It has been almost 50 years since the assassination of JFK and 60 years since the 'suicide' of Dr. Frank Olson, two intertwined events that speak volumes about true nature of the so-called Cold War. Our guest on this weeks show is American journalist and author Hank P. Albarelli Jr., whose detailed investigations into these murders have shed much light on the decidedly murky activities of the CIA and friends.

Hank Albarelli is a founding member of the North American Truth and Accountability Commission on Human Experimentation, which seeks to raise public awareness about historical and ongoing human rights violations in North America, and works to establish an accurate and truthful historical record of such crimes, including human trafficking, organized ritual crime, child soldiering, mind control experimentation and other forms of torture, in both the private and public spheres.

Albarelli is the author of A Terrible Mistake, The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments, which documents and details numerous CIA and Pentagon sponsored experiments on unwitting human subjects, and A Secret Order: Investigating the High Strangeness and Synchronicity in the JFK Assassination, which explores the many little-known yet intriguing aspects surrounding the murder of President Kennedy.

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Here's the transcript:

Joe: Hi and welcome to SOTT Talk Radio.

Hank: Thank you.

Joe: Okay. We're here to discuss the contents of both of your books. Right off the bat, I just want to say that both of them are pretty amazing in both the scope of the investigation and to the extent to which they paint a picture of an extremely complex and often bizarre web of interlocking individuals and government agencies. And all of it ultimately seems to tie back, if only indirectly, to either the plans to murder JFK, the murder itself, or the fallout afterwards. So, I suppose that's why you chose to include the term high strangeness in the title of A Secret Order?

Hank: Partially, yes. There is a fair amount of high strangeness and synchronicity. I think some of it escapes people who aren't ultra familiar with the Kennedy case. But the use of the word satisfied me.

Pierre: One specificity of A Secret Order, is that you go beyond the official story, beyond what has been said and repeated by most researchers. And you compliment it and dig further and treat points that have been overlooked or ignored by other researchers. So it gives a lot of extra material to connect the dots and a more comprehensive understanding of what has been going on around the JFK assassination.

Hank: That's correct. I first became interested in the Kennedy assassination in sort of a passive sort of way when I was researching my book on Dr. Frank Olson and his murder. Fairly often, in that research and in writing that book, I would trip over links, connections between Olson's murder and Kennedy's assassination. The reason for that, primarily, was because of the common names between the two cases. Most of those names being people that were connected directly or indirectly with the CIA.

But in conducting my research on the Olson book, I was consistently warned by people, other researchers and writers to, if at all possible, to stay away from the Kennedy assassination because it's basically a black hole in terms of research. You delve into it and there seems to be no bottom whatsoever. The deeper you go, the deeper the hole becomes. The more you research, the more it leads into side avenues and additional rabbit holes. I tried to adhere to that advice because I had experience through friendships with other researchers who had fallen into that trap. Eventually, it became more than apparent to me that, just to satisfy my own curiosity, I would have to do more research into the Kennedy assassination as it related to Frank Olson and the CIA in general. That's the primary reason I wrote the book A Secret Order. It was not an attempt to try to get to the bottom or to solve the Kennedy assassination. I really had no interest in that.

I don't think Kennedy's assassination, going on 50 years, I don't think it will ever be solved; to be perfectly blunt. Frankly, if it were to be solved, I don't think most people in the so-called conspiracy community would be satisfied with any alleged truthful answer or explanation that would come out. I think there may be additional documents released. I think any additional documents will just further the depths of the rabbit hole. But in term of the U.S. Government providing anything that is going to explain away what now stands as the official story. That's not going to happen.

For 50 years, we have been told by the U.S. government that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK. It would be beyond remarkable if this government were to step away from that and provide any sort of alternative explanation. There may be a little bit more to the story that will probably eventually come out, but I think what we have in the body of the Warren Commission Report is basically what we are going to be left with.

Joe: I think that amongst all the books that have been written on it, including yours, I think anybody who reads even a portion of those, can be left with no doubt it was not Lee Harvey Oswald. It was some aspect or element within the U.S. government. What more do you need? Do you really need all of the specifics? Sure, they'd be interesting, but...

Hank: In a perfect world it would be good to have an explanation as close to specific as possible. I don't think any murder in the history of the world has been studied in more detail than the Kennedy assassination. I think ironically, the tremendous amount of study and research that has gone into the Kennedy assassination, has primarily served just to make the waters all the more murky. A lot of the reason for that is there's a lot of pure junk out there.

Joe: By design maybe.

Hank: That purports to explain the assassination. And there's various flavours of the month and flavours of the year. Right now, a theory that's really in vogue is that President Lyndon Baines Johnson was behind the assassination. I don't subscribe to that at all. I think you can see a fair amount of publications over the next year that go off in that direction. But in terms of Oswald, I think there is more to the Oswald story. There's no doubt about that. There's tremendous gaps and holes in his biography, his official and unofficial biography. Again, there is a lot of junk that clouds the facts, factual information about Oswald. I think we can learn a lot more if indeed the government has that information. I think at this point and time, that's a big assumption.

Joe: Speaking of the rabbit hole, books like the ones that you have written, that give those very strange details, I found it kind of funny to think that, because of the preponderance of the CIA research, MK Ultra into mind altering drugs, that reading the bizarre details around the case of Frank Olson and that whole topic, and the Kennedy assassination, it kind of started to make me feel that I was on a mind altering drug, you know what I mean?

Hank: [Laughs] Yeah.

Joe: Just reading about it. So I thought it was quite appropriate in a way.

Niall: It's like that for us to read it. We can only imagine what it was like for you to study it.

Hank: You used the word 'bizarre' in your introduction. It's certainly - a lot of what was happening back then in the 1950's and 1960's - was certainly bizarre. I'm sure it's equally bizarre today. I think the intelligence community in this country has become much more adept at keeping things secret and well away from the public. I think they learned their lessons well in the 1970's when all the exposures and revelations about MK Ultra and MK Naomi and the various sub-projects came out. So there's very little that sees the light of day today. What was going on back then was certainly bizarre.

Pierre: I have a question about that. From reading your books and other researchers' books, you end up with the impression that already in the 1950's, just from the declassified CIA documents which is only the emerged part of the iceberg, you get the impression that already at this time, more that 50 to 60 years ago, the CIA had a lot of stuff, was involved in a lot of organizations. Hospitals, research centers, jails, hotels...

Niall: Universities.

Pierre: ... journalists, the media and they were pretty advanced in those techniques, brainwashing techniques, those drugs, all that. So, I am wondering if what we know about the CIA in the 1950s was maybe 5 to 10 percent of what they were doing at the time. What are they doing now? I was trying to imagine the volume, the magnitude. Do they have armies of brainwashed people? How do you picture the magnitude of the brainwashing efforts and techniques developed by the CIA today?

Hank: There are a couple of questions there that are important. In the 1950s and 1960s, yes, they did contract with virtually every prominent university in the United States. There are a few hundred universities in the United States and we know from the scant files we have, that the count of universities alone (this is excluding colleges and other research institutions) is probably about 140 universities that were contracted directly just under MK Ultra. If you include MK Naomi it's probably an additional 50 or 60 universities, some the same as MK Ultra, and research institutions that were involved. To bring it up to date, I think the answer in terms of what's going on today, as compared to the 1950's and 1960's, the answer bluntly is that it is much more expansive, in terms of the number of educational facilities that are under contract. But in a lot of those cases, those contracts are let through front organizations, front foundations, front research institutes, so some of those university people, the university researchers and scientists could be unwitting of the fact that they were working directly or indirectly for the CIA. And some would be wittingly, it really depends on the nature of the project and the extent of interaction between the agency and whatever research facility or institution is involved. On complex projects, the monitoring has to be fairly extensive, but again, I think the level of research and the expanse of research is much greater today than it was back then.

Jason I have a little bit of a question on that. Noam Chomsky, in one of his recent lectures, he talks about how MIT was, and even today, is pretty much funded by intelligence, military, Department of Defence and he kind of spells it out pretty plainly that the U.S. government, throughout the U.S. government, every military and intelligence agency is the biggest purchaser of new technologies, science, funders of research. He says that the entire academic foundation is based on, pretty much, military research to start out with. Even down to the transistors were more or less, not particularly invented, but only sold to and purchased by the U.S. government. So all this technological science goes through these big universities.

Hank: I think he is correct about that.

Jason He gives some interesting anecdotes about how it happens, how they pass it in and how they seduce the government into doing this or the government seduces them. This back and forth relationship with academia. To me, this is not fundamentally shocking because of course the government is going to do this. The Department of Defence is going to do this, and all this different stuff. So my question is what the - because the way Chomsky presented it, its a little like "they'll just pay for almost anything in the hopes that it might have some tenuous application in a military or intelligence capacity". So, how many of these projects, these so-called brain washing projects, have met with any kind of really scary success?

Hank: Are you are asking in reference to the past? In terms of the 1950's and 1960's or present day?

Jason I don't know about too many present day ones. Either/or?

Hank: We know about some of the present day ones. I think Chomsky is wrong, if he is saying - I am not entirely knowledgeable what you are referring to. I don't think the government, willy-nilly just throws money out there hoping that some dollars will stick and produce good results. I think there's some strong objectives at play in terms of whatever they are funding. Do they fund some silly stuff? Or some things that don't produce results? Yes, sure. Government, I think government everywhere, I don't think the U.S. government is any different from any other government. They're inept in a lot of ways. They play favourites and monies go to friends and friends of friends. But I think overall, they generally know what they are doing. In terms of the MK Ultra program, I think they knew exactly what they were doing. I think the objectives were spelled out in fine detail and very understandable detail. They basically, in a nutshell, what they were trying to do is come up with means to control people. To modify behaviour and control the human mind.

Jason When I'm saying willy-nilly, I don't mean junk science, but academic research. But one in which the goals are tenuously connected to military things. That's what I meant by that, but that's kind of neither here nor there. The most important thing is they have some kind of experiment or research to control somebody's mind. Right? My first question of course is, "That's very interesting, but how successful were they?"

Hank: Again, looking at the 1950's and 1960's, let's take the specific of LSD. They spent a tremendous amount of money on LSD research. Initially, it was considered a wonder drug and people within the CIA, like Richard Helms, were referring to it as dynamite. It was going to change the nature of control of the human mind, right down to interrogation techniques. I think they found - they concluded after about 20 years, that LSD, in terms of being used for interrogation was essentially useless.

Jason That's kind of what I was saying.

Hank: In terms of controlling the human mind, it was also totally ineffective. Again, useless. I interviewed Sidney Gottlieb, who oversaw the program and he was very blunt about that. He didn't say they wasted a lot of money, but he implied that a lot of money was spent in terms of behaviour modification, LSD just didn't measure up to the initial expectation. But when you delve a little bit deeper into what was going on with LSD, and LSD seems to be a huge focus. If you go on the internet, almost everything turns on LSD research. There was a point in time, and I didn't go into a lot of detail on the Olson book because it was basically off subject in terms of specifics with Olson's murder, but there was a point in time when the agency realized that LSD wasn't effective. But at the same time, a number of the research institutes and universities and some of drugs companies, including Sandoz, close by to where you are all at, were also producing additional drugs that were modified forms of LSD and were refined forms of LSD. There is a whole alphabet soup of those names: LAE, LAE40, LAE57, it just goes on and on. The research did not stop in terms...

Jason They were having too much fun with it to let it go.

Joe: I think...

Hank: I think they were having fun with it, but to answer your question, I think they were seeing results, also. Again, in terms of LSD specifically, no. It didn't work, it was too unpredictable. By the mid 1960s most college students could have told them, in an authoritative way, that that was the case. At the same time, the science was evolving. When they found that LSD 25 wasn't what they wanted, that didn't mean "Okay, let's stop with all ergot based drugs". But the research morphed and went into other directions. I can guarantee you there's drugs out there now that are used in mind control fashions that we know nothing about.

Joe: Yes, and probably work in terms of the original goal.

Hank: They are probably extremely effective.

Joe: I think it has to be pointed out that LSD was, back in the early '50's, late '40's, with Sandoz, and then Eli Lilly took it and started producing it for the CIA.

Hank: Yes, Eli Lilly took over in 1954.

Joe: Yes, and that was just the starting point. They took LSD and they started looking at it and that piqued their interest, but there was a vast number of psychotropic drugs not only are natural, but they also synthesized from the natural drugs and They've been doing this kind of research for decades now. So who knows what they have come up with.

Hank: That's exactly right. Sandoz pharmaceutical company included, they realized also, from about 1950 until about late 1953 or early 1954, Sandoz was basically giving away their LSD, giving it away to researchers worldwide, not just to the CIA, but to scientists in France, England, Norway, virtually every country you can think of, in hopes that those researchers would come up with an effective means of using the drugs. Sandoz had no idea what they had and had no idea of how it could be used. They eventually came to the conclusion there is no effective use for LSD. A lot of scientists out there today disagree with that. They claim there was some success with LSD in terms of treating drug addicts, in terms of treating alcoholics. A lot of people have reservations about that research. But again, Sandoz, like Lilly and a lot of the other pharmaceutical companies out there, in terms of moving away from LSD, didn't abandon all research with psychedelics or psychotropic chemicals, but moved on to research that involved refined products based on the feedback they were getting from CIA researchers and researchers in other countries.

Pierre: Psychotropic drugs were only one of the tools used in brainwashing protocols.

Hank: That's right.

Pierre: There was electroshock. There were the repeated suggestions, one thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand times and those induced comas, those insulin-induced comas.

Hank: Insulin shock, morphine, heroin. Initially, again, in the early '50s, they used everything. Some of the Artichoke Project documents that I was able to obtain, just have two or three pages of various means that they wanted to experiment with, practice on various subjects overseas. And they did that. And in some cases, there are a few cases where they reported effective results, not with LSD, but primarily with narco-hypnosis. Unfortunately, they didn't explain what drugs they were using in combination with hypnosis. There were some very fine results, in their estimation. I think the agency bent over backwards, in the late '60s and '70s, to downplay the effectiveness of hypnosis. If you really read some of the documents that came out in the late '60s, and a few from the '70s, you will find that hypnosis really produced some fine results and that the agency pumped a lot of money into additional research with hypnosis and narco-hypnosis.

Pierre: I have a question here. It's in the '60s it's pretty clear that the CIA and Friends were able to break the will of individuals and to program them to do whatever they wanted them to do and to introduce post-hypnotic suggestions so they would not forget or they would remember something else.

Niall: What objectives were they trying to reach? What was the purpose or purposes?

Hank: There were a number of purposes. I don't claim to know all of them, but in going through hundreds of documents, a number of the purposes emerge. One of the primary ones was related to assassination. What they wanted to do was, either through drugs initially, or as it evolved through narco-hypnosis, program people to commit assassination and then basically erase their memories. And erase was actually a term that they used, so that the subject committing the assassination, after the fact, wouldn't remember. That I don't think was very effective at all. I think what they realized, and this is where common sense comes into play, is that it really wasn't necessary to produce programmed assassins to commit assassinations when there was a plentiful supply of people out there, both domestically and in foreign countries, that would gladly perform assassinations for money and would disappear afterwards. In the 1960s, if you look at non-MK Ultra documentation, you see that the agency was actually creating large stables of assassins, in a number of key locations, both in America and in other countries in Europe. They were very successful at that. There wasn't that emphasis on creating assassins.
The other thing they wanted to do that fall in the more practical categories. The agency uses a lot of couriers and people that carry diplomatic pouches and messages all over the world. What they wanted to do was to better control those people so that they could erase their memories. And then in terms of their own agents or operatives, what they wanted to do was to go into the mind of those people and basically erase certain memories. There was one report I saw that was absolutely fascinating that reported on one agency official who had gone into the hospital to have some sort of minor surgery. It called for him to be put to sleep before the surgery was performed, and not long after being put to sleep, he started talking, I guess, talking in his sleep and said a number of indiscreet things and that caused a lot of alarm in the agency. They said "We need to intensify efforts to better erase certain memories". Were they successful at that? I honestly don't know. I would doubt it. Again, that was one of the objectives in the '50s.

Joe: Yes, basically for drug deals and people in sensitive...

Hank: Yes.

Joe: Not exactly All-American activities performed by the CIA.

Hank: Looking backwards now, retrospectively, a lot of what was going on really isn't all that sophisticated by today's standards. In the '50s and '60s, it would be considered fairly sophisticated, but again, today, it's not. And there are known drugs that are on the market that achieve some of those objectives specifically by design or specifically by by-product. Perhaps, they use some of those known drugs, but...

Joe: I was thinking that, maybe not much back in the '50s and '60s, but today, there does seem to be a possible benefit to having a mind programmed assassin in the sense that, or it kind of dove tails, or furthers geopolitical agendas. For example, today, if you want to kill someone, and you want to make it public, it's not just that you want to kill the person, or have the person assassinated, but you want to inflame public opinion against the assassin, his nationality, or his religion, for example. If you want to promote the war on terror today, you can't have a true blue Caucasian American killing somebody when an Arab would be much more supportive of the American geopolitical agenda to fight a war on terror. Muslim terrorism, you know.

Hank: I think that is exactly correct. And, I think, in terms of assassination, I think the mistake a lot of people make, just speaking about in terms of their thinking, speaking about assassination in general; they tend to think about high profile figures. They tend to think about Fidel Castro or the leader of another country. I think assassination, in terms of the intelligence community, not just for the American intelligence community, but with all intelligence communities, I think assassinations happens a lot more than people think. To low-level people, to people who you'd have no idea are even viable targets. If you scan the literature, in terms of the speculative literature, about people that have possibly been assassinated, you will find hundreds of names of people worldwide.

A good example in this country would be, about 10 or 15 years ago, I think there was an astonishing number of microbiologists that died during a 3 to 4 year period. Now that could have been entirely coincidental, but when you look at, I think there were 12 or 15 people, but when you look at some of those specific cases, they were extremely odd. Some were suicides. The was one biochemist that jumped off a bridge, that stopped midway across a bridge in the United States and then jumped to his death. There was no apparent reason for this person to kill himself. And I'm only using that as an example of how people could be programmed in terms of narco-hypnosis or other psycho-chemicals, to either commit suicide, or for somebody to actually commit an assassination on that individual and make it look like a suicide or an accidental death. I think again, that happens a lot more often than we know.

Joe: Yes, more than what people think. There is one, in terms of what I was saying a second ago, one example of many, I think, that relates to the ubiquitous Muslim terror plots that have gone on in the past 10 or 12 years.

For example there is the guy, Zacharias Moussaoui. He was allegedly the 20th hijacker, and there was no real evidence for it, but he was detained on the basis that he was involved in the 911 attacks. He was in jail for a long time and who knows who had access to him. He claimed that, when he appeared in court, his mother didn't recognize him. He didn't recognize his mother. His mother came from France. She said "that's not my son". He himself claimed that the FBI bugged his van in an effort to frame him. He's quoted as saying, "where is my van? It must be forensically examined before they kill me". He also said, "I have a Masters in International Bombing Business from the University Bombing, LTD. My mentor is the chief executor of the World Terror Company". Now that's - he can be put down as a crazy person, but his mother testified that he was a normal guy living a normal life before that.

Jason: Yes, but that's not really evidence for the effectiveness of it. That's just - it's easy to make a person crazy.

Niall: The effectiveness of it is, here, they can say to the public, "Look, he's a crazy person", and then he's condemned in the court of public opinion, then bang, we've got another War on Terror suspect locked up, job well done, everyone goes home. It's not that he, himself, is actually operationally effective. He's useless.

Hank: Right. He's locked up now, right? He's locked up for life, right?

Joe: Yep. Absolutely.

Hank: Another good example, actually, I think it was before him, was the young man from Chicago, Jose Padilla, who also is in prison now for life, who was given LSD before he appeared in court. According to his attorneys, he was dosed with LSD on 4 or 5 occasions. When he appeared in court, his family didn't recognize him. He was basically in a zombie state. I think that's a good example of how LSD is used by the intelligence community now, that it's an extremely effective drug in terms of - when you dose someone with LSD and they are unwitting of it, it can be an extremely frightening experience. If you are given 150 to 200 micrograms of LSD that's going to be a hell of an intense trip and it doesn't necessarily have to be LSD. It can be - again, here's a good example, I should have thought of it before. When the agency was working with LSD, and this was both the agency hand-in-hand with the military, some of that research morphed into a stronger compound that's nicknamed BZ. I can't think of the chemical name for it. That was a drug that's commonly described as being 9 to 10 times stronger than LSD in terms of intensity and length of effective period. Some doses of LSD given to enlisted men - there were expansive experiments in this country, it that lasted anywhere from 4 to 6 days. That's a long time to be under the influence of a hallucinogenic.

Joe: And not know.

Hank: Yes. If you are unwitting of that, you're certainly going to come out of that experience thinking that you basically suffered a psychotic episode, if not worse.

Joe: And you might not come back from it.

Hank: If you are given that drug 3 or 4 times, I don't know what the result would be.

Joe: It just scrambled your brain.

Hank: There were extensive experiments that were conducted at Edgewood Arsenal. This was by the U.S. Army. Of course, the CIA monitored these experiments fairly closely, but in the late '50s through to about I think 1966. And those experiments involved around 6,000 U.S. servicemen. So they basically had a conveyor belt going with human subjects that they were dosing with both LSD and BZ. In the '70s when the U.S. Congress found out about that, there was a lot of outrage, a lot of feigned outrage, I am sure. Some of those members probably knew about it as it was taking place. The Pentagon, the U.S. military was ordered to conduct follow-up tests on the subjects, on the 5 or 6,000 people. I think it was 5700 people that were subject to these test.

The military started those follow-up studies fairly intensively and actually did a mailing to everyone who was given either LSD or BZ, or both and other drugs, requesting that they subject themselves to interviews. And that study went on for about 5 or 6 months. The results that were coming in were so dismal in terms of the effects, the long terms effects that a lot of these enlisted people were experiencing, including a lot of suicides, and people that had been institutionalized, that the study just basically dissipated and there was no final report. I've got a few copies of the initial preliminary reports and they're just - they're really frightening to read. To read these interview with wives of former officers who had been part and parcel to these experiments. One wife talking about her husband going out on the front lawn one evening and blowing his brains out in front of her and the children. And they had no idea why until this letter came from the Pentagon explaining that he had been the subject of a drug experiment.

Joe: It's horrific. To think that that was going on, to realize that that was going on. That's one of the things that really comes through in the research you provide in your books, is that this kind of - in '40s and '50s and '60s, when this research kind of took off, that the culture of acceptance of this kind of brutality against human beings. I want to quote a couple of things. There is a passage here, it refers to Dr. Robert Heath who was in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of his associates on the experiments, that was conducting these experiments on human beings, on mind manipulation, including implantation of electrodes and drug experimentation said that "It was cheaper to use niggers than cats because they were everywhere and cheap experimental animals".

Hank: Yes, that was a pretty outrageous statement.

Joe: But there's another one from a Fort Dietrich researcher in a 2001 interview, stated that "Under our Special Operations division agreements with the Pentagon and the CIA, we were forbidden to record in writing or to produce written reports on any of the results of our cancer experiments. But I can assure you that people died as a result of these experiments. Death was an intended by-product of the experiments. Deaths marked success and desired results, be they among humans used or hordes of other animals targeted." Another researcher said, "It was beyond any measure of inhumanity or disregard for human dignity." So my question is, who are these people and how did they ever justify, the scientists, who apparently going home to families. How did they ever justify it to themselves? What kind of culture persisted at that time where these people could justify this to themselves?

Hank: It's a good question. It's the $64,000 question. The explanation that a lot of these people give you, the people that were involved in these experiments at the time, was that it was the height of the Cold War and that other people, meaning I guess military people and agency people, were dying overseas and that it was a life or death situation. I think that's a horrible explanation and excuse for what was going on. Certainly it doesn't come close to excusing some of the experiments that were conducted. I don't think we have any idea. I researched the Olson book for about 10 years, almost eleven years and then took two years to write it and I honestly think that as big and as expansive that book is, it only touches the tip of the iceberg in terms of the experiments that were conducted. I spoke to a lot of people, a lot of former scientists, who implied that the tests that were being conducted domestically at Edgewood and a number of the CIA safe-houses in New York and San Francisco, were nothing compared to what was going on overseas. A number of scientists told me that a lot was done in Haiti. They wouldn't go into any details other than to say it was the Devil's Playground in terms of drug testing. That included the military testing a lot of drugs for pharmaceutical companies that they didn't dare do in this country or that the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, refused to allow them to experiment with in this country. So I think there's glimpses and even glimmers of even more horrific activities that went on other countries but for obvious reasons, a lot of these people won't go on record in terms of what was actually happening.

Joe: The horror of the Nazis and what the Nazis did in concentration camps is always held up as the epitome of evil. Dr. Joseph Mengele and stuff like that. There is no difference...

Jason: Well they brought all of those scientists over here.

Joe: Yes.

Hank: Well they did. And Olson actually worked with a few of those people. Initially, a lot of the drug experimentation that happened in the mid '40s and in the late 1940s was based on captured documents from the Nazi death camps. The Nazis did some experimentation with drugs; primarily mescaline. There are some rumbles to the effect that maybe they had access to early crude forms of LSD through Sandoz, but that's never been confirmed. A lot of those captured documents, which have never seen the light of day, are referred to in a lot of the early U.S. Army and CIA documentation, in terms of being the impetus behind some of their experiments.

Niall: About the meta-apology for all of this, that this was the Cold War and the paranoia that our enemies over there might, or are, doing this to us, therefore, we need to be super-prepared and know everything there is about this in order to counter it, there's some discussion in your book; maybe you can clarify your position on it for us now. It's not clear to me that there really was, especially in terms of the Korean case, that this was 'being done to our boys, therefore we set up these programs in order back-engineer whatever it is they're doing to brainwash people. That's why we have to do it'... It seems that's a kind of black hole in itself, that this was completely projected onto the Chinese, the Koreans, the Russians. There doesn't seem to be much of any evidence that they were doing this first, therefore we responded or reacted and started doing it ourselves. What do you think of that?

Hank: In terms of the Russians, I think the Russians reacted to what we were doing. I don't think the Russians were doing anything with psycho-chemicals until they got wind of the fact that the Americans were experimenting with psycho-chemicals. Of course, it's hard to get detailed information out of the former Soviet Union, but there were some drug experiments conducted by the Russians, but nothing compared to what was going on here.

