The Secret Chief - Appendix II: Resources
Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Epilogue | Appendix I | Appendix II | Acknowledgements
The books, websites and publications on the following pages are recommended for more information about psychedelic therapy and related topics. This list serves as an introduction and is by no means all-inclusive.
Evaluating the Scientific Literature
Like the Secret Chief, many therapists in the United States have surreptitiously employed psychedelic substances in spite of their illegality. Once they discovered the efficacy of such substances, they could not in good conscience withhold such effective means of treatment from their clients despite the risk of incarceration. One of the unfortunate consequences of this situation is that experiences and results cannot be publicly shared, which deprives current practitioners of a great deal of valuable information.
Nevertheless, there are many publications which present promising work with psychedelics, including dramatic help for tough cases that had been impervious to conventional forms of treatment. For example, Torsten Passie  has compiled an International Bibliography on Psycholytic and Psychedelic Research covering the years 1931 to 1995. This work includes 687 specific references to articles and books that cover the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Other compilations are cited at the end of this section.
A major problem is to know how to evaluate the various references. Much of the current public misunderstanding is the result of the position of mainstream professionals and government agencies who have concentrated on emphasizing only the negative aspects of psychedelic use, screening out any data that would imply usefulness. Dr. Roger Walsh  comments on the selective bias of public information:
There have probably been few areas in psychology that have been subject to as much misinformation and sensationalistic reporting by the media as psychedelic experiences. While preliminary clinical research suggested that they might have considerable research and clinical potential, the popular press preoccupied itself almost entirely with sensationalistic accounts of dangers. This media treatment soon resulted in the cessation of almost all research and a bias at many levels of society toward the dissemination of only negative reports...
...What seemed to be widely unrecognized was that large numbers of people appeared to have derived, at least from their own point of view, significant benefits from psychedelics, a situation markedly at variance with media accounts of their devastating effects.
In this same paper, Walsh describes submitting a paper to a reputable professional journal that included evidence suggesting that in some cases, people might find psychedelics beneficial. Surprisingly, the editor responded that the paper could be accepted only if any reference to positive effects of psychedelics was removed. Since this was a fairly open-minded editor, Walsh wonders at the chance of publication of positive statements in other places.
To clarify the various positions held, it may be helpful to refer to recent writing which sheds light on the conflicting perceptions of those who claim to be experts. The problem is that mainstream science holds a very limited view of the nature of the human being. Clarification of this situation is now being presented in the relatively new field of Transpersonal Psychology, which recognizes those aspects of human experience in which the sense of identity of self extends beyond the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind - life, psyche, and cosmos - validating the spiritual foundation of life. An overview of many of the aspects of transpersonal psychology is presented in the book Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision,  a compilation of articles by over thirty contributors knowledgeable in this field.
An extraordinarily comprehensive overview of all aspects of human development is presented by Ken Wilber in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution  and in more readable form in A Brief History of Everything.  To again quote Walsh, a leading authority in the field of Transpersonal Psychology: 
The scope of the work is extraordinary. Only a handful of thinkers, such as Aurobindo in the East and Hegel in the West, have assembled such evolutionary visions. Yet Wilber's view is unique in not only providing a far reaching vision but also grounding that vision in contemporary research in fields such as cosmology, biology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and ecology.
The crux of the most serious disagreements among psychedelic investigators is the value placed on objective experience versus subjective experience. Mainstream science, through the dictum "if it can't be measured, it's not science," by and large ignores subjective or interior experience in favor of the objective outside world. This leaves them living in, according to Wilber,  a "monological" world, or "flatland." In such a world, much of that which is of great value to humans is nonexistent, such as the very essence of consciousness and the nature of the human mind. It is precisely these latter elements that are so effectively revealed through appropriate use of psychedelics. It is worth reading A Brief History of Everything to observe how all aspects of humanity and life can be put into perspective, a perspective developed by a brilliant mind that has carefully examined the data from many areas of scientific research, as well as the world's spiritual disciplines.
