Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A story we should not forget

To be honest, the U.S. government has done a lot of bad, weird stuff over the decades. This is one of the worst, in several respects. MK-ULTRA was a top-secret program in which the CIA gave LSD without consenting to unsuspecting people. The purpose was to see if it could be used for mind control, to extract confessions, or to mess up foreign leaders. Among  many fun activities, the CIA actually set up its own brothels, gave the customers LSD, and watched them with the sex workers behind one-way mirrors. (Yes, this is true.) They also gave LSD to one of their own agents, without his knowledge, and he either killed himself or they killed him, presumably to keep him quiet. Also, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was a subject, although he apparently consented to the experiment.

Anyway, this comes up now because the late Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger was also a subject. He was dosed with LSD 50 times while he was a federal prisoner in the 1950s. One of the jurors who voted to convict him now says she would not have done so had she known this.

“Had I known, I would have absolutely held off on the murder charges,” Uhlar told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “He didn’t murder prior to the LSD. His brain may have been altered, so how could you say he was really guilty?”
I hope you know that all of this is illegal, and was at the time. Although the current federal regulations governing human subjects research did not come into effect until after the Tuskegee syphilis study was revealed in 1972 (and yeah, that was another federal crime by the federal government), obviously it was illegal to operate a brothel or to secretly administer drugs to people, especially illicit drugs. Who knows what the hell they might doing right now?


Alexander Dumbass said...

I grew up in the 60's/70's and did a LOT of hallucinogenics (probably explains a lot). These drugs can trigger psychosis in some people, but

Blaming Whitey Bulger's murderous acts on LSD is like blaming your kid's fights in school on eating sugary deserts. It's probably not true. Millions of people were dosed, both knowingly and unknowingly and rarely did it produce a homicidal maniac.

Cervantes said...

I am inclined to agree with this broadly speaking. Bulger was most likely a psychopath from the womb. But who knows what doing 50 acid trips in prison might do to a person?

Peckerhead - I have no particular problem with your comment but it's off topic. I have no use for Bloomberg either, and yes, there is a basic problem with somebody who owns a major news organization running for office. Among other problems.