Robert Forte – The Dark History of Psychedelics


Download

Kyle and Joe interview Robert Forte who has been around the psychedelic world for decades as a writer, facilitator and researcher. He has known or has worked with most of the biggest names in psychedelic history including Dr. Stanislav Grof and Timothy Leary among others.

The interview covers a lot of ground and will likely ruffle some feathers. Robert has extensively studied the history of psychedelics and has drawn some conclusions about the origins of the field. From the early days, scientists have been working with psychedelics to weaponize them. From project artichoke to MK Ultra, the US government and many foreign governments have spent a tremendous amount of effort researching these amazing compounds and likely still are.

Robert states that various governments particularly the United States government have groups that are using drugs to derange the public to make it easier for these groups to meet their desired outcomes – less democracy, increased plutocratic power, etc.

Deranged from Miriam Webster:
1mentally unsound crazy
2disturbed or disordered in function, structure, or condition
  • My leg was propped up on a library chair at the time, as it was too deranged to bend.
    3wildly odd or eccentric


He makes a compelling argument, but we at Psy Today want you the listener and reader to “Think for Yourself and Question Authority”. That was a Leary line that we think is very valuable. If you are inclined, read books on the subject, question the purpose behind them, think critically and see where you want to go with it.

After recording this interview Joe Moore read the amazing and comprehensive 2016 history The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. The book filled in some gaps for me (Joe) but didn’t really change my mind much on the topic of psychedelics specifically.

Please enjoy the episode and if you want to discuss it, please reach out over at our contact form.


Links & Show Notes

Timothy leary outside looking in


 

Sign up for our free online course!


About Robert Forte

Robert Forte

James Fadiman calls Robert Forte, “a major but not well known hero of the psychedelic movement.”  A scholar, editor, publisher, professor, researcher of the subject for over 3 decades, Forte has come to some disturbing realizations about the psychedelic renaissance that he helped to start.  Huston Smith called his first book, Entheogens and the Future of Religion, “the best single inquiry into the religious significance of chemically occasioned mystical experience that has yet appeared.” Forte was introduced to psychedelics in 1980 by Frank Barron, who initiated Timothy Leary and started the Harvard Psilocybin Project with him. From the University of California Forte was invited to Esalen to study with Stanislav Grof, before going to the University of Chicago to study the history and psychology of religion under Mircea Eliade. Over the years Forte has worked closely with many of the most prominent leaders of the psychedelic movement, including R. G. Wasson, Albert Hofmann, Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, Alexander Shulgin, Claudio Naranjo, and many others. His early MDMA research in 1981-85 turned on 100s of people to this new medicine. Though this project led to the creation of MAPS, Forte is a vocal critic of MAPS government collusion and deceptive policies. His second book is a rounded view of Timothy Leary, Outside Looking In:  Appreciations, Castigations, Reminiscences.  He first experienced ayahuasca in 1988, and conducted ayahuasca research with cancer patients in Peru, yet he is now suspicious of the globalizing of ayahuasca as an form of “spiritual colonialism.”   He is a enthusiastic supporter of conscious, independent psychedelic healing and recreation, and an equally fierce opponent of  psychedelics for mind control, profiteering, and social engineering by political and economic elites.

Richard Grossman PhD – Exploring Ayahuasca, Acupuncture and Healing


Download

During this episode of Psychedelics Today, Kyle Buller interviews Dr. Richard Grossman, an ayahuasca ceremony facilitator and expert with a background in healing and acupuncture.

Episode Quotes

  • I find mystical poetry to be an amazing aid in ceremony work.
  • Is it the vision or the emotion that you feel and then the vision comes?
  • In my work, the psychedelic experience is about going beyond the visionary state.
  • The core of all creation is in the heart and breath.

