1945, Nuremberg. The trial of the Nazis is Canadian psychiatrist Ewan Cameron. Hardly restraining emotions, he accuses the Hitlerite minions in savage experiments over people. After the testimony of Cameron, who gave a conclusion about the responsibility of the criminals, seven German doctors will go to the gallows … And already in the 50’s Dr. Cameron himself will begin to conduct sadistic experiments in Montreal. The kidnapping of memories, drugs and the conspiracy of the CIA. Does it look like a horror scenario? Alas, this is a true story, having sinister parallels with the series The Evil Within.
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In the first part of The Evil Within, the young scientist Ruben Victoriano and his mentor, Dr. Marcelo Jimenez, invented a device that combined several minds. People connected to the STEM machine found themselves in a virtual world woven from collective memories, fears and fantasies (imagine the “Matrix” from the same kino trilogy, which is controlled not by AI, but by the human brain). The purpose of the miracle device was understood by each of the creators in its own way. Ruben, tormented by the spiritual trauma of the past, dreamed of plunging into the ideal simulation of his own childhood. Vain Marcelo wanted with the help of STEM to make a revolution in psychiatry: diagnose and treat people, literally walking through the palaces of their minds.
Good intentions paved the way to hell for illegal experiments. Before STEM earned, hundreds of patients at the psychiatric hospital “Mayak”, which was in charge of Jimenez, irrevocably gone mad, fell into the eternal coma or died. Torture in the name of science took place in the center of the fictional American city of Crimson City: in an ominous Gothic mansion, converted into a hospital. Funded all the mysterious and powerful organization Mobius, seeking effective ways of brainwashing. It would seem that the stamp on the stamp. But the terrible truth is that something similar really happened in North America of the XX century.
House of Nightmares
By the early 1950s, Dr. Ewan Cameron had made a dizzying career. The 50-year-old doctor simultaneously headed three psychiatric associations: Canadian, American, and World. He also directed the Allan Memorial Institute Hospital at McGill University in Montreal. This clinic was deservedly considered not only one of the most prestigious in Canada but also housed in a historic place: in a Victorian mansion with the poetic name Ravenscrag (“The Raven”).
Cameron, like Marcelo Jimenez, believed that a revolution in the treatment of mental disorders is possible only with the help of the latest technology. Therefore, in the mid-fifties, he rejected traditional therapy – with all her conversations, Freudianism and a long-term alignment of trust between the therapist and the client. And he began to practice his own method, which promised accelerated and automated healing.
“The essence of management of the psyche was reduced to the complete erasure of the memory of the subject and the creation of a new, healthy personality”
The essence of the concept of ” management of the psyche ” ( psychic driving ) was to completely erase the memory of the subject and create – thanks to tape recordings with suggestions – a new, healthy personality. Paradoxically, this idea to Ewan, who passionately loved fantasy novels, was prompted by the dystopia “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley.
The method consisted of two stages. At the first, ” pathological stereotypes of thinking and behavior ” were cleaned from the patient’s mind by electro-shock therapy. At that time, a safe monthly dose was considered to be 12 electric shocks. Cameron also increased the rate to 12 beats per day, and the discharge strength at times exceeded the therapeutic one.
As a result, people not only lost their memories of themselves but also for a short time fell into childhood: they lay like embryos in an embryonic posture, ate from a spoon and called their mother, mistaking the nurses for their parents. However, for Cameron, the manifestations of regression were not an annoying hindrance, but a welcome effect, returning the patient to ” those early stages of personality development when the signs of mental illness have not yet begun to form.”
The kidnapper of memories
Granted that immersion in deep amnesia in patients is slow, Yuen ordered the use of a new-design electric shock, stinging six in number instead of one. Not to mention all sorts of hallucinogens, depressants, and stimulants that cause loss of perception of space and time (for the complete destruction of the defense mechanisms of the psyche).
After a month or two of shock treatment, the second stage of treatment began: the construction of a new ” I ” with the help of the impressions recorded on the reel tape recorder. The procedure was reminiscent of the infamous scene from the Clockwork Orange: patients who had been stripped of narcotic drugs and immersed in half-doers listened to instructions in the spirit of ” You are a beautiful mother and the children are happy to communicate with you” for 20 hours a day. Audio recordings were scrolled by days, weeks and months, to finally imprint themselves in the convolutions of the subjects. One of the subjects suffered a 101-days tape recorder. Continuously.
“Healthy Montrealians submissively went to the examination, and were discharged – invalids”
Men and women who applied for help at the Allan Memorial Institute were not informed that experimental and traumatic methods would be rolled on them. Worse: Cameron turned into “guinea pigs” even people with minor problems, such as anxiety neuroses or postpartum depression, handing out the diagnosis of “schizophrenia” to the right and left. The authority of the godfather of Canadian psychiatry was so high that, in fact, healthy Montrealians submissively went to the examination and were discharged with disabilities.
“After six months in” Allan Memorial “because of the deceptively diagnosed schizophrenia, I turned into a” plant. ” I did not know who I was, did not remember anything about the events before hospitalization, did not recognize the children and my husband. The former “I”, who wrote poetry and was a promising opera singer, disappeared. Forever. My family had to teach me life again as if it were a 4-year-old child, ” recalls Linda McDonald, a victim of Cameron.
Did Dr. Evil’s research fervor cool down a series of failures? Hardly. Moreover, in 1957, Cameron received a proposal, from which it was difficult to refuse: sadistic experiments interested the CIA.
In the mid-50’s, the cold war was gaining momentum. American intelligence urgently needed techniques to detect double spies and “split” suspects. Therefore, in 1953, a top-secret MK-Ultra program was born. The illegal project to control the mind was divided into 149 subprojects. The budgets of many passed for several million dollars (unheard of at the time the amount). The ten-year program covered 80 US organizations, including 44 universities, 12 hospitals, and three prison institutions.
Any methods of influencing the consciousness of a potential enemy were studied: chemical, biological and even radiological. Starting with experiments with hallucinogens, brain implants and the serum of truth. Completing frankly absurd ideas for killing animals by sight (the events formed the basis of the comedy “Mad Special Forces: Combat Hypnosis against Goats” ) or the manufacture of a chemical that will destroy the “revolutionary” beard of Fidel Castro, and at the same time his regime in Cuba.
“The conspirators of Crimson City, like the CIA, conducted dangerous tests on the mentally ill, criminals and civilians”
Need I say that the activity of the secret organization “Mobius” in The Evil Within is very similar to “MK-Ultra”? Espionage, conspiracies, patrons in the highest circles and illegal research, covering a variety of subprojects.
“Society is seriously hurt, but” Mobius “can save everyone. STEM unites the subconscious of people in a single whole, and whoever is in its center can influence them directly. The best possible tool to change the world … and to lead it, “- curator of” Mobius “in The Evil Within.
Conspirators Crimson City, like the CIA, conducted dangerous tests on the mentally ill, criminals and civilians. And the ideological processing of agents, judging by the events of the plot of The Consequence, was like Cameron’s experiments: candidates were pumped up with drugs and bombarded with audio promptings.
For the leadership of Mobius, obsessed with the techniques of brainwashing, the recruitment of Jimenez was a real discovery. Marcelo had enough of “human material” for experiments in Mayak, and for the sake of creating a prototype STEM he was ready for anything: ” I have long spat on the oath of Hippocrates. The scientific and medical potential of my work is too great. ” A similar situation happened with the CIA, who suggested that Cameron conduct research for “MK-Ultra” in the Allan Memorial hospital. After all, it was not a pity for the US citizens to mutilate Canadian citizens. Yes, and he himself has long believed that the destruction of the psyche is a necessary measure on the path to healing. So started “Subproject 68” within the MK-Ultra, aimed at ” changing human behavior under the influence of repeated verbal signals .”
As soon as CIA money began to enter the Montreal hospital in 1957, this institution finally turned into a torture laboratory. The first thing Cameron, who continued to run the theory of “management of the psyche,” significantly increased the amount of electroconvulsive therapy. Then came the test of testing the slaughter doses of the newest psychotropic drugs, which were very interesting for the Intelligence Agency.
