Tag Archives: napa state hospital

My Sweet Belle, Lela Bell Blueford-Bullock & the Parable of the Drowning Man


When Sweet Belle, above in a rare early photo from Louisiana, passed, a lot of people had warm and beautiful things to say about Lela Belle Blueford-Bullock. This humble country girl from the backwoods of Louisiana had been loved and touched many. We didn’t know then, but there was yet another unknown and powerful Black Family Legacy Chapter about Belle’s exceptional courage, strength and character that few knew anything about.

God Works in Mysterious Ways.

Some of the richest and most valuable historical Black Folklore from the South recorded can be found in Zora Neal Hurston’s books like “Of Mules and Men.” Hurston recorded folklore includes the Parable of the Drowning Man. This story is not exact but close to the story that she recorded out of the South. There were a lot of tales among our people about God, Prayers, Faith and the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

In 1927, the mighty Mississippi had flooded an area 50 miles wide and more than 99 miles long affecting seven states. The area was inundated up to a depth of 30 feet. The flood caused over $400 million in damages and killed 246 people in seven states.

The Parable of the Drowning Man

One very religious Negro died in the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and went to Heaven. On the way through the Pearly Gates, he stopped to complain to Saint Peter. He told St. Peter about the flood and that he had been trapped on top of the roof of his home. He said that he prayed to God to save him. He said that a man came by in a boat and told him “get in, get in!” The religious man of much faith told him, “No, I have faith in God, he will save me.” The boat went on save others. Later the water came up to his waist and another boat came by and the guy told him to get in again. The religious man told the rescuer that he had faith in God and God will answer his prayer and save him. With the water at about chest high, another boat came to rescue him, but he turned down the offer to get in the boat again because “God would answer his prayer and save him.” With the water at chin high, he said another boat came by and offered to rescue him. Again, he told Saint Peter that he had turned away the rescue boat expecting God to answer his prayers and save him. He drowned. The religious Negro asked St. Peter, “What happened? He said, “I put all my faith in God and he let me drown!” Saint Peter looked at the faithful Negro with a bewildered look and told him, “God sent you four boats, what more did you want?”

Of all the people in my life, I most misunderstood my mother’s wit. As a child, I often prayed to God for a decent home with a father, bicycle and other worldly material things just to be like other kids. I was always the poorest of the poor. My home more often than not was a broken down infested roach and mouse palace. I was too embarrassed to invite anyone home to meet my mother and family. We were often left hungry and always wanting. Our school lunches were often nothing more than French fried potatoes in a greasy paper bag. My saddest days were always Christmas. As a child, there was little if anything under the tree for me. We grew up in such poverty that I often blamed my father and mother, Belle, for our plight.


Lela Belle Blueford was born in 1921, the oldest child of the late Luke Blueford and Jerlene Hutchinson, above in a rare photo, someplace near Collingston and Mer Rouge, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana. She had been named “Belle” after her most beloved maternal grandmother, Belle Winfield-Hutchinson.


She often talked about the hard times around the farm and picking cotton from dusk to dawn. She said that she had been forced to drop out of school in the 2nd grade to help around their sharecropping farm. When she did go to school, she often reminded us that she had to walk to school barefooted for miles. She didn’t have shoes. Belle could neither read nor write. She said that she had married my 16-17 year old father at about 14 years old in Collingston in or about 1936.

Rayford Bullock was the eldest son of John Bullock and Ida McGowen of Walthall County, Mississippi where he was born on August 29, 1918. Their late eldest child, Vergie Bullock, is pictured behind.


In about 1939, my father was recruited to relocate to California to work in the Bay Area War Industry. Germany had invaded Poland in September 1939. The invasion started World War II. His first job was at the Oakland U.S. Army Base. During this time, Oakland was strictly racially segregated. Blacks relocating in Oakland to help the war effort had difficult times finding homes. In 1944, Belle and two small infant daughters were able to move to Oakland to be reunited. Our first family home was at Oakland’s first downtown Nineteenth Century luxury hotel, The Galindo, which had been converted to segregated housing for Southern Blacks recruited to work in the Bay Area War Industry. The old Galindo at 409 8th Street and 717 Franklin Street bordered Chinatown and Oakland’s Skid Row. It was my place of birth.


