The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the civilian foreign intelligence service of the US government which looks into matters relating to national security. It collects and evaluates sensitive information about economic, political and scientific developments abroad in order to safeguard national security. The CIA deals with many sensitive secretive information and they would do anything possible to keep the confidentiality of such information. Under the patronage of project MK -Ultra, the CIA started to investigate on brain washing and human behavior controlling properties on certain drugs. They were investigating on lysergic acid diethylamide(LSD) and other chemicals such as MDMA (ecstasy), mescaline, heroin, barbiturates, methamphetamine and psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”), but they had to halt all their research after few years. Below are some interesting facts about those covert operations.
MK Ultra is a famous project which lasted for about 10 years from 1953 where the CIA conducted a secret mission in testing the possibility of controlling human behavior in order to tackle the soviet enemies. The CIA was convinced that Soviet, Chinese and North Korean agents were brainwashing US prisoners and hence wanted to start same in the US. The CIA has accepted that the intention of the operation was to experiment the ability on mind control. According to available records the testing has left people who were experimented emotionally crippled forever. Some of the participants didn’t even know that they had been used for an experiment. They had to face psychological trauma after the experiment. It has taken a valuable part from their lives and they regret the consequences they faced afterwards.
The operations were headed by the chief CIA chemist, Sydney Gottlieb to experiment the possibility of weaponizing mind control against their enemies. The operation had more than 150 sub operations under it. The journalist, Stephen Kinzer spent many years researching the experiments. According to Kinzer, Gottlieb wanted to try mind controlling in two steps. First to destroy the existing mindset and the second to introduce a new mindset. The experiments were conducted on a large scale at universities, research centers, prisons and detention centers. From electroshock to high dosage of LSD were given to the humans who were used for the experiments. Kinzer further reports that Gottlieb made the CIA spend $ 240,000 to buy the world’s entire supply of LSD for the experiments.
LSD is identified as a psychedelic which can cause changes in perception and thinking, produce visual hallucinations and distortions of space and time. In the recent days, people tend to self-medicate them with LSD to relieve stress and anxiety. The use is now gradually increasing and becoming popular, however it is still not anywhere close to 1960s. In the 1970s it was classified as a schedule 1 drug and was difficult to reach even for experiments. However now the researchers are experimenting on the use of the drug. Professionals in Silicon Valley state that micro dosing of LSD helps them to perform better. Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have famously experimented with LSD. People are now openly talking about LSD and Lincoln Centre is going to present a musical about LSD on Broadway in 2021.
Can LSD control a human mind? It has been revealed that LSD is capable of influencing the usual sense of self, creating a sense of unity and feeling of positive moods. Under project MK ULTRA people were given LSD samples without their knowledge through prostitutes or though people who met at bars or other socializing events. Some of America’s soldiers, prisoners and cancer patients were used as guinea pigs for testing. It has been revealed that LSD has helped some cancer patients to relieve their pain. The CIA was so much into mind control effort, that they totally ignored what is happening with people who have been used in testing. Gottlieb was able to do whatever he wanted to find a way to control minds, which can eventually allow them to take over the power to control the whole world.
However, many people lost their lives being guinea pigs for testing LSD. Some died secretly without leaving any clue and some with clues but unable to sue as families have waved off the right for legal relief. Some were alive and was unable to get back to their normal sense. Some recovered after many years, but were experiencing heath complications. Many documents containing information about MK ULTRA were destroyed and are unavailable. But with the cases of complications in using LSD the government decided to outlaw the use of the drug and further to prohibit research on it.
As the CIA through Gottlieb and other chemists tried to take the control of the human brain using LSD, it prevented further research being conducted about the benefits of it. Many valuable lives were ruined forever due to experiments which ended up giving negative results as LSD is unable to control the human mind. However according to recent researches, researchers are of the view that LSD can be used to treat anxiety, depression and many other health conditions. Therefore, further researches should be conducted in order to check whether LSD can be used to save lives and consider using with proper scrutiny, which will at least make out for the loss of many innocent lives to some extent.