Saturday, November 10, 2018

SLOUCHING, part 12



In Basel, Switzerland, Dr. Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Laboratories first synthesizes LSD while investigating the chemical and pharmacological properties of the rye fungus ergot for drugs to enhance blood circulation; the compound has no obvious effect on rabbits.


September: William “Wild Bill” Donovan first proposes a unified American intelligence and psychological warfare capability to Franklin Roosevelt, in anticipation of a need to modernize American defense with world war resuming in Europe.


Captain Alfred M. Hubbard begins smuggling weapons and materiel to Canada to support the British war effort despite official American neutrality, as part of a secret, informal intelligence operation approved by President Roosevelt.

The total number of psychiatrists in the United States is about three thousand, and there are even fewer psychologists.


July 11: Donovan’s office of Coordinator of Information, the forerunner of OSS, is established, consolidating U.S. intelligence activities under one agency.

August: Donovan hires Cambridge, MA psychoanalyst Walter Langer to analyze the German enemy and prepare American’s young men for war, and Harvard psychology professor Henry Murray to develop personality assessments for potential spies.

Dec. 7: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, U.S. declares war.


June 13: Roosevelt established the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Donovan commences research for a speech-inducing drug for use in intelligence interrogations, the first concerted attempt by an American intelligence organization to modify human behavior by chemical means.

October: Allen Dulles arrives in Switzerland on the last train allowed across the Vichy French border, to run OSS clandestine agents inside the Third Reich; Dulles soon takes a mistress named Mary Bancroft, a devotee of the Austrian psychologist Carl Jung.


Apr. 16: Dr. Albert Hofmann inadvertently takes the first LSD trip, in Basel.

June 2: OSS experimenters first report on a “TD (for Truth Drug — originally a marijuana extract) research project” organized in cooperation with the super-secret Manhattan Project which provides the first dozen test subjects, and run by Dr. Winfred Overholser, a psychiatrist at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC.

Nazi mind control experiments run by Dr. Kurt Plotner at Dachau concentration camp conclude that it is impossible to impose one’s will on another person with mescaline.


Nov. 18: William Donovan details a plan for a postwar civilian Central Intelligence Agency to FDR, which despite negative reaction from conservatives over the specter of an “American Gestapo” later provides the basic organizational policy and framework of the CIA and the National Security Council.


May: Germany surrenders.

U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence obtains Nazi research records on mescaline as a mind control agent; Dr. Hubertus Strughold, the senior scientist previously in charge of Nazi doctors will later be brought to America under Project Paperclip, a secret government program to recruit ex-Nazi scientists for Cold War work against the Soviet Union.

Clover Dulles joins her husband in Switzerland and soon begins therapy with psychologist Carl Jung on the recommendation of Mary Bancroft; Allen Dulles also consults Dr. Jung for advice on influencing the defeated German population toward democracy.

August: Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed by atomic bombs; WWII ends.

The Nuremberg Code becomes official American policy on scientific research, stipulating that researchers must obtain full informed consent from all subjects.

General Reinhard Gehlen, former chief of Hitler’s spy services against the Russians, begins to rebuild a German intelligence capability in the American occupation zone with Pentagon money; Gehlen will later become the head of the West German security service, the Office for Protection of the Constitution, under Konrad Adenauer.

Sep. 20: President Truman disbands OSS; Donovan returns to private law practice in New York but remains a major influence among foreign policy experts.

An OSS memorandum for the record concludes that “TD” research into marijuana produced no practical results.


July: With passage of the National Mental Health Act, Congress appropriated $4.2 million for research into neuropsychiatric disorders, education of psychiatrists and psychologists, and the establishment of mental health clinics.


The U.S. Navy initiates Project Chatter, an offensive program taking up where OSS and the Nazis left off, to research chemical means of controlling human behavior; psychiatrist Charles Savage begins mescaline experiments at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

U.S. armed forces have been reduced to 1.5 million men from a high of 12 million in 1945, and the annual military budget has been reduced to $10.3 billion from $90.0 billion; nuclear weapons and clandestine operations, unconventional and psychological warfare will be expected to fill the defense gap during the Cold War.

July 25: Establishment of the CIA quickly results in a research program into special interrogation techniques of narco-hypnosis and sedative-stimulant “twilight zone” manipulation.

The U.S. Department of Defense establishes an interservice Committee on Human Resources to coordinate all U.S. military spending on social psychology, sociology and social sciences research; one of four standing panels is “Psychophysiology,” charged primarily with human engineering of high-tech weapons.

