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  • It strips you of your soul.”

  • That's how one person described what happened in the dreaded Sleep Room.

  • Just imagine.

  • It's the 1950s.

  • It's Canada, not the USA, but the CIA's dark storm of mind experiments has managed

  • to cross over the border.

  • It's all top secret of course, just another black site where mad scientists will commit

  • unspeakable horrors on innocent people.

  • People entered the Sleep Room thinking they were going to be cured, believing that doctors

  • were the good guys.

  • Hadn't those doctors all sworn on the Hippocratic Oath?

  • “I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies

  • of man or woman, bond or free.”

  • That didn't happen in the Sleep Room; quite the opposite.

  • You went in and they slowly rearranged your mind.

  • They took a barely cracked vase, smashed it to pieces, and rebuilt it, adding some of

  • their own terrible features.

  • Welcome to Frankenstein's monsterthe mind version.

  • Ok, prepare to hear something that sounds like the script of a horror movie.

  • Let's start with the story of one woman, who's tale has been told by her granddaughter.

  • In 1956, the grandmother, named Velma Orlikow, arrived at a Canadian psychiatric hospital

  • in Montreal called the Allan Memorial Institute.

  • She was there to get help.

  • She'd just had a child and was suffering from serious depression, what's called Postpartum

  • depression or postnatal depression.

  • She was irritable, couldn't sleep.

  • Sometimes she'd just break down crying.

  • That sounds bad, but it affects around 15 percent of new mothers.

  • It is difficult of course, but it can be treatedat least by doctors with good intentions.

  • That's not what Mrs. Orlikow experienced, not by a long way.

  • She was about to be used as a lab rat by a man who was at one point not only the president

  • of the Canadian Psychiatric Association but also the American Psychiatric Association

  • and World Psychiatric Association.

  • His name was Donald Cameron.

  • His eminence in the circles of psychiatry was never in doubt, but he was also a highly-educated

  • thug who would destroy the lives of hundreds of people, all backed by the CIA.

  • In that winter of '56 young Orlikow tramped through the thick snow to arrive at the foreboding

  • castle-like structure that was the psychiatric hospital.

  • What she didn't know is that over the border in the US politicians and military men had

  • been going out of their minds themselves.

  • What they'd been trying to figure out is why US POWs came back to the states saying

  • they now embraced communism.

  • How did good ole American soldiers turn commie, they wondered.

  • They didn't for a minute think it was the influence of Karl Marx.

  • It was brainwashing, they thought.

  • We should get into that ourselves.

  • And that's what they did.

  • They started their brainwashing programs in the Spring of 1953.

  • The CIA had heard about this doctor named Cameron who worked up in Montreal.

  • He was the guy that was working on changing people's behavior with his own methods.

  • The agency asked the doctor how could you completely change a person?

  • Could you erase their past and create a new present?

  • Get to work,” they said, and here's a ton of money.

  • And so he did get to work, on Orlikow and hundreds of other people.

  • This is how Orlikow's days usually went during her three months under the supervision

  • of Dr. Cameron.

  • On some days, and throughout the day, she would receive high-voltage electroshock therapy.

  • The voltage, you should understand, was much higher than had been used before in other

  • hospitals.

  • That in itself would be bad enough, and it isn't how you treat postnatal depression.

  • It's how you rub out a soul.

  • On other occasions, the doctor tried something else on Orlikow.

  • He'd give her such a massive dose of drugs that she'd fall into a drug-induced coma.

  • Thanks to a certain poison, the cocktail paralyzed her body.

  • When she'd wake up she wouldn't really know what was happening, or who she was.

  • We are not talking about sleeping for 15 hours, we are talking about periods of sleep that

  • could last over a month or even a few months.

  • Can you imagine that?

  • It gets worse.

  • Something very strange happened to them while they were sleeping.

  • We'll come back to that soon.

  • When she awoke, there were more shocks, more confusion.

  • But the worst thing, the thing that really messed her up, is that she was sometimes given

  • huge doses of the hallucinogenic drug, Lysergic acid diethylamide, aka LSD, aka acid.

  • How do you think those merry pranksters and their friends got hold of it later in the

  • 60s?

  • Well, one of them had been part of the experiments himself in the US.

  • The CIA unwittingly helped create the hippie movement, but that's a story for another

  • day.

  • If you know something about LSD you'll know even a small dose can change your life.

  • A bad trip can really mess with your mind.

  • Now imagine taking what a US comedian once called a “heroic dose?”

  • Imagine sleeping for a month, being shocked, and then being given enough LSD to make an

  • elephant see diamonds falling from the sky.

  • According to research that happened when the CIA's mind experiments came to light many

  • years later, those shocks and long-sleeps and mega-doses of drugs would reduce some

  • adults in that hospital to the state of a young child.

  • They'd just whimper in corners.

  • Phlegm would dribble down their chin.

  • They lost the ability to speak, to perform even the most basic of tasks.

  • They were erased, but controlling them was another matter.

  • Dr. Cameron tried.

  • Sometimes under the influence of LSD, he'd strap them to a chair, a la the dystopian

  • novel, “A Clockwork Orange.”

  • He'd then play them messages on repeat for days on end.

  • This was to reprogram their minds.

  • Endlessly they'd listen to all the positive things about their new personality, and then

  • the recording would switch to all the negative things.

  • This is what the granddaughter said about that after doing her research:

  • He couldn't get his patients to listen to them enough so he put speakers in football

  • helmets and locked them on their heads.

  • They were going crazy banging their heads into walls, so he then figured he could put

  • them in a drug-induced coma and play the tapes as long as he needed.”

  • Documents revealed that her grandmother had received mega-doses of LSD on 14 different

  • occasions.

  • Every time she'd turn away, pleading with the nurses to not give her another dose.

  • When she did that, the nurses would shout at her, telling her she was an evil mother,

  • a bad person, that she was refusing the very stuff that would make her a better person.

  • After the doses, she often screamed, telling the nurses that her skin was melting off her

  • bones.

  • That's what you call a bad trip.

  • Ok, so after three months of that, how do you think you'd feel?

  • How do you think the woman coped with life after her stint with Doc Cameron?

  • The answer is, she didn't cope very well.

  • Once she was back on the outside she was never herself again.

  • She couldn't handle many kinds of situations, especially when in public.

  • The smallest thing could set her off screaming.

  • She might be in a shop and drop her purse and then just grab her head and begin to wail

  • and shout.

  • As her granddaughter said, she would just explode into fits of hysteria.

  • She spent a lot of time with her grandmother since her parents were often busy working,

  • so she saw firsthand the damage that had been done.

  • She said just reading one solitary newspaper would take her grandmother in the region of

  • three weeks.

  • Writing to a friend might take her months.

  • It was as if she'd been slowed down, parts of her brain just wiped.

  • Years later, the daughter went after the CIA.

  • She wanted revenge.

  • She wanted at least the agency to admit its wrongdoings.

  • She wasn't alone.

  • There were hundreds of lives destroyed.

  • Another Canadian said her mother went to that hospital because she'd heard that the doctor

  • named Cameron could almost perform miracles.

  • Well, it turned out that his miracles included keeping that woman in a drug-induced sleep

  • on two occasions, once for 18 days and the second time for 29 days.

  • When she woke up, she was also subjected to a series of painful and powerful electric

  • shocks.

  • She was given those massive doses of LSD and a cocktail of other drugs.

  • She also came out of there so messed up her life was incredibly difficult.

  • This is what the daughter later said: “They say it was torture for human beings,

  • human torture.

  • What they attempt to do is erase your emotions.”

  • Her mother never joked and laughed again as she'd done before.

  • She never discussed deep subjects.

  • She couldn't ever be lighthearted, just enjoy her days, because life was plagued with

  • panic attacks, with constant anxiety.

  • That part of the brain that is responsible for fight or flight was terribly active all

  • the time.

  • Her life was ruined.

  • Why did Cameron do this?

  • Well, you already know that the CIA was conducting mind control experiments in the US with a

  • program called, “Project MKUltra.”

  • Some books have even alluded to the fact that Charles Manson was a victim of this very secretive

  • mind-control program.

