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Mind Control: The Rosetta Stone of the JFK Assassination

By Jerry Leonard 




“How can we make a monster out of a man? Unfortunately, it is quite simple.”

--George Estabrooks, Harvard PhD & Military Hypnosis Expert



In the stunning 1962 film “The Manchurian Candidate,” Marxist forces take a U.S. soldier behind enemy lines and turn him into a brainwashed sleeper-agent. This “programmed” GI returns to the States as an apparent war hero, but soon discovers his battle-exploits were merely a cover story invented by his communist captors to facilitate his “involuntary assassination” of an American right-wing presidential candidate.


As strange as it may sound, I believe that a chain of events similar to this actually happened within a year of the movie-release. Moreover, I believe these events constitute not only a dramatic case of life imitating art, but also a harmonizing explanation for who was ultimately responsible for a famous murder—namely, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 by supposed Marxist Lee Harvey Oswald. 


I propose the CIA, in perpetrating the JFK assassination through Oswald, put its own shocking twist on the “Manchurian Candidate” theme using the ultimate technology for “plausible deniability”MKULTRA.


In this modified Manchurian Candidate scenario, ex-soldier Oswald was not programmed by communists behind enemy lines, but instead was programmed to behave as a communist and sent behind enemy linesby agents of his own government.


Like the soldier in the movie-plot, Oswald's contrived status following his return to the States would ultimately provide a cover for his involuntary assassination of an American presidential figure. But paradoxically, Oswald's reputation as an apparent pro-communist would first allow him to be used as an unwitting pawn in a series of CIA operations designed to identify and eliminate threats to the Agency's anti-communist operations. Accordingly, Oswald's domestic activities as a pro-communist provocateur, in contrast to the hero-assassin in the fictional story, would culminate in the assassination of a leftwing presidential candidate accused of being soft on communism. 


Curiously enough, the details surrounding this violent act would take place along the lines of a "terminal experiment," outlined in a declassified CIA memo written prior to the crime, that involved a throw-away, brainwashed defector-assassin. Oswald's final act as a pro-Castro sympathizer would also take place within the operational parameters outlined in more recently declassified memos from the period concerning a secret plan to use the CIA's phony, pro-Castro operatives to justify its anti-Castro projectwhich Oswald was involved inusing staged acts of terrorism, including assassinations, on American soil.



·        Could Oswald really have been a victim of the CIA’s crash mind control program (MKULTRA) and employed as one of the numerous fake soldier-defectors we now know the US successfully used in sophisticated, top-level Cold War operations against the Soviet Union?


·        Was he one of the Marines we have learned military doctors skillfully programmed with pro-communist personalities to make them convincing COINTELPRO-like operatives for use in anti-communist espionage activities, such as those Oswald engaged in during his event-filled pre-assassination visit to New Orleans?


·        Did elements tied to the CIA’s Operation Mongoose plots use apparently pro-Castro Oswald as a player in an anti-Castro assassination operation (such as Operation Northwoods, which was rejected by Kennedy) to assassinate a President they saw as a threat to these covert plots? In other words, was the plan rejected by Kennedy implemented by Oswald in killing Kennedy?


After reviewing the accumulated evidence, I have come to believe this is so and review fascinating declassified data and the confessions of government insiders to support this provocative theory in my book The Perfect Assassin.


Indeed, in the 40 years since the assassination we have learned much more about the CIA’s historic use of mind control to create fake defectors, provocateurs, and assassins than most people realize. And this information is invaluable in weaving together seemingly contradictory strands of evidence to converge on a coherent theory of the JFK case.


For example, Oswald as a “programmed assassin,” incredible as it seems, was foreshadowed to an amazing extent in a declassified CIA memo on “terminal experiments” in mind control. Detailed information about a planned assassination experiment using a defector was revealed in a 1950s-era CIA memorandum published by the New York Times in 1978. The subject of the experiment would be a defector “induced” under mind control “to perform an act, involuntarily, against a prominent (deleted) politician or if necessary, against an American official.” The CIA memo continued: “After the act of attempted assassination was performed, it was assumed that the subject would be taken into custody by the (deleted) government and thereby ‘disposed of.’”


