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Thursday, August 2, 2012

PSYCHEDELICS - Introductory Papers


 The Exploration of Experience

    Humphrey Osmond

        an excerpt from "A Review of the Clinical Effects of Psychotomimetic Agents"
        Annals N.Y. Acad. Sci., March 14, 1957


Our interest [in psychotomimetic drugs], so far, has been psychiatric and pathological, with only a hint that any other viewpoint is possible; yet our predecessors were interested in these things from quite different points of view. In the perspective of history, our psychiatric and pathological bias is the unusual one. By means of a variety of techniques, from dervish dancing to prayerful contemplation, from solitary confinement in darkness to sniffing the carbonated air at the Delphic oracle, from chewing peyote to prolonged starvation, men have pursued, down the centuries, certain experiences that they considered valuable above all others.
    The great William James endured much uncalled-for criticism for suggesting that in some people inhalations of nitrous oxide allowed a psychic disposition that is always potentially present to manifest itself briefly. Has our comparative neglect of these experiences, recognized by James and Bergson as being of great value, rendered psychology stale and savorless? Our preoccupation with behavior, because it is measurable, has led us to assume that what can be measured must be valuable and vice versa. During the twentieth century we have seen, except for a few notables such as Carl Jung, an abandoning of the psyche by psychologists and psychiatrists. Recently they have been joined by certain philosophers. Pavlov, Binet, Freud, and a host of distinguished followers legitimately limited the field to fit their requirements, but later expanded their formulations from a limited inquiry to embrace the whole of existence. An emphasis on the measurable and the reductive has resulted in the limitation of interest by psychiatrists and psychologists to aspects of experience that fit in with this concept.
    There was and is another stream of psychological thought in Europe and in the United States that is more suitable for the work that I shall discuss next. James, in the United States, Sedgwick, Myers, and Gurney in Britain, and Carl Jung in Switzerland are among its great figures. Bergson is its philosopher and Harrison its prophet. These and many others have said that in this work, as in any other, science is applicable if one defines it in Dingle's term, "the rational ordering of the facts of experience." We must not fall into the pitfall of supposing that any explanation, however, ingenious, can be a substitute for observation and experiment. The experience must be there before the rational ordering.
    Work on the potentialities of mescaline and the rest of these agents fell on the stony ground of behaviorism and doctrinaire psychoanalysis. Over the years we have been deluged with explanations, while observation has become less sharp. This will doubtless continue to be the case as long as the observer and the observed do not realize that splendor, terror, wonder, and beauty, far from being the epiphenomena of "objective" happenings, may be of central importance.
    Accounts of the effect of these agents, ranging in time from that of Havelock Ellis in 1897 to the more recent reports of Aldous Huxley are many, and they emphasize the unique quality of the experience. One or more sensory modalities combined with mood, thinking and, often to a marked degree, empathy, usually change. Most subjects find the experience valuable, some find it frightening, and many say that it is uniquely lovely. All, from Slotkin's unsophisticated Indians to men of great learning, agree that much of it is beyond verbal description. Our subjects, who include many who have drunk deep of life, including authors, artists, a junior cabinet minister, scientists, a hero, philosophers, and businessmen, are nearly all in agreement in this respect. For myself, my experiences with these substances have been the most strange, most awesome, and among the most beautiful things in a varied and fortunate life. These are not escapes from but enlargements, burgeonings of reality. Insofar as I can judge they occur in violation of Hughlings Jackson's principle, because the brain, although its functioning is impaired, acts more subtly and complexly than when it is normal. Yet surely, when poisoned, the brain's actions should be less complex, rather than more so! I cannot argue about this because one must undergo the experience himself. Those who have had these experiences know, and those who have not had them cannot know and, what is more, the latter are in no position to offer a useful explanation.
    Is this phenomenon of chemically induced mental aberration something wholly new? It is not, as I have suggested earlier. It has been sought and studied since the earliest times and has played a notable part in the development of religion, art, philosophy, and even science. Systems such as yoga have sprung from it. Enormous effort has been expended to induce these states easily so as to put them to use. Although occasionally trivial and sometimes frightening, their like seems to have been at least part of the experience of visionaries and mystics the world over. These states deserve thought and pondering because until we understand them no account of the mind can be accurate. It is foolish to expect a single exploration to bring back as much information as twenty of them. It is equally foolish to expect an untrained, inept, or sick person to play the combined part of observer, experienced and recorder as well as a trained and skilled individual. Those who have no taste for this work can help by freely admitting their shortcomings rather than disguising them by some imposing ascription.
    This may seem mere nonsense but, before closing his mind, the reader should reflect that something unusual ought to seem irrational because it transcends those fashionable ruts of thinking that we dignify by calling them logic and reason. We prefer such rationalized explanations because they provide an illusory sense of predictability. Little harm is done so long as we do not let our sybaritism blind us to the primacy of experience. especially in psychology.
    Psychoanalysts claim that their ideas cannot be fully understood without a personal analysis. Not everyone accepts this claim, but can one ever understand something one has never done? A eunuch could write an authoritative book on sexual behavior, but a book on sexual experience by the same author would inspire less confidence. Working with these substances, as in psychoanalysis, we must often be our own instruments.
    Psychoanalysis resembles Galileo's telescope, which lets one see a somewhat magnified image of an object the wrong way round and upside down. The telescope changed our whole idea of the solar system and revolutionized navigation. Psychotomimetic agents, whose collective name is still undecided, are more like the radar telescopes now being built to scan the deeps of outer, invisible space. They are not convenient. One cannot go bird watching with them. They explore a tiny portion of an enormous void. They raise more questions than answers, and to understand those answers we must invent new languages. What we learn is not reassuring or even always comprehensible. Like astronomers, however, we must change our thinking to use the potentialities of our new instruments.
    Freud has told us much about many important matters. However, I believe that he and his pupils tried illegitimately to extrapolate from his data far beyond their proper limits in an attempt to account for the whole of human endeavor and, beyond this, into the nature of man and God. This was magnificent bravado. It is not science, for it is as vain to use Freud's system for these greatest questions as it is to search for the galaxies with Galileo's hand telescope. Jung, using what I consider the very inadequate tools of dream and myth, has shown such skill and dexterity that he has penetrated as deep into these mysteries as his equipment allows. Our newer instruments, employed with skill and reverence, allow us to explore a greater range of experience more intensively.
    There have always been risks in discovery. Splendid rashness such as John Hunter's should be avoided, yet we must be prepared for calculated risks such as those that Walter Reed and his colleagues took in their conquest of yellow fever. The mind cannot be explored by proxy. To deepen our understanding, not simply to great madnesses but of the nature of mind itself, we must use our instruments as coolly and boldly as those who force their aircraft through other invisible barriers. Disaster may overtake the most skilled. Today and in the past, for much lesser prizes, men have taken much greater risks.

How Should We Name Them?

If mimicking mental illness were the main characteristic of these agents, "psychotomimetics" would indeed be a suitable generic term. It is true that they do so, but they do much more. Why are we always preoccupied with the pathological, the negative? Is health only the lack of sickness? Is good merely the absence of evil? Is pathology the only yardstick? Must we ape Freud's gloomier moods that persuaded him that a happy man is a self-deceiver evading the heartache for which there is no anodyne? Is not a child infinitely potential rather than polymorphously perverse?
    I have tried to find an appropriate name for the agents under discussion: a name that will include the concepts of enriching the mind and enlarging the vision. Some possibilities are: psychephoric, mind moving; psychehormic, mind rousing; and psycheplastic, mind molding. Psychezynic, mind fermenting, is indeed appropriate. Psycherhexic, mind bursting forth, though difficult, is memorable. Psychelytic, mind releasing, is satisfactory. My choice, because it is clear, euphonious, and uncontaminated by other associations, is psychedelic, mind manifesting. One of these terms should serve.

