1960s-1970s, Canada: Prisoners used as Guinea Pigs

Edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair


    Hundreds of Canadian prisoners were experimented upon by psychiatrists in the 1960s and 1970s.  The LSD program was run by Dr. George Scott, a staff psychiatrist for Canadian Federal Corrections, who had been director of the Canadian Army's psychological rehabilitation department during WWII.  After the war, Scott teamed up with shrinks from the Allan Memorial Institute, including Ewen Cameron, to launch a variety of drug, electroshock, sensory deprivation and pain tolerance experiments, using prisoners and patients at mental hospitals as guinea pigs.  The LSD and funding for the research was provided by the CIA and the Canadian Department of National Defence.

      Scott was stripped of his license to practice medicine, not for dosing prisoners with drugs, but for using drugs and electroshock to aid his seduction of female patients.  According to court records, Scott used sodium pentathol and electroshock to put a victim into a near comatose state, implanted erotic suggestions and then roused her with shots of ritalin.  This continued for five years.

      In June 1999, Texas put to death John Faulder, a Canadian convicted of murder in 1977.  Unmentioned by the U.S. press was that in 1961, Faulder was an unwitting victim of Scott's CIA-funded LSD experiments.

       Robert Renaud, a Kingston inmate, claims that in 1969, Scott gave him ferocious jolts of electroshock as punishment for not cooperating with the doctor.  Like Faulder, Renaud was in jail for theft and was not considered violent.  Scott dismissed the allegation, although films of him shocking prisoners from that time have surfaced.

      Scott is being sued by 24 women inmates who say they were subjected to his LSD experiments.  One of the women bringing the suit is Dorothy Proctor, who was given LSD at the Kingston women's prison in 1961.  Proctor was a 17-year-old black woman, serving a three-year sentence for robbery. Scott diagnosed her as a sociopath and put her in his experimental program, which included sensory deprivation (52-days in solitary), electroshock and mega-doses of LSD.

      Scott told the Ottawa Citizen in 1997 that he has no regrets.  "I am happy with myself.  I don't give a shit."


Source:  CounterPunch, Oct. 18, 1999. 

"I am happy with myself.  I don't give a shit."

Dr. George Scott, Staff psychiatrist, Canadian Federal Corrections

1965: Mila Mulroney's Dad

Brian Mulroney's father-in-law, Dr. Dimitri Pivnicki, was one of two Montreal doctors involved in running an LSD experiment at McGill's Allan Memorial Institute in 1965. The study, funded by the Canadian military, was obtained by Southam News and the Ottawa Citizen in 1998.


Source: Mike Blanchfield and Jim Bronskill, Ottawa Citizen, Dec. 8, 1998.