Brainwashed investigates the CIA’s covert mind control experiments – from the Cold War and MKULTRA to the so-called War on Terror. It’s the story of how a renowned psychiatrist used his unwitting patients as human guinea pigs at a Montreal hospital, and the ripple effects on survivors, their families, and thousands of other people around the world. It also examines the cultural impact — how the CIA brought LSD to America and inadvertently created counterculture influencers such as author Ken Kesey and poet Allen Ginsberg. It’s an exploration of what happens in times of fear, when the military and medicine collide. And what happens when the survivors fight back.
Brainwashed Introduces: Someone Knows Something: The Abortion Wars
Host David Ridgen joins victims' family members as they investigate cold cases, tracking down leads, speaking to suspects and searching for answers. In Season 7 of Someone Knows Something, Ridgen and investigative journalist Amanda Robb dig into the 1998 murder of her uncle, a New York doctor killed for performing abortions. They uncover a network of anti-abortion movements linked to violence in North America and Europe. Twenty years later, with debates about reproductive rights heating up in the U.S., could more violence be on the horizon? More episodes are available at hyperurl.co/sks
Bonus: BRAINWASHED / MADNESS
Host Michelle Shephard speaks to Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson from the podcast Endless Thread about their series, Madness. Like Brainwashed, Madness focusses on the CIA-funded mind control experiments led by Dr. Ewen Cameron. The hosts swap stories, compare notes and reflect on the enduring legacy of MKULTRA.
Episode 6: NEVER TOO LATE TO SAY SORRY
MKULTRA has entered popular culture, becoming the butt of jokes, television plot points, and the darling of internet conspiracy theorists. At the very least, the secrecy that still surrounds MKULTRA, or the CIA’s post-9/11 programs, sows distrust of governments, and medical professionals. At worst, it gives credence to online conspiracies, like Pizzagate, that end up having real world consequences. Meanwhile, the families of the victims continue to suffer. And continue to fight for justice and recognition.
Episode 5: WE TORTURED SOME FOLKS
MKULTRA was supposed to have ended in the 1960s. The torturous experiments didn’t work. So why did these techniques evolve and continue to be used by American trainers throughout Latin America, and then get revived once again in the era that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks? The CIA’s Black Sites and a courtroom inside the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base may hold some of the answers.
Episode 4: SUING THE CIA
After discovering that they were the unwitting victims of human experiments, nine of Dr. Cameron’s victims band together to take on a Herculean task – to make the CIA pay. How do you sue one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world?
Episode 3: EXPOSING MKULTRA
Communist brainwashing, mind control experiments, a government cover up... MKULTRA sounds like the stuff of conspiracy theories or science fiction. But it was real. John Marks, author of The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, and Stephen Kinzer, author of Poisoner in Chief, reveal the shocking details of the bizarre and expansive secret CIA project.