Welcome to the eight installment of my ongoing examination of the CIA's mysterious and highly controversial Office of Security (OS). While little remarked upon by most students of the CIA, the OS nonetheless appears knee deep in host of the CIA's biggest controversies, including multiple assassinations and suspicious deaths, the Watergate scandal, Operation CHAOS and several of the Agency's behavior modification programs, most notably Projects BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and QKHILLTOP. For those of you just joining me or trying to catch up, here is a brief rundown of what has already been addressed in the prior installments:
- part one noted the backgrounds and politics of the OS men and contrasted them with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) "Old Boys" who dominated much of the CIA's upper hierarchy for decades
- part two began to consider the role the OS played in the Watergate scandal, here noting OS veteran James McCord's total bungling of the second Watergate break-in and the possibility that he or one of his employees had tipped off the police before hand
- part three considered the actual purpose of the Watergate break-in, namely a prostitution ring being run out of nearby Columbia Plaza that serviced the Watergate-based headquarters of the DNC; the prostitution ring was likely under the control of James McCord
- part four considered the OS's longtime use of "safe houses" for prostitution rings as well as the conspirators behind the Watergate scandal, which included the OS, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and the notorious defense lobby group and massive private intelligence network known as the American Security Council (ASC, which this blog examined at length before here)
- the fifth installment considered the OS's role in assassinations and several suspicious deaths, including that of Frank Olson, as well as the role it played in Operation CHAOS
- part six began to examine the role the OS played in the CIA's behavior modification experiments, beginning with Project BLUEBIRD and also noted the conspiracy to lump all of these projects in with MKULTRA
- the seventh and most recent installment considered the background of longtime BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and QKHILLTOP head Morse Allen as well outlining ARTICHOKE's early work with hypnosis, electroshock and hallucinogenic drugs as well as the little information available to us concerning the mysterious QKHILLTOP
|Dr. Harold Wolff, the inspiration for the mysterious QKHILLTOP|
As with many things relating to BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE, the actual origins of the Artichoke treatment seem to reside with the military, especially the Army. Shortly after World War II the Army deployed a special interrogation squad that employed many of the methods later used by ARTICHOKE. They were referred to as the "Rough Boys." Here are a few details concerning this unit from Truthout:
"Army CIC interrogators working with the CIA at prisoner of war camps and safe house locations in post-war Germany on occasion used Metrazol, morphine, heroin and LSD on incarcerated subjects. According to former CIC officer Miles Hunt, several 'safe houses and holding areas outside of Frankfurt near Oberursel' - a former Nazi interrogation center taken over by the US - were operated by a 'special unit run by Capt. Malcolm S. Hilty, Maj. Mose Hart and Capt. Herbert Sensenig. The unit was especially notorious in its applications of interrogation methods [including the use of electroshock and Metrazol, mescaline, amphetamines and other drugs].' Said Hunt: 'The unit took great pride in their nicknames, the 'Rough Boys' and the 'Kraut Gauntlet,' and didn't hold back with any drug or technique ... you name it, they used it.' Added Hunt, 'Sensenig was really disappointed when it was found that nothing had to be used on [former Reichsmarschall] Herman Goering, who was processed through the camp. Goering needed no inducement to talk.'
"Eventually, CIC interrogators working in Germany would be assisted in their use of interrogation drugs by several 'former' Nazi scientists recruited by the CIA and US State Department as part of Project Paperclip. By early 1952, the CIC's Rough Boys would routinely use Metrazol during interrogations, as well as LSD, mescaline and conventional electroshock units."
|Metrazol was another beloved tool of the ARTICHOKE men|
In addition to the Oberursel facility and a nearby safe house in Frankfurt, several other facilities were used across the globe. Frequently they were safe houses near highly classified military installations and the subjects in these interrogation were shipped to these locations suddenly and anonymously.
"Other CIA reports reveal that the CIA's SRS was not sitting idly by while awaiting the recruitment of groups of human subjects. Teams of Agency officials and contract physicians were traveling frequently to locations in Europe and the Far East, including Atsugi, Japan, where in the isolation of CIA and military safe houses and installations, enhanced interrogations and mind-control experiments were being conducted on defectors, double-agents, and kidnapped foreign agents. Reads a November 1956 Artichoke team report that could have easily been written today at Guantanamo, Cuba: 'The team physician administered a suppository containing a small amount of heroin to the subject so as to increase subject's pain threshold.' (The Artichoke physician referred to in this report, a well-known Washington, D,C., psychologist, made over 90 Artichoke-related trips abroad.)"
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pgs. 169-170)
|the infamous Atsugi Naval Base where multiple BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE experiments were conducted|
Details on the actual Artichoke treatment are scarce, and what little is available to us indicates techniques varied depending upon the subject and what the ultimate objective for the interrogation was. For instance, one account presented in the classic The Search for the Manchurian Candidate seems fairly tame when compared to the tools the ARTICHOKE personnel had at their disposal. Consider:
"... They decided to give him the 'A' (for ARTICHOKE) treatment. This, too, was not very original. It had been used during the war to interrogate prisoners and shell-shocked soldiers. As practiced on the suspected Russian agent, it consisted of injecting enough sodium pentpthal into the vein of his arm to knock him out and hen, twenty minutes later, stimulating him back to semiconsciousness with a shot of Benzedrine. In this case, the Benzedrine did not revive the subject enough to suit the psychiatric consultant and he told Dr. Thompson to give the subject another 10 mg. ten minutes later. This put the subject into a state somewhere between waking and sleeping --almost comatose and yet bug-eyed. In hypnotic tones that had to be translated into Russian by an interpreter, the consultant used the technique of 'regression' to convince the subject he was talking to his wife Eva at some earlier time in his life. This was no easy trick, since a male interpreter was playing Eva. Nevertheless, the consultant states he could 'create any fantasy' with 60 to 70 percent of his patients, using narcotherapy (as in this case) or hypnosis. For roughly an hour, the subject seemed to have no idea he was not speaking with his wife but with CIA operatives trying to find out about his relationship with Soviet intelligence. When the subject started to doze, the consultant had Thompson give him a double jolt of Benzedrine. A half hour later, the subject began to weep violently. The consultant decided to end the session, and in his most soothing voice, he urged the subject to fall asleep. As the subject calmed down, the consultant suggested, with friendly and soothing words, that the subject would remember nothing of the experience when he woke up.
