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Project MKUltra, psychological experiments carried out on US citizens on US soil.

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

Project MKUltra was a top-secret government operation run by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1950s and 1960s. The project's goal was to develop mind control techniques that could be used on enemy combatants and spies, as well as on American citizens. The methods used in the project were often unethical and inhumane, and the project was not officially acknowledged by the CIA until the 1970s.



The origins of Project MKUltra can be traced back to the Cold War when the CIA became increasingly worried about the threat of communist mind control techniques. In response, the agency began to explore the possibility of developing its own mind control techniques, which could be used to extract information from enemy combatants and control the behavior of American citizens.


The project was headed by Sidney Gottlieb


The methods used in Project MKUltra were wide-ranging and often brutal. They included the use of drugs, such as LSD, as well as hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and even electroconvulsive therapy. The subjects of the experiments were often unwitting and included prisoners, patients in mental hospitals, and even American citizens.



One of the most notorious aspects of Project MKUltra was the use of LSD on unsuspecting subjects. The CIA believed that the drug had the potential to be used as a truth serum, and they began administering it to subjects without their knowledge or consent. Many of the subjects experienced severe psychological distress as a result, and some even committed suicide.


In addition to the use of drugs, Project MKUltra also involved the use of hypnosis to control the behavior of subjects. The CIA believed that hypnosis could be used to create "Manchurian candidates," individuals who could be programmed to carry out specific tasks without being aware of what they were doing. The agency even experimented with the use of hypnosis to create "sleeper agents" who could be activated at a later time to carry out specific missions.



The use of sensory deprivation was another tactic employed in Project MKUltra. The CIA believed that by depriving subjects of sight, sound, and touch, they could create a state of confusion and vulnerability, making it easier to control their behavior. The subjects were often kept in small, dark, and soundproofed rooms for extended periods.


Project MKUltra was eventually exposed in the 1970s, following a series of congressional investigations into the activities of the CIA. The agency was forced to admit that the project had existed, but they claimed that it had been shut down in the early 1960s. However, many of the documents related to the project were destroyed, making it difficult to know the full extent of the experiments that were conducted.


Donald Cameron - created psychological and medical torture procedures for the CIA under MKUltra


The revelation of Project MKUltra was a shocking one and it led to widespread public outrage. The unethical and inhumane nature of the experiments, as well as the fact that they were conducted on American citizens, was seen as a violation of basic human rights. The project also raised serious questions about government oversight and accountability, as well as the abuse of power by government agencies.



The legacy of Project MKUltra serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of government-conducted medical experimentation, particularly when it comes to mind control and behavior modification. It also highlights the need for transparency and oversight in government operations, as well as the importance of protecting the rights and well-being of American citizens.


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  • Aaron - the Not Top Secret team


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