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“People were tortured to death”: American writer Stephen Kinzer talks about the CIA’s secret mind control program


The CIA spent years learning how to control human consciousness. American intelligence agencies used the methods used in Nazi concentration camps, as well as a whole arsenal of poisons. However, the secret program failed - the experimenters only destroyed the experimental mind, but could not subordinate it to themselves. At the same time, many of the obtained developments were subsequently used in Guantanamo prison, as well as military campaigns in Vietnam and the Middle East. Chris Hughes, an American journalist and writer Stephen Kinzer, told the RT America host about this in an interview with secret services investigating his book “The Main Poisoner. Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA in search of a means of controlling the mind. ”

- In the USA there are two types of power. The first - visible - is the White House, Congress, courts, state legislatures, governors. The second type is the so-called deep state, which continues to work regardless of which party won the election. Its most powerful bodies are intelligence services. They control a huge shadow world whose task is to support the functioning of the "invisible" government. Can you tell us more about this?

- In fact, my whole career is dedicated to what you just talked about - an attempt to understand what is hidden behind the facade of foreign and domestic policy. And I discovered a lot of amazing things. I can’t believe what it was and this man really existed.

But let's take it in order. Even before Gottlieb (Sidney Gottlieb, an American chemist who participated in CIA secret programs. - RT ) appeared on the scene, CIA propagandists coined the term brainwashing. It was first used by a person who worked for this service, who tried to convince Americans that the USSR was trying to "brainwash them." And Tsareushniki believed in their own fiction. There were a number of reasons. First of all, there were events that were completely misinterpreted by the intelligence department.

- What events are we talking about?

- One of them is the trial of the Catholic cardinal in Hungary in 1949. During the process, sometimes it might seem that his speech is too monotonous, and his eyes are “glazed," and in general he admits to what he did not actually commit. And then in the USA they decided: they were brainwashed.

  • Stephen Kinzer
  • © RTD

It later turned out that the cardinal was forced to admit guilt by the methods that investigators have used for centuries.

But the CIA too wanted to believe in their inventions, so it was decided there that in the USSR they had invented a kind of “pill” that allows controlling the mind. The situation with the American prisoners of war released after the war in Korea was pushing for the same thoughts, as they signed statements condemning the United States.

Plus, some of them admitted to using bacteriological weapons, which, according to Washington, the US did not use. Again, the only explanation the CIA wanted to see was: “They were brainwashed.” And then the director of management Allen Dulles came up with the thought: the key to world domination is in control of the mind. And if you find a way to control the consciousness of others, you can control the world! He really believed that this was possible. Partly because of the events I mentioned. But there was another circumstance.

I’m talking about popular culture - all these films, books and stories about hypnotists-manipulators, or about those who dripped something into someone else’s glass, and the person who drank the drink committed murder, but this subsequently disappeared from his memory. And the CIA decided: "What fiction writers can come up with, scientists are surely able to bring to life."

They needed a chemist who thought promisingly and at the same time was ready to ignore ethical standards that seem mandatory to the majority. And so they came to an amazing man named Sidney Gottlieb, who occupies a central place in my book.

- Back to the post-war period. Operation called “Paperclip”: US recruits and whitewashes war criminals who run medical experiments on people in concentration camps and in Japanese-occupied Manchuria. Tell us about the scientists who were included in this program.

- Gottlieb reasoned this way: before you put a new mind into someone’s brain, you need to somehow “tear down” the previous one, destroy the human psyche, his soul and body, if possible. Where to begin? Are there any experts in such matters? Of course - doctors of Nazi concentration camps! And those who were engaged in vivisection in Manchuria (during the Second World War, the Japanese military created the "Detachment 731" in the occupied territory of China, which conducted experiments on people. - RT ). Instead of hanging these people, the United States decided to hire them. It was they who became the foundation of the American consciousness control program.

- You write that their studies became available to Americans, including tissue samples that were often taken from still living people in Japan ...

- In the USA, they were incredibly happy to learn the results of fatal experiments. And the people who conducted them became valuable colleagues of doctors from the CIA. While studying the materials for the book, I seem to have found the first secret CIA prison - a lovely chalet in Germany. At first glance you might think that this is a hotel. The owner, a young German businessman, was very kind: he let me inside and took me to the basement. There he said: "There were cameras where CIA doctors, along with Nazi colleagues, set up experiments that were just a continuation of the experiments in concentration camps." According to him, all the old people living in the vicinity know very well what exactly happened in this building. They told me about the graves. There used to be a forest where the bodies lie, but now they are under high-rise buildings.

- These people were even described by the term: "consumables" ...

- So called those who could be tortured to death or used in experiments that led to the death of the victim. These were people from Europe and East Asia: alleged enemy agents, refugees with no known connection with anyone who could file a complaint. On such "material" Sidney Gottlieb and his team set the most transcendental experiments.

- What exactly did they achieve?

- They wanted to understand how to destroy a person mentally. Gottlieb's projects were carried out both in the United States and abroad. In America, he preferred to experiment with prisoners.

- African Americans?

