Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two: MKUltra: When The CIA Tried to Destroy Free Will

Part Two: MKUltra: When The CIA Tried to Destroy Free Will

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 10:00

Robert is joined again by Jason Pargin to continue to discuss Project MKUltra.

Join Robert Evans, Christopher Wong, Shereen Lani Younes, Garrison Davis, James Stout and Sophie Lichterman for a live episode of It Could Happen Here and Q&A. Upon purchasing your ticket, you’ll be redirected to the show screen where there will be a prompt for you to submit a question to the hosts. Questions are picked at random, but be sure to get yours in as it may be featured in the live episode!

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And you can purchase tickets now at slash ICH where you will also be able to submit questions. Oh, welcome back to Behind the Bastards. I am Robert Evans. We're talking about MK Ultra. This is part two of our series with Jason Parchin. Jason! How... what are you? What are you, Jason? How much time do we have? No, I am a full-time author now who used to be Evans's boss back at Cracked. Although if you're coming in a part two of this episode, you should know that. You should circle back and listen to part one if you skipped it. Oh no, Jason, we have a whole series of fans. We call them backwards ease and they wait until the whole series is out and then they listen to everything backwards. Like, momentum. It makes it less depressing because then it's the story of a terrible person who ends up as a baby. Yeah. Anyway, I'm here promoting a book called If This Book Exists, You're in the wrong universe. It is not a book about MK Ultra or anything we're talking about today. It is a work of fiction that is a sequel to the film and movie John Dies at the end, which fans of mine know that well. People who have never heard of me. Look at that. If you like the movie, you can go buy this book and it'll... It's in the same universe and the same characters. You say it's not part of MK Ultra, but if you were working for the CIA, that's what you'd say. So, you know, people can make their own, people can make their own decisions about whether or not they think you're part of the CIA. But we should probably talk about who the guy who is your boss, if you are working in the CIA's MK Ultra program. Sydney Gottlieb. Actually, he's been dead for decades. But... Now, this point, it is not yet called MK Ultra, right? Nope. It is still... It is Project Artichoke is what it's moved on to now, right? So, it starts out as MK Naomi and then Project Bluebird and now Project Artichoke. And these are all... They just kind of keep getting more funding and getting a bigger sort of purview to go try and do weird mind control shit. And by the time Gottlieb takes over the chemical division, because he's like running like the CIA's the chunk of the CIA that's like fucking with chemicals, right? Pretty obvious. So, it's everything from like... We need a drug for if guys get captured that they can like bite down on a fucking fake tooth and kill themselves like in... Dune, which is like... They do stuff like that. They actually do stuff like that. Sydney for an idea of where his career goes, he's the guy who makes the poison cigars they try to kill Castro with. Like, he's that guy for the CIA. But also obviously, it includes stuff like LSD. And Alan Dolas, by this point, has been promoted to the number two man at the CIA. So, he has steadily risen up and because he's a big believer in mind control, that means that Gottlieb is just getting more and more money in the early 50s to start pumping into this project artichoke shit. New research at the CIA is heavily driven by what this blue blooded paranoid ego maniac decided he what he wanted researched. And in 1952, Alan adds to his interest in psychedelics, an interest in hypnosis. So, he's already like... Thanks that there's some sort of mind control drug that the Soviets have that he's putting money into. And in 1952, he also starts to become like a fan of hypnosis. And this is because he actually like goes to a show in New York City and he watches a famous stage hypnotist. And the thing that convinces him that hypnotism has military or has like applications for the CIA is that he goes at once up hanging out with this stage hypnotist after the show. And the guy's like, oh yeah, I regularly rape women after putting them into a hypnotic trance. It's really easy. You can make hypnotized women and just have sex with them. And this is like a thing that I do. And you know everything you need to know about Alan Doleus by the fact that this guy says this and he immediately signs up to take a four-day course from him. That is... That is the man Alan Doleus is. If people who've never listened to the show before, I realize that it seems like Robert and I are laughing at extremely inappropriate moments. That please understand, this is a coping mechanism. We do not actually think that it is funny. What else do you do when you hear about that? Like that when you hear about the second in command at the CIA, that's his fucking thought process. Is this man's like, I commit felonies all the time on using hypnotists. And he's like, oh yeah, let me take... I want to take a fucking course from you. And your audience knows that hypnotism, like that form of hypnotism, like the pop culture form where you can make somebody squawk like a chicken by a planey. Like that's not a thing, right? Like they know that's not a thing. No, this man's just disalting people. And fucking sure enough, Alan Doleus takes a course from him. We'll talk about actual hypnosis in a little bit, but Alan Doleus takes this course and he goes back to work at the CIA in DC and he tries to hypnotize his female co-workers. He uses CIA secretaries as his guinea pigs. He induces trances in them. Stephen Kinzer says that he got them to quote, do things they might not otherwise consider like flirting with strangers or revealing office secrets. And my, the feeling I get is that they're kind of playing along to an extent because this guy is their boss. And they don't want to make him angry. Hopefully he doesn't... Kinzer doesn't say he actually assaults any of these women. So hopefully this doesn't go any further than just, you know, grossly inappropriate sexual harassment. But we really don't know because it is the CIA. I mean, without the aid of some sort of a medication or a chemical or something that probably cannot be done, like stage hypnosis works because you get people up on a stage and they like to participate in the show. So you're like lowering their inhibitions, basically giving them permission to be part of the show. And so like some of it, it works in like a subconscious level. But the type, again, the type that exists, has existed in pop culture, pop culture for decades where you can like turn somebody into a zombie and make them do whatever purely through hypnosis. Again, hypnosis paired with whatever drugs they were working with at the time may do that. Puss somebody where they're in like a half a week state of, you know, they're not fully making decisions or whatever, but just hypnosis. That's no, that's just a sleazy weirdo. It's a sleazy weirdo. And probably what is actual, to the extent that that hypnotist is like, quote unquote hypnotizing and then having sex with him. And like, well, he gets them alone because he's famous. And then they like, you know, pretend to be hypnotized because it's the safest thing to do, right? Or none of it ever happened and he just lied. He's a liar. That's entirely possible too. That he's such a sleazeball that he lies about using hypnosis to break women because he thinks it makes him look cool. And guess what? Back at the time, it did. So all of these things are possible. We will not know what exactly happens. But we know the result of this is that after being a real creep at work, Alan Dolas writes a memo to the project artichoke team. Quote, if hypnotic control can be established over any participant in clandestine operations, the operator will have an extraordinary degree of influence, a control and order of magnitude beyond anything that we have considered feasible. Now, as you said, Jason, hypnosis is like a thing. There's like studies that scientists do on people's brains and hypnotic trans is a thing that people experience. There are documented effects of being hypnotized and hypnosis can be effective in conjunction with certain therapies. But as you said, hypnotizing does not mean that you're putting someone into a state where they will take commands and do whatever. You can kind of induce or affect feelings of anxiety and pain and trauma. Actual professionals who use hypnosis will use it to like, you can, there's some evidence that it can be used to reduce chronic pain in certain ways. It can be reduced. It can be used to reduce the pain of childbirth. Hypnosis has been shown to have some efficacy at treating addiction and PTSD. I'm not going to get into, I don't understand hypnosis well. I don't think anyone really does. It seems like the kind of thing that there's still a lot of like debate about, but like it is a thing. It's on the same level of something like meditation. It has absolutely measurable effects. No one would question that, but that's somewhere out there. There's somebody claiming that you're meditating, you're tapping into the energies of the universe or whatever you're leaving your body and you're not. It's just we don't understand a lot about how the brain works. But it's just that what he's talking about was like, well, if you could do the thing where you wave a watch in front of somebody and then now using a key word later, you can make them your slave. The thing as it exists in the Manchurian candidate or whatever, you know, all these movies, these thrillers that were made in the wake of people believing hypnosis was real. That's the thing that doesn't exist. In terms of using this way to like recover memories, that kind of thing, you know, putting the brain into a relaxed susceptible state, there's all sorts of ways to do that. But yeah. Yeah. So, Alan Dolos, you know, again, as hypnosis is a thing, but Alan Dolos is mostly interested in using it to take over people's brains and get information out of them. And potentially the thing that he's most excited about, and the thing that everyone at the CIA is kind of most excited about is the potential to turn people into sleeper agents who can be sent back home to carry out attacks, right? Like that's the Manchurian candidate thing. That's what the CIA actually wants to do. And they do believe