Cover Story Power Trip logo

Cover Story is a new investigative podcast from New York Magazine. The first season, Power Trip, uncovers the secrets and exposes the darkest corners of the psychedelic renaissance through a twisted, deeply personal tale at the intersection of mind, body, and control. Power Trip is a co-production of New York Magazine and Psymposia.

New episodes of Power Trip will be released every Tuesday. Following the release, Psymposia will discuss each episode on Plus Three every Sunday.



Psymposia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media organization that offers leftist perspectives on drugs, politics, and culture. We are sustained by our readers and listeners who believe in the work we do. If you support our work please become a monthly donor on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

Psymposia, Inc. TAX ID: 85-0630940. Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. For questions about donations, or to donate by check, wire, digital currency, or other means, please send us an email. To donate using PayPal click here.


Cover Story Power Trip logo

Cover Story is a new investigative podcast from New York Magazine. The first season, Power Trip, uncovers the secrets and exposes the darkest corners of the psychedelic renaissance through a twisted, deeply personal tale at the intersection of mind, body, and control. Power Trip is a co-production of New York Magazine and Psymposia.

New episodes of Power Trip will be released every Tuesday. Psymposia will discuss each episode on Plus Three every Sunday.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are available.

Cover Story is a new investigative podcast from New York Magazine. The first season, Power Trip, uncovers the secrets and exposes the darkest corners of the psychedelic renaissance through a twisted, deeply personal tale at the intersection of mind, body, and control. Power Trip is a co-production of New York Magazine and Psymposia.

New episodes of Power Trip will be released every Tuesday. Psymposia will discuss each episode on Plus Three every Sunday.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are available.


Psymposia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media organization that offers leftist perspectives on drugs, politics, and culture. We are sustained by our readers and listeners who believe in the work we do. If you support our work please become a monthly donor on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

Support on Patreon
Make a one-time donation

Psymposia, Inc. TAX ID: 85-0630940. Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. For questions about donations, or to donate by check, wire, digital currency, or other means, please send us an email. To donate using PayPal click here.


Psymposia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media organization that offers leftist perspectives on drugs, politics, and culture. We are sustained by our readers and listeners who believe in the work we do. If you support our work please become a monthly donor on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

Support on Patreon
Make a one-time donation

Psymposia, Inc. TAX ID: 85-0630940. Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. For questions about donations, or to donate by check, wire, digital currency, or other means, please send us an email. To donate using PayPal click here.

The Complainers Group


Episode 9

3.22.22

Cover Story Power Trip logo

So. Should YOU do psychedelic therapy? In the last episode of Power Trip, we get a lot of different answers to this question. Plus, we catch up with some of the people we met throughout this season who fight like hell to get people and institutions to acknowledge what happened to them. And make it less likely to happen to YOU.

Read the transcript


Who Am I Fooling?


Episode 8

3.15.22

Since the publication of Michael Pollan’s bestseller, How to Change Your Mind, more people than ever have gotten comfortable trying psychedelics. And a few of them have died. We look into two cases and ask, who’s responsible for warning people about the dangers? And we explore one important motivation for keeping quiet about them: money.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #8: Who Am I Fooling?

3.20.22


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.


Political Science


Episode 7

3.8.22

Meaghan gets a hold of the clinical trial data and she and Dave and Lily pull it apart. Why are the studies so small? What actually happens in the black box of therapy? Why can’t the trial participants find their actual experience reflected anywhere in the published data? We look to MAPS for answers.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #7: Political Science

3.13.22


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.


Open Heart Surgery


Episode 6

3.1.22

We talk to participants in the most advanced clinical trials on MDMA as a treatment for trauma. On paper, they are success stories. In reality they are a mess. And one of them was put in a terrible bind by her trial therapists.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #6: Open Heart Surgery

3.6.22


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.


House Full of Sh*t


Episode 5

12.28.21

Stories of transgressions multiply. Psychedelic therapists are meddling in marriages, dating their clients, and worse. Francoise Bourzat herself tells us what she thinks is going on, and how her psychedelic community has handled complaints in the past.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #5: House Full of Sh*t

1.2.22


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 to unfold. Power Trip 5 was a montage of stories that illustrate a bigger picture. This episode of Power Tripping offers a complementary platter of ideas. 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. What if shit’s not a bug, but a feature?


Bad Hug


Episode 4

12.21.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

We go to the source – a Mexican psychotherapist named Salvador Roquet, who is known as a “master of bad trips.” It starts to dawn on “Susan” that the problem is not her one rogue mentor. What if boundary crossing is baked into the psychedelic guide training, and implicates Francoise Bourzat and her husband Aharon Grossbard?

