Martin Lee – What the CIA Can Teach US About Psychedelics

Martin Lee – Director of Project CBD/ Author Feb 2 – Room 2: 5PM – CBD: Past, Present & Future Feb 3 – Room 2: 4 PM – CBD, Intoxicating Hemp, and Counterfeit Cannabis. Feb 4 – Room 1: 2PM – What the CIA Can Teach US About Psychedelics Martin A. Lee is the director of Project CBD and the author of several books, including Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD – the CIA, the Sixties and Beyond, and Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific. Martin A. Lee is the co-founder and director of Project CBD and the author of several books, including Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana–Medical, Recreational and Scientific, winner of the American Botanical Council’s James A. Duke Award for Excellence in Botanical Literature. Named by High Times in 2018 as one of the 100 most influential people in cannabis, he is a recipient of the Emerald Cup’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Lee is also co-founder of the media watch group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) and the author of Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD–The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond.

so I’m Martin Lee and um the topic of the discussion today is what the CIA canteach us about psychedelics um and I’m also the author of this book acid dreams which is asocial history of LSD in particular um and I’m going to focus more on LSDthan than the the other psychedelics but it’s almost like when I say LSD I mean psychedelics in general just that infocusing on the uh CIA part of the story uh they were really most excited andfixated on LSD as compared to the other psychedelics although they studied all of them that were available um and youknow we’re today we’re in the midst of what people are describing as a psychedelic Renaissance a a a rebirth ofinterest in in psychedelics um a a lot of it’s an explosion of researchscientific research now and I I’m the reason I wanted to talk about thissubject because I think in looking back at what the CIA the Central IntelligenceAgency was doing with LSD and other psychedelic in the 1950s in particularthough it went beyond the 50s um it sheds a very interesting light on onmany of the questions that are raised about the current psychedelic Renaissance uh the CIA was interested inLSD and other psychedelics as as weapons of war basically as as a mind controldrugs whereas at least when I was coming from coming of age as a very young teenager in the 1960s and Beyond um wealways thought of it as a mind expand ing drug not a mind control drug and something that was more like a Sacramentthan a weapon and yet we’re talking about one drug that sort of became bothin our culture so let’s um I I don’t have that many slides but I’ll I’ll tellthe story of what I learned when I was researching ASD dreams uh and part ofthat I went through over 10,000 pages of once classified CIA documents and about10,000 pages of other AG gencies combined the Army the Navy uh the FDADepartment of Agriculture any uh any agency that might have had some bearing on the Psychedelic story um I waslooking at as much information as I can get and uh I I’ll describe what happenedwith the CIA when they started working with LSD and a lot of CIA agents were taking it themselves I might besurprising to people who think of it as a piece in a love drug but that was going on as we’ll see anyway so let’sjust jump right in 1943 the key year for LSD uh that was the year that Dr Alberthoffen shown here in his laboratory in Switzerland Sandos Pharmaceuticals that he discovered the effects of LSDsomewhat accidentally he absorbed it through his fingers um and then a few days later and he he was the firstperson to trip on acid and it was very powerful and he couldn’t understand well how what happened to him that he couldhave such a powerful experience when he was just sort of you know touching a test tube or something and then he hetook a a uh not an accidental dose 3 days later and then the famous bicycleride if people know about that he uh that he took back to his home and um that was the first planned LSD trip umhe took about 250 micrograms which is he thought was just such an infantes amountnot not milligram microgram uh that it wouldn’t do anything to him but even had a more intense experience that secondtime um so Hoffman 1943 he discovers the effects of LSD a very powerfulhallucinogenic drug uh four years later uh wer sto was working at olula SandersPharmaceuticals and he wrote the first scientific paper about LSD and sto’s Father Arthur Stole was uhI think he was the CEO of Sandos Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland and he was very good friends with the writerthe Swiss writer Herman Hessa you’ve read some of his work uh sidarthasteppen wolf is is one of the great pieces of drug writing and it’s thoughtthat through his friendship with Arthur sto that Hessa was uh got access topsychedelics and informed his writing uh to some degree so1949 is the year that LSD comes to the United States for the first time andit’s brought over from Switzerland by Dr Max wrinkle who was a hard Harvard doctor um and he was one of the first tostart experimenting with LSD so it’s a relatively recent story we’re talking about you know a little more than’ about75 years or so is what first comes to the United States um at the same timethat um uh Hoffman was doing his work and he was looking for medical uhcompounds uh the uh the wartime predecessor WorldWar II time predecessor of the CIA the office of strategic Services they hadbegun an effort to identify and develop a truth drug a truth sear which is asort of a logical kind of thing an Espionage agency wants to have they want a drug you can give somebody and makethem spill the beans and get information what you want um and the OSS studied a number of different drugsin