Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DCOTE: “Dirty Wars” Part Four. [EDITED]

Part OnePart TwoPart Three – Part Four – Part Five

Damn it, how will I ever get out of this labyrinth?

“The three greatest fools of history have been Jesus Christ, Don Quixote — and I!”

“The United States seems destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.”

“All we have gained is independence, and we have gained it at the cost of everything else... Those who have toiled for liberty in South America have plowed the sea. Our America will fall into the hands of vulgar tyrants.”*
- Simón Bolívar (Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Blanco [24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830]; talk about El Libertador having an epic goddamn name).
Plowing the Sea: The Dirty Wars Begin.

Despite the intense and life-long wars waged by Simon Bolivar and his fellows in the pursuit of revolution and freedom in the Americas, by the 1950s conditions in large areas of South America (a condition that still exists to this day) remained behind the rest of the world. Che Guevara, a young medical student who would become one of the most notable revolutionaries of the 20th century, traveled across South America in 1952 and provided one of the most moving accounts of the sights encountered.

In 1954 during his second trip across the Americas, Guevara arrived at Guatemala. In the United States, McCarthyism reigned supreme and Cold War paranoia was sweeping through the Halls of Power. At the time, Allan Dulles was the head of the CIA. Dulles owned stock in United Fruit Company, which was being threatened by the “communist” demands of its disenfranchised workers and their Government's progressive policies. Fearing that “commies” would infiltrate “America's backyard,” the CIA backed Carlos Castillo Armas in his coup of the current Government. Despite the CIA's belief that the Arbenz government that Armas replaced was a “Soviet puppet state,” no actual evidence came to light after-the-fact to support their suppositions. Meanwhile, the CIA trained the “liberating” paramilitary troopers themselves, as well as armed them.

This event cemented Mr. Guevara's commitment to Communism (he was firmly pro-Soviet; a factor often overlooked by those who champion his image), as well as helped instigate much of the escalating violence that would come to dominate the Southern Cone. It also established the precedent for the CIA acting behind-the-scenes to install dictators that would “economically aid” American interests under the guise of “fighting those damn commies.”

And with the influx of Nazi war criminals to South America following the second World War, there was no way that this plan would actually make the world a better place.

Until the 1970s, shadows, spectres, and spooks were gathering. No one noticed, precisely because everyone was so occupied with the Commies that they didn't stop and ask themselves:
“How can our plans go wrong?”

If they had read the thoughts of Simón Bolívar, penned and spoken almost 150 years before The Condor Years, they would have found an answer.

We – the people of the Americas – had been “Plowing the Sea.” All that was reaped in turn were vulgar tyrants: the most dismal of rewards. And after the events of 1970, there could be little doubting this.

Augusto Pinchet
The Sleeping Dragons

In Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda writes:
And all was just fine until 1970, when the unthinkable happened.

A professed Socialist and longtime political celebrity in Chile, Salvador Allende Gossens was elected president of the Republic in a three-way vote. During the height of the Vietnam War, the drug-and-peace culture of the sixties, and a worldwide revolt against the establishment, there was suddenly a democratically elected Marxist president in America. This was cause for rejoicing everywhere there was even a hint of liberal or left-wing sympathy, even thought quite a few of those who applauded Allende's election were not Marxists. For many people, Allende's success at the polls was simply an indication of the strength of the democratic process. A Socialist had become the leader of his country without firing a shot, in a free and open election, and in the Western Hemisphere besides.

Salvador Allende
Allende became the toast of the revolutionary elite. He is seen chatting now with Fidel Castro, now with Pablo Neruda, now with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A kind of Latin Camelot was taking place in Chile as artists, writers, musicians, philosophers, and academics crowded around the new president, talking of human rights, emancipation of the working class, and the extrication of Chile's economy from the death grip of norteamericanos... But here, in Chile, it had actually happened. Legally. In the fine old democratic tradition that the United States was supposedly sworn to uphold throughout the world and particularly in the sphere of influence covered by the Monroe Doctrine: Latin America.

But Richard Nixon was president of the United States, and Henry Kissinger was his Torquemada. Democratic or not, freely elected or not, chief executive of a sovereign nation or not, Salvador Ellende Gossens had to go.

And nowhere was that sentiment more strongly shared than among the members of the Nazi underground.”
(P. 298-299.)
In Chile, the CIA (with the approval of the Nixon administration), supported a coup lead by Augusto Pinochet. As the military dictatorship cemented its power-base, the Marxists fled Chile. Pinochet had DINA (the Chilean Secret Service for his regime) set up, even as other South American nations fell to dictatorships and juntas. In fact, beyond the Americas, the social upheaval in places like Greece were simultaneously falling to military dictatorships. The United States had “Tricky Dick” Nixon as president; this being the man who had come to prominence persecuting Alger Hiss in an alliance with Joseph McCarthy in the HUAC. Allende's election had convinced Nixon that “those commies” were – much like Dulles paranoid ideas about Guatemala 20 years previously – trying to interfere with the Americas.

American aid to Chile during Pinochet's regime is rather unquestionable. Key members of DINA were trained at the School of the Americas, where they received the KUBARK interrogation manual and training in torture.

A PBS documentary, entitled The Judge and the General follows the story of Juan Guzman, a conservative judge that found himself immersed in the questions of War Crimes and human rights violations committed during Pinochet's reign:

Part One:
Part Two:
Part Three:
Part Four:
Part Five:

But Chile was hardly alone: Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay would also be overcome by dictatorships following Pinochet's coup. And together, with the aid of the CIA, those nations would form an alliance to bring down their fleeing political opponents.

They called these series of actions Operación: Cóndor, or Operation: Condor.**

A Colony of Unrighteousness

The story of Chile establishes the rather startling precedent that swept through areas of South America like wildfire. Following the coup and establishment of DINA, paramilitary and military forces (along with DINA, later) systematically began hunting down dissidents and political opponents. Many were murdered, including two American reporters. Many more were tortured and then murdered; others simply disappeared as “forced disappearances” became the norm.

Levenda writes that the most unfortunate in Chile found their way to Colonia Dignidad, “the colony of righteousness” or “the colony of dignity.” The name couldn't possibly be more misleading.

Paul Schäfer
It was founded by German immigrants like Paul Schäfer Schneider, known in Chile as Paul Schäfer. According to Levenda:
“Paul Schäfer was one of the founders of the Colony of Righteousness and was, and is, its only leader. Schäfer jumped bail in Germany in 1961 on charges of child sexual abuse, but that did not stop him from taking a group of families with him when he fled to Chile, arriving there in 1962 at the age of forty with around sixty “blond, blue-eyed settlers” … including some children who were brought there under false pretenses, taken from their families back in Germany...”
(P. 300)
Here is a french documentary (with English subtitles) about Schäfer and his sect. Admittedly, I haven't finished it yet. But what I've seen is interesting [WARNING: This could be triggering for some. It documents the abuse in a very painful way, and has been very hard for me to finish.]:

In time, the Colony became a tightly ruled paradise for the Nazis that had fled to South America. Males and females in the colonies were kept separated, and sexual intercourse was frowned on.*** Even before Pinochet's coup, rumors of slave labor and the use of “mild-altering drugs” on rebellious individuals abounded. After Pinochet's coup, it became a state of the art (for the 1970s) “black site” akin to what the CIA has in Eastern Europe today. Add to all of this rumors of “Nazi-voodoo” hybrids, and Martin Bormann and Josef Mengele visiting regularly and you have one of the most sinister sites in the world at the time.
Martin Bormann
In the introduction to Unholy Alliance, Levenda says of the place:
Like many others, I bought Aftermath and read it cover to cover in almost a single sitting. It was, after all, the height of Watergate paranoia those days, a time when anything was possible and when any criminal conspiracy by government leaders entirely credible. While his story read like any of the best political thrillers of the day, one statement in particular caught my eye. It concerned Bormann's living accommodations in Chile when he – according to Farago and to various Argentine and Chilean security officials – had to leave Argentina after the death of his friend, Juan Peron. It seemed he sent his time between a friend's estate outside Santiago and a small town south of the city...”
(P. xiv – xv.)
He then goes on to quote Farago's Aftermath (p. 385):
Located in the latter region is the weirdest Nazi encampment of the postwar world, housing a sect that combines Nazism and voodooism.**** Enormously rich from mysterious sources, it maintains a heavily fortified estancia called Colonia Dignidad. It is virtually extraterritorial, enjoying privileges and immunities otherwise reserved only for diplomats. It was the hacienda of Parral, camouflaged as a 'cultural and welfare society,' that Martin Bormann would move when, fatigued by his restless life in exile, he sought a place he could be at peace.”
It was also, it has subsequently been discovered, a concentration camp. Chile's DINA sent the unfortunates there, to soundproofed cells, where the art of torture was being practiced. In Unholy Alliance, Levenda quotes a UN Report, apparently taken from a Washington Post report entitled “German Settlement Stirs Controversy in Chile” from 1987. In the event that one thinks Levenda has made some of what I'm about to say next up, I shall quote directly from the report (linked above):
Three years after the 1973 coup that brought Pinochet to power, a United Nations human rights report referred to testimony about dogs at the colony trained to attack intruders' sexual organs, experiments testing torture tolerance limits and the use of drugs to break detainees.
It seems,” the report said, “that in Colonia Dignidad there is a specially equipped underground torture center with small soundproofed cells, hermetically sealed. The detainees' heads are covered with leather hoods, which are stuck to their faces with substances that are supposedly chemicals. In these cells, interrogations are carried out through electronic equipment, including loudspeakers and microphones, while detainees are tied naked to metal frames to receive electric shocks.”
The trained dogs are certainly... new. But the rest? Why, the results of Donald O. Hebb's experiments... Which also just happen to be in the KUBARK manuals... Which, incidentally, we gave to attendees to the School of the Americas. It surely can't be a coincidence to see this. Indeed, without the intervention of the United States, we would not see these reports.

The most distressing aspect of all of this is that the Chilean DINA had, by the time Condor cemented an alliance of dictatorships, begun targeting anyone even remotely associated with Leftists. It wasn't just guerilla forces, as Pinochet would tell his American allies. Their family members were also abducted.

In Chile, a campaign of sheer horror had begun... Prompted by the United States. And as the forced disappearances, torture sites, and madness mounted... Our politicians watched in silence, and gave at best vague warnings about the implications. After all, the Pinochet government in Chile were “our guys,” and Kissinger and Nixon rather lacked that. So they gladly overlooked abuses they knew were happening.

And at the School of Americas, we continued to train people on the methods of torture... Derived from our own schools, and the previous generation of Anglo-American Psychologists and Psychiatrists who had formed a coalition to combat the Soviet threat.

But those who subsequently faced unimaginable torture and terror in South America were not always “commies.” They were the innocent, whose only crime was having a family member or friend who may or may not have had a few Marxist ideas or left-wing leanings.

And shortly thereafter, no one was safe... Anywhere. Because as the Dirty War emerged in Argentina, and dictators ruled areas of the Americas, assassinations programs were hatched.

It was this, ironically, that would Condor and the human rights violations of those involved to light. And it is to this we will return for the final entry of this series, tomorrow.

Be seeing you,

* Italix mine.
** There were technically two activities entitled Operation: Condor in the Americas during this time. One was part, officially, of the War on Drugs and involved the CIA training troops in Mexico to combat drug lords operating inside the Mexican the Golden Triangle. It failed. Utterly. Many peasants ended up murdered, with accusations of torture and CIA oversight cropping up an awful lot, and absolutely no drug kingpin arrests. The Other Operation: Condor is the alliance of dictatorships I brought up earlier.
*** Except, Levenda comments sarcastically, for Schäfer and his child-love.

**** I have no idea what the authors mean by 'voodooism'. It could be any of the ATR religions in the area, or something specific to that region of Chile. I'll check to see if Levenda clarifies, as he rarely makes such mistakes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

DCOTE: “Dirty Wars” Part Three.

Part OnePart Two – Part Three – Part FourPart Five

An Aging Barbie.
Spook: as spectre, ghost, revenant, remnant of death, the madness lingering after the corpse is sloughed off. Slang for intelligence agent; agent of uncertainty, agent of fear, agent of fright.”
- Via Jack Warmack, as quoted on William Gibson's Blog.
Spook Country.

This entry continues a story I want to relay to you, regarding the strange alliance of intelligence services, Nazi war criminals, and American University professors that had long-term consequences for the Americas. As I have explored in previous entries: following the conclusion of the second World War and the emergence of the Cold War, an Anglo-American coalition of the technocratic elite – ranging from Psychologists and Psychiatrists to chemists and spies – emerged in America and helped the CIA wage covert psychological operations. These operations were based in part on the work of emerging drug markets, and psychological tests which had sought to expose and understand the blueprints of consciousness itself, and the effects of external stimuli (or lack thereof) on individuals.

These programs created the “torture programs” that are being performed today at CIA “black sites” under the auspices of conducting the War on Terror. Their findings were reported and codified in the KUBARK interrogation manuals (circa 1962 onwards) that were given, for example, to students at the School for the Americas. Included in them were the use of “stress postures,” “psychological coercion in interrogation,” and using “mind-altering drugs” for truth serums.

This entry continues with one more of such experiments, this time with a direct influence on American history, and then dovetails into the story of Klaus Barbie – which will lead us rather directly into Operation: Condor, to be finally covered in the next entry.

Under The Eye of the Tyrant-King: Henry A. Murray & the Harvard Stress Tests.

Henry Murray was once a giant in the psychological community. He became the assistant director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic in 1927. He helped develop the theory of “psychogenic needs,” was big on Carl Jung (who converted him to the newly Apostolic continuity of the Psych. community), and even served in the second World War as an officer in the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the intelligence and counterintelligence community of today).

Sometime in the 1950s, Murray began conducting an experiment that was considered part of the CIA's MK-ULTRA project. Between 1959 and 1962, Murray's stress tests sought to help and understand the effects of stress on captured spies.

