The United States' interest in developing and using mind controlling methodologies and techniques was a major goal back in WWII for the CIA.
After the US came in from the West and the Russians from the East, Germany was split. Hitler's top scientists were covertly brought back to the States under an operation known as Paperclip. The US government wanted abstract knowledge from Hitler's scientists for the benefit of the US military and the security of the nation. Another major concern was to capture the Germans from the Soviets who would definitely make use of the German scientists. Many of these scientists studied brainwashing and torture and several were prosecuted as war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials.
The US government started a program called MK-ULTRA which originated with the Nazis in Germany during Hitler's reign. MK-ULTRA would be the continuation of the Nazi's work along with the Americans. This program was used for experiments on hundreds of American and Canadian citizens without approval.
The program began as early as the 1950s and continued through the late 1960s. Some of the goals of project MK-ULTRA were to utilize methodologies to manipulate individual mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs and other chemicals, sensory deprivation, isolation, and verbal and sexual abuse. This was an illegal and inhumane CIA human research program in its essence.
Now with the torture cases turning up in Guantanamo Bay and other stories from the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, people may ask how the US could do such inhumane experiments of physical and psychological torture to human beings. Many would not know that more extreme types of torture were already being practiced back home in the States on US citizens in the 1950s and on. Many US government projects began from Operation Paperclip. As Paperclip was to recruit Nazi scientists and have them work for the US government.
In those days it was the time of the Cold War, and the US wanted to be able to respond to the Soviet, Chinese and North Korean use of mind control as a weapon. The CIA was particularly interested in being able to manipulate foreign leaders with such techniques. Furthermore, the CIA later invented several schemes to drug Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Many historians claim one of the main goals was to create a Manchurian Candidate who is one that is brainwashed into unknowingly becoming an assassin. At the time, much of the experiments were at a more primitive level without the modern implantable chips, which can now be used inside bodies.
Drugs played a large role in tinkering with the patients. Chemical, biological and radiological means were also investigated for mind control. LSD experiments began with a host of others in April, 1953. LSD was given without consent to CIA workers, military personnel, government agents, doctors, mentally ill patients and prostitutes. One experiment was to connect a barbiturate IV into one arm and an amphetamine IV into the other.
The barbiturates were injected first, and as soon as the person appeared sedated or almost asleep, the amphetamines were injected. The person would babble incoherently and it was at times possible to ask questions and get useful answers.
Other drugs used during experiments included heroin, morphine, MDMA, mescaline, psilocybin, scopolamine, marijuana, alcohol, sodium pentothal, and ergine. Some of the Canadian MK-ULTRA experiments left people with permanent damage. Psychiatrist Donald E. Cameron worked every week at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University.
Many of the patients suffered from mild depression excluding some schizophrenic patients he had been interested in correcting by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. His techniques included using LSD, experimenting with paralytic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy at thirty to forty times the normal power.