this regard including some hallucinogenic drugs but ironically and interestingly enough given the theme ofour conference today the OSS concl included that the best known truth drug and they they called it TD verytransparent code for truth drug in the documents was a marijuana extract a verypotent marijuana oil extract and I’ll just read to you the description thatthe osss has in there ones classified documents of of the experience of of ofTD truth drug and this marijuana acetate this marijuana extract TD appears torelax all inhibitions and to deaden the areas of the brain which go govern an individual’s discretion and caution itaccentuates the senses and makes manifest any strong characteristics of the individual sexual inhibitions arelowered and the sense of humor is accentuated to the point where any statement or situation can becomeextremely funny to the subject on the other hand a person’s unpleasant characteristics may also be heightenedit may be stated that generally speaking the reaction will be one of great loquacity and hilari so it’ll make youtalk and laugh that’s what the our Premier Espionage agency during World War II that’s what they concluded aboutcannabis um and then they did sort of a Roundup after the war uh to looking backon this TD program and what they would do they they would take this um this oilwhich was colorless odorless tasteless it injected into food or in a tobaccocigarette and give it to some and person would get relaxed get very talkativesometimes at least and they felt well this is the known truth droke that they can come up with but in the end what theOSS concluded from sort of a Roundup document that TD and quoting directly TDdefies all but the most expert and searching analysis and for all practical purposes can be considered Beyondanalysis and that was uh again the cia’s wartime predecessor concluding aboutmarijuana we it’s just beyond analysis that’s what takes up okay so what happens the the CIA Central IntelligenceAgy which is formed in 1947 they picked up where the OSS left off because uh youknow weed could get the person to talk and but sometimes they clammed up sometimes they got a little OAB Boogathen didn’t work perfectly obviously it wasn’t a perfect truth drug it was what the osss thought was the best they couldcome up with the CIA wasn’t satisfied they would continue this quest for the perfect interrogation substance and theydeveloped two techniques in the late 1940s for quote unquote specialinterrogations one was they’ give a person a light sedative and then they would try to hypnotize them was sort ofa narco Narco analysis they called it and the other method they came up withthey they would give it they would they capture somebody an enemy agent or something like that they would do thisin in Germany during the um you know after World War II there was a lot of displaced persons a lot of weird stuffgoing on with former Nazis and whatever uh it was already the Cold War starting with the Soviet Union so uh they whatthey would do is they’d hook a person up to two IVs one in either arm and in one they’d have a doubter apitu that that would make a person uh drowsyand basically bring a person to sleep from from administering a barbituate in one arm in the other arm they’d have anamphetam and once a person was led into sleep they turn on the inet to bring them back toConsciousness but there was ort of a limbo Spate where state where a person was just coming to they were stillgroggy but they’re no longer sleeping but they’re not fully there yet that the CIA referred to as the Twilight Zone ortalking Zone and they would try to keep a person in this state and then interrogate them and now for obviousreasons you could see that this is a little bit you know what if it’s turned on a little too much it didn’t workalways that well either but this is what they were using in the late 1940s this special interrogation te technique werewith these conflicting uh effects for these drugs so it was in that context feeling frustrated that they stillhadn’t found the perfect interrogation weapon uh that the CIA first encounteredLSD the earliest I was able to determine this was in 1951 when they first started workingwith LSD and and the first thing they knew that that they they realized that this was way more uh powerful than anyother drug that they had uh come in contact with it it worked in such minute mounts odorless colorless tasteless andthey’re thinking wow this could be a really interesting interrogation drug and the beginning they thought it was itbecause it was it was really uh they were only doing experimentally and they weren’t using it yet on uh actualinterrogations but they thought wow this could really be it um you can see from the quote from a CIA document LSDappears to be better adapted than known drugs to both interrogation of prisoners and use against troops or civilians howthey would use it against troops it’s another matter but this is what they were thinking um and indeed in the verybeginning of the early 1950s now uh LSD became the truth drug that the CIA waslooking for it didn’t last there there was some problems with it but for therewas a year or two there they thought this is it and this is going to revolutionize Espionage as as a as a acraft um LSD had so much potential in this regardwell um there were some problems with this as I’ll get into a moment but therewas a um a number of different um agencies were involved with the LSDresearch early on in 1950s the first was called the uh inspection and securitystaff became later renamed the office of security and again it was all about security about being able to interrogatepeople being able to protect your own agents so they were working with it first and then the another agency camein within the CIA called the technical services staff and they uh were involvedwith the running the main uh mind control drug research project for