that this is possible. Gottlieb is certain of it. And Gottlieb tells Dolos that like, yeah, you know, hypnosis can work. And particularly if we mix hypnosis with these different hallucinogenic drugs people have started testing. Have you heard of LSD, you know, that's kind of how the conversation goes. Although, they actually do, they start with marijuana. And this is because marijuana was something the OSS had tested pretty heavily on themselves back during World War II. They'd mixed it into various foods and they'd smoked it to try to prove that it had potential as a truth drug. This did not work as anyone who's ever had the life of a coughs while stone does hell could tell you. Next, the OS, or next, the CIA use so that under Gottlieb, they do try some marijuana experiments. It does not prove effective. They move on to cocaine next. Gottlieb used CIA cutouts to sponsor medical experiments in which mental patients are injected with cocaine. So they are going into people who are institutionalized with like schizophrenia and they are injecting them with cocaine to see if it will make people want to talk. Now, Jason, you've never done cocaine, right? No, but I have been around somebody who was on it and they actually did talk quite a bit. They do, it does, it does work for that. I will say that for cocaine. It does make you want to talk. Now, also, if you need to write a Hollywood screenplay and like one 100 hour long writing session, nothing really beats cocaine for that apparently. No, as my name's sake, the other Robert Evans could have told you. If his heart hadn't exploded from 70 years of shooting cocaine straight into his lungs. But, you know, I think you may also note that while cocaine does want to make people want to talk, it doesn't make them reliably tell the truth. You can actually lie really well on a shitload of cocaine. Otherwise, nightclubs probably wouldn't exist in the same form. So cocaine, not a great truth drug. After this comes heroin, which, if you were going to me and saying which drug is least likely to be an effective truth serum, I would probably say heroin. Stephen Kinzer writes that quote, surviving CIA memos note that heroin was frequently used by police and intelligence officers and that it and other addictive substances can be useful in reverse because of the stress as they produce when they're withdrawn from those who are addicted to their use. So, in other words, cops, when the CIA is like, hey, let's reach out to some cops. We know some narcotics guys. Let's reach out to like the FBI. See what they say about using heroin as a truth drug. All these field agents are like, well, heroin is like great. And a bunch of the people talking to them are CIA agents who are like, well, yeah, you can use it as a truth drug for people. But like the way it works is you get them addicted to heroin and then they'll do whatever you tell them, right? Yeah, you take it away. And then you take it away. Of withdrawal. The promise of getting heroin, they will do whatever you ask. But again, as with all interrogation techniques, nothing stopping them from just lying to you. Exactly. And that continues to be the problem. One thing I did find interesting is that like a lot of their early info on heroin comes from narcotics agents in CIA field agents who are like the only reason I haven't killed myself from doing this job is that I use heroin. Like those are a lot of their early sources, which tells you a lot about these agencies. There's like a couple of very funny moments here. My favorite is that at one point, using like working as part of this program, the Navy sponsors a study where they pay college students to take heroin to see if it works as a truth drug. It does not. So the next thing they try is masculine. The Nazi doctors, the CIA had hired to help them with their torturing people at black sites had all given masculine to prisoners at doc-au. And so when they bring these guys in, they tell the CIA, hey, masculine seems like it might work as a truth serum. Maybe you should try that next. But of course, masculine does not work that way. No drug works that way. I have lied to cops on a number of hallucinogens. None of them seem to function as a truth serum in my experience. But all of this is new. The assumptions they're making here about how the mind works. That's the thing. It's almost to imply that when somebody is intoxicated that they're becoming more honest, I don't think that's true in almost any way. Like you lower somebody's inhibitions. They may be just as likely to say the most outrageous thing they can think of. Like I don't think that being incredibly drunk revealed like no Gibson's perfect true feelings. I think it made him more racist than what he probably is in everyday life because it just unleashed his ability to just say the worst possible thing that popped into his head. And it's also like I think the thing that and I think they are starting to recognize that at this point because the early they keep having these experiments and like they never find their truth drug. But they do find like one thing that is true is that people who are really fucked up are easier to manipulate. You know, like a drunk person, if you're sober, maybe you'll be it'll be easy for you to get them to do something that you want them to do, right? And the same thing is true within limits to people who are on other substances. People are a little bit easier to like convince to do things sometimes in certain ways. If those things aren't you can't like somebody's tripping on acid. You're probably not going to convince them to commit murder. But if they are the kind of person who is inclined to like strip naked and one through a party, it'll be easier to convince them to strip naked and run through a party, right? They are. It does make people suggestible in that way. So one thing that's happening in this period is the CIA is moving away from like, well, maybe this maybe we'll we'll backburn her the mind or the truth serum. But we think this stuff will let us program people because it does seem to make them more susceptible, right? So that's kind of as they're sort of experimenting with this stuff. It's not just truth serum. They're also like is this the drug that's going to let us reprogram Soviet spies and like send them back as saboteurs because that is increasingly the thing that Dolas thinks is going to be possible. And they're they're thinking about like, well, let's try giving them cocaine and then we'll hypnotize them. Let's try giving a mescaline and then we'll hypnotize them. And obviously none of this works great, but they're getting at least enough that they're convinced they're just sort of like one drug away from making it work. Um, and by the way, the funny is part to me and it's funny again in the context that I mentioned earlier. It's darkly humorous is it as far as I can tell, they now in 2022 by far the most successful examples they have of like flipping people or turning people into double agents and all that is just by giving them a big old suit case full of cash. That works really well. And they finally, they're finally after spending billions or however much money they spent on this stuff over the years. It's like, hey, we have found a way that can manipulate to make somebody turn against their own country, which is if you give them like a Lamborghini and a giant suit case full of cold, hard cash, they're actually willing to flip on their own country, their friends, their comrades. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. People will do like, I mean, you know, there's also still heroin is actually still a big one. Like when the FBI was breaking up the green during the green scare when the FBI was like breaking up environmental extremist like organizations, they would often target like individuals who they knew were like addicted to smack because you find somebody who's got that addiction, you take it away from them. It's a little easier to get them to roll on their friends or you arrest them and you tell them like, Hey, we've got this amount of stuff on you. We have you dead the rights. It's a 25 year sentence unless you help us out by rolling on your friend, right? Like all of these things can be used to control people's behavior, but none of it works the two things that work best are prison time and money. Yeah, yeah, just threats and threats and money. The same thing that worked 10,000 years ago. And the Soviets, by the way, never don't know this. Well, they're fucking around with the psychic research. They're just being like, well, we either bribe people or we hit them. This works great. It's the CIA that is convinced there's some much more esoteric way to do this shit. So got leave as they kind of go through this roledex of drugs and none of them work starts to become convinced that the answer to his boss's prayers to doles his prayers might be LSD because again, he's read about this. Acquit scientists, smart people, especially again, got leaves kind of a proto hippie, you know, the hippie movement hasn't exist yet, but he's one of the kinds of people who's going to feed into it. All of that, those kinds of people, those seekers, the people who are interested in mysticism and stuff, they're all starting to talk about hallucinogens and they're all starting to talk about acid. So got leave reaches out to Harold Abramson. Abramson is a doctor who'd worked with the CIA on past mind control and poison experiments. He was also a seeker himself and he'd taken LSD several times and given it out to colleagues on multiple occasions, acting as one of the first modern trip sitters. Abramson gave got leave LSD and the two hung out. Sydney wrote this about his first trip. I happen to experience an out of bodyness, a feeling as though I am in a kind of transparent sausage skin that covers my whole body and it is shimmering and I have a sense of well-being in euphoria for most of the next hour or two hours and then it gradually subsides. And I think he takes a pretty small dose because LSD, a normal dose of LSD if you're like taking a solid dose if you're actually tripping, it lasts like eight to sometimes 12 hours, you know, like some, you can, you can make it last long if you take a very heavy dose. Long to sever a trip is maybe 18 hours. Jesus Christ. He was, it was a good reason. One reason why I've never experimented with this stuff is I absolutely would be the guy who just sits there like my body is a sausage. I'm a skin sausage. It's not an unpleasant thing necessarily to be a skin sausage. LSD is, whenever I recommend like if people are curious about hallucinogens, psilocybin is by