Worldwide Campaign to stop the Abuse and Torture of Mind Control/DEWs
By: Mike Parker in Los Angeles, Published: Sun. July 8, 2007
Their case resembles the plight of Hollywood star Matt Damon’s character in the hit movie series that began with The Bourne Identity.
As in the new follow-up film The Bourne Ultimatum, they claim that they were guinea pigs in a series of bizarre experiments to erase their memories and reprogramme them.
A court in Montreal will decide if they have a case against the Canadian government, which allowed the CIA’s controversial mind-control experiments to be carried out there.
Nine have already each received $67,000 (£33,500) compensation from the spy agency, which has admitted setting-up an operation codenamed MK-Ultra during the Cold War.
Many of the chilling details of the top-secret operation have come to light in an investigation by former US State Department officer John Marks for his book The Search For The Manchurian Candidate.
In CIA-speak, a “Manchurian Candidate” is the name given to an unwitting assassin who is mentally “programmed” to kill. The phrase refers to the 1964 movie of the same name starring Frank Sinatra as a brainwashed US prisoner-of-war.
Using documents released under America’s Freedom of Information laws, Marks ascertained that the CIA recruited renowned Scottish psychiatrist Donald Cameron to mastermind MK-Ultra.
Cameron, an ex-president of the World Psychiatric Association, chose Montreal’s Allen Memorial Institute to conduct potentially lethal experiments on non-US citizens.
Documents reveal he used thousands of unwitting as well as voluntary subjects to test paralytic drugs, hallucinogens including LSD and electro-convulsive therapy at 30 to 40 times normal . Cameron, who died in 1967, also put many “guinea pigs” into comas for months on end while playing tapes of repetitive statements in a bid to discover if he could erase memories, then rebuild them with new information.
During an agonising legal battle which has raged since 1988, when the CIA paid nine of Cameron’s Canadian victims $67,000 each, Canada’s government has stonewalled hundreds of claims.
Up to last week, it had paid $100,000 (£49,700) each to 77 victims whose cases were so extreme that they were reduced to permanent childlike states.
Last Tuesday Janine Huard, now 79, became the first “still sane” survivor to be offered compensation, and legal experts believe her secret settlement will open the floodgates for other victims.
Janine said: “The money will allow me to live out my days as I have always wanted, with peace of mind. I am so exhausted from fighting for so many years.”