theCIA during the Cold War which was called MK Ultra that was the name of the product of the the the project MK Ultrawas a actually an umbrella project it had 149 different projects within itwhat they call sub projects many of those focused on drugs but not all of them they looked at all kinds of thingsanything that could modify human behavior hypnosis ESP um uh extra uhsensory perception um sensory deprivation anything that would would would could change a person’s Behaviorinfluence a person B the CI was looking at this and doing research in these areas but none of all the techniques LSDwas the one they were the most excited about um so this was a a sub projectfrom it formally started in April 1953 and and KRA by June sub Project 7 whichwas devoted to researching LSD was looking at all these different areas distur how would LSD affect disturbanceof memory could it induce uh could it help to discredit a Target by inducingaberant behavior in other words if you gave it to a person they didn’t know they’re getting it and then an hour later they’re tripping their brains outif it happened to be someone who is going to give a speech and you didn’t like that politician like Fidel CastroCuba was somebody who was supposed to be targeted this way but he was uh they have a lot of security around him butthey did use this against politicians they didn’t like in the third world to to dis make them act foolishly in publicso that’s a discrediting agent then there’s alteration of sex patterns oops I didn’t spell that right uh uheliciting of information in other areas suggestibility creation of dependence well LSD and psychedelics in generalthey don’t create dependence in in the sense of uh becoming dependent on the drug itself butc because of the natureof the experience it’s so powerful you could be kind of sort of dependent on the person you’re with uh because you’re you know you can really become lost inInner Space so to speak anyway so that’s just one sub project and what they were looking at um here’s another sub projectI’m going to try to this was from uh This research was conducted at un atgeorgtown University Hospital and it was uh sub project 35 of the 149um and this showed you what was going on with the CIA see usually what happened when they would look at a drug and testit for interrogation purposes if it didn’t work they would put the drug aside they would move on and they’restill looking for that you know perfect truth Seer LSD formed them to for forcthem to do like a double Che it was like okay this might not be the perfect truth drug because people can get really kindof deranged and they they get really suspicious they get paranoid it it works sometimes it didn’t work other times itwasn’t a shorefire proposition instead of putting it aside they said okay if it isn’t the perfect truth drug what isit’s got to be something because of these unusual properties of you know superp poent and and the U uh the factthat if you can administer it surreptitiously a person wouldn’t know because it didn’t taste like anything itwasn’t noticeable and so all these properties were considered really positive from the point of view of theCloak and Dagger trade well this is a document from remember one sub project of 149 that listed uh 17 different areasthey wanted to develop drugs for and I I’ll try to blow this up a little bit so you could see it better on the screenI’m not going to read all 17 things but you could see uh looking at number one a substance which will promote illogicalthinking and uh impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public again that couldhave applications in in uh for espion substances which will uh increase theefficiency of mentation and perception substance which make you smarter that’s one thing do another drug that wouldmake a person if you’re drinking alcohol socially super drunk or another one thatwould stop you from getting drunk at all because if you’re the agent you don’t want to get drunk but if you want you know so so what I would like to drawyour attention to is number 11 that the listed substances which will producepure Euphoria with no subsequent let down this is one thing that the CIA waslooking for and I you know when I talk about this I usually ask people if they know of this drug to come and talk to meafter class but the the point is you know they were kind of going crazy with all this stuff and this is one of theareas that they were looking at and um and that is spelled where arewe that’s spelled out here substances which will produce pure Euphoria with no Sy that down okay so moving right alonghere and I don’t have that many slides this is another sub project this is sub project 37 that was conducted at theaddiction re Research Center of Lexington narcotics Hospital in Lexington Kentucky and basically uh andyou this is a statement from one of the documents the lead scientist there was Dr Harris isbel who became very veryprominent in the fda’s bureaucracy a high ranking guy um in 1945 he writes Ihave had seven patients who have been now taking the drug lsd2 for more than 42 days straight so what was going onhere see addiction Research Center this is a place where heroin addicts would go to get cured for for their and if youand people would hear about it on the street and I’ve talked to some people William Barrow among others the the umthe novelist who I knew and he uh he said oh yeah everybody knew that if youwanted to get drugs you can go check into Lexington because they were paying people to volunteer for these reallywacky experiments 42 days straight on under the influence of LSD in opium ifyou volunteer you get your opium fixed so you know obviously defeated the purpose of what people are supposed togo through almost entirely we’re talking about people of color who are using these experiments um so uh anotherexample what was happening at uh under the rubric of the cia’s program now CIAhad