The CIA's Secret Quest For Mind Control

(npr.org)

201 points | by Anon84 3 days ago

22 comments

  • calibas 3 days ago

    I find it odd that people make such a big deal about the failed "mind control" programs, while ignoring the ones that were disturbingly successful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Manuel_Rodr%C3%ADgue...

    • Synaesthesia 3 days ago

      They were “mind control” but also torture and interrogation techniques. Some very disturbing and immoral experiments like dosing people unknowingly, torturing people with them, playing loops repeatedly etc.

      • keiru 3 days ago

        secret mind control programs. The human brain, being a computer, is expected to be alterable. But the extent of secrecy, shadiness and memory-holing of secret government programs never ceases to amaze.

        • dr_dshiv 3 days ago

          Yes! Great reference. I mean, a hell of a lot of fundamental research is beyond ethics. Maybe the CIA has an island somewhere?

          • jedmeyers 3 days ago

            > Maybe the CIA has an island somewhere?

            Where they invite prominent figures and then record them doing nefarious things in order to ‘mind’ control them later? Nah, this is conspiracy theories territory.

            • shredprez 3 days ago

              Agreed. That's what Epstein's private jet was for.

          • yters 3 days ago

            Interesting, wonder if we could modulate the electric grid and influence the emotions of a nation?

            • rolph 3 days ago

              yes and more. There are a large number of routers that are designed to revert to a backup copy of firmware and configuration.

                An attack would involve making electrical service cycle its voltage 3 times in succession,
               thus causing reversion to a default mode. The majority of routers would be in Out of the Box State, and highly pwnable.
              
              It is very conveinient that 3phase power can provide 3 surges of ~60vac if the correct attack is used on a generation station, or inter-tie station.

              if you are of the 3rd party firmware persuasion, you should flash your router configure, and then flash again, so your backup will be a secure firmware with a secure configuration.

              Among the things router manufacturers should do is change this aforementioned behaviour to something like 5 failed reboot attempts in succession, rather than 3 reboot attempts.

              • Where could I read more on that firmware reversion hack? I searched what was quoted, but it only ties back to your post.

                • the_pwner224 1 hour ago

                  rolph's reply to this seems a bit... off the rails.

                  This part makes me think it's all a big conspiracy theory:

                  > such a router will have two instances of flashed firmware and you can toggle between the instances by flicking the power switch [3times] rapidly so you produce 3 boot failures. this is true in the case of linksys routers and many others but not all, so read often, implement successfully the first time.

                  I recently purchased a high-end Linksys router and flashed OpenWRT on it so I know exactly what he's talking about. Like modern smartphones, they have two firmware partitions, A and B. When you are booted into the A partition and download an update, it is applied to the B partition. On the next boot the device uses the B partition and then eventually applies the same update to the A partition. This means that updates can be applied without having to restart the device and wait a long time for the flash, and it also means that the device can revert to the A partition if there was an error updating the B partition. That's why it was added a few years ago to Android.

                  This is explicitly advertised as in the marketing for newer high-end routers (and other things, like computer motherboards).

                  In OpenWRT you actually have to manually flash both partitions - update the router, reboot into the other partition, and then update again to apply it to the first partition. Which seems to be what rolph is talking about when he mentions flashing updates twice to be a deterrent to this exploit. What doesn't make sense is that rolph implied that the fix of flashing twice applied to all devices.

                  - On devices with dual firmwares, the stock firmware flashes updates twice to complete the update process - On devices with one firmware but a secret evil firmware, the evil firmware will not be affected by updates, so flashing a new firmware twice will not fix the exploit (which is the opposite of what rolph said)

                  I would assume high-end older routers do contain a backup stock firmware that can be loaded after multiple failed boots, just like Windows will boot to recovery mode if it fails to boot a few times.

                  rolph hasn't provided any solid evidence to back his conspiracy theory. That doesn't mean it isn't... as you can see in the comments here, there's tons of stuff we don't know about. Also see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17311005 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5981399

                  So it might actually be an evil CIA/NSA plot. Or it might not.

                  • rolph 3 days ago

                    The sort of evil hack that can occur, was not possible until it became possible for the control systems of industrial settings to be hacked, by foriegn or domestic elements. I live in a place that has very inconsistent power and i use a UPS to feed my router, that is also a way to mitigate a hack of this sort. Keep in mind that power generation has to be hacked and manipulated, and the major hack would be a followup or an opportunist piggybacking on the first attack, sniffing the DSL environment for open router ports, and exploiting.

                    have a look here Re firmware and model compatabilities:

                    https://openwrt.org/toh/start

                    this is a table of compatible devices and firmware. The site itself is about open WRT and hosts "apps" to run on your router as network services. It is possible to turn your router into something other than a router [including a paper wieght if your not careful] so read up on what you have, what you want to do, and what you need to do that.

                    keep in mind im trying to be as general as possible, so you need to do a bit of reading about your router, and what options you have.