Dr. Werner Stoll publishes the results of his study of the psychological properties of LSD, in Swiss Archives of Neurology; Sandoz trademarks the name “Delysid” for the new drug and begins quietly marketing it to psychiatrists for analytical and experimental purposes.


With the Alger Hiss spy allegations, the suicide of Czech democratic leader Jan Masaryk, and the Soviet blockade of West Berlin, the Cold War moves into high gear.

June: The National Security Council issues Directive 10/2, creating the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) within CIA for the purpose of countering “the vicious covert activities of the USSR” with a full range of Psychological Warfare tactics.


LSD first arrives in the Western Hemisphere: psychiatrist Max Rinkel conducts an experiment using his colleague Robert Hyde as guinea pig, at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital (later Massachusetts Mental Health Center).

The baffling confession of impossible crimes by Cardinal Josef Minszenty of Hungary leads intelligence analysts to suspect Soviet scientific mind control developments.

September: The first Soviet explosion of a nuclear device ends the American nuclear monopoly, exacerbating the great anxiety which began with Hiroshima.

A total of four articles have been published on LSD in world scientific journals.


February: Senator Joseph McCarthy makes his first charges of communism in the State Department, signaling a new high point in American anticommunist hysteria.

Apr. 20: CIA Director Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter approves Project BLUEBIRD, giving the behavior control program its first bureaucratic structure.

General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s WWII Chief of Staff, is appointed Director of Central Intelligence; Smith names Allen Dulles as CIA Deputy Director.

September: An article in the Miami News by Edward Hunter first raises the specter of “brainwashing” by Chinese Communists.

A total of six articles on LSD have been published in world scientific journals, only one of these in English.


At the APA convention in Cincinnati, Dr. Max Rinkel reports a remarkable congruence between LSD-inspired psychosis and schizophrenia; for the next few years, most studies of LSD will be framed in the “model psychosis” or psychotomimetic viewpoint.

August 20: Project BLUEBIRD is rechristened Project ARTICHOKE at the request of the U.S. Navy, as bureaucratic wars bounce responsibility for the program back and forth between “pragmatists” in the CIA’s Office of Security and the “learned gentlemen” in Scientific Intelligence.

October 21: An ARTICHOKE report indicates LSD was initially tested along with various other drugs, to study the effects on “the conscious suppression of experimental or non-threat secrets.” A recommendation is given to test LSD in “threat conditions,” possibly using POWs, federal prisoners and security officers.

A total of sixteen articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


Scotch psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond accepts a position as Clinical Director of Saskatchewan Hospital, the only mental hospital on the Canadian prairie, after first experimenting with mescaline in London.

June 21: CIA memo urges giving a green light to operational use of ARTICHOKE techniques.

November: Allen Macy Dulles (only son of the soon to be CIA Director) suffers a severe head wound in Korea; though he would recover physically, his mental and emotional condition remains poor and his parents spend years searching for psychiatric cures; Dulles’ close friend Adolf Berle recommends psychiatrist Dr. Harold Wolff, who will later remain on the MKULTRA payroll for many years.

A total of thirty articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


January: President Eisenhower appoints Allen Welsh Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence, despite Bedell Smith’s misgivings that Dulles is too enamored of clandestine operations.

April 3: Richard Helms proposes Project MKULTRA in a memo to Allen Dulles which specifically mentions “offensive potential.”

May 3: Allen Dulles approves Helms’ brainchild MKULTRA, to be run by the Technical Services Staff (TSS) within the Clandestine Services (later called the Directorate of Operations); ARTICHOKE remains within the Office of Security.

May 4: Aldous Huxley tries mescaline fo the first time, under the supervision of psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond, who is in Los Angeles for an APA convention.

Sandoz Pharmaceuticals begins dealing directly with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which then supervises the distribution of LSD to American researchers; FDA thus becomes the CIA’s junior partner in secret research.

Dr. Ewen Cameron, who would later become notorious as the CIA’s researcher who ran extremely violent “sleep therapy,” “depatterning” and “psychic driving” experiments on unwitting subjects at McGill University’s psychiatric facility in Montreal, is elected president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Ronald Sandison established the first LSD clinic, in England, to practice “low dose therapy.”

Captain Al Hubbard takes LSD for the first time, supervised by Dr. R.A. Sandison.

November: An agent of the CIA travels to Basel and convinces Sandoz to begin manufacturing LSD in significant quantities for the first time, and to report all future customers for the drug back to the CIA.

December 2: Richard Helms refers to LSD as “dynamite!” and asks to be advised personally every time the drug is used.