far like the easiest to start with because kind of no matter how much you take, you're top out at three or four hours. So it is the kind if you have a bad time, it's going to be over soon. LSD, if you take too much or have a bad time, it can be really unpleasant because it lasts so long time. So it's, it's the kind of thing people shouldn't mess around with unless they've like built up to it. That would be my opinion. I'm not telling you to commit illegal acts by taking drugs, but maybe I wouldn't start with LSD if you're asking for my advice on this stuff. No, the other advice is to go to a very reliable source where you know how much you're getting. Yeah, because I think half the people I've ever talked to have taken acid have an experience for one time they took an absolutely nothing happened. Yeah, it's like, well, yeah, because you just got it sold to you by a guy and he just gave you a piece of paper. And nowadays, a lot, another problem is that like you don't usually know you're getting acid. There's a bunch of other research chemicals that work similarly that you can also, that you could just dissolve in water and put on stuff and they're easy to get that acid, which is normally fine. A lot of people probably take something that's not acid, think it's acid and have a good time, but some of that stuff has more health. LSD is fairly safe actually unless you're taking nightmare doses of it. Like it doesn't, I don't think it even has a recorded LD 50. I'm sure they found enough to kill people, but like it's very difficult to have like an overdose in the way that is like heroin or something. But there are other research chemicals that you can die on that people sometimes just sell as acid because it's an illegal unregulated market, right? Which is, as Jason said, you should always know your dealer if you want to start playing around with this stuff. There's organizations like Project Dance Safe that sell test kits for a number of different substances. If it's possible to test and know what you're taking, you always should. They're also subreddits. They're subreddits that do nothing but discuss, like share information about this kind of thing, which as much as we criticize Reddit, it actually having a community like that to warn you about what to look at for things like that actually matters. This has always been an argument for the legalization because then you can actually know precisely what you're getting. That is the argument I would make, but that's where we're off the map over here. So LSD, Gottlieb has his first trip and he has a pretty good time with it. He starts to get kind of obsessed with it. And this is a thing, I can't prove this objectively. I haven't even found this written in any of the writing about Gottlieb, but like a thing that I have noticed in my own life as a guy who hangs out and does drugs is some people just kind of get obsessed with LSD. It is a particular thing to LSD. You notice like Albert Hoffman, right? For whatever reason before he even takes it, he, they synthesize this thing. And for five years, he can't get it out of his head until he actually tried it, right? There's just kind of something that certain people find really fascinating about this substance. And I think as much as everything else, the fact that Gottlieb just kind of gets obsessed with acid is a big part of why it becomes the drug of MK Ultra, right? Because it doesn't work any better than these other drugs. It does not, again, spoilers. None of this creates a perfect mind control drug. Probably we'll get to that a bit later. But it is, it's a thing I've seen happen to more people. And this is not usually a bad thing. People just like take a lot of acid that can be fine. And chemists and neuroscientists are especially likely to find themselves fascinated by LSD. This is about to happen to a whole generation of very smart people, folks like Kinkeese, folks like, oh, Jesus. Timothy Leary. Goddamn. I can't believe I forgot Timothy Leary's name. So yeah, you have this generation of like all, and Leary and Kinkeese and whatnot. They're all kind of in a lot of ways similar people to Gottlieb. They have these similar opinions on like this agrarian back to nature sort of stuff. They're these they're fascinated by Eastern mysticism and spiritualism. Like the degree to which the CIA's head poison guy is kind of a hippie is very important to this story. Now, at no point did Gottlieb have any hard evidence that LSD would make a better truth serum or mind control drug than any other narcotic he'd tested. But he starts to become convinced that it holds the secret to all of the things he's trying to accomplish for Alan Dulles. And so he's going to spend the next 10 years dosing possibly tens of thousands of people to try and prove that. First, he starts by dosing other CIA agents and some scientists working in adjacent government spook projects. Because they're testing initially, they're trying to use this as a weapon, right? They're still trying to see like, can this be used to like take over somebody's mind, can this be used to at least like, you know, disable a spy? A lot of these guys agree to be dosed by surprise. So this is consensual, right? There's nothing wrong with saying, yes, you can sneak LSD into my food at a random point in time because we want to see what happens when you're surprised by LSD in the middle of like a work day because nobody's done that, right? They have not started like horribly doing things with this yet. But you can see kind of where stuff's about to go because the very next group of people they start to drug is army trainees. And these people are have agreed to be in studies for the army. They don't know that they're going to be dosed with LSD. So they're just kind of like drugging 18 year old boys with this mystery substance that nobody's really tested. And a lot of people have very terrible experiences, which probably shouldn't surprise you. It does seem like a lot of these army guys have great times too. And a lot of the CIA guys have a lot of this like is their partying, right? Like they're not just dosing each other and taking diligent notes. They're like having a good time. And you know, the government's paying for it. In these early days, Gottlieb and his fellow Bluebird artichoke researchers dose themselves more often than they dozed anyone else. They'd carry out fake interrogations and try to convince each other to give up secrets that they promised before taking drugs not to tell. And they were able to get each other and army officers to reveal like secrets. But this is like, this is not a real test, right? Like they're agreeing ahead of time. What's the secret you're not going to give up? Okay. Now we're going to drug you and we'll see if we can get you to give up the secret. Jason, if you think of any reason why that might not be replicable to actually trying to get information out of somebody. Really hard to overstate the role of consent in this whole thing. Yes. They're playing a game. But at that early stage, it feels like basic logic should have played a role in this. But I mean, you know, yeah. So this is all very flawed. And everything they're going to do is deeply flawed research at like the conceptual level in ways that I don't know. Part of it's probably just that the concept of hallucinogens, particularly like artificially created hallucinogens, you know, because LSD does not just randomly occur in the way that like mushrooms do is much newer than. So I think some of it's just that people don't understand this stuff as well. But it does really seem like they're making basic failures of logic here. But there are some reasons I have to say there are some reasons why you can see people at this time would have thought LSD could be a really good weapon for like, spice it. Acid is colorless and odorless. You can put it in basically any liquid or other kind of substance and people can't, there's no way to tell that you have acid on you. So you can transport significant quantities of it without being detected in a pretty much infinite number of ways. It's once you are able to make it, it's pretty much free on a per-dose basis and very small amounts of acid have gigantic effect. So there's good reasons why the substance is like, well, yeah, if you could make this work for us, this would be a great thing. We can very easily sneak this on spies and get them into anywhere. I think I want to ask a question that I think a lot of listeners are asking, which is today when we hear about the experiments done with the stuff, it's experiments on trying to care people with PTSD, trying to care depression, trying to, if it affects the brain that much, if people claimed to have had almost a wholly experienced on it, that's like, well, could it, it feels like it shouldn't have just been the CIA dealing with this. It feels like you should have had whatever the giant pharmaceutical companies were at the time, experimenting with it as they therapy, saying, what could this be the drug that will make housewives okay with, staying at home and doing nothing with laundry all day? Do you see what I'm saying? Was that going on or was it just the CIA that was working with this stuff? We're actually going to talk about that in a little bit. Yes, this is going on to an extent, but it's very limited. At this point in time, the only people in the world who can make LSD are sandaws laboratories, right? They have figured it out and they're not sharing the recipe. So they are the only source of LSD. They're only making a limited amount and the CIA buys basically all of it. They do send a bunch out for research. There are other organizations researching this. There's actually in the Soviet Union and all over the world, there's actual studies, therapeutic studies on LSD in this period, but the majority of the drug by weight goes to the CIA. Okay. Yeah. That tells you a lot about the state of the world at the time that that's it's your tell priorities or whatever because you have everything they think they know about this. It's not just, oh, this would make a good weapon. Like on the list of things you could do with it to change the world. That's not even in the top 100. Like when you're talking about, oh, this totally alters the way people behave, the way they can be influenced, the way they think, everybody who takes it becomes obsessed with it. But you would think just the pure capitalism of the country would come into place like, oh, we could make a bunch of money. It's cheap to make. People will pay a lot of money for it. The fact that it's, I guess it's just a limit of the imagination when you're in like a war