The CIA, LSD, JFK, and Charles Manson

The recent release of Quentin Tarantino’s film “Once Upon a Time in Holloywood” has awakened interest among some regarding the usual conspiracy theories, some of which are given an interesting treatment in an article on Unz.com: “The Manson Murders, JFK, 9/11, and the Psychopathy of Power.”


According to the book the article reviews, the LSD phenomenon in the late 60s was the result of a CIA operation allied with MK-Ultra, to discredit and destroy the new left and anti-war movements, and de-fang the counterculture.

Manson, according to the theory, was a creature of MK-Utra, and his handler was a grandiose psychiatrist named Jolly West. His murders took the gloss off the longhair thing, adding a sinister, frightening aura to it.

Interestingly, my father knew West, but had little use for him. West was the head of the Psychiatry and Neurology Department at the University of Oklahoma when my father worked there as a member of the neurology faculty in the 1960s. Apparently neurologists, among the most highly-trained of physicians, had little respect for psychiatry, which they regarded as a much less rigorous discipline. So it must have galled them to have a psychiatrist in charge. But West made it worse by being a pompous, self-regarding attention-seeker. I remember my father at the dinner table ranting about the latest Jolly West embarrassment, the worst of which was when he gave a huge dose of LSD to an elephant and it died in an agony of seizures.

Anyway, West was supposedly heavily into mind control research for the CIA, and the theory is that the Manson murders were an experiment. Manson, of course, knew a lot of the stars of the rock movement at that time, including the Mamas and the Papas and the Beach Boys, and even had some musical talent himself. Another book, “Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart Of The Hippie Dream”, supports this theory. According to the author, the rock music movement that arose in Laurel Canyon near Los Angeles was a project of the deep state. There was a secret military installation at the top of the canyon, and most of the musicians, it turns out, were military brats. The book is worth looking at, though it needs a good editor and it reaches some conclusions that are a bit of a stretch, given the facts provided. But the facts it does provide are disturbing.

So where does JFK come into this? Jolly West apparently was given private access to Jack Ruby soon after he shot Oswald. According to the story, Ruby was lucid before West visited him without anyone else present. After West left, Ruby was raving mad.

Another supposed victim of CIA LSD experiments was the Unabomber, who apparently was one of West’s victims after West moved to California.

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