lots of questions about LSD and other psychedelics and many of these questions were very legitimatescientific questions is there an anecdote uh is there um you know how howmuch would be too much could you overdose and die that kind of thing very legitimate questions and they wereturning to researchers and there weren’t that many researchers at that time looking at into LSD but at at legitimateinstitutions or so-called legitimate institutions to answer some of these questions but the CIA had its own agendaand they realized if they were going to use LSD operationally it was going to be likely a situation where they would getit to somebody without them knowing there would be a ctitious dose involved and that uh because they knewthat that was ultimately where they’re going with their with their work um theystarted a step-by-step program inhouse this is not the experiments that werebeing farmed out to to experts and scientists this was going on inhouse that the CIA started within thetechnical services staff this relatively small unit in the C that was running the MK ulture program um about a dozen or sopeople in in this uh unit uh they started taking it themselves to understand what LSD did and because theyknew they going to do it ctitious they started to giving it to each other within the technical service set withoutthem KN without another person knowing you know and it was like okay you’ve been slipped into your you just drankand you’ve had your coffee just letting you know it’s going to happen to you you better take the rest of the day off soand it was step by step then they’d be slipping it to people outside of the technical service staff in the agencybut they wouldn’t tell them wouldn’t warn them and so forth and so on until it got to the point where they wereactually going to test it on unwitting American citizens because they knew they had to it had to be outside of the CIAyou know strictly speaking and they and they started to um uh do this in NewYork City and also in San San Francisco ultimately uh where they worked with a uh high rank Federal narcotics agentnamed George hun white and he would um work with drug addicted prostitutes whowere hired or they would get lenient treatment from White if they would bringpeople back unlucky customers so to speak to a a safe house that was uhdecorated as a bordell basically as uh and The Prostitute was trained to slipthe drug into the person’s drink or whatever get get the person um uh highthis way without them knowing and this happened this was going on now for almost 10 years uh how many people wedon’t know uh but we do know that it was giving to being given to unwitting American citizens this way and thereason why it was set up this way was because what is the person going to do who uh go to the police well what wereyou doing at that house you know oh I was buying Services of a hooker no youcan’t you know there were person was in a situation where they could not fight back if they suspected somethinghappened and typically the CIA would Target people in uh jails um in uhpsychiatric facilities and so forth again people who are not in a position to take action should um should it beknown anyway the operation that George Hunter white was running under the rubric of the uh EP alra program was theoperation midnight Climax and what the CI was interested there is not just theeffects of LSD on on wooding subjects but um to learn about sexpionagetechniques to use sex to get information from people to sex beage you know therewere questions is it better to are you more likely to get information from somebody before or after or again youknow that kind of thing and they had uh film they were filming these sessions behind two-way mirrors to to developinformation not just on on on the effects of LSD on winning people but on how you can use sex for theEspionage trade um there was one point where there wasrivalries within the CIA I mentioned that the office of security first got into LSD but then this other agency camealong other unit and they started really running with it and the officer security were kind of jealous because they gotinto it first so they started spying on the technical service staff and thisprod produced a very interesting series of documents as you might imagine and at one point the the uh the spy from Officeof security writes a a memo to his Superior saying I strongly recommendthat we don’t use this in the uh punch at the CIA Christmas office partybecause that’s what the off um technical service staff were planning on do remember it they wanted to test whatwould happen in these situations so they planed to put it in the punch at the cia’s Christmas this is 10 years beforeKen keesy and the electric acetat when they’re putting in the punch ironically um so uh the office security gu writesto a superior how this is crazy you know this is a drug that can make you insane for eight hours or 12 hours this shouldnot be put in the punch at the Ci’s Christmas party I don’t know if it was or wasn’t but this was at Le beingplanned um okay this is from a documentthe the the title of this report and it was like a like an 80-page report a very extensive report um potential new agentfor unconventional warfare uh and you see the cia’s uh logo there andunderneath the title is they were talking about life surgic a the Mite lsd2 so this is all about the possibleuses of LSD as a covert weapon U but one of the concerns that the CIA had waswell what if the enemy if the Russians or the Chinese what if an American spy wascaught and he was given LSD by the by the Soviets or or the Chinese eventhough their own document own reports did not indicate that there was fears that the Russians would be doing thisbut there was actually no evidence EXC up theRussian so there’s discussions well what do they do about this scenario if a CIA agent getscaught what what can we do here uh what could be done and