Viet Cong prisoners were the “expendables” in these experiments with brain implants.
MK-ULTRA, the code name for the CIA’s experiments with mind control, was begun on the orders of CIA director Allen Dulles in 1953 and headed by Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. When experiments with LSD on staff members and volunteers seemed productive, Gottlieb began to experiment with the drug on unsuspecting individuals. For some experiments he was joined by Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron, who had assisted the Office of Special Services (OSS) to interrogate Nazi prisoners during World War II. Intrigued by the experiments conducted on concentration camp prisoners by German doctors, Cameron later contracted to work for the OSS, which became the CIA in 1947, in the field of behavior manipulation. He continued this specialty in Projects Bluebird and Artichoke, which became MK-ULTRA in 1953. Due to his excessively harsh experiments with electroshock, LSD, and drug-induced comas that sometimes lasted for months, and his penchant for performing prefrontal lobe lobotomies, Cameron’s experiments proved far too extreme for some of his “patients” and many of them died.
About 1960 Gottlieb expanded the program to include mind-control experiments with animals. In Operation Resurrection, apes were lobotomized, then placed in total isolation. After a time, the experimenters would direct radio frequencies into the brains of the apes, who immediately went mad and died, their brains literally fried. Additional experiments were conducted with dogs, cats, and monkeys in which miniaturized electrode implants were inserted in specific brain areas. Some tests were intended only to see how physical actions might be stimulated or controlled electronically. In certain instances, the animals were living bombs, guided toward their targets by electrode implants and miniaturized microphones.
In April 1961 Gottlieb assessed the animal experiments as successful and decided that it was time to experiment with electrode implants in human brains. No records exist to disclose how many cruel experiments were conducted with unwilling human subjects, for in 1972 Richard Helms, director of the CIA, ordered records of all 150 individual projects of MK-ULTRA destroyed, but information has leaked out concerning experiments with three Viet Cong prisoners in July 1968.
A team of “behaviorists” flew into Saigon and traveled to the hospital at Bien Hoa where the prisoners were being confined. The agents from “Subproject 94,” as the effort was code-named, set up their equipment in an enclosed compound, and the team’s neurosurgeon and neurologist inserted minuscule electrodes into the brains of the three VC prisoners.
After a brief recovery period, the prisoners were armed with knives and direct electrical stimulation was applied to their brains. The goal of the experiment was to determine if individuals with such electrodes implanted in their brains could be incited to attack and to kill one another. Once again the Agency was seeking a perfect sleeper assassin, a true “Manchurian Candidate,” who could be electronically directed to kill a subject.
After a week of enduring electrical shocks to their brains, the prisoners still refused to attack one another. They were summarily executed and their bodies burned.
Conspiracy theorists state grimly that it is impossible to know how many individuals were implanted with microelectrodes that might still be activated by orders to kill a politician, pope, or president by a secret shadow agency within the government.