MK-ULTRA in Popular Culture

Project MKUltra has gone down in the annals of conspiracy theory as one of the most bizarre footnotes in the clandestine history of the US secret services. A covert CIA programme started in the early 1950s, it expanded its remit to research everything from mind control to telepathy, ESP, psychic warfare and “remote viewing”.

Although the bulk of the programme’s records were destroyed after it was shut down in 1973 (further adding to the sense of mystery), a 1977 Senate select committee hearing (“Project MKUltra, the CIA’s Program of Research in Behavioral Modification”) confirmed the most notorious avenue of research – that agents “drugged American citizens without their knowledge”. Most notably by conducting illicit experiments with LSD in the hope that it would be the ultimate truth serum, capable of breaking down enemy agents.

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