By Bruce Levine. September 29, 2015.
“Psychiatrists and psychologists have been used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to facilitate mind control and torture in Project MKUltra and in the American Psychological Association bolstered CIA torture program. Psychiatric political abuses in nations that are U.S. enemies have been routinely denounced by U.S. establishment psychiatry and the U.S. government, especially during the Cold War within the Soviet Union (where political dissidents were diagnosed with “sluggish schizophrenia” and psychiatrically hospitalized and drugged). However, the abuse of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment to subvert human rights has occurred not only in totalitarian U.S. enemies but in the United States as well.
While the following list of political abuses of U.S. psychiatry and psychology begins with the infamous Project MKUltra and recent American Psychological Association torture scandal, this should not be taken to imply that these more sensational abuses are the most important ones. For gay Americans, Native Americans, and African Americans, the political abuse of psychiatry and psychology is a significant part of their traumatizing American history; and while MKUltra resulted in severe trauma and even death, mental health professionals’ current enabling of dehumanizing American institutions continues to create, quite possibly, even greater damage.
1. Project MKUltra
This CIA program of experiments on human subjects, which began in the early 1950s, used drugs (including LSD) and other procedures (including sensory deprivation and electroshock) to weaken and break an individual and force confessions. MKUltra has been documented by the U.S. Congress’s Church Committee investigations, acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court, and detailed in The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate”: The CIA and Mind Control: The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences by former State Department officer John Marks.
In MKUltra, there was widespread involvement by at least 80 institutions (including universities, pharmaceutical corporations, and prisons) and 185 researchers, including some of America’s leading psychiatrists such as Louis Jolyon “Jolly” West and leading psychologists such as Henry Murray. Among the subjects in one of Murray’s MKUltra experiments at Harvard was a 17-year-old undergraduate Ted Kaczynski, and serving as a subject in another MKUltra experiment was a young prison inmate Whitey Bulger.” [ . . . ]
I would also like to include a response to Levine’s post.
“You’ve got it all wrong, Dr. Levine. Psychiatry is the innocent victim of corrupt politics and a society that is somewhere on the spectrum of Axis II disorders.
You’ll get the straight talk here: