Lost in History: Blog 1

Join Anushka as she explains one interesting fact from American history.

By Anushka Pandya

Everyone knows about the CIA. Usually, they collect and analyze foreign intelligence and inform the president about it so they can execute decisions. But around the 1950s to the 1970s, they committed lots of human rights violations and changed hundreds of people’s lives forever. To this day, they have not formally apologized.

During the Cold War, the CIA started experimenting on citizens, hoping to achieve a way to control their enemy’s minds; it was called “MK Ultra.” Their experiments would consist of using drug hypnosis, [the] effects of sleep deprivation on human behavior, effects of foreign pathogens on human tissue, brainwashing, use of LSD to manipulate the mind, and more. 

Soon the Canadian government and universities, including one in Australia were a part of this experiment. Canadian citizens were used as subjects and no one was compensated for years.

Eventually, payments of $100,000 were made to citizens, but some spent upwards of millions of dollars trying to care for their loved ones who were used as test subjects, and those people passed away as well.

On top of the fact that the CIA had done nothing about dealing with this uproar of complaints or giving compensation, people were mad. 

Colin A. Ross, a U.S.-based psychiatrist, wrote a book titled The C.I.A. Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists, after reading a collection of 15,000-page files from the CIA reading room. As a psychiatrist, he believes the CIA mind control programs were very abusive to innate human nature (Global Times).

“You have to create psychiatric disorder on purpose, which is completely the opposite of the purpose of psychiatry. And the patient, the subject, doesn’t give informed consent. They don’t have legal representation. So it completely violates all medical ethics,” Ross said.

All of these were done to people ripped out of their homes and tested on without consent. These victims still live today and their lives are forever changed with little to no memory of their lives before being taken from their homes. Families are torn apart.