"Cursed bread" was contaminated with LSD - Macleans.ca

“Cursed bread” was contaminated with LSD

A U.S. journalist lifts the veil on a top-secret CIA experiment in France


It’s taken nearly 60 years, but an American journalist appears to have finally solved the enduring mystery about the “cursed bread” in a small town in the south of France. The story dates back to 1951, when residents of Pont-Saint-Esprit suddenly began experiencing intense hallucinations after eating bread from the local bakery. Five people died and dozens ended up in asylums as a result of what was assumed to be contamination from ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Turns out, the real reason behind the spate of insanity was even wilder than anyone ever thought: according to journalist H. P. Albarelli Jr., the bread was laced with LSD by the CIA as part of a top-secret mind-control experiment. Albarelli concluded as much after coming across documents discussing the “secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit” that showed the contamination wasn’t caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.


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