By Armen Victorian

July 1996  source: http://www.elfis.net/elfol0/mkconsp/mkuscan.txt 


DEDICATION: I dedicate this writing to those innocent victims who have
suffered from physical, mental abuse and torture inflicted upon their mind
and bodies by the state irrespective of the colour of the flag. To the
courageous individuals for telling the world about their torment. And the
institutions that stood by their side and fought for their human rights.
Rights, which are still violated by states under the disguise of their
national security acts. No amount of compensation would be sufficient for
raping or killing the mind.

The notorious Moscow trials of 1937 during Stalin's regime and
the speed with which the defendants confessed to crimes
against the state in the People's Court, and in particular
Cardinal Mindszently of Hungary, surprised the governments of
the western world. "Characteristics and manner of the
defendants, and formulation and delivery of the confessions,
have been so similar in large number of cases as to suggest
factitious origin."[1] The evident incongruities prompted the
CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) in 1949 to
undertake an "analysis of foreign work in certain
unconventional warfare techniques, including behavioral
drugs, with an initial objective of developing a capability to
resist or offset the effects of behavioral drugs. Preliminary
phases included to review drug-related work at institutions
such as Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Illinois,
University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Valley Forge
General Hospital, Detroit Psychopathic Clinic, Mayo Clinic and
National Institute of Health (NIH). There was also extensive
review of foreign literature, particularly work in the Soviet
Bloc. This program shortly became Project BLUEBIRD, with the
objectives of (a) discovering means of conditioning
personnel to prevent unauthorized extraction of information
from them by known means, (b) investigating the possibility of
obtaining control of an individual by application of special
interrogation techniques, © memory enhancement, and (d)
establishing defensive means for preventing hostile control of
Agency personnel."[2]

This was evolved to become the blueprint and bible of mind control
programmes and psychological operations adopted by the west for decades
afterwards. The result of the Korean War which started in June 1950, almost
a year after the beginning of Project BLUEBIRD, and the return of POWs
encouraged western intelligence to delve even further into their mind
control programmes.

On June 1st, 1951, in the course of a top secret meeting
held in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal, Canada, Britain
and Canada joined forces with the Central Intelligence Agency
to "Research into the general phenomena indicated by such
terms as "confessions," "menticide," "intervention in the
individual mind," together with methods concerned in
psychological coercion, change of opinions and attitudes,

The participants that represented senior and renown ranks from the military,
intelligence and scientific communities were:

Dr. Haskins, Dr. Donald Hebb (a Defence Research Board
University Advisor - Canada), Dr. Ormond Solandt (Chairman,
Defence Research Board - Canada), Dancy (MI6), Dr. N.W. Morton
(A staff member of Defence Research Board - Canada), Tyhurst,
Commander Williams, and Sir Henry Tizard (Chairman, Advisory
Council on Scientific Policy and Defence Research Policy
Committee, Ministry of Defence, Britain).[4]

This was the beginning of a close cooperation which lasted throughout the

Whilst accidental survival of some of the records on these
programmes and in particular MKULTRA establishes the
documentary evidence about Canadian government's involvement
in MKULTRA programmes, the information on Britain's
participation or cooperation due to continuous British
Government's policy of secrecy remains sketchy.[5, and 6]
"At the opening of the discussion, there was an attempt to lay out some of
the particular interests with which this group might concern itself in
reference to the general problem described above [confessions, menticide,
intervention in the individual mind - sic]. In this regard, the following
points were noted:

"(i) That the concern with change of opinion was with reference to
individuals primarily, and to groups only insofar as the change of public
opinion as a whole or propaganda might involve concepts and particular facts
that led to increased phenomena of conversion of attitude.

"(ii) The question of permanence of change of attitude induced.

