Overview, Synopsis, and Chapter 4 from:


Deliberate Creation of

Multiple Personality

by Psychiatrists

Colin A. Ross, M.D.

Richardson, Texas: Manitou Communications, 2000



BLUEBIRD is the cryptonym for a CIA mind control program that ran from 1951 to 1953. Other mind control programs include ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA, and MKSEARCH. The purpose of the book BLUEBIRD is to prove that the military and the CIA have been creating “Manchurian Candidates” for operational use since the second world war. This fact is described repeatedly by G.H. Estabrooks and in CIA documents on BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

By research at the medical school library, ordering out-of-print books, and requests filed through the Freedom of Information Act, Dr. Ross has built up compelling documentation of the fact that the CIA and military intelligence agencies have been creating multiple personality experimentally, and using these subjects in courier and infiltration operations.

The Appendices to BLUEBIRD provide full proof of the fact that the “Manchurian Candidate” is real, and has been created by the CIA and military. The documented mind control research includes putting brain electrodes in children as young as 11 years old and controlling their behavior from remote transmitters; giving 150 mcg of LSD per day to children age 7-11 for weeks and months at a time; building safe houses where CIA personnel watched prostitutes turn tricks with customers — the prostitutes gave their customers LSD without the customers’ knowledge; wiping out memories with electric shock, and using animals with implanted brain electrodes as delivery systems for chemical and biological weapons.

A complete listing of MKULTRA Subprojects, correspondence between Estabrooks and J. Edgar Hoover and other documents are included in the Appendices to BLUEBIRD.[Note:1]



In BLUEBIRD: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists, Dr. Ross provides proof, based on 15,000 pages of documents obtained from the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act, that the “Manchurian Candidate” is fact, not fiction. He describes the experiments conducted by psychiatrists to create amnesia, new identities, hypnotic access codes, and new memories in the minds of experimental subjects.

The funding of the experiments by the CIA, Army, Navy, and Air Force is proven from CIA documents and the doctors’ own publications. BLUEBIRD proves that there was extensive political abuse of psychiatry in North America throughout the second half of the twentieth century, perpetrated not by a few renegade doctors, but by leading psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacologists, neurosurgeons and medical schools.[Note:2]


Chapter 4


BLUEBIRD was approved by Roscoe Hillenkoetter, Director of the CIA, on April 20, 1950. In August 1951, the Project was renamed ARTICHOKE. The Korean War began in June, 1950. The CIA already had mind control programs in operation prior to the Korean War, therefore such programs were not a defensive reaction to the activities of the North Koreans, Russians, or Communist Chinese during the Korean War, as claimed by CIA career officer Edward Hunter.136 BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE included a great deal of work on the creation of amnesia, hypnotic couriers and the Manchurian Candidate.66 184

The Manchurian Candidate is generally regarded as fiction. However, ARTICHOKE documents prove that hypnotic couriers functioned effectively in real-life simulations conducted by the CIA in the early 1950’s. The degree to which such individuals were used in actual operations is still classified. Physicians were an integral part of the ARTICHOKE Team that conducted interrogations on U.S. soil. These interrogations were in part designed to detect mind-controlled agents of other Agencies and governments. The documents establish that Manchurian Candidate-related methods were part of CIA counter-intelligence work in the 1950’s.

The basic premise of the book The Manchurian Candidate66 is that a group of American POWs in the Korean War is brainwashed while crossing through Manchuria to freedom. They arrive back in the U.S. amnesic for the period of brainwashing and one of them has been programmed to be an assassin. His target is a candidate for President of the United States. His handlers at home control him with a hypnotically implanted trigger, a particular playing card.

A MEMORANDUM dated 15 July 1953 from the Chief, Bio-Chemistry & Pharmacology Branch, Medicine Division OSI [Office of Scientific Intelligence] to the Chief, Technical Branch, SO [Special Operations] includes a paragraph summarizing discussions about recently returned Korean War POWs who had been brainwashed:

Following this [whited out] commented on the very interesting angle that interrogations of the individuals who had come out of North Korea across the Soviet Union to freedom recently had apparently had a “blank” period or period of disorientation while passing through a special zone in Manchuria. [Whited out] pointed out that this had occurred in all individuals in the party after they had had their first full meal and their first coffee on the way to freedom. [Whited out] pointed out that [whited out] was attempting to secure further confirmatory facts in this matter since drugging was indicated.

