Monday, December 3, 2018

SLOUCHING, part 13

(Comment on the article below: Nathan S. Kline was one of the most important and respected psychiatrists of the Twentieth Century, whose work is said to have revolutionized the treatment of mental illnesses. He may have been the original psychopharmacologist. He explicitly classified LSD as a drug within the class of “psychopharmaceuticals”. His well-written, immensely reasonable but slightly arrogant and ostentatiously “Educated!” tone, in this 1961 review of Adelle Davis’ little known book, reminds me very much of one of our modern day thought leaders and propagandists for the bad guys, none other than Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman... Lieberman has been extensively quoted by The NY Times and others, in recent articles about the supposed promise of Ketamine therapy; and Ketamine, of course, is another psychedelic drug which people pushed since the late sixties for chemical spiritual revelation, in the guise of the “K-hole”, aka “God”.  RK.)
___________________

APPENDIX 2: TEXT OF THE NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF EXPLORING INNER SPACE BY JANE DUNLAP (MAY 14, 1961)

The Mind on the Wing by Nathan S. Kline

Man is far from comfortable with his incompletely and faultily developed self-awareness. The search for identification will become intensified now that within a few hundred years the problems of food and shelter may be solved. One path of identification is toward increasing differentiation, self-consciousness and individual responsibility.

An alternative is to escape from our sweaty selves by dissolving our sense of individual being. Drugs have traditionally been used to assist in the process of achieving such states. We of the West have placed the higher value on good works in the form of accomplishments that will improve the physical well being of our fellow man. I recall the shocked surprise I felt in Bombay when a superb, flashing-eyed white turbaned Sikh agreed that this really was a great motivating force of people in the United States — and that was just what the East meant when it held that we were materialistic: one should be more concerned about one’s spiritual state of being.

In Exploring Inner Space, “a nationally known writer chose to use the pseudonym Jane Dunlap” for the purpose of relating her “personal experiences under LSD-25,” lysergic acid diethylamide, a drug that induces psychotic-like reactions. “When filling out a questionnaire which asked, ‘Why do you wish to take lysergic acid?’ I wrote, ‘In hope of overcoming spiritual poverty.’ Another time I filled in the blank with, ‘To get chemical Christianity’.” Miss Dunlap believes she was successful after discovering that not only does the embryo repeat the history of evolution but so does LSD, since Chapter 2 is entitled “I lived billions of years in eight hours.” The cathedral may soon be replaced by the laboratory: “These convictions have served to formulate and strengthen a new faith in God, a faith so satisfying and rewarding that my lasting gratitude goes to the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Laboratories which not only discovered, and produced LSD-25 but are spending millions of dollars on its research.”

The use of LSD and other psychopharmaceuticals provides valuable research tools and some of them have brought about a major revolution in the care and treatment of the mentally ill. Drugs can certainly induce states of exaltation, but these states do not arise from any integrated, consistent or meaningful development of the personality. “My mommie has gone to take the drug which makes her terribly nice for a whole month,” Miss Dunlap’s 9-year-old daughter remarks. Compare this to the visions of St. Theresa or the exaltations of Blake.

As Ludwig von Bertalanffy puts it, “In supranormal experience of the genius, and mystic, precisely parallel ‘symptoms’ may appear, but they are embedded in an organized universe of the self...” For the same reason, mescaline or LSD intoxication is unproductive even though it may open a field of unprecedented experience and beauty. It is not a general elevation of personality, but only provides an array of paranormal manifestations. It is therefore easy to understand that, for example, artistic production deteriorates in hallucinogen-produced states.

Finally, Miss Dunlap states, “The colossal egotism of anyone who thinks he can write an LSD report! It can’t be done, not with all the languages in the world.” Miss Dunlap is wrong: Baudilaire, DeQuincey, Clautier and Coleridge among others have conveyed some of the drug-induced ecstatic intoxication — in the phrase of Baudilaire “drunken, in love with drunkenness, I plunge and drown.” Miss Dunlap mistakes a travelogue for the esthetic creation of an experience.

Her report appears accurate enough and gives some picture of the flight and range of ideas and moods that the drug caused in her. She does not enable us to share fantasies and feelings which are kaleidoscopic and confusing when described externally. It is not sufficient to be told that it is really just wonderful. Reports of between-drug activities soon come as a welcome relief. The contents of the hallucinations themselves may be of some interest to the researchers (or her psychotherapist) but are not likely to provide the vicarious experience that is promised.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

SLOUCHING, part 12

APPENDIX 1: SELECTED CULTURAL CHRONOLOGY OF LSD, PSYCHIATRY AND AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE

1938

In Basel, Switzerland, Dr. Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Laboratories first synthesizes LSD while investigating the chemical and pharmacological properties of the rye fungus ergot for drugs to enhance blood circulation; the compound has no obvious effect on rabbits.

1939

September: William “Wild Bill” Donovan first proposes a unified American intelligence and psychological warfare capability to Franklin Roosevelt, in anticipation of a need to modernize American defense with world war resuming in Europe.

1940

Captain Alfred M. Hubbard begins smuggling weapons and materiel to Canada to support the British war effort despite official American neutrality, as part of a secret, informal intelligence operation approved by President Roosevelt.

The total number of psychiatrists in the United States is about three thousand, and there are even fewer psychologists.

1941

July 11: Donovan’s office of Coordinator of Information, the forerunner of OSS, is established, consolidating U.S. intelligence activities under one agency.

August: Donovan hires Cambridge, MA psychoanalyst Walter Langer to analyze the German enemy and prepare American’s young men for war, and Harvard psychology professor Henry Murray to develop personality assessments for potential spies.

Dec. 7: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, U.S. declares war.

1942

June 13: Roosevelt established the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Donovan commences research for a speech-inducing drug for use in intelligence interrogations, the first concerted attempt by an American intelligence organization to modify human behavior by chemical means.

October: Allen Dulles arrives in Switzerland on the last train allowed across the Vichy French border, to run OSS clandestine agents inside the Third Reich; Dulles soon takes a mistress named Mary Bancroft, a devotee of the Austrian psychologist Carl Jung.

1943

Apr. 16: Dr. Albert Hofmann inadvertently takes the first LSD trip, in Basel.

June 2: OSS experimenters first report on a “TD (for Truth Drug — originally a marijuana extract) research project” organized in cooperation with the super-secret Manhattan Project which provides the first dozen test subjects, and run by Dr. Winfred Overholser, a psychiatrist at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC.

Nazi mind control experiments run by Dr. Kurt Plotner at Dachau concentration camp conclude that it is impossible to impose one’s will on another person with mescaline.

1944

Nov. 18: William Donovan details a plan for a postwar civilian Central Intelligence Agency to FDR, which despite negative reaction from conservatives over the specter of an “American Gestapo” later provides the basic organizational policy and framework of the CIA and the National Security Council.

1945

May: Germany surrenders.

U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence obtains Nazi research records on mescaline as a mind control agent; Dr. Hubertus Strughold, the senior scientist previously in charge of Nazi doctors will later be brought to America under Project Paperclip, a secret government program to recruit ex-Nazi scientists for Cold War work against the Soviet Union.

Clover Dulles joins her husband in Switzerland and soon begins therapy with psychologist Carl Jung on the recommendation of Mary Bancroft; Allen Dulles also consults Dr. Jung for advice on influencing the defeated German population toward democracy.

August: Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed by atomic bombs; WWII ends.

The Nuremberg Code becomes official American policy on scientific research, stipulating that researchers must obtain full informed consent from all subjects.

General Reinhard Gehlen, former chief of Hitler’s spy services against the Russians, begins to rebuild a German intelligence capability in the American occupation zone with Pentagon money; Gehlen will later become the head of the West German security service, the Office for Protection of the Constitution, under Konrad Adenauer.

Sep. 20: President Truman disbands OSS; Donovan returns to private law practice in New York but remains a major influence among foreign policy experts.

An OSS memorandum for the record concludes that “TD” research into marijuana produced no practical results.

1946

July: With passage of the National Mental Health Act, Congress appropriated $4.2 million for research into neuropsychiatric disorders, education of psychiatrists and psychologists, and the establishment of mental health clinics.

1947

The U.S. Navy initiates Project Chatter, an offensive program taking up where OSS and the Nazis left off, to research chemical means of controlling human behavior; psychiatrist Charles Savage begins mescaline experiments at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

U.S. armed forces have been reduced to 1.5 million men from a high of 12 million in 1945, and the annual military budget has been reduced to $10.3 billion from $90.0 billion; nuclear weapons and clandestine operations, unconventional and psychological warfare will be expected to fill the defense gap during the Cold War.

