysis of the legs, acute anemia, etc.
11.Substances which will produce a chemical that can cause blisters.
12.Substances which alter personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced.
13.A material which will cause mental confusion of such a type that the individual under its influence will find it difficult to maintain a fabrication under questioning.
14.Substances which will lower the ambition and general working efficiency of men when administered in undetectable amounts.
15.Substances which promote weakness or distortion of the eyesight or hearing faculties, preferably without permanent effects.
16.A knockout pill which can surreptitiously be administered in drinks, food, cigarettes, as an aerosol, etc., which will be safe to use, provide a maximum of amnesia, and be suitable for use by agent types on an ad hoc basis.
A material which can be surreptitiously administered by the above routes and which in very small amounts will make it impossible for a person to perform physical activity.
CIA documents suggest that "chemical, biological and radiological" means were investigated for the purpose of mind control as part of MKUltra. A secret memorandum granted the MKUltra director up to six percent of the CIA research budget in fiscal year 1953, without oversight or accounting. An estimated $10 million USD ($80 million adjusted for inflation) or more was spent.
1953 experiment record
Early CIA efforts focused on LSD, which later came to dominate many of MKUltra's programs. Technical Services Staff officials understood that LSD distorted a person's sense of reality, and they felt compelled to learn whether it could alter someone's basic loyalties. The CIA wanted to know if they could make Russian spies defect against their will and whether the Russians could do the same to their own operatives.
Once Project MKUltra officially got underway in April, 1953, experiments included administering LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts and prostitutes, "people who could not fight back", as one agency officer put it. In one case LSD was administered to a mental patient in Kentucky for 174 days. LSD was also administered to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, and members of the general public in order to study their reactions. LSD and other drugs were usually administered without the subject's knowledge or informed consent, a violation of the Nuremberg Code that the U.S. agreed to follow after World War II. The aim of this was to find drugs which would irresistibly bring out deep confessions or wipe a subject's mind clean and program him or her as "a robot agent".
In Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up several brothels in San Francisco, California to obtain a selection of men who would be too embarrassed to talk about the events. The men were dosed with LSD, the brothels were equipped with one-way mirrors, and the sessions were filmed for later viewing and study. In other experiments where people were given LSD without their knowledge, they were interrogated under bright lights with doctors in the background taking notes. The subjects were told that their "trips" would be extended indefinitely if they refused to reveal their secrets. The people being interrogated this way were CIA employees, U. S. military personnel, and agents suspected of working for the other side in the Cold War. Long-term debilitation and several deaths resulted from this. Heroin addicts were bribed into taking LSD with offers of more heroin.
Some subjects' participation was consensual, and in these cases they appeared to be singled out for even more extreme experiments. In one case, seven volunteers in Kentucky were given LSD for 77 consecutive days.
LSD was eventually dismissed by MKUltra's researchers as too unpredictable in its results. They had given up on the notion that LSD was "the secret that was going to unlock the universe," but it still had a place in the cloak-and-dagger arsenal. However, by 1962 the CIA and the army had developed a series of superhallucinogens such as the highly touted BZ, which was thought to hold greater promise as a mind control weapon. This resulted in the withdrawal of support by many academics and private researchers, and LSD research became less of a priority altogether.
Another technique investigated was connecting a barbiturate IV into one arm and an amphetamine IV into the other. The barbiturates were released into the person first, and as soon as the person began to fall asleep, the amphetamines were released. The person would then begin babbling incoherently, and it was sometimes possible to ask questions and get useful answers.
Other experiments involved drugs such as temazepam (used under code name MKSEARCH), heroin, morphine, MDMA, mescaline, psilocybin, scopolamine, marijuana, alcohol, sodium pentothal, and ergine (in Subproject 22).
Declassified MKUltra documents indicate hypnosis was studied in the early 1950s. Experimental goals included: the creation of "hypnotically induced anxieties," "hypnotically increasing ability to learn and recall complex written matter," studying hypnosis and polygraph examinations, "hypnotically increasing ability to observe and recall complex arrangements of physical objects," and studying "relationship of personality to susceptibility to hypnosis." Experiments were conducted with drug induced hypnosis and with anterograde and retrograde amnesia while under the influence of such drugs.
