Church S Sub, H.Abramson

One of the participating CIA psychiatrists in the MKUltra experimentation was Dr. Harold Abramson from Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York.  


John Marks

    The MKULTRA scientists reaped little but disaster, mischief, and disappointment from their efforts to use LSD as a miracle weapon against the minds of their opponents. Nevertheless, their insatiable need to try every possibility led them to test hundreds of other substances, including all the drugs that would later be called psychedelic. These drugs were known to have great potency. They were derived from natural botanical products, and the men from MKULTRA believed from the beginning that rare organic materials might somehow have the greatest effect on the human mind. The most amazing of the psychedelics came from odd corners of the natural world. A1bert Hofmann created LSD largely out of ergot, a fungus that grows on rye; mescaline is nothing more than the synthetic essence of peyote cactus. Psilocybin, the drug that Timothy Leary preferred to LSD for his Harvard experiments, was synthesized from exotic Mexican mushrooms that occupy a special place in CIA history. 

. . .

The Agency contracted with Parke, Davis, as it did with numerous other drug companies, universities, and government agencies to develop behavioral products and poisons from botanicals. CIA-funded chemists extracted deadly substances like the arrow-poison curare from natural products, while others worked on ways to deliver these poisons most effectively, like the “nondiscernible microbioinoculator” (or dart gun) that the Army Chemical Corps invented. CIA-connected botanists collected—and then chemists analyzed—botanicals from all over the tropics: a leaf that killed cattle, several plants deadly to fish, another leaf that caused hair to fall out, sap that caused temporary blindness, and a host of other natural products that could alter moods, dull or stimulate nerves, or generally disorient people. Among the plants Moore investigated was Jamaica dogwood, a plant used by Caribbean natives to stun fish so they could be easily captured for food. This work resulted in the isolation of several new substances, one of which Moore named “lisetin,” in honor of his daughter.
    Moore had no trouble adjusting to the secrecy demanded by his CIA sponsors, having worked on the Manhattan Project as a graduate student. He dealt only with his own case officer, Henry Bortner, and two or three other CIA men in TSS. Once Moore completed his chemical work on a particular substance, he turned the results over to Bortner and apparently never learned of the follow-up. Moore worked in his own little isolated compartment, and he soon recognized that the Agency preferred contractors who did not ask questions about what was going on in the next box.

    In 1955 Moore left private industry for academia, moving from Detroit to the relatively placid setting of the University of Delaware in Newark. The school made him an assistant professor, and he moved into a lab in the Georgian red-brick building that housed the chemistry department. Along with his family, Moore brought his CIA contract—then worth $16,000 a year, of which he received $650 per month, with the rest going to pay research assistants and overhead. Although the Agency allowed a few top university officials to be briefed on his secret connection, Moore appeared to his colleagues and students to be a normal professor who had a healthy research grant from the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research in Washington.
1977 Senate Hearing
The History of Torture in the US

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MKULTRA took place from 1953 to 1964
-Umbrella-project under which there were numerous subprojects for research
on drugs and behavior modification.
-Destruction of material took place in 1973
-The practice was not to keep detailed records in this category, „no records
of the planning and approval of test programs“.
This contribution wasmade through an intermediary, which made it appear to be a private donation. As a private donation, the contribution was then matched by Federal funds. The institution was not made aware of the true source of the gift.

-3 categories of projects:
1) 149 MKULTRA subprojects, many have some connection with research into behavioral modification, drug aquisitation and testiing, or admistering drugs surrepitiously.
2) There are two boxes of miscellaneous MKULTRA papers including audio
reports and financial statements for CIA sponsorship
3) 33 additional subprojects concerning certain intelligence activities, which
have nothing to do with behavioral modifications, drugs or toxins…

research into the effects of behavioral drugs and/or alcohol
17 projects not involving human testing, 14 subprojects involving testng human volunteers, 19 subprojects probably testing humans and 6 subprojects involving tests on unwitting human beeings.

23 projects an motivational studies, studies of defectors, assessments
of behavior and training techniques.

For MKULTA projects worked 185 nongovernment researchers and assistants
There are also names of 80 institutions where work was done or which this people were affiliated.

The institutions include 44 colleges or universities, 15 research foundation or chemical or pharmaceutical companies and 12 hospital or clinics and 3 penal institutions

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1977 Senate Hearing on MKULTRA, the CIA´s Program of Research
in Behavioral Modification
Testimony of Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of Central Intelligence

Senator Kennedy: How bout the nondrug experimentation our Commitee has seen–psychosurgery, for example, or psychlogical research?

Admiral Turner: We are continually involved in what we call
assessment of behavior. For instance, we are traying to continually improve our polygraph proceduresto, you know, assess wehther a person is lying or not. This does not involve any tampering with the individual body.
This involves studying records of people´s behavior under different circumstances, and so on, but it is not an experimental thing. Have I described that accurately, Al?

Mr. Brody: Yes.

Senator Kennedy: Well, it is limited to those areas?

Admiral Turner: Yes; it does not involve attempting to modify behavior. It only involves studying behavior conditions, but not trying to actively modify it, as was one of the objectives of MKULTRA.

Senator Kennedy: Well, we scare on time, but I am interested in the other areas besides polygraph, where you are doing it. Maybe you can
either respond now or submit it for the record, if you would do that.
Would you provide that for the record?

