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Scot paid by cia to brainwash patients { October 19 2004 }

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‘Monster’ Scot paid by CIA to brainwash patients

EAMONN O’NEILL October 19 2004

A MAVERICK Scottish doctor conducted inhuman experiments funded by the CIA using LSD and electro-shock therapy to brainwash unsuspecting patients, a documentary will reveal tonight.
Dr Ewen Cameron, from Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, believed he could wipe the mind clean of "bad" thoughts with a combination of electricity and a cocktail of powerful drugs.

His experiments in Canada in the 1950s were funded by the CIA, which wanted to see if his methods could be used to help agents withstand hypnotism and other brainwashing techniques.
By 1951, his research ex-panded to help find out how brainwashing a captured enemy spy might help "turn" him to become a double agent.

The first experiments were conducted on animals. Sometimes drugs such as LSD – then seen as a wonder drug – were used. Eventually, humans were targeted and more often than not the victims were unwitting participants in medical trials which lasted 25 years and cost American taxpayers £14m.

Dr Cameron died in 1967 during a climbing expedition, but his work left many hundreds of his "guinea pigs" with their memories almost completely wiped. The CIA programme did not come to light until 1977.

Now, five decades after treatment, many of his patients are still looking for compensation.
Gail Kastner, 70, a Canadian, was 19 when she was taken to the Allan Memorial Institute, a psychiatric unit near Montreal. After being subjected to shock treatment by Dr Cameron, she regressed to her childhood and began behaving like a baby.

Speaking on BBC Scotland's Frontline programme tonight, Ms Kastner is scathing of Dr Cameron: "He used and abused his power horribly, and I hope he met a very bad ending and suffered, as he made other victims suffer knowingly."

Still with no memory of her life before the age of 19 and badly affected by her ordeal, she said: "I have nightly nightmares where I wake up screaming."

It was later shown that Ms Kastner had received electroconvulsive therapy from Dr Cameron at levels which had been previously administered only in laboratory experiments on dogs, which later had to be put down.

Dr Cameron qualified at Glasgow University in 1924, and was seen as one of the world's leading psychiatrists when he began his controversial work and went on to become first president of the World Psychiatric Association.

In his drive to find a cure for mental illness, he used techniques developed by Nazi scientists in the second world war.

While some studies were legitimate, many were secret tests of interest only to the CIA, whose funding of Dr Cameron and use of the results of his experiments did not emerge for decades.

What the intelligence agency paid for were tests carried out on patients unaware that they were part of a CIA study, or that the results were being evaluated for secret military defence purposes.

Dr Cameron never acknowledged that he had broken the golden rule of medical experiments on humans – informed consent.

During the Nuremberg trials, this was the very point which convicted Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor dubbed the Angel of Death, and others who subjected innocents to appalling medical procedures
Many victims tracked down by Frontline refused to participate in the documentary because they were too ill. The family of one victim said "he has become like a hermit. He has trouble remembering anything".

He was one of 77 victims who, in the mid-1990s, were paid just £55,000 in compensation by the CIA and the Canadian government – who, it was shown, were also complicit in the medical atrials.

Ms Kastner, who only had her compensation claim settled this year, said of the mild-mannered doctor who destroyed her life – and that of countless others – in the name of science and military advancement: "He was a monster."

The Memory Thief: The Story of Dr Ewen Cameron will be broadcast tonight at 10.35pm on BBC1 Scotland, and is based on original research by Eamonn O'Neill.

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