In 1947, my father, above in his favorite Naval Supply Jacket, was transferred to the Alameda U.S. Navy Base as a civilian employee. He worked as an airplane parts cleaner. On March 6, 1948, my father suddenly didn’t come home from work. He was taken from the naval base to Highland Hospital and then transferred to Napa State Hospital. I interviewed almost all of my father’s brothers and sisters that were still alive in about 1995. All they know is that the family received a phone call from the hospital that he had been transferred to Napa State Hospital. The family’s opinion was unquestionable and undeniable. They said that nothing was wrong or out of the ordinary with my father. On all accounts, my father didn’t drink, smoke or use drugs. He had been a caring, gentle, thoughtful, intelligent and literate human being. He also had been a model employee. On December 10, 1945, the rear admiral of the Alameda Naval Supply Depot awarded his dictated service during wartime with a special “U.S. Navy Recognition of Service.”

Responding to my California Public Records Act requests, Highland Hospital claimed that it has no record of my father ever being there. I also discovered that all of his records at Napa State Hospital from the March 1948 to July 1949 U.S. Navy commitment were deliberately destroyed or secreted away.

The State of California claims that it has no other records of my father’s commitment, the naval facility at Napa or any information about the people and military U.S. Navy doctors that committed him. The feds and state knew where I trying to go with the inquiries and cut off all loose ends. So, I turned to public records of his commitment at the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland. I was suddenly greeted by a committee of nervous county courthouse clerks that told me that all of father’s records were locked away in a safe upstairs. They told me in no uncertain terms that my father’s records were deemed classified information, and “you will never see those records in your lifetime!” I took it as a veiled threat.

From March 1948 to July 1949, Napa State Hospital kept my father at a classified naval facility on the hospital grounds that could be seen just outside the hospital director’s office. The newspaper picture that I had of the hospital director and this naval hospital facility identified as such just outside of his window disappeared from my files and my computer hard drive in my office. Most all of my research materials and his key medical records in my possession from Napa that was the basis of my research and California Records Act requests were stolen from right under my nose at the public library. I worked under no delusions. I realized from the beginning that the forces that sought to deny my family and I access to what really happened to my father in March 1948 were extremely powerful, deadly and unyielding.

To replace the breadwinner and head of our family while my father was confined at Napa, the U.S. Navy gave my mother a letter directing her to Alameda County Legal Aid to help her apply for some of his wages; and Alameda County Welfare Department for Aid to Dependent Children. As I said before, Belle would nether read or write. Belle no more than 27 years old, pregnant, with two young children and an infant with only a rural sharecropping background was suddenly alone and extremely frighten in California. With the sudden lost of the breadwinner and protector of our family, she was in serious trouble. We were on the fringe of being forced orphans. We were caught in flood of misfortune with water up to our chins about to drown.


For most of my adult life, I had been plagued by what I thought were reoccurring dreams. Night after night, over and over again, I found myself as a child playing with toys on the floor drawn to the attention of my mother and my infant brother at a kitchen table with a cake celebrating his first birthday. Suddenly, my attention is drawn to some tension and commotion at the entrance door to our small apartment. My mother has the door slightly ajar. She is talking to some people behind the door. One is persistently pleading with her about something. She appears to be blocking their entrance into the apartment. With the door ajar, I see one of the people behind the door in the dark hallway outside the apartment. It is an U.S. Navy soldier in a classic sailor uniform with a white tee cap. I can see his face. He is glaring at me, hatefully and menacingly as if he wanted to kill. I stared back as if to let it known to the people behind the door, “I am not afraid.”

I always thought that the recurring dream was all about me. Now, I believe that it was about my mother. It was the sudden change of atmosphere, the heat of tension and force of her will and determination that filled the room in a clear complicit with the U.S. Navy that raised my alarm and consciousness. It must have filled me with fear that had hurt me before. This time, I couldn’t too be frightful to see and remember the traumatizing events surrounding my mother and threat to my family. This moment of fear was imprinted and emblazoned into my consciousness. God also wanted me to see and never forget the GOLIATH-United States Navy behind the door that my parents were locked in struggle with. I had become “MANCHILD.”

