Several good books were then written on the subject of the
CIA program known as MK-ULTRA. Officially spanning ten years from 1952-62,
MK-ULTRA involved the use of LSD on unwitting military and civilian subjects in
the United States. LSD and more powerful compounds were given under duress as
brainwashing and truth serum drugs. The program’s aim 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 experimental test situations, people were given acid
without their knowledge, then interrogated under bright lights with doctors
sitting in the background taking notes. Threats would be made. The test subjects
were told that their LSD “downer trips” would be extended indefinitely if
they refused to reveal their closely-guarded military secrets. The people being
interrogated in this way were CIA employees, U.S. military personnel and, abroad,
agents suspected of working for the other side in the Cold War. Long-term severe
debilitation and several documented deaths resulted. Much, much more could be
said about MK-ULTRA.
None of this prepared people for the explosive testimony made
on March 15, 1995, in Washington, D.C., before the President’s Committee on
Radiation, however. In unpublicized sessions, New Orleans therapist Valerie Wolf
introduced two of her patients who had uncovered memories of being part of
extensive CIA brainwashing programs as young children (in one case, starting at
age seven). Their brainwashing included torture, rape, electroshock, powerful
drugs, hypnosis and death threats. According to their testimony, the CIA then
induced amnesia to prevent their recalling these terrifying sessions.
Both Wolf and her patients stated that they recovered the
memories of this CIA program without regression or hypnosis techniques. In other
words, these patients spontaneously discovered this information about themselves
and their pasts.
Although the committee was mainly concerned with radiation,
they permitted Valerie and her patients to testify because, astonishingly,
several doctors who had administered the mind-control experiments had also been
identified by other Americans secretly exposed to radiation. Apparently there
was a crossover.
Prominent names surfaced in the March 15 testimony: Richard
Helms, former head of the CIA, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, who ran MK-ULTRA and Dr.
John Gittinger, Gottlieb’s protege. These men and others were directly accused
of participating in grisly mind-control efforts on children.
Predictably, this testimony received no media attention.
I now have it all, including many pages submitted to the
committee that will likely never be released as part of their final report. Only
a small percentage of the pages were read aloud at the hearing. Included are
corroborating statements from other therapists around the country and several of
their patients. I have now released all of this testimony as a book, U.S.
Government Mind-Control Experiments On Children.
When the sickening shock starts to wear off, deeply
disturbing questions flood one’s mind: just what was this CIA program? How
extensive was it? What was its purpose?
From what I have been able to discover so far, many American
children, as well as children from Mexico and South America, were used over a
period of about 40 years, starting around 1948. In fact, the program may still
be going on. Doctors and agents who administered it wanted to obtain control
over the minds of these children, ostensibly to create superagents who
wouldn’t remember even what missions they carried out, because of hypnotically
induced amnesia (which could be removed by their controllers and reinstalled at
Children were trained as sex agents, for example, with the
job of blackmailing prominent Americans - primarily politicians, businessmen and
educators. A great deal of filming was done for this purpose. Eventually, people
from the inner core of the CIA program filmed each other, and some of the
centres where children were used as sex agents got out of control and turned
into CIA-operated sex rings.
Some children were considered expendable and simply murdered.
One person who states that he was in this program as a child
said, off the record:
“They tried out their brainwashing techniques on the kids
from Mexico and South America. They were considered expendable. But on another
echelon of the program, they went after the best and the brightest American kids.
Making perfect agents to combat the Soviets wasn’t, I don’t think, their
ultimate objective. I can’t remember what that was.”
At this point, I made a suggestion:
“Well, if they were choosing the best and brightest, maybe
they figured these kids would one day rise to important positions in the society,
and they wanted to gain long-term control over them, so they would be under
their thumb, so they could tap them at will - a way of controlling the future
“Maybe,” he said. “The Nazis gained control over the
intelligentsia in Germany. That was a very key step in their dominance. That was
the first thing they did”.
“This smells very much like a Nazi program in the U.S.,”
I said. “I don’t mean all the controllers were German, but the style of it,
He said, “They brought over a lot of Nazi doctors after the
war and not just to build rockets - for a lot of projects.”
Other people who said that they had been used as children in
the program remember that doctors with German accents were definitely present at
the sessions. One therapist, who shared this information informally with
colleagues around the country, states that, so far, the oldest person she has
heard of who was in the program is now 52; the youngest is now nine.
Since a number of people who were brainwashed, tortured and
drugged in these experiments try to resolve their experiences in therapy,
psychiatrists and other professional therapists are hearing these stories. They
are told, for example, that CIA controllers sometimes dressed up in Satanic
costumes to further traumatize the children, also providing a cover that
wouldn’t be believed if the children ever talked.