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #4: Bad Hug

12.26.21


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?


I Am the Wolf


Episode 3

12.14.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

We cross through the portal to the underground where “Susan” goes through the training to become a psychedelic therapist. Her mentor Eyal crosses way too many boundaries. (Is he the wolf?). And we finally meet Francoise Bourzat, honey-voiced trainer of trainers.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #3: I Am the Wolf

12.19.21


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?


That's an Old Story


Episode 2

12.7.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Provided

Lily visits the Ecuadorian Amazon to work on a project when something terrible happens to her. She barely escapes and makes it home alive. But it’s what happens next that really sets the course of her life. Meanwhile, the psychedelic renaissance is really starting to take off.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #2: That's an Old Story

12.12.21


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?

View supporting documents


I See a Sh*tshow


Episode 1

11.30.21

Lily Kay Ross (center) pictured with Neşe Devenot (right) and a Horizons attendee. Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Provided

After years of experimenting with drugs, Lily discovers the psychedelic underground. It’s a world of shamans and guides – people illegally practicing psychedelic therapy to treat trauma. Their secret mission is make this treatment more widely available in order to “promote the evolution of humankind.” But what will they overlook to get there?

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #1: I See a Sh*tshow

12.5.21


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

This week, Lily Kay Ross introduces the Psymposia team, all of whom have been working on a variety of projects in addition to supporting the research and release of Power Trip. The team tries to avoid spoilers and give a brief sense of who we are and what we do.

View supporting documents

Episode 9: The Complainers Group

3.22.22

Cover Story Power Trip logo

So. Should YOU do psychedelic therapy? In the last episode of Power Trip, we get a lot of different answers to this question. Plus, we catch up with some of the people we met throughout this season who fight like hell to get people and institutions to acknowledge what happened to them. And make it less likely to happen to YOU.

Read the transcript

Episode 8: Who Am I Fooling?

3.15.22

Since the publication of Michael Pollan’s bestseller, How to Change Your Mind, more people than ever have gotten comfortable trying psychedelics. And a few of them have died. We look into two cases and ask, who’s responsible for warning people about the dangers? And we explore one important motivation for keeping quiet about them: money.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #8: Who Am I Fooling?

3.20.22

Donate

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.

Episode 7: Political Science

3.8.22

Meaghan gets a hold of the clinical trial data and she and Dave and Lily pull it apart. Why are the studies so small? What actually happens in the black box of therapy? Why can’t the trial participants find their actual experience reflected anywhere in the published data? We look to MAPS for answers.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #7: Political Science

3.13.22

Donate

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.

Episode 6: Open Heart Surgery

3.1.22

We talk to participants in the most advanced clinical trials on MDMA as a treatment for trauma. On paper, they are success stories. In reality they are a mess. And one of them was put in a terrible bind by her trial therapists.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #6: Open Heart Surgery

3.6.22

Donate

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.

Episode 5: House Full of Sh*t

12.28.21

Stories of transgressions multiply. Psychedelic therapists are meddling in marriages, dating their clients, and worse. Francoise Bourzat herself tells us what she thinks is going on, and how her psychedelic community has handled complaints in the past.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #5: House Full of Sh*t

1.2.22

Donate

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 to unfold. Power Trip 5 was a montage of stories that illustrate a bigger picture. This episode of Power Tripping offers a complementary platter of ideas. 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. What if shit’s not a bug, but a feature?

Episode 4: Bad Hug

12.21.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

We go to the source – a Mexican psychotherapist named Salvador Roquet, who is known as a “master of bad trips.” It starts to dawn on “Susan” that the problem is not her one rogue mentor. What if boundary crossing is baked into the psychedelic guide training, and implicates Francoise Bourzat and her husband Aharon Grossbard?

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #4: Bad Hug

12.26.21

Donate

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?

Episode 3: I Am the Wolf

12.14.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

We cross through the portal to the underground where “Susan” goes through the training to become a psychedelic therapist. Her mentor Eyal crosses way too many boundaries. (Is he the wolf?). And we finally meet Francoise Bourzat, honey-voiced trainer of trainers.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #3: I Am the Wolf

12.19.21

Donate

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?

Episode 2: That's an Old Story

12.7.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Provided

Lily visits the Ecuadorian Amazon to work on a project when something terrible happens to her. She barely escapes and makes it home alive. But it’s what happens next that really sets the course of her life. Meanwhile, the psychedelic renaissance is really starting to take off.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #2: That's an Old Story

12.12.21

Donate

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?

