another episode from the abyss. This one is especially significant & has gone beyond theory or supposition with the guilty bodies of this gigantic criminal conspiracy having been forced into admission & disclosure. Negligence, sidelining, amnesia & diminishment in scale & details keep this unforgivable & incomparable cataclysm as minimal & inconspicuous as possible, despite its seismic & seminal aftershock. It also enjoys the fortuity of its own contextual camouflage, as it is conceptually so insane, so malefic & implausible, that most would dismiss it at distance as untrue or improbable.
Even if a coven of inexplicably disturbed madmen were actually deranged enough, & willing to act on that delusion to carry out such sickness, – legality, oversight & all other manner of institutions, safeguards, watchdogs & individual actors would never ever allow such insanity to prevail. Right? Right? The “impossible” seems to have a habit of biting you in the arse.
“In mid-1953 Gottlieb gave Abramson $85,000 in MK-ULTRA money for “the conduct of experiments with LSD and other hallucinogenics… along the following lines: (a) Disturbance of Memory; (b) Discrediting Behaviour; (c) Alteration of Sex Patterns; (d) Eliciting of Information; (e) suggestibility; (f) creations of dependence.”
Stephen Kinzer warrants a special votive of respect for so resoundingly penetrating this semi-hidden, easily-mishandled subject with all it’s earth shattering implications about mans capacity for immense evil & the dangers of institutionalized power & centralized absolutism. It also reads like a dream & is the perfect companion to Tom O’Neill & Dan Piepenbring’s revelatory Chaos-Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties. Manson is unmentioned in the book, but characters such as Dr. Kurt Blome, George Hunter White, Frank Olson, Shiro Ishii & of course – Sidney Gottlieb are a core focus. Those in the know will be bracing for the vortex of inhumanity & insanity that proceeds that entourage.
they spiked each others coffee and liquor. They spread it on food. ‘they were stoned for days at a time.’”
Lets start with a condensed simplification of sorts…. – ostensibly as a responsive & defensive endeavor against it’s Soviet/Sino opponents (Russia & China), the USA became ‘convinced’ it was in an “arms race” to discover & master the science & practice of “mind control”. This would entail the perfection of how to build, control, intervene, exploit & destroy the minds of fully developed adults in as many aspects, degrees & scenarios as possible, which included the traceability or victims understanding of such interference/assault, who almost by default, would not be consenting/aware of such manipulations & incursions. It was taken very’ very seriously. It was also granted exceptional secrecy, even in its own organization (the CIA) where it had its own department & effectively self-regulated (so basically, no regulation/oversight/accountability). A top secret programme was initiated under the title MK-ULTRA. It was headed by an unassuming young Jewish chemist from the Bronx – Sidney Gottlieb. Nothing sinister or untoward could be attributed to this capable, intelligent & diligent young man & his professional expertise beside his misfortune of having clubbed feat.
“one of his friends called these parties “wild and crazy, along with all the sex and what have you.’”
part of the experiments would require testing many variants of drugs on unwitting victims of the public (LSD being a primary substance). For this purpose, Gottlieb established a series of safe-houses (New York, San Francisco) to lure test-subjects for exposure/intoxication (vagrants, drifters, prostitutes, whatever they could get). If its getting a bit crazy, the individual that Gottlieb ordained for the task of baiting victims for involuntary-experiment would majorly darken the waters, – George Hunter White.
George Hunter White is the kind of freak that law-enforcement & intelligence agencies profess to protect the public from. Instead, he worked through them. A scrambled, drug addled junkie, alcoholic, knave, murderer with cruelty/sociopathic tendencies & a heavy inclination for sadomasochistic sex & flogging. It’s another Roy Cohn moment (although thankfully without the homosexuality & pederasty in GHW’s case). White had been an uber-crooked narcotics detective, confiscating drugs for his own use & sale. On the advent of WW2, he had also gone through an early CIA special operations/paramilitary training camp (Camp X, Ontario) that sounds like the School of the Americas (the US military torture school). His description of the installation was of a “school for murder and mayhem” & he would later go on to become an instructor at the facility. there is a lot more to say about this unbelievable fink & his exploits (read the book), but can you imagine having this guy skulking about, inebriated, off-his-face on a concoction of drugs & roping fools back to 81 Bedford Street? All with the dispensation of an official (although top secret) state organization & the excuse of operating in the public’s interest against a foreign military threat of unquantified magnitude?
