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CIA did LSD experiment on French villagers





handfleisch
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/7415082/French-bread-spiked-with-LSD-in-CIA-experiment.html

Quote:

French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment

A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.

In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.

For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.

The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.

On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.

One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.

Time magazine wrote at the time: "Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead."

Eventually, it was determined that the best-known local baker had unwittingly contaminated his flour with ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Another theory was the bread had been poisoned with organic mercury.

However, H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army's top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.

Mr Albarelli came across CIA documents while investigating the suspicious suicide of Frank Olson, a biochemist working for the SOD who fell from a 13th floor window two years after the Cursed Bread incident. One note transcribes a conversation between a CIA agent and a Sandoz official who mentions the "secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit" and explains that it was not "at all" caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.

While compiling his book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments, Mr Albarelli spoke to former colleagues of Mr Olson, two of whom told him that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident was part of a mind control experiment run by the CIA and US army.

After the Korean War the Americans launched a vast research programme into the mental manipulation of prisoners and enemy troops.

Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated "local foot products".

Mr Albarelli said the real "smoking gun" was a White House document sent to members of the Rockefeller Commission formed in 1975 to investigate CIA abuses. It contained the names of a number of French nationals who had been secretly employed by the CIA and made direct reference to the "Pont St. Esprit incident." In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Mr Albarelli claims, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.
ocalhoun
Yes, a lot of mistakes were made... then, and probably still happening now.
Another example is when they marched US troops through ground zero of a test nuclear blast as little as 30 minutes after the explosion-- and determined that it was perfectly safe to do so.

Makes me wonder why you trust the government so much...
deanhills
Why would the CIA want to conduct an experiment like this in France of all places? Is this just another ploy to work on anti-American propaganda? None of it makes sense to me.
Moonspider
I don't believe it. It smells too much like a book proclaiming the truth of a flying saucer crash in Roswell, citing documents and sources to corraborate.

Conspiracy mania.

Steven Kaplan, a professor of history at Cornell, wrote the book Le Pain maudit about the same tragedy. No acronymic conspiracies in his text.

Here are Kaplan's comments on Albarelli's work:

Did the CIA Poison a French Town with LSD? wrote:
Steven Kaplan, a US historian specialising in French food history and the author of the 2008 book “Le pain maudit” told FRANCE 24: “I have numerous objections to this paltry evidence against the CIA. First of all, it's clinically incoherent: LSD takes effects in just a few hours, whereas the inhabitants showed symptoms only after 36 hours or more. Furthermore, LSD does not cause the digestive ailments or the vegetative effects described by the townspeople.”

Furthermore, Kaplan deems the whole notion “harebrained”. “It is absurd, this idea of transmitting a very toxic drug by putting it in bread," he said. "As for pulverising it [for ingestion through the air], that technology was not even possible at that time. Most compellingly, why would they choose the town of Pont-Saint-Esprit to conduct these tests? It was half-destroyed by the US Army during fighting with the Germans in the Second World War. It makes no sense.”


Source: France24-Did the CIA poison a French town with LSD?

But I'm sure the CIA/LSD conspiracy will spread like a Caliornia wildfire on the Internet.

Respectfully,
M
handfleisch
Moonspider wrote:
I don't believe it. It smells too much like a book proclaiming the truth of a flying saucer crash in Roswell, citing documents and sources to corraborate.

Conspiracy mania.

Steven Kaplan, a professor of history at Cornell, wrote the book Le Pain maudit about the same tragedy. No acronymic conspiracies in his text.

Here are Kaplan's comments on Albarelli's work:

Did the CIA Poison a French Town with LSD? wrote:
Steven Kaplan, a US historian specialising in French food history and the author of the 2008 book “Le pain maudit” told FRANCE 24: “I have numerous objections to this paltry evidence against the CIA. First of all, it's clinically incoherent: LSD takes effects in just a few hours, whereas the inhabitants showed symptoms only after 36 hours or more. Furthermore, LSD does not cause the digestive ailments or the vegetative effects described by the townspeople.”

Furthermore, Kaplan deems the whole notion “harebrained”. “It is absurd, this idea of transmitting a very toxic drug by putting it in bread," he said. "As for pulverising it [for ingestion through the air], that technology was not even possible at that time. Most compellingly, why would they choose the town of Pont-Saint-Esprit to conduct these tests? It was half-destroyed by the US Army during fighting with the Germans in the Second World War. It makes no sense.”


Source: France24-Did the CIA poison a French town with LSD?

But I'm sure the CIA/LSD conspiracy will spread like a Caliornia wildfire on the Internet.

Respectfully,
M


Are you aware of the many other documented cases of the CIA experimenting on civilians without their knowledge or consent? This isn't conspiracy theory at all. Whether or not this particular incident is definitely another case might need more confirmation, but your sweeping dismissal makes it sound like you're not aware of this chapter of history.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Are you aware of the many other documented cases of the CIA experimenting on civilians without their knowledge or consent? This isn't conspiracy theory at all. Whether or not this particular incident is definitely another case might need more confirmation, but your sweeping dismissal makes it sound like you're not aware of this chapter of history.
In the specific example you put forward the experiment was done in France. Why France? To me that makes it into a hoax there and then, as there is lots of anti-American propaganda in France. I'm sure the CIA is not completely clean, but then maybe you need to present documented case by documented case. A sweeping statement is possibly less than scientific.
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