October 30

Ep. 0038: ‘Merica Does Mengele Part 2: CIA Mind Control Experiments

Here we have another batch of experiments by the US government, many of which were illegally/unethically conducted on subjects who hadn’t given anything resembling informed consent.  This time, we’re looking at mind control experiments

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The origins and motivations behind the CIA’s mind-control experiments
  • How the experiments that used subjects who had not given informed consent violated the Nuremberg Code, as well as other laws and codes of conduct
  • The first CIA mind control experiment programs, Project Bluebird and Project Artichoke
  • The creation of Project MKUltra, an enlarged mind control program, under the auspices of Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, head of the Chemical Division of the CIA’s Technical Services Staff (or TSS)
  • The CIA’s LSD experiments, which began on consenting subjects (including college students, prisoners, and CIA personnel) but soon progressed to unwitting test subjects, such as the unfortunate Frank Olsen, an Army doctor who was given LSD without his knowledge, had a really  bad trip, and ended up killing himself.
  • The CIA experiments run by Federal Narcotics Bureau Agent George White, who hired prostitutes to lure johns into apartments that had been set up by the CIA to look like love nests; once there, in addition to being sexually serviced, the johns would be drugged without their knowledge while White and CIA men observed and recorded everything from behind a 1-way mirror
  • The CIA-sponsored smorgasbord experiments of Dr. Ewan Cameron, psychiatrist at Allen Memorial Institute at McGill University in Montreal Canada, where unwitting mental patients were reduced to a near-vegetative state through a combination of drugs, electroshock, and other means.
  • How MKUltra “ended” in 1964, but actually continued under new codenames into the 1970s (if not beyond)
  • How some of this information started to come to light in the 1970s, despite efforts by CIA Director Richard Helms to destroy all records of these experiments
  • The fact that what we do know is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg — who knows what experiments happened that we’ll never know about?

External Links

  • Clip from a documentary (wish I could find the whole thing) on the Senate Committee headed by Frank Church (D-ID) which investigated some of the dirty deeds of the CIA
  • Another documentary from a while back on some of the mind-control experiments

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

October 24

Ep. 0037: ‘Kill the Messenger’: A Dangerous History Movie Review

Warning: Spoilers!  (Assuming you don’t already know about Gary Webb’s story, and the story he broke.)

Kill the Messenger is a 2014 movie about Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, who authored the series of articles in the San Jose Mercury under the title ‘Dark Alliance’ and later published a book by the same name.  In Prof CJ’s opinion, Gary Webb was a hero and may perhaps be the last great investigative newspaper journalist in American history.

This is definitely a dangerous history movie (unlike most historical flicks, which don’t usually raise questions about the Establishment.)  I had to drive over an hour to catch this flick, and I’m happy I did.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Gary Webb and the story he broke
  • How Webb’s reporting met with initial acclaim, but provoked Establishment counterattacks that destroyed his career
  • Webb’s alleged suicide in 2004 (shot twice in the head…?)
  • Prof CJ’s take on the movie, which is generally quite positive
  • His main criticism of the movie — that it didn’t have a bit more

External Links

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

October 19

Ep. 0036: ‘Merica Does Mengele Part 1: Radiation Experiments

 

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The Nuremberg Code, and its relevance to these experiments
  • The first experiments carried out by Manhattan Project doctors between 1945 and 1947, including one on a 4-year-old Australian boy dying of cancer
  • The creation of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), and how they created experimental guidelines similar to the Nuremberg Code, which unfortunately they had no problem ignoring
  • Over 800 pregnant women in Nashville who were given ‘cocktails’ containing radioactive elements in the late-1940s & early-1950s
  • Boys at the Walter E. Fernald State School for the mentally disabled who were given radioactive milk and oatmeal courtesy of MIT scientists & the Quaker Oats company
  • Prisoners in Oregon and Washington who had their testicles dosed with massive amounts of radiation in return for cash
  • How this all really started to come to light in the 1990s due to investigations by Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary and a committee set up by President Clinton to investigate these experiments
  • The less-than-satisfying conclusion of those investigations

External Links

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

October 9

Ep. 0035: A History of the US Dollar Part 4: Rise and Fall of Bretton Woods

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The Bretton Woods system, set up in 1944 as the framework for the international monetary order
  • The roots of the Great Inflation (c. mid-1960s-early-1980s) that would end Bretton Woods & any link between the US dollar and specie (gold & silver), including the rise of  the so-called “New Economists”, who pushed a Neo-Keynesian view that relied heavily on a model called the “Phillips Curve”  (BTW, the stagflation of the 1970s later proved that the Phillips Curve doesn’t always work)
  • How the Great Inflation came to be, looking across multiple decades & presidential administrations
  • The government’s responses to inflation, including de-monetizing silver in the mid-60s & ending the Bretton Woods ‘gold window’ in 1971
  • Some of the effects of inflation

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

October 6

Ep. 0034: The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Why do organizations, even ostensibly democratic ones, often seem to be less-than-democratic in practice?  The Iron Law of Oligarchy is the answer!

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • A little bit about German sociologist Robert Michels, who first described this law
  • The Iron Law of Oligarchy as described by Michels in his early-20th century book Political Parties
  • The Iron Law of Oligarchy in other contexts
  • Some noteworthy exceptions to the Iron Law that various scholars have found, including the International Typographical Union, the New Left student movement of the 1960s, ancient Athens, and Wikipedia

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)