"Circling Exodus"

© 2000
J. Mitch Hopper

Amnesia has robbed him of his past. However, he finds a diary in his library detailing dangerous pharmacological research. The diary, it seems, is his own. Here is just a taste!
As I already knew, I was born to typical parents and went through a typical high school. My college years were spent following a path toward biochemical development and research. My subsequent Doctoral dissertation on Lysergic Acid Diethyamide Derivatives attracted the attention of the United States Department of the Army and that is where the official record of my being disappears utterly. The technical, chemical and pharmacological texts are no longer a mystery.

My professional life was spent in developing a madness that was to be inflicted upon others. My military career spins around a central pivot my development of a modified designer drug based upon a standard anesthesia medication, Clonidine. In what surely must have been insanity on my part, I gave the military an elegant synthetic compound - Serum Aligning Neurological, Dormancy Retrograde Amnesiac; known by its pseudonym, SANDRA.

The drug was simple in its concept, unbelievably expensive and complicated in its manufacture and insidious in its application. The object lesson is, from a researcher's perspective, noble and responsible. What better way to render a battlefield harmless than to fill it with combatants who no longer remember what their function was or to whom their loyalties lie. An enemy without memory is a friend. A friend without memory is suggestible and gullible. A soldier without memory may even turn on his own.

According to my own hidden notes, I became aware of the fact that in early 1971, the Department of the Army was testing my new drug under the lab name of MK-Ultra before I had even completed toxicology tests. Many of the animal subjects to whom I had introduced SANDRA died within twenty-four hours. The autopsies were inconclusive, but they were all related to renal failure and muscular paralysis. The Army, it seemed, was more interested in the human effects. Twenty seven randomly selected individuals were taken from the Virginia State Hospital system and were exposed to moderate concentrations of SANDRA on February 3, 1971. These poor unfortunates were, in all likely hood, not insane, just homeless, illiterate, malnourished and expendable. What became of them or what test results were gained, I have no idea. There is no public or official documentation about it at all beyond my own journal entries. Apparently, if I can believe my own angry notes, I complained and threatened to bring this information to the public. There is no record beyond that excepting of course, for the public, documented details of my hospital stay and a string of bills submitted to a well endowed trust that has maintained me.

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