                    make sure you have a backup router, and or all your ducks in a row, as you will not have a router if something goes wrong. The revert feature is usefull if you have that sort of router, the feature itsself is not a bad[evil] thing, the problem is that sucessive power cycling can revert your router to factory configuration and leave your system quite vulnerable to followup attack. this is why you make sure you know what you are doing, flash your router properly, configure it to be secure but open to you , then flash it again with the same firmware and configure it. if it all works properly, you will have a router that reverts to a secure firmware and configuration, instead of factory firmware.

                    such a router will have two instances of flashed firmware and you can toggle between the instances by flicking the power switch [3times] rapidly so you produce 3 boot failures. this is true in the case of linksys routers and many others but not all, so read often, implement successfully the first time.

                    The sort of evil hack that can occur, was not possible until it became possible for the control systems of industrial settings to be hacked, by foriegn or domestic elements. I live in a place that has very inconsistent power and i use a UPS to feed my router, that is also a way to mitigate a hack of this sort. Keep in mind that power generation has to be hacked and manipulated, and the major hack would be a followup or an opportunist piggybacking on the first attack, sniffing the DSL environment for open router ports.

                    so how does this fit into the original topic?

                    When you interrupt power and cause blackouts you create an opportunity for F.U.D. secondarily messing around with everyones router at gross scale furthers the FUD and opens the door for MITM and consequent manipulation of psychological/ emotional state.

                • Some doctors (many disagree) speculate that microwave weapons are the "prime suspect" in Cuba's [1] and China's [2] embassy attacks in the recent years.

                  What struck me in the article was Frey's: “Based on what I know, it will remain a mystery.”

                  I am skeptic on the fact that it was specifically microwaves (but also on the hypothesis it was crickets [3]), but who knows?

                  From what we know whole-nation influence trough electrical grid seems far-fetched, but if trough EM radiation you could trigger action potentials in the auditory system, maybe it would be possible to do that to the limbic system as well.

                  [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/science/sonic-attack-cuba... [2] https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/more-americans-in-ch... [3] https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/01/canada-halves-diplom...

              • qwerty456127 3 days ago

                This is weird. I can hardly imagine how can LSD be used to control somebody rather than to free him. Every single time I've taken LSD (or other psychedelics) it felt great. The first time I have taken it I've also experienced sense of beauty and love so deep and extatic I could not previously imagine, another sense I've experienced deeply was how absurd violence, as well as pride and hatred are. It also helped me to realize non-duality and mindfulness so now I fear neither death nor imprisionment, let alone ridiculous verbal manipulations. Nevertheless I haven't became a hippie, I still maintain my hygiene and do my job.

                It is also a well-known fact LSD doesn't work the next day you take it and you have to rest for about a weak before you can repeat the trip (but, to be honest, I am to mention I haven't checked this myself).

                • scottlocklin 3 days ago

                  One of the horrific apeshit things done in CIA mind control research involved dosing sensory deprived people with LSD, thorazine/sedatives, curare and electroconvulsive therapy for ... weeks, and subsuming them in brainwashing "suggestions"

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_experiments

                  But hey, it happened in Canada, so no harm no foul right? There really should be Nuremberg trials for the sins of the spooks. There won't be though; they run the show. The last time a spook employee got in trouble it was for whistleblowing.

                  • vageli 3 days ago

                    > But hey, it happened in Canada, so no harm no foul right? There really should be Nuremberg trials for the sins of the spooks. There won't be though; they run the show. The last time a spook employee got in trouble it was for whistleblowing.

                    This seems to be true and that's frightening.

                  • dadarepublic 3 days ago

                    >Every single time I've taken LSD (or other psychedelics) it felt great.

                    I'm glad you've had a good experiences with LSD every time you've taken it. But even a simple look into the history and culture of LSD and you would know that very "bad" trips are possible. I'm shocked that you haven't done more research into LSD as a whole.

                    >It is also a well-known fact LSD doesn't work the next day you take it and you have to rest for about a weak before you can repeat the trip (but, to be honest, I am to mention I haven't checked this myself).

                    Your assertion of "a well-known fact" is in fact false. I'm glad you put the last part in parentheses.

                    It sounds like you are prime for some reading on the history of LSD & psychedelics, understanding the effects long & short term, understanding how the drug(s) works, and how there were attempts to weaponize it (of course there were).

                    Apologies if the tone of this comment is a bit down on you, it's not meant to be, I just _really_ hope you educate yourself before speaking again on this subject.

                    • qwerty456127 3 days ago

                      > I'm glad you've had a good experiences with LSD every time you've taken it. But even a simple look into the history and culture of LSD and you would know that very "bad" trips are possible. I'm shocked that you haven't done more research into LSD as a whole.

                      So you are essentially shocked with your own assumption. I've never mentioned I don't know about the "bad trips" theory (although I can only speculate about how does it feel and why can it happen as long as we are talking about LSD, I have only met one person who had a bad trip experience and it was with n,n-DMT).

