*Updated June 14/2014
MKUltra subproject 136 could well be the most widely referenced of all the 149 subprojects developed under the auspices of “Project MKUltra, the CIA’s program of research in behavioral modification”. Search engines return hundreds of listings for “MKUltra subproject 136″, ranging from; government hearings reports on a variety of subjects, declassified US intelligence agency documents, academic research publications, scholarly investigative journalism , speculative journalism, exploitative-crank journalism, personal injury claimant stories, speculative psychology dissertations, etc. Surprisingly, very many of these diverse listings repeat the same or similar falsehoods, mistaken assumptions or deliberate misinformation, about subproject 136. If you believe that you have understood what MKUltra subproject 136 was about, what it’s purpose was and what was intended to be carried out under it’s auspices, you are most likely mistaken.
Read the document - if you haven’t actually read the subproject 136 proposal and funding application, (which is the only existing legitimate documentation about that project), then please accept that your understanding of subproject 136 could be based on inaccurate or fanciful hearsay. The subproject 136 proposal document will be posted on this article, for everyone to read. This is the same copy of the document that anyone else has ever had access to, redactions included.
Understanding what the document actually says – the subproject 136 proposal/funding application was written by an academic & researcher, who very likely cared more about documenting the theoretical underpinnings of his work than about writing carefully laid-out proposals. The wording could easily cause misunderstandings, if not read very carefully.
It is clear, however, viewing the document in its entirety, that the purpose of this project was to investigate ESP phenomenon and the possibility of teaching-enticing promising subjects to manifest control over whatever ESP ability might be latent in them – and not “to generate multiple personality disorder victims”, as some persons have falsely alleged.
At the start, the document delineates three separate studies;
1) group experiments,
2) developing methods for subjects increased control over latent ability, and
3) intensive study of particularly promising subjects.
Immediately after this, the document discusses the necessary correlation between student subjects in previous studies liking their teacher-experimenter and the acheivement of higher test scores. Having established this as a given, it would be absurd to interpret anything else proposed in the document as intentionally carrying the potential for turning the subjects against the experimenters, via some form of cruel or sadistic treatment.
Next, the document talks about “preliminary learning studies” in which “feedback of results and other kinds of reinforcement are utilized”.
Then come this famously misconstrued statement:
“That in working with individual subjects, special attention will be given to disassociative states which tend to accompany spontaneous ESP experiences. Such states can be induced and controlled to some extent with hypnosis and drugs”. Note that it doesn’t say will be “induced and controlled…with hypnosis and drugs”
There follows a discussion of the problems posed by random probability of positive results and subects “guessing habits”. And then…
“The data used in the study will be obtained from group ESP experiments which have yielded significant results, high scoring subjects (including control series and records taken after they ‘lost’ their ability, from special groups such as psychotics, children and mediums, and from psychological and educational tests in which answers are of the multiple [unreadable] ”
That statement, above, delineates 4 sources of data;
1) “[previous] group esp experiments…”
2) “high scoring subects…”
3) “special groups such as psychotics, children and mediums”
4) “psychological and educational tests…”
The four sources of data delineated above, clearly corresponds with the first study proposal: “group experiments”, the purpose of which was to establish whether or not a subjects test scores could be predicted using psychological or physiological scales.
“Psychotics, children and mediums” are simply listed as one of four sources of data.
The document does not say: “electric shock, drugs, hypnosis, and “psychological tricks” will be administered to three groups–psychotics, children, and mediums–to induce various states of dissociation, including multiple personality”, as “Franklin Scandal” author Nick Bryant has claimed. Carol Rutz, author of “A Nation Betrayed”, manipulates the meaning of several passages in the subproject 136 proposal with a deceptive contraction, blatantly constructed to support her personal victimization narrative rather than accurately report the wording of this proposal; “That in working with individual subjects, special attention will be given to disassociative states which tend to accompany spontaneous ESP experiences. Such states can be induced and controlled to some extent with hypnosis and drugs . . . The data used in the study will be obtained from special groups such as psychotics, children and mediums . . .”
At around this point in the proposal, there is the following statement;
“Learning studies will be instituted in which the subject will be rewarded or punished for his overall performance and reinforced in various ways – by being told he was right, by being told what the target was, with electric shock, etc”. Does this sound sinister, to you?
The author of this proposal is describing classic conditioning techniques for enhancing learning – presumably, learning to control their “innate psychic ability”. But what about this “electric shock” – is he talking about torturing people through repeated, maximum charge, electroconvulsive shocks? No. Either intentionally or through ignorance, people like Carol Rutz mistake the slang term for electroconvulsive therapy – “electroshock” – with “electric shock”. If the author had meant “electroconvulsive” shock, he would surely have used that terminology.
In the context of a “learning program”, taking place in the early 1960’s, the phrase “electric shock” clearly refers to use of the aversion therapy electric shock device popular at that time. You can read all about this, (outdated) approach to enhancing learning, here:
A small box run by a 9-volt battery, with tiny litte electrodes that are stuck to the calve of the leg or the thumb. NOT AT ALL THE SAME AS THIS:
The aversion therapy shock box can’t be used to “fry someone’s brains”, as electroconvulsive therapy is sometimes described. However, if used repeatedly, involuntarily – against the will of the person on the receiving end – that could indeed cause lasting trauma. Gay men who were forced to submit to aversion shock therapy “treatments” intended to cure them of their homosexuality, have reported this experience to be a hellish torment for them. There is nothing in this document suggesting that the experimenter intends to use “electric shock” learning reinforcement involuntarily.
* [Remarkably, the reality of this electric shock learning reinforcement program was accurately portrayed in the opening minutes of the original Ghostbusters movie, produced in 1984! The character Dr Venkman even says: “I’m studying the effects of negative reinforcement on psychic ability”.]
This discussion in the document clearly corresponds with the second study proposal: “developing methods for subjects increased control over latent ability”. There is no reason to believe that these “learning studies” were to involve the children or psychotics mentioned in reference to the first study, i.e., the group experiments.
Then there is this remarkable statement:
“…the main consideration will be the attitude and disposition of the subject. Wherever possible, every attempt will be made to tailor the tasks required to his preference and his estimate of good working conditions”.
“…tailor the tasks required to his preference and his estimate of good working conditions” – doesn’t sound like involuntary torment, does it? It sounds more like the subjects described here would be voluntarily submitting to the proposed techniques, because they want to enhance and control their psychic abilities & believe these techniques can do that.
And then another statement, famously misconstrued by some :
“The experimenters will be particularly interested in dissociative states, from the abaisment de neveau mental to multiple personality in so-called mediums, and attempts will be made to induce a number of states of this kind using hypnosis”.
A clear statement that attempts will be made to induce dissociative states, but using hypnosis – NOT through rape or torture or any other form of traumatic inducement. Nor is there any suggestion of exploiting dissociative states that might occur in a study participant, to implant a false identity, or generate an alternate personality, or cause the participant to unconsciously obey the will of the resarcher-experimenter for the rest of their life. There is no discussion of intention to create “Manchurian Candidates” or “mind controlled sex slaves” or multiple personality disorder victims.
This part of the discussion clearly corresponds with the third study proposal: “intensive study of particularly promising subjects”. There is no reason to believe that these “particularly promising subjects” were to come from the children or psychotics mentioned in reference to the first study i.e., the group experiments.
Deliberate misrepresentations about the wording of this document – for many years, the “CIA-satanic cult, trauma-based mind control” true believers have used excerpts from this document to create the impression that they have proof for their thesis – that the CIA and supposedly associated satanic cults systematically tortured little children, (including repeated, sadistic rape), not only to provoke dissociative states in the victims but also to generate full-blown programmable alter-personalities. They would never reveal the whole document, however. You can see why, now. It’s because the document doesn’t say what they’ve always claimed that it said.
“Franklin Scandal” author Nick Bryant said this:
“The Subproject 136 documentation discusses administering electric shock, drugs, hypnosis, and “psychological tricks” to three groups–psychotics, children, and mediums–to induce various states of dissociation, including multiple personality, which the researchers thought would enhance the subjects’ extrasensory perception. The Subproject 136 document demonstrates that the CIA was willing to carry out truly cruel and sadistic mind control experiments on children.”
That is false. This document does not describe any intention to abuse children.
Carol Rutz said this:
“My heart practically stood still the day that I read this [MKUltra subproject 136 proposal]. It described perfectly what I had remembered and journaled when I was taken in 1952 at four years of age from my grandfathers home, and delivered to Sidney Gottlieb of the CIA, Dr. Noe and Dr. Black. To use a child to investigate these possibilities I find so morally reprehensible, that I have a difficult time fathoming how anyone could even consider using children. They Did!!!! I am but one of the many children who were the CIA’s convenient experimental subjects. Because of our youth and the severe traumatization we were put through, these men felt we would never tell our stories; and if we did, they felt we would never be believed”.
That’s very unfortunate for her, to have claimed that this document “described perfectly what I had remembered and journaled”, when it is quite apparent that it does not support her victim narrative at all. She could only be grossly mistaken, or a liar.
The common and deliberate misrepresentation of Subproject 136 as CIA directed “mind-control” experimentation, intended to cause Multiple Personality Disorder in child subjects and turn them into mind-controlled sex/crime/assassination slaves, is very easily disproved. The persons who developed this proposal and presumably carried out experiments related to it, were unwitting recipients of CIA funding for this work, as the chart of funding applicant “status” in Colin Ross’ “The CIA Doctors” documents. These researcher/experimenters did not know that the ultimate source of their funding was the CIA, they believed they were being funded by an independent science promotion foundation. These researchers were not, therefore, knowingly conducting this study on behalf of the CIA - so they could not have intended it to serve any “manchurian candidate” production programs the CIA might have been planning or running. If they didn’t know the money was coming from the CIA, then they could not have been working directly under & for the CIA.
The identity of the author of this proposal, is not a mystery - who wrote up this proposal? Who’s experiment was this? We can never know – correct? Wrong.
*As he has passed away, and there is nothing that the conspiranoids can do to him now, there seems no harm in revealing that the author of subproject 136 was Stephen Abrams of Oxford University. This is discussed and documented in David Black’s ACID: A New Secret History of LSD, pg 55.