"Inducing amnesia was an important Agency goal. 'From the ARTICHOKE point of view,' states a 1952 document, 'the greater the amnesia produced, the more effective the results.' Obviously if a victim remembered the 'A' treatment, it would stop being a closely guarded ARTICHOKE secret. Presumably, some subject who really did work for the Russians would tell them how the Americans had worked him over. This reality made 'disposal' of ARTICHOKE subjects a particular problem. Killing them seems to have been ruled out, but Agency officials made sure that some stayed in foreign prisons for long periods of time. While in numerous specific cases, ARTICHOKE team members claimed success in making their subjects forget, their outside consultants had told them 'that short of cutting a subject's throat, a true amnesia cannot be guaranteed.'..."
(The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", John Marks, pgs. 43-44)
|another ARTICHOKE favorite|
As was noted in the previous installment, there actually are some indications that murder (or "assisted" suicide) was employed to deal with ARTICHOKE's "disposal problem." Indeed, dealing with the subjects in the aftermath was a reoccurring problem. This seems to have stemmed from the inability of the Artichoke treatment to induce permanent amnesia, as we shall see in our next example.
This subject was a Bulgarian named Dimitre Dimitrov. In 1951 he would find himself abruptly moved from a Greek prison in which he had already experienced rather intense torture, and rendered to a pair of US military bases in Panama. These facilities are especially interesting for there later implications for the ARTICHOKE project.
"The hospital and interrogation center where Dimitre Dimitrov was placed were on the grounds of the U.S. Army's Fort Clayton in Panama. In the 1950s, Fort Clayton, along with nearby sister installations, Fort Amador and Fort Gulick, both in Panama, were the original sites of the Army's notorious School of the Americas which, among other activities, trained the world's most notorious foreign secret police units --including DINA (Chile), SAVAK (Iran), BOSS (South Africa) and KCIA (South Korea) --in interrogation techniques and torture. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and beyond, all three army forts also served as secret prison compounds and interrogation centers for double agents, defectors and others kidnapped by American intelligence agents and spirited out of Europe and elsewhere. Additionally, Fort Gulick was extensively used as a training facility for paramilitary and guerrilla fighters who were covertly dispatched to Cuba before and after the Bay of Pigs invasion. Fort Gulick also served as a secure depository for a number of biological warfare substances sent from Fort Detrick and used in Cuba, including the Swine Flu virus that was covertly introduced by the U.S. military into Cuba's pig population...
"Beginning in 1951, Fort Amador and Fort Gulick were used extensively by the Army and the CIA as secret experimental sites for developing 'behavior modification' using a wide range of techniques, including 'truth rugs,' mescaline, LSD and heroin. Former CIA officials have also long claimed that in the 1950s and later, Fort Clayton and Fort Amador housed and trained a number of Army assassination teams that operated throughout North and South America, Europe, and South East Asia."
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pgs .165-166)
|the original site of the School of the Americas at Fort Gulick|
What's more, the fact that secret services such as the KCIA and DINA were trained in interrogation techniques at these facilities is also most interesting. As we shall see, the ARTICHOKE program may have continued among US-allied intelligence services after it was officially ended some time around 1973. But more on that later.
Apparently, part of the rational for applying the Artichoke treatment to Dimitre Dimitrov was due to all of things he had witnessed while being incarcerated at Fort Clayton. Given some of the operations that were being conducted there and at nearby facilities, it is easy to believe Dimitrov had seen to much. Thus, the Artichoke treatment was requested to help him forget some of these things as well as making him more favorably disposed towards America (seriously). Even Morse Allen, the CIA's biggest proponent of hypnosis, had some doubts as to how effectively amnesia could be induced in Dimitrov. In a CIA memo, he stated:
"While the [Artichoke] technique that Ecke and Gladych are considering for use in this case is not known to the writer [Allen], the writer believes the approach will be made through the standard narco-hypnosis technique. Re-conditioning and re-orientation an individual in such a matter, in the opinion of the writer, cannot be accomplished easily and will require a great deal of time.... It is also believed that with our present knowledge, we would have no absolute guarantee that the subject in this case would maintain a positive friendly attitude toward us even though there is apparently a successful response to the treatment. The writer did not suggest to [Bannerman and Pritchett] that perhaps a total amnesia could be created by a series of electro shocks, but merely indicated that amnesia under drug treatments were not always certain."
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 173)
It is important here to note Allen's skepticism concerning the effectiveness of the Artichoke treatment. The effectiveness of these techniques in mere interrogations live alone full blown mind control has always been rather debatable, to say nothing of being rather impractical. On the one hand there were only so many psychiatrists and other ARTICHOKE personnel available for such operations while on the other, as indicated above, these processes were extremely time consuming. Consider the scope of Dimitrov's Artichoke treatment:
"... In March 1952... Dimitrov was 'successfully given the Artichoke treatment in Panama for a period of about five weeks.' While specific details of the techniques applied to Dimitrov remain unavailable, subsequent statements made by Dimitrov himself make it clear that he was subjected to intense and repeated interrogation using an array of drugs, including LSD, heroin, and barbiturates, and 'near weekly hypnosis sessions,' that also made use of an array of drugs. Dimitrov further stated that he was subjected to electro-shock treatments used in combination with LSD 'so as to jumble my thoughts and memories' and 'to try to create a total amnesia' in his mind of all events that occurred in Greece and Panama."
