Saturday, June 29, 2019

Behind Closed Doors of Perception: The Use of Psychoactive Substances in Canadian Defence During the 1950's

science research Medicine mental illness drugs fascism CIA Canada cold war LSD MKULTRA psychiatry

During the cold war era of the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Canada’s Defence Research Board (DRB) raced to develop new innovations in mind control. In the 1970s the DRB and CIA’s use of LSD on unknowing humans was publicly released. Alleged victims rarely had documentation to support their claims, records were extremely difficult to obtain and agencies argued how patients being treated for mental illness could be trusted as a reliable source of information. Despite trying to cover up LSD experimentation, and establishing a long line of red tape to defuse legal liability of Canadian United States (U.S.) intelligence communities, both countries handed-out millions of dollars in settlements twenty years later. This essay will not only illustrate why the CIA chose to fund medical experiments on Canadians on Canadian soil, but will also explain how and why the DRB allowed the American security agencies to conduct mind control experiments in Canada. Dr. Cameron started off as someone who was probably one of the most enlightened psychiatrists in Canada but during the Cold War he was recruited by the CIA to conduct mind-control experiments using D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Following World War II, Dr. Ewen Cameron practiced psychiatry at Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal where patients were brutalized and maimed with drugs, shocks and lobotomies as Cameron sought a means to “depattern” and “re-program” the human mind. Some patients were given LSD every two days. Then, during a long sleep, the patient would a be forced to listen to subliminal messages that were supposed to print new, sometimes bizarre, thoughts on his blank mind. According to one of Cameron’s victims, Robert Loguey, the speaker behind his pillow rang out “you killed your mother, you killed your mother.” In 2004, out of the hundreds of patients that received this treatment, only seventy seven have received compensation from the Canadian government. This type of experimental treatment may have been acceptable during the 1950s due to neglect and a manifestation that science could cure all of society’s social ills. The scientific revolution of the twentieth century paved the way for technology and science to replace religion. Even so, why were Canadian government officials allowing these experiments to happen?  (more...)

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