July 25: Establishment of the CIA quickly results in a research program into special interrogation techniques of narco-hypnosis and sedative-stimulant “twilight zone” manipulation.

The U.S. Department of Defense establishes an interservice Committee on Human Resources to coordinate all U.S. military spending on social psychology, sociology and social sciences research; one of four standing panels is “Psychophysiology,” charged primarily with human engineering of high-tech weapons.

Dr. Werner Stoll publishes the results of his study of the psychological properties of LSD, in Swiss Archives of Neurology; Sandoz trademarks the name “Delysid” for the new drug and begins quietly marketing it to psychiatrists for analytical and experimental purposes.

1948

With the Alger Hiss spy allegations, the suicide of Czech democratic leader Jan Masaryk, and the Soviet blockade of West Berlin, the Cold War moves into high gear.

June: The National Security Council issues Directive 10/2, creating the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) within CIA for the purpose of countering “the vicious covert activities of the USSR” with a full range of Psychological Warfare tactics.

1949

LSD first arrives in the Western Hemisphere: psychiatrist Max Rinkel conducts an experiment using his colleague Robert Hyde as guinea pig, at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital (later Massachusetts Mental Health Center).

The baffling confession of impossible crimes by Cardinal Josef Minszenty of Hungary leads intelligence analysts to suspect Soviet scientific mind control developments.

September: The first Soviet explosion of a nuclear device ends the American nuclear monopoly, exacerbating the great anxiety which began with Hiroshima.

A total of four articles have been published on LSD in world scientific journals.

1950

February: Senator Joseph McCarthy makes his first charges of communism in the State Department, signaling a new high point in American anticommunist hysteria.

Apr. 20: CIA Director Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter approves Project BLUEBIRD, giving the behavior control program its first bureaucratic structure.

General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s WWII Chief of Staff, is appointed Director of Central Intelligence; Smith names Allen Dulles as CIA Deputy Director.

September: An article in the Miami News by Edward Hunter first raises the specter of “brainwashing” by Chinese Communists.

A total of six articles on LSD have been published in world scientific journals, only one of these in English.

1951

At the APA convention in Cincinnati, Dr. Max Rinkel reports a remarkable congruence between LSD-inspired psychosis and schizophrenia; for the next few years, most studies of LSD will be framed in the “model psychosis” or psychotomimetic viewpoint.

August 20: Project BLUEBIRD is rechristened Project ARTICHOKE at the request of the U.S. Navy, as bureaucratic wars bounce responsibility for the program back and forth between “pragmatists” in the CIA’s Office of Security and the “learned gentlemen” in Scientific Intelligence.

October 21: An ARTICHOKE report indicates LSD was initially tested along with various other drugs, to study the effects on “the conscious suppression of experimental or non-threat secrets.” A recommendation is given to test LSD in “threat conditions,” possibly using POWs, federal prisoners and security officers.

A total of sixteen articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1952

Scotch psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond accepts a position as Clinical Director of Saskatchewan Hospital, the only mental hospital on the Canadian prairie, after first experimenting with mescaline in London.

June 21: CIA memo urges giving a green light to operational use of ARTICHOKE techniques.

November: Allen Macy Dulles (only son of the soon to be CIA Director) suffers a severe head wound in Korea; though he would recover physically, his mental and emotional condition remains poor and his parents spend years searching for psychiatric cures; Dulles’ close friend Adolf Berle recommends psychiatrist Dr. Harold Wolff, who will later remain on the MKULTRA payroll for many years.

A total of thirty articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1953

January: President Eisenhower appoints Allen Welsh Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence, despite Bedell Smith’s misgivings that Dulles is too enamored of clandestine operations.

April 3: Richard Helms proposes Project MKULTRA in a memo to Allen Dulles which specifically mentions “offensive potential.”

May 3: Allen Dulles approves Helms’ brainchild MKULTRA, to be run by the Technical Services Staff (TSS) within the Clandestine Services (later called the Directorate of Operations); ARTICHOKE remains within the Office of Security.

May 4: Aldous Huxley tries mescaline fo the first time, under the supervision of psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond, who is in Los Angeles for an APA convention.

Sandoz Pharmaceuticals begins dealing directly with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which then supervises the distribution of LSD to American researchers; FDA thus becomes the CIA’s junior partner in secret research.

Dr. Ewen Cameron, who would later become notorious as the CIA’s researcher who ran extremely violent “sleep therapy,” “depatterning” and “psychic driving” experiments on unwitting subjects at McGill University’s psychiatric facility in Montreal, is elected president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Ronald Sandison established the first LSD clinic, in England, to practice “low dose therapy.”

Captain Al Hubbard takes LSD for the first time, supervised by Dr. R.A. Sandison.

November: An agent of the CIA travels to Basel and convinces Sandoz to begin manufacturing LSD in significant quantities for the first time, and to report all future customers for the drug back to the CIA.

December 2: Richard Helms refers to LSD as “dynamite!” and asks to be advised personally every time the drug is used.

Dr. Frank Olson becomes severely depressed after unknowingly being given LSD by Sid Gottlieb of TSS during a weekend retreat. After being treated by CIA psychiatrist Dr. Harold Abramson, Olson commits suicide. Allen Dulles briefly suspends MKULTRA research pending a secret internal investigation.

Approximately 48 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1954

January 11: A CIA document notes that it would be easy to give LSD to high officials, to create significant effects on key diplomatic meetings, speeches, etc.

February: The internal investigation into Frank Olson’s death concludes; Dulles issues a mild, off-the-record reprimand to TSS officials, Gottlieb quickly gets his LSD back.

Spring: Aldous Huxley publishes a glowing promotion of his mescaline experience; in The Doors of Percetion, he advises that everyone, especially intellectuals, should take this hallucinogen.

May 26: All domestic CIA field offices are ordered to monitor scientists engaged in LSD research.

Ely Lilly and Company succeeds in synthesizing LSD through a process which bypasses the need for natural ergot, thereby enabling them to promise the CIA that the drug could soon be available “in tonnage quantities.”

August: Several internal CIA memos suggest the chances are favorable for LSD becoming a breakthrough intelligence weapon: on the 5th, a memo titled “Potential New Agent for Unconventional Warfare, LSD” — on the 13th, “Experiments with LSD-25” — and on the 30th, “An OSI Study on the Strategic Medical Significance of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD-25).”

Beverley Hills psychiatrist Oscar Janiger takes LSD for the first time, and immediately realizes that he must get more of such a wonderful drug.

December 15: An Office of Security memo expresses serious doubts about the wisdom of a rumored TSS plan to spike the punch bowl at the CIA Christmas party with LSD.

Approximately 71 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1955

George Hunter White initiates “Operation Midnight Climax” using a San Francisco safe house and drug-addicted prostitutes to test LSD on unwitting men; his project will continue with CIA financing until 1963; Sid Gottlieb provides technical support from TSS by sending a top staff psychologist, John Gittinger, to San Francisco to study prostitutes.

Aldous Huxley takes his second mescaline trip under the guidance of Captain Al Hubbard; Huxley attends the American Psychoanalytic Association’s annual conference as the only non-doctor invited to participate in the round table discussion on psychotomimetics; later in the year, also with Al Hubbard as guide, Huxley takes his first LSD.

Hubbard, Huxley and Osmond discuss the possibilities for changing the world and bringing peace by dosing political leaders with LSD.

Dr. Harold Wolff incorporates his CIA-funded brainwashing study group as the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, later to be renamed as the Human Ecology Fund.

A young psychologist named Timothy Leary authors a study proving that patients receiving psychotherapy at Oakland’s Kaiser Hospital showed the same ratio of improvement or worsening as patients who did not receive therapy; detractors interpret Leary’s data as proof that psychotherapy is a hoax, and to many observers the “Cinderella science” appears to be at a standstill.

Dr. Charles Geschicter, who tested drugs for MKULTRA on mental defectives and terminal cancer patients, convinces the CIA to provide $375,000 in secret funds for a new research building at Georgetown University Hospital; Geschicter promises the Agency one-sixth of the new facility’s space and beds as their own “Hospital safe house.”

October 13: Beat poet Allen Ginsberg gives his first reading of “Howl” in San Francisco.

