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Sidney Gottlieb


Sidney Gottlieb (August 3, 1918 – March 7, 1999) was an American military psychiatrist and chemist probably best-known for his involvement with the Central Intelligence Agency's mind control program MKULTRA.

Sidney was born in the Bronx under the name Joseph Schneider. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. A stutterer from childhood, Gottlieb got a master's degree in speech therapy. He also had a club foot, but this did not stop him from practicing folk dancing, a lifelong passion.

In 1951, Sidney Gottlieb joined the Central Intelligence Agency. As a poison expert, he headed the chemical division of the Technical Services Staff (TSS). Sidney became known as the "Black Sorcerer" and the "Dirty Trickster." He supervised preparations of lethal poisons and experiments in mind control.


In April 1953 Sidney Gottlieb headed the secret Project MKULTRA which was activated on the order of CIA director Allen Dulles. Gottlieb was known for administration of LSD and other psycho-active drugs to unwitting subjects and for financing psychiatric research and development of "techniques that would crush the human psyche to the point that it would admit anything." He sponsored physicians such as Ewen Cameron and Harris Isbell in controversial psychiatric research that used unwitting humans as guinea pigs. Many people suffered serious adverse affects consequent of research financed by Gottlieb and the Rockefeller Foundation.


In March 1960, under The Cuban Project, a CIA plan approved by President Eisenhower and under the direction of CIA Directorate for Plans, Richard Bissell, Gottlieb came up with ideas to spray Fidel Castro's television studio with LSD and to saturate Castro's shoes with thallium so that the hair of his beard would fall out. Gottlieb also hatched schemes to assassinate Castro, including the use of a poisoned cigar, a poisoned wetsuit, an exploding conch shell, and a poisonous fountain pen.

He also tried to have Iraq's General Abdul Karim Qassim's handkerchief contaminated with botulinum. Less known was an operation within the CIA's Phoenix Program in Vietnam where a team of CIA psychologists performed mind control experiments on NLF suspects being detained at Bien Hoa Prison outside of Saigon.

Gottlieb is said to have played a role in funding investigation into paranormal phenomena, including remote viewing.


  • Foster, Sarah (1998, November 19). "Meet Sidney Gottlieb -- CIA dirty trickster". WorldNetDaily.
  • Holley, Joe (2005, June 16). "John K. Vance; Uncovered LSD Project at CIA". Washington Post, Page B08.
  • Jacobs, John (1977, September 5). "The Diaries Of a CIA Operative". Washington Post, A1.
  • Kettle, Martin (2000, August 10). "President 'ordered murder' of Congo leader". The Guardian.
  • Marks, John (1991). The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate". W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Mazur, Suzan (2005, January 29/30). "Tempelsman's Man Weighs In on the Murder of Patrice Lumumba". CounterPunch.
  • Spartacus Educational. Bibliography: Sidney Gottlieb.
  • Trento, Joseph J. (2001). The Secret History of the CIA. Prima Lifestyles.
  • U.S. Senate (1977). Human Drug Testing by the CIA. U.S. Government Printing Office.
  • U.S. Senate (1977). Project MKULTRA: The CIA's Program of Research in Behavioral Modification. U.S. Government Printing Office.

See also

  • Nazi medical experiments
  • Church Committee
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sidney_Gottlieb". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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