But it wasn't spies that Murray ran his experimental tests on. As it turns out, it was American university students.
“During the war (WWII) Murray served in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, helping to develop psychological screening tests for applicants and (according to Timothy Leary) monitoring military experiments on brainwashing.” (Chase, 2000)

“Murray and his colleagues 'put together an assessment system ... [that] tested a recruit's ability to stand up under pressure, to be a leader, to hold liquor, to lie skillfully, and to read a person's character by the nature of his clothing...' Murray's system became a fixture in the OSS.”
The above link even provides an interesting, if completely demoralizing, account of one of the Stress Tests:
“The candidate immediately went downstairs to the basement room. A voice from within commanded him to enter, and on complying he found himself facing a spotlight strong enough to blind him for a moment. The room was otherwise dark. Behind the spotlight sat a scarcely discernible board of inquisitors... The interrogator gruffly ordered the candidate to sit down. When he did so, he discovered that the chair in which he sat was so arranged that the full strength of the beam was focused directly on his face...
At first the questions were asked in a quiet, sympathetic, conciliatory manner, to invite confidence...After a few minutes, however, the examiner worked up to a crescendo in a dramatic fashion... When an inconsistency appeared, he raised his voice and lashed out at the candidate, often with sharp sarcasm. He might even roar, “You're a liar.”...”
-Henry Murray, Selection of Personnel for Clandestine Operations – Assessment of Men. (1948).
The Stress Tests progressively targeted psychological insecurities suspected or found during the tests by the “interrogators.” Alston Chase, who has written on this topic at considerable length, writes:
“In fact it would never be clear what the “certain psychological problems” were. And the test that served as the centrepiece for this undertaking appears remarkably similar to the old OSS stress test. Students would be given the third degree. But whereas the OSS applicants must have known that enduring unpleasant interrogations could be part of their job, these students did not. The intent was to catch them by surprise, to deceive them, and to brutalise them. The students were led to believe that they would debate their philosophy of life with another student like themselves. In fact they were confronted by a well-prepared “stooge” – a lawyer.

When the subject arrived, he was escorted to a "brilliantly lighted room" and seated in front of a one-way mirror. A motion-picture camera recorded his every move and facial expression through a hole in the wall. Electrodes leading to machines that recorded his heart and respiratory rates were attached to his body.

Forrest Robinson, the author of a biography of Murray, has described what happened next.
“As instructed, the unwitting subject attempted to represent and to defend his personal philosophy of life. Invariably, however, he was frustrated, and finally brought to expressions of real anger, by the withering assault of his older, more sophisticated opponent ... while fluctuations in the subject's pulse and respiration were measured.”

Not surprisingly, most participants found this highly unpleasant, even traumatic. “We were led into the room with bright lights, very bright,” one of them, code-named Cringle, recalled afterward. “[I] had a sensation somewhat akin to someone being strapped on the electric chair with these electrodes ... I really started getting hit real hard ... Wham, wham, wham! And me get ting hotter and more irritated and my heartbeat going up ... and sweating terribly ...”

“Right away,” said another, code-named Trump, describing his experience afterward, “I didn't like [the interrogator]...

“[Dr G] ... came waltzing over and he put on those electrodes but in that process, while he was doing that, kind of whistling ... And then [Mr R] . . . who was bubbling over, dancing around, started to talk to me about he liked my suit ... the buzzer would ring or something like that, we were supposed to begin ... he was being sarcastic or pretty much of a wise guy ... And the first thing that entered my mind was to get up and ask him outside immediately ... but that was out of the question, because the electrodes and the movie and all that ... I kind of sat there and began to fume and then he went on and he got my goat and I couldn't think of what to say ... And then they came along and they took my electrodes off.”
- Alston Chase, A Lesson in Hate.
In the event that those reading along consider this tactic either ethically sound, or without consequences, I should state at this point that there were in fact long-term consequences that arose in part due to the devastating effects the experiments had on those involved. In fact, one person involved in this project – codenamed “Lawful” – was none other than Theodore Kaczynski: The Unabomber.

Based on the attacks on cherished ideals and the “ego constructs” waged by Murray and his stooges during the course in the three-year test, it is very hard to suggest that his later career was not predicated on some of these experiences. After the tests, Kaczynski began showing signs of instability that were (much like the experiments conducted by Hebb and Cameron) quite obvious. But, just like with earlier tests, he did not receive any form of treatment.

There was a recent episode on Dark Matters: Twisted but True regarding the strange relationship between Murray's experiment and the student once dubbed “Lawful”:
It is, like many of the re-enactments on the show, somewhat humorous to watch. But what is far less humorous is that the end result of the stress tests was the career of a man who truly inspires horror. Much like with Cameron's “Sleep Room” research, I do not believe that the Unabomber was a “Manchurian Candidate.”* Rather, I believe that the Stress Tests actually “cracked” the shell of ideals and beliefs that individuals – including myself – use to shield themselves from some of the monstrous aspects of the world we live in. With nothing to believe in, and very little hope, Kaczynski went from being a young genius and began his transformation into one of the modern faces of evil: the terrorist.”

In the KUBARK manuals, one finds that “psychological coercion” is preferred above “physical” methods. This is a trend that continues to this day. Prof. McCoy, whose work was referenced in the last article, says in an interview on Democracy Now:
ALFRED McCOY: … And in 1963, the C.I.A. codified these results in the so-called KUBARK Counterintelligence Manual. If you just type the word "KUBARK" into Google, you will get the manual, an actual copy of it, on your computer screen, and you can read the techniques [ Read the report. But if you do, read the footnotes, because that’s where the behavioral research is. Now, this produced a distinctively American form of torture, the first real revolution in the cruel science of pain in centuries, psychological torture, and it’s the one that’s with us today, and it’s proved to be a very resilient, quite adaptable, and an enormously destructive paradigm.
Let’s make one thing clear. Americans refer to this often times in common parlance as “torture light.” Psychological to torture, people who are involved in treatment tell us it’s far more destructive, does far more lasting damage to the human psyche than does physical torture. As Senator McCain said, himself, last year when he was debating his torture prohibition, faced with a choice between being beaten and psychologically tortured, I’d rather be beaten. Okay? It does far more lasting damage. It is far crueler than physical torture. This is something that we don’t realize in this country.
Now, another thing we see is those photographs is the psychological techniques, but the initial research basically developed techniques for attacking universal human sensory receptors: sight, sound, heat, cold, sense of time. That’s why all of the detainees describe being put in dark rooms, being subjected to strobe lights, loud music, okay? That’s sensory deprivation or sensory assault. Okay, that was sort of the phase one of the C.I.A. research. But the paradigm has proved to be quite adaptable.”
This “lasting damage” mentioned by McCoy is particularly troubling, and taken with the strange interaction of Murray's fucked up research and Kaczynski's responses, should raise our alarm. The fact of the matter is that our “national security” projects today may very well create the “terrorists” of tomorrow.

In more than one way.

Klaus Barbie
 Unholy Alliances: Klaus Barbie & the Ratlines.
“In Nuremberg at that time something was taking place that I personally considered a disgrace and an unfortunate lesson for the future of humanity. I became certain that the Argentine people also considered the Nuremberg process a disgrace, unworthy of the victors, who behaved as if they hadn't been victorious. Now we realize that they [the Allies] deserved to lose the war.”
- Argentine president Juan Perón on the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals.

In 1971 the Klarsfelds – who were Nazi Hunters secretly employed the Soviet Stasi – discovered that Nikolaus Barbie (“the Butcher of Lyon”) was alive and well in Bolivia. This raised a great many questions. The major one was: “how the hell did an upper-ranking SS member, especially a known War Criminal, get all the way to Bolivia?”