With a chemical such as LSD, which opens up access to vast dimensions of the human mind, it should be clear that those who have not taken the chemical or who have not reached transpersonal levels of experience are in a poor position to evaluate the potential of psychedelics and their numerous applications. Consequently, while a great number of investigations were conducted over the years, the outcomes vary considerably depending on the experience and qualities of the investigator. Some investigators conducted research to specifically debunk claims made for the use of LSD. Since set and setting have been found to be eminently definitive factors in the outcome of psychedelic experiences, the experiences of subjects are highly colored by the attitude and belief system of the investigator, particularly with naive subjects. It is therefore important in evaluating published papers to be aware of the qualifications and position of the investigator. The difference in outcome with unskilled supervision can be like using a large amphibious airplane to get from place to place by taxiing around in the water without realizing that it can take off and fly.
The diversity of viewpoints revealed by examining the literature can be appreciated by pondering the label attached to psychedelics by some members of the medical profession, "psychotomimetic" (psychosis mimicking). Another term widely adopted by the medical profession is the term "hallucinogens," which is often used in a deprecatory manner. Those who originated the term psychotomimetic most likely were unable to distinguish between the disorienting and illuminating aspects of the psychedelic experience, or had no personal experience with LSD, or else had uncomfortable personal experiences. It is now well recognized by seasoned psychedelic practitioners that a major requirement for a rewarding experience is honesty, whereby one willingly and fruitfully confronts and resolves any uncomfortable feelings being experienced. Through such confrontation, much valuable learning takes place. The extensive work of Jacob and others in the field indicates that one of the major causes of discomfort while taking psychedelics is the subject's attempt to maintain an image of him/herself that is not in harmony with one's authentic self. The greater the investment in the created image - and consequently, the greater the reluctance to change - the greater the discomfort. The disparity can be so great and so painful that the subject employs psychotic episodes to escape the discomfort. This is part of the reason that some members of the medical profession have chosen the term "psychotomimetic" to describe the action of drugs like LSD.
I have concluded that a more accurate term is "psychosis releasing," as the action of a psychedelic often focuses on those areas in the unconscious that most demand resolution. The willingness to surrender to the experience and allow such resolution to proceed often results in the most valuable kind of learning about one's repressed feelings, hidden values, compulsions and aspirations, and inappropriate behavior. In addition, as repressed psychic material is discharged, the inner core of our transpersonal nature can manifest. This can lead to profound and ecstatic realization of the true nature of ourself and the cosmos.
It is interesting that it is the group that prefers the psychotomimetic label for psychedelics whose professional opinion has been accepted by many media and government officials. This outcome may perhaps be accounted for because many mainstream scientists are very unsettled by the fact that among the most outstanding experiences of psychedelics is the discovery of the presence of Divinity and the sacredness of life. In the current Western world, our scientists are the most respected source of truth, even though polls show that over 90% of the American population believes in God.
For some reason, which I am sure has complex roots, many mainstream psychiatrists and government officials prefer to discount the opinions of those who are truly qualified. Their position may have been greatly influenced by the proselytizing of the Tim Leary's of the world, and the unacceptable antics of many young people abusing psychedelic substances. There may also be an aversion to persons truly enjoying themselves, which seems to be frowned upon by many puritanical Americans. But this does not excuse them from objectively examining and appraising all the data, nor from recognizing the appropriate credentials of those qualified to evaluate the use of psychedelics. A well balanced summary of psychedelic therapy research is contained in Grinspoon and Bakalar's book Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered  in the chapter on Therapeutic Uses. Their conclusions at the end of the chapter, including their suggestions for further study, are well worth noting.
1. Passie, Torsten. 1997. Psycholytic and Psychedelic Therapy Research 1931-1995: A Complete International Bibliography. Hannover: Laurentius Publishers.
2. Walsh, Roger. 1982. "Psychedelics and Psychological Well-being." Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 2232.
3. Walsh, Roger, and Vaughan, Frances, eds. 1993. Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee Books.
4. Wilber, Ken. 1995. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution. Boston: Shambhala.
5. Wilber, Ken. 1996. A Brief History of Everything. Boston: Shambhala.
6. Walsh, Roger. 1996. "Developmental and Evolutionary Synthesis in the Recent Writings of Ken Wilber." Revision. Vol. 18, No. 4, p. 9.
7. Grinspoon, Lester, and Bakalar, James B. 1979. Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered. New York: Basic Books, Inc.