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, pg. 174)Obviously the Artichoke treatment was not especially effective on Mr. Dimitrov as evidence by the fact that he seems to have had a quite clear recollection of what was done to him. Indeed, despite proclamations that Dimotrov had been "successfully given the Artichoke treatment," Dimtrov seemingly remained imprisoned in Panama until late 1956, when he was finally allowed to enter the United States. As noted above, Dimtrov received the Artichoke treatment in March of 1952. Thus, US authorities felt the need to hold Dimitrov for an additional four years after his "successful" Artichoke treatment.
Nor were the details of the Artichoke treatment the only things Dimitrov remembered from his time in Panama. He made some quite shocking allegations in the late 1970s:
"About ten years after the JFK assassination, Dimitrov, operating sometimes under the aliases Lyle Kelly, James Adams, General Dimitre Dimitrov and Donald A. Donaldson, informed a number of people that he had information about who ordered the murder of JFK and who had committed the act. Reportedly, he had encountered the assassins while he had been imprisoned in Panama. He also told several people that he knew about military snipers who had murdered Martin Luther King. In 1977, Dimitrov actually met with US Sen. Frank Church, head of a Senate Committee investigating the CIA, and President Gerald Ford to share his information. Dimitrov said after the meeting that Ford had asked him to keep the information confidential until he could verify a number of facts. Immediately following the March 29, 1977, death of Lee Harvey Oswald's friend George de Mohrenschildt, Dimitrov became extremely frightened and contacted a reporter with a foreign television station who either mistakenly, or intentionally, revealed Dimitrov's name publicly on American television. Not long after this, Dimitrov disappeared in Europe where he had fled. He has never been seen or heard from since. Former CIA officials say privately, 'Dimitrov was murdered' and 'His body will never be found.' "
|Dimitrov while using the name Donald Donaldson|
I have already written quite extensively on the possible role ARTICHOKE and CIA behavior modification techniques in general may have been used on Lee Harvey Oswald in depth before here, so this section shall not be as detailed as it could be. As was noted in the first installment of this series, the OS maintained a file on Oswald What's more, Allen's old boss at the State Department's Office of Security, Robert L. Bannerman (addressed briefly in part six), was the one who requested that both Allen and Brigadier General Paul F. Gaynor, along with former FBI agent turned OS operative Bruce Solie, keep track of Oswald and other defectors coming back from Russia in that era. Thus, ARTICHOKE capos Allen and Gaynor were at the very least aware of Oswald.
|Robert L. Bannerman|
Also noted in the first installment was the fact that both Allen and Gaynor were friendly with both William B. Reily of the New Orleans-based Reily Coffee Company, as well as former Army psychological warfare expert Edward Scannell Butler, then working for the Information Council of the Americas (INCA), also New Orleans based. Oswald held a job with the Reily Coffee Company in the summer of 1963, when he famously debated Ed Butler and anti-Castro Cuban Carlos Bringuier for a radio broadcast that was aired on WDSU after his arrest while attempting to hand out Fair Play for Cuba Committee leaflets.
|Edward Scannell Butler, a "former" Army psychological warfare expert|
And indeed, it is possible that the OS did more than maintain files on Oswald. As it turns out, Edward Butler's emergence in Oswald's life around the time he was involved with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee may have been any thing but coincidental. Spartacus Educational notes:
"John M. Newman (Oswald and the CIA) discovered that in 1963 the CIA had an anti-Fair Play for Cuba Committee in operation. It was being run by David Atlee Phillips and James W. McCord. As James DiEugenio has pointed out a CIA document describes Ed Butler as 'a very cooperative contact and has always welcomed an opportunity to assist the CIA.' "Ah yes, our old friend James W. McCord. McCord was of course a long time veteran of the OS who had operated out of the Security Research Staff with Allen and Gaynor for years. And of course Allen and Gaynor and the SRS compartment of the OS were the ones charged with investigating Oswald. Was McCord then involved in an operation against FPCC on behalf of the OS that employed Oswald as an informant? Certainly there is a possibility.
While this is in and of itself is certainly intriguing, the situation is even more curious when one considers that Phillips was apparently friendly with former Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) man Gordon McLendon, as was noted in part three of this series. Phillips and McLendon apparently founded the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), a powerful network of "former" CIA, FBI and military intelligence officers (which McCord was also involved with) that some believe actually runs the CIA from behind the scenes.
|"former" ONI man and radio personality Gordon McLendon|
James McCord also had a working relationship during the 1940s with another figure long linked to the JFK assassination and Oswald specifically.
"Guy Banister's name is well-known among conspiracy aficionados as anther one of the men implicated by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in the Kennedy assassination. It was Guy Banister --by this time a former FBI agent --who rented office space at the same location stamped on Lee Harvey Oswald's 'Fair Play for Cuba Committee' flyers. Banister was running an anti-Castro Cuban operation from his investigator's office, an operation that attracted the likes of former Eastern Airlines pilot, and assassination suspect David Ferrie. Oswald was running a pro-Castro Cuban operation from the same address, an anomaly that could only be explained if one understood that Banister and Oswald were working together, and that the pro-Castro operation was a front for some other, even more nefarious, purpose. Further, while Banister was FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Chicago field office during World War II, one of his FBI subordinates was James McCord of Watergate 'plumbers' fame, and another was Robert A. Maheu: the man who would later become head of his own investigative agency and an employee of Howard Hughes, the man whose agency was started by money won from James McInerney, the assistant Attorney General who was involved in the Jack Parson investigation..."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pg. 173)
|"former" FBI and ONI man Guy Banister|
It is also interesting to note that Guy Banister had also served in the Office of Naval Intelligence. The above-mentioned Gordon McLendon was also "former" ONI, as was ARTICHOKE head Morse Allen. Edwin Wilson, an OS veteran who appears to have been running a prostitution ring out of the Georgetown Club at the same time the Columbia Plaza operation was active (noted in part four), was at the time attached to the ONI's Task Force 157. Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the CIA director who initially green lighted Project BLUEBIRD, had cut his teeth in ONI. And of course there's the possibility, as noted in part six, that BLUEBIRD had its origins in Navy projects such as CHATTER and Pelican that were operated in part by the ONI. Thus, given how many ONI men turn up in connection with the OS and ARTICHOKE, Banister's connection to ONI may be far more significant than many have yet realized.
