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March 20, 2005 1:10 AM   Subscribe

LSD documentary records were a forgotten side-track in the war on drugs, reaching a high point in 1966 with the release of LSD, an album featuring interviews with Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, and Ken Kesey, and featuring a live recording (which may or may not have been real) of a kid going on his first bad trip. (Not to be confused with Leary's own record of the same title.) In 1966, with neither internet nor home video, the record album was one of the most sophisticated communications media available, and it was a big year for LSD hysteria, with a LIFE cover story and a Sal Mineo-narrated LSD version of Reefer Madness called Hallucination Generation. LSD-related magazines and periodicals, reviews of psychedelic music, and more from lysergia.com.
posted by dhartung (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Expanded from AskMe. Part of lysergia.com was a supporting link once before.
posted by dhartung at 1:12 AM on March 20, 2005


I found a poster from Mar 19, 1966 advertising an acid test at a movie studio i drive by every day on my way to work...

*goes back in time and savors the past as a jealous voyuer.
posted by schyler523 at 1:28 AM on March 20, 2005


On Further review, pun intended, i realize that the site structure could use a little less frames. Content is spot on though.
posted by schyler523 at 1:36 AM on March 20, 2005


I'd love to turn you on.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 4:30 AM on March 20, 2005


Great post, dan! Thanks!
posted by rocketman at 4:34 AM on March 20, 2005


The hypocrisy of a culture where a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry hawks feel-good pills and four hour erections on TV at the same time the same culture pisses billions down a rat hole on a failed War on (Some) Drugs never fails to amaze me.

It really comes down to control, doesn't it? These records give an insight into the process of how those who feel the NEED to control others go about their agenda.

Americans don't really think--they have opinions and feelings. Television creates the opinion and then validates it. I know the secret of making the average American believe anything I want him to. Just let me control television. -Hal Becker, Futures Group
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:31 AM on March 20, 2005


As I understand (correct me please if I have it wrong), LSD works by shutting down various sensory receptors, causing the brain to try to make up for lack of input by, well, making it up. And not doing a very good job at it.

Sounds a pretty silly way of gaining enlightenment or whatever.

(PS- what Enron Hubbard said. On the other hand, hard to make case for personal pleasure when the pleasure comes from, say, methamphetamine. But I digress.)
posted by IndigoJones at 7:08 AM on March 20, 2005


IndigoJones: As I understand (correct me please if I have it wrong), LSD works by shutting down various sensory receptors, causing the brain to try to make up for lack of input by, well, making it up. And not doing a very good job at it.

You have made a pretty simple (& prejudiced, I should say) caricature of LSD's effects.

LSD competes with various neurotransmitters (notably serotonin) at some receptors (5-HT1A, 2A, 2C, 5A...). In fact, it indirectly inhibits certain brain structures(locus coerulus) that inhibit sensory load, thus leading to sensory stimulation.

Let me clarify: LSD is not a hallucinogen. True hallucinations are produced at high doses (>400 mics, I suppose), but its regular effects can't be boxed into existing vocabulary (atleast with their regular connotations). What exactly the LSD experience means, can't be divorced from the context in which it is experienced. Current drug prohibitionist regime favours a certain characterization, at odds with what consumers believe. Even among consumers, interpretations differ widely. Suffice to say, a cogent consensual description is still awaited.

Here's a technical review(PDF,834K) of hallucinogens, using LSD as the prototype.

Why have there been so many drug threads in the past few months?! There was an acid thread, just 4-5 days ago.
posted by Gyan at 7:32 AM on March 20, 2005


You have made a pretty simple (& prejudiced, I should say) caricature of LSD's effects.

Prejudiced? I started out by asking for clarification from those who knew more than I do. As I've said elsewhere, I'm nothing if not educable. And what you write seems to be pretty much what I suggested. ("LSD is not a hallucinogen". "it indirectly inhibits certain brain structures(locus coerulus) that inhibit sensory load").

But thank you for the link. Knowledge is good.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:05 AM on March 20, 2005


In this case, you gaining even more knowledge would be good, Indigo. If you want to find out more about how much sensory input is "made up" by the brain under so-called normal, undrugged conditions, read neuorologist V.S. Ramachandran's fine book Phantoms in the Brain.
posted by digaman at 8:07 AM on March 20, 2005


IndigoJones: And what you write seems to be pretty much what I suggested..

Your first post contained, "LSD works by shutting down various sensory receptors, causing the brain to try to make up for lack of input by, well, making it up. And not doing a very good job at it. "

In my reply, "it indirectly inhibits certain brain structures(locus coerulus) that inhibit sensory load, thus leading to sensory stimulation."

Hardly the same thing. My description indicates that LSD slows down the brain's sensory filters, hence allowing more input. Not a "fill up the missing pieces", at all.
posted by Gyan at 8:15 AM on March 20, 2005


What is it, Acid Week?
posted by jonmc at 8:16 AM on March 20, 2005


Great links, dhartung ... between this and pyramid termite's 1970s Sears catalogue posting, I am having flashbacks of my youth, and it isn't all pretty.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:47 AM on March 20, 2005


Gyan- thank you for the clarification. I expect I shall read digaman's recommendation (for which thanks, digaman).
posted by IndigoJones at 9:44 AM on March 20, 2005


You're welcome.

By the way, one of the most fascinating bodies of writing about how LSD works "cybernetically" was John Lilly's Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer, written in the late 1960s. It was astonishingly prescient in several ways, not least of which was regarding the brain as a software construct that can be modified with hacking agents like LSD. It's dated in some ways, and wrong in others, and I believe Lilly went rather off the deep end with later books, but it's very thought-provoking and provides a very useful model for earnest psychonauts.
posted by digaman at 10:06 AM on March 20, 2005


(Gyan, could you please send me your email address at digaman@sonic.net? Thanks.)
posted by digaman at 10:14 AM on March 20, 2005


Tune in - Turn on - Drop out

I have a book called "The Psycadelic Experience" by Tim Leary and Albert Hoffman, about the "proper" way to conduct a trip.. Peyote, Mescaline, psylocibin, LSD, etc..
Dosage, setting, and verses to recite/contemplate based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.. Awesome book..
posted by Balisong at 11:06 AM on March 20, 2005


The book Balisong refers to, is available online.
posted by Gyan at 11:28 AM on March 20, 2005


Sorry if I'm not looking hard enough, but I don't see any audio clips. Are there any online? I'd love to splice some of this stuff into a mashup.
posted by NickDouglas at 2:19 PM on March 20, 2005


Nick what kind of audio clips are you looking for?
Here are the Acid Test Reels from acid tests that the Grateful Dead(technically "Warlocks" at the time) contributed to...[via archive.org]

Includes interviews/spoken word with Ken Kesey, Ken Babbs, Jerry Garcia and Neal Cassidy.
posted by schyler523 at 3:26 PM on March 20, 2005


Ah, that's just what I wanted, thanks.
posted by NickDouglas at 4:36 PM on March 20, 2005


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