Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committ

~ Christopher Hitchens

For many years there have been rumours of mind control experiments. in the United States. In the early 1970s, the first of the declassified information was obtained by author John Marks for his pioneering work, The Search For the Manchurian Candidate. Over time retired or disillusioned CIA agents and contract employees have broken the oath of secrecy to reveal small portions of their clandestine work. In addition, some research work subcontracted to university researchers has been found to have been underwritten and directed by the CIA. There were 'terminal experiments' in Canada's McGill University and less dramatic but equally wayward programmes at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Rochester, the University of Michigan and numerous other institutions. Many times the money went through foundations that were fronts or the CIA. In most instances, only the lead researcher was aware who his or her real benefactor was, though the individual was not always told the ultimate use for the information being gleaned. In 1991, when the United States finally signed the 1964 Helsinki Accords that forbids such practices, any of the programmes overseen by the intelligence community involving children were to come to an end. However, a source recently conveyed to us that such programmes continue today under the auspices of the CIA's Office of Research and Development. The children in the original experiments are now adults. Some have been able to go to college or technical schools, get jobs. get married, start families and become part of mainstream America. Some have never healed. The original men and women who devised the early experimental programmes are, at this point, usually retired or deceased. The laboratory assistants, often graduate and postdoctoral students, have gone on to other programmes, other research. Undoubtedly many of them never knew the breadth of the work of which they had been part. They also probably did not know of the controlled violence utilised in some tests and preparations. Many of the 'handlers' assigned to reinforce the separation of ego states have gone into other pursuits. But some have remained or have keen replaced. Some of the 'lab rats' whom they kept in in a climate of readiness, responding to the psychological triggers that would assure their continued involvement in whatever project the leaders desired, no longer have this constant reinforcement. Some of the minds have gradually stopped suppression of their past experiences. So it is with Cheryl, and now her sister Lynn.

~ Cheryl Hersha