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Ruby, Jolly, MKULTRA and Beyond


Ron Bulman
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I'd read most recently about Dr. Louis Joloyon West, briefly, in Lisa Pease's A Lie Too Big To Fail.  That he ascertained Ruby had organic brain damage.  That others concluded he appeared to have been hypnotized.  I'd seen his name somewhere before, but knew little else.

Then I came across the chapter on him (basically) in Tom O'Neill's book Chaos, on Charles Manson.  The 200 boxes of West's files he found in the UCLA library's basement led him to an area he didn't want to go, the "quagmire" of the JFK assassination.  In particular Ruby.  

The files provided undisclosed information on West's experiments with hypnotization and LSD among other drugs at Lackland Air force Base in San Antonio and at the University of Oklahoma, as well as letters to and from his CIA handler Sherman Gifford.  Who O'Neill discovered in Mark's "Search For the Manchurian Candidate"  was the man known as "The Black Sorcerer", Sidney Gottlieb, head of the CIA's Technical Services Division, and in turn MKULTRA.  The files also led to a "classified" paper for the CIA on his claim he had discovered with the use of drugs and hypnotism how to "replace true memories in a human, with false ones".  Then O'Neill came across Ruby.

West, at OU at the time of the assassination tried to insert himself almost immediately into the proceedings by petitioning Judge Joe Brown to examine Ruby for the court but was rebuffed.  Three times West in his files referred to being told to do this but never identified by who.  When Ruby was convicted of murder he fired his attorney's and hired one of their team for he appeal.  "Hubert Winston Smith, a psychiatrist with a law degree."  One of his first actions was to bring in Jolly West for a re examination of Ruby.  Afterwards he claimed Ruby had an "acute psychotic break" in the last 48 hours.  Unshakeable and fixed.  Sworn affidavit "a man completely unhinged who, hallucinated, heard voices...".  "From that day forward every doctor to examine Ruby concluded the same, delusional.  Prior to Jolly's visit a half dozen psychiatrists found him "essentially compos mentis". 

Colleagues at OU described him as a "devious man", "egotistical" and a narcissist.  O'Neill asked Dr. Jay Shurley, West's good friend of 45 years who worked with him at Lackland and OU, one of the few he interviewed to admit West was CIA, about him.  He asked if he thought West would accept an assignment to scramble Jack Ruby's mind.  "...to be honest, my gut feeling, yes.".

All this occurred in April 1964.  Before Warren and Ford (only!) came to Dallas to interview Ruby.  Where his statements were described as a "morass of paranoid rambling".  "Do I sound sort of screwy?" he asked Warren.   

Edited by Ron Bulman
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11 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

The tip of the iceberg regarding the later hypnotization of Sirhan? 

I’m reading Chaos now - great read, very interesting. I haven’t gotten to the chapter you refer to yet.

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