Donald Ewen Cameron c.1967
The experiments were exported to Canada when the CIA recruited Scottish psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, creator of the "psychic driving" concept, which the CIA found particularly interesting. Cameron had been hoping to correct schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. He commuted from Albany, New York to Montreal every week to work at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University and was paid $69,000 from 1957 to 1964 to carry out MKUltra experiments there. In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy at thirty to forty times the normal power. His "driving" experiments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced coma for weeks at a time (up to three months in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements. His experiments were typically carried out on patients who had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression, many of whom suffered permanently from his actions. His treatments resulted in victims' incontinence, amnesia, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents, and thinking their interrogators were their parents.
It was during this era that Cameron became known worldwide as the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association as well as president of the American and Canadian psychiatric associations. Cameron had also been a member of the Nuremberg medical tribunal in 1946–47.
Naomi Klein argues in her book The Shock Doctrine that Cameron's research and his contribution to the MKUltra project was actually not about mind control and brainwashing, but about designing "a scientifically based system for extracting information from 'resistant sources.' In other words, torture." Citing Alfred W. McCoy, Klein further writes that "Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Dr. Cameron's experiments, building upon Donald O. Hebb's earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA's two-stage psychological torture method."
Frank Church headed the Church Committee, an investigation into the practices of the US intelligence agencies.
In 1973, with the government-wide panic caused by Watergate, the CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed. Pursuant to this order, most CIA documents regarding the project were destroyed, making a full investigation of MKUltra impossible. A cache of some 20,000 documents survived Helms' purge, as they had been incorrectly stored in a financial records building and were discovered following a FOIA request in 1977. These documents were fully investigated during the Senate Hearings of 1977.
In the summer of 1975, congressional Church Committee reports and the presidential Rockefeller Commission report revealed to the public for the first time that the CIA and the Department of Defense had conducted experiments on both unwitting and cognizant human subjects as part of an extensive program to influence and control human behavior through the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and mescaline and other chemical, biological, and psychological means. They also revealed that at least one subject had died after administration of LSD. Much of what the Church Committee and the Rockefeller Commission learned about MKUltra was contained in a report, prepared by the Inspector General's office in 1963, that had survived the destruction of records ordered in 1973. However, it contained little detail. Sidney Gottlieb, who had retired from the CIA two years previously, was interviewed by the committee but claimed to have very little recollection of the activities of MKUltra.
The congressional committee investigating the CIA research, chaired by Senator Frank Church, concluded that "[p]rior consent was obviously not obtained from any of the subjects". The committee noted that the "experiments sponsored by these researchers ... call into question the decision by the agencies not to fix guidelines for experiments."
Following the recommendations of the Church Committee, President Gerald Ford in 1976 issued the first Executive Order on Intelligence Activities which, among other things, prohibited "experimentation with drugs on human subjects, except with the informed consent, in writing and witnessed by a disinterested party, of each such human subject" and in accordance with the guidelines issued by the National Commission. Subsequent orders by Presidents Carter and Reagan expanded the directive to apply to any human experimentation.
1977 United States Senate report on MKUltra
In 1977, during a hearing held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to look further into MKUltra, Admiral Stansfield Turner, then Director of Central Intelligence, revealed that the CIA had found a set of records, consisting of about 20,000 pages, that had survived the 1973 destruction orders because they had been stored at a records center not usually used for such documents. These files dealt with the financing of MKUltra projects and contained few project details, however much more was learned from them than from the Inspector General's 1963 report.
On the Senate floor in 1977, Senator Ted Kennedy said:
In Canada, the issue took much longer to surface, becoming widely known in 1984 on a CBC news show, The Fifth Estate. It was learned that not only had the CIA funded Dr. Cameron's efforts, but perhaps even more shockingly, the Canadian government was fully aware of this, and had later provided another $500,000 in funding to continue the experiments. This revelation largely derailed efforts by the victims to sue the CIA as their U.S. counterparts had, and the Canadian government eventually settled out of court for $100,000 to each of the 127 victims. None of Dr. Cameron's personal records of his involvement with MKUltra survive, since his family destroyed them after his death from a heart attack while mountain climbing in 1967.
1984 U.S. General Accounting Office report
The U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report on September 28, 1984, which stated that between 1940 and 1974, DOD and other national security agencies studied thousands of human subjects in tests and experiments involving hazardous substances.
