Science 3 min read

The CIA was on to Something With Project MKUltra: New Evidence of Drug-Induced Higher Consciousness

CarlaVanWagoner |

CarlaVanWagoner |

Turns out psychoactive drugs might actually open up your third eye. University of Sussex researchers found a sustained increase in neural signal diversity in people using psychedelic drugs versus those in a normal waking state.

The CIA is no stranger to using psychoactive drugs to stimulate certain mental states, particularly with regards to interrogation techniques. Yet, it goes deeper than that.

Project MKUltra and Stranger Things

If you’ve seen Stranger Things, the Netflix original series that earned the love of sci-fi nerds everywhere, *SPOILER ALERT* you may recognize references to some real-life former CIA operations.

In the show, *SPOILER ALERT* when Dennis Hopper tracks down Terry Ives, the woman who sues the Hawkins lab (where main character Eleven is experimented upon) for maltreatment, Hopper talks to Terry’s sister about “Project MKUltra,” a government-sanctioned CIA drug-induced mind control experiment that existed in real life.

As this awesome Rolling Stone article details, there are many CIA programs that inspire the Stranger Things science fiction television show.

Project MKUltra is the one we’ll focus on today. In existence from 1943 to the early 1970s, this secretive CIA experiment tested numerous subjects at almost one hundred different institutions, many of which were government fronts.

The objective of MKUltra was to test psychoactive drugs that could provide a truth serum of sorts, and LSD was of particular interest to the project. The CIA was experimenting to see if they could use hallucinations to influence people’s actions, and if need be, implement these mind control techniques to the Cold War battlefield.

Recently, U.K. researchers found that LSD, ketamine, and psilocybin can actually stimulate a higher, or at least more complex, brain function.

The University of Sussex Study

In this study, Michael Schartner, Adam Barrett and Professor Anil Seth of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex reanalysed data taken by other studies on patients voluntarily administered with one of the three aforementioned drugs.

Using imaging technology, the team measured the magnetic fields in the different patients’ brains and found that across all three drugs neural signal diversity was reliably higher.

The team stresses that the psychedelic state is not any better than the normal waking state but that the distinctiveness of the psychedelic brain state can be related to other global changes in consciousness. The researchers are confident that results are easily repeatable and will yield many substantive experiments.

So, we might not be able to drop acid and control each other’s minds right away. But we’re one step closer. Is there anything else we should mention about drug-induced mind control experiments?

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