Letter Written to President Gorbachev by Dr. Stanislav Grof Prior to a Trip to Russia (April 4, 1989)

On April 4, 1989, Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., sent a written letter to Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev with the intention to support peaceful reconciliation of international relationships by sharing research results collected during Grof’s time serving as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Grof’s letter to President Gorbachev serves as encouragement for our planned psychedelic reconciliation project between Israelis and Palestinians, some of whom are already taking ayahuasca together and also sometimes MDMA.

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President Gorbachev
Moscow, USSR.

Dear President Gorbachev:

I am aware of the enormous amount of correspondence you must be getting, as well as our generally busy schedule. However, I believe that the matter that I would like to bring to your attention is of sufficient importance to warrant this letter. Let me first introduce myself: I am a clinical psychiatrist who has been involved in the last thirty-two years in research of psychotherapy and non-ordinary states of consciousness. Some of this research was conducted at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore, MD, of which I was Chief of Psychiatric Research. I have published the results of this research in a series of books, such as Realms of the Human Unconscious, The Human Encounter with Death, Beyond the Brain, and The Adventure of Self-Discovery. I am also one of the founders and chief theoreticians of a new branch of psychology called “transpersonal.” In the past, there have been ten International Transpersonal Conferences in different parts of the world, four of which I have organized (Boston, Melbourne, Bombay, and Santa Rosa).

I have been deeply moved by your reforms and your efforts to end wars in the world. I believe you would be interested in the results of our research that have direct relevance for the peace movement. We have been able to identify certain elements in the human psyche that underly aggressive and indiscriminately acquisitive behavior, as well as simple and easily applicable techniques that can reduce these tendencies. My wife and I will be visiting Moscow in the last week of April as guests of the Soviet Ministry of Health, conducting lectures and seminars. We would feel very honored if we could share these findings with a person of your choice. He or she could then report to you what they heard if they find our data interesting. The International Transpersonal Association of which I am currently president dedicated in the past two of its meetings to promotion of understanding among nations and to world peace. We would very much like to hold the next meeting in the Soviet Union. We do not know yet which hotel we will be staying in in Moscow, but can be reached through the Institute of Psychoendocrinology.

San Francisco, April 4, 1989.

Sincerely yours,
Stanislav Grof, M.D.
President, International Transpersonal Association

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