Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MAPS Sponsors Psychedelic Confab

And J.R. will discuss his LSD trips with you.

The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has put together a roster of very big psychedelic guns, as well as a few surprises, for its mini-conference on December 12-13 in Los Angeles. On tap for the convocation are such luminaries as Stanislav Grof of Holotropic Breathwork fame; as well as Charles Grob, professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine and a psychedelic research of long standing who recently studied the effects of psilocybin on death anxiety in terminal cancer patients.

“Catalysts: The Impact of Psychedelics from Consciousness to the Clinic, and from Culture to Creativity” will feature presentations and discussions on “psychedelic science, the current state of psychedelic research, and clinical applications for therapeutic use.”

Other experts among the scientists, physicians, psychologists, writers, and artists expected to attend include Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS, who has specialized in research on MDMA (Ecstasy) as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. Another scheduled attendee, James Fadiman, was introduced to the field of psychedelic drugs by his Harvard undergraduate advisor Richard Alpert, who later became well known as Baba Ram Dass. Fadiman holds the distinction of being the last LSD researcher to be shut down by the U.S. government, when he was at San Francisco State University in 1972.

Also in attendance will be Julie Holland, an assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and the author of “Ecstasy: A Complete Guide,” and Clare Wilkins, director of the Pangea Biomedics Ibogaine Clinic in Mexico.

Special Bonus Appearance:

I can’t imagine that anyone under the age of 55 is likely to know who Larry Hagman is. Long ago, he was on a camp TV show about a Texas oil bazillionaire with nasty habits. Not only was he a big TV star, he was also old enough to have been around when LSD psychotherapy came to the couches of Hollywood analysts for a brief period in the 1960s and attracted some other odd ducks like Cary Grant and James Coburn. Hagman, Star of TV’s “Dallas” and “I Dream of Jeannie,” will discuss his experiences with LSD psychotherapy.

Earlier, he talked about his experiences in a 2003 interview with Rick Doblin, published in the MAPS journal and excerpted below:

Before I tried LSD, I'd been going to a psychologist for a couple of years…. I had been addicted to tobacco and Bontril, a mild form of amphetamine, doctor-prescribed of course….

I was backstage at a performance one time with Crosby, Stills & Nash and I was talking about it to David Crosby. David said, well, shit, man, here. He handed me a handful of little pills. I said what the fuck? He says this is LSD. It was the best going around at that time. This was before Blue Cheer and Windowpane. This was the original Owsley. He gave me about 25 pills. I said, well, how much should I take? He says, well, don't take more than one….

… my first acid trip was the most illuminating experience of my life. I would highly recommend it for people who study and prepare for it and who are not neurotic or psychotic. I don't know what it would do to psychotic people. I know what it does to neurotic people who can't handle that. They get terrified and do crazy things like jumping out of windows and stuff like that. That's happened to a couple of friends of mine.

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