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CIA Behavior Control Studies
Reported in New York Times

To order this August 4, 1977 article on CIA behavior control
from the New York Times archives, click here

Admiral Turner Tells Senators of Behavior Control Research
Bars Drug Testing Now


Special to the New York Times

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3—Adm. Stansfield Turner, the Director of Central Intelligence, testified today that the C.I.A. had secretly supported human behavior control research at 80 institutions, including 44 colleges or universities as well as hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies.

He told a joint hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Health subcommittee that recently discovered financial records indicate that during the most intense period of the project, code-named MK-Ultra, the agency had supported 185 nongovernment researchers in 149 separate research projects. He said that the main action years of MK-Ultra were from 1953 through 1963. The projects, he said, had included tests of LSD and of a "K," or "knockout drop."

"It is totally abhorrent to me to think.of using humans as guinea pigs," Admiral Turner said, adding: "I assure you that the C.I.A. is in no way engaged in either witting or unwitting testing of drugs today."

He said he had turned over the names of the institutions and the researchers to Senate investigators and said that the agency would notify the institutions that were used.

Subjects Being Sought

Admiral Turner said that the 8,000 pages of newly discovered documents do not contain the names of the subjects of the tests but do contain "leads" that might enable them to be found.

He said that he was working with the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph A. Califano Jr., and Attorney General Griffin B. Bell to see if the C.I.A. could find the subjects used in medical and drug experiments and discover if any persons had suffered damage as a result of the experiments.

Staffs of the Senate intelligence committee and the health subcommittee are continuing an investigation and the health subcommittee plans additional public hearings in September.

The following new details of the C.I.A.'s behavior control experiments emerged at today's hearing:

Admiral Turner acknowledged under questioning that the C.I.A. had apparently planned to test drugs on terminal cancer patients at the same institution where it secretly contributed $375,000 toward the construction of a hospital building. The New York Times has independently confirmed the institution is Georgetown University Medical School here.

Admiral Turner, said that "some unwitting testing took place on criminal sexual psychopaths confined at a state hospital." He did not identify the Institution.

Though the main active years for MK-Ultra were 1953 to 1963, the C.I.A. is conducting an' internal inquiry to determine what its role may have been in a project coordinated with the Department of the Army, code-named Often-Chickwit, that was active until 1973.

The involvement with Georgetown University Hospital, which served many of Washington's most powerful figures and treated the son of the Senate Health subcommittee chairman, Edward M. Kennedy, for cancer, was the most illustrative of how the C.I.A. operated. The agency was seeking an institution where its own personnel could test a wide range of drugs including a "knockout pill."

In 1955, the agency authorized a $375,000 contribution toward the construction of the Gorman Building at the university through a covert medical fund, the Geschikter Foundation for Medical Research. Though Admiral Turner never mentioned Georgetown by name, he said there was no indication that the unnamed university officials knew about the agency's involvement.

The C.I.A., according to documents turned over to the Senate, was worried about the legality of the secret funding because Georgetown took the Geschikter grant and used it with other money to obtain matching funds under provisions of the Hill-Burton Act, which supported hospital construction. Under certain circumstances it is illegal to use one Federal grant to obtain another. The C.I.A. obtained an opinion from its counsel in 1955 that its process was legal.

"The proposed facility," wrote one unidentified official, "offers a unique opportunity for the secure handling of such clinical testing." Admiral Turner said that the C.I.A. had obtained no evidence that testing actually took place.

However, Senator Richard S. Schweitzer Republican of Pennsylvania, said that his reading of documents supplied by the agency made it an inescapable conclusion that tests took place.

'Right to Know' Stressed

At the two-hour hearing today, Senator Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, pressed Admiral Turner to let the universities, researchers and possible subjects of the tests know of the C.I.A.'s involvement. "These individuals have a right to know who they are and why they were used," he said.

Senator Kennedy also urged Admin Turner to find and interview Dr. Sidney J. Gottlieb, a 24-year employee of the C.I.A.'s technical service division, which directed the projects.

"Every single document the staff reviews has Mr. Gottlieb's name on it," the Senator said, adding, "One thing is for sure; Gottlieb knows." Dr. Gottlieb, who retired in 1973, was interviewed at length by Senate investigators in 1975 but told them he could not recall much about the project.

Special Note: For an excellent, two-page summary presenting reliable, verifiable information on CIA behavior control and more related to secret government mind control programs, click here.

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