Approximately 154 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1956

Membership in the American Psychological Association now exceeds fifteen thousand.

Oscar Janiger, Sidney Cohen, Mortimer Hartman, Arthur Chandler, Anais Nin, Cary Grant, Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, Herman Kahn of the Rand Corporation, and other Los Angeles psychiatrists and socialites begin taking LSD during private social gatherings; their primary supplier is Captain Al Hubbard.

Alan Watts, the host of a San Francisco radio show which is very popular among young bohemians, takes LSD on the advice of Aldous Huxley, resulting in a full-blown mystical experience; observers such as Janiger and Cohen will later regard Watts’ conversion as a turning point in the history of LSD.

Over 300 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1957

May: R. Gordon Wasson’s story about searching for the magic mushroom runs in Henry Luce’s Life magazine, introducing a mass audience to the mysterious world of chemical hallucinogens for the first time.

Dr. Humphrey Osmond first coins the word “psychedelic” in correspondence with Aldous Huxley.

The new board of directors of Dr. Harold Wolf’s Human Ecology Society includes John Whitehorn, chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Joseph Hines, head of the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Carl Rogers, professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Wisconsin, and Adolf A. Berle; Allen Dulles attends one of the first meetings of the new board.

Over 500 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1958

Time-Life publisher Henry Luce and his wife, foreign policy expert Clare Booth Luce, are introduced to LSD by Dr. Sidney Cohen, who travels to their home in Arizona.

February 25: John Foster Dulles’ intimate and relaxed 70th birthday in Washington, DC includes close family members Allen, Clover and Eleanor Lansing Dulles, as well as President and Mamie Eisenhower, and Clare Booth Luce.

Over 625 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1959

Allen Ginsberg, a cousin of Oscar Janiger, takes LSD at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA as arranged by Gregory Bateson, Margaret Meade’s former husband, who had been introduced to LSD by MKULTRA psychiatrist Harold Abramson.

The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation (a CIA conduit for MKULTRA funds) sponsors the first international conference on LSD therapy; present at the conference is the head of the Macy Foundation, Frank Fremont-Smith, who was  also first introduced to LSD by Harold Abramson.

May: Major General William Creasy, Chief Officer of the Army Chemical Corps, stumps for psychological weapons on a cross-country lecturer tour; his efforts are rewarded with a sizable budget increase for development of non-lethal battlefield incapacitants from Congress.

October: Adelle Davis first participates as a volunteer in LSD studies conducted by Beverley Hills psychiatrist Oscar Janiger after becoming frustrated with her lack of spiritual progress despite years of psychotherapy.

Captain Al Hubbard begins treating alcoholics with LSD therapy at Hollywood Hospital in New Westminster, British Columbia; Hubbard by this time claims to have conducted more than seventeen hundred LSD sessions.

Over 750 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1960

Ken Kesey first takes LSD as a volunteer in a government-funded research project at Veterans Hospital in Menlo Park CA.

August 9: Timothy Leary, who previously designed psychological tests used by the military and intelligence agencies, first eats magic mushrooms in Cuernavaca, Mexico; the experience causes him to completely reevaluate his task as a psychologist.

Fall: Timothy Leary begins the Harvard research project on psilocybin, with the drug supplied by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals; within two months, Aldous Huxley, Humphrey Osmond and Captain Al Hubbard all travel to Harvard to urge Leary to use his connections to introduce elite political and cultural leaders to psychedelic drugs and thereby bring about the salvation of the world.

MKULTRA researchers and Allen Dulles confidante Dr. Harold Wolff becomes president of the American Neurological Association, and serves as editor-in-chief of the AMA’s Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Approximately 900 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals.

1961

Allen Dulles is replaced as Director of Central Intelligence by John J. McCone, following the CIA’s botched Cuban invasion at the Bay of Pigs.

September 6: An Army memo discusses interrogation procedures using LSD.

Publication of Adelle Davis’ Exploring Inner Space: Personal Experiences Under LSD-25, under the pseudonym “Jane Dunlap.”

Over 1000 articles on LSD have been published in scientific journals describing various uses of the drug as an aid to psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, as a treatment for schizophrenia and depressive states, and as a diagnostic or personality test; by this time approximately 25,000 Americans have taken strong psychedelic drugs.

1962

New regulations enacted by Congress and interpreted by the FDA put tight controls on the distribution of LSD; secret TSS support for most LSD research is withdrawn.

Thelma Moss’book on her LSD experiences, Myself and I, arrives in bookstores, at about the same time Alan Watts’ The Joyous Cosmology also comes out.

May: A report by William H. McGlothlin of the Rand Corporation titled “Long-Lasting Effects of LSD on Certain Attitudes in Normals: An Experimental Proposal” ponders whether LSD might be an antidote for political activism.

James Farmer of the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and others organize the “Freedom Rides” on busses into the racially segregated South.

1963

George Hunter White’s covert acid safe house operation is terminated after a critical appraisal of MKULTRA unwitting drug tests on “individuals at all social levels, high and low, Native American and foreign” is written by CIA Inspector General John Earman to Director of Central Intelligence John J. McCone.

Timothy Leary is fired from Harvard for giving LSD to students; Leary’s International Foundation for Internal Freedom (IFIF) calculates that by 1969, a critical figure of four million LSD users will be reached, enough to blow the mind of American society.

November 22: John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, TX; for millions of Americans, this event more than any other will always separate the fifties from the sixties.

1964

February: Yuri Nosenko, a high-ranking Soviet KGB official, defects to the United States; the full decade and a half of CIA mind control research proves useless for providing any reliable technology to resolve the bitterly disputed issue of Nosenko’s legitimacy.

STP, a super-hallucinogen, is developed by Dow Chemical Company and provided to the Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the Army Chemical Corps.

Various memos to DCI McCone from Richard Helms, CIA Director for Covert Operations, defend MKULTRA unwitting drug tests as necessary “to keep up with the Soviet advances in this field.”

Augustus Owsley Stanley spends one semester at Berkeley studying Russian, dating a chemistry grad student named Melissa, and discovering LSD.

Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters demonstrate in Phoenix with a large placard reading, “A vote for Barry Goldwater is a Vote for Fun.”

Congress appropriates $176 million for mental health, a forty fold increase since 1946.

1965

February: The first batch of Owsley acid hits the streets in the Haight.

John Lennon first takes LSD; more than a thousand acid trips will follow for Lennon.

August 7: Ken Kesey first gives LSD to a group of Hell’s Angles.

September 6: An obscure neighborhood known as Haight-Ashbury gets some unaccustomed publicity in the San Francisco Examiner as “A New Haven For Beatniks.”

The first publicly-advertised “acid test” LSD party is held by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, near Santa Cruz, CA; within months Kesey will introduce more people to LSD than the psychiatric researchers, the CIA, Sandoz and Timothy Leary combined.

After investing as much as $400,000 a year in the early work of key behavioral scientists, CIA officials decide Harold Wolf’s Human Ecology Society has served its purpose; a few projects are transferred to other covert channels, and the society is allowed to die quietly.

1966

January: Ron and Jay Thelin open the Psychedelic Shop in the Haight to spread the word about LSD.

Kesey is convicted and re-arrested on separate marijuana charges.

The “Trips Festival,” a Kesey acid test attended by over 6000 people is held at Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco; the program noted “with approval and great interest the participation in the festival of Look, Newsweek, Time and Life.

March: Henry Luce’s Life magazine runs a cover story: “LSD: The Exploding Threat of the Mind Drug That Got Out of Control,” which still favors limited use of LSD in controlled psychotherapy sessions and for military intelligence problems.

Spring: Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency holds hearings on LSD.

April: Sandoz recalls all LSD previously distributed to scientists for research.

The London Evening Standard publishes an article quoting John Lennon as proclaiming the certain decline of Christianity and the Beatles’ greater popularity than Jesus Christ.

G. Gordon Liddy, as Dutchess County (NY) Prosecutor, raids Timothy Leary’s acid commune at Millbrook; charges against Leary are ultimately dismissed.

September 20: The first issue of the San Francisco Oracle is published, quoting Timothy Leary’s slogan, “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

October 6: California law banning the use of LSD goes into effect; the Oracle hosts the Love Pageant Rally,  expressing the psychedelic community’s steadfast devotion to their sacrament; following the Love Pageant Rally, Oracle  staff begin planning the First Human Be-In with the help of guru John Starr Cook, brother-in-law of the CIA’s Sherman Kent.

1967

As the new year opens, a hillside in Berkeley, CA which high school students traditionally painted with the name of their school or class year bears only one message: the huge letters “LSD.”

January 14: The “First Human Be-In” is held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to unify hippies and political radicals; approximately a hundred thousand doses of LSD are now sold each week in the Haight; the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control now seizes about 1.6 million doses per year.

Spring: Leary’s Millbrook acid commune disbands under pressure from G. Gordon Liddy.

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a musical benediction for the blossoming psychedelic counterculture; Timothy Leary declares the Beatles to be mutants sent by God; Spiro Agnew suggests they are part of an international communist conspiracy and notes that Sgt. Pepper shows an understanding of brainwashing principles.

The formula for STP is released to the scientific community; as the “Summer of Love” opens in June, 5000 hits of Owsley-manufactured STP cause hundreds of freak-outs to clog hospital emergency rooms; the situation is exacerbated by the fact that Thorazine, the psychiatric tranquilizer used to counter LSD reactions, had the opposite effect with STP.

Louis Jolyon West, CIA MKULTRA psychiatrist, sets up an observation post in Haight-Ashbury to “study” hippies; CIA agents infiltrate the LSD network to “monitor” events.

October 6: The Diggers hold a mock “funeral for the Hippy.”

December: Owsley is arrested and put out of the LSD business; he is replaced as the primary supplier by a cartel called the Brotherhood of Eternal Love which will sell far more LSD than Owsley without apparently needing any profit; the main manufacturer for the Brotherhood is Ronald Stark, an international con man later exposed by Italian authorities as a CIA informant.

(NEXT: Appendix 2, Text of the New York Times review of Exploring Inner Space)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

SLOUCHING, part 11

CONCLUSION

Professor Nancy MacLean of Northwestern remarked after hearing part of this thesis, “I’d hate to reduce people’s ideas to a function of their drug consumption!”(129) At the time she was teaching an undergraduate History course on the Sixties. Her emphasis was on social reform movements and the factors which cause people who have no political power to become active and assume power. Perhaps one lesson of the LSD story is that political power is only a small issue within the complexity of cultural dynamics. Although Americans find the fact distasteful and instinctively select other aspects of civics more worthy of their attention, their freely-elected national governments spent millions of their tax dollars over two decades trying to develop a technology whereby people’s ideas could be made into a function of their drug consumption. That project (probably…) never resulted in anyone’s clear political advantage.

Northwestern‘ s Michael Sherry has argued persuasively that the militarization of America which began prior to World War II was a cultural turning point comparable to the Revolution or the end of the frontier.(130) He evaluated the sixties as a phenomenon of the mounting stress within that trend of militarization, noting:

(S)ocial and political divisions yielded less violence but still seemed to partake of war. Counterculture hippies talked of “peace” and “love,” but their goal of “liberation for all Americans” had a coercive edge (even as they repudiated “missionary aggressiveness”), and the fury they provoked often got expressed in war’s words.(131)

But if war’s words dominated our lexicon, the subtler languages of science and secrecy were close behind. If Berkeley activists and the flower people of the Haight intended to liberate all Americans, and if Ken Kesey “pranked Amerika” to coerce the nation toward culture-shattering LSD insights, the word “psychedelic” was yet coined from Greek roots by a medical authority and used in the fifties by the same experts who brought us electroshock, brainwashing, the H-bomb and anticommunist paranoia.

The first half of the Twentieth Century had culminated in a nightmare of unparalleled, organized scientific violence. European Civilization had perhaps developed to one logical extreme, and cultural trends from the late forties through the sixties reflected the philosophical crossroads at which all of humanity had arrived, the dust of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the ruins of Stalingrad and the silent crematoria at Auschwitz were juxtaposed against that picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in the midst of Times Square victory celebrations, in the largest city of an undamaged, bright and youthful America where innocence was not destroyed, an America where concentration camp survivors could come and rest and look out across quiet summer resort lakes to wonder, “Where are the Nazis? How can there be a world without Nazis?”(132)

This unfathomable discontinuity was a set for some divine authority to say through the modern media of television and Time magazine — maybe editorial arrangements had been made during Henry Luce’s conversation on the golf course with God, the first time Sidney Cohen gave him LSD(133) — “Before you this day are the blessing and the curse, life and death, good and evil: Choose life!”(134) Americans chose a life and a culture in the fifties by buying Levittown homes and General Motors automobiles, watching Lucy and Milton Berle, and supporting their government’s resistance to “godless communism.” Some studied Adelle Davis’ prescriptions for keeping fit, having healthy babies and getting well, and a few partook of the salacious luxury of speculation about themselves through quaintly evolving Freudian and Jungian theories.

Behind the walls of that culture a new class of specialists had secret jobs. Adolf Berle, Edward Teller, Allen Dulles and Richard Helms had to keep the Russians contained; Harold Wolff, Nathan Klein, Paul Hoch and Harold Abramson had to cure the unfortunate little flaws in the social brain. But our experts were not angels. The social brain was a machine that no one had built and no one maintained. Artists, writers like Adelle Davis, ordinary people and celebrities began to wonder if intellectual and physical development were overstressed and emotional and spiritual development neglected,(135) LSD started to flow in the synapses of society, and suddenly the walls were breathing. Between those breathing walls as one decade became another, Adelle Davis wrote:

Dr. Janiger’s question, “Have you noticed any difference in your interest in anthropology or history?” meets with my hearty, “Indeed I do.” Formerly I found it extremely difficult to imagine the feelings of anyone whose living conditions or culture differed markedly from our own; examples would be anyone who lived several hundred years ago or a primitive alive today. Under LSD I was repeatedly all humanity, experiencing its hungers, yearnings, hatred, terrors, and illnesses, its love, appreciation, reverence, tranquility and ecstasy. As a result I have a wonderful, crazy feeling, admittedly without basis of reality, that I have been in every person’s shoes. This emotion has given a pulsating aliveness and a throbbing heartbeat to history and anthropology and has tremendously increased my interest in both. Partly as a result of these identifications, I am convinced that the emotions of all persons from prehistoric man to the modern sophisticate are essentially the same. Some people certainly suppress their feelings more than others, some are more sensitive, and the lives of individuals vary widely indeed, but the actual emotions themselves, I believe, remain identical and universal.(136)

Modern Psychological Warfare, a post-World War II alternative for recently-intolerable conventional war and unthinkable nuclear Armageddon, is based in the realization that surrender is almost always a sequential process that can be influenced over time by covert means.(137) This may hold true whether it is geography being surrendered, an ideological position being amended, or a personal identity being lost. The use of LSD over two contrasting decades beginning in 1947 might be understood as a coincidence, or cacophony, of covert psychological operations by psychiatrists, spies and rebellious young Americans. Territory changed hands. The various targeted enemies — schizophrenia and rational time-stream consciousness, Soviet communism and the liberal anticommunist establishment, were enemies of each other, too. But the actual emotions of LSD enthusiasts were identical and universal across a curious historical continuum.

 Like surrender, history is also a sequential process. There is no apparatus of culture whose gears and wheels can suddenly be made to stop, or even to change direction by more than a fraction of a degree over considerable time. If it appears otherwise historians might remember that Ozzie and Harriet lived in a secret psychedelic nation while the rough beast LSD slouched toward Haight-Ashbury.

Footnotes:

129. Conversation with Professor MacLean in her office, January 29, 1998, from my notes.
130. Sherry, Michael. In the Shadow of War: The United States Since the 1930s. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.
131. Ibid. Page 294.
132. This was a scene in the movie, Enemies, a Love Story, which portrayed recent Jewish refugees in New York shortly after WWII.
133. Swan burg, W.A. Luce and His Empire; and Sheed, Wilfred. Clare Booth Luce. Both referenced in Lee and Shlain, page 71 (note on page 305).
134. From the Jewish High Holy Day Prayer Book, part of the Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur services in Conservative synagogues. (NOTE: I have no idea whether the anti-abortion people derived their current tag line from this same source, but no reference whatsoever to that is intended here. I’ve loved this quote for twenty years, and I only realized after putting it in the first draft of my thesis that it may have the other political connotation for some readers.)
135. Dunlap, page 13.
136. Ibid. Page 202-03.
137. Stephen A. Pease described psywar: “Psychological warfare uses mental bullets. It is bloodless and inexpensive, and often ineffective. It is an offensive weapon that attempts to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses to further tactical or strategic ends. Like a real bullet, it doesn’t care if it wounds. Unlike a real bullet, it can be used at home, too.” Psywar: Psychological Warfare in Korea, 1950-1953; Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1992.

