The lost history of MKULTRA - Part I: MKOFTEN, the black magick project
This is part of an on-going series and effort to rebuild the list of known subprojects under the generic CIA label, "MKULTRA". I previously wrote an article detailing many of the experiments of MKULTRA's 150 different sub-projects. The mission of the overall MKULTRA project was to achieve total control of a person's mind through various means and methods, including use of drugs, rituals, and torture, which were to be explored in the sub-projects.
CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed in 1973, and thus only incomplete records of these projects exist to this day. The world may never know the extend to which MKULTRA traumatized victims of its experimentation, but we will do our best here to try.
Image from TavistockAgenda.com
MKOFTEN and black magick mind control
MKOFTEN would be a joint effort between the CIA and the the Department of Defense, and would be perhaps one of the most bizarre of the currently known subprojects of MKUltra as it would be alleged to include the use of occultism and ritual magick. According to the Department of Defense, however, the goal of MKOFTEN and its sister-project MKSEARCH was to, "test the behavioral and toxicological effects of certain drugs on animals and humans".(1)
Gordon Thomas, a British investigative journalist and author, would claim that Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, chief of the CIA's Technical Services Branch, used "Operation Often" to "explore the world of black magic" and and "harness the forces of darkness and challenge the concept that the inner reaches of the mind are beyond reach". As part of Operation Often, Dr. Gottlieb and other CIA employees visited with and recruited fortune-tellers, palm-readers, clairvoyants, astrologists, mediums, psychics, specialists in demonology, witches and warlocks, Satanists, other occult practitioners, and more. Thomas would go on to detail an event where apparently the CIA in 1972 even approached the monsignor in charge of exorcisms for the Catholic archdiocese of New York who refused to cooperate.
By May 1971, Operation Often had three astrologers on its payroll whose specific task was to predict the future.
By 1972 two Chinese-American palmists had been employed to probe how hand reading could be developed for intelligence work.
Research was conducted into black magic. The Scientific Engineering Institute funded a course in sorcery at the University of South Carolina.
Another investigative journalist and researcher, Alex Constantine, would also discover another significant CIA scientist's involvement in occult research under "Operation Often". Dr. Martin T. Orne's testimony also adds some interesting history to the MKUltra project that would otherwise be lost, including MKOFTEN's possible connections to the forming of CIA cults like the Finders and Jonestown and the moving of MKUltra to private facilities to avoid government oversight:
The secondary source of funding for Dr. Orne’s work in hypnotic suggestion and dissolution of memory is eerie in the cult child abuse context.
This was the year that the CIA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) geared up a study of parapsychology and the occult.
The investigation, dubbed Project OFTEN-CHICKWIT, gave rise to the establishment of a social “laboratory” by SEI scientists at the University of South Carolina – a college class in black witchcraft, demonology and voodoo.
Dr. Orne, with SEI funding, marked out his own mind control corner at the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1960s.
In a letter to Dr. Orne, Marks once reminded him that he’d disavowed knowledge of his participation in one mind-wrecking experimental sub-project.
Orne later recanted, admitting that he’d been aware of the true source of funding all along.
Testimony before the 1977 Church Committee’s probe of the CIA hinted that, as of 1963, the scientific squalor of the CIA’s mind control regimen, code-named MKULTRA, had abandoned military and academic laboratories, fearing exposure, and mushroomed in cities across the country.
Confirmation arrived in 1980 when Joseph Holsinger, an aide to late Congressman Leo Ryan (who was murdered by a death squad at Jonestown) exposed the formation of eccentric religious cults by the CIA.
Holsinger maintained that a CIA rear-support base had been in collusion with Jones to perform medical and mind control experiments at People’s Temple.
Rather than terminating MKULTRA, the CIA shifted its programs from public institutions to private cult groups, including the People’s Temple.
Source: Alex Constantine