By Kat Eschnersmithsonian.com
The project, which continued for more than a decade, was originally intended to make sure the United States government kept up with presumed Soviet advances in mind-control technology. It ballooned in scope and its ultimate result, among other things, was illegal drug testing on thousands of Americans. It wasn’t the first time that the American government “without permission or notice, secretly gathered information on its people,” writes Melissa Blevins for Today I Found Out. But MKUltra has gone down in history as a significant example of government abuse of human rights, and for good reason.
The intent of the project was to study “the use of biological and chemical materials in altering human behavior,” according to the official testimony of CIA director Stansfield Turner in 1977. The project was conducted in extreme secrecy, Turner said, because of ethical and legal questions surrounding the program and the negative public response that the CIA anticipated if MKUltra should become public.
Under MKUltra, the CIA gave itself the authority to research how drugs could: “promote the intoxicating effects of alcohol;” “render the induction of hypnosis easier;” “enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion;” produce amnesia, shock and confusion; and much more. Many of these questions were investigated using unwitting test subjects, like drug-addicted prisoners, marginalized sex workers and terminal cancer patients–”people who could not fight back,” in the words of Sidney Gottlieb, the chemist who introduced LSD to the CIA...http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-we-know-about-cias-midcentury-mind-control-project-180962836/