The quote from the study:
Working with the CIA, the Department of Defense gave hallucinogenic drugs to thousands of "volunteer" soldiers in the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to LSD, the Army also tested quinuclidinyl benzilate, a hallucinogen code-named BZ. (Note 37) Many of these tests were conducted under the so-called MKUltra program, established to counter perceived Soviet and Chinese advances in brainwashing techniques. Between 1953 and 1964, the program consisted of 149 projects involving drug testing and other studies on unwitting human subjects
Several known deaths have been associated with Project MKUltra, most notably that of Frank Olson. Olson, a United States Army biochemist and biological weapons researcher, was given LSD without his knowledge or consent in November, 1953, as part of a CIA experiment and died under suspicious circumstances a week later. A CIA doctor assigned to monitor Olson claimed to have been asleep in another bed in a New York City hotel room when Olson exited the window and fell thirteen stories to his death. In 1953, Olson's death was described as a suicide that had occurred during a severe psychotic episode. The CIA's own internal investigation concluded that the head of MK ULTRA, CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb, had conducted the LSD experiment with Olson's prior knowledge, although neither Olson nor the other men taking part in the experiment were informed as to the exact nature of the drug until some 20 minutes after its ingestion. The report further suggested that Gottlieb was nonetheless due a reprimand, as he had failed to take into account Olson's already-diagnosed suicidal tendencies, which might have been exacerbated by the LSD.
The Olson family disputes the official version of events. They maintain that Frank Olson was murdered because, especially in the aftermath of his LSD experience, he had become a security risk who might divulge state secrets associated with highly classified CIA programs, many of which he had direct personal knowledge. A few days before his death, Frank Olson quit his position as acting chief of the Special Operations Division at Detrick, Maryland (later Fort Detrick) because of a severe moral crisis concerning the nature of his biological weapons research. Among Olson's concerns were the development of assassination materials used by the CIA, the CIA's use of biological warfare materials in covert operations, experimentation with biological weapons in populated areas, collaboration with former Nazi scientists under Operation Paperclip, LSD mind-control research, the use of biological weapons (including anthrax) during the Korean War, and the use of psychoactive drugs during "terminal" interrogations under a program code-named Project ARTICHOKE. Later forensic evidence conflicted with the official version of events; when Olson's body was exhumed in 1994, cranial injuries indicated that Olson had been knocked unconscious before he exited the window.
In his 2009 book, A Terrible Mistake, researcher H. P. Albarelli Jr. concurs with the Olson family and concludes that Frank Olson was murdered because a personal crisis of conscience made it likely he would divulge state secrets concerning several CIA programs, chief among them Project ARTICHOKE and an MKDELTA project code-named Project SPAN. Albarelli presents considerable evidence in support of his theory that Project SPAN involved the contamination of food supplies and the aerosolized spraying of a potent LSD mixture in the village of Pont-Saint-Esprit, France in August, 1951. The Pont-Saint-Esprit incident resulted in mass psychosis, 32 commitments to mental institutions, and at least seven deaths. In his work as acting chief of the Special Operations Division, Olson was involved in the development of aerosolized delivery systems; he had been present at Pont-Saint-Esprit in August, 1951; and several months before resigning his position he had witnessed a terminal interrogation conducted in Germany under Project ARTICHOKE. Other researchers have reached conclusions similar to Albarelli's, including paranormal author John Grant Fuller in The Day of Saint Anthony's Fire.
On April 26, 1976, the Church Committee of the United States Senate issued a report, "Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operation with Respect to Intelligence Activities", In Book I, Chapter XVII, p 389 this report states:
LSD was one of the materials tested in the MKUltra program. The final phase of LSD testing involved surreptitious administration to unwitting non-volunteer subjects in normal life settings by undercover officers of the Bureau of Narcotics acting for the CIA.
A special procedure, designated MKDELTA, was established to govern the use of MKUltra materials abroad. Such materials were used on a number of occasions. Because MKUltra records were destroyed, it is impossible to reconstruct the operational use of MKUltra materials by the CIA overseas; it has been determined that the use of these materials abroad began in 1953, and possibly as early as 1950.
Another known victim of Project MKUltra was Harold Blauer, a professional tennis player in New York City, who died in January, 1953 as a result of a secret Army experiment involving MDA.
Legal issues involving informed consent
The revelations about the CIA and the Army prompted a number of subjects or their survivors to file lawsuits against the federal government for conducting experiments without informed consent. Although the government aggressively, and sometimes successfully, sought to avoid legal liability, several plaintiffs did receive compensation through court order, out-of-court settlement, or acts of Congress. Frank Olson's family received $750,000 by a special act of Congress, and both President Ford and CIA director William Colby met with Olson's family to publicly apologize.