Epilogue

This, then is how one clinician sees these psychedelics. I believe that these agents have a part to play in our survival as a species, for that survival depends as much on our opinion of our fellows and ourselves as on any other single thing. The psychedelics help us to explore and fathom our own nature.
    We can perceive ourselves as the stampings of an automatic socioeconomic process, as highly plastic and conditionable animals, as congeries of instinctive strivings ending in loss of sexual drive and death, as cybernetic gadgets, or even as semantic conundrums. All of these concepts have their supporters and they all have some degree of truth in them. We may also be something more, "a part of the main," a striving sliver of a creative process, a manifestation of Brahma in Atman, an aspect of an infinite God imminent and transcendent within and without us. These very different valuings of the self and of other people's selves have all been held sincerely by men and women. I expect that even what seem the most extreme notions are held by some contributors to these pages. Can one doubt that the views of the world derived from such differing concepts are likely to differ greatly, and that the courses of action determined by those views will differ?
    Our briefs, what we assume, as the Ames demonstrations in perception* show, greatly influence the world in which we live. That world is in part, at least, what we make of it. Once our mold for world making is formed it most strongly resists change. The psychedelics allow us, for a little while, to divest ourselves of these acquired assumptions and to see the universe again with an innocent eye. In T. H. Huxley's words, we may, if we wish, "sit down in front of the facts like a child" or as Thomas Traherne, a seventeenth-century English mystic, puts it, "to unlearn the dirty devices of the world and become as it were a little child again."** Mystic and scientist have the same recipe for those who seek truth. Perhaps, if we can do this, we shall learn how to rebuild our world in another and better image, for the breakneck advance of science is forcing change on us whether we like it or not. Our old faults, however, persisting in our new edifice, are far more dangerous to us than they were in the old structure. The old world perishes and, unless we are to perish in its ruins, we must leave our old assumptions to die with it. "Let the dead bury their dead" tells us what we must do.
    While we are learning, we may hope that dogmatic religion and authoritarian science will keep away from each other's throats. We need not put out the visionary's eyes because we do not share his vision. We need not shout down the voice of the mystic because we cannot hear it, or force our rationalizations on him for our own reassurance. Few of us can accept or understand the mind that emerges from these studies. Kant once said of Swedenborg, "Philosophy is often much embarrassed when she encounters certain facts she dare not doubt yet will not believe for fear of ridicule." Sixty years ago orthodox physicists knew that the atom was incompressible and indivisible. Only a few cranks doubted this. Yet who believes in the billiard-ball atom now?
    In a few years, I expect, the psychedelics that I have mentioned will seem as crude as our ways of using them. Yet even though many of them are gleanings from Stone Age peoples they can enlarge our experience greatly. Whether we employ these substances for good or ill, whether we use them with skill and deftness or with blundering ineptitude depends not a little on the courage, intelligence, and humanity of many of us who are working in the field today.
    Recently I was asked by a senior colleague if this area of investigation lies within the scope of science and, if it does not, should not religion, philosophy, or politics take the responsibility for it? But politics, philosophy, religion, and even art are dancing more and more to the tune of science, and, as scientists, it is our responsibility to see that our tune does not become a death march, either physical or spiritual. We cannot evade our responsibilities.
    So far as I can judge, spontaneous experience of the kind we are discussing has always been infrequent, and the techniques for developing it are often faulty, uncertain, clumsy, objectionable, and even dangerous. Our increasingly excellent physical health, with the steady elimination of both acute and chronic infections, the tranquilizers that enable us to neutralize unusual chemoelectrical brain activity, our diet, rich in protein and, especially, B-complex vitamins whose antagonism to LSD I have already discussed-all of these, combined with a society whose whole emphasis is on material possession in a brightly lit and brilliantly colored synthetic world, will make spontaneous experiences of the sort I have mentioned ever fewer. As we grow healthier and healthier, every millimeter that we budge from an allotted norm will be checked.
    I believe that the psychedelics provide a chance, perhaps only a slender one, for homo faber, the cunning, ruthless, foolhardy, pleasure-greedy toolmaker to merge into that other creature whose presence we have so rashly presumed, homo sapiens, the wise, the understanding, the compassionate, in whose fourfold vision art, politics science, and religion are one. Surely we must seize that chance.



*". . . the principle that what we are aware of is not determined entirely by the nature of what is out there or by our sensory processes, but that the assumptions we bring from past experience, because they have generally proved reliable, are involved in every perception we have." (back)
** Also Francis Bacon, the father of modern scientific method, in Novum Organum, wrote, "The entrance into the Kingdom of man, founded on the sciences, being not much other than the entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, whereinto none may enter except as a little child." (back)
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Psychedelics, Technology, Psychedelics

    Bernard S. Aaronson and Humphrey Osmond

        The Introduction to PSYCHEDELICS, The Uses and Implications of Hallucinogenic Drugs
        edited by Bernard Aaronson and Humphry Osmond, Doubleday & Company 1970.
        Copyright Aaronson and Osmond.