“the two Americans, both masters of covert power, could hardly have been more different. White was an adrenalin-driven libertine with a sadistic streak who was rarely sober and revelled in life at the violent fringes of society. Gottlieb was a scientist who ate yogurt. At this moment though, they fit together well. Gottlieb was looking for someone with street smarts who knew how to bend and break the law while seeming to enforce it. White knew that and more.”
for sheer heavens-above-craziness – White went to work for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s committee investigating supposed Communist influence in the State Department.” & the main aide to McCarthy on this immensely infamous inquisition was non-other than Roy Cohn!!! to think that these guys defined law, shaped & administered policy & were tasked with keeping “Americans safe” just goes to show, in about the loudest & most unequivocal decibel possible, that the system, the idea & the reality are beyond fucked. A bent, hyper-corrupt, insatiable closet homosexual & paedophile who “ran the little boys” whilst crusading for ‘conservative values’ & defending the major mafia families rolling with an ultra-crooked, toxed-out & drug-shot, secret-service-strangler that liked being tied-up & whipped, – are tasked with American security. Sleep tight now.
“He posed alternatively as a merchant seaman or a bohemian artist, and consorted with a vast array of underworld characters, all of whom were involved in vice, drugs, prostitution, gambling, and pornography.” – “It is understood that under this bohemian artist persona that White would entrap most of his MK-ULTRA victims.”
“Several had negative reactions. One hanged herself in a clinic bathroom.”
The programme expanded. Besides those that could be lured to the apartment by White, Gottlieb secured further secret testing in public hospitals & penitentiaries (including juvenile detention facilities). Prison populations would be experimented on in return for standard items (overwhelmingly black prisoners, well of course) or, in cases of them being drug dependent, in return for heroin. Plenty die during or as a result of these experiments, & others were driven insane or massively mangled by their ordeals. Other secret installations were founded with the explicit purpose of facilitating further experimentation on human subjects, which they ardently carried out under a cloak of government secrecy.
“More disturbing, he developed a special curiosity about the impact of mind altering drugs on children. He closely monitored experiments, including one in which twelve “pre-puberty” boys were fed psilocybin, and another in which fourteen children between the ages of six and eleven, diagnosed as schizophrenic, were given 100 micrograms of LSD each day for six weeks.” “it was done with a great deal of secrecy. We went through a great deal of hoop-de-do and signed secrecy agreements, which everyone took very seriously.”
But it certainly does not stop there. You may be aware of the notorious “human experiments” that both the Nazis & the Japanese conducted during WW2. Well, not all of them were prosecuted. They were inducted into the US or given amnesty in return for full cooperation & the yielding of the results from their blood-curdling ‘research’. Hey, its all blood under the bridge. This included the mass murderers/war criminals Kurt Blome & insane reprobate Shiro Ishii who orchestrated & innovated perhaps the worst ever human experimentation in human history at Unit 731.
“The army [US] established a new covert service, the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency, for the sole purpose of finding and recruiting scientists who had served the Third Reich.”
To get some idea of what we are entertaining here, prisoners/test subjects would be – “exposed to poisoned gas so that their lungs could be removed and studied, slowly roasted by electricity to determine voltages needed to produce death, hung upside down to determine the progress of natural chocking, locked in high pressure containers until their eyes popped out, spun in centrifuges, infected with anthrax, syphilis, plague, cholera, and other diseases; forcibly impregnated to provide infants for vivisection; bound to stakes to be incinerated by soldiers testing flamethrowers; and slowly frozen to observe the process of hypothermia. Some were dissected alive, or had limbs amputated so attendants could monitor their slow deaths by bleeding and gangrene.”
When the Americans later caught up with Ishii who had returned to live openly in his hometown “he sat willingly for interviews with Camp Detrick scientists. They were informal and at times genial.” – the Americans were interested in “technical and scientific information … and not warcrimes.” – “if you will give me documentary immunity for myself, superiors, and my subordinates, I can get all the information for you. I would like to be hired by the US government.” General McArthur of the US military signed a “secret decree granting amnesty to Ishii and all who had worked with him at Unit 731.”
– Operation Paperclip –
“Victims had died after being infected with anthrax, botulism, bubonic plague, cholera, dysentery, smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, gangrene, or syphilis. Often the victims were still conscious when their organs were removed, because Ishii believed that the best data could be collected at the point of death.”
“they wanted to be able to get away with murder without leaving a trace … they were aware that it was considered unethical to experiment on people with drugs without their knowledge, but they decided that ‘unwitting’ testing was essential if accurate information on LSD and other substances was to be obtained.”
the book recounts the many assassination attempts or plots of foreign heads of government that the CIA surreptitiously fostered & fomented….Fidel Castro, Zhou Enlai & prime minister Patrice Lamumba of the Congo.
“We learned a lot from the Atlanta experiments”, Gottlieb concluded. “The Agency learned that a persons psyche could be very disturbed by those means.”
