26 thoughts on “The CIA’s Operation Midnight Climax funded an acid-tripping brothel in San Francisco ”

  1. What I found interesting about the comments on this post is the number of commenters familiar with psychedelia.

    1. “What is the purpose of this thread relative to the JFK event?”~Paul May


      Insight into a particular type of mind, the personality traits of those who choose. or are compelled to take the path of power over others.

      The personality profile of “spooks”. Those who embrace the meme of “might is right” & “means are justified by the ends”. Those who do not recognize that the ends are actually defined by the means.

    2. R. Andrew Kiel

      The CIA – through MKULTRA & Executive Action & men like William Harvey, George White, Sidney Gottleib & others – was out of control (as President Truman concluded) during this period – attempting to develop a possible “Manchurian Candidate” via hypnosis, water-boarding, sleep deprivation & mind-altering drugs such as LSD.

      A real-life Jason Bourne was probably their goal – that is how this thread relates to the possible role of the CIA to assassination plots – foreign & domestic. It would be advantageous for the CIA (or the military)to also experiment with killing selected targets without making it look like a murder – heart attacks, cancer, car accidents,… How many were successful – who knows?

      As George White of the CIA said:
      “It was fun, fun, fun, – where else could a red-blooded American lie, kill, cheat, and rape with the sanction of the all-highest.” Were Allen Dulles & Richard Helms the all-highest or were Truman,Ike JFK, LBJ, & Nixon personally sanctioning ALL this “fun”?

      To think that Truman & Ike were aware of & sanctioned ALL of these “activities” is doubtful. Charles DeGaulle thought it was quite possible that Allen Dulles & the CIA were cooperating in OAS attempts to assassinate the French leader. If true – would JFK have given his support to the all too real plots in 1961 & in 1962 when DeGaulle barely escaped a machine gun attack while riding in his car – highly doubtful.

  2. here’s an excellent overview of the historical background of MKULTRA, George White, et al:

    “The Strength of the Wolf:
    The Secret History of America’s War On Drugs”
    by Douglas Valentine

    1. Russ – “The Strength of the Wolf” by Doug Valentine is a great book – especially Ch’s. 16 – 20. Ch. 16 “Aggravating Edgar: Bobby Kennedy & the FBN” – Ch. 20 “The FBN & the Assassination of JFK” are very interesting indeed.

      “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate” (Marks 1979)was the trailblazer & led to further studies of CIA & drug experimentation as well as drug profiteering to carry out CIA activities that would be more difficult to trace & eventually to Iran-Contra.

      “The Crimes of Patriots” (Kwitny 1988), “Cocaine Politics” (PD Scott, & Marshall 1991), “Whiteout” (Cockburn & St. Clair 1998) & “The Politics of Heroin” (McCoy 2003).

  3. So was the CIA’s brothel in Haight-Ashbury? Did MKULTRA foist the psychedelic aspect of it? From the Grateful Dead to Jefferson Airplane and beyond?
    Giving people acid without their knowledge just to see how they react is not cool. It’s an attempt at mind control or at least influence just like Operation Mockingbird.

    1. “So was the CIA’s brothel in Haight-Ashbury? Did MKULTRA foist the psychedelic aspect of it? From the Grateful Dead to Jefferson Airplane and beyond?”~Ronnie Wayne

      I think this view gives much too much credit to the CIA. These guys were clowns who didn’t understand “the Trip” at all. They were the kinds of people who can only relate to being high as like being drunk.

      Sometimes such types will attempt to get “high” on psychedelics while they are smashed on booze; a futile proposition, usually merely leading to nightmares. These are the types of people who have zero grounding in the spiritual, and are firmly bound to the base and profane of physical reality.

      I don’t know if you are familiar with Dave McGowan, but he wrote a long series on the musicians of Laurel Canyon, that took the same misconstrued angle that the US military “controlled” the counter culture. McGowan was too young to have “been there”, and could only reconstruct from what he read about these people.

      I was there. Both Haight-Ashbury (1967) and Laurel Canyon and the Valley of the Dolls (San Fernando Valley) beginning later in 1967 on into the 80’s as a rock musician. It really is a matter of having to have been there personally to really understand what was happening at the time.

      “The Straights” were totally out of our league (Hippies) in grasping the nature of psychedelia/ They really hadn’t a clue.

