You might be tempted to chuckle about some Norwegian researchers peering back at experiments done during the '60s and '70s with LSD as a treatment for alcoholism. But don't. Their rigorous analysis, combining data from six different studies, concludes that one dose of the hallucinogenic drug might just help. The past studies randomly assigned patients to get a strong dose of LSD or something else (another drug, such as amphetamine, a low dose of LSD or nothing special). And the results provide evidence for a beneficial effect on abstinence from alcohol. For what it's worth, the analysis, just published online by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, was funded by the Research Council of Norway, not exactly a fringe outfit ...
Tag Archives | LSD
It’s the evening of January 25, 2007, and I’m hosting my first Ayahuasca Monologues storytelling event to a packed room at Eyebeam Atelier in New York City. On stage, Breaking Open the Head author Daniel Pinchbeck, who semi-popularized the hallucinogenic tea ayahuasca within the spiritual counterculture, brushes aside his disheveled hair, asking in a voice barely audible from laryngitis, “How many of you here have tried ayahuasca?” Out of 220 people, only nine hands lift in the air, and they are mostly the featured storytellers (including myself) that I’ve directed for the show that night.
Cut to February 2012, and the mega-celebrity, Jennifer Aniston, best known for playing perky girl-next-door Rachel in Friends, is tipping a bowl of ayahuasca to her lips in Universal’s newest romantic comedy Wanderlust. In just a few years, the once secret “shamans brew” of the Amazon has snaked its way into the popular consciousness, including the entertainment industry with cameos in the TV shows Weeds and Nip/Tuck and now the movie Wanderlust.… Read the rest
Remember the Reagan administration’s “This is your brain on drugs” ads? In response a photographer started a lifelong project of photographing all the living “psychedelic pioneers,” including Timothy Leary, Jerry Garcia, William S. Burroughs, and Ken Kesey.
“I thought, ‘You know, that’s such a load of horseshit … I’m going to dismantle that poisonous propaganda lie visually… I’m going to portray these people how they are.” He started with the man who invented LSD — Albert Hoffman — on its 50th anniversary in 1988, and at one point drove over 11,000 miles in just 7 weeks (including a 26-hour drive to drink beer with William S. Burroughs).
He’s interviewed by the former editor of High Frontiers magazine (“the official psychedelic magazine of the 1984 Summer Olympics.)”, and the article includes three of his best photos. (He’s exhibiting them this month in Los Angeles). But the strangest fact of all?
He started his career taking photographs for the annual report of Mobil Oil!… Read the rest
There is no facile synthesis of the events that transpired at the Wamego missile silo between October 1 and November 4, 2000. The available information is a viscous solution of truths, half-lies, three-quarter truths, and outright lies, the fractionation of which yields no pure product. The dramatis personae are many and varied. The chemicals in question often obscure and untested...
Most of the obituaries for Steve Jobs touched upon his creativity, vision, and “think different” thought process at the helm of Apple. Strange then to omit that fact that Jobs used LSD and proclaimed dropping acid to be “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” (This is also the reason iPods come in so many colors.) Via the Fix:
… Read the rest
But equally suggestive, is a quote from Steve Jobs to New York Times reporter John Markoff. Speaking about psychedelics, Jobs said, “Doing LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” He was hardly alone among computer scientists in his appreciation of hallucinogenics and their capacity to liberate human thought from the prison of the mind. Jobs even let drop that Microsoft’s Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once.” Apple’s mantra was”Think different.” Jobs did.
Beware the “clockwork [sic] elves” who control the global elite promising them “eternal life, total power, total control, everything you could ever want, just kill everyone [...] friendly little guys…” Via Modern Mythology:
Right. Most if not all mythologies include creatures resembling elves. Therefore the archetypal image must be based upon encounters with the Machine … Er … Clockwork Elves. As with all paranoid logic, this argument is easily felled by Occam’s Razor, which advocates that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity,” in short, that the “simplest answer is most likely the correct one.” It is much more plausible to propose that the entities encountered during the DMT-experience could very well bear some measure of resemblance to elves (elongated and angular shapes are common); that one comes to think “if they look like elves, they are elves” at least makes sense!
THERE ARE NO FUCKING MACHINE ELVES!
I never knew there was such a thing as “psychedelic warfare”. From a vintage Popular Science article, via Parapolitical:
Secret U.S. tests show[ed] startling military uses for weird new chemical agents. The so-called “loony gas,” which we believed could incapacitate enemies without actually harming them, turned out to be LSD. Although we acknowledged that LSD could make people “daffy,” we also stated that these psycho-chemicals were more or less humane. That is, the military could saturate enemies with LSD and take over their towns, without destroying them, before the people recovered.
Does the altering of consciousness, through means chemical or otherwise, lie at the very heart of existence? Author and neuroscientist Sam Harris, usually known for ripping religion to shreds, delves into the meaning and value of drugs in an essay via SamHarris.org:
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Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person’s thoughts. Every waking moment — and even in our dreams — we struggle to direct the flow of sensation, emotion, and cognition toward states of consciousness that we value.
Drugs are another means toward this end. Some are illegal; some are stigmatized; some are dangerous — though, perversely, these sets only partially intersect. There are drugs of extraordinary power and utility, like psilocybin (the active compound in “magic mushrooms”) and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), which pose no apparent risk of addiction and are physically well-tolerated, and yet one can still be sent to prison for their use—while drugs like tobacco and alcohol, which have ruined countless lives, are enjoyed ad libitum in almost every society on earth.
For a short, nightmarish period in August 1951, dozens of residents of Pont-Saint-Espirit suffered from extreme hallucinations, leading to five deaths. A newly-unearthed memo hints that it was a CIA experiment, the BBC reports:
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On August 26, 1951, postman Leon Armunier was doing his rounds in Pont-Saint-Esprit when he was suddenly overwhelmed by nausea and wild hallucinations.
“It was terrible. I had the sensation of shrinking and shrinking, and the fire and the serpents coiling around my arms,” he remembers.
Leon, now 87, fell off his bike and was taken to the hospital in Avignon. He was put in a straitjacket but he shared a room with three teenagers who had been chained to their beds to keep them under control.
Over the coming days, dozens of other people in the town fell prey to similar symptoms. Doctors at the time concluded that bread at one of the town’s bakeries had become contaminated by ergot, a poisonous fungus that occurs naturally on rye.