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Project MKUltra (wikipedia.org)
229 points by rasengan on Oct 5, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 121 comments

Also relevant, “The CIA’s Secret History of Psychological Torture.”


> Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb found that he could induce a state akin to drug-induced hallucinations and psychosis in just 48 hours -- without drugs, hypnosis or electric shock. Instead, for two days student volunteers at McGill University simply sat in a comfortable cubicle deprived of sensory stimulation by goggles, gloves and earmuffs. "It scared the hell out of us," Hebb said later, "to see how completely dependent the mind is on a close connection with the ordinary sensory environment, and how disorganizing to be cut off from that support."

>During the 1950s, two neurologists at Cornell Medical Center, under CIA contract, found that the most devastating torture technique of the Soviet secret police, the KGB, was simply to force a victim to stand for days while the legs swelled, the skin erupted in suppurating lesions, and hallucinations began -- a procedure which we now politely refer to as "stress positions."

Still used today at Guantanamo bay.

And no one prosecuted for it, to date.

I'm an old-school fringe aficionado. I wish I could express to you how weird it feels that, first, MKUltra turned out to be real, and second, knowledge of it is going mainstream.

It is fucking fascinating watching y'all go through the psychic gyrations induce by confrontation with this knowledge. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Welcome to the flip side my friends. Pull up a lawn chair and pop some popcorn, everything you know is wrong, and things only get stranger from here on out. Just remember, if you see strange lights in the sky run like hell.

(Or just close the tab, click away, lower the curtain and forget the strange little man you saw, the Wizard of Oz is talking. He is so important and powerful you know.)

Please explain. Hurting our fellow human being by torturing them in different ways like 'stress positions' as discussed on around this article is pretty different than mystical space ships coming. Yes, the us gave lsd to people to see what would happen. It's terrible. Also the us kidnapped teenagers all of the world who were accused of being terrorists and tortured them in black prisons, on my behalf, and I hate that. So what is the next step you forsee happening know that more people know about this?

This used to be in the same category as bigfoot and UFOs, now it's written up in major media. For a lot of people that makes it harder to dismiss which leads to serious "cognitive dissonance". That's what I find fascinating to watch: society going through the process that I went through as an individual to come to terms with what happened.

If cognitive dissonance happens on a wide enough scale to enough people simultaneously all kinds of weird stuff can happen. As the mind recalculates and recalibrates belief systems new information has a chance to take hold. (E.g. the Reformation; or the founding of USA, there are more new religions in the US than the rest of the world combined.)



I have no idea what will happen from this particular revelation.

Sigh. Why do you mention religion? That is the largest disinformation of all to me. No matter which.

By that i don't even mean to disregard anything supernatural, spiritual, or whatever is above our current understanding of the ways in which nature works.

I just feel that any organized religion is a form of totalitarian gatekeeping.

Imagine for example some dystopic society where for whatever reason there is only one fast food provider with a limited menu available. While fruits and berries do exist outside of the walled ghettos, but nobody dares to go there, because FORBIDDEN.

That is what every religion, church, sect, cult is to me. Some asshole saying this is and countless drones repeating it for all eternity, which is not making it so, just an annoying loud drone instead.

Call it memetic pollution.

Ah my lad, come to Church


Suit yourself.

[1] I don't know what that is.

I wouldn't categorize this as being too similar to bigfoot and UFOs. There is a lot of strange things the government and society does at large that is similarly substantiated,but still ignored by society at large though (the human-cow embryo experiments performed in the UK come to mind when thinking about oddities in the world)

Operation Northwoods Gulf of tonkin Operation blue book The Lavon Affair Lisuitania The banning of hemp by paper manufacturers Pearl Harbour was planned Reichstag burning 9/11(2 planes, 4 buildings) Cecil Rhodes and his round table: steering world policy since 1895 Standard oil still exits and owns every strategic resource in the world.

Look all that shit up, and see if you will still defend your gorvenment.

Buy vintage newspapers or use primary sources not fucking snopes or Wikipedia

Whats wrong with wikipedia? I've heard of many of those events and checked out those things and there were entries for those things at wikipedia.

just because people passionately believe things doesn't make them true. there are 1000s of videos and clear evidence of planes hitting the buildings on 9/11 for example, plus 1000's of people saw it.

