The return of Commander Robert Jay Williams

Photo by Magdalena Raczka on Unsplash

This is a mini-post—just a little over 300 words in length—but I can’t sit on it any longer. First: I need to point out that the government shutdown is affecting this blog as we await a decision on the possible release of certain names on key documents. No matter where you stand politically, I think we can all agree that our federal workers need to be called back in to do their jobs ASAP.

Remember Commander Robert Jay Williams (aka Cmdr. Robert J. Williams, or just plain old R.J. Williams), of the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence), of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)? As I mentioned in the Dec. 7, 2018  post, Commander Williams’ name appears on a memo that I believe also contains the name of my person of interest—a person from whom I can draw a direct link to Ronald Tammen.

Well, today, I’m posting another document with our friend R.J.’s name prominently displayed. The document is long and dense. Some of you may choose to read the whole thing, which is great. I admire your enthusiasm! For others, just seeing how R.J. is identified should do the trick. 

Here’s the To, From, and Subject head:

And here’s the signature:

That’s right. In this 9-page memo, which was written about a month after my memo in question was written, R. J. Williams is identified as the project coordinator of ARTICHOKE. ARTICHOKE! For those of you who are not familiar with the name, Project ARTICHOKE is the forerunner of MK ULTRA, the CIA’s ignoble mind control program. Some of you have been predicting this all along, and to you I offer high fives and fist bumps all around. Yes, Good Man readers, this is indeed the direction in which we’re headed—full throttle. As soon as the government shutdown ends, that is.

Here’s the full document:


And we’re open for comments! Please, no politics. I’m seeking your thoughts on Tammen, R.J. Williams, ARTICHOKE, the CIA, etc. 

28 thoughts on “The return of Commander Robert Jay Williams

  1. Regarding the last post, another great reason for the CIA (considering the timeperiod and the agency in question) to recruit homosexuals would be precisely because they could blackmail them, possibly to do morally dubious jobs that other operatives might be more inclined to balk at, at least in the early years when they’re trying to set up a permanent agency. And like all relationships with abusers, they get you to do that one thing, then throw it in your face about what a horrible person you are and everyone who ever knew you would hate and reject you if they found out, etc.

    As far as that list of participating universities goes, I’m 100% convinced it’s incomplete, seeing as the CIA managed to lose (read: destroy) a heckuva lot of files.

    1. Interesting. The reason that the rest of the federal government was firing gay civil servants (e.g., in the State Department) during the 1950s was due to the supposed risk of blackmail from a foreign entity, though there was no known instance of anyone giving up government secrets for that reason. I’ve wondered about the possibility that the CIA would use gay operatives for the same purpose—to blackmail foreign entities. But what you’re suggesting is that the CIA could use it as leverage against their own operatives. I don’t know the answer, but that’s an interesting hypothesis.

      1. Honestly, I consume way too much true crime, but probably the best examples of brainwashing are done by cults. I don’t know if the CIA would have gotten to quite this level – at least in 1953, when cult phenomena as we know it hadn’t been recognized- but the basic principles of reeling someone in and keeping them are the same, probably have been for millenia.

        They target people who are or consider themselves outsiders or misunderstood, and start “love bombing” with “we will never leave you” and “the people who (are supposed to) love and support you actually don’t.” They are then usually proved correct by well-intentioned people attempt to dissuade targets that their new acquaintances or beliefs are a little weird (maybe with harsher language or kicking people out of the house).

        Then it’s a matter of isolation, particularly from your former life, but often from members inside the cult too, and also time to be broken down and molded into whatever zealot the cult leader desires.

        As an aside, Charles Manson was an MKULTRA experiment during one of his prison stays. And I’ve heard, but haven’t had a chance to look into, rumors about Jim Jones as well.

      2. Yes, I agree with you that some of those principles could apply to CIA/MKULTRA techniques. On the topic of Charles Manson, I highly recommend the book Chaos, by Tom O’Neill. There’s a chapter on Louis Jolyon West, and he also discusses a possible MKULTRA connection. Not sure if you’ve gotten to this part on my blog yet, but I believe LJW may have crossed paths with St. Clair Switzer as well. Anyway, it’s a great read.

