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Syndic Literary Journal


Written/Narrated By Baltimore Writer Charles Rammelkamp 

Truth serum? The ultimate object

of the first CIA mind-control program –

Bluebird. The goal:

to make a prisoner “sing like a bird.”

Defectors, refugees, POWs:

the original 1950 guinea pigs,

willing or unwilling;

even more ambitious:

get them to perform tasks –

assassinations? espionage? –

under post-hypnotic suggestion.


But me? What did I know?

Glen Webber, a wet-behind-the-ears journalist,

tagging along in the postwar paranoia

about the existential threat of Communism,

suckered myself by Edward Hunter’s

catchy phrase, “brain washing,”

in his infamous Miami News story describing

“tactics” the Chinese Communist Party used

to force people into the Communist Party,

the word coming from the Chinese

characters hsi and nao – “wash brain,”

as if this nullified our moral obligations –

as if “moral obligations” was a quaint idea

from nineteenth century novels.




Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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