Maybe this idea was just wishful thinking, spy bureaucrats dreaming of novel ways to manipulate their agents to carry out missions even “against such fundamental laws of nature as self-preservation.” But maybe it was more than that. Examine the parallels between this idealized CIA-backed assassination and the events which would unfold in Dallas: Oswald, a defector, after allegedly committing the assassination of an American official (Kennedy) was “taken into custody” by agents of the U.S. government and shortly thereafter “disposed of” by Jack Ruby on national television in the basement of a city jail.


For years following the assassination, Oswald was portrayed as an unstable, lone-nut assassin with communist sympathies, as evidenced by what his mother called his “so-called” defection to the Soviet Union. But now we know more. Depending on the time and place, Oswald could display either militant pro-communist or anti-communist sympathies. Upon closer examination, this seemingly perplexing behavior forms a pattern which points to his being a victim of the CIA’s technology for creating “programmed” agents who, while exhibiting pro-communist traits, were actually being used in anti-communist operations


The confessions of a top-level military hypnotist named George Estabrooks provide shocking details on how fake defectors and assassins with artificially polarized personalities were created and used for anti-communist purposes in textbook fashion through hypnosis. The trick was to create an unwitting double agent with a dual personality structure (one personality a “rabid communist” the other “rabidly American and anti-communist”) that could be worked however the CIA saw fit in its covert war against communism. In Oswald’s case, the idea was to set him up in both anti-communist and pro-communist roles on the highly charged Cuban issue in the early 1960s. This would allow him to be manipulated for covert spying operations, then, if needed, be used in a final deadly assignment.


Despite the labor involved in the process of creating a hypnotized double agent with a dual personality structure, Estabrooks boasted that the rewards would be well worth the trouble: “The proper training of a person for this role would be long and tedious, but once he was trained, you would have a super spy compared to which any creation in a mystery story is just plain weak.”


One use for Oswald, documents suggest, was to establish him as a communist sympathizer so he could identify and track Kennedy-era pro-Castro elements that might threaten U.S. preparations for invading Cuba. We now know that the CIA used scores of phony leftists to infiltrate and disrupt suspect groups on a grand scale throughout the 1960s. As one of the CIA’s many ‘60s-era agents provocateur, Oswald could not only infiltrate organizations but discredit them as well through CIA manipulation.


The pipeline was a chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee [FPCC] formed personally by Oswald. The FPCC was an organization despised by the CIA, which conspired to monitor and discredit it. Evidence supporting the theory of Oswald as agent provocateur includes the fact that the New Orleans address printed on some of his pro-Castro FPCC leaflets, 544 Camp Street, was also that of a violently anti-Castro “front” organization staffed by one Guy Banister, an ex-FBI agent turned private detective with a long history involving intelligence-related, anti-Castro activities. Would a legitimate leftist agitator have the address of a militant anti-communist’s office on his pro-communist literature?


Certainly a shared address does not make Lee Harvey Oswald a double agent under the influence of hypnosis. But it does raise suspicions, especially when considering the numerous benefits we have learned his actions provided to the CIA and the parallels between his behavior modes and those described by Kennedy-era documents on the use of mind control for covert operations.


John Marks, author of The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate” and who has conducted extensive research on declassified CIA documents from the Kennedy-era, disclosed details of an illuminating CIA hypnosis operation with such a programmed double agent sent out to spy on leftist organizations:


…Agency officials would tip off the local police that the man was a dangerous communist agent, and he would be arrested. Through their liaison arrangement with the police, Agency case officers would be able to watch and even guide the course of the interrogation. In this way, they could answer many of their questions about hypnosis on a live guinea pig who believed his life was in danger. [emphasis added]

Marks’ description of the CIA’s proposed use of a hypnotized informant, arrested in an orchestrated intelligence operation (Marks was himself the victim of a CIA-orchestrated arrest while doing overseas research on CIA operations), may shed light on an event that occurred while Oswald was in New Orleans shortly before the Kennedy assassination.

While brandishing a “Viva Fidel” sign and handing out  “Fair Play for Cuba!” pamphlets on a street corner, a scuffle broke out between now “pro-Castro Oswald” and an anti-Castro Cuban on the CIA payroll whom “anti-Castro Oswaldhad previously offered to help in overthrowing the Cuban leader. Oswald was immediately arrested, only to be released the next day. A New Orleans police lieutenant testified that Oswald “seemed to have set them up, so to speak, to create an incident, but when the incident occurred he remained absolutely peaceful and gentle.” The anti-Castro exile with whom Oswald scuffled, Carlos Bringuier, was quoted in Life magazine as saying: “I was suspicious of him from the start. But frankly I thought he might be an agent from the FBI or CIA trying to find out what we were up to.” In light of these statements and Marks’ revelation above, I can’t help asking: What went on in that interrogation room following Oswald’s arrest?

