Happy New Year!
In celebration of the first day of 2023—the 70th year in which Ron Tammen has been missing not to mention the 70th anniversary of when Allen Dulles formally signed off on MKULTRA—I’d like to offer up the following new meanings for letters in the CIA’s MKULTRA coding system. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, you may want to read my previous post first.)
The letter D
D is for….a subject matter expert in an area of specialization pertaining to ARTICHOKE, and someone with whom the CIA may wish to follow up.
I guess we should have figured the whole “let’s use the first letter of the word it represents” thing wouldn’t last. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t give it a D word anyway. And the D word that seems most appropriate is: doyen (pronounced DOI-en or DWI-yan, your choice), which I’d never heard of before, but which showed up in a list of synonyms when I typed in the word “expert.”
I have a feeling that the D label was used somewhat broadly. While it might be used for someone in academia, it might also be used as a reference to a news event in which a person or group of people appeared to possess a desired knowledge or skillset that the CIA wanted to learn more about. An outlier document used Ds to highlight possible interrogation questions.
So even though the D category still seems a little squishy, here’s a link to the document that sealed the deal for me.
In that document, every time you see the letter D, you see a reference to an expert in the field. In this case, the people with Ds next to their blacked-out names knew all about certain drugs.
This document also has a few Ds in front of the names of individuals (page 3) or specific cases (pages 1, 6, and 8) that the CIA could follow up with or investigate further.
And in the case of our March 25, 1952, memo, the doyens are our three hypnosis experts: Clark Hull, St. Clair Switzer, and Griffith W. Williams. The CIA categorizers didn’t seem to care that the writer had said that Hull was feeble and no longer interested in hypnosis. “So? He can’t even answer the phone in the interest of national security?” the categorizers hypothetically countered in their snide little way. “He’s getting three Ds anyway.” (Of course I’m kidding. As you know, I feel nothing but gratitude for the CIA categorizers.)
The letter H
The letter H is for…
…wait for it…
…the Department of Defense. (I’m a little flummoxed as to why the CIA categorizers didn’t assign the letter D to the DoD. Would that have been too obvious?)
We’d almost figured it out a few days ago, but I was thinking too granularly (as I am known to do). I’d seen the document with the H next to the paragraph that talked about the pilots, and had immediately thought Air Force. But I couldn’t understand why the other military branches wouldn’t have their own letter as well, since they were doing ARTICHOKE stuff too.
As I focused on the stand-alone H’s in the MKULTRA collection, I started noticing them in places of prominence: next to names cc’d at the bottoms of memos with other higher-ups, and on Louis Jolyon West’s Subproject 43 materials, including in the “From” line of a handwritten memo. As you may recall, West was a major in the Air Force before moving on to head the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.
And then I came upon a memo that we already knew about—one that I’d submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the CIA about in August 2016 and appealed in 2019. (I’m still waiting to hear back from them, even though the last time they wrote to me, they claimed I’d have an answer by the very specific date of December 8, 2022. I guess someone will be getting a phone call tomorrow.)
The heavily redacted memo is a list of the members of a study group that had been commissioned by the DoD’s Research and Development Board (RDB), a board I’d written about in May 2021. The CIA had asked the RDB to investigate the feasibility of using ARTICHOKE techniques and the RDB chose to conduct its investigation through the ad hoc group of experts. When I reexamined that document closely, I saw that the crossed-out subject of the RDB’s study group name was assigned an H, even though its members were all Cs (consultants) who represented an assortment of Bs (research organizations). That’s when I began to think more broadly.
In another document, I noticed an H next to the black blotch before the word “officers” and I found a handwritten document with an H before the phrase “Man to contact in AF film” (the AF ostensibly refers to the Air Force) on page 1 and, on page 4, another H alongside the words “several service representatives.” Who but the DoD would have access to representatives of several branches of the military service?
I’m convinced—H on its own stands for the DoD as a whole, one of its service branches, or someone affiliated with the DoD, usually someone at a higher level.
The letter E
Remember the E that I talked about at the end of my last post? (Alas, I can’t find the document where I’d first seen it.) I now believe that E stands for…a line item or account with a financial institution of some sort.
We learn this from Louis Jolyon West’s Subproject 43 materials that say: “I hereby acknowledge receipt of check #”…blah blah blah…“drawn on the BLANK,” the latter of which is marked with an E. It happens in other places in his materials as well.
Unless I find another use that changes my mind, the E category seems pretty obvious. It’s an account of some sort.
The letters D/H and I
As I was focusing on H’s, I landed on a document that used the letters D/H together in a whole new nefarious way throughout pages 1-5, with the letter H flying solo on page 6. The CIA categorizers threw the letter I into the fray as well.
Based on this document, the letters D/H together appear to signify a test subject who has received drugs and hypnosis. This is in contrast to page 6, where the writer is recommending that, after conducting experiments on the two human subjects (D/H and D/H), the H (DoD) should consider using the ARTICHOKE technique whenever they see fit. In his view, “there will be many a failure but also that every success with this method will be pure gravy,” which is one of the most bizarre sentences I’ve read in the MKULTRA materials.
As for the I, it appears to be a country against whom the CIA is developing its interrogation techniques.
So there you have it, my attempt at cracking the CIA’s MKULTRA code so far. The plan is to post a chart on the homepage to help anyone who is researching the MKULTRA documents.
MKULTRA Shorthand Guide
A Agency (CIA)
B Research Org/Business
D Expert/Knowledgeable Source in ARTICHOKE-related topic
E Financial Account
G CIA Internal Group/Office
H Department of Defense
I Enemy Country/CIA target for ARTICHOKE method
D/H Human Subject of ARTICHOKE method
B/3 Military Base
B/6 Military Officer
H-B/3 Military Base Hospital
H-B/6 Officer/Medical Specialist at Military Base Hospital
(Note: We may never know S, since it only appears at the top of some docs, but not in association with redacted text.)