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Robert Forte has lived at the center of the psychedelics/entheogens/mind control revolution.

photo by: Skeptiko

Do you know where you are, right now?

I’m in a drug trial.

What do you think is wrong with you?

I’m sick. That I don’t matter.

That’s Emma Stone and Jonah Hill participating in a futuristic drug experiment in the Netflix series, Maniac.

What would you say this trial is showing you about yourself?

Is this therapy now?

It’s not therapy, it’s science.

Science indeed. I mention that the show is futuristic but it’s cleverly not futuristic because, as many of you know, the history of government sponsored, pharmaceutical-based, social engineering mind-control stuff is well established.

But we might even take it one step further, as today’s guest Robert Forte does, and say that the history of psychedelic drugs is a microcosm of the history of religion (Entheogens and the Future of Religion).

Alex Tsakiris: I really want to understand how you’re juggling these two things, because what I hear from Wasson is this both and kind of thing. Yeah, he’s a lying ass, CIA lifetime player, yes, but I also get the sense that he’s someone who either before, during or after, has woken up to the larger reality that he’s stumbled into or that he’s been pushed into.

Robert Forte: Well, I’m glad you put it that way because I’m still kind of… when I think back to my meetings with Wasson, he had a very peculiar personality around me. I think there was some genuine affection and respect for me as a young man, who really wanted to understand what was going on. You know, I don’t really know, I’d really love to go back into his archives and read more of his letters.

I gave a lecture in New York shortly after my realization of his relationship to the American fascists and then my access to the archives was denied.

Now, this is another one of those level-3 Skeptiko conversations that kind of goes in a lot of different directions, including the LSD movement versus the LSD movements. We talk a lot about Timothy Leary, since today’s guest spent quite a bit of time with him. We talk about his early history. His experience with the CIA. His claim that the CIA wasn’t all bad in the early ‘50s but then they turned bad and he turned against them. And I love Leary’s quote that a third of what he said was bullshit, a third of what he said was dead wrong and a third of what he said was a base hit, but a 333-batting average makes you a Hall of Famer.

We also talk about Aleister Crowley and whether he really was the sick puppy he seems to be and how he’s involved in this mind-control thing.

And of course, we talk about Robert’s amazing journey through this entire psychedelics, entheogen thing, including his relationship with clandestine CIA operative, Gordon Wasson.

We also talk about Ram Dass, Neem Karoli Baba and contrast Ram Dass to Timothy Leary in some ways you might find interesting if you’re at all into that stuff.

This guy Robert Forte is quite an amazing figure in history that you probably haven’t heard about. Stick around for my interview. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

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Read Excerpts

skeptiko-Join-the-Discussion-3

Alex Tsakiris: Today’s

Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Robert Forte to Skeptiko. Robert is the author of a couple of books, we’re going to talk about entheogens and the future of religion, Timothy Leary, Outside Looking In. But more than the books, we’re going to talk about how Robert has been right in the middle of this amazing history of the psychedelic experience, in the middle of it, really like no one else. It’s an amazing story, a just incredibly amazing life.

Great to have you here Robert. Thanks so much for joining me on Skeptiko.

Robert Forte: Well thanks Alex, it’s good to be here. I’ve listened to a couple of your programs and I’ve been impressed with the kinds of conversations you’re having. So I’m really happy to join you.

Alex Tsakiris: Okay, as we were just chatting about a minute ago, we’ll see. We’ll see where this thing goes. We’ll see if you’re happy at the end of this because there are so many twists and turns to this story and where it goes.

As you said, we’ve, on this show, explored this topic and I’ve explored it from a couple of different angles and not because I ever had my arms around it, because I still don’t have my arms around it, and I feel like I’ve gone down the wrong alleyway more than once or twice and to a certain extent I was gratified to see that you kind of feel like you have too. It’s almost like you’ve got to be the guy who gets duped, in order to really understand the inside of the game thing.

But I’m jumping way ahead in the story, let’s go back and start at the very beginning. Who is Robert Forte?

Robert Forte: Well, we’re not going to get into all of that but let’s talk about my career, my background in this field of psychedelics, because I have explored it very, very deeply on a number of levels; personally, kind of professionally as a scholar, as a researcher, as a person that was quite involved in the underground movement. I’ve had working relationships with many, practically, well a lot of the most significant people who brought this subject into public consciousness since the 1950s.

My own involvement in it, as you said, has gone, like there were periods in my life where I was… My first exposure to these drugs was one of just utter fascination when I was just a young boy in 1967. I saw a copy of Life or Look Magazine with LSD on the cover and I was just fascinated by the imagery and I didn’t know anything about it. That was my day to do a social studies report in current events in my fifth-grade class.

So I brought this magazine in to talk about LSD and I didn’t even know what it was, and I asked my fifth-grade teacher, “What is LSD? What does that stand for?” And she looked at me with this funny little grin and she said, “Let’s save democracy.”

Alex Tsakiris: Really?

Robert Forte: Yeah, that was just fascinating. That was like the only sign that the 60s happened in the area where I grew up, in this little suburb of New York City. Of course, that went right over my head. I had no idea what she was talking about but it just kind of stayed there.

A few years would go by, now I’m in high school and kids are starting to take LSD and I was appalled. I was like a really straight young boy. I was a jock, I was into sports and nature and I saw kids that would take this LSD stuff and they would just get too freaked out and they would sort of wander off into these cul-de-sacs and kind of lose their way and I vowed, I would never go near any of these kinds of drugs, they were just frightening to me.

It wasn’t really until my third year of college that I began to change my mind. I had, by this point, become a student of religion, I had taken up a meditation practice, I was exploring Buddhism.

Alex Tsakiris: You were doing TM, right?

Robert Forte: First it was transcendental meditation and then I decided to really understand, where did these techniques come from? Meditation had a very profound and beneficial effect on my life. I was a student at Columbia University, and I wanted to understand, what was the history of these techniques? And that’s when I learned about the theories about psychedelics and the origin of religion and I thought, “Wow, I’ve overlooked something here,” and I began to read voraciously. Then after many, many books, I decided I would try one and I had a mushroom experience that was mild but very interesting.

It was time for me to move to California, at that point in my life, to get away from the East Coast and I came out to finish my degree at the University of California in Santa Cruz and I had the very great fortune to connect there with Frank Barron.

Now, I don’t know how much you or your listeners know about Frank Barron, because he’s been a very quiet, but a very significant force in American psychology and particularly in really starting the psychedelic movement.

Alex Tsakiris: Yeah, he’s really the forerunner. Everybody thinks of Leary, when you have a whole book on Leary and you were with Timothy Leary for the last three years of his life, and you know all of his associates, we’re going to talk about that, but tell folks a little bit about Frank Barron, because if folks don’t know, he’s kind of the pivot guy from the beginning.

Robert Forte: He is the pivot guy, but let me just backup a second, because I use this phrase, “the psychedelic movement” and I’m backing off that phrase and I think it’s much more important to talk about psychedelic movements, because although it’s one family of drugs, there are really many, very, very different groups of people, individuals and groups of people who use these drugs for wildly divergent purposes.

End 00:10:23

Start 00:31:47

Alex Tsakiris: Can you spend a minute and talk about the Crowleyan, demonic, beast, psychopath? So he says, at one point, this is Timothy Leary says, “I am the reincarnation of Crowley,” and another time he says, “I am the beast,” and he says, “I am a psychopath.” So, do you believe that there is some kind of demonic entity that he’s invited in or do you think he’s just playing with that on some extended consciousness level? What do you think is going there?

Robert Forte: Well, okay. So, I’ve only really come to try to understand his Crowley period recently and to be honest, I do not understand it very well, except to say this. This was a phrase that Ram Dass put in my head and I just love it. He said, “Tim inhabited metaphors the way a snail inhabits shells.” He grew up, when he got into LSD, he then went through a whole range of different paradigms. First it was the order, but he got into [Dulles 00:32:54] and he wrote the Psychedelic Prayers based on the Tao Te Ching. He got into Buddhism, he did the Psychedelic Experience based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. He was a very scientific thinker. Yeah, he went off into this Crowley sort of way. He had a Catholic streak in him, believe it or not, that kind of came out right toward the very end of his life. Just a week before he died, he dressed in a tuxedo and went to Catholic Mass.

Crowley, we could spend a month talking about Crowley and what a sick puppy he was and what an impact he may well have had on not just Leary but Aldous Huxley and what was the role of Crowley in this modern mind-control movement that we’re talking about?

So, I’m not really expert on that but that’s my thing. Tim never really took anything very seriously. He tried stuff, he tried it on, he got into it and he left it. He famously said, near the end of his life, he said, “Look, a third of what I’ve said is bullshit. A third of what I’ve said is dead wrong,” and then he said, “but a third were base hits and that gives me a 333-batting average, enough for the Hall of Fame.” He had this wonderfully charming, self-effacing quality.

I never spoke with him about Crowley, but I just get the feeling that he would like, almost everything else, except for question authority. That was the abiding theme through his whole life, it was about redirecting authority from institutions and leaders and gurus and [ideans 00:34:55] and redirect it back into the human psyche to take responsibility for yourself, to question authority and to empower individuals. That’s the theme that continues, that’s throughout his whole life, from his childhood all the way to the end of his life.

Alex Tsakiris: Wow, that is so cool and it’s actually, as you speak, giving me a new appreciation for Leary, because he’s the ultimate heretic, he’s the ultimate gnostic, creating better than the creator gods, kind of thing.

Can you spend maybe a minute, I’m just going to pull you in these random directions, what is it that you found in Tim’s history, his early childhood? I love this idea of what you’re talking about, kind of the ultimate iconoclast from the beginning thing. What springs to mind?

Robert Forte: I don’t know how to answer that quickly. I’m well into a screenplay about his life and when you ask this question, I just think of the setup he had as a young boy. He writes about it in Flashbacks.

His grandfather was, he said, the only, like sane influence on his young life and up until he was about 10 or 12 years old, he was under the impression that his grandfather was the wealthiest guy in the valley, in Springfield, Massachusetts and he lived in this big house.

Then, his father was a kind of ne’er-do-well. He was a dentist, but he didn’t really practice dentistry. He was a drunk, he was abusive to Tim and his mother and he was just waiting for his father to die.

Well, on the day that his grandfather finally does die, they find out that he’s not a wealthy man at all, he’s actually broke. He just was able to carry out this impression, but the depression has wiped out his fortune.

So, can you imagine that? You’re a 12-year-old boy and your grandfather is your main archetype in your life, this authority figure, this beautiful cultivated man and it turns out he was just a rascal trickster the whole time and left the family nothing and then Tim’s father abandoned the family, just takes off, he never sees him again. What a setup that is, that’s really something.

So all of his life, when you think of the relationship that sets up in your psyche toward authority figures and it can go on from there.

I loved most, I have to say, his sense of humor and his ability to just be in the moment and really, the way he connected with people and you hear this from anybody that knew him and when you got to spend time with him. He was a brilliant clinician and a superb psychotherapist, just for the way he connected with you and he made sure you knew you were being heard and seen for who you were. It was a gift he had to just bring out this quality in people.

Toward the end of his life there were days that there were just lines of people coming from all over the world to get one more hit of that Leary presence. I’ll always be grateful for that.

Alex Tsakiris: That’s awesome. A great story. I love that childhood story. I always found the suicide of his wife thing, what did that do to him? That has to be a real turning point, yes or no?

Robert Forte: Yeah, that was quite brutal. His first wife, who he was very much in love with, killed herself on the morning of his 35th birthday. They had kind of an open relationship. They were, in the 50s in Berkeley, he was a professor and they were swingers and they had a deal. You could fuck around but you couldn’t fall in love and Tim kind of went against that and had an apartment with his lover and they drank a lot and she was kind of manic depressive. He had two children that he loved, and she just killed herself and it blew him away. Maybe something he never recovered from.

The innermost circle of his life is really very, very tragic. His son, Jack, who I got to know, not very well but we spent an afternoon together at Tim’s. I flew down with Jack to see Tim about a month before he died. He hadn’t seen him for 15 years and so I was kind of gently exploring Jack’s sense of Tim and Jack was a really fine man. He’s still alive, but he thought his father was a psychopath and they went through some awful, awful shit and then of course his daughter also committed suicide. I believe she hanged herself in a jail cell while she was waiting charges on attempted murder or something really terrible like that.

Tim carried those wounds right up until the end of his life. I’d go through his archives with him and finding little drawings that Susan made, and Tim would just breakdown in tears. So that innermost circle was very, very tragic and very, very painful. But he kind of made up for it, not that he made up for it, but he tried to compensate for it by his next circle, because Tim’s house, toward the end of his life, was full of young people in their 20s. The kind of positive and creative impulse that he inspired in people, like his extended family, and the love and rapport that he had with everybody was really quite remarkable.

—-

Robert Forte: Well, it’s all so very interesting again, it leads to a really long conversation and it’s making me think, as we started talking about Leary and now we’re onto Ram Dass and how really very, very different these two characters are and how they both embody very opposite aspects of religion and the religious experience.

My friend, Gay Dillingham, did a brilliant and important film that’s been out and about called, Dying to Know, which was a conversation between Tim and Ram Dass.

Alex Tsakiris: Yeah, I’ve seen it.

Robert Forte: You’ve seen it, okay, so you know in that film, so here are these two guys. Now religion, Tim was a revolutionary. Tim grew up, Tim didn’t have any money. Tim wanted to change the world. He believed in democracy. He didn’t like the money was all concentrated at the top and that most of the people didn’t have any and they were controlled by the… He was an Irish fighting the English. He wanted to see a more equal distribution of wealth and power in society and having a democracy.

Ram Dass is a totally different character and for him…

Alex Tsakiris: Hold on, you’re really onto something there. I’m seeing this in a whole new light. Let’s just expand on that a little bit. Ram Dass is a rich kid, I mean, he is a rich ass kid from Harvard, privileged, and then when he goes and does the guru thing, it’s, “Hey everybody, come out to my dad’s,” fucking 45-acre estate, kind of thing, right?

Robert Forte: Yeah, Tim is constantly reminding him and the viewer how different they are to the last line of the movie, “We’re different. We’re different.” So here again, is religion a conservative force that is a mind-control operation by elites to pacify and control the masses, like Huxley warned about in Brave New World? And more acutely wrote about in an essay that’s nowhere near as well known that I would encourage your listeners to check out, Brave New World Revisited, which is a postscript to Brave New World that he wrote in 1958.

So here you see this kind of embodied and Tim is really trying to, you know, he’s anti-war, he’s getting arrested, he’s a problem to the establishment. Ram Dass is not a problem to the establishment, Ram Dass is exactly what the establishment wants. It’s a kind of feel-good, bhakti religion. If you’re not going to change the structure of society or the distribution of wealth or power, why bother?

Alex Tsakiris: But that’s tricky. That’s really tricky.

Robert Forte: Yeah, I know.

Alex Tsakiris: We can play with that on two different dimensions, right? We can play with that on the political dimension and it looks one way and we can play with the bhakti path on another, and bhakti is service, right? No bhakti is love, right?

Robert Forte: Bhakti is love, yeah.

Alex Tsakiris: Bhakti is the love path. One thing that jumps to mind there, is as many folks in the yogic tradition will tell you, you can go as far as you want down the path of the warrior, the Timothy Leary warrior, but at some point, to get past the final hurdle, you’re going to need the guru and us in the West don’t accept the guru. I am not a guru fucking guy, nowhere close, never have been, it’s just not me. I’m the iconoclast person, that’s my nature. But I do see the wisdom of submitting. That there is a wisdom to submitting as much as it pulls against who I am, kind of thing.

In that respect, you’re saying something really beautiful and deep there Robert, in terms of how these two guys, who bring forth this whole experience of psychedelics, are representing two aspects that ultimately lead to the same place, if we will, in terms of higher consciousness and I don’t know. I hate to shut it off and pull it back down to this materialistic kind of… but we have to do that sometimes, when we talk about the CIA and mind-control. But I think these guys are also playing on a whole different level, a higher level. Any thoughts on that?

Robert Forte: Do you mean Tim and Richard?

Alex Tsakiris: Yeah, I mean, they’re playing on the psychospiritual kind of dimension too that totally transcends anything that these guys want to do, in terms of playing around with, trying to control people and all of the rest of that.

Not to shift gears too far again, because it’s going to drive people nuts, but I was listening to Whitley Strieber recently, him talking about how he had firsthand experience with the mind-control, a horrible, horrible mind-control program that he was subjected to when he nine years old in San Antonio, Texas. This is MKUltra at its worst, taking these little kids and putting them in Skinner boxes and just deprivation, sensory deprivation, in order to crack them open to see if they could… Because we know when people are subjected to trauma, crack open and reach these other dimensions, whether they be psychic or out-of-body traveler, whatever they were and they were playing around with this shit because they were like, “Hey man, we’re got to figure out that part of it too,” kind of thing.

But what he said just really stuck with me from a spiritual side, he said, “These guys don’t realize what they’re doing to their soul.” And I don’t know how comfortable you are with that or how comfortable you are with the idea of reincarnation and karma at this much higher level, rather than this kind of dime-store, you know, “Do this, don’t do that,” kind of thing. And I wonder at the soul level who these actors are, Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, and it seems to me they’re like right out of some mythical, Indian story of, like you were saying, good and bad and the follower and the leader and the soldier and the warrior.

Have you processed that? You obviously have because you kind of led there.

Robert Forte: Yeah. I drafted a screenplay once where I had the psychedelic scenario that we’ve been talking about, Wasson and Hoffman and these were characters. You can find them, there’s Giordano Bruno and Galileo, it’s the same drama in different epics, right? Jesus and so on. No, it’s the same story, you’re right. No, they’re mythic archetypal characters and they knew it, they knew it.

