There has been much talk of heroes lately. Ollie North, the devious zealot who threatens the stability of the American government by refusing to talk, has been called “a national hero” by Ronald Reagan. This magazine has recently picked its list of Canadian heroes. I would like to nominate my hero for 1987. He is an old man who is lying on his back in Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, and Ottawa should blush in shame at the thought of him.
On Jan. 3, on his 76th birthday, Joe Rauh—badly crippled by arthritisentered hospital for longdelayed operations to have both hips replaced.
It will take six months before the whole process is completed. The delay has aggravated his condition. The delay has come because this American has been fighting for llh years on behalf of a group of Canadians—in the face of passive opposition of both Canadian and American governments.
Rauh is a legendary civil rights lawyer who has practised his trade in Washington for 50 years.
With his small (five bodies) legal firm subsidizing the fight, he has been in the courts for all those years trying to get compensation for nine Canadians who had their minds warped by CIA-sponsored brainwashing experiments at McGill University in Montreal. A gutless Liberal government in Ottawa did nothing to aid an unpaid American trying to get justice for Canadian citizens. A gutless Conservative government now does little to aid the same unpaid American and the same aging Canadians who are slowly dying off.
We have played this tune before— how the Central Intelligence Agency between 1953 and 1973 spent $25 million in trying to learn how to control the human mind. It spun money through 50 universities in 21 countries, using a false front called the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology. McGill was one of the universities and it was grateful to get the money.
Allan Fotheringham is a columnist for Southam News.
Especially since it was going to help the “research” of the brilliant Dr. Ewen Cameron, the Scottish-born doctor who was “the godfather of Canadian psychiatry”—the first professor of shrinkdom ever appointed at McGill.
The CIA’s excuse was the need for speed: the Soviets and the Chinese might be playing about with methods of mind control. Cameron’s excuse was that the psychoanalysis-on-the-couch developed by Freud and Jung was too long and laborious. He used sleep therapy, in which patients were heavily drugged and rendered unconscious for
as long as 65 days. He used “psychic driving”—messages played up to a half-million times into the drugged ears of patients from speakers under their pillows. In a stable behind his lab, he put patients into a box that deprived them of all sensory stimuli: nothing to see or hear or smell or feel. One woman was in the box, except for toilet breaks and meals, for 35 days. Marian Jackson Robinson died of what was called a stroke.
In the United States similar experiments—often including the new drug LSD—were conducted on prisoners and prostitutes. In Canada, at McGill, they were done on ordinary citizens who had come to the respected Cameron with severe problems. In all, 53 Canadians were used as guinea pigs in the CIA-sponsored doodlings with people’s minds.
The reason Rauh is involved is that David Orlikow, the veteran MP from Winnipeg North, finally came to him for help, aware of Rauh’s reputation
for civil rights causes. Orlikow’s wife, Val, has suffered severely ever since Cameron treated her (without her knowledge) with 14 heavy doses of LSD over two months. Nine of Cameron’s victims sued the CIA, originally asking $1 million each. The CIA in 1973 illegally burned all documents pertaining to MKULTRA—the code name for the brainwashing experiments. Curiously enough, Cameron’s son, Duncan, destroyed Cameron’s files after he died in a mountaineering accident in 1967. Why destroy the files of the most preeminent figure in Canadian psychiatry? Curious.
So what has Joe Rauh, a foreigner, got for up to eight years fighting not only his own government but another one up in Ottawa? The elderly nine, while government lawyers leisurely drag the case through one court and another, have reduced their demands to $175,000 each—as death approaches them. The United States admits guilt and offers $25,000 apiece—with more years in court.
Ottawa? Then-justice o minister John Crosbie appointed a former Tory MP and lawyer from Halifax who produced a report full of more holes than Swiss cheese. External Affairs Minister Joe Clark refuses Rauh’s request to submit the matter to the World Court because that court is “too slow” in its deliberations. Too slow? After eight years? It is to laugh.
The real answer seems to be that Ottawa’s involvement, meaning Canadian money, in the McGill brainwashing is too embarrassing to admit. Washington knows that and, in effect, is holding Ottawa to ransom. Several months ago one of the aging nine died in Montreal. The suspicion is that both governments, ashamed of their involvement, would like to stall through the courts while death takes the rest.
It will be a long time before the Grim Reaper takes Joe Rauh, a large man with a ruined body and indomitable spirit. He cannot understand “the incredible and still unexplained hostility of the Canadian government” to the Canadian victims. Can anyone?
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