Almost 30 years ago, nine patients at a private psychiatric hospital in Montreal were unwittingly subjected to CIA-funded brainwashing experiments that they claim ruined their lives and left them beset by a host of psychic ills.
In 1980, shortly after the CIA admitted funding the experiments, each of the nine patients sued the U.S. government seeking $1 million in compensation. Now, after extensive legal wrangling, the lawsuit could go to trial in Washington this fall--and with it, the issue of what moral or financial responsibility the CIA must bear for covert activity involving unknowing victims.
The experiments were carried out from 1957 to 1960, the suit said, at Montreal's Allan Memorial Institute under the supervision of Dr. Ewen Cameron, then director of the facility and a respected psychiatrist who had published studies on behavior research. Cameron, a U.S. citizen, retired from the Allan in 1963 and died in 1967.