0:09 – 0:15 do you know where you are right now I’m

0:13 – 0:20 in a drug trial what do you think is

0:15 – 0:22 wrong with you I’m sick I don’t matter

0:20 – 0:25 that’s Emma Stone and Jonah Hill

0:22 – 0:27 participating in a futuristic drug

0:25 – 0:30 experiment in the Netflix series maniac

0:27 – 0:33 what would you say this trial is showing

0:30 – 0:34 you about yourself this therapy no it’s

0:33 – 0:42 not therapy

0:34 – 0:44 it’s science science indeed I mentioned

0:42 – 0:47 that the show is futuristic but it’s

0:44 – 0:49 cleverly not futuristic because as many

0:47 – 0:52 of you know the history of

0:49 – 0:54 government-sponsored pharmaceutical

0:52 – 0:57 based social engineering mind-control

0:54 – 0:60 stuff is well-established

0:57 – 1:03 we met even take it one step further as

0:60 – 1:07 today’s guest Robert Forte does and say

1:03 – 1:10 that the history of psychedelic drugs is

1:07 – 1:13 a microcosm of the history of religion I

1:10 – 1:15 really want to understand how you’re

1:13 – 1:19 juggling these two things because what I

1:15 – 1:23 hear from Wasson is this both an kind of

1:19 – 1:27 thing yeah he’s a lyin ass CIA lifetime

1:23 – 1:30 player yes but I also get the sense that

1:27 – 1:33 he’s someone who either before during or

1:30 – 1:35 after is woken up to the larger reality

1:33 – 1:37 that he’s Gumble into or that he’s been

1:35 – 1:39 pushed into well you know I’m glad you

1:37 – 1:42 put it that way because I’m still kind

1:39 – 1:46 of you know I think back to my meetings

1:42 – 1:48 with Watson he had a very peculiar

1:46 – 1:50 personality around me I mean I think I

1:48 – 1:55 think there was some genuine affection

1:50 – 1:57 and respect for me as a young man who

1:55 – 1:59 really wanted to understand what was

1:57 – 2:01 going on you know I don’t really know

1:59 – 2:03 I’d really love to go back into his

2:01 – 2:06 archives and read more of his letters

2:03 – 2:09 but I I gave a lecture in New York

2:06 – 2:12 shortly after my realization of his

2:09 – 2:14 relationship to the American fascists

2:12 – 2:17 and then my my access to

2:14 – 2:19 the archives was denied now this is

2:17 – 2:21 another one of those level three

2:19 – 2:23 skeptical conversations that kind of

2:21 – 2:26 goes in a lot of different directions

2:23 – 2:29 including the LSD movement versus the

2:26 – 2:31 LSD movements we talked a lot about

2:29 – 2:33 Timothy Leary since today’s guest spent

2:31 – 2:36 quite a bit of time with him we talked

2:33 – 2:38 about his early history his experience

2:36 – 2:41 with the CIA his claim that the CIA

2:38 – 2:43 wasn’t all bad in the early 50s but then

2:41 – 2:45 they turned bad and he turned against

2:43 – 2:47 him and I love Leary’s quote that a

2:45 – 2:49 third of what he said was bullshit a

2:47 – 2:51 third of what he said was dead wrong and

2:49 – 2:54 a third of what he said was a base hit

2:51 – 2:56 but a 333 batting average makes you a

2:54 – 2:59 hall-of-famer we also talked about

2:56 – 3:01 Aleister Crowley and whether he really

2:59 – 3:04 was the sick puppy he seems to be and

3:01 – 3:05 how he’s involved in this mind control

3:04 – 3:08 thing and of course we talked about

3:05 – 3:12 Roberts amazing journey through this

3:08 – 3:14 entire psychedelics and Thea j’en thing

3:12 – 3:17 including his relationship with

3:14 – 3:20 clandestine CIA operative Gordon Wasson

3:17 – 3:22 we also talked about ROM dass neem

3:20 – 3:25 Karoli Baba and contrast ROM dust

3:22 – 3:28 Timothy Leary in some ways you might

3:25 – 3:31 find interesting if you’re at all into

3:28 – 3:35 that stuff this guy Robert Forte is

3:31 – 3:36 quite an amazing figure in history that

3:35 – 3:39 you’ve probably haven’t heard about

3:36 – 3:41 stick around for my interview I think

3:39 – 3:51 you’ll really enjoy it

3:41 – 3:54 [Music]

