A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the US Government by a San Francisco man who claims that he was a victim of the CIA's 1950s LSD mind-control experiment MKULTRA. Wayne Ritchie says he was unwittingly dosed with LSD at an office Christmas party, causing him to rob a bar that evening and suffer psychologically later in life. The judge initially rejected the government's argument to dismiss the $12 million suit but ruled last week that "it is not clear by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Ritchie was administered LSD." From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Ritchie, now 77 and living in San Jose, was a 30-year-old deputy U.S. marshal and Marine Corps veteran with a spotless record in December 1957. According to his testimony, he had four or five bourbon and soda drinks over several hours at an office Christmas party, left, and soon started feeling overwhelmed by depression and paranoia.
He retrieved his two revolvers, tried to rob a bar in the Fillmore neighborhood, got distracted, and was hit over the head and knocked unconscious. Ritchie pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and was fined $500.
Plagued by flashbacks and suicidal urges for years, Ritchie spent 34 years as a house painter before retiring in 1992. Seven years later, he read a newspaper article about MKULTRA and concluded he may have been one of its victims…
Ritchie's case relied in part on a diary entry by an MKULTRA agent, Ira Feldman, that Ritchie's lawyer interpreted as admitting he was at the office party. In sworn depositions, Feldman at first denied that he knew Ritchie, but later referred to "this nitwit, Ritchie" who "deserved to suffer." (Judge Marilyn Hall) Patel, in a ruling in May, said the latter statements could be taken as an admission that Feldman had drugged Ritchie.