May 13, 2017

"I was floating in this immense black space. I said, ‘What am I doing here?’ And suddenly a voice came through my body..."

"... and it said, 'Your job on this planet is to make psychedelics and turn on the world.'... If we could turn on everyone in the world, then maybe we’d have a new world of peace and love."

Said Nicholas Sand, described in his NYT obituary as "a Brooklyn-born son of a spy for the Soviet Union," who manufactured "vast quantities of the purest LSD on the market" — Orange Sunshine. He was 75.

Not everyone took LSD, but I think everyone back then — every American — heard that fantasy: Dose everyone with LSD and world peace would follow. Maybe not, of course, but it was far out to think so.

44 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Hmm? After 50 years, we are still idealizing the wonderful dosing of the world with our newest religious Pharma substance that changes all minds; but we wonder why Drugs are killing so many people every second and want to train people on emergency use of counter Pharma-drug drugs.

Lance said...

"Mr. Sand made sure that Orange Sunshine was available to American soldiers fighting in Vietnam, whose minds he hoped to bend in the direction of nonviolence and brotherly love."

What about the NVA? Did Mr. Sand want to bend their minds too? Did he ever make his product available to them?

JohnAnnArbor said...

I'm guessing he was probably a Soviet agent, too, like dear old Dad. At minimum, a fellow traveler.

campy said...

Dose everyone with LSD and world peace would follow.

Of course that's true. World peace would follow immediately after everyone starved to death.

Hagar said...
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Dust Bunny Queen said...

Dose everyone with LSD and world peace would follow. Maybe not, of course, but it was far out to think so.

Speaking as someone who indulged in LSD during that time, and who was around other people who were also 'dropping' acid in group parties.....I can tell you that world peace would definitely not follow.

People reacted (in my experience...yes Jimi..I am experienced) according to their own personalities and in reaction to the environment in which they were experiencing. Nice people, fearful people, angry people. Calm peaceful environments. Natural settings. Artificial urban settings. Loud blaring threatening environments. All generated different trips depending on who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are.

There is/was no way to control the experience. You dropped the acid and went with the flow. You hoped for the best. A good trip. However if you or someone else around you was having a bad time...it was uncontrollable. Worse....a bad trip, with a freaking out friend, was contagious to everyone else.

I was lucky. Mine were all enlightening and pretty nice...with the exception of those nasty bugs in a cave on the beach at SF crawling up the walls and creeping me the eff out. That's another story. (I went back later to that cave and found out that they were just common sea lice breeding in a small cave exposed by low tide. Whew! Not a portal to the underworld after all!!!)

LSD is interesting but not a panacea for World Peace or even whirled peas.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Timothy Leary used to go around claiming that JFK was murdered by the CIA/MIC/FBI national security state because one of his mistresses - Mary Pinchot Meyer - gave him LSD and as a result of it he was going to make peace with the Soviets. And with that peace the power and status of these groups would disappear; so they had to kill him for their own interests.

He didn't mention that he was on a trip himself when he discovered this.

mezzrow said...

Groovy...

Those wacky Soviets.

mockturtle said...

We used to call those with auditory hallucinations 'schizophrenic'.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Dose everyone with LSD and world peace would follow. "

Sounds like what our principal enemy at the time - the Soviet Union - would want. Having your main adversary transform into a bunch of drugged out zombies probably would make your global strategic conquests a bit easier.

Glad the hippies weren't in charge at the time.

chuck said...

A concise American history:

1920's: “Isn't it pretty to think so?”
1960's: "Isn't it far out to think so?"

Paddy O said...

All these LSD posts remind me of the show Brain Games. The brain is our way of processing the world and has a way of tricking and steering us. We can try to trick the brain back, by introducing chemicals, but it plays along and adapts to make what we're doing to it seem the best thing ever.

The way of bringing peace and love to the world is being people who bring peace and love to our immediate contexts. Imagine if everyone did that. Their's would be the kingdom of heaven. Don't need chemicals for that. Just be that kind of person beginning right now.

Paddy O said...

It also makes me think of Reavers from Firefly, whose origin is in the movie Serenity:

The Reavers' true origin is revealed later in the movie Serenity. The crew of Serenity find evidence, in the form of an Alliance scientist's holographic message, that Reavers were originally humans from the planet Miranda. The Alliance government used Miranda as a testing ground for the chemical agent G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate, or simply "Pax" (Latin for "peace"). It was added to the planet's air processors in order to calm the population and weed out aggression.

The agent worked, but too well: 99.9% of the population became so lethargic that they stopped working, talking and, eventually, eating and moving. They simply lay down where they were and allowed themselves to die. The remaining 0.1% of the planet's 30 million people (approximately 30,000 total) had the opposite reaction to the Pax, becoming mindlessly violent and extremely aggressive.


Take me out to the black. Tell them I ain't coming back...

Original Mike said...

"There is/was no way to control the experience. You dropped the acid and went with the flow. You hoped for the best. A good trip. However if you or someone else around you was having a bad time...it was uncontrollable. Worse....a bad trip, with a freaking out friend, was contagious to everyone else."

I was of the opinion that acid was best taken alone.

Darrell said...

I was of the opinion that acid was best taken alone.

Best was having a couple of people who didn't drop acid around to watch you so that you didn't kill yourself doing something stupid--like walking into traffic because you saw the cars and trucks passing through people crossing the street and it looked cool.

Sam L. said...

How would we have gotten Mao and Pol Pot and Kim and Brezhnev to take it?

Caroline Walker said...

I'm reading this on the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions to 3 shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, in which the Mother of God announced that peace in the world will only come if we turn back to God, pray fervently, and make sacrifices for sinners. So there's that.

Original Mike said...

"Best was having a couple of people who didn't drop acid around to watch you so that you didn't kill yourself doing something stupid--like walking into traffic because you saw the cars and trucks passing through people crossing the street and it looked cool."

Be in an environment where there was nothing around that could kill you: In the country at night with the Milky Way overhead.

robother said...

I recall someone speculating that prior to invention of modern medicine in the 20th Century, it was rare for anyone to reach adulthood without high fevers and the accompanying hallucinatory effects.

You realize how much of the stability of our everyday sense perception of the world and life is a function of brain chemicals damping or editing direct neuron experience. Good for building and getting along in mass society, but at the expense of individual spirituality. LSD at least helped one see the trade-off.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I was of the opinion that acid was best taken alone.

Darrel is spot on. Although, most people seemed to go off into their own world/bubble/experience, even in a group you can be "alone". Being really totally alone was not a great idea. You could come to accidental harm or worse self harm.

It was always good to have a couple of people who were acting as shepherds. Who could laugh at you and tell you all the dumb stuff you did :-D

DanTheMan said...

>>Dose everyone with LSD and world peace would follow.

How could anyone with an IQ above plant life believe something this stupid?

Do you want to get on an airplane flown by a tripping pilot, and maintained by LSD-using mechanics? Who would keep the water and sewer systems going, fix the plumbing, build houses, drive the trucks, or operate on the sick?

I think this is more coastal elite snobbism. *They* would be tripping out, and the proles would make sure the toilets still worked.



Original Mike said...

Interacting with people was a drag. Just ensconce yourself in a safe place.

mockturtle said...

Caroline Walker reports: Mother of God announced that peace in the world will only come if we turn back to God, pray fervently, and make sacrifices for sinners.

And that would depend on whether or not we call God Allah.

Jupiter said...

DanTheMan said...

"Do you want to get on an airplane flown by a tripping pilot, and maintained by LSD-using mechanics? Who would keep the water and sewer systems going, fix the plumbing, build houses, drive the trucks, or operate on the sick?"

The idea was not that everyone would take LSD all day every day (although I knew some people who came close). The idea was that even a single dose of LSD would lead to Enlightenment, and when everyone was enlightened, Whirled Peas would naturally ensue.

Jupiter said...

Paddy O said...

"The way of bringing peace and love to the world is being people who bring peace and love to our immediate contexts. Imagine if everyone did that. Their's would be the kingdom of heaven. Don't need chemicals for that. Just be that kind of person beginning right now."

See how easy it is to believe that kind of idiotic bullshit? You don't need to be a drug-addled hippie. It's a matter of extrapolating isolated situations to general cases.

Bay Area Guy said...

I can tolerate folks dropping a bit of acid as youngsters. The real world can be a harsh place. Folks sometimes need an escape hatch from the grind and the drudgery - whether it's Archie Bunker hitting a bar in Queens after work or Timothy Leary dropping acid with his college groupies.

I just can't stand that fucking "world peace" bullshit. Too many brave men died on the beaches of Normandy to fight Nazis. Too many innocent men, women and children died at the hands of Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, and all their enablers.

So to the hippies in the 60s, I would say, sure, take a few tokes, drop a little acid, get laid, but just shut the fuck up about any larger political meaning.

mockturtle said...
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mockturtle said...

By Jupiter: See how easy it is to believe that kind of idiotic bullshit? You don't need to be a drug-addled hippie. It's a matter of extrapolating isolated situations to general cases.


The Left believes everyone should share its worldview even if it takes chemical inducement. See Brave New World.

cassandra lite said...

I knew a guy in Berkeley who was intent on dosing "fascist" Nixon, and spent considerable time ruminating out loud, in public, how to do it effectively. That he graduated without arrest and went to law school suggests that Nixon's secret police weren't quite omnipresent.

Michael said...

"Bear: The life and times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III". The bio of the greatest LSD chemist of all times. Likely he produced the very acid taken by our own DBQ in the day.

mockturtle said...

Bay Area Guy suggests: So to the hippies in the 60s, I would say, sure, take a few tokes, drop a little acid, get laid, but just shut the fuck up about any larger political meaning.

Yes. I've BTDT, myself. We of the 60's 'revolution' believed our every thought, word and deed was profound and world-changing. Because we were basically a bunch of spoiled, self-absorbed twits.

Fernandinande said...

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they'd never expect it." -- Handey

Michael said...
Owsley Stanley


The NYT (so believe about half of it) article on him was funny - he moved to Australia to avoid a North American ice age, ate nothing but meat and blamed a heart attack on broccoli his mom made him eat.

Paddy O said...

"See how easy it is to believe that kind of idiotic bullshit?"

I'm confused by your comment. I'm not extrapolating. I'm de-generalizing. Begin with the particular, a fractal approach rather than a top down expectation. Hyper-particular beginning with how we respond to our immediate neighbors.

No matter, Love you, Jupiter! Shabbat Shalom!

Paddy O said...

Meanwhile, in real life... "Candles and Prayer"

traditionalguy said...

World Peace? Heck, I would settle for World Truce, which is all we have now, to continue. It is called Pax American. It was recently crippled by Obama orders, but Trump has ordered it restarted.

n.n said...

It would work, but it has to be uniformly and comprehensively distributed and consumed. Everyone needs to be singing Puff the Hallucinating Dragon in tandem. Wait... marijuana could be that unicorn.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

Many people have reached the twilight fringe riding a stork and blowing smoke.

Matt said...

Paddy O, "Firefly" was the first thought I had too. :)

Poor Joss Whedon... he accidentally made an awesome libertarian show.

vicari valdez said...

orange sunshine was the lsd that was later distributed by the notorious brotherhood of eternal love. their story is also very fascinating.

Etienne said...
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Valentine Smith said...

Purple owsley orange sunshine panama red blue heavens blackbirds reds oooooh look at the all the colors great marketing. Goof balls gorilla biscuits uppers downers mindbreakers the descriptive reality for many many people.

Acid not meant for those with a latent psychosis. But hey who knew? Not a buddy of mine who languished in psych hospitals for 30 years until done.

Douglas said...

Orange sunshine - haven't heard those words in a long time. Think I saw some back in 1969 but maybe they were fakes, who knows?

Etienne said...

The bad thing about peace and love, is that paranoid schizophrenics don't understand the concept, and are apt to fill your orifices, or create new ones.