  2. I read through most of Stevie J’s linked document, and saw a line in the document that states that Forty-four American colleges or universities “participated” in MKULTRA. Is there any documentation about which 44 universities were involved?

    1. Yes, I’ll dig it up and will post it here when I have a free minute. Note that Miami U isn’t on the list, but I wouldn’t count out Switzer’s involvement based on that. I doubt that all institutions that took part are listed. (Recall that Congress was trying to figure out the extent of the program from the remaining MKULTRA docs that hadn’t been destroyed.) Also, I don’t believe Switzer had his own research funding in the form of a subproject, which is how the universities listed were primarily involved, whether the researcher was witting or unwitting. I think Dr. Switzer was taking part as a consultant thru his continued involvement in the USAF Reserves. Based on the documents on which I think he was mentioned, I think he was a behind-the-scenes, on-call guy in the area of special interrogation methods for Project Artichoke.

    2. Sorry, but I haven’t been able to locate a comprehensive listing of all 44 colleges or universities. My attempt at a compilation is in the following blog post, based on the resources I’ve cited:

      Here’s the description of the various types of institutions that were involved — on page 12, paragraphs 1-3:

      If anyone is able to find a complete list of the 44 colleges and universities, I’d be grateful if you’d include the link in the comments. Thanks!

      1. You might be interested in a book by H.P. Albarelli; although I don’t think he mentions Ron, the book centers around events in the early 50s.
        From the website ThinkAboutIt: “In a recent article H. P. Albarelli, author of A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, …. Makes a case that the CIA deliberately exposed their much better known MKULTRA program as a way of distracting attention from the much more pernicious, and operational, Project Artichoke”

  3. It’s hard to figure out what I’m looking at on Black Vault. Just ran across the claim Ted Kaczynski was probably in an MKUltra program at Harvard………..whew! It’s a bit disconcerting to know that at least 1 crazy conspiracy theory is surely true.

    Click to access intellipediamkultra.pdf

    Page 9 is the citation.

  4. Ok, thanks for the clarification. And by golly, I did a quick Finder search on my Mac and it located document #144700 right away. It’s in MK Ultra File #1 from the Black Vault website. Sheesh, this unknown piece of pertinent information was with me the entire time. Yeah, I, too, need to sit down and go through these files in-depth, one by one. Some of them are scary as heck as they delve into some really bizarre experiments–sexually, violently, and some that seem paranormal in nature.

    1. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack scenario. There’s just so much, and that’s AFTER the lion’s share of documents were destroyed in 1973!

  5. Since this blog post, my mind has been in absolute OVERDRIVE thinking about the entire R.J. Williams/Project Artichoke connection. I mean, what a revelation! Especially for myself because I have been researching Artichoke for the last couple of months, ever since I got a copy of Ron’s PSYCH book. And there was nothing–no indication or mention on who the project coordinator was . . . until now!

    From all the FOIA memos released on the project online, it seems, Jwenger, that you are first to have the privilege of being presented with this information. After thinking about that, I feel that someone on the FOIA/government side is slowly divulging small clues to you about the Tammen case. Perhaps, they feel it’s time to come forward and reveal what is not yet known. And from seeing the amount of interest the case has had in the recent years, more now than ever before. What better than to send and reveal small snippets at a time. Especially of Williams. And what’s even more interesting is the fact that Williams’s identity in the revealed memos was in no way redacted to protect or conceal is identity and persona, even while in death for public release. And with all that said, you have to realize that R.J. Williams, a the coordinator of this project, is the forefather and obvious inspiration of MK Ultra, which started one year later in 1953, a few days before Ron vanished.

    And after reading the document thoroughly, Williams presents the reexamination techniques of hypnosis on page 4. It seems the disconnected threads of Ron’s case just might be re-connecting after all these years. And from what I said back in the December 7th blog post about Williams having “had his hands in multiple cookie jars within the CIA,” seems to be true. Now I wonder how much influence and power he had during MK Ultra? Perhaps in time, that too, will be divulged.