Any culture may be regarded as a ramification of a particular technology applied to the particular set of local conditions within which that culture is situated. The term "technology," as used here, refers to the entire set of devices, whether mechanical, chemical, or linguistic, by which adaptations of individuals to their environments are enhanced. Plows, clubs, radios, airplanes, fertilizers, drugs, breakfast cereals, grammars, and concepts are each implements and instances of technology, which influence and are influenced by one another. Some implements operate by directly altering the environment in response to the demands of the individual, as when we turn on an air conditioner on a hot day. Others operate by altering the individual to meet the demands of the environment, as when we "make the last one for the road coffee." Still others may attempt to integrate the two, as when we read a book to gain knowledge that will help us in particular situations.
    All systems of technology have certain common characteristics in terms of how they affect those who use them. They set up ways of looking at the world in terms of which new experiences can be encoded. One of the best illustrations of this is given in an old Jewish folk song in which the singing of a new cantor on the Sabbath is heard by a tailor in terms of how one sews a suit of clothes, by a cobbler in terms of making shoes, and by a carpenter in terms of cutting wood. Systems of technology focus attention on certain kinds of relationships and particular ways of conceptualizing those relationships. It is probably no accident that the great Chinese book on time, the I Ching, with its emphasis on seasons and changes and on ways of adapting to these and on the right time for initiating and carrying through action should have arisen as a vegetable oracle, the product of a farming people.
    Conceptualizations, once arrived at, interact to produce new conceptualizations, new technology, from which, once more, new concepts and new needs may emerge. Television, for instance, derives as a concept from motion pictures and radio and, even though it was introduced only a comparatively short time ago, has rapidly become a central part of homes at all levels of society in our culture. Watching television has tended to produce a more uniform culture through greater exposure to common stimuli, has reduced the amount of time available for free interaction by members of any particular household, and has resulted in the creation of such implements as "TV trays" and "TV dinners" to accommodate the need for more time around the television set. Automobiles have made possible the movement to the suburbs, the virtual end of public transportation in many parts of our country, and a resultant increased dependency on private means of transportation. In its turn, this has produced a more mobile population, a proliferation of roads, a tendency to think of distance in terms of units of time, the destruction of the countryside, and an increased need to deal with air pollution.
    Any technological innovation in any area expands to fill all the analogous gaps to which it can be applied. The technology of clubs developed into the technology of axes and hoes, and, in modern America, into the technology of baseball. Any technological system has a degree of play that makes possible the development of new technologies, which may not be immediately useful, but can become functional or can be combined to be functional when the need arises. The technique for producing light shows has long been available but remained essentially unused until the advent of psychedelic drugs produced its impact on a generation accustomed to TV diffraction patterns.
    The technology of drugs is one of the oldest technologies and probably began when our ancestors browsed their way through the forests and found that, among the foods they sampled, some produced interesting changes in how they felt, how they perceived, and how they could accommodate themselves to the world. Substances that alter consciousness are found in use among probably all the peoples of the world (Taylor, 1963). In particular, substances containing alcohol and caffeine seem to be used nearly everywhere, and hemp and its derivatives also seem widely used.
    Substances whose main effect is to stop hunger are classed as foods. Even though it is now customary to present an analysis of the chemical composition of many of the foods we eat on the sides of the containers in which they are packaged, their action tends to be studied in laboratories of nutrition rather than in those of pharmacology. The kinds of detailed study of effects on particular structures and organ systems that have historically characterized pharmacological study are rarely undertaken with foods.
    Substances that increase conviviality or stimulate the individual are often treated as foods if they can be eaten, or as more like drugs (without usually naming them such) if they must be smoked. Alcohol, coffee, tea, and chocolate represent the edible class of these substances, as does cannabis and its derivatives in many Moslem and Eastern countries. Cannabis and tobacco probably represent the principal common substances smoked. The continuing agitation against the use of alcohol and cannabis by various groups in our culture suggests the anomalous position of these kinds of substances on the food-drug continuum. The fear and anxiety over the moral and physical degradation that might result from enslavement to coffee, tea, and chocolate when these were introduced into Europe are another case in point. It should also be noted that many tobacco smokers often have trouble conceptualizing tobacco as a drug, for the term "drug" has developed very specialized meanings.
    Among the foods sampled by our ancestors, some sustained life, others destroyed it. Still others seemed to remove illness. Sometimes those foods that destroyed life could also sustain it and remove illness if administered in proper ways and in proper amounts. It is hard to say when the division of edibles into foods and poisons and into foods and drugs arose, for the divisions already existed at the beginning of recorded history. Legends of the witch woman and the wizard and their herbs, or of the apple whose scent drives away disease are very old. A technology of drug use is found in all cultures along with a technology of poisons, and the control of that technology is vested in individuals with priestly or semi-priestly functions, or in others with claims to special relationships with the supernatural. As the amount of knowledge around the use of the healing arts grew, the priesthood, which dealt in healing, gradually gave way to a more secularized group, with specialized training, called physicians. Another group claimed jurisdiction over the preparation of these substances and were called apothecaries or, more recently, pharmacists. These experts knew which drugs to prescribe and when. It was also apparent that these substances could sometimes be dangerous when improperly compounded or improperly used, so it was important to listen when they told you how to use the possibly dangerous substances in which they dealt. In addition, since they dealt in alleviating suffering, a "good guy" image was easy to come by. As a result, a drug in this context became something that was used on the advice of a physician, and that it was foolhardy to use otherwise.
    While a tradition of using minor remedies for things like colds or warts existed, reasonable people left the control of drugs in the hands of the experts. Even patent medicines derived their fundamental cultural status from the implied approval of these groups, or had to go back to their precursors, the medicine men and shamans of primitive days. To this day, television advertisements for patent medicines that will cure headaches, sinus congestion, or "tired blood" are delivered by friendly, fatherly looking men in white coats. On the other hand, the development of modem research technology made possible an expansion of the number of substances recognized as specifics against particular ailments and increased the range of illnesses and conditions for which drugs could be used. In particular, the realization that food-deficiency diseases exist, and the development of vitamin pills to be used as a food supplement, created a dynamic tension between the restricted use of drugs and the use of pills as food. Subsequently, the modern development of mood-changing drugs such as tranquilizers, and their promiscuous prescription by physicians to such a point that some minor tranquilizers can now be purchased without a prescription, completed the breach. We became a pill-using culture, although the earlier caution about the use of drugs remained as a nagging sense of guilt.
    Alongside the medically controlled and related concept of drugs, a second conception exists of drugs as substances that produce depressing but exotic sleep states to which the user becomes easily addicted, to the exclusion of the claims and pleasures of ordinary life. In Homer's Odyssey, Ulysses and his crew visit the Land of the Lotus Eaters, whose inhabitants are addicted to a fruit that, when tasted, puts the user into a sleep in whose dreams all thoughts of home and country are forgotten. In our country, in our time, when somebody says he feels "drugged," he is generally referring to a state of depressed apathy. In contrast to this, we may often refer to a situation in which we have been gratified as one in which we have been "fed." A product that does not sell is referred to in business as "a drug on the market," but a new concept or a new perception may be "food for thought." It is a commonplace to hear how opium, the prototype for this conception, destroyed the initiative and capacity for constructive activity of the people in many Eastern countries and kept them from the progress and well-being of the Protestant ethic. It is a fact, moreover, that China did fight a losing war to keep British enterprise from bringing in opium, because the rulers of China felt that the effects of opium addiction would enervate their population.
    For us, drugs are often seen as substances used in strange and alien cultures whose customs are the material from which travelogues are made and to which the intrepid traveler may venture only at the risk of being debauched. The early writings on opium by Thomas De Quincy, and the accounts of hashish experiences by Theophile Gautier and Fitzhugh Ludlow stress the exotic nature of the experience. Even Coleridge's famous poem Kubla Khan, written from an opium dream, in which the legendary ruler builds a pleasure dome in Xanadu over a hidden sacred river where women mourn for demon lovers and Abyssinian maids play dulcimers, bears out this aura of the strange. Drugs are substances that not only render us unable or unwilling to function in ordinary life, but make available exotic and forbidden landscapes. In these landscapes, the images of nightmare from which we have fled since childhood, move and take shape.
    This view of the dangerous nature of drugs is further buttressed by the modern concept of "the drug addict"—an individual so enslaved by his need to escape "reality," a euphemism for the disappointments attendant on the need to survive, that he seeks these dangerous substances to the exclusion of the more conventional activities that keep society functioning. This immediately arouses the fear that if one person finds "illegitimate" states so attractive, others will follow because of their inherent superior pleasure-giving quality. The strictures by Louria (1966) on the hedonism of drug use emphasize this fear. Similar attitudes are expressed in the fear and condemnation of homosexuals by many perfectly adequate and well-adjusted heterosexuals, and in the horror felt by some parents when they find their children masturbating.
    The drug addict is seen as becoming less controlled and more apt to express impulses that our society frowns upon, as his drug use continues. He is finally so taken over by his need, and so debauched, and so unable to make his own way, that he is forced to turn to crime to prolong a life that is now a threat to the survival of others. These negative images play an important role with respect to any substance labeled "drug" and not medically prescribed or available in a pharmacy. It is interesting to note that cough medicines containing codeine, an addicting drug, are available without prescription in many of our states, and that, at least until recently, paregoric, which contains a small quantity of opium, was freely available without prescription for use with infants. That these concepts represent an important aspect of the affective reaction to drug use is shown by the fact that campaigns against drug abuse in general, and the use of psychedelics in particular, have centered around appeals to these images.
    Psychedelics are the newest addition to drug technology in our culture. While the use of many of these substances in their plant form is very old, their use in our culture is very recent, apart from minor experimentation by early scientists concerned with consciousness, such as William James, Weir Mitchell, and Havelock Ellis (DeRopp, 1957). Written descriptions of the use of hemp date from about 1250 B.C. Datura preparations are used in magic and witchcraft in many areas of the world.Amanita muscaria, the fly agaric mushroom, was not only probably used by the ancient Vikings when they went into battle, but, according to recent evidence, may have been the legendary soma of the founders of Hinduism (Schultes, 1969; Wasson, 1969). It is not possible to say how far back the use of peyote, ololiuqui, or ofPsilocybe mexicana goes, for the records were destroyed by the Roman Catholic missionaries to the conquered people of Mexico in their zeal for the welfare of the souls of their charges.
    The central property of any of the substances labeled psychedelic is the enhancement of experience. In the anti-drug writings in the popular and semi-popular press, psychedelics have even been condemned as offering "instant experience." They seem to step up the capacity of the organism to respond to fine gradations of stimulus input, to enhance response to stimulation at the upper and lower levels of perceptual responding, and to break down the barriers imposed by the different sensory avenues through which stimulation is received, in order to produce new perceptions, a greater frequency of illusions, and, more rarely, hallucinations. Before Osmond (1957b) coined the word "psychedelic," they were more commonly referred to as psychotomimetics or hallucinogens to stress their capacity to mimic psychoses or induce hallucinations. In contrast, depressants, such as alcohol and the barbiturates, and narcotics, such as opium and morphine, reduce attention to stimulus input, although hypnagogic and dreamlike states are possible with all of these. Stimulants, such as the amphetamines and caffeine, may enhance endurance, improve mood, and increase alertness and work capacity, but they do not promote attention to the fine nuances of sensory experience as do the psychedelics.
    The ability of the psychedelics to produce enhanced capacity for experiencing, and for interrelating the data of experience, is central in understanding both their significance and their popularity. Very few books that deal with psychedelics fail to include individual protocols of such experiences. Metzner (1968), Ebin (1961), and Watts (1962) have published entire books containing nothing but protocols of psychedelic experience. Huxley's great book The Doors of Perception (1954), which probably marks the beginning of the modern psychedelic movement, is also such a protocol from his famous initial encounter with the Belle of Portugal rose to his final return to "that reassuring but profoundly unsatisfactory state known as 'being in one's right mind.'" Timothy Leary's recent autobiographical account of psychedelia,High Priest (1968a), is also presented in terms of psychedelic "trips." In discussing the use of psychedelics in therapy for various emotional disorders, Hoffer and Osmond (1967) stress that LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline may all be equally effective. "It is the experience, not the compound which induces it, which is responsible."
    The stress on enhanced experiencing as the fundamental characteristic of these substances leads, in the literature, to a stress on the importance of the setting in which the drug is taken. In order for the enhanced capacity for experience created by these substances to show itself, an adequate range of stimuli must first be available to be experienced. Administration of psychedelics under conditions of sensory deprivation seems to abolish most of the usual effects attributed to them (Pollard, Uhr, and Stern, 1965). Hoffer and Osmond (1967) stress the importance of providing adequate environmental support to produce the kinds of experience required to produce change in personality. Alpert and Cohen (l966) also stress the need for adequate settings to provide psychedelic experiences.
