Trivia Question: Who produced LSD for the CIA and MK-ULTRA in 1954?


Quiz question - Before I post episide II of the MK-ULTRA story and its relevance for University contracting (See: LSD and the corruption of medicine -Part I), Matt Holford prompted me to find out who produced LSD for the MK-ULTRA sponsored torture studies. In my previous post I implied that Sandoz remained the source.

In fact, CIA documents show that a U.S. source for LSD supply was desired.

In 1953 the CIA provided Eli Lilly with funding to attempt synthesis of LSD for CIA use without the need for the expensive and scarce reagents required by Sandoz. A year later, Lilly chemists succeeded in their quest, and subsequent supplies were from Lilly[1,2]. Another more potent chemical used by MK-Ultra, BZ (3-quinuclidinyl benzilate), was produced by Hoffman-La Roche.


CIA documents: Document #24, 16 November, 1953, Subject: ARTICHOKE Conference; Document #268, 23 October, 1953, Subject: Meeting in Director's Office at 1100 hours on 23 October with Mr. Wisner and [deleted]; Document # 316,6 January,1954, Subject: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD-25); and Document #338, 26 October 1954, Subject: Potential Large Scale Availability of LSD through newly discovered synthesis by [deleted]; interviews with Sandoz and Lilly former executives; and Sidney Gottlieb's testimony before Kennedy subcommittee, 1977, p. 203.
Marks, John (1979). The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: CIA and Mind Control. W W Norton & Co Ltd, 264. ISBN 0393307948

  • Lyle Courtsal

    See movie Jacob’s Ladder for more on experimentation with BZ during Vietnam war. I played too much on my TV show and got shut down by the nazi director, a woman, but the guys watching us at night passed us up and whooop-whooped from their car. You legally can only show so much of copyrighted video or you get fined. I got shut off instead. Still what a night!! Also found out about the US Army Training and Indoctrination center from a caller; I love doing shows, man. . . . The rich folks just didn’t like what I was doing.