Tag Archives | LSD

Descendants Sue CIA Over Cold War Scientist’s Mysterious Death Following LSD Experiments

Bioweapons expert Frank Olson unwittingly served as a guinea pig in clandestine CIA mind-control experiments involving LSD. But was the purpose all along to assassinate him? Via the Huffington Post:

The sons of a Cold War scientist who plunged to his death in 1953 several days after unwittingly taking LSD in a CIA mind-control experiment sued the government Wednesday. They claimed the CIA murdered their father, Frank Olson, by pushing him from a 13th-story window of a hotel – not, as the CIA says, that he jumped to his death.

Olson was a bioweapons expert at Fort Detrick, the Army’s biological weapons research center in Maryland. The lawsuit claims the CIA killed Olson when he developed misgivings after witnessing extreme interrogations in which they allege the CIA committed murder using biological agents Olson had developed.

Olson consumed a drink laced with LSD by CIA agents on Nov. 19, 1953, the suit says.

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All Politicians Should Use LSD

Actor Larry Hagman, a mainstay of television known for his roles on shows such as Dallas and I Dream of Jeannie, died this past Friday. In a rare case of psychedelics being discussed frankly and positively on mainstream TV, he explained why all of our politicians should be required to undergo an LSD trip at least once:
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Is LSD A Gateway Drug To Buddhism?

Dr. Rick Strassman, a psychiatric researcher with a specialization in psychotropic drugs, on the "enlightenment experience" and hallucinogens as a pathway for Westerners into Buddhism and Hinduism:
I went to a Zen temple in my early 20s, and, ever the scientist, every chance I got to speak to a monk one on one, I asked every one of them if they had tripped on psychedelics and how important their trips were in their decision to become a monk. And I'd say 99% of these junior monks in their 20s all got their start on LSD.
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New LSDs: A Far Out Menace

What caused the face eaters? This video seeks to explore this question.
"The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'" Vega told Miami television station WSVN. "The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin." Vega flagged down a Miami police officer, who he said repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off the victim. The attacker just picked his head up and growled at the officer, Vega said.
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The LSD Revelations Of The Advanced Study Foundation

Could LSD push the brains of our brightest scientists and thinkers to a higher level? The Morning News on the government funded institute which, right before it was shut down, demonstrated just this:

It was the summer of ’66. At the International Foundation for Advanced Study, an inconspicuously named facility dedicated to psychedelic drug research, an architect and three senior scientists donned eyeshades and earphones, sank into comfy couches, and waited for their government-approved dose of LSD to kick in.

The couched volunteers had each brought along three highly technical problems from their respective fields that they’d been unable to solve for months. In two hours, when the LSD became fully active, they were going to remove the eyeshades and earphones, and attempt to find some solutions…Over the course of the preceding year, IFAS researchers had dosed a total of 22 other men for the creativity study.

Here’s the clincher. The LSD absolutely…helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems.

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Do Psychedelics Expand the Mind by Reducing Brain Activity?

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Illustration: Dizzy thorns (CC)

So what do you think, psychonauts? Pretty interesting article from Adam Halberstadt and Mark Geyer in Scientific American:

What would you see if you could look inside a hallucinating brain? Despite decades of scientific investigation, we still lack a clear understanding of how hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), mescaline, and psilocybin (the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms) work in the brain. Modern science has demonstrated that hallucinogens activate receptors for serotonin, one of the brain’s key chemical messengers. Specifically, of the 15 different serotonin receptors, the 2A subtype (5-HT2A), seems to be the one that produces profound alterations of thought and perception.

It is uncertain, however, why activation of the 5-HT2A receptor by hallucinogens produces psychedelic effects, but many scientists believe that the effects are linked to increases in brain activity. Although it is not known why this activation would lead to profound alterations of consciousness, one speculation is that an increase in the spontaneous firing of certain types of brain cells leads to altered sensory and perceptual processing, uncontrolled memory retrieval, and the projection of mental “noise” into the mind’s eye…

Read More: Scientific American

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How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death

Psychedelic dingbatsThe return of psychedelics to the medical arsenal seems to be well under way. Lauren Slater writes for the New York Times Magazine about Charles Grob, “a psychiatrist and researcher at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center who was administering psilocybin — an active component of magic mushrooms — to end-stage cancer patients to see if it could reduce their fear of death”:

…When the research was completed in 2008 — (and published in the Archives of General Psychiatry last year) — the results showed that administering psilocybin to terminally ill subjects could be done safely while reducing the subjects’ anxiety and depression about their impending deaths.

Grob’s interest in the power of psychedelics to mitigate mortality’s sting is not just the obsession of one lone researcher. Dr. John Halpern, head of the Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont Mass., a psychiatric training hospital for Harvard Medical School, used MDMA — also known as ecstasy — in an effort to ease end-of-life anxieties in two patients with Stage 4 cancer.

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When LSD Was Legal (And Cary Grant Was Tripping)

Albert HofmannIn honor of the latest lysergic episode of MAD MEN, a look back at the time before LSD was outlawed, by Devin Faraci for BadAss Digest:

In the latest episode of Mad Men Roger Sterling, the silver-haired drunkard rascal of SCDP, attends a high society LSD party. For some 21st century viewers this seemed strange – wasn’t LSD a hippie drug? Wasn’t it all about long hairs and weird tribal imagery? Eventually that would be the case, but the early of history of acid – before it became illegal – was filled with trippers who were at the very top of the social order – the richest and most famous people in America.

LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hoffman in Switzerland, but it wasn’t until five years later that anybody knew what it did to you. That’s because it wasn’t until 1943 that Hoffman accidentally took some of the drug and embarked on history’s first acid trip.

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How The CIA Doped San Franciscans With LSD

expanded-cinema-data-garden-24Did the CIA accidentally turn San Francisco into America’s grooviest city? SF Weekly on newly uncovered details on Operation Midnight Climax, one of the absolute strangest slices of U.S. history:

Wayne Ritchie may be among the last of the living victims of MK-ULTRA, a Central Intelligence Agency operation that covertly tested LSD on unwitting Americans in San Francisco and New York City from 1953 to 1964.

There were at least three CIA safe houses in the Bay Area where experiments went on. Chief among them was 225 Chestnut on Telegraph Hill, which operated from 1955 to 1965. Inside, prostitutes paid by the government to lure clients to the apartment served up acid-laced cocktails to unsuspecting johns, while martini-swilling secret agents observed their every move from behind a two-way mirror. Recording devices were installed, some disguised as electrical outlets.

To get the guys in the mood, the walls were adorned with photographs of tortured women in bondage and provocative posters from French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood | The Disinfocast with Matt Staggs: Episode 03

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In this episode of The Disinfocast I interview Peter Bebergal, who went looking for meaning and found ritual magick, punk rock and hallucinogenics instead. I talk with Bebergal about his new memoir Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood, stopping along the way to parse out the difference between magick and mysticism, the mythic power of Marvel Comics and whether or not LSD is a valid tool for enlightenment. Listen to Peter Bebergal's journey on the latest episode of The Disinformation Company's official podcast, The DisinfoCast.
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