                      I also know enough about how does it work on the brain chemistry level.

                      As for the military usage and related history - I'm not interested enough to invest more time than it takes to write a comment expressing my surprise and my experience so others could share the essential parts in response if they feel like they want to.

                    • platoscubicle 3 days ago

                      With a high enough dose of LSD, your current models of the world break down. Maybe the CIA was trying to imprint new reality tunnels for people during this vulnerable point in the trip.

                      • o-__-o 3 days ago

                        Memories are fleeting depending on a host of chemical balances, life changes, and other external factors. You can impress new thoughts on certain people without much effort. Gaslighting is a great example of imprinting new realities. On a greater scale, Your mind differentiates reality from non-reality with dreams. When your trip becomes indistinguishable from dreams, your mind is left pulling apart the pieces and making sense of everything. Traumatic events and major life changes can also leave your mind in a similar state.

                        I’ve been doing experiments with my wife to “inject” a different time in her head when I come to bed. My results are mixed during the moment, but she claims to everyone I come to bed at the time I’ve injected. I’m sure in a more controlled environment with patients one could “inject” anything that seems plausible to the naked eye

                        • heavenlyblue 3 days ago

                          >> I’ve been doing experiments with my wife to “inject” a different time in her head when I come to bed.

                          Or maybe, she's just your wife so she doesn't want to argue with you on such an irrelevant matter.

                          • nl 3 days ago

                            Gaslighting is a great example of imprinting new realities

                            I’ve been doing experiments with my wife to “inject” a different time in her head when I come to bed.

                            You realize you are gaslighting your wife, and that isn't ok, right?

                            • o-__-o 2 days ago

                              Maybe but saying I came to bed at 4am instead of 1am is hardly a lie. It’s on the same plane as saying you don’t look fat.

                            • Gene5ive 3 days ago

                              If you're lying to your wife as an experiment then you should probably go to couples counseling.

                              • qwerty456127 3 days ago

                                Doesn't the eye loose the habit of beinh naked and considering whatever it encounters plausible given some experience with psychedelics and meditation? A major point of spiritual training is to stop taking perception and thoughts serious.

                                • lethologica 3 days ago

                                  This sounds a lot like gas lighting and isn’t healthy.

                                  • o-__-o 2 days ago

                                    Meh you could inquire some more or just assume I’m an evil person who does nothing but lie

                                    Also don’t take sleeping pills

                              • cj 3 days ago

                                > LSD be used to control somebody rather than to free him.

                                I think this is accurate. Except freeing someone also removes / alters the person's usual defense mechanisms and their internal understanding of what's acceptable to do and say.

                                What LSD definitely does is makes the person vulnerable to external influence in ways they typically wouldn't be without the drug. For example, you could very plausibly convince someone to run naked down the street in a big city on LSD (the person taking LSD loses the voice in their head saying "NO! DON'T DO THAT!"), while it would be near impossible to convince someone of doing that while not on LSD. From that perspective, it can be thought of a "mind control" mechanism just not in the literal sense.

                                • qwerty456127 3 days ago

                                  When I took LSD for the first time I was surprised how sober my consciousness became (despite how intense my perception was rendered), how easy it was to maintain adequateness. I still believe I actually could communicate without letting people notice I'm high (perhaps they could think I' slightly drunk or something). And this sobriety has never left me since then. Now I am much more adequate than I used to be even when I get heavily drunk.

                                  I had no desire to do weird things under LSD. I in fact realized there is absolutely nothing wrong in being naked and I have no actual shyness since then yet I never forgot the simple fact running around naked (which I didn't even wanted) is going to make normal people uncomfortable (which I certainly don't want) and possibly cause other kinds of undesired consequences like being put in a jail, getting pneumonia or destroying my career (which would make my family suffer).

                                • sincerely 3 days ago

                                  Afaik the MKULTRA experiments included a sizeable amount of what we would call heroic doses and most of the time the subjects were not in an ideal trip setting.

                                  • ncmncm 3 days ago

                                    Note we only have their reports that MKULTRA ended.

                                  • ElFitz 3 days ago

                                    If you ask some people, bad trips can go horribly wrong.

                                    Also, being in that state, and seeing the world in such a distorted way, without even knowing you're in an altered must be horrifying.

                                    One wouldn't have any reason to believe it isn't "real" or that it will ever end.

                                    • qwerty456127 3 days ago

                                      > One wouldn't have any reason to believe it isn't "real" or that it will ever end.

                                      Why? Isn't it natural to question your perception when you see something unusual in such a degree?

                                      • sincerely 3 days ago

                                        The higher the dose the more you lose the ability to convince yourself “This isn’t real” or even care.

                                        • ElFitz 2 days ago

                                          It would. Unless your very thought patterns are completely disrupted by a highly potent psychedelic you've been unknowingly dosed with.

