Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology
The Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology was a CIA supported operation that was used in covert research on 'brainwashing'. It was disbanded in 1965. According to a 1999 report in Peace Research: 'In 1955, Harold Wolff, from Cornell University's Psychiatry Department created a CIA research front called the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology. This was later shortened to the Human Ecology Fund. The plan was to promote research that would lead to techniques for getting information out of people without their co-operation and without their even knowing that was what you were doing.'
The report also noted:
- In 1957, the Human Ecology Fund was legally separated from Cornell. Lt.-Col. James Monroe, former head of the Psychological Warfare Division of the U.S. Air Force, became director, and Carl Rogers joined the board of directors. Rogers is on record as saying that he was well aware that the Human Ecology Fund was a CIA front for covert funding of psychological research, and that he had no problem working for the CIA. In fact, the CIA gave Rogers $30,000, which enabled him to leave academics and settle in sunny La Jolla, California. There he worked for the Western Behavioural Sciences Institute, which had contracts with the Pentagon for cross-cultural research. Rogers has said that he was confident that his research had no espionage applications. However, a January 1960 CIA memo stated that the CIA was interested in adapting Rogers' theories and methods of non-directive therapy for non-directive methods of interrogation.
According to a report in the Washington Post in 1977:
- Some of the research was done under the auspices of the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, a CIA-supported operation that was disbanded in 1965. According to a report in yesterday's editions of The New York Times, other conduits included the Office of Naval Research and the Geeschickter Fund for Medical Research, a still extant foundation that once contributed $370,000 toward construction of a $3 million building at Georgetown Hospital here. Military contracts arranged by the Office of Naval Research reportedly enabled the CIA to test LSD and other drugs on prisoners at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Lexing, Ky., purportedly as part of a project aimed at finding a substitute for codeine as a mild pain killer.
- Much of this research was said to be have been conducted by Dr. Harris Isbell, now retired and living in Eastland, Tex. He refuses to comment. "I have a personal rule: I don't talk to reporters," he said yesterday in a brief telephone conversation that ended with his hanging up. "I'm safely and happily retired." The testing extended to Canada under the aegis of the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology where some experiments were done on psychiatric patients at the Allen Memorial Institutte of Psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal. The research there was carried out by Dr. Ewen Cameron, who died in 1967.
- "He was doing some rather interesting work with schizophrenics," the society's one-time executive director and treasurer, James F. Monroe, recalled yesterday. "We provided the funds to keep his work going. He was using drugs and a total pschological bombardment of the individual - trying to break through in communication." this involved "24-hour conversations" with patienst by teams under Cameron's direction who focused on one individual. "They had some rather remarkable successes," Monroe, a former Air Force colonel and expert in brain-washing, said. "They introduced me to one man who had been completely catatonic until he was brought into the program. But the time I saw him he could converse, he was a human being again."
The New York Times, reported:
- CIA also provided funding through Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, which was founded in mid-50's by Dr Harold Wolff and his assistant at Cornell Univ Med Center Dr Lawrence B Hinkle Jr to conduct brainwashing study. Wolff was said to be close friend of Central Intelligence Dir Allen Dulles. In '56 CIA decided to support research by other entities through society. At this point all Cornell staff dropped out save Wolff. CIA installed Air Force Col James L Monroe, brainwashing expert, as society exec dir and treasurer. Hinkle asserts no human experimentation was ever conducted at NY Hosp, Cornell Med Center or by Cornell staff on project. Under Monroe, society funded brainwashing research by Dr Donald Ewen Cameron of McGill Univ's Allan Memorial Inst of Psychiatry.
- Rudmin, Floyd Carl Rogers worked for the CIA Peace Research November, 1999 Pg. v.31(4) N'99 pg 77-78 ISSN: 0008-4697
- J.D. Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control (New York: Times Books, 1979).
- M. Klare, The University-Military Complex: A Directory and Related Documents (New York: North, 1970). Also, J. R. Raser, 'Cross-cultural Simulation Research,' International Journal of Psychology 2, p. 59-67.
- P. Greenfield, 'CIA's Behaviour' Caper,' APA Monitor 8, no. 12, p. 1, 10-11., Marks, op. cit.
- George Lardner Jr. and John Jacobs, Washington Post Staff Writers Lengthy Mind-Control Research by CIA Is Detailed; The Washington Post August 3, 1977, Wednesday, Final Edition SECTION: First Section; A1
- JOHN M CREWDSON, NICHOLAS M HORROCK, BOYCE RENSBERGER, THOMAS and JOSEPH B TREASTER New York Times, August 2, 1977, Tuesday, SECTION: Page 1, Column 6