From about 1948 to 1953, former Nazi scientists and CIA interrogators began to use LSD as an advanced interrogation technique, according to the new book “Operation Paperclip” by journalist Annie Jacobsen.
The CIA saw LSD as a potential “truth serum,” according to FOIA documents obtained by Jacobsen, but it turned out to be an active metaphor for Cold War paranoia.
Here’s part of the excerpt published in the Daily Beast:
The plan for the enhanced interrogation program was meant to be straightforward: drug the spies, interrogate the spies, and give them amnesia to make them forget. Instead, the program produced questionable results and evolved into one of the most notorious CIA programs of the Cold War, MKULTRA.
A total of 1,600 former Nazis were recruited in preparation for total war with the Soviet Union. Of the 21 scientists followed in the book, six of them stood trial at Nuremberg, Haaretz notes.
In other words, these were some of the most maniacally brilliant minds of the genocidal Third Reich, working side-by-side with American intelligence.
The work took place inside a clandestine facility in the American zone of occupied Germany, called Camp King. The facility’s chief medical doctor was Operation Paperclip’s Dr. Walter Schreiber, the former Surgeon General of the Third Reich. When Dr. Schreiber was secretly brought to America — to work for the U.S. Air Force in Texas — his position was filled with another Paperclip asset, Dr. Kurt Blome, the former Deputy Surgeon General of the Third Reich and the man in charge of the Nazi’s program to weaponize bubonic plague.
LSD was tested twice on suspected Soviet spies captured by the Nazis as well as by army officer-turned-CIA scientist Frank Olson. Olson unknowingly dosed with the drug and then fell from a New York hotel room to his death in 1953.
All-in-all, a strange time in world history: Former Nazis became chief U.S. scientists, the CIA mistakenly believed that the Soviets might drug millions of Americans with LSD through the U.S. water system, and the world’s most powerful spies were attempting to weaponize acid by dosing each other.
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