NEXT… APPENDIX 1: SELECTED CULTURAL CHRONOLOGY OF LSD, PSYCHIATRY AND AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE

SLOUCHING, part 10

IMPLICATIONS OF SECRECY (continued)

There was a convincing rationale for secrecy during the Cold War. It was a vital part of covert action and psychological operations, and even if the rights of a few individuals were occasionally violated, such strategies seemed to offer less brutal options than conventional war. However Adolf Berle’s arguments about “necessary solutions for which the public may be unprepared” neglected a price to be paid for clandestinity. The information revolution at the end of this century has proven that an open exchange of ideas enhances creativity and viability in organizations. Secrecy has the opposite effect, severely limiting the number of minds which might test, contribute to or qualify any idea or project.(126) The CIA’s grand objective for drug projects and other mind control research was to develop technical precision in prediction and total control of individual human beings. After a decade of intense and expensive work the benefits of that research were put to a critical test and found to have little or no basis in reality.

When Yuri Nosenko, a high-level Soviet KGB officer, defected to the United States in 1964, every plausible device in the MKULTRA arsenal was employed over five years to prove or disprove his legitimacy. Richard Helms alternately awarded one intelligence medal to a CIA man who “unmasked Nosenko as a Soviet plant,” and the identical honor to someone else who “rehabilitated” him. To this day the divisive issue remains undecided within CIA. Nosenko was released from his long solitary confinement and put on the payroll in 1969, but as late as 1981 a lengthy new report was sent to the Director of Central Intelligence about “Why Nosenko is a plant and why it matters.”(127) The bottom line proved that the practitioners of mind control who brought LSD to the world as their own breakthrough couldn’t even decide whether to trust one man, faced with the highest possible necessity and provided with every resource.

Such abysmal failures raise the question of how people can separate themselves from reality far enough for expectations and results to be so different. Secrecy, which is the hiding of reality, creates exactly that opportunity. When Oscar Janiger incorporated the Albert Hofmann Foundation, he expected great things to occur, but the project never got off the ground. It turned out there were no wealthy patrons of sixties psychedelic culture waiting to pay the rent for an LSD museum, and the public never demanded new LSD research. Perhaps the secrets Janiger accumulated in the sixties had something to do with his mis-estimation of reality. Not surprisingly, he was not quoted anywhere in the press about the new foundation as saying he might need to put together another private network for obtaining child research subjects.

Exploring Inner Space by Adelle Davis and Myself and I by her friend Thelma Moss were similar books about the same thing: LSD, the wonderful simultaneous breakthrough in the fields of science, religion and human consciousness that would surely transform the world. The two authors, like all the characters in this story, knew they were onto something big, something that brought them one step beyond the edge of Western Civilization’s charted moral territory and something that somehow needed to be a secret. Robert Davidson, echoing the earlier conspiracies of Captain Al Hubbard, Humphrey Osmond and Aldous Huxley, revealed that:

There are those of us who would like to see the opportunity to experience a series of LSD sessions given to most of the people in positions of influence and leadership, such as doctors, lawyers, ministers and politicians.(128)

That was the real secret: the new possibility of self overcoming on a grand scale; the chance that a tiny amount of mind drug, delivered in just the right way or to just the right people, might create just the right explosion in men’s minds to shortcut politics, evolution or death. It was the secret hope of people like Thelma Moss and Adelle Davis in the late fifties. It was a secret shredded by Helms and Gottlieb with the CIA’s MKULTRA files. Even today, it may remain a secret dream for Oscar Janiger and the Albert Hofmann Foundation’s “John,” or even for George Leisey. And it may still offer alternative Psychological Warfare tactics for unknown and desperate bureaucrats, somewhere in the secret bowels of some invisible government agency that has the job of saving the innocent, unprepared public from nuclear terrorists or extremists now that the threat of Soviet communism is gone.

Footnotes:

126. See Bruce D. Berkowitrz and Allan E. Goodman, “The Logic of Covert Action,” in The National Interest, Number 51, Spring 1998, page 38; Washington, DC: National Affairs, Inc.
127. See Richard J. Hebert, Jr., “Nosenko: Five Paths To Judgment,” in Studies in Intelligence, vol. 31, no. 3, Fall 1987, pages 71-101; Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Also David Wise, Molehunt: The Secret Search for Traitors that Shattered the CIA; New York: Random House, 1992. The Nosenko saga was a catastrophe in slow motion for the CIA that ultimately motivated Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton’s destruction of the Directorate of Operations’ Soviet Division, and indirectly set up the career of super-mole Aldrich Ames.
128. Dunlap, page 9.

NEXT: CONCLUSION

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

SLOUCHING, part 9

IMPLICATIONS OF SECRECY

The experiences and recollections of Adelle Davis and George Leisey, along with the projects of the psychiatrists who gave mother and child LSD in 1959, raise questions about how perceptions of “respectability” and “scientific legitimacy” were formed and how they changed from the fifties to the sixties, and about the recent role of secrecy in our culture. Leisey, a child of the sixties himself, partly views Janiger’s clinical LSD trials as more “respectable” or “legitimate” than the later Kesey “acid tests,” even while acknowledging that today’s sensibilities would have put his mother in prison, and even after personally witnessing the ultimate disgrace (in the jungles of Southeast Asia) of the social order that judged such things as “respectability” and “legitimacy.”

Oscar Janiger was cast as charming but slightly eccentric in 1988, between the lines of the press about his new foundation. But the people who were sources of LSD in the fifties and their experimental motives seemed at that time as “respectable” and “legitimate” as it was possible to be. They were doctors and scientists, and they were Americans. Today we might consider some of them to have been mad scientists, especially those who worked for Richard Helms, who probably should have been charged with “crimes against humanity” rather than perjury for his MKULTRA role(103). Dr. Paul Hoch, who was later New York State Commissioner for Mental Hygiene, served as a consultant to the CIA by conducting an experiment in which he administered a hallucinogenic drug to a patient along with local anesthetic, and then had the patient describe his visual experiences while surgeons removed chunks of his cerebral cortex. Hoch stated, “It is possible that a certain amount of brain damage is of therapeutic value.”(104) Dr. Ewen Cameron of MaGill University’s psychiatric facility in Montreal kept patients drugged unconscious for up to six weeks while giving them daily LSD and electroshock without their consent, to find out for the CIA whether he could completely “depattern” their memories; Cameron was president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1953. Were these examples of legitimate and respectable research or atrocity? George Leisey states with conviction that the psychiatric researchers whom he knew personally, especially David Snow and Bob Davidson, would never have willingly participated in the kind of agenda that motivated the CIA researchers.(105) But how about convincing therapy patients to bring in their children for LSD experiments?

Why did Harcourt Brace and World insist that Davis publish Exploring Inner Space under a pseudonym? In the months of research for this thesis I had dozens of conversations with Adelle Davis fans. I found only one person who was aware of the nutrition guru’s book about personal experiences under LSD-25.(106) In 1961 it seems there should have been no disgrace for an adult participating in a medical research project to study this completely legal drug. The attitude of the reviewer in the San Francisco Chronicle — “What’s wrong with that? Why can’t the rest of us poor slobs have some?” — seems like the most obvious logic for the time. But there was always a consideration that secrecy was appropriate, whether the people testing LSD thought they worked to enhance national security or mental and spiritual development. LSD was still legal in 1965, before the “acid tests,” before the Psychedelic Shop opened in the Haight, and before the public had ever heard the word “hippie.” But this drug had an aura of revolution:

That was one of the mysteries of psychedelics. Taking LSD was like being in a secret society. Hardly anything was being said about it publicly. As a matter of fact, LSD was not an illegal drug, but people acted as if it were; it seemed illegal…. There was no way of knowing how many people might be messing with psychedelics. If you thought about it, you might conclude the only people taking LSD were Leary and the Harvard crowd, some Beats, and a few others, possibly not many more than your own circle of insane friends.(107)

It is possible that the sources of the drugs and its secret intelligence origins were not as unknown to Adelle Davis and the critics who reviewed Exploring Inner Space, not to mention Oscar Janiger, Leary and Kesey, as it would seem at first glance. Davis’ dedication at the front of the book read, “…to those wonderful stagehands who helped pull back the curtains.” She made a point of thanking the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company by name for discovering and producing LSD and for spending millions of dollars researching it. Her book not only reports her own experiences on the drug, but also refers to reports others had written about taking it.(108) One wonders how a volunteer subject in a medical experiment might get access to reports written by other volunteers. Robert Davidson wrote in the Introduction that more than 600 scientific papers had been published about LSD,(109) so he was not isolated from the fact of a large bulk of research. In the Appendix, Davidson discussed the difference between the action of LSD and schizophrenia at some length.(110) He also mentioned that “distribution of LSD is carefully controlled by the manufacturer.”(111) And he acknowledged cryptically, “Some hallucinogens are said to be used in other less humanitarian experiments being carried out in the fields of chemical warfare and prisoner interrogation.”(112) The bottom line is that Robert Davidson, and (we can reasonably assume) through him Adelle Davis, did have an overview of the whole LSD picture.