“I lay in total darkness for hours, unable to move limbs. Missing the sensation of the body, there remained only the head, floating in an endless black emptiness “
The most monstrous tool of Yuan was a combination of sensory deprivation and prolonged medication sleep. For this, the old stables near the Allan Memorial were turned into soundproof rooms. There was always a white noise, and the lighting was turned off. Eye patches, rubber earplugs, and cardboard armpits from the hands to the shoulders – all this was waiting for the prisoners of the isolation room.
For complete immobility, even small doses of curare poison, which causes paralysis, were used: the patients in the literal sense were prisoners captured in the prison of their body. The torture could last up to 35 days. According to Cameron, such measures allowed “to reduce the resistance of the individual, making it more pliable to suggestion.”
In reality, however, the psyche of the subjects broke down. The line between hallucinations and reality was blurred. Before the inner eye flashed a surreal kaleidoscope of random images, visions, and nightmares. How can I not remember the leaps of the hero The Evil Within, Detective Sebastian Castellanos, from one memory to another during the connection to STEM?
“Isolation was like being buried alive. I lay in total darkness for hours, unable to move limbs. The sensation of the body disappeared, only the head remained, floating in an endless black emptiness. At some point, the darkness was replaced by a bright light: they were taking me somewhere … I was given an injection, and I seemed to jump back into my body. A flash of light – and I’m already in the ward of electroconvulsive therapy. Discharge, still discharge – and again darkness, long hours of darkness … “- recalls the former patient” Allan Memorial”.
Financing of “Subproject 68” ceased in 1964, when it became finally clear that the concept of “management of the psyche” had collapsed. It was possible to empty the mind, but to mold a healthy person from walking “plants” – no. At the same time, Cameron suddenly left the hospital and departed from scientific affairs. Three years later, an odious physician died of a heart attack, climbing the mountains.
The birth of the system of modern torture
The eerie activity of the Canadian psychiatrist became known in the late 70’s when on the wave of the Watergate scandal, journalists learned about the MK-Ultra program. As the Intelligence Directorate destroyed almost all documents ahead of time, no one was punished. Nine former patients of Cameron managed to sue the CIA $750 thousand. The Canadian government, in a long trial, agreed to pay $100,000 to all those who were victims of the experiments. Compensation received 77 Montreal.
How did the US government manage the workings of the mad doctor? The grim truth was revealed in 1988, after a sensational investigation by the New York Times about US participation in the political murders of Latin America. Experiments in “Allan Memorial” formed the basis of the secret leadership for the special services. The 128-page document “Counterintelligence interrogation, the Kubark method” included a variety of techniques: from sensory isolation to electroshock and the use of an opaque hood. Particularly useful was Cameron’s idea of immersing a person in an infantile state.
“The experiences at Allan Memorial have paved the way for bullying the prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other secret American prisons”
“All these techniques, allowing to get the interrogation out of the impasse – from deprivation to a drug coma, – accelerate the plunge into regression. As soon as the interrogated person passes from the state of maturity to the more childish, his psychological defenses weaken. The subject becomes open to suggestions, including complete submission “, – Kubark’s instruction.
According to the famous historian Alfred McCoy, who investigated the evolution of torture since the time of the Inquisition, the Kubark technique produced “a real revolution in the sadistic science of causing pain in the last 300 years”. The experiences at Allan Memorial have paved the way for bullying the prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other secret American prisons.
That’s how Ewan Cameron, who dreamed of rid the world of schizophrenia and dreamed of the Nobel Prize, unwittingly presented the CIA with a highly effective system of torture. The man who denounced Nazi crimes in Nuremberg in 1945, after a decade himself, committed atrocities similar to those for which German doctors were hanged.
Crimes in the name of science, as history shows, are ineradicable. Will Mobius be punished and will the monstrous STEM machine be destroyed? We will find out already on October 13, when the Evil Within 2 goes on sale.