It is worth noting that there is a movement to discredit
these “recovered” memories, and the most prominent group, the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), has several board members with CIA or
military-intelligence connections - including the notorious Dr. Louis
“Jolly” West of UCLA, who tried to establish a center for “the study of
violence” at the university in the 1970s. This center’s specialty would have
been psychosurgery, a horrendous melting of brain connections, supposedly to
curb people’s “violent tendencies.”
FMSF maintains that a person always remembers abuse done to
him or her, and therefore any new recovery of it in therapy is false and must
have been fabricated through misleading suggestions by the therapist. While it
is certainly true that such inducement happens in therapy, the blanket statement
that all recovered memory is invented is unsubstantiated.
In a written statement to Dr. Wolf that was included in her
testimony to the president’s committee, well-known researcher and psychiatrist,
Colin Ross said,
“Published articles in my files include descriptions of
administration of 150 mcg of LSD to children age 5-10 years on a daily basis for
days, weeks, months, and in a few cases even years. Neurosurgeons at Tulane,
Yale, and Harvard did extensive research on brain electrode implants with
intelligence funding, and combined brain implants with large numbers of drugs
Ross based his report on his more than 20 years of
investigating CIA mind control.
Chris De Nicola, one of Dr. Wolf’s patients who testified
before the president’s committee, named her controller as a Dr. Greene, a name
reported by several other mind-control subjects. It may well be that this name
was a cover used by various CIA and military-contracted experimenter-torturers.
Here is a quote from her testimony:
“[Dr. Greene] used me in radiation experiments both for the
purpose of determining the effects of radiation on various parts of my body and
to terrorize me as an additional trauma in the mind-control experiments. [She
was eight years old.]
“The rest of the experiments took place in Tucson, Arizona,
out in the desert. I was taught how to pick locks, be secretive, use my
photographic memory to remember things and a technique to withhold information
by repeating numbers to myself. [She is obviously talking about being trained as
“Dr. Greene moved on to wanting me to kill dolls that
looked like real children. I stabbed a doll with a spear once after being
severely tortured, but the next time I refused. He used many techniques but as I
got older I resisted more and more.
“He often tied me down in a cage, which was near his office.
Between 1972 and 1976 he and his assistants were sometimes careless and left the
cage unlocked. Whenever physically possible, I snuck into his office and found
files with reports and memos addressed to CIA and military personnel. Included
in these files were project, subproject, subject and experiment names with some
code numbers for radiation mind-control experiments which I have submitted in my
written documentation. I was caught twice and Dr. Greene tortured me ruthlessly
with electric shock, drugs, spinning on a table, putting shots in my stomach, in
my back, dislocating my joints and hypnotic techniques to make me feel crazy and
Is there a precedent for this kind of sadistic treatment by
CIA and military personnel? Indeed there is. Here is a quote from the
introduction to my book, U.S. Government Mind-Control Experiments On Children.
It contains information from reliable published sources; such as The Search
for the Manchurian Candidate, by John Marks2, Acid Dreams,
by Martin Lee3 and The Mind Manipulators, by Alan Scheflin4.
In part, these authors derived their information on the CIA and MK-ULTRA from
the ten boxes of information released suddenly in 1975 by the agency in response
to Freedom of Information Act requests:
“Dr. Robert Heath of Tulane University, as early as 1955,
working for the Army, gave patients LSD while he had electrodes implanted deep
inside their brains.
“Canadian researcher, Dr. Ewan Cameron, under long-term CIA
contract, attempted to depattern, and reprogram his psychiatric patients’
personalities wholesale. He started with 15 to 65 days of ‘sleep therapy,’
during which a patient was kept under nearly 24 hours a day, through the
administration of cocktails of Thorazine, Nembutal, Seconal, Veronal, and
Phenergam. Throughout this sleep period, the patient would be awakened two or
three times a day for electroshock treatments, given at an intensity 20-40 times
the ‘normal’ convulsion-producing strength.
“In the mid-1950’s, Paul Hoch, M.D., a man who would
become Commissioner of Mental Hygiene for the State of New York, then a laborer
in the field for the CIA, gave a ‘pseudoneurotic schizophrenic’ patient
mescaline. The patient had a not-unfamiliar heaven-and-hell journey on the
compound. But Hoch followed this up with a transorbital leucotomy... Hoch also
gave a patient LSD, and a local anesthetic, and then proceeded to remove pieces
of cerebral cortex, asking at various moments whether the patient’s
perceptions were changing.”