Dr. Frank Olson becomes severely depressed after unknowingly being given LSD by Sid Gottlieb of TSS during a weekend retreat. After being treated by CIA psychiatrist Dr. Harold Abramson, Olson commits suicide. Allen Dulles briefly suspends MKULTRA research pending a secret internal investigation.

Approximately 48 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


January 11: A CIA document notes that it would be easy to give LSD to high officials, to create significant effects on key diplomatic meetings, speeches, etc.

February: The internal investigation into Frank Olson’s death concludes; Dulles issues a mild, off-the-record reprimand to TSS officials, Gottlieb quickly gets his LSD back.

Spring: Aldous Huxley publishes a glowing promotion of his mescaline experience; in The Doors of Percetion, he advises that everyone, especially intellectuals, should take this hallucinogen.

May 26: All domestic CIA field offices are ordered to monitor scientists engaged in LSD research.

Ely Lilly and Company succeeds in synthesizing LSD through a process which bypasses the need for natural ergot, thereby enabling them to promise the CIA that the drug could soon be available “in tonnage quantities.”

August: Several internal CIA memos suggest the chances are favorable for LSD becoming a breakthrough intelligence weapon: on the 5th, a memo titled “Potential New Agent for Unconventional Warfare, LSD” — on the 13th, “Experiments with LSD-25” — and on the 30th, “An OSI Study on the Strategic Medical Significance of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD-25).”

Beverley Hills psychiatrist Oscar Janiger takes LSD for the first time, and immediately realizes that he must get more of such a wonderful drug.

December 15: An Office of Security memo expresses serious doubts about the wisdom of a rumored TSS plan to spike the punch bowl at the CIA Christmas party with LSD.

Approximately 71 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


George Hunter White initiates “Operation Midnight Climax” using a San Francisco safe house and drug-addicted prostitutes to test LSD on unwitting men; his project will continue with CIA financing until 1963; Sid Gottlieb provides technical support from TSS by sending a top staff psychologist, John Gittinger, to San Francisco to study prostitutes.

Aldous Huxley takes his second mescaline trip under the guidance of Captain Al Hubbard; Huxley attends the American Psychoanalytic Association’s annual conference as the only non-doctor invited to participate in the round table discussion on psychotomimetics; later in the year, also with Al Hubbard as guide, Huxley takes his first LSD.

Hubbard, Huxley and Osmond discuss the possibilities for changing the world and bringing peace by dosing political leaders with LSD.

Dr. Harold Wolff incorporates his CIA-funded brainwashing study group as the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, later to be renamed as the Human Ecology Fund.

A young psychologist named Timothy Leary authors a study proving that patients receiving psychotherapy at Oakland’s Kaiser Hospital showed the same ratio of improvement or worsening as patients who did not receive therapy; detractors interpret Leary’s data as proof that psychotherapy is a hoax, and to many observers the “Cinderella science” appears to be at a standstill.

Dr. Charles Geschicter, who tested drugs for MKULTRA on mental defectives and terminal cancer patients, convinces the CIA to provide $375,000 in secret funds for a new research building at Georgetown University Hospital; Geschicter promises the Agency one-sixth of the new facility’s space and beds as their own “Hospital safe house.”

October 13: Beat poet Allen Ginsberg gives his first reading of “Howl” in San Francisco.

Approximately 154 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


Membership in the American Psychological Association now exceeds fifteen thousand.

Oscar Janiger, Sidney Cohen, Mortimer Hartman, Arthur Chandler, Anais Nin, Cary Grant, Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, Herman Kahn of the Rand Corporation, and other Los Angeles psychiatrists and socialites begin taking LSD during private social gatherings; their primary supplier is Captain Al Hubbard.

Alan Watts, the host of a San Francisco radio show which is very popular among young bohemians, takes LSD on the advice of Aldous Huxley, resulting in a full-blown mystical experience; observers such as Janiger and Cohen will later regard Watts’ conversion as a turning point in the history of LSD.

Over 300 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


May: R. Gordon Wasson’s story about searching for the magic mushroom runs in Henry Luce’s Life magazine, introducing a mass audience to the mysterious world of chemical hallucinogens for the first time.

Dr. Humphrey Osmond first coins the word “psychedelic” in correspondence with Aldous Huxley.

The new board of directors of Dr. Harold Wolf’s Human Ecology Society includes John Whitehorn, chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Joseph Hines, head of the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Carl Rogers, professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Wisconsin, and Adolf A. Berle; Allen Dulles attends one of the first meetings of the new board.

Over 500 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


Time-Life publisher Henry Luce and his wife, foreign policy expert Clare Booth Luce, are introduced to LSD by Dr. Sidney Cohen, who travels to their home in Arizona.

February 25: John Foster Dulles’ intimate and relaxed 70th birthday in Washington, DC includes close family members Allen, Clover and Eleanor Lansing Dulles, as well as President and Mamie Eisenhower, and Clare Booth Luce.

Over 625 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


Allen Ginsberg, a cousin of Oscar Janiger, takes LSD at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA as arranged by Gregory Bateson, Margaret Meade’s former husband, who had been introduced to LSD by MKULTRA psychiatrist Harold Abramson.

The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation (a CIA conduit for MKULTRA funds) sponsors the first international conference on LSD therapy; present at the conference is the head of the Macy Foundation, Frank Fremont-Smith, who was  also first introduced to LSD by Harold Abramson.

May: Major General William Creasy, Chief Officer of the Army Chemical Corps, stumps for psychological weapons on a cross-country lecturer tour; his efforts are rewarded with a sizable budget increase for development of non-lethal battlefield incapacitants from Congress.

October: Adelle Davis first participates as a volunteer in LSD studies conducted by Beverley Hills psychiatrist Oscar Janiger after becoming frustrated with her lack of spiritual progress despite years of psychotherapy.

Captain Al Hubbard begins treating alcoholics with LSD therapy at Hollywood Hospital in New Westminster, British Columbia; Hubbard by this time claims to have conducted more than seventeen hundred LSD sessions.

Over 750 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


Ken Kesey first takes LSD as a volunteer in a government-funded research project at Veterans Hospital in Menlo Park CA.

August 9: Timothy Leary, who previously designed psychological tests used by the military and intelligence agencies, first eats magic mushrooms in Cuernavaca, Mexico; the experience causes him to completely reevaluate his task as a psychologist.

Fall: Timothy Leary begins the Harvard research project on psilocybin, with the drug supplied by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals; within two months, Aldous Huxley, Humphrey Osmond and Captain Al Hubbard all travel to Harvard to urge Leary to use his connections to introduce elite political and cultural leaders to psychedelic drugs and thereby bring about the salvation of the world.

MKULTRA researchers and Allen Dulles confidante Dr. Harold Wolff becomes president of the American Neurological Association, and serves as editor-in-chief of the AMA’s Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Approximately 900 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.


Allen Dulles is replaced as Director of Central Intelligence by John J. McCone, following the CIA’s botched Cuban invasion at the Bay of Pigs.

September 6: An Army memo discusses interrogation procedures using LSD.

Publication of Adelle Davis’ Exploring Inner Space: Personal Experiences Under LSD-25, under the pseudonym “Jane Dunlap.”

Over 1000 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals describing various uses of the drug as an aid to psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, as a treatment for schizophrenia and depressive states, and as a diagnostic or personality test; by this time approximately 25,000 Americans have taken strong psychedelic drugs.


New regulations enacted by Congress and interpreted by the FDA put tight controls on the distribution of LSD; secret TSS support for most LSD research is withdrawn.

Thelma Moss’book on her LSD experiences, Myself and I, arrives in bookstores, at about the same time Alan Watts’ The Joyous Cosmology also comes out.

May: A report by William H. McGlothlin of the Rand Corporation titled “Long-Lasting Effects of LSD on Certain Attitudes in Normals: An Experimental Proposal” ponders whether LSD might be an antidote for political activism.

James Farmer of the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and others organize the “Freedom Rides” on busses into the racially segregated South.


George Hunter White’s covert acid safe house operation is terminated after a critical appraisal of MKULTRA unwitting drug tests on “individuals at all social levels, high and low, Native American and foreign” is written by CIA Inspector General John Earman to Director of Central Intelligence John J. McCone.

Timothy Leary is fired from Harvard for giving LSD to students; Leary’s International Foundation for Internal Freedom (IFIF) calculates that by 1969, a critical figure of four million LSD users will be reached, enough to blow the mind of American society.

November 22: John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, TX; for millions of Americans, this event more than any other will always separate the fifties from the sixties.


February: Yuri Nosenko, a high-ranking Soviet KGB official, defects to the United States; the full decade and a half of CIA mind control research proves useless for providing any reliable technology to resolve the bitterly disputed issue of Nosenko’s legitimacy.

STP, a super-hallucinogen, is developed by Dow Chemical Company and provided to the Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the Army Chemical Corps.

