Operation Midnight Climax

Operation Midnight Climax

George White ran the CIA brothel. He watched from a hidden room while men were dosed with LSD — and he convinced himself the fate of the nation depended on it.

Episodes

November 16, 2022 36 min

Nicolas Cage weds Lisa Marie Presley, but Memphis beckons for another reason. Another rare Cage comic turns up in the soulful city, leading police to think they’ve finally cracked the case.

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Nicolas Cage’s copy of Action Comics #1 wasn’t the only one stolen. Another was taken just weeks prior to the Cage theft — from the safe of a billionaire. Was it a coincidence, or a rehearsal?

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One of Nicolas Cage’s rare comics turns up in Connecticut, which seems like a slam dunk for investigators. And we meet a renowned (but reformed!) art thief, who explains the true motive behind its appearance.

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Welcome to Stealing Superman, a new iHeart Original podcast hosted by Dana Schwartz.

After a holiday party, Nicolas Cage realizes his cache of rare comics has been ransacked, and Action Comics #1—the Mona Lisa of comics—is missing. With suspects ranging from employees to guests, Cage turns to his trusted comic book dealer for help solving what will shape up to be the most unlikely art heist of all time.

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May 12, 2021 42 min

Sidney Gottlieb thought he’d erased all traces of Operation Midnight Climax and MK-ULTRA from the government’s collective memory. While the world will never know the full extent of the CIA’s experimentation with LSD, an unlikely source revealed many of the victims. These breakthroughs came courtesy of George White, who testified from beyond the grave.

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May 5, 2021 33 min

As the walls closed in on Operation Midnight Climax, George White took lessons he’d learned from a world-class magician to explore the last uncharted frontier of the psychonaut — the general public. It’s how White would make San Francisco’s sanity disappear.

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April 28, 2021 31 min

After Frank Olson’s death in New York, George White had to move his whole operation to San Francisco. And the CIA added a twist: while they’d been occupied with using LSD as a mind-control drug, now they wanted him to weaponize sex.

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April 21, 2021 39 min

For 70 years, people have debated what happened to Frank Olson at the Hotel Statler. Did the CIA’s grand experiment with LSD lead to the sanctioned execution of a government employee? For George White, Frank Olson’s death would change everything.

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April 14, 2021 11 min

Today we wanted to share a bonus mini-episode. Here’s how George White’s LSD adventures tied in with the CIA’s increasingly bizarre attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. We’ll be back with a new installment next Wednesday.

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April 7, 2021 35 min

As the CIA’s LSD experiments went increasingly rogue, an aspiring actress realized what George White had done to her. But unlike others who’d complained, she reported White by name to the New York Police Department.

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March 31, 2021 33 min

To immerse himself in his CIA role, George White needed a new identity. In Greenwich Village, he set up a safehouse and became Morgan Hall, a struggling artist. But it wasn’t long before the wrong kind of people started showing up at his door — including the FBI

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March 24, 2021 36 min

If George White could manipulate the mafia with an old-fashioned wartime truth serum, what could he do with something more potent? What secrets could he uncover with the full support of the CIA and a supply of LSD? The world was about to find out.

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March 17, 2021 28 min

In the 1950s, the CIA conducted highly controversial research on mind-altering drugs to prepare for brain warfare with global superpowers. But after a checkered past, George White’s off-the-books Operation Midnight Climax took whatever flimsy rulebook the CIA had and threw it out the window.

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See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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