3:51 – 3:57 today we welcome Robert Forte to skeptic

3:54 – 3:59 Oh Robert is the author of a couple of

3:57 – 4:01 books we’re gonna talk about and

3:59 – 4:05 theagenes in the future of religion

4:01 – 4:08 Timothy Leary outside looking in but

4:05 – 4:11 more than the books we’re going to talk

4:08 – 4:13 about how Robert has been right in the

4:11 – 4:16 middle of this amazing history of the

4:13 – 4:20 psychedelic experience in the middle of

4:16 – 4:21 it like really like no one else it’s an

4:20 – 4:25 amazing story

4:21 – 4:27 oh just incredibly amazing life great to

4:25 – 4:29 have you here Robert thanks so much for

4:27 – 4:31 joining me on skeptic oh well thanks

4:29 – 4:33 Alex it’s good to be here I’ve listened

4:31 – 4:35 to a couple of your programs and I’ve

4:33 – 4:37 been impressed with the kind of

4:35 – 4:39 conversations you’re having some I’m

4:37 – 4:41 really happy to join you okay as we were

4:39 – 4:43 just chatting about in MIT ago we’ll see

4:41 – 4:45 we’ll see where this thing goes we’ll

4:43 – 4:48 see if you’re happy at the end of this

4:45 – 4:52 because there are so many twists and

4:48 – 4:55 turns to this story and where it goes

4:52 – 4:58 and as you said you know we’ve on this

4:55 – 5:01 show explored this topic and I’ve

4:58 – 5:04 explored it from a couple of different

5:01 – 5:06 angles and not because I ever had my

5:04 – 5:08 arms around it because I still don’t

5:06 – 5:11 have my arms around it and I feel like

5:08 – 5:14 I’ve gone down the wrong alley way more

5:11 – 5:17 than once or twice and to certain extent

5:14 – 5:19 I was gratified to see that you kind of

5:17 – 5:22 feel like you have to and it’s almost

5:19 – 5:25 like you got to be the guy who gets

5:22 – 5:29 duped in order to really understand the

5:25 – 5:32 inside of the game thing but I’m jumping

5:29 – 5:35 way ahead in the story let’s go back and

5:32 – 5:37 start at the very beginning who is

5:35 – 5:39 Robert Forte well we’re not going to get

5:37 – 5:44 into all that but we will let’s talk

5:39 – 5:47 about my my career my background in this

5:44 – 5:50 in this field of psychedelics because I

5:47 – 5:52 have explored it very very deeply on a

5:50 – 5:55 number of levels

5:52 – 5:59 personally the kind of professionally as

5:55 – 6:01 a scholar as a researcher as a person

5:59 – 6:04 that was quite involved in the under

6:01 – 6:07 our movement I’ve had working

6:04 – 6:10 relationships with many practically well

6:07 – 6:12 a lot of the most significant people who

6:10 – 6:16 brought this subject into public

6:12 – 6:20 consciousness since the since the 1950s

6:16 – 6:23 I you know and in my own involvement in

6:20 – 6:24 it as you said is gone like there were

6:23 – 6:28 there were periods in my life where I

6:24 – 6:30 was my first exposure to these drugs was

6:28 – 6:36 one of just utter fascination when I was

6:30 – 6:39 just a young boy in 1967 I saw a copy of

6:36 – 6:42 life or Look magazine with LSD on the

6:39 – 6:46 cover and I was just fascinated by the

6:42 – 6:48 the imagery and I didn’t know anything

6:46 – 6:51 about it and I was supposed to that was

6:48 – 6:53 my day to do a social studies report in

6:51 – 6:56 current events in my fifth-grade class

6:53 – 6:58 so I brought this magazine in to talk

6:56 – 7:00 about LSD and I didn’t even know what it

6:58 – 7:04 was and I asked my fifth-grade teacher

7:00 – 7:07 what is that what is LSD what does that

7:04 – 7:10 stand for and she looked at me with this

7:07 – 7:15 funny little grin and she said let’s

7:10 – 7:17 save democracy really yeah that was just

7:15 – 7:20 fascinating that was like the only sign

7:17 – 7:22 that the 60s happened in the in the area

7:20 – 7:25 where I grew up in this little suburb of

7:22 – 7:27 New York City of course that went right

7:25 – 7:31 over my head I had no idea what she was

7:27 – 7:34 talking about but it just kind of stayed

7:31 – 7:36 there and you know if years went would

7:34 – 7:39 go by now I’m in high school and kids

7:36 – 7:42 are starting to take LSD and I was

7:39 – 7:45 appalled I was like a really straight

7:42 – 7:49 young boy I was in I was a jock I was

7:45 – 7:52 into sports and and nature and I saw

7:49 – 7:54 kids that would take this LSD stuff and

7:52 – 7:57 they would just get too freaked out and

7:54 – 7:60 they would sort of wander off into these

7:57 – 8:03 cul de sacs and kind of lose their way

7:60 – 8:05 and I vowed I would never go near any

8:03 – 8:07 any of these kinds of drugs they were

8:05 – 8:10 just frightening to me and it wasn’t

8:07 – 8:15 really until my my third year of college

8:10 – 8:15 that I began to change my mind I had by

8:15 – 8:18 this

8:15 – 8:21 won’t become a student of religion I had

8:18 – 8:24 taken up a meditation practice I was

8:21 – 8:26 exploring Buddhism and we’re doing too

8:24 – 8:29 young right first it was Transcendental

8:26 – 8:32 Meditation and then I decided to really

8:29 – 8:34 understand where did these techniques

8:32 – 8:37 come from meditation had a very profound

8:34 – 8:38 and beneficial effect on my life and so

8:37 – 8:41 I was at a student at Columbia

8:38 – 8:43 University and I wanted to understand

8:41 – 8:45 what was the history of these techniques

8:43 – 8:48 and that’s when I learned about the

8:45 – 8:50 theories about psychedelics and the

8:48 – 8:53 origin of religion and I thought wow

8:50 – 8:57 I’ve overlooked something here and and I

8:53 – 8:60 began to read voraciously and then after

8:57 – 9:03 quite many many books I decided I would

8:60 – 9:07 try one and I had a mushroom experience

9:03 – 9:10 that was mild but very interesting and

9:07 – 9:12 it was time for me to move to California

9:10 – 9:14 just at that point in my life to get

9:12 – 9:16 away from the East Coast and I came out

9:14 – 9:19 to finish my degree at the University of

9:16 – 9:22 California and Santa Cruz and I had the

9:19 – 9:25 very great fortune to connect there with

9:22 – 9:28 Frank Barron now I don’t know how how

9:25 – 9:31 much you or your listeners know about

9:28 – 9:34 Frank Barron because he’s been a very

9:31 – 9:37 quiet but very significant force in

9:34 – 9:41 American psychology and particularly in

9:37 – 9:44 in really starting the psychedelic

9:41 – 9:46 movement yeah he’s really the forerunner

9:44 – 9:48 to America thinks of Leary when you have

9:46 – 9:50 a whole book I’m Larry and you you were

9:48 – 9:52 with Timothy Leary for the last three

9:50 – 9:54 years of his life and you know all his

9:52 – 9:56 associates we’re gonna talk about that

9:54 – 9:58 but tell folks a little bit about Frank

9:56 – 10:01 Barron cuz folks don’t know he’s he’s

9:58 – 10:03 kind of the pivot guy from the beginning

10:01 – 10:05 he is the pivot guy but let me just back

10:03 – 10:08 up a second because I used this phrase

10:05 – 10:10 the psychedelic movement and I’m backing

10:08 – 10:13 off that phrase and I think it’s much

10:10 – 10:15 more important to talk about psychedelic

10:13 – 10:18 movements because although with its one

10:15 – 10:22 family of drugs there are really many

10:18 – 10:24 very very different groups of people

10:22 – 10:27 individuals and groups of people who use

10:24 – 10:29 these drugs for wildly divergent

10:27 – 10:31 purposes

10:29 – 10:33 so I want to be careful we not talk

10:31 – 10:36 about psychedelic movement versus

10:33 – 10:38 psychedelic movements now Frank baron

10:36 – 10:40 was Timothy Leary’s best friend in

10:38 – 10:42 graduate school they both went to

10:40 – 10:47 Berkeley together he was a veteran of

10:42 – 10:50 World War two and he was he was

10:47 – 10:53 horrified by the advent of the nuclear

10:50 – 10:55 bomb and he realized that like a lot of

10:53 – 10:58 people realized at that time that oh my

10:55 – 11:01 god you know this savage power in the

10:58 – 11:05 hands of a humanity that you know this

11:01 – 11:07 was this was potential disaster Albert

11:05 – 11:08 Einstein said the same thing you know

11:07 – 11:11 like he shouldn’t have done the research

11:08 – 11:13 that led to this human beings can’t

11:11 – 11:15 handle this power and Frank realized

11:13 – 11:19 that if we’re going to have this bomb

11:15 – 11:22 we’re going to need a equal like

11:19 – 11:24 expansion of wisdom and compassion and

11:22 – 11:27 understanding or we’re going to blow

11:24 – 11:29 ourselves up and so he devoted his

11:27 – 11:32 career in psychology to this sort of

11:29 – 11:35 thing and when he discovered these

11:32 – 11:38 mushrooms while studying creativity in

11:35 – 11:40 Mexico he thought that he had found kind

11:38 – 11:43 of the Holy Grail to psychology that

11:40 – 11:46 this was a way to just you know release

11:43 – 11:48 a corresponding you know expansion of

11:46 – 11:51 consciousness that would counter the

11:48 – 11:52 bomb he was really into this and he told

11:51 – 11:54 his friend Tim about it this was the

11:52 – 11:57 thing that they were looking for this is

11:54 – 11:59 when what year would this be well this

11:57 – 12:02 is about 1950 late late they were they

11:59 – 12:04 were at Berkeley from the in the 1950s

12:02 – 12:07 and Frank finally connected with the

12:04 – 12:10 mushroom about 1958 I think it was and

12:07 – 12:13 he told him about it and Tim was in a

12:10 – 12:16 rough spot in his life he had his wife

12:13 – 12:18 had just committed suicide he was

12:16 – 12:21 completely disillusioned with American

12:18 – 12:25 psychology he had already realized that

12:21 – 12:29 the field was infiltrated with with CIA

12:25 – 12:33 operatives and CIA money he was appalled

12:29 – 12:35 at the apathy of the profession that

12:33 – 12:39 this was being that this was turning

12:35 – 12:42 into a mind-control enterprise he

12:39 – 12:44 realized this early on

12:42 – 12:47 and he was and he dropped out he took a

12:44 – 12:50 sabbatical leave and Frank finally

12:47 – 12:52 persuades him to try the mushrooms let

12:50 – 12:53 me just interject here because I’m gonna

12:52 – 12:55 have a million questions so I don’t know

12:53 – 12:56 how I’m gonna do this and how we’re

12:55 – 12:58 gonna get some flow but there’s a lot of

12:56 – 13:01 little details that need to get filled

12:58 – 13:07 in for me as I try and understand this

13:01 – 13:10 Leary is sniffing out the MKULTRA stuff

13:07 – 13:12 that’s starting in the 50s okay how is

13:10 – 13:15 that do you have any more insight into

13:12 – 13:18 how that is playing out for him what he

13:15 – 13:20 sees what he’s kind of upset about and

13:18 – 13:22 what are the origins some of those

13:20 – 13:24 projects because folks need to know that

13:22 – 13:28 that’s documented at this point that

13:24 – 13:31 they’re all in in psychology so

13:28 – 13:33 northwestern is one place and you know

13:31 – 13:38 we had a guy on who’s doing a fantastic

13:33 – 13:40 documentary on Padraic and so all the

13:38 – 13:42 guys that at Northwestern are pulled

13:40 – 13:46 into this there’s hundreds of different

13:42 – 13:47 facets of the MKULTRA program a lot of

13:46 – 13:48 different money being spread out

13:47 – 13:50 everywhere

13:48 – 13:53 what was his at this point early on you

13:50 – 13:57 know before the LSD thing what was he

13:53 – 13:60 feeling about the MKULTRA stuff well it

13:57 – 14:03 wasn’t quite MKULTRA yet at this point

13:60 – 14:04 but I’ll give you a couple of good

14:03 – 14:09 sources first of all there’s Frank

14:04 – 14:12 Behrens a kind of memoir called no

14:09 – 14:15 rootless flower and Frank mentions in

14:12 – 14:18 there how when they were at Berkeley

14:15 – 14:22 they realized that all this government

14:18 – 14:24 money was coming in and it was you will

14:22 – 14:28 back up a little bit further so we had

14:24 – 14:31 the OSS that at the end of World War two

14:28 – 14:35 it didn’t it didn’t exactly disappear it

14:31 – 14:39 kind of split into the CIA the Harvard

14:35 – 14:41 psychology clinic and the Institute for

14:39 – 14:45 personality research and assessment at

14:41 – 14:49 Berkeley and Frank writes about this in

14:45 – 14:51 no rootless flower Tim writes about this

14:49 – 14:55 very candidly and with his classic just

14:51 – 14:56 Irish wit and humor in in his book the

14:55 – 14:59 Intelligent

14:56 – 15:02 agents where he writes about he calls it

14:59 – 15:05 the federal bureaucracy and he and Frank

15:02 – 15:08 were were like they were aware of this

15:05 – 15:11 they were kind of ambivalent they were

15:08 – 15:15 they were delighted to be receiving

15:11 – 15:18 money but they were also Frank was a

15:15 – 15:20 veteran of actual combat in World War

15:18 – 15:23 two Tim was in the service but didn’t

15:20 – 15:26 really see action but they were aware of

15:23 – 15:29 like the psychology of fascism and the

15:26 – 15:32 authoritarian personality and and you

15:29 – 15:33 know democracy versus authoritarianism

15:32 – 15:36 and this is what they had devoted their

15:33 – 15:37 careers to so they were kind of

15:36 – 15:40 conflicted here like here’s the

15:37 – 15:42 government kind of secretly funding

15:40 – 15:45 psychological science which could have

15:42 – 15:48 disastrous effects on a democracy in

15:45 – 15:50 terms of mind control but Tim really

15:48 – 15:52 kind of woke up to it and he mentions

15:50 – 15:55 this in his you know really brilliant an

15:52 – 15:58 important autobiography called

15:55 – 15:60 flashbacks which is I know I just said

15:58 – 16:04 it was brilliant and important but it’s

15:60 – 16:06 also full of exaggerations and and false

16:04 – 16:10 stories but Tim talks about being

16:06 – 16:15 recruited in I believe it’s as early as

16:10 – 16:17 1947 by cord Meyer now dionneb how much

16:15 – 16:20 you know about who cord Meyer is or he’s

16:17 – 16:23 a little bit okay so cord Meyer is a

16:20 – 16:26 very important person in this post-war

16:23 – 16:30 period and he was basically one of the

16:26 – 16:33 original you know officers founders of

16:30 – 16:35 the CIA and he started what’s known as

16:33 – 16:38 operation Mockingbird which was one of

16:35 – 16:41 the most pervasive and continues to this

16:38 – 16:45 day operations of the CIA which is the

16:41 – 16:46 infiltration of the American media all

16:45 – 16:49 media

16:46 – 16:51 I mean television and newspapers and

16:49 – 16:56 movies and book publishing and

16:51 – 17:01 university faculties and and hello

16:56 – 17:04 Anderson Cooper exactly and how Tim

17:01 – 17:08 writes about how cord Meyer approached

17:04 – 17:09 him to recruit him to basically spy on

17:08 – 17:12 American

17:09 – 17:14 because they they wanted to know if

17:12 – 17:17 there were going to be any uprisings

17:14 – 17:20 against the you know they’re starting to

17:17 – 17:24 rev up the Cold War and trying to

17:20 – 17:26 introduce these memes of fear to the

17:24 – 17:28 Russians or trying to get us and you

17:26 – 17:29 know you make a population afraid

17:28 – 17:31 they’re easier to control and they are

17:29 – 17:34 just they’re just starting these kinds

17:31 – 17:37 of operations and Tim was recruited to

17:34 – 17:40 be part of this now Tim in flashbacks

17:37 – 17:43 says he didn’t want any part of it and

17:40 – 17:47 it was really what alerted him and Frank

17:43 – 17:50 to the fact that the war was not over

17:47 – 17:53 that the war had had really moved over

17:50 – 17:55 here and this is something that you know

17:53 – 17:59 I gather your listeners are hip to this

17:55 – 18:02 but you know a lot of Americans are not

17:59 – 18:06 really very savvy about the end of World

18:02 – 18:11 War two and the creation of the Central

18:06 – 18:12 Intelligence Agency and and really what

18:11 – 18:14 we’re up against here I mean a lot of

18:12 – 18:17 Americans think that we have a problem

18:14 – 18:20 now that Donald Trump is president that

18:17 – 18:22 fascism may come to America well I’ve

18:20 – 18:26 got news for you fascism came to America

18:22 – 18:28 in the mid 1950s you know or even a

18:26 – 18:31 little bit earlier with the creation of

18:28 – 18:35 the CIA there’s a lot there and boy I

18:31 – 18:37 mean we could go into the whole Gailen

18:35 – 18:40 thing and the whole paperclip thing and

18:37 – 18:43 we should I guess maybe a little bit in

18:40 – 18:45 the allen dulles thing and where he pops

18:43 – 18:47 up and all the rest and I don’t know how

18:45 – 18:49 far deep we want to get into it and I

18:47 – 18:52 also kind of want to throw a whole other

18:49 – 18:54 you know log on the fire if you will to

18:52 – 18:57 because one of the things that I’ve

18:54 – 18:59 turned up so I’ve gone down a couple of

18:57 – 19:01 different paths on skeptic oh I really

18:59 – 19:03 first started going down the

19:01 – 19:07 parapsychology path you know so if you

19:03 – 19:09 look at what our friends in the CIA and

19:07 – 19:13 the intelligence organizations were

19:09 – 19:16 doing in terms of that aspect of mental

19:13 – 19:19 phenomena you know remote viewing and

19:16 – 19:21 then later on in the men who stare at

19:19 – 19:23 goats kind of thing but it’s all another

19:21 – 19:27 facet of this whole operation

19:23 – 19:29 and then I also stumbled across some

19:27 – 19:32 great work done by a researcher in

19:29 – 19:34 Canada and named grant Cameron who

19:32 – 19:38 uncovers this through Freedom of

19:34 – 19:42 Information Act in Canada a document

19:38 – 19:45 from Wilbert Smith in the 1950s who is

19:42 – 19:48 the highest-ranking intelligence officer

19:45 – 19:51 in Canada responsible for aerial

19:48 – 19:53 phenomena and not UFOs at this point but

19:51 – 19:55 just hey anything that’s going on in the

19:53 – 19:60 skies or in the radio waves of Canada

19:55 – 20:03 and he starts having contact like

19:60 – 20:05 experiences and observations and he goes

20:03 – 20:08 down to thee and he goes to his bosses

20:05 – 20:10 and his boss to say hey you better go

20:08 – 20:12 down to our friends down there in the US

20:10 – 20:14 and see what’s going on and this is

20:12 – 20:17 gonna relate back to the story in some

20:14 – 20:19 important ways so he goes down there and

20:17 – 20:21 he meets with according to his memo

20:19 – 20:23 which again is a top-secret memo that

20:21 – 20:26 kind of accidentally slips out of the

20:23 – 20:29 FOI of of Canada and it says I met with

20:26 – 20:31 the highest-ranking officials I met with

20:29 – 20:35 Vandiver Bush I met with all the top

20:31 – 20:38 guys the UFO thing is real it’s the

20:35 – 20:40 highest priority among American

20:38 – 20:43 intelligence and here’s the kicker that

20:40 – 20:47 ties back to this it speaks to a mental

20:43 – 20:52 phenomena that connects us to these

20:47 – 20:57 sightings so from the beginning they’re

20:52 – 21:01 interested in how et is working in this

20:57 – 21:03 extended consciousness realm so I just

21:01 – 21:05 throw that like I say there’s another

21:03 – 21:07 log on the fire cuz I get the social

21:05 – 21:11 engineering to control people definitely

21:07 – 21:13 in play you know the rise of the Fourth

21:11 – 21:15 Reich kind of thing definitely in play

21:13 – 21:18 Dulles is totally in bed with those guys

21:15 – 21:20 they see this as hey yeah the Nazis are

21:18 – 21:22 Nazis but you know they had some pretty

21:20 – 21:25 good ideas there in terms of how to

21:22 – 21:26 control people you know and in their own

21:25 – 21:29 social engineering program in their own