Johnson was trying to get the war in vietnam kicked off. People knew about it later and didn't care.

> everything you know is wrong

"MK Ultra is real therefore every other fringe conspiracy theory is too" feels like dubious logic to me, to say the least.

It is dubious logic and I'll thank you not to attribute it to me.

- - - -

The point of that phase is to shake up your beliefs to let in new information, not to let your brain fall out. In any event, there is much weirder stuff happening in the world than MKUltra. Like purple telepathic space dolphins.

You've been on too many candy-flipping trips in Laos. Get a grip.

Dude you don't know me. Be civil or fuck off.

Purple telepathic space dolphins?? Can you elaborate?


Relatively benign non-physical "aliens" that have teamed up with this guy to ... I don't know what. They're fun and they help people learn to heal themselves and others and they don't seem to be trying to start a cult or anything crummy like that.

I attended one of his seminars and it was worthwhile IMO but it was a mixture of profound stuff and total bullshit (again, IMO.) One way to describe it would be "New Age faith healing" but that's not quite right.

FWIW, I did see them (or at least hallucinate them) and they do look like purple dolphins. In re: telepathy, everything is telepathic (including you, you are pretending not to know it for the sake of the show.)

When you say “going” mainstream... it’s been in popular fiction for at least decades (e.g. The X Files in the 90s).

Exactly. It was in "X-Files" and now it's in the Wikipedia.

The epistemological status has changed in the last couple of decades. I'm hardly in touch with the mainstream zeitgeist but is seems very recent to me.

Uh, there's been an MKUltra entry on Wikipedia since 2002: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Project_MKUltra&o...

"Project MKUltra was first brought to public attention in 1975" - the OP. A NYTimes article from 1977[0] talks about mind control, LSD experiments, covert partnerships with doctors, secret funding, etc. A contemporary source from Wikipedia uses the name MKUltra. What information emerged since 1977?

Are you just saying many more people know about it now, even though it's been public for decades? (Maybe this is because of X-Files etc.) Were you around in the 60's when perhaps there were rumors but no public confirmation?

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/1977/08/02/archives/private-institut...

> Are you just saying many more people know about it now, even though it's been public for decades?

Pretty much. I wasn't around in the 60's or 70's so I can't really tell you what reaction was like then but by the mid-90's if you talked about it you were a "tinfoil hat" wearer.

I talked about it in the 90s and the only tin foil hat accusations were against those who used it as a jumping board for fantasizing about conspiracy theories. It’s the same with any juicy fact involving the government - there’s a core of truth which is widely accepted, surrounded by a halo of speculation generated by people who want to believe they are party to secret knowledge.

> I talked about it in the 90s and the only tin foil hat accusations ...

To whom? Where? I sure as hell never met anybody who was willing to discuss it.

> It’s the same with any juicy fact involving the government

What is it" in that sentence? MKUltra?

> there’s a core of truth which is widely accepted, surrounded by a halo of speculation generated by people who want to believe they are party to secret knowledge.

Would you say that statement characterizes the situation around MKUltra?

I learned about it 10 years ago (while I was in university) in a Stuff You Should Know episode, which is a pretty popular/mainstream podcast.

I first learned of mkultra in the novel Charlie, in 1990.

As a seasoned traveler, any advice for how to navigate in the strange new world?

Well, as the Cat said to Alice...

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.

Alice: I don't much care where.

Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.

Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.

Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

Where do you want to navigate to?

Terrifying stuff including torture with psychedelics, and attempts at “mind control”

>In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy at thirty to forty times the normal power. His "driving" experiments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced comas for weeks at a time (up to three months in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements. His experiments were often carried on patients who entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression, many of whom suffered permanent effects from his actions.

Was this person put on trial for those crimes?

you must be joking, what crimes? /s

they probably payed him a big bonus and set about incorporating his results into standarized procedures to be used against "enemies of the state"

he apparently served as president for several Psychiatric Associations.. yikes

There is no mention of it on his Wikipedia page, he died 1967 while mountain climbing. Only later people would be aware of Project MKUltra.

