Was idyllic French village driven crazy by LSD in a secret American mind experiment?
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March 18, 2010: Article discusses Pont-Saint-Esprit, a town of 4000 in southern France that experienced mass insanity one night in 1951. For decades, the accepted explanation has been ergot poisoning from contaminated rye. However, recently uncovered evidence suggests that the town may have been intentionally dosed with LSD by the CIA as a part of mind-control experiments in the MK ULTRA program run by Dr Sidney Gottlieb. Gottlieb went by the code name "Black Sorceror". Documents from the White House at the time refer to efforts to keep the truth under wraps about "the Pont-Saint Espirit incident", and protect its "secret".


2. Doctor Ox's Experiment by Jules Verne — yes, Jules Verne predicted this story a hundred years before it happened! Except in Verne's story the village was Flemish, the scientist used a gas instead of LSD and he wasn't working for any government. Or was he…?

Game and Story Use

  • What a fun surprise to spring on your players in a game set during the Cold War - you send them to this little town in France for unrelated reasons, and then have the whole town go homicidally insane!
    • In a game laden with conspiracy theory and espionage this could happen again, anywhere, anywhen.
    • So, for example, The Laundry RPG would do very well here. See also the mythos linkages below…
  • The "Black Sorceror" perhaps lived up to his codename? Maybe ergot was not the cover story not for LSD experiments. Instead, it was the cover story for a cthulhu mythos-themed explanation, or some dark magic. These Are Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, and it drove nearly the whole city insane.
    • The Eldritch Abomination that caused, or was summoned by, the madness may still lurk beneath the village.
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