Following the end of the second World War, Barbie turned himself in to the CIC (the Army Counterintelligence Corps). Due to the emerging problem of the Soviet Union and the hatred that certain SS members held towards the Russians, he was amongst those chosen for service. In Hotel Terminus, a documentary by Marcel Ophüls, the details are explored. It is a very, very long documentary. However, most of it is online and can be watched on Youtube:

The relevant details emerged around “part 7” of the uploaded segments of the documentary and continue from there:

The CIC recruited Barbie following his having turned himself in; he helped organize, according to those interviewed members of the CIC that were involved in his case, cells of Soviet resistance and monitoring across Europe and the Americas. This made Barbie a very worthwhile ally to the CIC.

However, rumors arose that the CIC had Barbie in their custody and the French – who had very good reasons to want to put the torturer on trial – began to demand that Barbie be handed over to them... Though, from the sound of those interviewed on numerous occasions in the massive documentary, not very forcefully.

Incidentally, it became obvious that Barbie could not be kept in Europe... And so he was sent to South America. This happened due to the Ratlines: secret transportation networks that funneled War Criminals out of Europe with the help of Vatican priests – and later American counterintelligence services.

Barbie was not the only person aided by the Ratlines. Other Nazis funneled out of Europe included:
Adolf Eichmann, Josef Rudolf Mengele, and around approximately 30,000 others. Given that not all of the criminals were discovered, it is hard to be sure of the exact number of those who made their way to South America during this time. Incidentally, as the quote from Juan Peron indicates at the beginning of this section, many South American countries welcomed these individuals into their ranks.

After Barbie arrived in Bolivia, it was believed that he worked as a CIA operative. But he was also up to a bit more: he was involved with “Right Wing” militias (as Hotel Terminus discusses), a power-player in both Bolivia and Peru, and is very likely to have also been involved in gun smuggling operations. The 2007 documentary, My Enemy's Enemy suggests that Barbie was rather directly involved with the capture and murder of Che Geuvara. Given that Barbie worked for the Bolivian army, as discussed in the Guardian article linked in this paragraph, this is entirely possible.

And after the influx of murderers, torturers, and Right Wing nutjobs to South America, the stage was set – along with the School of the Americas – for some of the worst atrocities our country has ever helped inspire.

Be seeing you,

PS. Though I haven't said it yet, Gordon and I are pretty much in agreement.

* During his trial, plenty of psychologists and psychiatrists went out of their way to describe the man as “paranoid.” This is certainly, to a certain extent, true. But it is more true that his work, the effects of the Stress Test, and some of his comments show far more consistent signs of someone suffering from PTSD.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Further Experiments with the Deipnon

“There was also a “supper” (deipnon or dais) of various foods; the dead who partook of these sometimes were described as eudeipnoi, which we best can translate, perhaps, as “those who are content with their meal.” The word, a euphemism, seems to reflect the hope that, once nourished, the dead would realize that they had nothing to complain about. There is some evidence that water was also given to the dead person so that he could wash, just a host would give a living guest water in which to wash before a meal. Offerings to the dead might also include jewelry, flowers, and small objects used in everyday life such as swords, strigils, toys, and mirrors (although gifts, like lamentation, were sometimes restricted by funerary laws). It is hard to avoid the conclusion that these gifts were expected to be useful in the afterlife, particularly when ghost stories tell of the dead demanding objects that were forgotten or omitted at the time of burial.”
- Sarah Iles Johnston, Restless Dead. (P. 41)
When I wrote about Hekate's Supper, I said that S.I. Johnston had made a compelling argument that it could be used on an “as needed” basis. Recently, I had the chance to put this to the test and discover if she was correct. My experience with it was more or less fantastic.

A member of my family visited, needing some “time off,” after a period of instability. When she did so, the first few days could best be described as stressing me the hell out, man. I don't blame her by any means; when she'd become super-emotional, I could feel spirits stirring and buzzing around her. This is a sensation I've felt before when someone seemed plagued by something.

But I was distressed that if I took immediate action, the person wouldn't feel committed to keeping themselves clean and it would engage a self-defeating cycle. So I strongly recommended that they try cleansing with the addition of Rosemary while they visited elsewhere for a few days.

When they returned, a lot felt cleaned up already. Although, after a few days, the individual reported nightmares and sleep paralysis. So we decided to make a supper for Hekate, and I added a few more layers of ritual to the process. I performed the Stele of Jeu(or the “Headless One rite”) while the fish was finishing cooking, I cleansed the person with the elements (salt, water, fire, and Frakincense), and then we carried the wine and meal to the same area where I'd recently done the same at the park near where I live. As we left, the individual was clearly showing signs of trance intoxication and relaxation (with no chemical intoxicants in her system as far as I know). She reported sleeping soundly, and both her 'aura' and presence seemed remarkably clean until she finally headed home.

I've recommended that when she returns home, if things get back to being crap, she perform additional suppers, and she seemed pretty intent on doing so (which was marvelous, in my eyes)... And I am continuing to keep in contact with the individual to make sure things remain in the clear.

However, I'm more and more convinced that both the protection conferred by such processes, and their ability to be used, is wide-ranging and may not always strictly involve influencing the spirits of the dead. It seems to influence quite a bit more than that, as far as I can tell, and given my experiments around the area I live.

Be seeing you,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DCOTE: “Dirty Wars” Part Two.

Part One – Part Two – Part ThreePart FourPart Five.
“There is nothing mysterious about interrogation. It consists of no more than obtaining needed information through responses to questions... But sound interrogation nevertheless rests upon a knowledge of the subject matter and on certain broad principles, chiefly psychological, which are not hard to understand.” (P. 1)

“This study is by no means confined to a resume and interpretation of psychological findings. The approach of psychologists is customarily manipulative; that is, they suggest methods of imposing controls or alterations upon the interrogatee from the outside. Except within the Communist frame of reference, they have paid less attention to the creation of internal controls – i.e., conversion of the source, so that voluntary cooperation results. Moral considerations aside, the imposition of external techniques of manipulating people carries with it the grave risk of later lawsuits, adverse publicity, or other attempts to strike back.”* (P. 2)

“The legislation which founded KUBARK specifically denied it any law-enforcement or police powers. Yet detention in a controlled environment and perhaps for a lengthy period is frequently essential to a successful counterintelligence interrogation of a recalcitrant source... [Section Deleted/Redacted.] This necessity, obviously, should be determined as early as possible. [Section Deleted/Redacted.] This legality of detaining and questioning a person, and of the methods employed, … [Section Deleted/Redacted] Detention poses the most common of the legal problems. KUBARK has no independent legal authority to detain anyone against his will.”* (P. 6)

“Interrogations conducted under compulsion or duress are especially likely to involve illegality and to entail damaging consequences for KUBARK. Therefore prior Headquarters approval at the KUDOVE level must be obtained for the interrogation of any source against his will and under any of the following circumstances:
1. If bodily harm is inflicted.
2. If medical, chemical, or electrical methods or materials are to be used to induce acquiescence.
3. [Information Deleted/Redacted.]” (P. 8)
- CIA and Army KUBARK Interrogation Manual. (Created around 1962, according to Prof. McCoy in A Question of Torture. Declassified in 1996 by the DOD.)
Via Harold. An Actress from the 'Bluebird' play by Maeterlinck.

