MKULTRA Hypnosis Experiments
The following memo was written by CIA’s Sidney Gottlieb, and it’s one of the earliest records available on project MKULTRA.
A month after CIA Director Allen Dulles authorized MKULTRA program, Gottlieb wrote of a “planned series of five major experiments” to examine “hypnotically induced anxieties,” the “relationship of personality to hypnosis,” and other matters related to hypnosis.
DRAFT-SG/111 11 May 1953
MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD
SUBJECT: Visit to Project [deleted]
1. On this day the writer spent the day observing experiments with Mr. [deleted] on project [deleted] and in planning next year's work on the project (Mr. [deleted] has already submitted his proposal to the [deleted]).
2. The general picture of the present status of the project is one of a carefully planned series of five major experiments. Most of the year has been spent in screening and standardizing a large group of subjects (approximately 100) and the months between now and September 1 should yield much data, so that these five experiments should be completed by September 1. The five experiments are: (N stands for the total number of subjects involved in the experiment.)
Experiment 1 - N-18 Hypnotically induced anxieties to be completed by September 1.
Experiment 2 - N-24 Hypnotically increasing the ability to learn and recall complex written matter, to be completed by September 1.
Experiment 3 - N-30 Polygraph response under Hypnosis, to be completed by June 15.
Experiment 4 - N-24 Hypnotically increasing ability to observe and recall a complex arrangement of physical objects.
Experiment 5 - N-100 Relationship of personality to susceptibility to hypnosis.
3. The work for next year (September 1, 1953 to June 1, 1954) will concentrate on:
Experiment 6 - The morse code problem, with the emphasis on relatively loser I.Q. subjects than found on University volunteers.
Experiment 7 - Recall of hypnotically acquired information by very specific signals.
[deleted] will submit detailed research plans on all experiments not yet submitted.
4. A system of reports was decided upon, receivable in June, September and December 1953, and in March and June, 1954. These reports besides giving a summary of progress on each of the seven experiments, will also include the raw data obtained in each experiment. At the completion of any of the experiments a complete, organized final report will be sent to us.
5. After June 1, [deleted] new address will be:
6. A new journal was observed in [deleted] office:
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
To date two numbers issued, Vol. 1 #1 January 1953, and Vol. 1 #2 April 1953.
7. A Very favorable impression was made on the writer by the group. The experimental design of each experiment is very carefully done, and the standards of detail and instrumentation seems to be very high.