> Ted Kaczynski, a domestic terrorist known as the Unabomber, was said to be a subject of a voluntary psychological study alleged by some sources to have been a part of MKUltra.[95][96][97] As a sophomore at Harvard, Kaczynski participated in a study described by author Alton Chase as a "purposely brutalizing psychological experiment", led by Harvard psychologist Henry Murray.[98][99] In total, Kaczynski spent 200 hours as part of the study.[100]

Ted Kaczynski himself said[1] it wasn’t a big deal:

> Actually there was only one unpleasant experience in the Murray study; it lasted about half an hour and could not reasonably have been described as “traumatic.” Mostly the study consisted of interviews and filling out pencil-and-paper personality tests. The CIA was not involved.

> About 15 or 20 years ago a TV journalist named Chris Vlasto … looked up some of the other participants in the study and found that nothing had happened that was worth reporting in the media…

[1] https://www.wildwill.net/blog/2019/10/01/henry-murray-psycho...

I teach about Ted Kaczynski in my course at Sciences-Po in Paris. Do you have more info on that? I'll guess I'll find out easily by myself, but if you like the topic you might have good clues about where to go.

You'll have to sort through some chaff, but most of the most compelling evidence can almost surely be found here:



I think it's a cosmic shame most people seem unable to consider conspiracy theories ("It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it"), especially since most everyone seems to believe in many conspiracies, the only difference being they're covered in the MSM rather than discussed in online forums. I imagine this is due to conditioning to some degree, so I guess one shouldn't cast too much blame.

Just follow the articles referenced in the wikipedia articles. When I had read about it, I concluded the claims were credible but unproven. I consider it likely true. I am interested if you find out more about it.

Au cas où tu as pas vu ce commentaire d'un autre utilisateur, Ted Kaczynski lui-même répond à ces théories: https://i2.wp.com/www.wildwill.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/1...

Il dit qu'il a bien participé à ces études, mais que c'était juste des questionnaires et une demi-heure déplaisante (d'abus psychologique apparemment). Pas de LSD on dirait.

Relevant stuff:

How a deadly fall revealed CIA secrets


1951 Pont-Saint-Esprit mass poisoning - Wikipedia


'Poisoner In Chief' Details The CIA's Secret Quest For Mind Control : NPR


Such a disgraceful project and I’m sure we only know the half of it.

I recently heard a good long form interview with an author who spent 20 years studying Charles Manson’s connection to this program. It’s pretty shocking:


It's also worth watching Wormwood [0], where Eric Olson investigates the death of his father, Frank Olson.

[0] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7306056/

It makes me wonder what projects are happening now, or recently that are not yet known.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S051A8doXP0 (mind control)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m6dldvNECI (heart attack gun)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVF8YGFcJWU (electronic weapons)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT9-Z_p84b0 (active denial system)

it's not hard to find out since it's all public domain. the discovery is a trivial search away, and there are a lot of threads you can start pulling on which eventually leads to to books written by pseudo-credible people with some alphabet intelligence agency background.

here's the catch, verification is nearly impossible. what is a prototype, what is in production, what is just a rough sketch idea of something that was never implemented, what is wild fantasy. in the game of secrecy and asymmetric information, it pays to be deceptive and ambiguous. to the point most of the people publicly discussing these topics are they themselves compromised and largely act as misdirection.

you are not need to know.

> here's the catch, verification is nearly impossible. what is a prototype, what is in production, what is just a rough sketch idea of something that was never implemented, what is wild fantasy.

100% agree.

I learned this as well. For example, if you search the U.S. Patent system, you can find a lot of crazy things, because the patent office never actually verifies them! One example is a mind control patent by displaying a certain images using Visual Basic, making the CRT to emit electromagnetic waves at specific frequencies. It even has some code! Nobody cannot tell if it's just a work by a fantasist engineer, or the surface of a deeper real project. I bet my specific example is the former one. I also believe the remote mind control stuff is bullshit.

But nobody can differentiate every single thing in general. We cannot tell.