I've decided to hold off on jumping ahead in time to the rise of the Dirty War in Argentina, and the civil unrest in Central and South America that was fueled by the School of the Americas. Rather it seems to me that Dr. D.E. Cameron should be joined by some of his peers, who deserve was much “thanks” for the present situation as the aforementioned character. As such, this second entry in the “Dirty Wars” series will continue to discuss the psychological experiments and individuals who performed them that were codified in the KUBARK interrogation manuals – or as the press began referring to them in the 1990s, “the torture manuals.” Without the Psychologists and Psychiatrists (along with a chemist or two) that follow, these manuals might not have been written. As such, each of them deserves both our attention and our ire.

Unfortunately, I can't find my copy of Prof. McCoy's book, and so the information sampled is from a paper of his linked in the last entry.

Dr. Donald O. Hebb.
The Red Right Hand: Dr. Donald O. Hebb.

In his excellent paper entitled Science In Dachau's Shadow: Hebb, Beecher, and the Development of CIA Psychological Torture and Modern Medical Ethics, Prof. Alfred McCoy writes that:
“In March 1951, the CIA initiated a “top secret” research program into “all aspects of special interrogation” through “exchange of information and coordination of related programs” (CIA, 19 March 1951). Consequently, in the words of a later Canadian inquiry by George Cooper, QC, “a high-level meeting took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal on June 1, 1951.” Attending were Sir Henry T. Tizard, the venerable senior scientist from the U.K. Ministry of Defense; Dr. Omond Solandt, head of Canada’s Defense Research Board (DRB); Dr. Donald O. Hebb, head of the Board’s Behavioral Research and chair of Psychology at McGill; and two Americans, Dr. Caryl Haskins and Commander R.J. Williams. These latter two were identified, in a “handwritten note” found in Board files, as “CIA” (Cooper, 1986, pp. 32–33, Appendix 21).
As noted in the Board’s minutes of the Montreal meeting, “Dr. Hebb suggested that an approach based upon the situation of sensory isolation might lead to some clues” to answering “the central problem” that interested this covert research coalition: that is, “ ‘confession,’ ‘menticide,’ ‘intervention in the individual mind,’—together with methods concerned in psychological coercion.” Speaking at length, Hebb suggested that by “cutting off all sensory stimulation . . . , the individual could be led into a situation whereby ideas, etc. might be implanted.” In response, Sir Henry concurred, stating that these issues “had become a matter of concern in the U.K.,” and adding that “the methods of psychological coercion . . . had been well developed by the [Medieval] inquisition” (Cooper, 1986, Appendix 21).
As consensus formed about “research methods and design,” the group adopted Hebb’s suggestion that “experimental isolation in various forms for the production of sensory isolation” might place subjects “in such a position psychologically that they would be susceptible to implantation of new or different ideas.” Despite the Board’s later claims to the contrary, its minutes indicate clearly that their priority in backing Hebb’s brainwashing work was not defensive but offensive operations against communist enemies. “With respect to . . . useful results,” the Montreal principals agreed, “present methods of offence had moved over into the psychological field and that the whole area of change in public opinion and individual attitude was assuming rapidly increasing importance” (Cooper, 1986, Appendix 21).”
All of these items appear in the KUBARK 'torture manuals,' and thus deserve a good deal of attention. Hebb's research seems to have triggered the Anglo-American wave of experimental procedures and investigations that would culminate in the KUBARK manuals, and thus are of enormous interest. McCoy goes on to say that:
“Three months after the Montreal meeting, in one of the most significant steps for gestation of the CIA’s psychological paradigm, Ottawa’s Defense Research Board (DRB) awarded Dr. Hebb a “secret” grant, under Contract DRB-X38 from 1951 to 1955, for experiments that discovered the devastating psychological impact of sensory isolation. As Hebb explained in his classified 1952 report, this experiment was measuring “whether slight changes of attitude might be effected” by shorter periods of isolation intensified by “wearing (a) light-diffusing goggles, (b) earphones through which white noise may be constantly delivered . . . , and (c) cardboard tubes over his [the subject’s] forearms so that his hands . . . cannot be used for tactual perception of the environment.” In contrast to the modest impact anticipated, Hebb reported that “motivational disturbance appears great,” and among twenty-two subjects “four remarked spontaneously that being in the apparatus was a form of torture.” Evidently encouraged, Hebb concluded, “the contract is opening up a field of study that is of both theoretical and practical significance” (Hebb, Heron, & Bexton, 1952, Appendix 22).”
These techniques are discussed somewhat obliquely in the KUBARK manual that is available for view on the 'net. (It looks like more information was distributed, via the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA], to news outlets in the mid-1990s; but I'm sticking to what I have on hand.) When discussing “The Non-Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation,” the manual says:
“The term non-coercive is used above to denote methods of interrogation that are not based upon the coercion of an unwilling subject through the employment of superior force originating outside himself. However, the non-coercive interrogation is not conducted without pressure...” (P. 52)
Though this sounds quaint enough, it is coercive in terms of psychological force. However, the CIA (and our present Administration) have justified these proceedings by pretending that they are not torture. Two paragraphs later, for example, for the manual explains:
“If the interrogatee is under detention, the interrogator can also manipulate his environment. Merely by cutting off all other human contacts, “the interrogator monopolizes the social environment of the source.” He exorcises the powers of an all-powerful parent, determining when the source will be sent to bed, when and what he will eat, whether he will be rewarded for good behavior or punished for being bad. The interrogator can and does make the subject's world not only unlike the world to which he has been accustomed but also strange in itself – a world in which familiar patterns of time, space, and sensory perception are overthrown.” (P. 52 – 53.)
These techniques seize on the principles discovered in Hebb's work, which showed that by disorienting the subject they could come to have less resistance to the interrogator and hence might more readily supply useful details**. In many respects, this also parallels John C. Lilly's Sensory Deprivation experiments that were documented in his Programming and Meta-Programming in the Human Biocomputer. But while Lilly had refused to aid the spooks with his research, Hebb was a major mover and shaker in the “dark science” (Prof. McCoy's term) of torture. Hebb discovered that the 'motivational disturbances' he addresses in McCoy's paper were only part of the process. McCoy further explains that:
“Two years later, the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Robert H. Felix, demolished the project’s careful cover when he told the U.S. Congress about a study by “Dr. Donald Hebb” using sixty students “who stayed as long as they could on a bed in an air conditioned box.” Asked if “this is a form of brainwashing,” Dr. Felix replied: “You can break down anyone with this, I don’t care what their background.” After coverage in the New York Times of 15 April 1956 prompted “Brainwashing” headlines in the Montreal Gazette, Dr. Hebb insisted, inaccurately, on the “defensive” nature of his research: “We were not trying to find bigger and better ways of torturing others, but to find out how to protect our own men” (“Tank test,” 1956, p. 18; Cahill, 17 April 1956; “Brainwashing,” 26 April 1956, p. 1).”
All of this is interesting, when taken together with Jane Mayer's interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now with regard to her book, The Dark Side. With regards to the experiences of Abu Zubaydah during his interrogations, and the Black Sites (or secret intelligence prisons), Mayers says:
JANE MAYER: In — well, it’s in an undisclosed location, where Abu Zubaydah was being held by the CIA. Suddenly, a psychologist showed up. And the FBI’s reaction was, “Who is this person?” His name is James Mitchell. He is a contractor to the CIA, a contract interrogator or adviser to the interrogation program. And he started talking about how there were these psychological theories that would help break down the detainees.