    While researching Artichoke, I also downloaded the hundreds of FOIA memos on MK Ultra from The Black Vault online. There is so much info, I have no idea where to begin. But from there, I recently discovered a CIA memo (aside from MK Ultra) from the 1960s that touched on hypnosis in in-depth and how it could be used against an individual. I was shocked and alarmed while reading it, because it discusses complete details relating to my theory of why Ron reading his PSYCH book.

    With all this said, I truly believe, Jwenger, you are onto something big–and like I said, you’re going to crack this case wide open!

    1. Wow–thank you! So, it’s funny, but the document I posted with Williams’ name on it is part of the MKULTRA collection that has been available from the CIA’s FOIA Office. The documents are available to anyone who writes them for $10 or so (I think that’s what I paid), which basically covers the cost of the CD. (I’m not sure, but you may also be able to find the document on the Black Vault site — it’s document #144700.) The pages aren’t electronically searchable, so I just had to read through them all and take notes on the ones that seemed most pertinent. (Btw, the CIA also will send an inch-thick printout of the file titles, which helped me prioritize which ones to read and which ones to ignore.)

      While I think you may be right that Commander Williams has never before been associated with ARTICHOKE publicly (to the best of my knowledge), there is one other person whom I can recall who has been tied to ARTICHOKE/MKULTRA, and that’s a person by the name of Morse Allen. You can find a little info about him online. (My guess is that Allen may have reported to Williams.)

      I plan to delve a little more deeply into the two programs over the ensuing weeks/months, and to provide an ARTICHOKE/MKULTRA 101–with timeline, glossary, and some of the more important names and documents–as we build up to the big reveal.

  6. Oh, my. I wouldn’t allow myself to think it could be MK Ultra. I repeatedly thought and said it fits, but….the odds were like a million to one against. It’s one of the few crazy conspiracy theories that is true. Fans of TheChive may have read a recent article naming 10 or so that WERE true, and MK Ultra was one. It really sounds like a bad idea for a movie plot.

    Regarding Ron, there was probably a very ugly undercurrent in who they signed up. I’m sure we’ll hear more on that.

    1. I know. I’d been skeptical for a long time. But, as you say, MK Ultra really did happen and, thankfully, some documents have survived to back it up. Whenever I’ve interviewed someone on this, I always prefaced my questions with, “OK, here’s the part where I’m going to sound a little crazy.”

      1. P.S. I should have added that, when I asked those questions that I was afraid would sound “a little crazy,” no one laughed, and one or two interesting memories were jarred loose. Based on those stories and the documents I’ve uncovered, I’m a believer.

    2. A major achievement of MK Ultra is project Mockingbird Media, i.e. MSM, used by government for it’s ends. Ergo, conspiracy, to breathe together. We have all been victims, told that connecting dots or pointing out facts that don’t have the MSM seal of approval, is bad. Makes you a “conspiracy theorist.” The CIA didn’t invent the term but they sure drove it home from the 60s on. It’s a major form of control. Have no doubt. Thank god for researchers like J. Wenger. I am so grateful for her work. I sort of knew Ron was sucked into something like this, because I’ve been reading about MK Ultra for years, but I would never have been able to prove it as J. Wenger has done, or found all these gob-smacking facts.
      She has not only illuminated this case, she has shed light on others as well.
      Well done!

      1. Thank you! I’ll be posting more docs in the not-too-distant future. My goal is for a major reveal on the anniversary that Ron disappeared—April 19.

  7. Um … all I can say is WOW! Something the last two years has been telling me this case is related to MK Ultra. And now this just might link the possible connection to Tammen and the project, along with the hypnosis/amnesia possibilty, and my theory about what he was really doing with his PSYCH book.

    And, yes, as a former employee with the State Department, the shutdown needs to come to an end, for the sake of the workers’ livelihoods and for this blog.

    Also, love the new avatar/portrait, jwenger!

    1. Thank you, Brett N.! Didn’t know that you were former State Dept., but it shows, based on your insightful comments. Totally agree that we need to be concerned with people’s livelihoods. Thanks again!

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