Chapter 1 Introduction: The story of men unwittingly poisoned with LSD

Classical Greek text authored by Homer in the 8th century B.C., the “Odyssey” begins where the “Illiad” concludes. (The Illiad documents the Trojan Wars lasting ten years, while the Odyssey documents the sea fairing travel home of one general and his men, Odysseus, lasting just as long). In the Illiad, the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy (really from Sparta on the east coast of Greece, daughter of the God Zeus and Leda, a mortal), runs off with Paris (son of the king of Troy) across the Aegean Sea. She is taken to the city of Troy (in modern-day Turkey). Her departure from Sparta ignites the Trojan Wars. All along, Cassandra warns the Trojans that Helen, if she stays in Troy, will be the death of the Trojans. But no one listens to Cassandra because they say she is mad.  In the “Odyssey,” after the Greeks win the Trojan Wars, Odysseus begins to travel home to the city of Ithaca (on the west coast of Greece). But Odysseus had angered Poseidon, God of the seas and storms, by blinding his son Cyclops. As a result, Odysseus’s boat is blown off course and ends up on the island of the “Lotus Eaters,” off the coast of North Africa. This lotus plant is a hypnotic drug that the natives of the island use against Odysseus’s unwitting men; thus is an early narrative of unwitting drugging. (Odyssey happens to be the name of my forty-six-foot trawler yacht.) Like me, this unwitting poisoning hindered his journey home.

Three thousand years later: “On the outskirts of Basel, Switzerland, overlooking the Rhine, lies the worldwide headquarters of the Sandoz drug and chemical empire. There, on the afternoon of April 16, 1943, Dr. Albert Hofmann made an extraordinary discovery—by accident. At 37, with close-cropped hair and rimless glasses, Hofmann headed the company’s research program to develop marketable drugs out of natural products. He was hard at work in his laboratory that warm April day when a wave of dizziness suddenly overcame him. The strange sensation was not unpleasant, and Hofmann felt almost as though he were drunk.

But he became quite restless. His nerves seemed to run off in different directions. The inebriation was unlike anything he had ever known before. Leaving work early, Hofmann managed a wobbly bicycle-ride home. He lay down and closed his eyes, still unable to shake the dizziness. Now the light of day was disagreeably bright. With the external world shut out, his mind raced along. He experienced what he would later describe as “an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity and vividness…. accompanied by an intense, kaleidoscope-like play of colors.” These visions subsided after a few hours, and Hofmann, ever the inquiring scientist, set out to find what caused them. He presumed he had somehow ingested one of the drugs with which he had been working that day, and his prime suspect was d-lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, a substance that he himself had first produced in the same lab five years earlier.”[1]

So begins the 1978 book by John Marks, “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate,” which I accidentally read in May 2005. The book intrigued me because it provided insight into what I had been experiencing for the then past twenty years. John Marks was an intelligence officer; he worked for five years with the U.S. State Department as an analyst and staff assistant to the Intelligence Director. When first published in 1978, I had no clue that unwitting LSD drugging and poisoning existed; I now know better. In 1978, I was in the middle of studying for my electrical engineering undergraduate degree. If anyone had told me that unwitting LSD drugging was possible, I would have said, “You’re crazy.” The evidence proves otherwise. Marks had previously coauthored the 1974 book, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence with Victor Marchetti. That book’s premise is that world intelligence agencies function as cults, and he may be correct.

Today, many documented mind control experiments that John Marks disclosed (via documents released through the Freedom of Information Act) reveal an alternate world of spies and intelligence officers that many Americans, including the liberal intellectual media elite, either do not know of or fear to discuss. Our elected officials in Congress do not want to know about these things, so they go unregulated. Little did I know in 1978 that eight years later, I would have a similar experience as Dr. Albert Hofmann, originating in a dull AT&T Bell Laboratories lunch cafeteria in Reading, Pennsylvania. But in my case, the unwitting drugging was no accident, but I would not fully realize this until 2005 when I read John Mark’s book. In that cafeteria at AT&T, I felt a similar experience as Dr. Hoffman, “strange sensation,” “an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity and vividness…. accompanied by an intense, kaleidoscope-like play of colors.”  Since, for me, the source for these sensations was purposeful, unlike Dr. Hoffman, my feelings were frightening because the head psychiatrist at AT&T Bell Laboratories intentionally caused them against my will.

After my own “wobbly” drive home, I too tried to “lay down,”  “unable to shake the dizziness.” Since Albert Hofmann developed drugs designed to affect human behavior, he could have expected an unexpected reaction from his line of work from time to time. He accidentally poisoned himself when he unintentionally ingested the drugs he was formulating. On the other hand, I refused to accept what had caused these feelings and not localize the source for twenty years because I kept pushing it out of my mind, not fully grasping the weight of what occurred. I could not believe that people hated themselves so much that they would treat me in such a way. I had no idea that this state of mind even existed. What about my existence warranted such treatment at a Fortune 500 research and development organization?

I was not expecting anything when I finished lunch at work on a warm sunny day in May 1986. I usually just stood up and walked back to my office, but in this case, I had to push down hard against the table with both hands to balance and steady myself as I tried to stand; for some reason trying to stand was challenging and a little bizarre. I immediately thought, “had someone slipped LSD into my food?” (I understood the effects of LSD by experimenting with it twice in undergraduate school.)  I considered this possibility when I tried to steady myself to stand, but I immediately waved off the idea as some weird or far-out notion. I had not had these feelings since undergraduate school; these feelings at that moment were only the nascent beginning of my trip. But again, I pushed these ideas out of my mind, not wanting to believe myself.

Twenty years later, after reading the above paragraph concerning the unwitting self-drugging of Dr. Albert Hofmann, I finally came to the solid understanding that I, too, was poisoned with LSD in my food during lunch in the cafeteria at work. It was May 2006, the month of my birth. Clarity finally arrived when a locus point was established by reading a book; the blur of the past twenty years came into focus like a sledgehammer. AT&T had the motive and opportunity to poison me with LSD but did everything imaginable to keep my perception of it opaque. They crossed an ethical line on many occasions. John Marks says organizations that do this, love to pick on people perceived as weak and vulnerable, who can not fight back. Since I am part black and had no political ties, they considered me fair game. These are actions of the weak; these are actions of a cult whose members must bind together because they can not survive as individuals. These are not “Great Men,” and I must think like “Great Men” if I’m going to carry on. For the targeted individual, the real problem is labeling them a National Security Risk and then harassing them for most of their lives. To combat this, I must have contagious enthusiasm, with the kind of pleasure I had before I was unwittingly drugged. I have to find dry humor in what occurred. If I don’t make this mental effort, I will see life through a clouded prism of alienation and abuse instead of a “Great Man.”. Thus resulting in the wrong conclusions and missed opportunities that may be right in front of me. Life is beautiful, I just have to open my eyes and see it. When people throw rocks at you, build an empire of stone. Part of this dry humor comes from telling this story because it freaks people out , and part of my ego wants to freak people out.

In 1986 I was twenty-nine, naive, and in my life’s physical and mental prime. I enjoyed myself and danced in discos every weekend. I just finished building my new home on the five acres I grew up on in my hometown. I was also building an engineering career, writing software for several integrated circuit design projects that technically occupied all of my time; I was in a sweet spot. I had written similar test software on a circuit pack that did the same function three years before working at Bell Labs in New Jersey. Over time this same electronic functionality that was previously on a circuit pack was now compressed onto a single advanced electronic chip. I was lifting weights at least three times per week because it was fun; I ate soy protein mixed with fruit juice between meals with a passion and was physically built, ripped, and cut. I was benching three hundred pounds and was perceived as a threat, but partly because I wore a suit and tie to work. This backwater AT&T location had never seen anything like me. My peculiarity was exacerbated because the work location had a large contingent of non-engineers, who had a high school education but were fabricators who manufactured these devices on the factory side of the facility, supported by another sizeable blue-collar maintenance staff. I did not understand then that the only way to manage these people is that I had to “ride” these blue-collar people, like in the 2014 Brad Pitt film “Fury.” When an enlisted tankman asked Brad Pitt’s character why he always rode him, Brad Pitt replied, “You’re an animal. A dog. All you understand is the fist and boot.” I “ride” these people now by telling their story here, for this is more about them than it is about me. These were not subtle people; they probably found kindness confusing. The Tao Te Ching says: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, no matter how clever you are. It is the great secret.” This means a good man would get lost if he didn’t teach the bad man. Only if the good man sees himself as one with the bad man (by teaching him) that the good man could be one with the Tao. The good man can not stay aloof by constantly looking down on the bad man. The good man must bow down and teach the bad man. I will teach with this memoir. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

[1] “Search for the Manchurian Candidate” By John  Marks 1978

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