And the theories he talked about were experiments with dogs, in which dogs were put in cages and electrocuted and in a random way that completely broke their will to resist. It’s a theory called “learned helplessness,” and it springs from experiments done in the 1970s by a very famous psychologist in America named Martin Seligman, who actually went to lecture at the — a bunch of SERE — people who were involved with the CIA’s program, including this psychologist, James Mitchell. So, James Mitchell and a partner, Bruce Jessen, became advisers to the CIA’s interrogation program.”
Mayer has written quite a bit about how James Mitchell, and other psychologists, appear to have reverse engineered the secret SERE program for use in the current American torture program. However, she seems to be off – and I'd need to read her book to be sure – with regards to CIA experience with these ideas. Shortly after the above, she goes on to say:
I think, to step back, what you need to know is that the CIA had no experience really in interrogating prisoners. They had never really held prisoners before. And so, they really had no idea how to go about getting information out of people. So they turned to an incredibly strange place, which is a secret program inside the military that had studied torture, and it had studied torture in order to teach our own soldiers how to survive it if they were ever taken captive by some kind of completely immoral regime.”
This is contradicted by both the KUBARK manuals and the dating of Hebb's experiments to the early 1950s. In fact, many of the techniques she discusses being used on Abu Zubaydah appear to originate rather directly from Hebb's research. Hebb further discovered that when sensory deprivation and “control of the environment” was used successfully, high levels of anxiety were induced to the recipient (“interrogatee” in the KUBARK manuals), and that they even could experience vivid hallucinations akin to being given a drug. McCoy writes:
“An experiment that discovered the driver in CIA psychological torture may well have subjected students to this same torture—a complaint, in fact, made by four of Hebb’s original volunteers. So extreme was this sensory deprivation that Hebb’s subjects had unanticipated hallucinations akin to mescaline. In his 1992 epic poem, “Listening to the Candle,” one of these student subjects, Professor Peter Dale Scott, described how he, not Hebb, first noticed the vivid hallucinations and, in a follow-up interview, recalled the researchers’ initial incredulity at his report (Scott, 1992, pp. 6–7; Scott 2006).

yet the very aimlessness
preconditioning my mind . . .
for blank lucrative hours
of sensory deprivation
as a paid volunteer
in the McGill experiment . . .
my ears sore from their earphones’
amniotic hum my eyes
under two bulging halves of pingpong balls
arms covered to the tips with cardboard tubes
those familiar hallucinations
I was the first to report
as for example the string
of cut-out paper men
emerging from a manhole
in the side of a snow-white hill
distinctly two-dimensional...”
The short 'poem-like' structure of Prof. Scott's hallucinatory experiences is hardly surprising. While Hebb's research, unlike that of Lilly's, didn't appear to make use of hallucinogens... It really didn't matter in the end.

Finally, McCoy notes:
“By contrast, Hebb himself admitted that he did not screen his subjects for instability and was not prepared for the extreme hallucinations. “For subjects,” he recalled in a memoir written before his death in 1985, “we simply called the employment office at McGill and hired the student they sent us. Presently we found that . . . the subjects, some of them, were seeing things in the experimental conditions, and feeling things. One felt his head was disconnected from his body, another had two bodies.” Hebb was also shocked at the devastating impact of his experiments: “It scared the hell out of us to see how completely dependent the mind is on a close connection with the ordinary sensory environment, and how disorganizing to be cut off from that support” (Hebb, ca. 1980).

Significantly, several follow-up experiments inflicted similarly dangerous trauma on their human subjects. In 1955, one of Hebb’s former students now at the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Maitland Baldwin, confined an Army volunteer inside a Hebbian sensory deprivation box. After forty hours, the subject began “an hour of crying loudly and sobbing in a most heartrending fashion” before kicking his way out. At the prompting of Morse Allen, chief of the CIA’s Artichoke Project, Dr. Baldwin agreed to push the experiment further into “terminal type” tests if the Agency would provide expendable human subjects—a proposal that a CIA medical officer rejected as “immoral and inhuman” (Marks, 1979, pp. 23–25, 32–33, 106, 137–138, 201–202; Brown, 2007, p. 209). Similarly, in 1957 a team of Harvard psychiatrists, funded by the ONR, confined seventeen paid volunteers “in a tank-type respirator” arranged “to inhibit movement and tactile contact.” After seventeen hours, one subject, a 25-year-old dental student, “began to punch and shake the respirator,” his “eyes full of tears, and his voice shaking.” Four volunteers terminated from “anxiety and panic,” and all suffered “degrees of anxiety” (Wexler et al., 1958, pp. 225–233). We have no way of knowing whether such trauma did lasting damage, for none of these researchers—Hebb, Baldwin, or the Harvard psychiatrists—reported any follow-up treatment.”
All in all, Hebb's experiments were – just like Cameron's – wrong-headed to pursue in the first place, ethically unsound, and in violation of the Nuremberg Code.

Dr. Henry K. Beecher
The Repairer of Relations: Dr. Henry K. Beecher.

There is perhaps no greater link between
Operation: Paperclip and the CIA's psychological and psychiatric experiments than the story of Henry Beecher. According to McCoy:
“In September 1951, just three months after the CIA’s secret Montreal meeting, Dr. Henry K. Beecher, the Dorr Professor of Anesthesiology at Harvard University, crossed the Atlantic in a determined search for drugs that would prize open the human mind for interrogation. At home and abroad for over a decade, Beecher pursued this secret military research, testing powerful psychotropic drugs, mescaline and LSD, on unwitting human subjects, and thus drinking deep from Dachau’s poisoned well.

Our earliest indication of Beecher’s interest in interrogation is a letter, dated February 7, 1947, from Dr. Arthur R. Turner, chief of the U.S. Army’s Medical Intelligence Branch, reading: “Inclosed for your retention is a brochure, dealing with the Dachau Concentration Camp, which has just arrived. I . . . thought it might be of interest to you.” This brochure, by the German aviation medical research unit, detailed 30 mescaline experiments on Dachau inmates by SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Dr. Kurt Ploetner aimed “to eliminate the will of the person examined . . . by the Gestapo.” In words that promised to unlock the mind for interrogation, the report concluded: “If the Messkalin had an effect on the mental state of the P.E.’s, the examining person succeeded in every case in drawing even the most intimate secrets from the P.E. when the questions were cleverly put” (Harvard Medical, October 1945; Turner, 7 February 1947).”
It is here that the story of the hunt for a Truth Serum, which would eventually gain the operational title MKSEARCH in 1964, begins. Experiments would be performed with Mescaline, LSD-25, and Sodium Thoipental (also known as Sodium Pentothal), and a number of other chemicals.