    On the other hand, as the stimulus situations presented to the drug taker increase in complexity, the variability of possible responses to those stimuli increases, especially when there is perceptual heightening. For this reason, along with the emphasis on setting, a companion emphasis on set—the attitudes, motivations, preconceptions, and intentions that individuals bring to their experiences—has arisen. Mogar (1965a, 1965c) has suggested that contradictory results in different experiments on the effects of psychedelics on different functions can be accounted for by considering the differences in set and setting. Leary, Litwin, and Metzner (1963) have suggested that the total effect of an exposure to psilocybin could be accounted for entirely in terms of set and setting. Krippner (1965) has pointed out that the psychotomimetic reactions of the early studies with LSD occurred within the context of a laboratory in which the individual taking the drug was surrounded by white-coated physicians who were looking for evidence that an analogous situation to schizophrenia was being produced. Hyde (1960) showed that when psychedelics were administered to a variety of normal subject groups under conditions in which they were confronted with impersonal, hostile, and investigative attitudes on the part of others, the subjects responded with devaluative distortions and hostility. Flexibility, familiarity, and the presence of others with a common culture ameliorated the psychotomimetic aspects of the reaction, while rigidity, unfamiliarity, non-acceptance, and absence of others with a common culture exacerbated them.
    While few would seek enhanced experience if that experience were negative, the ability to enhance the capacity for experience is an important reason for the increased popularity of psychedelics. People tend to do what they are good at. Well-co-ordinated, well-muscled individuals are apt to be involved in athletics; those with good number ability are apt to enjoy working with numbers. One of the best predictive devices for vocational success is the Strong Vocational Interest Inventory, which provides scores based on the similarity of an individual's interest patterns to those of individuals who are successful in their chosen fields. Virtually everyone has the capacity to react, judge, and seek out experience. People will often go on long and arduous journeys just to see things, or will buy recording equipment, radios, or television just to provide themselves with stimulation. They will register for difficult courses of instruction with no demonstrable practical consequences for themselves, in order to enhance their experience. This is not unique to man, for animals show a similar pattern of experience seeking (Welker, 1961). In human societies, the theater, the church, sports spectaculars, the pomp and ceremony of parades, the rides, color, and glitter of carnivals, all are institutions created to meet the need for enhanced experience. We are built to process stimuli, and an important part of living is seeking out stimuli to be processed. The popularity of psychedelics is not only a function of this general characteristic of stimulus seeking, but it also suggests the relative infrequency of bad experiences resulting from their use, unless we wish to posit masochism as an equally fundamental characteristic of biological adjustment.
    Because psychedelics focus attention on individual experience, some important social consequences arise from their use. Individual experience is on the one hand unique to the experienced and on the other characterized by great transpersonal commonality as one goes deeper into the self (Aaronson, 1968d). In spite of the scientific validity of the behaviorist critique that private experience is not available for scientific observation, for each of us, as individuals, our own experiences have a veridicality shared by few other things in this world. We not only seek experience, we respond in terms of our experiences, and accord a special hearing to those who can "speak from experience." Immediate experience is of greater consequence to the individual experiencing it than any promise of future good or ill made by a personal or impersonal authority figure. Any parent who has had to take a child to face a shot administered to him by his kindly pediatrician can testify to this. Any smoker who lights up contentedly as he reads the warning on his cigarette pack also shows its validity.
    When individual experience is emphasized, the generalized verbal formulas for societal control based on hoary and long-unquestioned precepts become open to question as they are filtered through the individual consciousness. Various institutions maintain their authority by means of symbols and concepts that evoke traditional emotional reactions, and the more-rational verbal responses function as unconscious rationalizations of these reactions. That is, many logical arguments turn out to be simply elaborations of illogical emotional biases. These traditional emotional biases are inculcated from the earliest age at home, in the schools, and in the propaganda organizations for children, such as the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the YMCA, and other groups. Similar institutions exist in Communist and Fascist societies, except that there the conditioning tends to be more frenetic and compulsive than in our own. The attention to the ways in which these symbols can affect us makes plain the inherent illogic of conventional wisdom. Once the question of "Why, indeed, should I respond in this way?" has been posed, many of the structures of society will tumble if answers cannot be found rooted in the existential being of the questioner.
    Many of the consequences of this kind of questioning can be seen not only among the hippies and in Leary's concept of society as a collection of television stage props (1968b), but in the kinds of questions posed by those of our young people who have not obviously taken on the extreme styles of life represented either by the hippies or by Leary. The use of marijuana is sufficiently widespread among our young adult groups that attitudes developing from attention to one's own consciousness have pervaded their style of approach to the world. Before the question of "What career shall I choose?" can be answered, the question of "Why should I choose a career?" must be settled. Before one can agree to fight for flag and country, the existential meaning of flag, country, death, killing, freedom, and a host of other concepts must be considered. The source of power is not seen as being conferred from on high, but as arising from the behavior toward the power wielder of those over whom power is exercised. This attitude has tremendous implications with regard to the kinds of behavior that will be displayed toward the traditional holders of power and the traditional methods of displaying power.
    The development of similar emphases on personal revelation and personal consciousness at various points in the history of Christendom led to the formation of many of our existing Protestant denominations and the replacement of the old Catholic concept of an ordained priesthood with a new concept of the priesthood of all believers. The so-called "generation gap" is a mirage that results not from the traditional need of the young to make their way in a world of already established people nor from any traditional traits of impatience or idealism, although all these may be factors, but from differing amounts of attention to the importance of individual experience. Because of the greater willingness of young people to try new things, the consciousness-changing chemicals had their greatest effect along peer-group lines.
    Because of the fact that each individual consciousness is located in a body, increased awareness of the body and of our functions as biological organisms seems to occur in the psychedelic-user population. This is not the kind of stress on the body traditionally associated with weight lifting or the overdevelopment of body parts that give a good male or female image, but desire for a well-functioning body that is pleasant to experience. This has led to an interest in hatha yoga and in tai chi, the Indian and Chinese systems of exercise whose aim is not muscular development, but peace, coordination, and good bodily functioning. All bodily functions and bodily needs are more apt to be accepted and, even more important, respected. The ancient verbal taboos limiting sexual behavior have been weakened by the non-verbal nature of psychedelic experience. Excretory functions are accepted without embarrassment. Preferences develop for simple foods with more concern about how these may affect the body, although there is some tendency for this concern to turn to cultishness. Clothes are no longer used to hide the body, but to emphasize the body as the source of experience. The greater openness with regard to the physical self has been accompanied by relaxation of the taboo against touching other people and being touched by them, an event of overriding social consequence in changing the character, intensity, scope, and available possibilities in any interpersonal relationship.
    Beyond the perception of the body itself, the enhanced sensory experience has called attention to the pleasures and insights that can be obtained directly from sensory experience. Light shows and modern rock music reflect some of the visual and auditory experiences produced by psychedelics. Aldous Huxley (1956) has pointed out the luminous intensity of colors found in "the antipodes of the mind," and this is mimicked by Day-Glo paints and the eerie glow of colors under black light. The greater sensitivity to color reflections, color shadows, and afterimages, especially as they appear reflected on glossy surfaces like skin, has led to the modern fashion of body painting. Along with the perception of oneself as a biological organism, with its consequent emphasis on the simple and natural, there has been an increased awareness of the complexity and beauty of natural phenomena. This has been further elaborated by the fact that, with many of the psychedelics, the retinal structure of the eye itself enters into the perception, as Kluver (1966) has pointed out. This has complicated the drive for simplicity with a preference for the baroque. The resulting dynamic tension appears in all forms of psychedelic decoration, music, literature, and art. Masters and Houston (1968) have shown this well in their recently published book on psychedelic art, which runs the gamut from simple meditative expressions to welters of clashing stimulation designed to make the viewer leave his senses through overstimulation of his senses.
    Going deeply into one's own experience leads to insights beyond those experienced when the focus of attention is on what is experienced rather than the mode of experience itself. The appearance of reality is no longer taken at face value, but is seen as an interaction with the perceptual apparatus of the perceiver. This means that the usual existential primacy given the world around us, probably because we are built to process information coming to us from the outside, gives way to an equality of perceives and perceived, so that the perception itself becomes the primary datum in a conscious sense, as it has always been without our realization. This is, indeed, one of the goals of many meditative systems, and meditation as such has become a popular activity among the psychedelic subgroup and those influenced by them. Indeed, movement within the self away from its more-surface manifestations inevitably invokes religious imagery (Masters and Houston, 1966; Aaronson, 1968a), although images invoking religious feelings may be possible at all levels of consciousness. The sense that depth is expanded, common in psychedelic experiences, is like the environmental conditions most commonly associated with mystical experience, and mystical experiences can be produced by experimentally providing experiences of enhanced depth (Aaronson, 1967d).
    Movement within reaches the level of archetype and myth and may transcend these to a point of ultimate mystical union. The archetypes may be an elaboration of current material featured in the concerns of the popular press, as Barron (1967) has pointed out. They may derive from early impressions and concerns fed by other technologies in our culture. Tom Wolfe (1968), for instance, has pointed out the prevalence of imagery from the comic books dear to children in the late thirties and early forties in the group centering around Ken Kesey. They may derive from fundamental perceptions of our own structures and modes of functioning. Barron (1967) has noted, "an experience of Christ, i.e. of Christ free from the institutional embodiment known as Christianity, is common to many psychedelic "trips." Christ on the cross may then be understood simply as "consciousness impaled on the human form, mind hung to die on body to expiate our voluntary participation in the world's heavy materialism." This manner of thinking and perceiving, the concentration on archetype, the sense of an indwelling, immanent God, and the interest in meditation have correspondingly created an interest in those forms of religion that stress these notions: Hinduism, and Tibetan and Zen Buddhism. Psychedelic experience is fundamentally religious, as any experience of life taken as an experience of life must be. Braden (1967) has pointed out that the fundamental thrust of psychedelic experience is religious and its fundamental challenge is to the forms of organized religion. It is one of the forces contributing to the ferment in contemporary Christianity that is presently leading one of the oldest and most tradition-bound of Christian churches to reevaluate its forms, its structure, and many of the engrafted beliefs of its development.
    The development of any new major innovation in technology affects profoundly the life and structure of the society in which it occurs. The development of psychedelics is such a major innovation, which promises revolutionary changes and is, in fact, already producing them. Psychedelics may have a potential impact on society equivalent to that of the machine, which in setting off the Industrial Revolution, created much of what we now consider our "natural" and "traditional" styles of life and forms of organizing society. At the time of the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, those dispossessed by the new forms blamed the machines and tried to wreck them in the Luddite rebellion. Our modern Luddites are not the dispossessed, but those who exist at the very center of the power structure. The alteration of values, the questioning of rules by those who have had psychedelic experiences, create much consternation, often by their very own children, among individuals who have made their way by those rules and under the value system of the existing society. In addition, the negative implications of the concept "drug," noted earlier in this discussion, are not without their effects.
    Confronted by danger, each carries out his social function. The mass media simultaneously point at the wonders of psychedelic experience and view them with alarm. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists, whose business it is to find abnormality in deviance, find abnormality in deviance. Government agencies introduce regulations, lawmakers make laws, and policemen police. The upshot of all this activity is that it is now almost impossible to carry out legitimate research with psychedelics. A large user population has developed that uses bootleg drugs, sometimes containing dangerous impurities, and almost certainly producing revenue for organized crime. Drugs are now used by individuals who, under a system of controlled access to them, would probably not have been exposed to them and run the risk of injuring themselves. It is difficult to set up safeguards for the proper use of the major psychedelics when this use is illegal. One segment of our population exists under conditions reminiscent of prohibition, while the other looks on with alarm. A crisis in confidence has been created that cuts across generational lines. A great many people who normally would be law- abiding are placed in the position of outlaws, with marked implications for their further relationships to society and its institutions.
    It is beyond the scope of this paper to do any more than outline briefly some of the implications of psychedelic technology and some of its associated problems. The rest of this book is devoted to filling in the picture in more detail. At the present time, the repressive attitudes toward this new technology are so strong that its effects can only show themselves in strange and aborted forms. Perhaps the situation will be eased to permit more-open and controlled development of what is now clandestine and uncontrolled. Hopefully.
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Psychedelics and the Future

    Humphrey Osmond and Bernard Aaronson

        The Concluding Chapter of PSYCHEDELICS
        edited by Bernard Aaronson and Humphry Osmond, Doubleday &Company 1970.
        ©Aaronson and Osmond.


Those older men and women exercising structural and moral authority (Paterson, 1966), often called collectively the Establishment, have been alarmed by psychedelics for rather less than five years. Their attitude might be described in the terms Aneurin Bevan used for an old man approaching a young bride: "... fascinated, sluggish, and apprehensive." The impetuous young, however, always at the heart of any anti-establishment movement, rush in with all the rash ardor of Romeo and Juliet. Medical men, though less worried about morals or legality, are properly concerned with the health of the young lovers, and have been debating, not without acrimony, whether the entrancing psychedelic bride is a delicious and sexy houri or a poxy doxy.
    This fascination of older folk with psychedelics and the climate attached to them becomes evident in the propaganda devoted to them by many government agencies, professional associations, and other interested people. While this has been aimed ostensibly at discouraging the young from taking or continuing to take these substances, the means employed seem unlikely to achieve such an end. The cause of pornography has frequently been well served by those whose strident warnings abjured others from seeking what, until then, they had hardly noticed. Public men have, quite unwittingly, by their ignorance, evasion, and downright lies, egged on their children and grandchildren to explore these experiences. It appears sometimes as if they were trying to discredit themselves in the eyes of the young. It may not be their intention, but it seems to be their achievement.
    Our connection with this intergenerational controversy began about sixteen years ago, when one of us, after a troubled night, was standing at a table stirring a glass of water in which silvery white crystals were dissolving with an oily slick. Would it be enough or too much? He was uneasy: he would be disappointed if nothing happened, but what if the mescaline worked too well? Suppose he poured half of the full glass into an adjacent flower vase? He did not relish the possibility, however remote, of finding a small, but discreditable niche in literary history as the man who drove Aldous Huxley mad. His fears proved groundless. Although the bitter chemical did not work as quickly as he had expected, in due course it etched away the patina of conceptual thinking.
    Much has happened since that smogless May morning in Hollywood. Neither Aldous Huxley nor he would have predicted that The Doors of Perception (1954) was going to have such an immense impact on an ever-increasing number of people. Those substances, then known as hallucinogens or psychotomimetics, and which he later called psychedelics (Osmond, 1957b), have, for good or evil, become far more widely known and no longer the concern merely of the specialist and scholar. They are part of our vocabulary, a source of both vexation and inspiration.
    Less than ten years after the senior author's spring visit to Hollywood, Pandora's box was unexpectedly opened. Since then, members of the Establishment have been sitting on the lid of the empty box, unaware that this posture is both undignified and futile. It is the fate of establishments to be taken by surprise in spite of ample and repeated warnings. Once they have become aware that something is amiss, they often act precipitately, with little forethought or caution, and transform a minor inconvenience or even possible benefits into catastrophe. There was plenty of warning that psychedelics were apt to be of interest to people and also to become more available so that this long-standing human taste could be indulged more easily. It required no gift of prophecy to recognize this, for history shows that man has been an inveterate experimenter with chemicals, usually derived from plants, that make him happier or livelier, or alter his perceptions and awareness. In his sumptuous and magnificent book Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality (1969), for example, R. Gordon Wasson, the mycologist-scholar, has shown convincingly that the Rig Veda, one of the oldest and greatest of man's religious works, devoted about one tenth of its collection of over one thousand psalms to celebrating the plant god Soma. Wasson, with wonderful persistence, caution, and intuition, makes a good case for soma being the mushroom Amanita muscaria, or fly agaric, the classic toadstool of the birch forests of the world. Psychedelics are a very ancient and influential human interest.
    What has the Establishment been doing about them? If one had listened only to its members from a recent president on down, one might have been convinced that psychedelics had no future at all because of the development of ever-growing and increasingly specialized law- enforcement agencies to remove the nuisance permanently. In the past year or two, the tone has changed somewhat, along with other overoptimistic estimates. On the other hand, if one listened only to supporters of the psychedelic movement, one might be led to suppose that an age was borning in which from earliest childhood, and possibly the prenatal state, we would all be exposed to the delights and virtues of wholly beneficial substances. The facts do not support either of these extreme positions, but extreme positions rarely depend on facts. Long before the official Establishment had asked itself what sort of problem it might be facing, legislation was being prepared, bills hurriedly passed, statements of an alarming kind made, and vigorous legal and police action taken. This was not admirable, but it was no more admirable of the psychedelic movement to imply that there were scarcely any dangers attendant on these remarkable substances and that we should all hasten along the road to the "joyous cosmology," taking anything anyone offered, and trusting it would be enough, and not too much.
    The Establishment's posture is not difficult to understand, for it is that of all establishments everywhere when faced with innovation. It consists in saying, "No, you don't. Father (or Grandfather) knows best. Be good and do as you are told, for if you don't, it will be the worse for you." Before planning and passing legislation or developing new policing procedures, it might seem prudent to assess the effectiveness of such actions, and consider whether police activities might not have unintended consequences as bad as or worse than the evils to be remedied. This is especially true in the United States, where prohibition, with all its admirable intentions, merely provided a golden opportunity for gangsters to become multimillionaires and spread the habit the legislation was intended to curb. The most likely outcome of prohibition in the early twenties was that, since many people did not feel that drinking alcohol was immoral, even though it might have become illegal, the law would be widely subverted. Criminals would then have an opportunity to provide these disaffected citizens with their needs. The police would be liable to be corrupted, the law itself brought into disrepute, and because most people would come to feel that prohibition itself is a farce, they would tend to consider that the law is a racket, too. This is a high price to pay for an unattainable social benefit.
    Other legislation aimed at preventing people from taking substances, such as psychedelics, that they want to take should surely be examined in this context. As we have noted, this is an interest that men have pursued for millennia with great persistence and in a variety of ways, ranging from self-inflicted tortures and austerities to taking dangerous substances. Drugs are only one of many possible ways of achieving these experiences, and are by no means the most objectionable from a medical viewpoint. From earliest times, psychedelics have been regarded as strange and sacred and have been part of many great religious ceremonies. They are certainly as enduring and interesting for mankind as alcohol, although, since the rise of modern agriculture, alcohol has been probably easier to obtain. On the other hand, cannabis has been used for many centuries. It may not be a simple matter to head off people's interest in psychedelics; it has not been easy to head off interest in alcohol. Had it been possible to prevent people from making alcoholic drinks, prohibition would have been feasible. As it was, everyone could make his own fermented drink in the bathtub, and before long, the well-meant laws to curb drinking had become meaningless and socially harmful.
    In 1966, the government did not seem to have considered these early experiences much, and appeared to believe that by preventing Sandoz from manufacturing and distributing LSD to research workers, the problem would soon be resolved. Indeed, one of us was told by an aide of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy that the ex-Attorney General of the United States was surprised to learn "that preventing Sandoz from selling LSD (which, of course, they were not doing, but giving it away only to accredited researchers) would not resolve the problem. "Even though Senator Kennedy was a young, active, and unusually well-informed man, he was ignorant of this, although he quickly acquired the necessary information. The elderly men who govern most countries apparently failed to ask or have impressed upon them the questions facing those who wish to control the use of psychedelics.
    During World War II, British and American intelligence services briefed their generals by first giving an opinion as to what was most likely to happen, followed by a statement of what they considered the best possible outcome in the circumstances, and finally, the worst possible construction. The general officer, knowing the conclusion of his intelligence service, could then make his own decision, basing it on optimism, pessimism, or a middle way, as he saw fit. Suppose it had been our task to advise statesmen on the future of psychedelic substances, what would we have told them, assuming that we knew that they were already more or less limited to a policy of control? From this point of view, the best possible thing that could happen would be for people to lose interest in psychedelics once and for all, and for the sources of supply to dry up forever. The worst that could happen for the Establishment would be for supplies of psychedelics to become greater and easier to make in a climate of sustained or increasing interest, thus producing a situation resembling prohibition at its worst.
    How would these two extreme estimates relate to the most likely outcomes It would be surprising if an interest so long sustained ever disappears completely. Indeed, our age is one in which interest in these matters seems more likely to increase. Today, at least in North America and Europe, there are larger numbers of highly mobile young people, many of them fairly well-to-do, than ever before in history. Most have been reared with less severity than previous generations and have largely escaped the terrible blows that death, illness, starvation, and poverty frequently inflict on the young. They are sufficiently uncowed by the world to be highly critical of how it is run, and have the energy, time, and opportunity to express dissatisfaction and explore new ways of improving matters. Their education has taught them how to use libraries and other modern information-retrieval systems. Many of them became interested in psychedelics in the early sixties, and while this preoccupation may fluctuate, it seems unlikely that it will disappear completely. The interest of the Indians in drugs survived the full force of the Spanish Inquisition, and it is unlikely that even the severest legislators intend to emulate that mighty institution in policing their children and grandchildren.
    In addition, with regard to the control of the substances themselves, more have been discovered and rediscovered during the past decade and a half than in any similar period in history. It seems likely that more will be found during the next ten years. Some of these will be discovered in plants and others synthesized. Every discovery makes it easier to suggest not only new places in which to look for active substances, but also new ways of making them. We predict that within the next twenty-five years, and perhaps sooner, simple processes will be discovered by which reasonably safe psychedelics can be made in any kitchen or basement with materials available in stores, pharmacies, and fields or gardens. Some believe the best way to avoid these dangers would be to stop all research on psychedelics. In our opinion, this would be objectionable, since these substances have great interest for psychology and psychiatry and since there is, as we have shown here, growing evidence of their therapeutic usefulness. It would also not succeed in stopping the clandestine experiments in the synthesis or use of these substances, for forbidden fruits not only taste sweeter, but develop an esoteric interest. Presumably this "occult" science, because it would be "illegal," would not be published in official scientific journals. A sort of underground science would develop, which at least would be deplorable, and might be very dangerous.
    In our imaginary briefings, the statesmen would be told that the most likely outcome during the next decade would be that the interest in these substances would be maintained, though it is likely to fluctuate from year to year. Although a number of new psychedelics will be discovered, there is no convincing evidence that the era of "bathtub" psychedelics has yet arrived, allowing them to be made in ease and safety at home. Should this occur, the resulting situation will resemble that of prohibition.
    Statesmen must surely ask themselves whether it is wise to invent new crimes or inflate misdemeanors into matters of great importance. The roster of criminal law is large; by adding new laws that are difficult to enforce, respect for the law may be decreased. Certain kinds of new laws may be expensive luxuries that societies in the course of change simply cannot afford. We believe that the interest in psychedelics will be maintained in the foreseeable future. If police and similar agencies devote much of their energy to controlling the substances, the overt interest may become less conspicuous. Prosecuting people does not necessarily change their opinions, but may invest forbidden activity with glamour and make those undertaking it discreet. It is said that crime has been increasing greatly in recent years, and one wonders whether this is a propitious time to add a whole new series of crimes to the burden of an already overladen police and magistracy.
    Already there are laws of such severity on the statute books that judges, juries, and police often shy away from using them, although, from time to time, unlucky people receive very harsh punishment, which seems unfair both to them and to their contemporaries. It seems unlikely that occasional severities will do much to change the general picture. However, in politics as elsewhere, men have rarely shown a sense of history or adequate foresight, and the same legislators who promise a tough line against psychedelics talk blithely about reducing the voting age to eighteen. If these statements are sincere, and they plan to continue their opposition to psychedelics when they have reduced the voting age, one wonders whether we are not becoming tired of politics.
    In our opinion, the Establishment has behaved as establishments usually do, bolstered with the authority they possess by virtue of their social and political position. They have not been any less admirable than members of the psychedelic movement who claim that as a result of their experiences they have a deeper knowledge of the human heart and a greater understanding of the meaning of things. By their claims, their actions must be judged by a higher standard than the actions of the Establishment, which does not make such claims. If one asks whether mind-expanding experiences have increased the ability of members of the psychedelic movement to understand the views and fears of their elders more compassionately than they feel they themselves have been judged, we believe the verdict must be "not proven." Aldous Huxley once urged a leading figure in the psychedelic movement to remember that it is "important to do good stealthily." His excellent advice has not always been heeded. If indeed insights have been acquired as a result of psychedelic experience, they should be used for the general good rather than for personal ends.
    In this controversy, medical men have tended to be ranged on the side of the Establishment. This is understandable enough, for they are frequently closely associated with it, and often among its members. Unfortunately, they sometimes use their enormous medical authority to justify prejudices deriving not from medical knowledge, but from the social and moral climate in which they happen to live. This has occurred repeatedly throughout history, and the same error has been made by some of the most distinguished medical men.
    An excellent example of this is provided by the case of Henry Maudsley, one of the most enlightened psychiatrists of his day, and for whom a leading mental hospital in London is presently named. In his fine paper "Masturbational Insanity," E. H. Hare (1962) notes that Maudsley wrote, "In the life of the chronic masturbator, nothing could be so reasonably desired as the end of it, and the sooner he sinks to his degraded rest the better for himself, and the better for the world, which is well rid of him." Hare comments on this, ". . . the besetting sin of the psychiatrist [is] a tendency to confuse the rules of mental health with morality." Maudsley's views were part of the conventional wisdom of his age. Even as late as 1892, the Dictionary of Psychological Medicine described the effects of masturbation as "moral and mental shipwreck, the whole nature is deteriorated.... mental faculties become blunted.... The miserable wretch would commit suicide if he dared, but rarely has the courage . . . and sinks into melancholic dementia." Writing in 1911 on the treatment and prevention of this grievous condition, Ivan Bloch stated, "In the treatment of masturbation, the methods of the older physicians who appeared before the child armed with great knives and scissors and threatened a painful operation or even to cut off the genital organs may often be used and often effect a radical cure." Psychoanalysts, too, were involved in this nonsense. Ernest Jones, the biographer of Freud, for instance, wrote in 1918 that neurasthenia derived from excessive onanism and seminal emission (Comfort, 1967).
    Masturbation was of no interest to medicine until about 1720, following the publication in 1710 of a book called Onania, or the Heinous Sin of Self-Abuse, to tout a patent medicine. Indeed, in 1644, masturbation was recommended as a remedy against "the dangerous allurements of women." After the publication of Onania, the negative view taken up by medical men and educators became the source of some of the most harmful iatrogenic miseries, exceeded only by the great nineteenth-century pandemic of bleeding. Right up to the 1930S, in both England and the United States, extraordinary garments, a combination of straitjacket and chastity belt, were sold by makers of surgical and medical instruments to curb "the deadly vice of onanism."
    What relevance has this to psychedelics? Medicine, in its views, is in tune with the morality of the age in which it is practiced, and indeed, has been more or less identified with morality for millennia. Medical men have to choose a middle course to avoid overidentifcation with the establishments of their day. Medical men who went along with the Nazi race theories are one dismal example of how current social values can destroy medical ethics. In the case of masturbation, physical and psychological injury was inflicted on at least six generations of children and adults. Panic and terror spread among parents who were urged to be ever alert to spot young masturbators. Children became morbidly preoccupied with this attractive but deadly vice which excited the grownups to such frenzy.
    Perhaps we are about to indulge in yet another of these medicomoral autos-da-fé. The sequence of events is easy to spot. First, a few medical men associate themselves with a particular moral viewpoint that they consider has some medical importance. They soon find evidence, sometimes dubious, to confirm their convictions. Using this evidence, they begin to suggest solving the moral problem by medical means. In the psychedelic context, users have been infringing on the contention of the medical establishment that any pharmacological substances used on human beings lie within its bailiwick. The psychological changes resulting from drug use are those older folk frown upon and sometimes find repugnant and frightening, in contrast with such acceptable social tranquilizers as alcohol or barbiturates. There is also the possibility that those who use psychedelics might be injuring themselves or their offspring. The recent impassioned discussions of the possible effects of LSD on chromosomes is paralleled by similar discussions over masturbation. It was stated with the utmost confidence that not only would the secret vice result in the collapse and insanity of those who practiced it, but should they be unfortunate enough to survive to adulthood, their children would suffer for their sins. There was no evidence for this, but it did not prevent men of the highest integrity from stating that it was undoubtedly so.
    There are real dangers associated with the psychedelic substances known today. These dangers are of many kinds and call for concern from medicine and its allied sciences. However, before discussing these dangers and how they might be alleviated, it may be well to remind those who urge medical men to make public pronouncements to frighten and dismay the young that, given the morality of medicine, its place in society, and the age of the experienced medical man, the doctor is rarely the best person for the task. He is liable to exaggerate such dangers as exist and is apt to aid and abet extreme measures, in keeping with the morality of the day, that may not alleviate the sufferings of the victims of the immoral condition and may even make it worse.
    Psychedelics are liable to arouse moral indignation, because emotions are always likely to be deeply stimulated when someone else is indulging in new pleasures that may alter social values, especially when the users are young and rash and often brash as well. Medicine has a duty not to make this confusion and uncertainty any worse. Physicians are not police. Their duty is to inform the public as truthfully as they can, without excessive bias, resounding moral statements, or validation of punitive actions carried out as treatment. Medicine must avoid becoming a precipitate partisan in complex moral and social issues such as those posed by the modern advent of psychedelics.
    After such perplexities, it is tempting to leave the solution to the reader's ingenuity. Yet authors customarily give their opinion and venture at least a few steps beyond the threshold of their ivory tower. The uses and dangers attending these substances must be discussed accurately and dispassionately. Men like Dr. Stanley Yolles, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, do not seem convinced that "drug abuse," which includes the unauthorized use of a variety of psychedelics, will be eliminated in the foreseeable future. (1) If this is indeed so, strenuous efforts must be made to reduce those dangers attendant on clandestine use. We require a variety of social strategies rather than freezing in a catatonic posture and boasting that this immobility is firm resolution. The very brief banning of LSD-25 research in 1966 was a classic example of precipitate, unintelligent action springing from high government levels. Since then, some research has been restored to a limited degree, but expansion has not been greatly encouraged, nor is an atmosphere of panic and politicking conducive to clear thinking, planning, and diligent, long-continued inquiry. Legitimate, rather than amateur and bootleg, research is necessary; yet one of the most gifted and distinguished researchers in the country was not able to obtain permission to do this sort of work. Others, too, have been discouraged by the sluggishness of the various bureaucracies that must be consulted.
    The muddled and ambiguous situation regarding the effect of LSD-25 on chromosomes (2) might call for restriction of research with this particular drug to those people for whom such changes, if they do indeed occur, would be of comparatively little importance. Other psychedelics, which have never been implicated in this way, could be used more widely. Subjects for LSD might include some of the several million afflicted by severe and chronic alcoholism, patients suffering from intractable pain in fatal illnesses (Kast, 1964a), and older people still curious for new experience to enlarge their understanding of themselves, others, and existence. While not everyone might choose to die with his mind stimulated by LSD, as did Aldous Huxley (Huxley, L. A., 1968), rather than dulled by morphine, such matters call for careful consideration, for each of us owes God a death. It is folly to restrict and hamper research in all directions because it may be dangerous in some. If damage to chromosomes should be proved, and this has not yet been done, some substances may be less harmful than others, and it may be possible to discover protective measures. As a number of medicines in regular use are also suspect, and since some virus diseases and certain radiations produce similar changes, inquiries here would serve a wider purpose. Indeed, because of the possibility of chromosome-damaging substances in various medicines and foods, it would be prudent to inquire at once into such protective substances. For instance, it has been shown (in animals) that the teratogenic effect of thalidomide (Frank et al., 1963) can be prevented by greatly increasing the intake of niacin (vitamin B3). It is not known if this protective effect extends to humans, but if it does, the thalidomide tragedy, in which so many babies were deformed, might have been simply and cheaply avoided.
    Many years ago, Carl Jung (3) told one of us that by the middle years of life, childhood experience had usually done its worst and became of lessened importance as a source of intrapsychic distress. Queen Elizabeth I put it to her godson, Sir John Harrington, who invented the water closet, "When thou dost feel creeping time at the gate, these fooleries will please thee less." She also reflected, "The days of man's life are plumed with the feathers of death." As the years pass by, many men and women become more concerned with the purpose and meaning of life, rather than with the drive to succeed in it. This is an important area of inquiry for psychedelic research.
    Just as important, and at present receiving just as little attention, is our need to explore ways to help people prepare themselves for the rapid, all-pervasive, social and technological changes characteristic of our times. In terms of science and technology, as compared with previous ages, many of us have lived through the equivalent of centuries of change. This torrent of change is itself anxiety provoking, for there are no structures to handle the kinds of change that change the structures themselves. Few moralists seem to have noticed yet that the progress of medicine has made it harder for us to reflect upon death and so savor life to the full. To come to terms with both life and death, each must be measured with the cold eye of the reflective mind; change must be faced.
    Until about half a century ago, everyone everywhere was raised in the ever-present shadow of death. The autobiographies, biographies, and histories of forty years ago show that those plumed feathers were never far away. Life and death were inseparables, the subject of gossip and conversation. Many people were preparing themselves for their own deaths all their lives, for, unhampered by insurance statistics, they saw death as ever present. Death seems to have become taboo today and has taken that place of secrecy from which sex has just been freed. This exchange of prisoners seems hardly worth while. It is usually possible to abstain from sex, should one want to; death allows no abstentions. As a Ghanaian truck driver put it, "Death takes no bribes."
    A generation has grown up in whose life death is an unfamiliar and unnatural event, almost an affront. Their experience does not countenance illness for which nothing can be done. But death has only been postponed, not defeated, and has dominion over people who have scarcely dared speak his name in polite company. Our forebears linked holy living and holy dying, and considered the two an art. In a society such as ours, which has become almost idolatrous about living indefinitely, it is becoming bad taste to discuss death. Our position is not unlike that in Victorian love stories, in which the authors managed to write about love and passion with few open references to sex7 although its absence made its presence all the clearer.
    Those concerned with the religious aspects of psychedelics should make special efforts in this direction. Many members of the Establishment are in their middle and later years, and there is little doubt that they recognize that they "owe God a death," in spite of the efforts of their physicians and surgeons. Research into these matters should be pursued with ardor, for while the risks are small, the rewards are likely to be great. This still leaves the question of whether these substances have ill effects on the young and whether such ill effects can be much reduced, easily corrected, or completely avoided. Since controlling the manufacture, distribution, and use of psychedelics is still uncertain, although their containment seems to be possible, at least for the moment, even this might break down during the next few years, as we noted earlier.
    If Victor Gioscia (1969) is correct, and there is an LSD subculture, the dangers, particularly to those under thirty, require very careful consideration. Leaving out chromosome damage, perhaps the most dramatic misfortune is the development of a schizophreniform illness. There is no doubt that this can happen, though it is not clear how often it does. Certain myths current among some young drug takers increase the danger. One of the most unfortunate is that the appropriate remedy for a bad trip is another one, frequently with a larger dose than that which produced the first one. This notion is on a par with the alcoholic slogan of having a hair, or even the tail, of "the dog that bit you." The sensible response to a bad trip is not to have another, but to seek competent advice and guidance without delay. Some people, who are clearly developing schizophrenia and have disturbances of perception (Hoffer and Osmond, 1966a) combined with usually depressed mood changes, with anxiety and sometimes thinking difficulties, take psychedelics because they have heard, or hope, that they will help. The most probable outcome is a severe and prolonged bad trip, or sometimes the precipitation of a more-severe and acute illness. If these dangers were more widely known and understood, many young people would avoid trying to treat themselves by these desperate means and avoid much unhappiness and distress.
    A number of simple and effective ways of exploring and measuring perceptual anomalies, including the HOD (Hoffer and Osmond, 1961; Kelm, Hoffer, and Osmond, 1967) and EWI (El-Meligi, l968a, 1968b; El-Meligi and Osmond, in press) tests already exist. By means of these and similar instruments, and by improving public knowledge about schizophrenia, it should be possible to diagnose and treat it far earlier and more successfully than usually happens today. Delaying treatment or aggravating the condition with mixtures of impure and often unknown chemicals in inept attempts at self-treatment only makes things worse. However, by no means all, or even most, who sample the bewildering array of often dubious substances said to be psychedelic become gravely ill or likely to be so. Official propaganda paints a uniformly gloomy picture, which paradoxically increases rashness by its exaggeration. This same kind of overstatement was used to discourage masturbation, sex, drinking, dancing, smoking, using make-up, primping, and other disapproved activities. The results have been unimpressive. However, even if it were shown that there were few physiological objections to young people taking pure and reliable psychedelics except for those with a tendency to schizophrenia, it does not follow that all controls should be removed.
    Each one of us must learn his own culture before he can either align himself with its values or object to them in a manner likely to produce constructive change. In most cultures, the attainment of this is symbolized by the accordance of certain rights, such as the right to marry, hold property, vote, go to war, receive the death penalty, and other positive and negative awards withheld from children and those not sufficiently acculturated. In some cultures, ceremonies take place to mark entry into adult status, and ritual markings may also be applied in order to indicate the status of the new adult. Psychedelics taken before the stabilization of knowledge about cultural norms, because of their capacity to alter perceptual constancy, might result in a reduced capacity or wish to internalize the already fluctuating and fragmenting values of our industrial society. The Establishment, by its hasty and apparently not fully enforceable ban on these substances, seems to have worsened matters by making them symbolic of intergenerational differences.
    Since the mistake has already been made, what can be done? Societies that have sought and used psychedelic experience, however achieved, have nearly always had some kind of initiation ceremony, often of a religious kind, aimed at focusing expanded experience in a way that will enhance the participant's identification with and appreciation of his own society. In the United States at present, only indigenous Indians are permitted a religion employing psychedelics, and they have achieved this only by much stubborn courage. Surely bona fide religious groups interested in these matters who are prepared to conduct themselves in a manner in keeping with safety and public decency, should be encouraged and supported. They are likely to serve a valuable social function in the future. Even the cynical who are not wholly myopic can understand that banned and persecuted religions frequently spread more quickly and become more attractive in times of change. Persecution, even with the good intention of preserving health, is liable to have unintended consequences. In his morality Island, Aldous Huxley (1962) discussed these matters and illustrated them with the learning, perceptiveness, wit, and delicacy in which he had few rivals.
    Mankind's interest in the psychedelic experience is unlikely to lessen with increase in leisure. This gives us a greater opportunity to be concerned not only with survival, but with the quality of those human relationships that are the stuff of life. Wasson (1969) shows in his great book that this is one of mankind's oldest interests. In the years that lie ahead, new drugs, although there will probably be many more of them, will not, we think, be the focus of greatest interest. Already various forms of hypnosis, learning-theory applications, and electronics that evoke and reproduce these experiences are being explored. Those young people who are alert to them and interested will learn how to use them, and some may be doing so even now. If this happens, the Establishment will have to decide whether it disapproves of the chemicals producing the experience or the experience itself. Very few of those dealing with these matters legally, scientifically, or politically seem to have concerned themselves with this critical issue. Medically, the non-drug methods eliminate many of the current objections to the psychedelic experience as a hazard to health. The social problems, however, especially those of acculturation, would not necessarily be greatly changed .
    If such capacities, however induced, become widespread, their impact is likely to resemble some massive mutation. Perhaps this is necessary if we are to adapt to that new world that we are building with such a strange mishmash of cunning, inspiration, apprehension, and folly. The sociological, psychological, political, and other consequences of psychedelic experience, however induced, occurring in the majority or even a substantial minority of a postindustrial population, is likely to affect most of us far more than a few space jaunts for carefully selected heroes and heroines. The record is merciless: practical men of sound sense are nearly always wrong about the future, though never lacking in certainty. While the winds of change strum to gale force around us, they perform their ostrich acts and proclaim that they have everything under control. But the gale does not blow itself out because of their rhetoric, and to survive, we need to set a course that carries us into the future. Some years ago one of us wrote (Osmond, 1957a):
. . . these agents have a part to play in our survival as a species, for that survival depends as much On our opinion of our fellows and ourselves as on any other single thing. The psychedelics help us to explore and fathom our own nature.
We can perceive ourselves as the stampings of an automatic socioeconomic process, as highly plastic and conditionable animals, as congeries of instinctive strivings ending in loss of sexual drive and death, as cybernetic gadgets, or even as semantic conundrums. All of these concepts have their supporters and they all have some degree of truth m them. We may also be something more, "a part of the main," a striving sliver of a creative process, a manifestation of Brahma in Atman, an aspect of an infinite God immanent and transcendent within and without us. These very different valuings of the self and of other people's selves have all been held sincerely by men and women. I expect that even what seem the most extreme notions are held by some contributors to these pages. Can one doubt that the views of the world derived from such differing concepts are likely to differ greatly, and that the courses of action determined by those views will differ . . . ?
. . . I believe that the psychedelics provide a chance, perhaps only a slender one, for homo faber, the cunning, ruthless, foolhardy, pleasure-greedy toolmaker, to merge into that other creature whose presence we have so rashly presumed, homo sapiens, the wise, the understanding, the compassionate, in whose fourfold vision art, politics, science, and religion are one. Surely we must seize that chance....
And so it stands today. [1970]. We predict, to use the Iron Duke's phrase to Creevey, that it will be "a nice-run thing: the nicest-run thing you ever saw...."

(1) Yolles, Stanley F. Speech quoted in Hospital Tribune, Monday, June 16, 1969. (Back)
(2) Today (July 1969) reports of chromosome changes are bewildering to those not experts in this field. The various conflicting statements suggest that the science of studying chromosomes requires an art as great as that needed to interpret Rorschach inkblots. In that famous and often valuable test, the non-expert must rely on his own estimate of the reliability of the particular person who administered and reported on the test. Great difficulties arise when men of good repute publish findings that seem, at least to the naive, to be diametrically opposed and irreconcilable. There is a danger that, because of reports in the press based on earlier studies that suggested unequivocal damage to chromosomes, some people who were frightened away by this information will now decide that there is no danger whatever. It may even be thought that this was another trick like that deplorable episode in Pennsylvania, where it was reported with considerable circumstantial detail that a number of young men had gazed at the sun under the influence of LSD-25 and were permanently blinded, suffering grave retinal damage. This proved to be false. Thus are credibility crevasses created. (Back)
(3) Jung, C. Personal communication to H. Osmond. November 1955. (Back)
==================================

quest for a Public Hearing

    RICHARD ALPERT, Ph.D., 1965

        From: LSD, Richard Alpert and Sidney Cohen, The New American Library, ©1966


The first realistic step toward making the legislation concerning control and use of psychedelic chemicals based primarily on light rather than heat is public education. Toward this end I submitted to the Government this spring a request for a PUBLIC hearing. The text of this request follows:


HEARING CLERK
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE
ROOM 5440
330 INDEPENDENCE AVENUE S.W. WASHINGTON, D.C. 20201


LSD and the other psychedelic (mind-manifesting) chemicals represent a new fact for our society. These chemicals, the most powerful mind-altering substances known to man, are presently being researched for their therapeutic potential with alcoholics, drug addicts, autistic children, psychoneurotics, and prisoners, as well as for their potential to increase man's creativity in problem-solving and their value to the military. Significant research has also demonstrated that these chemicals are capable of altering the perception of terminal cancer patients in such a way as to alleviate their fear of dying. The Native American Church continues to use peyote as a medicine in its religious ceremonies.
In addition to these "authorized" uses of psychedelic chemicals, there is, as a result of increased restriction on who is considered a "qualified researcher" with psychedelics, a significant increase in "private research," i.e., research not authorized by the U.S. Government. The data from a variety of public and private sources indicate that this extralegal activity is not limited to any specific segment of society. Among these private explorers are numbered religious leaders of all faiths, scientists in both the natural and social sciences, medical men specializing in general practice as well as psychiatry; writers, artists, performers, musicians, educators, students, journalists, psychic researchers, businessmen, housewives, mystics, philosophers, lawyers, socialites, engineers, and "beatniks."
When these chemicals have been ingested with suitable preparation and in a supportive setting, by far the majority of these psychedelic researchers have reported that their experiences with the chemicals have enriched their life experience, helped them to feel a greater sense of satisfaction. For some of these people the experience has provided this increased satisfaction spiritually, for others through helping their marriages to achieve new depth and meaning, for others in their professions, and for the majority through their ability to experience each day more fully with a sense of increased awareness.
There is at the present time no statistical evidence that psychedelic chemicals are either dangerous or physically addictive. In terms of suicides and psychosis, psychedelics used in currently recommended dosages are considerably safer than, for example, a four-year liberal arts education As far as psychological risk (post-experience depressions, etc.) is concerned, most of this can be prevented by education and preparation of the researcher as well as design of the setting.
At present in our society there is no existing social institution which provides a citizen with the opportunity to utilize psychedelic chemicals to explore his own brain or consciousness in order to increase his awareness should he so desire, be it for spiritual, educational, therapeutic, or esthetic reasons. The potential for mankind in these chemicals cannot be realized under existing governmental policies. Thus the presence of the psychedelic chemicals as well as the growing public interest in serious exploration with them poses a real need for CREATIVE LEGISLATION. It is to be hoped that our vision and our commitment to growth of the individual and the society will prevent us from legislating out of existence one of man's greatest chances to expand the boundaries of his mind, his individuality, and his culture.
Lyndon Johnson speaks of "The Great Society." It is interesting to speculate whether such a society as he envisions has a place for a genuinely new institution which could significantly alter the institutions of the society itself.
Since 1963 many of us who are deeply concerned about the welfare of mankind have attempted to interest the Government in a genuinely open-minded search for a constructive program regarding who should use and who should control psychedelics. We have suggested that Government-controlled privately supported centers be created under limited licensing (a policy presently used with radioisotopes) which would provide a suitable setting and assistance for any responsible member of our society to carry on explorations of his own consciousness with psychedelics for whatever purpose he chose. Not only has the Government failed to seriously consider this proposal, but every indication is that the restrictions are mounting, and the Government is attempting to ignore the uniqueness of the situation by treating psychedelic chemicals as similar to other drugs.
It will become increasingly difficult with the implementation of new and more stringent restrictions for free and open research to proceed with these chemicals in the United States. According to the new Drug Abuse Control Amendment, an individual can possess psychedelics for the use of himself or a member of his household but cannot legally purchase or receive the chemical. The results of such control without simultaneously making provisions for the opportunity for responsible citizens to research their own consciousness legally will be predominantly unfortunate, leading to, for example: (1) an increase in the manufacture of homemade psychedelic chemicals having little or no quality control; (2) an increase in the paranoia connected with psychedelic chemical usage which in turn will increase the danger of negative psychological reactions to the experience; (3) an increase in the number of responsible and useful citizens who, because of their deep conviction about the value of psychedelic research, will continue such research and thus become criminals in the eyes of law; (4) an attempt by the Government to enforce an obviously unenforceable law because of the numbers of citizens involved, thus re-creating the effects of prohibition, during which time the Government enforcement agencies lost respect in the eyes of the populace; and (5) a possibility of losing what might be a key for man to free himself of the limitation of his own present vision which has caught him so deeply in alienation and paranoia, be it at the personal or national level.
It is in view of the situation as outlined above that we hereby request that the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration hold public hearings concerning the inclusion of psychedelic chemicals as listed in the Federal Register, January 18, 1966, under the Drug Abuse Control Amendment. We further request that these hearings be addressed to the following questions:
1. Does the inclusion of psychedelic chemicals under the Drug Abuse Control Amendment unnecessarily curtail an individual's rights provided by the First Amendment of the Constitution? Specifically we wish to explore the implications of this Act for religious freedom.
2. Is there indeed sufficient evidence to warrant Government control of psychedelics on the basis of real danger to the public safety?
3. What is a "qualified research investigator" in the field of psychedelic chemicals?
4. Are medical practitioners, in view of the nature of their training, suitable supervisors for the administration of psychedelic chemicals?
5. Were the Commissioner to bring a chemical under the control of his department based on a categorization of the chemical as producing "ecstasy" or "impairment of acquired social and cultural customs," (Federal Register, December 18, 1965), would he not be setting a dangerous precedent concerning ideas and experiences which could significantly contribute to the growth of the society?
6. Has the Commissioner heard sufficient testimony concerning the sociological, psychological, educational, philosophical, and spiritual implications of controlling psychedelics to determine his decision to include these chemicals within the Act, on a sufficiently broad cultural basis?
7. Does one have the right to decide for himself whether he wants to explore his own consciousness or change the nature of his own consciousness?
8. If, with the knowledge that the ingestion of psychedelic chemicals by some people leads to negative reactions, an individual chooses to ingest a psychedelic agent in order to explore his own consciousness, does the Federal Government have the right to interfere with such a person who is willing to assume the risk? Is the Government by so doing assuming the right to protect an individual from himself?
9. Does the Food and Drug Administration have the right to initiate punitive action in connection with psychedelic chemicals where the individual has not harmed himself or society? Does the Food and Drug Administration have the right to impose punishment for effects of altered consciousness, or is the criminal law and punishment only reserved for actual wrongdoing and harm to society?
10. Does the end justify the means? Can enforcement of the Food and Drug Administration law under consideration occur without gross invasion of the right of privacy? How will a violation come to the attention of the Food and Drug Administration? Will the willing possessor of psychedelic chemicals report a violation of this law?
11. Is it desirable for a law to be enacted that creates an estimated 100,000 to one million criminals?
12. Will the Food and Drug Administration be brought to the same level of respect as the Prohibition Unit of the Federal Government during the Prohibition era? Will the promises offered by the Prohibition Unit that "if we can have stiffer penalties and more Prohibition Agents, alcohol will be stamped out" be offered by the Food and Drug Administration when it finds itself unable to "stamp out" the prohibited substance? If the Prohibition Unit failed in enforcement of the Volstead Act and the Eighteenth Amendment despite every effort, will not this similarly unenforceable and corruption-breeding Food and Drug Administration law meet with a similar fate?
13. Finally, we request that the hearing be addressed to the matter of inclusion of another "drug" as fulfilling the criteria for inclusion as "hallucinogen" (Federal Register, December 18, 1965) under the Drug Abuse Control Amendment. This drug is commonly referred to as "alcohol." We wish the Food and Drug Administration to justify how it can impose controls upon psychedelic chemicals because of "dangers" and "abuse" in view of the comparative statistics concerning the "dangers" and "abuse" attendant to the use of alcohol.
RICHARD ALPERT, Ph.D. 1965
From: LSD, Richard Alpert and Sidney Cohen, The New American Library, Copyright 1966
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