footing. It's like, no, this could, you can get in theory. They have these convoluted almost cartoonish ideas of like, well, in theory, if you could inject a spy with it, you could make him do this. If we also, it, yeah, there's just this. It's because like number one, the sandaws is, I think kind of they're looking for any kind of use that will make this profitable, right? And so the first group that has that puts a lot of money down for acid is the CIA. So that has an impact from the beginning on like, who else gets it and how much of it is available. And I just don't think, I don't think guys like Gottlieb, when they hear stuff like, because there is early research on like LSD and alcoholism. And when they hear stuff like, we can treat alcoholism with LSD, all these guys, because they are, as you said, they're so focused on this war, all they hear is that just, that means that you can change people with this. You can change there. You can alter a person's mindset. You can like, control their mind. If you can get them to stop being an alcoholic, maybe you can stop them from being a communist, you know? Like, that's, that's straight where they go. And they have the ability to effectively buy up the world's supply of acid, which they do in this period. In fact, all of the LSD that gets out in the early areas of the hippie movement. And like, is the, is the acid that like, fucking dudes like Hunter Thompson and the Beatles are taking, right? That shit all comes from the CIA. Oh, I had no idea, but it makes sense. I mean, that's, yeah. And not all just as part as MK Ultra, because guys like Abramson, who gives Gottlieb's first dose, he's working with the CIA as a contractor. He's also just a guy who's interested in this and does it with his friends and his friends include a lot of these like influential intellectuals who are going to be big leaders in the 60s. And so they all start taking LSD that he gets from the CIA together. That's like how acid gets out. It's through the agency. Not always in controlled ways, not always as parts of studies, but we're building to that. But you know what else we're building towards Jason. An ad break? An ad break. Jason, have you ever heard of Blue Apron? No, I say it's weird, because I listen to like four hours of podcast a day, but I've never, it's never come up. Well, that's a, it's a company that makes food boxes. And we used to have a running joke here at Behind the Bastards about how they also had an island where people could hunt children for sport. And I thought Jason, I thought that was a joke that everyone would recognize as a joke. But it turns out a lot of people messaged us distraught thinking that there was a real child hunting island. So now we're warning people on a couple of different episodes of the show. There's no child hunting island. It's fine. That was a joke. We're not going to make the joke anymore. Please, please stop being worried that Blue Apron has an island where people hunt children for sport. They don't. Anyway, here's ads possibly including Blue Apron. And now a word from our sponsor, Better Help. Mental health problems are obviously really tough and it can get easy to just sort of set yourself on the mindset that things are bad. They're going to stay that way. But that's not the way it has to be. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your mental health goals, no matter how big or small. If you're looking at getting into therapy, Better Help is a great option. They offer online counseling that's efficient and affordable, and is available to people kind of no matter what you want to do. If you want to be on the phone, if you want to do it through a video chat, Better Help has options. It's convenient, accessible, affordable, and entirely online. You get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and you can switch therapists at any time. So when you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit slash behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better H-E-L-P dot com slash behind. Again, slash behind for 10% off your first month. In the next 30 seconds, one sweltering beach bomb will decide it's just two hot. And want to move somewhere milder and as he's dreaming of a brisk outdoor jog, cracking up in a window and the comfort of throwing on a light layer, he'll realize, I've got to sell the house and fix it and stage it and show it. Or skip the hassles, sell directly to open door and move on to the things that matter, like that cool breeze. Get your free offer at slash new move. Eligibility and offer price may vary. Open doors represented by Open Door Brookridge Inc. License 0206-113-0 in California and Open Door Brookridge LLC in its other markets. Let me guess. Unknown caller. You could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection. The latest innovation from Discover will help regularly remove your personal info, like your name and address from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data. And we'll do it for free. Activate in the Discover app. See terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Ah, we're back. And we're talking about Sydney Gottlieb and the CIA. So the other reason that Gottlieb is able to kind of get the agency to focus on LSD, there's, you know, it makes sense. There's reasons why it might be a good weapon. But he's able to bring up a bunch of Russian scientific journals, which in the early 50s start to file the first Soviet Union reports on the discovery of LSD. Obviously LSD has existed for a while. Information does not travel as fast in these days. So the Soviets kind of start, you start and this is not, there's actually nothing sinister here. It's just academics in the Soviet Union who are like, and now there's this thing called acid. We're getting small amounts of it from sandaws and we're testing it in these ways. This causes Dolas' analysts to claim that the LSD is stockpiling airgot as a raw material. Now their own assessments admit there's no evidence that this is happening. And in fact, here's exactly what Dolas' analysts write. Quote, although no Soviet data are available in LSD 25, it must be assumed that the scientists of the USSR are thoroughly cognizant of the strategic importance of this powerful new drug and are capable of producing it at any time. That's. It must be assumed that we have to assume it. It's a key phrase that I think is going to get used, that's going to get used to why. Yeah, that like, yeah, we just have to assume that not only do they think the same thing about this as us, which is that it should be used to destroy people's minds, but they're already mass producing it. Obviously, they are not. It is hard to make acid. No one knows how to other than sandaws yet. And the Soviet Union, as far as all evidence suggests, the Soviet Union has no capacity for manufacturing LSD at this point. It's going to take years before a US company with CIA help will crack the recipe. But yeah, it is worth noting that kind of about it. This is actually there's not even LSD as far as we can tell in the Soviet Union in this period in the early 50s. I think the first evidence that we have of acid in the Soviet Union starts in the early 1960s when communist Bulgaria starts carrying out a series of LSD experiments. This is from 62 to 68. And it's again, to kind of as evidence that there's not really capacity to make this in the Iron Curtain when Bulgaria starts experimenting with acid, they buy it all from sandaws. Like sandaws laboratory sends it to them. Sandaws is selling LSD under the generic name to Delhi Sid. And they spend about $3 million giving their new hallucinogen to universities and mental hospitals in the early 1960s. So again, that's well after the period we're up to in the actual NK Ultra story. You know, this is all being fucked with by the CIA before pretty much anyone is able to study it. And I'm going to quote from a write-up and Atlas obscura here. Among the human guinea pigs were doctors, artists, miners, truck drivers, and even prisoners and mentally ill patients. These research subjects were involved in some 140 trials. Their aim for these experiments with LSD was to allow scientists to understand psychotic disorders like schizophrenia better by using the drug to mimic the effects of a naturally occurring psychosis. There were some similarities between drug-induced psychoses and natural ones, but it was easier to do a controlled study when causing psychosis through drugs. So in Czechoslovakia, which is also a communist state at this period, LSD is perfectly legal and available over the counter. This is like most of the 1960s. If you're living in the Czech Republic or in Czechoslovakia, you can walk down to like the pharmacy and you can just buy some acid. Dr. Hold on. I have to ask, when did it become ill legal in the United States? Because it was a brand new substance. Yeah. Was it banned immediately? No, no, no, it's not. It's legal for most of the period like the hippie period. That's why I thought. Yeah. It is not banned in the United States until 1968. Yeah, largely as the result of some of the stuff that a bunch is, that's a story for another day. But for most of the 1960s in Czechoslovakia, the Bulgarians are doing acid studies with LSD. They've bought from sandaws. Czechoslovakia is getting acid from sandaws too. And rather than it being like a thing that like is being secretly used on people behind the scenes, people are just buying acid from pharmacies in communist Czechoslovakia. Doctors at psychiatric hospitals are taking acid so that they can understand what it's like to be schizophrenic. I mean, I don't know how well that actually prepares you to treat somebody, but that's how they're using it, right? Like it's like we've got all these people who are hearing voices. Let's take this drug so that maybe we can understand them better. Eventually a Czech pharmaceutical company cracks the recipe and millions of doses are produced and given out for free across the country. Numerous scientists, including Stanislav Groff, took LSD and had experiences in this time that impacted their future work. Artists dose themselves to great effect as this piece from an article in Priskroš, which is a a Czech news site makes clear. Among them were well-known painters such as Evo Metic and Giri Anderle, as well as young intellectuals, singers and students. According to an unverified account, one of them was the current Czech president, Milos Semán. A number of years later, Carol got reluctantly admitted that he too just once took LSD in the presence of doctors. I returned to my earliest childhood memories buried deep within my