In 1943, Dr. Ewen Cameron was invited to McGill University in Montreal by neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield. With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, money from John Wilson McConnell of the Montreal Star, and a gift of Sir Hugh Allan's mansion on Mount Royal, the Allan Memorial Institute for psychiatry was founded. Cameron became the first director of the Allan Memorial Institute.
Cameron believed that mental illness was literally contagious - that if one came into contact with someone suffering from mental illness, one would begin to produce the symptoms of a mental disease. For example, something like rock music could be created by mentally ill people and would produce mentally ill people through infection, which in turn would be transmitted to the genes. Thus, this group would have to be studied and controlled as a contagious social disease. Police, hospitals, government, and schools would need to use the correct psychiatric authority to stop mental contagions from spreading.
Cameron also hoped to generate families capable of using authority and techniques to take measures against mental illness, which would later be apparent in Cameron's MKULTRA and MKDELTA experiments.
At the Allan, none of the patients provided consent or knew that they were being used for Cameron's CIA and federally funded research. Instead, they were wrongly told their treatments were medically necessary and for their own well-being.
In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electro-convulsive therapy at forty times the normal power.
His "psychic driving" treatments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced comas for weeks at a time (up to three months in some cases) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements.
His experiments were typically carried out on patients who had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression or neurological issues, many of whom suffered permanently from his actions. His treatments resulted in victims' incontinence, amnesia, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents, and thinking their interrogators were their parents. Most patients were left unable to cope with every day life.
When lawsuits commenced in 1986, the Canadian government denied having any knowledge that Cameron was being sponsored by the CIA. The federal government provided Cameron with more than $500,000 between 1943 and 1965 — $4 million in today's dollars — along with a smaller amount of funding from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, using a front organization called the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology. The Rockefeller Foundation were very large contributors to this program, and helped launch the career of Dr. Cameron as well as the creation of the Allan Memorial Hospital in 1943.
Fifty years after revelations that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency funded brainwashing experiments on unsuspecting Canadians, the Trudeau government is continuing a pattern of silencing the victims. A recent Department of Justice gag order in an out-of-court settlement was designed to avoid responsibility and avert compensation to more victims and their families. The Government of Canada should recognize its legal and moral responsibility, which it has never done.*
CBC, The Fifth Estate:
In Film and Media:
The Sleep Room
Full feature film. 1998 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television movie about experiments on Canadian mental patients that were carried out in the 1950s and 1960s by Donald Ewan Cameron and funded by the CIA's MK Ultra program.
It originally aired as a miniseries and is based on the book In The Sleep Room: The Story of CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada by Anne Collins.
The Memory Thief, Parts 1-3
Scottish documentary on Ewen Cameron, who worked with the CIA on brainwashing techniques using electroshock therapy. McWilliam, Ross. 2005. “The Memory Thief: The Story of Dr. Ewen Cameron” Frontline Scotland.
Other Pertinent Links
(Dr Ewen Cameron)
LAVAGE DE CERVEAU : LES VICTIMES OUBLIÉES