ARCHIVE

A Channel for Magic: Ralph Hood’s Mysticism Scale and the Occult Roots of the Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Program

Psychologist Ralph Hood’s study of serpent handling and mysticism helped legitimize the study of psychedelics. So why doesn't he want them approved for medical use?

The Misadventures of “Toxic Bob”

Throuhout his lifetime, Robert Friedland has evolved from Steve Jobs' psychedelic guru to mining guru, leaving a trail of environmental destruction in his wake.

#52 – Right-Wing Psychedelia at University of Madison-Wisconsin

This presentation highlights the numerous contemporary and historical cases where the use of psychedelics failed to reduce authoritarian tendencies in users, or even facilitated adoption of authoritarian views.

#51 – Part Three: Jordan Peterson’s Psychedelic Hierarchy, ft. Thought Slime

In part 3 of this deep dive, Psymposia and Thought Slime analyze Jordan Peterson's fascination with psychedelics as an example of the reactionary, right-wing ideologies that have been developing within psychedelia in recent decades. Reacting to a 2021 podcast of Peterson's, we discuss the significance of Peterson's popularity among some prominent psychedelic researchers.

#50 – Part Two: Jordan Peterson’s Psychedelic Hierarchy, ft. Thought Slime

In part 2 of this deep dive, Psymposia and Thought Slime analyze Jordan Peterson's fascination with psychedelics as an example of the reactionary, right-wing ideologies that have been developing within psychedelia in recent decades. Reacting to a 2021 podcast of Peterson's, we discuss the significance of Peterson's popularity among some prominent psychedelic researchers.

#49 – Part One: Jordan Peterson’s Psychedelic Hierarchy, ft. Thought Slime

In part 1 of this deep dive, Psymposia and Thought Slime analyze Jordan Peterson's fascination with psychedelics as an example of the reactionary, right-wing ideologies that have been developing within psychedelia in recent decades. Reacting to a 2021 podcast of Peterson's, we discuss the significance of Peterson's popularity among some prominent psychedelic researchers.

How To Open Your Wallet: The Hyped and Distorted Claims of Online Psychedelic Marketing

From cultural appropriation to “Shroom Boom,” psychedelic online marketing gaffes and misrepresentations are becoming more and more prevalent from major psychedelic organizations.

Power Tripping #9: The Complainers Group

Both underground and above-ground therapists and practitioners present their psychedelic services in service to "healing." Why, then, is it so hard to get them to acknowledge the harms taking place in their communities? Why do institutions seem more concerned with preserving their reputations than addressing the numerous harmful dynamics that have persisted for years? If the psychedelic movement intends to heal trauma, it must begin at home.

Open Letter to MAPS Canada, MAPS, and MAPS PBC on Data Privacy and Doxxing

Open Letter to MAPS Canada, MAPS, and MAPS PBC on Data Privacy and Doxxing. We believe that an organization responsible for private data, in such close proximity to criminalized subcultures, must take matters of privacy and security seriously.

Power Tripping #8: Who Am I Fooling?

When it comes to psychedelics, there's a lot we don't know. The same is true of the practitioners, institutions, and communities that have sprung up around psychedelic therapy and guiding. We explore the intersecting professional and social relationships of a few different guides and institutions. We also discuss Michael Pollan's impact on the current psychedelic landscape.

Why New Zealand’s “Smoking Ban” Is Harmful

A tobacco ban will likely reduce smoking. But focusing only on drug use masks the violence behind policy choices. A ban on tobacco is not done with a magic wand. Behind every law is state violence.

Power Tripping #7: Political Science

What's going on with the MAPS narratives? How is it possible that Mel, Leah, and Meaghan's experiences have been so at odds with the "standard story" we've heard about psychedelic clinical trials? Why can't we seem to get straight answers to simple questions? The Psymposia team drills down into the questions raised by the revelations in "Political Science" in an attempt to highlight some of the dynamics at the heart of psychedelic science.

Power Tripping #6: Open Heart Surgery

The Psymposia team discusses the reticence of psychedelic advocates to consider cases of unequivocal abuse and neglect of participants in MAPS clinical trials. We provide background on the gap between the public image of MAPS and the experiences shared by Meaghan, Mel, and Leah in New York Magazine's Cover Story Season 1, Power Trip.

#48 – Drugs and Anti-Capitalism with Hilary Agro

We talk drugs and anti-capitalism with anthropology PhD candidate, Hilary Agro. Ranging from prohibition to psychedelic clinical trials and beyond, we explore the overlaps and differences in our analyses of the current psychedelic (and broader drug policy) landscape.

#47 – Part Two: Right Wing Psychedelia

We continue our discussion about Brian Pace and Neşe Devenot's recently published paper: "Right-Wing Psychedelia: Case Studies in Cultural Plasticity and Political Pluripotency" 

#46 – Part One: Right Wing Psychedelia

We discuss Brian Pace and Neşe Devenot's recently published paper: "Right-Wing Psychedelia: Case Studies in Cultural Plasticity and Political Pluripotency" 

Power Tripping #5: House Full of Sh*t

What the hell is going on in this house full of shit? And where do we go from here? We don’t have answers, but we have ideas and plenty of questions. House Full of Sh*t was a montage of stories that illustrate a bigger picture. From the structural features of the psychedelic therapy marketplace, to the cognitive biases that encourage conformity and groupthink, we explore how the status quo of psychedelic therapy encourages bad behavior and complicity.

Power Tripping #4: Bad Hug

Many people are familiar with MK-ULTRA, the CIA's illegal human experimentation program, which involved psychedelics and resulted in torture techniques that have since been used at CIA black sites around the world. What if someone tried to tell you these techniques were, in fact, a novel therapy that could revolutionize mental healthcare and transform dissidents into better citizens? In this episode, we discuss Dr. Salvador Roquet, a man who tortured people for the Mexican state and also parlayed those techniques to become an influential pioneer of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. What does it mean that Roquet's trainings and ideologies have influenced an untold number of present-day psychedelic practitioners?

Power Tripping #3: I Am the Wolf

Michael Pollan, Tim Ferriss, Gabor Maté, and a number of other "thought leaders" have offered glowing endorsements of Françoise Bourzat and her approach to training psychedelic guides. However, amidst the wave of allegations and revelations about Bourzat, her husband Aharon Grossbard, and their training program, many of these individuals have refrained from weighing in on these events, or even retracting their endorsements. In light of "Susan's" experiences, detailed in episode three of Power Trip, what does it mean to have such visible figures endorsing such questionable methodologies?

Power Tripping #2: That’s an Old Story

The Psymposia team, discusses how the "Psychedelic Community" responded to T's abuse of Lily in the Ecuadorian Amazon and her attempts to call attention to the wider issues around her experience. We recall our own experiences of Lily's efforts dating back to 2012, and consider a number of individuals and institutions we've experienced as insulating harmful people in psychedelic communities. It takes a village to enable and cover up ongoing harm; how many people in psychedelic communities are complicit?

Power Tripping #1: I See a Sh*tshow

Power Tripping is Psymposia's weekly deep-dive into New York Magazine's Cover Story: Power Trip podcast, co-produced with Psymposia.

The Masters of Bad Trips

As proponents of psychedelics begin to grapple with legacies of abuse, it’s time to learn from victims themselves. Psymposia is co-producing an investigative podcast series, Power Trip, with New York Magazine.

New Website Details Abuse Allegations Against German Psychedelic Practitioners

A new website — whoisjoeschraube.com — alleges that Joe Schraube and Miguel Delgado have taken advantage of positions of power and abused people under the influence of psychedelics.

MAPS Canada’s Data Breach Foreshadows Corporadelic Future

As the psychedelic pharmaceutical industry increasingly prioritizes personal data extraction through mobile apps, wearables, and so-called “targeted” medicine, a recent data breach by former MAPS Canada Executive Director Mark Haden provides a warning about some of the possible consequences to the financial incentives of datafication.

DoubleBlind Claims Its Ad Was the ‘First-Ever’ U.S. Psychedelic Destigmatization Campaign — It Wasn’t

DoubleBlind claims its recently-unveiled New York City billboard is a lot of things, except what it actually is: a giant advertisement.


ARCHIVE

A Channel for Magic: Ralph Hood’s Mysticism Scale and the Occult Roots of the Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Program

Psychologist Ralph Hood’s study of serpent handling and mysticism helped legitimize the study of psychedelics. So why doesn't he want them approved for medical use?

The Misadventures of “Toxic Bob”

Throuhout his lifetime, Robert Friedland has evolved from Steve Jobs' psychedelic guru to mining guru, leaving a trail of environmental destruction in his wake.

#52 – Right-Wing Psychedelia at University of Madison-Wisconsin

This presentation highlights the numerous contemporary and historical cases where the use of psychedelics failed to reduce authoritarian tendencies in users, or even facilitated adoption of authoritarian views.

#51 – Part Three: Jordan Peterson’s Psychedelic Hierarchy, ft. Thought Slime

In part 3 of this deep dive, Psymposia and Thought Slime analyze Jordan Peterson's fascination with psychedelics as an example of the reactionary, right-wing ideologies that have been developing within psychedelia in recent decades. Reacting to a 2021 podcast of Peterson's, we discuss the significance of Peterson's popularity among some prominent psychedelic researchers.

#50 – Part Two: Jordan Peterson’s Psychedelic Hierarchy, ft. Thought Slime

In part 2 of this deep dive, Psymposia and Thought Slime analyze Jordan Peterson's fascination with psychedelics as an example of the reactionary, right-wing ideologies that have been developing within psychedelia in recent decades. Reacting to a 2021 podcast of Peterson's, we discuss the significance of Peterson's popularity among some prominent psychedelic researchers.

#49 – Part One: Jordan Peterson’s Psychedelic Hierarchy, ft. Thought Slime

In part 1 of this deep dive, Psymposia and Thought Slime analyze Jordan Peterson's fascination with psychedelics as an example of the reactionary, right-wing ideologies that have been developing within psychedelia in recent decades. Reacting to a 2021 podcast of Peterson's, we discuss the significance of Peterson's popularity among some prominent psychedelic researchers.

How To Open Your Wallet: The Hyped and Distorted Claims of Online Psychedelic Marketing

From cultural appropriation to “Shroom Boom,” psychedelic online marketing gaffes and misrepresentations are becoming more and more prevalent from major psychedelic organizations.

Power Tripping #9: The Complainers Group

Both underground and above-ground therapists and practitioners present their psychedelic services in service to "healing." Why, then, is it so hard to get them to acknowledge the harms taking place in their communities? Why do institutions seem more concerned with preserving their reputations than addressing the numerous harmful dynamics that have persisted for years? If the psychedelic movement intends to heal trauma, it must begin at home.

Open Letter to MAPS Canada, MAPS, and MAPS PBC on Data Privacy and Doxxing

Open Letter to MAPS Canada, MAPS, and MAPS PBC on Data Privacy and Doxxing. We believe that an organization responsible for private data, in such close proximity to criminalized subcultures, must take matters of privacy and security seriously.

Power Tripping #8: Who Am I Fooling?

When it comes to psychedelics, there's a lot we don't know. The same is true of the practitioners, institutions, and communities that have sprung up around psychedelic therapy and guiding. We explore the intersecting professional and social relationships of a few different guides and institutions. We also discuss Michael Pollan's impact on the current psychedelic landscape.

Why New Zealand’s “Smoking Ban” Is Harmful

A tobacco ban will likely reduce smoking. But focusing only on drug use masks the violence behind policy choices. A ban on tobacco is not done with a magic wand. Behind every law is state violence.

Power Tripping #7: Political Science

What's going on with the MAPS narratives? How is it possible that Mel, Leah, and Meaghan's experiences have been so at odds with the "standard story" we've heard about psychedelic clinical trials? Why can't we seem to get straight answers to simple questions? The Psymposia team drills down into the questions raised by the revelations in "Political Science" in an attempt to highlight some of the dynamics at the heart of psychedelic science.

Power Tripping #6: Open Heart Surgery

The Psymposia team discusses the reticence of psychedelic advocates to consider cases of unequivocal abuse and neglect of participants in MAPS clinical trials. We provide background on the gap between the public image of MAPS and the experiences shared by Meaghan, Mel, and Leah in New York Magazine's Cover Story Season 1, Power Trip.

