Revelation and Prophecy Without FM: William S. Burroughs’s War on Control

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One comes away from Barry Miles’s recent biography of William S. Burroughs with an impression of tremendous fear. Not that the book frightens one; I mean that Burroughs harbored a lot of fear. Why is it, for example, that an elderly gent preparing for his regular evening stroll in a small Kansas college town in the early 1990s would, as a matter of routine, arm himself with a pistol, a blade, and a particularly potent formula of mace? It appears, from this and other scenes throughout his life, that his basic posture was of at all times anticipating some vicious attack on his person. In fact, he was engaged in a life-long war against authoritarian structures, what he called “control.”

Fear didn’t come across in normal social interaction. (I saw him on and off starting in 1978.) The impression was of great intelligence and focus, and a basic shyness hiding behind an unreadable expression and old-fashioned gentlemanly manners. There was kindness and generosity in him, too. This was one classy dude. So what’s with the weapons?

When James [Grauerholz, William’s secretary] once broached the subject and asked him [about his need for guns] “. . .are you afraid of something?” Bill grew quite angry and emphatic: “Yes! I’m terrified of everything! Don’t you understand?” (Miles 612)

The need for self-protection started early. Years of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy (which was ineffectual) and narcotherapy (employing laughing gas and sodium pentothal) pointed to early traumas such as being blown as an infant by his nanny (“Nursy”) and later witnessing the disposal, by said nanny, of her miscarried fetus in the basement incinerator of the family home. He also recalled that Nursy had threatened to cut off his penis, and there were memories of having been made to blow the nanny’s boyfriend and of witnessing sex between Nursy and her girlfriend. This perhaps begins to explain how, in his authorial cosmology, women would come to figure as “the Sex Enemy” or “Venusian agents,” parasitic aliens whose vampirism keeps males from their “natural uncorrupted state.”

A note of good old Freudian context may be helpful here. Having your genitals caressed by your nanny would not itself be traumatic. It would be pleasant. The trauma comes in later, when society teaches you that such a thing is really, really bad. Uncle Ziggy taught that we suffer from reminiscences – in many cases, it’s not the actual early-childhood experience that wounds, it’s the way it is remembered, where the memory of it runs up against the subsequently-acquired culture of shame. This dissonance generates the crippling loop Freud called “neurosis.” For Burroughs, neurosis became synonymous with control. Release from control, “clearing” of psychic knots (which led him to study trance states, psychic phenomena, Egyptian and Mayan cosmologies, Ismaili Islam, Buddhism, demonology, and Scientology, and to research and drink ayahuasca), became his mission in art and life. He’s looking for an explanation of some fundamental paradox, while at the same time making art that says paradox is all there is, a paradox within a paradox, courtesy of the classic wicked nanny.

Paradox as a source of mental illness figures in the work of Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing, whom Burroughs knew in London. It’s the so-called “double-bind” theory of schizophrenia. A child can accept a simple contradictory message from an elder. So, for example, “eat your bananas” followed by “don’t eat bananas” is a little screwy, but not crazy making. What tips the subject toward psychosis is a second level of paradox, “who said anything about bananas?” In William’s case that might have been, I’m going to suck your cock, I’m going to cut off your cock, your cock was never addressed.”

Being a homosexual male growing up in the 1930s who is sent to a small, isolated, and exclusive private boys’ school run by a pedophile, where the routine included regularly-scheduled examinations of the naked boys by the headmaster, enriched the mix. That the school grounds, located in Los Alamos New Mexico, soon became the site for the development of the atomic bomb took perversion to the level of apocalypse. (Burroughs used to say that democracy died at Hiroshima – nobody asked him if we should nuke the Japanese.) Is it any wonder that decades later he’s writing scenes about getting hung by the neck while engaging in anal sex and thereby coming into a new incarnation?

Estrangement: You are given for your daily care to a servant who is an alien (the Welsh nanny). Mother, who is supposed to be the source of your identity (your primary object cathexis in Freudian terms), is someone you see at dinner or encounter accidentally in the garden. This is the set up. You are strange because woman is utterly alien. This is, in Burroughsian terms, the set where women become extra-terrestrial vampires.

What does it take to get to this psychic setting? Mother, who is remembered as saintly, beautiful, and unreachable, has handed you off to a female servant who is remembered as a source of comfort and pleasure and at the same time as a witch, crude and nightmarishly perverted. Father is remote, virtually absent, authority in the abstract. Relationships are crippled as a matter of norm. At one point, the adolescent William, while on a visit to the family pile, goes down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to raid the fridge. There he finds his father doing the same thing. The father mouths some words of greeting and is met by a withering stare. Bill remembered this with great sadness, seeing his father wilt in humiliation before him where there should have been a simple moment of bonding between father and son. He regretted that for the rest of his life.

