It Happened in Canada!

Does the name Donald Ewen Cameron ring a bell with anyone?

Or, perhaps, the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal?

These two names are intertwined in a very dark chapter of Canadian history. One that could be happening again as I write this, in some other medical centre or institution we have come to trust.

Dr. Cameron was one of those who interpreted the Hippocratic oath somewhat loosely. Just the sort of doctor the CIA – protector of the land of free, the home of the brave, the ‘good guys’ (or so we thought) – was looking for when it came to doling out funds for their mind-control research. The code name for the project was, among others less well known, ‘MK Ultra’.

Many patients went to the Allen Memorial Institute – in fact they were referred there by their family doctors who knew nothing of its insidious connections with the American deep state – with complaints as innocuous as mild insomnia, menopause, sexual dysfunction, or any number of other disorders, real or imagined, that might respond to psychotherapy.

Dr. Cameron and his group of complicit ‘mad-scientist’ doctors with a similar disregard for informed consent then subjected their unwitting patients to a regimen of extensive drug and shock therapy – memory de-patterning – the likes of which reads like a horror novel.

The true purpose? Erasing memory, and replacing it with something else – that was the idea anyway. Cameron was confident he could wipe the memory-slate clean, ‘differential amnesia’ he called it. Which of course piqued the interest of the national security state apparatus – who were worried that the ‘other side’ already had achieved something similar after so many Korean POW’s returned with ‘turncoat’ attitudes and great admiration for the communist ideology of their previous captors.

Just the sort of thing ‘MK Ultra’ was looking for. If you could find a way to erase prior memory and replace it with false memory, then you could create the perfect spy .. the perfect double agent .. or the perfect assassin. One who could not, after committing the crime, remember anything about it – who ordered it, why they did it, nor have any regard for their own safety in the commission of it. The perfect, crazed, lone gunman.

And so, as history records, between 1953 and as late as 1963, hundreds of patients who came to the clinic for treatment, and with no foreknowledge of the drug, shock and sensory deprivation therapies they were about to endure, became expendable test subjects in a CIA experiment – their lives about to change forever.

Patients were kept asleep with drugs – Thorazine, Nembutol, Seconal, Veronal, and Phenergan – and wakened only to undergo shock treatments, which were at a higher voltage and much longer duration than the standard electroconvulsive therapy; and repeated two to three times per day, instead of the normal two or three times per week. Voltage delivered was significantly higher, but more important, the duration of the shock (normally a fraction of a second) was maintained for a full second. The screams could be heard echoing down the halls of 1025 Pine Avenue West, as the 150 volts blasted into each patient, strapped down and immobilized and in no control over their fate.

‘Treatments’ lasted anywhere from two weeks to two months, and results were fairly consistent.

Patients would be unable to feed themselves, tend to normal bodily functions, and in many cases would even lose control of their bowels. Some tried to escape, but were so feeble it made them easy for orderlies to simply return them to their beds.

Memory loss and disorientation proceeded in three steps. First they began losing their memories of the time prior to being admitted; next they forgot where they were, or why they were there, and the names of the doctors treating them. The final stage was complete de-patterning. All memories of who they were, their spouses and children, even the language they learned from birth, all memories past and present … gone.

It was at this time the tapes were played into the ears of the subjects – implanting who knows what into these poor souls’ emptied minds – for up to sixteen hours a day, and were often accompanied by high doses of LSD and/or PCP.

In 1957 Cameron, with the funding and approval of the CIA, added yet another feature to his chamber of horrors – sensory deprivation tanks.

The idea is simple enough – suspended in water at body temperature, with no physical sensation – no sight or sound – the mind begins to turn on itself for data. These were initially used to test pilots of high-altitude aircraft (the infamous U-2’s like the one Gary Powers was flying) in the 50’s and 60’s – after a short time, everyone begins to hallucinate. In the air force’s testing program, when the visions became too frightening, the pilot could hit the panic button, and he would be immediately released from the chamber, after which he would need to be calmed down. Rarely did anyone last more than a few hours; if you left someone like that for a few days, the damage to the psyche would be irreversible.

But at Allen Memorial, no one was let out until Dr. Cameron gave the OK. In one disturbing case, a woman who was admitted for menopause spent over three months in de-patterning and psychic driving, then in sensory deprivation for thirty five days. Needless to say, in Cameron’s own cold words, “No favourable results were obtained”. Little is known of the fate of the woman recorded as ‘Mary C.’

So, whatever became of Dr. Ewen Cameron, I hear you ask. Did he ever account for his crimes? Surely such conduct merits serious discipline, one would think . .

Well, think again.

In 1952/53, Cameron was elected president of the American Psychiatric Association. In ’58  – now well into his ‘program’ at Allen Memorial, he was elected president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association – without even being a citizen of the nation. He was also awarded with the presidency of the Society of Biological Psychiatry (’65) and the World Psychiatry Association (’61 through ’66). You can’t get much higher than that, in his field.

And all the while using unwitting Canadians as lab rats for the CIA.

Oh, and it wasn’t just at Allen Memorial that such skullduggery was going on. The CIA has admitted to conducting ‘human behavioural research’ at no less than 150 institutions, including 44 universities and various hospitals, prisons, and drug companies. And that doesn’t count all the uninformed consent tests they’ve done on their own military and civilian populations.

We’re all in good hands, folks.

Just relax.

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