CIA's Project- MK Ultra


After the Cold war, The CIA, also known as the Central Intelligence Agency, began intervening through the lives of people by finding ways in which they could control the human mind. They set out a team to investigate and experiment on people around the United States and Canada. They heavily funded psychiatrists who were asked to examine people after giving them psychedelic drugs and other medicines that had a major impact on the human mind. This program began to be known as the MK Ultra.

Why Did the CIA Feel the Need to Launch Such a Project?

Many people were given kool aid which was basically mixed with LSD. It all arose when after the Korean War, the Americans thought that because multiple people supported the communist manifesto, it was because of some brain alteration executed by them. They called it, “communist mind control techniques”.

How Did They Find People for this Project?

A lot of people were given drugs without their consent and awareness. This meant that they did multiple things which were against the code of conduct, for example: one narrator explains it as when prostitutes would lure men into houses where those men were then given off LSD without their permission. They also introduced the idea of “Acid Tests” where parties were held with LSD induced music. These parties are one of the pioneers in the invention of hippie and psychedelic music in the later centuries.

What Happened in the Allan Memorial Institute Incident?

This was a harsh period in the history of the MK Ultra project where a Scottish doctor, Dr. Ewan Cameron, ignored the traces of multiple cases of depression in his patients and just gave them a high dosage of drugs including LSD. Many people were lured into visiting Dr. Ewan, as one victim narrates, says that her father went to him because he was told that Dr. Cameron could treat asthma. He experimented with the concept of “depattering” in which the patient just went numb and doctors were able to take full advantage of the condition.

What Methods did the CIA Employ to Experiment?

They used the concept of “Page Russell Electroshock Therapy” which is an inhumane practice where 40-80 shocks are given to the patient which basically leads to memory loss. These experiments had such drastic effects on the lives of people that even when they had left the hospital, they were so traumatized by the entire process that they never saw the world from the same lens ever again.

How Did the CIA Repay the People?

Surprisingly, the people never paid for it. They had to go through immense trauma and CIA just took no or minor responsibility and they accepted that it wasn't the wisest thing to do. However, no proper care was done for the victims who had to bear the trauma of being associated with the program for such a long time. The CIA basically broke all moral and ethical laws. The people received no compensation or apology.

Why hasn't this topic been discussed more?

People are usually afraid of the CIA as it has much more power and authority in the USA. Moreover, the issue remains a taboo so that no other department may have the ability to do the same as this institution. They clearly abused their powers and played with the lives of innocent people who basically had no role to play in this investigation. Thus, the CIA thought that it was wiser to tone down the impact and just remain as it is. Furthermore, this abuse of power was more of an attempt to change the power dynamic from communist to capitalist society.

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