244. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Dulles to Secretary of Defense Wilson1


  • Research on Psychochemicals
For the past four years the Central Intelligence Agency has been actively engaged in research on a group of powerful chemicals affecting the human mind called psychochemicals. We have developed extensive professional contacts, experience and a considerable amount of information on many psychochemicals including in particular a material known as LSD. This Agency is continuing its interest in this field, and in the light of its accumulated experience offers its cooperation and assistance to research and development programs which the Department of Defense is considering at this time.
The Agency became interested in the potential importance of psychochemicals, primarily because of the enthusiasm and foresight of Dr. L. Wilson Greene, Technical Director of the Chemical and Radiological Laboratories at the Army Chemical Center. Dr. Greene’s ideas were included in a report written by him in 1949 entitled “Psychochemical Warfare, a New Concept of War”.
Since 1951 this Agency has carried out a program of research which has provided important information on the nature of the abnormal behavior produced by LSD and the way this effect varies with such factors as size of dose, differences in the individual and environment. The behavioral effects of repeated doses given over a long time [Page 737] has been studied. We have established that individuals may develop a tolerance to LSD. A search for possible antidotes is being made. It has been found that LSD produces remarkable mental effects when taken in exceedingly small doses. The foregoing became increasingly interesting when it was recently discovered that LSD could be synthesized in quantity.
There are many characteristics of LSD and other psychochemicals which either have not been studied or require further study. We are continuing to search for a satisfactory antidote for LSD as well as other defensive measures. More data should be accumulated if it is desired to predict the precise effect upon a given individual under given circumstances. It would appear to be important that field trials be made to determine the effects on groups of people or on individuals engaged in group activities.
This Agency’s scientists who have been responsible for this research in psychochemicals have maintained close and effective liaison with various research and development groups in the Department of Defense who are aware of our interest and, in varying degrees, of our progress in psychochemicals. Some of these individuals are:

Dr. L. Wilson Greene, Technical Director, Chemical Corps, Chemical and Radiological Laboratories, Army Chemical Center

Dr. Bruce Dill, Scientific Director, DirectorChemical Corps, Medical Laboratory, Army Chemical Center

Dr. Amendeo Marrazzi, a scientist at the Medical Laboratory, Army Chemical Center

Capt. Clifford P. Phoebus, Chief, Biological Sciences Division, Office of Naval Research

Brig. Gen. Don D. Flickinger, ARDC, U.S.A.F.

Lt. Col. Alexander Batlin, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, (Research and Development)

In addition, this Agency has provided financial support for certain projects in the field of psychochemicals being conducted by the Chemical Corps and by the Office of Naval Research. We have noted with considerable interest the current Department of Defense study of the potential importance of certain psychochemical materials including LSD which is being carried out by the Ad Hoc Study Group on Psychochemicals under the Technical Advisory Panel on CW and BW of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Development. If our accumulated information, experience and professional contacts can be of any assistance, this Agency gladly offers its co-operation in this program.
Allen W. Dulles
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–B01731R, Box 15. Secret.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.