"(iii) The means of methods; physical, neurophysiological,
psychological or other that might be used to induce change
of opinion or conversion of attitude in the individual."[7]

Within the space of three months after this top secret meeting
"in August 1951 Project BLUEBIRD was renamed Project
ARTICHOKE, [and] in 1952 was transferred from OSI to the
predecessor organization of the Office of Security. OSI did
retain a responsibility for evaluation of foreign
intelligence aspects of the matter and in 1953 made a proposal
that experiments be made in testing LSD with Agency
volunteers." "Meanwhile, the emphasis given ARTICHOKE in the
predecessor organization to the Office of Security became that
of use of material such as sodium pentothel in connection with
interrogation techniques and with polygraph."[8]

In an attempt to conduct "Experimental Studies of Attitude
Changes in Individuals," Sir Henry Tizard, Dr. Ormond Solandt
and the CIA granted contract X-38 to Dr. Donald O. Hebb from
the McGill University in September 1951.[9]

The project focused on the use of Sensory Deprivation (SD) and isolation for
eliciting information in the course of deep interrogation. Hebb believed
that sensory deprivation would induce dramatic changes in the behaviour and
attitude. The first "subjects used were student group and each was paid $20
per day (24 hours) for as long as he could continue with the
experiment."[10] The experimental conditions and environment for the
volunteer students in comparison to the real victims of SD were markedly
different. Volunteers were provided with an air conditioned room,
comfortable bed and good food during the period of the experiments, as well
as a panic button to use whenever they decided to terminate the experiment.
They wore translucent goggles, forcing them see blurred light. "The subject
was not to talk except when asking to hear the recorded propaganda or when
doing minor tests given to him by the experimenter. In other words the
subject was in perpetual isolation."[11] The volunteers were not subjected
to any propaganda material which would have had adverse effects on their
political or religious beliefs, "it was thought unwise, and for the
protection of the individual only propaganda material used concerning such
relatively innocuous topics as ghosts, poltergeist, extrasensory perception
and the Lamarckian theory of evolution."[12] Despite the concessionary
factors several of the volunteers began to have experiences of unusual
visual and auditory hallucinations. Many found themselves unable to
distinguish between the waking and sleep stage. Another person whose work
result was taken into consideration was Dr. Mackworth of the Applied
Psychology Unit of the Medical Research Council at Cambridge, England. He
had produced work on the effect of monotony and boredom during isolation
period on individual.

The fact of existence of similar programmes on the sensory
deprivation and isolation, and the cooperation between the
three countries is further confirmed by Dr. Solandt's comments
that the fact that Canadians were making such contribution in
this field may be of some advantage in obtaining information
in the same field from the US and the UK.[13]

"Hebb's research to date has given some indication that
significant changes in attitude can be brought about by use
of propaganda under condition of isolation. In addition,
[Hebb] has shown that there is a significant decrease in
intellectual efficiency under such conditions, and a marked
increase in susceptibility to hallucination."[14]

When the information concerning the SD tests were leaked
out and published in the Montreal Star, the Gazette and
Toronto Star, in 1954. Dr. Solandt tried his best to conceal
the facts; "When earlier this month it became evident that
some information on this project was in the hands of the
Press, it was decided that while it would be injudicious to
reveal the original purpose of the project, it would be
equally unwise to refuse to give any information at all. A
compromise was therefore arranged whereby the project was
described, but entirely from the point of view of possible
implications for civilian or military operational situations
in which a display had to be watched, a moving vehicle
controlled etc."[15]

Due to Donald Hebb's contribution to mind control programmes, the CIA
afterward funded Ewen Cameron's Psychic Drive Project through MKULTRA
Subproject 68. At the time Hebb was the head of McGill's Psychology
Department, and a close friend and colleague of Cameron. Cameron's work in
the "Psychic Drive" programme left behind a legacy of despair and numerous
victims which sued both the Canadian Government and the CIA years later.