Oswald’s actions following this episode are intriguing with respect to the hypothesis that he was playing a role in the CIA’s efforts to discredit the Fair Play For Cuba Committee. He appeared on the radio to explain and defend his Marxist views–an act that not only helped discredit the FPCC but also established the credibility of his “Marxist traitor” role that would later be useful in pinning the convenient elimination of Kennedy—the enemy of the more extreme anti-Castro operatives—on a disgruntled defector and Castro sympathizer.

Oswald also dutifully wrote a revealing letter to the Communist Party USA to tell it that his actions may have “compromised” the FPCC: “I feel I may have compromised the FPCC, so you see that I need the advice of trusted. [sic] Long time fighters for progress. Please advise.” Elsewhere in his correspondence to the American Communist Party, Oswald cogently noted that “Our opponents could use my background of residence in the U.S.S.R. against any cause which I join” and that “by association, they could say the organization of which I am a member, is Russian controled, ect [sic]. I am sure you see my point.” Indeed.

Philip Melanson summarized the convenience of Oswald’s supposedly hostile actions in Spy Saga:

Oswald’s New Orleans summer was indeed productive. It generated negative publicity for the FPCC and was a propaganda coup for the anti-Castroites; it produced a paper trail supporting the agency’s professed theory of communist subversion while simultaneously legitimizing domestic spying. Beyond these payoffs, there was another one which–whether or not it was specifically intended at the time–would be crucial within three months. Oswald’s pro-Castro involvement would be a central element in the purposely crafted image of Oswald-the-assassin.



As we have only recently learned, Oswald's provocateur behavior would indeed dovetail with detailed plans made at the highest levels of the US government to use the CIA's apparently pro-Castro activists in violent activities on American soil as part of its anti-Castro crusade.


But the synergy between Oswald’s actions and ongoing CIA operations goes back further. There is his bizarre defection to the Soviet Union, which gave him the “communist sympathizer” credentials to infiltrate leftist groups in the U.S. following his return to the States.


Numerous irregularities about the episode are consistent with the postulate that the defection was staged and monitored. For one thing, the CIA seemed to handle Oswald’s defection with marked indifference. Given the super-sensitive nature of the American U-2 spy-plane information (which he brazenly offered to give to the Soviets after his defection) Oswald supposedly had access to as a Marine stationed at a U-2 base in Japan, a major damage assessment should have been conducted by the U.S. intelligence agencies to determine if their prized surveillance capability had been fatally compromised. But apparently no such assessment was undertaken. According to the official story, Oswald was not even debriefed by the CIA when he returned to the U.S. Nor was he prosecuted for offering to sell American military secrets to the Soviets.


Melanson noted these suspicious facts:


The Agency claims it had no interest in Oswald and never debriefed him upon his return from Russia. Was the CIA so simple-minded that it saw no possible connection between Oswald and the U-2? Did it see one but forget to follow up on it by debriefing him? Or did it already know precisely what Oswald had told the Soviets? [emphasis added]


Researchers have proposed that Oswald’s defection was actually part of an orchestrated CIA counterintelligence operation designed to find a Soviet “mole” in U.S. intelligence. The CIA feared this Russian agent was providing the Soviets damaging information on the top-secret U-2 spy plane—the most powerful espionage tool in the CIA’s Cold War arsenal. According to one scenario, by staging Oswald’s defection, American officials hoped to determine how much classified information the Soviets already had on the U-2, and as a bonus, to nail the mole.


A recently uncovered precedent shows how this might have worked. David Wise revealed an eerily similar operation with a fake soldier-defector named Joe Cassidy (code-named WALLFLOWER) in his exposé Cassidy’s Run. This sophisticated, twenty-year counterintelligence operation began the same year Oswald defected to the Soviet Union. Dangling a phony traitor (prepped to provide carefully chosen top-level disinformation) in front of Soviet agents proved fantastically successful. As summarized by Wise:


By the questions the Soviets put to WALLFLOWER, the FBI and the Pentagon discovered a good deal about what the Russians knew and did not know about American military strength and secrets. The United States also learned more about how the Soviets recruited and ran American agents and more about their tradecraft techniques as well, from hollow rocks, new chemicals for secret writing, and rollover cameras, to codes and communications. In addition, the six Soviets sent to handle Joe Cassidy were kept busy running a controlled source, which left them less time to recruit and run real spies.