In another memo dated 17 September 1953 the Scientific Adviser, Scientific Intelligence states that, “Detailed and valuable information has been obtained by [whited out] on “Big Switch” as a result of his interrogations of POW’s on the return voyage from Korea.” “Big Switch” was the code name for a prisoner exchange program during the Korean War; repatriated American prisoners of war released in Big Switch were interviewed by American psychiatrists including Robert Lifton,163 Lifton writes:

... I arrived in Hong Kong in late January, 1954. Just a few months before, I had taken part in the psychiatric evaluation of repatriated American prisoners of war during the exchange operations in Korea known as Big Switch: I had then accompanied a group of these men on the troopship back to the United States.

It appears that American psychiatrists including or known to Robert Lifton, Louis Jolyon West and Margaret Singer must have been knowledgeable about the Chinese Manchurian Candidate program by 1953.

According to my definition, the Manchurian Candidate is an experimentally created dissociative identity disorder that meets the following four criteria:

Created deliberately

A new identity is implanted

Amnesia barriers are created

Used in simulated or actual operations

BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE were administered in a compartmented fashion. The details of the Programs were kept secret even from other personnel within the CIA. When asked why LSD research done under ARTICHOKE was hidden from the CIA Committee in charge of ARTICHOKE, Sydney Gottlieb, 1977, (page 410), Chief, Medical Staff, Technical Services Division, CIA responded, “I imagine the only reason would have been concern for broadening awareness of its existence.”

The creation of Manchurian Candidates by the CIA was probably not subject to the usual chain of operational command. Such breaches in the chain of command are an inherent structural risk of the compartmented nature of intelligence agencies. For security reasons, CIA operations including internal counter-intelligence investigations182 are routinely kept secret from other divisions of the CIA. Although effective intelligence work could not be carried out without compartmentation, the structure makes it easier for CIA officers in charge of mind control to contract with unethical doctors.

Loss of central control occurred in the CIA’s OPERATION CHAOS and probably in BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE. OPERATION CHAOS was a CIA program designed to collect information on foreign influence on student and civil unrest in the United States. It was created by the Director of the CIA in 1967 and ran until 1974. CHAOS developed files on 7,200 American citizens, and the files included mention of a total of 300,000 named U.S. citizens and organizations, all of which were entered into a computerized index (Rockefeller, 1975).

CHAOS intelligence generated 3,500 internal CIA memoranda, 3,000 memoranda for the FBI, and 37 for distribution to the White House and other top levels of government. The maximum CHAOS staff was 52 persons in 1971. Informants were recruited from student and dissident groups, and were instructed to infiltrate such groups in the United States.

According to the Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities (Rockefeller, 1975):

The isolation of Operation CHAOS within the CIA and its independence from supervision by the regular chain of command within the clandestine services made it possible for the activities of the Operation to stray over the bounds of the Agency’s authority without the knowledge of senior officials. The absence of any regular review of these activities prevented timely correction of such missteps as did occur.

In other instances, senior administrators within the CIA participated in plausible denial and other disinformation and cover-up strategies concerning CIA operations run on U.S. soil. Like the activities of the ARTICHOKE Team within the United States, such operations had to be kept secret because the CIA was prohibited by its Charter from carrying out operations in the United States.

In 1952, the CIA began to survey mail between the U.S. and the Soviet Union at a New York postal facility. In 1953 it began to open and read mail (Rockefeller, 1975). The Program was approved by the Director of the CIA and at least three Postmasters General, Summerfield, Day, and Blount, as well as by Attorney General Mitchell. From 1958 to 1973, the FBI received 57,000 pieces of mail from the CIA in this Program. In the final year of the operation, out of 4,350,000 pieces of mail between the U.S. and Soviet Union, the CIA examined the outside of 2,300,000 pieces, photographed 33,000 and opened 8,700.

Smaller mail intercept operations were run in San Francisco from 1969 to 1971, in Hawaii from 1954 to 1955, and in New Orleans in 1957. The CIA’s strategy for dealing with leaks about the Program is described in a February 1, 1962 memo sent from the Deputy Chief of Counterintelligence to the Director of Security:

Unless the charge is supported by the presentation of interior items from the project, it should be relatively easy to “hush up” the entire affair; or to explain that it consists of legal mail cover activities conducted by the Post Office at the request of authorized Federal Agencies. Under the most unfavorable circumstances, including the support of charges with interior items from the project it might become necessary, after the matter has cooled off during an extended period of investigation, to find a scapegoat to blame for unauthorized tampering with the mails.

The BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE documents available through the Freedom or Information Act, like all such documents, are heavily redacted. A great deal of text has been whited out, and other documents must still be entirely classified. Nevertheless, the available documents prove that ARTICHOKE operations involving physicians were carried out on U.S. soil at least until the mid-1950’s.

A memo to the Director of Security of the CIA is entitled a “report of ARTICHOKE Operations, 20 to 23 January, 1955” (see Appendix B). Paragraph two of the memo states that “these operations were the first ARTICHOKE operations undertaken in the United States.”

