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December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
September 20, 2004
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Publication Date: 
February 15, 1979
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01350R000200420009-9.pdf113.73 KB
'2,/ Approved For L s 2.,O 1- g 8-0I350R000 THE SEARCH FOR. THE "NAN- CHURIAN CANDIDATE"; " The CIA and Mind Control. By John Marks Crimes Books. 242 pp.39.9s> - Reviewer by Bill Richards The reviewer is a National staff re- porter for The Washington Post.. It is probably appropriate that the CIA's massive mind control and drug experimentation program was launch- ed because of a mistake, and a ludi. Brous one at that. In 195 a U.S. mill tary attache- reported ? that, the- Rus- sians had purchased 50 million doses of LSD from the-world's only manu- acturer of the hallucinogen, the-Swiss pharmaceutical firm Sandoz. The problem was that the attache got his numbers scrambled and the real Rus- sian drug buy was 50 doses of LSD. By the time the mistake was noticed, _11K-ULTRA., as the CIA's code-named program was known to a select hand- ful, was under way From: all the available evidence things never got much better. The key here-is the-.evidence. De- spite- its bulk,. the .16,000 pages, -of Xeroxed material the CIA chose to share with- the public about its- dec- ades-long mind control ' flxatfan'-' are' just too skimpy--to get-a clear -picture- of what- they-=-intellig'ence-=agency's. scientists were up to: More ominous, tbpy reveal..-almost - nothing -at' all ;about what the CIA. or the military. did -with the results - of their mind control work.. John Marks,- in. his book "The Search for the 37anchuurian Candi- date,' " readily acknowledges that gri t; cs;l information gap. After painstak in_- research among the CIA's heav. ily censored files and interviews with those principal figures who would talk, he admits "the final result is not- the whole story of the CIA's attack on the mind." There are some who. could tell, but they, for reasons of their own, have chosen to remain silent. Still, in the absence of that informa- tion, what remains makes for fascinating reading, not only forAimraftdvffjo Release 2004/10/1.3: CIA- follow the CIA's-doings the way people sometimes chase fire engines, but also I for those '.rho want to know the limits f to which the Cold War of the 1950s F and an emerging new science of be- havior control pushed their. govern- ment: - - Marks' book. is the. best'view so far of that area of marginal ethics where science and. fantasy were. allowed to merge. In its-frantic search to uncover the workings of the human mind and to manipulate enemies, friends and strangers, the CIA tapped every source it could find, from magicians to psychia- trists. The results were predictably bizarre. There '.were- terrifying trips into'the unknown world of. LSD for those- unsus-pecting souls who chanced to share a drink or a woman with the CIA's operatives. There were psychiatrists who practiced "depatterning"-a mild word for the horror of repeated drug and 'shock treatments aimed. at.. rear ranging the human mind. And there were-and, according to Marks'. re- search, may still be--CIA-backed ef- forts at genetic, engineering, the logical end to all this tinkering. But there never was a "Manchurian Candidate." Despite its efforts and huge outpouring of concealed funds, the CIA could never produce 'the programmed killer it sought.. That is where the fantasy stopped. In the end the entire exercise was no more than the LSD scare that touched it off -a mistake. Perhaps, if ..something good had- come out of it all, a spinoff like the synthetics or gadgets spawned by the space program, it' might have had some value. But,.as? Marks points out, the best the CIA could spawn with its channeling of drug research into the nation's best colleges, was the LSD generation of: the 19606. Last year, the CIA notified Marks that it had uncovered yet another cache of documents on its mind con- trol work. They fill 130 boxes, nearly 20 times the amount- the CIA' found when it was searching for its- MK. ULTRA records. Stretching into then 1970s they cover a second-generation effort by the CIA to reach its elusive target, this time using far snore sa? phisticated methods than were avail- able to the men from MK-ULTRA. When drugs failed them in the 1950s r and 1960s, the CIA's scientists turned to computers and electronics in the 1091%#44 i i sve really want to know, we'll find out; whether they achieved their goal , STAT