Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Ultra, MKUltra

Image: Evan

The CIA has made several appearances on the A to Z of conspiracy theories from possible involvement in 9/11 (B post) and the JFK (J post) assassination to definitely using nasty weapons such as the heart-attack gun (C post).

Today they're back again, this time with another true conspiracy. MKUltra was a code name for a program using U.S. and Canadian citizens as subjects for covert mind control and interrogation research. It started in the 1950s, continued through the 1960s, and was made public in 1975 by Congress and the Rockefeller Commission. Supposedly, the program was scrapped (most of the files were destroyed in 1973), but some think the research continued.

According to Wikipedia, MKUltra experiments involved the use of drugs (in particular LSD), hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, and other forms of psychological torture. Research occurred at colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies.

Candidates believed to be victims of this CIA mind control program:

1. Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of assassinated Robert Kennedy

2. Jim Jones, leader of a cult in Jonestown, Guyana who convinced his members to commit mass suicide.

Image: Pato

3. Jim Hendrix's manager and former M16 agent, Michael Jeffrey, killed the guitar wunderkind with pills and wine while under mind control.

4. Mark David Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon

5. John Hinkley, the man who shot at president Ronald Reagan

6. Robert Bardo, who shot actress Rebecca Schaeffer

7. Lee Harvey Oswald, the man held responsible for JFK's assassination

Incidentally, Chapman, Hinkley, Bardo, and Oswald were all in possession of J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye when they pulled the trigger with their fingers. Conspiracy theorists believe parts of the text were used to pull the "triggers" in their minds.

Image: DVD cover of movie version of Firestarter

MKUltra has another connection to popular fiction: inspiration for Stephen King's Firestarter. Remember the experiments that Charlie McGee's parents participated in and the sinister branch of government called The Shop?


New York Magazine: The 70 Greatest Conspiracy Theories in Pop-Culture History

Frank: The Most Unbelievable Conspiracy Theories


  1. I didn't know they all had copies of "Catcher in the Rye" when they did their deeds. I'm too much of a Calvinist to believe that people need any help to do evil.


  2. I think the character Eleven on Stranger Things is raised in an environment that is a sort of riff on this conspiracy. More than control of mind, they're also experimenting with expansion of cognitive abilities. Pretty chilling stuff.
    Laurel's Leaves: U = Unexpected

  3. Like the movie Conspiracy Theory. That's probably what it's based on. The movie, I mean. Some of this stuff I wouldn't put past some researchers. Sadly.

  4. I've heard about this research, though not the formal name for it. Very scary!

  5. I don't recall hearing about that one before. I'm in a FB group called "Conspiracy Theorists Say the Darndest Things," and that hasn't come up in any of the screenshots I've read or contributed myself.


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