                                          Even then, what seems more reasonable? "I'm trapped, asleep, in a seemingly never ending nightmare" or "I, a random layman with nothing remarkable whatsoever, have been unknowingly dosed with some unknown substance by the CIA" ?

                                      • konfusinomicon 3 days ago

                                        I can verify that LSD does in fact work the next day, and the next, and the next. after 4 days, not so sure.

                                        • 3131s 3 days ago

                                          There is some cross tolerance between all tryptamines and phenethylamines, but I have still managed to take them near daily for months on end without having to increase the dose by an absurd amount.

                                          • As I recall, LSD is neither strictly a tryptamine nor a phenethylamine, but rather an ergotamine with a structure resembling both tryptamines and phenethylamines.

                                        • pawelmurias 3 days ago

                                          "I've experienced deeply was how absurd violence, as well as pride and hatred are" - something super useful for the CIA if it can be reliably reproduced

                                          • senorjazz 3 days ago

                                            > It is also a well-known fact LSD doesn't work the next day

                                            At the same dose. If you double the dose each day it works just fine

                                            • Mindwipe 3 days ago

                                              > I can hardly imagine how can LSD be used to control somebody rather than to free him.

                                              A lot of the early CIA experiments on LSD were about trying to come up with a truth serum for use on captured agents, so they went down some weird rabbit holes to that intent.

                                              • RaceWon 3 days ago

                                                > I can hardly imagine how can LSD be used to control somebody rather than to free him

                                                But you're a rank amateur. The CIA used University and Medical Schools, plus some believe (and I am one of those "some') they also used Nazi research. Shit an argument can be made that they "know" exactly the psychological profile of people that are prone to mind control, and contrary to popular belief people can be hypnotized into doing things they normally would not.

                                                The US Army [1] researched BZ (which makes LSD look like licorice you give to kids) for TWENTY Years.

                                                [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-Quinuclidinyl_benzilate

                                                • ncmncm 3 days ago

                                                  Yet they claim to have failed.

                                                  People who have been tortured by (still-unindicted) US personnel have not reported being drugged.

                                                • Scopolamine is more effective.

                                                • Only tangentially related since the following is not about "mind control" but about "psychological control". Seems like in 2007 CIA was still interested in that.

                                                  This is an extract from the section "Special Handling" in [1]:

                                                  #+BEGIN_QUOTE A well-trained espionage recruiter will search for vulnerable targets. Professional intelligence officers are trained to "spot" outward signs of trouble in a person's history or behavior -- such as tumultuous relationships or frequent job changes -- and to evaluate the deeper, more enduring psychological dysfunctions that may be at the root of the problems. These professional recruiters are trained do deploy sophisticated psychological control techniques matched to the vulnerabilities they have detected in order to manipulate, apply pressure, or induce a person to commit espionage.

                                                  Some intelligence services do not limit themselves to exploiting pre-existing problems, but may actively foster crises to enhance the target's susceptibility to recruitment. Common forms of such aggressive pursuit and manipulation of targets include emotional or sexual entrapment and financial manipulation through increasing the target's level of debt. A psychologically vulnerable target's grandiosity, sense of being above the rules, or vengeful impulses can all be manipulated in the service of recruitment. #+END_QUOTE

                                                  What I found interesting was that the same terminology ("psychological control", "handler") was used also by stratfor's Friedman in the stratfor leaks [2].

                                                  [1] https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0001407031....

                                                  [2] https://search.wikileaks.org/gifiles/?viewemailid=202526&fbc...

                                                  • kd3 3 days ago

                                                    Interesting that the CIA imported LSD. I thought they were just Cocaine Importing Agency. I guess we can expect anything from Criminals In Action.

                                                  • jonplackett 3 days ago

                                                    Admittedly unrelated but... I love that this link has a “decline tracking cookies and just give me plain text version of the site”

                                                    • saagarjha 3 days ago

                                                      It doesn't look like this is an option for American readers, unfortunately :(

                                                    • zyxzevn 3 days ago

                                                      Interview with Stephen Kinzer (On Ripple Effect Podcast)

                                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2-Z77BhI1c

                                                      • senorjazz 3 days ago

                                                        Never understood they experimented with LSD, I would have though to unpredictable, something like scopolamine would have had better effects. It is often used in South America to control their victims as if all there free will is gone. It is highly effective in small doses (not LSD small but still quite small), the victim is often taking to the ATM and told to take out the money which they do willingly.

                                                        Never tried it myself, but the wife had it used on her when a student, luckily she had only about $15 in her bank account at the time, but says it is like being in a dazed / dream like state where you just go through the motions

                                                        • eof 3 days ago

                                                          Well LSD was very new at the time. Additionally people’s perceptions are drastically changed while on LSD, and those perceptions are highly variable based on set and setting of the trip.

                                                          Seems a very good candidate to me to get people to believe something they wouldn’t have otherwise.

                                                          • bowcoy 3 days ago

                                                            They experimented with a wide array of drugs, including LSD, fish poison, and Scopolamine. At first, the CIA was predominantly concerned with (aerosol) weaponization and investigating if dosing an unwitting agent, diplomat, or soldier with LSD could be used to extract secrets. Later they became interested in the counter culture of the 60s (and making sure the Russians were not turning a new generation against its own society/military).

                                                            https://fightingmonarch.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/human-dr...

                                                            > Among the drugs illegally used by CIA against American citizens are (a) hypnotic sedatives such as amobarbital, aprobarbital, butabarbital sodium, chloral hydrate, methotrimeprazine hydrochloride, midazolam hydrochloride, paraldehyde, pentobarbital, pentobarbital sodium, quazepam, secobarbital sodium, sodium pentobarbital, temazepam, triazolam, and zolpidem tartrate, (b) hypnotics like demerol, desoxyn (combined with sodium pentothal), methyprylon, and pentothal acid, and (c) memory blockers such as acetylcholine, BZ, and scopolamine.

                                                            https://patents.google.com/patent/US4858612A/en

                                                            > A method and apparatus for simulation of hearing in mammals by introduction of a plurality of microwaves into the region of the auditory cortex is shown and described. A microphone is used to transform sound signals into electrical signals which are in turn analyzed and processed to provide controls for generating a plurality of microwave signals at different frequencies. The multifrequency microwaves are then applied to the brain in the region of the auditory cortex. By this method sounds are perceived by the mammal which are representative of the original sound received by the microphone.

                                                            https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intellig...

                                                            > Only a handful of cases in which scopolamine was used for police interrogation came to public notice, though there is evidence suggesting that some police forces may have used it extensively. 2, 16 One police writer claims that the threat of scopolamine interrogation has been effective in extracting confessions from criminal suspects, who are told they will first be rendered unconscious by chloral hydrate placed covertly in their coffee or drinking water.

                                                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_serum

                                                            > The United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) experimented with the use of mescaline, scopolamine, and marijuana as possible truth drugs during World War II. They concluded that the effects were not much different from those of alcohol: subjects became more talkative but that did not mean they were more truthful. Like hypnosis, there were also issues of suggestibility and interviewer influence. Cases involving scopolamine resulted in a mixture of testimonies both for and against those suspected, at times directly contradicting each other.

                                                            • webninja 2 days ago

                                                              Did any of them actually work?

                                                              • bowcoy 9 hours ago

                                                                I don't know, but those in the know are still (allegedly) using them.

                                                                > PRISONERS INSIDE THE U.S. military's detention center at Guantanamo Bay were forcibly given "mind altering drugs," including being injected with a powerful anti-psychotic sedative used in psychiatric hospitals. Prisoners were often not told what medications they received, and were tricked into believing routine flu shots were truth serums. It's a serious violation of medical ethics, made worse by the fact that the military continued to interrogate prisoners while they were doped on psychoactive chemicals.

                                                                > BZ was invented by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche in 1951.[5] The company was investigating anti-spasmodic agents, similar to tropine, for treating gastrointestinal ailments when the chemical was discovered.[5] It was then investigated for possible use in ulcer treatment, but was found unsuitable. At this time the United States military investigated it along with a wide range of possible nonlethal, psychoactive incapacitating agents including psychedelic drugs such as LSD and THC, dissociative drugs such as ketamine and phencyclidine, potent opioids such as fentanyl, as well as several glycolate anticholinergics.[6][7] > By 1959, the United States Army showed significant interest in deploying it as a chemical warfare agent.[5] It was originally designated "TK", but when it was standardized by the Army in 1961, it received the NATO code name "BZ".[5] The agent commonly became known as "Buzz" because of this abbreviation and the effects it had on the mental state of the human volunteers intoxicated with it in research studies at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.[5]

                                                                > As described in retired Army psychiatrist James Ketchum's autobiographical book Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten (2006), work proceeded in 1964 when a general envisioned a scheme to incapacitate an entire trawler with aerosolized BZ; this effort was dubbed Project DORK.[8] BZ was ultimately weaponized for delivery in the M44 generator cluster and the M43 cluster bomb, until all such stocks were destroyed in 1989 as part of a general downsizing of the US chemical warfare program.

                                                                > The U.S. Army tested BZ as well as other "psycho-chemical" agents on human subjects at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland from 1955 to 1975, according to declassified documents.

                                                              • alla_pugacheva 3 days ago

                                                                > desoxyn

                                                                Plain old "m3th" in folk parlance.

                                                            • 5trokerac3 3 days ago

                                                              “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.” - Alexander Acosta

                                                              Who cares what the CIA did 60 years ago? Why isn't NPR reporting on what they may be doing now?

                                                              • rtkwe 3 days ago

                                                                > Who cares what the CIA did 60 years ago? Why isn't NPR reporting on what they may be doing now?

                                                                Short answer probably is we don't know what they're doing now because it's still classified and no one inside has leaked much recently and no reporter has gotten a break. As for not reporting what /may/ be happening NPR is pretty good about not wildly speculating with no evidence.

                                                                • turk73 3 days ago

                                                                  If they're behind all these mass shootings can we as a nation get together and put an end to these goons? Because that is what is being hinted at here--that there are drugs capable of mind controlling susceptible individuals. It is not science fiction is what we're hearing.

                                                                • Because finding out that the research on "mind control" continued would be a big scandal, and in the past journalists like Gary Webb and Michael Hastings, who uncovered scandals about the CIA, did not to end well. Probably the CIA didn't kill them, but I'm convinced it contributed to mess up their life enough to disrupt their work. Intelligence agencies around the world consider themselves, rightfully or not, guardians of national interests. If a journalist works to uncover stories that could damage them, she/he may be end up being considered a threat not only to the agency, but also to national interests and that would put she/he at risk. Since there are not enough structures in place to let unjust behaviors on the part of intelligence to be scrutinized, researching on such things is not something I would do without also expecting ill-fated consequences.

                                                                  • dasKrokodil 3 days ago

                                                                    > Probably the CIA didn't kill them

                                                                    Wasn't Gary Webb found with two bullets in his head? Sure, it's possible that he fired those himself. But it's still highly suspicious IMO.

                                                                    • On wikipedia [1] it says "Multiple gunshot suicides are rare, but possible. In one study of 138 gunshot suicides, 5 (3.6%) involved two shots to the head, the first of which missed the brain."

                                                                      I think that when Gary Webb commited suicide the CIA had already successfully disrupted his work and had no need to kill him. Example had already been given. However, was he still a threat and messing with his life wasn't an effective option, would they have killed him? They have done far worse things.

                                                                      [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_gunshot_suicide

                                                                      • yters 3 days ago

                                                                        How would he fire the second bullet?

                                                                        • rolph 3 days ago

                                                                          it is also possible for a firearm to doublefire. its most common with un maintained semi auto pistols, but can happen easily enough with large calibre revolvers, due to the recoil.

                                                                          • gregschlom 3 days ago

                                                                            By not dying after the first. It happens.

                                                                        • Ill_ban_myself 3 days ago

                                                                          There should be a gig-economy job board for all those fearless souls who volunteered for a one way trip to mars to put that reckless abandon in service to the work of doing thankless life threatening tasks like ghost writing articles for leakers and whistleblowers.

                                                                          • > Probably the CIA didn't kill them

                                                                            You are kidding right? Those two bullets in his head were a clear message.

                                                                        • mrrrgn 3 days ago

                                                                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

                                                                          "Operation Mockingbird is an alleged large-scale program of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that began in the early 1950s and attempted to manipulate news media for propaganda purposes."

                                                                          • kylek 3 days ago

                                                                            "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" - William Casey (CIA director 1981-1987)

                                                                            Puts a lil spin on "fake news"

                                                                            • booboolayla 3 days ago

                                                                              And we can witness the success of that program every time we watch mainstream media. They got really scared of Trump and decided they can't afford to hide the hidden hand any longer, so now we have more than obvious identical talking points being parroted by "journalists" and "experts".

                                                                            • nudq 3 days ago

                                                                              Because in the context of Epstein, intelligence doesn't necessarily mean CIA. Seriously, we can't say "Mossad" on Hackernews without getting flagged, can we realistically expect NPR to go there?

                                                                              • cheese4242 3 days ago

                                                                                Worth noting that the father of Ghislaine Maxwell (who was Epstein's partner and "procurer") was a Mossad agent.

                                                                                Hard to believe this all doesn't go far beyond a mere prostituion service for the rich and powerful.

                                                                                • razakel 3 days ago

                                                                                  Not to mention Robert Maxwell also died in mysterious circumstances.

                                                                                  • turk73 2 days ago

                                                                                    I'm glad at least some people care about this besides me because at the end of the day it is our own tax dollars that enslave us and that is perverse to say the least.

                                                                                • malvosenior 3 days ago

                                                                                  Whitney Webb did an amazing job researching Epstein and the CIA's use of sexual blackmail over the past 80 years in her four part series:

                                                                                  https://www.mintpressnews.com/shocking-origins-jeffrey-epste...

                                                                                  Definitely worth a read.

                                                                                  • gotts 3 days ago

                                                                                    I believe that some people definitely care about what their secret services did 60 years ago.

                                                                                    I find these archives very useful in understanding how they operate and what methods that use. 60 years later but are they now that different than before? Some things don't change.

                                                                                    • markus_zhang 3 days ago

                                                                                      I think it's more or less the "We don't benefit if we give that to the public but we have to spend a lot of time double checking so maybe we just don't do it" mindset.

                                                                                    • cheese4242 3 days ago

                                                                                      Indeed.

