The Psychedelic Pioneers on History Channel
by Greg Williams
The History Channel explores LSD and psychedelics in a January 20th documentary
Ten years before Timothy Leary advised everyone to eat LSD, three doctors had been working extensively with psychoactive drugs in, of all places, Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
Abram Hoffer, Duncan Blewett and Humphrey Osmond believed, and were testing the theory that schizophrenia was caused by the release of too many psychoactive chemicals naturally produced by the patient’s brain. They administered the same substances to themselves endeavoring to understand the schizophrenic’s world. As they looked further a field, they used mescaline, mushrooms and * once it was discovered * LSD.
On January 20, 2006, The History Channel will air “The Psychedelic Pioneers”, documenting the work of these early visionaries who first opened the doors of perception. They worke! d extensively with alcoholics and by administering LSD, achieved a success rate twice that of other treatment programs.
LSD changed the professional and personal lives of all who were involved in its beginnings, but it wasn’t until they began to test the drug to see what it could do for creativity that it burst out into the rest of society. Through men like Alan Ginsberg, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Aldous Huxley, tales of the experience spread like a contact high into a new generation ready to explode. All they lacked until then was the fuel.
“Pioneers” is well researched and presented in a non-judgmental, fast paced program. It is well worth watching how LSD was credited with ending the Vietnam War and changing the world forever, and how the U.S. administration was frightened by its power and rushed to make it illegal. But it wasn’t before the planet had tuned in and turned on, thanks to the efforts of three men in a s! mall Canadian prairie town.