Dr. John C. Lilly, another psychologist, studied sensory deprivation in 1956
by immersing volunteers in a tank of lukewarm water. The subjects had to
wear particular type of face mask enabling them to see only blurred light.
Under total silence and lack of any stimulation the subjects were unable to
concentrate, and in some cases developed mental disturbances. The maximum
time a volunteer could tolerate these conditions was only three hours. The
volunteers reported feelings of unreality and tremendous loss of

They did not know where they were, or who they were, or what
was happening to them. Due to this enormous mental pressure
most of them abandoned the experiment.[16]

The concept of experiments in SD soon proliferated. Donald Hebb
was granted further contracts by the US Air Force for further
research and experiments into SD.[17] Biderman and Zimmer
(1961) also conducted extensive research on interrogation
techniques using SD, funded by the US Air Force.[18] Vernon,
another researcher in this subject admitted in the
"Acknowledgement" of his book "Inside the Black Room," "The
entire project was made possible by a generous grant-in-aid of
research given by the Office of Surgeon General of the US
Army, and by the National Science Foundation." Unashamedly, he
went on to add in his book "While our goal is pure knowledge
for its own sake, we have no objection to someone's use of
that knowledge."[19]

There are three aspects in the development and the use of the Sensory
Depravation. First; the requirement for more experimental studies,
researching the basic effects of the SD and sleep deprivation. Second; the
use of these techniques in interrogation. Third; their utilization in
special warfare techniques by specialized troops. It was the accumulation of
that knowledge which gave birth to the modern Psychological Operations, and
subsequently enabled the British Government, on August 9, 1971, to unleash
one of its biggest deep interrogation experiments, using torture and sensory
deprivation, plausibly denied by the Government at the time as a political
exercise against terrorism, on Irish internees. Lord Parker admitted that
the SD methods used on the Irish internees were "techniques developed since
war to deal with a number of situations involving internal security. Some or
all have played an important part in counter insurgency operations in
Palestine, Malaya, Kenya and Cyprus and more recently in the British
Cameroon (1960-61), Bruni (1963), British Guyana (1964), Aden (1965-66), and
the Persian Gulf (1970-71)."[20] Indeed, the first NATO symposium on defence
psychology was held in Paris in 1960, a couple of years after F.H. Lakin,
from the Army Operation Research Establishment in Britain, travelled to Fort
Bragg addressing a conference on human factors in military affairs on
British Psychological Warfare Techniques in Malaya.[21] In 1963 the US
Department of Defense held its first Worldwide Psyops Conference, outlining
twenty-eight specific areas, Britain as on of its main participants.

The Northern Ireland's unprecedented operations, due to the nature of their
severity and repeated breaches of various Articles of Human Rights
Convention, forced Amnesty International, Association of Legal Justice,
Committee on the Administration of Justice (Northern Ireland), as well as
the European Court of Human Rights to intervene, adding their voice and
concern to the plight of the victims.[22] A great number of internees after
undergoing horrendous experiments were subsequently released without any

Many of the original fourteen victims of the first phase of these gruesome
experiments "were made to sign a paper that they had no complaints about the
treatment during interrogation. Those who signed the paper implied that they
did so because they were frightened, or because they did not understand the
contents."[23] Several of them suffered from deep psychological scars for
years afterwards, and some continue their suffering.

Some died shortly after these experiments. A few attempted
suicide during their captivity and interrogation.[24]

Amnesty International report stated; "As a result of its investigation, the
Commission concludes that the ill-treatment used in these cases clearly
amounted to brutality, and disagree with the Compton Committee when they
state: "Where we have concluded that physical ill-treatment took place, we
are not making a finding of brutality on the part of those who handled these
complaints (paragraph 105)."

"The officials who gave evidence to the Compton Committee also
said that one of the purposes of the hooding and continuous
noise [white noise - author] was to increase the sense of
isolation, so it is obvious that the methods used during
interrogation in depth were therefore intended to affect
the recipients psychologically."[25]

"In the opinion of the Commission, the interrogation in depth
especially, but also the "special exercises", constitute
violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention for the
protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms."[26]

In their memorandum submitted by Amnesty International to the
Parker Committee on Interrogation Procedures, they stated; "It
is because we regard the deliberate destruction of a man's
ability to control his own mind with revulsion that we reserve
a special place in our catalogue of moral crimes for
techniques of thought control and brainwashing. Any
interrogation procedure which has the purpose or effect of
causing a malfunction or breakdown of a man's mental processes
constitutes as grave as assault on the inherent dignity of
the human person as more traditional techniques of physical

In 1970, the World Conference on Religion and Peace, held in
Kyoto, Japan, where the representatives of all the world's
religions were present, the conference made the following
declaration on torture and ill-treatment of prisoners; "The
torture and ill-treatment of prisoners which is carried out
with the authority of some governments constitute not only a
crime against humanity, but also a crime against the moral

Britain is regarded as an expert in psychological operations, and has
regularly been invited to give demonstrations and hold seminars, notably at
Fort Bragg, Carolina; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Bad Tolz, Germany. For a time
they were also instructing the P.I.D.E. Portuguese secret police until to
their embarrassment, they discovered that since the Army coup they had for
sometime been giving lectures in counter-insurgency and torture to Latin
American guerrillas, whom Communist members of the Portuguese Army had
infiltrated. [29]

Britain holds its main psychological operation courses at Ashford
in Kent, Caterrick in Yorkshire, Bradbury Lines (The SAS camp
in Hereford) and Old Sarum in Wiltshire, where psyops courses
for RAF officers are held. On average 16 men, consisting of
Green Jackets, SAS, Royal Marines and Royal Artillery,
together with members from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), take part.[30]

The existence of psyop courses which includes the demonstration and the use
of sensory deprivation was kept secret until Robert Brown, the UK Army
Minister was forced to admit in 1976. Approximately 250 take these courses
every year. Frank Kitson,[31] one of the organizers of psyop courses, had
complained about the small number of 18 taking part in Old Sarum. According
to British Government figures up to 1976, 262 civilians and 1858 Army
officers had taken these courses.

The SAS training courses in the Bracon Beacons, also includes sensory
deprivation as part of its toughening up policy.

As further experiments Sensory deprivation was applied through the Control
Units in British prisons. The very nature and existence of these units were
kept secret by the British Home Office. The Control Unit at the Wakefield
Prison was one of the first to receive its first share of inmates in August
1974, to be subjected to SD. The concept was to break down the troublesome
prisoners using modified version of SD. Sunday Times Insight Team uncovered
the existence of these units and the purpose of their creation, in October
1974. As result of publicity and sever criticism UK Government was forced to
disband its Control Units in Wakefield and Wormwood Scrubs prisons. The
"Treatment" designed for a period of six months was divided into two parts.
Sensory deprivation was the main focal point. In the first 90 days, a strict
solitary confinement, with almost no communication was applied to the
inmate. If result proved successful, the victim was allowed to have a
limited amount of communication in the next three months phase. Otherwise,
the entire phase one would have been repeated more solitary confinement. No
conversation between the prisoner and the guards were allowed, only gestures
were permitted.

John Masterson was the first inmate subjected to this "Treatment" in 1974.
With no positive results, and more psychological scars left on the victims,
eventually on May 20, 1976, Dr. Pickering, ex-Director of Prison Medical
Service admitted in BBC's "Man Alive" programme, that "control units were a
mistake." It is ironic, since he was in charge when John Masterson was
subjected to this mental torture.

Roy Jenkins, the Home Secretary at the time expressed his
satisfaction about these units and their operations. "I am
satisfied that the safeguard and procedures are such that the
trained staff of Wakefield are able to maintain a careful and
caring watch on the progress and condition of prisoners in the
control unit."[32]

A year after he was still adamant that; "I am satisfied that allegations,
which have received considerable publicity, of sensory deprivation, cruelty
and brutality in the unit, are completely unfounded and that the Governor
and staff have conducted themselves in a commendably professional
manner."[33] Yes, but what about the fate of the victims?

