Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dr. Cameron or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Enhanced Interrogation Part III

Welcome to the third and final installment in my examination of the legacy of the notorious psychiatrist Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron. Cameron was one of the most prominent men in his field during his lifetime, having served as the head of the American, Canadian, and World Psychiatric Associations as well as several other leading psychiatric associations throughout the 1950s in addition to his work for the Nuremberg Trials.

Today, however, Cameron is most well known for the work that he did as part of the CIA's notorious MK-Ultra experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute of Montréal's McGill University from 1957 until late 1963. During this timeframe Cameron experimented with virtually every en vogue technique the Agency was interested in relating to mind control including sensory deprivation, drugs (most famously LSD as well as curare, a substance that causes limited paralysis, and many more), the playing of endless tape loops, and electroshock therapy. More information on these experiments can be found in part one of the present series.


Mainstream historians have overwhelmingly depicted Cameron's work for MK-Ultra as a grotesque and colossal failure founded upon startlingly unscientific principles and only legitimized because of Cameron's immense reputation within his field. Conversely, conspiracy theorists have long alleged that Cameron's experiments were in fact a success and that he had helped develop a highly effective means of mind control. In some cases Cameron's work has been incorporated into several strands of the ever-popular Project Monarch theories, an operation that theoretically involves satanic ritual abuse as a means of creating alternative personalities within children that can be groomed as assassins, drug traffickers, sex slaves, etc.

While Cameron's research was certainly trauma-based I finding the linkages between Cameron's work and the Monarch theories highly improbable, as I outlined at some length in part two of this series. Indeed, there is compelling evidence that Monarch itself was nothing but a fabrication and the linkages between Cameron and Mengele are even flimsier than the broader Monarch theories.

In general, there is nothing credible indicating that Cameron's "techniques" were an effective means of even programming individuals and certainly not of mind control. And yet they were not seemingly the colossal failures that mainstream historians would have us believe either. Indeed, the CIA seems to have heavily incorporated Cameron's research into its official interrogation program shortly after Cameron's experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute were terminated by the Agency.
"... the CIA produced a handbook called Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation. The title was in code: 'Kubark' is, according to The New York Times, 'a cryptogram, KU a random diptych and BARK the agency's codeword for itself at that time.' Most recent reports have speculated that the 'ku' referred to 'a country or a specific clandestine or convert activity.' The handbook is a 128-page secret manual on the 'interrogation of resistant sources' that is heavily based on the research commissioned by MKUltra  --and Ewen Cameron's and Donald Hebb's experiments have left their marks all over it. Methods range from sensory deprivation to stress positions, from hooding to pain. (The manual acknowledges early on that many of these tactics are illegal and instructs interrogators to 'seek prior Headquarters approval... Under any of the following circumstances: 1. If bodily harm is to be inflicted. 2. If medical, chemical or electrical methods or materials are to be used to induce acquiescence.')
"The manual is dated 1963, the final year of the MKUltra program and two years after Cameron CIA-funded experiments came to a close. The handbook claims that if the techniques are used properly, they will take a resistant source and 'destroy his capacity for resistance.' This, it turns out, was the true purpose of MKUltra: not to research brainwashing (that was a mere side project), but to design a scientifically-based system for extracting information from resistant sources. In other words, torture.
"The manual states on its first page that it is about to describe interrogation methods based on 'extensive research, including scientific inquiries conducted by specialists in closely related subjects.' It represents a new age of precise, refined torture -- not the gory, inexact torment that had been the standard since the Spanish Inquisition. In a kind of preface, the manual states: 'The intelligence service which is able to bring pertinent, modern knowledge to bear upon its problems enjoys huge advantages over a service which conducts its clandestine business in eighteenth century fashion... It is no longer possible to discuss interrogation significantly without reference to psychological research conducted in the past decade.' What follows is a how-to guide on dismantling personalities.
"... But it is the work of Cameron, and his recipe for disturbing 'the time-space-image,' that forms the core of the Kubark formula. The manual describes several of the techniques that were honed to depattern patients in the basement of the Allan Memorial Institute: 'The principle is that sessions should be so planned as to disrupt the source's sense of chronological order.... Some interrogatees can be regressed by persistent manipulation of time, by retarding and advancing clocks and serving meals at odd times --ten minutes or ten hours after the last food was given. Day and night are jumbled.'
"What most captured the imagination of Kubark's authors, more than any individual technique, was Cameron's focus on regression --the idea that by depriving people of their sense of who they are and where they are in time and space, adults can be converted into dependent children whose minds are a blank slate of suggestibility. Again and again, the authors returned to the theme. 'All of the techniques employed to breakthrough an interrogation roadblock, the entire spectrum from simple isolation to hypnosis and narcosis, are essentially ways of speeding up the process of regression. As the interrogatee slips back from maturity towards a more infantile state, his learned or structured personality traits fall away.' That is when the prisoner goes into the state of 'psychological shock' or 'suspended animation' referred to earlier --that torturer's sweet spot when 'the source is far more open to suggestion, far likelier to comply.'
"Alfred W. McCoy, a historian at the University of Wisconsin who documented the evolution of torture techniques since the Inquisition in his book A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation from the Cold War to the War on Terror, describes the Kubark manual's shock-inducing formula of sensory deprivation followed by sensory overload as 'the first real revolution in the cruel science of pain in more than three centuries.' And according to McCoy, it couldn't have happened without the McGill experiments in the 1950s. 'Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Dr. Cameron's experiments, building upon Dr. Hebb's earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA's two-stage psychological torture method.'"
(The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, pgs. 39-41)