subconsciousness. Many participants of the psychedelic sessions, especially artists, recalled their explorations of LSD as unique, even formative experience. However, others experienced so-called bad trips. Suicide soon followed, and several main centers, especially the psychiatric hospital in Sadska near Prague, research was carried out on a mass scale. According to unconfirmed reports, one of the provincial hospitals carried out tests on children as young as three years old who were experiencing mental health issues. In another hospital, experiments were supposedly carried out on prisoners. So, everybody does fucked up shit with this. Every state does when they get access to it. Although they're not trying to, right? Like the Czechs aren't trying to create a mind control drug. They're just like, maybe this will cure kids with illnesses. We don't understand. Let's give it to that three-year-old, which isn't good behavior, but it's not like malicious. Right. There's more irresponsible. Yeah. And there's a level of ignorance around the substance, but the way you become knowledge was not, well, let's see what happens to mentally-althy-year-olds. Yeah, that's certainly not ideal. I mean, then we'll know. Yeah, and then we'll be ignorant anymore. I have to tell how else are we going to find out? Yeah, we, who knows what else? Like, I don't, and they are like, I'd be really interested. This is an area where I don't know as much. I'd be really interested in like what they actually found in terms of how this impacted doctors treating patients. But yeah, I don't have great context on that. But this is a thing that's going on in this period. It does eventually the Czech security services. They're kind of KGB or CIA equivalent. Start to do some early research on whether or not they could weaponize LSD. And again, this is like a decade after they do this in the United States. So they're like well behind the curve here. They do some early kind of experiments. There's no record of anything serious. The primary interest, like the state security service gets into this and they kind of say, oh, maybe we can weaponize this. But the thing they actually start doing is using it to make a shitload of money. Because they kind of always have a cash flow problem. This is true of all of the communist security services. And they recognize that like, oh shit, Americans will and Europeans will pay a fuckload for LSD just to party. And so for nearly a decade, a huge amount of the LSD and like the early like right before it gets banned and right after it gets banned, a lot of the LSD that gets into Western Europe and the United States and kind of the late 1960s, including the famous summers of 68 and 69, comes from the Czech intelligence services. And they're smuggling acid to the west, not to destroy capitalism, but because they want they need money. It's very profitable to sell drugs. It turns out. So that's kind of a fun story. That's all more than a decade in the future from the CIA stuff. But the point is there's never as far as I found there's not ever any real Soviet LSD mind control experiments. And in the early 1950s, there's no evidence that any communist country even saw the drug as having that kind of potential. They didn't have a lot of access to it. So it would have been hard for them to after a few months of benign experimentation on his friends and colleagues got leave leaves the United States to test LSD on human prisoners for the first time. One study later reported quote in 1951, a team of CIA scientists led by Dr. Gottlieb flu to Tokyo. Japanese suspected of working with the Russians were secretly brought to a location where the CIA doctors injected them with a variety of depressants and stimulants under relentless questioning they confessed to working for the Russians. They were taken out into Tokyo Bay, shot and dumped over board. The CIA team flew to Seoul in South Korea and repeated the experiment on 25 North Korean prisoners of war. They were asked to announce communism. They refused and were executed. In 1952, Dolas brought Dr. Gottlieb and his team to post war Munich in southern Germany. They set up a base in a safe house. Throughout the winter of 1952 to 1953, scores of expendables were brought to the safe house. They were given massive amounts of drugs, some of which Frank Olsen had prepared back at Dettrick, which is where the camp where they're doing this, to see if their minds could be altered. They were given electroconvulsive shocks. Each experiment failed. The expendables were killed and their bodies burned. And even what you're describing there whenever they, what are effects they got is seemed like it's just plain old subjecting them to extreme discomfort. Yeah. Using the stimulants and the depressants or whatever to like get their body racing and then slowing it down. That's just putting them through pain. Yeah. You could just hit them with a stick and do the same thing. All of their sophisticated talk of, oh wow, the magic of the human mind and mind control. Here it still seems like it just comes back down to regular old brutality and then the people still not cooperating. Then you just shoot them. That's what's so interesting to be Jason, because all they're doing is using LSD to torture people in the way that like the Soviets just hit them with sticks until they do what they want. But I think what's happening is Gottlieb, he keeps, he's taking acid. He's tripping constantly throughout this period. I think he's having really powerful like spiritual and emotional experiences on it. And so he's convinced that like there's something more going on with this particular substance. And thus there must be a way to like turn it into a tool for this purpose. And one of the things I find most interesting about him is he's having, he's this educated man. He's this thoughtful guy who studies religion and spirituality. And he that he's having like experimenting on expanding his consciousness with hallucinogens. And then when he actually uses them on people, it's the same way you'd use like a fucking razor blade on a person you have tied up or whatever. Like there's not, he's not being subtle. There's no like artifice to it. It's just cruelty. And it seems like they were so eager to get some kind of a result that they're just the way you describe it. It's like there was no art to what they were doing. It's just the same old, I don't know. It's like this is a part of what I found interesting about this. I said in the first episode is separating the reality from like the conspiracy stuff because the conspiracy stuff always, the differences between what they thought this could do and what it actually did. That's the difference between the conspiracy theories and because in the world of conspiracy, Manchurian candidates absolutely exist. Whereas the reality is they wanted that. There's no doubt they wanted that outcome. It just they couldn't do it. And the actual reality on the ground is so much more disorganized and stupid and just thuggish than what then the super villains you imagine. It's almost like you're imagining a more sophisticated type of when in reality, like a lot of it is just bureaucrats trying to get more funding to their thing. I don't know. I do not doubt that some of the people at this point knew it didn't work or had lost faith in it. But it's like, well, this is where all the funding is going and you've got to put food on the table. Yeah. And I don't care about the people we're killing. So like, yeah, let's keep doing it. And yeah. So these experiments got lead travels around Europe and Asia to just we don't know how many black sites. We don't know how many people he doses with LSD and then killed certainly hundreds. Potentially over the lifetime of the CIA LSD experiments significantly more than that. But we really have no idea. We do know that so many people were being killed at these sites that it created a body disposal problem, even at the black sites that had been built as death camps. Stephen Kinzer quotes from an American translator at one of these places, Camp King, which I believe is in Germany. And she writes this home in a letter in 1952. Arrived back in Frankfurt from Paris, son, morning and time to spend all day at the Oberstle swimming pool acquiring a nice tan. They dragged a dead man out of the pool at 10 a.m. Like, this is the pool that they have at like the facility. And there's like, yeah, the corpses are just kind of like showing up places. Because they're just creating so many of them. Got Leibh seems to have, I don't know, I don't, I don't really, he's a fascinating character. I don't really have a great concept of what's going on in his head. Because he's like every day after doing this, he goes home and he milks his goats. And he hangs out with his wife and kids. And he's this kind of like kindly proto hippie nerd who's just very interested in psychedelics. Well, this is a thing because when you told his story in the last episode, like his early, his upbringing, there's a key part of the story that is missing. Because when you describe like, well, he was young, he went off to school, he married a preacher's daughter, you know, he was kind of a hippie. And then he was asked to be a part of this program because it's like, well, he's interested in these drugs and in these chemicals. And then immediately it's like, okay, well, we invited him to go torture this guy. We were torturing with and try to use this case. It's like, well, my hold on, did he have any kind of qualms about that? The transition from normal guy who's curious about these chemicals to being at a black site. And it's clear what's going on. Like the reality of it was certainly not hidden from him. And you are torturing another human being who may not be guilty of anything really. And it's like, okay, did he object? Was he afraid? Did he? The way, so Stephen Kinzer who writes Poisoner and Chief, which is about Gottlieb is the guy who I think is done the most detailed workup on Sydney as a man. His angle on it, the way he kind of explains it is that Gottlieb is a patriot. He is very sore about the fact that he missed out on participating in World War II. And he has been convinced by Dolas and other people in the agency that this is a life or death struggle with the Soviet Union and that only the most, like they have to try this, they have to find this out. This is the most critical weapon that could possibly exist. And if the Soviets have developed it, then it could be the end of the world, right? They could destroy the entire country if they get people in the right position. So we have to know how that's, that's what Kinzer