#48 – Drugs and Anti-Capitalism with Hilary Agro

We talk drugs and anti-capitalism with anthropology PhD candidate, Hilary Agro. Ranging from prohibition to psychedelic clinical trials and beyond, we explore the overlaps and differences in our analyses of the current psychedelic (and broader drug policy) landscape.

#47 – Part Two: Right Wing Psychedelia

We continue our discussion about Brian Pace and Neşe Devenot's recently published paper: "Right-Wing Psychedelia: Case Studies in Cultural Plasticity and Political Pluripotency" 

#46 – Part One: Right Wing Psychedelia

We discuss Brian Pace and Neşe Devenot's recently published paper: "Right-Wing Psychedelia: Case Studies in Cultural Plasticity and Political Pluripotency" 

Power Tripping #5: House Full of Sh*t

What the hell is going on in this house full of shit? And where do we go from here? We don’t have answers, but we have ideas and plenty of questions. House Full of Sh*t was a montage of stories that illustrate a bigger picture. From the structural features of the psychedelic therapy marketplace, to the cognitive biases that encourage conformity and groupthink, we explore how the status quo of psychedelic therapy encourages bad behavior and complicity.

Power Tripping #4: Bad Hug

Many people are familiar with MK-ULTRA, the CIA's illegal human experimentation program, which involved psychedelics and resulted in torture techniques that have since been used at CIA black sites around the world. What if someone tried to tell you these techniques were, in fact, a novel therapy that could revolutionize mental healthcare and transform dissidents into better citizens? In this episode, we discuss Dr. Salvador Roquet, a man who tortured people for the Mexican state and also parlayed those techniques to become an influential pioneer of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. What does it mean that Roquet's trainings and ideologies have influenced an untold number of present-day psychedelic practitioners?

Power Tripping #3: I Am the Wolf

Michael Pollan, Tim Ferriss, Gabor Maté, and a number of other "thought leaders" have offered glowing endorsements of Françoise Bourzat and her approach to training psychedelic guides. However, amidst the wave of allegations and revelations about Bourzat, her husband Aharon Grossbard, and their training program, many of these individuals have refrained from weighing in on these events, or even retracting their endorsements. In light of "Susan's" experiences, detailed in episode three of Power Trip, what does it mean to have such visible figures endorsing such questionable methodologies?

Power Tripping #2: That’s an Old Story

The Psymposia team, discusses how the "Psychedelic Community" responded to T's abuse of Lily in the Ecuadorian Amazon and her attempts to call attention to the wider issues around her experience. We recall our own experiences of Lily's efforts dating back to 2012, and consider a number of individuals and institutions we've experienced as insulating harmful people in psychedelic communities. It takes a village to enable and cover up ongoing harm; how many people in psychedelic communities are complicit?

Power Tripping #1: I See a Sh*tshow

Power Tripping is Psymposia's weekly deep-dive into New York Magazine's Cover Story: Power Trip podcast, co-produced with Psymposia.

The Masters of Bad Trips

As proponents of psychedelics begin to grapple with legacies of abuse, it’s time to learn from victims themselves. Psymposia is co-producing an investigative podcast series, Power Trip, with New York Magazine.

New Website Details Abuse Allegations Against German Psychedelic Practitioners

A new website — whoisjoeschraube.com — alleges that Joe Schraube and Miguel Delgado have taken advantage of positions of power and abused people under the influence of psychedelics.

MAPS Canada’s Data Breach Foreshadows Corporadelic Future

As the psychedelic pharmaceutical industry increasingly prioritizes personal data extraction through mobile apps, wearables, and so-called “targeted” medicine, a recent data breach by former MAPS Canada Executive Director Mark Haden provides a warning about some of the possible consequences to the financial incentives of datafication.

DoubleBlind Claims Its Ad Was the ‘First-Ever’ U.S. Psychedelic Destigmatization Campaign — It Wasn’t

DoubleBlind claims its recently-unveiled New York City billboard is a lot of things, except what it actually is: a giant advertisement.