  • The Unabomber, serial killer Ted Kaczynski, was almost certainly part of the project,

  • and even if it wasn't connected to MKUltra, he definitely underwent 200 hours of a study

  • called by its creators, a “purposely brutalizing psychological experiment.”

  • Such were the times, and then the CIA heard about Cameron and a treatment the doctor had

  • come up with.

  • It was called, “psychic driving.”

  • This mostly involved playing messages on loops to frazzled minds.

  • It was a form of mental reprogramming.

  • To understand why he pioneered this, you have to know something about his philosophy.

  • You see, he'd grown up seeing two world wars.

  • He understood very well the darkness in man that had been discussed by people such as

  • Sigmund Freud.

  • He understood Carl Jung's conviction about how a person could easily descend into the

  • underworld.

  • Cameron said the reason why so many bad things happen in society is that weak minds could

  • be easily influenced.

  • He divided society simply into theweakand thestrong”.

  • Yep, it was that simple for him.

  • It sounds like eugenics, eh, and a lot like the opinions of a man named Adolf Hitler.

  • Cameron believed there were good citizens, super-citizens, and the rest needed treatment.

  • He said the weak needed to be taken out of society because if not, there will always

  • be chaos.

  • He called this weakness a social contagion that needed to be wiped out.

  • These people might just be shy, anxious, possessive, insecure, have a need to conform, or indeed

  • be clinically mentally ill.

  • They had to be changed.

  • But how to achieve this?

  • He believed that behavioral scientists could transform the so-called weak.

  • They could reprogram people, only if the personality-changing doctors were part of all elements of society.

  • These behavioral scientists, he said, should be part of schools, businesses, in government,

  • everywhere.

  • Cameron once said: “Get it understood how dangerous these damaged,

  • sick personalities are to ourselvesand above all, to our children, whose traits are

  • taking form, and we shall find ways to put an end to them.”

  • That is what the CIA heard, and so the agency wanted him on board.

  • They sponsored his research and they wanted results, although Cameron wasn't aware he

  • was being paid by the CIA.

  • As is often the case, the CIA created a front organization, and it was that which paid for

  • Cameron's experiments.

  • It's why he could afford to treat a woman with postnatal depression with sleep, shocks,

  • LSD and messages inside football helmets.

  • It's why he used the poison curare to basically paralyze his patients while he played them

  • messages for weeks on end.

  • His record was keeping someone under for three months.

  • He thought he was curing the sick, but he was only making them demented.

  • He was destroying them, like all mad scientists in the movies tend to do.

  • No one who went into the sleep room ever really fully came out of there.

  • He believed hisde-patterningandpsychic drivingtechniques was re-making a human,

  • but he was only taking a wrecking ball to minds that just needed some care and attention.

  • You've heard the stories of two people, but there were hundreds of them, most of them

  • going to the hospital with only minor problems.

  • After the experiments, some of them had permanent amnesia.

  • Others became incontinent, meaning they'd pee themselves on occasions.

  • Some didn't even recognize their parents, brothers, sisters.

  • Most had post-traumatic stress disorder, and a few folks even lost the ability to speak

  • for a while.

  • Was Cameron serious in his belief that his experiments would help people?

  • Maybe, maybe not.

  • Critics have said that in actual fact he was developing torture techniques to extract information

  • from people, techniques that the CIA would use for many years to come.

  • MKUltra almost remained a secret.

  • In the mid-70s the CIA director demanded that every single file that even minutely discussed

  • MKUltra had to be destroyed, and that included anything related to Dr. Cameron.

  • It didn't happen.

  • 20,000 related files surfaced, prompting some people to ask if they were doing that then,

  • what are they doing now?

  • Some of Cameron's notes have since come to light.

  • This is what he wrote about one of his patients: “Once the patient is de-patterned we will

  • start psychic driving.

  • She is rather restive and antagonistic when awake, but not nearly as difficult as she

  • was when she started.”

  • This is from another document.

  • The woman had been under for 16 days: “She is sleeping well.

  • She is disoriented to time and is in her second stage of de-patterning.

  • There is no incontinence, there is no mutism, and we are continuing this intense treatment

  • of her until we get complete de-patterning.”

  • When the patient became completely mute, and was incontinent, she was considered fully