Never before published photos from Psychedelic Conference II in Santa Barbara, 1983

Albert Hofmann in the Cafe.

Photos by Cynthia Palmer.

One of the few major psychedelics conferences during the dark age of the “Just Say No” Reagan regime was the Psychedelics and Spirituality Conference (aka Psychedelic Conference II), held on the campus of UC-Santa Barbara on May 13-14, 1983.

The speakers were a “who’s who” of drug discoverers and researchers: Albert Hofmann, Humphry Osmond, Ralph Metzner, Alexander Shulgin, Walter Houston Clark, Terence McKenna, Andrew Weil, Carl Ruck and Jonathan Ott.

Timothy Leary, Joan Halifax and Kathleen Harrison (McKenna) were in attendance but did not give formal talks.

Other notables visible in photos: Peter Stafford, Rick Doblin, Deborah Harlow, Robert Forte, John Palmer, Jeremy Tarcher and Shari Lewis.

It was at this conference that Sasha Shulgin announced his discovery of 2C-B and delivered one of his greatest talks, “Drugs of Perception.” It was also here that Terence McKenna (in his brother Dennis’ words) “marked his emergence as a public persona with his talk ‘Hallucinogens: Monkeys Discover Hyperspace, aka Return to the Logos.’”

Cynthia Palmer (Horowitz), whose ground-breaking anthology of women’s drug writings (Shaman Woman, Mainline Lady, reprinted as Sisters of the Extreme ) had been published the preceding year, attended the conference with her husband and co-editor, Michael Horowitz. Her candid photos of the speakers and conference-goers during a break from their presentations are published here for the first time. A complete set of the talks delivered at the conference is available on 6 audiocassettes from Soundphotosynthesis.

Albert Hofmann in the Cafe.

Rick Doblin, center, Deborah Harlow to his left. Read the rest

Tim & Rosemary Leary, John Lennon & Yoko Ono in conversation in 1969 - released for 1st time today

Michael Horowitz*, Timothy Leary's longtime archivist, has permitted the Timothy Leary Archives website to publish a transcription of a tape recorded conversation between Dr. Leary and his wife Rosemary, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono, made during John and Yoko's Bed-In for Peace in Montreal, May 1969. Tim had given it to Michael, in 1984, as a present for finishing Tim's bibliography.

The conversation took place during John and Yoko’s week-long Bed-In, on May 29th, 1969. This is just a few months before John would leave the Beatles and move with Yoko to the U.S. where they were closely monitored by the FBI and threatened with deportation, and ten months before Tim would be put in prison for possessing a minuscule amount of marijuana, and Rosemary would be putting on benefits to raise money for his appeal.

This transcript was intended to be added to a previously published piece, “Thank God for the Beatles” (The Beatles Book, 1968), an essay about the Beatles as "evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with mysterious power to create a new human species," to be published in an anthology of Tim's shorter writings, but the project was abandoned.

The transcript, as far as we can tell, has remained unpublished until now.

Transcription of a tape recorded conversation between Timothy Leary and his wife Rosemary, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono

*Michael Horowitz was Timothy Leary's archivist, editor and bibliographer. He co-founded the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library and co-edited Moksha: Aldous Huxley's Classic Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience and Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience (with Cynthia Palmer). Read the rest