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 persuasion.

[document begins]

18 April 1958


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

[page break]


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 No. 2.

       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) a revision and adaptation of material already developed on deception techniques (magic, sleight of hand, signals, etc.)

              b) psychic phenomena and extrasensory perception

              c) subliminal perception

              d) hypnosis

              e) "truth serums"

              f) expressive movements (body type, facial characteristics, etc.)

[page break]


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.

TSS/Chemical Division

Approved for Obligation of Funds:

Research Director

Date: [illegible] 1958

  1. Proposed Budget
  2. [portion censored]  Recommendations

  Original only

[document ends]

 Table Of Contents