Subsequent to that incident, I had experienced some type of exceptional and immense fear and shock as an infant involving my father in that apartment. The other reoccurring dreams that I had involved crawling on floor as an infant and discovering a man’s multicolored wilted bathrobe hanging from a rack behind the bathroom door; and playing with a pair of men’s house slippers that I found lying on the floor in the apartment. I always woke up with the same question on my mind. “Who is this mystery man in our home?”

The pain and trauma that I had experienced as an infant had been associated with my father. The experience was so shocking and hurtful that I wiped all memory of him from my consciousness. Whatever happened with my father in that apartment was too painful and too terrible to process as a child, but remains locked in my mind subconsciously. To protect me, my conscious had replaced him with inanimate objects such as his bathrobe and slippers, which is related to another associated recurring dream.

In the dream, I found myself unclothed (naked) coming out of a gym class struggling to remember the numbers to unlock a combination lock to retrieve some very important essentials looked away from me. When I can’t remember the numbers, I go into some type of state of panic. The dream seemed so real that I often woke up in a cold sweat desperately trying to remember the numbers and location of the locker until I could convince myself that I wasn’t in school anymore. The locker was my subconscious. The numbers to unlock the combination were the traumatizing events from my infancy involving my father, mother, the apartment and the U.S. Navy.

On July 26, 1949, my father had been released from confinement to return to his family to receive the birth of a new son. My late brother, Peaches, was born on August 10. Whatever happened at that small apartment numbered 333 occurred somewhere around October 5, 1949 when he was returned to Napa suffering “dementia praecox, Paranoid type, in other words, “SCHIZOPHRENIA.”

GOLIATH & Mescal Madness

In that small apartment, flashbacks had been suddenly triggered of whatever traumas that took place on March 6, 1948 to July 26, 1949 at the Naval Air Station and the classified naval facility at Napa State Hospital. My father’s sudden flashbacks must have terrified all of us. One day out of the blue, my sister told me for the first time that the incident(s) left me in some sort of shock-semi-comatose state. She said that they were worried about me, because they weren’t sure if I would recover. At the time I heard this, it took me by surprise. I was shocked. It still seemed too painful to deal with or try to process at the moment. I put it off for awhile. Months later when things settled down, I asked her about that statement. Incredibly, she couldn’t recall making the statement or the incident.

Working from his medical records, doctor statements, the shadow people around him; and recall from my sisters, my father most likely suffered flashbacks of “Mescal Madness.” In 1948, the U.S. Navy was secretly expanding the Mescaline intoxication protocols from the Nazi Dachau Concentration Camp Experiments.


Mescaline is a powerful hallucinogenic drug. It is a derivative of peyote that was first isolated and identified in 1897 by the German Arthur Heffter and first synthesized in 1919 by Ernst Späth. Mescaline induces experimental “psychoses” similar and the same to the symptoms of “SCHIZOPHRENIA.” The mescaline experiments were carried out in a Top-Secret Navy program called, “Project CHATTER”, which began in 1947 under the direction of Dr. Charles Savage of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, MD.

Am Med Assoc, Medical News, December 26, 1959

Hospital Conference on Hallucinogenic Drug.— The first invitational conference of Napa State Hospital, Imola, a symposium on lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25), will be presented for staff and guests on Saturday, Jan. 16, sponsored jointly by the hospital and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. Basic science aspects of this hallucinogenic drug will be discussed during the morning, and the afternoon session will encompass the clinical and therapeutic status of the drug. Dr. Sidney V. Cohen, chairman, research committee, Veterans Administration Center, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Los Angeles, will be the guest lecturer. Other participants will include faculty members from Stanford and the University of California Medical School, Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, and practicing Psychiatrists and psychologists.

My father’s lead psychiatrist at Napa State Hospital had been the well respect and influential U.S. Navy Commander Dr. Wrenshall A. Oliver (UC Berkeley 1930, Stanford 1938) of 490 Post Street, San Francisco. Dr. Oliver was a clinical instructor of Medical Neurology Psychiatry at Stanford University with the notorious CIA Station Chief of Vacaville Men’s Medical Facility, Dr. James A. Hamilton, below, in an extremely rare picture.


There is some information that Dr. Oliver was also one of the founders of the World Psychiatry Association (WPA) in collaboration with the notorious CIA/MK ULTRA Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron. The WPA had been a front for whitewashing Nazi Psychiatrist after WWII.