What started in Ritz Carlton Hotel in 1951, came to full fruition in 1971,
throughout the ordeal of Ulster guinea pigs.

As Professor Robert Daly[34] stressed; "The whole SD process
in Northern Ireland was a package deal. Being awaken in
the middle of the night, being beaten, confused as to your
whereabouts, lied to and insulted, was all part of the
'unfreezing process' through which your psychological
defences were broken down, and terror and humiliation were
induced. Hence, the photographing in the nude, being forced
to urinate while running, refusal to allow toilet visits, the
sadism and abuse. Meanwhile the psychological functions of
the body were being disturbed by the very low or non-existent
intake of calories, high temperature caused by sweating which
could lead to dehydration, coupled with the cold at night,
sleep deprivation and loss of sense of touch. The whole
experience was a package. Whether you want to call it
interrogation in depth or brain washing is academic. The aim
of the treatment was to cause temporary psychosis, temporary
insanity, which was a severe psychological injury liable to
having lasting consequences."[35]

Like the CIA, Britain too, as part of its mind control operation applied
hallucinogenic drugs LSD, on unwitting subjects, including the Irish

"Mr. Murphy alleges; He was given tea and says that after
drinking he saw images on the wall."[36]

"Mr. Bradley alleges; He suffered from hallucination after
drinking a cup of tea."[37]

Despite Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
which guarantees "the free development of ...personality," and
"in spite of the various United Nations provisions concerning
the personal integrity of individuals, no state is expressly
precluded from altering the mental processes of its

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," said Albert Camus.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the protection of freedom
of the mind, our most precious human right.[39]

Armen Victorian

June 1996.


1. CIA memorandum "An Analysis of Confession in Russian Trials," 1950. Also
see "Are the Cominform Countries Using Hypnotic Techniques to Elicit
Confession in Public Trials?" By;

Irving L. Janis; US Air Force Project Rand Memorandum, April 25, 1971.

2. "Behavior Drugs, and Testing," Feb. 5, 1975. CIA document.

3. Documents from the collection of the Manuscript Division, Library of

4. Tizard, Sir Henry Thomas, born 23 August 1885, GCB, AFC, FRS, LLD, DSc,
ScD, and holder of other titles (see Who is Who 1951, and Who is Who

5. op. cit. 3.

6. In 1973 several key documents on the CIA's mind control programmes were
destroyed on the order of Richard Helms, the CIA Director.

7. op. cit. 3.

8. op. cit. 2.

9. "Confidential" letter, Dr. Solandt, August 3, 1954.

10. ibid.

11. ibid.

12. ibid.

13. ibid., and Dr. Solandt's conversation

with author 1989.

14. Letter to "The Minister", Ormond Solandt, Jan. 25, 1954.

15. ibid.

16. John C. Lilly, "Mental Effects of Reduction of Ordinary Levels of
Physical Stimuli on Intact Healthy Persons," Psychological Research Report
5, 1966, pp. 1-9. Also see Bexton et al., "The Effects of Decreased
Variation in the Sensory Environment," Canadian Journal of Psychology, vol.
8, 1954, pp. 70-76.

17. National Defence Headquarters [Canada] letter to author, dated April 18,
1994. Also see D.O. Hebb et al., "The Effects of Isolation Upon Attitudes,
Motivation and Thought," 4th Symposium, Military Medicine I, Defence
Research Board, Canada, Dec. 1952 (Secret), and; D.O. Hebb and W. Heron,
"Effects of Radical Isolation Upon Intellectual Functions and The
Manipulation of Attitudes," 4th Symposium, Military Medicine I, Defence
Research Board, Canada, Dec. 1952 (Secret).

18. Biderman, Zimmer, "The Manipulation of Human Behaviour," Wiley, New
York, 1961.

19. J. Vernon, "Inside the Black Room: Studies of Sensory Deprivation,"
Penguin 1966.

20. Parker Report, Cmnd. 4901 (HMSO), para 10.

21. F.H. Lakin from Army Operational Research Establishment (AORE), Britain,
described the British Psychological Warfare research in Malaya between
1952-55. He was in charge of a nine man research team responsible to AORE,
and the Research Division of the Director General of the Information
Services [then the Federation of Malaya]. For six months two men from the
Operational Research Office of John Hopkins University, Maryland, worked
closely with his team, plus an Australian army psychologist.