And yes, the above-mentioned Jack Parsons is none other than the notorious rocket science who was a member of Crowley's OTO and performed the "Babalon Working" with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard had briefly served in the ONI during the early 1940s (and long alleged that he was acting on behalf of the ONI when he approached Parsons) and may even have met Morse Allen during this time, as noted in part seven. That Robert Maheu got money from James McInerney, the assistant Attorney General who investigated Parson in 1950, to start his private detective firm is most curious as well.
Before wrapping up with this section, there is one last potential OS tie to the Kennedy assassination that should be mentioned: the Paine family. Michael and Ruth Paine would become the benefactors of the Oswalds during their time in Dallas and would remain close to Marina Oswald after they relocated to New Orleans. At the time of the assassination Marina Oswald was living with the Paines. More background on this series of events can be found here.
|Ruth and Michael Paine|
And then there's the murky background of Ruth's sister:
"... Ruth Paine was the younger sister of Sylvia Hyde Hoke. In 1993, a CIA security file was declassified which revealed that Sylvia had been employed by the Agency for a number of years prior to 1963 as a psychologist..."
(Destiny Betrayed, James DiEugenio, pg. 197)
Beyond this, virtually nothing else is known concerning what type of psychological work Hoke did or in what department. But certainly any number of psychologists and psychiatrists were detached to BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE during this era, though there are no indications that Hoke was involved in such work. Her husband, another suspected CIA employee, may have been privy to such things.
"... Interestingly, Hughes, after 1954, would work briefly for the Atlantic Research Corporation, where Ruth Paine's brother-in-law John Hoke also worked..."
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 259)This is most interesting indeed as the above-mentioned Hughes is none other than Allan Hughes. According to H.P. Albarelli Jr. in A Terrible Mistake, Hughes was briefly detached to MKULTRA in the early 1950s and participated in the interrogation of Frank Olson at Deep Creek Lake along with Sidney Gottlieb (noted before here). Prior to that he had been detailed to Army CIC, which worked closely with Project ARTICHOKE, as noted above. Whether or not Hughes was involved in ARTICHOKE at this point is unknown but it is certainly a possibility. After leaving the CIA in 1954 he briefly worked at the Atlantic Research Corporation before joining Robert Maheu's private detective agency. As was already noted above, Maheu was a major asset of the OS. So, if nothing else, Sylvia Hyde Hoke's husband at least briefly worked with an individual who was involved in CIA behavior modification experiments during her employment with the Agency. But moving along.
There is one final connection the OS may have had to the Kennedy assassination, but before getting to that we need to now consider the assassination of JFK's brother, RFK.
As I'm sure many of you are already aware, it has long been alleged that RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan had been hypno-programmed by the famed stage hypnotist William Joseph Bryan, the man who hypnotized serial killer Albert DiSalvo during his trail and long alleged to have been a consultant on the adaption of The Manchurian Candidate. As was noted in part seven of this series, Bryan had been a consultant for the ARTICHOKE program in the 1950s. He had also long alleged to have been a part of the Air Force's "brainwash section" during Korea, but this may well have been more of Bryan's famed hyperbole. Thus, the allegations of Bryan's involvement with Sirhan should be taken with a grain of salt, but they are not without merit. Consider:
"... In the first place eyewitnesses to the shooting of Senator Kennedy have claimed that Sirhan's demeanor was strangely distant and removed --'peaceful' --when he was pounced on by Kennedy's supporters in the moments after the killing. Sirhan himself claims no memory of the assassination, although he did not deny that he did it. Before Sirhan's identity was made public, Bryan was on a radio show giving his opinion that the assassin had been hypnotically programmed. And one of Sirhan's notebooks contained serial killer DiSalvo's name repeated several times, although Sirhan himself does not know why. Although Bryan would gleefully describe any of the cases he worked on, especially high-profile cases like DiSalvo, he would change the subject when Sirhan's case was brought up, and occasionally turn angry at reporters or investigators who had the temerity to mention it. This was uncharacteristic of Bryan, and points to another level of knowledge about the case.
"Eerily, Sirhan would also turn angry and upset when the Rosicrucians were mentioned, insisting that they not be brought into the investigation. This has led Turner and Christian to wonder if that was a deliberate hypnotic suggestion, implanted by Bryan or some other programmer, to divert attention away from the real conspirators. The 'DiSalvo' reference in Sirhan's notebooks, however, suggests that the name of this alleged serial killer was brought up during Sirhan's programming, perhaps as a trigger word or, more likely, as a reference back to the original programmer. This would have to have been Bryan, since Bryan famously worked on the DiSalvo case. Did Bryan plant the 'DiSalvo' reference as a kind of calling card? Or did Sirhan see the name of his programmer linked to DiSalvo in a newspaper or magazine article? There is no other connection between Sirhan and DiSalvo that anyone has been able to discover. It is perhaps the only pure anomaly in Sirhan's notebooks. It has nothing to do with politics, with Robert Kennedy, with the Illuminati or the Theosophists. It is as glaring --in the context of the notebooks --as a black cat on a white rug. The only connection to both Sirhan and Di Salvo is, of course, Bryan himself.
