THE MK ULTRA FILES – PART ONE
The most interesting conspiracy theory of all has to be Project MK Ultra. If you savor the weird claustrophobic feeling of being wedged inside rabbit holes, squeeze yourself in. It’s time to enter the twilight zone.
Project MK Ultra is an umbrella term for over 100 subprojects, and was carried out by the United States Central Intelligence Agency between the years of 1953-1973, officially. Involved in Ultra’s broad scope were mind control experiments, LSD, prostitutes, unwitting subjects, torture, and Nazi scientists. And it’s all real.
The Nazi scientist thing started with Operation Paperclip, which began in 1945, and involved bringing over 1,600 Nazi scientists into the United States for government employment following World War II. Amidst fears of alleged Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean mind control techniques, the United States began Project MK Ultra largely to develop mind control drugs for use in interrogation.
Involved in carrying out MK Ultra’s research were over 80 institutions. These were prestigious colleges, hospitals, and prisons. Informed consent was largely bypassed, and substantial payouts have been made to the victims and families of MK Ultra. The project was first brought to public attention in 1975.
What’s in a name? There are plenty of theories as to what the MK in MK Ultra stood for. Some suggest it means “magick”, like occult magic. Others say it stands for “Mind Kontrol”. As cool as those things would be, they’re both wrong. The MK actually stood for something far more insidious…Technical Service Staff. That’s right, MK was a digraph that meant the project was sponsored by the CIA’s Technical Service Staff. Ultra meant it was top secret.
Because the documentation surrounding MK Ultra was shredded, speculation and wild conspiracy theory were mostly all that survived the project. That was until 1977, when a Freedom of Information Act request discovered 20,000 documents that survived destruction. Most of these were financial records, but further requests lead to the release of hundreds more documents surrounding MK Ultra in October and November of 2018. These can be found HERE at the Black Vault.
The scope of MK Ultra is vast, and will require a multi-part series to unpack. This introduction is meant to serve as a brief overview to the project’s history, and each concurrent piece will be a small dive into the macro sections of its various sub projects.
These are the MK-Ultra Files.
It would be hard to tell the MK Ultra story without including bits of the CIA’s story. The CIA was formed in September of 1947. Its primary missions were countering the advance of communism, and preventing surprise attacks against the United States. Fresh out of WWII, it was clear the United States was the free world’s only hope against communism. MK Ultra was aggressive, often times illegal, and would stop at nothing to give the Central Intelligence Agency every possible advantage in the war against communism.
MK Ultra began in March of 1953, less than six years after the formation of the CIA. In order to understand the extreme lengths the agency went through in regards to MK Ultra, one must understand the race that was underway at the time.
In 1949 the Soviet Union successfully tested a nuclear weapon, and president Eisenhower received a top secret report that concluded “If the US is to survive, long standing American concepts of ‘fair play’ must be reconsidered. We must learn to subvert, sabotage, and destroy our enemies by cleverer, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us.” (1)
There is no doubt that MK Ultra caused plenty of suffering, many of its victims were unwitting US citizens after all, but it’s also no stretch to suggest that its findings led to advantages in the worlds of technology and espionage. The story of MK Ultra is far reaching, and is deeply intertwined with US military history, intelligence, and believe it or not, magic.
Meet me here at Live it Badass every Wednesday, and we’ll dive into another aspect of this too weird to be true tale.