Conspiracy Corner: Bending The Mind

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Conspiracy Corner: Bending The Mind

Barbara Grigg

Barbara Grigg

Barbara Grigg

Harmon Lanager, Staff Writer

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Our minds define who we are. It is the basis of who we are and everything that makes us us. Yet, what if it could be changed? Perhaps even… controlled? Just the thought should make one shudder. But the truth is that from 1953 to 1973, the Central Intelligence Agency was attempting to do just that. 

Welcome back, sheeple, to another Conspiracy Corner. Today, we will be covering the MK Ultra project – probably the strongest argument for not trusting your government. Like most of the CIA’s dark secrets, it has its roots in the Cold War. Convinced that the Soviet Union had developed a truth serum, the CIA became determined to create one of their own. To this end, the CIA began researching how drugs and other mind-altering substances could be used to manipulate and possibly even control the behavior of others. Particularly, LSD. 

Civilians were often used as test subjects for these experiments. Sometimes they were aware of the experiments but often not. Prisons, universities, and hospitals were common testing grounds used to expose civilians to LSD without their knowledge. One particular case was a small project known as ‘Operation Midnight Climax’, where the CIA established brothels in San Francisco, New York City, and few other locations. There, clients would be exposed to doses of LSD while agents monitored their behavior. 

Yet, the eeriest case is that of Frank Olson. Dr. Olson was a scientist in the employ of the CIA who specialized in the bacteriology and chemical warfare. On November 24th, 1953, he announced his intention to reassign from his position in the CIA. The largest reason why was when, during a CIA retreat in Deep Creak Lake, he was given a cocktail laced with LSD without his permission. On November 28th, however, he died after jumping out the window of his hotel room in New York City in what was a drug-induced suicide.  

Well, they say he jumped. When his body was reexamined years later, they found that he had injuries indicating that he was knocked unconscious prior to going out the window. Someone had to have thrown him. 

Even after officially ending in 1973 via Executive Order, the true scale of the MK Ultra project is unknown. Most of their documents were destroyed before they could be exposed and they did not keep extensive notes of the experiments – perhaps intentionally. In the end, we will never know how many people were affected. And maybe continue to be affected. Notice that I said that it ended ‘officially’. There are those who believe the experiments still go on, even to this day. Do I think so? Well, what I think doesn’t really matter. Because, taking a lesson from the late Frank Olson, I know it’s better to keep some things to yourself. 

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