"At one point, and to select individuals, Bryan claimed to have hypnotized Sirhan. There is no evidence linking Sirhan to Bryan after the assassination, however. Something like that would have become a matter of public record, considering the amount of scrutiny the case was getting in the wake of the botched investigation and follow-up to the JFK assassination. Bryan certainly would have made loud publicity over the fact that he hypnotized Sirhan if in fact he had done so; it would have been an impressive addition to his resume. Yet, Bryan claimed to have never hypnotized Sirhan when pressed by an independent researcher, and abruptly terminated the interview. Thus, Bryan had two stories about Sirhan. If Bryan did hypnotize the Palestinian immigrant, it was before the assassination; and for this, we are on firmer ground because Sirhan was hypnotized prior to June 1968."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pgs. 313-314)
On the other hand, Bryan's sexual indiscretions were not exactly a dark secret. For instance, in A Secret Order H.P. Albarelli notes: ""Bryan was once charged in Nevada (his home state) for furnishing liquor to a young girl under the age of eighteen while he as attempting to convince her of the merits of 'free love' " (pg. 435). Bryan was also noted to have bragged frequently to friends about his ability to seduce underage girls with his hypnotic powers (noted in part seven).
Still, Bryan would seemingly be an unlikely candidate to task with something as high stakes as programming an assassin to take out a beloved political figure and likely future US president. It is quite possible, however, that Bryan had some knowledge of the assassination. He was a consultant for ARTICHOKE and may have instructed others in his hypnotic techniques. There is one particular individual whom he is said to have trained:
"... Bryan was a close associate of David Ferrie, having taught Ferrie hypnosis. Bryan, like Ferrie, was a member of the Old Catholic Church."
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 435)
While Ferrie's relationship to Bryan is still highly speculative, there seems little doubt that they were members of the same bizarre church, which had numerous links to the fascist underground and the US intelligence community, as noted before here. Both Morse Allen and Paul Gaynor, as noted in part one, were on very good terms with the former in addition to being powerful figures in the latter. Thus, there may have been others whom Bryan had trained who either dropped a reference to their former teacher into Sirhan's programming as a tribute or red herring, to distract researchers from the real programmers. But moving along.
There are also some indications that ARTICHOKE may have played a role in another major assassination that occurred during the turbulent 1960s. Truthout reports:
"Other hard evidence of the CIA's leanings toward assassination as a feature of policy and operations is yet another memorandum by the Agency's Security Office and Artichoke official Morse Allen. Wrote Allen about Martin Luther King in 1965: 'It is [redacted]'s belief that somehow or other Martin Luther King must be removed from the leadership of the Negro movement, and his removal must come from within and not from without. [Redacted] feels that somehow in the Negro movement, at the top, there must be a Negro leader who is "clean" who could step into the vacuum and chaos if Martin Luther King were exposed or assassinated.' "
It is also interesting to note that MLK's alleged assassin, James Earl Ray, had been both hypnotized prior to King's death and had also displayed quite an interest in hypnosis in general. Consider:
"One other bit of evidence gives unity to the contradictions --Ray had been hypnotized while in Los Angeles.
"It was not mentioned in Ray's 'trail,' but at the time of his arrest in London, he had in his possession three books on hypnosis: Self-Hypnotism: The Technique and Its Use in the Daily Life by Leslie M. LeCron, How to Cash In on Your Hidden Memory Power by William D. Jersey, and Psychocybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. Ray had told William Bradford Huie, 'I took a course in hypnosis while in L.A. I had read a lot about it in prison on how it was used in dentistry and medicine.'
"On November 27, 1967, Ray appeared in the office of Dr. Mark Freeman, a psychologist who practiced in Beverly Hills. Dr. Freeman remembered that Ray, who'd given his real name, asked to be hypnotized because he wanted to sleep better and remember things better."
(Operation Mind Control, Walter Bowart, pg. 213)Apparently Dr. Freeman found Ray to be a very good hypnotic subject. Ray himself alleged to have seen as many as eight hypnotists in his day, according to Bowart. This researcher has yet to find anything yet directly linking Ray to ARTICHOKE or MKULTRA programmers, however.
|James Earl Ray|
"... The CIA's OS activated an emergency security plan at CIA headquarters as a precautionary measure during the riots after King's assassination, the Poor People's Campaign, the funeral of Kennedy, and a few other public events to protect CIA personnel and facilities. The OS responded to the Secret Service's request for CIA help with security measures at the Republican National Convention in Miami in August 1968, and later at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago with Helms' approval, but the DCI directed that the support be overt."
(MH/CHAOS, Frank J. Rafalko, pgs. 34-35)What exactly was meant by "overt support" is unknown. The only details I've been able to find out about the OS's involvement at the notorious 1968 Democratic National Convention are reports that they dispatched two technicians to assist the Secret Service in monitoring radio frequencies. This researcher finds this account to be rather dubious. Typically, the TSS or another section of the Directorate of Science and Technology would have handled such an assignment as this is where their area of expertise lay. The OS was more action oriented and normally would have relied upon the TSS to provide listening devises.
As was noted in part seven, ARTICHOKE did consider ultrasonics and other potential electromagnetic radiation (which includes radio waves) for use in their experiments. Some scientists believed that such things could be used to make individuals more passive or aggressive, depending upon the circumstances. Certainly the 1968 Democratic Convention proved to be rather aggressive, resulting in mass riots that badly damaged the public's perception of the party. Whether or not exotic methods were used to spur the chaos is unknown, but there is no dispute that the Convention was littered with undercover informants. In the classic Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shalin note: "According to Army intelligence documents later obtained by CBS news, nearly one out of six demonstrators at the Chicago convention was an undercover operative" (pg. 224).
|a scene from the 1968 Democratic National Convention|
What then does it all mean? Are these assassinations indications of the much speculated upon Manchurian Candidate?
Perhaps, but such conclusions are problematic for reasons indicated in the Artichoke treatment section: the evidence that these techniques actually work is highly debatable, at best. At least one MKULTRA operator dismissed the effectiveness of a Manchurian Candidate out of hand:
"... The MKULTRA veteran maintains that he and his colleagues were not interested in a programmed assassin because they knew in general it would not work and, specifically, that they could not exert total control. 'If you have one hundred percent control, you have one hundred percent dependency,' he says. 'If something happens and you haven't programmed it in, you've got a problem. If you try to put flexibility in, you lose control. To the extent you let the agent choose, you don't have control.'... "
(The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", John Marks, pg. 203)
On the one hand, these claims from an unnamed MKULTRA veteran should be taken with a grain of salt. While MKULTRA may not have had much interest in mind control, ARTICHOKE surely did. An ARTICHOKE document discussing its objectives states: "... ascertaining whether effective and practical techniques exist, or could be developed, which could be utilized to render an individual subservient to an imposed will or control..."(A Secret Order, pg. 171). Clearly an interest existed.
But how practical a Manchurian Candidate would actually be is quite valid. While this researcher does not believe a programmed assassin would be able to carry out an elaborate "executive action" (such as taking a target out with a sniper rifle), it may in fact be possible to condition someone to shoot a targeted individual in a public place or crowd. Certainly it does seem that Sirhan Sirhan managed this feat. Far right wing CIA-connected financier Nicholas Deak was murdered under similar circumstances in 1985 by a female assailant displaying signs of being hypno-programmed.
It is important to emphasize that in both cases the victims were shot at point blank range by assassins that were able to get right next to their targets. The same is also true of Jack Ruby, who some believe was hypno-programmed to assassinate Oswald. In this researcher's opinion, this is about the extent of what a programmed assassin would be able to pull off. And even this may be giving Project ARTICHOKE to much credit.
What hypno-programming would likely be most effective at would be in creating a patsy and not an assassin. Consider:
"The veteran admits that none of the arguments he uses against a conditioned assassin would apply to a programmed 'patsy' whom a hypnotist could walk through a series of seemingly unrelated events --a visit to a store, a conversation with a mailman, picking a fight at a political rally. The subject would remember everything that happened to him and be amnesic only for the fact the hypnotist ordered him to do these things. There would be no gaping inconsistency in his life of the sort that can ruin an attempt by a hypnotist to create a second personality. The purpose of this exercise is to leave a circumstantial trail that will make the authorities think the patsy committed a particular crime. The weakness might well be that the amnesia would not hold up under police interrogation, but that would not matter if the police did not believe his preposterous story about being hypnotized or if he were shot resisting arrest..."
(The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", John Marks, pg. 204n)
|a self-described patsy|
While it may seem superficially preposterous to many that ARTICHOKE and the Office of Security could have played a key role in the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK, to say nothing of the riots at the '68 Chicago convention, keep in mind that there is ample evidence that the OS played a key role in creating the Watergate scandal which ultimately brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon. The OS has long been linked to CIA assassination plots as well and turns up in several suspicious suicides, including that of Frank Olson, as noted in part five.
In many ways the Office of Security was akin to a domestic version of the Special Activities Division (SAD), which it frequently collaborated with. SAD is the primary arm of the CIA that handles foreign covert and black ops --assassinations, paramilitary operations, psychological and economic warfare, etc. The OS handled domestic black ops like black bag operations and clean-ups, and potentially even assassinations as well. But beyond this, they also had counterintelligence functions such as running double agents or infiltrating domestic groups. And finally, they were the principal department to handle interrogations, which is how they ended up with control of ARTICHOKE (which was initially founded to investigate "special interrogation" methods, as noted in part six).
With all this in mind, it does not seem much of a stretch that the OS would have been tasked with something as incredible as ending a presidency, or a domestic "subversive" movement. Indeed, they are arguably the only component of the CIA that had the necessary "expertise" in the multiple disciplines that would have been required to carry off such things.
All of this is of course highly speculative on my part and many of the deep events just outlined had players involved in them that went well beyond the OS. What I have hoped to demonstrate is the likelihood of some OS involvement in these events and the possibility that the OS was far more than a marginal component of the Agency, as it is often depicted. Given how many of the CIA's most controversial operations that OS turns up in, this should not seem like much of a stretch to the reader of this series.
Before wrapping up with this installment I would like to briefly address the fate of ARTICHOKE after it was finally put to rest officially in 1973. It seems likely that ARTICHOKE did not in fact end, but was simply outsourced. The process of taking ARTICHOKE deep private was likely well underway as far back as the 1950s, but certainly it had to be officially divorced from any branch of the US government after the Watergate scandal (at least until the presidency of Bush II).
Easily the most enduring legacy of ARTICHOKE is its influence on torture, most especially its trailblazing use of sensory deprivation. ARTICHOKE appears to have taken an early interest in the work of McGill University superstar Dr. Donald Hebb, whose research served the basis for Ewen Cameron's "psychic driving" insanity. The CIA began to follow Hebb's work in 1951 just as ARTICHOKE was beginning to ramp and by 1954 Morse Allen had approached another psychiatrist about such methods.