This process also effectively makes conspiracy theorists be able to claim they're always correct: If you try to interpret all actions by the governments to be huge conspiracies, naturally, many of your predictions will be true! Unfortunately, things like the shape of the Earth or vaccines will be victims as well.

I think this is a very effective strategy by the governments in an information age with relatively free flow of information: You don't need to censor anything, you simply misdirects all, to the point that the SNR is so low that almost no one can decode the real signal successfully.

All patents are screened by the military. If it has any chance of being real, it's theirs and doesn't go public and author gets shafted.

The english page of this article barely mentions experimentations on children. Other languages highlight sexual abuses and drug based experiments as part of sub-projects number 102, 103, 112 and 117. Apparently International Children Summer Camp was part of the project and were provided the children.


What's sickening is that they've been getting away with this and worse for a long, long time; despite all sorts of evidence leaking of acts that are so insanely inhuman and twisted it's pretty damn obvious where the path ultimately leads.

The US imported all real psychos from Nazi Germany as part of operation Paperclip and let them loose on the local population to test their insane ideas about how to break and bend innocent people to whatever purpose using trauma.

Paperclip is also supposedly where the missing pieces for the nuclear bomb came from, which explains the sudden need to blow Japan into little pieces before the war was officially over.

These people are clearly insane, and will eventually have their power taken away and be tried for their crimes; or burned at stakes and torn into pieces by angry mobs, depending on how much forgiveness we're capable of collectively.

Too late. There is no "enemy" to lynch or forgive because most of the individuals responsible for such abuses are long dead. Their legacy has now subtly ingrained itself into the edifice of Western culture, our norms and institutions. (Now _that_ is really scary stuff. Like "ubiquitous totalitarian death cults, complete with loyal oposition" level of scary, at least if you have an aversion to cognitive dissonance and want your culture and ethics to make sense anyway, only we call it business as usual. Either way, it's disheartening to realize how humanity can ruin things sometimes.)

Agreed, this so called society is rotten to the core. Even our official history admits several incidences of the same scenario. Once all possibilities have been explored, the corrupt end result dies in no time; since there is no substance left holding it together.

I'm not after revenge, it just leads back to square 1. But I have an idea how far out the truth will appear to most once fully revealed, and I don't claim to know half of it myself. Truth always finds a way. The natural tendency then is to find someone to project your pain on, someone to hang for it.


Interview with Chris Morris on his new movie exposing the malfeasance of the FBI.


For those interested in parapsychology check out Dean Radin's talk on whats new since the 70s - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUw9kT19EVc

Thank you for sharing!

If you look at the various testimonies of MK Ultra victims now surfacing, it's clear that the program is ongoing.

Yes. People assume that since it was reported on, it was shut down, but there was never any evidence of that. The principals got promotions on schedule, and retired with pensions.

Jon Ronson's "Men Who Stare at Goats" is an exploration of the recent state of the program, terrifying if read carefully. Certain of the principals retired very, very wealthy. How they got that way is not revealed, but access to damaging secrets is not hard to convert into wealth.

That so many people today believe that it was all about ESP experiments is evidence of its success, because it included tests conducted against the public.

We may reasonably infer that its success led to its regular deployment. Public approval of the Iraq invasion, despite proof before the event that it was unjustified, may be counted as evidence of its continued misuse. Public acceptance of universal surveillance, post-Snowden, might qualify.

This is unreal. It feels like something out of the Marvel universe.

Freight train! But yeah, I usually tell people, MK Ultra is legit just cause tinfoil people talk about it doesnt make it made up. The question to the person interested is how much was proven?

It always interests me how we discount the ideas of “tinfoil” people because they are “tinfoil” people.

If we take some radical examples, Snowden proved what we all assumed was possible- if you had said what he proved then people would have assumed you were a tinfoil hatter.

And how many times was Stallman proved correct? Even I considered him too much, but he’s also often right.

Maybe someone can help me because the exact details seem to escape me... but I remember hearing a story about a man that stumbled upon a secret government signal and he reported it thinking that it might be Russian spies. Well the government basically misled him into thinking it was an alien signal for years. The guy never could believe the truth even after his handlers told him that it was all lies.

