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Old 24 August 2010, 11:07 AM
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Default Pont-Saint-Esprit poisoning: Did the CIA spread LSD?

Nearly 60 years ago, a French town was hit by a sudden outbreak of hallucinations and hysteria, leaving 5 dead and seriously ill. For years it was blamed on bread contaminated with Ergot. In 2009 an American investigative journalist revealed a CIA document that he show that the CIA was experimenting on the townspeople, by dosing them with LSD.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-10996838
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  #2  
Old 24 August 2010, 11:32 AM
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I wonder what the actual cause of the five deaths was: something like 'exhaustion', or injuries sustained during the hallucinations, or if they were attributed directly to the drug/poison.
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Old 24 August 2010, 02:05 PM
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I'm actually a little surprised that if the CIA was going to do such experiments they wouldn't just do it on US citizens.

Seems it would be easier to sustain a coverup if it didn't involve a foreign country, too.
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Old 24 August 2010, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudding Crawl View Post
I wonder what the actual cause of the five deaths was: something like 'exhaustion', or injuries sustained during the hallucinations, or if they were attributed directly to the drug/poison.
If it was LSD, it is unlikely to have been the direct effects of the drug. Ergot poisoning could have caused the deaths directly. Either one, or any other hallucinogen, could have caused the deaths indirectly.
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Old 24 August 2010, 02:23 PM
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Here is another article, written by the author of the book.
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Old 24 August 2010, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
If it was LSD, it is unlikely to have been the direct effects of the drug. Ergot poisoning could have caused the deaths directly.
Yes, that's what I'd like to know; AFAIK LSD has no fatal dose.
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Old 24 August 2010, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudding Crawl View Post
AFAIK LSD has no fatal dose.
I have heard unsubstantiated rumors that it does, but that the lethal dose is in grams.

After further research, I appear to be wrong. Erowid lists the lethal dose as 12 milligrams or so (dosing is usually in micrograms). That seems to be an estimation, though, because they also say that no human has ever died directly from LSD.
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Old 24 August 2010, 04:05 PM
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Devil

Maybe they were overcome with the Holy Spirit?

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Old 24 August 2010, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
Here is another article, written by the author of the book.
Oh. Réseau Voltaire. I see.

Conspiracy theorists à la Française, the originators of the "what hit the Pentagon on 9-11 was a missile" bull**it, if I'm not mistaken.

Everything these guys feature is to be taken with a full bag of salt.

However, the Pont-Saint-Esprit mass insanity case is truly a strange one, well deserving of further research.
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Old 24 August 2010, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mags View Post
I'm actually a little surprised that if the CIA was going to do such experiments they wouldn't just do it on US citizens.

Seems it would be easier to sustain a coverup if it didn't involve a foreign country, too.
Yep, if one considers the infamous Tuskegee experiment, everything's possible.

As for the foreign thing, it may have been done with the active complicity of the French Army (AKA the Great Mute One), which is also very good at wiping the dirt under the carpet. Just ask the few surviving guys who were irradiated by their nuclear tests. Besides, the France of 1954 was a very different country, but it was - and it's still - enough to label anything as a Secret d'Etat so no one, ever, learns about it.

But, until proven otherwise, I still suspect a tall story.
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Old 25 August 2010, 09:21 AM
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France

Here's our discussion from March of this year about this claim. Again, here's the Atlantic Wire blog post that provides a good debunking. I'm not surprised the Telegraph fell for it but I'm a little surprised that the BBC would repeat this crud.
Brian
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