One of the darkest chapters of Canadian history surely has to be the CIA-funded mind control experiments done at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal back in the 1950s and 60s. You don’t have to be a senior citizen to have heard of the infamous “Dr.” Ewen Cameron and his “de-patterning” experiments done at the Allen Memorial Clinic, that gothic structure on the hill above downtown Montreal, attached to the Royal Victoria.
After all, a TV mini-series and three books were written about Cameron and the torture he inflicted upon unsuspecting Montreal women and men who came to him looking for help. He had developed the novel idea, which the CIA liked for its possible application in brainwashing enemies, that the best way to treat mental patients was to totally destroy their personality and attempt to remake them. To this end, he gave massive doses of electric shock to individuals to destroy their memories and then placed modified football helmets upon their still breathing corpses that would play endless loops of Cameron’s recorded instructions or other nonsense. He also had a penchant to put some patients on massive doses of barbiturates or LSD and throw them in a sensory deprivation tank for a month.
Of course, he never told his patients what he was doing – just his colleagues, the CIA and defense officials in Canada although the Canadian government has been pretty dark about their knowledge or involvement. Patients had to sue both the CIA and the Canadian government to get redress. The legal defense of Canada and CIA was simply that Cameron was doing these experiments anyway, they were just along for the ride. The Canadian government eventually had a program to give a paltry $100,000 to Cameron’s victims if they could PROVE they were “depatterned.” Patients had to take the CIA to court and eventually got a million dollars a number of years ago – pretty meagre.
Why bring this up today? Well, the daughter of one of the victims finally got the $100,000 payment that Canada had denied her deceased mother for about 50 years. Is this justice served?
In light of the fact that the Canadian government and therefore taxpayers are paying tens of millions of dollars to three individuals for Canada’s apparent role in their torture in Syria and millions more to Omar Kadir for that fiasco, we don’t think so,
We want to point out this weird dichotomy that apparently torture on foreign soil is worse than torture done within Canada.
We are concerned about government waste. But this is not about the money. How can any amount of money make things right after a mother or daughter or loved one has been brutalized in such a manner? But the amount signifies responsibility. Canada, almost 60 years late, gives a token gesture for a deceased victim. Embarrassing.