R.I.P. Albert Hofmann
News organizations have acknowledged that their coverage leading up to the Iraq War was “far too deferential and uncritical.” (LINK) At least they had an excuse – how do you investigate cooked “intelligence” cloaked in “national security”? When will news organizations acknowledge they have perpetuated the War on Drugs by echoing its falsehoods? Is it too much to ask that they investigate scientific literature?
A case in point is the AP article, “Albert Hofmann, Father of Drug LSD, Dies in Switzerland” written by Frank Jordans. The bias is exposed in the opening sentence:
Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired – and arguably corrupted – millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died.
LSD alters the mind temporarily. There is no evidence it affects the brain permanently. Is alcohol “mind-altering”? Is being sleep-deprived “mind-altering”? Who did LSD corrupt? Did it corrupt the youth into protesting the Vietnam War and segregation?
By plucking and placing quotes Jordans also gave the impression that Hofmann agreed that LSD had to be kept from responsible adults by law enforcement so that there are not “catastrophic consequences,” and that LSD should only be taken out of, “scientific interest.”
Of course, Jordans couldn’t restrain his moralizing and also had to wander into the land of urban myths and outright lies to justify its criminalization:
But away from the psychedelic trips, horror stories emerged about people going on murder sprees or jumping out of windows while hallucinating. Heavy users suffered permanent psychological damage.
The U.S. government banned LSD in 1966 and other countries followed suit.
Murder sprees? Is it 1955? Who’s feeding Jordans this crap, J. Edgar Hoover? Can the press still get away with this? Jordans knows that when these LSD horror tales have been investigated they turned out to be blarney which is why he used the untraceable and unverifiable language of “horror stories emerged.” Yes, a microscopically minute percentage of people have used LSD in idiotically irresponsible manners and hurt themselves. The same can be said for alcohol, cars, ladders, gas stoves, and trampolines.
There is no evidence LSD causes brain damage. (It can exacerbate the symptoms of those who already suffer from mental health disorders.)
Of course this article failed to mention how acid was intricately linked with the early developers of the modern computer like Steve Jobs. (Bill Gates did it too.) It doesn’t mention how the likes of Aristotle, Plato, & Cicero partook of a natural form of LSD in the rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries. And it doesn’t mention how responsible users often describe tripping as one of the most awesome experiences of their lives.
In the words of Albert Hofmann himself on the 50th anniversary of his discovery:
You, my dear friends, and millions all over the world who now commemorate the 50th birthday of [LSD], we all testify gratefully that we got valuable help on the way to what Aldous Huxley said is the end and the ultimate purpose of human life–enlightenment, beatific vision, love. I think all these joyful testimonies of invaluable help by LSD should be enough to convince the health authorities, finally, of the nonsense of the prohibition of LSD and of similar psychedelics.
For an LSD article that dares to stray from the “Just Say No” party line go to Wired, LINK.
- “Albert Hofmann Foundation,” Hoffman.org, ret. 1 May 2008. LINK
- AP, “Study: Bush Led U.S. to War on ‘False Pretenses,’ Hundreds of False Statements on WMDs, al-Qaida Used to Justify Iraq War,” MSNBC.com, 23 Jan. 2008, ret. 30 Apr. 2008. LINK
- Robert Arthur, You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos (2007). LINK
- Frank Jordans, “Albert Hofmann, Father of Drug LSD, Dies in Switzerland,” AP, 30 Apr. 2008, ret. news.yahoo.com, 1 May 2008. LINK