Claudia Mullin, the other of Dr. Wolf’s patients who
testified before the President’s Committee on Radiation, said her experiences
with CIA mind-control experiences began when she was seven years old:
“In 1958, I was to be tested, they told me, by some
important doctors coming from a place called the ‘Society’ [the Human
Ecology Society, a CIA front]. I was told to cooperate; answer any of their
questions. Then, since the test ‘might hurt,’ I would be given ‘shots,
x-rays, and a few jolts of electricity.’ I was instructed not to look at
anyone’s face too hard and to ignore names,’ as this was ‘a very secret
project’ but to be brave and all those things would help me forget...
“A Dr. John Gittinger tested me and Dr. Cameron gave me the
shocks and Dr. Greene the x-rays... By the time I left to go home, just like
every time from then on, I would recall nothing of my tests or the different
doctors. I would only remember whatever explanations Dr. Robert G. Heath [of
Tulane Medical School] gave me for the odd bruises, needle marks, burns on my
head and fingers and even the genital soreness. I had no reason to believe
otherwise. Already, they had begun to control my mind!
“The next year, I was sent to a place in Maryland called
Deep Creek Cabins to learn how to ‘sexually please men.’ Also, I was taught
how to coerce them into talking about themselves. It was Richard Helms (Deputy
Director of the CIA), Dr. Gottlieb, Captain George White and Morse Allen, who
all planned on filming as many high government and agency officials and heads of
academic institutions and foundations as possible... I was to become a regular
little ‘spy’ for them, after that summer, eventually entrapping many
unwitting men, including themselves, all with the use of a hidden camera. I was
only nine when this kind of sexual humiliation began.”
Captain George White was a notorious agent for the CIA. He
set up a brothel in San Francisco in the 1960s and, using hidden cameras, filmed
men having sex with prostitutes. The men’s drinks were “spiked” with LSD.
In 1950, Morse Allen, another important CIA man, was appointed head of Project
BLUEBIRD, another CIA mind-control program.
Ms. Mullin states that she was adopted when she was two years
old. By the time she reached seven she had already been abused extensively by
her mother. Her mother apparently turned her over for “testing” to
CIA-connected people and Claudia then entered a 27-year period of what can only
be called enslavement. Claudia states that she has been monitored, that she is
still monitored and watched by agency related people, including a medical doctor.
Now living in New Orleans, she has given information to local police authorities
about her situation. In her testimony to the president’s committee, Claudia
“Although the process of recalling these atrocities is
certainly not an easy task, nor is it without some danger to myself and my
family... I feel the risk is worth taking.”
Claudia’s therapist, Dr. Wolf, has written to the
“To the best of my knowledge, [Claudia] has read nothing
about mind-control or CIA covert operations. Since she decided to listen
carefully and remember as much as she could about conversations among the
researchers, her memories are extraordinarily complete. I have sent written
copies of memories to Dr. Alan Scheflin [author of The Mind Manipulators]
for validation and he has confirmed that she has knowledge of events and people
that are not published anywhere, that some of her memories contain new
information and that some are already known and published. Some of her memories
have been confirmed by family members. She has also shown me old scrapbooks
where she wrote notes to remember what was happening to her and hid the notes
under pictures in the scrapbook.”
I spoke with Alan Scheflin in May  of this year. He
said he had found one piece of information Claudia had mentioned in her
recollections that had no precedent in published material. It involved a
connection between two government researchers.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on the 130 pages of
testimony given before the President’s Committee on Radiation, and it is also
just the beginning of a history that will undoubtedly widen in the coming months
and years. Dr. Wolf told me that when word got around she was going to testify
before the president’s committee, she was contacted by about 40 therapists
“in just the 10 days leading up to my trip to Washington.” The therapists
had heard similar CIA mind-control stories from their own patients. Many of
these professionals are afraid to go on the record about their patients’
stories, as censure from their professional societies is a reality. The
political mood these days is not conducive to granting an aura of credibility to
revelations of CIA brainwashing.
So what else is new?
1. See “From the Inside Out,” Perceptions,
March/April 1995, p.58
2. Paddington Press, New York, 1978
3. W.W. Norton, New York, 1979
4. Grove Press, New York, 1985
Jon Rappoport is a distinguished investigative reporter and the author of
AIDS, INC. He can be found inhabiting the late night airwaves of KPFK radio in
Los Angeles and lecturing at the Hardware Humanitarian House in Santa Monica,
California. Reprinted from Perceptions magazine, Issue 11, Sept./Oct.