Undoubtably the strangest, most disturbing, book I read this year.
The story of Sydney Gottlieb and the early years of the CIA is almost too cruel, to horrible to really comprehend. Yes, I knew about MK Ultra (where the CIA drugged unsuspecting people with LSD) and I knew about the CIAs involvement in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, and the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro. Sure I’d heard stories of the CIA using a fake hippie crash pad to drug unsuspecting people and monitor their reactions, but I didn’t know it was all traceable back to the same guy. Nor did I know this dude when not ruining the minds of other people, was interested in meditation, made his own yogurt and was a serious student of folk dances around the world.
It’s a surreal read, but also a chilling one. When the crimes fo the early CIA are laid out, one after the other, it shocking, even when none of it is new.