When looking at human experimentation during the twentieth century the nations that come to mind are Japan, where scientists amputated limbs from subjects only to reattach them to other parts of their bodies; Russia, where the Soviets tested odorless poisons on prisoners with the goal being not having it detected postmortem; or most infamously Nazi Germany and the heinous experimentation performed on the Jews. What most don’t realize however is the United States has its own history of unethical “studies”, “vaccines”, and “projects”. One such was the MKULTRA project, which has become notoriously known for carrying out some of the most unusual and sometimes inhumane experimentation financed by the American government. On the orders of Central Intelligence Agency director Allen Welsh Dulles and headed by Sidney Gottlieb, project MKULTRA was initiated in April 1953 and became one of the principle programs run by the agency. The program was involved in the research and development of biological and chemical agents. It was also concerned with controlling human behavior through the research and development of biological, chemical, and radiological materials, which were capable of being employed in surreptitious situations. Over the ten-year lifespan of the program, MKULTRA pursued many additional avenues to explore control of human behavior they deemed appropriate for investigation. These included “radiation, electroshock, various fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and anthropology, graphology, harassment substances, and paramilitary devices and materials.” Footnote Inspector General Report on MKULTRA, 1963, p. 21 memorandum Of the many MKULTRA experiments, the most notorious was the CIA’s study of the drug Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD. The drug fascinated the CIA and they hoped that it or a similar drug would give the United States the upper hand against foreign powers in the mind wars. They also wanted a drug that could...
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