Academic Regulation of Research: Human Subject restrictions

Michael Perelman michael at
Fri Aug 25 22:41:49 PDT 2000

'Unabomber' Ted Kaczynski Was CIA Mind Control Subject!

By Alexander Cockburn


It turns out that Theodore Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber,

was a volunteer in mind-control experiments sponsored by

the CIA at Harvard in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Michael Mello, author of the recently published book, "The

United States of America vs. Theodore John Kaczynski,"

notes that at some point in his Harvard years--1958 to

1962--Kaczynski agreed to be the subject of "a

psychological experiment." Mello identifies the chief

researcher for these only as a lieutenant colonel in World

War II, working for the CIA's predecessor organization, the

Office of Strategic Services. In fact, the man experimenting

on the young Kaczynski was Dr. Henry Murray, who died in

1988. Murray became preoccupied by psychoanalysis in the

1920s, drawn to it through a fascination with Herman

Melville's "Moby Dick," which he gave to Sigmund Freud,

who duly made the excited diagnosis that the whale was a

father figure. After spending the 1930s developing

personality theory, Murray was recruited to the OSS at the

start of the war, applying his theories to the selection of

agents and also presumably to interrogation.

As chairman of the Department of Social Relations at

Harvard, Murray zealously prosecuted the CIA's efforts to

carry forward experiments in mind control conducted by

Nazi doctors in the concentration camps. The overall

program was under the control of the late Sidney Gottlieb,

head of the CIA's technical services division. Just as

Harvard students were fed doses of LSD, psilocybin and

other potions, so too were prisoners and many unwitting

guinea pigs.

Sometimes the results were disastrous. A dram of LSD fed

by Gottlieb himself to an unwitting U.S. army officer,

Frank Olson, plunged Olson into escalating psychotic

episodes, which culminated in Olson's fatal descent from an

upper window in the Statler-Hilton in New York. Gottlieb

was the object of a lawsuit not only by Olson's children but

also by the sister of another man, Stanley Milton Glickman,

whose life had disintegrated into psychosis after being

unwittingly given a dose of LSD by Gottlieb. What did

Murray give Kaczynski? Did the experiment's long-term

effects help tilt him into the Unabomber's homicidal

rampages? The CIA's mind experiment program was vast.

How many other human time bombs were thus primed?

How many of them have exploded?

There are other human time bombs, primed in haste,

ignorance or indifference to long-term consequences. Amid

all the finger-pointing to causes prompting the recent wave

of schoolyard killings, not nearly enough clamor has been

raised about the fact that many of these teenagers suddenly

exploding into mania were on a regimen of antidepressants.

Eric Harris, one of the shooters at Columbine, was on

Luvox. Kip Kinkel, who killed his parents and two students

in Oregon, was on Prozac.

There are a number of other instances. Apropos possible

linkage, Dr. Peter Breggin, author of books on Prozac and

Ritalin, has said, "I have no doubt that Prozac can

contribute to violence and suicide. I've seen many cases. In

the recent clinical trial, 6% of the children became

psychotic on Prozac. And manic psychosis can lead to


A 15-year-old girl attending a ritzy liberal arts school in the

Northeast told me that 80% of the kids in her class were on

Prozac, Ritalin or Dexedrine. The pretext used by the

school authorities is attention deficit disorder or attention

deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with a diagnosis

made on the basis of questions such as: "Do you find

yourself daydreaming or looking out the window?"

Ritalin is being given to about 2 million American school

children. A 1986 article by Richard Scarnati in the

International Journal of the Addictions lists more than a

hundred adverse reactions to Ritalin, including paranoid

delusions, paranoid psychosis, amphetamine-like psychosis

and terror. Meanwhile, uncertainty reigns on the precise

nature of the complaint that Ritalin is supposed to be

treating. One panel reviewing the proceedings at a

conference on ADHD last year even doubted whether the

disorder is a "valid" diagnosis of a broad range of children's

behavior, and said there was little evidence Ritalin did any

good. In 1996, the Drug Enforcement Administration

denounced the use of Ritalin and concluded that "the

dramatic increase in the use of [Ritalin] in the 1990s

should be viewed as a marker or warning to society."

Indeed. Land mines now litter the terrain of our society,

waiting to explode.


Alexander Cockburn Writes for the Nation and Other

Publications Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All

Rights Reserved

-- Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael at

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