A query to a professional anti-Communist

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Sun Jul 6 18:19:52 MDT 2003

At 04:09  6/07/03 -0700, you wrote:
>Naturally this piqued my own interest and the interest of other
>activists. We began to do some research on Zubek. We found out that he
>was funded through the Canadian Defense Research Board and some other
>entities but that the real origins of their research funding and focus
>was the U.S. Army, British Government and some other entities. We also
>got a copy of the Compton Report (actually a whitewash) of the British
>government on British interrogation techniques in Northern Ireland
>which cited John Zubek over and over as having provided the theoretical
>and experimental approaches to developing the interrogation techniques
>used by the British in Northern Ireland. There were numerous references
>to pain threshholds and susceptibility to pain and manipulation as a
>function of the extent and nature of sensory deprivation in the report.

It's a small world Jim.  Compton insisted that there had been no "torture"
of detainees only "ill-treatment".

None of your and your comrades activities were ever reported in Britain as
far as I am aware.

So Zubek committed suicide. I am reminded of Fanon on the French torturer
he was treating who just wanted to be cured so he could get back to
torturing.  He was referred to Fanon because of domestic violence. Fanon
could not get him to see that it was the torture that was making him beat
up his wife and family and wreck the home.

warm regards


Hi Gary,

And please say hello to Chris and all the "Strong and Proud" children of
Cherbourg for me.

Actually, the world has gotten even smaller Gary. Recently I was contacted
by someone who found out about my involvement in all of this some thirty
years ago. This person has a relation who was one of Zubek's experimental
subjects who went on to allegedly do some very crazy and errratic stuff (I
am deliberately being circumspect). This person is about to launch a lawsuit
opening all of this up. In view of the family history of this person who was
an experimental subject, I was forced to wonder if this person had not been
deliberately picked because of existing emotional instability (thus would
not be a credible witness if this person decided to expose the experiments)
or, if the experiments had produced the emotional instability.

My articles are still available in the student newspaper "The Manitoban" as
far as I know. The actions against Zubek also included two friends and
well-known Trotskyists in Canada Mitch Podolak and Joe Flexer. A couple of
years after Zubek's death (August 1974), the claim was that he had committed
suicide by drowning himself in the Red River (same way my own mother
committed suicide in Lake Washington) but his bio just says "died suddenly".
I had one of Zubek's closest friends for a Cell Biology Course. In a private
conversation, he called me "a fucking punk responsible for his friend's
death" and said I would never pass his course; I got my only "D" from the
fascist scum in his course.

Many years later, while sitting as a Tribunal Judge on Crimes in the
Canadian Indian Residential School System on a Tribunal in Vancouver, BC in
1998, I heard testimony from Natives who had been locked up in mental
hospitals in Ontario and Quebec being used for more "sensory deprivation",
"mind control" and "susceptibility to pain" experiments pioneered by Zubek
and his ilk; I also heard compelling evidence of Native children
(particularly street children) being used as part of the infamous MKULTRA

It has been years since I read the Compton Report, portions of which still
remain classified, and I forget how I got ahold of the portions I had, but
in my articles I quoted directly from statements that Irish prisoners
demonstrated lower pain thresholds, increased malleability and increased
susceptibility to manipulation as a function of the nature and duration and
forms of sensory deprivation followed by (Zubek 1966) or Zubek (1969) etc
etc. The grad student in Psych was not deliberately leaking to me, we were
just having "innocuous conversations" that I picked up on and from there I
would gradually pick his brain and eventually leaked what he had given us
and what we were able to come up with.

Take care and I do hope to come and visit in Oz.


More information about the Marxism mailing list