21:26 – 21:31 program with the psychology and all the

21:29 – 21:33 rest of that but so there’s just so many

21:31 – 21:34 different facets of that and the other

21:33 – 21:37 thing I just wanted to throw out there

21:34 – 21:40 before I let you get back to it

21:37 – 21:44 as you know the Timothy Leary story

21:40 – 21:46 doesn’t exactly pass the sniff test of

21:44 – 21:49 you know all these guys who get co-opted

21:46 – 21:50 by the CIA which I forgive them for that

21:49 – 21:52 for all that because it’s it’s totally

21:50 – 21:55 natural you know one you have to make

21:52 – 21:58 living and two back in the 50s people

21:55 – 21:59 didn’t really know what we know now but

21:58 – 22:01 when he says you know he’s like all

21:59 – 22:03 these people oh I resisted I resisted

22:01 – 22:05 it’s like really you resisted I mean I

22:03 – 22:07 don’t know what do you what do you think

22:05 – 22:09 have any of that stuff

22:07 – 22:12 Robert way I mean wow there’s a whole

22:09 – 22:14 lot right there Alex um you know you

22:12 – 22:17 mentioned ETS

22:14 – 22:20 and psychic phenomena and ETS are really

22:17 – 22:22 like this like the in some ways the

22:20 – 22:25 deepest level of this and that maybe

22:22 – 22:30 they may be directing some of these

22:25 – 22:31 nefarious forces but there may also be

22:30 – 22:34 positive

22:31 – 22:36 ETS you know and that we may start to

22:34 – 22:39 have to kind of look at American history

22:36 – 22:41 is like a Star Trek episode which is

22:39 – 22:43 sort of ironic and way you know Tim’s

22:41 – 22:49 ashes being fired up into space with

22:43 – 22:52 Gene Roddenberry and then what you say

22:49 – 22:54 about you know like when I asked him and

22:52 – 22:58 I got to spend a lot of time with with

22:54 – 23:00 him you know I knew him since 1981 was

22:58 – 23:03 when we first met I was myself wanting

23:00 – 23:06 to do research with psychedelics at that

23:03 – 23:09 point and the story was that he kind of

23:06 – 23:11 blew it for everyone even Frank kind of

23:09 – 23:12 thought that and that was my position

23:11 – 23:16 that you know he was just too outrageous

23:12 – 23:19 and too controversial and too political

23:16 – 23:21 and and and advising kids to take all

23:19 – 23:23 these drugs was just craziness and the

23:21 – 23:26 government had to make them illegal I

23:23 – 23:28 bought that story but as years went on

23:26 – 23:31 for me I began to realize a whole nother

23:28 – 23:34 level to it and I began to see a kind of

23:31 – 23:36 method to his madness but anyway I’m

23:34 – 23:38 getting back to the CIA here in a minute

23:36 – 23:39 when I would talk with Tim about it

23:38 – 23:41 that’s exactly what he would say you

23:39 – 23:43 know he said you know I’m forgetting

23:41 – 23:43 said you know Robert you know back in

23:43 – 23:49 those days

23:43 – 23:52 meaning the 50s the CIA was not all bad

23:49 – 23:57 and that you know they hadn’t really

23:52 – 24:02 become what we think of them now and I’m

23:57 – 24:07 inclined to think that Tim Tim was sort

24:02 – 24:09 of duped and that he was he was he was

24:07 – 24:12 funded by the CIA he was advised by the

24:09 – 24:16 CIA but he wasn’t really that aware of

24:12 – 24:20 how he was being used by the CIA and I

24:16 – 24:23 believe that that really shifted with

24:20 – 24:25 his relationship with Mary Pinchot Meyer

24:23 – 24:29 which is one of the most interesting

24:25 – 24:31 stories I tell that story well first I

24:29 – 24:34 want to refer you you guys probably know

24:31 – 24:37 that what I think is one of the most

24:34 – 24:40 important books on this is called Mary’s

24:37 – 24:42 mosaic and it’s written by a man named

24:40 – 24:44 Peter Janey who has a very become a very

24:42 – 24:48 close friend and kind of mentor of mine

24:44 – 24:49 and I was fascinated by this story when

24:48 – 24:53 I first heard it in the stories

24:49 – 24:57 basically that when when Tim is still a

24:53 – 24:60 lecturer on the Harvard faculty and just

24:57 – 25:02 starting to kind of publicize what’s

24:60 – 25:06 going on with psychedelics we hadn’t

25:02 – 25:08 gotten that outrageous yet he’s visited

25:06 – 25:10 by a woman named Mary

25:08 – 25:12 Pinchot Meyer now I had already

25:10 – 25:14 mentioned in this conversation cord

25:12 – 25:19 Meyer one of the founders of the CIA

25:14 – 25:23 Mary Meyer was his estranged wife and

25:19 – 25:27 she was a force to be reckoned with a

25:23 – 25:31 beautiful sophisticated woman also from

25:27 – 25:34 a very powerful family and she comes to

25:31 – 25:36 Timothy Leary’s office and says that she

25:34 – 25:39 has some friends in Washington who are a

25:36 – 25:41 very powerful men and they’ve taken an

25:39 – 25:45 interest in his research and they’ve

25:41 – 25:48 sent her to get some of this psilocybin

25:45 – 25:51 pills from him and to and to turn them

25:48 – 25:54 on and Tim first kind of brushes her off

25:51 – 25:57 its 1950s you know he says oh you know

25:54 – 25:59 psychedelics are very why don’t you send

25:57 – 26:01 the men here directly and she says oh no

25:59 – 26:02 you know that’s out of the question

26:01 – 26:04 well

26:02 – 26:09 out that Mary Meyer is the lover and

26:04 – 26:12 close confidant of President Kennedy not

26:09 – 26:15 just one of these women that he fucks in

26:12 – 26:19 the closet but you know a very serious

26:15 – 26:26 deep friendship and confidant and lover

26:19 – 26:28 and so she goes and turns JFK on to

26:26 – 26:32 psilocybin and this is in the in the

26:28 – 26:35 spring of 1963 at a very very poignant

26:32 – 26:41 time in his administration and it seems

26:35 – 26:46 that these experiences kind of catalyze

26:41 – 26:49 and and accelerate JFK’s awakening his

26:46 – 26:51 separation from his father his own his

26:49 – 26:54 own sense of his own power and in a kind

26:51 – 26:57 of radical departure from the Cold War

26:54 – 27:00 policies that he was elected under he

26:57 – 27:03 begins a secret correspondence with

27:00 – 27:07 Khrushchev he realizes he’s being

27:03 – 27:10 betrayed by the CIA he makes he gives

27:07 – 27:12 the very one of the considered by many

27:10 – 27:14 the most important speech ever given by

27:12 – 27:18 an American president the peace speech

27:14 – 27:20 in which he bypasses his CIA advisors it

27:18 – 27:23 doesn’t even have the speech vetted and

27:20 – 27:25 just announces really this relationship

27:23 – 27:27 with Khrushchev the end of the Cold War

27:25 – 27:31 the beginning of a cooperative space

27:27 – 27:34 program and you listen to that speech

27:31 – 27:36 and it’s like a mystic talking that

27:34 – 27:40 hasn’t and he’s talking about how we

27:36 – 27:42 breathe the same air and and this is

27:40 – 27:44 really so it’s interesting because these

27:42 – 27:49 this mushroom experienced catalyzes

27:44 – 27:52 JFK’s awakening but it also expedites

27:49 – 27:54 his assassination that’s all interesting

27:52 – 27:58 and I’m not gonna dispute that because

27:54 – 28:02 that might be true but the JFK thing is

27:58 – 28:05 just hard to pull apart because take the

28:02 – 28:08 the drug part of it I mean at the same

28:05 – 28:12 time he’s getting these amphetamine

28:08 – 28:15 shots from Max Jacobson to a level that

28:12 – 28:18 is just insane and he’s a Joan

28:15 – 28:20 at this point of the highest order and

28:18 – 28:23 he doesn’t know it and you know it’s

28:20 – 28:27 back to the the naivete that we look

28:23 – 28:29 back on and and it’s kind of funny and

28:27 – 28:31 nostalgic a little bit to think that

28:29 – 28:33 these folks didn’t know what they were

28:31 – 28:35 playing around with and I guess we

28:33 – 28:41 sometimes think we do and maybe we don’t

28:35 – 28:45 either but yeah so yeah I maybe maybe I

28:41 – 28:48 just put a little asterisk by all that

28:45 – 28:52 yeah well it’s I’ve had an asterisk by

28:48 – 28:55 it since I first read it in Tim’s

28:52 – 28:57 flashbacks I read that 1983 and I

28:55 – 28:60 thought that was extremely interesting I

28:57 – 29:02 talked with you know all of Tim’s

28:60 – 29:04 friends about it Frank baron didn’t

29:02 – 29:07 believe this story

29:04 – 29:11 he thought Tim was making it up to made

29:07 – 29:13 up a lot of things other friends I don’t

29:11 – 29:16 question the story because I’ve heard

29:13 – 29:19 that through another source as well

29:16 – 29:21 actually the guys who wrote the Max

29:19 – 29:22 Jacobson book and the name escapes me

29:21 – 29:24 right now

29:22 – 29:26 the book is dr. feelgood and the

29:24 – 29:30 co-author that I was trying to think of

29:26 – 29:34 is Bill burns one thing we will get into

29:30 – 29:38 as this interview progresses is pulling

29:34 – 29:42 apart all the different things we pile

29:38 – 29:46 on to this psychedelic experience and

29:42 – 29:49 sometimes I think we attach stuff to it

29:46 – 29:53 and these kind of noble mystical kind of

29:49 – 29:55 ways that may be true or may not be true

29:53 – 29:57 you know so and we can pull that apart

29:55 – 29:59 in the in the through the lens of

29:57 – 30:02 looking at the life of people like

29:59 – 30:06 Timothy Leary you know and the good and

30:02 – 30:09 the bad and the Kirlian beast side and

30:06 – 30:12 the Irish kind of street fighter for

30:09 – 30:16 democracy for a liberation side and also

30:12 – 30:18 just kind of the cool guy kind of side

30:16 – 30:20 but also the ego based side you know I

30:18 – 30:22 mean so there’s we’re never going to

30:20 – 30:24 talk about we’d ought to just keep a

30:22 – 30:26 love that’s just going to flow and go a

30:24 – 30:27 million different places and it’s going

30:26 – 30:29 to frustrate the shit out of people but

30:27 – 30:31 I love how you’re throwing out

30:29 – 30:33 winces two things and I’m throwing out

30:31 – 30:37 half-baked references to things and

30:33 – 30:39 people will create their own journey in

30:37 – 30:41 terms of how to follow this stream of

30:39 – 30:44 thought yeah well you’re absolutely

30:41 – 30:48 right I mean about Tim and this is why I

30:44 – 30:51 did the book I did about him in the way

30:48 – 30:54 that I did it I mean he was such a he

30:51 – 30:59 was such a mercurial character he was he

30:54 – 31:03 was part prophet part poet part madman

30:59 – 31:08 he had he had kind of psychotic and you

31:03 – 31:10 know really egocentric narcissistic

31:08 – 31:13 wounds but he had a brilliance

31:10 – 31:14 about him too and there were times I

31:13 – 31:16 remember you know near the end of his

31:14 – 31:18 life looking at him and he would sort of

31:16 – 31:21 morph you know one minute he’s like a

31:18 – 31:24 sparkly sort of Zen master elf and

31:21 – 31:28 wisdom and humor incredible incredibly

31:24 – 31:31 funny man other times he just like had

31:28 – 31:34 this twisted pained kind of psychotic

31:31 – 31:37 you mentioned croute Crowley and you

31:34 – 31:38 know like very very complicated and so

31:37 – 31:39 there’s no real way to take a picture of

31:38 – 31:42 him you have to just take a lot of

31:39 – 31:45 pictures of him and create a kind of

31:42 – 31:48 mosaic of this of this complex character

31:45 – 31:50 that had a you know such an impact on

31:48 – 31:52 the on the latter half of the of the

31:50 – 31:55 last century Robert can I get you while

31:52 – 31:60 you’re there can you spend a minute and

31:55 – 32:03 talk about the Kirlian demonic beasts

31:60 – 32:05 psychopath with you so he says at one

32:03 – 32:08 point this is Timothy Leary says I am

32:05 – 32:10 the reincarnation of Crowley and other

32:08 – 32:12 time he says I’m the Beast and he says

32:10 – 32:14 I’m a psychopath and and so is there

32:12 – 32:17 this kind of do you believe that there’s

32:14 – 32:20 some kind of demonic entity that he’s

32:17 – 32:23 invited in or do you think he’s just

32:20 – 32:25 playing with that on some extended

32:23 – 32:28 consciousness level or what do you

32:25 – 32:30 think’s going on there well okay so I’ve

32:28 – 32:33 only really come to try to understand

32:30 – 32:35 his Crowley period recently and and to

32:33 – 32:38 be honest I do not understand it very

32:35 – 32:41 well except to say this and this was a

32:38 – 32:42 phrase that rhombic put in my head and I

32:41 – 32:46 just loved it he

32:42 – 32:49 said Tim Tim inhabited metaphors the way

32:46 – 32:52 of snail and habits shells he tried

32:49 – 32:55 every you know he was he grew up when he

32:52 – 32:58 got into LSD he then went through a

32:55 – 33:01 whole range of different paradigms I

32:58 – 33:03 mean first what the order but you know

33:01 – 33:05 he went he got into Taoism he wrote the

33:03 – 33:07 he wrote those psychedelic prayers based

33:05 – 33:10 on the doubt I Ching he got into

33:07 – 33:12 Buddhism he did the you know the

33:10 – 33:14 psychedelic experience based on the

33:12 – 33:17 Tibetan Book of the Dead he was a very

33:14 – 33:21 scientific thinker yeah he went off into

33:17 – 33:23 this Crowley sort of way he had he had a

33:21 – 33:25 Catholic streak in him believe it or not

33:23 – 33:27 that you know kind of came out right

33:25 – 33:29 toward the very end of his life just a

33:27 – 33:33 week before he died he dressed in a

33:29 – 33:36 tuxedo and went to Catholic Mass and and

33:33 – 33:38 I and I don’t you know I mean Crowley

33:36 – 33:40 you could do a whole we could spend him

33:38 – 33:43 a month talking about Crowley and what a

33:40 – 33:47 what a sick puppy he was and what an

33:43 – 33:52 impact he may well have had on not just

33:47 – 33:54 Leary but Aldous Huxley and you know

33:52 – 33:58 what was the role of Crowley in this

33:54 – 33:60 modern mind-control movement that we’re

33:58 – 34:02 talking about so I’m not really expert

33:60 – 34:04 on that but that’s that’s my thing is

34:02 – 34:05 the Tim never really took anything very

34:04 – 34:08 seriously

34:05 – 34:10 he tried stuff he tried it on he got

34:08 – 34:12 into it and he and he left it you know

34:10 – 34:15 he famously said near the end of his

34:12 – 34:20 life he said look he said a third of

34:15 – 34:24 what I’ve said is bullshit a third of

34:20 – 34:28 what I’ve said is dead wrong and then he

34:24 – 34:32 say but a third word base hits and that

34:28 – 34:34 gives me a 333 batting average enough

34:32 – 34:36 for the Hall of Fame that’s the kind of

34:34 – 34:41 way he had this yet this wonderfully

34:36 – 34:44 charming self-effacing quality that I

34:41 – 34:46 never spoke with him about Crowley but I

34:44 – 34:48 just get the feeling that he would like

34:46 – 34:51 almost everything else except for

34:48 – 34:53 question authority that was the abiding

34:51 – 34:56 theme through his whole life it was

34:53 – 34:59 about redirecting

34:56 – 35:03 authority from institutions and leaders

34:59 – 35:07 and gurus and ideas and redirect it back

35:03 – 35:09 into the human psyche to take

35:07 – 35:12 responsibility for yourself to question

35:09 – 35:15 authority and and to empower individuals

35:12 – 35:16 that’s the theme that continues that’s

35:15 – 35:19 throughout his whole life from his

35:16 – 35:22 childhood all the way to to the end of

35:19 – 35:26 his life wow that is so cool and it’s

35:22 – 35:30 actually as you speak giving me a new

35:26 – 35:33 appreciation for Leary because it just

35:30 – 35:35 he’s very he’s the ultimate heretic he’s

35:33 – 35:38 the ultimate ultimate Gnostic creating

35:35 – 35:40 better than the Creator God’s kind of

35:38 – 35:41 thing can you spend maybe a minute I’m

35:40 – 35:44 just going to kind of pull you in these

35:41 – 35:48 random directions what is it that you

35:44 – 35:51 found in Tim’s history his early

35:48 – 35:52 childhood I love this idea of what

35:51 – 35:53 you’re talking about the kind of the

35:52 – 35:56 ultimate a kind of class from the

35:53 – 35:59 beginning thing what springs to mind

35:56 – 36:03 well I don’t know how to answer that

35:59 – 36:04 quickly I’m well into a screenplay about

36:03 – 36:07 his life and when you asked this

36:04 – 36:09 question I just think of the setup he

36:07 – 36:13 had as a young boy he writes about it in

36:09 – 36:16 flashbacks his grandfather was he said

36:13 – 36:19 the only like sane influence on his

36:16 – 36:21 young life and he up till he was about

36:19 – 36:24 10 or 12 years old he was under the

36:21 – 36:27 impression that his grandfather was the

36:24 – 36:29 wealthiest guy in the valley Springfield

36:27 – 36:32 Massachusetts and he lived in this big

36:29 – 36:35 house and and then his father was the

36:32 – 36:36 kind of narrow do well he was a dentist

36:35 – 36:40 but he didn’t really practice dentistry

36:36 – 36:42 he was a drunk he was abusive to Tim and

36:40 – 36:45 his and his mother and he was just

36:42 – 36:48 waiting for his father to die well on

36:45 – 36:51 the day that his grandfather finally

36:48 – 36:55 does die they find out that he’s not a

36:51 – 36:57 wealthy man at all he’s actually broke

36:55 – 36:59 he just was able to carry out this

36:57 – 37:00 impression that the end of the

36:59 – 37:03 depression that wiped out his fortune

37:00 – 37:04 and so can you imagine that you’re a 12

37:03 – 37:07 year old boy and your grandfather is

37:04 – 37:09 your is your you know your main

37:07 – 37:13 archetype in your life to Sephora tea

37:09 – 37:15 figure this beautiful cultivated man he

37:13 – 37:17 turns out he was just a rascal trickster

37:15 – 37:20 the whole time and left the family

37:17 – 37:22 nothing and then Tim’s father abandoned

37:20 – 37:23 the family just takes off he never sees

37:22 – 37:25 him again

37:23 – 37:28 and what a setup you know that is that’s

37:25 – 37:29 that’s uh that’s really something and so

37:28 – 37:32 all his life you mean think of the

37:29 – 37:37 relationship that sets up in your psyche

37:32 – 37:40 toward authority figures and you know it

37:37 – 37:44 can go on from there I loved most I have

37:40 – 37:47 to say his sense of humor and his his

37:44 – 37:50 ability to just be in the moment and

37:47 – 37:54 really the way he connected with people

37:50 – 37:55 and you can you hear this from anybody

37:54 – 37:57 that knew him you know and you when you

37:55 – 38:01 got to spend time with him he was he was

37:57 – 38:05 a brilliant clinician and and uh you

38:01 – 38:08 know a superb psychotherapist just for

38:05 – 38:12 the way he connected with you and he

38:08 – 38:15 made sure you knew you were being heard

38:12 – 38:18 and seen for who you were and it was a

38:15 – 38:20 it was a gift he had to just bring out

38:18 – 38:22 bring out this quality in people and you

38:20 – 38:24 know that toward the end of his life I

38:22 – 38:26 mean there were you know there were days

38:24 – 38:28 that there were just lines of people

38:26 – 38:32 coming from all over the world to get

38:28 – 38:34 one more hit of that Leary presence I’ll

38:32 – 38:37 always be grateful for that

38:34 – 38:39 that’s awesome great story I love that

38:37 – 38:42 childhood story I always found this the

38:39 – 38:46 suicide of his wife thing what did that

38:42 – 38:49 do to him that has to be a real turning

38:46 – 38:53 point yes or no or yeah that was that

38:49 – 38:55 was quite brutal his first wife who he

38:53 – 38:58 was very much in love with killed

38:55 – 39:01 herself and then in the morning of his

38:58 – 39:03 35th birthday they’d had kind of an open

39:01 – 39:06 relationship they were they were in the