For the most part I agree with Ms. Klein's thesis but I believe that she incorrectly used the term "brainwashing" above when she in fact meant mind control. There is, contrary to popular belief, a difference between the two. Mind control implies that a handler has gained some type of actual control over an individual's consciousness and is directly manipulating their actions. Brainwashing, by contrast, is simply a highly intensive form of indoctrination and was not dreamed up by the Communists. In point of fact, it was a very old technique that has been employed by both mainline religions and cults as well as military orders and suchlike for centuries as a means of controlling their followers. In general, though, the primary difference between mind control and brainwashing is one of will: People who are being mind control theoretically can be induced into committing actions against their will while brainwashing requires that a subject already have something in their personality for the indoctrination to be effective.

As far as mind control is concerned, Cameron's techniques were almost most certainly failures. But there is some indication that they did make for an effective means of brainwashing individuals, as we shall see. What's more, Cameron's concept of "depatterning" was seemingly embraced by policymakers on a mass scale with radical economic transformation used as a substitute for Cameron's beloved electroshock therapy. Specifically, it was the economic ideology of famed economist Milton Friedman and his Chicago School philosophy that filled the role of the Page-Russell machine.
"Like Ewen Cameron's psychiatric department at McGill in the same period, the University of Chicago's Economics Department was in the thrall of an ambitious and charismatic man on a mission to fundamentally revolutionize his profession. That man was known as Milton Friedman. Though he had many mentors and colleagues who believe just as fiercely as he did in ultra laissez-faire, it was Friedman's energy the gave the school its revolutionary fervor...
"Friedman's mission, like Cameron's, rested on a dream of reaching back to a state of 'natural' health, when all was in balance, before interferences created distorting patterns. Where Cameron dreamed of returning the human mind to that pristine state, Friedman dreamed of depattering societies, of returning them to a state of pure capitalism, cleansed of all interruptions --government regulations, trade barriers and entrenched interests. Also like Cameron, Friedman believed that when the economy is highly distorted, the only way to reach that prelapsrian state was to deliberately inflict painful shocks: only 'bitter medicine' could clear those distortions and bad patterns out of the way. Cameron used electricity to inflict is shock; Friedman's tool policy --the shock treatment approach he urged on both politicians for countries in distress."
(ibid, pgs. 50-51)

It was Cameron's techniques, thinly veiled in the Kubark manual, that first made their entrance onto the world stage in the field.
"Wherever the Kubark method has been taught, certain clear patterns -- all designed to induce, deepen and sustain shock --have emerged: prisoners are captured in the most jarring and disorienting way possible, late at night or in the early-morning raids, as the manual instructs. They are immediately hooded or blindfolded, stripped and beaten, then subject to some form of sensory deprivation. And from Guatemala to Honduras, Vietnam to Iran, the Philippines to Chile, the use of electroshock is ubiquitous.
"This was not, of course, all the influence of Cameron or MKUltra. Torture is always an improvisation, a combination of learned technique and the human instinct for brutality that is unleashed wherever impunity reigns. By the mid-fifties, electroshock was being routinely used against liberation fighters by French soldiers in Algeria, often with the help of psychiatrists. In this period, French military leaders conducted seminars at a U.S. military 'counterinsurgency' school in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in which they trained students in the Algeria techniques. It is also clear, however, that Cameron's particular model of using massive doses of shock not just to inflict pain but for the specific goal of erasing structured personalities made an impression on the CIA. In 1966, the CIA sent three psychiatrist to Saigon, armed with a Page-Russell, the same kind of electroshock machine favored by Cameron; it was used so aggressively that it killed several prisoners. According to McCoy, 'in effect, they were testing , under field conditions, whether Ewen Cameron's McGill "de-patterning" techniques could actually alter human behavior.'"
(ibid, pg. 61)

