Experimentation abuses believed funded by the CIA and nation of CA
The Allan Memorial Institute is located in an ominous mansion, formerly known as Ravenscrag, that looms over Rue McTavish at the foot of Mont Royal. The sinister stone building, said to be haunted, is befitting of the grisly experiment that occurred within its walls from 1957 to 1964: Project MK ULTRA. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mind control project used unconsenting patients to test the effects of sensory deprivation, LSD, electroshock therapy, and other methods of controlling the human psyche. Although it may sound like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel, these experiments were conducted at McGill, with devastating effects on the patients involved.
Project MK ULTRA was a large-scale attempt by the CIA to research behavioural modification and the effects of certain drugs and psychological treatments on the human mind. It consisted of 144 different subprojects related to the control of human behaviour, which were carried out in 89 different institutions, including universities. The experiments within each subproject varied in both their purpose and techniques—but many, including those undertaken at McGill, involved invasive and unethical research on unwitting human subjects.
The events of Project MK ULTRA are cloaked in mystery, as almost all of the records of the project were destroyed in 1973 by Richard Helms, the director of the CIA at the time. Several boxes of records were subsequently uncovered in 1977, revealing sparse but important information regarding the nature of the experiments. Most of the information regarding the project comes from these files that were recovered, and from the Senate hearings that were held and which included interviews with former CIA employees involved in MK ULTRA. During the hearings, these members admitted to the purpose of the project, as well as the unethical nature of several of the experiments.
Media outlets in the 1960s and ’70s jumped on the story when it was revealed, sensationalizing facts. This, combined with the few records that are still in existence, make the truth surrounding MK ULTRA murky.
Despite the shrouded nature of the project and the hazy details surrounding it, it is certain that unethical experiments were performed at many institutions, including McGill University.