Psychedelic Wisdom: The Astonishing Rewards of Mind-Altering Substances

Psychedelic Wisdom: The Astonishing Rewards of Mind-Altering Substances

Psychedelic Wisdom: The Astonishing Rewards of Mind-Altering Substances

Psychedelic Wisdom: The Astonishing Rewards of Mind-Altering Substances

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Overview

Shares wisdom-bringing psychedelic experiences from authorities well-known in psychedelic history, therapy, and research

• Reveals how these scientists, doctors, therapists, and teachers have applied their entheogenic experiences in their professions, leading to therapeutic advancements, scientific discoveries, and healing for thousands

• Includes contributions from scientific psychonaut Amanda Feilding, psychedelic swami Dr. Allan Ajaya, “America’s Doctor” Dean Edell, convicted psychiatrist Frederike Meckel Fisher, love doctor Charley Wininger, professor of psychedelics Thomas B. Roberts, ethnobotanical explorer Dennis McKenna, the “Sunshine Makers” Tim Scully and Michael Randall, as well as many others

Over the past decade, many famous entrepreneurs and celebrities have begun to open up about their life-changing experiences with psychedelics that led to their personal successes. But less well-known are the wisdom-bringing psychedelic experiences of many top psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, and others who have taken what they learned from their entheogenic experiences and applied it in their professions, leading to therapeutic advancements, scientific discoveries, and healing for thousands.

In this profound book, Dr. Richard Louis Miller shares stories of psychedelic transformation, insight, and wisdom from his conversations with 19 scientists, doctors, therapists, and teachers, each of whom has been self-experimenting with psychedelic medicines, sub rosa, for decades. We hear from scientific psychonaut Amanda Feilding, founder of the Beckley Foundation; ethnobotanical explorer Dennis McKenna; research advocate and head of MAPS Rick Doblin; and the “Sunshine Makers”: Tim Scully, the scientist taught to make LSD by Owsley Stanley, and Michael Randall, the leader of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. We learn about recasting “bad trips” as unfamiliar challenges from psychedelic swami Allan Ajaya as well as the therapeutic uses of MDMA from “the love doctor” Charley Wininger and gain decades of insights from psychedelic professor Thomas B. Roberts as well as several others.

Revealing the psychedelic wisdom uncovered in spite of decades of the “War on Drugs,” Dr. Miller and his contributors show how LSD and other psychedelics offer a pathway to creativity, healing, innovation, and liberation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781644115435
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 12/20/2022
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,081,059
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. Richard Louis Miller, MA, PhD, has been a clinical psychologist for more than 50 years. He is host of the syndicated talk radio show, Mind Body Health & Politics. The founder of the nationally acclaimed Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program, he has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan and Stanford University, an advisor on the President’s Commission on Mental Health, a founding board member of the Gestalt Institute of San Francisco, and a member of the national board of directors for the Marijuana Policy Project. He lives in Fort Bragg and Wilbur Hot Springs, California.

Rick Doblin is the president of MAPS.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 1. Tim Scully and Michael Randall

The Sunshine Makers Revisit Their Quest to Turn on the Whole World

Robert “Tim” Scully (seventy-seven years old) is a computer engineer known for his work in the production of LSD during the 1960s, as well as distribution of LSD as a member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. In 1973, he was indicted and soon after convicted for making the LSD product known by many at the time as “Orange Sunshine.” Although he was sentenced to twenty years in prison in 1974, Scully only served two years, beginning in 1977. He was released on parole in 1979, after which he continued his distinguished career as an engineer. He was a lecturer in parapsychology at John F. Kennedy University and held a part-time appointment as an assistant research psychologist in the psychophysiology laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco’s Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. He founded Pacific Bionic Systems and has published numerous articles on biofeedback and other technical topics.

