[NetBehaviour] Hallucinogenic Weapons: The Other Chemical Warfare.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Fri Jan 12 14:35:51 CET 2007

Hallucinogenic Weapons: The Other Chemical Warfare.

By RU Sirius.

There were many acid tests happening in the 1950s and 1960s. Ken Kesey 
and his Merry Pranksters dosed sometimes-unsuspecting proto-hippies. The 
CIA was dosing unsuspecting mainstreamers. Leary dosed fully cognizant 
artists, therapists and students. But meanwhile, over at Army Chemical 
Center at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, psychiatrist James S. Ketchum 
was testing LSD, BZ and other psychedelic and deliriant compounds on 
fully informed volunteers for the U.S. military.

Dr. James S. Ketchum was hired by Edgewood, first as a research 
psychiatrist in 1961. He became Chief of the Psychopharmacology Branch 
in 1963, and then became Acting Chief of Clinical Research in 1966. 
After a brief hiatus at Stanford University, he returned as Edgewoods’ 
Chief of Clinical Research in 1968, staying there until 1971. Dr. 
Ketchum and his team were looking, primarily, for non-lethal 
incapacitating agents, and he was central to many of the experiments 
with these compounds that took place during that time.

Now, Dr. Ketchum has released his fascinating self-published memoir, 
Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten, primarily detailing his 
times at Edgewood. The book boasts charts, graphs and experimental 
reports — a veritable goldmine of information for those who are 
interested in psychedelics, deliriants, or chemical warfare. It’s also a 
funny, observant, and reflective personal memoir, casting a light not 
only on Ketchum and his work, but on a decade that saw 60s 
counterculture and the military share an oddly intersecting obsession 
with mind-altering drugs.


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list