By Louis Porter Vermont Press Bureau - Published: November 30, 2008
Few people in Vermont remember Dr. Robert W. Hyde, but one of his former patients can’t forget him. The doctor was involved in one of the nation’s darkest chapters in medical science: In the 1950s, Hyde conducted drug and psychological experiments at a Boston hospital through funding that apparently originated with the CIA. Later, he became director of research at the Vermont State Hospital.
The patient, Karen Wetmore, is convinced that Hyde and other researchers subjected her and possibly other patients to experiments paid for by the CIA at the Waterbury facility.
Hyde was an international pioneer in the development of mind-altering drugs and in their use in treating mental illness. He was involved in research programs sponsored and secretly funded by the CIA and the U.S. military. With an Army psychiatrist, he also conducted research on drugs designed to produce mental illness in healthy people who volunteered for such studies. In 1949, Hyde was an early experimenter with LSD: He volunteered to take the drug himself.
The Army psychiatrist, Dr. Max Rinkel, was particularly interested in using LSD to induce in mentally healthy people a schizophrenia-like state. The symptoms exhibited by these test subjects show similarities to those Wetmore experienced, according to her medical records from the Vermont State Hospital.
The experiments conducted by Rinkel, Hyde and their associates (sometimes even on themselves) were an important part of secret programs run by and for the CIA to construct “black operations” for prisoner interrogation and other espionage and military uses. “Black ops” were designed to look like civilian programs, even to the researchers, with the CIA gleaning the results.
The intelligence funding was often disguised as grants that were passed through organizations or other agencies. Psychiatric researchers at dozens of sites around the country, including state hospitals, prisons and universities, many of which have never been identified, cooperated sometimes knowingly and sometimes unwittingly in research on human test subjects. FULL STORY.