This fascinating “Operation SHOCKER” was made easier in that it took place on U.S. soil. How could a similar operation with a fake defector/traitor be monitored in the Soviet Union itself? A declassified CIA document unearthed by Dr. Colin Ross (Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists) reveals how valuable operational information could be obtained from a hypno-programmed field-operative himself, unwittingly playing the roles of leftist traitor and then “loyal American”: “Once every month or at such time is advisable, they will be contacted by a member of our intelligence department, hypnotized and as loyal Americans will tell what they know. This sounds unbelievable, but I assure you, it will work.”

This CIA memo echoes top-level military hypnotist George Estabrooks who also wrote of military men being used as fake defectors in intelligence missions. In numerous publications he pointed out the power of hypnosis in creating convincing agents for such operations. His revelations on how such operatives could be programmed with multiple personality structures are as detailed as they are startling. For example, in an article entitled “Hypnosis Comes of Age,” Estabrooks described how a pro-communist “infiltrating” personality could be programmed within an anti-communist “reporting” personality structure using hypnosis:

We start with an excellent subject, and he must be just that, one of those rare individuals who accepts and who carries through every suggestion without hesitation.  ... Then we start to develop a case of multiple personality though the use of hypnotism. In his normal waking state, which we will call Personality A, or PA, this individual will become a rabid communist. He will join the party, follow the party line and make himself as objectionable as possible to the authorities. Note that he will be acting in good faith. He is a communist, or rather his PA is a communist and will behave as such. [emphasis added]

Estabrooks went on to explain how after hypnotically inducing a pro-communist personality, a secondary anti-communist personality could be created in the same individual:

Then we develop Personality B (PB), the secondary personality… This personality is rabidly American and anti-communist. It has all the information possessed by PA, the normal personality, whereas PA does not have this advantage. [emphasis added]

Hypnosis victims programmed with this concentric personality structure could be used as unwitting pawns to infiltrate and then report on pro-communist groups. According to Estabrooks, if enemy intelligence groups “should suspect our man, and confront him with an accusation, he will be the very model of righteousness outraged.” He continued, “He could not tell the truth about his life as a spy because he would not know it.”

Estabrooks even described one case in which hypnosis was used to induce his polarized personality structure in a Marine prior to his being given a dishonorable discharge. The ultimate purpose of the charade was to use the unwitting Marine, in his crafted pro-communist role, as an intelligence pawn:

During World War II, I worked this technique with a vulnerable Marine lieutenant I’ll call Jones. Under the watchful eye of Marine intelligence I split his personality into Jones A and Jones B. Jones A, once a “normal” working Marine, became entirely different. He talked communist doctrine and meant it. He was welcomed enthusiastically by communist cells, and was deliberately given a dishonorable discharge by the Corps (which was in on the plot) and became a card-carrying party member.  [emphasis added]

Manipulating this Marine’s artificially polarized personality structure according to his textbook description, Estabrooks could recover information about the enemy groups his programmed communist spy had infiltrated (as “Jones A”) by accessing the anti-communist personality mode “Jones B”: “All I had to do was hypnotize the whole man, get in touch with Jones B, the loyal American, and I had a pipeline straight into the communist camp,” Estabrooks bragged.

The extent to which discharged Marine Oswald resembles such an operative who was programmed and planted for an intelligence mission is tantalizing. Bob Callahan described soldier Oswald as a “a top secret Marine radar operator who worked on the U-2; a disenchanted jarhead who spent his time spouting Marxist slogans to mysterious women companions in expensive Japanese bars.” Compare that description to that of another of Estabrooks’ unwitting military dupes, an “Officer Cox” he boasted of brainwashing to play the role of defector: “He was planted in an international café in a border country where it was certain there would be enemy agents. He talked too much, drank a lot, made friends with local girls and pretended a childish interest in hypnotism.”

Estabrooks had not only described the advantages of using such unwitting, programmed agents for espionage, he warned that such techniques could be used to produce assassins. As he revealed in one publication: “The key to creating an effective spy or assassin rests in splitting a man’s personality, or creating multipersonality, with the aid of hypnotism.” He added:  “This is not science fiction. …I have done it.” Elsewhere, Estabrooks issued an even more explicit warning:

Is hypnosis dangerous? It can be. Under certain circumstances, it is dangerous in the extreme. It has even been known to lead to murder. Given the right combination of hypnotist and subject, hypnosis can be a lethal weapon.

 Indeed, hypnosis has been used as a lethal weapon. A fascinating real-life case was described by Paul Reiter (Antisocial or Criminal Acts and Hypnosis: A Case Study) prior to the JFK murder. It involves a hypnotized ex-military man with ties to anti-communist extremists who was manipulated into engaging in staged, underground leftist political activities and ultimately committing a double murder. This is exactly what Lee Harvey Oswald, the ex-soldier accused of killing the U.S. President (and a Dallas police officer while on the run) is accused of doing.

Was Oswald brainwashed through MKULTRA technology along the lines explicitly described by Estabrooks to be used as a COINTELPRO-type operative and ultimately one of the CIA’s involuntary assassins?

As a result of John Newman’s meticulous research, we now know that Oswald, the supposed lone-nut, was under near continuous surveillance by the CIA from the time of his defection to the assassination. And we also know that he was no stranger to violence-prone, CIA-backed groups or even CIA assassins. But it would take thirty years for this truth to come out. In 1993, the New York Times reported on its front page that Oswald was under simultaneous CIA and FBI surveillance even “as he met with the mobster the C.I.A. had hired to kill Fidel Castro.” Since when does a “lone-nut assassin” meet with a government hit man and then go on to kill a president (along the lines of a CIA memo on programmed assassins) while under the near continuous surveillance of its two most powerful intelligence agencies?

Curiously, there is documented evidence that CIA mind-control experts studied the option of using “Manchurian Candidate” technology on these anti-Castro assassins. And Estabrooks specifically mentioned aggressive Cubans as future victims of his technology. Another CIA mind-control/assassination expert (Sheffield Edwards) was even put in charge of the Castro assassination program in which we have learned Oswald played a role.

History and the declassified documents cited here show beyond a doubt how the CIA was obsessed in the war against communism and its Cuban persona. A massive, illegal infrastructure was put in place to wage covert war against Castro. But, I believe, there were those tied to the Cuba project who took their obsession one step further.

Recently uncovered documents from Operation Northwoods reveal Kennedy had refused to approve horrifying plans from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As unbelievable as it sounds, the scheme intended to blame Castro for U.S.-manufactured terrorist attacks as a pretext for a second invasion of Cuba. Options considered as a means to “cause a helpful wave of national indignation” included staged assassinations on American soil.

A 1961 CIA report declassified in 1998 showed that powerful elements in the agency blamed Kennedy for their own mistakes in the failed first invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Couple this with the on-the-record anti-communism hysteria and the fact that Kennedy was seen as a threat to the entrenched command structure planning a second invasion of Cuba (Kennedy fired CIA director Allen Dulles who later served on the Warren Commission) and a frightening picture comes into focus: By eliminating Kennedy and blaming it on Castro’s agents, the anti-Castro infrastructure could not only remove a roadblock to its covert “get Castro” policies, it could provide a justification for them.

And with that deadly scenario, enter Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald’s work as defector and violent pro-Castro provocateur had set him up perfectly for the role of politically motivated assassin and fall-guy, a man whose mind was manipulated under the pretext of the Cold War and in the end became a microcosm of it.

Kennedy’s assassination brought momentous changes for those waging the Cold War. The prophetic 1954 CIA memo which outlined the mind control experiment in which an assassin would be “induced …to perform an act, involuntarily, if necessary, against… an American official” and then be “disposed of” while in government custody also predicted that this experiment might be useful “as a ‘trigger mechanism,’ for a bigger project.”

Swept into power as a result of the JFK murder, Johnson would continue the anti-Castro operation. But he would oversee a far bigger project. Under Johnson, the covert warfare specialists would go on to use what is now known as a manufactured terrorist attack (the Tonkin Gulf incident) to justify the devastating escalation from covert to overt warfare in Vietnam.

Ironically, Castro would survive, despite ongoing covert actions against him (one CIA assassination attempt was in gear the day Kennedy was shot), but the leader of Vietnam was less fortunate--President Diem was killed in a CIA-orchestrated coup within a month of the JFK’s death. The Oswald-era domestic CIA/FBI actions against the anti-war groups of the early sixties foreshadowed, if not rationalized, a repeat, greatly magnified in scope, against the anti-Vietnam war groups. (It was a New York Times exposé of this latter phase of the massive, illegal surveillance against American anti-war groups which led to our current understanding of the earlier phase in which I propose Oswald unwittingly participated.)

