The recent U.S. National Archives release of classified documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has raised questions about the CIA psychiatrist who worked on MKULTRA, and assessed Lee Harvey Oswald's killer, Jack Ruby.
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Psychiatrist’s 1960s LSD
Experiments Come Back
to Haunt America
The recent release of previously classified documents has resurrected interest in a
mysterious visit between psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West, with Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey
Oswald's killer, when he was in jail. West had been funded by the CIA to conduct mind-
control experiments in the 1950s-70s.
Reportedly, Ruby suffered an acute psychotic break
following his time with West, who pronounced him
‘technically insane’. During Ruby’s trial, the judge
noted he never witnessed the behavior West
described. Accusations arose that West tampered
with Ruby, including pharmacological treatment.
A document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveals the CIA set West up in a
clandestine laboratory to perform “mind-control” experiments with hypnosis and LSD. A portion of the
secret experiments were exposed in the mid-1970s by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on
West reported to the CIA that the experiments he’d begun
in 1953 using LSD had come to fruition. He also claimed
to be able to replace “true memories” with “false ones” in
human beings without their knowledge by administering
“new drugs” effective in speeding the induction of the
Another controversial case involving CIA-funded psychiatrist Jolyon
West included evaluating Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated Robert F.
Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.
West claimed Sirhan was the subject of psychic
driving, a mind-altering technique involving looped
audio repeated to a subject under the influence of
hypnosis or paralytic drugs, along with a trigger word
or sentence that when used would activate a hidden
personality programmed within the subject.
Psychiatrist Jolyon West and Racism—In 1972, West claimed that riots were tied to genetic and
racial factors and those prone to such violence were mostly young Black and Hispanic urban
males. He called for Black and Hispanic children to be studied for a genetic abnormality.
He proposed a chemical