At 18, you get to Harvard, where being the heretofore-privileged grandson of a successful St. Louis inventor makes you a mere second-generation, mid-western nouveau riche, a virtual outcast. Then you go to Vienna and enter medical school but have to run away from the Nazis. The world has gone mad from the start. Over and over, one does not fit, so the career imperative becomes to combat the criteria of fitness, the mechanism of control. This is where he sets out on the path that makes him a prophet of the postmodern, i.e., he anticipated structuralism’s investigation of the determinative role of language in shaping psyche and society and its analysis of the mechanics of coercion.

He was at the same time a prophet of the millennial generation, where economic and emotional circumstances make the child dependent upon the parental purse/apron strings into middle age. Burroughs collected a monthly “allowance” (not a trust fund payment) until he was 50. It is telling in this context that a late novel treats of a kind of utopia organized by incest. Burroughs said in an interview that incest was the ideal family relation. Freud said the incest taboo was the basis of culture. Culture for Burroughs largely meant control. Where there are no taboos there is freedom. He inhabits/generates the “interzone” between incest and alienation. Don’t we all? Is it going too far or too obvious to relate this to his themes of weapons, violence, transgressive sex, and death?

After Vienna he goes from St. Louis to Chicago where he works as an exterminator for a time, then enlists in the army but pulls family strings to get out (with an honorable discharge on psychiatric grounds) when he realizes they won’t make him an officer. He lands in New York.

In New York, in the fall of 1943, William naturally moves toward Columbia University (he had taken a psychology course there in 1937) where he meets Lucien Carr, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Edie Parker and Joan Vollmer, the women who host this outsider set in their off-campus digs. Carr was the mixer, the one who connected them all. (Carr’s Times obituary in 2005 called him the midwife of the Beat generation.)

The initial Columbia connection of ’43-44 was David Kammerer, an old friend of Bill’s from school days in St. Louis, who had moved to New York to stalk Lucien Carr. This is perhaps the strangest thing of all at this point in the story. Kammerer had been a teacher and scout master who became obsessed with Lucien when the latter was a fourteen-year-old boy scout. When Lou went to college, David quit his teaching gig in St. Louis to follow the boy. This happened several times, as Lucien moved from one college to another, David would follow. After Lucien attempted suicide while enrolled at the University of Chicago, his mother, who was relocating to New York,  sent Lou to Columbia. David then took a job as a janitor in a Manhattan apartment building. Finally, in an early a.m. showdown in Riverside Park on August 13, 1944, David demanded that Lou submit to a blow job and Lou stabbed David with his pocket knife, loaded David’s clothes with rocks, and pushed his corpse out into the Hudson River. Kerouac helped Lou dispose of the evidence (the knife and David’s eyeglasses) but Burroughs, older and wiser, told him to turn himself in and plead self defense. The cops didn’t believe Carr until the Coast Guard found the body some days after the fact.

Up to this point Carr, though the youngest of the group, had been the main instigator. When he went into juvenile detention as a murder convict, Burroughs took over leadership, becoming their mentor in matters literary. He loaned the others books and he and Kerouac began collaborating on stories, though William didn’t think much of Jack’s talent. The group had a habit of acting out what they called “routines,” little comedic scenes where they played various roles – the criminal and the cop, the countess and the rube, that sort of thing. This eventually became the basis of Burroughs’s writerly method. His novels were constructed out of a series of routines, often based on his dreams.

Meanwhile, Bill got into junk. He had been trying to supplement his allowance by dealing in stolen military goods–a machine gun and some morphine. The drug came in the form of an ampule with a small needle attached, single doses that were ready to inject in case of emergency. One of his buyers, an addict, suggested he try shooting one. Bill got hooked and stayed hooked, with some periods of abstinence, for the rest of his eighty-three years.

After the murder of Kammerer, Jack married Edie Parker (so her parents would bail him out of jail where he was being held as a material witness) and they moved to Michigan. Bill took up with Edie’s roommate Joan Vollmer. Bill was gay, but he and Joan had a strong intellectual and emotional bond, and they became lovers. Addiction was a problem for them both. Bill used junk and Joan was addicted to speed. Bill was busted in 1946 for forging prescriptions and when he was ordered by a judge to return to St. Louis for the summer as a condition of probation, Joan was left alone with no money and a roaring speed habit that gave her hallucinations and finally got her hospitalized for amphetamine psychosis. Getting out of New York looked like a solution to substance abuse problems, so William cooked up a scheme whereby he would, with his family’s help, buy land in Texas and become a farmer.

