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The CIA's QK Projects


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#1 Gary Buell

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 04:06 AM

The best-known CIA project using the QK digraph was QKENCHANT, of course but there were other "QK" code names. Little is known about any of them. One, possibly of interest to those interested in the JFK assassination was QKACTIVE. According to Lisa Pease, writing in the essential book Assassinations, it was "a project of the Soviet Russia division in the early '60s for running attempted penetrations of the Soviet Union."

According to this document, http://www.maryferre...sPageId=1167996 one Perry Harten, an agent for the Brussels World Exibition in 1956, was "considered for assignment in QKACTIVE, but no use materialised." If he had been utilized would he have defected to the Soviet Union?

Another project was QKHILLTOP, which according to a number of sources was a study of "mind control" initiated by the CIA in 1954 after reports of Communist "brainwashing." According to the book American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond:


"One project, codenamed QK-Hilltop, was based at Cornell University under the direction of Dr Harold Wolff. At Cornell, Wolff was an earlier pioneer of human ecology, an interdisciplinary field incorporating psychology, medicine and sociology. When the project began, Dr Wolff asked the CIA to provide him with all its information regarding 'threats, coercion, imprisonment, deprivation, humiliation, torture, "brainwashing", "black psychiatry", hypnosis and combination of these, with or without chemical agents.'"

It appears that a number of CIA files on QKACTIVE are available for viewing at the National Archives. See: http://www.archives....ject-files.html Also available are records for several other CIA projects that I had never heard of before: QKBOIL, QKDEMON and QKDROOP. Has anyone seen these records?

QKDEMON has to be the coolest CIA code name to date.

Edited by Gary Buell, 09 September 2008 - 04:08 AM.


#2 Gary Buell

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 10:18 PM

The best-known CIA project using the QK digraph was QKENCHANT, of course but there were other "QK" code names. Little is known about any of them. One, possibly of interest to those interested in the JFK assassination was QKACTIVE. According to Lisa Pease, writing in the essential book Assassinations, it was "a project of the Soviet Russia division in the early '60s for running attempted penetrations of the Soviet Union."

According to this document, http://www.maryferre...sPageId=1167996 one Perry Harten, an agent for the Brussels World Exibition in 1956, was "considered for assignment in QKACTIVE, but no use materialised." If he had been utilized would he have defected to the Soviet Union?

Another project was QKHILLTOP, which according to a number of sources was a study of "mind control" initiated by the CIA in 1954 after reports of Communist "brainwashing." According to the book American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond:


"One project, codenamed QK-Hilltop, was based at Cornell University under the direction of Dr Harold Wolff. At Cornell, Wolff was an earlier pioneer of human ecology, an interdisciplinary field incorporating psychology, medicine and sociology. When the project began, Dr Wolff asked the CIA to provide him with all its information regarding 'threats, coercion, imprisonment, deprivation, humiliation, torture, "brainwashing", "black psychiatry", hypnosis and combination of these, with or without chemical agents.'"

It appears that a number of CIA files on QKACTIVE are available for viewing at the National Archives. See: http://www.archives....ject-files.html Also available are records for several other CIA projects that I had never heard of before: QKBOIL, QKDEMON and QKDROOP. Has anyone seen these records?

QKDEMON has to be the coolest CIA code name to date.


Are there any members of this forum who live in the vicinity of the National Archives and could perhaps have a look at these documents?

#3 Gary Buell

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 12:45 AM

According to NARA these documents are contained in four boxes, each containing 800-1500 pages. I live in California and cannot make a trip to the archives but am curious about these QK projects. According to Lisa Pease QKACTIVE was a program to send defectors to the Soviet Union but that has not been confirmed. No idea on the others but certainly they might shed some light on what the digraph QK represents at least, of interest of course because of QKENCHANT.

#4 Daniel Burnet

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:54 PM

The QK digraph seems to indicate the Project took place on foreign soil, similar to how the MK digraph indicated a domestic operation. Here are some of the QK cryptonyms and their definition. Note that a great many of these are associated with Political and Psychological Operations. It is easy to see how George de Mohrenschildt or Clay Shaw could be involved in these projects, though I have not yet gone through de Mohrenschildt's files in detail. Because I am currently on sabbatical from doing active research, it will likely be at least two months before I am able to pour through his extensive files. While I am taking a break from active research, I am happy to share information and answer questions as I can.



