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In The Sleep Room: The Story Of The CIA Brainwashing Experiments In Canada Paperback – 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Key Porter; 1st edition (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550139320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550139327
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #791,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the 1950s and early 1960s, the director of Montreal's Allen Memorial Institute, Dr. Ewen Cameron, exposed his patients to treatment methods now considered barbaric. Attempting to wipe brains clean of "undesirable" behavior and reprogram new behavior, he kept patients in chemical sleep for weeks and months at a time, while they listened to tape recorded messages that repeated endlessly. Furthermore, he exposed them to massive amounts of electroshock that resulted in brain damage in some recipients.
"In the Sleep Room: The Story of the CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada," by Anne Collins, details some of the stories of Dr. Cameron's patients and how, more recently, they sued the CIA because it partially funded his work. Cameron's work in "psychic driving" (the term he used to call his process) caught the interest of the CIA and it secretly funded the program for a few years. However, Cameron continued his work after this funding stopped. Because it was the CIA that provided some of the money for these experiments, it caused a stir in Canada, regardless of the fact that the Canadian government funded Cameron before, during, and after the CIA chipped in.
"In the Sleep Room" provided a sketch of who Ewen Cameron was and what his ambitions were. I did not find the book overly critical of Cameron or Psychiatry. Historical background was provided on Cameron's treatments, and overall, the book was balanced. This book provides a good starting point for those interested in learning about Dr. Cameron and his infamous treatments. It is also attractive reading for those interested in gaining some insight into the events that placed attention on the ethics of treatments and higher concern for the consent of treatment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e188228) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e24fda4) out of 5 stars Canada's Dr. Mengele June 28 2010
By Linda McDougall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As I have already written regarding Naomi Klein's extraordinary exposure of Dr. Cameron's madness, I simply want to reiterate that my mother was one of Cameron's victims at the Allen Memorial Insitute. Once he got hold of her - she suffered from severe anxiety - he put her into an insulin coma which, along with many other shock and shocking treatments, destroyed her mind completely. The last 25 years of her life were utterly tortuous. My late husband was Cameron's resident, and the stories he told me, weeping, of what went on in the Institute, nearly broke me. No one could rescue my mother and no one could save a young doctor's career if he refused to do what Cameron wished. Once a patient was registered at the Institute, they were virtually imprisoned. Only through a complicated legal process could my father get her out.
I met this sociopath several times - his face so hard and cold, that I always recoiled. As a Canadian in self-imposed exile, and a graduate of McGill University myself, I feel deeply ashamed of my government and the Nazi tactics it followed, never having the decency nor backbone to say "NO" to the USA.

My distaste for my own country of origin has much to do with what has been written here in this fine book - though a little too fair for my sense of justice. How typical that Cameron never had to face his victims, nor suffer for his crimes.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e24fdf8) out of 5 stars An overview of Dr. Ewen Cameron and his work Sept. 26 2003
By Richard Brzostek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the 1950s and early 1960s, the director of Montreal's Allen Memorial Institute, Dr. Ewen Cameron, exposed his patients to treatment methods now considered barbaric. Attempting to wipe brains clean of "undesirable" behavior and reprogram new behavior, he kept patients in chemical sleep for weeks and months at a time, while they listened to tape recorded messages that repeated endlessly. Furthermore, he exposed them to massive amounts of electroshock that resulted in brain damage in some recipients.
"In the Sleep Room: The Story of the CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada," by Anne Collins, details some of the stories of Dr. Cameron's patients and how, more recently, they sued the CIA because it partially funded his work. Cameron's work in "psychic driving" (the term he used to call his process) caught the interest of the CIA and it secretly funded the program for a few years. However, Cameron continued his work after this funding stopped. Because it was the CIA that provided some of the money for these experiments, it caused a stir in Canada, regardless of the fact that the Canadian government funded Cameron before, during, and after the CIA chipped in.
"In the Sleep Room" provided a sketch of who Ewen Cameron was and what his ambitions were. I did not find the book overly critical of Cameron or Psychiatry. Historical background was provided on Cameron's treatments, and overall, the book was balanced. This book provides a good starting point for those interested in learning about Dr. Cameron and his infamous treatments. It is also attractive reading for those interested in gaining some insight into the events that placed attention on the ethics of treatments and higher concern for the consent of treatment.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3f9624c) out of 5 stars Well balanced; good depictions of the events without overstepping March 20 2012
By R. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book covers the entire spectrum of experiments that took place at the Allan Institute Memorial Hospital preceding and during MKULTRA.It gives good portrayals of the events without exaggerating or suppressing them. The extent of the story could be considered factual and should be taken with full weight as it attempts to balance the horrors of the experiment with the attitudes of the doctors and nurses. It terms of procedure and factual accuracy, the book is a very accurate image of what would occur in reality for such by the CIA or military engaged in torture or post-torture eradication of victim's testimony. The brutality in this situation is one that should be taken with fright and disgust. The methods in the book have been translated into the CIA's two stage psychological torture method and has been used on prisoner detainees around the world ever since. It should shake us into outlawing torture and psychological trauma and even psychiatry and psychological methods- regardless of what ends it is trying to meet. I see this book as an example of how flawed utilitarianistic justifications always result in the means being translated over for much more sinister things. Dr. Cameron justified it in the name of "therapy" and the CIA justified it in the name of "national security." Now we have a terrible way of coercing individuals into giving into anything a person wishes beyond their control and have a way of putting them into absolute misery.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3f9660c) out of 5 stars Good study of Ewen Cameron the man. Oct. 4 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this a good study of Dr. Ewen Cameron the man, though I was disappointed there was not even a photo of him in the hardcover edition I read. Intriguing exploration of the background to the Allan Memorial horrors too. Feels incomplete in its exploration of what actually happened -- i.e. not enough visceral detail -- and it left me hanging as to what happened with the various victims/patients and their lawsuits. (I know the Cdn govt. set up a fund while Kim Campbell was Justice minister for the victims, but was that all?
5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3f963a8) out of 5 stars Psychiatric abuse Oct. 25 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Good synopsis of psychiatric abuse in Canada, career of Ewan Cameron and the experiments at the Allan Memorial. Unfortunately not a very in-depth understanding of the historical context, which would mitigate some of the more sensationalist conclusions, and of psychiatry/psychiatric procedures. Written from a journalist's outsider perspective.


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