It was in the Southern Cone region of South America that these techniques were first employed on a wide scale. "Incidentally," the Southern Cone region was also a major destination for Nazi war criminals, the regime of which is the first one I am aware of to use electrical shocks as a means of torture on a wide scale. Apparently the Nazis "pioneered" this technique during their occupation of France where a young Klaus Barbie found ample uses for it. The following description of an interrogation of a French resistance fighter, a poor bastard called Monjaret, seems strikingly contemporary:
"Monjaret was taken to the Ecole de Sante'. There he was confronted by Barbie who interrogated him brutally for several hours. When Monjaret refused to talk, Barbie hit him ferociously with a bull-whip. Later he was tortured for hours by Gestapo agents who held his head down in a lavatory filled with water. They waited until he had almost drowned, then pulled his head up. This was repeated over and over again. Finally, they fastened electrodes to his nipples and testicles and turned on the currents in bursts."
(The Nazi Legacy, Linklater, Hilton & Ascherson, pg. 75)
Good ole Klaus

The above description could have been depicting any number of interrogations conducted by secret police in Latin America throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Barbie would of course go on to become a member of Bolivian intelligence while numerous other former Nazis would do the same in various other countries throughout the Southern Cone. Of course, several of Cameron's former students at McGill also ended up in the Southern Cone (and were briefly considered for the staff of the 'Violence Center' envisioned by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan and Army psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West for Cali in the early 1970s).
"Two South American doctors who had worked at the institute under Dr. Cameron had also been targeted, one to run the center's shock room --which would operate on a twenty-four-hour basis, seven days a week --and the other to assist in the center's psychosurgical operating suite, where the very latest techniques in lobotomy would be used. The doctors were currently employed in detention centers in Paraguay and Chile."
(Journey Into Madness, Gordon Thomas, pgs. 284-285) 
Needless to say, the Southern Cone had ample amounts of "specialist" in these new torture innovations present throughout the area. Unsurprisingly, this was also the region of the world where the economic equivalent of depatterning and psychic driving was also unleashed upon the world on a mass scale for the first time.
"Friedman first learned how to exploit a large-scale shock or crisis in the mid-seventies, when he acted as advisor to Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet. Not only were Chileans in a state of shock following Pinochet's coup, but the country was also traumatized by severe hyperinflation. Friedman advised Pinochet to impose a rapid-fire transformation of the economy --tax cuts, free trade, privatized services, cuts to social spending and deregulation. Eventually, Chileans even saw the public schools replaced with voucher-funded private ones. It was the most extreme capitalist makeover ever attempted anywhere, and became known as a 'Chicago School' revolution, since so many of the notion's economists had studied under Friedman at the University of Chicago. Friedman predicted that the speed, suddenness and scope of the economic shifts would provoke psychological reactions in the public that 'facilitate the adjustment.' He coined a phrase for this painful tactic: economic 'shock treatment.' In the decades sense, whenever governments have imposed sweeping free-market programs, the all-at-one shock treatment, or shock therapy, has been the method of choice.
"Pinochet also facilitated the adjustment with his own shock treatment; these were performed in the regime's many torture cells, inflicted on the writhing bodies of those deemed most likely to stand in the way of the capitalist transformation. Many in Latin America saw a direct connection between the economic shocks that impoverished millions and the epidemic of torture the punished hundreds of thousands of people who believed in a different kind of society."
(The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, pg. 7)
General Pinochet

It is Chile that we shall focus on for the remainder of this article as the evils that were unleashed there in the name of "shock therapy" (both economic and literal) are well documented and have been repeated time again and again by various other far right dictatorships the world over. Indeed, Pinochet's Chile --which brought together Chicago School economics, a new style of torture based in psychiatry and the inevitable Nazi war criminals --was in many ways the coming-out party for this new doctrine of shock that eventually gripped the rest of the world. This makes the date of Pinochet's military coup --September 11, 1973 -- all the more ominous.

Twenty-eight years later to the day America would undergo its own traumatic shock and the results so far have been not unlike what Chile experienced under Pinochet, though with far more subtly. A comparison between these two events is vastly beyond the scope of this present article, but I urge my readers to keep the connection in mind as I break down Pinochet's reign. First, let us consider the economic reforms he embraced with Friedman's ample encouragement.