Operation Midnight Climax? George Hunter White again, with a secondary house of experiments, this time in San Francisco. – “This “subproject” had intertwined goals. The first was to feed drugs to unsuspecting civilians and observe their reactions, as had been done in New York. This time, though, sex would be added to the mix. At Gottlieb’s direction, White assembled a group of prostitutes whose job would be to bring clients to the “pad” and dose them with LSD while he watched and recorded their reactions.” a two way mirror with a separate room was installed as well as covert surveillance equipment so White & fuck knows who could sit, watch & record in detail. Apparently the building was so well equipped that “if you spilled a glass of water you’d probably electrocute yourself.”
god bless America! God bless America! God bless America!
“No drug scared White, who had used more different sorts than almost any other American alive. He grabbed a share of whatever the CIA sent him. ‘he always wanted to try everything himself.’ ”
you know, such arrant, uncontrolled insanity & rampant criminal freewheeling had not gone entirely uncontested within the institutions own ranks. One such ‘moral’ objector was fellow scientist Frank Olson who was also working on the clandestine project. So they killed the guy. Smashed him over the head & threw him out of a hotel window. Hey! It was officially an unexplained suicide (their was a witness). Olson is not the only CIA operative to “die” in mysterious circumstances concerning the confidentiality of covert monster projects of record breaking moral depravity & stratospheric criminal primacy. They pop up, or pop-off, throughout the book perhaps a little to regularly (canoeing accidents & more motel deaths). The weight on who murdered Mariella Novotny also resides most prominently with the CIA.
All CIA officers are required to sign a paper consenting to secrecy – “that I will never divulge, publish or reveal either by word, conduct, or by any other means, any classified intelligence knowledge.”
do you feel the warm succour of safety with these unknown individuals & entities working furtively on the behalf of your ‘security’ & ‘safety’ with all manner of cutting-edge narcotics, anthrax & gangrene at their disposal?????
“some of our people were out of control in those days they went too far. Their were problems with supervision and administration.”
eventually some of the disease, toxins, corpses & destroyed-mind casualties got out & MK-ULTRA went public. Extraordinary events momentarily ensued, with commissions & the Agency on trial along with it being seriously suggested that the Intelligence agencies be liquidated/deactivated during peace time (the correct move). Eventually, President Gerald Ford would go on to invite the Olson family to the Oval Office and offer an official apology (although not for murder), an event that I believe has no peer in American history. but nobody went down for the atrocities. Like Roy Cohn, they got away with it. Gottlieb was pursued & even had to take the stand a few times, but no escaped jail. George Hunter White died early from his dissolute lifestyle & excessive drinking, apparently surrounded by “adoring deviants” until the end. Before expiring, he penned a fawning & exuberant letter to Gottlieb which, really sums it up –
“I was a very minor missionary, actually a heretic, but I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun fun. “where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all highest? Pretty good stuff, brudder.”
excessive powers & unimaginable actions are afforded the greatest priority/justification to combat ‘perceived’ threats that may not even exist. To thwart our suspicions about our adversaries intentions, whether actually genuinely credible or not, we will exact, & even exceed, the very horrors we claim to be battling to prevent. We will wale with disgust & shock at recognized/accepted atrocities, all whilst engineering our own or colluding with those responsible, quite probably at our own populaces direct expense. Secrecy, official sanction, government subsidy, indemnity & the all purpose excuse of “defending the country” & defeating a rival evil. Throw in the poison of patriotism, which will presumably fall under exemption every time you need to murder, drug, torture, maim or render insane one of your own citizens, & you have all the requisite ingredients for ‘crimes against humanity’ at yet greater levels of exorbitance than the last time history proved this was a baaaaaaaaaad fucking idea. Absolute secrecy + zero oversight/accountability + immunity = hell’s opening. We need to kill you to protect you & so on. & as for eradicating the secret services, I for one have had enough of massive, illegal, unannounced surveillance operations on an entire countries populace, child rape rings or MI5 protecting the likes of Cyril Smith & co from being prosecuted. National security & national secrecy only seem to be invoked when trying to skewer a whistle-blower or defend the annihilation of some conscientious objector trying to act ethically or warn the public about the abhorrent & abysmal crimes & wickedness these shits can’t seem to keep themselves from perpetrating again & again.
This particular example, & this ridiculously well composed, researched & written book captures a milestone pinnacle of inhumanity, abuse of power & herculean, brain-stretching, barely-believable criminality, all committed by personnel working for the state, no matter which way you cut it.
Everything they are alleged to be fighting & in opposition against seems to be the outcome, if not intention, of these malign organizations. “keeping the public safe” – one atrocity at a time.
Stephen Kinzer, 2019, Henry Holt & Company