In 1960, Dr. Savage joined CIA station chief psychiatrist Dr. James Alexander Hamilton; CIA/LSD consultant Dr. Don D. Jackson, and Dr. Wrenshall A. Oliver at Stanford University Medical Center. Renowned British Anthropologist Dr. Gregory Bateson, one of England’s Godfathers of CIA/MK ULTRA, worked with Dr. Savage and Stanford University. In my humble opinion, he was one of the Most Covert and Dangerous Individuals on the planet. He secretly on CIA MK ULTRA programs with CIA Psychiatrist Dr. James A. Hamilton.


Wherever the infamous Dr. Bateson, above, shows up, look for trouble, serious-deadly trouble. Dr. Bateson is famous for developing the “Double Bind” Theory, which is “Insanity without Disease.”

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, under the power and authority of the State of California, they were able to separate my youngest and oldest sisters from my mother under the cover that they had come in contact with bacterial Tuberculosis (TB). They sent them to the Livermore TB Sanitarium in the Livermore Valley. It broke my mother’s heart and she couldn’t rest until they returned home.

Under hospital rules, I was deemed too young to enter the building to see my sisters. During a family visit to the facility, I couldn’t take it any longer I had to see them. I rushed the building and ran upstairs to the hospital clinic ward where they were. To my surprise, they weren’t hard to find. They were the only Black children on the floor.

What I didn’t know until recently was that Dr. Savage and Dr. Bateson were at the Livermore TB Sanitarium working on LSD experiments and TB patients right around the corner from my sisters. At the time, Dr. Bateson along with Dr. Savage was secretly also expanding Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler and Dr. Josef Mengele’s Lebensborn  “multi-generational schizophrenia” in families. They intended to drown us all -drive all of us mad if not for the sudden breakout of the late 1950s and early 1960s African Liberation Movement in the Mother Country which caught the CIA by surprise and unexpectedly changed its priorities to quell the African Liberation. My sisters returned home.

In 1953, Project CHATTER ended and MK ULTRA officially began. On February 2, 1953, my father was finally released from Napa State Hospital. He was unable to return to work due the mental torture that he suffered. According to my sisters, my father had been Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron “DEPATTERNED”. He was unable to recognize them. According to the medical records that I had in my possession before stolen,

“DEPATTERNING”  left him in a literal vegetable state unable to remember how to go to the bathroom. Also according to those records, he had received up to 35 continuous shots of electroconvulsive shock treatments at a time. They tortured him.

He also left Napa State Hospital with an irregular heartbeat. Due to the overly excessive electroconvulsive shock treatments, it had weakened and damaged his heart. My mother was too afraid for my father to return home. It may have been a decision that both had made. He told some family members that he was being following and kept under surveillance.

As a mother, Belle was always overprotective, particularly of my teenaged sisters. They fought often and sometimes physically with her to have some personal freedom of movement. At the time, we had no capacity, concept or appreciation of what my mother and father had endured, or the powerful foes Belle had to face to keep us together and unharmed.

In 1976, Belle suddenly passed to the other side. Everybody loved Sweet Belle.  At times I thought that I was too high off the ground to be seen in public with my most humble mother. God knows that I would like to take those moments back to embrace her presence just one more time.

In 1977, my father passed primarily due to the heart ailment. At his funeral, the pastor delivering his eulogy said some very insensitive and ugly things about my father. The pastor was from my aunt’s church that didn’t know and never met my father. At least, thats what I was told.  The pastor basically said that whatever demons and ailments that he suffered from had been of his own doings.

For many decades, I had secretly harbored the same impressions, but it was based on my lifetime experiences with my family. So, who wrote the script for my father’s eulogy and tried to close the book on his life story? I didn’t know about his secret struggle at the hands of GOLIATH. Project CHATTER remains Top Secret and classified. God knows that if I had known about any of this that no force on earth would have stopped my father’s name from being redeemed in his own time.


For decades, I had been like the Parable of the Drowning Man. I had prayed for a bike, toys and normal home with a mother and father. I had prayed to God to be saved. I know now that God had answered my prayers, one of the boats that he sent to save us from drowning in some of the world’s most powerful and turbulent-difficult waters was my SWEET BELLE.

For a complete of list of citations, references and authorities on Project CHATTER and my father. See Project CHATTER & THE AMERICAN BETRAYAL OF MY FATHER


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