Friedman famously visited Chile in 1975 where he proclaimed that the junta was off to a good start (despite the fact that inflation was already well beyond the levels it had been under the democratically-elected socialist Salvador Allende, the man Pinochet had overthrown), but that the economy needed "shock treatment" (the first time Friedman had publically used this phrase in reference to the policies he had long promoted) to finally rid the nation of all "distortions." Pinochet was more than happy to oblige.
"Pinochet was converted. In his letter of response, Chile's supreme chief expressed 'my highest and most respectful regards for you,' assuring Friedman that 'the Plan is being fully applied at the present time.' Immediately after Friedman's visit, Pinochet fired his economic minister and handed the job to Sergio de Castro, whom he later promoted to finance minister. De Castro stacked the government with his fellow Chicago Boys, appointing one of them to head the central bank. Orlando Saenz, who had objected to the mass layoffs and plant closures, was replaced as head of the Association of Manufacturers by someone with a more shock-friendly attitude...
"Freed of the naysayers, Pinochet and de Castro got to work stripping away the welfare state to arrive at their pure capitalist utopia. In 1975, they cut public spending by 27 percent in one blow --and they kept cutting until, by 1980, it was half of what it had been under Allende. Health and education took the heaviest hits. Even The Economist, a free-markets cheerleader, called it 'an orgy of self-mutilation.' De Castro privatized almost five hundred state-owned companies and banks, practically giving many of them away, since the point was to get them as quickly as possible into their rightful place in the economic order. He took no pity on local companies and removed even more trade barrier; the result was the loss of 177,000 industrial jobs between 1973 and 1983. By the mid-eighties, manufacturing as a percentage of the economy dropped to levels last seen during the Second World War.
"Shock treatment was an apt description for what Friedman had prescribed. Pinochet had deliberately sent his country into a deep recession, based on the untested theory that the sudden contraction would jolt the economy into health. In its logic, it was strikingly similar to that of the psychiatrists who started mass-prescribing ECT in the 1940s and 1950s, convinced that deliberately induced grand mal seizures would magically reboot their patient's brains...
"Causing a recession or a depression is a brutal idea, since it necessarily creates mass poverty, which is why no political leader had until this point been willing to test the theory. Who wants to be responsible for what Business-Week described as a 'Dr. Strangelove world of deliberately induced depression'?
"Pinochet did. In the first year of the Friedman-prescribed shock therapy, Chile's economy contracted by 15 percent, and unemployment -- only 3 percent under Allende --reach 20 percent, a rate unheard of in Chile at the time. The country was certainly convulsing under its 'treatments.' And contrary to Friedman's sunny predictions, the unemployment crisis lasted for years, not months. The junta, which had instantly taken to Friedman's illness metaphors, was unapologetic, explaining that 'this path was chosen because it is the only one that goes directly to the sickness.' Friedman concurred."
(ibid, pgs. 81-83)
the Chilean National Palace in the midst of the coup

I'm sure at this point several of you are thinking, "But Recluse, what about the so-called 'Chilean Miracle'? Didn't Pinochet at least eventually turn Chile into a prosperous country?" After all, Chile is typically one of the first nations mentioned when the merits of the Chicago School are being trumpeted.

The answer to this question is roughly "yes," but only after Pinochet scrapped most of the Chicago School policies. What's more, much of this new found prosperity did not "trickle down" to the masses.
"Pinochet held power for seventeen years, and during that time he changed political direction several times. The country's period of steady growth that is held up as proof of its miraculous success did not begin until the mid-eighties -- a full decade after the Chicago Boys implemented shock therapy and well after Pinochet was forced to make a radical course correction. That's because in 1982, despite its strict adherence to Chicago doctrine, Chile's economy crashed: it's debt exploded, it faced hyperinflation once again and unemployment hit 30 percent --ten times higher than it was under Allende. The main cause was that the piranhas, the Enron-style financial houses that the Chicago Boys had freed from all regulation, had bought up the country's assets on borrowed money and run up an enormous debt of $14 billion.
"The situation was so unstable that Pinochet was forced to do exactly what Allende had done: he nationalized many of these companies. In the face of the debacle, almost all the Chicago Boys lost their influential government post, including Sergio de Castro. Several other Chicago graduates held prominent post with the piranhas and came under investigation for fraud, stripping away they carefully cultivated façade of scientific neutrality so central to the Chicago Boy identity.
"The only thing the protected Chile from complete economic collapse in the early eighties was that Pinochet had never privatize Codelco, the state copper mine company nationalized by Allende. That one company generated 85 percent of Chile's export revenues, which meant that when the financial bubble burst, the state still had a steady source of funds.
"It's clear the Chile will never was the laboratory 'pure' free markets that its cheerleaders claimed. Instead, it was a country where a small elite leapt from wealth to super-rich in extremely short order -- a highly profitable formula bankrolled by debt and heavily subsidized (then bailed out) with public funds. When the hype and salesmanship behind the miracle  are stripped away, Chile under Pinochet and the Chicago Boys was not a capitalist state featuring a liberated market but a corporatist one. Corporatism, or 'corporativism,' originally referred to Mussolini's model of a police state run as an alliance of the three major power sources in society --government, business and trade unions --all collaborating to guarantee order in the name of nationalism. What Chile pioneered under Pinochet was an evolution of corporatism: a mutually supporting alliance between the police state and large corporations, joining forces to wage all-out war on the third power sector --the workers --thereby drastically increasing the alliance's share of the national wealth.
"That war -- with many Chileans understandably see a will s a war of the rich against the poor and middle class -- is the real story of Chile's economic 'miracle.' By 1988, when the economy had stabilized and was growing rapidly, 45 percent of the population had fallen below the poverty line. The richest 10 percent of Chileans, however, had seen their incomes increased by 83 percent. Even in 2007, Chile remained one of the most unequal societies in the world --Out of 123 countries in which the United Nations tracks inequality, Chile ranked 116th, making it the 8th most unequal country on the list.
"If that track record qualifies Chile is a miracle for Chicago school economists, perhaps shock treatment was never really about jolting the economy into health. Perhaps it was meant to do exactly what it did --hoover wealth up to the top and shock much of the middle class of existence."
(ibid, pgs. 85-86)