Sometimes crazy is just crazy; other times it is nurtured along. Intelligence ops use this as a tool for sure.

Mirage Men.

we generally discount the ideas of "tinfoil" people because their ideas have a very low signal-to-noise ratio. if you say all kinds of crazy stuff, some of it will eventually be true. this doesn't make it a good idea to conduct your life as if these claims were true. you'll be prepared for the small number of conspiracy theories that turn out to be true, but you'll likely incur a far larger cost by avoiding all sorts of threats that aren't actually real. maybe there's a guy outside waiting to kill me when I go out to lunch. it's possible, but it's much more likely that I'll die of starvation if I avoid him by never going outside.

when it comes to the government in particular, if it's possible to do X and it's possible to keep X secret, they're probably already doing it. if X is relevant to you, you should certainly take it into account regarding your threat model, but you should probably mitigate known risks first.

> you'll be prepared for the small number of conspiracy theories that turn out to be true, but you'll likely incur a far larger cost by avoiding all sorts of threats that aren't actually real.

This seems like a false dichotomy....it is possible (well, for some people at least, or at least in theory) to consider conspiracy theories using disciplined reasoning, perhaps assigning a "likelihood score" to each one.

I believe that by society avoiding them altogether, and their oddly visceral (natural, or conditioned?) reaction of disgust to them when they do encounter them, it allows those who are conducting covert operations of any kind a very great degree of latitude. I mean, look at how long a subset of society knew about Epstein, and even once it does accidentally burst into the mainstream, poof it's forgotten, even though it involves the sexual abuse of children, one of societies most emotional traumatizing topics. There's a lot of very interesting human psychology involved here.

> This seems like a false dichotomy....it is possible (well, for some people at least, or at least in theory) to consider conspiracy theories using disciplined reasoning, perhaps assigning a "likelihood score" to each one.

the problem is that most conspiracy theories are internally consistent; they tie up a lot of loose ends if you're willing to assume a couple wild premises. the flat earth conspiracy is plausible if you're willing to believe that every astronaut, airline pilot, and everyone else in a position to verify the curvature of the earth is in on it. to me the unreasonable premises are what make a theory have the "tinfoil" quality. the idea that there's an international ring of powerful child sex traffickers is plausible; the idea that a specific person is involved is not as plausible until you have more evidence than a bunch of emails about pizza.

Rather unexpectedly, the President of South Korea was removed from office after evidence came forward that she was the puppet of a cult.

No one knows what the aims of the cult was, or how many people said nothing about it.

It is almost as if for the halls of power a different set of laws of physics applies...

> the problem is that most conspiracy theories are internally consistent; they tie up a lot of loose ends if you're willing to assume a couple wild premises

Internally consistent with uncertain if not delusional beliefs. This isn't insurmountable for all people, but I believe it is possible for a much larger proportion of the general public than is currently the case, with the right sort of education (logic, epistemology) of course.

> if you're willing to believe that every astronaut, airline pilot, and everyone else in a position to verify the curvature of the earth is in on it

Among many other things. This is a prime example of unnecessarily delusional thinking, I would say in part because the only place unrestricted group thinking actually takes place is within the conspiracy sphere, which is likely vastly over-represented by delusional people.

> to me the unreasonable premises are what make a theory have the "tinfoil" quality

To you, a poster on HN and therefore most likely a highly logical person. But can the same be said of the general public, who rarely exercise their logical capabilities, and whose mental model of reality is largely shaped by what they consume in mass media? And, is your assessment based on the ridiculous and often (but not always) misrepresented conspiracy theories that float into the mainstream, or is it based on a significant history of immersion in the culture? The difference matters.

> the idea that there's an international ring of powerful child sex traffickers is plausible; the idea that a specific person is involved is not as plausible until you have more evidence than a bunch of emails about pizza.

Might "a bunch of emails about pizza" be a good example of a conspiracy theory that was misrepresented?

Do you have any theories why there's so little media interest and outrage/suspicion in the general public about the Epstein affair, particularly considering there's plentiful evidence that protecting children, particularly when it comes to sexual matters, seems so effective at inflaming public emotions? And yet, when a case arises where there's plenty of smoke (although, very little of it that actually made it onto TV, which seems odd in itself), the result is little more than a collective yawn.