The operation described in the memo involved the interrogation of a foreign national CIA agent who “speaks and understands English quite well.” The Subject had previously provided high quality intelligence through penetration actions carried out in an unspecified country. The purpose of the ARTICHOKE Team’s interrogation was to provide confirmation that the Subject was not a double agent.

The ARTICHOKE Team must have been under the command of James Angleton, who was Chief of the CIA Counterintelligence Staff from December 1954, until 1974. Angleton was also involved in MKULTRA, as described in an article in the February 18, 1979 Wilmington Sunday News Journal entitled “UD prof helps concoct ‘mind control’ potions.” The article focuses on MKULTRA Subproject 51 contractor James Moore, a chemistry professor at the University of Delaware, but mentions Angleton’s involvement in MKULTRA. Angleton’s name appears in “a list of all persons who have been briefed on “Bluebird”,” in a 2 July 1951 MEMORANDUM; the list also identifies three future Directors of the CIA, Allen Dulles, Richard Helms and William Webster.

The ARTICHOKE interrogation was conducted in a safe house in the remote countryside staffed by security-cleared personnel. It was conducted under medical cover of a routine physical and psychological assessment. The Subject was transported to the safe house in a “covert car” which picked him up at a secure location. At the safe house he was given a conventional interrogation and then some whiskey. This was followed by two grams of phenobarbital, which put him to sleep.

The next day a lie detector test was given, and the Subject was given intravenous chemicals. Following the chemically-assisted interrogation, according to CIA terminology, the “ARTICHOKE techniques were applied” in three stages:

A false memory was introduced into the Subject’s mind without his conscious control of the process, which took 15 to 20 minutes. The procedure was repeated, this time taking 40 to 45 minutes. The procedure was repeated again with interrogation added.

The ARTICHOKE Team used medications including barbiturates, amphetamines and scopolamine, hypnosis, interrogation, and the deliberate introduction of false memories of the procedure. The Subject was told that part of what he remembered was actually a dream. The ARTICHOKE Team concluded that the procedure was successful; “the subject, although not having specific amnesia for the ARTICHOKE treatment, nevertheless was completely confused and memory was vague and faulty.”

CIA career officer Edward Hunter136 described the implantation of false memories by Chinese intelligence agencies in his book Brain-Washing in Red China. He wrote (page 11):

The Chinese masses were right in coining the phrases brain-washing and brain-changing. There is a difference between the two. Brain-washing is indoctrination, a comparatively simple procedure, but brain-changing is immeasurably more sinister and complicated. Whereas you merely have to undergo a brain-cleansing to rid yourself of “imperialist poisons,” in order to have a brain changing you must empty your mind of old ideas and recollections... in a brain-changing, a person’s specific recollections of some past period in his life are wiped away, as completely as if they never happened. Then, to fill these gaps in memory, the ideas which the authorities want this person to “remember” are put into his brain. Hypnotism and drugs and cunning pressures that plague the body and do not necessarily require marked physical violence are required for a brain-changing. China evidently was not so “advanced” as yet. She was using brain-washing, and when that didn’t work, resorted to the simpler purge system. But in time she will use the brain-changing system too.

Since, according to Hunter, the Communist Chinese had not yet perfected the methods used by the CIA’s ARTICHOKE Team, it is evident that his knowledge of these methods was derived from their use by American doctors.

An interrogation involving ARTICHOKE techniques and physicians was conducted on Russian defector Yuriy Nosenko under James Angleton’s administration.182 Angleton suspected Nosenko of being a triple agent. A triple agent is someone who pretends to be a defector or double agent but is actually working for his original, native country.

Nosenko was born in Nikolayev, Ukraine in 1927. He was trained by Russian Naval Intelligence before being transferred to MVD, the precursor of the KGB, in 1953. On June 5, 1962 Nosenko made secret contact with a U.S. State Department official in Geneva, a meeting which resulted in his being recruited by the CIA as a mole. Nosenko provided a rich fund of intelligence information to the CIA until he defected in February, 1964.

Angleton thought that Nosenko had been feeding the CIA a little bit of real information in order to cover up the fact that he was a triple agent. In late March, 1964 a decision was made to apply ARTICHOKE-like techniques to him. Whether these were administered under ARTICHOKE or some other still-classified cryptonym is unknown.

Nosenko was strip-searched, given a lie detector test and then placed in solitary confinement in a 10 foot by 10 foot cell in a safe house in Washington for sixteen months. One of his interrogators was Dr. John Gittinger, the lead psychologist for MKULTRA, who describes taking LSD himself in a documentary film.210 From April 4, 1964 to August 13, 1965, Nosenko was held at the safe house and subjected to repeated interrogations.