In terms of Korea, I think Korea, for the most part, meaning the Korean War, was used as an excuse because the Korean War took place in 1950, 1951. Most of the drug experimentation or the precursors to it were well underway in American, were well underway before the Korean War broke out. I think it was very convenient for the U.S. government to use as an example, as an excuse for their drug experimentation, the 23 or 26 U.S. servicemen that had been captured and allegedly brainwashed in North Korea, as an excuse for really accelerating the experiments here. I think when you really look at declassified documentation concerning those service people who all, except for maybe two or three, eventually came back to this country, there was no narco-brainwashing that was going on. They were brainwashed through fairly intensive interrogation and conventional interrogation techniques that bordered or crossed the torture threshold, meaning sleep deprivation and other techniques, but nothing that came close to what the U.S. government eventually did from 1953 forward. Again, I think it was a very convenient excuse to justify what was going on.

Money comes into play here too and the research and the scientific community in the United States really bears a lot of the guilt as to what was going on because as one of you mentioned earlier, about what Chomsky said, in terms of today, and it applies to the 1950s and 1960s, there were a lot of contracts going out and it involved a fair amount of money. A lot of people, a lot of scientists in the research communities, at private research institutions, or colleges and universities really wanted a piece of that pie. If you look at a list of the experimentation that was going on, a lot it was duplicative. What was going on at ABC University was also going on at XYZ University and the reason for that was people simply wanted a piece of the monetary pie. In the psychiatric and psychology community, various players of those communities really wanted to jump onto the money train in terms of what was going on.

Jason: It seems to me, and this is horrible, but from a slightly cold and scientific perspective, what about the situation is all the more horrible, is that these people had crazy ideas. They should have known better than to even bother because they were a little out there. "We are going to completely control someone's mind, and install a personality in them and turn them into a super assassin." That's a little bit of a ridiculous proposition and kind of a large leap from what we understand about the human mind, that it's so easy to just simply wipe it and put something else in. It's ridiculous.

Hank: I agree.

Jason: If they had achieved true and complete success to the point where they had mastered entirely, the mind, I think in a certain sense, from a scientific perspective, at least there would be that. But the fact that they tried something ridiculous, that tortured and abused people, they should have known it was ridiculous and it turned out to be ridiculous and they didn't meet with much success, makes it all the more horrible. It makes it almost puerilely sadistic. It's all the more horrible because they failed and they should have known better and the fact that they didn't just makes them look evil and incompetent and it's disgusting to be quite honest.

Niall: There are some cases that Albarelli describes in the Olson book where it seems pretty clear that the objective of the administrators of these drugs and programs, their purpose was to drive people as insane and psychotic as possible. I'm thinking specifically of the Farm, the prison or detention center in Kentucky, some of the people who survived that and their descriptions of it, where the doctors seemed to encourage complete destruction.

Hank: That was one of the more horrific examples. That was actually a federal facility. A lot of people refer to it as a prison, but it really wasn't a prison. What it was, was an addiction facility and a place where addicts, primarily morphine and heroin addicts went to be cured. The CIA viewed that as an ideal facility to conduct experiments out of the sunlight where nobody would notice and people wouldn't have the credibility to complain. What eventually, which quickly happened after they contracted with that facility, was they found that after the first few experiments that were conducted with LSD, was that the addicts there didn't like the drug. They didn't like it at all and were refusing to participate in the experiment. So what they did, and this is more horrifying in some ways than the experiments themselves, they said "Okay well we'll give you heroin or morphine in return for your participation in these experiments." These are men that were there to be cured of their drug addiction, but eventually happens was they were contributing towards their addiction in regards to using them as guinea pigs for other drugs. Unfortunately, we don't have - some of these people, I think I interviewed one of those participants, but there were many, many participants there and god only knows where or what happened to those people.

The other really horrendous, terrible experiment that - I mean there were many, but one of the worst was in Montreal with Ewan Cameron in terms of what he was doing with patients at his facility, connected with McGill University. That didn't commence until, I think it was 1956 or '57. His experiments, which were supposed to contribute towards better interrogation techniques, just basically destroyed the minds of a lot of his subjects. It was termed psychic driving, but basically what it was, was psychological torture.

Joe: The impression you get is that the CIA was just looking around for anybody in a vulnerable position that they could exploit. There is a reference, I think, in your books somewhere, to the CIA coming up with a figure of about 4,000 military personnel who had been court-martialed, who were either awaiting trial or were in prisons for some offenses and that they said "These are perfect people for us to use for these experiments because we can..."

Niall: Blackmail them.

Joe: Well, "offer them time off, offer to put a good word in with the judge, or whatever in exchange for them participating in the experiment."

Hank: And that was early on. There's an Artichoke document, and that's a program that was separate from MK Ultra that was an operational program, which made it even worse in terms of the experimentation they conducted. They saw federal prisons and military bases as basically happy hunting grounds for experiments. That was signed off on, yet, we don't have the documentation as to what facilities were actually used. We know that they went into the Atlanta federal prison and conducted extensive experiments there.

One of the problems, it's mentioned a few times in the book, is that in 1973, when word was leaking out slowly to the public and the media in this country about the MK Ultra program and other programs, the CIA ordered that all the documentation concerning the programs be destroyed. They were actually all gathered up, put in a truck and carted away to an incinerator in West Virginia. But what they overlooked that John Marx was able to resurrect and include in his book The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, what they overlooked were a lot of financial documents that were filed separately. That gave us sort of the skeleton or the outline of a lot the sub-projects under MK Ultra.

Again, that was just the tip of the iceberg. There was Project Bluebird, there was Project Artichoke that went well beyond the reaches of MK Ultra. There was MK Naomi. There was some radiological experimentation that took place that we only have glimpses of that involved a lot of human subjects. That documentation may still be out there somewhere. Some of it is beginning to dribble through and it's hard fought to get it from the CIA. I've stayed on that and still periodically file Freedom of Information Requests in this country for documentation and it's constantly a struggle to get various documents related to that. It can take upwards of anywhere from 4, to 6, to 8 months to even get an answer. Then, maybe, another 5 to 6 months to get specific documents where they're denied and you have to appeal and another year may go by before you get anything. There is a lot still out there in terms of documentation concerning horrific experiments that went on. I think eventually all that will all come out.

The one thing I have discovered in terms of filing Freedom of Information Requests over the last two or three years since the Olson book was completed, is that the levels of government that were involved in a lot of the MK Ultra tests, were much more expansive than anybody thought. In terms of the National Institutes of Health, there were a lot of very high level scientists that were involved in a lot of the drug experimentation that went on, that have managed to, to date, escape scrutiny, but that is starting to come out. I guess what I am trying to say is that the level of experimentation was much more far-reaching and involved higher levels of the U.S. government and various U.S. agencies than anybody imagined.

Pierre: Obviously, that's the tip of iceberg that we can reach and only that because if the information that's critical, is being redacted. If it's very critical, it wouldn't be published, released, declassified and if it's very, very critical, it won't be even filed. So you have to go through and get documents to infer or deduce from the few that are available. I have a question about those development

Hank: About who?

Pierre: About development of those technologies. Of course, the official position of the CIA that in the '70s, they stopped those experiments and apparently that's not the case. I was wondering, if in the '60s, they managed to create Manchurian candidates, assassins. In between, you had billions of dollars invested, you had thousands of people involved, you had the discovery of genomics, nanotechnology, radiology and other kinds of radiation. Today, they are virtually able to control anyone, anywhere, in any field, no?. Is it a paranoid idea?

Hank: No, I don't think it's a paranoid idea at all. I think there's a number of possible examples out there. Even specific to my book A Secret Order,. I didn't draw any conclusions about Lee Harvey Oswald, but what I did come up with was a fair amount of what I considered to be very circumstantial evidence that he was possibly an experimental subject when he was a youth and afterwards. I think, is there anything that says, "yes he was"? No, there isn't. There's a fair amount of circumstantial evidence. I think maybe the more ripe example would be Sirhan Sirhan who assassinated Robert Kennedy, RFK. I think there is a fair amount of very strong circumstantial evidence that perhaps he was a narco-hypnosis subject and was led towards that assassination by forces, human forces unknown. Was it the CIA? Possibly. Was it the U.S. Army? Who knows? But I think there is a lot of large looming unanswered questions about that assassination that, in a lot of ways, are even more provocative than the Kennedy assassination. In terms of Oswald I honestly don't think that Lee Harvey Oswald was any kind of Manchurian candidate. That's not to say he wasn't manipulated and used as a patsy in terms of the Kennedy assassination, but was he a Manchurian candidate? I just don't see the evidence. I think it's possible. I'd even use the word "strongly possible", but again, I don't the evidence is there.

Joe: A Manchurian candidate is by definition someone who is a brain-washed assassin.

