The Central Intelligence Agency used the University of Maryland and George Washington University for some of its top secret MKULTRA experiments in behavior control in the 1950s and 1960s, the agency has informed both universities.
The CIA also officially informed Georgetown University that it had sheltered some of the MKULTRA experiments. Georgetown's part in the project had been previously reported but not officially confirmed.
The three local universities were among 80 private and public institutions told in the past few days they had played parts - some wittingly, some not - in the MKULTRA tests.
In a related development, the CIA yesterday made public under the Freedom of Information Act and additional 1,760 pages of documents pertaining to MKULTRA behavior control experiments.
These documents show that many high-ranking agency officials knew and approved at least the Georgetown part of the mind control program, including then-CIA Director Allen Dulles and senior aides Richard M. Bissell Jr., C.P. Cabell, Lyman Kirkpatrick, Lawrence Houston and Richard Helms. Helms later became CIA director.
The documents show that among things tested at Georgetown were substances to promote "illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public," and substances to promote and prevent "the intoxicating effect of alcohol."
Another reference in the documents is to "substances which will produce 'pure' euphoria with no subsequent letdown," a type of permanent high.
The agency was also interested in "a knockout pill which can surreptitiously be administered in drinks, food, cigarettes, as an aerosol," to provide a "maximum of amnesia," and a substance, also to be administered surreptitiously, taht would make it "impossible for a man to perform any physical activity whatsoever."
The documents also referred to tests of a "knockout" drug on terminally ill cancer patients at Georgetown.
The documents say the university administration was to be "totally unwitting" of CIA sponsorship of the assorted mine control experiments.
A CIA spokesman said yesterday that the agency had located all but six of the 80 instrtutions and companies involved in MKULTRA. "The others no longer exist," said the spokesman, who declined to give the names of any of the institutions of firms involved.
None of the three Washington-area universities notified could themselves supply details of the types of MKULTRA experiments in which they were involved. However, spokesmen for all three said they would take advantage of a CIA offer to supply additional details on request.
In its letter to University of Maryland President Wilson H. Elkins, which arrived last Friday, the CIA said: "While we recognize this may be unwelcome news we believe we have an obligation to advise you of this fact (MKULTRA participation) so that you may initiate such action as you deemm necessary to protect the interests of your university."
In the letters of notification, th CIA noted that in some cases the ultra institutions were aware of their participation in the program and had been while the experiments were taking place.
Elkins, who has headed Maryland since 1954, declined to comment yesterday on whether he knew of the MKULTRA experiments. Lloyd H. Elliott, who has headed George Washington since 1965, could not be reached yesterday and a Georgetown spokesmansaid Georgetown president, the Rev. Timothy Healy, arrived at the school last year. Past presidents of the university could not be reached for comment.
The documents released yesterday say one purpose of the Georgetown research was "defense against drugs and chemical techniques used in interrogation and brainwashing."
It has already been reported that the CIA gave the university $375,000 toward a construction of a new medical wing which the agency hoped to use for its experiments. The money was funneled through the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research, a CIA front named for Dr. Joseph F. Geschickter, a prominent Washington pathologist and cancer researcher who taught at Georgetown.
A Georgetown spokesman said yesterday that the university still has found no evidence that the research the CIA envisioned was ever conducted there.He said the university has been trying to meet with Greschickter, but has been unable to contact him. Geschickter has been subpoenaed to testify Sept. 9 before a Senate subcommittee investigating the MKLLTRA program.
A long description of the proposed Georgetown facility suggested that "human patients and volunteers" would be available for experimental purposes. It said the agency could "recruit new scientific personnel" at the medical center, because agents working under cover there would be in daily contact with "the graduate school." The identity of the school was censored in the documents.
To further its interest in producing stress through chemical means, the CIA also proposed studying chemical agents on "advanced cancer patients." These means included a "K" or knockout drug, which one memo-writer described as a "good Mickey Finn."
Another MK-ULTRA project sought to understand "toxic delirium, uremic coma and cerebral toxicity from poisoning." Toward that end, chemical compounds were administered to cancer patients and to at least four diabetic patients, with plans for more tests to "study the effect on mental funtion of large doses of the compound."
"Several of the cancer patients on the compound," one document said, "have complained of mental fogging, which is accompanied by complete relief from a pain on high dosage. This mental fogging, of course, is not experienced by diabetics." It could not be learned from the documents whether these patients knew they were being tested.
Other CIA records from MKULTRA which were released yesterday show that in one project agents anonymously "donated" $1,000 to an undentified university for human experiments using the drugs meratran, serpentine, chlorapromaze and bulbocapnine.
According to medical references, meratan acts as a nervous system stimulant like an amphetamine, serpentine is an antihypertensive medication, chlorapromise is a depressant with the trade name Thorazine, and bulbocapnine produces a state of suspended animation and can cause schizophrenia.
The CIA documents note that the 1954 experiments were further financed by the clinic where they were conducted and were initiated by the agency's security office.
The MKULTRA program, according to the CIA's notifications to the institutions, was developed "to identify material and methods useful in altering human behavior patterns." The program flourished into a multimillion-dollar project through the cold war of the 1950s and into the mid-1960s.
The newly released MKULTRA records are part of thousands of pages of financial documents the CIA says it only recently discovered. More complete records of the mind control experiments were destroyed in 1973 by then CIA Technical Services Director Sidney Gottlieb, allegedly on verbal instructions from then CIA Director Helms.