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Without claiming that LSD is good or bad, it should be recognized that the CIA was pushing this drug hard in the 60's. I fully recognize that some here have credited it with changing their lives for the good. Not the point. Why did the CIA push it.

Here are a list of links already posted here at DPF and elsewhere to work on these questions.

(Any moderator who wants to add to this list, just edit this post so that they are kept in one place.)

Psychedelic Intelligence: The CIA and the Counter Culture (Go to 23:00 for a nice clip of Leary and colleagues bragging about their exploits.)

The MK-ULTRA Iceberg

Project MK-ULTRA (A document dump)

Drugs as Weapons Against Us (h/t Drew)

Wide ranging books on hallucinogens from Peter

Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: the CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond (.pdf) And many more books here. h/t Peter

Dave McGowan: Weird Scenes From the Canyon h/t Maggie
Drugs as Weapons Against Us by John Potash (Trine Day 2015)
I totally agree that it was a CIA idea but I think it backfired. Most people I knew took some acid during the 60's and 70's and it was a very positive experience. Not sure what the CIA thought they would accomplish but for most it was an enlightening experience. Of course one had to be very cautious in how often one indulged.

Drew, thanks. I added it to the list. Keep 'em coming if you find more!

Dawn: I think LSD in terms of "social engineering" was a success, but it also backfired you say. So many people realized there was another way to live. Funny how LSD kinda went away and suddenly heroin, speed, and cocaine were magically introduced.

Oh, btw, by social engineering, I mean the creation of social conflict, in this case. Recall the hate directed at hippies that hated America but wouldn't fight for it. This myth helped to fuel the conservative takeover that we are still deep in the weeds with today.

Furthermore, I am in favor of legalizing all drugs but putting money into drug treatment programs when people figure out that their lives are going to shit.
We know that the CIA's interest began in the early 1950s as part of their mind control research. How many people in the CIA had a "need to know" about this program? Maybe a hundred or so? A few people may have gotten the idea to use it to discredit, embarrass and disrupt the civil rights movement, student groups, anti-war groups, the hippie movement, etc. Others were experimenting with it as a truth serum, or to blackmail public officials, or to neutralize foreign spies, etc. Some of these secret CIA mind control clinics may have become semi-independent rogue operations.
There is the book Acid Dreams by Martin Lee. There is no doubt that the CIA started the idea of spreading LSD and a few other mind-altering substances around publicly, if secretly. At the same time we know they were actively testing the drugs for their potential as a weapon an in their interrogation programs as a kind of 'truth serum' and for other purposes. I think one of their aims was to test on a population for general effects and specific effects of minor changes to the formulation. We all remember 'bad batches' of acid and they were generally localized to a city for a short period of time. Perhaps they were adding another chemical and then testing the effects and noting this down. They burned most of their files on MK/ULTRA as was admitted in congressional testimony. I agree with Dawn that whatever they were trying to do backfired in the main and long run on them - as these substances generally produce free thinking and free thinkers less inclined to be subjected to authority. They also allow one to see reality in a new light that further breaks the bonds of the usual slavery to authority and orthodoxy, etc. I know it did to me. While I don't take it anymore - the effects in this regard remain. While a small minority hated the experience, most reveled in the New Worlds it opened up. I'd also mention the many books/lectures by Terrence McKenna and his brother Denis. Tim Leary was well known to have had intelligence connections and close friends who were intelligence agents. The murder by the CIA of one of its own, Olson, who changed too much [became too worried about the morality of the things CIA was doing and had done] after being slipped some LSD in his scotch is described in a very good book. Ken Keasy, as so many others, started his writing/art after being a guinea pig in a CIA LSD program. One could go on. The CIA were the biggest dealers at the top level of mind-altering substances for many decades...but they destroyed their notes, or so we are told.

Lastly, I think it very likely that Mary P. Meyers was enamored of LSD and introduced JFK to it...and that this further terrified the CIA and they added that to the list of reasons to murder him - it far being the only reason on their list.
some other classic books on the subject here
Peter Lemkin Wrote:some other classic books on the subject here

What a trip Peter! Down memory lane. Some I hadn't seen for decades.

My own personal collection on the subject is several hundred books and another several hundred papers and booklets...but I don't have them as a comprehensive list at the moment. A good new book on the subject is by Dennis McKenna about he and his brother Terrance's journey in this realm. It is entitles 'the Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss'. Terrence was someone I knew personally and the book really effected me for many reasons. However, it doesn't deal too much with CIA/Intelligence involvement in hallucinogens - but does touch on this issue.
You could add the Laurel Canyon thread here if you wanted to Lauren.
Not too many relating specifically to intelligence...a few touch on it...but a website with a LOT of books on hallucinogens you can download here