“Heading MKULTRA was a CIA chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. In congressional testimony, Gottlieb, who died in 1999, acknowledged that the agency had administered LSD to as many as 40 unwitting subjects, including prison inmates and patrons of brothels set up and run by the agency [CIA]. At least one participant died when he jumped out of a 10th-floor window in a hotel; others claimed to have suffered serious psychological damage.”
— Washington Post article on key figure in Project MK-ULTRA
What Is MK-ULTRA?
The CIA has been involved in developing sophisticated mind control programs since the early 1950s. Project MKULTRA (or MK-ULTRA) is the most infamous of these, yet thanks to a virtual media blackout on the subject, very few people are aware of any of these disturbing programs. In a rare article in the Washington Post (see below), a few of the many disturbing aspects of Project MKULTRA are discussed.
The article is an obituary for John K. Vance, a member of the CIA inspector general’s staff in the early 1960s who discovered that the CIA was secretly conducting illegal mind control activities in Project MKULTRA.
Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), government documents dealing with Project MKULTRA and other secret mind control programs are now available to the public. In 1973, tipped off about forthcoming congressional investigations, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered the destruction of all MKULTRA records.
Fortunately, 20,000 pages worth of MKULTRA documents contained in the CIA’s financial records were overlooked. Though only a small fraction of the original documentation, these surviving documents reveal highly disturbing operations in which unknowing citizens were subjected not only to LSD, but also to radiation, lethal biological agents, and even torture for reasons of “national security.”
Before reading the Washington Post article below, here are a number of sentences from an FOIA document written by the Inspector General of the CIA about MKULTRA. You can verify this by accessing the original document online using these links.
“The concepts involved in manipulating behavior are found by many people both within and outside the Agency [CIA] to be distasteful and unethical. Nevertheless, there have been major accomplishments both in research and operational employment. Many additional avenues to the control of human behavior have been designated under the MKULTRA charter, including radiation, electro-shock, and harassment substances.
“Some activities raise questions of legality implicit in the original charter. A final phase of the testing places the rights and interests of US citizens in jeopardy. [Project MKULTRA] has pursued a philosophy of minimum documentation in keeping with the high sensitivity of the projects. Some files contained little or no data at all. There are just two individuals who have full knowledge of the MKULTRA program, and most of that knowledge is unrecorded.”
Though Project MKULTRA was terminated in the late 1960s, other even more sophisticated top secret mind control programs continue to this day. How much of all the craziness going on in our world today is being manipulated through these and other mind control techniques? For revealing, verifiable resources and information on MKULTRA and other mind control programs, see our Mind Control Information Center.
Please help play the role at which our media is sadly failing by educating your friends and colleagues on this important information. For more on what you can do, see our box below this article. Together, we can and will build a brighter future.
John K. Vance; Uncovered LSD Project at CIA
By Joe Holley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 16, 2005; Page B08
John K. Vance, 89, a member of the Central Intelligence Agency inspector general’s staff in the early 1960s who discovered that the agency was running a research project that included administering LSD and other drugs to unwitting human subjects, died May 27 of respiratory arrest.
He died at the Wilson Health Care Center of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg.
Code-named MKULTRA (and pronounced m-k-ultra), the project Mr. Vance uncovered was the brainchild of CIA Director Allen Dulles, who was intrigued by reports of mind-control techniques allegedly conducted by Soviet, Chinese and North Korean agents on U.S. prisoners of war during the Korean War. The CIA wanted to use similar techniques on its own POWs and perhaps use LSD or other mind-bending substances on foreign leaders, including Cuba’s Fidel Castro a few years after the project got underway in 1953.
Heading MKULTRA was a CIA chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. In congressional testimony, Gottlieb, who died in 1999, acknowledged that the agency had administered LSD to as many as 40 unwitting subjects, including prison inmates and patrons of brothels set up and run by the agency. At least one participant died when he jumped out of a 10th-floor window in a hotel; others claimed to have suffered serious psychological damage.
Mr. Vance learned about MKULTRA in the spring of 1963 during a wide-ranging inspector general survey of the agency’s technical services division. The inspector general’s report said: “The concepts involved in manipulating human behavior are found by many people both within and outside the agency to be distasteful and unethical.”
As a result of Mr. Vance’s discovery and the inspector general’s report, the CIA halted the testing and began scaling back the project. It was terminated in the late 1960s.
MKULTRA came to public light in 1977 as a result of hearings conducted by a Senate committee on intelligence chaired by Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho). Mr. Vance gave several long phone interviews to committee staff members but never had to testify.
Mr. Vance was born in Seward, Neb., and graduated magna cum laude from Doane College in Crete, Neb., in 1936. He received a master’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1937 and a bachelor’s degree in library science from Columbia in 1939.
He began working on his doctorate at Harvard University during World War II but soon was serving in the Army. He was sent to language school to learn German and worked as a military interpreter at the postwar Nuremberg trials. In Nuremberg, he met people in the intelligence world.
His CIA career began in 1947. He was on the inspector’s general’s staff from 1960 to 1963, and then became the director of central reference until his retirement in 1971.
A member of the Maryland Ornithological Society and the Maryland Nature Conservancy, Mr. Vance helped in bird banding and also enjoyed gardening, biking, tennis and travel. He was a member of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church in Bethesda.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth E. Vance of Gaithersburg; three daughters, Sally Roman of Kensington, Julia Stewart of Columbus, Ohio, and Margie Kay of Timonium, Md.; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandsons.
Note: The Washington Post website carries the above MKULTA article on this webpage.
Important Note: For other highly revealing major media articles and government documents on Project MKULTRA and other secret mind control programs, click here. And for a powerfully revealing ABC documentary on Project MKULTRA, click here.
- Explore lots more about Project MKULTRA and related programs in our comprehensive Mind Control Information Center at this link.
- For an excellent two-page summary of secret mind control projects, click here.
- For revealing excerpts of key declassified mind control documents, click here.
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