I think this situation is very interesting on many different levels.

Consider the possibility it's not supposed to convince you earth is flat, yet you are the target audiance.


sure, it's entirely possible that bad actors are deliberately poisoning the well. I don't discount this. it's like frequency jamming though; even if you know the enemy is jamming your comms, you still can't pickup the actual signal if it's below the noise floor.

True, but jamming wouldnt be necessary.

Confirmation bias hacks work by preventing the target from even looking for the signal. Or worse.

This seems not only perfectly plausible, but quite likely.

This is identity politics and tribalism in it's most basic form. Rationality and individual thinking being pushed to the margins, lest you be labeled a "tinfoil" person and become a social outcast as well.

On the other hand, just because MKUltra existed, it doesn't follow that it was successful and that the CIA can control your mind through your television and through chemicals in the food and water supply. Yet "tinfoil" people assume the latter from the former almost universally.

Let's not abandon the premise that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof in favor of assuming that any conspiracy theory, however outlandish, should be assumed correct simply because some conspiracies have been proven to exist in the past. People don't doubt "tinfoil hat people" because of who they are, but because they don't care to present evidence to back up their claims, or accept evidence to the contrary.

But let’s take the original premise: the US government wanted a means of controlling how people thought.

Do you believe they abandoned that pursuit after a failed experiment 50 years ago? Do you believe they abandoned it forever?

Whenever I see stuff like


I think of

> If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?

-- George Orwell

Similar for "brain/machine interface to help paralyzed people", to be perfectly blunt. I don't mean it's all just a cute narrative to get the tech going, but the thought that the same centers of power and wealth, that have no problem bombing people so they're dead or paralyzed or whatever_we_dont_actually_care_besides_PR_fallout, might truly care about helping the paralyzed... I can't buy that, or anything like it.

Most individual researchers, all but very few, have benign intentions and awesome aspirations, I'm sure, but overall, reading and writing the mind is just too temping to not override all the nice words and hopes when it gets within reach and push comes to shove.

I'd say it's a very old desire, which simply hasn't let up. It's not restricted to the US governments or governments in general either, any small cult does it, every abuser in a relationship does, in a low-tech way.

>Do you believe they abandoned that pursuit after a failed experiment 50 years ago?

I believe direct mind control of that sort is infeasible, certainly likely impossible at the scale of entire populations, so I do believe they abandoned that specific pursuit after discovering that the human brain and LSD didn't work the way they hoped. The government also looked into remote viewing and psychic assassinations, but I don't believe they just kept on trying that either.

>Do you believe they abandoned it forever?

The goal? Probably not. The means? Probably. I believe it's more effective in modern society to influence people through disinformation campaigns and popular culture, particularly though social media, than attempt to control them like puppets by secretly dosing them with LSD and barbiturates.

> I believe it's more effective in modern society to influence people through disinformation campaigns and popular culture, particularly though social media, than attempt to control them like puppets by secretly dosing them with LSD and barbiturates.

I agree. What's interesting about LSD though is that it can provide extremely useful insight into the underlying nature of beliefs, or how an individual came to believe certain things, or why they feel a certain way. Knowing more of these details seems like it would be extremely useful in the development of propaganda campaigns.

Indeed, Guantanamo victims do not report drug use.

But the widespread, in some cases (Ted Koppel, Tom Friedman) rabid support for the Iraq debacle is prima facie evidence for its continued use.

either way, does it change how you live your life? do you monitor the people you know for signs of mind control? do you start an activist movement to stop something you're not sure exists?

The Church committee hearing documented a lot of this stuff so it is proven in that sense. Another question is whether these techniques actually work in the sense that you can hypnotise someone to commit a murder using lsd or something. Probably not is my guess.

Very evidently you can hypnotise the public to support mass murder, using the techniques they finally evolved. It has worked again and again, most prominently in driving support for invading Iraq.