Previously, the CIA and the Army had actively and successfully sought to withhold incriminating information, even as they secretly provided compensation to the families. One subject of Army drug experimentation, James Stanley, an Army sergeant, brought an important, albeit unsuccessful, suit. The government argued that Stanley was barred from suing under a legal doctrine—known as the Feres doctrine, after a 1950 Supreme Court case, Feres v. United States—that prohibits members of the Armed Forces from suing the government for any harms that were inflicted "incident to service."
In 1987, the Supreme Court affirmed this defense in a 5–4 decision that dismissed Stanley's case: United States v. Stanley. The majority argued that "a test for liability that depends on the extent to which particular suits would call into question military discipline and decision making would itself require judicial inquiry into, and hence intrusion upon, military matters." In dissent, Justice William Brennan argued that the need to preserve military discipline should not protect the government from liability and punishment for serious violations of constitutional rights:
The medical trials at Nuremberg in 1947 deeply impressed upon the world that experimentation with unknowing human subjects is morally and legally unacceptable. The United States Military Tribunal established the Nuremberg Code as a standard against which to judge German scientists who experimented with human subjects... . [I]n defiance of this principle, military intelligence officials ... began surreptitiously testing chemical and biological materials, including LSD.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing a separate dissent, stated:
During incarceration, there are no breaks, no days off, and there is no time given to recuperate your sanity. Even if you go to solitary confinement, that is typically the loudest area in the prison. In many instances people are doing 10, 20, 30 years at a crack. It is no wonder that when some people get out of prison they literally snap...
from Phillip Torsrud at Waupun Wi Correctional Institution.
To read the rest of the blog, go to: Prison PTSD
I am so happy to hear that prisoners at Waupun Correctional Institute are finally fighting back against the mind control programs that are meant to "rehabilitate." When I found out about the overuse and abuse of solitary confinement it truly shocked me and hurt me to my core. This is no way to treat a human, in fact is the so antithetical to the idea of being human. I have read some of your writings on your blog and it seems to me that you have such a pure heart and wonderful soul. It seems that you truly see the beauty in this universe and the purity that exists within our fellow human beings. It is long long overdue that prisoners and citizens stand up to the prison's use of solitary confinement. It is in NO human's right to inflict such deep pain and suffering to his fellow man. Your fight is gaining national attention as it rightfully should. For too long our society has been absolutely blind to the way our prison system treats its fellow prisoners, for so long I was bling to this as well, it only takes a little research on prison blogs to see the total psychological abuse that happens right in our own backyards. It almost reminds me of something from the medieval times. I want to wish you the best on your hunger strike. To fight to the death means that your cause comes deep from within you. It is time for solitary confinement to end in this country and your fight will shape the lives of thousands in years to come. It is time for the institution to fulfill your demands that no one spend more than a year in solitary confinement. I want to wish you strength in the days and weeks to come. I know that you will be in your cell starving and feeling weak but I wanted to send you strength from the outside. A true noble and pure cause will never lose hope and thousands of people are in support of you. You might not see it but i urge you to feel it. I stand in solidarity with all the wisconsin prisoners and all prisoners around america that are subject to psychological abuse. I believe that your actions will ring in eternity and I know that this was your journey and destiny. May god bless you, may you find strength in this hunger strike, and may the government find the human empathy to stop such abuse. I stand in solidarity with you. I would love to keep in contact with you as it is my mission to stop/restrict solitary confinement in America. It is a matter of our shared common humanity and the single consciousness that all living things share. My address is 2340 Piedmont Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704. All the best.
love and peace
I hope you remember me it's Michelle Martin from England.
Happy 2023 for the pagan New Year on the Gregorian calander. In two or three months it will be the real New Year according to Biblical Hebrew holidays. If I get my finances straight again by then I will be sure to bless you with a little financial gift.
I have great news Yashaya HaMosiach the black Christ has completely delivered me from schitzophrenia, bi-polar and depression and I have given up all wrong religions like Rastafari Islam and Wicca. I hope this does not offend you if you still are into Islam and that we can still dialogue civilly.
I was comppletely born again about 10 weeks ago. I heard our Master and Big Brother's voice as clear as a bell with no interfering other voices. He said I am his beloved child and my name is written in the book of life.
Sending love prayer and hugs from sister Michelle and a meow from my new kitten comrade Whitepaw who I will share the amazing news of the miracle that moved the landlord's heart to finally let me have a pet after 10 years of strict no pet laws.
our Creator loves you and has sent me and others to lead you more fully to the light ok brother. Forgive late reply and I will be in touch asap.