Michael Randall was also a founding member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, which helped distribute an estimated 130 million hits of LSD. Randall refers to LSD as a “sacrament,” and it became his mission to help “turn on” as many people as possible, so they too could share the life-changing experience he had with LSD in 1963 for the first time. Like Scully, Randall served time in prison for his involvement in the Brotherhood. He spent five years incarcerated, after living for more than twelve years on the run with his wife, Carol, and his children.

Both men were featured in the 2015 documentary The Sunshine Makers. Steve Jobs was just one of the millions of Americans who were introduced to psychedelics through the Brotherhood’s efforts, although only a small number suffered the immensity of legal consequences that Scully and Randall faced. Many of us owe our own personal transformation to psychedelics—or at least the phones and computers we use daily—to their courage and convictions.



Soon after it first aired in 2015, this interview with Michael Randall and Tim Scully quickly became one of the most popular episodes in the history of my radio program, Mind Body Health & Politics. Some six years later, I was inspired by this program to reach out to other psychedelic elders, for whom the statute of limitations, or ability to speak largely in the past tense about their sub-rosa experiences with psychedelics, gave them a feeling of freedom to speak openly.

Dr. Richard Louis Miller (RLM): Gentlemen, I heard that when you got together just recently for the premiere of the movie The Sunshine Makers that features both of you, it had been forty-four years since you’d seen each other. Is that true?

Michael Randall (MR): Yeah, that’s true. It was good to see Tim. We’re lifelong friends. We’re very happy to be back in touch. We love each other.

Tim Scully (TS): I second the motion.

RLM: Tim, I want to go back a long time to the beginning of your involvement as the chemist behind Orange Sunshine. Can you tell us something about how it began for you and what your motivations were?

TS: It started back in 1965. A childhood friend of mine was studying Eastern philosophy and turned me on to Aldous Huxley’s books about psychedelics—The Doors of Perception, Heaven and Hell, and Island—and convinced me that we ought to try to find some LSD and take it. In April 1965, we both took LSD together and had fantastic experiences. The experience for me was like getting struck by lightning, and it totally changed the direction of my life. After coming down from the experience and walking out in the morning and smelling the flowers and the freshly cut lawn, I turned to my friend Don and said, “We could make a lot of this and give it away. If we did that, it might save the world. If everybody could share this same experience of oneness with every living thing and with the universe, people wouldn’t be as mean to each other and wouldn’t be as destructive of the environment.”

That’s where we started.

RLM: You’re saying that one LSD experience in 1965 changed the course of your life and awakened an idealism toward helping humanity. Do you remember anything about what gave you the courage? You were a scientist already. You were a scientist in high school. You were already very involved in inventions. I’ve read a lot about your background at that time. You were basically a science nerd, if you want to use that terminology. Where did you muster courage to take something that could change the course of your life at such a young age? Do you recall?

TS: My mother was from an English Protestant background, and my father was from an Irish Catholic background. We didn’t have a lot of formal religious training because there was considerable disagreement between the two sides of the family, but I was curious about the big questions of why we’re here and what life is about. I had always been taught from my earliest age that what I should do in life is to somehow try to make life better for everyone. My mother used to say, “Imagine you’re at the end of your life looking back. Think about how you’ll feel about yourself if you do whatever it is you’re about to do. Choose things that will make you feel good looking back at the time you die and make you feel that you made a positive contribution.”

RLM: In 1965 you took a dose of LSD that changed the course of your life. Leary and Alpert were fired from Harvard for their experiments in 1963, so you probably were aware of that. LSD became illegal in 1968. Do you have any idea how much LSD you took in 1965 during that one experience, so that you came away from that experience wanting to save the world by manufacturing LSD?

TS: My friend Don and I split one of Owsley Stanley’s doses, so we took about 150 micrograms each, which is just enough for you to experience “oneness.” If we had taken much less, the experience would have been different. A surprising number of people—when they take at least that much LSD—have the sense that it’s the most significant experience of their life.

