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Early efforts focused on LSD, which later came to dominate many of MK-ULTRA's programs.
Experiments included administering LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, prostitutes, mentally ill patients, and members of the general public in order to study their reactions. LSD and other drugs were usually administered without the subject's knowledge or informed consent, a violation of the Nuremberg Code that the U.S. agreed to follow after World War II.
Efforts to "recruit" subjects were often illegal, even discounting the fact that drugs were being administered (though actual use of LSD, for example, was legal in the United States until October 6, 1966). In Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up several brothels in San Francisco, CA to obtain a selection of men who would be too embarrassed to talk about the events. The men were dosed with LSD, the brothels were equipped with one-way mirrors, and the sessions were filmed for later viewing and study.
Some subjects' participation was consensual, and in many of these cases, the subjects appeared to be singled out for even more extreme experiments. In one case, volunteers were given LSD for 77 consecutive days.
LSD was eventually dismissed by MK-ULTRA's researchers as too unpredictable in its results. Although useful information was sometimes obtained through questioning subjects on LSD, not uncommonly the most marked effect would be the subject's absolute and utter certainty that they were able to withstand any form of interrogation attempt, even physical torture.
Web Resource: LSD, brainwashing, CIA
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