Forty-four American colleges or universities, 15 research foundations or chemical or pharmaceutical companies and the like including Sandoz (currently Novartis) and Eli Lilly & Co., 12 hospitals or clinics (in addition to those associated with universities), and 3 prisons are known to have participated in MKULTRA.
A considerable amount of credible circumstantial evidence suggests that Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, participated in CIA-sponsored MK-ULTRA experiments conducted at Harvard University from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962. During World War II, Henry Murray, the lead researcher in the Harvard experiments, served with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was a forerunner of the CIA.
Murray applied for a grant funded by the United States Navy, and his Harvard stress experiments strongly resembled those run by the OSS. Beginning at the age of sixteen, Kaczynski participated along with twenty-one other undergraduate students in the Harvard experiments, which have been described as “disturbing” and “ethically indefensible.”
Merry Prankster Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, volunteered for MK-ULTRA experiments while he was a student at Stanford University. Kesey’s ingestion of LSD during these experiments led directly to his widespread promotion of the drug and the subsequent development of hippie culture.
Robert Hunter is an American lyricist, singer-songwriter, translator, and poet, best known for his association with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Along with Ken Kesey, Hunter was an early volunteer MKULTRA test subject at Stanford University. Stanford test subjects were paid to take LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline, then report on their experiences.
Candy Jones, American fashion model and radio host, claimed to have been a victim of mind control in the ’60s.
Infamous Irish mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger volunteered for testing while in prison.
MK-ULTRA plays a part in many conspiracy theories given its nature and the destruction of most records.
Lawrence Teeter, attorney for convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan, believed Sirhan was under the influence of hypnosis when he fired his weapon at Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Teeter linked the CIA’s MKULTRA program to mind control techniques that he claimed were used to control Sirhan.
Jonestown, the Guyana location of the Jim Jones cult and Peoples Temple mass suicide, was thought to be a test site for MKULTRA medical and mind control experiments after the official end of the program. Congressman Leo Ryan, a known critic of the CIA, was murdered by Peoples Temple members after he personally visited Jonestown to investigate various reported irregularities.
* MKULTRA is referenced in the plots of The Ambler Warning by Robert Ludlum, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, Firestarter by Stephen King, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito, The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon, Masquerade by Gayle Lynds, The Telling of Lies by Timothy Findley; and The Watchmen by John Altman; the films The Bourne Ultimatum, Conspiracy Theory, The Good Shepherd, Jacob’s Ladder, The Killing Room, Bug!, and The Men Who Stare at Goats; the television series Angel, Bones, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, Fringe, The Lone Gunmen, Numb3rs, Quincy M.E., The West Wing, and The X-Files; the games Conspiracy X and The Suffering: Prison is Hell; the character Deathstroke the Terminator in the Teen Titans by DC Comics.
* The bands mk Ultra, MK-ULTRA, and a side project of Frank Tovey took their names from these projects. MKULTRA is also referenced by such musical artists as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Canibus, Exit Clov, Fatboy Slim, Green Magnet School, Immortal Technique, Manic Street Preachers, Muse, The Orb, Sirius Isness, Lustmord side project Terror Against Terror, Tokyo Police Club, Unwound, and Dead Prez.