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.

#32 – It’s All Red Flags: 5-MeO-DMT with Dr. Martin Ball

Psymposia editors discuss Dr. Martin Ball’s “session info” document that the retired 5-MeO-DMT practitioner sent to Psymposia. Dr. Ball has referenced the document in defense of his practices and cites it as evidence that his clients consented to him touching their genitals or vomiting on them while under the influence of 5-MeO-DMT.

#31 – Alex Zaitchik on Degrowth and Big Pharma

Psymposia Advisory Board member Alex Zaitchik drops in to chat about his work and experiences as an investigative journalist with a critical analysis of capitalism. Alex has covered topics ranging from the effects of extractive industry on Indigenous communities, to the existential need for degrowth, and the economics of vaccine development.

#30 – Giving a F*ck About People Who Use Drugs with Yarelix Estrada

In this episode, we're joined by our new advisory board member Yarelix Estrada to discuss her experiences with organizing psychedelic societies, psychedelic exceptionalism, and harm reduction on the streets of New York. Yarelix shares insights from her formal and practical training in public health as well as her interactions with frontline communities and her personal experiences.

#29 – The Tesla of Mental Health?

Brian Normand and David Nickles are joined by Psymposia Senior Writer Russell Hausfeld to discuss MindMed's CEO, Jamon Rahn's, recent claims that his company "may be creating effectively the Tesla of mental health,” and that the company is now a "$1B+ Unicorn.”

#28 – Qoup At The Qapitol: Q’mon Man

In this episode, we discuss a prominent participant in the bumbling coup attempt of January 6: "QAnon Shaman" Jake Angeli. Along with a coalition of Donald Trump supporters and assorted right wing ideologues, Angeli stormed the Capitol following a speech by Trump. Featuring a dissection of an "Ascension Masterclass" that was hosted on Angeli's now-deleted Star Seed Academy Facebook page, we (once again) wade into the disturbing world of psychedelic authoritarianism.

#27 – The Thought Leader and the Critic

This episode explores the rise of self-styled “thought leaders” within the psychedelic community, using Anand Giridharadas’ book “Winners Take All” as a jumping off point. Although people have been on the conference circuit for years, the recent explosion of capital investments means that there’s an unprecedented potential for money, celebrity, and status in the space.

#26 – Livestream: The Gang Goes Non-Profit

We kicked off the start of our ongoing livestreams with the announcement of Psymposia's 501(c)(3) non-profit status, discussions of corporadelic dynamics, fond memories of helping people learn how to extract psychedelic drugs during an Ivy League University's psychedelic conference, and a whole bunch of back and forth with the audience about the current state (and future) of psychedelia.

#25 – Press Release: Plus Three found to have neuroprotective effects against corporadelic BS

In this episode we explore the myriad of problems that result from media outlets treating corporate press releases as though they're legitimate news sources, rather than advertisements. We examine "science by press release" cases ranging from psychedelic pharmaceutical firms who claim their barely-studied compounds are superior to (and safer than) psilocybin (one of the safest psychoactive compounds in the human pharmacopoeia), to students who claimed Oreos were as addictive as cocaine, to pineal DMT, cold fusion, and more.

#24 – From Mining to Mushrooms

Recorded live at the Capital Psychedelic Summit, hosted virtually in Washington D.C., Russell Hausfeld joins Brian Normand and David Nickles to discuss the infiltration of the psychedelic pharmaceutical industry by companies, investors, and executives from extractive industry. This episode explores the destructive nature of extractive industry and the effects of introducing those dynamics into psychedelia. If the same people destroying Indigenous lands told you they believed in "sacred reciprocity," would you believe them?

#23 – “Grow, Gather, Give” Is an Anti-Capitalist Approach (and That’s a Good Thing)

Recorded live (online) at the Capital Psychedelic Summit in Washington D.C., the Plus Three crew picks up the threads of a recent panel discussion about the effects of corporations and capitalism on the emerging psychedelic landscape. Examining the logic of capitalism, the realities of medicalization, and the need for radical social transformations, we explore philosophies underlying the "Grow, Gather, Give" model, which the Capital Psychedelic Summit organizers explicitly centered for this event.