      1. Willy,
        I have no idea what you are….uhhhh….oh, wait a minute! You must be trying to say,

        “The Straights” were totally out of our league (Hippies) in grasping the nature of psychedelia/ They really hadn’t a clue.

        David Lifton – Posted 04 May 2012

        My experience with Timothy Leary- – Circa 1965, when he appeared as the speaker at a meeting of a group that subscribed to “General Semantics”.

        (For more info on that, see:

        At the time, I was attending a lecture sponsored by an Ayn Rand group, and Alan Greenspan (the future Fed chairman) was appearing (via a taped lecture, as I recall).

        The Ayn Rand group met regularly in a room at the AIAA auditorium on Beverly Boulevard, where CBS Television City is now located.

        The General Semantics people (who believed that reality was rather malleable) rented a room in that building, and in fact on the same floor.

        After the lecture, I was in the parking lot, and who should be there but Timothy Leary, that night’s speaker.

        I was then about 25, believed in an objective reality, and didn’t understand how a Harvard professor could possibly subscribe to such balderdash (the “malleable reality” idea–my phrase). So we “got into it.” Really, it became a rather heated discussion.

        The man really did not subscribe to the notion of an objective reality, and he was adamant about it.

        At the time, I drove a 1961 Volkswagon, and it was parked right there, where we were talking. And I’ll never forget what he said:

        “If you want to believe that that Volkswagon is a volkswagon, and not possibly an elephant, that is your problem!”

        Really, he said that. (And he meant it! I’m not kidding.)

        So keep that in mind—I always do—whenever I read anything about Leary…

        Of course, I drove my VW everywhere.. But I never thought it was an elephant.

        Lifton studied rocket science, and was diverted from his studies when his
        interest in current events allegedly overtook him, and “this” is not rocket science.

        My reply to David Lifton.:

        Posted 04 May 2012

        Leary’s colleague Richard Alpert, later aka Ram Dass seemed more adept at describing what had changed from their mutual experience with “mind altering” substances.:
        Be Here Now, Remember
        By Ram Dass
        Attachment Is The Cause Of All Suffering

        (Lennon got “it”.:
        ..Faith in the future out of the now
        You just can’t beat on those mind guerrillas
        Absolute elsewhere in the stones of your mind
        Yeah we’re playing those mind games forever
        Projecting our images in space and in time

        Yes is the answer and you know that for sure
        Yes is surrender you got to let it go….)

        Unfortunately, just a few posts after the two posts above that I quoted from, Peter Janney,
        the catalyst for the tangent under discussion due to the claims in his book of Leary’s
        influence over Mary Meyer, and indirectly, over JFK’s world view, posted his broadside that
        prompted me to attempt to shoot down his “missing” CIA assassin of Mary claims, and…..

        Peter Janney – Posted 06 July 2012
        The Autodafé of Lisa Pease and James DiEugenio:

        I bet Dr. Janney wishes he could get a “do over” on that one!

      2. I met Leary too, in strange circumstances, while he was at Terminal Island. The manager of my band at the time was interned there as well (long story).

        Yes Leary was “far out”, no getting around that. Sometimes it is hard to park an elephant in a tight parking space. But if you never drove a stretch limo, you don’t know the half of it.

        I’d like to leave any further remarks on the subject to private emails if you don’t mind.

        1. I’ll leave it at that, with this.:

          The See Eye Aye thought they had a powerful truth serum or a Manchurian Candidate elixir,
          or spiked into a drinking water supply or via aerosol disbursement, some kinda enemy
          force or civilian population immobilizer that they just had to fine tune to achieve a
          weapons system. As in the example of Lifton, the tendency was the “implementers” not being good at thinking outside of the box, especially when the thing of it is… each of us is the box, so to speak….you gotta get outside yourself, but when you do, the priority of “the mission” is lowered!

  4. @DG Michael

    Overthrowing governments in Africa and South America

    In the Middle East as well, with the coup in Iran in 1953.

    1. GM January 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      @DG Michael

      “Overthrowing governments in Africa and South America”

      “In the Middle East as well, with the coup in Iran in 1953.”

      Again I have to ask; Do you really think the CIA went around overthrowing foreign governments with out the approval of the president?