Pursuit of Ecstasy: The MDMA Experience. Jerome Beck, Ph.D. and Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D. SUNY Press; 1994. Expanding on a study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the authors present a thorough and trustworthy review of the emergence and spread of MDMA use, the path toward illegalization, the diverse social worlds and scenes evolved around the use of MDMA and how they result in different experiences, why people use MDMA and what if anything makes them stop, long term benefits and therapeutic potential, adverse reactions and abuse, and recommendations for harm reduction and continuing research of the therapeutic potential.
Exploring Inner Space: Personal Experiences Under LSD-25. Jane Dunlap. Victor Gollancz Ltd.; 1961. Written by a well known scientific authority whose books were so popular the publisher refused to let her use her correct name. Jane Dunlop describes in detail five outstanding experiences under the influence of LSD. There probably does not exist more beautifully written and profound descriptions of remarkable LSD experiences.
Ecstasy: The MDMA Story. Bruce Eisner. Ronin Publishing; 1994 (2nd edition). A widely read summary of the history, usage and effects of MDMA.
Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered. Lester Grinspoon and James B. Bakalar. The Lindesmith Center; 1997 (3rd edition). Two of the world's leading experts on drug use provide the general reader with a comprehensive survey of psychedelic drugs and the scientific and intellectual issues they raise. The authors review the chemistry of psychedelics, their effects, and the history of human experience with them as well as assessing the potential value of the drugs. Excellent bibliography.
Entheogens and the Future of Religion. Robert Forte, ed. Council on Spiritual Practices; 1997. Entheogens is the currently designated name for psychedelics used for spiritual realization, and according to Jonathan Ott, is derived from an obsolete Greek word meaning "realizing the divine within." Dr. Huston Smith says, "collectively, these essays constitute the best single inquiry into the religious significance of chemically occasioned mystical experiences that has yet appeared."
Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. Stanislav Grof, M.D. E.P. Dutton; 1976. A systematic and comprehensive discussion of the transpersonal model of the human unconscious. A uniquely valuable contribution to the field of psychology.
The Human Encounter with Death. Stanislav Grof, M.D., Joan Halifax, Ph.D. E.P. Dutton; 1977. A remarkable portrait of the experiment in which patients dying of cancer at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore, Maryland were treated with psychedelic therapy.
LSD Psychotherapy: Exploring the Frontiers of the Hidden Mind. Stanislav Grof, M.D. Hunter House; 1980. Considered the most complete book on psychedelic therapy, this is a treasure house of all aspects of the work: history, procedures, client preparation, qualifications of the therapist, and more.
LSD, My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism, and Science. Albert Hofmann. J.P. Tarcher, Inc.; 1983. This book traces how LSD originated, the discovery of its psychic effects, its applications to therapy, and the crushing developments that ensued from the widespread use of LSD as an inebrient. The book describes a number of valuable individual experiences, as well as visits with key figures like Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, and others.
Insight Outlook. Albert Hofmann. Humanics New Age; 1989. A personal review of Dr. Hofmann's world view. He describes the early childhood mystical experiences that established his basic understanding. It was his desire to more completely understand the mystery of matter and the miracle of the plant world that led him to chemistry. He chose to work at Sandoz because their chemical explorations involved plant materials, thus leading him more directly to the understanding of nature. The book sets forth the major tenets of his philosophy, which was reinforced by the openings provided by appropriate use of LSD.
Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell. Aldous Huxley. Harper Collins; 1954 / 1956. A demonstration of what a refined, prepared mind can do with the opportunity afforded by a psychedelic in observing nature, art, colors, and forms in their full glory, with a profound appreciation of the transpersonal and numinous aspects of life. These books more than any other in their time period encouraged many to investigate the psychedelic experience.
This Timeless Moment. Laura Huxley. Mercury House; 1991. A personal account of Aldous Huxley's last years by Laura, his wife, including details of the outcome of his request to be administered LSD while dying. Profoundly inspirational.
Shivitti: A Vision. Ka-Tzetnik 135633. Harper & Row; 1989. An autobiographical account of a concentration camp survivor's experiences with LSD psychotherapy, conducted in Holland by Professor Bastiaans. Very moving and illustrative of the processes of LSD psychotherapy.
The Psychedelic Reader: Classic Selections from the Psychedelic Review. Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner & Gunther M. Weil. (Eds.) Citadel Press; 1993. Selections about the therapeutic, religious and legal aspects of psychedelic drugs from the first four issues of the Psychedelic Review (1963-1964), the journal edited by the Harvard psychedelic research team.