- Mostly. By the way, it was precisely over them that one of the most unimaginable experiments was performed. A Gottlieb physician selected seven African-Americans from among the inmates of the Kentucky federal prison and for seventy-seven days fed them triple doses of LSD every day, which of course they did not know about. The task of this was to find out whether such a mockery of a person can destroy his psyche. It turned out that it could. The fate of those seven is not known to us, we also do not know their names - all documents were destroyed.

And in Europe and East Asia, the Gottlieb team conducted even more terrible experiments, during which people were tortured to death. In one of them, “consumables” using barbiturates were first immersed in a deep coma, and then colossal doses of stimulants were administered. And during the transition from coma to hyperactivity, they shocked us and made sharp temperature drops from extremely low to extremely high. Did such a test destroy the psyche? Of course!

- It is known that Gottlieb equipped the so-called "shelters" in New York, San Francisco and the Marin County. How did it work?

- He organized a series of experiments - 149 so-called "subprojects". The purpose of one of them was to find out whether a person can be "split" using sex and drugs together, but in different combinations. To do this, he opened a brothel in San Francisco - in the Telegraph Hill area.

- Here it is necessary to mention White, who was in charge of the brothel ...

- Yes. By decision of Gottlieb, the agent of the Federal Bureau for the fight against drugs George Hunter White became the manager of the brothel in San Francisco. This whole experiment was called Operation Midnight Climax.

  • Reuters
  • © Stephen Lam

White was the guardian of the law, but he himself did not follow. His position did not prevent him from using drugs and alcohol in huge quantities.

- By the way, he had previously broken the life of jazz star Billy Holiday ...

- Yes, in New York, he chased jazzmen, and then he moved to San Francisco. A group of prostitutes were hired to work in a brothel. They were paid to lure men there. And George Hunter White - a man who did not have a psychologist's education or relevant experience - watched what was happening through the mirror, drinking a martini.

For ten years of experiments, Gottlieb came to the conclusion that there are many ways to physically and mentally destroy a person. But he never found a way to put a new mind into the resulting void. In fact, he concluded that mind control is a myth. For ten years he mocked people for nothing.

But later it turned out that he left a noticeable mark on the work of the CIA. He even wrote a number of materials about interrogation methods. I also note that Gottlieb was versed in poisons, perhaps the best in America, and perhaps in the world.

- Yes, the people of Gottlieb worked with biological means, with sarin, they had a whole arsenal of such weapons. I think it’s worth mentioning CIA scientist Olson ...

- Yes, the chemist Frank Olson was in the Gottlieb group, who worked in a laboratory at Fort Detrick in Maryland, and he had great doubts about all this activity.

In the summer of 1953, Olson went to Europe, where he saw people being tortured, possibly to death, with poisons of his own design. He was so struck by this picture that he intended to leave the CIA, telling his colleagues about it. Information quickly reached Gottlieb. Of the whole group, Olson was the only one who was tormented by conscience. And a few weeks after he began to talk about his doubts, Olson died when he fell out of a window on the thirteenth floor.

“But Gottlieb secretly gave LSD even to his subordinates, including Olson, in order to evaluate the effect ...”

“Gottlieb was delighted with LSD. Only twenty-two years later, Olson's family was informed that it was not just suicide due to depression: “We must admit that we secretly gave him LSD. He had a narcotic psychosis, which we contributed to. " US President Gerald Ford then invited his relatives to apologize - this has never happened before! However, now the family believes that even the circumstance with LSD - just another attempt to hide information and that Olson did not commit suicide - he was pushed out of the window.

- Have an exhumation. And what turned out?

“A huge hematoma was found on his forehead ...”

- And he landed on his back ...

“Later we found a“ murder manual ”written by Gottlieb at that time. It states that the most effective way is to drop a person from a great height. But first you need to "disable" a blow to his forehead. So it all fits together.

- Now - about McGill University, which studied how to break a person. Subsequently, it found application in the so-called "emergency transfer of people" - in Guantanamo and so on.

- Yes. All the methods that Gottlieb used and described became the basis of the manuals used in Vietnam, Latin America and the Middle East.

- An extreme degree of isolation, sensory overload, deprivation was used. And it turned out that with their help you can very quickly make the person practically fall into childhood and become completely dependent on who interrogates him ...

- Dependence plays a key role. Gottlieb was the first in the CIA to develop the following idea: for a person to fulfill your will, you need to cut him off from all sensory stimuli and make him believe that you are his only way to return to the real world. This is how they acted in Vietnam and Latin America, and then - very sophisticatedly - in places like Guantanamo.

  • In a psychiatric hospital at San Quentin State Prison, California.
  • Reuters
  • © Stephen Lam

- So this is, in essence, an updated version of the same training manual?

“This is just one example of how Gottlieb’s work still makes itself felt.”

At the start of the Cold War, authorities said that in the event of an emergency, in the face of an incredible threat to the United States, Americans would have to compromise on some of the legal, ethical, and moral principles that we generally abide by. Now they tell us the same thing.

Any emergency situations constantly arise, because of which we become vulnerable to statements like: “We need to strengthen surveillance, increase control, and restrict civil liberties. When the threat disappears, everything will return to their places. ” But this, of course, does not happen.

Source: russiart

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