Even today, the experiments that the Nazis carried out with human beings make us stand on end. Several of them were aimed at finding the mechanisms to control the minds of people. What not everyone knows is that similar and even more murderous experiences were carried out in the United States. One of them was the MK Ultra project.
The Second World War represented a change in military strategy. Until then, espionage had never been given much importance. This happened because the contestants were aware of the value of the contrasted information to plan the attack tactics.
Likewise, Hitler himself proved that one could control the human mind and manipulate millions of people to perform actions that in other conditions they would have rejected. Therefore, at the end of the confrontation, the issue of obtaining information and manipulating the mind was one of the major concerns in the United States. This is how the MK Ultra project was born.
“The very idea that a cruel thing can be useful is already immoral.”
What was the MK Ultra project?
Actually, it is very difficult to know precisely what the MK Ultra project consisted of. When the press discovered it, at the end of the 60s and part of the 70s, the CIA, which directed the program, gave the order to destroy all the files of it. The only thing that could be rescued was a small group of documents.
From that small database, began to reconstruct what happened. A large number of testimonies of the victims were added to this. However, in a strict sense, you can never know for sure how the MK Ultra project was developed. This contained 150 lines of action and only two or three are known.
However, the little that is known tells us about experiments with psychoactive and neurological drugs, as well as other methods. They were applied on thousands of human beings, without their consent. The purpose was to observe the effect of such drugs on people; to know if they were induced to reveal what they knew or to determine if it was possible to change their mind to the whim.
Experiments with humans
According to the available data, the “researchers” of the MK Ultra project supplied drugs, such as LSD, in different ways and in different doses to determine how “contaminated people” behaved.
Methods such as electric shocks and hypnosis therapies were also used. In the 50s, when the project began, there was a lot of talk about “brainwashing”. That is, a kind of reprogramming of the mind from these special “treatments”.
It is also known that the CIA tested the effects of various torture techniques. Sometimes, they left the “volunteers” several days without sleep and in the meantime repeated subliminal messages without ceasing. Other times they applied electroshocks systematically or synthetic test drugs in high quantities.
The most execrable of the MK Ultra project was that they deceived thousands of people to participate in it. They basically got their guinea pigs through two methods.
The first was aimed at psychiatric hospitals. In them, the patients were told that new therapies were being tried. None of the inmates of these hospitals was informed that it was an experiment conducted by the CIA and that among the “experts” at the head were several ex-Nazis.
In fact, one of the most active contributors to the MK Ultra Project was the psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, who turned out to be the first president of the World Psychiatric Association, as well as the president of the American Psychiatric Association and the Canadian.
The experiments were not only done with “mental patients”, but also with thousands of citizens considered “normal”. They were recruited into the army, universities, public hospitals, brothels, hospices and everywhere really. In exchange for a few dollars, they agreed to be part of those tests. However, they were never informed of the real purpose.
Many of them did not survive the cruel experiments. Others were left with permanent damage. The most publicized case was that of Frank Olson, in the United States. In Canada, for its part, the government ended indemnifying hundreds of people to drown the scandal.
What happened was learned thanks to a press investigation. Then, in the Congress of the United States, a commission was formed to investigate the facts. An independent commission was also structured. In the end, they managed to get the documents declassified in 1973, and that’s why the CIA gave the order to destroy the files.
The MK Ultra Project shows the extent to which the organisms of power are able to obtain what they propose. It did not take place in a dictatorship, but in a country that prides itself on being the champion of democracy in the world. Now the disturbing question, will there be similar experiments, in other places, that we do not know yet?