A Washington foundation that allegedly channeled Central Intelligence Agency funds into research on mind-control drugs is a little-known organization whose affairs were tightly controlled by its founder, Dr. Charles F. Geshickter.
Geschickter, 76, an emeritus professor of pathology at Georgetown University medical school, is a nationally prominent figure in the fields of medical research and education.
But, his collegues at Georgetown, where he taught from 1946 until his retirement in 1971, apparently knew little about the private foundation that he ran on the side - the Geschicker Fund for Medical Research.
Although Geschickter's biography in the 1976-77 edition of Who's Who takes up 25 lines, it makes no mention of the foundation. The doctor, who lives in Lorton, Va., could not be reached yesterday for comment on allegations about his foundation published yesterday by The New York Times.
The Times article said the Geschickter Fund had been used by the CIA as a conduct for distributing funds to medical researchers involved in a secret, 25-year, $25 million effort to learn how to control the human mind.
Matthew McNulty, vice president of Georgetown University in charge of medical affairs, said yesterday that university officials also had been unable to contact Geschickter and ask him about the allegations. However, McNulty and other medical profession sources, who asked not to be identified, were able to provide some sketchy information about the fund and its activities.
They said the fund was founded by Geschickter in 1939, when he was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins medical school, and apparently is still in existence. Although they were unclear about the source of the foundation's funds, they said it was generally assumed among Geschickter's collegues that they came partly from his personal means and partly from gifts provided by his patients and other persons interested in the medical sciencs.
"It was no secret that he had a private foundation," McNulty said. "But it was not something that he pushed or promoted in any noticeable way."
The foundation, McNulty added "was not a part of Georgetown University, never has been and, in the future, will not be connected to the university."
McNulty said that university officials have been searching the records of the Georgetown medical school and hospital and, so far, have found no sign that the university or members of its faculty ever applied for a received "any grants, contracts or awards" from the Geschickter fund for research of the type described in The Times article.
However, he added, the fund periodically had made gifts of cash and stocks to Georgetown for general use in medical research and education. McNulty said these gifts were "modest in size" with the exception of a $370,000 donation toward construction of a $3 million building at Georgetown Hospital.
In mentioning this contribution, The Time article said it might have been linked to the CIA's desire to establish a forensic medicine department at a university. However, McNulty said, the building in question had no connection with forencsic medicine and was put up to house the hospital's ambulatory patient care services and the clinical offices of the dental school.
Others who knew Geshickter during his time at Georgetown described him in such terms as "quiet," "reserved" and "keeping pretty much to himself." One said, "He did his teaching and had his office at the medical school but he didn't mingle very much and was hard to know."