Friday, January 16, 2009

Secret Government LSD Testing

The Legend:  The U.S. government has done secret testing of LSD for use in warfare.

Status:  True

  • LSD has been used by the government to treat combat fatigue or as an interrogation aid.
  • LSD was tested on marines in Vietnam by putting it in the water supply. They were deceived, being led to believe they were testing a new sleep aid. One guy went crazy and killed his own men.

Both of these claims are largely true, except for the part about killing people.  But then it wouldn't be a cool story to repeat without some insanity or homicide.

The U.S government did research on LSD most extensively between 1942 and 1963. Beginning in 1942, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, was looking for a speech-inducing drug to be used when interrogating prisoners. General William Donovan, then chief of the OSS, challenged scientists to:

"... create a substance that could break down the psychological defenses of enemy spies and POWs, thereby causing an uninhibited disclosure of classified information. Such a drug would also be useful for screening OSS personnel in order to identify German sympathizers, double agents, and potential misfits."

The government did indeed test on military personal. Between 1947-1953 the research, initiated by the Navy, was supposedly called "Project Chatter," and similar research conducted by the CIA was called "Project Bluebird." All with the goals of extracting classified information from the enemy.

In 1953, Dr. Gottleib headed a project called "MKULTRA," (later renamed "MKSEARCH"). This was the CIA's effort to find the perfect mind control drug.

In 1972, most of the MKULTRA records were deliberately destroyed by order of then CIA director Richard Helms. It was estimated that there were more than 150 individually funded research projects sponsored by MKULTRA and MKSEARCH.

Many experiments involved dosing subjects with LSD without their knowledge and then observing their reactions. Subjects were often agency and other government employees, but they also experimented on mental patients and members of the general public. Some have described these experiments as cruel and sadistic.

[Taken from the Internet]

"The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over 30 universities and institutions were involved in an 'extensive testing and experimentation' program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens 'at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.' Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to 'unwitting subjects in social situations.' At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers." 
U.S. Senate Wednesday, August 3, 1977
Select Committee on Intelligence
And Subcommittee on Health
And Scientific Research
Of the Committee on Human Resources

It is estimated that 1500 soldiers were dosed with LSD during these years of experimentation, some unknowingly. The government abandoned LSD research in 1963 in favor of other less erratic and more effective hallucinogens. Read more about this at: