! more INFO & QUESTIONS about "TRUTH SERUM"

Robert Born st000063 at hrz1.hrz.th-darmstadt.de
Fri Sep 3 03:35:09 EST 1993


hi everybody

thank to all of you for your attention and help in this subjekt.
you all brought a lot of usefull comments and experiences which 
i will summarize in this posting. 
a few clever scientist just send me their med-line, etc search. 
for this i will forward to everyone who is interested about.
maybe some net-users are still know more in this subject. 
they are wellcome to reply to me or to post in the newsgroup again.

i think that some questions concerning a more psychological and 
social effect are worth to be thought, too.

do you know any ("scientific") reports about involuntary pentothal 
drug abuse or any kind of "disease" (ptsd,...), 
psycological or social disorders caused by this drug?
what will happen to a person if this substance is applicated 
over a longer period of time with or without contradiction 
of amphetamines or lsd?
which social results will occur if this person is psychologicaly 
stressed through "dejavue" or other forms of repression in order 
to break his\her strenght of will?

any kind of suggestions or hints are higly appreciated.

now, here's a collection of the postings from several newsgroups.
the names of the senders are withheld. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>: I was wondering whether anyone knows the truth about truth serum? 
>: Sodium pentothal I think. Does it work, and if so how? 

>Well, it can remove your inhibitions against talking. The problem
>is, you can be led to say just about anything desired.

I think that's a pretty accurate summary.  I'll try to provide a few details
as well.

I believe it is a barbiturate (Thiopental Sodium), making the 
neural membrane more permeable to chloride ions, resulting in
general inhibition, starting with the cortex and working down to the
lower brain regions with increasing biological effect.  

I think the effects are something like the following :

At an appropriate dosage, you get just enough neural inhibitory effect
to create an alcohol-like disinhibition of normal behavioral restraints.

At a higher dosage, but not high enough to cause unconsciousness, you may 
create a stupor and inhibit independent thought and action to a greater 
extent.  The result is that you become more suggestible and less
willful.  A context for either recalling memories or constructing
new ones may then be created by an operator.  The actual verity of 
the testimony achieved in this manner will be impossible to determine
from the session alone, however.  

I think there is some overlap with the old practice of using ethyl ether to
aid in obtaining psychodynamic 'catharsis,' which may or may not
relate to actual events in the patients personal history, 
and overlap with some aspects of the use of hypnosis for similar purposes.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
from The Merck Index:

Preparation is covered by US Patents 2,153,729 (1939), 2,876,225 (1959).

"Yellowish-white hygroscopic powder.  Alliaceous, garlic-like odor.  Sol
in water, alcohol...."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Sodium pentothal can be used in conjunction with hypnosis
as a "truth serum".  It is not the only drug used, and the degree
of usefullness lies with both the skill of the physician estimating
dosage and the hypnotist.  "Trilene" (triacetylethylene??) is also
used via inhalation.  Essentially, the drug is used to reduce
resistance to the hypnotist, who then has to frame questions and
evoke responses in a way likely to produce accurate answers.  There
are several problems.  Too little narcotic and the subject may be
able to fake through the situation.  Too much and they're unconscious
-- if not dead.  In addition, the issue of accuracy is a can of 
worms.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yeah ok. I was wondering about Scolpamine. I thought this was used as a
truth drug. Is it? I think in high doses it kills but does anybody have
any info
on the effects? eg which receptors it vapes, things like that.

Intoxication is the most common recreational persuit in history.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>[Sodium pentothal stuff]
>
>I think there is some overlap with the old practice of using ethyl ether to
>aid in obtaining psychodynamic 'catharsis,' which may or may not
>relate to actual events in the patients personal history, 
>and overlap with some aspects of the use of hypnosis for similar purposes.

