In 1977, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held hearings about CIA’s illegal activities in the United States, describing “the abuses of the drug testing program and reports of other previously unknown drug programs and projects for behavioral control.”
That was over forty years ago, when I was a child, and things have worsened since. Today CIA has at its disposal not only over one hundred new cybernetic patents but also the same old drugs.
Among the drugs illegally used by CIA against American citizens are (a) hypnotic sedatives such as amobarbital, aprobarbital, butabarbital sodium, chloral hydrate, methotrimeprazine hydrochloride, midazolam hydrochloride, paraldehyde, pentobarbital, pentobarbital sodium, quazepam, secobarbital sodium, sodium pentobarbital, temazepam, triazolam, and zolpidem tartrate, (b) hypnotics like demerol, desoxyn (combined with sodium pentothal), methyprylon, and pentothal acid, and (c) memory blockers such as acetylcholine, BZ, and scopolamine.
Scopolamine, otherwise known as hyoscine, burundanga, or devil’s breath, concerns me here, since it makes rohypnol, a common date rape drug, look like nothing.
In the 1920s, Robert House pioneered the use of scopolamine as a truth serum. House found the drug would “depress the cerebrum to such a degree as to destroy the power of reasoning.” In other words, the drug turns people into zombies. It also blocks memories from forming, so a subject will not remember what happened under the influence. You can see why this would interest CIA; so, using Nazi scientists imported in OPERATION PAPERCLIP, they began their own use of drugs and hypnosis, beginning with PROJECT BLUEBIRD and culminating in MK-ULTRA and PROJECT MONARCH.
Because scopolamine blocks the acetylcholine receptor in the brain, it stops memories, normally be encoded in the hippocampus, from forming. Victims have no memory of what happened to them, and they cannot identify their attackers.
But don’t listen to me. Here are the words of the United States government. In 2012, the State Department published a travel advisory:
“One common and particularly dangerous method that criminals use in order to rob a victim is through the use of drugs. The most common has been hyoscine [scopolamine]. Unofficial estimates put the number of annual hyoscine incidents in Colombia at approximately 50,000. Hyoscine can render a victim unconscious for 24 hours or more. In large doses, it can cause respiratory failure and death. It is most often administered in liquid or powder form in foods and beverages. The majority of these incidents occur in night clubs and bars, and usually men, perceived to be wealthy, are targeted by young, attractive women. To avoid becoming a victim of hyoscine [scopolamine], one should never accept food or beverages offered by strangers or new acquaintances or leave food or beverages unattended. Victims of hyoscine or other drugs should seek immediate medical attention….
Typically, victims become disoriented or unconscious, and are thus vulnerable to robbery, sexual assault, and other crimes.” (Emphasis added).
In its powdered form, scopolamine has no taste or smell, so it can easily be slipped into someone’s drink. Also, it can be smoked in cigarettes, blown in someone’s face, or administered in a transdermal patch. The drug acts fast, so it takes effect in less than twenty minutes.
CIA has anything at its disposal, but this drug is so easily obtainable that it can be used by common criminals, which, in the unlikely event of detection, can form a smokescreen concealing Agency involvement. Scopolamine is used to treat motion sickness, Parkinson’s Disease, muscle spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, and depression. It is even used off-label to help stop smoking. Despite the obvious criminal uses of scopolamine, the World Health Organization lists it as one of the safest and most effective medicines. You can find it in almost any grocery store.
Are we really to believe that criminals use this drug only in Colombia? or that CIA ever stopped using it?
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