QKACTIVE - QKACTIVE (1951-71), operating through a proprietary cover organization(American Committee for the Liberation of the People of the USSR(AMCOMLIB) (PBAFFIRM)), sought to conduct overt anti-Soviet activities toweaken the Soviet regime and thereby reduce its threat to world securitythrough radio broadcasts (Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty), the Institutefor the Study of the USSR (BGCALLUS) Chaired by Stanislaw Stankiewicz, andpublished articles and books. Karl Toennies considered for possible use onProject QKACTIVE. See also PBCHORD

QKBROIL - QKBROIL (1951-54), which was superceded by Project SHELLFIRE in 1954, was a program to encourage the Rumanian people to resist communism; to establish a clandestine underground in Rumania to hamper Soviet/satellite military operations and to serve as a nucleus for wartime resistance; to undermine the political, economic, and military structure of communist Rumania; to develop a National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE) Political Center (Rumanian National Refugee Organization) as cover for overt activities and a covert operational support arm for OPC operations. Nicolae Radescu associated with Project.

QKCIGAR - US Government.

QKCOAST - Baltic States.

QKDEMON - QKDEMON (formerly UMPIRE, EDUCATOR) (1949-50) was a psychological warfare project and provided the production and dissemination of covert propaganda against the Soviet Union and its satellites using radio broadcasts and printed material. Hildegard Beetz associated with Project.

QKDROOP - QKDROOP (1950-52) provided funds, material support, and operational guidance to the National Alliance of Solidarists (NTS or Natsionalny Trudovoi Soyuz), an anti-Soviet emigre organization which was actively engaged in clandestine activities against the Soviet regime and Soviet occupation forces in Germany and Austria During WWII, the NTS was a Nazi-related propaganda organization. See also AESAURUS/AENOBLE.

QKELUSION - West German Social Democratic Party (SPD).

QKFEARFUL - CADROIT (formerly TPEMBER) (1949-55) subsidized and guided the Investigative Committee of Free Jurists (Untersuchungsausschuss freiheitlicher Juristen (UfJ)), which developed from one person as the head of a notional committee in West Berlin to an active organization with a West Berlin Headquarters staff of 75 and about 2,000 East German covert contacts, many from the legal profession and/or East German government. The UfJ, with CIA assistance, conducted extensive propaganda campaigns in East Germany, based mainly on information from East German informants, to expose illegal actions, breaches of justice, and acts of inhumanity committed and tolerated by authorities in East Germany. An outgrowth of the UfJ-sponsored International Congress of Jurists in Berlin (1952) was the establishment of the International Commission of Jurists in The Hague, which was supported by CIA under Project QKFEARFUL. CADROIT also included CADROWN (1952-55), a paramilitary organization established in East Germany for wartime use. Helmut Casemir associated with Project CADROIT.

QKFENCE - LCPROWL Project Team at Station in Germany.

QKFLOWAGE - US Information Communications Agency (ICA).

QKIVORY - TPTONIC (formerly QKIVORY) refers to National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE) and its subcommittees. Vilis Janums associated with TPTONIC.

QKJOLLIER - US Army Military Intelligence Division.

QKNAGNAG - Deutsche Soldaten Zeitung (DSZ), German Soldiers Newspaper. See KMMANLY.

QKSNITCH - QKSNITCH (Gesellschaft fuer Wehrkunde (GfW)) under Project KMMANLY was a study group of former high ranking German Army officers that was created by OPC in 1952 and terminated in 1953. Wilhelm Classen, Eberhard Von Nostitz, Burghard Von Preussen, Felix Steiner associated with Project.

QKSTAIR - BGCONVOY (formerly QKSTAIR) (1950-55) was the basic political and psychological (PP) and paramilitary (PM) program against Bulgaria with the objective of conducting psychological warfare (PW) operations against the Bulgarian regime and establishing in the country resistance organizations capable of PM activity of various types. BGCONVOY also provided for the development and exploitation of the Principal Agent, Ivan Docheff, who was leader of the Bulgarian National Front, and the newspaper published by the group.





Here are some cryptonyms that are, for various reasons, associated with different QK Projects.