they said well the only way you could prepare an agent whowas sent out on an overseas Mission by making sure they haveexperience so that they would be better they would know what hey it’s happening again then they would know they’ve beenslip the drug they could hold off they could resist the interrogators they would know that it’s it’s uhuh you know not going to make them crazy it’s just temporary that kind of thing um so what uh there was a meeting thatof was called the project committee where all the different units in the CIA that had something to do with the LSDthis very secretive research in the mid1 1950s they would get together and they’d have a weeklydiscussion uh and at one point the uh uh someone from the medical office that wasbeing represented here so recommended that they should get LSD to all male traineevolunteers but the document ends with why all male tra why not everybody in the agency and that was it wasrecommended that was the end of the document so we really don’t know how many people in this with in the CIA thatso were we using these drugs were being exposed to these drugs we just know that a bunch were um the one thought was thatit could be LSD could be used to screen people uh for anxiety proness proness ifa if a TR male trainee volunteer if if a person couldn’t handle their they couldn’t pass the acid test right theywould then probably they should not be sent out on that Dangerous Mission overseas so they were using it as a formof psychological assessment they were using it also as a discrediting agent as I I mentioned before slip it into thedrink of a politician that you don’t like in the third world country or in the case of Fidel Castro put it on thecigar and then he’ll you know they’ll have the experience that they’re not ready for um but the CIA I shouldmention that the the other you use for it actually was used operationally though on a limited basiswas as an interrogation agent but not initially how they thought of it initially it was you give a person adrug and they spill the beans it’s sort of like an automatic thing the CIA realized you had to manipulate thesetting of The interrogation and and use the experience against the subject sothat uh they would basically crack up or they become vulnerable and and what the interrogator would do is basically saywe’re going to keep you in this insane State forever unless you tell us what we want to know so it was used as aninstrument of torture uh that way and the the US Army also used it that way uhthey would basically interrogate people who who were naive about the experience and all it’s fun having you know I’msure there’s quite a few people here that had a psychedelic experience imagine if if you weren’t familiar withit and someone slipped it to you by surprise you wouldn’t necessarily know it wouldn’t last forever so this was away of like psychological torture um so in the end the CIA ended upum defining LSD as an anxiety producing agent that’s how it’s referred to in thedocuments that it was something that he could use uh reliably to to to causeintense anxiety in a person okay the US Army also had uh its own programwhere they were testing LSD on soldiers I don’t know if you ever seen one of these programs on TV uh where they showthe soldiers marching in total disarray after they’ve been given LSD uh and thishappening during the 19 you know they couldn’t watch coherently they couldn’t do their jobs and this was scen as okaythis is a threat to National Security if it’s used on your troops right so um theArmy had a a code named for LSD was called EA 1729 and experimental agentnumber 1729 and there had they were working with a lot of experimental agents umincluding MDA which was um you know very similar to mmda or M MDMA ecstasy uh MDAis a potentially lethal drug and it was actually given to U test subjects and these Army sponsored programs and andone sex person did die from an overdose it was Harold Blau who was a tennisprofessional um interestingly one of the people who apparently was exposed to LSDas part of the army research was Lee Harvey oswal the alleged assassinate ofof President Kennedy u he hoswell when he was in the Marines was based atatsugi Airbase in Japan and atsugi was one of the two places overseas where uhLSD was kept for use in cover operations um and also people in oswal unitdescribed that they Vol they were subjects in this test and Oswell himselfwas very interested in psychedelic drugs we know that because shortly before the Kennedy assassination he had beenreading books by aldus Huxley we wrote about this in in rowing Stone that’s the picture you see uh uh did Lee Harveyosell drop Asic as the question couldn’t say definitively but it seemed like probably pretty likely he was definitelyinterested in these drugs very early on um and he’s also a very bright guy umand he seems at various you’d have to read the article which don’t but we weuh we suggest we answer we answered the question saying probably he did um somoving along what was the Army really interested the interested in Psychochemical warfare the idea that they would use LSD as a chemical warfareagent that they would create a bomb that could release LSD and aerosol Farm a mwould go over an area and everybody in that area would be tripping on acid and they’d be incapable of functioning in amilitary sense so we’re seen as having potentially very useful uh this scenariofor resing rescuing hostages uh if you’re for obvious reasons you know ifyou can knock out everybody not in a physical sense but in mentally deranged people so they wouldn’t know what to douh you can rescue your own people since it’s not uh lethal LSD you can’t killyou um it’s seen as a a potential incapacitating agent uh and in 1959Major General William uh crey who was head of the U us Army’s uh chemicalwarfare program he recommended testing Madness gas as you called it in Us inthe subway system in in US cities