This reminds me...does anyone know anything about inducing abreaction
through the use of carbogen (I may have the name wrong), a mixture of
common gases (just O2 and CO2?) in certain proportions.  This is or was,
I believe, a therapeutic technique rather similar to that described
above.  But what exactly is abreaction?  And carbogen?  What's the
connection?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Sodium pentothal can be used in conjunction with hypnosis
as a "truth serum".  It is not the only drug used, and the degree
of usefullness lies with both the skill of the physician estimating
dosage and the hypnotist.  "Trilene" (triacetylethylene??) is also
used via inhalation.  Essentially, the drug is used to reduce
resistance to the hypnotist, who then has to frame questions and
evoke responses in a way likely to produce accurate answers.  There
are several problems.  Too little narcotic and the subject may be
able to fake through the situation.  Too much and they're unconscious
-- if not dead.  In addition, the issue of accuracy is a can of 
worms.
        For the record, I'm just summarizing several books and
articles off the top of my head.  Any serious overview of hypno-
therapy for the medical professional probably includes a section
on "narco-hypnosis", "drug-induced hypnosis", or "drug-assisted
hypnosis".  There have also been quite a few articles lately 
concerning false memory syndrome.  Even when hypnosis is not
involved, they are germane.  Take a look in "The New Yorker" sometime
in June or July for a two part article on a person who confessed
to ritual satanic child abuse after repeated "praying" on the
subject.
        You really should cross post this query to alt.hypnosis.
====================================================================
Try:
        Gottschalk, L. A. (1961). The use of drugs in interrogation. In A. D.
        Biderman & H. Zimmer (Eds.), _The manipulation of human behavior_ (pp.
        96-141). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

This article provides 136 references for further info.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Is there any evidence that sodium pentathol would make someone tell the 
>truth, and if NOT, was it ever commonly *thought* that it would?  Was/Is 
>the drug used in psychiatry?  Are there any other such drugs that have the 
>potential for being used for this purpose?
>

I've used Amytal (a similar drug) for this purpose in hysterical patients.
It does work.  The patient will often drop the hysterical symptoms after
being given a dose IV.  If you give too much, it puts them to sleep
though.  I haven't used thiopental sodium, and don't know of any
who do, other than anesthesiologists who use it to induce sleep.
Lay use of these drugs would be very dangerous, since overdose can
be lethal.  You have to be prepared to intubate and support respirations,
as some patients stop breathing when given these.  As for Burt and Lori,
it's a grandstand stunt.  Any doctor that would agree to be part of it
should have his license revoked.  Any use other than by doctors is illegal.
These drugs are not playthings.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After seeing a snibbet of the interview with Burt Reynolds the other night
where he "challenged" Loni to submit to a `truth serum test' (a chemical
lie detector test?), it occurred to me that it's been many years since I've
heard sodium pentathol referred to as truth serum, and I think the referen-
ces to it I *did* hear were all in the movies (spy movies, probably).

Is there any evidence that sodium pentathol would make someone tell the 
truth, and if NOT, was it ever commonly *thought* that it would?  Was/Is 
the drug used in psychiatry?  Are there any other such drugs that have the 
potential for being used for this purpose?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>After seeing a snibbet of the interview with Burt Reynolds the other night
>where he "challenged" Loni to submit to a `truth serum test' (a chemical
>lie detector test?), it occurred to me that it's been many years since I've
>heard sodium pentathol referred to as truth serum, and I think the referen-
>ces to it I *did* hear were all in the movies (spy movies, probably).
>
>Is there any evidence that sodium pentathol would make someone tell the 
>truth, and if NOT, was it ever commonly *thought* that it would?  Was/Is 
>the drug used in psychiatry?  Are there any other such drugs that have the 
>potential for being used for this purpose?

I remember reading somewhere that it can't actually make someone tell the
truth.  Instead, it has a tranquillizing effect, and makes telling a lie
more difficult.  (Apparently, lying takes more mental effort than telling
the truth, and is more difficult to do when a person is tranquillized.)  I
also heard that sodium amytal has a similar effect.
******************************************************************************
The BBC reported this bit about Burt challenging Loni to take sodium
pentathol on national TV and each report on how many people they had
adultered each other wit


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