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Cryptonym: MKULTRA

Definition:
MKULTRA was the principal CIA program involving the research and development of chemical, biological and radiological materials capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

Project MKULTRA, The CIA's Program of Research in Behavioral Modification - Joint Hearing before the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research Current Section: Appendix A: XVII.Testing and Use of Chemical and Biological Agents by the Intelligence Community, p. 389.

MKULTRA was the principal CIA program involving the research and development of chemical, biological and radiological materials "capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior". This program was proposed by Richard Helms in 1953, and it continued until 1963. On Helms' orders, most of the records were destroyed in 1973.

104-10146-10294: DOCUMENTS

5/17/78: "I have reviewed the recently-discovered documents on Project ZRALERT, concerning exploration and experimentation by the CI staff of the use of hypnotism in certain operational situations...the Agency's interest in hypnotism was alluded to by the Director in his MKULTRA statement before Congress, and references to experiments in this field have appeared in numerous MKULTRA documents...the events described in these (ZRALERT) documents took place in the summer of 1963, a period in the life of the Mexico City Station which is of intense interest to the HSCA."

Exhibit G to Petitioner's Reply Brief - Declaration of Alan W. Scheflin, 20 Nov 2011

In 1953, "Dulles issued a memorandum authorizing what was called MKULTRA, which included 149 sub-projects exploring different aspects of how to control a person's mind and behavior...the CIA utilized unwitting citizens in the United States and abroad..." Of the 149 sub-projects, nine directly involved hypnosis. All documentation and records were ordered destroyed by Richard Helms. Only a few thousand pages, mostly financial records, survived. One set of records had in 1954 the CIA's ARTICHOKE team examining the feasibility of an "attempted assassination against a prominent (redacted) politician or if necessary, against an American official."

Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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