Skip to comments.French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment
Posted on 03/12/2010 5:04:08 AM PST by Palter
A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.
In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.
For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.
The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.
On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.
One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.
Time magazine wrote at the time: "Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead."
An American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Probably the same journalist who uncovered evidence that a military cruise missile struck the Pentagon on 9/11.
I recall reading an article about this when I was a kid, I think it was in Life magazine. The title was “The Town That Went Mad”. It was attributed to ergot poisoning, I think. Anyway, it really freaked me out when I read it.
There’s been some interesting studies that Ergot poisoning may have been a factor in the Salem Witch Scare...for a terrible incident in Salem, MA - it does makes some sense.
1) You cannot die from an overdose of LSD
2) The article doesn't give examples of anyone dying, though it does give examples of self-injury and panic attacks.
3) This all sounds like BS
4) LSD is derived from ergot, a natural mold which can affect bread and which has been known to cause hallucinations for centuries, long before the CIA was around.
The effects of ergot, a naturally occurring bread mold, has been documented going back centuries. The connections outlined in the article between the 1943 discovery of LSD's properties, Sandoz labs, an event that happened in 1951, and the post 1953 beginning of controlled testing by the CIA of LSD seem awfully tenuous.
I second your motion.
Oh...The Telegraph: more propaganda fed to British readers about the USA.
Saint Antony and The Salem Witch Trials
Every school child learns of the unique period in American history known as the Salem witch trials, a brief time of fear and frenzy when three young girls suffered a series of convulsive visions in which they saw the mark of the devil on certain women in the village.
During 1692 the town executed 20 innocent women based on the girls’ accusations, and ever since there have been investigations to explain such abnormal behavior.
This story begins in fourth century Europe when rye was the staple grain of the poor.
At this time epidemics ran through the villages which left in its wake many dead, or others mutilated if they were unfortunate enough to survive.
From the ninth to the fourteenth centuries, and even much later, eastern France saw a string of epidemics then called “holy fire” or “hell’s fire”.
This was such a great affliction that the monastic Order of St. Anthony was founded to care for the sufferers of a malady finally named, St. Anthony’s Fire.
It is very small, too small to see except with the aid of a microscope. It’s a tiny speck of fungus which infects only the grain of rye plants, and does so more often in cold, wet weather.
Once the grain is infested it becomes highly toxic.
Those unfortunate enough to consume that grain suffer intense burning pains in the limbs from restriction of blood flow, then they quickly become gangrenous and fall off. It also caused spontaneous abortion.
Many died of the disease, but others survived horribly mutilated for the rest of their lives. In the year 994 alone, over 40,000 people died of the disease.
Until the end of the sixteenth century the only recourse for sufferers was to make a pilgrimage to the various shrines of St. Anthony where the doors were painted red or flame colored to better mark them for the sick.
There the monks bore a blue ‘T’ on their robes, which many believed represented the crutch since those who lost one or both legs would forever use it to walk.
Midwives knew of the powerful effects of ergot long before it was officially “discovered” by medicine as the cause of St. Antony’s fire.
It was not uncommon to administer five to nine grains to women in difficult labor in order to speed the contractions, and reduce postpartum bleeding.
Dosages were just enough to cause the uterus to contract, but they knew that larger doses caused abortion and administered it to women who suffered unwanted pregnancy. Here we see how vital dosage is to herbal healing because a little too much ergot and St. Anthony is likely to pay a visit.
Today ergot is still used in medicine to control vascular dilation in migraine and other similar diseases.
Studies such as that of F.J. Bove in The Story of Ergot and Caporael’s Ergotism: the satan loosed in Salem? suggests that the visions of the Salem girls and the frenzied response of others in the famous witch hunts were likely to have been caused by ergot tainted rye in the colony.
There were probably no witches to speak of, and when the supply of infected grain ran out, the people returned to their more passive nature.
Unfortunately, while poisoned they had killed off many herbal healers and midwives, and with them went the accumulated medical knowledge so vital to life in the raw American wilderness.
In the last two centuries St. Antony’s Fire has cropped up again, but usually associated with famines during which tainted food was eaten just to survive, as was the case in the Russian epidemic of 1888.
Although we need not fear ergot in our food supply today, it is a good idea to inspect organically grown rolled or whole rye berries before you eat them. Fungicides are used to control ergot in commercially grown rye crops so these are more reliable.
Herbal medicine is a fascinating subject but let’s not forget the vast family of fungi which includes such potent drugs such as fly argaric mushrooms.
And from the medieval midwives we are bequeathed a very powerful drug, ergot, which causes firey pain while offering women vital choices and aid in that miracle that is childbirth.
I didn't know there was so many Tories on FR. To each his own.
I’d quibble with point 1) if someone had perceptual distortions leading to an accidental death or suicide.
But why didn't the article talk about that? It talks about a guy who "tried to drown himself" and it talks about a guy who jumped off a roof and broke his legs.
And, oh by the way, five people died.
Without any details, I say the injuries happened, but the deaths did not.
Agreed; I meant in general, not in this supposed episode.
Bush and Cheney... why those knuckleheads -wreaking more havoc on society!
This could explain the French infatuation with Jerry Lewis.
Preposterous story, based on the anti CIA handiwork of Frank Church.
Amazing how many peopele here refuse to acknowledge that anything untoward may have ever been done by the CIA when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.
because the CIA had an intense strtegic interest in subject testing on french villagers?
the hallucinations may cause you to kill yourself or do something that causes accidental death, but the chemical itself won’t kill you.
Coffeed keyboard on that one.
True, the difference between alcohol poisoning and a DWI car wreck.
So THAT'S why the earthy-crunchy environ-vegan whack-jobs are the way they are ;)
There are many stories out there of CIA and Dept. of Defense experimenting with hallucinagenic drugs. I was even shown a film of the effects of LSD at a US Army Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Warfare school in the late 1960s. The guinea pigs were volunteers from the US federal prison system.
There was never any secret about these experiments. I suspect there may have some number of individual experiments that were never offically documented for one reason or another.
In this alleged French incident one has to ask why would the CIA pick that French town—or any French town—for a drug experiment. Can’t think of any reason that would make sense.
All your cheese are belong to us.
Our government dosed hundreds of unwitting people with LSD, intentionally moved welfare families into homes purposely coated with toxic levels of lead, and deceptively exposed terminally ill children to massive lethal doses of radiation under the pretense of offering free treatment.
Our government purposely did all of these things so that they could measure the effects on these people....these lab rats.
Now, our government wants control of our health care, and our medical records.
According to the feds, it is the Insurance Co.s that are evil.
The CIA has gotten up to all sorts of evil crap over the years.
But I'd like to see more evidence (or any) of their involvement in this episode. And why does this article speak of "at least five people dying" without giving any specifics on the deaths?
The whole article is very slapdash and speculative. A worthless journalistic effort that appears to just want to throw some fuzzy accusations out there without bothering to try to verify.
Bush did it.
“US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment...”
Hey, I recall that guy who would do a deal when he said “If you buy me a tube of Testers I will give you some bread”
I think that was it.
The Town That Went Mad
Yeah, that was The Burg in 1971.
whoa...Suzy Creamcheese, honey, what’s got into yah?
Do you have a monkey on your back?
Who said the CIA has done nothing?
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