From August 14, 1965 to October 28, 1967 Nosenko was held in solitary confinement in a tiny, windowless concrete cell at the CIA’s training facility at Camp Peary, Virginia. He was subjected to sleep and food deprivation and there was neither heat nor air conditioning in his cell. He was monitored by closed-circuit television 24 hours a day.

In an interview with Tom Mangold177 on June 12, 1990, John Gittinger described being asked by CIA personnel to administer LSD to Nosenko. Gittinger claimed he did not do so. Nosenko, however, described being drugged on a number of occasions at Camp Peary. Due to administrative changes inside the CIA, Nosenko was released from confinement in 1967 and later became a U.S. citizen.

Whoever the Nosenko interrogators were, and whatever cryptonym they worked under, it is clear that physicians and mind control specialists were directly involved. It is also clear that the actions of these physicians were unethical and inhumane. The BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE documents prove that the Nosenko interrogation was not an isolated incident. If such an interrogation was conducted by physicians in a third world country it would be decried as a human rights violation and a political abuse of psychiatry. We have been lax as a medical profession in applying the same standards at home.

The need for applying the ARTICHOKE technique to Nosenko can be inferred from an undated document entitled, “IMPLICATIONS OF SOVIET SUPPLEMENTS TO STANDARD PSYCHIATRIC INTERROGATION”, which includes the statement that:

Hypnotism appears to have been used in some cases by the Soviets. It has the possibilities of (a) lowering resistance against telling the truth and (b) inducing specific action or behavior in the subject. In certain cases it would be possible for a skilled Russian operator to bring about condition (a) yet leave the subject with no specific recollection of having been interrogated. Under condition (b) it would be possible to brief an American, other prisoner or person, subsequently dispatch him on a mission, and successfully debrief him upon return home without his recollection of the briefing or debriefing.


This proposed investigation appears to be more essential when documentary evidence leads to the belief that Russia has been conducting medical research on the subject, has actually used various techniques, and has made provision for large scale production of uncommon special drugs for their speech-producing effects on prisoners of war.

Adequate evidence is available to indicate that the Soviet has used physical duress and/or a large number of different drugs in their attempts to enhance results of standard psychiatric interrogation.

Evidence of subconscious isolation, amnesia, and destruction of mental function have been noted in some of the victims of Soviet methods.

All of these methods were also employed in experiments conducted under BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA, MKSEARCH, MKNAOMI and other Programs.

ARTICHOKE operations involved detailed, systematic creation of specific amnesia barriers, new identities and hypnotically implanted codes and triggers. An untitled ARTICHOKE document dated 7 January 1953 with a section heading Outline of Special H Cases describes the experimental creation of multiple personality in two nineteen-year old girls by the CIA, in an extended series of hypnotic sessions beginning on January 9, 1952. “H” is used as shorthand for hypnotic, hypnotized or hypnotism in these documents:

In all of these cases, these subjects have clearly demonstrated that they can pass from a fully awake state to a deep H controlled state via the telephone, via some very subtle signal that cannot be detected by other persons in the room and without the other individual being able to note the change. It has been clearly shown that physically individuals can be induced into H by telephone, by receiving written matter, or by the use of code, signal, or words and that control of those hypnotized can be passed from one individual to another without great difficulty. It has also been shown by experimentation with these girls that they can act as unwilling couriers for information purposes and that they can be conditioned to a point where they believe a change in identity on their part even on the polygraph.

Another untitled ARTICHOKE document describes a series of cases of which the following, called “Analogous Case #3,” is most compelling:

A CIA Security Office employee was hypnotized and given a false identity. She defended it hotly, denying her true name and rationalizing with conviction the possession of identity cards made out to her real self. Later, having had the false identity erased by suggestion, she was asked if she had ever heard of the name she had been defending as her own five minutes before. She thought, shook her head and said, “That’s a pseudo if I ever heard one.” Apparently she had a true amnesia for the entire episode.

The creation of new identities and the detection of foreign agents with hypnotically programmed new identities is mentioned in various locations in the BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE documents. As well, deconditioning of subjects is addressed. For instance, one document entitled, “CONDITIONING (& Deconditioning)” states:

Jones learns to respond to stimuli intended for a Smith, as though he were that Smith. He has been “conditioned” to Smith, “deconditioned” to Jones.

Such trainings are integrated on all levels, conscious and subconscious. Hypnosis can assist in establishing the desired conditioned responses.

A C.R. (condit. resp.) is meant to stick. It can be interfered with, or abolished, by new training in another direction, or back to the earlier state.

Deconditioning can probably be expedited by hypnotizing procedures. Also, a C.R. can be interfered with or abolished by violent physical shocks (e.g., electric shocks to the brain) although this reporter has not found a specific electric-shock procedure that would assuredly decondition any particular kind or number of C.R.’s.

