LSD: Weapon or Sacrament?
Counterculture and Counterintelligence
In forming counterculture, the whole self disengages from cultural currents, the electronic environment and corpo-political propaganda and Agit Prop. What happens when an entire generation questions social norms? This ‘spiritual’ quest might be alienating if it wasn’t something shared with most of one’s generation. It became the American psychedelic underground, and many subculture lifestyles followed it.
A drug culture that began as a narcissistic dissociation from the world devolved into a polydrug abusing culture of self-medication by the early 70s. The CIA bait-and switch tactic, starting with LSD, created the 1970s cocaine fad and made liberalism synonymous with depravity. Any hope of controlling economies or cultures or unfolding events is doomed to suboptimize the results and yield only nasty unintended consequences.
The subversively indoctrinated counterculture failed to realize that in adopting the hedonistic ‘spiritual’ drug, they were inadvertently “sleeping with the enemy,” the CIA. The therapeutic promise of the drug was lost on the conservative government and research stopped cold.
Nevertheless, many of the wold’s greatest minds were inspired by psychedelics. For example, Francis Crick was on 50mcg. of LSD when he came up with the double-helix structure of DNA. Others include Stephen Gould, Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and the notorious Timothy Leary.
Pychedelics gave rise to the Human Potential movement, “Californian” ideology, mind spas like Esalen, and the so-called Aquarian Conspiracy which has blossomed into New Age thought. All have a root in CIA experiments in extraordinary human potential, parapsychology, and creativity. As with many alchemical panaceas, the substance is both a cure is a poison – a dream to some, a nightmare to others.
Acid Cult: Weapon or Sacrament?
CIA’s favorite stepchild was LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), developed at Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland. CIA was their biggest customer because thy thought they could weaponize it. Later, acid was manufactured for the government by Eli Lilly. Lilly has been featured as one of the most unethical of all drug companies by the Wall Street Journal. Daddy Bush has run both CIA and Lilly during his career.
In 1953, the CIA asked Eli Lilly to make them up a synthesized batch of LSD, which they patented (US Patent for Lysergic Acid Amides, Serial No. 473,443, issued February 28, 1956) and promoted heavily.
In 1955, Aldous Huxley (Britain’s “Timothy Leary,” who wrote the 1932 dystopian novel Brave New World) had his first LSD trip and published Heaven and Hell. He had written The Doors of Perception in 1954 detailing his experiences with mescaline. He contributed to the debate on “Paradise-engineering,” and issues of universal happiness, biotechnology, post-genomic medicine, peak experiences and designer drugs. Hedonism and the state-sanctioned sugarcoating the Four Horsemen of Pain, Disease, Unhappiness, and Death. Consumption of mass produced goods and beliefs.
Huxley's conception of a real utopia, was modelled on his experiences of mescaline and LSD. But until we get the biological underpinnings of our emotional well-being securely encoded genetically, then psychedelia is mostly off-limits for the purposes of paradise-engineering. Certainly, its intellectual significance cannot be exaggerated; but unfortunately, neither can its ineffable weirdness and the unpredictability of its agents. Thus mescaline, and certainly LSD and its congeners, are not fail-safe euphoriants. The possibility of nightmarish bad trips and total emotional Armageddon is latent in the way our brains are constructed under a regime of selfish-DNA. http://www.huxley.net/
Former State Department officer John Marks in The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate”: The CIA and Mind Control, The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences (1979)—along with the Washington Post (1985) and the New York Times (1988)—reported an amazing story about the CIA and psychiatry.
A lead player was psychiatrist D. Ewen Cameron, president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1953. Cameron was curious to discover more powerful ways to break down patient resistance. Using electroshock, LSD, and sensory deprivation, he was able to produce severe delirium. Patients often lost their sense of identity, forgetting their own names and even how to eat.
The CIA, eager to learn more about Cameron’s brainwashing techniques, funded him under a project code-named MKULTRA. According to Marks, Cameron was part of a small army of the CIA’s LSD-experimenting psychiatrists. Where did the CIA get its LSD? Marks reports that the CIA had been previously supplied by the Swiss pharmaceutical corporation Sandoz, but was uncomfortable relying on a foreign company and so, in 1953, the CIA asked Eli Lilly to make them up a batch of LSD, which Lilly subsequently donated to the CIA. http://zmagsite.zmag.org/May2004/levinepr0504.html
What's New with My Subject?
Need To Know
Buckminster Fuller pointed out that throughout history the smartest people were directed into specialties that kept them from getting the “Big Picture” so kings and the elite remained unthreatened by them in their power. The church did much the same. They began losing control when the Freemasons sowed Enlightenment thought. Academia still forms and directs our thinking processes and what kind of opportunities are open to us.
Those whose imaginations range into the areas of suppressed science quickly find out it is neither supported nor tolerated. Funding and careers are at stake, and in some cases lives. Are there some things we should not know? Dangerous subjects? Forbidden subjects?
In these days thick with conspiracy theories, it isn’t hard to imagine yet another one. But perhaps the most useful approach is to take a look backward to find the taproot of forces manipulating our society today. Are sinister forces shaping our moral, educational, political, economic, and cultural lives? Is the fruit of that poisoned tree coming to fruition?
The answer is a hearty, “Yes.” In fact, insiders say that no pop culture phenomenon since the 50’s is an accident. Once TV entered virtually every home, some mind control experiments came to a rather abrupt halt; they weren’t needed. Mass mind control from the cradle to the grave had been accomplished. The era of Madison Avenue, stylish fads in possessions and beliefs, had begun. Recent political propaganda, spin doctoring, and agit-prop have become painfully obvious even to the uninitiated.
But the antecedents of programmed consumerism go back much further to the time of Freud and fomenting political forces in Great Britain. The mother of all propaganda machines can be found in The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London and its forerunner Tavistock Clinic or Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, which has tremendously influenced both left and rightwing thinking and put itself in the service of the “racket of war.”
A great game is being played on us unawares, and we are pawns in that game. Call it “Global Architectronics.” Public opinion cannot only be manipulated, it can be created --a perception not a reality. But, who or what would want to shape and control public opinion? We can ask ourselves like Parcival in the Grail Castle, “Who do these things serve?” and/or follow the modern investigative imperative to “Follow the Money.”
Since civilization began, monarchs and their militaries have sought to control their own populations and those who threatened them. Elitists with overarching ambitions have existed in all eras. One of the most effective means of social control predates civilization, arising in the superstitious world of neolithic period.
By healing, birth and death rites, and oracles shamans gained a stranglehold on the minds of their followers with magical medicine and mysterious incantations. They told the people what to expect in the future and what fearsome and mysterious forces were operating out of view in nature. Their rites controlled the food supply, the weather, and tribal beliefs. Myths were imposed on fresh minds.
Drugs were also a staple in the medicine kit, both to kill pain and to provide pleasure and communion in tribal celebrations. These mind expanding drugs revealed a separate reality, populated by fabulous and fearsome creatures of the imagination. After these close encounters, naturally, their shamans claimed to placate the demonic and serve the greater good.
Shared beliefs bound groups together in common cause with a groupthink worldview. They “belonged.” But shamanism and sorcery are centered truly around illusion and power, not spirituality. It is an attempt to define the reality – to impose a pre-scientific definition of reality.
Shamanism finds its modern counterpart in psychology/psychiatry but also in the cultural fad of the New Age movement, a nostalgic, if self-absorbed, spirituality. And the founding of Tavistock is rooted in the careers and theories of many of the most imminent mind doctors of the last century: Freud, Jung, Laing, Bateson, and more.