- 216 pages
- Black & White
- 5.5 x 8.5 inches
- eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)
- 978-1-4602-8783-5 Hardcover
- 978-1-4602-8784-2 Paperback
- 978-1-4602-8785-9 eBook
- Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs
- Biography & Autobiography
- Biography & Autobiography, Medical
Mental health abuse, Steve Smith, Peter Woodcock, Oak Ridge Ontario, Dr. Elliot Barker, Matt Lamb, CIA LSD Program
The Psychopath Machine
A Story of Resistance and Survival
When Steve Smith set out to hitchhike from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Canada’s west coast back in 1968, he was just an eighteen-year-old hippie with an appetite for adventure. But a short way into his journey, a reckless decision to steal a car landed him in police custody. Afraid of getting caught with the two tabs of acid in his pocket, Steve popped them into his mouth. It was one of the worst decisions of his life.
Mistaking his drug trip for a mental breakdown, the authorities placed him in Ontario’s notorious Oak Ridge mental health facility. While there, not only did he find himself shoulder-to-shoulder with people like notorious child killer Peter Woodcock and mass murderers Matt Lamb and Victor Hoffman, he also fell into the hands of someone worse: Dr. Elliot T. Barker.
Over the next eight months, Barker subjected Steve and the other patients to a battery of unorthodox experiments involving LSD, scopolamine, methamphetamines, and other drugs. Steven also experienced numerous other forms of abuse and torture.
Following his release, Steve continued to suffer the aftereffects of his Oak Ridge experience. For several years, he found himself in and out of prison—and back to Oak Ridge—before he was finally able to establish himself as a successful entrepreneur.
Once he began investigating what happened to him during his youth, not even Steve was prepared for what he would discover about Barker, Oak Ridge, and one of the darkest periods in Canada’s treatment of mental health patients. The question remains: Was Oak Ridge and Dr. Barker trying to cure psychopaths or trying to create and direct them?
Steve Smith has never considered himself to be a writer. However, realizing he had a compelling story, he set out to tell his tale. Originally published as a series of posts in online forums, this narrative has been revised and expanded to include not only a detailed account of his time at Oak Ridge and beyond but also pages of documentation that substantiate his claims. Portions of Steve’s story have also been recounted in Jon Ronson’s book The Psychopath Test, an investigation into mental health “industry.” Ronson affirms Steve’s suspicions that his experiences at Oak Ridge were likely linked to the to CIA’s top secret MKUltra mind control program, which ran from the 1950s to the early 1970s in the USA and Canada.
Despite the atrocious treatment he received at the hands of Dr. Barker and others, Steve does not consider himself to be a victim or a survivor. Instead, he merely feels obligated to let other people know what happened to him, partly so that those responsible can be held accountable and partly on behalf of those who did not survive the experience. Today, Steve is semi-retired, but he continues to run his plastic fabricating business. He lives on BC’s Sunshine Coast with his wife of twenty years and their dog Lyla.
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