Family of Montreal Brainwashing Experiment Victims Still Fighting for Justice

Susan Rap, a young adult, has always wondered why her mother has few memories of her childhood.

Catherine Lap refused to discuss the matter with her father and other family members when Susan died in a car accident at the age of 15 in 1972. Curiously, Susan Wrap hardly remembers her childhood, and she didn’t know why.

In 2018, a box of medical files revealed why she blocked those memories.

Catherine Lap went to seek medical help in 1960 after feeling depressed. Instead of receiving care, she spent eight years in and out of the Alan Memorial Institute in Montreal. She was there and she underwent psychiatric experiments, including she changed psychiatric drugs and hundreds of electric shocks. According to her daughter, she erased her memory and reduced her to an “infant-like state” with her treatment.

“In the end, she wasn’t there mentally … (medical file) says she didn’t even know who she was anymore. She wasn’t a person anymore and didn’t want to live,” Rap said. He said in a recent telephone interview.

She said her mother never had a counseling session on the problem she entered.

Catherine Wrap was one of the hundreds of Montreals allegedly treated experimentally in Alain by Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron and his colleagues in the 1950s and 1960s. The psychological experiment project known as MKULTRA is said to have been funded by the Government of Canada and the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Now, a recent court ruling has given Susan Lap and other alleged victims of Cameron the hope that they may find justice decades after the case in question.

Treatment at Alan Hospital for the treatment of schizophrenia instead focused on “controlling the patient’s mind to readjust the patient’s mind,” the proceedings said in a powerful drug, He claims to have used means such as repetitive voice messages, artificial coma, and shock treatment.

Attorney Alan Stein represents about 50 families of ex-patients in a lawsuit against the Government of Canada, McGill University Health Center, and Royal Victoria Hospital, which is now part of the McGill Education Network. doing. At the end of last month, the Quebec High Court prepared for a trial when it rejected a government and hospital application to partially dismiss the proceedings.

Another group of alleged Cameron victims and another lawyer have already filed a class action proceeding, so Stein chose to file a proceeding directly instead. The government and the two hospitals claimed that the families did not have enough in common to file a proceeding together, but the judge rejected their claim.

If successful, Stein said the proceedings could set a precedent for other groups who do not want to be bound by a more complex class action process, which could take more than a decade. “My client is elderly and doesn’t want to be involved in a proceeding for 10 or 12 years,” he said.

He said he hopes the case will be heard as early as next year if the government and hospitals do not appeal.

In a statement earlier this week, the Justice Department concluded that a 1986 investigation on behalf of the federal government had no “legal or moral responsibility”, but the government still did. He said he had compensated some victims for “humanitarian reasons.” The ministry refused to confirm whether to appeal against the court’s decision last month.

In a statement earlier this week, the McGill University Health Center acknowledged that Cameron conducted “controversial” research at the Alan Memorial Institute in the 1950s and 1960s with “unfortunate” results. However, the hospital said: “The court has already established that Royal Victoria Hospital is not considered by law to be Dr. Cameron’s employer. At that time, he exercised his profession in an autonomous and independent manner.”

Some victims received compensation of about $ 100,000 from the federal government in 1992, but many received nothing. Even such people are not close to covering the damage done to their loved ones and their families.

Sue Delhi says her mother, Pauline Tyr, compared the electric shock treatment she received to “being in a serpentine hole and gagged.” Delhi says Tyr was shocked countless times, injected with barbiturates and insulin, and slept for a long time during her year at Alan.

Tyr was even worse when she came out, her daughter said. Thiel showed little emotion and turned to alcohol to deal with it later. The oldest of the six, Dery, had to intervene to help raise her younger brother.

Delhi said he only knew what had happened to his mother decades later. At the time, “no one really talked about it,” she said. “It was seen as shameful.”

Delhi’s mother eventually stopped drinking and found peace in her later years, but others never recovered.

Marilyn Lapaport says her sister Evelyn has experienced what she describes as a “living death” decades after she went to the hospital for treatment.

Rapaport, one of Stein’s main plaintiffs, told her that her beautiful and artistic sister became a person who no longer recognized her family and “after treatment, including sleeping for months.” And I had to relearn to go to the bathroom, “says” at once “and repeats the voice message.

Today, at the age of 80, her sister is institutionalized. She said she wouldn’t touch anyone and wouldn’t recognize her family.

The entire family, who spoke to the Canadian Press, said that what happened at the Alan Memorial had far more impact than the victims themselves.

Delhi left home at a young age and turned to drugs for a while as a way to deal with it. She said she was angry with her mother for years about her drinking and spent her time remembering nothing.

Rap has little memory of her mother — she says is the result of the trauma she experienced. She reads through her mother’s medical files horrifying things, such as her mother’s unawareness of pictures of her child.

As part of her, Rappaport is responsible for managing the care of her sister and struggles every day to find help with her complex needs.

For families, proceedings are not only an opportunity for compensation, but also an opportunity to shed light on the chapters of history often obscured by the stigma and shame surrounding mental illness.

Stein’s proceedings require compensation of about $ 1 million per family, but victims say what they most want is an apology and perception of what the family has endured. ..

“I’m doing this because my mother deserves it,” Rap said. “She is unforgettable and deserves to be put in a box of secret files. She deserves it, even if she is dead for 50 years. Each of those people deserves it.”

Morgan Raleigh

Canadian press