Indeed, the days following Pinochet's removal of the Allende regime and installation of his military dictatorship were the very embodiment of "shock and awe," with a special emphasis on the former.
"In the days that followed, roughly 13,500 civilians were arrested, loaded onto trucks and imprison, according to a declassified CIA report. Thousands ended up in the two main football stadiums in Santiago, the Chile Stadium and the huge National Stadium. Inside the National Stadium, death replaced football as the public spectacle. Soldiers prowled the bleachers with hooded collaborators who pointed out 'subversives'; the ones who were selected were hauled off to locker rooms and skyboxes transformed into makeshift torture chambers. Hundreds were executed. Lifeless body started showing up on the sides of major highways and floating in murky urban canals.
"To make sure that the terror extended beyond the capital city, Pinochet sent his most ruthless commander, General Sergio Arellano Stark, on a helicopter mission to the northern provinces to visit a string of prisons where 'subversives' were being held. At each city and town, Stark and his roving death squad singled out the highest-profile prisoners, as many as twenty-six at a time, who were subsequently executed. The trail of blood left behind over those four days came to be known as the Caravan of Death. In short order, the entire country had gotten the message: resistance is deadly.
"Even though Pinochet's battle was one-sided, its effects were as real as any civil war or foreign invasion: in all, more than 3,200 people were disappeared or executed, at least 80,000 were in prison, and 200,000 fled the country for political reasons"
(ibid, pgs. 76-77)
the National Stadium

The fingerprints of Cameron's methods, incorporated into the Kubark manual, were present all across Pinochet's reign of terror. There's evidence, for instance, that they were employed during the notorious detentions in the National Stadium on a mass scale.
"Prisoners released from Chile's National Stadium said that bright floodlights were kept on twenty-four hours a day, and the order of meals seemed deliberately out of sequence. Soldiers forced many prisoners to wear blankets over their head so they could neither see nor hear properly, a baffling practice since all the prisoners knew they were in the stadium. The effect of the manipulations, prisoners reported, was that they lost their sense of night and day, and the shock and panic triggered by the coup and their subsequent arrest were greatly intensified. It was almost as if the stadium have been turned into a giant laboratory, and they were the test subjects in some strange experiment in sensory manipulation."
(ibid, pgs. 92-93)
Sadly, this "experimentation" went well beyond the initial reign of terror following the coup or even the economic shocks initiated by Pinochet. Chile effectively became a laboratory not just for Chicago School economics but for medical torture and Nazi-style terrorism. These latter two elements were thoroughly tested at a location known as Colonia Dignidad.

the Colony
I've already covered the Colonia Dignidad (which translates to "Colony of Dignity") in depth before here, but here's a brief run down: It was founded in 1961 by German-national Paul Schafer (who claimed to be both a psychologist and Baptist minister, though there is little evidence of either), a former Hitler Youth member and Wehrmacht medic, as a "traditional" Baptists sect in the isolated Chilean country side. Within years of its founding it had developed into a thriving if highly suspect community.
"The population of the Colony eventually grew to about 350, composed of 250 adults and 100 children. According to reports in the Chilean and German press, the sexes are rigorously separated and sexual intercourse is forbidden (except, one gathers, at the discretion of Schafer). And, since sex is prohibited, the only way the Colony has been able to increase its population has been by 'importing' children from Germany. German authorities have been investigating charges that from thirty to forty children reported missing from the Bonn and Cologne areas have wound up at the Colony...
"Spanish is not spoken; instead only German, and, oddly, English are used. Old-fashioned, 1940s-era clothing is worn and fourteen-hour workdays are the norm. No television, radio, or newspapers are allowed in the Colony. There is, however, a shortwave unit on the premise which is used to communicate with an office the Colony maintains in Santiago...
"The Colony established a free clinic on its premises: free, that is, on specific days of the week to members of the local population. They also have their own factory for processing meat, a sixty-five bed hospital, a bakery, dairy, flour mill, machine shop, power plant... and their own airfield. By 1985, they had even open their own roadside restaurant on the Pan American Highway.
"Accounts of the size of the Colony vary from news report to news report. Everything from 12,000 acres to 37,000 acres has been offered, and accounts of its operations also including a mine, a lumber mill, and a gravel factory. This author believes it is safe to say that the Colony has grown considerably over the years and that estimates of a 37,000-acre settlement might not be far from the mark, considering the other purposes to which the Colony was put both during and after the Allende regime."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pg. 314)
aerial view of the Colony