During his time away from the city, William had hooked up with an old college friend, Kells Elvins, who invited Bill to partner with him in a cotton-growing business in Texas. William did this until he heard from Ginsberg that Joan had been committed to the mental ward. He decided to go rescue Joan and bring her to Texas, where they would set up as farmers on their own. The smart move might have been to go into cotton again with his friend, but William decided instead to settle on a remote piece of land surrounded by forest to farm marijuana that he could grow quickly and sell for immediate profit. 

Bill got off junk, but doubled up on the booze (a pattern he would repeat throughout his life). Joan continued to use speed, which at the time was available without prescription as a kind of sinus remedy. “Bennies,” or benzedrine, came in an inhaler inside of which were strips of paper soaked in the drug. The illicit user would break open the inhaler and drop the paper in a cup of coffee or some other drink, or roll up the paper and swallow it. All of the Beat group used bennies. At one point Kerouac had to be hospitalized for phlebitis from long hours of sitting typing under the influence of speed. (At the time, many artists and scientists used the drug to fuel long work sessions. The poet W. H. Auden, for example, was a user, as was computer pioneer Norbert Weiner.) But Joan’s use was constant and the friends were all concerned about her. 

The Texas pot scheme was not a success; Bill failed to cure the weed and had to sell at a loss. Also the couple had gotten in trouble with the sheriff (a law man with a statewide reputation for corruption and murder) for stopping their car to have sex by the side of the road. It was time to move.

They tried New Orleans for a while, until William got busted for junk use. Apart from issues of drug possession, in Louisiana, merely being a junky was a crime that carried a year sentence. Bill got arrested for having needle marks on his arms, and the cops found guns and a jar of weed in the house. Bill’s parents bailed him out and sent him to rehab, but any further trouble would get him a stiff prison sentence. It was time to move again, so they skipped town prior to the trial date. After a brief stay with their friends in Texas to sell their property, they left the country, settling in Mexico City.

William enrolled in the university to pursue his interest in Mayan archaeology; this also provided a renewable student visa and got him a student stipend under the G.I. Bill. Drugs (and boys) were cheap and easy to come by and he and Joan continued to drink heavily and use drugs. Then one day in 1951, during a drunken party, Bill attempted to shoot a glass off the head of his wife, William Tell style, and the bullet entered her skull. She died in the hospital.

Various explanations have been put forth: It’s a drunken fool with a gun; it’s a suicidal impulse on the part of the wife who egged him on; it’s his feeling humiliated by Joan’s cutting insults in the presence of the boy he was courting at the time; it’s demonic possession.

Once again William’s family bailed him out, and they may have bribed officials to keep him out pending trial. His case dragged on through multiple postponements over fourteen months, then his attorney fled the country after a boy he shot during a road rage incident died. Bill too fled, first to his family in Florida, then to South America in search of ayahuasca, then to New York for four months and a painfully unsuccessful affair with Allen, and finally to Morocco, where he took up residence in Tangier.

In Tangier there was a sizeable expat community of gay men. Food, rent, drugs, booze, and boys were cheap, and Bill developed the heaviest junk habit of his life. He began to accumulate material for what he titled Interzone, later Naked Lunch, immediately. The term “Interzone” has a couple of important vectors of association. Tangier was then officially an “International Zone,” jointly administered by eight nations. There were separate judicial systems. A British citizen was not subject to the French or Moroccan courts, for example. Interzone also implies a kind of world-in-between. This is the “set,” the mental space in which the routines that came to make up Naked Lunch took place.

In Tangier, Burroughs’s junk habit became so bad that he began to fall apart, moving in to the worst possible lodgings, ceasing to bathe, etc. People, he later said, would avoid him in the street. His family finally intervened, sending him to London to take a cure. Newly energized in recovery, he returned to Tangier and to the writing project with gusto, fueling his long daily sessions of writing with majoun, a readily available, potent hashish confection that produced the requisite waking dream states. Absent junk, his sex drive returned, and his long-term affair with one boy, Kiki, gave him the idea of the body of the lover as a kind of orgone generator, which appears in Naked Lunch and remains as a theme in the later work. “Orgone” is a term coined by the controversial psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich to indicate the vital energy of life, which Reich associated with orgasm, and which could be stored up or drained off by various circumstances. Reich invented the “orgone accumulator,” a structure sort of like an outhouse in which the subject could sit to soak up orgone. Burroughs, a lifelong follower of Reich, had such a box built in several of his quarters over the decades.

Burroughs wrote to Ginsberg that he was contemplating writing some account of Joan’s death, the memory of which haunted and horrified him. He later said that Joan’s death had given him no choice but to write his way out. He’d had an interest in psychic phenomena ever since his nanny introduced him to Welsh magic, and he came to believe that he was possessed by a demon which his friend and collaborator Brion Gysin called “the Ugly Spirit.”

Bill and Brion had been experimenting with trance states, and during one such session Brion said “the Ugly Spirit killed Joan because.” Bill seized on this. Obviously it deflected blame away from himself and onto something over which he had no control. The Ugly Spirit brought into focus the whole issue of control that was becoming central to his work. He came to believe that the demon was a kind of culminating manifestation of everything that is evil about human civilization, particularly American civilization. He associated it with the Rockefellers, all politics, the police, the whole mechanics of control. Language, he saw, was the means of control, so language, writing, would become his weapon in the struggle.

His first novel, Junkie, later Junky, published in 1953 by Ace Books, a publisher of detective and “true crime” pulp, is a fictionalized account of his experience as a heroin addict in New York city in the 1940s. A second autobiographical project, Queer, which he worked on in Mexico after Joan’s death, remained unpublished until 1985. His breakthrough came with Naked Lunch, published in Paris in 1959 and the U.S. in 1962.

The book is innovative in form. Burroughs has said that the chapters could be read in any order. This was perhaps partly the result of the way the book was put together. Ginsberg and Kerouac visited Bill in Tangier in early 1957 and found his room littered with pages of typescript. They sequenced the pages and Kerouac retyped the whole thing, correcting typos and spelling mistakes and working in Bill’s hand-written edits to make a presentable manuscript. Bill then took the last chapter and made it the first chapter, and that became the book. Again, the novel is autobiographical, a series of routines that follows addict William Lee from the U.S. to Mexico to Tangier. (William Lee had been the pen name Burroughs had assumed for the publication of Junkie.)

The title was the result of a misreading by Ginsberg of “naked lust.” Burroughs liked the result and kept it. He later commented that “the title means exactly what the words say: naked lunch, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.” Burroughs elsewhere refers to “the long newspaper spoon,” the idea of the press as part of the control culture “feeding” control/language to the public. The three-year delay in publishing the American edition was due to the publisher’s anticipating a court battle over censorship. Grove Press was engaged in several court proceedings over its banned books and held off on Naked Lunch until the prior cases were resolved. Naked Lunch was one of the last literary works to be engaged in legal action challenging obscenity laws. Ginsberg said “it broke the back of literary censorship in the U.S.”

Naked Lunch established the method that Burroughs would use for the rest of his working life and its somewhat random sequence anticipated an important new technique that would occupy him for several books, that of the “cut up.”

Brion Gysin, whose primary practice was in visual art, had been cutting up some materials and had placed layers of newspapers beneath to protect the table from the blade. He then discovered that the randomly sliced-up strips of newsprint presented to the visual field some striking combinations of language. He turned Bill on to this and they began experimenting with the method as a way to generate prose. The method fell in line with Bill’s mission of disrupting control. If the primary mechanism of control is language, then disrupting language would combat control. That this anticipated Jacques Derrida’s “deconstruction” and Michel Foucault’s studies of knowledge and power explains why Burroughs was celebrated in French intellectual circles before he was recognized as a major author in America.

Burroughs’s avoidance of the conventional narrative arc harmonizes with the “narratology” work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, for whom conventional narrative endlessly “reinscribes” or retraces the well-worn steps of the status quo. The end of the story is always “the State.” Conventional storytelling operates as a circular path that pretends to progress. It proceeds from the status quo, through breach or crisis in the control apparatus, and then returns to the status quo. Narrative says that daddy lost control for a minute there, but now he’s back in business and we are all a little wiser. The good guy has won. In reality nothing has happened. The urge to freedom, the impulse to throw off control has been channeled through the long newspaper spoon, momentarily placated, and we’re back where we started.

In Burroughs’s work, there’s no daddy, no good guy, no fixed roles, and no resolution. Everyone and everything is in flux, in between, in the Interzone.