Admiral Turner: Yes.
„Psychological assessments are performed as a service to officers in the operations directorate who recruit and/or handle agents. Except for people involved in training courses, the subject of the assessments are foreign nationals. The assessments are generally done to determine the most successful tactic to persuade the subject to accept convert employment by the CIA, and to make an appraisal of his reliability and truthfulness.
A majority of the work is done by a staff or trained psychologist. The assessments they do may be either direct or indirect. Direct assesssments involve a personal interview of the subject by the psychologist. When pssible the subject is asked to complete a formal „intelligence test“ which is actually a disguised psychological test…..when operating conditions are such that a face-to-face interview is not possible, the psyvchologist may do in indirect assessment, using as source materials descriptions of the subject by others, interviews with people who know him, specimens of his writings etc….
The psychologists also give courses in psychological assesssment to group of operations officer, to sharpen their own capacibilities to size up people.
As part of the training course, the instructor does a psychological assessment
of each student. the students are writing participants, and results are discussed with them.
It is important to reiterate that psychological assessments are only a service
to the operations officers. In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of the operations officer to decide how a potential agent should be approached,
or make a judgment as to wheter any agent is telling the truth.“

Admiral Turner: The kind of thing we are interested in is, what will motivate a man to become an agent to the United States in a difficult situation.
We have to be familiar with that kind of attitudinal response that we can expect from people we approach to for one reason or another become our spies, but I will be happy to submitt a very secific listing of these.

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(Note: The dates and approximate times of visits to Dr. Abramson are added here
to clarify Dr. Abramson’s following statement.

Tuesday, November 24
(a) With patient and two friends, in New York office, about 4:45 to 5:00 P.M.

(b) With patient alone, in New York office, about 5:00 to 66:00 P.M.

(c) With patient andtwo friends, in hotel room, about 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. Wednesday, November 25
With patient alone, in New York office, about 4:00 to 5:00.

Thursday November 26
(a) With patient alone, in Huntington, Long Island, office, about 4:00 to 5:00 P.M.

(b) With patient and friend, in Huntington office, about 5:00 to 5:20 P.M.

Friday, November 27
With patient and friend, in New York office, about 9:30
A.M. to 12:00 noon, and from about 2:00 to 3:00 P.M.
Again an attempt was made to have the patient state that the was the subject of a plot or was especially persecuted by his friends, but at no time did he speak of any but the highest regard for friends or family. He stated explicitly that he wished to go back home. I saw no way in which this could be prevented, but plans were made for further discussion.

November 26
The patient returned after an agitated trip to Washington and was seen at
4:00 P.M., Thursday, November 26. In this interview, for the first time, the patient showed that he had delusions of persecution. “I feel they were giving me dope to keep me awake.” He said that for some weeks the CIA group had been putting something like benzedrine in his coffee. He pointed out he had heard voices the night before and that V’s voice told me to “throw it away.”
(He had thrown away his wallet). His history definitely indicated he had been delusional at least for weeks, probably months, but that he had been able to operate fairly well, except in crises.
It became apparent that hospitalization was required as soon as possible.

November 27
On Friday morning, November 27, the patient and a friend and the writer discussed in some detail the desirability of hospital treatment, to which the patient had finally agreed. We thought he would like to be near home, andfor this reason a mental institution near Washington was chosen and a room reserved. The hospital could not take the patient that day, and arrangements were made for hospitalization the next day.

The patient has been, according to hisown story, delusional for a long period of time, but operating well in his day by day work. His inordinate guilt feelings, as expressed to me, were specifically related to his pension and disability pay. For this he felt he had to be punished. He himself dated his difficulties to the time when he was retired. It was then that he recalls his extraordinary guilt feelings began, becoming progressively worse, with the specific delusional events
during the preceding months.

2)1 December 1953
MEMORANDUM FOR: Inspector General


1. Pursuant to you request, Dr. Willis Gibbons, Chief TSS, was contacted on the evening of 30 November1953 concerning pointshereinafter noted.

2. Dr. Gibbons has impounded all LSD material in CIA Headquarters in a safe adjacent to his desk. No one else has the combination to this safe;the material was so impounded on 29 November 1953.

3. Dr. Gibbons stated that he is stopping any LSD tests which may have been instituted or contemplated under CIA auspices. A cable will be sent to the field on 1 December 1953 to this effect.

4. Only two (2) field stations, Manila and Atsugi, have LSD material. There is none in Germany although Mr. William Harvey recently expressed interest in the subject. A cable to the field on 1 December will instruct the field as to non-use and request data as to how much is on hand and who has custody and access.

5. CIA has furnised a limited quantity of LSD to Mr. George White, Chief of New York District, Narcotics Division, Treasury Department. Dr. Gibbons does not now know the exact amount in Mr. White’s possession. White
is fully cleared according to Dr. Gibbons.

6. In summary, LSD material over which CIA has or had distributive responsibility is located in four places:
(a) Dr. Gibbons’ safe, (b) Manila, (c) Atsugi, and (d) that in possession of George White. Exact amounts in each location are not yet available.

7. There are several “grants in aid” units and individuals in the United States doing research with LSD. None of these received material from CIA; some know of the CIA interest and furnish reports to CIA. Only volunteers are used. While some of the work is done with knowledge of CIA interest, it does not appear to be done under the auspices of CIA.

8. Dr. Gibbons said there is very little or no correspondence, either internal or external on the subject, but that he would collectg such as existed for
the Inspector General.

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