I don’t think they ever did this but this is the kind of thing that was beingdiscussed actually he testified before Congress this is all on the record uh eventually what happens the army umrealized that LSD couldn’t work well as an aerosur but it they had the idea thatyou can create something that would do what LSD does to an individual over a whole group this would be uh the ticketto a a new kind of warfare War without death this was a PR gimmick for the chemuh chemical warfare uh uh to beef up the budget you know chemical warfare is sortof nasty it doesn’t have a great uh reputation but hey now it’s War without death from this chemical warfare agentand uh eventually the Army did develop a drug like this it was called bz it’s been popularized in certainmovies and things but um and and they created a weaponized version of a verypowerful hallucinogenic drug bz which would last the trip would last about three days LSD lasts about half a day 10to 12 hours uh and unlike LSD um with bz you wouldn’t have any memory of it itwould a very very potent drug uh and the problem also it an overdose could killyou that was another drawback but they did weaponize that but what I mean by that in the Army’s chemical warfareArmory um they’re they create they have various ways to disperse chemical agentsand with bz they had it in a grenade form and in like little bombs and so forth and they did use this in inVietnam during the war in the 1960s again on a very limited basis the problem was you know they they blow thisgas within the wind shifts you know then your own troops get it or that how do you control how much somebody wouldBreathe In if too much they would die it defeats the purpose of a non-lethal incapacitating agent and that’s whatthey wanted to do with LSD but it gave them the idea um but it didn’t quitework the ultimately the way they wanted so at the same time all this was going on in the 1950s with the CIA in the Armyuh looking at LSD and other uh um hallucina hallucinogens um LSD became part of theU the doctor’s medicine bag if you will uh I mean initially when scientists werelooking researching LSD they defined it as a a psychotic compound it’s something thatwould mimic Madness that’s the way they looked at it and this was potentially useful because if you can create anartificial Madness temporarily and figure out how to U stopit cure it uh if you found an an antidote for it well maybe that would apply for real Madness so this is wasthe first Paradigm uh something that could make you crazy but then it shifted and psychiatrists started working withLSD not to make you crazy but to cure to cure illness cure mental illness and uhthis goes along with what we could the notion of what a psychedelic drug would be because psychedelic the wordliterally means mind manifesting it would make manifest what whatever is in the mind could be some good stuff somebad stuff but this idea that would make the unconscious conscious you could see how that notion would be useful fortherapy that’s what you want to do in therapy you want uh and LSD was seen as a way of kind of cutting Expediting thepro what could be a very lengthy process of talking therapy you give a person LSD and they deal with all sorts of stuffand maybe get to the root of their problems so forth and so on and this seen as a really ful uh kind of therapyand the 1950s um it was being used experimentally but actually on people uhLSD for particular people with substance abuse issues particularly alcoholism it was it it showed a lot of Promise in the1950s also for people who were uh dealing with intense trauma uh and alsojust depression in the in the 1950s those areas for um indications they werecoming up at psychedelics were useful for unfortunately it kind of got nipped in the bud in 1960s because LSD becameassociated with the political and the cultural upheavals uh the research waswas stopped unfortunately um but looking back on that period uh there were morethan thousand clinical papers uh about LSD and mcing that werediscussing what were happening with with uh uh people who were taking in a clinical context for for uh clinical useuh 40,000 patients were involved and looking back on that there was a a metaanalysis done in 2016 a met analysis when a a scientist will look at a lot of different papers on a subject and do anoverarching analysis and decide what are the valot papers and what they can conclude not just from one test uh orexperiment but for many and the 2016 meta analysis of control trialsinvolving LSD uh says that uh these control trials have demonstrated aconsistent and clinically significant beneficial effect of high does LSD this is before the era of micro doing no onewas thinking about micro doing uh it it was you had a strong experience and that’s where the Great Value was themetherapeutically so this is a picture of Carrie Grant here you know famous movie stars and he was one of the leading maleuh actors at the time were U taking LSD in a therapeutic context and singing thePraises like this helped more than anything you know this kind of thing um so this was an exciting period andunfortunately this got thwarted it’s coming back now again but it was a long period of a few decades where youcouldn’t touch the stuff if you were a research science scientist you can get it if you wanted to just trip and gethigh but you couldn’t touch it if you were a a serious uh scientist so in the1960s this notion of LSD as a therapeutic agent is projected onto the social landscape by people like Timothyly who we see in this picture uh people like Alan Ginsburg and many others actually uh there was a great deal ofenthusiasm around LSD and it was seen as something that could have implicationsfor Society at large not just heal a person but heal a six society and thisis people were taking this notion very seriously it wasn’t just Larry and Ginsburg they quite a few others um soLSD is now