39:03 – 39:11 50s in Berkeley they were he was a

39:06 – 39:14 professor and she they were swingers and

39:11 – 39:15 they had a deal like you could you could

39:14 – 39:18 fuck around

39:15 – 39:21 but you couldn’t fall in love and Tim

39:18 – 39:22 Tim kind of you know went against that

39:21 – 39:24 and you

39:22 – 39:27 no had has had an apartment with his

39:24 – 39:30 lover and Mara and they were then they

39:27 – 39:33 drank a lot and she was she much she was

39:30 – 39:37 kind of manic-depressive he had two

39:33 – 39:42 children that he you know loved and and

39:37 – 39:44 she just killed herself and it blew him

39:42 – 39:46 away and you know maybe something he

39:44 – 39:49 never recovered from these the innermost

39:46 – 39:53 circle of his life is really very very

39:49 – 39:55 tragic you know his son Jack what got to

39:53 – 39:59 know not very well but we spent an

39:55 – 40:05 afternoon together at Tim’s I I flew

39:59 – 40:07 down with Jack to see Tim about a month

40:05 – 40:10 before he died he hadn’t seen him for 15

40:07 – 40:14 years and so I was you know kind of

40:10 – 40:17 gently exploring Jack’s sense of Tim and

40:14 – 40:21 you know Jack was a really fine man

40:17 – 40:23 still alive but is he just you know he

40:21 – 40:25 thought his father was a psychopath and

40:23 – 40:27 they went through some you know awful

40:25 – 40:32 awful shit and then of course his

40:27 – 40:35 daughter also committed suicide she I

40:32 – 40:38 believe she hanged herself in a jail

40:35 – 40:40 cell while she was waiting charges on

40:38 – 40:43 attempted murder something really

40:40 – 40:46 terrible like that and Tim was you know

40:43 – 40:48 Tim carried those wounds right up till

40:46 – 40:50 the end of his life I was going through

40:48 – 40:54 his archives with him and finding little

40:50 – 40:56 you know drawings that Susan made and

40:54 – 40:60 Tim would just break down in tears and

40:56 – 41:02 so yeah that innermost circle was very

40:60 – 41:04 very tragic and very very painful

41:02 – 41:07 anybody kind of made up for it in I mean

41:04 – 41:10 not that he made up for it but he tried

41:07 – 41:14 to compensate for it by his next circle

41:10 – 41:17 because Tim’s house toward the end of

41:14 – 41:19 his life was full of young people you

41:17 – 41:23 know in their 20s and he just you know

41:19 – 41:26 the kind of positive and and creative

41:23 – 41:28 impulse that he inspired in people and

41:26 – 41:31 that is his extended family and the love

41:28 – 41:33 and and rapport that he had with

41:31 – 41:36 everybody was really quite remarkable

41:33 – 41:39 yeah very complicated

41:36 – 41:41 director I’m glad Robert that we went

41:39 – 41:44 down that little that little path that

41:41 – 41:47 little digression for a while because we

41:44 – 41:51 were speaking actually before we hit

41:47 – 41:54 record button about how the reality of

41:51 – 41:57 the social engineering part of this

41:54 – 41:60 thing that you kind of got into the OSS

41:57 – 42:02 becomes the Fourth Reich here in the

41:60 – 42:05 United States and Dulles and CIA all

42:02 – 42:07 this undeniable horrible dark stuff that

42:05 – 42:09 they’re doing that goes way beyond any

42:07 – 42:12 kind of license that the American people

42:09 – 42:16 gave them to protect us quote-unquote

42:12 – 42:19 and then we attach figures like Leary to

42:16 – 42:22 that and we get all this you know

42:19 – 42:25 frustration and also all this divisive

42:22 – 42:27 nough sebat you know CIA he was CIA he

42:25 – 42:28 was a lifetime player he was an actor

42:27 – 42:32 you know all the rest of stuff which

42:28 – 42:35 there’s some reality to but these are

42:32 – 42:40 human beings and complex human beings

42:35 – 42:43 and really people who’ve lived a whole

42:40 – 42:46 life and I think that you fall into that

42:43 – 42:48 category to it not with the CIA thing

42:46 – 42:51 although indirectly I guess you do I

42:48 – 42:54 love your story you know you get the

42:51 – 42:57 call and you say okay my hippie ass

42:54 – 43:00 better clean up put on a suit drive the

42:57 – 43:03 Lincoln over and see if I can get a job

43:00 – 43:04 with this guy I mean maybe we want to

43:03 – 43:07 jump to that part in the story because

43:04 – 43:09 it it kind of weaves its way back into

43:07 – 43:11 this whole thing – right well I think

43:09 – 43:15 you’re talking about wasps in there

43:11 – 43:17 right I think I am right well you know

43:15 – 43:21 Gordon Lawson is another you know he

43:17 – 43:24 he’s the opposite character to Leary now

43:21 – 43:27 your your listeners probably know that

43:24 – 43:31 Gordon Lawson was that this this

43:27 – 43:35 psychedelic phenomenon in modern America

43:31 – 43:38 really started because of a few stages

43:35 – 43:44 but one of the most important events was

43:38 – 43:47 the article in Life magazine in 1957

43:44 – 43:49 Life magazine write the most popular

43:47 – 43:53 periodical in America that’s

43:49 – 43:57 onde and really run operated very

43:53 – 44:00 hands-on owner and editor of henry luce

43:57 – 44:03 right so henry luce is a skullenbones

44:00 – 44:05 guy he’s you know he was we started

44:03 – 44:08 propping up Adolf Hitler and Mussolini

44:05 – 44:11 and his articles and he wrote a very

44:08 – 44:12 very important paper called the American

44:11 – 44:15 Century

44:12 – 44:19 in 1934 back to your operation

44:15 – 44:22 Mockingbird total insider and and what

44:19 – 44:24 is the analogy we could give people who

44:22 – 44:28 are younger than us to what Life

44:24 – 44:30 magazine meant you know I mean this is

44:28 – 44:33 where look like we talked about Camelot

44:30 – 44:35 in JFK which people can’t even get

44:33 – 44:37 although maybe you got it a little bit

44:35 – 44:38 with Obama and the halo that was around

44:37 – 44:40 him

44:38 – 44:43 but there was this unbelievable hail or

44:40 – 44:47 on JFK and Life magazine was like you

44:43 – 44:51 know the the vehicle for plugging into

44:47 – 44:53 culture pop culture but modern culture

44:51 – 44:55 it was it it was everything rolled into

44:53 – 44:57 one right yeah yep that’s right yep it

44:55 – 45:00 was it was painting a picture for how to

44:57 – 45:03 be thinking of Norman Rockwell paintings

45:00 – 45:07 and it was it was painting a picture it

45:03 – 45:10 was leading the way for modeling the

45:07 – 45:13 ideal life for the American citizen the

45:10 – 45:16 consumer this this you know we had just

45:13 – 45:19 so-called seemingly defeated the Nazis

45:16 – 45:22 we were the world heroes you know this

45:19 – 45:26 this very important concept of American

45:22 – 45:29 exceptionalism which predates this but

45:26 – 45:32 was really you know fluffed up by Henry

45:29 – 45:35 Luce to give this to give this sense of

45:32 – 45:38 American pride and how we were the you

45:35 – 45:41 know the shining light on the hill and

45:38 – 45:45 and so and so there’s an article there

45:41 – 45:49 in 1957 by this Wall Street banker

45:45 – 45:53 Gordon Lawson who the culmination of a

45:49 – 45:57 thirty-year hobby goes to Mexico and

45:53 – 46:00 finds this mushroom it’s used in these

45:57 – 46:03 religious ceremonies by the Mazatec

46:00 – 46:06 Indian shamaness

46:03 – 46:09 or sabi or curandera Maria Sabina and

46:06 – 46:11 and now millions of people are aware of

46:09 – 46:13 this magic mushroom I think that’s the

46:11 – 46:16 title of the article magic mushroom that

46:13 – 46:19 causes visions and something this

46:16 – 46:21 putting this out there in like you know

46:19 – 46:24 a lot of people who study psychedelic

46:21 – 46:26 history get this story that this is

46:24 – 46:29 Waffen just like on his own independent

46:26 – 46:32 hobby who writes this as this discovery

46:29 – 46:35 and writes this article but much later

46:32 – 46:37 on in my career even after I had gotten

46:35 – 46:40 to know Wasson and you know visited him

46:37 – 46:42 in his house a number of times and but

46:40 – 46:45 tell that story that’s such an awesome

46:42 – 46:48 story talk about set up and talk about

46:45 – 46:50 you know the strange ways that we

46:48 – 46:54 connect with our own history with our

46:50 – 46:56 own paths do you do you want to share

46:54 – 46:58 that I mean just how that even comes to

46:56 – 47:02 be and what that was like for you and

46:58 – 47:04 you mean how I came to know Watson yeah

47:02 – 47:06 let’s start with the driving up with the

47:04 – 47:08 link and I can’t get that out of my head

47:06 – 47:11 you know like oh I’m gonna go meet this

47:08 – 47:13 guy and the next thing you know it’s so

47:11 – 47:15 cool he’s invited me in and now you know

47:13 – 47:17 I’m in his inner circle and I’m

47:15 – 47:19 interviewing him yeah there were a lot

47:17 – 47:22 of things that were happening during

47:19 – 47:26 those days it was quite I had taken a

47:22 – 47:28 little I had a leave of absence from

47:26 – 47:30 graduate school I was at the University

47:28 – 47:35 of Chicago Divinity School and I had

47:30 – 47:36 taken a leave of absence and I was so

47:35 – 47:40 very interested in seeing if I could

47:36 – 47:44 help stir up this subject of psychedelic

47:40 – 47:46 drugs again but not a public thing again

47:44 – 47:49 I thought Leary had made an error that I

47:46 – 47:51 had recognized that there was that these

47:49 – 47:54 drugs were incredibly interesting but

47:51 – 47:57 not not four not four taken and go to

47:54 – 47:60 concerts or all that 6t stuff but by

47:57 – 48:03 this time I was a serious student of the

47:60 – 48:05 religious experience and realized that

48:03 – 48:07 at the very root of our environmental

48:05 – 48:10 crisis and political crisis was a was a

48:07 – 48:11 spiritual crisis and that if we could if

48:10 – 48:16 we could somehow you know reconnect with

48:11 – 48:19 the ground of being and you know it’s

48:16 – 48:20 people would start to you know wake up

48:19 – 48:23 and an understanding the

48:20 – 48:27 interrelationships and and the golden

48:23 – 48:29 rule and you know philosophical and

48:27 – 48:31 mystical notions like this so I was I

48:29 – 48:35 had gone about for a year or so

48:31 – 48:37 organizing private meetings at you know

48:35 – 48:39 kind of elite places so one of these was

48:37 – 48:41 at Harvard I was spending some time my

48:39 – 48:43 girlfriend was a Harvard student and I

48:41 – 48:45 was living in Cambridge and I went into

48:43 – 48:47 DIC Shelties office and I said I’d like

48:45 – 48:50 to have a meeting here of all the people

48:47 – 48:52 that had done research with psychedelic

48:50 – 48:53 drugs who recognized that they’re

48:52 – 48:56 important who don’t want to create

48:53 – 48:59 another hysterical thing like the 60s

48:56 – 49:01 but want to resume some of the more

48:59 – 49:04 grounded scientific religious

49:01 – 49:07 applications of these drugs so Schulte

49:04 – 49:11 said you know dick Shelties the great

49:07 – 49:14 ethno botanist and and he said he said

49:11 – 49:16 why don’t you invite Gordon Lawson I was

49:14 – 49:18 like wow Gordon Lawson that’s like

49:16 – 49:21 saying why don’t you invite Moses and I

49:18 – 49:22 was as well you know I he just picks up

49:21 – 49:25 the phone shultiess I remember he even

49:22 – 49:28 had a dial phone and he dials Wasson’s

49:25 – 49:31 number and hands me the phone

49:28 – 49:33 and I’m like holy shit I’m talking to

49:31 – 49:34 Gordon Lawson and Gordon Watson says

49:33 – 49:38 what a great idea why don’t you come and

49:34 – 49:39 come and over and visit and this is what

49:38 – 49:45 you Robert

49:39 – 49:48 this is a 1983 I think ok so we’re we’re

49:45 – 49:50 through the 60s and we’re really through

49:48 – 49:52 the 70s which is really when the

49:50 – 49:54 psychedelic bomb goes off I think even

49:52 – 49:54 more because it really kind of gets out

49:54 – 49:57 of control

49:54 – 49:59 so are we war on drugs at this point

49:57 – 50:01 yeah no we’re not fight war on drugs

49:59 – 50:03 we’re in this little period in this lull

50:01 – 50:06 you know like you said the psychedelic

50:03 – 50:08 drugs were a big thing but by the by the

50:06 – 50:11 later 70s they started to sort of

50:08 – 50:14 disappear from the media and there was a

50:11 – 50:15 period there where there wasn’t anything

50:14 – 50:19 going on and it seemed like a really

50:15 – 50:21 good time to bring up the conversation

50:19 – 50:23 again and look at these drugs and look

50:21 – 50:26 at their look at their use as adjuncts

50:23 – 50:28 to psychotherapy look at them as means

50:26 – 50:29 to catalyze religious experience that’s

50:28 – 50:33 what I was doing

50:29 – 50:36 and I got a little haircut and I

50:33 – 50:39 borrowed my father’s Lincoln Continental

50:36 – 50:43 and one of his sport jackets and drove

50:39 – 50:47 down to Danbury Connecticut and began my

50:43 – 50:50 my rapport with Gordon Watson and you

50:47 – 50:54 know at that time I was really in awe of

50:50 – 50:56 the guy and I thought that his I’d read

50:54 – 50:58 all of his books you know his books are

50:56 – 51:01 really I still think of the Miss

50:58 – 51:03 masterpieces but I had this which I’ll

51:01 – 51:05 get to another layer of realization

51:03 – 51:08 about him you know he wrote these books

51:05 – 51:10 about the role of the mushroom in many

51:08 – 51:13 of the world’s most significant

51:10 – 51:18 religious and philosophical systems you

51:13 – 51:20 know the Vedic soma and the kikiyaon of

51:18 – 51:22 the ilis in Ian’s mysteries one of the

51:20 – 51:25 longest-running and most important

51:22 – 51:27 mystical ceremonies of all of history in

51:25 – 51:29 many ways considered that kind of the

51:27 – 51:33 bedrock of the Western philosophical

51:29 – 51:35 tradition this is the Greeks right this

51:33 – 51:37 is the Greeks who then went on the

51:35 – 51:39 journey and the death journey and

51:37 – 51:40 brought back there were not a

51:39 – 51:42 psychedelic journey on a death journey

51:40 – 51:45 and they brought it back in it changed

51:42 – 51:47 their history it was you know the way

51:45 – 51:49 that they made major decisions about how

51:47 – 51:51 to structure their culture how to go to

51:49 – 51:53 war all that stuff so yeah yeah the

51:51 – 51:56 fascinating and rich went on for like

51:53 – 51:59 1,500 years this is where the Christian

51:56 – 52:01 Eucharist comes from derives from the

51:59 – 52:05 ancient Greek the sacrament of the

52:01 – 52:08 licinia mysteries and and Wasson and an

52:05 – 52:10 Albert Hofmann you know who I also got

52:08 – 52:15 to know very well wrote a book together

52:10 – 52:17 on this the road to a lusus and so

52:15 – 52:21 anyway Wasson was this towering figure

52:17 – 52:23 and I was I felt really just privileged

52:21 – 52:26 and kind of blessed to be welcomed into

52:23 – 52:28 his home and invited me to live there

52:26 – 52:31 with him he was near the end of his life

52:28 – 52:35 he was getting his archives ready to

52:31 – 52:37 give to Harvard yeah I was like a you

52:35 – 52:41 know kid in a candy shop in a way and

52:37 – 52:43 that’s how that began now that this then

52:41 – 52:49 takes another shift so

52:43 – 52:51 years go by wasun dies in 85 I decide to

52:49 – 52:55 pick up the thread of his life

52:51 – 52:57 now I’ve jumped ahead it’s um the early

52:55 – 53:01 days of this century and I got the

52:57 – 53:02 copyrights to his books family the state

53:01 – 53:04 gave me the copyrights and I was going

53:02 – 53:08 to come out with new editions and then I

53:04 – 53:10 got a little money to begin to explore

53:08 – 53:13 creating a documentary film about him

53:10 – 53:15 and I was given access to his archives

53:13 – 53:17 not just access to his archives I mean

53:15 – 53:19 they treated me like a prince for

53:17 – 53:22 Christ’s sakes Harvard gave me this

53:19 – 53:25 corner office and the herb area and I

53:22 – 53:28 had a secretary and she would bring me

53:25 – 53:30 trays of slides and I was mostly

53:28 – 53:32 interested in the photographs and all

53:30 – 53:35 the mushrooms stuff but one day I just

53:32 – 53:38 decided to I noticed there was a file on

53:35 – 53:40 his correspondences and I decided to

53:38 – 53:42 just kind of go off into there and I

53:40 – 53:47 asked for that tray and suddenly i’m

53:42 – 53:50 reading his letters and i realize my god

53:47 – 53:51 he’s not just a banker i mean it’s a

53:50 – 53:55 banker like a guy who deals with

53:51 – 53:58 interest rates or you know retirement

53:55 – 54:00 funds or something he’s like he’s on the

53:58 – 54:02 very inner circle you’ve mentioned a

54:00 – 54:07 couple of these names you mentioned like

54:02 – 54:11 the Vannevar Bush and Allen Dulles and

54:07 – 54:14 George Kennan and John Foster Dulles

54:11 – 54:18 these are like Watson’s drinking buddies

54:14 – 54:21 Henry Luce these are the Fourth Reich

54:18 – 54:25 guys these are the originators founders

54:21 – 54:28 of the CIA out of the OSS but these

54:25 – 54:30 aren’t the white hat CIA guys these are

54:28 – 54:33 more of the black hats yeah hey guys not

54:30 – 54:36 that Wasson was but or not that we can

54:33 – 54:38 ever put one hat or another on those

54:36 – 54:41 guys but continue with the story I just

54:38 – 54:43 want to add that that context that yeah

54:41 – 54:46 yeah it was quite a thing for me I’m

54:43 – 54:48 there in Cambridge I was actually

54:46 – 54:49 staying with a person I don’t know if

54:48 – 54:53 we’re going to get a chance to talk

54:49 – 54:55 about him rick doblin who is the founder

54:53 – 54:57 of the multidisciplinary Association for

54:55 – 54:60 psychedelic studies and a former

54:57 – 55:02 research subject of mine that’s how he

54:60 – 55:04 got em DMA but I was a guest in his

55:02 – 55:06 attic and I was spending my days going

55:04 – 55:09 through these archives and it was really

55:06 – 55:12 like um hmm I thought wow that’s really

55:09 – 55:14 really interesting that this is that

55:12 – 55:17 nobody knew this you know like the

55:14 – 55:19 legend of Wasson just kind of people

55:17 – 55:23 didn’t know that his or it was glossed

55:19 – 55:25 over was curious enough that the a

55:23 – 55:28 psychedelic movement was started by a

55:25 – 55:31 Wall Street banker but this is again not

55:28 – 55:33 just a banker like JP Morgan is a bank

55:31 – 55:36 but it’s also it’s really more like a

55:33 – 55:39 major political force I mean bort Morgan

55:36 – 55:42 was you know one of the guys behind the

55:39 – 55:45 the near coup d’etat that removed

55:42 – 55:47 Roosevelt from office another incident

55:45 – 55:50 in American history that people are you

55:47 – 55:52 know unaware of that Smedley Butler

55:50 – 55:54 wrote you know a very important book

55:52 – 55:57 about it you could go folks you can go

55:54 – 56:02 on YouTube and actually watch the video

55:57 – 56:05 of Smedley who was the most decorated US

56:02 – 56:08 Marine and I think still is in history

56:05 – 56:10 who was recruited by these folks to say

56:08 – 56:12 hey you know wouldn’t it be better if we

56:10 – 56:15 kind of got frozen eft out of there and

56:12 – 56:18 put someone else in there which in some

56:15 – 56:21 ways is a precursor to the JFK thing

56:18 – 56:23 where Dulles is just smack dab in the

56:21 – 56:25 middle of that because as you alluded to

56:23 – 56:29 JFK’s gonna smash the CIA into a

56:25 – 56:31 thousand pieces and there’s always this

56:29 – 56:33 history when people don’t know this is I

56:31 – 56:35 just have to chuckle it’s like you know

56:33 – 56:37 what I can’t go back and fill in all the

56:35 – 56:40 gaps for you but go for yourself who is

56:37 – 56:42 responsible for kind of coordinating

56:40 – 56:48 running the Warren Commission overseeing

56:42 – 56:50 it hates him but forget all that

56:48 – 56:53 continue on with the story about Watson

56:50 – 56:54 because now back to the thing you got

56:53 – 56:56 the haircut you drive up there with the

56:54 – 56:58 Lincoln here no now you’re you’re you

56:56 – 57:00 they’re bringing you trays you’re the

56:58 – 57:02 the key guy you’re the point guy you’re

57:00 – 57:05 the most beautiful person who’s going to

57:02 – 57:06 glorify our great Gordon wasit and

57:05 – 57:09 suddenly you’re starting to get that

57:06 – 57:11 sinking feeling in your stomach as you

57:09 – 57:12 realize there’s another part

57:11 – 57:16 the story that you’re not so comfortable

57:12 – 57:19 with exactly yeah no also we have to you

57:16 – 57:23 know kind of insert here that this is

57:19 – 57:25 this is post 9/11 this is post 9/11 for

57:23 – 57:28 you this is yeah when I when I was in

57:25 – 57:32 the Waffen archives this was I mean I

57:28 – 57:38 was I was in New York City on 9/11 that

57:32 – 57:41 was a big day and then you know it was

57:38 – 57:44 in the winter of 2002 February I think

57:41 – 57:46 it was when I was I spent that month in

57:44 – 57:48 the Wasson archives and I find out his

57:46 – 57:51 relationship with Dulles and Kenan and

57:48 – 57:53 all these guys and realized huh this is

57:51 – 57:56 this is a really important piece of

57:53 – 57:58 information here wasn’t really sure you

57:56 – 58:02 know what I was going to do with it here

57:58 – 58:05 I was just kind of chewing on it for a

58:02 – 58:08 while and then and then another big

58:05 – 58:14 chunk comes to me you know we mentioned

58:08 – 58:19 this this researcher is a very tenacious

58:14 – 58:22 and angry young man Yan Irvin who

58:19 – 58:25 started calling me with this information

58:22 – 58:27 about Wasson and CIA and a very angry

58:25 – 58:30 guy about all the whole psychedelic

58:27 – 58:32 movement is a CIA conspiracy like

58:30 – 58:34 talking very fast and very angry and at

58:32 – 58:35 first I just said they’re like you know

58:34 – 58:37 I put him off like I just wasn’t

58:35 – 58:41 interested and just his tone was

58:37 – 58:44 belligerent and you know and but he was

58:41 – 58:46 you know he kept calling so you know

58:44 – 58:48 finally he asked me if I would read his

58:46 – 58:50 book and he had written a book about

58:48 – 58:53 Wasson and John Allegro

58:50 – 58:56 and I found the book excellent and so I

58:53 – 59:00 started to develop a rapport with yan

58:56 – 59:03 and then he then he finally he sends me

59:00 – 59:08 some documents and these documents are

59:03 – 59:12 the pay requisitions for MKULTRA sub

59:08 – 59:17 project number 58 which is the Waffen

59:12 – 59:22 expedition to Mexico and it lays it out

59:17 – 59:25 that the official story that Wasson had

59:22 – 59:27 repeated his late is 1985

59:25 – 59:29 when I interviewed him which is

59:27 – 59:32 available in my first book a piece that

59:29 – 59:35 I’m still very proud of it thorough at

59:32 – 59:37 that point interview of his life and I

59:35 – 59:40 asked him about the CIA and he basically

59:37 – 59:43 lied to me he said you repeated this

59:40 – 59:47 official story that the CIA had kind of

59:43 – 59:49 secretly infiltrated his expedition and

59:47 – 59:52 then he didn’t really want to work with

59:49 – 59:54 the CIA and that they snuck in and that

59:52 – 59:56 they were going to try to control the

59:54 – 59:58 whole thing and use it for their

59:56 – 60:02 purposes but there we got these pay

59:58 – 60:05 requisitions that a very good researcher

60:02 – 60:09 Colin Ross had unearthed that shows that

60:05 – 60:12 the that this Life magazine story was

60:09 – 60:15 not just a hobby of a banker telling the

60:12 – 60:17 story about a discovery he made but this

60:15 – 60:21 was a CIA operation

60:17 – 60:22 the CIA paid for the trip you know and

60:21 – 60:26 then just pay for the trip they paid for

60:22 – 60:28 all the expenses for the photographic

60:26 – 60:32 equipment the recordings the audio

60:28 – 60:35 recordings and the publication of it in

60:32 – 60:39 Henry Lucis life and reboost Skull and

60:35 – 60:42 Bones the CIA very deliberately secretly

60:39 – 60:45 systematically exposes this the CIA

60:42 – 60:48 wanted millions of Americans to know

60:45 – 60:51 about this mushroom that caused these

60:48 – 60:53 visions that’s a game changer for me and

60:51 – 60:56 why they were keeping the secret and

60:53 – 60:58 what this is the question that those of

60:56 – 60:60 us that are fascinated by these drugs we

60:58 – 61:03 this is what we should be asking

60:60 – 61:07 ourselves why does the CIA want to

61:03 – 61:09 ignite this psychedelic movement

61:07 – 61:11 Robert full stop there it’s a really

61:09 – 61:13 super important point and it’s something

61:11 – 61:14 we’ve explored on the show and I don’t

61:13 – 61:17 know if you had a chance to listen to

61:14 – 61:21 the interview I had with Joe Atwell who

61:17 – 61:25 I think did a lot of that research with

61:21 – 61:28 Yan Yan Ervin deserves credit where

61:25 – 61:29 credit is due but he’s also a nitwit

61:28 – 61:32 when it comes to consciousness and it

61:29 – 61:34 kind of totally shades I think his whole

61:32 – 61:36 thing because it’s back to this if you

61:34 – 61:38 don’t understand that there is a

61:36 – 61:40 spiritual dimension to

61:38 – 61:42 this and if you don’t want to go

61:40 – 61:45 spiritual at least go to the as far as

61:42 – 61:47 saying there’s an extended consciousness

61:45 – 61:49 reality so you know again jumping all

61:47 – 61:52 over the place when Rick Strassman is

61:49 – 61:56 actually a sanctioned academic

61:52 – 61:58 researcher and he gives people DMT under

61:56 – 61:60 controlled situations they’re entering

61:58 – 62:02 into the extended realm and they’re

61:60 – 62:04 seeing et and they’re seeing the purple

62:02 – 62:06 dragon that the shaman are seeing in

62:04 – 62:11 South America and now all bets are off

62:06 – 62:12 so no matter what the CIA or you know

62:11 – 62:14 Allen Dulles

62:12 – 62:17 thought they were doing the best

62:14 – 62:18 evidence I think we have is that they

62:17 – 62:20 didn’t know what the fuck they were

62:18 – 62:22 doing either you know they went into it

62:20 – 62:25 at kind of with this mechanistic

62:22 – 62:30 materialistic idea of how consciousness

62:25 – 62:32 works and they were not aware of the

62:30 – 62:35 deeper truth so and I mentioned Joe at

62:32 – 62:37 well cuz I think Joe at will does a nice

62:35 – 62:40 job of he has a hard time getting off of

62:37 – 62:42 the social engineering thing because

62:40 – 62:44 when you really look at the extent to

62:42 – 62:48 which that social engineering project

62:44 – 62:51 has been forced upon us and and were

62:48 – 62:53 like rats in a maze it’s it’s it’s very

62:51 – 62:56 oppressive you know and you want to

62:53 – 62:58 throw it off but I love where you sit in

62:56 – 63:01 this and that’s where I think is really

62:58 – 63:03 I really want to understand how you’re

63:01 – 63:07 juggling these two things because what I

63:03 – 63:10 hear from Wasson is this both Anne kind

63:07 – 63:14 of thing yeah he’s a lyin ass CIA

63:10 – 63:17 lifetime player yes but I also get the

63:14 – 63:20 sense that he’s someone who either

63:17 – 63:22 before during or after is woken up to

63:20 – 63:25 the larger reality that he’s kind of

63:22 – 63:28 been that he stumbled into or that he’s

63:25 – 63:30 been pushed into or however you know I

63:28 – 63:32 mean those are the two aspects how are

63:30 – 63:35 you play are you playing with those two

63:32 – 63:37 Robert well you know I’m glad you put it

63:35 – 63:40 that way because I’m still kind of you

63:37 – 63:43 know I think back to my meetings with

63:40 – 63:45 Watson he had a very peculiar

63:43 – 63:47 personality around me I mean I think I

63:45 – 63:51 think there was some genuine affection

63:47 – 63:53 and respect for me as a young man

63:51 – 63:56 and who really wanted to understand what

63:53 – 63:59 was going on you know like he was he was

63:56 – 64:02 withholding like he liked he had a

63:59 – 64:05 secret he didn’t really couldn’t really

64:02 – 64:09 tell it there was there was an innocence

64:05 – 64:11 about him a gentleness about him he’s

64:09 – 64:13 also you know again kind of near the end

64:11 – 64:15 of his life you know I don’t really know

64:13 – 64:18 I’d really love to go back into his

64:15 – 64:22 archives and read more of his letters

64:18 – 64:26 but I put il I gave a lecture in New

64:22 – 64:29 York shortly after this my realization

64:26 – 64:32 of his relationship to the American

64:29 – 64:35 fascists and then my my access to the

64:32 – 64:37 archives was denied I can’t get back in

64:35 – 64:39 there and I think is very difficult to

64:37 – 64:42 get in there to read his archives and

64:39 – 64:43 these letters to find out but this is a

64:42 – 64:46 really important question that I’ve

64:43 – 64:49 discussed with colleagues you know like

64:46 – 64:51 maybe Watson like when I asked him in

64:49 – 64:52 the interview which again I would I

64:51 – 64:54 would urge your your readers your

64:52 – 64:56 listeners to check out it’s an

64:54 – 64:59 interesting piece it’s in my it’s in my

64:56 – 65:02 first book entheogens in the future of

64:59 – 65:05 religion there may be a copy online or

65:02 – 65:07 if you want it you can contact me and

65:05 – 65:10 I’ll send you a version you know when

65:07 – 65:12 Watson found the mushrooms shortly

65:10 – 65:15 thereafter his wife dies of cancer and

65:12 – 65:17 he retires from banking he gets out of

65:15 – 65:19 Wall Street and so maybe that’s an

65:17 – 65:21 indication that he you know did get

65:19 – 65:25 turned on he had a religious awakening

65:21 – 65:27 and maybe he did have a political shift

65:25 – 65:30 I’m trying to give the guy a benefit of

65:27 – 65:33 the doubt because I do I had a sense of

65:30 – 65:35 something human about him and like all

65:33 – 65:38 these guys Tim Jack Tim did some really

65:35 – 65:41 nefarious fucked up shit but there’s a

65:38 – 65:43 human being in there that I’m relating

65:41 – 65:46 to and I’m trying to help move this

65:43 – 65:48 movement along to pieces they’re revving

65:46 – 65:51 up MKULTRA again there are millions of

65:48 – 65:54 people that are being seduced by this

65:51 – 65:56 coordinated yada yada yada I’m with you

65:54 – 65:59 on all that but but before we go too far

65:56 – 66:01 down there and I don’t want to pull this

65:59 – 66:03 to yank is too hard in another direction

66:01 – 66:04 so you pull it back any any time you

66:03 – 66:08 want

66:04 – 66:09 yeah uh it’s curious to me what you say

66:08 – 66:13 I mean if we look at the larger

66:09 – 66:15 spiritual structure of things and how we

66:13 – 66:16 think things might work you know we’re

66:15 – 66:18 all these chess pieces that are put on

66:16 – 66:20 the board and we’re not sure whether

66:18 – 66:22 we’re being moved or whether we’re

66:20 – 66:25 moving our own piece you know and you

66:22 – 66:27 talk about Tim Leary and how he was set

66:25 – 66:30 up for this and set up to be the Econo

66:27 – 66:34 class and I look at you Robert and I

66:30 – 66:36 look at who you are at the time that you

66:34 – 66:40 meet Wasson and anyone who wants to go

66:36 – 66:42 and read your extraordinary book in so

66:40 – 66:43 many ways entheogen Zinn the future of

66:42 – 66:46 religion

66:43 – 66:49 I mean you at that point had tapped into

66:46 – 66:52 a beautiful aspect of this that can’t be

66:49 – 66:55 denied and that is the the religious

66:52 – 66:57 spiritual experience that people have

66:55 – 67:01 connected to this and the deeper

66:57 – 67:04 spirituality of set and setting of

67:01 – 67:06 transformation not necessary to have

67:04 – 67:09 that spiritual transformation but in

67:06 – 67:10 some cases can be for some people can be

67:09 – 67:12 a catalyst to that and I’m just saying

67:10 – 67:14 this is that person someone who goes and

67:12 – 67:16 reads that book will get a sense of

67:14 – 67:19 where your head’s at and you’re the

67:16 – 67:23 person who rolls up in the Lincoln and

67:19 – 67:26 talks to to Wasson who represents the

67:23 – 67:29 two sides the the light and the dark it

67:26 – 67:32 just is too poetic to think that yeah

67:29 – 67:33 you’re that guy put in and you’re still

67:32 – 67:35 are in this history like you say you’re

67:33 – 67:38 still trying to figure out how to take

67:35 – 67:40 this movement or how to take just this

67:38 – 67:43 whole history forward I don’t know what

67:40 – 67:45 when you thrown a lot of stuff there but

67:43 – 67:47 when you chew a yet what is your role in

67:45 – 67:49 all this yeah well I don’t I don’t

67:47 – 67:51 really know how it’s but I’m gonna I’d

67:49 – 67:52 like you to write my biography that’s

67:51 – 67:56 what that’s one thing I’m sure of

67:52 – 67:58 no I know but I’ve been I’ve been going

67:56 – 67:60 you know I just turned you know my

67:58 – 68:02 astrologer friends you know point out

67:60 – 68:04 that I’ve just gone through my second

68:02 – 68:07 Saturn return and it was really like

68:04 – 68:10 around my first Saturn return that I

68:07 – 68:11 began to really explore this stuff very

68:10 – 68:14 deeply and now I do feel like it’s a

68:11 – 68:17 kind of obligation of mine to just write

68:14 – 68:20 my memoirs in fact I just

68:17 – 68:21 just get a contract with a German

68:20 – 68:24 publisher for a book that’s going to

68:21 – 68:26 come out next year what I’m going to try

68:24 – 68:28 to tell some of these stories there’s a

68:26 – 68:30 lot of aspects here because we have the

68:28 – 68:33 we have the full spectrum of human

68:30 – 68:34 experience as you’ve noted that the very

68:33 – 68:36 powerful

68:34 – 68:40 you know mystical importance of these

68:36 – 68:43 revelatory experiences but they’re also

68:40 – 68:46 the Cecotto mimetic and mind-control

68:43 – 68:48 aspects of these experiences that are

68:46 – 68:50 and so in this sense like the field of

68:48 – 68:52 psychedelic drugs is really like a

68:50 – 68:55 microcosm of the whole history of

68:52 – 68:56 religion because it’s not because it’s

68:55 – 68:58 the same thing I mean look look at this

68:56 – 69:01 de Rivoli look at like the history of

68:58 – 69:03 Christianity I happen to accept Joe at

69:01 – 69:06 wills thesis that it was a mind-control

69:03 – 69:10 operation from the beginning that Jesus

69:06 – 69:12 was a literary invention but I’m totally

69:10 – 69:14 with you I can’t resist throwing in

69:12 – 69:16 there because that throws people for a

69:14 – 69:19 total loop hey even if you don’t do a

69:16 – 69:23 full at will on that I just encourage

69:19 – 69:25 anyone to one look at Josephus which is

69:23 – 69:29 I think a huge contribution that oil

69:25 – 69:32 makes and look at that biography and say

69:29 – 69:35 does that really make sense if you were

69:32 – 69:38 truly weren’t looking at it from a

69:35 – 69:41 Christian perspective would you really

69:38 – 69:43 buy that story of who Josephus is and

69:41 – 69:45 then look at the fact that the Bible is

69:43 – 69:48 pro-roman how does the Bible wind up

69:45 – 69:49 being pro Holman unless there’s a Roman

69:48 – 69:52 influence and then the other great

69:49 – 69:54 contribution Atwell makes is if you

69:52 – 69:56 can’t swallow all that it and that

69:54 – 69:60 doesn’t even touch the historical Jesus

69:56 – 70:03 thing per se it just it just says that

69:60 – 70:05 what that event turns out to be as it’s

70:03 – 70:09 passed on to us through the Bible is

70:05 – 70:11 purely a PSYOP is purely a control

70:09 – 70:13 mechanism and then the I love how he

70:11 – 70:15 just flashes forward to Constantine

70:13 – 70:18 Saint Constantine

70:15 – 70:21 who turns the entire population into

70:18 – 70:23 slaves and he calls it serfdom and he

70:21 – 70:26 says don’t worry though I’m giving you

70:23 – 70:27 this religion and it’s called

70:26 – 70:29 Christianity and I just can’t resist

70:27 – 70:31 writing the one other thing I always

70:29 – 70:33 throw in there because it relates to

70:31 – 70:38 correctly to your point if this happens

70:33 – 70:40 at 400 AD if they are that sophisticated

70:38 – 70:44 at playing the game where are they at

70:40 – 70:47 today no IP far more sophisticated far

70:44 – 70:51 more sophisticated with a lot more

70:47 – 70:53 powerful technologies to inculcate these

70:51 – 70:55 mind controlled principles we have the

70:53 – 70:58 internet we have television we have

70:55 – 71:01 movie screens we have these powerful

70:58 – 71:03 drugs and they’re just much more

71:01 – 71:07 advanced but that also means that that

71:03 – 71:09 the potential to turn this thing against

71:07 – 71:12 them and to end to actually turn it into

71:09 – 71:15 a kind of liberation movement is also

71:12 – 71:17 that much more exciting it seems to me

71:15 – 71:18 that I don’t you know sometimes with

71:17 – 71:20 people we talk about these kind of

71:18 – 71:23 conspiracy theories and people think

71:20 – 71:26 it’s all doom and gloom and paranoid

71:23 – 71:30 stuff no it’s a it’s a really fantastic

71:26 – 71:33 opportunity to learn from these mistakes

71:30 – 71:35 and to and to use this power in a way

71:33 – 71:38 that really does empower individuals and

71:35 – 71:41 help us bring about a more sustainable

71:38 – 71:42 society you know I still have that that

71:41 – 71:45 wish absolutely

71:42 – 71:48 hey Robert can I pull you you’ve been so

71:45 – 71:51 fantastic again I only hope people can

71:48 – 71:53 follow you don’t follow whatever trail

71:51 – 71:55 you can out of this but I’m gonna throw

71:53 – 71:57 one other thing on the table because I

71:55 – 71:59 feel a spiritual connection with neem

71:57 – 72:02 Karoli Baba and I don’t know why I don’t

71:59 – 72:02 know how but I found myself in tears on

72:02 – 72:06 an airplane

72:02 – 72:10 reading hit the accounts of his life as

72:06 – 72:13 recorded by Ram Dass so Ram Dass Richard

72:10 – 72:16 Albert is Alpert is an interesting

72:13 – 72:18 interesting figure in this whole thing

72:16 – 72:20 and I was wondering because he appears

72:18 – 72:22 there’s an interview with him that

72:20 – 72:25 appears in your book with Timothy Leary

72:22 – 72:28 that’s that’s that’s another turn on

72:25 – 72:33 this and I think it provides some

72:28 – 72:37 first-hand accounts of an alternative

72:33 – 72:39 way of looking at this expanded

72:37 – 72:42 consciousness and the role that drugs

72:39 – 72:45 might play in it so it just start

72:42 – 72:47 wherever you want with Rahm das

72:45 – 72:49 and then allow me to kind of jump in but

72:47 – 72:51 we got to get to the story where you

72:49 – 72:53 know Ram Dass and let’s tell the truth

72:51 – 72:56 you know Ram Dass has outed himself as

72:53 – 72:59 being a little bit pretty wild and crazy

72:56 – 73:02 because he’s a closeted homosexual man

72:59 – 73:06 and trying to lead this life and it

73:02 – 73:09 leads to all sorts of psychosis that you

73:06 – 73:11 know was is too bad that a lot of people

73:09 – 73:12 in that situation had to go through and

73:11 – 73:14 who knows what else is going on in his

73:12 – 73:17 life but he’s kind of a lost soul and he

73:14 – 73:19 gets this LSD but he packs it up and

73:17 – 73:20 goes to India and he meets neem karoli

73:19 – 73:22 baba and I do want to get to the point

73:20 – 73:24 where he gives a whole handful that

73:22 – 73:26 stuffed Indian karoli baba and he places

73:24 – 73:28 it on his tongue it says there it

73:26 – 73:32 doesn’t do anything to me because I’ve

73:28 – 73:33 already been there I can do that with my

73:32 – 73:36 consciousness because that’s where our

73:33 – 73:38 consciousness can take us but if you

73:36 – 73:42 want to go there with your medicine okay

73:38 – 73:46 but you know he raises another question

73:42 – 73:48 in terms of this whole thing in terms of

73:46 – 73:49 where we’re really trying to go with

73:48 – 73:51 this stuff so there I’ve laid more on

73:49 – 73:54 the table than maybe I should have but

73:51 – 73:56 any thoughts on Ram Dass well okay so

73:54 – 73:60 that’s another fairly complicated part

73:56 – 74:05 of the story I didn’t get to know

73:60 – 74:09 Richard or Rahm Das and until the 1990s

74:05 – 74:14 or so and you just he’s one of the most

74:09 – 74:17 likable and funny and you know delicious

74:14 – 74:19 people to be around and I got to spend

74:17 – 74:23 you know not a lot of time with them but

74:19 – 74:26 we had some very close mutual friends in

74:23 – 74:28 particular women named Nina grab a and

74:26 – 74:32 you know I had some you know some

74:28 – 74:34 connection with Richard I also but you

74:32 – 74:38 know I first got to know him kind of

74:34 – 74:41 through the eyes of Frank baron and see

74:38 – 74:43 what I want to say here because I have a

74:41 – 74:45 lot of respect for him and I really like

74:43 – 74:47 him and I tried to talk with him about

74:45 – 74:49 some of these things that interview that

74:47 – 74:52 is that long interview that’s in my

74:49 – 74:54 Leary book is really a much shorter

74:52 – 74:58 version of a much longer conversation

74:54 – 74:59 that I haven’t published because I like

74:58 – 75:02 that same

74:59 – 75:05 incident well here’s how I look at it

75:02 – 75:08 okay so here’s Richard Alpert he didn’t

75:05 – 75:11 start the Harvard psilocybin project

75:08 – 75:14 with Tim he Frank Barron started the

75:11 – 75:16 project with Tim and Frank left because

75:14 – 75:17 it got too outrageous an embarrassing

75:16 – 75:19 thing happened Frank went back to

75:17 – 75:22 Berkeley Tim wanted someone else to work

75:19 – 75:25 with so he kind of latched on to Alpert

75:22 – 75:27 not for any great reasons and he was

75:25 – 75:28 like some you know spiritual person or

75:27 – 75:30 something that’s because he had an

75:28 – 75:33 airplane and he had a Mercedes and he

75:30 – 75:35 had some Harvard you know there’s a

75:33 – 75:38 Harvard professor he was a tenured track

75:35 – 75:43 guy and in and he had a big crush on Tim

75:38 – 75:44 so he was you know and and Richard will

75:43 – 75:46 say this in the interview you know I’ll

75:44 – 75:48 talk about he said you know when you

75:46 – 75:51 talk about Tim and I at Harvard I was

75:48 – 75:53 really a very minor character at Harvard

75:51 – 75:56 he just kind of followed him around and

75:53 – 75:58 and did what he said basically he washed

75:56 – 76:00 the dishes he flew him around in his

75:58 – 76:03 plane you just listened he was he was

76:00 – 76:05 just so excited and happy to be there

76:03 – 76:10 but he didn’t really have much input and

76:05 – 76:13 then he gets it’s really Richard that

76:10 – 76:16 got fired from Harvard you know for some

76:13 – 76:18 really embarrassing stuff you know they

76:16 – 76:22 had it they had agreements not to use

76:18 – 76:25 the drugs with undergraduates and it was

76:22 – 76:27 the terms of the of the grant and the

76:25 – 76:29 permissions and Richard violated all

76:27 – 76:32 those agreements you know he was using

76:29 – 76:35 drugs with undergraduates he was having

76:32 – 76:38 sexual relationships with undergraduates

76:35 – 76:41 that’s really embarrassing it’s illegal

76:38 – 76:43 it’s unethical it’s a it’s a shameful

76:41 – 76:44 thing to do I mean I’ve been a I’ve been

76:43 – 76:47 a university professor you know it’s

76:44 – 76:48 it’s against the laws it’s improper II

76:47 – 76:50 just don’t do that kind of everybody

76:48 – 76:53 knew about it too right I mean he was

76:50 – 76:56 really yeah so he gets so here’s a guy

76:53 – 76:59 he gets fired from Harvard for this

76:56 – 77:01 terrible stuff then they go to the you

76:59 – 77:02 know the Millbrook estate and he gets he

77:01 – 77:05 kind of gets them kicked out of

77:02 – 77:08 Millbrook too because he’s just too

77:05 – 77:12 outrageous with his with his you know

77:08 – 77:14 sexual you know blah blah blah

77:12 – 77:17 and then and then so he’s gotta in a

77:14 – 77:20 little impasse in his life he goes to

77:17 – 77:21 India because Allen Ginsberg went to

77:20 – 77:24 India you know again he didn’t really

77:21 – 77:26 have any great like spiritual curiosity

77:24 – 77:29 or something he just kind of went to

77:26 – 77:32 India so in India he falls in love with

77:29 – 77:36 somebody this big you know surfer guy

77:32 – 77:39 Michael Riggs name is Bhagwan das who’s

77:36 – 77:41 actually a person who’s you know I’ve

77:39 – 77:44 sat down had long conversation with

77:41 – 77:48 about this Michael takes him to meet

77:44 – 77:51 neem Karoli now I know you did you had

77:48 – 77:53 this love for neem Karoli but you know

77:51 – 77:55 I’m really suspicious to these guru guys

77:53 – 77:56 and I’ve done a little research and

77:55 – 77:58 talked to other people that have been

77:56 – 78:00 there you know this gets controversial

77:58 – 78:04 and people call me names but you know

78:00 – 78:06 neem Karoli was that like kind of a I

78:04 – 78:09 wonder and this is what Michael kind of

78:06 – 78:14 in Part II it was kind of a trickster

78:09 – 78:17 charlatan sort of guy – and this this

78:14 – 78:20 famous story about Ram Dass giving him

78:17 – 78:21 the LSD and him taking anything and

78:20 – 78:24 didn’t really do anything

78:21 – 78:26 that’s according to Michael and two

78:24 – 78:28 other people that were there that’s not

78:26 – 78:30 really what happened but that Nina

78:28 – 78:34 cruelly played tricks on people like he

78:30 – 78:37 had he had some of his guys sneaked into

78:34 – 78:40 rhombuses room when he wasn’t around and

78:37 – 78:41 go through his personal stuff and he

78:40 – 78:44 wouldn’t find out personal things about

78:41 – 78:47 Rama das and then trick him into

78:44 – 78:50 thinking he was being psychic about him

78:47 – 78:55 and that he didn’t actually take the LSD

78:50 – 78:57 he palmed it and he gave it to his he

78:55 – 79:02 ground it up and put it in the Prasad

78:57 – 79:05 the holy food so his so his devotees

79:02 – 79:07 would take it and have altered states of

79:05 – 79:10 consciousness and and think that the

79:07 – 79:13 Guru was really so incredibly powerful

79:10 – 79:14 and so so now you’ve got this guy

79:13 – 79:17 Richard Alpert who’s fired from Harvard

79:14 – 79:20 then he falls for this phony guru

79:17 – 79:25 betting puts together this book be here

79:20 – 79:26 now which is you know okay I know a lot

79:25 – 79:29 of people that was there first

79:26 – 79:32 introduction to kind of Buddhist or go

79:29 – 79:35 get ideals and be here now but look I’m

79:32 – 79:38 sorry if this sounds harsh or something

79:35 – 79:41 but it’s a it’s a it’s a little cut up

79:38 – 79:43 thing of spiritual platitudes and a guy

79:41 – 79:46 that’s really never done any kind of

79:43 – 79:47 real meditation he’s a bhakti yogi he

79:46 – 79:51 went from he went from being an

79:47 – 79:54 authoritarian agreeing and obeying with

79:51 – 79:57 all the Harvard authorities to being in

79:54 – 79:59 a you know kind of just accept then Tim

79:57 – 80:02 was his authority and now this neem

79:59 – 80:04 Karoli guy has the authority and then he

80:02 – 80:08 comes back to the United States he falls

80:04 – 80:11 for some woman guru joyeux or something

80:08 – 80:13 bleeds from her ears who he’s a kind of

80:11 – 80:16 embarrassing thing and I somehow with

80:13 – 80:21 all decked a series of embarrassing

80:16 – 80:24 stuff gets himself defined as a

80:21 – 80:25 spiritual teacher I’m like what’s

80:24 – 80:27 spiritual like what’s what does that

80:25 – 80:30 mean really you know a best-selling book

80:27 – 80:33 of platitudes and this series of

80:30 – 80:36 embarrassing stuff and he’s a very very

80:33 – 80:38 ticket and funny and charming guy and

80:36 – 80:41 you know we’ve even sort of talked about

80:38 – 80:43 this I asked him about I told him

80:41 – 80:47 Michaels version of the story that he

80:43 – 80:50 faked Michael told that to me and that

80:47 – 80:52 it was uh you know then Ram Dass said

80:50 – 80:53 this is before his stroke that he said

80:52 – 80:56 well you know I don’t know that’s that’s

80:53 – 80:60 ba Gavin’s version this is mine I’m just

80:56 – 81:02 trying to tell the truth as I see it let

80:60 – 81:05 me add a couple parts to the story as I

81:02 – 81:08 know it and I’m not married to the story

81:05 – 81:12 I’m not married to any version of it and

81:08 – 81:14 I’ve never met neem Karoli Baba so it’s

81:12 – 81:17 like people that talk about their person

81:14 – 81:18 or relationship with Jesus and from

81:17 – 81:20 Christ consciousness standpoint and I

81:18 – 81:23 can’t get in the middle of that if you

81:20 – 81:26 have a relationship with Jesus fuck and

81:23 – 81:29 hey go for it that’s awesome I get well

81:26 – 81:32 I don’t know I think that’s undeniable

81:29 – 81:33 and I I mean I to get me sidetracked you

81:32 – 81:36 know if you look at the near-death

81:33 – 81:38 experience science right so take it I’d

81:36 – 81:39 like the word science there because if

81:38 – 81:40 we take the neurological model that we

81:39 – 81:43 have

81:40 – 81:45 we say that when your heart stops there

81:43 – 81:48 is no possibility for any coherent brain

81:45 – 81:50 activity within about 15 seconds of of

81:48 – 81:52 after that so whether you believe the

81:50 – 81:53 brain is dead after that point or

81:52 – 81:56 whatever but then if we go in and

81:53 – 81:57 scientifically study the recollections

81:56 – 81:59 and perceptions that people have and we

81:57 – 82:01 tie them back to their ability to

81:59 – 82:02 recount their resuscitation and other

82:01 – 82:05 stuff I’m going through this really

82:02 – 82:07 quickly because people on this show of

82:05 – 82:08 heard it a million times there’s a set

82:07 – 82:11 of science there that suggests

82:08 – 82:14 consciousness survives bodily death in a

82:11 – 82:16 way that our modern medicine still can’t

82:14 – 82:20 come to grips with and talks about in

82:16 – 82:22 these silly you know neurological shit

82:20 – 82:26 that’s just total bullshit thing so I

82:22 – 82:28 digress greatly because I’m backed is

82:26 – 82:30 just saying when those people have a

82:28 – 82:34 near-death experience and they connect

82:30 – 82:36 with Jesus Christ consciousness whatever

82:34 – 82:39 that is and I don’t know what that is

82:36 – 82:41 and I don’t want to pretend to but that

82:39 – 82:43 there’s a reality to this extended

82:41 – 82:46 spiritual experience and I think we’re

82:43 – 82:49 both on the same page so I roll that all

82:46 – 82:51 the way back to saying if somebody has a

82:49 – 82:54 connection to neem Karoli Baba I honor

82:51 – 82:56 that without having to pass judgment on

82:54 – 82:59 whether it’s true or false or whether

82:56 – 83:01 he’s a charlatan or whether he’s a Sai

82:59 – 83:03 Baba who we can watch videos of who you

83:01 – 83:05 know so many people just revere and I’ve

83:03 – 83:08 had some scholars on this show written

83:05 – 83:10 books about the parapsychology and

83:08 – 83:12 they’re highly esteemed and they fall

83:10 – 83:14 for Sai Baba and it’s like well shit

83:12 – 83:16 slow down the goddamn video and you can

83:14 – 83:19 see he’s palming the the pendant ya know

83:16 – 83:22 what’s going on there but the other

83:19 – 83:24 complexity of that is you know people

83:22 – 83:25 talk about regular to and they say the

83:24 – 83:26 same thing well look he’s a stage

83:25 – 83:29 magician he’s faking

83:26 – 83:31 yes he’s faking but he’s also really

83:29 – 83:33 done it too and here’s my interview with

83:31 – 83:35 Jacque Vallejo where he says I was

83:33 – 83:36 sitting at the table with him and I did

83:35 – 83:39 the mind experiment and he you know what

83:36 – 83:41 I mean so we always are going to have

83:39 – 83:43 that trickster element in this was the

83:41 – 83:46 multi shaded you know that’s part of the

83:43 – 83:48 fun of this thing too but back to neem

83:46 – 83:52 Karoli Baba and back to the story as

83:48 – 83:54 I’ve heard it from Ram Dass is he goes

83:52 – 83:56 and he goes back to the

83:54 – 84:00 United States and he has these doubts

83:56 – 84:02 did this guy really take the LSD was did

84:00 – 84:05 he Palma did he throw it over his

84:02 – 84:07 shoulder so he comes back next time and

84:05 – 84:10 he sees neem karoli baba and before he

84:07 – 84:11 says anything neem karoli baba says to

84:10 – 84:14 him come here

84:11 – 84:17 Danny yeah he says yeah you had doubts

84:14 – 84:19 you think I’m fake he goes he sticks out

84:17 – 84:20 his tongue now this is the story whether

84:19 – 84:22 you believe it or not but there were

84:20 – 84:24 other witnesses to it too right

84:22 – 84:26 so he sticks out his tongue says you

84:24 – 84:29 place them on my tongue you make sure

84:26 – 84:31 now then now give me a glass of water or

84:29 – 84:34 milk or whatever it was and he drinks it

84:31 – 84:36 and he says okay you’re satisfied that

84:34 – 84:38 I’ve taken him he goes now all sit there

84:36 – 84:40 and this is how he tells the story so at

84:38 – 84:42 least he these are an elaborate liar or

84:40 – 84:45 there’s some truth to it he said then

84:42 – 84:46 about 20 minutes later neem karoli baba

84:45 – 84:49 starts going into all these like

84:46 – 84:51 convulsions with his face you know and

84:49 – 84:54 they’re thinking oh shit man the old man

84:51 – 84:56 he was faking it and now he’s really got

84:54 – 84:58 the dose and he’s you know he’s tripping

84:56 – 85:01 really hard and then he just smiles and

84:58 – 85:03 he eases oh okay you know that’s not it

85:01 – 85:05 you know I’m just playing around with

85:03 – 85:07 you yeah we used to know about this that

85:05 – 85:09 this medicine these people these Yogi’s

85:07 – 85:11 back in the valleys know about it blah

85:09 – 85:15 blah blah but again the important thing

85:11 – 85:17 to me is he says which i think is a

85:15 – 85:19 truth that I hold on to because I see it

85:17 – 85:22 in so many different different ways from

85:19 – 85:26 different spiritual masters is that hey

85:22 – 85:28 if you need this medicine to help remind

85:26 – 85:31 you who you are

85:28 – 85:35 to help you remind you of your divinity

85:31 – 85:38 then okay but don’t you already know the

85:35 – 85:42 answer isn’t the real challenge in

85:38 – 85:44 living it in telling the truth in being

85:42 – 85:46 genuinely who you are in loving other

85:44 – 85:49 people isn’t that really the challenge

85:46 – 85:51 the challenge isn’t knowing that you’re

85:49 – 85:54 more you know you’re more so and then I

85:51 – 85:55 also take with that you know all the

85:54 – 85:57 other stories because the first book I

85:55 – 85:59 read from Ram Dass was not be here now

85:57 – 86:02 it was miracle of love and it’s all

85:59 – 86:06 these a compilation if you acknowledge

86:02 – 86:08 or believe the story of how these store

86:06 – 86:10 what how this book comes to being

86:08 – 86:12 it’s a compilation of stories from all

86:10 – 86:14 these different people that have

86:12 – 86:16 encountered neem karoli baba and some of

86:14 – 86:18 our Indians who’ve been there for the

86:16 – 86:20 you know known in this twenty thirty

86:18 – 86:22 years other are these Americans that

86:20 – 86:24 have kind of visited him and then also

86:22 – 86:25 you know you can go listen to Krishna

86:24 – 86:28 Das you know Christian dasa is he’s

86:25 – 86:31 Faiers right so he has his own

86:28 – 86:35 experience with neem karoli baba but

86:31 – 86:37 many of the details match up with what

86:35 – 86:38 Ram Dass is saying and also you know I

86:37 – 86:40 live right here in Southern California

86:38 – 86:42 like I was telling and I live seven

86:40 – 86:44 miles from the self-realization

86:42 – 86:45 fellowship you know and I had some kind

86:44 – 86:49 of strange connection where I was you

86:45 – 86:50 know I don’t know I was a kid starting a

86:49 – 86:53 business entrepreneur and somehow or

86:50 – 86:55 another I get into yoga and I read this

86:53 – 86:57 book autobiography of Yogi and I start

86:55 – 86:60 sending off these correspondence classes

86:57 – 87:02 that are coming from where seven miles

86:60 – 87:04 from where I live right now and although

87:02 – 87:06 I never got into the whole

87:04 – 87:06 self-realization fellowship thing too

87:06 – 87:08 much

87:06 – 87:11 anyone can go take that book and read

87:08 – 87:14 the first 30 pages and it makes all the

87:11 – 87:17 miracles quote-unquote that Ram Dass is

87:14 – 87:19 talking about our child’s play and and

87:17 – 87:22 then I just interviewed a guy a couple

87:19 – 87:25 episodes ago named Steve Briggs who

87:22 – 87:27 spent 20 years as a TM meditation

87:25 – 87:29 teacher and was sent to and there’s a

87:27 – 87:31 whole story behind that trickster you

87:29 – 87:32 know Maharishi and that whole thing but

87:31 – 87:35 he still has this extraordinary

87:32 – 87:39 experience of going to India for 20

87:35 – 87:41 years and meeting these Indian I’m not

87:39 – 87:44 big on the sage on the stage thing

87:41 – 87:49 either but there’s just too much there

87:44 – 87:51 in terms of a reality to people who have

87:49 – 87:54 ability to access this higher

87:51 – 87:56 consciousness so there I’ve just thrown

87:54 – 87:57 a ton of shit on the table too and I

87:56 – 87:60 don’t know what’s true and what isn’t

87:57 – 88:00 true but I wanted to add that part of

87:60 – 88:03 the story

88:00 – 88:04 yeah well it’s also very interesting

88:03 – 88:06 again it leads to a really long

88:04 – 88:08 conversation and it’s making me think we

88:06 – 88:12 started talking about leery now we’re on

88:08 – 88:14 to Rama Das and how really very very

88:12 – 88:19 different these two characters are and

88:14 – 88:21 how they both embody very opposite

88:19 – 88:23 aspects of

88:21 – 88:26 religion and the religious experience

88:23 – 88:29 and you know my friend gay doing ham did

88:26 – 88:32 a brilliant and important film that’s

88:29 – 88:37 been out and about called dying to know

88:32 – 88:39 which was a conversation between Tim and

88:37 – 88:41 ramadasa yeah I’ve seen it you’ve seen

88:39 – 88:43 it okay so you can so you know in that

88:41 – 88:48 film so here’s these two guys now

88:43 – 88:51 religion you know Tim Tim was a

88:48 – 88:53 revolutionary Tim grew up Tim didn’t

88:51 – 88:55 have any money Tim wanted to change the