Various memos to DCI McCone from Richard Helms, CIA Director for Covert Operations, defend MKULTRA unwitting drug tests as necessary “to keep up with the Soviet advances in this field.”

Augustus Owsley Stanley spends one semester at Berkeley studying Russian, dating a chemistry grad student named Melissa, and discovering LSD.

Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters demonstrate in Phoenix with a large placard reading, “A vote for Barry Goldwater is a Vote for Fun.”

Congress appropriates $176 million for mental health, a forty fold increase since 1946.


February: The first batch of Owsley acid hits the streets in the Haight.

John Lennon first takes LSD; more than a thousand acid trips will follow for Lennon.

August 7: Ken Kesey first gives LSD to a group of Hell’s Angles.

September 6: An obscure neighborhood known as Haight-Ashbury gets some unaccustomed publicity in the San Francisco Examiner as “A New Haven For Beatniks.”

The first publicly-advertised “acid test” LSD party is held by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, near Santa Cruz, CA; within months Kesey will introduce more people to LSD than the psychiatric researchers, the CIA, Sandoz and Timothy Leary combined.

After investing as much as $400,000 a year in the early work of key behavioral scientists, CIA officials decide Harold Wolf’s Human Ecology Society has served its purpose; a few projects are transferred to other covert channels, and the society is allowed to die quietly.


January: Ron and Jay Thelin open the Psychedelic Shop in the Haight to spread the word about LSD.

Kesey is convicted and re-arrested on separate marijuana charges.

The “Trips Festival,” a Kesey acid test attended by over 6000 people is held at Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco; the program noted “with approval and great interest the participation in the festival of Look, Newsweek, Time and Life.

March: Henry Luce’s Life magazine runs a cover story: “LSD: The Exploding Threat of the Mind Drug That Got Out of Control,” which still favors limited use of LSD in controlled psychotherapy sessions and for military intelligence problems.

Spring: Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency holds hearings on LSD.

April: Sandoz recalls all LSD previously distributed to scientists for research.

The London Evening Standard publishes an article quoting John Lennon as proclaiming the certain decline of Christianity and the Beatles’ greater popularity than Jesus Christ.

G. Gordon Liddy, as Dutchess County (NY) Prosecutor, raids Timothy Leary’s acid commune at Millbrook; charges against Leary are ultimately dismissed.

September 20: The first issue of the San Francisco Oracle is published, quoting Timothy Leary’s slogan, “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

October 6: California law banning the use of LSD goes into effect; the Oracle hosts the Love Pageant Rally,  expressing the psychedelic community’s steadfast devotion to their sacrament; following the Love Pageant Rally, Oracle  staff begin planning the First Human Be-In with the help of guru John Starr Cook, brother-in-law of the CIA’s Sherman Kent.


As the new year opens, a hillside in Berkeley, CA which high school students traditionally painted with the name of their school or class year bears only one message: the huge letters “LSD.”

January 14: The “First Human Be-In” is held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to unify hippies and political radicals; approximately a hundred thousand doses of LSD are now sold each week in the Haight; the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control now seizes about 1.6 million doses per year.

February: Psychiatrist Walter Freeman performs his last lobotomy, on a long-term patient who dies of a brain hemorrhage following the procedure.

Spring: Leary’s Millbrook acid commune disbands under pressure from G. Gordon Liddy.

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a musical benediction for the blossoming psychedelic counterculture; Timothy Leary declares the Beatles to be mutants sent by God; Spiro Agnew suggests they are part of an international communist conspiracy and notes that Sgt. Pepper shows an understanding of brainwashing principles.

The formula for STP is released to the scientific community; as the “Summer of Love” opens in June, 5000 hits of Owsley-manufactured STP cause hundreds of freak-outs to clog hospital emergency rooms; the situation is exacerbated by the fact that Thorazine, the psychiatric tranquilizer used to counter LSD reactions, had the opposite effect with STP.

Louis Jolyon West, CIA MKULTRA psychiatrist, sets up an observation post in Haight-Ashbury to “study” hippies; CIA agents infiltrate the LSD network to “monitor” events.

October 6: The Diggers hold a mock “funeral for the Hippy.”

December: Owsley is arrested and put out of the LSD business; he is replaced as the primary supplier by a cartel called the Brotherhood of Eternal Love which will sell far more LSD than Owsley without apparently needing any profit; the main manufacturer for the Brotherhood is Ronald Stark, an international con man later exposed by Italian authorities as a CIA informant.

(NEXT: Appendix 2, Text of the New York Times review of Exploring Inner Space)

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