Ugly past of mind control experiments lingers over Fort Detrick Army Base

Military Tech

A technician sets up an assay for Ebola within a containment laboratory at Fort Detrick in Maryland. (Photo by Dr. Randal J. Schoepp / Wikimedia Commons)

Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, is known today as a leader in research into toxins and antitoxins, standing guard against biological nightmares like the Ebola virus.

Its past, although not a secret, is detailed in a stunning article appearing on Politico. The base played a central role in manufacturing poisons to kill U.S. enemies. But at least experiments during the 1950s used prisoners to research mind control. No one can say how many people may have died:

“These were the most gruesome experiments the U.S. government ever conducted on human beings. In one of the them, seven prisoners in Lexington, Kentucky, were given multiple doses of LSD for 77 days straight. In another, captured North Koreans were given depressant drugs, then dosed with potent stimulants and exposed to intense heat and electroshock while they were in the weakened state of transition. These experiments destroyed many minds and caused an unknown number of deaths. Many of the potions, pills and aerosols administered to victims were created at Detrick.”

The leader of the mind control research, Sidney Gottlieb, was “the most powerful unknown American of the 20th century — unless there was someone else who conducted brutal experiments across three continents and had a license to kill issued by the U.S. government,” says the article’s author, Stephen Kinzer, who wrote “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.” Gottlieb worked hand-in hand with CIA operatives.

In Europe and East Asia, Gottlieb’s victims were prisoners in secret detention centers. One of those centers, built in the basement of a former villa in the German town of Kronberg, might have been the first secret CIA prison, Politico reports.

The article says Gottlieb was so devoted to the poisons developed at the facility that he defied President Nixon’s order to destroy the stockpile, concealing two cannisters of a deadly toxin and hustling them out of the facility.

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