Let me first preface this post, with the point that I love my country. I really do. But you can also love an unruly child. And during this current disaster of an election. It makes me think about how we got here. And to be honest. If you look at the history there is a long laundry list of mishaps and poor choices our government has made. Some more bizarre and out of the ordinary than others.
We humans. No matter what country we hail from do scary things when we’re scared of perceived threat. Or more importantly. When we see an enemy we have to defeat. During the end of the second world war, we defeat the great evil that was known as the Axis of evil. Japan and Hitler’s Germany we vanquished. And in the void of a great foe we found ourselves quietly tip toeing into a new war. One that came out of the very east bloc nation that was our ally. And that was communism. People didn’t understand it. The media and politicians painted a picture of the new demon that sought out our freedoms. While at it’s core, communism was a failed idea and even more failed when it was used in the former Soviet Union. Nonetheless the stage was set for the next great battle. One fought over proxy fights, covert plans, space races, and against our own citizens.
But before we get into the meat let’s take a trip back to 1938. In a Swiss laboratory a Albert Hofmann discovers a drug that would influence a generation. It was called LSD-25. Not a lot was known about it at it’s beginning. But sure enough later during the 1943 it was discovered that it impacts the mind in the most incredible way. And it could be helpful for a plethora of psychological uses. Maybe help people or do some good. Yet, then again if you don’t know LSD can also cause delusions. Can make people believe things they didn’t really see. Or force them into a state of paranoia. Average people never once worried about a thing become paranoid. For what it was, it was a powerful drug. And it could alter the very state of someone’s reality.
It was around that time that our Central Intelligence agency caught wind of it. Now like most things. The government can do great good, and it can do a number on things. Just look up the track record. I mean look at the national freight train industry or national debt. However, this wasn’t the government at large. But the agency who swore to protect us. From both ourselves and external combatants. And that is what they saw in LSD. The CIA believed that some how this drug could be used for mind control. That the reds hiding in the country, sympathizers, enemies of the state, or even detainees could be controlled. To either provide information or do things they needed. While no one wanted to acknowledge the truth, but things that came to mind were black sites with hit squads that could be mobilized. I’m talking real sci-fi stuff. Things you watch movies about and think, There’s no way this is real.
But it is.
Telegraph Hill, San Francisco an unassuming, almost picturesque location in sunny California. Absolutely beautiful when you see it. This was the the catalyst for something so dark and bizarre that it still makes me wonder what our government is up to today. Of course in the name of our national security. Sidney Gottlieb was the master mind behind all of this and his rap-sheet included what was the start of the mess they were going to make. Sidney dosed a fellow CIA agent with LSD. And eventually after losing his mind he would die. And already the morality of this business was in question. But Sidney. No Sidney didn’t want to stop. He had a plan. But in typical dirty backdoor operations hired a New York Mobster by the name of George White to assist him with his dirty work (now mind you there’s a lot more here you should read up on. Like the 1947 tests and all the stuff during the Korean War.)
Sidney and Mr. White began running safe house where dosed people with LSD and observed them. And that all changed in 1955 when they moved to Telegraph Hill. As it was known Operation Midnight Climax was to see what happened when people were dosed unknowingly with LSD. The luxurious building we bugged and set up in such a fashion the CIA could document and watch people. There were two way mirrors and cameras. It was done to the nines. Oh. And I forgot the dirtiest part. These were brothels. They used prostitutes willing, unwilling, knowing, and unknowing. Paid them in favours to get out of jail. They did things no American should ever do in the name of national security.
But this didn’t just end here at Telegraph hill. It expanded. There were safes houses across the country trying other drugs too. And if the drugs were something that they did not want to do there. They’d ship them back to the epicenter in San Francisco. But why the brothels? Well it was believed that post sex mind control and influence worked better than anything else. You know sex sells….but more so sex makes you tell. That an being pump for of psychedelic drugs.
Everything from civilians to other government agents got caught up in this. And we really don’t know how long. How many test or when it was official closed due to being a “dead end.” A lot of the documentation was destroyed in 1973. Only with the much more sinister parent project known as MKULTRA. What the CIA was doing abroad and at home. Is so twisted it really makes me question things.
And that’s the core of this post. This was the 1950’s. Do you know how many congress/senators were in office then? Or who was just starting their careers? More importantly, the files and project ran for years. Things were destroyed in 1973. This was the modern times of our country. A government that would experiment on it’s enemies. Has no heart. A government that turns it devices on it’s on people and tells them its for the safety. Now that’s a different beast entirely.
The media, government, people, whomever or whoever. You can’t just take things at face value you have to look at it and ask questions. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it is for the best. There may be something hidden away in the closet. Buried deep under the floor boards or packed up in the office that someone forgot until the church of Scientology breaks in. Do I believe in a need for government ,yes I do. Do I believe they try their hardest and really want change? That depends on the actions. Depends on the person. So remember Operation Midnight Climax. As comical as the name sound it reminds us that our government can be misguided child. And its on us to keep them honest.