Hank: Right. A mind-controlled assassin.

Joe: Yes. I think the evidence is pretty conclusive that Oswald did not kill Kennedy, in terms of the shot, the whole analysis of where the shots came from. So by that definition, he's not, but as you say, he was basically sheep dipped around the country to set him up like you said, as a patsy to take the fall.

Jason: He was wolf-dipped!

Hank: I think he was strongly manipulated. And again, I guess what I am saying is I don't think manipulation necessarily had to involve drugs, narco-hypnosis, or anything to that effect. I think he was an individual that was easily manipulated. Some people would strongly disagree with that and say that he was extremely intelligent and was actually an operative and was part and parcel of the assassination, but not actually the assassin. I'm not so sure of that. I think there is too much unexplained evidence in terms of Oswald that nobody has rationally explained away. The fact that Oswald actually got a job in the School Book Depository and was there for the event and possibly had a rifle. I think a lot of people argue with that, but the fact that those facts exist haven't been completely discounted.

That's where we get into the whole snake pit of the Kennedy assassination and trying to explain away various facts concerning Oswald. Why did he get a job at the Texas School Book Depository? What was he doing there? It seems to be entirely coincidental. I don't go into that in my book at all. I probably will in Volume II. But it seems to be entirely coincidental that he obtained that job there and he was only there for two or three weeks before Kennedy came to Dallas. But how does that actually happen?

Then there is the whole black hole of what Oswald was doing in New Orleans and you have to open the door on the Garrison investigation and David Ferry and Clay Shaw. And that to me, in a lot of ways, just clouds to whole issue. I find it hard to accept that Clay Shaw and David Ferry were major players in the Kennedy assassination. I just don't see them as two men that had the wherewithal to realize to really carry anything like that forward. That doesn't mean they weren't bit players in the entire thing. I think there was a tremendous cast of bit players. When you look at - I've never done this. Somebody should do it. When you add up all the people, all the names of various people in the intelligence or military community that were in Dallas on the day of the assassination. You have a long, long list of names, including a number of alleged French assassins who just happened to be there. You have a long, long list of names. Is that coincidental or does that mean that somebody was basically loading up of the city? It just caused a tremendous amount of confusion.

Pierre: Muddying the waters.

Joe: Yes, put as many people in there as possible so that if anyone does investigate it, they would come up with more names than they could possibly deal with.

Hank: Exactly.

Pierre: What I find striking in A Secret Order as well is that this repeating pattern, often you have a character, an individual who wants to be a whistleblower or wants to give information, looking for a journalist or looking for a doctor or looking for a politician. And often you have a similar sentence so you went to X, or you where you went to Y, went to Z. But you didn't know that this X, Y or Z was a CIA asset. When reading this book, you realize how the CIA network was pervasive in the U.S. society in these keys sectors.

Jason: Is, is, most certainly is still pervasive. You got to remember it's a bureaucracy in a certain sense. It is a government agency. They just go around and build up these "networks" of paid lackeys or favored lackeys.

Niall: That's a question here. It's a kind of elementary question. You sort of traced the outline of it in the book on Olson and that is what is the CIA? I mean, on paper, you look at it, if you look at it on kind of a tree map diagram, it would be one agency among many in the U.S., but it's the sheer reach that CIA names or CIA contracts reach through across the U.S. government. It's almost like, even by the '50s, certainly by the '60s, it had insinuated itself into the entire fabric, or most of the fabric of the U.S. government. We are not just talking about an agency here with X number of employees. We are talking about something that's total in its scope.

Hank: Yes, it's beyond - it's an octopus in terms of it's reach into the U.S. government alone. And I got into that a little bit in the Olson book and some in the book, A Secret Order. The dimensions of its reach are basically unbelievable. You'll find in the Olson book, in terms of my explanation of the investigation that went into the Rockefeller Commission findings in the mid-1970s, some of the players that were involved in trying to block the investigation were CIA operatives who were actually planted within the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service. And in some ways, that's kind of mind-boggling. Why the CIA would even see fit to have operatives within the IRS. And it begs the answer that, the only reason for that is essentially, access to information. That again, was again in the 1970s.
It's no different today. The CIA is probably, in terms of employees alone, twice the size it was in the late '60s and 1970s.

Pierre: How much is it?

Hank: At last count and I haven't done a search on the number employees since I think maybe 2000, 2001, but worldwide, about 300,000 employees. That means just officially employees, meaning known employees, people that get a paycheck every weeks, every month from the Central Intelligence Agency. I think when you put assets and operatives and contractors and subcontractors on top of that, you're talking easily anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000 people. That's a phenomenal number of people. It really begs the question, how do you manage that number of people?

Jason: I don't believe that they do.

Hank: I don't believe that they do either. And that's why I think when people advance the theory that both Kennedy assassinations were conducted by rogue elements of the CIA, yeah absolutely. Does that make sense as a theory? Absolutely. When you're looking at an agency with half a million people, it only makes sense that one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing.

Jason: Exactly. I think it's like a cancerous growth inside the U.S. government. Intelligence agencies kind of are. It spreads through this collections of patronage and kickbacks and buy-offs and things like that. So that it has expanded to this giant monstrosity, but I don't really think that there is a real central nervous system. Maybe there is, who kind of have an idea of what is going on, but I think that there are probably a lot of things that they don't even know about. So sub-units and sub-ask forces and sub-committees and all this different stuff going on that really do probably operative a bit with impunity. That's also why, in a certain sense, that the CIA sometimes comes off as a little bit incompetent.

Hank: Because one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. 9/11 is a good example of that. And some of that came out in dribbles with the 9/11 Commission. Not only in terms of the CIA, but also the FBI. There were people with the FBI in field offices and there were analysts within the headquarters of the CIA, that had a good idea that 9/11 was going to happen. And had more than an idea. They knew it was going to happen and that it was only a matter of time. But that information wasn't filtering up or down or sideways or left or right to the proper people, if you believe the conventional story.

Jason: On that topic though, I was watching a French program and I don't remember what the guy's name was, but he was a former executive in the CIA who was on this French show, because he spoke French. They were talking about George Bush and this interview that he gave where he said "blah, blah, blah, but we didn't have the intelligence or the intelligence was bad and it failed". Here's this CIA guy, supposedly, sitting there saying "Oh, he lied. We said this and we said that and our analysts said this and said that". And the thing that struck me was not whether what he was saying was true because I never believe a spy, ever, under any circumstances, for any reason. Anything that he says is immediately, automatically the inverse and I still won't believe that. Just because he says "I used to work for the CIA", I will never believe a single thing you say. But what I found interesting was that he was on this show badmouthing, in a certain sense, the U.S. government, the former President at the time and also talking about the CIA. Maybe it was some or psy-op from the CIA where they're like "Oh look, we have whistleblowers". It could be that.

Hank: Right.

Jason: But I always get this feeling when we talk about the NSA, the CIA, of a group of people that are really not as together and controlled as they claim. I saw that as another piece of evidence, circumstantial maybe, to the idea that the CIA is just not even in control of its own body type of thing.

Hank: I think that's a wise conclusion. And I agree with that conclusion and I agree with it primarily. I've worked in Washington. I worked for the U.S. government for about 3 years. It was a good experience. And I worked for about a year-and-a-half in the Carter White House and then I worked for a couple of agencies. But the one lesson - I came away with many lessons and I didn't have anything to do with the intelligence community, so I didn't have exposure. But the lesson I came away with, and I think without a doubt it applies to the intelligence community, the FBI and all other agencies, including the Secret Service, is never underestimate the ineptness of bureaucracy and government. For the most part, these are people that go to work at 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning and then go home at 4:30 or 5 o'clock and that's the end of it.

Jason: And they make $30,000 or $40,000 a year in government salary.

Hank: Yeah. And good number of those - and they work hard - but a good number of those people, are people in fairly key positions that move paper or move information or move intelligence that can be fairly critical in certain situations. Yet, a lot of things escape them. But the bottom line is never underestimate the ineptness of government. I can think of - I know a lot of people in the conspiracy community, in terms of the Kennedy assassination, make a lot of hay with the fact that some of the documents concerning Lee Harvey Oswald, prior to the assassination, refer to Lee Harvey Oswald as Lee Henry Oswald. A lot of people have made a lot of hay with that and think that points in this direction or that direction.

Jason: Like they never get a name wrong.

Hank: I can tell you, I don't think a day went by when I didn't see a document that didn't get a name wrong, or that did not have to be corrected with the appropriate first name, middle name or even last name, misspelled. So, to go bonkers when you see one or two documents with the name Lee Henry Oswald, it's absurd. It's actually absurd to think well that's a false trail. That's leading off in this direction. It's not. There are low level secretaries that type these documents and they work hard, but they don't always pay attention to detail. A lot of peoples' handwriting is extremely hard to read. The fact that that didn't happen more often with Lee Harvey Oswald I find astounding. That there weren't more mistakes in files.

Jason: Something along that topic, I think there is a concerted effort out there through media, even the conspiracy community or what maybe the Cointelpro individuals, is to attempt to paint the intelligence agencies as almost omnipotent. And certainly this happens in spy films. It started with what's his name - James Bond. He's good at everything, great at everything, has access to these super awesome technical toys and stuff like that. I think that a lot of the work maybe of the CIA actually goes into working to promote this image of themselves to cover up for the fact that they are not quite as competent as the movies portray them to be. And the community comes out with these highly paranoid statements about "They practically know what you are thinking before you think it" or like "They're listening to you type and they have computer programs that can predict what you are going to say based on what you type". As a computer scientist, I consider that completely, fundamentally ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. They are not omnipotent.

Niall: At the same time, we are still left with the legacy of the leader of the free world shot dead in plain sight and the truth covered up for almost 50 years.

Jason: Well no, in a certain sense, I think somebody did a...

Niall: Incompetent? I call that pretty competent.

Jason: It's psychopathic reversive blockading because they did a study, I think it was 70 percent of people...

Pierre: Don't believe?...

Jason: ...simply do not believe the official story and think that the government assassinated him.

Hank: I think it is at 70 percent now.

Jason: Nobody believes it.

Hank: A good reason for that is Hollywood. I think if you looked at that 70 percent alone and asked what percentage of that 70 percent were led towards that belief by Oliver Stone's film, it would probably be at least 50 percent of that 70 percent. A lot of us psychologically fall into that trap. I find myself, just in terms of doing research when I think of characters like David Ferrie. The image that almost immediately comes to mind is Joe Pesci in the JFK movie. yet David Ferrie really didn't look anything like that at all. Maybe with the false hair piece, but didn't act out like that. And I think propaganda-wise in terms of Hollywood, not just Hollywood, but actually television today in the United States, the intelligence agencies have a good hook in the entertainment industry. Because if you see, most of the entertainment that comes out of this country now, while on the surface can be viewed as maybe anti-intelligence establishment, when you really examine it, it's pro-intelligence. It really makes the intelligence community look quite good.

Jason: Absolutely.

Hank: Especially the television shows that are extremely popular in this country. Your point is a really good one. Again, the CIA and the overall intelligence community, and it's grown since 9/11. You now have a Director of National Intelligence that's over the Director of Central Intelligence. If anything, it's become an even larger octopus, a larger beast that I have no idea how anybody can manage it. And incorporated into that is the Homeland Security Administration which has almost equal, if not greater power domestically and probably internationally. Again, it goes to, who's managing this? How often to they meet? Do they are information? And the FBI is still out there domestically doing its own thing. Internationally also.

Jason: I consider the FBI an intelligence agency too. It is really kind of.

Hank: It basically is today and in a lot of ways it always has been. Domestically, it's always gathered intelligence. And in a lot of ways it's acted against the greater interests of the American public. If anything, the FBI was on the wrong side with the Civil Rights Movement in this country. I think that's a good example of how a federal agency can interfere with positive social change. And I think the CIA, to whatever extent was sharing information with them.

Joe: Hank, just getting back to what we were talking about before, about these kind of doctors and psychiatrists who performed all of these horrible experiments on people and what kind of human beings are they, I found it interesting in your book A Secret Order, the depiction of the various other people that you suggest were in some way involved in the JFK assassination. Specifically, David Sanchez Morales and people like him who were CIA employees, not necessarily that high up. But those kind of people and the way you described them in your book, the only word that really comes to mind is that they're basically psychopaths. That they have no real concern for other human beings at all. The other name that comes up a lot is Sydney Gottlieb. You have actually spoke to him, yes? You interviewed him? What kind of guy was he?

Hank: Yes. I interviewed him twice about eight or nine months, maybe 10 months before he died. What kind of guy was he? Initially it was a strange experience. I was very apprehensive about interviewing him and probably postponed it. I don't think there wasn't a day went by for two or three months where I didn't reach for the phone and then I thought, no, I'll do it tomorrow, and I'll do it tomorrow. It took me a number of months to get his phone number and then to actually arrange to interview him. I had to go through his attorney because he was being sued at the time in an MK Ultra related case. And so there were some ground rules that had to be set up.

But to answer your question, apart from the ground rules which forbad the discussion of certain subjects, it was a pretty normal discussion. It was much like talking to any elderly man. His voice actually reminded me of my father's voice. He was very open, very personable. It wasn't like talking to a monster. I asked him a number of blunt questions. I didn't put the entire interview in the book because not all of it was appropriate. I think the second question I asked him was his reaction to being portrayed worldwide as a monster. I think I used one other term that I drew from a Counterpoint where somebody that referred to him as Dr. Horror or something like that. He had a perfectly logical explanation. And again, it turned on people from the outside not understanding his world view and what was going on in terms of the Cold War and blah, blah, blah. And I don't mean to downplay is explanation because I honestly came away, and I knew I was dealing with a highly skilled manipulator. It actually came across as being a fairly honest answer. Of course he'd had 60 years to convince himself. Towards the end of that answer during that conversation, I think there was some signs of remorse in terms of some of the things that had happened. He did acknowledge that he could understand. He could certainly understand how people did feel that way.

I think that the mind can play tricks on people and it's easy. Everybody does something they consider not right or terrible or horrible. Your mind has a way of self justifying and rationalizing that. I think that's some of what is going on with him. But I also got the impression I was talking to a man who was very much in touch with himself and felt comfortable in his own skin and was very, very blunt and frank about certain subjects. He told me, I think I put this in the Olson book, that he himself took LSD, I think it was thirty times or more. This was on his own. Initially, he took LSD under the controls of the CIA medical staff in a hotel and then again at the Butler Hospital, which is a CIA medical facility. He went beyond that and took it at least twenty times on his own because he said he really enjoyed the benefits of the drug in terms of expanding his own mind and his own thinking. We didn't go into a lot of depth on that because that was the first interview and I had 14 or 15 questions to get through and we had only set aside an hour. But I thought that was remarkable. I asked him if he ever had a bad experience with the drug and he said no, that every time was actually was very positive.

Joe: I just find it hard to believe that someone like him, who had overseen so many experiments on people who didn't know they were being experimented on and certainly many of them that had very traumatic experiences, even after the first or second one. It's hard to justify that without there being something essential lacking.

Hank: No, you're absolutely right. It certainly points to the fact, here's a man who has done LSD twenty or thirty times and is certainly well aware of the effects and what can happen, who can't step out of himself for a moment and say, okay, what if I didn't know what was happening here? What if I was given this drug unwittingly? And I'm am driving down the street and suddenly the drug takes effect. And I think it sort of underscored perhaps how out of touch he was in terms of a lot of the human subjects. I'm not a psychologist, but I think that goes to just the mind of a bureaucrat and he certainly was a bureaucrat, and he was an administrator. And most of these sub-projects that he oversaw, he had very, very little contact with. He knew exactly what was going on and he signed off on everything that happened under MK Ultra, so there's no excuses in that regard. He commanded a fairly small staff of about 20, 25 people who actually went in the field and oversaw this stuff on a weekly or monthly basis. I tried to interview a number of those people, but they wouldn't talk at all.

Joe: I found it interesting as well though, and maybe a little bit ominous, that after he retired, he and his wife spent 18 months running a leper hospital in India.

Hank: India, yeah. We talked a little bit about that. I asked him - I was curious to know if that was true because it had been reported in a number of places. And it was true. His wife's name was Margaret. I believe she's still alive. She was, like Frank Olson's wife, a daughter of an Episcopalian minister and a fairly religious woman. We didn't get into any discussion about her knowledge or her feelings or emotions about what he did. I am sure she knew. I don't know if she knew at the time. She certainly knew after the fact from all the media exposure but I would guess the time in India was sort of penance on his part perhaps. I don't know.

Joe: Well I hope so. Because someone with his background going to India?

Pierre: A continuation.

Joe: I would just not want to be a leper in India.

Jason: I would make a small observation. The way you describe this guy is like a text book of what every single psychologist, who has ever interviewed a psychopath will say exactly about them. They are not these horrible boogie men or these monsters.

Hank: Yes, that's true.

Jason: They really aren't.

Hank: Yep. They come across as an actual person and they are. They have had all this time to self-justify what they have done.

Jason: Or to practice that mask that they wear in a certain sense.

Niall: I think it's like what Arendt said of Eichmann, the Banality of Evil.

Jason: It's exactly the same thing that I thought.

Niall: Eichmann was just a bureaucrat.

Hank: Gottlieb was an interesting case in terms of what happened to him vis-à-vis the CIA. He actually was thrown to the wolves and there's no doubt about that. At some level, when all this material and information initially started to leak out and hit the media, there was certainly a decision made at a high level of the CIA that "Look, we needed a scapegoat. Somebody's got to be put out there to be a target". Otherwise, it was going to be the DCI himself or the assistant DCI or Helms or someone that was going to be the target. And so Gottlieb's name was deliberately leaked to the media when the MK Ultra stuff was coming out. And so bingo! They had their target right away and the media fell for it. Everybody zeroed in on Gottlieb and no one else, which is amazing.