AEGIDEON - AESAURUS / AENOBLE (initially AEROSOL, renamed AEGIDEON / AENOBLE in 1958) operation (1950-61) maintained communications with agents of the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists (Narodno Trudovoi Soyuz or NTS (CABOCHE-1, PDGIDEON, SHUBA-100)). NTS was founded in 1930s by Russian emigres with extreme rightest and anti-Semitic views and collaborated closely with the Nazis in Russia, providing local administrators, propagandists, and informants. NTS rebuilt itself in 1945 as an anti-Soviet émigré organization inside the USSR and with its own newspaper "Possev." This project sought the development and exploitation of NTS agents as long-term hot war assets and as sources of operational positive and psychological intelligence. The Project included Operation CARCASS, training/dispatch into USSR of agents to organize resistance groups and collect FI; Operation SPAIN to establish NTS groups in US zone/Germany and Austria against Soviet occupation forces through propaganda, defection, resistance, and collecting FI; Operation RADIO to establish a mobile covert radio operated by NTS for propaganda into East Zone. See also QKDROOP.


AMCOMLIB - American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (AMCOMLIB) was a part of Project QKACTIVE. Mikola Abramtchik was the representative of a coordinating committee of non-Russian organizations representing six nationalities (Ukrainians, Georgians, Azerbaijani, North Caucasians, Armenians, and Byelorussians), which was founded in Europe to represent non-Russian groups willing to associate themselves with AMCOMLIB. PBAFFIRM (cryptonym). PBCHORD (cryptonym for Munich Office of AMCOMLIB).

Beetz, Hildegard - CAMISE, GAMBIT (cryptonyms). FELICITAS (alias used by Beetz when she was an agent for Amt VI, RSHA, 1940-45). Hildegard Blum (SSU pseudonym). Hildegard Purwin, widowed Blum, divorced Beetz, nee Burkhardt. Associated with Projects QKDEMON (fomerly EDUCATOR and UMPIRE) and ALCATRAZ.

BGCALLUS - BGCALLUS was the cryptonym for the Institute for the Study of the USSR, which was a part of QKACTIVE (included this Institute, radio broadcasts, and other activities). Stanislaw Stankiewicz was Chairman of the Learned Council of BGCALLUS. Karl Toennies was considered for possible use on Project QKACTIVE.

BGCONVOY - BGCONVOY (formerly QKSTAIR) (1950-55) was the basic political and psychological (PP) and paramilitary (PM) program against Bulgaria with the objective of conducting psychological warfare (PW) operations against the Bulgarian regime and establishing in the country resistance organizations capable of PM activity of various types. BGCONVOY also provided for the development and exploitation of the Principal Agent, Ivan Docheff, who was leader of the Bulgarian National Front, and the newspaper published by the group.

CABOCHE-1 - Cryptonym for National Alliance of Russian Solidarists (Narodno Trudovoi Soyuz (NTS)), which reportedly was founded in the 1930s by Russian emigres with extreme rightest and anti-Semitic views and collaborated closely with the Nazis in Russia, providing local administrators, propagandists, and informants. The NTS rebuilt itself on purely anti-Communist grounds in 1945. After the war, the NTS has its own newspaper "Possev." See also AESAURUS, QKDROOP.

CADROIT - CADROIT (formerly TPEMBER) (1949-55) subsidized and guided the Investigative Committee of Free Jurists (Untersuchungsausschuss freiheitlicher Juristen (UfJ)), which developed from one person as the head of a notional committee in West Berlin to an active organization with a West Berlin Headquarters staff of 75 and about 2,000 East German covert contacts, many from the legal profession and/or East German government. The UfJ, with CIA assistance, conducted extensive propaganda campaigns in East Germany, based mainly on information from East German informants, to expose illegal actions, breaches of justice, and acts of inhumanity committed and tolerated by authorities in East Germany. An outgrowth of the UfJ-sponsored International Congress of Jurists in Berlin (1952) was the establishment of the International Commission of Jurists in The Hague, which was supported by CIA under Project QKFEARFUL. CADROIT also included CADROWN (1952-55), a paramilitary organization established in East Germany for wartime use. Helmut Casemir associated with Project CADROIT.