"The CIA, following Hebb's lead, moved quickly to explore the implications of sensory deprivation for interrogation. As early as March 1955, for example, the agency's Office of Security had already done a research paper describing 'total isolation' techniques as 'an operational tool of potential.' That same year, Morse Allen, a militant anti-Communist who headed the CIA's Artichoke project, met with a brain surgeon at the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Maitland Baldwin, about his recent, rather promising experiment. After forty hours inside a specially constructed sensory deprivation box, an army volunteer began 'an hour of crying loudly and sobbing in a most heartrending fashion' before kicking his way out. This dramatic denouncement persuaded Baldwin that 'the isolation technique could break any man, no matter how intelligent or strong-willed.' By now, Morse Allen felt further work with volunteers proved little, and wanted real-world testing of subjects 'for whom much is at stake (perhaps life and death),' pressing even for 'terminal experiments' to see how deeply coerced sensory deprivation could disturb the mind. Though feeling that anything more than six days of sensory deprivation would 'almost certainly cause irreparable damage,' Baldwin agreed to do these 'terminal type' tests if the agency would provide both subjects and cover. In the end, however, a CIA medical officer blocked the project as 'immoral and inhuman,' suggesting that those who favored the experiment might 'volunteer their heads for use in Dr. Baldwin's "noble" project.' "
(A Question of Torture, Alfred W. McCoy, pgs. 38-39)
|Dr. Maitland Baldwin|
By the early 1960s, these "breakthroughs" achieved by ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA were incorporated into an official CIA interrogation manual.
"In 1963, the CIA distilled its findings in its seminal Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation handbook. For the next forty years, the Kubark manual would define the agency's interrogation methods and training programs throughout the Third World. Synthesizing the behavioral research done by contract academics, the manual spelled out a revolutionary two-phase form of torture that relied on sensory deprivation and self-inflicted pain for an effect that, for the first time in the two millennia of this cruel science, was more psychological than physical."
(A Question of Torture, Alfred McCoy, pg. 50)
It is of course most interesting that the Kubark manual was first issued in 1963. This was the year that both ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA were officially ended, though research in such fields continued in successor programs to both projects until 1973, but at a greatly reduced scale. As Kubark indicates, by this time enough research had been done and it was time for these techniques to be taken into the field on a mass scale. And make no mistake about it, Kubark is very much the legacy of ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA, as research done by both projects is directly cited in the manual:
"... Similarly, Kubark noted that experiments at 'McGill University, the National Institute of Mental Health, and other sites have attempted to come as close as possible to the elimination of sensory stimuli.' Some of these 'findings point toward hypotheses that seem relevant to interrogation, but conditions like those of detention for purposes of counterintelligence interrogation have not been duplicated for experimentation.' This deficiency --the lack of verifiable results from human subjects --would soon be resolved as the CIA began to apply its paradigm, particularly in South Vietnam."
(A Question of Torture, Alfred McCoy, pg. 52)Indeed, in Vietnam the Phoenix Program would provide ample opportunities for the CIA to put these methods to work operationally. Thus, you have the origins of "enhanced" interrogation methods. Its close associate "extraordinary rendition" was very much the legacy of ARTICHOKE as well. As was noted above, double agents and such like were frequently abducted and shipped to sites such as those mentioned above in Panama and Germany where they were subjected to the Artichoke treatment. Nowadays these locations would be known as "black sites."
|"black sites" currently used by the CIA and Pentagon|
"Since those wanted by the various juntas often took refuge in neighboring countries, the regional governments collaborated with each other in the notorious Operation Condor. Under Condor, the intelligence agencies of the Southern Cone shared information about 'subversives' --aided by a state-of-the-art computer system provided by Washington --and then gave each other's agents safe passage to carry out cross-border kidnappings and torture, a system eerily resembling the CIA's 'extraordinary rendition' network today."
(The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, pg. 91)
|countries targeted in Operation Condor|
"Considerable funds were laundered through Colonia Dignidad in Chile, as one example, and these funds were used to develop chemical and biological weapons, as well as to run the torture and interrogation center at the Colony after the overthrow of Allende. The Colony itself was part of... Operation Condor..."
(The Hitler Legacy, Peter Levenda, pg. 299)This researcher has already written at length on Colonia Dignidad before here and will not delve into it too deeply here, but suffice to say, any number of ARTICHOKE techniques such as mind-altering drugs, sensory deprivation, isolation and electroshock were employed by the Colony in addition to less "scientific methods" (i.e. German shepherds). The Colony was staffed by any number of "former" Nazis, but also received assistance from Chile's primary intelligence agency.
"... the Colony got a chance to put its electroshock and narcotics 'therapies' to the test. Townley and DINA agents had the run of the Colony, both at Parral and at the Colony office in Santiago. While DINA maintained contact with its agents all over the world through the Colony's radio link, Townley helped design the specifically equipped interrogation cells. These were tiny, soundproofed rooms built underground where 'political prisoners' were taken not only for actual interrogations of a political or military nature, but also for the purpose of developing new methods of torture."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pg. 319)
Also interesting to note are Operation Condor's ties to the American far right. As I noted before here, Operation Condor was sponsored in part by the notorious World Anti-Communist League (WACL, addressed at length before here), a bizarre mixture of "former" US intelligence and military officers, international drug traffickers, death squads commanders, religious extremists of various stripes and the inevitable aging Nazi war criminals. The WACL in turn was very close to the American Security Council (ASC), with more than a little overlap in the American membership (for instance General John Singlaub, who headed the WACL in the 1980s, was also a key member of the ASC during this time as well). And as was noted in parts one and four of this series, ARTICHOKE supervisor Brigadier General Paul Gaynor had very, very close ties to the ASC, as did James McCord.