says. Now, Kinzer's working from information after the fact, it doesn't know Gottlieb. I don't, to an extent, the man is unknowable, right? Just like everybody. I don't actually know if I think that's what's going on. If I think maybe for all of his kindly exterior, Gottlieb is like a fucking serial killer because that, there's, I, I could see that. When you look at some of the stuff this guy does, I could see there being an element of just sort of like joy and hurting people. And maybe we're just missing it because he didn't talk about it to people, right? And maybe Kinzer is trying to fill in a less frightening thing than just a man who likes to hurt people and gets a job at the CIA where he gets to do it. Kind of whatever's going on in his head, what he's doing is often like serial killers. Shit. For an example, in late 1952, project artichoke researchers decide to conduct a test into whether or not people with hepatitis are more vulnerable to LSD. They are apparently, it's like a thing if you have hepatitis or have had it recently, acid will can have like potentially dangerously high effect on you. Gottlieb has his people. He sets up the CIA has a deal with the American hospital in Paris. And so he has agents waiting there as patients come in for like the right person to dose. This turns out to be Stanley Glickman. Now Glickman is an American artist. He'd won prizes for his work and had gotten to go to a fancy art academy in Paris. So he's like a young man who is just getting started in the world. He's gifted. He's gotten this like incredible opportunity to study in Paris. Life is going good. And then this happens. I'm going to quote next from Kinzer's book. Quote. His studio was nearly select, but after a while, he came to prefer another cafe, Lidom, just across the boulevard du Montparnasse. One evening in October 1952, he was drinking coffee there when an acquaintance appeared and invited him over to lay select. Reluctantly, he agreed. At least select the two joined a group of Americans whose conservative dress set them apart from the rest of the crowd. Talk turned to politics and grew heated. Glickman chose to leave, but one of the men insisted on buying him a last drink to show there were no hard feelings. Glickman said he'd have a glass of chartrousse and herbal lacour. Rather than call the waiter, the man walked to the bar ordered the chartrousse himself and carried it back to their table. He walked with a limp, Glickman later recalled. The next few minutes were the last of Glickman's productive life. After taking a few sips from his drink, he began to feel what he later called, a lengthening of distance and a distortion of perception. Soon he was hallucinating. Others at the table leaned in, fascinated. One told Glickman he could perform miracles. Finally, overwhelmed by panic and fearing that he had been poisoned, he jumped up and fled. And for Glickman, the hallucinations don't stop, right? He loses his mind. He goes running to into the street. He's there for hours. He gets taken by an ambulance eventually back to the American hospital who has this secret working relationship with the CIA. And at the American hospital, he gets taken in hallucinating and freaking out. They dose him with sedatives. They electrocute him repeatedly like they give him electro shock therapy, dozens and dozens of times, and they dose him with more LSD. They discharge him eventually, but he never recovers. Like at no point in his life does he recover. He eventually gets taken back home. And he spends the rest of his days hiding alone in an apartment owned by his parents. He can only be social with dogs. He can't really be around people ever again. He's got a girlfriend there about to get married. He leaves her. And he never paints or read books or has reads books or has a romantic relationship again. Like his mind is destroyed by this. Like he is ended as a human being as effectively because of what gets done to him. And kind of based on the reports, it's probably got leap who puts the fucking acid in his chart. And the thing is, we're probably going to get into it. Like do they regard this as a result in their experiment? Like see, this is proof that you can. Yeah. Because all it proves is that if you do enough damage to somebody's brain, you can ruin their life. Again, if you, if you really hurt people, yeah, you bash them head with a baseball bat. You can also prove that it's like, oh, yeah, this guy never worked another day in his life. It works. It's like you haven't discovered anything. You've just discovered that if you treat someone horribly, you can you can permanently mess them up. Yeah. I think the thing they take out of this is that like, oh, yes, people who have hepatitis are more vulnerable to LSD. But also like, well, but you also, like in terms of like it being a bad study, we also like forced him into like a hospital room and electrocuted him and sedated him and gave him more acid. So you don't actually know how much of his reaction was due to the LSD and the hepatitis, how much of it was due to the electro shock, how much of it was due to the sedative? Like you've ruined your own experimental study by conducting it so shoddly. Like just as if you're, if you were a soulless monster who thinks it's okay to test this on people and you care about the science deeply, you still wouldn't do it this way. Like maybe you'd kidnap this guy and give him acid and see what would happen, but you wouldn't just start adding random shit. It's kind of similar to people that kind of have this really high idea of what the Nazi scientists accomplished. It's like, well, they didn't have to worry about ethics. That all these these human subjects so much of their science was just pure trash. Yeah. It's nearly all garbage. Yeah, there are methods, everything about how they record results. Like you look at how sloppy this is in terms of getting any kind of every result. There's no control group. Like everything about it is these people just they're bad scientists. Like this is not the way you find out what they're trying to find out. And that's, that's the degree in terms of like what's going on with Gottlieb. That's the part of me that's like, maybe he is just kind of like a serial killer. Like I don't know, maybe that's maybe he just this is what he does to I don't get off in whatever way. And then he's able to go home and be this like normal hippie dad, but he's just got this like deep cruelty in him that he needs to in the same way that like you have all these people who are like murdering folks their entire lives and they're married and they have kids and stuff. Like we have there are examples like this. There's like John Wayne Gacy right Gacy. I think is one of the ones who had like a family. Maybe around with there's like examples of serial killers. Everybody like they're fairly prominent where there it's like, well, he was just a normal man. We all thought he was just this, you know, he had a wife and he had kids and everyone just assumed he was a member of the community. Maybe that's what Gottlieb is, you know, that's the actually the less cynical interpretation. Yeah. Because the more cynical interpretation is that any is that a lot of people if you gave them a job and it's like your boss just tells you to do it, you just do it because your boss told you to do it. And it's otherwise I'll get fired. And this is my career on the line. And so that if that you know that that's part of the lesson of the Holocaust is that it didn't take it didn't take millions of serial killers. It just took a lot of bureaucrats who kind of like what else am I going to do? It's, you know, they yeah, I'm my job. This is what I was told to guard this building and not let anybody out. Like that's it. That was my job. And I don't need to do definitely. I mean, obviously like that's most of the CIA, right? That's most of the MK Ultra people. Gottlieb, there is that like that particular story where he's just like he's looking at a bar for a young kid he can drug and he does it himself. That's the thing that like makes me I don't know. I know we're getting into the other side of fine personal curiosity. But no, but I think that's what makes a story interesting because again, the conspiracy stuff makes certain assumptions about the type of people that that work at the CIA. And I think it almost imagines them as a different kind of human being. Yeah. Versus so much of this is people just screwing around like this here, like just dosing this stranger to see what happens. Like this is just this is reaching a stage where you're just screwing around like there's just you're there's not enough oversight. There's nobody checking your methods. There's nobody making you report every single thing you do because it's all secret. So, you know, yeah, and I hate that it says mundane as that. It's like well, he wasn't reporting to anybody. So it's like, well, why not see what happens? You know, I think you you get so immersed in this stuff where anything can become normal. If that's just like your day to day job. Yeah, I mean, that is it's to an extent an unknowable question, but yeah, I don't know, we'll come back around to this as we get through like more of this story and you get to know a little bit more about Sydney Gottlieb. But kind of right around this time as Gottlieb is dosing Glickman and destroying his life, he convinces his boss, Alan Dolas to merge all the different government teams working on truth serum and mine control research together. Now, most of what this means is they're bringing the army chemical core who is still doing separate research into stuff like this and the CIA teams under one roof. In November of 1952, a month after Gottlieb drugs Stanley Glickman, Dwight D. Eisenhower wins the presidency. In 1953, he makes Alan Dolas the new head of the CIA. So now this is the kind of shit Sydney's been able to get up to with his patron being the number two man at the CIA. Now is buddy's running things and stuff's going to go off the rails. But you know what else goes off the rails Jason? Capitalism, I don't know. I mean, yes, at some point, but but but probably not while we're all alive. So sit back and enjoy capitalism and don't think about how it ties into what these guys were defending by dosing random people in Paris. And now a word from our sponsor better help. Mental health problems are obviously really tough and it can get easy to just sort of set yourself in the mindset that things are bad. They're going to stay that way. But that's not the way it has to be. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your mental health goals, no matter how big or small. If you're looking at getting into therapy, better help is a great option. They offer online counseling that's efficient and affordable and is available to people kind of no matter what you want to do. If you want to be on the phone, if you want to do it through a video chat, better help has options. It's convenient, accessible, affordable and entirely online. You get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey and you can switch therapists at any time. So when you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit slash behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better H-E-L-P dot com slash behind again. slash behind for 10% off your first month. In the next 30 seconds, one sweltering beach bomb will decide it's just what? And want to move somewhere milder and as he's dreaming of a brisk outdoor jog, cracking up in a window and the comfort of throwing on a light layer, he'll realize, I've got to sell the house and fix it and stage it and show it. Or skip the hassles, sell directly to open door and move on to the things that matter, like that cool breeze. Get your free offer at slash new move. eligibility and offer price may vary. Open doors represented by open door brokerage in glycine 020611300 in California and open door brokerage LLC in its other markets. Let me guess. Unknown caller. You could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection. The latest innovation from Discover will help regularly remove your personal info, like your name and address, from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data. And we'll do it for free. Activate in the Discover app. See terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Ah, we're back. Okay, so Jason Allen Dolos is now running the CIA. Dwight D. Eisenhower is the president. John Foster Dolos is the secretary of state. And the agency gets given the go ahead to open more black sites around the world at this point. Gottlieb is also able to expand the scope of his mind control research. And for the first time, he brings an outside scientists to conduct torture experiments. One of these scientists is Paul Huck of the New York psychiatric institute. Gottlieb wanted him to inject a patient with mescaline to see what would happen. Hawk chose Harold Blower. Now, Blower was depressed after a divorce and he had gone to Hawk for help. Hawk is a psychiatrist. Blower is a sad man who in the 50s is like, you know what, I'm going to get over the macho bullshit that like my culture teaches me about seeking help. And I'm going to go to a psychiatrist to deal with my divorce. And as a reward for being that self-aware and responsible and taking control of his mental health, Hawk's assistant and secretly injects Blower with concentrated mescaline, telling him it's depression medicine. He does this five more times over the course of several weeks and Blower complains, right? He's hallucinating. He's having night marriage hallucinations every time they give this depression treatment to him. And he's like, I want to stop. This is not helping me being sad about my wife leaving. My depression has not been cured by these random, horrible hallucinations. Can we please stop? And Hawk basically tells him, you can't quit the treatment midstream. You have to finish the course of medications. Otherwise, it'll be really bad for you. So let's just keep taking this shit. In January of 1953, just days after Dwight Eisenhower was sworn in, Hawk was injected with a dose 14 times higher than what he'd been given previously. He began to have seizures. He had a heart attack and he was pronounced dead about three hours after the injection. Hawk is one of two Americans who are known to have died from the encaledrored experiments, right? As we'll get to later, most of the, there's a lot of data about this that's lost, but Hawk is one of the two guys that we know for certain was killed as a result of these experiments. One of Doctor, or not, Hook, blower. One of Doctor Hawk's medical assistants who'd been giving blower the masculine later said, quote, we didn't know if it was dog piss or what it was that we were giving him. So maybe these people were not, maybe there's some medical ethics problems here too. Jesus Christ. Yeah. So, okay, if you had to put money on, all right, there's two people we know died. If you just had to put down a bet as to whether or not there were at least one or two more people that we maybe don't know about, would you take that bet or would you? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don't want to be irresponsible here and the information out there, but it just seems it feels implausible. Yeah. See me how fast and loose they were playing. I don't know. We will never know because they destroy a much of the evidence. We'll explain that later, but like, I don't, I don't see how the death toll and we're talk, obviously, they've been killing people for a long time, but those people are dying. Yeah, Americans who die kind of accidentally as a result of experiments. I would be shocked if it weren't dozens and it might be more like, but we'll never know, right? And sometimes it's hard to tell because a lot of people have lifelong problems as a result of this and then eventually die as the result of, like, and maybe like, how does the LSD impact the fact that they die very young of a heart disease or doesn't make them take other substances that contribute to that right? This is all messier. It's usually not as clear as it is with blower where he just gets injected with a massive dose of something and has a heart attack. But yeah, it's impossible to say exactly, but my, if I'm taking that bet, I feel pretty good about my odds. Now, are they calling, is this still operating under artichoke or have they started calling it MKL? It's just about to be MKL. So in April of 1953, again, everything we've talked about has happened over about a four year period, right? This is not a long span of time that's best. In April of 1953, Alan Dolis gives that big speech at Princeton where he says that communist spies are about to play the American mind like a phonograph. A few days later, on April 13th, 1953, he officially bundles up all of the research the US government is going, doing into mind control and he launches MK Ultra at Gottlieb's insistence as the final iteration of the secret mind control research project. Now, under the terms of the agreement that Gottlieb had made with Dolis, MK Ultra is granted 6% of the entire CIA operating budget. There are no requirements for accounting and no oversight. Alan Dolis is not told what they're doing. The president of the United States does not know about this program in anything but the broadest terms. Every now and then, someone will be like, we're continuing our work on mind control research because the Soviets have something, right? But no one is being looped in. Gottlieb has 6% of the CIA budget and zero oversight. And again, we can criticize it in hindsight, but hindsight is 2020. At the time, they had no way of knowing that I could turn into a carnival of horror. Yeah, so many things go well when you give a man effectively a license to kill and drug whoever he wants, millions of dollars and say no one's watching. Who himself is stripping balls much of the day? Who is, who is, yeah, it must be said is hallucinating an unknown but significant percentage of the time. Now, maybe this is not something that made into the records. Did they know that MK Ultra was an awesome name for a project? Yes, that was randomly generated. They actually kind of break their own rules to call it MK Ultra. So with Krypton M, the MK part is normal, right? That just means it's part of the technical division. The second part of the name, like we had MK Naomi earlier, it's supposed to be completely random because if somebody, if some spy leaks a document to the Soviets that mentions MK Ultra, you don't want anyone to be able to tell what it is. Gottlieb makes sure it's called Ultra because it's the most secret thing in the US government, right? That's why he calls it that because he, and I think it's just because he thinks it's cool that that's his project. The most secret thing anyone's doing is his project and so it's Ultra. Yeah, if you sneak into an office at the Pentagon or somewhere and you see a folder called Project Artichoke, you're probably not even going to open it. Right. If you stumble across a big fat red folder marked MK Ultra. Oh, yeah, absolutely. You're stealing that thing. It's like this is either aliens or it's a doomsday weapon. Yeah. You would almost be disappointed at what it actually is. Yeah, it's, but it's certainly like it is actually a pretty bad Krypton M because it immediately you're like, well, this has to be something pretty fucking serious. Right. Yeah. So Sydney Gottlieb gets his blank check and his license to do whatever. And over the next decade, he makes full use of the resources that have been made available to him. Under MK Ultra, an increasing share of the workload gets farmed out to independent scientists. One of these is Dr. Ewan Cameron, a former head of the American and Canadian Psychiatric Associations, as well as the World Psychiatric Association. Cameron had been born in Scotland, but he worked mostly in Canada. He was one of the top couple of psychiatrists on the planet in the mid-1950s. Again, he is the former head of the American and Canadian Psychiatric Associations. He is like, you don't get much more prestigious than that in this period. And I want to quote now to talk about what this motherfucker did. I want to quote from a write-up from the CBC's Long Form series Brainwashed. Three years after the CIA launched MK Ultra, they approached Cameron through the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, a research foundation, and one of their front organizations through which they funneled money. They encouraged him to apply for a grant, which he did and quickly received. From January 1957 to September of 1960, the CIA gave Cameron $60,000 US, equivalent to slightly more than half a million today. Now, in 1955, a Canadian woman named Esther Shryer marries the love of her life after a blind date. The two of them have a child three years later, but the baby dies of a staff infection at three weeks old. Esther is obviously very sad about this, and she blames herself for the death. Her life up to this point has been pretty difficult. Her father had died when she was young, then her mother had died, like right after him. She and her brothers spent a lot of time in foster homes, so this is a woman with a lot of trauma. And when she gets pregnant two years