Still problematic is the use of drugs for deconditioning. Chlorpromazine ought theoretically to have some value, and some deconditioning effect has been produced in laboratory animals. However, hospitalized patients taking daily doses of this drug seem to have been deconditioned only selectively; against certain psychotic behavior. It may be that this property is exactly what we are looking for; perhaps it could decondition an enemy agent out of his simulated personality and back to his real one.

It is evident from this passage that the CIA was seeking to improve its techniques for detecting and successfully penetrating the amnesia barriers of enemy Manchurian Candidates over five years before the book The Manchurian Candidate66 was written.

A MEMORANDUM dated 25 January 1952 describes another case in which problems of reconditioning and the disposal of subjects arose:

On Friday, 25 January 1952, the writer was called to the office [whited out] for the purpose of a conference with one [whited out] concerning the instant case.

[Whited out] explained in substance the [whited out] case as follows: [whited out] (whose real name is [whited out], is a 29-year old [whited out] and was the head of a small political party based in [whited out] and ostensively working for [whited out] independence. [Whited out] was described by [whited out] as being young, ambitious, bright (elementary college education), a sort of “man-on-a-horse” type but a typical [whited out] politician. According to [whited out] our people discovered that [whited out] Intelligence Service were attempting to bribe [whited out] and make him a double agent and [whited out] was looking with favor upon the [whited out] offers. Accordingly, a plot was rigged in which [whited out] was told he was going to be assassinated and as a “protection”, he was placed in custody of the [whited out] Police who threw [whited out] into a [whited out] prison. [Whited out] was held in the [whited out] prison for six months until the [whited out] authorities decided that [whited out] was a nuisance and they told our people to take him back. Since our people were unable to dispose of [whited out] they flew him to [whited out] where, through arrangement, he was placed in a [whited out] as a psychopathic patient. [Whited out] now has been in the [whited out] hospital for several months and the hospital authorities now want to get him out since he is causing a considerable trouble, bothering other patients, etc. [Whited out] is not a psychopathic personality.

[Whited out] explained that they can dispose of [whited out] by the simple process of sending him to a friend of his in [whited out], and as far as they are concerned, that type of disposal is perfectly o.k. However, because of his confinement in [whited out] prison and his stay in [whited out] hospital, [whited out] has become very hostile toward the [whited out] and our intelligence operations in particular. Hence [whited out] considering an “Artichoke” approach to [whited out] to see if it would be possible to reorient [whited out] favorably toward us. This operation, which will necessarily involve the use of drugs is being considered by [whited out] with a possibility that [whited out] will carry out the operation presumably at the [whited out] hospital in [whited out] Also involved in this would be a [whited out] interpreter who is a consultant to this Agency since neither [whited out]

[Whited out] pointed out to [whited out] that this type of operation could only be carried out with the authorization of Security and that, under no circumstances whatsoever, could anyone but an authorized M.D. administer drugs to any subject of this Agency of any type. [Whited out] pointed out that there was a strong possibility that the military authorities would not permit their hospital to be used for this type of work and also that a re-conditioning operation of this type might take 30-60 days. [Whited out] further pointed out that if such an operation were carried on, Security would have to be cognizant of it, would have to be co-ordinated into the organization and would possibly take over and run the operation themselves since this type of work is one which Security handles.

It was agreed between [whited out] and the writer that a conference would be laid on Monday afternoon when [whited out] representatives and the [whited out] interpreter return from [whited out] and their talk with [whited out] At which time, the angles would be explored and a dispatch would be forwarded to our people in [whited out] directing them to find out whether the [whited out] would permit such an operation and whether the [whited out] would allow the Agency to have the use of the necessary rooms, medical facilities, etc. as would be required for this type of operation. At this time, it was also to be determined whether the disposal of [whited out] could in fact be laid on.


This particular operation was mentioned in general terms to the writer by [whited out] approximately thirty days ago on an informal basis but no significant details were given at this time.

While the technique that [whited out] are considering for use in this case is not known to the writer, the writer believes the approach will be made through the standard narco-hypnosis technique. Re-conditioning and re-orienting an individual in such a matter, in the opinion of the writer, cannot be accomplished easily and will require a great deal of time and the fact that an interpreter is necessary in the case complicates it considerably more. 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 [whited out] that perhaps a total amnesia could be created by a series of electric shocks, but merely indicated that amnesias under drug treatments were not certain.