Jason: Because they don't remember the rules about misdirection.

Hank: Right.

Jason: You always look in the opposite direction that the hand is pointing. You never look at what they are pointing to.

Hank: Exactly. And Gottlieb - I don't know if you recall or not - Gottlieb was called before Congress, I think on three or four occasions. His testimony is available. I think most of it's reproduced on the internet verbatim and all these Congressional reports. And he supposedly was grilled extensively, but if you really read it and you don't have to read between the lines, it wasn't a grilling at all. There wasn't any hard questioning whatsoever. And nobody ever asked him - he was the director of a very small component within a CIA division called the Technical Services Division. He directed, while MK Ultra was being played out, what was called the Chemical Division, the Chemical brand initially of the Technical Services Division.

The Technical Services Division was a very expansive division of the agency that had multiple arms. I had a chemical division. It had a biological division that Gottlieb had nothing to do with. It had a radiological division that Gottlieb had nothing to do with. It had a documents division. I don't know, it had 13 or 14 divisions, which means that Gottlieb had numerous superiors between himself and the actual DCI, Alan Dulles. We know from documents that Dulles knew exactly what was going on in terms of MK Ultra, but Gottlieb was reporting through multiple personages before anything got to Dulles. Were any of those people called before Congress? No.

Jason: Of course not.

Hank: None of those people. And those weren't just the people that Gottlieb was answering to. Those were the people that were directing Gottlieb. In other words, it wasn't Gottlieb that said "Okay, let's give a sub-contract to Harvard University". As a matter of fact, Gottlieb hated Harvard University. But somebody above Gottlieb said "Okay, some of this money's got to go towards Harvard". Well why? And none of those questions were ever posed to Gottlieb or anyone above him, just in terms of the MK Ultra program. And if you read all that testimony you'll see that nobody ever asked the $64,000 question, being what was your question, that started this interview, "Well, what happened after MK Ultra? What's going on now, Mr. Gottlieb in your estimation?" That question was never posed to him.

Jason: Congressional hearing are generally speaking, kind of like farces, as a general rule.

Hank: They're dog and pony shows. They're dog and pony shows. Everything's rehearsed and pre-scripted and everybody knows beforehand exactly what is going to be said. Congress people sit up there and they ask the questions that are going to make them look good to their constituents and to the television cameras and to the nightly news. But if you look at MK Ultra alone, there was all this feigned outrage on the part of all the members of these Congressional committees, but, what happened after it was over? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. On that point for example, the Rockefeller Commission that investigated the CIA and MK Ultra activities, this was an example of that because Nelson Rockefeller, he was actually involved quite far back, towards the beginning, with LSD research. So the idea he would 20 years later, be going "Oh wow! What have you been doing?"

Hank: He signed off on a lot of the experiments that involved the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was head of that agency for a while.

Joe: And then he feigned surprise?

Hank: And that never came out in any of the hearings. You can actually see documents where he was very much involved.

Jason: Fox guarding the chicken house.

Niall: Yeah, that's like putting Alan Dulles on the Warren Commission.

Hank: Yeah, and if you look deeper, you'll see that the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Institute in New York City were very, very much involved in MK Ultra and were very, very much involved in a lot of horrendous experimentation and operations that were going on in Latin and South America. And that was just completely overlooked.

Pierre: Previously we were mentioning two goals that seem mutually exclusive. On one side, sadistic activities making unwitting persons suffering, for nothing basically. On the other side, trying to create Manchurian Candidates for control. So, sadism on one side and control on the other side, it might not be this mutually exclusive because control and enjoying the suffering of others are one of the two of the main traits of psychopathic minds. So I guess for the ones who have this psychological profile, it was all benefit. They were getting this patient suffering hits and at the same time they could exert some control on them.

Joe: That could answer a lot. The idea of the people to carry out these experiments and to push them, just enjoyed dominating and controlling and harming other people. They got off on it, if you want to put it that way.

Niall: There is another case we haven't touched on yet. What happened in France in the small village of Pont-Saint-Esprit

Hank: Pont-Saint-Esprit.

Joe: You actually broke that story, Hank, right, to a certain extent?

Hank: Mm-hm. Yes.

Joe: It was on the web, on the BBC. I was actually reading the BBC report the other day where it just explains what went on. And you also mentioned though that - maybe we can just explain or you can just explain what actually happened at Pont-Saint-Esprit. That was in 1950...

Niall: 1951. And had this involved ...

Hank: 1951. August of 1951. It's amazing, a couple of months ago, I went back and looked at 20 or 30 articles related to my book concerning Pont-Saint-Esprit and there's a fair amount - there's actually a large amount of misinformation now concerning what I had allegedly said about that. Did the experiment actually occur? Absolutely. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever now. And there was not when I wrote the book but there's a lot of additional information that's come in since then.

A couple of things that need to be corrected is a lot of people claim that I said it was an aerosol attack or experiment, and I did not say that. As far as I know, it was not an aerosol attack that was carried out through airplanes. I think the bread itself was infected and probably at the point of origin before it was delivered to the various households and doorsteps in Pont-Saint-Esprit. I have no idea whether or not the baker was complicit in the experiment. Personally, I doubt it. I don't think it was necessary for the baker to actually be involved. It would have been easy to get to that bread after the fact. After it was baked.

Jason: Or even before because they...

Hank: And then a lot of people point the finger at the CIA as having been the agency or the entity that conducted the experiment. I never said that either. It was actually the U.S. Army. The CIA was complicit in the experiment, but it was the Army that actually carried it out. The question a lot of people raise in terms of having doubts about the experiment is why would the U.S. government pick a French village to attack. Well as it turns out, politically, that village was very much on the outs with the French government at that point in time. And I guess that Charles de Gaulle, and perhaps one of you would know this a lot better than I, really didn't have any fondness whatever for that village. And in terms of the documents that emerged, and these were CIA documents, concerning the Army experiment, that village was specifically picked because of the fact that they were on the outs with the French government.

Niall: Can you explain what you mean? That's actually news to us. What was it about this village politically that made it a target?

Hank: Politically, there were a number of people that were considered pro-communist in Pont- Saint-Esprit and that had - and a number of the prominent politicians in Pont-Saint-Esprit there was fiction between de Gaulle and the political machine in Pont-Saint-Esprit. So it would have been - if the French government would had been involved in the experiment, and according to the one CIA document that I have concerning a conversation between a CIA informant and a Sandoz Chemical official, that was the fact, that it was selected because of that reason. And then the main thing being, the Sandoz official saying to the CIA informant that it was an experiment.

Niall: Perhaps you might just outline what happened.

Joe: Just for our listeners, yeah.

Hank: Well what happened in a nutshell was that in 1951, fresh baked bread was a staple in the French diet, as it is today. But it was delivered to the doorstep in most villages as fresh milk was in the United States in the early '50s. And the bread that was delivered to that village was infected with an LSD-like drug. Was it specifically LSD? Nobody knows. According to the documents, it was referred to as LSD, but at that point in time, Sandoz Chemical, being the company where the drug came from that infected the bread, was experimenting with a number of chemicals. LSD like chemicals. So I have never said specifically that it was LSD, but it was very much an LSD-type drug that was used to infect the bread.

And what happened was that after the bread was delivered, four or five hours after the bread was delivered and consumed by five or six hundred people at least in the village, you had a massive hysterical outbreak of LSD or psycho-chemical induced psychosis in the village and people ran amok for about a day. There were three or four alleged suicides and a number of people got carted off to nearby insane asylums, maybe in Marseilles or wherever. That was it in a nutshell.

Initially, and when I researched the Olson book, I knew nothing about Pont-Saint-Esprit. I had read about the incident maybe 10 years prior to that and bought into the conventional explanation that it was infected, that it was a rye ergot that had naturally infected the bread. And that made sense to me although I do remember thinking well, why didn't that happen more often? Why just this one instance? I had no clue that that had anything to do with the Olson case until I started interviewing people and there were a number of cryptic and ominous references to "what happened in France." And "Well, you should look into what happened in France."

And I was still confused and wasn't really thinking in specific terms about Pont-Saint-Esprit until I came across this one document, a two page document where the incident was discussed in detail at a meeting in New York City between an un-named official. I am pretty sure I have the name now, but I don't want to use it until I am 100% sure, an un-named Sandoz official who was meeting with a CIA informant. Over dinner, they had a long conversation about Pont-Saint-Esprit. And the Sandoz official said, "You know as well as I do it was not an accident and had nothing to do with infected bread and that it was an experiment".