My research is not meant to create a groundswell of sympathy for Lee Harvey Oswald, nor to engage in finger-pointing four decades after an event that changed the course of American, and world, history. Like everyone, I just want to know what really happened that fateful November day, and more important, why it happened. Indeed, if the past is truly prologue, the world needs to know.

It is my hope that the theory proposed from this research will not only open the eyes of the public to the dangers of hypnosis but also provide a new perspective on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This “Manchurian Candidate” hypothesis has numerous advantages over conventional theories. It can harmonize many of the seemingly contradictory details in our current knowledge of the assassination and synthesize heretofore-puzzling differences in the conclusions presented by Warren Commission apologists and “conspiracy” researchers, whom I believe are looking at two different sides of the same coin. 

By taking a step back and viewing Oswald’s behavior through the lens provided by the declassified MKULTRA, COINTELPRO and NORTHWOODS documents as well as Estabrooks’ detailed descriptions of how Marines with polarized personalities were created and used by intelligence agencies, an understanding of the reasons underlying Oswald’s polarized behavior modes can be gained. Moreover, I believe this perspective can not only depolarize the ongoing debate but also inspire new avenues of investigation as to who was ultimately responsible for the crime.

Indeed, if the “Manchurian Candidate” hypothesis is accurate and Oswald alone pulled the trigger that day in Dealey Plaza, but under the influence of CIA mind control technology (as detailed in now-declassified documents), the false dichotomy in the ongoing investigation between “patsy” and “lone-assassin” can be eliminated—since a programmed assassin is the ultimate patsy—and the primary blame for the crime can be placed at the CIA’s bloody feet.

Certainly in light of all that has been uncovered in the four decades since the death of the 35th President there are grounds to re-think Oswald’s role. Considering 

·       the scale of anti-communist covert operations those 40 years ago

·       the now-apparent benefits of Oswald’s behavior to these operations, and 

·       the declassified information that creates striking parallels between Oswald’s actions and the CIA’s mind-control program to create unquestioning operatives to carry out such operations 

I do not consider it unpatriotic to ask serious thinkers whether Oswald really could have been used as one of these agents against our own President.

In the wake of the 9-11 tragedy, an act perpetrated under the direction of a “former” CIA asset and skillfully used by the CIA to roll back legislation limiting its illegal domestic role (enacted as a result of 60’s-era excesses described above), a true patriot must always be alert to the CIA’s role in domestic and international manipulation and seek to understand the various ways this may be accomplished. Hypnosis is one of the most powerful and least understood tools in the CIA’s arsenal. It’s time the public understood the dangers it poses to a free democratic state. 


 “Only a people who refuse to permit themselves to sink into intellectual lethargy and conformity, only a people who question and think . . . can be sure that hypnosis—disguised or direct—will not undermine their freedom and rob them of their very lives.”  

-George Estabrooks




For the full story on mind control and the JFK assassination, please see

 The Perfect Assassin.




Update 7/27/04

It was my hope that my book on mind control and the JFK assassination would not only assist in solving one of the most famous crimes of the 20th Century but prevent similar crimes from being perpetrated by alerting the public to the dangerous, mind-altering technology secretly developed by the CIA. In light of the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal in which sophisticated means of torture (some developed in American prisons under the CIA’s infamous MKULTRA program) were approved at the highest levels of government for use against many victims in Iraq, such an alert is even more pressing today.

Indeed, the recent revelations of systematic US torture of enemy soldiers and civilians (including children) in Iraq has revealed what researchers have long postulated: that the CIA's decades-long research program of using various forms of torture as a means of mind control was not disbanded as government spokesmen have alleged... it has gone operational.

John Marks, a former high-level CIA employee, warned decades ago that the Agency’s technology, developed in a crash, covert program by the elite of America’s psychiatric establishment, could be used not only to create "planned destructiveness" on a personal level but to terrorize entire populations targeted by the CIA. (As Marks concisely stated in The Search For The "Manchurian Candidate": “MKULTRA subprojects dealt with ways to maximize stress on whole societies”.) 