Cur being tatted as a cure all for a six Societyso uh now I want to bring it up to the present time and say what what is all this that we’ve heard about the CIA whatrelevance does it have in terms of the current psychedelic Renaissance um thepicture here is of the gentleman Alfred North Whitehead who is a 20th century uh British philosopher and he has thiswonderful phrase called the fallacy of misplaced concreteness so when we look back on thehistory of LSD you see CIA thinking it’s going to revolutionize the Espionagetrade the Army thinks it’s going to revolutionize uh chemical warfare uhtherapist thinks going to they say it’s going to therap it’s going to revolutionize therapy and in the 60sit’s going to revolutionize Society um they were all wrong they never neverbreed uh but but what we what is the commonality we can find here LSD seemsto always generate really grandiose ideas of what is possible for whoever isusing it you know and uh this idea of the fallacy of misplaced concretenesswell well the mistake that the CIA made issimilar from the mistake that Timothy ly made and when answer dreams came out this this a book that partly this is meI was L and I would go around to talk shows together because he had something that came out some computer thing thathe he was doing and uh and I would say that you know the f of misra misplacedconcreteness it’s to do it when you project your own experiences and put it onto the the substance and then Definethat substance based on what you are what you experience so the CIA TheExperience One of intense anxiety they Define it as an anxiety producing drug as if the chemical structure of LSD wassort of it was always always produce anxiety because that was their experiences with it cold moral paranoiaso forth and so on uh in the 1960s people are experiencing kind of religious experiences spiritualexperiences and they defined it that way as an enogen as it and I think this is amistake a very common mistake that that that happens with LSD or with psychedelics you end up saying well I’vehad this amazing experience I want the world to have it uh if if it helped me and work through my issues or whateverhelp me move my life forward in a positive way Well everybody’s going to have that experience if if they’retaking it no not everybody has that experience um and that’s again the fallacy of misplaced concreteness to toto posit something from your own mind is that that’s concretely in in the compound um so psychedelics theypotentiate possibility grandiose ideas and maybe that’s a good thing but they don’t necessarily provide the way toactualize those ideas that’s more hard that’s more difficult work actually um the Psychedelic experience is alwayscontext dependent if you’re taking it uh getting it unwittingly as part of a CIoperation yeah you’ll freak out and have a bad experience um that’s the contextbut if the context is one of you’re taking it with the idea that this is going to be a therapeutic experienceworking with an experienced practitioner in a very safe setting you can you cankind of mold The Experience so that it will have that type of effect because the experience is always contextdependent um Now what is the implications of this for the current psychedelic Renaissance well I meaninitially what was happening uh the the Psychedelic Advocates werelooking what was happening with medical marijuana and said well let we could do this too we say this is a medical isthis medical uses we app to some science that’s real data and let’s get this ballrolling let’s let’s decriminalize that and so forth and so on um I I don’t thinkit’s medical cannabis a perfect you know analogy here it’s a but this is what gotpeople thinking um and there aren’t many parallels in terms of the research going on in the Psychedelic world nowpsychedelic science which you might be surprised to know most of it does not involve psychedelics what it involves and what Icall it pseudo delics uh involves taking up compound like LSD or psilocybin orwhatever tinkering with it so you can create new compounds that could bepatented because they’re new you can make money off of it but that they would have positive therapeutic effectswithout making you hallucinate without making you have a trip and this is the hot thing in psychedelic re yeah there’sresearch with psilocybin and with LSD going on but most of the research is involving uh new compounds that arecreated from a psychedelic scaffold from a molecule that’s a psychedelic Mo Tinker with it a little bit to keep someof the good therapeutic aspects without the H without the crazy trip right umthat’s the idea that’s I call those pudel rather than psychedelics umand both pudel and psychedelics stimulate neurogenesis andneuroplasticity in the brain this is one thing that’s that happens when you take LSD and and and I mean you could seewhen when you when a my or aat is given a psychedelic uh the the uh scientistscan actually measure the synapses how they’ grown within 24 hours it actually affects physicallywhat happens in the brain and the the idea of neurogenesis they look at peoplewho are depressed and they they realize that there’s a very low level of neurogenesis going on in the brain thisis something that happens naturally it’s when you’re born initially there’s a lot of neurogenesis going on with an infantbut over time you sort of get that process is depleted over time and it could happen in a way that uh scientistshave been able to link a a decreased neurogenesis to substance abuse patterns to depression so forth and actually somecommon anti-depressants that FDA Pro what what one thing they do is stimulate neurogenesis in the brain and that’sthought to help depression well the padel compounds they help de stimulateneurog gen it’s so can exercise and eating well and fast and a lot of things do this but with with psychedelics highdose is a real powerful neuroplasticity inducer and