The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience. R.E.L. Masters and Jean Houston, Ph.D. Delta; 1966. A research-based comprehensive review of the effects of LSD on human personality, along with a section on the role and training of the guide.
The Healing Journey: New Approaches to Consciousness. Claudio Naranjo. Pantheon Books. Random House; 1973. Incisive case reports about the therapeutic use of MMDA, MDA, ibogaine and harmaline. A classic in the field of psychedelic psychotherapy.
Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic drugs, their plant sources and history. Jonathan Ott. Natural Products; 1996. (2nd edition, densified). The introductory section PROEMIUM is a must read for those wishing to understand the current political, social, and scientific dilemmas of psychedelic drugs.
50 Years of LSD: State of the Art and Perspectives on Hallucinogens. A. Pletsher (Ed.). Parthenon Publishing; 1994. A series of papers on the historical, pharmacological, psychopathological, transcultural and clinical aspects of LSD, presented at a conference sponsored by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of LSD.
Gateway to Inner Space: Sacred Plants, Mysticism and Psychotherapy. Christian Rätsch (Ed.). Prism/Avery Publishing; 1989. A collection of essays by many leading researchers in the field of altered states of consciousness. Issues addressed include the medical use of psychedelics, "molecular mysticism," death and rebirth themes in shamanism, comparisons between meditative and psychedelic experiences, and states of tryptamine consciousness.
The Ibogaine Story: Report on the Staten Island Project. Paul de Rienzo, Dana Beal & Members of the Project. Autonomedia; 1997. An account of the discovery and development of ibogaine as treatment for drug addiction, with a special focus on the political aspects of ibogaine research.
PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story. Alexander Shulgin and Ann Shulgin. Transform Press; 1991. Comprehensive, definitive guide to the phenethylamine psychedelics, such as mescaline and MDMA, and a great love story. Two parts: first the human story of the search for active mind compounds within a marriage of two active minds. Next, detailed catalog of the chemistry, characteristics of action and synthesis of 179 compounds and results of human assay at varying dosages.
Psychedelics Encyclopedia. Peter Stafford. Ronin Publishing; 1992 (3rd edition). Highly readable book on history, background, preparation, chemistry, methods of use, results, and social implications of the known psychedelic drugs.
Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream. Jay Stevens. Harper Collins; 1987. A thorough, well written, intensively researched history of the advent of psychedelics on the American scene. With each new aspect introduced, the author traces back to the roots of that development, and shows how it progresses to intertwine with the overall picture.
Thanatos to Eros: Thirty-five Years of Psychedelic Exploration. Myron J. Stolaroff. VWB- Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung; 1994 (see end of page for description).
The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries. R. Gordon Wasson, Carl A. Ruck, Albert Hofmann. Harvest/HBJ; 1978. Three scholar- scientists document their theory of the LSD-like component of the religious rites at Eleusis, celebrated for 2,000 years.
Drugs, Set and Setting: The Basis for Controlled Intoxicant Use. Norman Zinberg. Yale University Press; 1984. A pioneer- ing book that illuminated the factors that permit some people to use illegal drugs, including psychedelics, in a controlled fashion.
(Partial list, see each website for additional links.)
The Journal of Cognitive Liberties, P.O. Box 73481, Dept. SC, Davis, CA 95617- 3481, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Important legal advice regarding the use and posession of entheogens by attorney Richard Glen Boire. $25.00 for four issues. See alchemind.org
The Entheogen Review, P.O. Box 19820, Dept. SC, Sacramento, CA 95819. A clearinghouse for current data about the use of psychotropic plants, edited by David Aardvark. $25.00/four issues.
FS Book Company, P.O. Box 417457, Dept. SC, Sacramento, CA 95841. (800) 635-8883. A large selection of books related to Cannabis, mushrooms, and psychedelics. Website: www.fsbookco.com. Catalog is $2.00.
Mind Books, Dept. SC, 321 S. Main St., Suite 543, Sebastopol, CA 95472. (800) 829-8127 or (707) 829-8127, fax: (707) 829-8100, e-mail: email@example.com, promind.com. Mind Books carries nearly every book mentioned above. Free catalog.