later, she finds herself kind of so consumed with anxiety that she's worried that it's going to harm the baby's health. So Esther and her husband do the responsible thing. They go to the best psychiatrist that they can afford to try to get help. And the psychiatrist they go to is Dr. Uyn Cameron. They had been told that he was, quote, godlike when it came to treating issues of anxiety and depression. And I'm going to continue from quoting from that CBC right up now. Esther Shrier entered the hospital in February 1960 to receive what her family thought was the best care money could buy, but her medical notes showed disregard for her well-being and that of her unborn child right from the start. She spent 30 days in what was called the sleep room, a place where patients were put in a drug-induced coma and roused only for three feedings in bathroom breaks per day. She lost 13 pounds that month. Her record showed that she couldn't stand up because she was too weak. She also underwent a treatment called deep patterning. Cameron believed that breaking down patients' minds to a childlike state through drugs and electro shock therapy would allow him to work from a clean slate whereby he could then reprogram the patients. Part of his reprogramming regime would involve what he dubbed psychic driving, which meant playing recorded messages to the patients for up to 20 hours a day, whether they were asleep or awake. These voices were played through headphones, helmets or speakers, sometimes installed right inside a patient's pillow. Records show that some patients would hear these messages up to half a million times. Okay, very briefly. Yeah, got a question there, Jason. People who follow me on social media and follow me on my many, many podcast appearances know that I have this drumbeat that I come back to, which is how much the past sucked. I get that there are lots of things about the modern world that are terrible and that it feels like things going in the wrong direction. The world's becoming just everything is anxiety and stress, and inequality, all of the problems. You did not want to live in the 1950s. I have some lamps of fucking loot, not. And whatever you've seen, where it's like, well, you know, back at my dad or my grandpa, when he got married, they, they on just one income, you know, at a coal mine, they were able to afford a house and a car and his wife could stay home and take care of the kids. What happened to that? That's, that's perfectly valid. Like everything you're saying there, you didn't want to live in the 1950s. Is anyone out there listening to this, who is getting any kind of mental health care? Like in many, many ways, we are still in the dark ages of mental health care. Like anybody who's taken any depressants or anti-anxiety medication knows how the effectiveness is all over the map. The dosage is getting it right. The withdrawals are terrible, side effects are terrible. Like our treatments are not great now. The treatments. God. The treatments back then, they were just experimenting with different ways to torture people. And like, everything he described, if you were trying to inflict the worst, like mental suffering on somebody, these are all the things you would come up with. It's sadistic. It's, it's, it's bug fuck and it's made worse by like, there's stuff going on that's like in this realm that's them like potentially attempting to test treatments. The camera isn't just trying to help her. He's also, he's also trying to experiment with the destruction of human thoughts and memories, right? He's trying to change like people's personalities through medical torture, right? Like that's part of the goal here. She doesn't know that that's what she's agreed to do, but that's what happens. And on, by March 12th of 1960, Esther Shryer is, quote, considered completely depaturant, according to Cameron's medical records. The bad news is that being depaturant means that she had forgotten the face name and existence of her husband. She could not control her bladder or bowels. She could not speak. She had trouble even swallowing. Her son later told journalists that, according to Esther, she could not remember how to boil water. Despite being depaturant, the torture continued. Dr. Cameron would give her four or five days of rest at a time, and then he would take her in and subject her to hundreds of electroshock treatments. These continued until the eighth month of her pregnancy. In 2004, Esther told BBC Scotland what it was like when she actually had her baby completely stripped of her understanding of how to be a person. I had a new baby and I didn't know what to do with the baby. I had help a baby nurse, but she had to have a day off and she left me a book and I'll just give you a little example from the book. When you hear the baby cry, go to the room, pick up baby and step by step how to feed the baby. That was very frightening. She had to have it explained to her how to feed like that a baby needed feeding all of this stuff. It had just, and I think what's happening here is not that because she recovers eventually, it's not that he's obliterated these memories. It's that he's done so much damage to her ability to like focus and function and think by blasting her with noise, basically ceaselessly, that she's discovered nothing. His depended on it. That's all garbage nonsense. If you just relentlessly attack someone in many different ways for a long enough period, yeah, their whole sense of their whole function will break down. There's nothing magical and mysterious about it. If you torture somebody enough long enough, their ability to function in all sorts of ways. Like you said, she also lost a bladder control. Yeah. It's like, yeah, you ruin this person's brain temporarily through sheer harm you were doing to them. Again, you could get the same effect by bashing them in the head with a pipe. There's nothing like these people think they're playing God. It's like, no, you're just brutalizing people. Yeah. That's all that's happening. So again, Esther does recover. She does get to live a full life. Unlike some of these people, she comes back to herself. Obviously, she and her son suffer trauma because he's in the womb while a lot of this is happening. Like none of this is good for anybody. And his early childhood is not ideal as a result of his mom going through a lot of this stuff. Still, he and his mom, you have to say, are kind of the better case scenarios for Dr. Cameron's patients. McGill University, where he taught and conducted his research, later published a meoculpo, where they noted that, quote, in addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy at 30 to 40 times the normal power. His driving experiments consisted of putting subjects in a 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 this action. Now, I wanted to provide a little more context as to just how medieval these fucking experiments were. And so I'd like to quote from one more passage of Kinzer's book here before we close out for the day. There here she was fed LSD and given only minimal amounts of food, water, and oxygen. Cameron fitted patients with helmets equipped with earphones into which he piped phrases or messages like, my mother hates me, repeated hundreds of thousands of times. In professional papers and lab reports, Cameron reported that he had succeeded in destroying minds, but he had not found a way to replace them with new ones. After completing the treatment of one patient, he wrote with evident pride that, the shock treatment turned the then 19-year-old honors student into a woman who sucked her thumb, talked like a baby, demanded to be fed from a bottle, and urinated on the floor. Now, again, that's important. His goal is to destroy their minds. This is part one of what Gottlieb once, right? They want to destroy people's personalities so that they can put new ones in their place, right? And they never figure out that second part as far as we know, but they do figure out how to destroy people for a while. The Canadian government has provided no list of the experiments that Dr. Cameron carried out with their approval. This is not something the CIA is doing, and the Canadian government is unaware. The Canadian government is enthusiastically approving of this, and when the CIA stops funding Cameron, the Canadian government gives him money to continue his research. So again, not just the US involved here. Nine of Cameron's patients sued the CIA in the 1980s for their treatment under MK Ultra. It was settled out of court in 1988 under the condition that the agency was not accepting liability. Esther was too embarrassed to sign on to the case at that point in time, but she eventually signed on when the Canadian government in 1994 offered compensation for people who'd experienced full or substantial depatterning. 74 patients received $100,000 payments under the condition that the Canadian government was not admitting culpability. So even when adjusting for inflation, that is nothing. Not enough money for this. You could not pay me to have this. As someone who has done quite a bit of messing with my own head on chemicals, there's not an amount of money you could pay to go through this. This is the worst thing I can literally imagine. Like, yeah. I'd rather go to prison than go through this. Absolutely. There's like, there's like fucking labor camps that would be a less traumatic experience than this. At least you're like a person in that, right? Anyway, Jason, you got to think you want to plug? How are we only halfway through this story? How bad does it get? It gets a lot worse. I mean, I'd say it kind of just stays at this level. We don't want to waste false expectations with the listeners. Anyways, the novel is called, if this book exists, you're in the wrong universe. I am Jason Parginice to be one of the headguys at Cracked when Evan's first started posting there as a literal child. I'm on it. This is a sequel to the book slash film John Dyes at the end that exists as both of those things if you're a fan of that series. This is the latest book. Otherwise, if you just want to see me posting things on TikTok or on Twitter or on any of the other ones, my name is Jason Pargin. P-A-R-G-I-N. I used to write on the internet as David Wong back in the day. And we will we'll be back for part three and four. We share well. You can find my book after the revolution. If you just type it into anything that will let you buy a book, you know how to use Google. We're done. Go home. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone Media. For more from Cool Zone Media, visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.