1956 Footage Of Housewife's Acid Trip

"I wish I could talk in technicolor"

From Don Lattin at the Huffington Post: Here's some rare footage of an experimental LSD session that I came across doing research for my next book, a group biography of British writer Aldous Huxley, philosopher Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. It's from a television program, circa 1956, about mental health issues.

The researcher, Dr. Sidney Cohen, was dosing volunteers at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Los Angeles. Aldous Huxley, who first tried mescaline in 1953 and wrote about it in his seminal book, The Doors of Perception, got Gerald Heard interested in the spiritual potential of psychedelic drugs.

Heard then turned on Bill Wilson, guiding him on an LSD trip supervised by Dr. Cohen in the summer of 1956 -- perhaps in the same room we see in this video. Wilson, who started AA in the 1930s, thought LSD could help alcoholics have the "spiritual awakening" that is such an important part of the twelve-step recovery program he popularized.

Heard and Huxley set the stage for better-known psychedelic research of Timothy Leary, Richard "Ram Dass" Alpert, Huston Smith and Andrew Weil, who are profiled in my 2010 book, The Harvard Psychedelic Club.
siftbotsays...

Boosting this quality contribution up in the Hot Listing - declared quality by arvana.

Boise_Libsays...

Wait, back up. Bill Wilson...Really?

This information meshes with some research of my own. Is there source material on Bill W.'s experience?

Trancecoachsays...

Yes, it's an open secret that Bill W. believed that LSD was a "shortcut" of sorts for the 12 steps he developed.

Here's a resource to get you started.

(By the bye, one of my jobs is as the exec. dir. for the peer-reviewed journal that published much of the early research on LSD's effects on the mind.)

>> ^Boise_Lib:

Wait, back up. Bill Wilson...Really?
This information meshes with some research of my own. Is there source material on Bill W.'s experience?

Trancecoachsays...

She's under the Spell of the Sensuous.

I think she's right to feel sorry for those who cannot see what she's trying to describe. Having met 3 of the four men profiled in Lattin's book (as well as Lattin, himself), my bias is that this is a story needing to be told, giving an honest and open depiction of the potential of the human mind under these entheogenic conditions, and cultural upheaval that it precipitated.

Boise_Libsays...

>> ^Trancecoach:

Yes, it's an open secret that Bill W. believed that LSD was a "shortcut" of sorts for the 12 steps he developed.
Here's a resource to get you started.
(By the bye, one of my jobs is as the exec. dir. for the peer-reviewed journal that published much of the early research on LSD's effects on the mind.)
>> ^Boise_Lib:
Wait, back up. Bill Wilson...Really?
This information meshes with some research of my own. Is there source material on Bill W.'s experience?




Very Cool, Thanks coach.

This ties up more than one thread for me into a nice package! I've been looking into the relationship between AA and other means of personal enlightenment for quite a while.

paganif1says...

I've never seen such beauty before... Exactly. That's why they call it the beautiful drug.

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