For a substantial period of my earlier life, I lived with a person who, as I pieced together in retrospect, most likely had been involved in the actual original MK-Ultra project. Not the folkloric MK-Ultra—the subject of countless rapturous conspiracy theories—but the banal, depressingly soul-crushing, actual MK-Ultra whose wrong-headed experiments on depressed persons and the like you can easily read about. The type of MK-Ultra that is more or less not a secret anymore, the type of stuff that family members have sued the U.S. government for.
He was a man who had been seeking answers—seeking answers regarding a world that seemed shady and nefarious to him, perhaps run by a “secret society” of some type. His reading material—of which I had thoroughly perused—talked about things like “mind-control” and etc. And yet I don’t think he was ever able to fully piece together what had happened in his own life…actually, scratch that, perhaps he did piece it together but didn’t want to fully face it because of the implications.
His father was a high-ranking psychologist in Canada who was a colleague of a “Dr. Cameron.” My friend, probably no older than in his early adolescence, was diagnosed as “depressed” and perhaps even “OCD” (if such a classification even existed back then). And so they tried an experimental “treatment” to make him better. And the result of that—you will be very surprised to learn—was only to give him more problems and not really fix anything either.
And my friend said he didn’t really remember the details of this treatment, but only that his mother was very angry at his father for letting this happen—and nobody in his family was allowed to ever refer to it again.
He loved his parents. He loved his father, even though they had conflicts with each other. His family would always make sure he was taken care of.
Only years after I had finally stopped living with him did I do more research and piece together what had most likely taken place. The exact location fit, the exact time period fit, the elements of the situation fit, and, most specifically, the involvement of a “Dr. Cameron” fit. And yet my friend never seemed to piece it all together and just tell me. It was just a series of bread-crumbs that started when I met him and kept going after our relationship was long over.
The experimental treatment that my friend received gave him very specific problems that, in retrospect when I read books like the Sinister Forces trilogy, give me quite a lot to think about.
When we forcibly open these doors to the subconscious—even in the name of restoring mental health—what may fly through?
And yet again I must reiterate…as much as MK-Ultra has developed this almost larger-than-life folkloric quality, this type of “experimentation” on the vulnerable—children, women, people of color, homosexuals, prison inmates, and those deemed psychologically “unwell”—has been quite common in the history of the United States (and Canada).
When I finally got married, it was to a man who—half-jokingly—had also speculated that he might have been a subject of these sorts of things. A man whose dentist was the son of Frank Olson!
Again, in my life, there are these webs of synchronicity, these re-cycles, patterns, name-dropping out of nowhere. I never specifically requested it.
But how can I totally ignore it? What are all these things telling me?
I feel I must research, I must write. I keep telling myself that I can forcibly re-steer my life into another direction, that I can just ignore what Charles Fort referred to as…
“A procession of the damned: By the damned I mean the excluded. We shall have a procession of data that science has excluded. Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed will march. You’ll read them, or they’ll march. Some of them livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten. Some of them are corpses, skeletons, mummies, twitching, tottering, animated by companions that have been damned alive. There are giants that will walk by, though sound asleep. There are things that are theorems and things that are rags. They’ll go by, like you could, arm-in-arm with the spirit of anarchy. Here and there will foot little harlots. Many are clowns, but many are of the highest respectability. Some are assassins. There are pale stenches and gaunt superstitions and mere shadows and lively malices, whims and amiabilities, the naive and the pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the insincere, the profound, and the puerile. A stab and a laugh and the patiently folded hands of hopeless propriety. The ultra-respectable! But the condemned, anyway.”
Was my friend, all those years ago, purposely giving me these little bread-crumb pieces? Not to have me solve the riddle for him—a riddle whose answer he secretly already knew—but to just make such a seismic impression on my psyche that the path of my life would be set?
There are times when I look back at my relationship with this person—in some ways, a good relationship, a supportive one—and consider what he most likely went through, and just get haunted. I’ve never written this explicitly about this situation until now—though I had contacted a few researchers about it in the past, seeking opinions—but I am trying to exorcise this…heavy sadness I feel. Because there was nothing I could do to “fix” my friend.
But maybe he just really didn’t need any more “well intentioned” people attempting to “fix” him.
When I research Kerry Thornley, I am thinking of my friend. When I research Lee Harvey Oswald, I am thinking of my friend. When I research Kyle Odom, I’m thinking of my friend. When I research Elisa Lam, I’m thinking of my friend, and also so many other lives that have seemed to be touched and swallowed up by this unholy matrix of their own personal problems, the selfish agendas of others, and perhaps a third, undefinable, possibly terrifying factor we may never fully understand.
And am I also using this research and writing as a “shield” for myself? The ironic detachment of the narrator or journalist as “armor,” cynical chuckles under my breath as “armor.”
I’ve always longed to do something more “respectable” than this—probably my biggest personal flaw out of many. I should have just accepted it ages ago, but I just…I’ve always wanted to make other people happy, I wanted to “please” others, I wanted them to respect me, I’ve wanted them to “like” me, I wanted them to “accept” me.
But how can I expect people to accept me when I’m doing such a shitty job accepting myself?
Anyway. Have a good Full Moon today. It’s in Scorpio.
Full Moon in Scorpio.