Test Your Knowledge of Project MKUltra



9 Questions

What was the primary goal of Project MKUltra?

Which of the following methods was NOT used to manipulate subjects in Project MKUltra?

What was the scope of MKUltra's activities?

Which drug was a primary focus of MKUltra?

What was the role of British psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron in MKUltra?

What was the result of Dr. Ewen Cameron's experiments on patients?

What did William Sargant do in relation to MKUltra?

What was the purpose of the two-stage psychological torture method developed by the CIA?

What happened to most of the MKUltra files in 1973?


Project MKUltra: An Illicit Human Experimentation Program by the CIA

  • Project MKUltra was a human experimentation program by the CIA to develop mind-controlling drugs and identify procedures that could be used for interrogations and psychological torture.

  • The program was carried out from 1953 to 1973 and used various methods to manipulate subjects, such as administering psychoactive drugs, electroshocks, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, and other forms of torture.

  • MKUltra was preceded by two drug-related experiments, Project Bluebird and Project ARTICHOKE, and was organized through the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence and coordinated with the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories.

  • The program engaged in illegal activities, including the use of U.S. and Canadian citizens as unwitting test subjects, and over 7,000 American veterans took part in these experiments non-consensually during the 1950s through 1970s.

  • MKUltra's scope was broad, with activities carried out under the guise of research at more than 80 institutions aside from the military, including colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies.

  • The CIA operated using front organizations, although some top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement.

  • Investigative efforts were hampered by CIA Director Richard Helms's order that all MKUltra files be destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the small number of documents that survived Helms's order.

  • MKUltra was first brought to public attention in 1975 by the Church Committee of the United States Congress and Gerald Ford's United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States.

  • The project was headed by Sidney Gottlieb but began on the order of CIA director Allen Dulles on April 13, 1953, and was interested in manipulating foreign leaders and creating a Manchurian Candidate-style subject.

  • LSD was a primary focus of MKUltra, and experiments included administering LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and prostitutes without their knowledge or consent.

  • Other drugs, such as heroin, morphine, temazepam, mescaline, psilocybin, scopolamine, alcohol, and sodium pentothal, were also investigated.

  • In addition to drugs, hypnosis was also studied, and experiments were conducted with drug-induced hypnosis and with anterograde and retrograde amnesia while under the influence of such drugs.

  • The CIA exported experiments to Canada when they recruited British psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, creator of the "psychic driving" concept, which the CIA found interesting. Cameron did not know the money came from the CIA, and his experiments were often carried out on unsuspecting patients.Project MKUltra: A Secret CIA Program

  • Dr. Ewen Cameron conducted experiments on patients suffering from anxiety disorders and postpartum depression, resulting in permanent damage such as urinary incontinence, amnesia, and forgetting how to talk.

  • Cameron was the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association and the president of both the American Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

  • Cameron was a member of the Nuremberg medical tribunal in 1946-1947.

  • William Sargant, a British psychiatrist, conducted similar experiments on his patients without their consent, causing similar long-term damage.

  • Naomi Klein argued that Cameron's research and contribution to the MKUltra project was not about mind control and brainwashing, but about designing a scientifically-based system for extracting information from resistant sources, i.e., torture.

  • Alfred W. McCoy stated that Dr. Cameron's experiments laid the scientific foundation for the CIA's two-stage psychological torture method.

  • The CIA created secret detention centers in areas under American control in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines to avoid criminal prosecution, where they tortured and conducted human experimentation on prisoners.

  • In 1973, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed, but 20,000 documents survived Helms's purge.

  • The Church Committee and the Rockefeller Commission learned about MKUltra in 1977, which was contained in a report prepared by the Inspector General's office in 1963.

  • Several known deaths have been associated with Project MKUltra, most notably that of Frank Olson.

  • The CIA and army actively sought to withhold incriminating information, even as they secretly provided compensation to the families.

  • MKUltra plays a part in many conspiracy theories due to its nature and the destruction of most records.


Are you familiar with one of the most controversial programs in the history of the CIA? Test your knowledge of Project MKUltra, a human experimentation program that aimed to develop mind-controlling drugs and identify procedures that could be used for interrogations and psychological torture. From the methods used to manipulate subjects to the illegal activities the program engaged in, this quiz will put your knowledge to the test. See how much you know about this secretive and disturbing chapter in American history.

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