 



Show Notes

  • About Dr. Richard Grossman
    • Has a long background in healing.
    • He used to be a macrobiotic chef.
    • Primeval meditations and licensed acupuncturist.
    • Works with ayahuasca and San Pedro.
  • How did Richard get involved in ayahuasca?
    • A friend brought some up from Peru and his life changed in one night.
    • It took him years as an acupuncturist learning more about healing.
    • He’s been doing this for about thirty years.
  • Do you integrate your acupuncture practice into ceremony?
    • Not so much with ayahuasca – that’s done traditionally.
    • He had a lot of experience with the Shipibo Tradition.
    • With the San Pedro method, the body change happens in one day.
  • Opinions on psychedelic visions.
    • Many people want them and they’re a distraction.
    • The real thing is that the source of everything is within.
    • If a person can experience that for an instant, their life changes.
    • There are a lot of things happening on subtle levels.
    • The psychonaut and healing processes are quite different.
  • What are some examples of ideas you’ve seen in the psychedelic community?
    • People trying to draw in gods and goddesses.
    • You need to see how deep a human being can go, it’s an infinite journey.
  • What is it like to go deeper and deeper?
    • If you can imagine a series of curtains parting over and over and over again.
    • You begin to see places of illusion.
    • During one of his trips, he visualized himself in a Nazi concentration camp.
      • A voice told him to trust and forgive.
      • He began to question what forgiveness and trust mean.
    • Some people are seeking spirituality and not really healing within.
      • Ayahuasca tourism is a fairly good thing, rather than people coming and ruining the jungle.
    • How would you define a healing process?
      • It’s a complex subject, he likes the idea of a series of concentric circles.
    • Do you work with a person’s energy?
      • People get very relaxed.
      • If there is someone who can’t get relax he calms them with acupuncture.
    • Do you think intoxicants affects the chi?
      • San Pedro or ayahuasca are not considered intoxicants.
      • He sees that ayahuasca is only good for the body.
      • Psilocybin has a rough effect on the liver.
      • The tannins in ayahuasca are valuable and bind toxins in the body.
    • Do you have to worry about any cardiovascular problems?
      • It is a stimulant so he screens people before doing the ceremony.
      • Beauty is a healing process, beauty heals.
    • Is there anything you’re excited about in the psychedelic world?
      • When the community comes together to heal it’s powerful.
      • We’re all going to a place of more love, peace, joy, and healing.
      • What’s the outcome of thousands of people experiencing love and joy?
    • What’s the ayahuasca ceremony structure?
      • Constant music, keeping things from going totally wonky.
      • There’s a point in the ceremony that it could go in either direction:
        • Total group insanity or total group healing.
      • Iowaska ceremonies can be dangerous.
        • It’s something to be respected with its own spirit.
      • You must hold close to the traditions of generations.
      • There’s always a point during the ceremony where he feels it’s the most important and beautiful place he’s ever been.
      • Drama’s not necessary, our culture wants the drama.
      • We need to outgrow externalizing the blame.
      • Life in our heart is meant to be enjoyed.
      • Suffering to heal just doesn’t work.
    • Culture seems to dwell on suffering, is that conditioning?
      • The worst thing a human can possibly do is feeling guilty.
        • “Guilt can’t fly and God wants you to fly.”
      • The nature of reality is joy and love.
      • You need to be willing to let go of the things that don’t work.
      • Psychedelics can be used as a guiding light.
    • Any final advice, events?
      • Find him on his website or on Facebook.
      • Heartfeather.com – Dr. Richard Grossman’s website.
      • Don’t stop, just keep going.

Sign up for our free course, “Introduction to Psychedelics”


About Richard Grossman, L.AC., O.M.D., Ph.D.

   

Richard Grossman studied Oriental Medicine at the California Acupuncture College in Los Angeles and received his post-graduate acupuncture training in Beijing, in a course sponsored by the World Health Organization and attended by physicians from around the world. He earned a Masters in Acupuncture, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine degree, a Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine, a Diplomat in Acupuncture, a Diplomat of Pain Management, and a Diplomat in Acupuncture Orthopedics.

Exploring Race-Based Traumatic Stress and MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy – Dr. Monnica Williams and Dr. Will Siu


Download

During this episode of Psychedelics Today, your hosts Joe Moore and Kyle Buller interview Dr. Monnica Williams from the University of Connecticut and Dr. Will Siu a psychiatrist in private practice based in Manhattan,  and a therapist on MAPS’s MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD clinical trials at the University of Connecticut. They join us to discuss race-based trauma, people of color in psychedelics, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.