                                                                                      The current narrative being pushed is that Epstein was simply a pimp for the rich and powerful. It's clear there was much more going on though.

                                                                                      • mr_overalls 3 days ago

                                                                                        I don't think that's clear at all. It certainly seems plausible that it was just an excuse to show him leniency because he had dirt on powerful people.

                                                                                        • markus_zhang 3 days ago

                                                                                          Indeed, wondering what kind of things we can find in the secret archives...

                                                                                        • zyxzevn 3 days ago

                                                                                          Anything that the CIA is doing now is protected with "national security". They can do it with anything they are related to.

                                                                                          Former CIA Officer Kevin Shipp [explains how this works and how it is completely misused](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQouKi7xDpM)

                                                                                          • dobleboble 3 days ago
                                                                                            • a11yguy 3 days ago

                                                                                              I think part of it, is that it's much easier and palatable to talk about what happened a long time ago.

                                                                                              What is happening now is a 'conspiracy theory' until at some point in the future it becomes historical fact.

                                                                                            • JetSpiegel 3 days ago

                                                                                              > Whitey Bulger was one of the prisoners who volunteered for what he was told was an experiment aimed at finding a cure for schizophrenia. As part of this experiment, he was given LSD every day for more than a year. He later realized that this had nothing to do with schizophrenia and he was a guinea pig in a government experiment aimed at seeing what people's long-term reactions to LSD was. Essentially, could we make a person lose his mind by feeding him LSD every day over such a long period?

                                                                                              Can a mind be destroyed but continue to have self-awareness to realize it was being treated as a guinea pig? Does the experiment proved it was all BS?

                                                                                              • ghobs91 3 days ago

                                                                                                The Netflix show Stranger Things was loosely based on this. It was originally going to be called "Montauk" and take place on Long Island, as there were conspiracies of mind control, time travel, and other experiments going on at Montauk Air Force base.

                                                                                              • pseingatl 3 days ago

                                                                                                Former CIA mind control projects:

                                                                                                Ted Kaczyinski

                                                                                                Charles Manson

                                                                                                • sandinmytea 3 days ago

                                                                                                  It's grim, what will happen to the ones who thought they had this all locked-up.

                                                                                                  The use of otherwise forbidden topics is especially poignant. The secrets of ancient techniques are inadmissible practically everywhere, thanks to the disturbing involvement of so many sworn oaths against their best interests.

                                                                                                  As a recipient of their methodology, I can say there's sadly no good results for them in the near future, since what they've been doing produces counter- effects which will both expose, identify them and their various exchanges, records, and put them under the exact same circumstances.

                                                                                                  • anentropic 3 days ago

                                                                                                    re same book and topics, some different details pulled out: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-co...

                                                                                                    • Mindwipe 3 days ago

                                                                                                      There's a book called Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control by Dominic Streatfeild that goes into this topic well if people are interested.

                                                                                                      (And by well I mean takes a fairly sceptical view that they ever really got anywhere, and generally makes the case that the CIA ended up so desperate to counter perceived Russian abilities that they really stopped asking if any of the people they were hiring in this area were either total con-men or just completely nuts.)

                                                                                                      • DoctorOetker 3 days ago

                                                                                                        on the NPR site, it offers me text only version, but then the relevant article is not in the short displayed list of articles.

                                                                                                        does anyone know the "sId" code?

                                                                                                        an example URL of the text only site:

                                                                                                        https://text.npr.org/s.php?sId=759523615

                                                                                                        • sgift 3 days ago
                                                                                                          • DoctorOetker 3 days ago

                                                                                                            may I enquire what steps you took to procure this link?

                                                                                                            • JetSpiegel 3 days ago

                                                                                                              It's right after the date on the URL

                                                                                                            • sgift 3 days ago

                                                                                                              Probably GDPR related - I always get a decision page when I open NPR which has a link to the text version and one to the normal version (+the "and you accept all our tracking" disclaimer).

                                                                                                              • DoctorOetker 3 days ago

                                                                                                                me too, but when I click for the text version 9 times out of 10 it doesn't bring me to the article but to a page with links to some of the recent articles that often does not include the originally referenced article

                                                                                                        • yters 3 days ago

                                                                                                          Why would the government take any of these woo topics so seriously? Is there some kind of factual basis they are using, something concrete that would suggest there is merit? I'm doubtful it's based on complete conjecture and wishful thinking, but maybe you give people enough money and enough leeway and they'll just research oddball stuff.

                                                                                                          • sharot4 3 days ago

                                                                                                            By "woo" topic you mean "mind control"?

                                                                                                            I like to do a thought experiment. If mind control is possible, will the CIA want to use it? If the CIA uses mind control, will they tell you about it? If they say that the program was a failure and was shut down, are they telling the truth?

                                                                                                            I recommend taking a look into a thing called "trauma-based mind control". It may alter your way of thinking. Or it may not.