88:53 – 88:57 world he wanted he wanted he believed in

88:55 – 88:59 democracy he didn’t like that the money

88:57 – 89:00 was all concentrated at the top and the

88:59 – 89:02 most of the people didn’t have any and

89:00 – 89:04 they were controlled by though he was an

89:02 – 89:07 Irish fighting the English you know he

89:04 – 89:10 wanted to see a more equal distribution

89:07 – 89:11 of wealth and power in the society and

89:10 – 89:14 having having a democracy

89:11 – 89:17 Ramraj is a totally different character

89:14 – 89:19 and for him you’re really hard to

89:17 – 89:21 something there right I I’m saying this

89:19 – 89:23 in a whole new light because let’s just

89:21 – 89:26 expound on that a little bit Rob gots is

89:23 – 89:28 a rich kid I mean he is a rich ass kid

89:26 – 89:30 from Harvard privilege and then when he

89:28 – 89:33 goes and does the Guru thing it’s hey

89:30 – 89:37 everybody come out to my dad’s you know

89:33 – 89:39 fucking 45 acre estate you know kind of

89:37 – 89:43 thing right yep Tim is constantly

89:39 – 89:45 reminding him and the viewer how

89:43 – 89:48 different they are it’s the last line of

89:45 – 89:50 the movie we’re different we’re

89:48 – 89:53 different and so here again is a

89:50 – 89:57 religion a conservative force that is a

89:53 – 89:60 mind control operation by elites to

89:57 – 90:03 pacify and control the masses like

89:60 – 90:07 Huxley learned about in brave new world

90:03 – 90:09 and more acutely wrote about in an an

90:07 – 90:11 essay that’s nowhere near is well-known

90:09 – 90:14 that I would encourage your our

90:11 – 90:17 listeners to check out brave new world

90:14 – 90:19 revisited which is postscript to brave

90:17 – 90:22 the world that he wrote in 1958

90:19 – 90:24 so here’s here you see this kind of

90:22 – 90:26 embodied in Tim was really trying to you

90:24 – 90:29 know he’s anti-war he’s getting he’s

90:26 – 90:31 arrested he’s a problem to the

90:29 – 90:33 establishment Rahm das is not a problem

90:31 – 90:35 to the establishment Ramdas is exactly

90:33 – 90:38 what the establishment

90:35 – 90:40 it’s a kind of feel good bhakti religion

90:38 – 90:42 you’re not going to change the structure

90:40 – 90:45 of society or the distribution of wealth

90:42 – 90:46 or power why bother well but there

90:45 – 90:48 that’s tricky that’s really tricky I

90:46 – 90:50 mean we at play with that on two

90:48 – 90:54 different dimensions right we can play

90:50 – 90:56 with that on the political dimension and

90:54 – 90:59 it looks one way and we can play with

90:56 – 91:02 the bhakti Pathan and bhakti is service

90:59 – 91:05 right so bhakti is no bhakti is love

91:02 – 91:08 right bhakti bhakti is the love path

91:05 – 91:12 like one things jumps to mind there is

91:08 – 91:15 that many folks in the yogic tradition

91:12 – 91:19 will tell you you can go as far as you

91:15 – 91:22 want down the path of the the warrior

91:19 – 91:24 the timothy leary warrior but at some

91:22 – 91:27 point to get past the final hurdle

91:24 – 91:29 you’re going to need the Guru and us in

91:27 – 91:32 the West don’t accept the Gruen I am NOT

91:29 – 91:34 a guru fucking guy nowhere close never

91:32 – 91:37 have been never had that’s just not me

91:34 – 91:41 I’m a conic last person that’s my nature

91:37 – 91:44 but I do see the wisdom of submitting

91:41 – 91:46 that there is a wisdom to submitting as

91:44 – 91:49 much as it pulls against you know who I

91:46 – 91:51 am kind of thing and in that respect

91:49 – 91:53 you’re saying something really beautiful

91:51 – 91:56 and deep there Robert in terms of how

91:53 – 91:60 these two guys who bring forth this

91:56 – 92:03 whole experience of psychedelics are

91:60 – 92:06 representing two aspects that ultimately

92:03 – 92:10 lead to the same place if we will in

92:06 – 92:12 terms of higher consciousness and I

92:10 – 92:15 don’t know I hate to shut it off and

92:12 – 92:17 pull it back down to this materialistic

92:15 – 92:18 kind of eye but we have to do that

92:17 – 92:22 sometimes you know when we talk about

92:18 – 92:24 the CIA and you know the mind control

92:22 – 92:27 and but but I think these guys are also

92:24 – 92:30 playing on a whole different level a

92:27 – 92:32 higher level what any thoughts and I

92:30 – 92:34 mean Tim and Richard yeah yeah I mean

92:32 – 92:37 they’re playing they’re playing on the

92:34 – 92:40 psycho spiritual kind of dimension –

92:37 – 92:42 that totally transcends anything that

92:40 – 92:44 these guys want to do in terms of

92:42 – 92:45 playing around with you know trying to

92:44 – 92:48 control people and all the rest of that

92:45 – 92:50 I mean not it not to shift gears

92:48 – 92:51 too far again because it’s gonna drive

92:50 – 92:55 people nuts but I was listening to

92:51 – 92:58 Whitley Strieber recently and him

92:55 – 92:59 talking about how he was had first-hand

92:58 – 93:01 experience with the mind control

92:59 – 93:04 horrible horrible mind control program

93:01 – 93:06 that he was subjected to when he was

93:04 – 93:10 like nine years old in San Antonio Texas

93:06 – 93:12 and these guys this is MKULTRA like in

93:10 – 93:14 its worse taking these little kids and

93:12 – 93:17 putting him in Skinner boxes in this

93:14 – 93:19 deprivation sensory deprivation in order

93:17 – 93:23 to crack them open to see if they could

93:19 – 93:25 because we know when people are in like

93:23 – 93:29 people who are suggest subjected to

93:25 – 93:31 trauma crack open and reach these other

93:29 – 93:33 dimensions whether they be psychic or

93:31 – 93:35 out-of-body travel or whatever they were

93:33 – 93:36 and they were playing around with this

93:35 – 93:38 shit because like hey man we got to

93:36 – 93:40 figure out that part of it too kind of

93:38 – 93:42 thing but what he said just really stuck

93:40 – 93:46 with me from a spiritual side he said

93:42 – 93:49 these guys don’t realize what they’re

93:46 – 93:50 doing to their soul and I don’t know how

93:49 – 93:51 comfortable you are with that or how

93:50 – 93:55 comfortable are with the idea of

93:51 – 93:57 reincarnation and karma at is at this

93:55 – 93:59 much higher level rather than this kind

93:57 – 94:02 of dime-store you know do this don’t do

93:59 – 94:06 that kind of thing and you know I wonder

94:02 – 94:09 at the soul level who these actors are

94:06 – 94:12 Timothy Leary Ram Dass and it seems to

94:09 – 94:16 me like they’re there they’re like right

94:12 – 94:19 out of some mythical Indian story of you

94:16 – 94:21 know like good and bad and and the

94:19 – 94:24 follower and the leader and the soldier

94:21 – 94:28 and the warrior and yet you process that

94:24 – 94:30 you obviously have closure no I drafted

94:28 – 94:32 a screenplay once where I had this

94:30 – 94:35 psychedelic scenario that we’ve been

94:32 – 94:37 talking about Wasson and Hoffman and

94:35 – 94:39 these were characters you can find them

94:37 – 94:42 you know there’s G darn or Bruno and and

94:39 – 94:46 Galileo and you know there’s what it’s

94:42 – 94:49 the same drama in different epochs right

94:46 – 94:50 Jesus and so on ya know it’s the same

94:49 – 94:53 story you’re right no they’re they’re

94:50 – 94:56 mythic archetypal characters and they

94:53 – 94:59 knew it they knew it and they played it

94:56 – 95:01 to the hilt ROM da still does again not

94:59 – 95:04 unless I’m saying that in a

95:01 – 95:08 he would write write write just tell you

95:04 – 95:09 yeah and the question for me again

95:08 – 95:11 though like I’m not quite you said

95:09 – 95:13 something a little bit ago about you

95:11 – 95:15 know they’re at the same kind of

95:13 – 95:17 consciousness and I’m not sure that I

95:15 – 95:21 agree with that because I think that the

95:17 – 95:25 I think that the political

95:21 – 95:28 earth-centered consciousness is

95:25 – 95:30 different than the transcendental

95:28 – 95:33 consciousness and that we you know you

95:30 – 95:36 look at the history of spiritual

95:33 – 95:39 techniques like say tera vaada and

95:36 – 95:42 Buddhism you know the the mystical

95:39 – 95:45 experience mystical experience doesn’t

95:42 – 95:50 come really till the end of the practice

95:45 – 95:52 if it comes too early it’s considered a

95:50 – 95:55 corruption it’s something like to like

95:52 – 95:58 don’t go to that because you get sort of

95:55 – 96:01 blissed-out or the or in the in the

95:58 – 96:02 hindu version there’s a wonderful phrase

96:01 – 96:06 that i repeat a lot when I talk about

96:02 – 96:09 this ashram adharma ashram adharma which

96:06 – 96:11 means the truth about the stages of life

96:09 – 96:14 you know Yoga was it was a technique

96:11 – 96:18 that came later in life in your

96:14 – 96:20 renunciate or cine Osun phase a society

96:18 – 96:24 falls apart if the Warriors become

96:20 – 96:27 mystics too soon because you need you

96:24 – 96:29 need that the society needs to have a

96:27 – 96:32 structure to it and this this might have

96:29 – 96:35 been the psychological operation of the

96:32 – 96:38 psychedelic movement my metaphors the

96:35 – 96:40 culture got fairy dust thrown at it and

96:38 – 96:43 people are like blissing out and going

96:40 – 96:45 off into these we’re gonna levitate the

96:43 – 96:47 Pentagon levitate the Pentagon no that’s

96:45 – 96:50 not how you end war you don’t levitate

96:47 – 96:52 Pentagon’s you organized politically you

96:50 – 96:55 realize what these guys are doing you

96:52 – 96:57 smarten up you discipline yourself you

96:55 – 97:01 are in the world you’re not levitating

96:57 – 97:02 things here well maybe maybe it I get

97:01 – 97:05 where you’re coming from and I cannot

97:02 – 97:09 dis dismiss that there there are other

97:05 – 97:12 sides of that one from the this world

97:09 – 97:14 –is– kind of standpoint we have to be

97:12 – 97:17 fair about the

97:14 – 97:19 agenda that we’ve in the power that

97:17 – 97:21 we’ve given these people and you know

97:19 – 97:23 you were talking about the manifest

97:21 – 97:27 destiny of the United States and the

97:23 – 97:28 superiority and stuff like that and you

97:27 – 97:31 know we can argue that we could talk

97:28 – 97:33 about that compared to what you know I

97:31 – 97:35 don’t want to live in North Korea I

97:33 – 97:38 don’t want to live in Apple’s chai comm

97:35 – 97:42 factories I don’t want to live in Russia

97:38 – 97:44 so I I don’t like some of the stuff that

97:42 – 97:46 you’re talking about in and where it

97:44 – 97:49 might go but that’s a whole different

97:46 – 97:51 game that’s a I want you on that wall I

97:49 – 97:54 need you on that wall kind of game and I

97:51 – 97:57 love having those discussions and I love

97:54 – 98:01 going there but I also want to throw

97:57 – 98:05 some rocks at this idea of romanticizing

98:01 – 98:06 Indian mystical culture and even yogic

98:05 – 98:08 understanding of some of this stuff

98:06 – 98:10 because some of it’s just bullshit I

98:08 – 98:12 love what the Timothy Leary one third of

98:10 – 98:15 it’s bullshit it’s like hey people have

98:12 – 98:17 spontaneous Kundalini awakening all the

98:15 – 98:19 time and I don’t know why God allows

98:17 – 98:21 that I was like through God in there

98:19 – 98:24 because it throws people off but I

98:21 – 98:26 interviewed a woman a long time ago

98:24 – 98:29 what’s her new quart hazel Courtney you

98:26 – 98:32 know she just as an example though she’s

98:29 – 98:33 a writer for the London Times like as

98:32 – 98:37 you know straight straight of the line

98:33 – 98:40 journalist she has an incredible psychic

98:37 – 98:44 experience of Kundalini awakening and

98:40 – 98:46 starts being hyper psychic starts being

98:44 – 98:48 able to have these weather phenomena

98:46 – 98:50 that people talk about I mean these

98:48 – 98:52 things are all over the place when you

98:50 – 98:55 start looking for him and she didn’t go

98:52 – 98:57 looking for this this came looking for

98:55 – 99:01 her I just interviewed a couple episodes

98:57 – 99:03 ago a medium who is been tested by I

99:01 – 99:06 think one of the best people in the

99:03 – 99:08 country from University Arizona dr.

99:06 – 99:11 Julie by she’ll has tested and

99:08 – 99:13 controlled medium communication

99:11 – 99:15 published peer-reviewed journal and she

99:13 – 99:18 says this woman passes all the tests

99:15 – 99:20 there she is telling me about how she’s

99:18 – 99:22 just going about her life and suddenly

99:20 – 99:25 she has traumatic experiences of her

99:22 – 99:27 mother dying in her I think her sister

99:25 – 99:28 dying and a short period of time and lo

99:27 – 99:31 and behold

99:28 – 99:33 boom dead spirits shots showing up and

99:31 – 99:36 telling her you know do this do that so

99:33 – 99:38 that this idea I’ve heard that the

99:36 – 99:40 ending you know this is how we live our

99:38 – 99:41 life in the first quarter in the second

99:40 – 99:43 quarter throw all that shit out the

99:41 – 99:45 window because it isn’t it isn’t

99:43 – 99:48 happening like that for everybody not

99:45 – 99:50 for everybody no spirituality is not

99:48 – 99:52 democratic you know that’s a line from

99:50 – 99:55 one of my teachers Houston Smith that we

99:52 – 99:59 have two very tricky conversation in

99:55 – 100:01 this culture because I mean these realms

99:59 – 100:04 these other realms do exist these

100:01 – 100:07 magical mystical things Kundalini

100:04 – 100:10 psychic you know near-death experiences

100:07 – 100:14 and what what may be right for someone

100:10 – 100:17 at one time in their life expansive and

100:14 – 100:20 healing can be very destructive and very

100:17 – 100:22 confusing the same kind of experience to

100:20 – 100:25 another person and it may be out of

100:22 – 100:27 their control that’s I guess what I’m

100:25 – 100:29 throwing in because yes with the

100:27 – 100:32 introduction of psychedelics where I can

100:29 – 100:34 at least I appear to be able to control

100:32 – 100:36 that these kind of there’s other

100:34 – 100:39 experiences that are on par with it in

100:36 – 100:41 terms of transformative that are out

100:39 – 100:43 seem to be outside of the our control

100:41 – 100:45 and that kind of throws a wrench in the

100:43 – 100:48 whole thing – well you know we could go

100:45 – 100:50 on Alec we can and and you’ve been so

100:48 – 100:53 incredibly generous with your time

100:50 – 100:54 Robert you you’ve mentioned some of the

100:53 – 100:57 projects that you’re involved with in

100:54 – 100:59 terms of very exciting stuff in terms of

100:57 – 101:03 writing a book maybe about your

100:59 – 101:05 incredible life also maybe a screenplay

101:03 – 101:07 what will people want get out of the

101:05 – 101:08 books that you’ve already written and

101:07 – 101:11 then what new projects are you working

101:08 – 101:13 on well I just have these couple of

101:11 – 101:15 projects now and I’ve started to work on

101:13 – 101:18 this book for the German publishers with

101:15 – 101:22 Matthias brokers who is a best-selling

101:18 – 101:24 author in Germany was like he’s

101:22 – 101:26 considered Europe’s foremost conspiracy

101:24 – 101:31 theorist he wrote one of the first

101:26 – 101:33 best-selling books on 9/11 and I really

101:31 – 101:35 honored that he asked me to collaborate

101:33 – 101:38 with him so that’s a new project I have

101:35 – 101:39 a screenplay that I’ve been you know

101:38 – 101:41 this is we can tell from this

101:39 – 101:45 conversation this is a very hard

101:41 – 101:48 story to put into a you know an arc so I

101:45 – 101:50 I struggle with that but I’m mostly kind

101:48 – 101:52 of retired up here in the Santa Cruz

101:50 – 101:56 Mountains I work a little bit in the

101:52 – 101:57 cannabis business and I don’t even have

101:56 – 101:59 my own web page I mean there’s an

101:57 – 102:02 academic web page I’m an adjunct faculty

101:59 – 102:05 at the California Institute of integral

102:02 – 102:09 studies in San Francisco my views are

102:05 – 102:11 controversial sometimes they they send a

102:09 – 102:13 student my way I will encourage anybody

102:11 – 102:17 that’s listening if they want to

102:13 – 102:20 I sort of blog a bit on Facebook so you

102:17 – 102:23 can reach me there we can carry on this

102:20 – 102:25 discussion that way how’s that that’s

102:23 – 102:28 perfect

102:25 – 102:30 our guest has been Robert Forte an

102:28 – 102:33 incredible incredible person and we’ll

102:30 – 102:35 keep an eye out for those projects that

102:33 – 102:38 you’re working on because there’s a life

102:35 – 102:42 story here that must be told and I can’t

102:38 – 102:44 imagine how fun it would be to see it in

102:42 – 102:47 some kind of a screenplay because

102:44 – 102:49 there’s an artistic part of this that

102:47 – 102:52 might contribute to the storytelling

102:49 – 102:54 Robert again thank you so much for for

102:52 – 102:57 joining me and for having this kind of

102:54 – 102:59 conversation Alex thanks a lot I’ve

102:57 – 103:02 enjoyed it I look forward to meeting you

102:59 – 103:06 someday I enjoy your podcast and I’m

103:02 – 103:07 wishing you lots of good luck thanks

103:06 – 103:10 again to Rob Forte for joining me today

103:07 – 103:12 on skeptic oh the one question I T up

103:10 – 103:15 from this interview has to do with

103:12 – 103:17 entheogens it’s something we’ve kicked

103:15 – 103:19 around many times and I guess I’ve gone

103:17 – 103:22 back and forth but I’m wondering what

103:19 – 103:25 you think about the role of entheogen

103:22 – 103:27 in spirituality I know this is a topic

103:25 – 103:29 we’ve touched on many times but as you

103:27 – 103:31 know going through this interview

103:29 – 103:34 there’s a lot of different aspects to it

103:31 – 103:37 and it doesn’t hurt to return to it over

103:34 – 103:40 and over again so our in Thea jhin’s

103:37 – 103:43 giving us a glimpse of the divine or are

103:40 – 103:45 they clouding our vision of it let me

103:43 – 103:48 know your thoughts skeptical forum is

103:45 – 103:50 one way to do it send me an email of

103:48 – 103:52 course is another way and all that good

103:50 – 103:55 stuff you can find at The Skeptical

103:52 – 103:57 website eske EPT

103:55 – 103:60 I Kato calm all the shows they’re

103:57 – 104:02 available free for download I hope you

103:60 – 104:04 enjoyed this show if you did let me know

104:02 – 104:07 if you think there’s someone who needs

104:04 – 104:08 to hear it please pass it along to them

104:07 – 104:10 I have a couple of really good ones

104:08 – 104:13 coming up in the near future so do stick

104:10 – 104:16 around for all of that until next time

104:13 – 104:26 take care and bye for now

104:16 – 104:26 [Music]

104:31 – 104:36 so thanks for watching this video if it

104:34 – 104:39 wasn’t really a video but just an audio

104:36 – 104:40 stored as a video I apologize but

104:39 – 104:42 there’s more videos out there as well

104:40 – 104:44 but please check out the skeptic Oh

104:42 – 104:45 website you can see it here we cover a

104:44 – 104:48 lot of different stuff you might be

104:45 – 104:52 interested in relating to controversial

104:48 – 104:54 science and spirituality a lot of shows

104:52 – 104:57 up there over 350 of them are so all

104:54 – 104:59 free all available for download so do

104:57 – 105:09 check it out

104:59 – 105:09 [Music]

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