As Levenda darkly hints, the Colony became one of the chief torture sites in Chile after Pinochet's coup. The Colony was aided in this endeavor by Michael Vernon Townley, an American widely believed to be employed by the CIA.


Presently Townley is residing somewhere in the United States under the terms of the federal witness protection program but during the 1970s he operated under the auspices of the Pinochet regime serving as a colonel in the Chilean army and in some capacity with DINA, Pinochet's secret police. He is most well known for his involvement in the assassinations of Allende minister Orlando Letelier and former Chilean Christian Democrat vice-president Bernardo Leighton but Townley has been involved in a host of unsavory activities for the DINA, the US Intelligence community, and the Fascist International over the years. One such task he performed was building a state-of-the-art interrogation facility at the Colony.
"With the coup, however, 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 specially equipped interrogation cells. These were tiny, soundproofed rooms built underground where 'political prisoners' were taken not only for actual interrogation of a political or military nature, but also for the purpose of developing new methods of torture.
"At first, each prisoner was question closely to obtain sufficient information concerning his or her personality in order to develop an appropriate torture and interrogation scheme. This individualized approach is already well known to the intelligence professionals the author has come into contact with over the years. The ostensible goal is to enable the interrogator to so finely tune the torture procedure that the victim surrenders his or her will more completely, more expeditiously. In practice, however, and with such a 'scientifically' adjusted scheme of programmed sadism, there is tremendous room for an interrogator who is so inclined to subject the victim to unimaginable suffering over a long and sustained period of time. That this is what, in fact, took place at the Colony is beyond a doubt for, certainly, there was nothing 'scientific' about the dogs.
In Colonia Dignidad prisoners have allegedly been subjected to different 'experiments' without any interrogation: to dogs trained to commit sexual aggressions and destroy sexual organs of both sexes.
"I have use the exact words of the United Nations report of October 1976 to avoid being charged with unnecessary embellishing my account with sensationalistic hype.
"According to the same UN report:
The detainees' heads are covered with leather hoods which are stuck to their faces with substances that are supposedly chemicals. In these [underground] cells, interrogations are carried out through electronic equipment, including loudspeakers and microphones, while detainees are tied naked to metal frames to receive electric shocks.
"(When the Colony was finally visited in 1986 by a group that included Chilean, West German, and Amnesty International officials, the underground rooms where prisoners had been held and tortured were discovered and identified.)
"What has been described, therefore, is a scene that not even the Nazi death camp commandants were able to invent: torture and interrogation by remote control! Individual prisoners in hermetically sealed, soundproofed cells underground, tied to metal frames, being asked questions by invisible interrogators over a loudspeaker and being jolted with electricity from a remote control panel when slow in answering. And the men who helped designed this infamy was the electronics expert and radio freak, the American Michael Townley."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pg. 321)
presumably the entrance to the "torture bunker"

Those of you who already have some awareness of the damage solitary confinement can have on the human mind have probably already grasped just how truly cruel these interrogation cells were. The overriding objective of such interrogation techniques was ultimately dehumanization and depersonalization --to strip the subject of all semblance of normality and self. Cut off from friends and family, possessions, work, the outside world, and even time itself, the only thing left for the prisoner to turn to is the interrogator. Indeed, prisoners in these types of situations frequently build a strong attachment to their interrogator (a bond the skillful interrogator carefully cultivates) as they are there only human contact.

At Colonia Dignidad the prisoners weren't even given this small comfort. Instead, they were interrogated from afar via microphones and control panels that could deliver electrical shocks all the while Wagner and Mozart played in the background. Thus, not only were the prisoners cut off from the outside world and time itself but even from some semblance of contact with other human beings.