Unfortunately, Marks' classic warning went unheeded. The torture techniques developed under MKULTRA are now being used in an international system of American torture prisons as part of an official policy of torture and designed to terrorize not only individuals but entire Arab populations

The CIA, under the MKULTRA program, conducted decades of grossly unethical tests on the public to develop techniques—including electroconvulsive therapy, drugs, sensory deprivation and hypnosis—to destroy and control the minds of its victims. Now the US is torturing people throughout the world through electric shock and sensory deprivation, among other means, which according to the Washington Post include "reversing the normal sleep patterns of detainees and exposing them to heat, cold and 'sensory assault,' including loud music and bright lights, according to defense officials." 

But there are more secret procedures being used. The Post revealed: "The classified list of about 20 techniques was approved at the highest levels of the Pentagon and the Justice Department, and represents the first publicly known documentation of an official policy permitting interrogators to use physically and psychologically stressful methods during questioning." [emphasis added]

A gruesome picture is coming into focus, for those with the courage and integrity to watch. As one observer summarized the sickening revelations of the prison-torture scandal: "the more that emerges, the less it seems to be the work of a handful of sadists or perverts. Rather they are in line with sophisticated techniques of modern torture."

US torture is not limited to the Abu Ghraib prison; four other sites have already been identified and the number of prisoners being abused is in four-figure range. At some of these sites where prisoners were tortured to death by US forces, lower level "patsies" were guided by private contractors and higher-level torture experts from the CIA, with the blessing of the US State and Defense departments. As one publication described the situation:

"Far from being 'out of control,' their behavior was very much controlled by their immediate superiors in military intelligence, who were, in turn, carrying out a policy of subjugating the Iraqi people by 'breaking' the captured cadre of the resistance and using the intelligence gleaned from violent interrogation to round up their leaders." 

Is history repeating itself? In my book The Perfect Assassin, I proposed that Lee Harvey Oswald was carefully manipulated by higher forces through the application of MKULTRA psychiatry, one aspect of which was designed to create unwitting assassins and double-agents who would be impervious to enemy torture. If the thesis of my book is accurate, it was Oswald's elimination of Kennedy (under the influence of CIA mind control) that led to an expansion of the Vietnam War under Johnson. Like the war against Castro's Cuba, the Vietnam War would be waged by the CIA with the help of unconventional weapons, including systematic torture of civilians in the infamous Phoenix program. The CIA used this program to torture to death thousands, if not tens of thousands of Vietnamese "enemies" in the search for double agents and informants.


We didn't have the Internet or digital cameras back then. Consequently, few in the public realized what was really going on in Southeast Asia. This allowed the people responsible for this reprehensible behavior to go punished. In fact, they were promoted. William Colby, a key player in the Phoenix torture program, went on to become the director of the CIA. Other personnel who participated in this "pacification" operation to root out indigenous support for peasant guerillas in Vietnam are now at the highest levels of the Homeland Security system in the US.


In my book, Hitler Is Winning, I asked whether we would learn the lessons of the past in time to prevent the great crimes from the last century being repeated. Apparently we will not. The American recruitment and sponsorship of thousands of Nazi war criminals to continue the mind control research they conducted in the death-camps has paid off handsomely for US leaders. Although currently it is the rest of the world which is bearing the brunt of the US government's systematic recruitment of Nazi war criminals, the American public had better wake up. In light of the Homeland Security Act, if this torture policy, approved at the highest levels, and administered by people with experience at applying torture on a massive scale, is not reversed, it is only a matter of time before these techniques are used on American citizens, as they are in American occupied territory in Cuba and Iraq.


Sound unlikely? September 11, itself an act designed to terrorize the American public by agents of its own government, has created a world in which "the President can order the torture of prisoners even though it is forbidden by a federal statute and by the international Convention Against Torture, to which the United States is a party." (If this sentence doesn’t make you shudder, then this article will be lost on you.)


As The New York Review of Books fittingly summarized, Americans are not shielded from these new presidential powers:


"President Bush and his administration have used the September 11 attacks again and again as an argument for expanded executive power. A signal example is the claim that the President can designate any American citizen as an 'enemy combatant' and have him or her imprisoned in solitary confinement, indefinitely, without trial or access to counsel."

We can only presume that an American citizen designated as an "enemy combatant" will also be subject to the official rules allowing torture.

It is truly a dark day for America. We must demand an end to US torture and the secrecy surrounding it or lose what little remains of our national soul and admit that Hitler has won after all.

Jerry Leonard





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