Project MKUltra or MK-Ultra , also called the CIA mind control program , is the code name given to a program of experiments on human subjects that were designed and undertaken by the U. Central Intelligence Agency , some of which were illegal. The operation was officially sanctioned in , reduced in scope in and further curtailed in It was officially halted in The program engaged in many illegal activities,    including the use of U. Techniques included the covert administration of high doses of psychoactive drugs especially LSD and other chemicals, electroshocks,  hypnosis ,   sensory deprivation , isolation, verbal and sexual abuse , as well as other forms of torture. The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at more than 80 institutions, including colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies. Investigative efforts were hampered by CIA Director Richard Helms 's order that all MKUltra files be destroyed in ; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms's destruction order. In December , declassified documents included a letter to an unidentified doctor discussing work on six dogs made to run, turn and stop via remote control and brain implants.
Project MKUltra began on this day in 1953 and continued for years
The Cold War and Project MK-Ultra
MK-Ultra was a top-secret CIA project in which the agency conducted hundreds of clandestine experiments—sometimes on unwitting U. In the s and s—the height of the Cold War —the United States government feared that Soviet, Chinese and North Korean agents were using mind control to brainwash U. The covert operation aimed to develop techniques that could be used against Soviet bloc enemies to control human behavior with drugs and other psychological manipulators. The program involved more than human experiments involving psychedelic drugs, paralytics and electroshock therapy. Sometimes the test subjects knew they were participating in a study—but at other times, they had no idea, even when the hallucinogens started taking effect. Many of the tests were conducted at universities, hospitals or prisons in the United States and Canada. After a series of tests, the drug was deemed too unpredictable for use in counterintelligence. The program had little oversight and the CIA agents involved admitted that a freewheeling, party-like atmosphere prevailed. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill and cheat, steal, deceive, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the All-Highest? Frank Olson was a scientist who worked for the CIA.