HEAVY DOSES IN TINY PACKAGES: TO SEE A WORLD IN A GRAIN OF SUGAR

RLM: What does 150 micrograms look like? If you picture one of these little packages of sugar that you get in restaurants—sugar or Splenda—the amount of little white powder that comes out is approximately a gram. There are 28 of those little packages in an ounce. One of those grams is 1,000 milligrams, and one milligram is 1,000 micrograms. Can you see 150 micrograms with the naked eye?

MR: Just barely. It’s about the size of a grain of sugar in that package.

RLM: A very tiny amount of something so powerful changed the course of your life. That was your beginning. Michael, how did you get involved with the founding of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love?

MR: It’s similar to what Tim was recounting—an experience that changes one’s life forever. You’re never the same. It is an awakening. It is suddenly an epiphany beyond all imagination. You automatically want to share this profound experience with everybody. It is a complete oneness. Like Tim, I was raised in a family that wasn’t a really strong religious or churchgoing family. I hadn’t been ingrained with religion. I suddenly became a little bit religious—not in a formal way, but I understood that there was a creator, and I was going to follow this for the rest of my life. I felt it was my responsibility to turn as many people on as we could. Tim and I sat and had many conversations about how we would turn the world on. We had a pretty good plan. We went a long way toward doing that very thing.

RLM: Tell us about the origins of the Brotherhood.

MR: We were a bunch of young people. The goals that society had set up to work hard all your life and then retire to some form of comfort seemed like slavery when we looked at it that way. Suddenly, the life that we had been living wasn’t a life that we wanted anymore. We tended to be a little on the wild side. There were surfers and beatnik types, before the hippie counterculture started. We would go to secluded beaches or out in nature where maybe twenty to thirty people would all have these divine experiences that we felt it was our obligation to share. We then formed a group that we called The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and officially became a religion in the state of California.

We wanted to be free souls, and we set about doing that, and we’re still doing it. You don’t outgrow this experience. Our parents always thought we might outgrow it. They found out differently. We went on to pursue our goal of trying to turn on as many souls as we could influence and touch.

RLM: Approximately what year was all of this, Michael?

MR: I took LSD in 1963 for the first time. We took it for a few years before it was illegal, and we had experiences where the police came, but they couldn’t figure out what we were doing. If they had found marijuana, we would have gone to jail. They found LSD in capsules, and we made them give it back to us. It wasn’t illegal. They had no choice.

APPRENTICING TO OWSLEY STANLEY

RLM: I’m going to switch back to you, Tim. What happens next? You have this experience in 1965 and you decide that you’re going to share this experience with the world. What do you do?

TS: I set out to do library research and find out what was involved in making LSD. I soon learned that the essential, ideal starting material is lysergic acid. It didn’t take long to find out that it was very hard to get already. For most of 1965 I was trying to find a source for lysergic acid, while learning what I could about the chemistry of making LSD. Making a very long story short, I was fortunate enough to eventually meet Owsley, who had the raw material and the know-how. He initially wasn’t really interested in taking on an apprentice chemist, but not long after I met him, he fell in love with the Grateful Dead and decided that he wanted to become their sound man. He ended up taking me on as his assistant in doing electronics work for the Grateful Dead. I looked at that as an extended job interview for the real job of being his apprentice in the lab.

RLM: Let me just take a sidebar there, Tim, because you referred to Owsley. Please elaborate on this man that you wanted to study with. What was his place in all of this?

TS: Owsley Stanley was one of the earliest underground chemists making LSD. He was unique in that the LSD that he made was exceptionally pure, and the doses he produced were carefully made and were powerful. When I was looking for LSD to take in early 1965, I was happy to be told that I was getting real Owsley LSD when I bought it from a dealer. His name became widely known because the one of the first grams that he sold went to a musician friend of his who made the mistake of telling everybody where he’d got it. Even though he didn’t want to, he became instantly famous when that happened. Everyone in the scene knew that Owsley made the best LSD, including the government.

RLM: At that time when Owsley was making it, was LSD illegal?

