Ice Pick Lobotomies

An ice pick lobotomy involves inserting an ice pick above the eyeball and hammering it into the brain to destroy the frontal lobes. In 1977, the CIA admitted that it had considered doing this to enemy agents as a way to erase their memory following interrogation. This secret program was code-named "Project Artichoke".

However, the agency insisted that by 1972 it had abandoned the idea as too barbaric, and too likely to "invite horrible reprisals".

Some other interrogation techniques that the agency had considered, but rejected, included:

—Placing subjects in a quaking rubber room to produce overanxiety and emotional instability. The CIA review says "for our purposes a quaking room is too much of a torture chamber; however, if some third-degree approach is contemplated at a permanent installation, this one is interesting."

—Shining flickering lights at a prisoner. "The analyst ... mentioned watching a restaurant fan which was too slow, but nevertheless spoiled his appetite."

—Injecting forms of cocaine into a suspect's brain through holes in the skull. "Too surgical for our use."

—Odors were also considered. The documents said that terror has been produced by exposing a subject to a harmless odor, such as geranium, simulating the smell of a lethal gas.

More info:

Sacramento Bee - Oct 30, 1977

     Posted By: Alex - Thu May 27, 2021
     Category: Spies and Intelligence Services | 1970s | Brain Damage

Plot devices from the worst James Bond movie ever…
Posted by Brian on 05/27/21 at 08:46 PM
Torture chamber, Grandma's flowerpots, same difference.
Posted by Yudith on 05/29/21 at 08:53 AM
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