Project MKUltra, started in April, 1953, was a series of CIA projects centered around the idea of mind control using a variety of methods, including mind-altering drugs, sensory deprivation, and verbal and sexual abuse. As the US Supreme Court later noted, MKULTRA was:
concerned with "the research and development of chemical, biological, and radiological materials capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior." The program consisted of some 149 subprojects which the Agency contracted out to various universities, research foundations, and similar institutions. At least 80 institutions and 185 private researchers participated. Because the Agency funded MKUltra indirectly, many of the participating individuals were unaware that they were dealing with the Agency.
Project MKUltra was first brought to public attention in 1975 by the Church Committee of the U.S. Congress, and a Gerald Ford commission to investigate CIA activities within the United States. Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms' destruction order.
In 1977, a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to project MKUltra, which led to Senate hearings later that same year. In July 2001, some surviving information regarding MKUltra was declassified.
- United States President's Commission on CIA Activities within the United States
- "The commission was created in response to a December 1974 report in The New York Times that the CIA had conducted illegal domestic activities, including experiments on U.S. citizens, during the 1960s. The commission issued a single report in 1975, touching upon certain CIA abuses including mail opening and surveillance of domestic dissident groups. It publicized Project MKULTRA, a CIA mind control study..."  
-  "MK-ULTRA had several precursors. There was Project Chatter in 1947, which tested drugs such as the infamous Scopolamine during interrogations.201 There was Project Bluebird in 1949, which began studies into hypnosis... Project Artichoke began in 1951, with a scope of “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation?” All of the above projects were shuttled into MK-ULTRA in 1953, under the Technical Services Division, combining over 150 sub-projects, undertaken at over 80 institutions such as universities, hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies. Many of the projects were covertly ran through front organizations without the knowledge of the institution that hosted them..."
combining over 150 sub-projects 
- Project Chatter in 1947
- Project Bluebird in 1949
- Project Artichoke in 1951
- First project established by CIA in Oct1952 for the use of biochemical in clandestine operations
- May never have been implemented operationally, but served as a precursor to MKUltra
- Began in the 1950's and was terminated at least with respect to biological projects in 1969
MKOFTEN would be a joint effort between the CIA and the the Department of Defense, and would be perhaps one of the most bizarre of the currently known subprojects of MKUltra as it would be alleged to include the use of occultism and ritual magick. According to the Department of Defense, however, the goal of MKOFTEN and its sister-project MKSEARCH was to, "test the behavioral and toxicological effects of certain drugs on animals and humans".
Gordon Thomas, a British investigative journalist and author, would claim that Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, chief of the CIA's Technical Services Branch, used "Operation Often" to "explore the world of black magic" and and "harness the forces of darkness and challenge the concept that the inner reaches of the mind are beyond reach". As part of Operation Often, Dr. Gottlieb and other CIA employees visited with and recruited fortune-tellers, palm-readers, clairvoyants, astrologists, mediums, psychics, specialists in demonology, witches and warlocks, Satanists, other occult practitioners, and more. Thomas would go on to detail an event where apparently the CIA in 1972 even approached the monsignor in charge of exorcisms for the Catholic archdiocese of New York who refused to cooperate.
By May 1971, Operation Often had three astrologers on its payroll whose specific task was to predict the future.
By 1972 two Chinese-American palmists had been employed to probe how hand reading could be developed for intelligence work.
Research was conducted into black magic. The Scientific Engineering Institute funded a course in sorcery at the University of South Carolina.
Another investigative journalist and researcher, Alex Constantine, would also discover another significant CIA scientist's involvement in occult research under "Operation Often". Dr. Martin T. Orne's testimony also adds some interesting history to the MKUltra project that would otherwise be lost, including MKOFTEN's possible connections to the forming of CIA cults like the Finders and Jonestown and the moving of MKUltra to private facilities to avoid government oversight:
The secondary source of funding for Dr. Orne’s work in hypnotic suggestion and dissolution of memory is eerie in the cult child abuse context.
This was the year that the CIA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) geared up a study of parapsychology and the occult.
The investigation, dubbed Project OFTEN-CHICKWIT, gave rise to the establishment of a social “laboratory” by SEI scientists at the University of South Carolina – a college class in black witchcraft, demonology and voodoo.
Dr. Orne, with SEI funding, marked out his own mind control corner at the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1960s.
In a letter to Dr. Orne, Marks once reminded him that he’d disavowed knowledge of his participation in one mind-wrecking experimental sub-project.
Orne later recanted, admitting that he’d been aware of the true source of funding all along.
Testimony before the 1977 Church Committee’s probe of the CIA hinted that, as of 1963, the scientific squalor of the CIA’s mind control regimen, code-named MKULTRA, had abandoned military and academic laboratories, fearing exposure, and mushroomed in cities across the country.
Confirmation arrived in 1980 when Joseph Holsinger, an aide to late Congressman Leo Ryan (who was murdered by a death squad at Jonestown) exposed the formation of eccentric religious cults by the CIA.
Holsinger maintained that a CIA rear-support base had been in collusion with Jones to perform medical and mind control experiments at People’s Temple.
Rather than terminating MKULTRA, the CIA shifted its programs from public institutions to private cult groups, including the People’s Temple.
Assassination of CIA scientist Frank Olson
Frank Rudolph Olson was an American bacteriologist, biological warfare scientist, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked at Camp Detrick. In rural Maryland, he was covertly dosed with LSD by his CIA supervisor and, nine days later on November 28, 1953, plunged to his death from the window of a New York City hotel room. The U.S. government would officially deem his death a suicide, but later investigations conducted by Olson's son would conclude evidence from the autopsy to be "rankly and starkly suggestive of homicide."
Known victims of experimentation
- Ken Kesey
- Whitey Bulger
- Robert Hunter
- Harold Blauer
- James Stanley
- Wayne Ritchie
- Ruth Kelley
- Dr. Robert Hyde
- Technical Services Staff (TSS) Agents
- George H. White
- 10 Real Victims Of The CIA’s MKULTRA Program
- CIA's Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room
- CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
- Dr. Joseph Mengele
- Monarch Project