As it was taught in other places in the world, we may guess that ISIS, FARC, and other movements learned to apply the methods for their own purposes. Anywhere you find ordinary people committing extreme atrocities, there are its (or its Soviet or Chinese counterparts') fingerprints.

I believe that is done using old-fashioned lies and bullshit ... not LSD.

LSD was a method tried, under the program, that failed. The program moved on to more effective methods.

So people were more opposed to mass-murder before the 1950s?

Before the 90s. Yes.

Which is why we're taking our sweet time accepting it.

This is pretty much our world in a nutshell. Wherever you start digging you run into the same level of insanity, abuse and lies to gain more power using whatever means possible.

This is why nationalism / patriotism is so destructive (edit: in blinding us to the possibility). We are all humans no matter where we live. Humans, in aggregate, have repeatedly over the years committed atrocities. And we will again, unless actively prevented. Being 'the best country in the world' (which ever one) is irrelevant.

Then again tribal exceptionalism is in our nature too.

I'm still troubled by the memory of a well educated intelligent American refuse to believe that the US uses torture when the Guantanamo revelations came to light.

What does this have to do specifically with nationalism? A globalist government could conceivably do the same things.

Specifically the belief that "my country would never do that". It's crucial to be able to believe that it can happen.

That seems like a very minor connection to nationalism. Also, lots of other political ideologies put a similar amount of faith in their government. I don't see a reason to single out nationalism at all beyond maybe pushing your agenda. The real lesson to be learned from this is not that nationalism is bad but that people should not trust their governments.

Who cares what the precise political ideology is? It's the same human characteristic.

You, apparently, because you specifically pointed out nationalism and even gave a justification as to why.

Go ask about MKUltra on /pol/ (which is full of far-right uber-nationalists) and you will get mountains upon mountains of information on MKUltra.

Now go ask the same question on r/politics (which is prominently made of up leftists) and you will probably be called a conspiracy theorist and no one will converse with you.

I think the real world is the opposite of your world-view.

I can only speak from my perspective. The only people I see saying "the government would never torture" are those with a strong patriotic streak and desire to put tribal affiliation beyond humanitarian concerns.

And I don't think that 4chan or reddit really correspond with society as a whole, at least this side of the duck pond.

One also needs to look some of the experiments in terms of LSD. In the 60s an 70s, psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, were believed to have mind-changing power, both the counter-culture activists and the CIA establishment were experimenting with the drugs, the former group wants to use it as a tool to look beyond "The Matrix" and authority, and a gateway to a new spiritual world. While the establishment were trying to use it as a tool for psychological manipulation.

A good book that cover the history is Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: the CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain. If you want to learn more about LSD and computer culture, read What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff.

The history was quite interesting. For example, Kary Mullis claimed his discovery of PCR was inspirited by LSD, Whitfield Diffie is said to be active in the anti-war movement and knew about LSD, Dan Ingalls jokingly implied some features in Smalltalk were inspirited by LSD when journalists asked. Later, the psychedelic subculture was appropriated, commercialized, mainstreamed, losing the original countercultural context and message ("The early years of the 1970s saw advertisers using psychedelic art to sell a limitless array of consumer goods. Hair products, cars, cigarettes, and even pantyhose became colorful acts of pseudo-rebellion"), slowly disintegrated it, also, and the drugs didn't show such great power as previously promised, finally government had banned drugs as well.

Later, the personal computing in the mid-70s was literally seen as the new LSD, but this time not by chemistry, but by networks, building the cyberspace, a civilization of mind.

Now we see the history repeats again, full cycle. The advertisers and companies use it to make big money and push for pseudo-rebellions. Technically, the potential of Internet as a force of liberation is correct, but too overrated. Politically, the establishment like the NSA and CIA are trying to use it as a tool for psychological manipulation, and calls for more regulations (especially the anti-Fake News measures, the intention is good, but its implementation can be dangerous if the system is abused).

I believe the next failed revolution will be biohacking and transhumanism.

I recommend the Netflix series Wormwood, a documentary about Frank Olson, a CIA agent who was "suicided" when he learned what the CIA was doing with MK Ultra, and started expressing his discomfort about it.