and neurogenesis inducer umand pseud delics can do that too that but the question is is it the same we’llhave the same effects because the the the um the pr pitch when they’re trying to raise money these these startups theysaid this is going to be uh healing from whatever compound they’ve got but it’snot going to be the without the trip it’s a little bit like CBD has been uh uh pitched in in the Cannabis space umthis is going to be CBD gives you a lot of therapeutic attributes um but it itdoesn’t make you high so it’s a similar kind of PR pitch that’s going on in the Psychedelic space now so the keyquestion here will a psychedelic or padel compound that doesn’t make you hallucinate doesn’t give you the wholetrip experience will it have the same therapeutic efficacy as CBD or shrewrooms is the trip essential for a transformative breakthrough the pudelpeople are saying no it’s not just give us the money will prove it you know but um I don’t believe that that’s the caseI think you the full experience is is crucial in terms of a therapeuticbreakthrough again because a pseud doel experience is not context dependent itjust makes something happen in the brain you know but a psychedelic experience is always going to be context dependentwell you’re stripping out the context for with with one of these new fangled pseudo delics none of them are legalincidentally yet but they’re just experimental cont uh compounds so lastslide I think here yes last slide um the pseud doels are neurogenic but they’renot context dependent so one can influence the context of a psychedelic experience in a way that’s beneficialfor healing depending on what attitude you go in with it our tripping can be conducive to deep Insight that altersmental constructs and how we view the the world it is possible from a a high do psychedelic experience that that kindof thing can happen whether you call it a religious experience or a spiritual experience or a Visionary experience orjust a good all intense experience these things are known to happen um buttripping cannot be reduced to changes just to changes in brain activity there’s much more going on under theinfluence of LSD than just changes in the brain in fact when you’re actually tripping and peing there’s hardly anyLSD left in the brain it mov around and so forth um you know I think tripping Hthere’s a phrase where philosopher I really like Mar mer lanti a French philosopher wild flowering mind and heactually wrote about mcine back in the 1940 40s that were being uh someinteresting scientific research as part of his his books um the idea that uhagain the LSD when when it really happen on a peak it’s like the mind isflowering in it’s sort of connected to the world to the Flesh of the cosmos phrase from DH Lawrence you know andit’s in that it’s Where the wild flowering mind meets the Flesh of the world that’s where the trip is happeningyou know one of if if you’re tripping and you’re in a garden and you all of a sudden realize gee all these plants arelooking at me I never noticed that before you know again it’s a completely different kind of experience and it’snot just in the brain it’s it’s in the world um so I don’t think that uh interms of the the current Renaissance we’re hearing about at least the pudel side and I hope they develop some gooddrugs and to help people but I don’t think it’s can can really compare with afull-blown uh high dose psychedelic experience because it doesn’t just occur in the brain anyway ASD dreams is a bookthat I wrote long before the Psychedelic renissance that was uh and a few copies are available you know right outside inthe the drug war um Booth um if you’re interested in um um also there is smokesignals there was my book about um um Canabis and finally my platform isProject CBD so we don’t have a whole lot of time but happy to take a question or two and then we can if you want to talkmore we can go over to the booth uh where the books are we can continue please uh I justedask that’s kind of an older pictureof yeah cuz that yeah cuz he had a mustache and uh excuse meuh yeah usually you don’t see Larry with his beard and mustache or whatever this case it was just amustache any you had another question or commentplease how does this relate to me well you had to experience what you had andwhat whatever else what you know whatever it was good or bad something happened in your brain that was causingno question about it because it literally physically changes connectionsbetween brain cells and and that’s measurable and scientists have measured it so you know it’s but it’s a questionof what what happens and a trip can be really mind altering and how you integrate that in your life and youyou’re better you you know that better than me so you had a question and we’re going to have to move out of herebecause the next section I’m sorry I couldn’t oh yes I Imentioned it in uh uh in in an James I mean that’s what see people with with part of the grandiosityaround psychedelics in the 60s is this going to save the world and you that’s a lot happening again in the current uhpsychedelic Renaissance there’s that Messianic thing um and uh I would saywhat about Charles Manson how can you say just everybody takes LSD and it’s going to be great but didn’t work out sowell for him and the family you know I I don’t think LSD is is going to unmelted ice caps I think it could do a lot ofgood for people and maybe a lot of good for society but it is a a really strongand powerful experience and I never understood why if it is so powerful people have to put this extra layer onit and say it’s going to save Society if it’s so powerful let it just be powerful you don’t have to exaggerate but peoplereally believed it too that was the thing um a lot of folks are coming in I think for the next session I I shouldyield but if you want to talk about it more be in the booth you know right outside the door thank you very