I’ll explain a little more about the serialization of Project Artichoke in another post. For now, here are several paragraphs to introduce an interesting journal that came across my desk not so long ago.
I last saw Zodiac murder victim Darlene Ferrin at her house painting party in Vallejo, California on May 24, 1969. Two overly dressed, strange men came to Darlene’s house that night, men that I have known about since the early sixties. She met these two in 1966, at the Palace Hotel in Reno. One of the men stalked family members and friends in the small town of Sunol, California, where I grew up. Sunol residents, including me, feared him long before the infamous Zodiac killings. The other man, Dr. William J. Bryan, practiced psychology. He was also a CIA consultant for mind control.
I personally know the Zodiac murders as a terrible legacy of MK-ULTRA, the CIA’s program of research in behavioral modification and mind control, and the umbrella for projects such as Artichoke and Operation Midnight Climax. The CIA administered these storied projects from 1953 to 1969.
CIA teams used LSD, sometimes even poisons, to hypnotize their subjects. They wanted to see if a subject would kill someone while under hypnosis. The program worked this way. Handlers offered drugs to young women, to recruit them for adolescent prostitution. The prostitutes would slip LSD to unwitting Bay Area residents and tourists in North Beach, then return with their clients to a CIA safe house, where the sexual encounter would be filmed.
The agency acknowledged that these so-called experiments made little scientific sense, but they continued to record their video evidence. These were not films that agency people wanted anyone to know about! Of course these experiments attacked the rights and interests of United States citizens, a serious violation of the CIA’s charter.
CIA contractors for mind control, who administered behavior modification experiments, and agents who monitored safe houses for MK-ULTRA were in fact cold-blooded criminals, not qualified scientific observers. You can go a long way, however, when a high ranking Ph.D. and well connected consultant leads your program. After the Korean War, the chief of all medical survival training for the United States Air Force, psychologist William J. Bryan, became a CIA consultant for development and implementation of Project Artichoke.
In 1956, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles assigned Federal Narcotics Bureau captain and CIA consultant, George Hunter White, to supervise safe house operations. White, under code name “Morgan Hall”, established a safe house in the Bay Area, on Chestnut Street in San Francisco’s North Beach. He lived on Green Street, in Mill Valley, with his wife. The CIA also had at least one safe house in New York, and another located on the Santa Rita Farm near Livermore, California.
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