Disturbing CIA experiment MK-Ultra that inspired Stranger Things destroyed my father after he was brainwashed | The Sun

THE daughter of a man brainwashed by the CIA has revealed how he was put into an induced coma, subjected to extreme electric shocks and brainwashed with sinister tapes playing for 23 hours a day under his pillow.

Julie Tanny's dad Charles came out of the Allan Memorial Institute, Montreal, a completely different person, forgetting he even had children – after being subject to chilling experiments later revealed to be part of the top secret MK-Ultra program, her lawsuit alleges.

Charles Tanny was transformed from a doting, loving father who would build ice skating rinks for Julie and her two siblings in the back yard and take them to the amusement park on a weekend – to a cold, emotionless man who would beat her for no reason, court papers say.

Now Julie, who is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the CIA, which funded the experiments, says she is outraged as the spy agency is trying to claim immunity in the case – arguing in court that the experiments – had no effect on the victims' children.

The 67-year-old says her family and those of the hundreds of other victims were "destroyed" by the experiments – carried out without consent in the 50s and 60s.

The lawsuit is seeking compensation and accountability from the CIA, the Canadian government, and McGill University, which runs the Allan Memorial Institute.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Julie, from Montreal, said: "There has been no explanation from either the US or Canadian government to tell us what these experiments were or why.

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"When we were in court earlier this year, the lawyers for the CIA were saying that it didn't affect us – well I can tell you it did affect us. It affected my life greatly. So it's infuriating that they are saying that.

"They are trying to diminish their culpability. The fallout to the families has been huge. My family was destroyed by it.

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"They know if they accept that it hurt us, it will cost them more money. All we can do is hope that we see justice and soon.

"I want to make sure this is done before I die."


Julie's dad Charles was admitted into the sinister program in 1957, when he was aged 47, court papers, filed in Montreal's Superior Court, reveal.

Unlike most of the other experiment victims, Charles did not have any psychiatric problems – but was suffering chronic pain in his jaw, they say.

According to the lawsuit, he and the other victims were subjected to "methods of depatterning and repatterning the brain, including, but not limited to: drug-induced sleep/coma, intensive electroconvulsive therapy (“ECT”), “psychic driving”, sensory deprivation, and administration of various barbiturates, chemical agents and medications to suppress nerve functionality and activation."

Julie said: "My dad had a condition called trigeminal neuralgia – it's a pinched nerve in the temple that radiates into the jaw and it's excruciatingly painful," Julie said.

"Nowadays it can be treated with medication and surgery.

"They subjected him to an insulin coma as soon as he got there and many, many electric shock treatments. They reduced him to a child."

"Back then he was looking for treatment but the doctors thought it was psychosomatic so they sent him to a therapist and the therapist put him into the program at the Allan hospital.

"They subjected him to an insulin coma as soon as he got there and many, many electric shock treatments. They reduced him to a child.

"There was no understanding as to why.


"I think the comatose state was so they could do the psychic driving, which is where they run a tape recorder under your pillow for 23 hours a day to try and implant new thoughts.

"I don't know what my father's tape said but I know other people who had the same thing and they would say things like, 'You hate your mother, you hate your mother, you want to kill your mother.'

"All very negative. I would have loved to have heard that tape but I never got to.

"They were not happy because he still had ties to his former life because he kept asking to see his wife and they didn't want that.


"So they put him in for another month. Then they decided they'd taken him as far as they could take him although we're not really sure how far they wanted him to go."

Charles was one of several hundred people taken under the care of controversial doctor Dr Ewen Cameron at the Allan hospital, who, according to the lawsuit, developed "torture techniques on hundreds of patients" designed to erase their minds "eliminate the will and establish control".

In 1977, it emerged that Cameron had received funding from the CIA to conduct the experiments as part of its MK Ultra program, according to the lawsuit.

The sinister mind control project later inspired the Netflix series Stranger Things.

The lawsuit reads: "As a result of the trauma, patients often suffered from retrograde, psychogenic or dissociative amnesia for the rest of their lives and, having lost control of their bladders and bowels, had to relearn most basic skills in order to function.

"Many were in a childlike state and even had to be potty-trained. Family members described them as even more emotionally unstable as before and many of them were unable to live a normal life afterwards."


The unwitting subjects were often placed in comas, given electric shocks several times a day, given high doses of LSD and subject to sensory deprivation where their eyes, ears and skin would be covered, it adds.

They were played recording made by Dr Cameron containing "negative and destructive" statements up to half a million times each.

Julie was just five when her father was admitted into the program but says she remembers vividly how her dad came back three months later a changed man.

She said: "When he got home he was a completely different person. He didn't know who we were. He was a very engaged parent when he went in but he came out totally detached.

"It was a complete personality change, there was no playing with us any more, there was no more affection, he was empty – there was nothing. He became very short fused and very difficult."

"I remember very clearly my father used every winter built us a skating rink in the backyard, and he'd take us skating in the park, he would rub my feet while I screamed because they were so cold.

"He would take us to the amusement park, or fishing, every weekend was something else.

"In his interview with his therapist he mentioned that I was the apple of his eye. But after he got out he started physically beating me.

"It was a complete personality change, there was no playing with us any more, there was no more affection, he was empty – there was nothing. He became very short fused and very difficult. 


"He was only violent to me, not my other siblings, and we don't know why. There were many things I would have liked to ask my father but I couldn't. I've blamed him for all these years and then to find out it wasn't his fault has been very difficult. 

"I still suffer with the repercussions today. I think trauma that happens as a child tends to stay with you for the rest of your life.

"After a while of living with no emotion, my dad had a heart attack and then a massive stroke aged 60. And studies have shown these particular shock treatments cause cardiac problems.


"He was unable to communicate and stayed that way for 18 years. 

"They really destroyed his life. "

In 1992, Charles was one of 77 people paid $100,000 in compensation by the Canadian government as part of the Depatterned Persons Assistance Program.

However the fund closed before it had helped all the victims and the Canadian government accepted no responsibility, which is why Julie decided to go ahead with the lawsuit.

"To this day, neither the Canadian government, the CIA, McGill, nor the Royal Victoria Hospital have issued formal apologies for their involvement with the Montreal Experiments," the legal papers state.

Julie said: "We felt that the CIA who started this whole thing, and all the other people responsible should be held accountable.

"The only thing that would affect them in any way is in their pockets and accountability.


"I want someone to get up and say 'Yes we did it' but an apology means nothing at this point.

"It's not the same people in charge, I don't even know how many politicians know about it so I don't know if an apology would actually mean anything.

"What happened in our house affected us very much, it affected us the choices we made, who you marry, your career goals.

"I find most of the people in our group have not achieved their potential. They either suffer depression from a terrible childhood or  they've had to spend their life taking care of family members who could no longer function. And they all suffered financially.

"I know one woman who had four siblings and she had to spend her life taking care of them because her mother was unable to.  

"It's a prime example of what governments and the elite get away with.

"I don't expect anything to change, but all we can do is educate politicians so it doesn't happen again. And hope for justice."

The CIA declined to comment when approached by The Sun.

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McGill University Health Centre, which runs the Allan hospital, has previously acknowledged Cameron’s research was "controversial, and its consequences, unfortunate" but added that courts had already established that "it was not considered, by law, the employer of Dr. Cameron; at the time, he exercised his profession in an autonomous and independent manner.”

The Canadian government says that an 1986 inquiry found that it had no legal liability or moral responsibility" for the treatments.

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