And then they went into a fair amount of detail and at that point, I started researching the actual incident. Within hours, or maybe days, it took me a while to get a copy of Fuller's book. John Fuller wrote a book called St. Anthony's Fire about it. But found out fairly quickly that the two primary investigators that were sent in by the French government to see what the hell was happening in the village, were both from the Sandoz Chemical Corporation that was nearby. And one of them was Albert Hoffman, who is credited with discovering LSD although, I think it was his superior that actually discovered it 10 years before him.

They went in to investigate and said "Wow, it's infected bread! It's not any kind of attack or chemical compounds that was surreptitiously used on these people." Well, in August of 1951, Sandoz Chemical had been sitting on LSD for approximately two or three years and was actively supplying the drug to the CIA and the U.S. Army and was strongly pressuring them - what they were trying to do - and when I say they were actively supplying, they were basically giving the drug to the Army and the CIA in hopes that they would make money from it and that the Army or the CIA or both would come up with some sort of effective use where they would buy large supplies from Sandoz.
If you look at all the media or the newspaper reports, there was no television back then, you'll see that nobody was cognizant of that in 1951. And Hoffman and the investigator that went with him, made no mention of the fact "What's happening to these people is exactly what happens in the experiments that we've conducted in various mental institutions in Switzerland". And in those same experiments that they conducted, there were suicides in the mental institutions as a result of their drug experimentation, that had been covered up and has since that time emerged in overall LSD literature. But they made no mention of the fact that "Oh, by the way, we at Sandoz Chemical have a drug that just happens to reproduce these effects almost identically to what happened here in Pont-Saint-Esprit".

Joe: Yeah.

Jason: What a coincidence!

Hank: From that point forward, for about two years, every time I would interview a scientist who had worked with Olson at Fort Dietrich, I would try to bring up France. Immediately, with most people, would run into a brick wall and would have to skirt around it. But it became more than obvious that something had happened in France. And then eventually I spoke to a couple of people who told me, "Yes. That was part of the Olson story and that was part and parcel with what Olson was talking about in terms of wanting to leave work at the Special Operations Division at Fort Dietrich and retrain himself as a dentist", believe it or not, but wanting to get away from chemical and biological research at Fort Dietrich.

Niall: So, it seems that Olson had a guilty conscience about what happened in France.

Hank: I'm not sure. A lot of people make that claim. I never make that claim in the book because I was never able to document it. Olson...

Niall: It's one possibility.

Hank: Olson was a fairly arrogant individual and by all accounts, and I mean all accounts, everyone I spoke to that knew him, disliked him on one level or another, because of his arrogance and outspokenness. I think where Olson made his fatal mistake was that when he made the firm decision to leave work, to leave his employment at Fort Dietrich, he was a little too outspoken about some of the things, some of the activities that he was well aware of. And that was the reason he was taken to Deep Creek Lake and was dosed with LSD or whatever he was dosed with. The record shows that it was LSD, but that was an interrogation to do a damage assessment on his risk potential.

Niall: Mm-hm. How much did he speak...

Hank: And if you think in terms of - the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident in 1951 but two years later in 1953; if any firm reports had come out in 1953, at the height of the Cold War, that the American government had launched the chemical attack on a French village, the Soviets would have had a heyday with that!

Niall: Yeah, they couldn't justify it.

Hank: The impact would have been immeasurable. It just would have been unbelievable.

Joe: France was friendly country, right?

Hank: A very friendly country.

Joe: There was no reason to do that against France. If they would do that against France - they couldn't justify it.

Hank: The thing that's interesting and I guess we don't have time to go into it now, but the involvement in terms of LSD experimentation by French scientists and the CIA was very, very extensive. For whatever reason, there were a number of fairly prominent French researchers who were very, very interested in LSD and were working very closely with a number of scientists both directly affiliated with the CIA and directly affiliated later on with MK Ultra experiments. Jean Delay, I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly, D-E-L-A-Y, was perhaps the most prominent of French scientists. And I am still digging into that. There were a couple of lawsuits in the last 12 years that resurrected some interesting information concerning things going on in France in the early '50s, in part and parcel to what the U.S. Army and the CIA was doing. So it looks like there was, beyond Pont-Saint-Esprit, there was some interesting experimentation that was going on in France.

[Connection cuts out at this point]

Joe: We are back, but we lost Hank. We are calling him again...

Hank: Hello?

Joe: Hi!

Hank: We got cut off, huh.

Joe: Yes, I don't know. It's the NSA! It was our Skype connection. There was nothing wrong with our net connection. For some Skype just kind of crapped out on us and wouldn't reconnect.

Hank: Weird.

Niall: What were we talking about?

Joe and Pierre: Pont-Saint-Esprit!

Niall: Pont-Saint-Esprit and the aftermath.

Hank: I gotta run anyway.

Joe: Ok, we just didn't want to end that way.

Hank: If you want, we can maybe pick back up at another time.

Joe: Good idea, thanks Hank.

Hank: Thank you very much, bye.

Joe: Well, we just want to recommend these books by Hank Albarelli, Jr. A Secret Order and A Terrible Mistake. Both of them are very good - they basically provide - the Secret Order one around Oswald and all of the people associated with him his entire life, over him being in Russia and afterwards and his association around the Kennedy assassination, just provide a picture that is so bizarre and so weird and unlikely that it kind of is - it doesn't provide necessarily for who - that JFK was assassinated not by Oswald, but Oswald did not assassinate JFK, but it provides so much evidence around him, in terms of his life and the people that interact with him, and where he was, and what he did, that makes it extremely implausible that he was just a simple lone gunman with a problem with the President, or a commie sympathizer who wanted to kill the President.

Niall: And in the other book, A Terrible Mistake about this guy Frank Olson, Albarelli has shown that, no, it was not a suicide, which many people have known over the years, but had been constantly covered up. This doctor was supposed to have thrown himself out of a closed window. Albarelli can show that he was thrown out, pitched out the window. He can also name who did it. Two people of French origin, funnily enough. We've talked briefly about French assassins and it comes up again in this case, threw him out the window. There names were Pierre Lafitte and Francois Spirito.They were two people who were used as hit-men in a number of cases and they were present in Olson's hotel.

Joe: Lafitte was the guy who might have been in Dallas. He might have been the French assassin.

Jason: I think he was descended from the famous pirate.

Joe: In terms of Olson, because we didn't really talk much about Olson, but just to give people the background. He was obviously thrown out of that hotel window. Olson was a biologist who was involved with this MK Ultra kind of research. It was an entry into this whole world of MK Ultra for Albarelli because of the weirdness around his death. He supposedly jumped out of this 13-storey window ...

Niall: In a New York hotel.

Joe: ... yeah, for no reason. It was a strange event. It was strange death. So Albarelli looked into it and you found out what he was doing and then followed the threads from that. And even in 1994, his family had his body exhumed and found that there were injuries to his head and his chest that were not consistent with the fall from the window. So Olson is like a gateway into the whole area of MK Ultra and mind control.

Jason: Is this a thing that a lot of researchers into MK Ultra know about? Because I'd never heard of this guy.

Joe: It's pretty famous now.

Niall: He is well known. His case is well known. This is why his case is particularly well known. On paper, he's just another guy who was bumped off.

Jason: In a long line.

Niall: But what he was doing and what it would expose, explains the extent of the effort they went to cover it up.

Jason: What was he doing?

Joe: He was directly involved with the MK Ultra mind control research with LSD and all sorts of chemicals.

Jason: We've established that it is so massively huge. Does it say anything about what he was really doing?

Joe: He was involved in dosing people.

Niall: His particular field of specialty was develop ways to deliver these substances to a city's water supply, through aerosols, through special gadgets they would - like the infamous cases of giving a wetsuit to Castro to try and bump him off. They would poison the inside of the wetsuit. Obviously a number of these things did not come to fruition or did not work. But he was involved with the brains of coming up with ways to deliver these drugs and/or poisons. He was involved in a lot more.

Jason: So, there was a threat that he was going to spill the beans or something?

Joe: Pretty much. He was given LSD. Nine days before his death he was given LSD as part of an interrogation to find out what he would do because he wanted out of the job he was in. He wanted to leave them, so they took him, gave him LSD, interrogated him, and found out whether or not he would spill the beans, figured he would. Then they put him in a hotel room and threw him out the window.

Jason: Growing up during the 1990s with gang culture, they had these two philosophies in local gangs. If you wanted to join a gang you had to do something called "getting beat" and if you wanted to leave the gang, you had to do something called "getting beat out" which is basically that they have to kick your butt. It's really bad and several people have actually died from it. And it seems that the CIA does something similar. When they recruit you, they vet you buy torturing you and when you leave they torture you to make sure you aren't going to talk.

Joe: Yes, pretty much.

Jason: It just sounds like a gigantic organized gang to me.

Joe: Well, that's a good enough description. Anyway folks, thanks for listening. We're going to leave it there for this week. We will be back next week with another show. Probably it will be something along the lines of All and Everything which will be a general discussion about what's been going on in the news. If not though, you will be able to inform yourselves about what is going on, on our website and on our forum, so until then, thanks for listening and see you later!