Monday, May 7, 2007

CIA, The Patriot Act, and The Indian Lake Project

Indian Lake Project MKULTRAUnprecedented restrictions on American freedom of travel on the northern and western borders of the Adirondacks have apparently not been reflected in the recent 2006 tourism study [pdf].

Still, the story of 66 year-old Andrew Feldmar, a well-known Vancouver psychotherapist, is indicative of the increasing misuse of the USA Patriot Act that threatens the Adirondack tourism industry.

Feldmar’s story is a rather simple one:

Born in Hungary to Jewish parents as the Nazis were rising to power, Feldmar was hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust when he was three years old, after his parents were condemned to Auschwitz. Miraculously, his parents both returned alive and in 1945 Hungary was liberated by the Russian army. Feldmar escaped from communist Hungary in 1956 when he was 16 and immigrated to Canada. He has been married to Meredith Feldmar, an artist, for 37 years, and they live in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. They have two children, Soma, 33, who lives in Denver, and Marcel, 36, a resident of L.A. Highly respected in his field, Feldmar has been travelling to the U.S. for work and to see his family five or six times a year. He has worked for the UN, in Sarajevo and in Minsk with Chernobyl victims.

Feldmar was making a trip south to visit an old friend when he was stopped by a border guard who demanded to see his papers. Feldmar handed over his passport and keys. The guard asked a few questions and then turning to his computer – Googled him. That’s right, when border agents are concerned about the security of America they, apparently, turn to Google.

The guard soon discovered a journal article Feldmar had written in 2001 entitled “Entheogens and Psychotherapy” in which he had admitted to taking LSD in the late 1960s and early 1970s during a period when he was, like Harvard Professor Timothy Leary, interested in the medicinal properties of Psychedelic drugs. In no time, the border “guard” had Feldmar fingerprinted and banned from ever entering the United States again.

“My father was doing nothing wrong, illegal, suspicious, or at all deviant in any way, when he was trying to visit the U.S.,” his daughter, Soma, an instructor at a Denver college, says. “In terms of family it really sucks. “

So much for family values.

When Feldmar looks back on what has happened, he concludes that he was operating out of a sense of safety that has become dated in the last six years, since 9-11. His real mistake was to write about his drug experiences and post this on the web, even in a respected journal like Janus Head. He acknowledges that he had not considered posting on the Internet the risk that it turned out to be. So many of his generation share his experience in experimenting with drugs, after all. He believed it was safe to communicate about the past from the depth of retrospection and that this would be a useful grain of personal wisdom to share with others. He now warns his friends to think twice before they post anything about their personal lives on the web.

So much for freedom of expression and the pursuit of liberty.

What’s really disturbing about this story is Donald Ewen Cameron. You see, Cameron was also a respected psychotherapist.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s Cameron lived and worked in Albany. Each week he drove through the Adirondacks to McGill’s Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal to conduct experiments for Project MKULTRA, the CIA’s mind control program. Documents released in 1977 revealed that Cameron conducted experiments on thousands of men women and children – both American and Canadian. According to Wikipedia:

In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs, as well as electroconvulsive therapy at 30 to 40 times the normal power. His “driving” experiments consisted of putting subjects (human beings) into drug-induced coma for months on end (up to three in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements. His experiments were typically carried out on patients who had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and post-partum depression, many of whom suffered permanently from his actions.

It was during this era that Cameron became known worldwide, serving as the second President of the World Psychiatric Association, as well as president of the American and Canadian psychiatric associations.

He was also a member of the Nuremberg medical tribunal a decade earlier, where he accused German medics of things he himself did between 1934 – 1960 or later.

Some have theorized that the Indian Lake Project was the site of MKULTRA experiments on children. Could it be that Cameron had a role in the Indian Lake Project? According to Aber and King’s History of Hamilton County (page 549), “On Decemeber 1, 1953, construction of ‘Skywatch Quarters’ at Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake was ordered in compliance with the orders of officers of of the U.S. Air Force in charge of the air warning system.”

Was this facility a cover for MKULTRA drug experiments? Were local children exposed to drugs by Cameron and his minions?

Can they still cross the border?

Related Stories


John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for more than 45 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John's Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on North Country Public Radio and on WSLP Lake Placid.

He is also on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute and edits The New York History Blog. He is the author of two books of regional history.




Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *