Researchers turned their attentions to American prisoners of war held in Korea admitting on television to using biochemical weapons (including Anthrax) against Korea. They had succeeded earlier in the interrogation of Russian agents using ARTICHOKE methods. Meanwhile, a CIA propagandist embedded as a journalist at the Miami Herald, Edward Hunter, began circulating rumors of advanced Soviet and Chinese “brainwashing” methods, culminating with the publication of Brain-washing in Red China: the calculated destruction of men’s minds. Hunter was a former OSS agent who had worked alongside Richard Helms and Howard Hunt in Asia during World War 2.
The Agency took note that prisoners of war who had escaped captivity v the northeastern via the Chinese region of Manchuria had exhibited signs of missing time. In 1959, Richard Condon wrote his bestselling ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, inspiring two movies, and an FBI investigation.
“Following this BLACKEDOUT commented on the very interesting angle that interrogations of the individuals who had come out of North Korea across the Soviet Union to freedom recently had apparently had a “blank” period or period of disorientation while passing through a special zone in Manchuria. BLACKEDOUT pointed out that this had occurred in all individuals in the party after they had had their first full meal and their first coffee on the way to freedom. BLACKEDOUT pointed out that BLACKEDOUT was attempting to secure further confirmatory facts in this matter since drugging was indicated.”
― MORI ID: 144996
July 15th, 1953
The CIA eventually determined that returning prisoners of war had not been subjected to the advanced brainwashing methods described by Hunter. Nevertheless, the rumors helped with funding and in disproved allegations of using biochemical weapons.
Early efforts in using drugs, sleep induction, and hypnosis to create a Manchurian candidate appears to be successful.
In simulated exercises conducted in 1951, two hypnotized subjects assembled, planted, and detonated bombs in response to specific codewords. Both subjects were unable to recall anything. They had no memories whatsoever of their actions. (H = Hypnosis; SI= Sleep Induction)
“ BLACKEDOUT was instructed that upon awakening, she would proceed to BLACKEDOUT room where she would wait at the desk for a telephone call. Upon receiving the call, a person known as “Jim” would engage her in normal conversation. During the course of the conversation, this individual would mention a code word to BLACKEDOUT . When she heard this code word, she would pass into a SI trance state, but would not close her eyes and remain perfectly normal and continue the telephone conversation. She was told that upon conclusion of the telephone conversation, she would carry out instructions:
…was shown an electric timing device. She was informed that this device was an incendiary bomb and was then instructed how to attach and set the device. After BLACKEDOUT learned how to set and attach the device, she was told to return to asleep state and further instructed that upon concluding the aforementioned conversation, she would take the timing device which was in a briefcase, and proceed to the ladies room. In the ladies room, she would be met by a girl whom she had never seen who would identify herself by the code word “New York.” After identifying herself, BLACKEDOUT then to show this individual how to attach and set the timing device and further instructions would be given that the timing device was to be carried in the briefcase to BLACKEDOUT room, placed in the nearest empty electric-light plug and concealed in the bottom, left-hand drawer of BLACKEDOUT desk, with the device set for 82 seconds and turned on.”
― SI and H experimentation (25 September 1951)
(MORI ID: 190527)
In 1952 ARTICHOKE researchers used delivered codes over a telephone or very subtle signals to induce a deep hypnotic trance. Two 20-year female test subjects in particular were deemed ideal to act as “unwilling couriers”.
“In all of these cases, these subjects have clearly demonstrated that they can pass from a fully awake state to a deep H controlled state via the telephone, via some very subtle signal that cannot be detected by other persons in the room and without the other individual being able to note the change. It has been clearly shown that physically individuals can be induced into H by telephone, by receiving written matter, or by the use of code, signal, or words and that control of those hypnotized can be passed from one individual to another without great difficulty. It has also been shown by experimentation with these girls that they can act as unwilling couriers for information purposes and that they can be conditioned to a point where they believe a change in identity on their part even on the polygraph.”
― Outline of Special H Cases
(MORI ID: 190684)
A January 1954 ARTICHOKE dispatch asked:
“Can an individual of a BLACKEDOUT descent be made to perform an act of attempted assassination involuntarily under the influence of ARTICHOKE?”
Later, it specifies:
“As a “trigger mechanism” for an even bigger project, it was proposed that, an individual of a BLACKEDOUT descent, approximately 35 years old, well educated, proficient in English, and well established socially and politically in the BLACKEDOUT government be induced under ARTICHOKE to perform an act, involuntarily, of attempted assassination against a prominent BLACKEDOUT politician or if necessary, against an American official.”
― General Security specific ARTICHOKE report
Jan 22, 1954 (MORI ID 140399)