Public Notice: Appeal to the CIA regarding classification of R. Gordon Wasson documents related to MKULTRA Subproject 58


Michele Meeks 11 April 2013
Information and Privacy Coordinator,
c/o Central Intelligence Agency
Washington, D.C. 20505
FAX: 703-613-3007

Dear Michele,
Thank you for your missive of March 26, 2013, denying to fulfill my additional request on R. Gordon Wasson, citing (b)(1) and (b)(3).

Recent documents that have come to light show that the CIA’s MKULTRA subproject 58 with R. Gordon Wasson was previously undisclosed in full view to the public, and that the resulting Life Magazine article of May 13, 1957, “Seeking the Magic Mushroom”, and also This Week Magazine’s “I Ate the Sacred Mushroom” of May 19, 1957, which the CIA essentially paid for, directly resulted in and was a major player in the launching of the entire psychedelic movement, or the so-called “psychedelic revolution”.

One letter in Subproject 58 mentions that Gordon Wasson was “unwitting” even though the documents show that J.P. Morgan Bank, where Wasson served as the Vice President of Propaganda, was the contractor for this operation. Subproject 58 was published by J.P. Morgan companies such as Henry Luce’s Life Magazine – directed by Henry P. Davison- Wasson’s direct boss at J.P. Morgan Bank, and also This Week Magazine, which was directed by Joseph P. Knapp of Morgan Guarantee Trust, which it is now clear that the CIA at very minimum funded these projects and launched the psychedelic movement itself. Therefore, all persons who were part of this movement were direct victims of the CIA’s MKULTRA Subproject 58.

Furthermore, other documents in Subproject 58 show that Wasson requested the money himself, and that James Moore did not approach Wasson regarding the $2000, as is the CIA’s official position.

I’ve already mentioned that Wasson had attempted to recruit Soviet Union Ambassador George Kennan to the CIA, and it is also evident that Wasson worked directly under DCI Dulles at both the CFR, and the Century Club. Furthermore, the Century has provided me a recording of Wasson presenting to banking and intelligence officers, as well as a list of former OSS officers who were members, making it clear that the club was a front group for the CIA and OSS.

Though the CIA has attempted to cover up Wasson’s letterhead and signature, and inserted the claim “unwitting”, from our own copies of these documents obtained elsewhere it’s clear that the address is 23 Wall street, New York 8 – J.P. Morgan, “The Corner”, and, along with forensic analysis of the typing, again shows that it was Wasson who requested the money directly, and that it was the CIA who funded this this entire program against all presently available historical record.

Therefore, it appears that the evidence reveals that the CIA maintains a concurrent and ongoing MKULTRA program against the law and against presidential order, and against its own statements of closing down and disclosing all related programs.

Because we are patriotic Americans, we want to make sure that our information on this matter is as accurate as possible as it may result in tens of thousands of additional lawsuits against the CIA and involved banking institutions in regard to MKULTRA. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the CIA work with us and provide us everything as requested to expose this program once and for all. Inaccurate information could be disastrous for the Agency. We know that it is of great importance to the Agency to support historical research of this kind to make sure that everything is exactly accurate.

I must appeal your denial for information regarding R. Gordon Wasson as Wasson is key to revealing this concurrent and undisclosed operation to the public.

While your statements say that your search did not find any “responsive” records – you go on to state that “the CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request” which is contradicted by these other statements, below, and the fact that they’re classified (b)(1), and also (b)(3) “to protect from disclosure intelligence sources and methods, …” - the two grounds on which you rest your basis for denial of my requests. Classifying, as well as “protecting from disclosure intelligence sources and methods, as well as the organization, functions, names, official titles, salaries or numbers of personnel employed by the Agency” any documents or information that doesn’t exist is logically impossible. Therefore, these documents and information must exist.

I also note that the Agency chooses to use a vague equivocation of the word “responsive” which it uses classify or un-classify documentation it sees fit to [respond] with (or not) regarding public and historical research FOIA requests on MKULTRA and other mind control programs. The use of sophistry in the denials shows that the Agency is still unwilling to be honest regarding Project MKULTRA – and this is reason enough alone to appeal your denial.

Therefore, on the grounds of reason and logic, as well as to have an accurate historical record, I appeal the following denials to the Agency Release Panel under your care:

1) I appeal your 26 March 2013 decision on Gordon Wasson. You state that “a search for records that would reveal an openly acknowledged Agency affiliation existing up to and including the date the Agency started its search and did not locate any RESPONSIVE records”.

In the case above you point out that this is an openly acknowledged Agency affiliation, and therefore, if it’s openly acknowledged, there is no logical reason that the CIA would prevent the release of such documents, especially in light of the historical significance of this information and its possible relationship to concurrent MKULTRA or related operations – the ramifications of which, when revealed, would cause yet another national embarrassment for the CIA regarding the MKULTRA programs – now 40 years on, and is an obvious conflict of interest for the Agency to keep these documents classified.

If the openly acknowledged Agency affiliation is not that of the person(s) that I’m requesting information on – not the deceased, but is a currently active agent, then again, as you state, it’s openly acknowledged, and therefore is no reason for secrecy. However, my request deals with a person long ago deceased.

We all know that having maximum transparency is essential to insure that citizens select the best possible candidates and policies for our country. Unfortunately, sometimes our government officials have occulted information as leverage against others, including the American public; a practice which violates our rights and responsibilities as citizens as well as it’s a violation of natural law. This very issue, MKULTRA, and the release of all related documents, directly concerns this policy of violating the publics’ right to know – as well as performing illegal experiments on unwitting persons from the 1940s into the PRESENT. We must have accurate historical information to prevent such policies from being implemented again and to help those whom have been and continue to be victims of Project MKULTRA and its subprojects like 58.

Most importantly, in the 70s the CIA released about 17,000 documents relating to MKULTRA and its head and subprojects, and made a public statement that all of the MKULTRA projects and subprojects have been shut down. The work that we are doing, though taking a somewhat different direction, addresses the same topic and has the same historical significance.

It is of the greatest historical import that all documents be released in regard to all people that I have filed a FOIA request on – past and future – including and especially for R. Gordon Wasson. Doing so will help persuade me and numerous other researchers with whom I am involved that the CIA has in fact shut down ALL such operations and that there are no concurrent (head) projects or subprojects of any of this sort under way – as the evidence currently suggests there is. If, as we suspect, the Agency has not shut down and fully disclosed all operations to the public, then it is only in the Agency’s best interest to support this research in every way possible.

Denial of such documents and the continued classification thereof will serve only to increase public suspicion about the CIA and concurrent operations at a time when it is in the midst of great public scandal.

Releasing the information I am seeking will benefit not only historians and researchers but the Agency itself. It will also free the millions of people who’ve fallen victim to the CIA’s psychedelic revolution that is now clearly a result of Subproject 58, a.k.a. Life Magazine’s Seeking the Magic Mushroom, and also This Week Magazine’s “I ate the Sacred Mushroom”.

Therefore, I urge you to accept my appeal to the FOIA denial addressed above and to furthermore release all documents.


Jan Richard Irvin
C/O: Gnostic Media
PO Box 3819
Crestline, CA 92325-3819

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