Roughly at the time of the writing of Naked Lunch, there were parallel developments in the study of ritual. This would have no doubt interested Burroughs, though I know of no evidence of his consulting the anthropological literature on ritual at this time.

There are two main vectors in the research. One is that in traditional societies, social dissonance is dealt with in a kind of ritual cycle that either restores the cohesion of the group or results in schism and the splitting off of a separate group.

The other vector has to do with performance, for example, music/dance events, where the participants become, for a time, something other than their normal selves. This may involve elements such as costumes, role-playing, trance, or abandon, but need not. The activity of performance produces a degree of flux in the social norm in any case. Victor Turner, whose work addresses this, says that social norms are so overdetermined that after the event, normalcy is almost always restored. But not always. There is the idea that performance pushes the boundaries, enabling incremental changes in the social matrices.

This mode of theory, by extension, proposes that art, literature, music, and dance still fulfill this function. Literature that transgresses normal values may push social change. I will return to this.

According to Miles, when Ginsberg was helping Burroughs to organize the Interzone manuscript that became Naked Lunch, he expressed doubts about the book. He didn’t like it, thought it lacked coherence and would not be understood. The rebel poet didn’t see that lack of closure was the whole point. Reality and perception are fragmentary – it is ideology, the condition of dominance, that “makes sense” of the story. Allen repeated this error, this romantic yearning for ultimate meaning, in the 1970s and 80s in his teaching, where he criticized the new trend in poetry that didn’t put across a clear narrative. I was there; I saw it. Allen thought it lacked heart. The practitioners of the new poetics, like Burroughs two decades ahead of them, saw the coercive element in romantic poetics and purposely troubled meaning as a matter of ethical imperative.  

Burroughs’s work also anticipates the Freudian revival that took place largely in the field literary and radical political theory in the 1960s and 70s. It is easy these days to forget that Freud was a doctor, a clinician whose primary mission was to enable his patients to cope within the bounds of European middle-class norms. He did not set out to challenge bourgeois culture in the clinical setting, but he was also a social theorist, and after the war his ideas on repression and neurosis in the larger social milieu began to be applied to political economy and literary theory. Sanity or normalcy depends on the repression of socially unacceptable desires. Developments in linguistics noted that grammatical and narrative structure are social structure, what the Freudian revivalist psychiatrist Jacques Lacan (who as a young psychiatric resident had been Antonin Artaud’s doctor [!]) called “the Law of the Father.” To disrupt language is to break the Law, to rebel against the Father.

In the 1970s-80s, linguist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva, in works such as Revolution in Poetic Language and Desire in Language, noted that at times of social upheaval or significant historical change, literary language tends to become transgressive in form and content.

Burroughs’s use of “bad language” and his graphic descriptions of violence and sexual deviance are calculated to disrupt repression and control. And of course they did, when the Massachusettes Supreme Court ruled that Naked Lunch did not violate obscentity statutes because it had redeeming social value. The book, along with other banned works fought for by Grove Press, transgressive works by Henry Miller and Jean Genet, did change America. Burroughs was right. Language can triumph over control.



Barry Miles. Call Me Burroughs. New York: Twelve. 2013 

Image by Walter Skold, courtesy of Creative Commons license.

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Beating Addiction with DMT
Psychedelics have been studied for their help overcoming addiction. Read how DMT is helping addicts beat their substance abuse issues.

DMT Extraction: Behind the Scientific Process
Take a look at DMT extraction and the scientific process involved. Learn all you need to know including procedures and safety.

Microdosing DMT & Common Dosages Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing DMT.

DMT Art: A Look Behind Visionary Creations
An entire genre of artwork is inspired by psychedelic trips with DMT. Read to learn about the entities and visions behind DMT art.

Changa vs. DMT: What You Need to Know
While similar (changa contains DMT), each drug has its own unique effect and feeling. Let’s compare and contrast changa vs DMT.

5-MeO-DMT Guide: Effects, Benefits, Safety, and Legality
5-Meo-DMT comes from the Sonora Desert toad. Here is everything you want to know about 5-Meo-DMT and how it compares to 4-AcO-DMT.

4-AcO-DMT Guide: Benefits, Effects, Safety, and Legality
This guide tells you everything about 4 AcO DMT & 5 MeO DMT, that belong to the tryptamine class, and are similar but slightly different to DMT.

LSD Guides (lysergic acid diethylamide)

How Much Does LSD Cost? When shopping around for that magical psychedelic substance, there can be many uncertainties when new to buying LSD. You may be wondering how much does LSD cost? In this article, we will discuss what to expect when purchasing LSD on the black market, what forms LSD is sold in, and the standard breakdown of buying LSD in quantity.   Navy Use of LSD on the Dark Web The dark web is increasingly popular for purchasing illegal substances. The US Navy has now noticed this trend with their staff. Read to learn more.   Having Sex on LSD: What You Need to Know Can you have sex on LSD? Read our guide to learn everything about sex on acid, from lowered inhibitions to LSD users quotes on sex while tripping.   A Drug That Switches off an LSD Trip A pharmaceutical company is developing an “off-switch” drug for an LSD trip, in the case that a bad trip can happen. Some would say there is no such thing.   Queen of Hearts: An Interview with Liz Elliot on Tim Leary and LSD The history of psychedelia, particularly the British experience, has been almost totally written by men. Of the women involved, especially those who were in the thick of it, little has been written either by or about them. A notable exception is Liz Elliot.   LSD Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety LSD, Lysergic acid diethylamide, or just acid is one of the most important psychedelics ever discovered. What did history teach us?   Microdosing LSD & Common Dosage Explained Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing LSD.   LSD Resources Curious to learn more about LSD? This guide includes comprehensive LSD resources containing books, studies and more.   LSD as a Spiritual Aid There is common consent that the evolution of mankind is paralleled by the increase and expansion of consciousness. From the described process of how consciousness originates and develops, it becomes evident that its growth depends on its faculty of perception. Therefore every means of improving this faculty should be used.   Legendary LSD Blotter Art: A Hidden Craftsmanship Have you ever heard of LSD blotter art? Explore the trippy world of LSD art and some of the top artists of LSD blotter art.   LSD and Exercise: Does it Work? LSD and exercise? Learn why high-performing athletes are taking hits of LSD to improve their overall potential.   Jan Bastiaans Treated Holocaust Survivors with LSD Dutch psychiatrist, Jan Bastiaans administered LSD-assisted therapy to survivors of the Holocaust. A true war hero and pioneer of psychedelic-therapy.   LSD and Spiritual Awakening I give thanks for LSD, which provided the opening that led me to India in 1971 and brought me to Neem Karoli Baba, known as Maharajji. Maharajji is described by the Indians as a “knower of hearts.”   How LSD is Made: Everything You Need to Know Ever wonder how to make LSD? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how LSD is made.   How to Store LSD: Best Practices Learn the best way to store LSD, including the proper temperature and conditions to maximize how long LSD lasts when stored.   Bicycle Day: The Discovery of LSD Every year on April 19th, psychonauts join forces to celebrate Bicycle Day. Learn about the famous day when Albert Hoffman first discovered the effects of LSD.   Cary Grant: A Hollywood Legend On LSD Cary Grant was a famous actor during the 1930’s-60’s But did you know Grant experimented with LSD? Read our guide to learn more.   Albert Hofmann: LSD — My Problem Child Learn about Albert Hofmann and his discovery of LSD, along with the story of Bicycle Day and why it marks a historic milestone.   Babies are High: What Does LSD Do To Your Brain What do LSD and babies have in common? Researchers at the Imperial College in London discover that an adult’s brain on LSD looks like a baby’s brain.   1P LSD: Effects, Benefits, Safety Explained 1P LSD is an analogue of LSD and homologue of ALD-25. Here is everything you want to know about 1P LSD and how it compares to LSD.   Francis Crick, DNA & LSD Type ‘Francis Crick LSD’ into Google, and the result will be 30,000 links. Many sites claim that Crick (one of the two men responsible for discovering the structure of DNA), was either under the influence of LSD at the time of his revelation or used the drug to help with his thought processes during his research. Is this true?   What Happens If You Overdose on LSD? A recent article presented three individuals who overdosed on LSD. Though the experience was unpleasant, the outcomes were remarkably positive.

Ayahuasca Guides

The Ayahuasca Experience
Ayahuasca is both a medicine and a visionary aid. You can employ ayahuasca for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual repair, and you can engage with the power of ayahuasca for deeper insight and realization. If you consider attainment of knowledge in the broadest perspective, you can say that at all times, ayahuasca heals.


Trippy Talk: Meet Ayahuasca with Sitaramaya Sita and PlantTeachers
Sitaramaya Sita is a spiritual herbalist, pusangera, and plant wisdom practitioner formally trained in the Shipibo ayahuasca tradition.


The Therapeutic Value of Ayahuasca
My best description of the impact of ayahuasca is that it’s a rocket boost to psychospiritual growth and unfolding, my professional specialty during my thirty-five years of private practice.


Microdosing Ayahuasca: Common Dosage Explained
What is ayahuasca made of and what is considered a microdose? Explore insights with an experienced Peruvian brewmaster and learn more about this practice.


Ayahuasca Makes Neuron Babies in Your Brain
Researchers from Beckley/Sant Pau Research Program have shared the latest findings in their study on the effects of ayahuasca on neurogenesis.


The Fatimiya Sufi Order and Ayahuasca
In this interview, the founder of the Fatimiya Sufi Order,  N. Wahid Azal, discusses the history and uses of plant medicines in Islamic and pre-Islamic mystery schools.


Consideration Ayahuasca for Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Research indicates that ayahuasca mimics mechanisms of currently accepted treatments for PTSD. In order to understand the implications of ayahuasca treatment, we need to understand how PTSD develops.


Brainwaves on Ayahuasca: A Waking Dream State
In a study researchers shared discoveries showing ingredients found in Ayahuasca impact the brainwaves causing a “waking dream” state.


Cannabis and Ayahuasca: Mixing Entheogenic Plants
Cannabis and Ayahuasca: most people believe they shouldn’t be mixed. Read this personal experience peppered with thoughts from a pro cannabis Peruvian Shaman.


Ayahuasca Retreat 101: Everything You Need to Know to Brave the Brew
Ayahuasca has been known to be a powerful medicinal substance for millennia. However, until recently, it was only found in the jungle. Word of its deeply healing and cleansing properties has begun to spread across the world as many modern, Western individuals are seeking spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. More ayahuasca retreat centers are emerging in the Amazon and worldwide to meet the demand.


Ayahuasca Helps with Grief
A new study published in psychopharmacology found that ayahuasca helped those suffering from the loss of a loved one up to a year after treatment.


Ayahuasca Benefits: Clinical Improvements for Six Months
Ayahuasca benefits can last six months according to studies. Read here to learn about the clinical improvements from drinking the brew.


Ayahuasca Culture: Indigenous, Western, And The Future
Ayahuasca has been use for generations in the Amazon. With the rise of retreats and the brew leaving the rainforest how is ayahuasca culture changing?


Ayahuasca Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
The Amazonian brew, Ayahuasca has a long history and wide use. Read our guide to learn all about the tea from its beginnings up to modern-day interest.


Ayahuasca and the Godhead: An Interview with Wahid Azal of the Fatimiya Sufi Order
Wahid Azal, a Sufi mystic of The Fatimiya Sufi Order and an Islamic scholar, talks about entheogens, Sufism, mythology, and metaphysics.


Ayahuasca and the Feminine: Women’s Roles, Healing, Retreats, and More
Ayahuasca is lovingly called “grandmother” or “mother” by many. Just how feminine is the brew? Read to learn all about women and ayahuasca.

Ketamine Guides

What Is the Standard of Care for Ketamine Treatments?
Ketamine therapy is on the rise in light of its powerful results for treatment-resistant depression. But, what is the current standard of care for ketamine? Read to find out.

What Is Dissociation and How Does Ketamine Create It?
Dissociation can take on multiple forms. So, what is dissociation like and how does ketamine create it? Read to find out.

Having Sex on Ketamine: Getting Physical on a Dissociative
Curious about what it could feel like to have sex on a dissociate? Find out all the answers in our guide to sex on ketamine.

Special K: The Party Drug
Special K refers to Ketamine when used recreationally. Learn the trends as well as safety information around this substance.

Kitty Flipping: When Ketamine and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Read to explore the mechanics of kitty flipping.

Ketamine vs. Esketamine: 3 Important Differences Explained
Ketamine and esketamine are used to treat depression. But what’s the difference between them? Read to learn which one is right for you: ketamine vs. esketamine.

Guide to Ketamine Treatments: Understanding the New Approach
Ketamine is becoming more popular as more people are seeing its benefits. Is ketamine a fit? Read our guide for all you need to know about ketamine treatments.

Ketamine Treatment for Eating Disorders
Ketamine is becoming a promising treatment for various mental health conditions. Read to learn how individuals can use ketamine treatment for eating disorders.

Ketamine Resources, Studies, and Trusted Information
Curious to learn more about ketamine? This guide includes comprehensive ketamine resources containing books, studies and more.

