Sidney Gottlieb (August 3, 1918 – March 7, 1999) was an American military psychiatrist and chemist probably best-known for his involvement with the Central Intelligence Agency's mind control program MKULTRA.
Sidney was born in the Bronx under the name Joseph Schneider. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. A stutterer from childhood, Gottlieb got a master's degree in speech therapy. He also had a club foot, but this did not stop him from practicing folk dancing, a lifelong passion.
In 1951, Sidney Gottlieb joined the Central Intelligence Agency. As a poison expert, he headed the chemical division of the Technical Services Staff (TSS). Sidney became known as the "Black Sorcerer" and the "Dirty Trickster." He supervised preparations of lethal poisons and experiments in mind control.
In March 1960, under The Cuban Project, a CIA plan approved by President Eisenhower and under the direction of CIA Directorate for Plans, Richard M. Bissell, Gottlieb came up with ideas to spray Fidel Castro's television studio with LSD and to saturate Castro's shoes with thallium so that the hair of his beard would fall out. Gottlieb also hatched schemes to assassinate Castro, including the use of a poisoned cigar, a poisoned wetsuit, an exploding conch shell, and a poisonous fountain pen.
He also tried to have Iraq's General Abdul Karim Qassim's handkerchief contaminated with botulinum. Less known was an operation within the CIA's Phoenix Program in Vietnam where a team of CIA psychologists performed mind control experiments on NLF suspects being detained at Bien Hoa Prison outside of Saigon.
Gottlieb is said to have played a role in funding investigation into paranormal phenomena, including remote viewing.