December 4, 1957 |
|Known for||Conspiracy theorist, claims of victimization by Project MKULTRA|
|Parents||Earl M. O'Brien
Carol O'Brien (née Tanis)
Cathleen Ann O'Brien (born December 4, 1957, Muskegon, Michigan) is an American who claims to be a victim of Project MKULTRA, a program funded by the Central Intelligence Agency to research the use of drugs for intelligence purposes. O'Brien made these claims in Trance Formation of America (1995) and Access Denied: For Reasons of National Security (2004) which she co-authored with her husband Mark Phillips. O'Brien is one of many people publicly claiming to have survived "CIA mind control" programs.
The memories that O'Brien has asserted she possesses were retrieved through the use of hypnosis. The specific program which she claimed was responsible for her dissociative identity disorder, Project Monarch, is not mentioned in reviews of MKULTRA, its alleged parent program. Because most MKULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 by order of then CIA Director Richard Helms, it has been difficult, if not impossible, for investigators to gain a complete understanding of the more than 150 individually funded research sub-projects sponsored by MKULTRA and related CIA programs.
O'Brien also claims to have a recollection of child abuse - of her and her daughter - by international pedophile rings, drug barons and satanists, as part of a sex slave aspect to her 'trauma based mind control programming'. Individuals from United States, Canadian, Mexican and Saudi Arabian government officials, to stars of the Country and Western music scene are among those she accuses of these crimes. According to critic Michael Barkun, investigations into the story produced no credible evidence and numerous inconsistencies.
Project Monarch 
O'Brien claims to have been recruited against her will by the CIA and her abusive father as a child, through a network of child pornographers he was involved with, and forced to participate in a mind control program named Project Monarch, which is said to be a subsection of Project MKULTRA and Project ARTICHOKE. Despite scholarly investigation of the MKULTRA program, there is no evidence for the existence of Project Monarch except for O'Brien's testimony.
Multiple personality 
O'Brien says that she has developed dissociative identity disorder and that she has no memory of some of her activities. She also says that she has a photographic recall of the events that she suffered whilst her alternate personalities were in control.
Criticisms of O'Brien 
Swedish scholar Mattias Gardell asserts that O'Brien's claims are almost entirely unsupported by any evidence outside her testimony or the similarly unverified testimony of others, and studies of MKULTRA have produced no mention of Project Monarch.
Many other conspiracy theorists are skeptical of O'Brien's claims. Despite this skepticism her stories have entered the conspiracy culture, linking claims of satanic ritual abuse with Project Monarch.
- O'Brien, C; Phillips M (1995). TranceFormation of America (pdf). Reality Marketing, Incorporated. ISBN 0-9660165-4-8. Retrieved 200-10-20.
- O'Brien, C (2004). Access Denied: For Reasons of National Security. Reality Marketing, Incorporated. ISBN 0-9660165-3-X.
- O'Brien, Cathy. "Trance Formation Of America". Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- Versluis, A (2006). The new inquisitions: heretic-hunting and the intellectual origins of modern totalitarianism. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-19-530637-6. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- de Young, M (2004). The day care ritual abuse moral panic. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland. p. 235. ISBN 0-7864-1830-3. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Toropov B (2001). The complete idiot's guide to urban legends. Indianapolis, Ind: Alpha Books. p. 221. ISBN 0-02-864007-1. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Barkun, Michael (2003). A culture of conspiracy: apocalyptic visions in contemporary America. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 76. ISBN 0-520-23805-2. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Phillips, Mark (1995). TranceFormation of America (pdf). Reality Marketing, Incorporated. ISBN 0-9660165-4-8. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Gardell M (2003). Gods of the blood: the pagan revival and white separatism. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3071-7. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Knight P (2003). Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO. pp. 487. ISBN 1-57607-812-4.