Richard Wagner, who "inspired" more than a few Nazis
It was not just outsiders who were subjected to these methods either. Any number of Colony residents underwent the same treatments and unsurprisingly they by and large showed the characteristics of individual who have undergone highly intensive (and effective) brainwashing:
"Germany's former ambassador to Chile, Horst Kullak-Ublick, who was one of the few people allowed inside the Colony, was interviewed in a Chilean newspaper about his visit.
The people inside the Colony [he said] are simare simple, industrious people, most of them farmers from... My impression was that they were all hypnotized, under the command of one person, Paul Schafer... The answers we received were completely monotone, always the same."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pg. 323)
Other accounts confirm this zombie-like behavior. An American Scholar article quotes former Chilean national detective force chief Luis Henriquez describing the Colony thusly:
"The colonos were like zombies, or maybe like robots... They were machines: on/off, on/off, on/off. They didn’t change moods like normal people."
Colony residents

Did the Colony residents also have those "strange eyes" Rudolf Hess spoke of at Nuremberg (discussed in part one)? Perhaps, but at this point it is important to note that while the brainwashing techniques at the Colony were certainly highly advanced, they were not absolute --People did eventually escaped the Colony over the years and speak out. Schafer no more had the secret to remaking human consciousness than Pinochet did societies.

Besides interrogations the Colony also carried out executions for the Pinochet regime. To date no bodies have been found on the Colony grounds but former DINA agents and Colony members have described the victims as being in the dozens if not more. Michael Townley himself also alleged that the Colony was involved in some type of chemical warfare research. The above-mentioned American Scholar article noted:
"In 2005, Michael Townley, an American expatriate and former DINA officer implicated in several high-profile assassinations and bombings, testified to a Chilean judge that the Colonia had also housed a secret laboratory, where government scientists developed chemical weapons."
As horrible as all of these things are they are quite possibly not the most tragic acts that occurred at the Colony. You see, in addition to being a cult leader and heading a state-of-the-art interrogation and chemical warfare facility (that also occasionally indulged in mass executions), Paul Schafer was also a child rapist. The same American Scholar article states:
"It was an open secret that Schaefer was a pedophile, just as the authorities had accused him of being long before in Germany. He enjoyed taking sprinters along during his daily tour of the Colonia. Because zippers were inconvenient, their uniforms included loose-fitting athletic shorts with an elastic waistband. He allowed his favorite sprinters to stay overnight in his room in a child-size bed set up alongside his own, sometimes sleeping with two or more sprinters at once. His routine, it later emerged, included feeding them sedatives, washing them with a sponge, and sexual manipulation."
Herr Schafer

In all Schafer was convicted in absentia of molesting over two dozen children. This is even more disturbing in light of the allegations that Schafer and company had taken children from Germany (and possibly other parts of Europe) and "resettled" them at the Colony. Given the phenomenally low birth rates at the Colony throughout Schafer's tenure such a scenario is highly probable as it is the only way to explain how the compound's population remained relatively stable for a number of years. There have been some rumblings that local children were also abducted, which could indicate that the Colony was also engaged in some type of child sex trafficking. There is little doubt now that the Colony was involved in arms trafficking, likely at a great scale, which would certainly put them in contact with individuals involved in other types of trafficking.

the Colony's arms cache

At this point I would like to briefly returned to the allegations of Dr. Ewen Cameron's involvement in Project Monarch, described at length in part two of this series. As I noted there, some proponents have alleged that Cameron and Josef Mengele where the chief architects of Monarch programming, a type of trauma-based conditioning inflicted upon children that has been widely described as featuring "Satanic ritual abuse" as well as more "conventional" methods of mind control such as hypnosis and drugging. While by all accounts the Monarch theories are fabrications it is striking how many are present in the Colony, especially those concering Mengele.


There is nothing whatsoever to indicate that Cameron himself and Josef Mengele ever met one another but one of Cameron's former students was working in an anonymous Chilean "detention center" (as noted above) during this era while Mengele is widely believed to have been a guest of the Colony; Cameron's "techniques" are clearly present in the interrogation set up of the Colony; pedophilia was by all accounts practiced on a large scale (at least by Schafer if not other high-ranking members of the Colony) and there are indeed indications that some type of occult rituals were performed there as well. Peter Levenda visited the Colony in the late 1970s and was told by Chilean soldiers stationed nearby that bizarre rituals were performed there.
"The only other evidence the author has to offer is what he was told by soldiers of the Chilean army the night before his visit to the Colony. 'They have their own religion,' they assured me. 'They celebrate festivals that are not on the Christian calendar.' Accepting for a moment the Chile is largely a Catholic country and that the practices of a traditional German Baptist might seem strange or unusual to a soldier of rural background and upbringing, the celebration of holidays not on the Christian calendar gives one pause. Christmas, after all, is still December 25 whether or not one is a Catholic or a Baptist...
"The soldiers went on to reveal that the celebrations took place at night and involved candlelit processions and chanting. At times, great bonfires were burned. These could either be harmless religious processions such as those the author himself was a participant in as a child, or something a bit more sinister. With the Colony's activities over the last 30 years being relentlessly revealed in all their revolting glory, one must assume that it's religious practices were more in keeping with the pagan cult activities of the Third Reich..."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pg. 325) 

As far as I'm aware the Colony is by far the most conclusive evidence of some type of cult engaged in brainwashing, torture, political executions, arms trafficking and possibly some type of ritualistic child abuse on behalf of an intelligence apparatus. But this is hardly a confirmation of the standard conspiracy theories concerning such things. While it's certain Schafer was a pedophile I'm unaware of any indication that he ritualistically molested any of his victims.

