CIA Used Hypnosis to Create Double Agents During Cold War

Here's more evidence that those freaky scenes from The Manchurian Candidate where Frank Sinatra trips out from government brainwashing were just a case of art imitating life. New documents released in the mid-'50s show the CIA was experimenting with hypnosis as a method to implant top secret knowledge in the minds of potential spies without their knowing it, thus eliminating their potential for capture or double crossing:

Encode it in a messenger’s brain, an undisclosed author wrote in 1954, so he’ll have “no memory whatsoever in the waking state as to the nature and contents of the message.” Even if a Soviet agent gets word of the messenger’s importance, “no amount of third-party tactics” can pry the message loose, “for he simply does not have it in his conscious mind.” Pity the poor waterboarded captive.

Meanwhile, hypnosis was explored as a tactic for post-facto brainwashing and, along with the CIA's favorite drug MK-Ultra, was viewed for a short period of time as an essential tactic in their methods. Not a shocker, but pretty fascinating. Read more over at Danger Room.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at December 29, 2010, 7:14am

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