Plus Three

Plus Three

The Plus Three podcast is Psymposia co-founder Brian Normand, Medicine, Society and Culture Editor, Nese Devenot, Politics and Ecology Editor, Brian Pace, and Managing Editor, David Nickles. Plus Three goes deep into the world of drugs, from local decriminalization and emerging psychedelic corporations to leftist politics and mass incarceration. Each week the team and guests attempt to make sense of the complex connections between drugs, science, capitalism, policy, and culture.


#18 – Seizing the Doors of Perception

In this episode, we unpack some of the characters and dynamics of the psychedelic “arm” of the Intellectual Dark Web. We use Neşe Devenot’s recently released video on Jamie Wheal, Lucian Tarnowski, and other affiliates of the Rebel Wisdom media platform to explore questions of power, class, and ahistorical theories of social change. Just how much sense do these self-labelled "sensemakers" make?


#17 – Psychedelic Capitalists Part 2: Pandemic Profiteers and Non-Cooperative Actors

Brian, Dave, and Russell continue their conversation about neoliberals in psychedelia, including companies using the coronavirus pandemic to promote psychedelics for mental health. They also deconstruct non-profit vs. for-profit rhetoric and propose more pragmatic frameworks for examining the implications (and material realities) of psychedelic corporations and their operating structures, such as cooperative vs. non-cooperative.


#16 – Psychedelic Capitalists Part 1: Psilocybin and Gold and Lithium, oh my!

Brian and Dave are joined by Psymposia writer Russell Hausfeld to discuss capitalist logic in psychedelia, the principles of open science, and the increasing eagerness of extractive industry players (including gold and lithium mining outfits and traders) looking to capitalize on psychedelics.


#15 – Psychedelics, Sex, Power, Silence

In this episode, Lily Kay Ross joins us to discuss Olivia Goldhill’s story, “Psychedelic therapy has a sexual abuse problem.” Ross recently completed her doctorate studying social responses to sexual violence. She brings both her personal experience with sexual violence and poor community responses in psychedelic spaces and her academic insights to bear on the myriad of questions highlighted by Goldhill’s reporting.


#14 – Douglas Rushkoff on the Parallels Between Psychedelic and Digital Mainstreaming

Plus Three is joined by author and host of the Team Human podcast, Douglas Rushkoff, to discuss some of the parallel trajectories between psychedelic and digital mainstreaming. Will COVID-19 be to psychedelics as 9/11 was to surveillance capitalism? September 11th became the excuse to implement a surveillance state and surrender digital technologies to corporations. Will we see psychedelic medicines become the go-to recovery option for COVID-related mental health fallout? We also explore what a true psychedelic renaissance might look like.


#13 – Dear Psychedelic Researchers

On the one hand, psychedelics hold promise for personal healing and transformative individual change, and when psychedelics are eventually accepted by mainstream medicine, they will likely impact mental health outcomes for the better. But the broken systems highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic offer insight into why mental health has reached epidemic proportions in the first place.


Amidst Pandemic, Psychedelic Investor Christan Angermayer Can’t Imagine Life Beyond Capitalism

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Christian Angermayer, the world’s largest psychedelic pharmaceutical investor and founder of ATAI Life Sciences, calls to sacrifice public health for the sake of “the economy.”


“Flattening The Curve is Complete BS”: Pandemic Advice From Psychedelic Investor Christian Angermayer

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Christian Angermayer—the world's largest psychedelic pharmaceutical investor and founder of ATAI Life Sciences—dismisses medical experts in his desperation to reboot the economy.


Dear Psychedelic Researchers

The coronavirus has made it clear that psychedelic medicalization will not revolutionize mental healthcare without systemic socioeconomic change.


#12 – Capitalism can’t save us from coronavirus. Neither can psychedelics.

In the midst of increasing global engagement with the fallout of the novel coronavirus, we examine some responses to the pandemic within the "psychedelic community.” Recognizing that the US has a longstanding history of privatizing profits while socializing costs, we also discuss the normalization of a "capitalist animism"—treating social phenomena like markets or financial capital as living entities—that fixates on "economic health" at the expense of public health. As this unprecedented situation continues to unfold, we explore some considerations for this sudden period of social isolation within a broader culture of social alienation.