Beecher was, following his crossing the Atlantic, given information regarding reports on the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, and McCoy indicates, the LSD-25 research being done by the Sandoz Company. McCoy adds:
“Although we cannot be certain that SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Ploetner’s report inspired his quest, in September 1951 Dr. Beecher criss-crossed Europe for research “on the subject of the ‘ego-depressant’ drugs, usually called truth serum in the newspapers,” paying particular attention to the Gestapo’s drug of choice, mescaline (Beecher, 21 October 1951). Reflecting the Anglo-American cooperation forged at Montreal, at his first stop, England, Beecher had access to dozens of top scientists.”
He further indicates that the deeper Beecher looked into the topic, the more he was led back to Nazi war criminals. He was gradually led to the Allied Headquarters (SHAPE) at Marley-le Roi, where he was told to begin discussing his hunt with the CIA. There is an interesting note here, which I also wish to quote:
“Indeed, at Heidelberg, Dr. Beecher was sharply reminded of the immorality of his research, from a medical perspective, when the Chief U.S. Surgeon for Europe, General Guy B. Denit, advised him “that as a physician under the Geneva Convention he [Denit] could have nothing officially to do with the use of drugs for the purposes in mind and turned me over to G-II.” Consequently, U.S. Army G-II, or Military Intelligence, transferred Dr. Beecher from the moral realm of military medicine to “Oberursel, to the European Command Interrogation Center,” the dark center of the Allied interrogation effort (Beecher, 21 October 1951).”
So we know, for a fact, that Beecher was warned that the subject of his desires – the Truth Serum – was viewed as unethical at the time he was conducting his investigation. Once he made his way to the “dark center of the Allied interrogation effort” which had been renamed Camp King. At the time Camp King was staffed by ex-Gestapo and soldiers from the Reich, and were already performing experiments along the lines that Beecher was looking into.

This may sound shocking, but it should not be. Peter Levenda notes in his
Sinister Forces: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft (Book One: The Nine) that:
It is important to realize that, at the end of the war, the new enemy was the Soviet Union, even though America and Russia had been allies during the war against Nazi Germany. It was, after all, General Patton himself who tried to convince Washington that we were pointing our weapons in the wrong direction and should make all haste to invade Russia and put an end to the Soviet state once and for all. (American schoolchildren never learn that, at the end of World War One,we had tried to do just that.)” (P. 136)
In this case, the forces at Camp King were busying themselves with dealing with Russian captives. The picture that McCoy paints is fairly horrific, and involves Spooks, members of the army, and former Reich members all experimenting with various drugs which had their research begin in Dachau.

McCoy continues:
“In the interim, they recommended he work with a Dr. Schreiber, Camp King’s former staff doctor, whom Beecher described as “a physician and former German general who is now on his way to the States, will be at the School of Aviation Medicine . . . Schreiber is intelligent and helpful” (Beecher, 21 October 1951; Koch & Wech, 2003, pp. 102–103).
Who was Dr. Schreiber, this ideal partner for Professor Beecher’s secret drug research? He was, in fact, General Walter Schreiber, former medical chief for the Wehrmacht who had presided over “concentration camp . . . experiments on inmates that usually resulted in a slow and agonizing death.” After Camp King commended his “high efficiency,” the Pentagon sent him to Texas, where he joined other Nazi doctors at the School of Aviation Medicine, albeit only until May 1952 when complaints about war crimes forced his departure for Argentina (Bower, 1987, pp. 255–258; Koch and Wech, 2003, p. 94; “Nuremberg,” 28 August 1946; “German,” 27 October 1948; “Accused,” 13 February 1952).
This is a classic portrait of what I described in the last entry, with Operation: Paperclip white-washing the background of those brought into the United States to work in DOD or intelligence programs. By 1952, Beecher had dropped his preference for Mescaline in favor for LSD-25, the emerging Wonder Compound that the CIA hoped would change all the rules. And in a sense, it did. In another sense, nothing at all had changed.

McCoy adds:
“Consequently, Dr. Beecher returned from Europe warning about LSD’s effect of “severe imbalance, hysteria” on, say, “a battleship’s crew.” In a secret report to the U.S. Army’s surgeon general, he advised this drug should be studied “(1) as aids to obtain suppressed information . . . (2) as threats to security when used by an enemy agent . . . (3) as tools of biological warfare.” The latter was particularly important because “the water supply of a large city could probably be disastrously and undetectably (until too late) contaminated.” Determined that “the United States . . . not get behind in this field for want of an organized plan of attack,” he now planned to intensify dosage in his Boston LSD experiments, saying: “We need to know the effects of larger doses, of prolonged administration of small doses and so on.” Fortunately for Beecher’s plans, a professor he had met in Europe “has promised to send me for study the new L.A.E. (a mono ethyl amide of lysergic acid). This is said to be more excitant to normal individuals than is L.S.D. 25” (Beecher, 4 September 1952).”
And thus began the tests conducted at the expense of the public, on unsuspecting victims, which would last in the MKULTRA project until it was finally discovered and Blowback ensured that the Church Committee would attempt to put an end to it.***

Ironically, McCoy states, when controversy errupted at Standford regarding the ethics of LSD-25 and its use, Beecher said:
“...“There is an abundance of evidence,” intoned Dr. Beecher, condemning such experiments, “that LSD can produce, has produced, lasting, serious damage to young people”...”
This is rather fascinating since he helped pioneer using the drug on the unsuspecting public and set up some of the absurd uses of it later by the CIA within the United States. (Beecher would later write a  “landmark” paper on medical ethics and informed consent... And to this day, there is an ethics award bearing his name. Because, why not forget all the toxic shit he pulled?) But use of the chemical did not stop there:
In 1951, in the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit in South East France, LSD-25 was tested as a weaponized chemical. While I have no evidence that Beecher was involved, this event shows just how far our intelligence community and the attendant spooks were willing to go. It is this event that, some suspect, lead to the death of Frank Olson following his being dosed with LSD-25 when it “ended up”(i.e. Was intentionally spiked) in a drink he took while at Deep Creek Lake, at a CIA retreat.


As this follow-up entry to yesterday's has reached 8 pages of sampled and otherwise text, I will curtail it here and continue tomorrow before heading into Operation: Condor and the School of the Americas.

* Italix mine.
** Many doubt this actually happens, which I will get to in time.
*** I sometimes wish Frank Church was still around.

Monday, July 22, 2013

DCOTE: “Dirty Wars:” Part One. [EDITED]

Part One – Part TwoPart ThreePart FourPart Five.
“While the declared purposes of these programs were to protect the “national security” or prevent violence, Bureau witnesses admit that many of the targets were nonviolent and most had no connections with a foreign power. Indeed, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the Bureau believed they represented a “potential” for violence – and nonviolent citizens who were against the war in Vietnam were targeted because they gave "aid and comfort" to violent demonstrators by lending respectability to their cause.

The imprecision of the targeting is demonstrated by the inability of the Bureau to define the subjects of the programs...

The acts taken interfered with the First Amendment rights of citizens. They were explicitly intended to deter citizens from joining groups, “neutralize” those who were already members, and prevent or inhibit the expression of ideas...

Nor was this the only First Amendment right violated by the Bureau. In addition to attempting to prevent people from joining or continuing to be members in target organizations, the Bureau tried to “deter or counteract” what it called “propaganda” the expression of ideas which it considered dangerous. Thus, the originating document for the “Black Nationalist” COINTELPRO noted that “consideration should be given to techniques to preclude” leaders of the target organizations “from spreading their philosophy publicly or through various mass communication media.” Instructions to “preclude” free speech were not limited to “black nationalists;” they occurred in every program. In the New Left program, for instance, approximately thirty-nine percent of all actions attempted to keep targets from speaking, teaching, writing, or publishing.”

