Conspiracy theories are fun, right? Either you feel like part of the clever crowd and say things like "Wake up, sheeple!" a lot, or you get to poke fun at people who can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that sometimes, things are exactly what they seem. There's something in it for everyone.
Then there are the times when shady, conspiratorial stuff gets all out of hand and, I don't know, real. Then it gets scary. And what better setting for scary conspiratorial stuff than the Cold War? That's when the CIA did its very shadiest shit. Like Project MKUltra.
Project MKUltra officially started in 1953, and was essentially a U.S. research program trying to find out how to destroy free will. Because yay democracy, right? A little counter-intuitive, but hey, the plan was to use it on communists (mostly). The project was an offshoot of Operation Paperclip, the American effort to disguise Nazi scientists, give them new identities, and make them work for Uncle Sam while facing no justice of any sort.
|Accessories to mass murder.|
Some of these scientists spent time studying torture and mind control (you'll never guess where), so the CIA took them aside and said, "Hey, you did all this work on subverting the concept of humanity, it'd be a shame to make it go to waste," and started up MKUltra.There are two schools of thought about the ultimate goal of the project. Some historians believe it was intended to brainwash people into assassination and espionage. Others believe that the first explanation was encouraged by the CIA so the public would overlook the whole torture thing, and the purpose was simply to develop new interrogation techniques. Either way, it was all about controlling the human mind.
There were many volunteers who participated in the project. They were studied, interrogated, drugged, deprived of sleep, and generally treated like shit. There were others who participated, too. Non-volunteers. They went through the same treatment, but they had no idea what the hell was going on.
The most famous participant was Frank Olson, a biological weapons specialist who, after being drugged with LSD and interrogated, began to rethink his line of work. He expressed a desire to leave his job, and one week later he took a brief and lethal trip to the streets of Manhattan from a tenth story window. His death was officially declared a suicide, and that's a reasonable explanation. I'm sure you can think of other explanations of your own that are just as reasonable.
|Here's a helpful hint.|
MKUltra ended in 1973, and the CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all related files destroyed. Two years later, the Church Committee, one of the biggest party poopers in clandestine history, opened an investigation into illegal intelligence operations by the CIA. Because Helms had most of the data destroyed, the testimony and surviving documents did little more than bring the project into the public light. I hope you didn't come to this blog looking for justice.
So during the Cold War, not only did the CIA unilaterally depose democratic leaders, they also invested heavily (in real life) in developing mind control.