Donald Ewen Cameron
A photograph of Cameron c. 1967
Born (1901-12-24)24 December 1901[1]
Bridge of Allan, Perthshire, UK
Died 8 September 1967(1967-09-08) (aged 65)[1]
Lake Placid, New York, US
Residence 22x20px USA
Fields Psychiatry

Donald Ewen Cameron ((1901-12-24)24 December 1901 – 8 September 1967(1967-09-08)),[1] commonly referred to as "D. Ewen Cameron" or "Ewen Cameron," was a 20th-century Scottish-born psychiatrist who was involved in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) unethical and ultimately, "useless,"[2] research on mind control[3] and who served as President of the Canadian, American and World Psychiatric Associations, the American Psychopathological Association and the Society of Biological Psychiatry during the 1950s. Notwithstanding a career of honors, and leadership in early 1950s psychiatric circles, he has been heavily criticized in some circles for his administration of disproportionately-intense electroshock therapy, experimental drugs, and LSD to his patients without their consent and causing some to become comatose.[citation needed]

Early life and career[edit | edit source]

Donald Ewen Cameron was born in Bridge of Allan, Scotland, the son of a Presbyterian minister. His Scottish education culminated in 1925 when he received his diploma in psychological medicine from the University of Glasgow. That same year, at the Royal Mental Hospital in Glasgow, he became influenced by Sir David Henderson, who had been taught by Adolf Meyer, a psychiatrist whose broadened perspective on psychiatry was to influence Cameron for the rest of his life. In 1919, Henderson had become the director-general of the Red Cross in Geneva. In 1926, Cameron left for America to work with Meyer at the Phipps Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the Phipps Clinic he held the Henderson research scholarship in psychiatry for two years. In 1938 he left Phipps for the famous Burghoelzi Clinic in Switzerland, where he studied under Hans W. Meier, the successor of Eugen Bleuler, another man who had significantly influenced psychiatric thinking.[4]

In Switzerland, Cameron met the principal psychiatrist of the province of Manitoba, A.T. Mathers, who convinced the young Cameron to come to Manitoba, a place not at the forefront of psychiatry in the 1920s, but Cameron managed to have a successful career. Cameron was in charge of the admissions unit in Brandon, Manitoba and he organized the structure of mental health services in the western half of the Canadian province. In the city of Brandon and surrounding area, Cameron established 10 functioning clinics and this model was utilized as the forerunner of 1960s community health models.

In 1926 he was serving as Assistant Medical Officer, Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital.[5] In 1933[6] he married Jean Rankine, a competitive tennis player[7] and Lecturer in Mathematics at Glasgow, and together they would have three sons and one daughter.[8]

In 1936, he moved to Massachusetts to become director of the research division at Worcester State Hospital, and from 1939 to 1943 he was professor of neurology and psychiatry at Albany Medical College in Albany, New York, and at the Russell Sage School of Nursing, also in the Albany area. During those years, Cameron began to expand on his thoughts about the interrelationships of mind and body, and developed a reputation as a psychiatrist who could bridge the gap between the organic, structural neurologists, and the psychiatrists whose knowledge of anatomy was limited to maps of the mind as opposed to maps of the brain. Through his instruction of nurses and psychiatrists he became known as an authority in his areas of concentration.

Cameron focused primarily on biological descriptive psychiatry and applied the British and European schools and models of the practice. Cameron followed these schools of psychiatry in demanding that mental disturbances were diseases and are somatic in nature. All psychological illness were thus hardwired and a product of the body and the direct result of the patients biological structure rather than caused by social, societal or family relationships. The characteristics were thus diagnosed as syndromes, emerging from the brain. It is at this juncture that Cameron began to become more and more interested with how he could effectively manipulate the brain in order to control and understand the processes of memory. Cameron furthermore, wanted to understand the problems of memory caused by aging. He believed that the aged brain suffered from psychosis and thus would need to prematurely age brains in order to observe the effect.

In 1936, Cameron published his first book, Objective and Experimental Psychiatry. It introduced his lifelong belief that psychiatry should strive to approach the study of human behavior in a rigorous, scientific fashion. Clearly rooted in biology, his theories of behavior stressed the unity of the organism with the environment. He outlines the experimental method and the research design. Cameron believed firmly in clinical psychiatry and a strict scientific method.