While writing the last Dark Corners of the Earth Entry, I began planning to work on this one. One of the primary reasons for the writing of these entries is to provide a satisfactory background to various Cold War era covert operations and to introduce the individual who has never heard of most of what I am about to say to the history behind some of the intelligence programs that we see today. In the same way that COINTELPRO is the predecessor behind the emerging NSA/FBI/CIA/DHS intelligence apparatus and has been historically abused and returned today in the War on Terror... Our torture, indefinite detention, and other “counter-intelligence” programs have their roots in Cold War PSYOPS (Psychological Operations) programs. Some of them have been discussed on this blog before; others I have discovered a bit more recently, which filled in blanks that I had hoped I would never manage to fill-in.
From Levenda's Sinister Forces, p. 166.
Manchurian Candidates Need Not Apply.
Beginning in 1945, the Unites States began recruiting former Nazi scientists whose work was deemed of use to the United States in a secret intelligence program called Operation: Paperclip. Scientists, some of whom would have been deemed War Criminals by the Judges who oversaw the Nuremberg trials, systematically had their backgrounds white-washed and were put to work in secret Defense Department and intelligence projects across the United States.

Amongst these projects was one initially named Project: BLUEBIRD (1950s). It was later renamed Project: ARTICHOKE. The projects were designed to study mind control, interrogation, and behavior modification. Amongst these projects those with the prefix “MK,” like MK-ULTRA, represented 'Mind Control' projects.

These projects examined the effects of LSD-25 (then thought to be a psychosis inducing chemical; the CIA hoped to weaponize it and use it as a truth serum), electro-shock therapy, and psychological techniques to modify the behavior of individuals. In Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond one finds probably the best documentary evidence of what was occurring with MK-ULTRA. The book tells the tale of the rise of LSD-25 into the social consciousness, and how the shadow tendrils of the CIA is involved in the story from the very beginning.

The CIA, in their zeal to understand one of the best representatives of the 1950s “Wonder Drugs,” spread LSD-25 around a variety of psychological and psychiatric institutions and was thus responsible for creating the drug boom amongst the hippies... As well as a number of other, far more disturbing things. The key thing to understand in this is that the CIA was distributing LSD-25, as well as poaching Psychologists and Psychiatrists, in an effort to better understand the psychological processes of individuals. They were seeking, as several authors have put it, “the blue-prints of consciousness.”

As such they were ultimately responsible for Timothy Leary being introduced to the chemical, as well as John C. Lilly. While neither men appear to be directly involved in the defense projects during this time, both appear to have gotten their hands on LSD-25 by way of the CIA distributing the drug.

In future entries, I will return to psychological work that hangs on the findings of Mr. Lilly. For now, let us briefly address some of his work and findings... As well as a key moment that I hope you'll recall later when we return to it: Lilly used doses of LSD-25, while placing himself in a sensory deprivation tank (he would float, on his back, with no sensory input to either his eyes, nor his ears while completely fried on LSD-25). At a certain point, he began having encounters with things he felt were beings akin to Gods or spirits. The resulting experiences lead to two books, both of which are marvelous to read: Programming and Meta-programming in the Human Biocomputer (1967), in which he reported his first set of findings but held out on trying to analyze what they meant. The second book is Center of the Cyclone: Looking into Inner Space (1972), in which Lilly discusses the psychological impact that the “trips” had on his life and his continuing research into LSD-25 and Ketamine (the latter of which, ultimately, proved to be too much for the man). Prior to the publication of either, Lilly was asked to brief the Defense Department (and the intelligence community, one imagines) on his findings. He refused and left the National Institution of Health (NIH) over the matter. All in all, this turned out to be a good thing as it left the intelligence community in the dark about some of his research, and took some time for them to find other researchers with similar findings to fill in the blanks and further enhance their techniques for torture.

These programs were both wide-ranging in scope, and horrifying in practice. Unknowing citizens of the United States were given LSD-25, both without their knowledge or their consent, in both New York and San Francisco. In S.F., specifically, a brothel was set up by the CIA which was monitored by a fellow named George H. White. Both unsuspecting Johns, and Prostitutes*, were dosed with LSD-25 and the spooks then watched, behind one-way mirrors, as the individuals engaged in sexual acts... Plenty of which became kinky. This was hardly a surprise, since some of the these locations were decorated with BDSM art.

This is, however, just the tip of the ice-berg.

D.E. Cameron
Something Slumbers in Ravenscrag
In Canada, Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron – who has been mentioned on this blog as one of the monsters bred by the Psychiatric institution during this time period – was a prominent Psychiatrist in his day. He was the first Chairman of the World Psychiatric Association (1961). He conducted experiments across the United States, but some of his worst abuses of patients occurred in Ravenscrag, an aptly-named facility. It was there that he operated the Sleep Rooms: patients would be given massive doses of LSD-25 and other drugs, concurrent electro-shock therapy treatments, and be sedated for days on end while tape-recorders played looped programs that were fed into their ears with audio equipment and headphones. Cameron called the technique “Psychic Driving,” and supposedly the goal was to be able to produce a state that is best described as Brain-Washing. These words are today charged with conspiratorial discourses, but the literal meaning of the term seems to have been Cameron's goal. He literally wanted to wash out all memories and experiences from the brain of patients and replace it with a new, more malleable persona.

Those used to reading conspiracy magazines will likely note the resemblance between the goal and conspiracy folklore in the term Manchurian Candidate. The idea has spawned a number of fictional movies, normally involving covert assassins who are unaware of what they are (“Sleeper Agents,”) but once triggered by a codeword swing into their duty to an intelligence agency. The reality is both less romantic, and far more brutal: Cameron was able to wipe out the memories of those involved in the Sleep Room experiments, but unable to give them any semblance of a new identity. All he managed to produce, in terms of “Psychic Driving,” was individuals with permanent brain damage and the ability to repeat certain phrases that had been played on the tape-loops they had been subjected to.

However, for the spooks, Cameron's research – along with that of Donald O. Hebb – did manage to produce something. Not necessarily the perfect assassin – embodied in conspiracy circles by the strange, and most likely fictitious, tale of Candy Jones – but something just as terrifying. Cameron managed to produce elements that would become part of the CIA's techniques for torturing, securing information, and producing results from “dissidents.” In A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, Professor Alfred McCoy links Cameron's experiments explicitly with the KUBARK training manual that was disseminated at the School of the Americas (now called WHINSEC due to all the bad publicity it got in the 1990s). If one wishes, they can google the word “KUBARK” and take a look at the torture techniques discussed and taught at the School of the Americas (WHINSEC), and compare them with Cameron's psychic driving techniques and other experiments.

When I return for the next entry in this series, in the next few days, I will discuss the School of the Americas, the “Dirty War” in South America, and how our own military trained individuals who later came to commit absolutely massive scale human rights violations in the 1970s and well into the 1990s. In a large part, it shows that we not only were teaching the methods derived from Hebb and Cameron to other military forces, but promoting killing “non-violent” resistance in countries which were feared to be falling to the force of Communism. It also sets up precisely the elements we saw come to play following 9/11, when the Defense Department and the Spooks implemented those same techniques to be used in the War on Terror... and promptly fell prey to the dark side of the intelligence industry: once you start torturing people for information, everything spirals out of control. Just as it did in America and abroad in the early 2000s, it had done so before in South America as the “Dirty Wars” picked up their pace.

Be seeing you,

EDIT: Exchanged the image of the Question for the illustration from Bluebird.

* Although, they typically gave the Johns the drinks that were spiked with the drug.