Just because Davis and Davidson were grateful to Sandoz and had an inkling of the darker side of LSD research, we cannot arbitrarily tar them with the same brush as Allen Dulles, Sid Gottlieb and Richard Helms. Nevertheless, these clues in Exploring Inner Space become impossible to ignore as more context is assembled around this time and these events. At least one other oddly similar book, which was in fact written by a friend of Adelle Davis(113) and published only a year later, contained the same clues.

Thelma Moss wrote Myself and I under the pseudonym Constance A. Newland.(114) A clinical psychologist(115) and an M.D. psychiatrist(116) wrote a Forward and Introduction (respectively) in this case, and like Davidson in the Dunlap book, they both made a point of their own experiences with LSD. The author herself wrote the Appendices. The sources listed most frequently in the bibliography and notes include Harold Abramson, Louis Cholden, Paul Hoch, Abram Hoffer, Aldous Huxley, Harry Pennes, R.A. Sandison and Charles Savage, all familiar names from the LSD conferences of the fifties sponsored by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and/or CIA funding cut-outs like the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation or the Geschicter Fund. Moss referred to her doctor and friend who ran the LSD research in which she participated only as “Dr. M.” In Appendix A, Moss repeated the same (incorrect) figure given by Davison in the Dunlap book: “Since… 1947, well over 600 articles on LSD-25 have appeared in the journals of Canada, Hungary, France, South Africa, Italy, Argentina, England and the United States.”(117) Failing to be a conservative LSD proponent despite her best efforts, Moss evangelized: “These unsurpassed events occurred in that far reach of the mind, the unconscious, which had previously seemed an inaccessible myth. Now it became reality, amazingly accessible, simply through the taking of a drug.”(118) And: “I no longer feel a desperate emptiness inside… my life has new savor, new meaning — and new mystery.”(119) She also included a passive-voice, unattributed, one-sentence mention of the dark side: “leaving the antipodes of mysticism for a far sterner outpost, it has been suggested that LSD might prove an effective — because harmless — means of chemical warfare….”(120)

Alan Watt’s The Joyous Cosmology(121) completed a trilogy evidencing by 1962 that “it was too late to turn off the publicity machine (producing) anecdotal accounts of the Other World.”(122) One earlier example can be mentioned as well. R.H. Ward’s A Drug-Taker’s Notes(123) actually came out four years before Dunlap, but referred to many of the same CIA-connected psychiatric authorities (Hoch, Rinkel, Sandison, Hoffer and Osmond) and kept certain identities secret (the doctor who administered LSD to the author was only “Dr. X” and another subject was just “A”). It is probably a coincidence, but Ward mentioned  authors de Quincy and Baudelaire, two names dropped conspicuously by Nathan S. Kline in his New York Times book review of Exploring Inner Space four years later.

These coincidences and little hints of connection add up to a substantial likelihood that the apparent innocence of George Leisey’s family who conducted and participated in LSD research to expand the boundaries of human consciousness, supposedly without affinity for the darker agenda of the military and intelligence establishments, was in fact “selective attention” or “insulation.” These were two factors which helped make many projects throughout the social sciences respectable and legitimate despite their underlying connection to a violent agenda of Psychological Warfare, according to a 1968 study done for the U.S. Air Force. Scientists asserted their attachment to issues like the Pentagon’s cause against Stalinism while sidestepping others like the rise of the military-industrial complex.(124) Oscar Janiger was proud of his earlier adoration for Captain Al Hubbard years after the LSD experiments were over, though it had been clear to him and his cohorts in the fifties that Hubbard’s background in intelligence and connection to defense interests were the reason he could supply them with hallucinogenic drugs. It is not likely that Janiger, Sidney Cohen, Bob Davidson and David Snow were entirely innocent of the fact that their research was possible only with the tacit blessing of the CIA. Secrecy was a catalyst for extremely adroit selectivity of attention. At a time when secrecy was necessary and even patriotic across many scientific fields, scientists could easily assert that they never knew what someone else was doing. Even Aldous Huxley, whose work clearly reflected spiritual pursuits with LSD, could not resist offering advice to MKULTRA researchers, though he probably never had to admit it. Huxley once wrote Louis Jolyon West, a CIA psychiatrist, to suggest hypnotizing subjects prior to administering LSD to find out whether post-hypnotic suggestion could influence the drug experience. The CIA was quite interested in this idea.(125)

Footnotes:

103. Project MKULTRA was entirely Helms’ brainchild. He conceived it and convinced Dulles to approve it. He saved it every time it was threatened, and hid all evidence of it to the best of his ability when it was over. In my opinion the purposeful bureaucratic organization of the full scientific and financial resources of the United States Government and economy toward technical production of human robots, to be used as unknowing assassins and sacrificed for some mystic goal of political dominance over the human race, puts Richard Helms in a league with Joseph Mengele and the Nazi psychiatrists and sociologists who stood on the selection ramps to direct human freight to the right or to the left, as it unloaded at Auschwitz.
104. Lee and Shlain, page 38.
105. April 30 interview.
106. I’m sure there are more, but they must be a very small segment of the public who bought Davis’ books on nutrition. George Leisey told me that after his mother died he received many calls from strange characters, usually spiritual mediums, who claimed they had “just been in contact with Adelle” and that it might shock George, but his mother did not really die of natural causes. These (however well-intended) crackpots often seemed to know about the LSD book. Mrs. Linda Kravitz of Oak Park, IL was the one fan who remembered the Dunlap book. She told me, in a whisper to prevent her fourteen-year-old daughter from overhearing, “God, I loved LSD! People found out that Adelle Davis had written a book about it, but they said, Oh it’s okay that she took it, like they had to think of an excuse or something!”
107. Perry, Charles. The Haight-Ashbury: A History. New York: Vintage/Random House, 1985. Page 7.
108. Dunlap, page 18.
109. In fact by 1961 the total was over 1000. The National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; 1943-1966 Bibliography on Psychotomimetics (reprinted with permission of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals).
110. Dunlap, page 211-12.
111. Ibid, page 213.
112. Ibid, page 7.
113. Per George Leisey, interview of April 30, 1998.
114. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1962.
115. Harold Greenwald, Ph.D.
116. Dr. R.A. Sandison, no less.
117. Newland, page 251-52.
118. Ibid, page 22.
119. Ibid, page 243.
120. Ibid, page 262.
121. New York: Vintage, 1962.
122. Stevens, page 183.
123. London: Victor Gollanz, Ltd., 1957
124. Albert Biderman and Elizabeth Crawford, Political Economics of Social Research: The Case of Sociology (Springfield, VA: Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technological Information, 1968); quoted in Christopher Simpson, Science of Coercion, pages 95-97.
125. Lee and Shlain, page 48.

(NEXT: IMPLICATIONS OF SECRECY, continued…)

Monday, November 5, 2018

SLOUCHING, part 8

PSYCHEDELIC GENERATIONS: ADELLE DAVIS AND GEORGE LEISEY (continued further)

Acid wasn’t a new thing to George Leisey like it was to the hippies. After all, his mother and her friends had been taking it many years earlier, and in fact, so had George himself. In 1959 he was only thirteen years old, but his mother’s psychiatrist friends “wanted to find out for their research what LSD would do if they gave it to an obnoxious little kid.”(91) Adelle Davis took her young son down to Oscar Janiger’s office and acted as his guide the first time he took LSD. Leisey recalls being told there were five kids all together who were subjects in Dr. Janiger’s experiments. Janiger, Sidney Cohen, Bob Davidson and David Snow “had kind of a private network…”(92) through which they obtained children fo their research. Leisey doesn’t quite remember the names of the other kids…. There was one girl named Joyce, on whom he’d had a crush: she caused no small surprise one day when George discovered her tripping in his own house on her seventeenth birthday. Mother Adelle acted as Joyce’s LSD guide, too. In fact, Leisey’s mom had talked Joyce’s mother into letting her be a subject in the experiments, apparently acting on behalf of the “private network….” Years later Leisey knew the daughter of Art Linkletter who committed suicide while using LSD. He says he had at least five childhood friends who committed suicide, and he knows several of those deaths were probably caused by drugs.