World War II[edit | edit source]

Template:Repetition In 1943, during World War II, Cameron returned to Canada. Cameron was invited to McGill University in Montreal at the urgings of the world-famous neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield. There, with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, money from John Wilson McConnell of the Montreal Star, and a gift of the mansion of Sir Hugh Allan on Mount Royal, the Allan Memorial Institute was founded. Cameron recruited psychiatrists from around the world to build the psychiatry program at McGill. The team included psychoanalysts, social psychiatrists and biologists. Cameron developed a network of psychiatric services for Montreal.

In 1945, because of his reputation as a psychiatrist and the success of his instituting of psychiatric programs throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, Cameron was invited to Nuremberg to evaluate Rudolph Hess' psychological state.

Before his arrival in Nuremberg, Cameron wrote a paper titled The Social Reorganization of Germany. Cameron argued that German culture and its individual citizens would have to be transformed and reorganized. In his analysis, German culture was made up of people who had the need for status, who worshiped strict order and regimentation, desired authoritarian leadership and had a deeply ingrained fear of other countries. The paper continued to state that German culture and its people would have offspring that in 30 years from 1945, would be the biggest threat to world peace. As a consequence, the West would have to take measures to reorganize German society. Other similar psychiatric diagnoses of Germany took place at the same time, such as Richard Max Brickner's Is Germany Incurable(1943), Paul Winkler's The thousand-year conspiracy: secret Germany behind the mask(1943), Fredrick Martin Stern's The Junker Menace(1945), Sebastian Haffner's Germany: Jekyll and Hyde: An Eyewitness Analysis of Nazi Germany(1941) and Sigrid Lillian Schultz's Germany will try it again(1944). Along with Cameron's own testament to the experiences of life in World War II-era Germany, these texts gave the West both a historical and psychological picture of the German people as a whole.[9]

After Nuremberg[edit | edit source]

After Nuremberg, Cameron published the text titled Nuremberg and Its Significance. In this, Cameron hoped to accomplish a suitable method to re-instate a form of justice in Germany that could organize society to keep it from recreating the German that was born before and during World War II. Cameron viewed German society throughout history as continually giving rise to fearsome aggression. He came up with the idea that if he confronted the world and the Germans with the atrocities committed during the war, the world and the Germans would refrain from what were their repeated acts of extreme aggression. If the common population of Germany saw the atrocities of World War II they would surely submit to the re-organized system of justice that Cameron had created because the evidence at Nuremberg proved the Germans to be guilty. Cameron would decide that Germans would be most likely to commit atrocities due to their historical, biological, racial and cultural past and their particular psychological nature. All Germans on trial would be assessed according to the likeliness for committing the crime. As a result Cameron diagnosed Germans as the race most likely to rise and commit atrocities again because of their inherent nature.

Cameron began to develop broader theories of society, developed new concepts of human relations to replace the psychiatric concepts he deemed dangerous and outdated. These became the basis of a new social and behavioral science that Cameron would later institute through his presidencies of the Canadian, American and World Psychiatric Associations, the American Psychopathological Association and the Society of Biological Psychiatry. With the results of the Manhattan project, Cameron feared that without proper re-organization of society, atomic weapons could fall into the hands of new, fearsome aggressors.[10] Cameron argued that it was necessary for behavioral scientists to act as the social planners of society, and that the United Nations could provide a conduit for implementing his ideas for applying psychiatric elements to global governance and politics.

Cameron started to distinguish populations between "the weak" and "the strong". Those with anxieties or insecurities and who had trouble with the state of the world were labeled as "the weak"; in Cameron's analysis, they could not cope with life and had to be isolated from society by "the strong". The mentally ill were then labeled not only as sick, but weak. Cameron further argued that the weak must not influence children. He promoted a philosophy where chaos could be prevented by removing the weak from society.

Social and intrapsychic behavior analysis[edit | edit source]

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Cameron continued his work on memory and its relationship to aging. He published a book called Remembering and extended psychiatric links to human biology. In papers published during this time he linked RNA to memory. He furthered his diagnostic definitions of clinical states such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. Cameron's dedication to clinical psychiatry was examined in his pedagogical writings, his establishing of new organizations of clinical services, his papers and manuals that contributed to psychotherapeutic practice.

