The Wayne Stater

A nation of madness

Dead in the Water

Jacob Stewart, Staff Writer

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“These are the times that try men’s souls.” It’s quite a line, and was fitting when Thomas Paine wrote it in his pamphlet series, “American Crisis,” back in the winter of 1776. The colonies were fighting a losing war up to that point, and General Washington, encamped at Valley Forge, was a man running out of time. However, the tide turned. The colonists were victorious, and America was born, with Washington being named as its first president, and for what? To become a nation ruled by a tyrant surrounded by sadistic sycophants? To embrace hatred through racism and fear mongering? To cheer when tired and unarmed men, women and children are assaulted with tear gas after a journey few of us here would even survive through?

I originally thought that I could write something optimistic. I had plans to talk about the poetry and fiction slams. Perhaps I could have even spent time reflecting on the Plains Writers Series that I took part in as an attempt to promote my book. Yet here I am, sitting in my office crafting another assault upon this, our destructive nature.

Some might say that this is all just a phase, that over time we’ll overcome and find ourselves in a better situation with a better president. Yet for those who use that as a sense of comfort, I would only ask you to take another look at the title of this piece. If you’re confused by it, allow me to explain.

Back in the 1950’s a project called MKUltra was sanctioned, allowing the CIA to conduct numerous tests on Americans that focused on the concept of mind control. One of those tests included the use of LSD, and some of those subjects just happened to be convicts (Alcatraz was one of the prisons that took part in the project). Instead of being able to control the minds of the prisoners, the CIA often found that the drug made them paranoid and violent (just the thing you want for those in the prison system). In fact, it is rumored that Whitey Bulger, the infamous Boston crime lord, was one of the subjects before being released to build his underworld empire and the relationship with the FBI that made him nearly untouchable. Yes, that is something our own government did, all the way up to the 1970’s.

The America we dream of is nothing more than that, folks. It’s one of those moments where we wake up to the ugly sound of an alarm, and after desperately hitting the snooze button, we try to gain just a few more minutes of sleep, a few more minutes in the dream, only to find that it is gone. We claim to have so many virtues and assert the idea that our nation is the pinnacle of civilization. Yet here we are, in a society that sells arms to third world dictators, starting revolutions and stepping back, doing more than watching as they turn on each other, and yes, deploying tear gas on children, all while claiming that this is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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About the Writer
Jacob Stewart, Columnist

Jake Stewart currently lives in Wayne, Nebraska where he graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in Secondary English Education. His short stories...

1 Comment

One Response to “A nation of madness”

  1. Janet Uhlar on November 29th, 2018 12:02 pm

    Jacob, It is not a rumor that James “Whitey” Bulger was experimented on in the MKUltra Project — it is a fact. He was 26 years-old, and in the Atlanta State Penitentiary for robbery. For 18 months he was subjected to massive doses of LSD 3 times a week. His transfer from Atlanta to Alcatraz was viewed as a blessing — an escape.
    How do I know this? I was a juror in his trial — as juror who questioned whether much of what was testified to in his trial was contrived. A juror who sought the truth after, and went directly to the source.
    I corresponded with Jim Bulger for 5 years. I sat with him for 15 hours. I listened. He had much to say.
    Jim’s often included the time of day he wrote a letter. Early on, I asked why he wrote in the early hours of the morning. His response was, “since MKUltra I can’t sleep more than 2 hours — I hallucinate.” I didn’t know what MKUltra was. I did some research as I asked Jim more about it. His memory was vague at first, but, as he answered my questions he remembered more details — like the 2 young prisoners, Benoit and Jennings who went “mad” and were taken out never to be seen again. He always wondered what happened to them.
    I discovered, ordered, and read the 1977 US Senate Hearing on MKUltra. In it, the CIA representatives stated that the purpose was to modify behavior — and there were “elements” of the project to attempt to bring about aggressive and even homicidal behavior.
    Jim Bulger never realized this until I told him. He never used it as a defense. Another young man subjected to MKUltra was Ted Kaczynski as an undergrad at Harvard (better known as the Unabomber).
    Jacob, I thank you for your column titled “A Nation of Madness” and your reference to the experimentation of US citizens by the CIA in MKUltra (you should look into the horror of the radiation experiments they conducted as well.)
    My research on James “Whitey” Bulger has revealed a myth created by the DOJ, CIA, and Boston ‘journalists’ that continues to have my head spinning. The depth of corruption and deceit is incredible. Who was Whitey Bulger? None of them bothered to find out. The focus was to capture and silence him. But did they?
    Bulger had plenty to say before he was murdered….
    Keep seeking and speaking the truth, Jacob. The future of this nation depends on it.
    Janet Uhlar

    Janet Uhlar