Leisey readily admits, “Adelle Davis would have ended up in the slammer real fast, if she had given her son and other kids LSD these days.”(93) But even in the fifties, before LSD had a bad reputation or any reputation at all, giving an experimental mind altering drug to children was a morally questionable business. The psychiatrists with whom Davis was friendly knew that. But Leisey is far from bitter toward his mother.(94) To this day he would probably approve of clinical LSD research, and he tends to credit the view that a widespread drug culture in the sixties torpedoed chances for more work similar to what his mother’s friends had done.

In 1986 Oscar Janiger organized an art exhibit in his home in Santa Monica to begin rehabilitating his favorite outlawed drug’s public image.(95) A year later he founded the Albert Hoffman Foundation in Los Angeles, hoping a groundswell of opinion would encourage legalization of the kind of projects run in the late fifties.(96) On one hand George Leisey wishes Janiger success.(97) However a recent phone call to the Hoffman Foundation revealed that in the eleven years since it was founded donations never brought in the resources to permanently house historical archives from Janiger’s research or open a planned public museum, despite front page press coverage when the Foundation was first announced.(98) On the other hand Leisey obviously finds it difficult to locate himself on any scale of attitudes about LSD. His early experience, like his mother’s, was constructed around a concept of a carefully controlled trip with clinical psychiatric attention to every detail of “set and setting.”(99) But when he implies that the sixties drug culture damaged chances for careful attempts to expand human consciousness, Leisey has to separate himself from his own behavior. The stories of wandering naked in the desert, etc., are straight out of Keseyan legends in the true “prank ‘em” style.(100)

Individual statements and behavior which appear to be logically inconsistent or hypocritical with several decades’ hindsight are usually evidence that real events and real lives are much more complicated than historians can record. When George Leisey was asked how his mother could have taken drugs and then blamed others for taking them, how she could have turned such a glib “anti-commie” phrase despite her personal awareness of McCarhtyism’s injustices, he found it awkward to explain. But he insisted that Adelle Davis was, if nothing else, entirely genuine in her stated opinions at the time she offered them.(101) People do change their minds during their lives, futures are hard to predict. Leisey knew certain very intelligent people who kept personal supplies of LSD for the day when each would lie on his or her death bed. His mother was one such person, but in the event her drug of choice had far fewer implications for the next world. The final stages of bone cancer apparently involve a degree of pain which just sucks one’s attention back to the present, away from all the higher contemplations. Adelle Davis spent her own final weeks, days, hours and minutes… in the softest fog that increasing doses of morphine could provide.(102)

Footnotes:

91. April 16, 1998 phone interview.
92. April 30, 1998 phone interview.
93. Ibid.
94. When I mentioned Leisey’s claim that his mother made him the subject of LSD experiments to Professor Lane Fenrich, he immediately cautioned me against believing a bitter son’s charges about what his mother did to him. But in fact George’s Leisey and Adelle Davis, whatever their relationship had been in the fifties, were quite close later. Davis died in her son’s arms in 1974, after he had cared for her personally during many months of severe physical degeneration from bone cancer and the chemotherapy and radiation treatment for that disease. There is no trace of bitterness in his memories of her.
95. Goldstein, Alan, “Psychiatrist Holds Art Exhibit to Encourage New Study of LSD”, Los Angeles Times. June 30, 1986, page 1.
96. Klein, Dianne, “50 Years Later, New Acid Test for LSD”, Los Angeles Times, September 30, 1988, page 1. Fleming, Anne Taylor, “A Mecca For Psychedelic Pilgrims”, New York Times, August 10, 1988.
97. April 16, 1998 interview with Leisey.
98. I actually called the number listed in the September, 1988 article in the LA Times first, and got a recording which gave an address in Laguna Beach to which I could send my request to be added to their mailing list, and referred me to another number belonging to “John” in Los Angeles. When I reached John he was very anxious to find out if I was or knew a potential financial donor, but he had no interest in answering any other questions, including what his last name might be. As I talked with him for about five minutes, I was aware that he was either using a speaker phone or located in a high-echo space of some sort. Then came the clear sound of a “john” flushing, and I realized the Albert Hoffman Foundation is hurting if “John” is its only contact with the public.
99. “Set and setting” was the phrase which defined the methodology of Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and the Harvard and Millbrook commune crowd. They had learned it from Captain Al Hubbard. See Lee and Shlain or Stevens.
100. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters advocated the exact opposite address to LSD use from Leary. They insisted that the more uncontrolled and unpredictable the experience could be made, the better. Lee and Shlain, Stevens.
101. Phone interview with George Leisey, April 30, 1998.
102. Ibid.

(NEXT: IMPLICATIONS OF SECRECY)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

SLOUCHING, part 7

PSYCHEDELIC GENERATIONS: ADELLE DAVIS AND GEORGE LEISEY (continued)


It was fateful that Americans generally did not distinguish between the opposing factions of the mental health movement in the fifties. Shrinks were shrinks, and they mainly worked for the rich or the government; normal people avoided them and told jokes about them. Even when hundreds of articles were being published about LSD every year in technical journals, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed the Jane Dunlap book as though no one had ever heard of the psychedelic substance that would soon change the international image of the city, as singer Scott McKensie told anyone going to San Francisco to “be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”(73) The Chronicle reviewer noted, “LSD-25, a newly discovered hallucinogenic drug… this frantic form of pot…” was experienced by Dunlap as one of the lucky few people allowed to try it. He then pointedly asked, “Why can’t the rest of us poor slobs have some?”(74) When Dr. Davidson wrote in the Introduction of Exploring Inner Space, “The wonder of LSD is that it can bring within the capabilities of ordinary people the experience of universal love and the reality of our divine nature,”(75) he did not express sentiments associated with a Nathan Kline or a Harold Wolff; he was closer to the Chronicle. But Davidson and other psychoanalysts were still trying frantically to compete with non-Freudians, for grant dollars and prestige in LSD research, and increasingly for real market share in the business of mental health.

Four years after the APA round table, a three-day international conference was sponsored by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation and supported by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Princeton, NJ. The same divergent views were expressed even more emphatically than in 1955. The CIA’s own Harold Abramson received general agreement when he said, “I have always felt that the importance of LSD was not LSD, but that LSD will bring to medicine what it really needs: to have psychiatry a branch of experimental medicine.”(76) However the Dutch psychiatrist C. H. Van Rhijn suggested a broader goal, one which in an ironic sense, actually was fulfilled seven or eight years later in Haight-Ashbury: “I had a vision, and I still have this vision, of mass therapy: institutions in which every patient with a neurosis could get LSD treatment and work out his problems largely by himself.”(77)

Adelle Davis’ motives for publishing the Jane Dunlap book are a fascinating subject for speculation. They seem to have expressed all the confusion brewing just beneath the surface of American society at the time. She wrote:

As a result of this spiritual fulfillment, an amazingly deep optimism has come to me. Formerly when I felt the hot breath of Communism on my neck I was thrown into a miserable depression, agreeing with Spengler that the West was indeed declining… But to one who accepts the God pull of reversed gravity and maintains a geological time sense, the future seems gloriously bright.(78)

Her words show that within months after the Macy Foundation’s conference, the science problem — or brain problem, or the problem of psychiatry’s place in the world, whatever it was in which LSD played such a pivotal role for mental health professionals — was already becoming something embarrassingly different: a populist spiritual quest which would not be confined to the proper synaptic spaces. Davis and Davidson certainly wrote Exploring Inner Space and its introduction and Postscript to evangelize LSD, perhaps not as freely as Ken Kesey would evangelize it beginning a couple of years later, but nevertheless to bring to the book reading-public the good news about a new chemical salvation. Inner Space still paid lip service to the conservative position that LSD should be available only to the “proper scientific researchers,” but it is obvious that the author and her psychologist friend considered at least some of the public worthy of being let in.