That being said, they were subjected too a host of other abuse (besides being raped) -- the Colony's "therapies" for certain and more peculiar techniques. For instance, Levenda notes that Chile's German ambassador alleged that "young boys were given injections in their testicles" (Unholy Alliance, pg. 323). And while more than a few of the children (as well as the bulk of the Colony) showed signs of intensive brainwashing it was nothing beyond what many cults have managed over the centuries. I'm unaware of any accounts of alternative personalities and other Monarch staples appearing amongst victims of the Colony. That being said, that some type of experiments may have been conducted on the children is hardly beyond the realm of possibility considering all the other terrible and strange operations conducted there --But it was almost surely not Monarch programming.

What's more, the Colony was run by a "former" Nazi and not the "Illuminati," Freemasons, Jews, Communist, hippies, metalheads, Wiccans, or even Rastafarians. It was not working towards some type of Marxist world government but in fact operated under the auspices of a brutal right-wing dictatorship (and in conjunction with international fascism) embarking upon a bold experiment in Chicago School economics, a watered down version of the far right's beloved Austrian School. Nor did it pose as some type of New Age cult or human potential center -- publicly it appeared as a Mennonite-like Protestant sect (if the Mennonites lived on a paramilitary-type compound, that is).

It may have engaged in occult rituals but these rites had not been passed down to the Colony as part of some millennial old conspiracy involving the Babylonian Talmud, the ancient Mysteries, or the Sirius tradition. Nazi occultism, while drawing upon many sources (including a special reverence for the Vatican), is very much a modern ideology. In point of fact, what the Third Reich attempted in this sense is not unlike what the Council of Nicaea managed: to create a new religion out of various, contradictory spiritual threads. But such a topic is far beyond the scope of this series.

And with that I shall wrap things up with a few closing thoughts: What happened in Chile under Pinochet was very much an experiment on several levels but it was ultimately concerned with the nature of shock. Journalist Naomi Klein described this shock as coming in three waves: the first wave was the shock of the sudden war, coup de tet, political assassination, terror attack, or even a widespread natural disaster; the second shock was the terror campaigns and torture centers that followed the initial shock while the third consisted of an economic shock treatment that reorganized national economies along neo-liberal lines. These tactics effectively erased the prior characteristics of Chile, a nation with well over a century of democratic traditions prior to Pinochet's military dictatorship, and re-created it as a much less equal society. Thus, these methods were seemingly conductive to brainwashing on both a personal and mass basis (to a certain point, as neither Chile nor many of Pinochet's victims ever truly gave up their strive for democracy).

the new Chile under Pinochet

Such tactics were pioneered by Nazi Germany and other European fascists, "scientifically" studied in the laboratories of psychiatrists like Cameron and economists like Milton Friedman during the 1950s and 1960s and refined in Third World nations, especially those in the Southern Cone of South America, in the 1970s. Thus, they had come full circle as more than a few former Nazi intelligence officers and other European fascists found employment in such regimes during that era. Inevitably their "expertise" and extensive first-hand experience in terrorism, genocide, torture and psychological warfare was invaluable in implementing these "scientific" techniques in the field.

And then, 28 years to the day of the Pinochet coup, the 9/11 terror attacks unfolded in the United States and the same techniques became openly practiced here. Certainly they have been present beforehand but it was only in the shock that followed 9/11 that the public could openly accept something such as Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo (or the continued push toward privatization that has led to military and even intelligence functions being outsourced on a massive scale). And now we find the legacy of Cameron and his ilk present throughout our society, but most especially in our prisons and detention centers, with barely a whimper or public outcry. Pinochet had 17 years to remake Chile and the United States is already well on its way towards an equally grotesque reconstruction twelve years after 9/11.

I daresay Cameron's methods had far more success in the arts of brainwashing than previously believed. But they will not take hold of us any more effective than they did Chile so long as we remember.

1 comment:

  1. Levenda gives me the creeps. As for his story about how he wound up there (if indeed he did) - at best he's being economical with the truth. At worst - he was a participant.