There’s a wide body of literature and videos about MKULTRA and similar efforts to program people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. In regards to the CIA’s studies, it typically revolves around programming people to engage in sex as a means to entrap important targets, and it includes programming people to assassinate. The primary means of programming alternate personalities is using trauma to generate disassociation internally. Thus, anything you might have read suggesting MKULTRA is mostly about LSD and other drugs is really missing the point.
The problem you run into is that a lot of what’s out there includes people still under programmed control. They are either placed as programmed assets to muddy the water, or simply haven’t yet fully escaped the effects of the programming. It’s also filled with charlatans who just want to make a buck and become famous. Another factor is that we are dealing with people who have been damaged and deranged by their experiences and may not be able to reconnect with the common human experience well enough to give us an honest accounting. On top of this, there are any number of people who experience trauma without any programming, with similar net results.
The other serious problem is the mythology of our society that believes multiple personalities is such a horrible thing. Granted, it’s totally wrong to push people through constructed trauma in order to generate internal disassociations. On the other hand, none of us could do some of things God has asked us to do without assuming a somewhat different persona. There are times in my own life when God requires me to become a different person. There’s no denying Satan has taken advantage of that and made a mess of things at times, but I couldn’t possibly execute my highly varied duties as an elder without access to somewhat insulated personas different from, say, the fellow who plays indulgently with the little girls across the breezeway.
This is the nature of roles, a critical element in our teaching here at Radix Fidem. The Bible is impossible to comprehend at times unless you understand the nature of shifting roles within an individual person. God has dozens of titles (“names”) for different aspects of His moral character. He warns us that if we don’t choose to associate with the will of a loving father, we may find ourselves dealing with an angry master. Scripture treats this kind of imagery as the best way to discern moral truth. We are all designed to carry multiple types of burdens by assuming different roles within varying contexts. The heart is capable of discerning continuity between those personas when the intellect cannot.
Thus, while we understand someone who is able to assume theatrical characters, you have to also understand that a lot controversial figures in entertainment display symptoms of programming. It shows up during interviews and the like, particularly when the focus of attention is off the victim. You’ll see them drop into a trance-like state, sometimes for long moments while someone else is hogging the attention. True, some of these people are just wacko, and it’s hard to know which you are seeing at any given time. But there is a body of literature you can find that is fairly accurate from within the context of Western assumptions.
This page is a typical Western approach. Take it with a grain of salt, not so much in the details, but in the underlying assumptions about what is and isn’t healthy. Also, keep in mind that almost any “personality inventory” tends to reinforce the idea that you are supposed to be some kind of monolith, that you aren’t supposed to have competing values in various situations. Everything has to be placed in context, and most personality inventories are based on the false assumption of objectivity without context.
You need to keep in mind what I’ve said about reality being fungible — one man’s reality is as valid as another’s, even when they differ considerably. The key is not that you find some mythical objective reality, but that you discover where you belong. What is your reality like when you decide reality is a person and make friends with it? This is part of the heart-led way, healing a lot woes. We dare not let the mainstream Western society establish standards for us. The healthy ideal is not finding one true personality; that doesn’t really solve anything. The biblical ideal is getting to know God and His Creation, and taking the focus off yourself in the first place.
From that basis, you can find your place in Creation and begin to make sense of the multiple roles that we are designed to assume. The horror of disintegrated personalities is the result of abusing a natural feature of our moral nature. It’s the root cause of neuroses and psychoses of all kinds.
As a final note, the literature lists several common agencies associated with the use of, if not actually generating, these traumatized programmed people. I can assure you from personal experience there’s a lot of it in the military, though much of it is very poorly handled. That is, military training includes a lot of the same techniques used in programming, but none of the conscious intent from those who run the training experiences. It’s a big, wacko mess of poorly programmed people seeking to program others, but the programming techniques are required by law and practice.
You’ll find similar programming in several other government agencies, not just the CIA, but any agency involved in handling secrets or just mundane physical security. You’ll find it associated with some parts of the LDS; it’s the whole basis for Scientology. The scary part is how often it shows up in Charismatic and other evangelical groups, along with segments of liturgical churches, like the Roman Catholic Church (ritualizing is a very big part of programming).
In other words, it’s so pervasive that we need to think in terms of assuming most people have suffered some of this to some degree. That realization is how we position ourselves to begin a wider redemptive work. It’s not just a matter of taking on a case load of individuals, but offering a taste of sanity to everyone at all times. You may never really know at the moment how much good you are doing, because the surface response from people is likely to be deceiving. The whole world is crazy like that.