Show Notes

About Dr. Will Siu

  • He’s a psychiatrist and therapist on the MDMA for PTSD clinical trials with the supervision of Dr. Monnica Williams.
  • Based in NYC and has a private practice.
  • Does some work in emergency psychiatry at a local hospital.

About Dr. Monnica Williams

  • Associate professor at the University of Connecticut.
  • Does graduate teaching and multicultural psychology and research in the health center.
  • Currently doing a study on MDMA assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
  •  What is race-based trauma?
    • There had been some studies previously.
    • When people become traumatized by experiences of racism, oppression, marginalization based on their perceived identity.
    • Often because of ongoing experiences, like microaggressions
    • Eventually, people have so many of these experiences that they start to have symptoms of PTSD.
    • People get so distressed and afraid that they act in a way that might harm them.
    • You have to think about trauma in a non-single event way.
  • Exploring the topic epigenetics.
    • Trauma has been passed down from generation to generation.
    • Layer epigenetics on top of what’s currently going on and trauma is understandable.
  • How has recruiting been going for the MDMA study?
    • It’s challenging, they’re not drawing from the same population the other sites are.
    • They’re creating a culturally safe, welcoming environment for people of color.
    • There is fear and misinformation that requires them to do a lot of education on the front end.
    • Research abuses haven’t stopped, they’re still continuing today.
    • Psychedelic drugs are almost exclusively used by white people.
  • Are there any big problems you’re trying to tackle now in prepping the study?
    • Traditionally there has been no compensation for study participants, but it’s needed for this study.
    • Another layer is paying via direct deposit vs. cash and getting the university on board.
    • How do you send someone back into the trauma you’re trying to heal.
  • How do you support people in the study?
    • Support them as much as possible during the study.
    • Continue to follow-up with people after the treatment is over.
  • There is a lack of people of color in the therapy field, especially MAPS.
    • Often people of color don’t have a good experience with white therapists.
  • Why do you think there aren’t very many people of color in psychedelics?
    • People of color haven’t had the same advantages to become therapists.
      • It’s not safe to talk about substances when your license is on the line.
    • Culturally, psychedelics haven’t played as big of a role with people of color.
  • What does an ideal training model look like for you?
    • Watching the videos of people getting well was a big game changer.
    • The training needs a fuller understanding of what people from other ethnic and cultural groups need.
    • Monica is altering the training to be more relatable.
  • Talk about enrollment.
    • They have people at all different stages right now.
    • They have about 18 people total who have gone through the stages.
    • They still have to follow the guidelines of an indexed trauma to be accepted.
  • How big is your team right now?
    • Three therapist pair teams.
    • A few other people who assist in various ways.
    • Several people are doing double-duty.
  • How can the psychedelic community be more inclusive of people of color?
    • Make some close friends who are not white.
  • Do you have any fantasy projects you’d like to see play out?
    • Start a master’s program with a specialty track in minority mental health and psychedelic therapy.
    • All scholarships for people of color.
  • Any advice you’d give to a young person or professional?
    • There’s a lot of work to be done and we need enthusiastic minds.
    • Change won’t happen overnight or be easy, but it’s worth it.
    • Be involved in the community

Episode Quotes

The psychedelic community is a very, very white community – most people of color haven’t had an experience with psychedelics.

Ultimately, psychedelics and psychotherapy will be an accepted, licensed form of treatment.

About Monnica Williams

  

Monnica Williams, Ph.D. is a board-certified, licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapies. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the Laboratory for Culture and Mental Health Disparities. She is also the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic, LLC in Mansfield, Connecticut, and she has founded clinics in Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Will Siu, MD, DPhil

I grew up in southern California, where I completed college at UC Irvine and medical school at UCLA. Midway through medical school, I pursued research interests at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC and ultimately completed a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford. After finishing medical school I moved to Boston to complete my psychiatry residency at the Massachusetts General and McLean Hospitals, after which I continued to work for two years while faculty at Harvard Medical School. I moved to New York City in 2017 where in addition to having a private practice, I am a therapist on clinical trials using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD.