Fw: [DrugWar] US: Dr. Ecstasy

Preston Peet ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Sun Jan 30 13:53:00 EST 2005


Hey,
    Maybe we should lock up Dr. Shulgin and his wife. Or force them to take 
ibogaine and if it doesn't "work" (and that's something else btw, mentioned 
in Randy's post- ibogaine DID work for me folks- I got exactly what I wanted 
and needed from taking ibogaine I feel, and will do it again at some point, 
quite possibly more than once too) get the government to coerce them into 
stopping their obviously illegal and destructive drug use.

Peace and love,
Preston Peet

"Madness is not enlightenment, but the search for enlightenment is often 
mistaken for madness"
Richard Davenport-Hines

ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Editor http://www.drugwar.com
Editor "Under the Influence- the Disinformation Guide to Drugs"
Editor "Mysterious Roots- The Disinformation Guide to Ancient Civilizations, 
Explorations and Enigmas" (due out Sept. 2005)
Cont. High Times mag/.com
Cont. Editor http://www.disinfo.com
Columnist New York Waste
Etc.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Lake" <rlake at mapinc.org>
To: <drugwar at mindvox.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 12:35 PM
Subject: [DrugWar] US: Dr. Ecstasy


>
> URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v05.n170.a05.html
>
> Newshawk: DrugNews Fast! http://drugnews.org/
> Pubdate: Sun, 30 Jan 2005
> Source: New York Times (NY)
> Section: Magazine
> Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company
> Contact: letters at nytimes.com
> Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
> Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/298
> Author: Drake Bennett
> Note: Drake Bennett is the staff writer for The Boston Globe Ideas 
> section.
> Photo: Alexander Shulgin. (Jeff Minton for The New York Times) 
> http://www.mapinc.org/images/Shulgin.jpg
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/people/Shulgin (Dr. Shulgin)
>
> DR. ECSTASY
>
> Alexander Shulgin, Sasha to his friends, lives with his wife, Ann, 30 
> minutes inland from the San Francisco Bay on a hillside dotted with valley 
> oak, Monterey pine and hallucinogenic cactus. At 79, he stoops a little, 
> but he is still well over six feet tall, with a mane of white hair, a 
> matching beard and a wardrobe that runs toward sandals, slacks and 
> short-sleeved shirts with vaguely ethnic patterns. He lives modestly, 
> drawing income from a small stock portfolio supplemented by his Social 
> Security and the rent that two phone companies pay him to put cell towers 
> on his land. In many respects he might pass for a typical Contra Costa 
> County retiree.
>
> It was an acquaintance of Shulgin's named Humphry Osmond, a British 
> psychiatrist and researcher into the effects of mescaline and LSD, who 
> coined the word "psychedelic" in the late 1950's for a class of drugs that 
> significantly alter one's perception of reality. Derived from Greek, the 
> term translates as "mind manifesting" and is preferred by those who 
> believe in the curative power of such chemicals. Skeptics tend to call 
> them hallucinogens.
>
> Shulgin is in the former camp. There's a story he likes to tell about the 
> past 100 years: "At the beginning of the 20th century, there were only two 
> psychedelic compounds known to Western science: cannabis and mescaline. A 
> little over 50 years later -- with LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, TMA, several 
> compounds based on DMT and various other isomers -- the number was up to 
> almost 20. By 2000, there were well over 200. So you see, the growth is 
> exponential." When I asked him whether that meant that by 2050 we'll be up 
> to 2,000, he smiled and said, "The way it's building up now, we may have 
> well over that number."
>
> The point is clear enough: the continuing explosion in options for 
> chemical mind-manifestation is as natural as the passage of time. But what 
> Shulgin's narrative leaves out is the fact that most of this supposedly 
> inexorable diversification took place in a lab in his backyard. For 40 
> years, working in plain sight of the law and publishing his results, 
> Shulgin has been a one-man psychopharmacological research sector. (Timothy 
> Leary called him one of the century's most important scientists.) By 
> Shulgin's own count, he has created nearly 200 psychedelic compounds, 
> among them stimulants, depressants, aphrodisiacs, "empathogens," 
> convulsants, drugs that alter hearing, drugs that slow one's sense of 
> time, drugs that speed it up, drugs that trigger violent outbursts, drugs 
> that deaden emotion -- in short, a veritable lexicon of tactile and 
> emotional experience. And in 1976, Shulgin fished an obscure chemical 
> called MDMA out of the depths of the chemical literature and introduced it 
> to the wider world, where it came to be known as Ecstasy.
>
> In the small subculture that truly believes in better living through 
> chemistry, Shulgin's oeuvre has made him an icon and a hero: part pioneer, 
> part holy man, part connoisseur. As his supporters point out, his work 
> places him in an old, and in many cultures venerable, tradition. Whether 
> it's West African iboga ceremonies or Navajo peyote rituals, 60's LSD 
> culture or the age-old cultivation of cannabis nearly everywhere on the 
> planet it can grow, the pursuit and celebration of chemically-induced 
> alternate realms of consciousness goes back beyond the dawn of recorded 
> history and has proved impossible to fully suppress. Shulgin sees nothing 
> strange about devoting his life to it. What's strange to him is that so 
> few others see fit to do the same thing.
>
> Most of the scientific community considers Shulgin at best a curiosity and 
> at worst a menace. Now, however, near the end of his career, his faith in 
> the potential of psychedelics has at least a chance at vindication. A 
> little more than a month ago, the Food and Drug Administration approved a 
> Harvard Medical School study looking at whether MDMA can alleviate the 
> fear and anxiety of terminal cancer patients. And next month will mark a 
> year since Michael Mithoefer, a psychiatrist in Charleston, S.C., started 
> his study of Ecstasy-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. 
> At the same time, with somewhat less attention, studies at the 
> Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center and the University of Arizona, Tucson, have 
> focused on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin (the active ingredient 
> in "magic mushrooms"). It's far from a revolution, but it is an opening, 
> and as both scientist and advocate, Shulgin has helped create it. If --  
> and it's a big "if" -- the results of the studies are promising enough, it 
> might bring something like legitimacy to the Shulgin pharmacopoeia.
>
> "I've always been interested in the machinery of the mental process," 
> Shulgin told me not long ago. He has also, from a very young age, loved 
> playing with chemicals. As a lonely 16-year-old Harvard scholarship 
> student soon to drop out and join the Navy, he studied organic chemistry. 
> His interest in pharmacology dates to 1944, when a military nurse gave him 
> some orange juice just before his surgery for a thumb infection. Convinced 
> that the undissolved crystals at the bottom of the glass were a sedative, 
> Shulgin fell unconscious, only to find upon waking that the substance had 
> been sugar. It was a revelatory, tantalizing hint of the mind's odd 
> strength.
>
> When Shulgin had his first psychedelic experience in 1960, he was a young 
> U.C. Berkeley biochemistry Ph.D. working at Dow Chemical. He had already 
> been interested for several years in the chemistry of mescaline, the 
> active ingredient in peyote, when one spring day a few friends offered to 
> keep an eye on him while he tried it himself. He spent the afternoon 
> enraptured by his surroundings. Most important, he later wrote, he 
> realized that everything he saw and thought "had been brought about by a 
> fraction of a gram of a white solid, but that in no way whatsoever could 
> it be argued that these memories had been contained within the white 
> solid. . . . I understood that our entire universe is contained in the 
> mind and the spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even 
> deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are 
> chemicals that can catalyze its availability."
>
> Epiphanies don't come much grander than that, and Shulgin's interest in 
> psychoactive drugs bloomed into an obsession. "There was," he remembers 
> thinking, "this remarkably rich and unexplored area that I had to 
> explore." Two years later, he was given his chance when he created 
> Zectran, one of the world's first biodegradable insecticides. In return, 
> Dow gave him its customary dollar for the patent and unlimited freedom to 
> pursue his interests.
>
> As Shulgin turned toward making psychedelics, Dow remained true to its 
> word. When the company asked, he patented his compounds. When it didn't, 
> Shulgin published his findings in places like Nature and The Journal of 
> Organic Chemistry. Eventually, however, Dow decided that Shulgin's work 
> wasn't something it wanted to endorse and asked that he not use the 
> company address in his publications. He began to work out of a lab he had 
> set up at home, eventually leaving Dow altogether to freelance as a 
> consultant to research labs and hospitals.
>
> All along he made drugs: 2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethoxyamphetamine, or MEM for 
> short, was his Rosetta stone, a "valuable and dramatic compound" that 
> opened the door to a whole class of drugs based on changes at the "4 
> position" of a molecule's central carbon ring. A compound he dubbed 
> Aleph-1 gave him "one of the most delicious blends of inflation, paranoia 
> and selfishness that I have ever experienced." Another, Ariadne, was 
> patented and tested under the name Dimoxamine as a drug for "restoring 
> motivation in senile geriatric patients." Still another, DIPT, created no 
> visual hallucinations but distorted the user's sense of pitch.
>
> Shulgin tested for activity by taking the chemicals himself. He would 
> start many times below the active dose of a compound's closest analog and 
> work his way up on alternate days. When he found something of interest, 
> Ann, whom he married in 1981, would try it. If he thought further study 
> was warranted, he would invite over his "research group" of six to eight 
> close friends -- among them two psychologists and a fellow chemist -- and 
> try the drugs out on them. In case of a truly dangerous reaction, Shulgin 
> kept an anti-convulsant on hand. He used it twice, both times on himself.
>
> Shulgin's pace has slowed recently -- the research group hardly meets 
> anymore. Nevertheless, Ann figures that she's had more than 2,000 
> psychedelic experiences. Shulgin puts his own figure above 4,000. Asked if 
> they had suffered any effects from their remarkable drug histories, they 
> laughed. "You mean negative effects?" Ann said. In more than a dozen hours 
> of conversation, her memory proved sharp. But Shulgin, while a nimble 
> conversationalist, can have trouble with names -- of people and places, 
> never chemicals. At one point, while explaining a mnemonic device he uses 
> to remember world geography, he paused and asked me, "Where's that place 
> where Ann is from?" (She was born in New Zealand.) He is, though, also 
> nearing 80.
>
> Once a Shulgin compound develops a reputation, it is almost invariably 
> placed on the Drug Enforcement Agency's list of Schedule I drugs, those 
> deemed to have no accepted medical use and the highest potential for abuse 
> or addiction. It is therefore rather striking that Shulgin is not only 
> still a free man, but also still at work. His own explanation is that, 
> quite simply, "I'm not doing anything illegal." For more than 20 years, 
> until a government crackdown, he had a D.E.A.-issued Schedule I research 
> license. And many of the drugs in his lab weren't illegal because they 
> hadn't existed until he created them.
>
> Shulgin's knack for befriending the right people hasn't hurt. A week after 
> I visited him, he was headed to Sonoma County for the annual "summer 
> encampment" of the Bohemian Club, an exclusive, secretive San 
> Francisco-based men's club that has counted every Republican president 
> since Herbert Hoover among its members.
>
> For a long time, though, Shulgin's most helpful relationship was with the 
> D.E.A. itself. The head of the D.E.A.'s Western Laboratory, Bob Sager, was 
> one of his closest friends. Sager officiated at the Shulgins' wedding and, 
> a year later, was married on Shulgin's lawn. Through Sager, the agency 
> came to rely on Shulgin: he would give pharmacology talks to the agents, 
> make drug samples for the forensic teams and serve as an expert witness -- 
> though, he is quick to point out, he appeared much more frequently for the 
> defense. He even wrote the definitive law-enforcement desk-reference work 
> on controlled substances. In his office, Shulgin has several plaques 
> awarded to him by the agency for his service. (Shulgin denies that this 
> had anything to do with his being given his Schedule I license.)
>
> Nevertheless, in the early 80's, Shulgin began having grim fantasies of 
> the D.E.A. throwing him in jail, ransacking his lab and destroying all of 
> his records. At the same time, he was finding it harder to get his work 
> published: journals were either uninterested in or leery about human 
> psychedelic research. He decided to make as much of what he knew public as 
> quickly as possible. He and Ann started work on a book called "PiHKAL" 
> (short for "Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved," after a family of 
> compounds particularly rich in psychoactivity), self-publishing it in 
> 1991.
>
> It is a curious hybrid work, divided into two sections. The first, "The 
> Love Story," is a thinly fictionalized account of Sasha's and Ann's 
> comings of age, previous marriages, meeting, courtship (to which nearly 
> 200 pages are devoted) and many drug experiences. The second, "The 
> Chemical Story," is not a story at all, but capsule descriptions of 179 
> phenethylamines. Each entry includes step-by-step instructions for 
> synthesis, along with recommended dosages, duration of action and 
> "qualitative comments" like the following, for 60 milligrams of something 
> called 3C-E: "Visuals very strong, insistent. Body discomfort remained 
> very heavy for first hour. . . . 2nd hour on, bright colors, distinct 
> shapes -- jewel-like -- with eyes closed. Suddenly it became clearly not 
> anti-erotic. . . . Image of glass-walled apartment building in mid-desert. 
> Exquisite sensitivity. Down by? midnight. Next morning, faint flickering 
> lights on looking out windows." "TiHKAL" ("Tryptamines I Have Known and 
> Loved"), self-published six years later, follows the same model.
>
> To date, "PiHKAL" has sold more than 41,000 copies, a figure nearly 
> unheard-of for a self-published book. It introduced Shulgin's work to a 
> whole new audience and turned him into an underground celebrity. An 
> organization called the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics has an 
> online Ask Dr. Shulgin column that receives 200 questions a month. On 
> independent drug-information Web sites like www.erowid.com, you can find 
> the "PiHKAL" and "TiHKAL" entries for dozens of drugs, along with many 
> anonymously posted accounts of Shulgin-style self-dosing drug experiments, 
> some of them harrowing in their recklessness.
>
> With all of these fellow travelers, some very bad experiences are 
> inevitable. In 1967, a Shulgin compound called DOM enjoyed a brief vogue 
> in Haight-Ashbury under the name STP, at doses several times larger than 
> those at which Shulgin had found significant psychoactive effects, and 
> emergency rooms saw a spike in the number of people coming in thinking 
> they would never come down. And while the number of psychedelic-related 
> deaths is orders of magnitude smaller than the number due to alcohol, 
> prescription drugs or even over-the-counter painkillers, they do occur 
> regularly. In October 2000, a 20-year-old man in Norman, Okla., died from 
> taking 2C-T-7, a drug Shulgin describes in "PiHKAL" as "good and friendly 
> and wonderful."
>
> When I asked Shulgin whether he remembered the first time he heard that 
> someone had died from one of his drugs, he said he did not: "It would have 
> struck me as being a sad event. And yet, at the same time, how many people 
> die from aspirin? It's a small but real percentage." (The American 
> Association of Poison Control Centers, whose numbers are not 
> comprehensive, attributed 59 deaths to aspirin in 2003; most, though, were 
> suicides.) Asked whether he could imagine a drug so addictive that it 
> should be banned, he said no. With his fervent libertarianism -- he says 
> the only appropriate restriction on drugs is one to prevent children from 
> buying them -- he has inoculated himself against any sense of personal 
> guilt.
>
> Shulgin's special relationship with the D.E.A. ended two years after the 
> publication of "PiHKAL." According to Richard Meyer, spokesman for the 
> agency's San Francisco Field Division: "It is our opinion that those books 
> are pretty much cookbooks on how to make illegal drugs. Agents tell me 
> that in clandestine labs that they have raided, they have found copies of 
> those books." In 1993, D.E.A. agents descended on Shulgin's farm, combed 
> through the house and lab and carted off anything they thought might be an 
> illicit substance. Shulgin was fined $25,000 for violations of the terms 
> of his Schedule I license (donations from friends and admirers ended up 
> covering the whole amount) and was asked to turn the license in.
>
> To the extent that Shulgin is known to the wider world, it is as the 
> godfather of Ecstasy: 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, or MDMA, was 
> originally patented in 1914 by Merck. The byproduct of a chemical 
> synthesis, it was thought to have no use of its own and was promptly 
> forgotten. But Shulgin resynthesized it in 1976 at the suggestion of a 
> former student. (He has never found out how she heard about it.) Two years 
> later, in a paper written with his friend and fellow chemist David 
> Nichols, he was the first to publicly document its effect on humans: "an 
> easily controlled altered state of consciousness with emotional and 
> sensual overtones."
>
> Unlike many of its subsequent users, Shulgin did not find his MDMA 
> experience transformative. For him the effect was like a particularly 
> lucid alcohol buzz; he called it his "low-calorie martini." He was 
> intrigued, though, by the drug's unique combination of intoxication, 
> disinhibition and clarity. "It didn't have the other visual and auditory 
> imaginative things that you often get from psychedelics," he said. "It 
> opened up a person, both to other people and inner thoughts, but didn't 
> necessarily color it with pretty colors and strange noises." He decided 
> that it might be well suited for psychotherapy.
>
> At the time, it was not such an unconventional idea. In the 50's and 60's, 
> the use of LSD, psilocybin and mescaline in therapy was the subject of 
> much mainstream scholarly debate. LSD was a particularly hot topic: more 
> than a thousand papers were written on its use as an experimental 
> treatment for alcoholism, depression and various neuroses in some 40,000 
> patients. One proponent was a psychotherapist and friend of Shulgin's 
> named Leo Zeff. When Shulgin had him try MDMA in 1977, Zeff was so 
> impressed that he came out of retirement to proselytize for it. Ann 
> Shulgin remembers a speaker at Zeff's memorial service saying that Zeff 
> had introduced the drug to "about 4,000" therapists.
>
> In certain therapeutic circles, MDMA acquired a reputation as a wonder 
> drug. Anecdotal accounts attested to its ability to induce in one session 
> the sort of breakthroughs that normally took months or years of therapy. 
> According to George Greer, a psychiatrist who in the early 80's conducted 
> MDMA therapy sessions with 80 patients, "Without exception, every 
> therapist who I talked to or even heard of, every therapist who gave MDMA 
> to a patient, was highly impressed by the results."
>
> But the drug was also showing up in nightclubs in Dallas and Los Angeles, 
> and in 1986 the D.E.A. placed it in Schedule I. By the late 90's, 
> household surveys showed millions of teenagers and college students using 
> it, and in 2000, U.S. Customs officials seized nearly 10 million pills. 
> Parents and public officials worried that a whole generation was 
> consigning itself to a life of drug-induced depression and cognitive 
> decay.
>
> There is, in fact, little consensus about what MDMA does to your brain 
> over the long run. Researchers generally agree on its immediate 
> physiological effects: especially at higher doses, it can trigger sharp 
> increases in muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure. Hyperthermia, 
> or raised body temperature, is a particular worry, along with the 
> attendant risk of heatstroke or dehydration. MDMA also, at least 
> temporarily, exhausts the brain's supply of serotonin (a neurochemical 
> thought to play a role in memory and mood regulation). But as to the 
> extent and duration of that depletion, and whether it has any measurable 
> functional or behavioral consequences, there is fierce debate and 
> surprisingly scarce data. Nationwide, fatality numbers are hard to come 
> by, but a study by New York City's deputy chief medical examiner 
> determined that of the 19,000 deaths from all causes reported to his 
> office between January 1997 and June 2000, 2 were due solely to Ecstasy.
>
> In the past couple of years, MDMA's opponents have backed off from some of 
> their stronger claims. (In one particularly embarrassing instance, a study 
> linking MDMA to Parkinson's disease was revealed to have instead been 
> based on the use of methamphetamine, which is known to be much more 
> neurotoxic.) Emboldened, a few psychiatrists are bringing MDMA back into 
> the news in a role closer to the one Shulgin originally imagined for it.
>
> With the F.D.A.'s approval of the Harvard cancer-patient study on Dec. 17, 
> all that's still needed is a D.E.A. license for MDMA. John Halpern, the 
> psychiatrist heading the study, anticipates that happening in the next 
> couple of months. At the same time, he cautions against making too much of 
> his "small pilot study": eight subjects undergoing a course of MDMA 
> therapy, with another four receiving a placebo. The Charleston study is 
> similarly modest, with 20 subjects.
>
> Still, according to Mark A.R. Kleiman, director of the Drug Policy 
> Analysis Program at U.C.L.A., "there's obviously been a significant shift 
> at the regulatory agencies and the Institutional Review Boards. There are 
> studies being approved that wouldn't have been approved 10 years ago. And 
> there are studies being proposed that wouldn't have been proposed 10 years 
> ago."
>
> The theoretical basis for MDMA therapy varies a bit depending on whom you 
> talk to. Greer says that by lowering patients' defenses, the drug allows 
> them to face troubling, even repressed, memories. Charles Grob, the 
> psychiatry professor running the U.C.L.A. psilocybin study (also with 
> terminal cancer patients) and a longtime advocate of therapeutic MDMA 
> research, focuses more on the "empathic rapport" catalyzed by MDMA. "I 
> don't know of any other compound that can achieve this to the degree that 
> MDMA can," he said.
>
> The medical community remains dubious. For Vivian Rakoff, emeritus 
> professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, there is something 
> familiar about the claims being made for psychedelics. "The notion of the 
> revelatory moment due to some drug or maneuver that will allow you to 
> change your life has been around for a long time," he said. "Every few 
> years, something comes along that claims to be what Freud called the 
> 'royal road to the unconscious."' Steven Hyman, professor of neurobiology 
> at Harvard Medical School and former director of the National Institute of 
> Mental Health, put it this way: "If you asked me to place a bet, I would 
> be skeptical. In general, one worries that insights gained under states of 
> disinhibition or mild euphoria or different cognitive states with 
> illusions may seem strange and distant from the vantage of our ordinary 
> life." Even so, both Hyman and Rakoff say that research should be allowed 
> to proceed.
>
> Shulgin has been credited with jump-starting today's therapeutic research, 
> but he prefers to play down his role. While heartened by the MDMA studies 
> and happy to play psychedelic elder statesman, he insists that he is not a 
> healer or a shaman but a researcher. Asked why he does what he does, he 
> replies, "I'm curious!" He is most animated when describing the feeling 
> that accompanies the discovery of a new compound, no matter what its 
> properties. Sometimes he compares the moment to that of artistic creation 
> ("The pleasure of composing a new painting or piece of music"), and 
> sometimes it sounds more like a close encounter of the third kind ("You're 
> meeting something you don't know, and it's meeting something it doesn't 
> know. And so you have this exchange of properties and ideas").
>
> Shulgin's lab is in the concrete-block foundation of what used to be a 
> small cabin, set into a ridge a few dozen yards from his house along a 
> narrow brick path. On the door is a laminated sign that reads, "This is a 
> research facility that is known to and authorized by the Contra Costa 
> County Sheriff's Office, all San Francisco D.E.A. Personnel and the State 
> and Federal E.P.A. Authorities." Underneath are phone numbers for the 
> relevant official at each agency. He posted it after the sheriff's 
> department and the D.E.A. raided the farm a second time a few years ago. 
> (They later apologized.)
>
> Shulgin gave me my tour late one afternoon. A weak light came in through 
> the small, dusty windows. The smell -- synthetic and organic at once, like 
> a burning tire doused in urine -- took some getting used to. Bulbous 
> flasks were clipped into place above a counter crowded with glassware 
> shaped like finds from the Burgess Shale. "Everything you need is right 
> here," Shulgin declared, pulling out drawer after clattering drawer of 
> test tubes, beakers, plastic tubing and syringes. At the far end of the 
> room, beside the fireplace, was a small chalkboard covered with the traces 
> of his brainstorming -- antennaed pentagons and hexagons ringed with N's, 
> H's, C's and O's. Shulgin picked a short bit of scrap wood off the 
> counter. He occasionally used it, he explained, to tear down the spider 
> webs that festooned the rafters. "But the main problem is the squirrels," 
> he said, pointing to where he had put up sheet metal to keep them out. "It 
> doesn't look like the labs you see in the movies, but you get a chemist 
> out here, and he'll say, 'Oh, my God, I'd love to have a lab like this."'
>
> Of course, in a way, it's exactly the sort of lab that you see in the 
> movies -- they're just movies in which the scientists wear frock coats, 
> turn into monsters and abduct wan women in nightgowns. There's an 
> undeniable romance to what Shulgin does. As he stood there with his 
> spider-web stick, describing what it's like to be in the lab late on a 
> cold night with the fire blazing and Rachmaninoff on the radio, it seemed 
> to me that he realized it.
>
> He might best be described not as a scientist in the modern sense but as a 
> different type -- what Aldous Huxley, the novelist turned psychedelic 
> philosopher, once described as a "naturalist of the mind," a "collector of 
> psychological specimens" whose "primary concern was to make a census, to 
> catch, kill, stuff and describe as many kinds of beasts as he could lay 
> his hands on." Shulgin has on occasion run PET scans to see where in the 
> brain some of his drugs go. He has offered theories as to mechanisms of 
> action or, as with MDMA, even suggested an application for a drug. But his 
> primary purpose, as he sees it, is not to worry about things like that --  
> much less about the political and social consequences of his creations. 
> His job is to be first and then push on somewhere new. What to do with the 
> widening wake of chemicals he leaves behind is for the rest of us to 
> figure out.
>
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