He began to develop the discipline of social psychiatry that concentrated and examined the roles of interpersonal interaction, family, community and culture in the emergence and amelioration of emotional disturbance. Cameron invented the day hospital, where patients could visit a psychiatrist during the day and return home at night. He placed the psychiatric treatment unit inside of the hospital and inspected its success. Here in the hospital Cameron could observe how the psychiatric patient resembled patients with other diseases that were not psychiatric in nature. Through the comparison somatic causes could also be compared. The behavior of a mental patient could resemble the behavior of a patient with, for example, syphilis, and then a somatic cause could be deduced for a psychological illness. Cameron titled this procedure "intrapsychic", a term derived from the psycho-somatic relationship of hospital patients.

Cameron began to refuse the Freudian unconscious in favor of a social constructivist's view of mental illness. In Cameron's analysis, culture and society played a crucial role in the ability for one to function according to the demands necessary for human survival. Therefore, society should function to select out the weak and unwanted, those apt towards fearsome aggression that threatened society. Psychiatry would play a disciplinary role.

Cameron began to explore how industrial conditions could satisfy the population through work and what kind of person or worker is best suited to industrial conditions. A stronger personality would be able to maintain himself or herself in heavy industrial situations, he theorized, while the weaker would not be able to cope with industrial conditions. Cameron would analyze what conditions produced the stronger worker, what would be the necessary conditions to replicate this personality and to reward the stronger while disciplining the weaker. In his 1946 paper entitled Frontiers of Social Psychiatry, he used the case of World War II Germany as an example where society poisoned the minds of citizens by creating a general anxiety or neurosis.[11]

Cameron and Freud: civilization and discontents[edit | edit source]

Although Cameron rejected the Freudian notion of the unconscious, he shared the Freudian idea in that personal psychology is linked to the nervous nature. He theorized that attitudes and beliefs should reinforce the overall attitudes of the desired society. Like Freud, Cameron maintained that the family was the nucleus of social behavior and anxieties later in life were spawned during childhood. Cameron wanted to build a psychiatric institution that was inventive in order to determine rapid ways for societal control while demanding a psychological economy that did not center itself around guilt and guilty complexes. His focus on children included the rights to protection against outmoded, indoctrination tactics, and the necessity for the implantation of taboos and inhibitions from their parents. Cameron wrote that mental illness was transmitted down through generations; thus, the re-occurrence of mental illness could be stopped by remodeling and expanding existing concepts of marriage suitability, as well as the quarantine of mentally ill individuals from the general population. The only cure for mental illness, he theorized, was to eliminate its "carriers" from society altogether.

Cameron believed that mental illness was literally contagious; if one came into contact with something or someone known to cause mental illness, one would begin to produce the symptoms of a mental disease. For example, something like rock music could be created by mentally ill people and would produce mentally ill people through infection, which in turn would be transmitted to the genes. Thus, this group would have to be studied and controlled as a contagious social disease. Police, hospitals, government, and schools would need to utilize the correct psychiatric authority to stop mental contagions from spreading. Cameron hoped also to generate families capable of utilizing authority and techniques to take measures against mental illness, which would later be apparent in Cameron's MKULTRA and MKDELTA experiments.

Cameron and the Germans[edit | edit source]

If we can succeed in inventing means of changing their attitudes and beliefs, we shall find ourselves in possession of measures which, if wisely used, may be employed in freeing ourselves from their attitudes and beliefs in other fields which have greatly contributed to the instability of our period by their propensity for holding up progress

—Cameron on the Germans, in Life is For Living[12]

In Cameron's book Life is For Living, published in 1948, he expressed a concern for the German race in general. Just as Sigrid Schultz stated in Germany will try it again, Cameron fostered a fear for Germans and that they are genetically determined.[clarification needed] In Life is for Living, Cameron continued developing his fears and concerns around Germans. The Germans that were affected by the events that would lead to World War II were of utmost concern. Cameron's own anxieties were extended to his policies determining who should have children and be able to excel to authority positions. Naturally, according to Cameron's psychiatric analysis of the German race, the Germans were not suitable to have children or hold positions of authority in society because of their genetic tendency of organizing society towards one that fosters fearsome aggression and would lead to war rather than peace. Cameron would repeatedly utilize the German as the archetypal character structure on which to ground the most psychologically deviant of human races.

