Diablo Gazette – Victim of the MK-ULTRA Experiments

January 31st, 2020

A series of articles on Bill’s childhood experiences in the MK-ULTRA program appeared in The Diablo Gazette Magazine. Below is the initial article by David King.

Bill Yarborough of Clayton has written a novel based on what he believes were his experiences as a child victim of the CIA’s notorious MK-ULTRA program. He is currently focused on his first novel in a series. Although the novel is fiction, it is inspired by common memories between him, his brother, and his sister. Their recollections arose as repressed memories surfaced into their conscious minds, or through dreams, or other triggering events.

For those not familiar with MK-ULTRA, the CIA operated a secret mind control program beginning in the 1950s through the early 1960s.

In December 1974, The New York Times exposed illegal CIA activities, prompting a wave of government and journalistic investigations that ultimately uncovered the MK-ULTRA program. Among other things, the investigators discovered that MK-ULTRA was used to experiment with psychedelic drugs on both willing and unwilling subjects, to perfect interrogation techniques, and to condition individuals from revealing secret information to outside powers. Although MK-ULTRA experimented predominately on adults, it also subjected college students and children to experiments.

IFLScience stated that “MK-ULTRA was an ambitious, morally corrupted attempt by a paranoid, pro-active agency, which escalated very quickly culminating in illegal drug tests on thousands of American individuals in the name of national security.” A number of MK-ULTRA revelations have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, and many other major media outlets.

“I believe we were placed in that program during the summer of 1958,” Bill begins. “I was four, my sister was eight, and my brother was two. We repressed these memories for 30 years, but in the 1980s, we began to recall our buried past. We had common memories that arose of being kept in basement jail cells, as well as being subjected to electroshock, drugs, isolation, deprivation, psychological assault, and other traumas.”

The idea behind these practices was to put the mind into a state of shock, where it could then be reprogrammed.

In its obsession to defeat communism, the CIA even recruited ex-Nazi scientists to run aspects of this program. “In one experiment I recall, they asked me to draw as many squares as possible on a sheet of paper until an alarm clock rang. If I drew enough, I’d be given a candy bar, if not, they threatened to kill me.”

The siblings struggled to believe such things happened to them, but in March of 1995, The President’s Committee on Radiation experiments heard testimony about CIA mind control experiments on children. “It included testimony, which refers to specifics identical to the common memories we recalled.”

Unfortunately, Bill’s younger brother suffered lasting and extensive psychological damage. Like many other individuals who were children in MK-ULTRA, he spent a lifetime since the age of 23 diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses before he died in his fifties.

“My father worked in the war crimes branch of the US Army after World War II, where he interviewed the Nazis running the Dachau concentration camp. That is where the Nazis conducted mind control experiments, and that is where the CIA recruited some mind control experts for MK-ULTRA. I believe that is the connection that led us into this program.”

Bill grew up terrified of authority figures, had a streak of paranoia, and an obsession to one day become President, which he later concluded was programmed into him.

He continues on his healing journey, having had years of therapy involving an array of techniques, including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, EMDR, Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT also known as tapping), and Sand Play. Other practices like meditation, music, dancing, creative writing, journaling, and socializing also helped to mitigate tensions and/or supplement Bill’s healing journey.

“The rewards of my healing journey have been considerable. I’ve been able to do things I never thought possible: most significantly, to have a long-term relationship with my wife, to become a father, to no longer live in terror of things that reminded me of my hidden past, and to break free of programmed expectations allowing me to develop into more of my authentic self.”

We may never know the extent to which the CIA and over 80 institutions conducted these experiments. In 1973, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered the destruction of thousands of pages of MK-ULTRA documentation.

Writing the novel has been therapeutic for Bill as well. While “Memories of MK-ULTRA” is shopped for publication, Bill offered to share his ordeal with The Diablo Gazette over the next several editions to the extent that decency and privacy are respected. Some details are simply too gruesome to convey and will seem, frankly, unfathomable.

I will leave it up to you to decide if his story is true or fantasy. Bill explains he wrote the story in fiction form because of his young age in the program but says some incredible aspects of the story are based on his recollections and align with those of other child survivors of MK-ULTRA.

I have not yet corroborated his story and may not be able to do so completely, but I will say he was very convincing as he fought back tears on multiple occasions during our interviews.

Chapter one of the novel begins with the real-life scenario of how he and his sister were abducted while visiting a museum. The trauma continues from there, but Bill adds, “The novel is ultimately about healing and redemption, of lives lost, and then found.”

If you have questions or comments for Bill, please reach out to him on his contact page at billyarborough.com.

The link below is to the original September 2019 article published in The Diablo Gazette Magazine:





Categories: healing, MK-ULTRA, MKULTRA, therapy, Writer