Timothy Leary was in on it too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32TU6yLwqrg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3i4ALdMSt0

Wiki section about their unethical experiments on people:


Makes me think that where there's a well funded covert organization (CIA) operating in a climate of fear (cold war), the sociopaths and psychopaths therein can easily rise to the top. :(

"But the Russians were doing it and might use it against us in war!"

I think projects like this are the logical outcome of a society or entities which constantly look forward to the next war instead of seeking to spread peace through cooperation. It's also a statement of trying to win a war through subterfuge instead of straight-up defeating your enemy in combat should it come to that. Either way, I think it reeks of pusillanimity.

> Either way, I think it reeks of pusillanimity.

It does, but "courage" is something you tell your troops they should have, to get them to kill and die for you. Tactics and strategy are all about cheating and seeking unfair advantage as much as possible (manipulating your own troops with tales of courage is such cheating too).

Telling troops that they must be courageous is fairly obvious and transparent, I find it much more interesting how the impression of primarily seeking cooperation is communicated to the general public, while what's going on behind the scenes is often (but not always) counter to that....and how effective it is, to the degree that the very same people who advocate cooperation passionately refuse to recognize counter behavior when it is pointed out to them. An example I would give is the "diplomatic" actions of the US with countries along the Russian border.

War profiteers make money not by looting enemy cities, stealing their land, and selling their women into slavery, but from their own government spending.

Indeed, numerous US billionaires have made their fortunes that way, and are now out of reach of prosecution.

  War is Peace
  Freedom is Slavery
  Ignorance is Strength

It is not pusillanimity. If you are the lone society that tries to cooperate and spread peace you will be eaten out. It is rational and logical behaviour to survive.

"If you are the lone society that tries to cooperate and spread peace you will be eaten out."

Of which society do you speak of? The US?

Any of them.

If your goal is ideal world you must for a while be non-ideal to survive until you reach closer and closer to that ideal state. Which I would say we are doing currently.

Are we even moving closer to an ideal state? Lots of people make that claim but I think many that do have reason to defend the status quo even though many people today suffer from the status quo.

Isn’t this exactly the rationale used by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot to commit mass genocide in the name of a more ‘ideal’ future state?

Just because some type of reasoning was used in order to justify something bad happening does not mean the reasoning itself is bad or wrong. If your goal is an ideal peaceful world you might have to be patient in order to reach it and take some non-ideal steps to have any chances at all reaching it.

And this is how fascism spreads. Thanks EstoniaTechLead for trying to seduce people into giving up their morality.

These are bad actions but for "the greater good"? You don't get to have it both ways. Protecting yourself without torturing people is 100% feasible and your argument should only be heard in a war crimes tribunal from the defendant'a lawyer to ease their sentence.

Morality isn't hard, but the implementation can be.

I deleted my previous comment, that assumed you reasoning is devoid of ethics. I don't know what "ideal world" or "non-ideal steps" you were implying, so I won't get into that. However, I can't stress enough how dangerous your line of thinking is. "The end justifies the means" is the poster-child for how tyrants justify atrocities.

You're correct but these examples mean extreme caution and mistrust are warranted against anybody advocating any such steps.

This is not an either/or decision. You need to simultaneously prepare for war while pushing diplomacy as far you can take it. The carrot does not work without the stick and the stick shouldn't be used without trying the carrot first.

Sadly, diplomacy can only go so far, and some actors will require being neutralized to solve to problem (see Hitler).

I think the classic example of this is the UK in World War II. They honestly did everything they could to prevent WWII with Hitler including making concessions they probably shouldn't have in the diplomacy phase before resigning themselves that they would have to kill him to solve the problem.

Hitler had strong support at top levels in the UK government, as in the US government. They did not consider him a problem, but a solution. It took a long time for enough of those people to be overcome before anything concrete could be done, and by then the fire was raging.

We are in the same condition today, vis-a-vis worldwide fascism, with (e.g.) an advocate in the US White House, aligned with counterparts in, e.g., Russia, India, Brazil, Philippines, Hungary, Turkey, and Israel.

Check out the movies - The Manchurian Candidate and The Game.

And "The Men Who Stare at Goats": https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234548/

Hey look an influence operation.

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