The History of “What if We Dosed the Water?”
As I get older, it becomes a comfort instead of an insult: I have never had an original thought in my life. Everything I’ve ever thought up is at least a couple centuries old. So when I was reading a newpaper article about the Iraq War (first one) on LSD and had this really crazy concept pop into my head...yeah. Turns out I am not the first to consider giving everyone on Earth some good acid clarity.
It turns out there’s a lot of interesting growth under this particular rock—so let’s start poking and digging at the history of what DARPA refers to as “Incapacitating Weapons”, or the military applications of tripping your balls off. We will visit the CIA, Iraq, a great horror movie, and all the usual hippie suspects from Leary to Hoffman. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to manufacture your own LSD and get to work as a free agent in the Illumination Industry.
Not that Brainsturbator would ever advocate something so irresponsible and illegal.
The Revolution Was a Teevee Show
Psychedelic culture is just like any other culture: most people involved have no idea what’s going on. I was eating acid for 3 years before I knew what MAPS was, cared about seratonin reuptake, or even heard of Al Hubbard. Hubbard was a very singular figure in American history: has there ever been another government-sponsored libertarian elitist proto-hippie inventor before or since?
Well, there have been a few since, and we’ll get to them all in due time. But Hubbard was The Mold Itself, and a look at his life should be most illuminating. Like most of the real talent at the CIA, Hubbard was recruited from the world of crime. He’d been busted in 1935, and again in 1936, for smuggling liqour. (Although Prohibition was over, once you’ve got a network established, do you stop business just because the government started competing with you? Only if you’re a sissy.) His bootleg operations involved a constant electronic communication, which was kind of a voodoo novelty at the time, so Hubbard was sought out by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which would later become the CIA.
Although Al Hubbard was personally responsible for turning on—by his own estimate—over 6000 people, he was very specific about who LSD was for: the elite.
“Al was really an arch-conservative,” says the confidential source. “He really didn’t like what the hippies were doing with LSD, and he held Timothy Leary in great contempt.”
Humphry Osmond recalls a particular psilocybin session in which “Al got greatly preoccupied with the idea that he ought to shoot Timothy, and when I began to reason with him that this would be a very bad idea...I became much concerned that he might shoot me...”
“To Al,” says Myron Stolaroff, “LSD enabled man to see his true self, his true nature and the true order of things.” But, to Hubbard, the true order of things had little to do with the antics of the American Left.
Recognizing its potential psychic hazards, Hubbard believed that LSD should be administered and monitored by trained professionals. He claimed that he had stockpiled more LSD than anyone on the planet besides Sandoz--including the US government--and he clearly wanted a firm hand in influencing the way it was used. However, Hubbard refused all opportunities to become the LSD Philosopher-King.
Further Reading for the Budding Adept
Thanks to Russ Kick’s essential website The Memory Hole, Al Hubbard will not disappear just yet. They offer—and we maintain a mirror copy of—Al Hubbard’s complete (147 page) FBI file, which is available here.
Todd Brendan Fahey, who ran one of the best internet newsites I ever found, has also written probably the best article on Hubbard in existence.
One of the more rewarding moments in doing net research is when you find The Source—the one article everyone else cribbed from for the past decade. With most stories, you find every article has the same structure and uses the same quotes, no matter who wrote it or where you find it. The story of Al Hubbard is like that—and here’s the The Source for that: “The CIA, LSD and the 60s Rebellion”, by Beatrice Deveraux.
Abbie Hoffman: Threat to Reality
“He had people convinced, actually convinced, he was going to drop LSD in the Chicago reservoir and get the whole city tripping. Can you imagine believing that? It would have taken dump trucks full of LSD to have any impact, but Abbie was so convincing he had them eating out of his hand.”
This is Abbie’s brother Jack, talking about the warmups for the Democratic National Convention in 1968. History has since revealed Jack’s not exaggerating one bit, Mayor Daley was actually gravely concerned over the threat. Although it was of course an idle threat, the Convention as a whole still wound up being mythically ugly and bad.
Hoffman had staged an earlier media stunt involving a “new drug” called Lace. It was actually a simple and sophisticated bit of chemical warfare (of love): LSD combined with a chemical agent known as DMSO. (Dimethyl sulfoxide for those who care.) DMSO is a staple ingredient of any chemical weapons arsenal because it penetrates the skin faster than anything else known to mankind—and best of all, it’s hella easy to get ahold of. The evil liars at Wikipedia even call it “the most powerful readily available organic solvent”. If you’re still interested, you can order an 8 oz bottle for $10.
(DMSO is an interesting compound in it’s own right—take a look at this page on it’s medical uses.)
So the LACE concept was basically: acid from a squirtgun. Sadly, given the spiraling escalation of gun crimes in the United States since the 1960s, we’re just not seeing enough of this type of crime—we’ll be addressing the reasons for that shortly.
Hoffman’s LSD threat came back to haunt him—and a number of other innocent people—at the infamous Chicago Seven trial later that year. The prosecution constantly attempted to create a vast acid conspiracy, which on one hand was an absurd fabrication. But man, on that other hand...Hoffman and his Yippie extended family kept providing evidence: at one point, Hoffman insisted that the judge presiding over the case (also a Hoffman, curiously) should try some LSD and offered to connect the man with his “dealer in Florida”. Paul Krassner gave his testimony while under the influence of LSD, an experience best recounted by Paul himself—read it here.
You can find transcripts of the trial here, and nearly every single part of the testimony is pretty funny, especially Hoffman. (It’s worth noting there is no transcript of Krassner’s testimony, which could imply he’s full of shit and pulling yet another fast one.)
MR. WEINGLASS: Between the date of your birth, November 30, 1936, and May 1, 1960, what if anything occurred in your life?
HOFFMAN: Nothing. I believe it is called an American education.
MR. SCHULTZ: Objection.
THE COURT: I sustain the objection.
The Chicago Seven at a press conference. Hoffman is to the left, the man in the middle is David Dellinger, who later moved to Peacham, VT and told me and my first girlfriends we could change “the whole damn world.” And you know what? He was f***ing right.
The Unforgettable Testimony of General Creasy
To the CIA, LSD was code-named “P-1”, and the story of their early years with the drug is grimly hilarious: they would dose one another at work all the time. Of course, MKULTRA would grow into some deeply sick and evil stuff, and things got unfunny quick. LSD was ultimately discarded
Some folks have complained that Brainsturbator involves too much “copy and paste material”—shucks, guilty as charged. I’ll be damned if I devote a single neuron to restating what someone already said just fine. On that note, here’s the highlights of General Creasy’s various statements to Congress and the media about the New Face of Warfare:
Suppose you found a way to spike the city’s water supply or to release a hallucinogen in aerosol form. For twelve to twentyfour hours all the people in the vicinity would be hopelessly giddy, vertiginous...victory would be a foregone conclusion.”
“I do not contend that driving people crazy—even for a few hours—is a pleasant prospect, but warfare is never pleasant. And to those who feel that any kind of chemical weapon is more horrible than conventional weapons, I put this question:
Would you rather be temporarily deranged, blinded, or paralyzed by a chemical agent, or burned alive by a conventional fire bomb?”
Is DMT Getting Boring?
If visiting other dimensions is not enough for you—and ayahuasca is a little too “ethnic”—Brainsturbator highly recommends getting ahold of some Quinuclidinyl Benzilate. Back when the US Army was doing drug tests on soldiers at Edgewood, they adopted the remarkably efficient “brain shotgun approach”: every week, hundreds of samples would pour in from chemical and pharmaceutical companies around the US. These sample would be compounds that got rejected by the commercial labs because of nasty effects—but they weren’t bad drugs, they just hadn’t found their calling yet.
Because to the military, these hazardous drugs were all potential weapons, and where “shotgun” and “brain” converge into a single “approach” is the precise spot when army scientists started testing them all on soldiers without telling them—or caring, really—what the drug even was. So let’s pause, for a second, and have a moment of silence for all the minds that got blown for our Great Country.
LSD is pretty cool stuff and all—but check out the effects of Quinuclidinyl Benzilate:
The delerious condition following intoxication with BZ agents is manifested by the clouding of consciousness and the thinking process, temporary and full loss of contact with surroundings, hallucenations, illusions, asynergy, strong psychomotor unrests and breaks in attention continuity.
It initially appears as dizzyness, then gains in intensity until the intoxicated person almost completely loses contact with the outside world. Such a condition is accompanied by different hallucenations (visual, audio, smell, tactile and so on), which represent the basic disturbances of perception. Among the affected disturbances, the strongest are discomfort and fear.
This total separation from reality tends to trigger violent behavior—which, if you put yourself in those shoes, is pretty understandable.
Weaponized Insanity: The Sequel
Thanks (again) to Russ Kick’s work with FOIA requests and original research, We the Public know a good deal about BZ—probably way more than we want to. Here’s the Memory Hole list of BZ related documents.
First of all, here’s a signifigant line from that same declassified report:
The BZ agents, as chemical weapons, are standardized in the USA Army since 1963 and there is information on their use in the Vietnam war.
And from Martin Lee and Bruce Schlain’s classic book Acid Dreams:
According to Dr. Solomon Snyder, a leading psychopharmacologist at Johns Hopkins University, which conducted drug research for the Chemical Corps, “The army’s testing of LSD was just a sideshow compared to its use of BZ.” Clinical studies with EA-2277 (the code number for BZ) were initiated at Edgewood Arsenal in 1959 and continued until 1975. During this period an estimated twenty-eight hundred soldiers were exposed to the superhallucinogen. A number of military personnel have since come forward claiming that they were never the same after their encounter with BZ.
During the early 1960s the CIA and the military began to phase out their in-house acid tests in favor of more powerful chemicals such as BZ, which became the army’s standard incapacitating agent. By this time the superhallucinogen was ready for deployment in a grenade, a 750-pound cluster bomb, and at least one other large-scale bomb. The superhallucinogen was later employed by American troops as a counterinsurgency weapon in Vietnam, and according to CIA documents there may be contingency plans to use the drug in the event of a major civilian insurrection.
.... the was assigned the NATO code BZ and was weaponized beginning in the 1960s for possible battlefield use. Although BZ figured prominently in the plot of the 1990 movie, Jacob’s Ladder, as the compound responsible for hallucinations and violent deaths in a fictitious American battalion in Vietnam, this agent never saw operational use. Destruction of American stockpiles began in 1988 and is now complete.
BZ has been resurrected as a chemical Boogeyman since 1988. Saddam and Osama have both been accused of possessing the compound. Weirder still, there have been repeated rumors for the past few years that Iraqi Insurgent fighters actuallly got ahold of Saddam’s stash and they’re using it on themselves to get the bloodlust up. As to how exactly you can accomplish the Will of Allah while you stumble through a bleeding jungle full of giant metallic animals eating and raping each other, well....I can’t figure that out either.
If you’re interested—and hell yes you are—you can start digging here.
Signifigantly, during the “trial” of Wouter Basson, the monster architect behind South Africa’s genocide research program known as Project Coast, BZ came up quite a bit. In the final reports on Basson’s case, you can find the following paragraph buried deep:
Basson was involved in a project led by German and Austrian scientists during the 1991 Gulf War, which determined that the Americans had used BZ against members of Iraqâ€™s Republican Guards. BZ was found in their urine samples and video footage of Iraqi forces emerging from their bunkers showed facial expressions and a gait commensurate with the profile of BZ exposure. The probe concluded that the Americans had used a BZ variant, which had also been tested in South Africa, but rejected because of the dangers of use. In 1992, 500kg of BZ had been bought through Razzaq.
Of course, this is all a lie because like the military told us, they destroyed all their supplies in 1988.
History is Depressing Yo
Like I said in the intro: never had an original thought in my life. Neither has anyone else discussed in this article.
4500 years ago, the Koyak and Wiros tribes of the central Russian steppes conducted what may be the first experiments in stimulating violence through the use of drugs. They derived from the Amanita muscaria mushroom a drug which reduced the warrior’s anxiety and fear while increasing his strength, stamina, mental acuity, and ability to withstand pain. The shamans hit upon a noteworthy method of increasing the drug’s potency: The mushroom was first fed to reindeer, and the soldiers would drink the animals’ urine on the eve of battle. Viking warriors also depended on chemical stimulants derived from deer urine.
The use of chemicals to induce altered states of mind dates to antiquity and includes the use of plants such as thornapple (Datura stramonium) that contain combinations of anticholinergic alkaloids.
The use of nonlethal chemicals to render an enemy force incapable of fighting dates back to at least 600 B.C when Solon’s soldiers threw hellebore roots into streams supplying water to enemy troops, who then developed diarrhea.
In 184 B.C., Hannibal’s army used belladonna plants to induce disorientation, and the Bishop of Munster in A.D. 1672 attempted to use belladonna-containing grenades in an assault on the city of Groningen.
In 1881, members of a railway surveying expedition crossing Tuareg territory in North Africa ate dried dates that tribesmen had apparently deliberately contaminated with Hyoscyamus falezlez. In 1908, 200 French soldiers in Hanoi became delirious and experienced hallucinations after being poisoned with a related plant.
Creasy Again, with The Last Word
“We will use these things as we very well see fit, when we think it is in the best interest of the US.”
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