Adam Stennett. MK-Ultra. 2008. Screenprint and spray-paint on US Army issue t-shirts, pvc pipe, astro turf, military footlocker, 36 x 22 x 86 inches assembled. Accompanied by signed, first edition, Hardcover Mk-Ultra Handbook.

PROJECT MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a covert CIA mind-control and chemical interrogation research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence, that began in the early 1950s and continued at least through the late 1960s. There is much published evidence that the project involved the surreptitious use of many types of drugs especially LSD, as well as other methodology, to manipulate individual mental states and to alter brain function. The MKULTRA director was granted six percent of the CIA operating budget in 1953, without oversight or accounting. Experiments included administering LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, prostitutes, mentally ill patients, and members of the general public in order to study their reactions. LSD and other drugs were usually administered without the subject's knowledge and informed consent, a violation of the Nuremberg Code that the U.S. agreed to follow after WWII.

Considerable evidence supports the contention that Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski participated in CIA-sponsored MKULTRA experiments conducted at Harvard University by Henry A. Murray, a professor in Social Relations, from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962. Kaczynski was subjected to "a disturbing and what would now be seen as ethically indefensible experiment on twenty-two undergraduates." Kaczynski was a precocious, though impressionable, sixteen-year-old when he began his participation; his assigned code name was "Lawful." He emerged, years later, as a terrorist and has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

MKULTRA, perhaps predictably, plays a part in many conspiracy theories given its nature and the destruction of most records. Some claim the MKULTRA project was linked with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. They have argued that there is evidence that the assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, had been subjected to mind control.
Project MK-ULTRA was first brought to wide public attention in 1975 by the U.S. Congress, through investigations by the Church Committee, and by a presidential commission known as the Rockefeller Commission. Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKULTRA files destroyed in 1973.

Although the CIA insists that MKULTRA-type experiments have been abandoned, 14-year CIA veteran Victor Marchetti has stated in various interviews that the CIA routinely conducts disinformation campaigns and that CIA mind control research continued. In a 1977 interview, Marchetti specifically called the CIA claim that MKULTRA was abandoned a 'cover story.'.

44 American colleges or universities, 15 research foundations or chemical or pharmaceutical companies and the like, 12 hospitals or clinics (in addition to those associated with universities), and 3 prisons are known to have participated in MKULTRA.