The Washington Post
Sunday, February 19, 1978 pg. B48

CIA Able to Control Minds
By Hypnosis, Data Shows

United Press International
    The Central Intelligence Agency shook the theory that "nice" people cannot be made immoral under hypnosis by getting one woman to act out a cold-blooded murder in 1951, according to declassified intelligence documents.
    The Cold War-era mind control experiment climaxed when the hypnotized woman, described as peaceable and terrified of guns, fired a pistol point blank at a sleeping colleague—not knowing the gun had been unloaded.
    The documents also described other experiments in hypnosis—always involving female subjects for reasons not stated—in which women were persuaded to simulate immoral, abnormal or disloyal behavior.
    One report concluded:
    "If it can be shown in a series of tests that our subjects will do things that they normally would not do in their everyday activities, it seems logical that individuals elsewhere can be also controlled thusly."
    The once-secret documents were obtained by the weekly Washington newsletter Science Trends under the Freedom of Information Act, and made available to United Press International.
    They described CIA-sponsored hypnosis experiments carred out from 1951 to 1954, when the agency was starting up its ultra-secret "Project MK-Ultra" research into mind and behavior control using witting and unwitting humans.
    MK-Ultra ran into the 1960s, spurred initially by Korean War-era fears that the Soviets and Chinese had a big lead in "brainwashing" techniques that might enable them to enduce confessions from any captured enemy and turn Western spies into helpless, obedient double-agents.
    Names of subjects were blanked out in the released documents, but all were described as young, well-educated, highly motivated women who worked for the CIA and apparently volunteered for the experiments.
    The simulated murder was described in a report dated Feb. 10, 1954, concerning a male hypnotist and a woman "who had expressed a fear of firearm in any fashion."
    It said she was put in a trance and told to awaken another woman who had been put into a deep sleep.
    When she could not awaken her colleague, the report said, she was ordered to "pick up a pistol nearby and fire it at Miss (blank)" and assured that "her rage would be so great that she would not hesitate to 'kill'."
    It said the woman "carried out these suggestions to the letter, including firing the (unloaded) gun at Miss (blank), then proceeded to fall into a deep sleep" as ordered.
    When awakened, neither the "murderer" nor her "victim" had any recollecion of what had happened, the document said. It added:
    "The 'murderer' refused to pick up or accept the same gun and absolutely denied that she had fired it."