Greetings and welcome back for the fourth episode of Gnosis.
Today’s honored guest is Robert Forte.
Robert Forte is a scholar and researcher of psychedelic drugs. He first studied with Frank Barron, who started the infamous Psilocybin Project with Timothy Leary at Harvard in 1963. He moved to Esalen in 1981 to study with Stanislav Grof, and then attended the Chicago Divinity School,
During this time Forte conducted an independent investigation of MDMA. Learning to synthesize the drug from Alexander Shulgin himself , he distributed this therapeutic throughout the country and turned on many household names to this psychological medicine. He obtained his master’s degree under Mircea Eliade and has collaborated with many of the leaders in the field of psychedelics, including Albert Hofman, Timothy Leary, R. Gordon Wasson, Ralph Metzner, Terence McKenna, Claudio Naranjo, and many others. Robert is the former director of the Albert Hofmann Foundation, and currently is adjunct faculty at California Institute for Integral Studies.
I am quoting Robert’s bio here from his website alteredstatesofamerica.net as I think it clarifies best his intentions for truth and reconciliation as it relates to the wonderful potential of these substances to heal and inspire as well as the undeniable and terrifying history of the MKULTRA program which first launched them into public consciousness in the early 1950s and culminated in the psychedelic 60’s, an era which forever altered American culture.
And I quote: “For most of my career I have been interested in the esoteric and the healing potentials of these plants and drugs. Lately I’ve been more curious about the sociological and political aspects of the different psychedelic movements of our time. My research has brought me to realize another layer to the modern psychedelic scene, revealing a story that is somewhat at odds with the prevailing mainstream narrative that is now broadcast enthusiastically in contemporary media around the world.
The history of religion contains the entire spectrum of human experience, including the most beneficent concepts and experience of enlightenment, God, universal intelligence, and so on. It also includes the most malefic realms of humanity: occult mind control, subjugation of populations, exploitation of our good nature, rationales for genocide, war, human sacrifice, and other perversions. The history of psychedelics is no different.”
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