View supporting documents

Episode 1: I See a Sh*tshow

11.30.21

Lily Kay Ross (center) pictured with Neşe Devenot (right) and a Horizons attendee. Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Provided

After years of experimenting with drugs, Lily discovers the psychedelic underground. It’s a world of shamans and guides – people illegally practicing psychedelic therapy to treat trauma. Their secret mission is make this treatment more widely available in order to “promote the evolution of humankind.” But what will they overlook to get there?

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #1: I See a Sh*tshow

12.5.21

Donate

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

This week, Lily Kay Ross introduces the Psymposia team, all of whom have been working on a variety of projects in addition to supporting the research and release of Power Trip. The team tries to avoid spoilers and give a brief sense of who we are and what we do.

View supporting documents

Episode 9: The Complainers Group

3.22.22

Cover Story Power Trip logo

So. Should YOU do psychedelic therapy? In the last episode of Power Trip, we get a lot of different answers to this question. Plus, we catch up with some of the people we met throughout this season who fight like hell to get people and institutions to acknowledge what happened to them. And make it less likely to happen to YOU.

Read the transcript

Episode 8: Who Am I Fooling?

3.15.22

Since the publication of Michael Pollan’s bestseller, How to Change Your Mind, more people than ever have gotten comfortable trying psychedelics. And a few of them have died. We look into two cases and ask, who’s responsible for warning people about the dangers? And we explore one important motivation for keeping quiet about them: money.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #8: Who Am I Fooling?

3.20.22

Donate

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.

Episode 7: Political Science

3.8.22

Meaghan gets a hold of the clinical trial data and she and Dave and Lily pull it apart. Why are the studies so small? What actually happens in the black box of therapy? Why can’t the trial participants find their actual experience reflected anywhere in the published data? We look to MAPS for answers.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #7: Political Science

3.13.22

Donate

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.

Episode 6: Open Heart Surgery

3.1.22

We talk to participants in the most advanced clinical trials on MDMA as a treatment for trauma. On paper, they are success stories. In reality they are a mess. And one of them was put in a terrible bind by her trial therapists.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #6: Open Heart Surgery

3.6.22

Donate

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.

Episode 5: House Full of Sh*t

12.28.21

Stories of transgressions multiply. Psychedelic therapists are meddling in marriages, dating their clients, and worse. Francoise Bourzat herself tells us what she thinks is going on, and how her psychedelic community has handled complaints in the past.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #5: House Full of Sh*t

1.2.22

Donate

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 to unfold. Power Trip 5 was a montage of stories that illustrate a bigger picture. This episode of Power Tripping offers a complementary platter of ideas. 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. What if shit’s not a bug, but a feature?

Episode 4: Bad hug

12.21.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

We go to the source – a Mexican psychotherapist named Salvador Roquet, who is known as a “master of bad trips.” It starts to dawn on “Susan” that the problem is not her one rogue mentor. What if boundary crossing is baked into the psychedelic guide training, and implicates Francoise Bourzat and her husband Aharon Grossbard?

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #4: Bad Hug

12.26.21

Donate

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?

Episode 3: I Am the Wolf

12.14.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

We cross through the portal to the underground where “Susan” goes through the training to become a psychedelic therapist. Her mentor Eyal crosses way too many boundaries. (Is he the wolf?). And we finally meet Francoise Bourzat, honey-voiced trainer of trainers.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #3: I Am the Wolf

12.19.21

Donate

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?

 

Episode 2: That's an Old Story

12.7.21

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Provided

Lily visits the Ecuadorian Amazon to work on a project when something terrible happens to her. She barely escapes and makes it home alive. But it’s what happens next that really sets the course of her life. Meanwhile, the psychedelic renaissance is really starting to take off.

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #2: That's an Old Story

12.12.21

Donate

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?

View supporting documents

Episode 1: I See a Sh*tshow

11.30.21

Lily Kay Ross (center) pictured with Neşe Devenot (right) and a Horizons attendee. Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Provided

After years of experimenting with drugs, Lily discovers the psychedelic underground. It’s a world of shamans and guides – people illegally practicing psychedelic therapy to treat trauma. Their secret mission is make this treatment more widely available in order to “promote the evolution of humankind.” But what will they overlook to get there?

Read the transcript

Power Tripping #1: I See a Sh*tshow

12.5.21

Donate

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

This week, Lily Kay Ross introduces the Psymposia team, all of whom have been working on a variety of projects in addition to supporting the research and release of Power Trip. The team tries to avoid spoilers and give a brief sense of who we are and what we do.

View supporting documents