CARCASS Operation - AESAURUS / AENOBLE (initially AEROSOL, renamed AEGIDEON / AENOBLE in 1958) operation (1950-61) maintained communications with agents of the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists (Narodno Trudovoi Soyuz or NTS (CABOCHE-1, PDGIDEON, SHUBA-100)). NTS was founded in 1930s by Russian emigres with extreme rightest and anti-Semitic views and collaborated closely with the Nazis in Russia, providing local administrators, propagandists, and informants. NTS rebuilt itself in 1945 as an anti-Soviet émigré organization inside the USSR and with its own newspaper "Possev." This project sought the development and exploitation of NTS agents as long-term hot war assets and as sources of operational positive and psychological intelligence. The Project included Operation CARCASS, training/dispatch into USSR of agents to organize resistance groups and collect FI; Operation SPAIN to establish NTS groups in US zone/Germany and Austria against Soviet occupation forces through propaganda, defection, resistance, and collecting FI; Operation RADIO to establish a mobile covert radio operated by NTS for propaganda into East Zone. See also QKDROOP.

Classen, Wilhelm - JG-9633, RNSPLUNT (cryptonyms). Associated with QKSNITCH (Gesellschaft fuer Wehrkunde (GfW)) under Project KMMANLY.

Deutsche Soldaten Zeitung (DSZ) - Deutsche Soldaten Zeitung (DSZ), under Project KMMANLY, was the German Soldiers Newspaper. HTFULFIL, QKNAGNAG (cryptonyms).

NCFE - National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE). TPTONIC, QKIVORY (cryptonyms). Vilis Hazners was associated with the Latvian Consultative Panel, which was renamed Latvian Freedom Committee of the NCFE. Gustav Hennyey considered for possible use with NCFE.

NTS - National Alliance of Russian Solidarists (Narodno Trudovoi Soyuz (NTS)) reportedly was founded in the 1930s by Russian emigres with extreme rightest and anti-Semitic views and collaborated closely with the Nazis in Russia, providing local administrators, propagandists, and informants. The NTS rebuilt itself on purely anti-Communist grounds in 1945. After the war, the NTS has its own newspaper "Possev." CABOCHE-1, PDGIDEON, SHUBA 100 (cryptonyms for NTS). See AESAURUS, QKDROOP.

PBAFFIRM - Cryptonym for the American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (AMCOMLIB), which is a part of Project QKACTIVE.

PBCHORD - Cryptonym for the Munich Office of the American Committee for the Liberation of Peoples of Russia (AMCOMLIB), which is a part of Project QKACTIVE.

KMMANLY - KMMANLY (1951-53) was originally designed to counter the actions of pacifist and neutralist groups in West Germany who were opposed to ratification of the contractual agreements. In practice KMMANLY sought to win support for the European Defense Community (EDC) in areas of veterans' affairs and military publishing. To achieve these aims, three publications were utilized under KMMANLY -- Die Deutsche Soldaten Zeitung (The German Soldiers' Newspaper, (DSZ)), Europaische Wehrkorrespondenz (European Defense Newsletter, (EWK)), Wehr Wissenschaftliche Rundschau (Military Science Journal, (WWR)). In addition KMMANLY supported the Gesellschaft fuer Wehrkunde (GfW), a military science study group composed of former high ranking German Army officers. Wilhelm Classen (PA), Eberhard Von Nostitz, Burghard Von Preussen, Felix Steiner associated with GfW part of Project. Josef Berschneider, Hans Iglhaut, Werner Strecker considered for possible use on KMMANLY.

Nostitz, Eberhard Von - V-12899 (Gehlen Organization V-Number). Ernst KELLER, Erich NOLTE, JUSTIZIN (Gehlen Organization aliases). Associated with GfW part of Project KMMANLY and with the BND's STORCH staybehind program.

BOLERO - BOLERO refers to the group of Germans from Foreign Armies East and headed by Reinhard Gehlen immediately after the war. The BOLERO group merged with the KEYSTONE group (headed by Herman Baun) to form the Gehlen Organization with Gehlen as Chief.



There are more cryptonyms which are associated with projects associated with the QK projects, but at this point I do not wish to post cryptonyms that are more than one degree of separation from the QK projects. You can find these and other cryptonym definitions here.

Edited by Daniel Burnet, 29 February 2012 - 10:46 PM.


#5 Barry Krusch

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:33 PM

Daniel, very valuable stuff, tks.




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