It is also interesting to note that a major backer of the WACL for years was the Unification Church of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Moon and his Unification Church received ample backing from the KCIA who, as noted in the Artichoke treatment section, were another of the foreign intelligence services trained in interrogation methods at the School of the Americas and nearby facilities where ARTICHOKE experiments were also being conducted. It has long been alleged that the Unification Church employs brainwashing methods on its members (noted before here). Whether this has any ties to ARTICHOKE is unknown.
|Reverend Sun Myung Moon|
The New Orleans-based Information Council of the Americas (INCA, addressed before here and here) is especially suggestive in this regard. The INCA is mostly remembered now for sponsoring Lee Harvey Oswald's infamous radio debate, but its membership had ties to Le Cercle, the CIA-linked International Trade Mart, and a host of other domestic far right organizations linked to the American Security Council network. Clay Shaw, one of the key suspects in Jim Garrison's investigation of the JFK assassination, was a member of the INCA. And one of the INCA's most visible members, Edward Scannell Butler, was very close to both Morse Allen an Brigadier General Paul Gaynor, as noted above and in part one of this series. In this context, the implications of the INCA and the evil it represented go far beyond the Kennedy assassination and could hint at a disturbing metamorphosis of ARTICHOKE.
While it seems likely that aspects of ARTICHOKE were continued in some form by the Fascist International until the end of the Cold War, with the 9/11 terror attacks and the ensuing "War on Terror," ARTICHOKE methods were once again openly used by US personnel. Truthout notes:
"Dimtrov's story takes on added significance when one considers the latest stories of the unraveling torture conspiracy and operations conducted by the American CIA and Department of Defense, in conjunction with their British allied organizations, and a host of other governments, including Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland and numerous others. After a series of exposures during the 1970's, many assumed the worst excesses of the Cold War torture research program, and its implementation in programs such as the CIA's Operation Phoenix in Vietnam were a fixture of the past. However, subsequent revelations, e.g. the appearance of a US-sponsored torture manual for use in Latin America in the 1980's, including documentation of torture by US forces in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, demonstrate that a direct line exists between the torture and rendition programs of the past and the practices of the present day. Recently, articles have detailed how the 2006 rewrite of the Army Field Manual allowed for use of ongoing isolation, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, induction of fear and the use of drugs that cause temporary derangement of the senses...
"The allegations of drugging by Mohamed and other prisoners are redolent of the use of hallucinogenic and other powerful mind-altering drugs by the US in its Artichoke, MK-ULTRA and other programs. A recent account, by Joby Warrick of The Washington Post, described some of these allegations of drugging of 'detainees.' The Post article subsequently led to an ongoing DoD Inspector General investigation into Possible Use of Mind Altering Substances by DoD Personnel during Interrogations of Detainees and/or Prisoners Captured during the War on Terror (D2007-DINT01-0092.005) "to determine if DoD personnel conducted, facilitated, or otherwise supported interrogations of detainees and /or prisoners using the threat or administration of mind altering drugs." According to his attorney's filings in the Jose Padilla case, Padilla, who was also originally implicated in the "dirty bomb" so-called plot with Binyam Mohamed, was forced to take LSD or other powerful drugs while held in solitary confinement in the Navy brig in South Carolina.
"Another former Guantanamo prisoner, Mamdouh Habib, an Egyptian-born Australian Muslim released in 2005, has consistently told his tale of being subjected to electroshock, beatings and drugging while in US custody...
"Most recently, in an important article by Scott Horton at Harpers, the reexamination of the evidence in the supposed 2006 suicides of three prisoners at Guantanamo pointed to the possibility that the prisoners were killed in a previously unknown black site prison on the Guantanamo base - 'Camp No' - run by the CIA or Joint Special Operations Command. This raises the question of why they were taken off site at all. One prisoner, 22-year-old Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, had needle marks on both of his arms. The marks were notably not documented in the US military's autopsy report."
This researcher had an especially good laugh over current CIA director John Brennan's recent faux outrage over the prospect of the CIA again being ordered to conduct waterboarding. The CIA and the Pentagon have been conducting far worse for over half a century now, and even when outrage from the general public has forced them to officially stop, the interrogation sites have continued in the deep private. Rest assured dear readers, somewhere the CIA and the Pentagon are still overseeing ARTICHOKE-like methods applied to the War on Terror.
Before wrapping up, I would like to address something I'm sure many readers are curious about: namely, the possible ties pedophile networks have to ARTICHOKE. As was noted above, William Joseph Bryan was a pedophile while David Ferrie was also an arch child rapist (addressed before here) and the founder of Colonia Dignidad, Paul Shaffer, was finally brought down due to multiple accusations of pedophilia (addressed before here).
|Colonia Dignidad founder Paul Shaffer|
This researcher has found no evidence that minors were ever used for such functions. TSS/MKULTRA personnel, who were generally far more moderate than their ARTICHOKE counterparts, did discuss the possible use of children, however.
"... a TSS veteran says that a good number of case officers wanted no part of homosexual entrapment operations. And to go a step further, he recalls one senior KGB man who told too many sexual jokes about young boys. 'It didn't take long to recognize that he was more than a little fascinated by youths,' says the source. 'I took the trouble to point out he was probably too good, too well-trained, to be either entrapped or to give away secrets. But he would have been tempted towards a compromising position by a preteen. I mentioned this, and they said, "As a psychological observer, you're probably quite right. But what the hell are we going to do about it? Where are we going to get a twelve-year-old boy?" ' The source believes that if the Russian had had a taste for older men, U.S. intelligence might have mounted an operation, 'but the idea of a twelve-year-old boy was just more than anybody could stomach.' "
(The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", John Marks, pg. 104)While the TSS and MKULTRA personnel may have had serious moral scruples over such things, the OS was clearly not offended by homosexual blackmail and this researcher doubts that they would have shied away from using children if they thought there was an advantage to be gained. But likely such operations would have been outsourced from the get go to create plausible deniability. Something like Robert Maheu's private detective agency or Gaynor and Allen's far right wing contacts would have been the ones to carry out such activities. And as I noted before in my examination of Le Cercle, there are ample indications that the Fascist International did run an international pedophile network for sexual blackmail purposes. This likely predated ARTICHOKE, however, and it is debatable how much influence the program as a whole would have had on it.
|Brigadier General Paul F. Gaynor|