Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind ControlThe Bestselling Author Of All The Shah S Men And The Brothers Tells The Astonishing Story Of The Man Who Oversaw The CIA S Secret Drug And Mind Control Experiments Of The S And SThe Visionary Chemist Sidney Gottlieb Was The CIA S Master Magician And Gentlehearted Torturer The Agency S Poisoner In Chief As Head Of The MK ULTRA Mind Control Project, He Directed Brutal Experiments At Secret Prisons On Three Continents He Made Pills, Powders, And Potions That Could Kill Or Maim Without A Trace Including Some Intended For Fidel Castro And Other Foreign Leaders He Paid Prostitutes To Lure Clients To CIA Run Bordellos, Where They Were Secretly Dosed With Mind Altering Drugs His Experiments Spread LSD Across The United States, Making Him A Hidden Godfather Of The S Counterculture For Years He Was The Chief Supplier Of Spy Tools Used By CIA Officers Around The WorldStephen Kinzer, Author Of Groundbreaking Books About US Clandestine Operations, Draws On New Documentary Research And Original Interviews To Bring To Life One Of The Most Powerful Unknown Americans Of The Twentieth Century Gottlieb S Reckless Experiments On Expendable Human Subjects Destroyed Many Lives, Yet He Considered Himself Deeply Spiritual He Lived In A Remote Cabin Without Running Water, Meditated, And Rose Before Dawn To Milk His GoatsDuring His Twenty Two Years At The CIA, Gottlieb Worked In The Deepest Secrecy Only Since His Death Has It Become Possible To Piece Together His Astonishing Career At The Intersection Of Extreme Science And Covert Action Poisoner In Chief Reveals Him As A Clandestine Conjurer On An Epic Scale

Stephen Kinzer is an award winning foreign correspondent who has coveredthan 50 countries on five continents His articles and books have led the Washington Post to place him among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling.

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  • Hardcover
  • 368 pages
  • Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control
  • Stephen Kinzer
  • 19 September 2018
  • 1250140439

10 thoughts on “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

  1. says:

    One of the many problems with the CIA is who knows what The less you know, the less you have to lie about and potentially get caught on Or catch the agency on, which is worse The result is illegal actions at will, from torture to drug experiments on the unwitting to assassinations of political leaders around the world The extreme case, we can only hope, is the story of Sidney Gottlieb, the star of Stephen Kinzer s Poisoner in Chief The title is the actual nickname Gottlieb had at the agen One of the many problems with the CIA is who knows what The less you know, the less you have to lie about and potentially get caught on Or catch the agency on, which is worse The result is illegal actions at will, from torture to drug experiments on the unwitting to assassinations of political leaders around the world The extreme case, we can only hope, is the story of Sidney Gottlieb, the star of Stephen Kinzer s Poisoner in Chief The title is the actual nickname Gottlieb had at the agency He had an incredibly broad mandate to find drugs that would be useful in the field, and fashion them into weapons in order to inject victims directly, or poison their food or their clothing In order to test them, he routinely tortured unwitting victims both in the USA and around the world International norms, treaties and laws were of no concern The CIA reported to no one, dreamed up its own projects and acted on its own missions All in the name of truth, justice and the American way, of course Budgets could be unlimited, and scope was a wide as the imagination.In addition to all the torture, Kinzer gives the example Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, who was about to be poisoned when the CIA s Deputy Director Lucian Truscott Jr found out about it He dressed down his boss, CIA director Allen Dulles until he relented and canceled the operation Otherwise we could have had a nother major war and distrust lasting decades This was the world Sidney Gottlieb stepped into It subsumed him He went farther faster than anyone, relying on things like science fiction and paranoid news items to inspire his work They led him to believe the Communists had mind control as a weapon So the USA had to have it too And better.The lengths he went to are astounding He set up brothels in New York and San Francisco to test johns on the effects of LSD with sex He dosed total strangers with LSD depending on what agents said were their weaknesses, from physical disabilities to depression He got hospitals in Canada and the US to overdose patients with LSD to see if it would erase their memories Same with prison inmates, who were lied to that it was a test of a schizophrenia drug cure The results of all these things were all too often completely ruined lives, people who were admitted to get better and left mentally crippled Thousands of people, all over the world All so Gottlieb could find his holy grail, a drug weapon that could make a victim into an assassin, a traitor or an informant against his own will.Gottlieb used his MK ULTRA project to fund all kinds of outside projects he did not personally lead Neurologist Harold Wolff at Cornell Medical was given a million dollars in 1950s money to study changes in behavior due to stress brought about by actual loss of cerebral tissue The patients in the study did not know they were in the study, what they were taking or why, which was typical They were, in the CIA s classification, expendables Expendables were subjected to baking, freezing, constant light, constant dark, starvation, sleep deprivation, unbearable sounds and unbearable silence They were sourced all over the world prisoners, derelicts, hospital patients anyone the country could do without, for cash The CIA disposed of the bodies, guaranteed It was all very reminiscent of the Nazis In fact, the CIA secured the services of Nazi concentration camp doctors to learn from If Joseph Mengele hadn t escaped, he would have been offered a contract and moved into comfort for life in the USA courtesy of the CIA Several others laundered their lives this way.Gottlieb also played Q to the CIA agents He developed poisons no one in the world could identify He invented pens and cameras and all the other accoutrements that spy pulp fiction wrote about He even developed a hollow silver dollar chain It contained a straight pin, the grooved tip of which had a poison so strong it would kill in seconds just rubbing it on the skin Agents, including Francis Gary Powers, the CIA U 2 spy plane pilot, wore them around their necks in case of capture.With no limitations, Gottlieb s organization just kept growing in all directions He got cocky and secretly spiked a bottle of Cointreau so his own staff drank LSD at a retreat One of them died as result, either jumping or being pushed from a 13th story hotel room window in Manhattan As usual, fixers covered it up.And after all this, the result was nothing As of 1960 no effective knockout pill, truth serum, aphrodisiac, recruitment pill was known to exist Years of MK ULTRA experiments had failed, Kinzer says This marked the beginning of Gottlieb s acknowledgement that his search had been in vain, though it cost thousands of lives interrupted or terminated.Incredibly, Gottlieb was a spiritual, positive family man, into solar and sustainable living decades before anyone had heard of them He studied, practiced and taught folk dancing Everyone thought the world of him, not knowing what he did for a living When he retired, he and his wife sold everything, travelled the world and volunteered everywhere they went, in places like leper colonies Then one day a subpoena caught up to him He spent pretty much the rest of his life testifying before Congress and in court cases He demanded and received immunity from Congress But as private cases started to name him personally, he did his duty as a good spook one last time, and is assumed to have committed suicide rather than risk exposing or even denigrating his life s work at the CIA He was 80.It s an awful story, told fast and well by Stephen Kinzer Using numerous other biographies and public reporting, Kinzer has put together a revolting look at the champions of freedom in the USA.David Wineberg

  2. says:

    Thanks to Fresh AirAs so often happens, most of the non fiction works that I read come out of hearing an episode of the National Public radio show, Fresh Air I have never been disappointed by a book presented on the show This book was engrossing and horrific at the same time It s subject is at once sinister and compelling.

  3. says:

    While the book contains a significant amount of information regarding Sidney Gottlieb s life, focused on the 10 prime years of MK ULTRA, there appears to be very little new information or insight, as almost all of the citations are to prior books, previously available documents made public several years ago, and other public sources While the author cites a number of interview with unidentified former CIA employees, the information cited is almost entirely brief personal observations of Gottlie While the book contains a significant amount of information regarding Sidney Gottlieb s life, focused on the 10 prime years of MK ULTRA, there appears to be very little new information or insight, as almost all of the citations are to prior books, previously available documents made public several years ago, and other public sources While the author cites a number of interview with unidentified former CIA employees, the information cited is almost entirely brief personal observations of Gottlieb as a co employee, rather than any factual revelation about his career For me, the book is also marred by the frequent use of sensationalized wording such as a phantasmagorical kind of science or even titling the book Poisoner in Chief Disappointing

  4. says:

    Engrossing but also hard to read not because of the writing, but because the subject is so frustrating While much of the historical documents about the programs mentioned have been destroyed or are not yet declassified, this book has enough information to still horrify Kinzer talks in circles sometimes, but the impression he leaves is nevertheless haunting one of a young man joining the government in a fit of patriotism, and rapidly turning into someone willing to push aside all morality to Engrossing but also hard to read not because of the writing, but because the subject is so frustrating While much of the historical documents about the programs mentioned have been destroyed or are not yet declassified, this book has enough information to still horrify Kinzer talks in circles sometimes, but the impression he leaves is nevertheless haunting one of a young man joining the government in a fit of patriotism, and rapidly turning into someone willing to push aside all morality to try and discover how to control or at least destroy a human mind

  5. says:

    Breezily written, stylishly articulated, wholly engaging, frequently startling.

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