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Secret Weapons : Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies and Sabotage Hardcover – February 15, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Now in their late 30s, the Hersha sisters claim to have experienced chilling childhoods, recounted here by two Ohio-based investigators Schwarz (The Hillside Strangler) and former police captain and "ritual abuse expert" Griffis who say they have studied declassified CIA files and interviewed military personnel in an effort to bolster the Hersha memories. Before the age of seven, the sisters say, they were inducted into a covert, government-authorized, mind-control program designed to spawn spies and assassins. During weekends and summers, they were subjected to traumatizing experiments. Cheryl tells of her days as a caged "lab rat," released to navigate electrified mazes. The two became "psychological captives," programmed to respond to code words. Following practice in weaponry, martial arts and flight training, altered identities were purportedly introduced. At 15, Lynn "was made part of a unit that experienced murder," and she assumed the identity of team leader "Lt. Rick Shaw." As the seductive "Samantha Gooding," Cheryl would paralyze her victims, and she later became the cocky chopper pilot "Sgt. Thomas O'Neil." Naturally, these two "men," long separated, were destined to meet: "Cheryl Hersha! It's me, Lynn, your sister. You've got to let me go. You can't shoot me." Credibility collapses, as improbabilities are piled on inconsistencies, and the truth is buried beneath simplistic, pulp-adventure prose. In closing, the authors claim that "Their story is true," following with an admission that they found no government documents about the program or the sisters. An elaborate disclaimer about the "presumed thoughts and imagined words of the participants" will lead many readers to ponder just how much real events have been fictionalized.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

All research materials obtained by author Ted Schwarz, including declassified documents about these programs, will be made public through his archives at Hayden Library, Special Collections Division, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 434 pages
  • Publisher: New Horizon Press (February 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882821962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882821962
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
FOIA often brings us precious quotes like the reminiscence by Captain George White when he retired from CIA mind control work in 1966. "It was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all-highest." Where else indeed can sadists, pedophiles and satanists frolic together with total immunity under the cloak of "national security" secrecy laws. If you wonder just how much fun it was on the other side of the electrodes, you can read this book. Learn how the CIA would swap their youngest child subjects as favors to academic primate researchers to be used as "lab rats." Learn how parents were turned against their own children and were convinced to sign away their kids human rights to the foibles of government torturers. This is pretty grim stuff. What is also grim is the apologetic and flag waving tone that creeps in and out of the work as it progresses trying to give it a "balanced" perspective. The people involved in this research are clearly criminals by any legal or moral standard, demented creeps would probably be more to the point. I am sure there are hardworking sincere people in the CIA doing what they think is best for the citizens of this nation, but it would be a very big stretch to put any of the mind control crowd into that bailiwick... If you can think of anything despicable you could do to a child, it will probably be graphically portrayed in this book. Not for those with weak stomachs, on the other hand if this really turns you on, you may have a bright future on the federal payroll!
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By A Customer on January 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Let's face it the general public and news media in particular are in total denial here. If Someone came before a judge and said "my CIA mind control handler made me do it, I am just an innocent victim" the courtroom would laugh. The agency has plausible deniability now, and they don't want that to change anytime soon. They have kept their finger in the dyke for decades and this book has the potential to put a major crack in it. There have been a couple other recent first person accounts, but they have been privately published and never made it into the bookstores. This book by the Hersha sisters is the stuff of which legends and movies are made. It captures the imagination with the horrors of the government sponsored torture, molestation and enslavement of helpless children as they are molded into sox toys, spies and assassins. Legal professor and mind manipulation expert Alan Scheflin has estimated that at least hundreds and probably over one thousand American children have been put through this CIA gauntlet and this book gives us a clear up front and personal depiction of how such treatment ruins lives, breaks up marriages and can end in suicide. The endless torment, sleepless nights and stolen childhoods take a tremendous toll. Such high stress induction techniques are the nuts and bolts of breaking the mind. Split personalities which are unaware of each other are the first goal of Project Bluebird. The next is to establish absolute control of the newly emerged personality so it will never reveal itself to anyone but the handler, follow orders without resistance and self-destruct if threatened with disclosure. The "best and brightest" children were chosen for subversion by this process, those with strong survival capabilities, leadership talent, photographic memories, etc.Read more ›
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By A Customer on September 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book delivers a firsthand account of two sisters that endured the CIA's MKULTRA mind-control program and lived to tell about it. There should be no surprise that programs like MKULTRA were a reality - their existence is a matter of public record. Indeed, similar programs existed in the Soviet Union and are still common practice in China, where children as young as 3 years old are entered into training. Given that the MKULTRA program was a reality - as hard as the fact may be to comprehend, much less accept - then the reader immediately recognizes that the sister's tale has relevance to citizens in a democracy.
The book is intriguing on many levels and, like many such endeavors, does not seem to be intended as a definitive history so much as a personal account of atrocities endured and the power of the human spirit to recover from the most horrendous abuses. On that level, this book succeeds magnificently.
Readers who enjoy personal accounts of a world most of us have only imagined - and who also are inspired by tales of overcoming bitter adversity - will find this book satisfying and important.
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By A Customer on February 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of two sisters who, as young children, were put into a top secret government experiment/program known as Bluebird (later offshoots were MkUltra, Monarch, and others), the purpose of which was to create "Manchurian Candidates" - mind controlled spies and assassins. Although portions of these programs go back to the 1930's, it was not until after WWII, that the CIA began training children. Children are better subjects for programming, since they dissociate more readily. Based on research by such persons as Dr. George Estabrooks, Dr. Sidney Gottleib, Dr. Jose Delgado, and others, including Nazi scientists (such as Dr. Hubertus Strughold) secretly brought into this country by the CIA, government programmers, using electro-shock, drugs, and hypnosis, as well as other forms of torture and brainwashing, were able to create multiple personalities in the children. The children would then continue to be able to lead their normal everyday lives without anyone suspecting their involvment in covert government operations. One of the sisters, Cheryl, became a "Black Widow" - trained to seduce and, if necessary, kill targeted men. The other sister, Lynn, was primarily trained as a combat leader, meant to lead groups in case of attack on our government or other secret missions, such as taking out a traitor, or rescuing the kidnapped child of someone deemed important to the government.
The sisters' stories are not the first to surface on Projects Bluebird, MkUltra, or Monarch.
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