      1. @Bill Clarke

        I was stating a fact about the CIA in regards to the coup in Iran in 1953. Where did I say that they did not have the authorisation of the US government? Bear in mind that in the post I was replying to, DG Michael’s, he specifically mentioned President Truman’s misgivings and concerns about the role the CIA had taken on for its self, from its creation to the time he made them public, which was of course around one month after the assassination of JFK.

        Why do you think Bill Harvey was demoted during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Why was Dulles sacked after the Bay of Pigs, as well as Bissell?

        1. GM January 17, 2016 at 5:39 pm

          @Bill Clarke

          “Bear in mind that in the post I was replying to, DG Michael’s, he specifically mentioned President Truman’s misgivings and concerns about the role the CIA had taken on for its self,”

          My apologies. I took Michael’s comment to imply that the CIA had undertaken these items on their own, without WH approval. As for Truman, I don’t think he was impressed with these agencies. He shut down the OSS as soon as he could and opened up the CIA under rather heavy pressure.

  5. More evidence that the CIA had gone rogue from the get go and was cultivating it’s own cuckoo’s nest. At some point during his administration, if not earlier, President Kennedy must have realized this.

  6. Some interesting details about George White and his MKUltra connections:

    “One interesting detail links White to the 1953 case of Dr. Frank Olson, and Army employee who was working with the CIA at Camp Detrick, Md. Olson had been given LSD without being told, and 10 days later jumped to his death from the 10th floor of a New York City hotel. At the time, Lashbrook was in the room with Olson, who had gone to New York to be treated by Dr. Harrold Abramson, a psychiatrist who had worked for the CIA.According to CIA documents, Lashbrook called Gottlieb, his supervisor at the time, and then went to the police station to identify the body. He was asked to “turn out his pockets.”

    He had written on a piece of white paper the initials “G. W.” and “M.H.” Lashbrook was asked to identify whose initials they were, but expunged CIA documents said he could not for security reasons. However, knowledgeable sources who have seen the CIA documents said Lashbrook identified “G. W.” as George White and “M. H.” as Morgan Hall, White’s undercover name. The piece of paper also contained the address 81 Bedford St. which White’s diary shows to be the New York safe house.

    White apparently knew Abramson, because a Sept. 20, 1954, diary entry contained a reference to Gottlieb and Abramson.”


        1. No, Willy, consider the male names in the wedding party, Sidney G., etc. All are associated with
          John Hopkins, CIA, Aberdeen/Army weapons research and such, or, all three. Olson’s leap was only recently before that wedding, and it
          indicates Lashbrook is open about his personal life and he has few
          old friends who he was still close with, in 1955.

          1. “Sidney G.”…You mean Sidney Gottlieb!?!?

            I missed seeing his name on the wedding party article.

            By gawd you are right! I just went back and checked that news article…wow

            I will read more carefully from now on…I didn’t even know how to move the page around the first time I tried to read that.
            Thanks for your patience here.

          2. My reply won’t fit here…. it centers around the coincidences of Clark Clifford’s family;
            his uncle gave James D. Phelan his start in journalism, ten years employment at the Alton Telegraph before Phelan married a psychologist and moved to California, and the other Clifford
            coincidences interfacing with Marina and Priscilla, and it explores the relationship between
            Phelan and George White and Pierre Lafitte, author Albarelli’s accuracy, and the long interaction between Patricia Lambert and David Lifton. Why did Phelan and Lambert elect to spend so much time, more than 30 years apart, maligning the work and the reputation of Jim
            Garrison. I don’t have many answers, but I do present some link supported information and observations. I don’t vouch for the quotes I linked from other blogs, but I use them to
            explain background in the hope of moving the presentation along….

            Has Everyone Sold Out? More Questions than Answers About George White and James Phelan, et al

          3. Tom,

            Thank you for the link to your blog and the essay, ‘Has Everyone Sold Out? More Questions than Answers About George White and James Phelan, et al’

            I have begun reading it with great interest.

  7. Operation Midnight Climax
    Operation Mockingbird
    Operation MK-ULTRA
    Continued sabotage in Cuba after the Kennedys told them to stop
    Overthrowing governments in Africa and South America

    Is it any wonder Harry Truman wrote his op-ed piece shortly after John Kennedy’s murder about the CIA being out of control?

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