Project MKULTRA, The CIA's
Program Of Research In Behavioral Modification
MKULTRA Subproject No. 83
This declassified CIA memo was written on April 18, 1958 by Dr.
Sidney Gottlieb, chief of the Chemical Division of the agency's
Technical Services Staff. Gottlieb, who oversaw many of the MKULTRA
projects, reviewed covert CIA support for research studies of
"controversial and misunderstood" areas of psychology
such as hypnosis, truth drugs, psychic powers and subliminal
18 April 1958
MEMORANDUM FOR: THE RECORD
SUBJECT: MKULTRA, Subproject No. 83
1. The purpose of Subproject
No. 83 will be to support the editorial and technical survey
activities of [portion censored] assigned to the [portion
censored] and is covered as an employee of the [portion
censored] . During the past six months, his activities have
been to make technical surveys of social and behavioral science
matters of interest to TSS/CD/Branch III. During this period
he has been carried on the budget of the [deletion]. However,
it was originally proposed that as soon as he demonstrated his
ability, he would be established as a independent project and
his activities widened.
2. [portion censored]
has completed a detailed survey of handwriting analysis.
He has prepared a review of current attitudes towards handwriting
analyses as reflected by scientific researchers in the technique;
fringe or pseudo-scientific developments in the field; general
attitudes of psychiatrists, psychologists and other behavioral
scientists to the techniques; and attitudes of document analysts
and law enforcement agencies to the method. He has isolated the
various "schools" of handwriting analysis, both American
and European, and has prepared a readable, accurate and informative
document that can be made available to
potential consumers of handwriting analyses. More important,
however, he has assembled data making it possible to design relevant
and meaningful research into the usefulness and applicability
of handwriting analyses to intelligence activities.
3. On the basis of
the many contacts developed by [portion censored]
it is now possible to undertake systematic research. During the
next year, [portion censored] will be responsible
for the development of a research project on handwriting analysis.
The recommendations for the design of this project, as developed
by [portion censored] are included as Attachment
4. In addition [portion
censored] will begin to develop similar technical surveys
on other controversial and misunderstood areas. These will include,
though not necessarily in the next year:
a revision and adaptation of material already developed on deception
techniques (magic, sleight of hand, signals, etc.)
psychic phenomena and extrasensory perception
expressive movements (body type, facial characteristics, etc.)
He will also assist the [portion censored] in editing
the material they develop including annual reports, project summaries,
and conference notes.
5. [portion censored]
will be under the supervision of the Executive Secretary of the
[portion censored] and will continue to work out
of the [portion censored] offices. Additional space
for his activity is necessary and is included in the summary
budget attached. Accounting for money spent will be included
in the regular [portion censored] audit.
6. The total cost of
this subproject will be $25,000.00 for a period of one year beginning
1 May 1958. Charges should be made against Allotment 8-2502-10-001.
7. [portion censored]
has been cleared for access to Top Secret material by the Agency.
Approved for Obligation of Funds:
Date: [illegible] 1958
1. Proposed Budget
2. [portion censored] Recommendations