Adelle Davis was a fascinatingly mixed personality, one part respectable scientific professional and another part rebel. She was extensively trained as a nutritionist, having moved relentlessly from her parents’ hard scrabble Indiana farm through Purdue University, UC-Berkeley, University of Southern California, Columbia University, and UCLA to get her several degrees and do postgraduate work. She lectured and wrote prolifically on her subject, and stood up to what she considered the ignorant criticisms of her work from a medical establishment which saw no need to educate its clinicians in nutrition. George Leisey contends that at one time or another, practically every federal agency he had ever heard of was after his mother.(79) She was at the center of FDA and FCC issues regarding the advertising of natural foods. In her own way she was a prototype in the late fifties of the younger California generation that would create a “New Age” culture that would spread across the country.

A Los Angeles Times article on May 18, 1972 headlined, “Nutrition Crusader Adelle Davis Challenged on Theories: FCC Commissioner Sparks Food-Related Gathering”(80) offered an interesting view of the author’s public renown at the time.(81) The headline and the first few paragraphs, which media-wise professional spinners know is all most people will ever read, gave a clear impression that Adelle Davis was chastened and repentant in a public confrontation with “real” scientists from the government who had the public interest at heart. The balance of the piece contained much more information on Ms. Davis’ views, and readers who bothered to turn to the inside pages would have realized that the debate was not one-sided against Davis at all, the bureaucrats probably got the worst of it. One very curious quote from Davis, however, directly concerns our story. In the final few lines of the article she stated: “Young people are far more interested in nutrition than their parents — a lot of them lost their health because of drugs, during the hippie time a few years ago.” Considering Davis’ own role in promoting what she thought were phenomenal human benefits of LSD in 1961, there is something funny about this 1972 characterization. She was the one who had written:

Many hundreds of people given LSD have entered worlds of fantastic beauty where compassion and love have become compulsory. People who have had such experiences usually agree that deep within each of us lie goodness unimaginable, wisdom, music, talents of every variety, joy, peace, humility, love, and spirituality, to mention only a few.(82)

Perhaps by the seventies the popular author was, like most people, prone to occasional hypocrisy. If that is the explanation, she remained in 1972 a harbinger of social trends in the baby boom generation: young people were beginning to abandon the ideological movements to become the “yuppies” of the eighties. But maybe Davis meant that young people had lost their health by using drugs other than LSD, or because of the way they experimented with drugs on their own, outside of the clinical environment and psychiatric supervision.

Adelle Davis’ son remembers the fifties well. He lived within an easy drive of Hollywood, in the suburb where her mother had moved so her children didn’t have to grow up in the city. As teenagers George and his friends got tickets every year to the Academy Award ceremonies. Leisey remembers his mother and stepfather taking acid and eating hallucinogenic mushrooms (which had also been a subject of earlier fascination for American Intelligence, and which soon became Timothy Leary’s first avenue to psychedelic experience), beginning perhaps in 1957.(83) He remembers David Snow and Bob Davidson very well, as longtime family friends. His mother’s comment in her book about “the hot breath of communism” clashes slightly with George’s memories of her private rage when the House Un-American Activities Committee chose to harass her friends with subpoenas. But perhaps if Harcourt, Brace & World edited the truth of Adelle Davis’ psychedelic experimentation down to what they felt would seem scientific and respectable, political etiquette was also maintained in Inner Space at a time when reputations could still be endangered by suspicions of sympathy for communism. Or maybe Adelle Davis only objected to the devices of anti-communist paranoia when they were aimed against her own friends; maybe she thought the HUAC investigations in general were a necessary and just process.

Leisey remembers the sixties, too. He served in Vietnam and says he was stationed near Hue during the 1968 Tet offensive. He recalls the assassination of Martin Luther King only a month before he was scheduled to return home. During that last month he knew he could no longer trust the black men in his unit even though many of them had been his friends; the camp was suddenly armed one race against another, with the yellow a mere background consideration. “It was the weirdest experience I ever had,” says Leisey.(84) Another weird thing slightly earlier in the same decade had been one of Ken Kesey’s “acid test” parties.(85) Leisey distinguishes “pharmaceutical” LSD like what Dr. Janiger had obtained from Sandoz in the fifties from the drug which was grabbed out of shopping bags passed around to the long-haired devotees of high-volume Jefferson Airplane music in dark San Francisco concert halls punctuated by strobes and light shows. When asked about the promotional claims by Augustus Owsley Stanley that his LSD was even purer than the Sandoz product,(86) Leisey replies, “Yeah, well, you could have told those people (at the Kesey acid tests) anything. How would anyone ever have known? You just reached into the bag when it came around and got this little piece of blotter paper and ate it.”(87) Leisey claims that during his Sixties psychedelic times he once drove out into the desert, dropped acid and left his car to wander along while tripping. “It was fantastic. I was real lucky though, to ever find my clothes and my way back.”(88) He and a friend once completely disassembled a motorcycle while tripping. “We learned a lot of things about motorcycle engines that no one else knows, like the fact that you can actually fall into a carburetor, and your hand can meld to the metal of a gas tank.”(89) He recalls being unable to “unstick” his feet from the beach one day, and the impossibility of finding his way out of the marketplace labyrinth on another.(90) But Leisey says LSD was less interesting to him in the sixties than, for example, some of the things certain Indian tribes in Mexico were doing with mushrooms.


Footnotes:

73. McKensie, Scott. “If You’re Going To San Francisco” song lyrics, 1967. (From memory only.)
74. San Francisco Chronicle, June 4, 1961.
75. Dunlap, page 9.
76. Abramson, Harold A., M.D., ed. The Use of LSD in Psychotherapy: Transactions of a Conference on d-Lysergic Diethylamide, April 22, 23 and 24, 1959, Princeton, NJ. New York : Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, 1960. Page 239.
77. Ibid. Page 14. Professor Fenrich commented to me that this quote reads like a joke; to the contrary, it was a completely serious point of discussion among experts in psychiatry and psychoanalysis at an international conference sponsored by a foundation which enjoyed government support.
78. Dunlap, 1961. Page 206-7.
79. Part of this  was due to Davis’ later use of illegal laetrile to treat the bone cancer which killed her. However, Davis testified twice before Congress and her comments about the nutritional ignorance of entrenched “education” authorities were no doubt quite threatening to people who considered themselves targeted. George Leisey interview, April 30, 1998.
80. Gettinger, Louise. (Exclusive to the Times from the Washington Post.) Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1972; section VI, page 1.
81. In my opinion, it also revealed tactics which would have been easily recognized by any intelligence operator who ever planned a campaign to reduce the popular reputation and influence of a celebrity. See for example, as an excellent case study, Burroughs, Bryan; Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmund Safra; New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
82. Dunlap, 1961. Page 207-208
83. Since Davis claims in the Dunlap book that she first took LSD in October of 1959, Leisey’s recollection seems at first glance to indicate that his mother altered this history. However, I cannot be certain from what Leisey has told me. His memory might be slightly vague, or he might have been covering things up a little bit, especially in our earlier conversations. He also said once that if there was experimentation going on outside of the five experiences written about in Inner Space, the it was of minor significance.
84. April 2, 1998 phone interview with George Leisey.
85. Beginning in the fall of 1965, Kesey and the Merry Pranksters held a series of publicly-advertised parties at which LSD (usually the Owsley brand) was made freely available to anyone who would take it. The most famous of these was the “Trips Festival” held in Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco in early 1966, attended by 6000 people. According to Jay Stevens in Storming Heaven, Ken Kesey introduced more people to LSD in a few months than the psychiatric researchers, the CIA, Sandoz and Timothy Leary combined had in the previous 23 years, and was the single most important catalyst in the explosion of the hippie population of the Haight in 1966.
86. “Owsley was obsessed with making his product as pure as possible — even purer than Sandoz, which described LSD in its scientific reports as a yellowish crystalline substance. As he mastered his illicit craft, Owsley found a way to refine the crystal so that it appeared blue-which under a fluorescent lamp; moreover, if the crystals were shaken, they emitted flashed of light, which meant that LSD in its pure form was piezoluminexcent — a property shared by a very small number of compounds.” Lee and Shlain, page 146-7.
87. April 16, 1998 phone interview with George Leisey.
88. Ibid.
89. April 30, 1998 phone interview.
90. Ibid.

(To be Continued further)