/ Lisa Rein / 8 am Tue, Nov 24 2015
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  • Never before published photos from Psychedelic Conference II in Santa Barbara, 1983

    Albert Hofmann in the Cafe.

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

    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.

    Albert Hofmann in the Cafe.

    Rick Doblin, center,  Deborah Harlow to his left.

    Rick Doblin, center, Deborah Harlow to his left.

    Ann and Sasha Shulgin surrounded by speakers and attendees.

    Ann and Sasha Shulgin surrounded by speakers and attendees.

    Andy Weil, Michael Horowitz, Sasha Shulgin

    Andy Weil, Michael Horowitz, Sasha Shulgin

    Living room scene From L:  Andy Weil, Terence McKenna, Kat Harrison McKenna, Walter Houston Clark, Shari Lewis (Jeremy Tarcher's wife), 2 unidentified, Jonathan Ott, Ann Shulgin, Sasha Shulgin

    Living room scene From L: Andy Weil, Terence McKenna, Kat Harrison McKenna, Walter Houston Clark, Shari Lewis (Jeremy Tarcher's wife), 2 unidentified, Jonathan Ott, Ann Shulgin, Sasha Shulgin

    Michael Horowitz (left), Sasha Shulgin (middle), Andy Weil (right).

    Michael Horowitz (left), Sasha Shulgin (middle), Andy Weil (right).

    Andy Weil

    Andy Weil

    Ralph Metzner, Stephanie Bernstein

    Ralph Metzner, Stephanie Bernstein

    Carl Ruck, Albert Hofmann, Joan Halifax

    Carl Ruck, Albert Hofmann, Joan Halifax

    Jeremy Tarcher, Cynthia Palmer

    Jeremy Tarcher, Cynthia Palmer

    From left to right: Andy Weil, Michael Horowitz, Sasha Shulgin

    From left to right: Andy Weil, Michael Horowitz, Sasha Shulgin

    Terence McKenna, Jeremy Tarcher (background), Walter Houston Clark (foreground)

    Terence McKenna, Jeremy Tarcher (background), Walter Houston Clark (foreground)

    Luminaries on the lawn: Terence McKenna, Kat Harrison (McKenna), Albert Hofmann

    Luminaries on the lawn: Terence McKenna, Kat Harrison (McKenna), Albert Hofmann

    Albert Hofmann inscribing books, with John Palmer

    Albert Hofmann inscribing books, with John Palmer

    Patio scene with Carl Ruck and Joan Halifax in foreground. Albert Hofmann in the background.

    Patio scene with Carl Ruck and Joan Halifax in foreground. Albert Hofmann in the background.

    Walter Houston Clark (left) Sasha Shulgin (right)

    Walter Houston Clark (left) Sasha Shulgin (right)

    Albert Hofmann with attendees

    Albert Hofmann with attendees

    Living room scene. From Left:  Cynthia Palmer, Albert Hofmann, Joan Halifax

    Living room scene. From Left: Cynthia Palmer, Albert Hofmann, Joan Halifax

    Humphry Osmond (left)

    Humphry Osmond (left)

    Admission Ticket for Santa Barbara Psychedelic Conference II

    Admission Ticket for Santa Barbara Psychedelic Conference II

    Lisa Rein is a film maker currently working on From DeadDrop to SecureDrop about the anonymous upload submission platform originally developed by Aaron Swartz and Kevin Poulsen. She is a co-founder of Aaron Swartz Day, a co-founder of Creative Commons, a lecturer at San Francisco State University's BECA Department, and the Digital Librarian for the Dr. Timothy Leary Futique Trust.

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