TS: Possession wasn’t illegal yet. The unlicensed manufacture of LSD, its transportation in interstate commerce with improper labeling, and dispensing it without a prescription were all U.S. federal misdemeanors through the 1950s and the first half of the 1960s under the Food and Drug Act—not because LSD was specifically mentioned in the law but rather because it belonged to the category of experimental prescription-only drugs. Bernard Roseman and Bernard Copley were successfully prosecuted under these laws in 1964; they were sentenced to two years.

The Los Angeles narcotics police were actually dumpster diving Owsley’s trash in LA, where he had the lab in late 1964—where he made the LSD that I took a few months later. Evidence from their investigations turned up in U.S. Senate Committees in 1965, when the government was starting to consider putting new restrictions on psychedelic drugs. Their testimony, again, turned up in early 1966 when the Grunsky bill was considered, which is the California law that went into effect—the first law making possession of LSD explicitly illegal.

RLM: That was the first state law in the United States, correct?

TS: The first state law was passed in the spring of 1966 and became effective in October.

RLM: You are now apprenticing to Owsley Stanley, and you’re both working for the Grateful Dead. While that is going on, what is Michael Randall doing?

MR: We were down in Laguna Beach. The first acid we took was from Sandoz and from Koch-Lite Laboratories—a different chemial company—and it was really good. Then came Owsley’s “White Lightning,” they called it. He was the first underground chemist to make acid available on a widespread basis. It was around then that it became illegal. The availability of what we had begun to take had just disappeared overnight almost. All of a sudden, we couldn’t get any LSD from regular laboratories, so we had to turn to Owsley, and he made beautiful—sometimes very strong—doses.

RLM: Michael just referred to Sandoz—the Swiss pharmaceutical firm where Albert Hofmann worked when he first synthesized LSD in 1938 and took it for the first time in 1943.

MR: Later on, we met a man named Michael Hollingshead, who isn’t very well known. He wrote a letter to Sandoz and bought a gram of crystal LSD for $250. They just shipped it to him. He actually was the first person to turn Timothy Leary on. He also turned on The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and a lot of others: you mixed a dose of about 200 micrograms with a spoonful of sugar. There was a band later called The Lovin’ Spoonful after Michael Hollingshead. He lived on the Brotherhood ranch for a while. He was a wild man—English.

RLM: Next time you’re in a restaurant, rip open a pack of artificial sweetener and put it on the table in front of you. If that were LSD, it would be ten thousand 100 microgram units. That’s an amazing amount of LSD in a gram, and that’s what Hollingshead got for $250.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD
The Wisdom of Psychedelic Elders
Rick Doblin

INTRODUCTION
Confessions of the Psychedelic Elder

SCIENTISTS
1 Tim Scully and Michael Randall
The Sunshine Makers Revisit Their Quest to Turn On the Whole World
2 Amanda Feilding
A Consciousness Researcher on Her Self-Experimentation with LSD
3 Dennis McKenna
An Ethnobotanical Explorer Reflects on a Lifetime of Curiosity
4 Rick Doblin
Pioneering the Legalization of Psychedelic Medicines

DOCTORS
5 Dean Edell
America’s Doctor Spreads the Word
6 Friederike Meckel Fischer
A Convicted Psychotherapist Describes Working Underground
7 Howard Levene and David Geisinger
Understanding Patients’ Life Experiences

THERAPISTS
8 Allan Ajaya
Transcendent Awareness of Underlying Unity
9 Charley Wininger
The Love Doctor on Happiness-Inducing Experiences
10 Mariavittoria Mangini
Psychedelics and the Social Matrix
11 Dr. Richard Louis Miller
Making Meaning from the Psychedelic Experience

TEACHERS
12 Thomas B. Roberts
Upgrading the Human Mind with Psychedelics
13 Clifton Ross
Psychedelic Breakthroughs on the Road of Recovery
14 Cliff Barney
Living and Writing in a Different Reality
15 Jerry and Julie Brown
Scholars of Psychedelics Say There Is Always More to Learn
16 Charles Bush
The Psychedelic Cinerama

Afterword

Acknowledgments

Index
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