examines the effects the outside world is having on the Amazonian shamans and explores how they and the ayahuasca rituals are adapting to these changes. The program examines how and why this ancient ritual is now spreading around the world, focusing on several western individuals and religious members who use ayahuasca. The video examines the legalities of using ayahuasca for the Amazon shaman, the curious westerner and people who want to get the use of ayahuasca legalised for their spiritual pursuits.
Sex, Drugs, and Democracy is Jonathan Blank’s award-winning, indie cult film, which grossed over $1 million in its art-house run. The Dutch idea of a free society includes a legalized sex industry, the open sale of marijuana and hashish, total equality for gays, distribution of clean syringes and methadone to addicts, and government financed abortion, euthanasia and sex education for schoolchildren. Has this unconventional approach changed Holland from a land of tulips, windmills and wooden shoes into a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah? Apparently not. In Holland rates of drug use, addiction and AIDS transmission are extremely low, and the Dutch have the lowest rates of abortion, teenage pregnancy and imprisonment in the world. Filmed over the course of many months spent in Holland by writer/director Jonathan Blank, the provocative documentary has revealing interviews with everyone from government officials, police, clergy and scientists to club owners, drug dealers and prostitutes and outrageous scenes from hash bars, brothels, nightclubs, prisons and rallies. The outstanding soundtrack features music from American and Dutch indie bands.
Timothy Leary was early advocate of LSD experimentation. Leary taught psychology at Harvard and by 1960 was doing experiments with LSD and other hallucinogens, first on prison inmates and then on himself and his friends. LSD was not illegal at the time. In 1960, Allen Ginsberg, supervised by Leary, ingested psilocybin mushrooms, (under the influence of the drug, he phoned Jack Kerouac, identifying himself as God to the telephone operator), and began to spread the word about the new powerful psychedelic drugs. In August 1960, Leary traveled to the Mexican city of Cuernavaca with Russo and tried psilocybin mushrooms for the first time, an experience that drastically altered the course of his life. In 1965, Leary commented that he “learned more about… (his) brain and its possibilities… (and) more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than… (he) had in the preceding fifteen years of studying doing research in psychology.” Upon his return to Harvard that fall, Leary and his associates, notably Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass), began a research program known as the Harvard Psilocybin Project. The goal was to analyze the effects of psilocybin on human subjects (in this case, prisoners and later students of the Andover Newton Theological Seminary) using a synthesized version of the then-legal drug – one of two active compounds found in a wide variety of hallucinogenic mushrooms including Psilocybe mexicana. The compound was produced according to a synthesis developed by research chemist Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals.
The Spirit Molecule weaves an account of Dr. Rick Strassman’s groundbreaking DMT research through a multifaceted approach to this intriguing hallucinogen found in the Human Brain and hundreds of plants. Utilizing interviews with a variety of experts to explain their thoughts and experiences with DMT within their respective fields, and discussions with Strassman’s research volunteers brings to life the awesome effects of this compound, and far-reaching theories regarding its role in human consciousness. Several themes explored include possible roles for endogenous DMT; its theoretical role in near-death and birth experiences, alien-abduction experiences; and the uncanny similarities in Biblical prophetic texts describing DMT-like experiences. Expert contributors offer a comprehensive collection of information, opinions, and speculation about indigenous use of DMT, the history and future of psychedelic research, and current DMT research. All this, to help us understand the nature of the DMT experience, and its role in human society and evolution. The subtle combination of science, spirituality, and philosophy within the film’s approach sheds light on an array of ideas that could considerably alter the way humans understand the universe and their relationship to it. I highly recommend buying Dr Strassman’s book. “DMT the Spirit Molecule” Wider descriptions of experiences and insights from all involved.