Ketamine Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to ketamine has everything you need to know about this “dissociative anesthetic” and how it is being studied for depression treatment.

Ketamine for Depression: A Mental Health Breakthrough
While antidepressants work for some, many others find no relief. Read to learn about the therapeutic uses of ketamine for depression.

Ketamine for Addiction: Treatments Offering Hope
New treatments are offering hope to individuals suffering from addiction diseases. Read to learn how ketamine for addiction is providing breakthrough results.

Microdosing Ketamine & Common Dosages Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing ketamine.

How to Ease a Ketamine Comedown
Knowing what to expect when you come down from ketamine can help integrate the experience to gain as much value as possible.

How to Store Ketamine: Best Practices
Learn the best ways how to store ketamine, including the proper temperature and conditions to maximize how long ketamine lasts when stored.

How To Buy Ketamine: Is There Legal Ketamine Online?
Learn exactly where it’s legal to buy ketamine, and if it’s possible to purchase legal ketamine on the internet.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?
How long does ketamine stay in your system? Are there lasting effects on your body? Read to discover the answers!

How Ketamine is Made: Everything You Need to Know
Ever wonder how to make Ketamine? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how Ketamine is made.

Colorado on Ketamine: First Responders Waiver Programs
Fallout continues after Elijah McClain. Despite opposing recommendations from some city council, Colorado State Health panel recommends the continued use of ketamine by medics for those demonstrating “excited delirium” or “extreme agitation”.

Types of Ketamine: Learn the Differences & Uses for Each
Learn about the different types of ketamine and what they are used for—and what type might be right for you. Read now to find out!

MDMA / Ecstasy Guides

Kitty Flipping: When Ketamine and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Read to explore the mechanics of kitty flipping.

MDMA & Ecstasy Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to MDMA has everything you want to know about Ecstasy from how it was developed in 1912 to why it’s being studied today.

How To Get the Most out of Taking MDMA as a Couple
Taking MDMA as a couple can lead to exciting experiences. Read here to learn how to get the most of of this love drug in your relationship.

Common MDMA Dosage & Microdosing Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing MDMA.

Having Sex on MDMA: What You Need to Know
MDMA is known as the love drug… Read our guide to learn all about sex on MDMA and why it is beginning to makes its way into couple’s therapy.

How MDMA is Made: Common Procedures Explained
Ever wonder how to make MDMA? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how MDMA is made.

Hippie Flipping: When Shrooms and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Explore the mechanics of hippie flipping and how to safely experiment.

Cocaine Guides

How Cocaine is Made: Common Procedures Explained
Ever wonder how to make cocaine? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how cocaine is made.

A Christmas Sweater with Santa and Cocaine
This week, Walmart came under fire for a “Let it Snow” Christmas sweater depicting Santa with lines of cocaine. Columbia is not merry about it.

Ultimate Cocaine Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
This guide covers what you need to know about Cocaine, including common effects and uses, legality, safety precautions and top trends today.

NEWS: An FDA-Approved Cocaine Nasal Spray
The FDA approved a cocaine nasal spray called Numbrino, which has raised suspicions that the pharmaceutical company, Lannett Company Inc., paid off the FDA..

Cannabis Guides

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Bioavailability
What is bioavailability and how can it affect the overall efficacy of a psychedelic substance? Read to learn more.

Cannabis Research Explains Sociability Behaviors
New research by Dr. Giovanni Marsicano shows social behavioral changes occur as a result of less energy available to the neurons. Read here to learn more.

The Cannabis Shaman
If recreational and medical use of marijuana is becoming accepted, can the spiritual use as well? Experiential journalist Rak Razam interviews Hamilton Souther, founder of the 420 Cannabis Shamanism movement…

Cannabis Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to Cannabis has everything you want to know about this popular substances that has psychedelic properties.

Cannabis and Ayahuasca: Mixing Entheogenic Plants
Cannabis and Ayahuasca: most people believe they shouldn’t be mixed. Read this personal experience peppered with thoughts from a procannabis Peruvian Shaman.

CBD-Rich Cannabis Versus Single-Molecule CBD
A ground-breaking study has documented the superior therapeutic properties of whole plant Cannabis extract as compared to synthetic cannabidiol (CBD), challenging the medical-industrial complex’s notion that “crude” botanical preparations are less effective than single-molecule compounds.

Cannabis Has Always Been a Medicine
Modern science has already confirmed the efficacy of cannabis for most uses described in the ancient medical texts, but prohibitionists still claim that medical cannabis is “just a ruse.”

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