In 1945 the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was established and given direct responsibility for Operation Paperclip. The program recruited former Nazi scientists, some of whom had been identified and prosecuted as war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials.
Several secret U.S. government projects grew out of Operation Paperclip. These projects included Project CHATTER (established 1947), and Project BLUEBIRD (established 1950), which was renamed Project ARTICHOKE in 1951. Their purpose was to study mind control, interrogation, behavior modification and related topics.
Project CHATTER was a United States Navy program beginning in the fall of 1947 focusing on the identification and testing of drugs in interrogations and the recruitment of agents. Their search included laboratory experiments on both animal and human subjects. The program operated under the direction of Charles Savage of the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, from 1947 to 1953. The project was geared to identifying agents both synthetic and natural that were effective during interrogation. The project was centered on, but not restricted to, the use of anabasine (an alkaloid), scopolamine and mescaline. The program ended shortly after the Korean War in 1953, presumably due to limited progress and the success of other projects.
Project ARTICHOKE (also referred to as Operation ARTICHOKE) was a CIA project that researched interrogation methods and arose from Project BLUEBIRD on August 20, 1951, run by the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence. A memorandum by Richard Helms to CIA director Allen Welsh Dulles indicated Artichoke became Project MKULTRA on April 13, 1953.
A Central Intelligence Agency Project Artichoke document reads: "Not all viruses have to be lethal...the objective includes those that act as short-term and long-term incapacitating agents."
The project studied hypnosis, forced morphine addiction (and subsequent forced withdrawal), and the use of other chemicals including LSD, to produce amnesia and other vulnerable states in subjects.
ARTICHOKE was a mind control program that gathered information together with the intelligence divisions of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and FBI. In addition, the scope of the project was outlined in a memo dated January 1952 that stated, "Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation?"
Project Artichoke was the Central Intelligence Agency's secret code name for carrying out in-house and overseas experiments using LSD, hypnosis, and total isolation as a form of physiological harassment for special interrogations on human subjects. The subjects who left this project were fogged with amnesia, resulting in faulty and vague memories of the experience. According to Jeffrey Kaye, the name of this project came about from New York City criminal Ciro Terranova who was nicknamed "the Artichoke King". It was formerly known as Project Bluebird, but in August 1951, the operation was renamed. This project was a kickoff for MKUltra.
The CIA disputed which department would take over the operation. Finally, it was decided that an agent from the CIA research staff, a former army brigadier general, Paul F. Gaynor, would oversee it. The CIA chose the weaker and less intelligent as its subjects, which they thought to be homosexuals, racial minorities and military prisoners. The operation took place in special isolated locations throughout Japan, Europe, Asia, and the Philippines.