22. Also see; 1. "Repression Trade - (UK) Limited," How the UK

Makes Torture and Death its Business. By Amnesty International, British
Section 1992. 2. "Submission to the United Nations Committee Against
Torture," for consideration during the Committee's scrutiny of UK
Government's Report. Committee on the Administration of Justice (Affiliated
of the International Federation of Human Rights), Nov. 13, 1993. 3. "A
Submission to; the United Nation's Human Rights Committee," Containing
Comments on the Forth Periodic Report by the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland to the Human Rights Committee under Article 40 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By; Committee on the
Administration of Justice, June 1995.

23. "Report Of An Enquiry Into Allegation of Ill-Treatment in Northern
Ireland," Amnesty International, p.26.

24. For a more detailed account of the fate of the internees see "The
Guineapigs," John McGuffin.

25. op. cit. 23, p.36.

26. ibid.

27. op. cit. 23, p.38.

28. Findings of The World Conference on Religion and Peace, p. 31.

29. In answer to a Parliamentary Question, Archie Hamilton, the British
Minister of State for Defence listed 100 countries to which UK provides
military training of various nature including Portugal, and other countries
with notorious track records in violation of Human Rights, e.g. China,
Chile, Iraq, Uganda, South Korea, Egypt, Turkey. He fails to add Cambodia to
the list—See John Pilger's "Cambodia: Year Ten."

30. "Precis 6: Psyop unit - General," Training Report, Senior Officers'
Psyop Course, Royal Air Force, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK February
14/18, 1972. A British document devoted to the organization and equipment of
psyops unit, both at headquarters, and broken down into subsections;
Consolidation Psyops; Counter-Insurgency uses and their use in peacetime, as
well as details of deployment of psyop units in UK. Also, "Technical Report
of the Senior Officers' Psyop Course Held at RAF Old Sarum, 14-18, Feb.
1972." This course clarifies the parallel nature of the British psyops with
that of US Army's. Amongst people that have addressed these courses are;
Keith Belbin, of Coleman, Prentice and Valery [Advertising Agency] on
recruitment. Peter Bartlett on target analysis with reference to the Chinese
use in Hong Kong. R.M. Farr [a psychologist from British Psychological
Society] on attitude change, and B.R. Johnston on information policy in low
intensity operations, mainly in Northern Ireland.

31. Now Sir Frank Kitson, Commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade Northern
Ireland between 1970-72. Author of "Low Intensity Operation: Subversion,"
London, Faber and Faber; and "Insurgency Peace-Keeping," London, Faber and
Faber 1971. Also, see "The Technology of Political Control," by; Ackroyd,
Margolis, Rosenhead and Shalice. Pluto Press 1980, and "The Silent
Conspiracy," Stephen Dorril (William Heineman Ltd.), 1993.

32. House of Commons, [British Parliament] November 14, 1974.

33. House of Commons, October 24, 1975.

34. Professor Robert Daly, expert in Sensory deprivation. A graduate from
Dublin University. Instructor in psychiatry at the University of North
Carolina. Later a lecturer at Edinburgh University before taking post at the
University College, Cork.

35. Robert Daly; "Psychiatric After-effects of Irish Prisoners Subjected to
Ill-Treatment and Torture," New Scientist, August 5, 1976.

36. op. cit. 23, p. 14.

37. op. cit. 23, p. 23.

38. Garland E. Burrell, Jr., "Mental Privacy: An International

Safeguard to Governmental Intrusion into the Mental Processes," 6 California
Western International Law Journal.

39. Alan Scheflin, "Freedom of The Mind As An International Human Rights
Issue," Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 3, 1982.


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