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Did JFK Drop LSD? image

The notion that JFK experimented with LSD has many intriguing implications, highlighted here by Dr Ben Sessa: ‘JFK had close relationship with socialite painter Mary Eno Pinchot Meyer and she was also in close relationship at the time with Tim Leary. Mary’s friendship with the president was intimate, and, meanwhile, her regular visits to Leary in Harvard made sure that plenty of cannabis and LSD found its way into the Whitehouse during 1962 and 1963. Mary considered herself on a secret mission to propagate LSD to as many powerful members of the government as possible in order to spread the love and avoid nuclear war. Leary confessed that he felt Mary was at least partially successful in encouraging the president ...

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Do Elephants Die on LSD? image

‘One elephant given 0.297 g of LSD died after a few minutes. The weight of this animal was determined to be 5,000 kg, which corresponds to a lethal dose of 0.06 mg/kg (0.06 thousandths of a gram per kilogram of bodyweight).’ I recently discovered that Albert Hofmann’s above reference to LSD toxicity in an elephant is open to debate. In his illuminating 2012 book, The Psychedelic Renaissance – Reassessing the Role of Psychedelic Drugs in 21st century Psychiatry and Society, Dr Ben Sessa throws new light on numerous psychedelic stories, not least in The Tragic Tale of Tusko the Elephant… ‘In 1962, Dr. Louis Jolyon ‘Jolly’ West, working with the CIA’s MK-ULTRA programme, trying to develop LSD as a truth ...

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LSD and Spiders image

In their riveting account of the so‐called hippie mafia, The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Stewart Tendlar and David May observe how LSD experiments ‘carried out on spiders, cats, fish and rats showed the spiders built better webs, cats cowered before untreated mice, fish which usually stayed close to the bottom of streams stayed near the top, and rats lost their equilibrium’. Swiss pharmacologist P. N. Witt started his renowned research on the effect of drugs on spiders in 1948, prompted by a request from his colleague, zoologist H. M. Peters, to shift the time when garden spiders inconveniently built their webs between 2am and 5am to earlier hours. ‘Witt tested spiders with a range of psychoactive drugs, including amphetamine, mescaline, strychnine, LSD and caffeine, and found that the drugs affect ...

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Conscious Exit in the West – Aldous Huxley standard

It seems fitting that the two most famous attempts at an Eastern style ‘conscious exit’ in the West over the last half century have been conducted by two of the world’s most celebrated psychedelic luminaries – Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary. As much modern research suggests, the use of psychedelics may well open up ways in which all of us, not just the terminally ill, can come to terms with the fear of death – in some cases overcoming it altogether. On 22nd November 1963, the same day that JFK was assassinated in Dallas and British literary giant CS Lewis died of kidney failure in England, Aldous Huxley asked his wife Laura to administer him with 100 micrograms of intramuscular ...

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Conscious Exit in the East standard

I first read about Exit, a euthanasia clinic in Zurich that promotes ‘Self-Determined Living and Dying’, in Taras Grescoe’s book The Devil’s Picnic, published in the UK with the wonderful sub-title: A Tour of Everything That Governments of the World Don’t Want You To Try. Reading about clients booking in for their appointments with death, administered by sodium phenobarbital injection, seemed like the sterile, slightly spooky and very Swiss, short-cut version of ‘the conscious exit’ striven for by many Eastern religious adepts. During my first experience of Asia – Bali in April 1985 – I was lucky enough to stay in Ubud with John Darling, a noted Australian filmmaker who lived on the island for many years and made an ...

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Introducing The Art of Living, The Art of Dying series standard

As Benjamin Franklin so famously noted, ‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’. Although many of us jump through endless hoops to prepare our tax returns, or to evade them altogether, few of us in our culture do much to prepare for death – bar perhaps drafting a will and some directives about where we wish our corpse be interred or ashes dispensed to the four winds. In stark contrast to most other societies, from indigenous tribes to Eastern cultures – where death is seen as a celebratory rite of passage and those attending funerals often wear white rather than back – we tend to avoid talking about death altogether; but then spend ...

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