THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

In The Silver Case, the Shelter Kids Policy Implementation Office destroys most of the documentation of the project. Similarly, in 1973, CIA director Richard Helms destroyed most of the MKULTRA records to avoid accountability, so the full extent of the experiments will probably never be known (Vanderperre). Under MKULTRA, the CIA funded dozens of different dangerous and unethical subprojects that directly caused the death of at least one person, Frank Olson (Marks 82). Vanderperre gives the total number of subprojects as 144. The 1440 children of each Maspro could possibly allude to this number, but, presumably due to the sketchy documentation, different sources on MKULTRA give different numbers of subprojects.

The Allan Memorial Institute.

Among the most awful subprojects the CIA financed is the Canadian quack psychiatrist Ewen Cameron’s psychic driving research that occurred at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University from 1957 to 1964 (Vanderperre). Cameron devised a process of torture he called depatterning by which he could essentially erase an adult’s identity and education until they behaved like babies. On the basis of no evidence, Cameron believed he could overwrite the previous personality of a depatterned person by playing them hours of looping “cue statements” each day for weeks, a process he deemed “psychic driving.”

(By the way, Cameron was president of both the American Psychiatric Association and World Psychiatric Association. At the time of his death, he was a highly decorated, highly respected man and never faced any consequences.)

Depatterning involved dosing patients with drugs and inducing memory loss with electroshock therapy. But it also involved prolonged sensory isolation in horse stables he converted for the purpose and in the “Isolation Chamber,” a soundproofed room with no lights where Cameron and his staff trapped patients in specialized equipment to limit their ability to even physically touch their own bodies. The de facto prisoners were kept in the dark Isolation Chamber for weeks, removed only for essential daily tasks such as taking meals and expelling waste, eroding their sense of time and self. Reading of these practices, my first thought was the darkness of The Silver Case’s brainwashing shelters. Note also that Jaco, a US government agent, uses tapes on Garcian/Harman Smith—a Kamui variant—in a way similar to psychic driving in Hand in killer7.

Also like the Shelter Kids, at least a large number of Cameron’s victims continued to suffer amnesia and difficulty with daily functioning for years afterward. Some reported amnesia of extended periods of their stays at the Allan Memorial Institute. Marks cites a Lauren G. who “does not recall a thing today about those weeks when Cameron depatterned her” and whose first memory after meeting Cameron was a failed escape attempt three weeks later (131–133). Similarly, Naomi Klein reports on Gail Kastner, another depatterning victim, who “could not understand why she could remember most events from her adult life but almost nothing from before she turned twenty” until, in 1992, she happened to read a story about Ewen Cameron in the news and realized he had treated her (32–33).

I am not grabbing for real-world trauma to suggest that the Shelter Kids Policy, on the literal level, might be realistic. If nothing else, where the fictional project succeeds in encoding personalities, psychic driving does not actually work. Creating a “Manchurian candidate” is not possible.