Dr. Gerald D Klee died this week in Maryland from complications following surgery, according to members of his family. The retired psychiatrist, known for his participation in LSD experiments, was 86 years old.
Dr. Klee was a noted expert concerning the semi-synthetic psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly referred to as LSD. He is known to the general public for his admitted involvement in secret LSD research experiments conducted on volunteer servicemen in the 1950s.
In 1975, the psychiatrist publicly confirmed that between the years of 1956 and 1959, LSD was given to hundreds of military personnel in order to study the drug’s physiological and psychological effects.
The secret experiment was reportedly conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Psychiatric Institute, the alleged result of a 1956 contract negotiation with the Army.
“They were mostly enlisted men — there were a few commissioned officers — but they were mostly unlettered and rather naive,” Dr. Klee reportedly explained to The Evening Sun in 1975.
According to Dr. Gerald D. Klee, all of the military personnel involved were voluntarily participants in the experiments. Klee reportedly indicated that subjects were advised on the possible effects of the hallucinogenic LSD drug beforehand.
The psychiatrist also reportedly stated that the men were told the experiment was a matter of national security.
LSD is known to produce significant short term effects in its users. Individuals may experience an altered thinking process or visual hallucinations. Some users have reported feeling an altered sense of time and spirituality while the drug is present in their body.
While the drug is not known to cause damage to the human brain, severe psychiatric reactions ranging from anxiety to delusions may occur when taking LSD.
Dr. Klee reportedly claimed to have ingested LSD himself in preparation for the experiments involving military servicemen. He reportedly indicated that he would not have felt comfortable administering the psychedelic drug to someone else without having experienced its effects firsthand.
Following his employment as director of the Division of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at the University of Maryland, Dr. Klee took on a similar role at Temple University.
He later continued in the medical field as an educator at University of Maryland, Temple and Johns Hopkins, in addition to running a private practice. He reportedly retired from the profession in 2000.
Dr. Gerald D. Klee died on Sunday at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. He is survived by a brother, three daughters, two sons, and 11 grandchildren.
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