Talk about a bad trip. In the 1950s, the CIA launched a top-secret program called MKULTRA to look for drugs and other techniques to use in mind control. Over the next two decades, the agency used hallucinogens, sleep deprivation and electrical shock techniques in an effort to perfect brainwashing.
CIA scientists conducted more than 149 research projects as part of MKULTRA. In one, they tested the effects of LSD in social situations by slipping the drug to unwitting bar patrons in New York and San Francisco. In others, they enticed heroin addicts to take the hallucinogen by offering them heroin. [Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens]
Spooked by the Watergate scandal, in 1973 CIA Director Richard Helms ordered documents related to the project destroyed. However, some documents escaped destruction, and by 1977 a Freedom of Information Act request released more than 20,000 pages on the sordid program to author John Mark