Mental illness as a social contagion[edit | edit source]

Although society had established sanctions against the spread of infectious diseases, Cameron wanted to extend the concept of contagion to chronic anxiety. He warned that people with mental illnesses who had not been quarantined could spread and transmit their disease to portions of the populations. He warned that government institutions should take measure against such people as possible liabilities. Cameron began to base some of his notions on race, as is seen in his theories regarding the German people.

In the late 1940s, Cameron presented his ideas in a lecture entitled Dangerous Men and Women. In it, he described various personalities that he believed were of marked danger to all members of society, including children. The personality types are as follows:

  • A passive man who "is afraid to say what he really thinks", and "will stand anything, and stands for nothing". Cameron gives him a racial and national distinction: "[H]e was born in Munich, he is the eternal compromiser and his spiritual food is appeasement".[13]
  • A possessive type, filled with jealousy and demanding utmost loyalty. Cameron wrote that this personality type poses a danger to those closest to them, especially children.
  • The insecure man — "They are the driven crowds that makes the army of the authoritarian overlord; they are the stuffing of conservatism ... mediocrity is their god. They fear the stranger, they fear the new idea; they are afraid to live, and scared to die." This third type needs conformity and obeys the dictates of society. This type creates a world of strict standards of right or wrong which are manipulated by power groups to keep the insecure under control and dependent. Cameron theorized that this type is dangerous because of its "lust for authority".[14]
  • The last type is the psychopath, the greatest danger in times of political and societal upheaval; this Cameron merely called "the Gestapo".

Cameron believed that a society in which psychiatry built and developed the institutions of government, schools, prisons, and hospitals would be one in which science triumphed over these "sick" members of society. Cameron demanded that political systems be watched, and that German people needed to be monitored due to their "personality type", which he claimed results in the conditions that give rise to dictatorial power of an authoritarian overlord.

Cameron stated, "Get it understood how dangerous these damaged, sick personalities are to ourselves - and above all, to our children, whose traits are taking form and we shall find ways to put an end to them." He spoke about Germans, but also to the larger portion of the society that resembled or associated with such traits. For Cameron, the traits were contagions and anyone affected by the societal, cultural or personality forms would themselves be infected. Cameron utilized his ideas to implement policies on who should govern and who should parent in society. The described types would have to be eliminated from society in order for there to be peace and progress. The sick were, for Cameron, the viral infection to its stability and health. The described types were the enemies of society and life. Experts must develop methods of forcefully changing attitudes and beliefs, in order to prevent the authoritarian overlord.[14]

Project MKULTRA[edit | edit source]

Main article: Project MKULTRA

Cameron is best known for his notorious MK-ULTRA-related mind-control and behavior modification research for the CIA.[15] Cameron was President of the American Psychiatric Association in 1952–1953. Cameron lived and worked in Albany, New York, and was involved in experiments in Canada for Project MKULTRA, a United States based CIA-directed mind control program which eventually led to the publication of the KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation manual.

Cameron had been hoping to correct schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. He commuted from Albany, New York to Montreal every week to work at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University and was paid $69,000 from 1957 to 1964 to carry out MKUltra experiments there. In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy at thirty to forty times the normal power. His "driving" experiments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced coma for weeks at a time (up to three months in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements. Cameron's experiments were typically carried out on patients who had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression, many of whom suffered permanent debilitation as a result of Cameron's actions.[16] His treatments resulted in victims' incontinence, amnesia, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents, and thinking their interrogators were their parents.[17] His work was inspired and paralleled by the British psychiatrist William Sargant at St Thomas' Hospital, London, and Belmont Hospital, Surrey, who was also involved in the Intelligence Services and who experimented extensively on his patients without their consent, causing similar long-term damage.[18]

Naomi Klein states in her book The Shock Doctrine that Cameron's research and his contribution to the MKUltra project was actually not about mind control and brainwashing, but "to design a scientifically based system for extracting information from 'resistant sources.' In other words, torture."[19] Citing Alfred W. McCoy, Klein further writes that "Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Cameron's experiments, building upon Donald O. Hebb's earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA's two-stage psychological torture method."[20]

It was during this era that Cameron became known worldwide as the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association as well as president of the American and Canadian psychiatric associations. Cameron had also been a member of the Nuremberg medical tribunal in 1946–47.[21]

MKULTRA Subproject 68[edit | edit source]

MKULTRA Subproject 68 was one of Cameron's ongoing "attempts to establish lasting effects in a patient's behaviour" using a combination of particularly intensive electroshock, intensive repetition of prearranged verbal signals, partial sensory isolation, and repression of the driving period carried out by inducing continuous sleep for seven to ten days at the end of the treatment period. During research on sensory deprivation, Cameron experimented with the use of Curare, a poison used by South American Indians to tip their arrow heads, to immobilise his patients. After one test he noted: "Although the patient was prepared by both prolonged sensory isolation (35 days) and by repeated depatterning, and although she received 101 days of positive driving, no favourable results were obtained." Patients were regularly treated with hallucinogenic drugs, long periods in the "sleep room", and testing in the Radio Telemetry Laboratory, which was built under Cameron's direction. Here, patients were exposed to a range of RF and electromagnetic signals and monitored for changes in behaviour. It was later stated by other staff members who had worked at the Institute that not one patient sent to the Radio Telemetry Lab showed any signs of improvement afterwards.[22]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Obituary Notices". British Medical Journal 3 (5568): 803–804. 1967-09-23. ISSN 0959-8138. PMC Template:=pmcentrez 1843238. //www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1843238. 
  2. "Sidney Gottlieb". The Times (London). March 12, 1999. 
  3. Ross, Colin. Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality Disorder by Psychiatrists. Manitou Communications. ISBN 978-0-9704525-1-1. 
  4. Father, Son and CIA By Harvey Weinstein pg. 97-101.
  5. Journal of Mental Science 72: 304. 1926. ISSN 0368-315X. 
  6. Collins, Anne (1988), In the sleep room: the story of the CIA brainwashing experiments in Canada, Lester & Orpen Dennys, p. 64 
  7. "Scottish Championships". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.). Monday 26 August 1929. http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/4032561. 
  8. "D. Ewen Cameron, M.D., F.R.C.P.{C}.". Canadian Medical Association Journal 97 (16): 984–986. 1967-10-14. ISSN 0820-3946. PMC Template:=pmcentrez 1923436. PMID 4861213. //www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1923436. 
  9. Paul Weindling. John W. Thompson: Psychiatrist in the Shadow of the Holocaust. University Rochester Press, 2010. pg. 85.
  10. Father, Son and CIA By Harvey Weinstein pg 97.
  11. Father, Son and CIA By Harvey Weinstein
  12. Father, Son and CIA By Harvey Weinstein pg. 100
  13. Father, Son and CIA By Harvey Weinstein pg.101
  14. 14.0 14.1 Father, Son and CIA By Harvey Weinstein pg. 101
  15. He is unrelated to another CIA psychiatrist, Alan S. Cameron, who helped pioneer psychological profiling of world leaders during the 1970s, and was not associated with the behavioral modification research program. Shudel, Matt (August 31, 2008). "Doctor Looked After the Sick, And Looked Around for the CIA". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/30/AR2008083001936.html. Template:Failed verification
  16. Marks, John (1979). The Search for the Manchurian Candidate. New York: Times Books. pp. 140-150. ISBN 0-8129-0773-6. 
  17. Turbide, Diane (1997-04-21). "Dr. Cameron’s Casualties". http://www.ect.org/dr-camerons-casualties/. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  18. Collins, Anne ([1988] 1998). In the Sleep Room: The Story of CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada. Toronto: Key Porter Books. pp. 39, 42–3, 133. ISBN 1-55013-932-0. 
  19. Klein, N., "The Shock Doctrine", p. 39, Metropolitan Books, New York, 2007
  20. Klein, N., "The Shock Doctrine", p. 41, Metropolitan Books, New York, 2007
  21. Marks, John (1979). The Search for the Manchurian Candidate. New York: Times Books. pp. 140–150. ISBN 0-8129-0773-6.
  22. Taylor, S., "A HISTORY OF SECRET CIA MIND CONTROL RESEARCH", http://all.net/journal/deception/MKULTRA/www.profreedom.free4all.co.uk/skeletons_1.html

ar:دونلد أيوين كامرون de:Donald Ewen Cameron es:Donald Ewen Cameron fr:Donald Ewen Cameron pt:Ewen Cameron ru:Камерон, Дональд Евен

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