A document entitled, “Hypnotic Experimentation and Research, 10 February 1954” describes a simulation experiment of relevance to the creation of Manchurian Candidate assassins:

Miss [whited out] was then instructed (having previously expressed a fear of firearms in any fashion) that she would use every method at her disposal to awaken Miss [whited out] (now in a deep hypnotic sleep) and failing in this, she would pick up a pistol nearby and fire it at Miss [whited out]. She was instructed that her rage would be so great that she would not hesitate to “kill” [whited out] for failing to awaken. Miss [whited out] carried out these suggestions to the letter including firing the (unloaded pneumatic pistol) gun at [whited out] and then proceeding to fall into a deep sleep. After proper suggestions were made, both were awakened and expressed complete amnesia for the entire sequence. Miss [whited out] was again handed the gun, which she refused (in an awakened state) to pick up or accept from the operator. She expressed absolute denial that the foregoing sequence had happened.

In another experiment described in a document entitled “SI and H Experimentation (25 September 1951),” two of the female subjects took part in an exercise involving the planting of a bomb. SI means “Special Interrogations.”[Note:3] Both Subjects performed perfectly and were fully amnesic for the exercise:

[Whited out] was instructed that upon awakening, she would proceed to [whited out] room where she would wait at the desk for a telephone call. Upon receiving the call, a person known as “Jim” would engage her in normal conversation. During the course of the conversation, this individual would mention a code word to [whited out]. When she heard this code word she would pass into a SI trance state, but would not close her eyes and remain perfectly normal and continue the telephone conversation. She was told that thereafter upon conclusion of the telephone conversation, she would then carry out the following instructions:

[Whited out] being in a complete SI state at this time, was then told to open her eyes and was shown an electric timing device. She was informed that this timing device was an incendiary bomb and was then instructed how to attach and set the device. After [whited out] had indicated that she had learned how to set and attach the device, she was told to return to a sleep state and further instructed that upon concluding of the aforementioned conversation, she would take the timing device which was in a briefcase and proceed to the ladies room. In the ladies room. she would be met by a girl whom she had never seen who would identify herself by the code word “New York”. After identifying herself, [whited out] was then to show this individual how to attach and set the timing device and further instructions would be given the individual by [whited out] that the timing device was to be carried in the briefcase to [whited out] room, placed in the nearest empty electric-light plug and concealed in the bottom, left-hand drawer of [whited out] desk, with the device set for 82 seconds and turned on. [Whited out] was further instructed to tell this other girl that as soon as the device had been set and turned on, she was to take the briefcase, leave [whited out] room, go to the operations room and go to the sofa and enter a deep sleep state. [Whited out] was further instructed that after completion of instructing the other girl and the transferring to the other girl of the incendiary bomb, she was to return at once to the operations room, sit on the sofa, and go into a deep sleep state.

Hypnosis was not the mind control doctors’ only method for creation of controlled amnesia, however. Drugs, magnetic fields, sound waves, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement and many other methods were studied under BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE. The amnesia was often tested through memorization tasks of various kinds, and experiments were conducted to amplify subjects’ memory for information hidden behind amnesia barriers. As well as being potential couriers and infiltration agents, the subjects could function in effect as hypnotically controlled cameras. They could enter a room or building, memorize materials quickly, leave the building, and then be amnesic for the entire episode. The memorized material could then be retrieved by a handler using a previously implanted code or signal, without the amnesia being disturbed. The research and its applications were both offensive and defensive, as evidenced by the following untitled and undated passage from the documents:

For instance, Metrozal, which has been very useful in shock therapy, is no longer popular because, for one thing it produces feelings of overwhelming terror and doom prior to the convulsion.

But terror, anxiety, worry would be valuable for many purposes from our point of view. We have some information (not in detail and not confirmed) that the Soviets and their satellites have used drugs which work along these lines. Therefore, this should be studied both from our use offensively and defensively and to find antidotes or counteracting agents.

The many different physical means for assisting interrogators were often combined with or amplified by hypnosis:

Quite often amnesia occurs for events just prior to the convulsion, during the convulsion and during the post seizure state. It is possible that hypnosis or hypnotic activity induced during the post-seizure state might be lost in amnesia. This would be very valuable.

The fact that complex Manchurian Candidate experiments were conducted can be inferred from an untitled February 6, 1957 document in which the writer states that:

Since the international situation is in its present state, I feel the need for positive action in the military application of hypnosis is imperative. In a field such as this you need an individual, such as myself, who has lived with the problems of hypnotism and its military applications for many years...

Please look over the enclosed proposal and give me your reaction. The hypnotic messenger technique is relatively uncomplicated. There are several other projects which I could submit to you for consideration which are, in my opinion, even more important than this but involve much more complicated techniques.

Similarly, a MEMORANDUM from the Chief, Security Research Staff to the Chief, Technical Branch dated 15 July 1954 states that:

The idea of a courier that has been hypnotized is not new and I am absolutely certain that [whited out] did not invent this idea. We ourselves have carried out much more complex problems than this and in a general sense I will agree that it is feasible...