Psychedelic Resource List, Descriptions of over 240 organizations related to psychedelics. 120 pages. $19.95 plus $3.00 S/H (USA), $5.00 (foreign), CA residents add $1.55 sales tax to: Soma Graphics, P.O. Box 19820, Dept. SC, Sacramento, CA 95819.
Rosetta, P.O. Box 4611, Dept. SC, Berkeley, CA 94704-0611. Rosetta offers quality books, art, and obscure out-of-print research relating to ethnobotany and pharmacology. Catalog $2.00. They also publish the Psychedelic Sourcebook, a 72 page compendium of over 100 businesses related to psychedelics; $12.95 postpaid.
World Wide Web Psychedelic Bibliography:
Psycholytic and Psychedelic Research 1931-1995: A Complete International
Torsten Passie, M.D., M.A., with preface by Hanscarl Leuner, M.D.; Laurentius Publishers,
Hannover, 1997; ISBN 3-931614-84-0 (paperback); 102 pages. To order contact MAPS or
contact Laurentius Publishers, fax: 0049-511-532-3346; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org-
This bibliography includes a precise subject index organized by substances, settings, methods, treatment results and more. The preface by Professor Hanscarl Leuner (Göttingen University, Germany), the leading European authority on research with psychedelics, provides an expert view. The introduction gives an overview of psycholytic and psychedelic therapy. For information about access to the electronic version of this document, check the MAPS website.
Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments: A Bibliographic Guide; spiral-bound, 329
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.: $28.00 plus shipping & handling
($3.00 US/Canada, or $5.00 surface/foreign, or $15.00 air mail/foreign. Illinois residents
$1.96 tax), Psychedelia Books, P.O. Box 354, Dept. SC, DeKalb, IL 60115.
By the Same Author
Thanatos To Eros: Thirty-five Years of Psychedelic Exploration, 192 pages, color hard- back cover, ISBN 3-86135-453-5.
Myron Stolaroff was the founder and President of the International Foundation for Advanced Study in Menlo Park, California, an organization devoted to research with LSD and mescaline from 1961 to 1965. Six professional papers covering this work have been published in appropriate journals.
Early on, Stolaroff was convinced of the value of psychedelic substances, and devoted his career to studying them. This book includes a detailed account of his own personal experiences - coming to grips with an excruciatingly painful birth experience and its impact on his life, and learning to recognize and break free of powerful, oppressive feelings of failure and inadequacy. Facing and resolving repressed material opened the door to discovering the joy and vitality that life has to offer. It is a journey from the grip of Thanatos, the drive for death that effectively defeats enjoyment of life, to Eros, the drive for life that brings ultimate fulfillment.
An essential ingredient in the success of this struggle was the use of psychedelic substances. These sacraments, as he prefers to call them, allowed him to confront and resolve powerful shadow material. More important, they opened the gateway to that level of Divine love and grace that is the source of true healing and the freeing of our ultimate capacities.
Stolaroff's desire to discover effective means for self-realization led him to continue exploring newly discovered substances as long as they were legal. This book describes work done with family, friends, and research volunteers employing MDMA, 2C-B, 2C-T-2, 2C-T- 7, 2C-E, and others. Numerous experiences are described in detail. Since for many people psychedelic experiences tend to fade if not appropriately utilized, serious consideration is given here to the concentrated effort required to accomplish rewarding changes.
These experiments and the discussions presented shed intriguing light on the nature of psychedelic experiences, the nature of the human psyche, factors affecting rewarding experiences, and aspects of transcendental levels of consciousness. Substantial evidence is presented of the inordinate power of the human mind, unrecognized by mainstream science - a power currently widely misdirected to create human pain and suffering. Numerous trials demonstrate that when used with integrity, skill, and fortitude, psychedelic substances can reveal the unfathomed love supporting all of creation, a love that can dissolve the death grip of Thanatos to free Eros and joyously illumine life in all of its aspects.
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"Myron Stolaroff is one of the bravest, most sincere and forthright psychonauts of
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Thanatos to Eros may be ordered from:
Price: $22.95 per copy. Add $3.00 per copy for shipping and handling. For Air Mail to Europe: add an additional $6.00. California residents add $1.78 sales tax for each book. Please make check or money order payable to: Thaneros Press.
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Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Epilogue | Appendix I | Appendix II | Acknowledgements