In 1953, the U.S. Government, specifically the CIA, started a "human research" program, which involved testing on U.S. and Canadian citizens without their consent. The program, called MKUltra, tested LSD, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, and torture on people. The CIA paid prisons, hospitals, and other institutions, including over 30 universities, to participate and keep quiet. The program lacked professional oversight and at least one person committed suicide after unknowingly ingesting LSD.
In 1973, then CIA director Richard Helms ordered the destruction of all MKUltra documents, and when Congress investigated the program, no one, including Hemls, could "remember" any of the details.