[Whited out] proposal about using hypnotized individuals as counteragents is also not new and we, of course, have discussed this many times. Whether in fact it can be demonstrated we are not sure and it is hoped that the field tests we are working on may help us along these lines.

Yet another document entitled “STUDIES IN THE MILITARY APPLICATION OF HYPNOTISM: I. The Hypnotic Messenger” is a proposal for a grant of $10,000.00 to create hypnotic messengers out of twenty selected highly hypnotizable military personnel. The subjects would be sent to foreign countries to deliver their messages and then would be interrogated to determine if the amnesia barriers could be breached. Interrogation methods were to include “use of his wife, girl friend, alcohol, amytal or even physical duress.”

Another prospective mind control doctor wrote a handwritten note to the CIA on a ruled notepad that has been labeled “A/B 5, 264/1” by hand by someone responsible for filing the document. “A/B” stands for ARTICHOKE/BLUEBIRD. The document reads:

I have developed a technic which is safe and secure (free from international censorship). It has to do with the conditioning of our own people. I can accomplish this as a one man job.

The method is the production of hypnosis by means of simple oral medication. Then (with no further medication) the hypnosis is re-enforced daily during the following three or four days.

Each individual is conditioned against revealing any information to an enemy, even though subjected to hypnosis or drugging. If preferable, he may be conditioned to give false information rather than no information.

This should be repeated every six months in each case, in order to be sure that the suggestions established have not “worn off.”

I would be glad to go anywhere in the world (including Korea) to accomplish this for you. I think that the greatest security would be in my travelling as a naval flight surgeon doing research in aviation medicine, especially with the project of “motion sickness” in mind.

Of course I would be willing to undertake more hazardous investigative methods if you should deem them advisable.

Another problem addressed repeatedly in the documents is called “The Problem of Disposal of Subjects.” Several personnel recommended the use of lobotomies for this purpose, but according to the documents this was rejected as too unethical and too high a negative publicity risk for the CIA. Another document describes an alternative strategy for disposing of ARTICHOKE subjects:

Among the important security problems, which will be discussed in detail later and which are mentioned only briefly now for a matter of record, were the problems of disposal of subjects after Artichoke treatment and the important questions as to whether or not amnesias had been obtained. In connection with Case #1, in the professional opinion of [whited out] and as far as the writer is able to determine, a total amnesia was produced. Disposal of Case #1 (which was not a problem of the Artichoke team) was apparently handled as follows: Since the Artichoke technique had shown that, from an operational point of view the subject had no further value to the Agency, the subject was to be returned to [whited out] and after a period of time, removed from solitary and gradually permitted to mingle with larger and larger prison groups. Ultimately, and after a considerable lapse of time (perhaps as much as two years), the subject would be released. The Artichoke Team recommended some observation in this case with a later recheck on the amnesia, if possible.

In Case #2 on the first test, an almost total amnesia was reached with the exception of the last ten or twelve minutes of interrogation under the hypnotic technique. In the opinion of [whited out] and as far as the writer was able to determine, a total amnesia was produced at the end of the test on the second day after the Artichoke treatment of sodium pentothal and Desoxyn (full medication without hypnosis).

Again in so far as disposal of Case #2 was concerned (which was not a problem of the Artichoke Team), disposition was apparently to be made as follows: it had been decided that the subject would be moved as a prisoner to some place in [whited out] and held there until any possible usefulness to anyone had completely disappeared.

As noted above, both of the subjects were [whited out] speaking only and neither subject had any working knowledge of the English language. This, of course, involved the use of an interpreter and, in both cases, [whited out] the case officer involved in Case #1, acted as a general interpreter and [whited out] acted as a specific interpreter in the application of the hypnotic technique (under the direct guidance of [whited out] in hypnotic matters) and also acted as general interpreter in both cases.

Physicians including psychiatrists were directly involved in all of the ARTICHOKE team operations. Documents refer to psychiatrists “of considerable note” who were professors at prominent medical schools, who had TOP SECRET CIA clearance and who were involved as consultants on the development of the ARTICHOKE techniques. In summarizing the role of physicians in providing cover for ARTICHOKE interrogations, a writer stated that:

At the present time, the use of a carefully laid on medical cover to obtain either a narco-interrogation or narco-hypnotic interrogation appears to be the best weapon presently available. It is not necessary to go into detail as to how this is done but experience indicates it is our best technique.

The use of electric shock to the brain for creation of amnesia, and amplification of the amnesia with hypnosis were discussed by the author of an ARTICHOKE document dated 3 December 1951:

Immediately after the conference on Friday, 30 November 1951, [whited out] succeeded in finding [whited out] and [whited out], and the writer discussed electric-shock devices and certain related matters from about 3:30 to 4:45 with [whited out].

[Whited out] is reported to be an authority on electric shock. He is a professor at the Medical School of the [whited out] and, in addition, is a psychiatrist of considerable note. Pro-[whited out] is, in addition, a fully cleared Agency consultant.

[Whited out] explained that he felt that electric shock might be of considerable interest to the “Artichoke” type of work. He stated that the standard electric-shock machine (Reiter) could be used in two ways. One setting of this machine produced the normal electric-shock treatment (including convulsion) with amnesia after a number of treatments. He stated that using this machine as an electro-shock device with the convulsive treatment, he felt that he could guarantee amnesia for certain periods of time and particularly he could guarantee amnesia for any knowledge of use of the convulsive shock.

[Whited out] stated that the other or lower setting of the machine produced a different type of shock. He said that he could not explain it, but knew that when this lower current type of shock was applied without convulsion. it had the effect of making a man talk. He said, however, that the use of this type of shock was prohibited because it produced in the individual excruciating pain and he stated that there would be no question in his mind that the individual would be quite willing to give information if threatened with the use of this machine. He stated that this was a third-degree method but, undoubtedly, would be effective. [Whited out] stated that he had never had the device applied to himself, but he had talked with people who had been shocked in this manner and stated that they complained that their whole head was on fire and it was much too painful a treatment for any medical practice. He stated that the only way it was ever used was in connection with sedatives and even then it was extremely painful. The writer asked [whited out] whether or not in the “groggy” condition following the convulsion by the electro-shock machine anyone had attempted to obtain hypnotic control over the patient, since it occurred to the writer that it would be a good time to attempt to obtain hypnotic control. [Whited out] stated that, to his knowledge, it had never been done, but he could make this attempt in the near future at the [whited out] and he would see whether or not this could be done.

[Whited out] and [whited out], as well as all others present, discussed the use of electro-shock at considerable length and it was [whited out] opinion that an individual could gradually be reduced through the use of electro-shock treatment to the vegetable level. He stated that, whereas amnesia could be guaranteed relative [to] the actual use of the shock and the time element surrounding it, he said it would obtain perfect amnesia for periods further back. He stated several instances in which people who had been given the electro-shock treatment remembered some details of certain things and complete blanks in other ways.

[Whited out] said that a [whited out], who is practicing in [whited out] has perfected a battery-driven machine which, according to [whited out] is portable. [Whited out] said that the standard electro-shock machine is a very common machine in medical offices and in the major cities there must be several hundred of them in use at all times.

The use of electro-shock to produce amnesia was subsequently successfully demonstrated in a series of cases by Dr. Ewen Cameron at McGill, who received CIA money through MKULTRA Subproject 68 in 1957. Many of the discussions, literature reviews and experiments conducted under BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE were followed up on in MKULTRA and MKSEARCH.

The involvement of physicians including psychiatrists in BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE was extensive, systematic and fundamental to the Programs. The involvement included consultation, literature reviews, experimentation and direct participation in field operations. The full extent of this involvement is unknown because the names of the mind control doctors who built Manchurian Candidates are redacted from documents provided under the Freedom of Information Act, and because there are undoubtedly other documents which are still classified.


[Note:1] Overview from Colin A. Ross Institute, 2001.

[Note:2] Synopsis from BLUEBIRD: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists, Colin A. Ross, M.D., Richardson, Texas: Manitou Communications, 2000.

136 Hunter, E. Brain-Washing in Red China. The Calculated Destruction of Men’s Minds. New York: Vanguard Press, 1951.

66 Condon, R. The Manchurian Candidate. New York: Jove Books, 1959/1988.

184 Marks, J. The Search for the Manchurian Candidate. New York: W.W. Norton, 1988. [New York: Times Books, 1979.]

66 Condon, op. cit.

163 Lifton, R.J. Thought Reform of Chinese Intellectuals: A Psychiatric Evaluation. Journal of Social Issues, 3, 5-20, 1957.

182 Mangold, T. Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: The CIA’s Master Spy Hunter. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

136 Hunter, op. cit.

182 Mangold, op. cit.

210 Naylor, D. Mind Control. Los Angeles: ZM Productions, 1998.

177 Malitz, S. The Role of Mescaline and DO Lysergic Acid in Psychiatric Treatment. Diseases of the Nervous System, 27, 39-42, 1966.

66 Condon, op. cit.

[Note:3] CIA files confirm that SI is “Subconscious Isolation” or a dissociative state. See, e.g., CIA MORI ID 144823, pp. 1-5, circa 1951. SI involves procedures that create dissociation or a split personality to interrogate and control individuals outside their normal consciousness.