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Document Creation Date: 
December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
September 13, 2004
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Publication Date: 
August 16, 1977
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01315R000300030003-6.pdf110.99 KB
F;p.prpyep ror rceiease cosa~i rurtrs~uu --acLrrr. s-u is iorcuuusu n. q 16 August 1977 'KYCCI(OIITTRIIGFlIIYT BY C.I.A. IS DESCRIBED Records Toll of Proposed. Tests on Hospitalized Persons in 6-Year Project Costing $531,960 By JO THOMAS Sq-clal to Tho New York Ttmea WASHINGTON, Aug. 15--The Central Intelligence Agency- sponsored a six-year search for a "knockout" drug during which scientists were supposed to ana. lyze spinal and other vital fluids from comatose and delirious patients hospital- ized with terminal cancer; liver failure, uremia and severe- infections, newly de- classified records show. . The project w di 'designed to discover the biochemical mechanisms that cause delirium and to develop new drugs and techniques to produce "maximum levels of physical and ' emotional stress in human beings," the documents show. To keep their pool. of human subjects and to continue the project's "cover," the researchers were also supposed to evalu- ate other effects of the drugs they-were developing, such as their anticancer or cardiovascular effects.- The C.I.A. records show that this drug project lasted from 1955 to 1961 and cost $531,960. Funds went from the C.I.A. to the Washington-based. Geschickter Fund for Medical Research Inc. .Data on Humans Incomplete While the records clearly describe the research proposed: for humans and for parallel animal studies, only the results of the animal studies are described-in .detail. References.' to the results of the proposed human studies are vague and generalized and do not show conclusively that they were actuallj- performed. The documents, which were heavily. censored before being declassified; do not indicate where the delirious and comatose patients were hospitalized, how many subjects-if any-were used, and what, if anything, happened to them afterward. The documents do show that the project was designed and financed to provide for' .two biochemists to analyze "bodily.fluids. in a toxic state," that "the chief interest' in the toxic cerebral state centers in pa- tients,", and that $43,000 was spent on this portion of the project in the 1957.58 A research proposal drafted for Febru- ary 1956 through February 1957 shows that the biochemists were supposed to analyze blood serum, cerebrospinal fluid, intraperitoneal fluid from the abdomen and pleural fluid from 1 V1 Fier tients in a, variety of - con i Ions-'many terminal'=-that might cause toxic cere- Failure of Vital Organ In these patients, some vital organ other than the brain would-have failed- causing them to pass. from mild mental disorientation into delirium--and"' comas. Some would be suffering, from liver or kidney' failure; others,` from ;advanced cancer or severe infection. Under the proposal, one biochemist as- sociated with.. the hospital's routine serv- ices would provide- routine analysis. The other -biochemist would try to isolate toxic constituents in the fluids. "While the chief interest in, the toxic cerebral state centers in patients," the, proposal said, parallel experiments' were planned for laboratory animals.. Over the years, these included guinea pigs, rabbits and rats. In January 1957- a? C.I.A. memorandum noted that research in the field of "natu- ral toxic psychoses" had been undertaken 1 in the previous year and.-would continue in 1957. ' The : researchers had also screened 10D new drugs and found three that, at that time, looked promising, in- cluding "a very potent new type of bar- biturate and possible alcohol antidote." Many Covert Projects The knockout drug project was one of dozens of covert medical studies financed by the C.I.A. during a 25-year effort. to learn how to control human behavior. This project occurred during MK-Ultra, the code name for the research at its most intense stage. . ' . .- Many of the documents describing these experiments have been destroyed, but last month Adm. Stansfield Turner, the Direc- ? for of Central Intelligence, announced that 5,000 pages of documents pertaining to these projects had been discovered in the agency's archives. Admiral Turner testified about these on Aug. 3 before a joint hearing of the Senate Select Com- mittee on Intelligence and the Senate Health subcommittee. - Dr. Charles F. Geschickter, who headed the Geschickter Fund, which received funds for the knockout 'drug :.studies, could not be reached for comment. He is one of four men who have been sub- poenaed to testify before the health sub- committee on Sept. 9. Dr. Geschickter, a pathologist and for- Releasei~41~rTorwl>r~~ll! cancer drugs. ( es 1vtK E_Ivit..'<