My maternal grandmother Velma Orlikow, was an unwitting participant in CIA-funded brainwashing experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute at McGill University in the mid-1950s. As a patient under the care of Dr. Ewen Cameron, she was subjected to invasive treatments such as shock therapy, LSD, and medically-induced sleep. These events traumatized her and rippled down through the family tree.
Beyond its broad moral and political implications, this series reflects a central theme in my personal life. I have revisited my grandmother’s mistreatment over the years and I expect I will continue to do so throughout my career.