                                                                                                            • yters 3 days ago

                                                                                                              Well, there is certainly is a kind of mind control used by many ideologies. So, ideology based mind control certainly happens. Also, hypnotic mind control is possible to some degree. I guess it depends on what is meant by mind control, because some forms are very common and not at all controversial.

                                                                                                            • razakel 3 days ago

                                                                                                              It's simple: if the Soviets have it, we should too.

                                                                                                              I'd point you in the direction of Jon Ronson's The Men Who Stare At Goats for more detail (the book is non-fiction, but the movie is fiction).

                                                                                                            • Yuval_Halevi 3 days ago

                                                                                                              "During the early period of the Cold War, the CIA became convinced that communists had discovered a drug or technique that would allow them to control human minds. "

                                                                                                              When I read it I actually tried to imagine how it was to live back then and to act based on rumors. It was a crazy time to be a secret agent that's for sure

                                                                                                              • caseysoftware 3 days ago

                                                                                                                The US just finished a multi-year investigation into rumors fueled by a dossier created with rumors. People don't change, just the people involved.

                                                                                                                • bananocurrency 3 days ago

                                                                                                                  this is an interesting way of looking at things -- to compare the potential discovery of mind control to the investigation of a long time grifter. Your phrasing almost makes it seem as if there is just as much truth to each "rumour".

                                                                                                                • ableal 3 days ago
                                                                                                                  • maskull 3 days ago

                                                                                                                    I imagine there is still a lot of action based on rumors. Absolute truth is hard to come by.

                                                                                                                    • Synaesthesia 3 days ago

                                                                                                                      The CIA is so ideologically brainwashed themselves that they end up doing things like this, they often can't see the simple truth right in front of them.

                                                                                                                  • yters 3 days ago

                                                                                                                    Did they research news media and social media?

                                                                                                                    • AndyMcConachie 3 days ago

                                                                                                                      There's nothing in that article that we didn't already know. It seems like this is only getting attention now because someone wrote a book.

                                                                                                                      Is there some new revelation in this book that makes it worth reading?

                                                                                                                      • en-us 3 days ago
                                                                                                                        • AndyMcConachie 3 days ago

                                                                                                                          I'm not making fun of anyone. I'm interested in what's new in this book. MKULTRA is old news. Surely there must be something new in this book that previous books haven't covered. What is it?

                                                                                                                          • en-us 3 days ago

                                                                                                                            The making fun part doesn't apply, but my point is that just because this isn't new to you doesn't mean it is something "everyone knows". So when you say "There's nothing in that article that we didn't already know" it is both incorrect and dismissive of those who haven't learned of this yet.

                                                                                                                            • Synaesthesia 3 days ago

                                                                                                                              I don't think many people know the full extent of the MKULTRA programs, especially the attempts at mind control, brainwashing, dosing people with psychedelics unknowningly, extensive torture with drugs, experimentation on prisoners and stuff. Some of it approaches the Nazi experiments in just the sheer immorality of it all.

                                                                                                                              • marnett 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                I agree no one knows "the full extent", and I do not think we ever will. A lot of information is out there though - available as far back as the late 80s. A lot of this came out when Harold Blauer's [0] sued the U.S. government [1] for testing drugs on him without anyone's consent when he was institutionalized for depression. The drug tests were covered up for 22 years...

                                                                                                                                I'm happy to see some headlines to hopefully inform some more folks, but you really have to go digging for this stuff intentionally to get to juicy details. If you are interested in doing so, I recommend picking up Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA".

                                                                                                                                [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Blauer [1] https://apnews.com/2e5220ecb195844edacfbffdb0a37a5a

                                                                                                                        • lerie 3 days ago

                                                                                                                          people still think this is news?

                                                                                                                          • mcurtis 3 days ago

                                                                                                                            I'm sure most people in power weren't taking this research seriously even 60 years ago, when it was running.

                                                                                                                            • cf141q5325 3 days ago

                                                                                                                              The criminals doing it took it serious, the atrocities were real and the list of victims whos lives they ruined is rather long. Once people hear MK ULTRA they think about staring at goats and LSD but the darker story behind it is the research on sensory deprivation, on torture to break involuntary subjects more reliably. From the school of Americas to Guantanamo to by now most regimes across the world, they all have to thank those "pioneers" of modern torture. The Canadian Dr Cameron who got the funding for his work on psychic driving through MKUltra isnt mentioned in the article but his work on the subject cant be described as anything but monstrous.

                                                                                                                              edit: "A Question of Torture" by Alfred W. McCoy is a good book on the subject.

                                                                                                                              • Synaesthesia 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                That's correct. The CIA have actually learned the best form of torture is psychological torture and mastered that.

                                                                                                                              • rmilejczz 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                Idk how you can be so sure of then when we were actively researching little green men from space as a threat to national security around the same time. The US govt has engaged in some pretty outlandish “research”