Newsletter 1

“There are a lot of people for whom psychedelics have been really beneficial. But I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. Some are just not ready but society would benefit from letting people who are ready for psychedelics have legal access to them.”

Kary Mullis, 1993 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry

This Newsletter informs you about the:

1. Main Program Guide and the updated Website

2. Motivation and Intention of the Gaia Media Foundation

3. Changes in the Program and additional Speakers

4. “Rising Researchers“

5. “Forum“ – The attractive Supporting Program

6. Final Approval for Swiss LSD End-of-Life Anxiety Study

Season’s Greetings

Yours

Gaia Media Foundation

1. Main Program Guide and the updated Website

The detailed main program guide just came from the printer, and all information is as well available on our website www.psychedelic.info. Should you have received the advance program flyer, you will automatically also send you a copy of the main program guide.

Otherwise you can order any number of the main program guide within Europe via our website or with till@gaiamedia.org .

. All other interested persons we ask to consider the extremely high postage costs and to use the download option. We are glad and grateful when you advert to your friends about our exceptional event.

Please take notice that reduced ticket prices are available for your registration until 1 February 2008

2. Motivation and Intention of the Gaia Media Foundation

The motivation and intention of the Gaia Media Foundation to arrange an event of this dimension, is best expressed by the preface of our board member Albert Hofmann:

“Alienation from nature and the loss of the experience of being part of the living creation is the greatest tragedy of our materialistic era. It is the causative reason for ecological devastation and climate change.

Therefore I attribute absolute highest importance to consciousness change. I regard psychedelics as catalyzers for this. They are tools which are guiding our perception toward other deeper areas of our human existence, so that we again become aware of our spiritual essence. Psychedelic experiences in a safe setting can help our consciousness open up to this sensation of connection and of being one with nature.

LSD and related substances are not drugs in the usual sense, but are part of the sacred substances, which have been used for thousand of years in ritual settings. The classic psychedelics like LSD, Psilocybin and Mescaline are characterized by the fact that they are neither toxic nor addictive. It is my great concern to separate psychedelics from the ongoing debates about drugs, and to highlight the tremendous potential inherent to these substances for self-awareness, as an adjunct in therapy, and for fundamental research into the human mind.

It is my wish that a modern Eleusis will emerge, in which seeking humans can learn to have transcendent experiences with sacred substances in a safe setting.

I am convinced that this conference furthers the idea that these soul-opening, mind-revealing substances will find their appropriate place in our society and our culture.“

Dr. Albert Hofmann

Thursday, 19th April 2007

3. Changes in the Program and additional Speakers

Compared to the advance program the following changes have resulted.

Alexander und Ann Shulgin have been forced to withdraw their initial confirmation for their attendance due to coercive private reasons. Nevertheless we remain hopeful for including them to our list of speakers again at a later date, should their situation change.

The concert of The Young Gods could not be arranged due to coordination difficulties. Instead there will be externally organized chill-outs, parties and concerts on all nights during the World Psychedelic at various clubs and places

Compared to the advance program the following speakers have confirmed their attendance:

Poet, Software Engineer, Ethnobotanist, Author of the Pharmako Trilogy Dale Pendell (USA), will talk about the “mythopoetic roots of psychedelic praxis in the Western Tradition as well about “Psychedelics and Zen Buddhism: The Search for a Path.“

American expatriate and Yogi, Baba Rampuri, lives in India since 1970, and became the first foreigner to be initiated into the order of the Naga Sannyasis. He will open The Book of the World and talk from the Oral Tradition in the context of his life among Naga Babas.

Like the others in the entourage of the Indian God Shiva, the Naga Babas, naked yogi-shamans live at the margins of the world as all shamans do. Some call them “The Hell’s Angels of Indian Spirituality”. Yet, even though “outsiders”, they maintain a very legitimate authority and honored connection with the world. Theirs is an oral tradition which they call the Tradition of Knowledge.

Explorations and opening up of consciousness require journeys to the edge of the world, hoping to find such characters to act as our allies, protectors, and mentors. And, of course, the physical journey is only a small part. Albert Hoffmann not only greatly facilitated this process, he provided one of the few ways in these times, to cross to the other side.

Baba Rampuri entertains and enlightens us with accounts of his “bold journey which explores the true intersections of Eastern and Western thought,“ (Deepak Chopra) as he became the first foreigner to be initiated into India’s most ancient order of yogis and shamans, the Naga Sannyasis, and a guru with a number of disciples within the order.

Wulf Mirko Weinreich (GER) Psychotherapist and Addiction will introduce Ken Wilber’s model of consciousness and its most important structural elements. With it, the directions of the effects of different psychoactive substances can be revealed. It further enables a detailed interpretation of psychedelic experiences as well as an accurate determination of their relation to spiritual insights and mental illnesses. Finally, he will explain what fields psychedelic research must consider for them to be genuinely comprehensive in the integral sense.

Jan Christoph Bublitz (GER) Studied law, postgraduate assistant at a research group studying the potentials and risks of Psychopharmaceutical Enhancement. Under the title “Beyond Therapy – Neuroenhancement for the Improvement of Humans” he will discuss the hot issue of his studies.

Pierre Joset, PhD (CH/AUS) Lawyer, Attorney, Co-Founder of the Anti Prohibition League and of the European Movement for Normalization of Drug Policy (EMNDP), Co-Founder of the Gaia Media Foundation, will add to the panel “Towards a Rational and Timely Drug Policy“ with his profound experience and expert knowledge.

Jürg fuyûzui Zurmühle (CH) Japanese Bambooflute Player, Master of Kinko-ryu Shakuhachi, Composer, Professor for German Flute, Improvisation and Ensemble, will open the Sunday program with his meditative and musical contribution “Hearing the Moment: Silence, Breath, Sound.“

Jan Kounen (NL) Director of Dobermann, Blueberry, Darshan, Other Worlds, 99 Francs, and other Feature Films, Documentaries, and TV Series. On Saturday evening he will introduce and present his highly acclaimed documentary “Other Worlds“, a most impressive journey into the heart Shibipo-Shamanism.

Here you will find the complete list of Speakers.

4. «Rising Researchers»

Not yet included in the advance program are the more than two dozen young researchers from all over the world, presenting their papers and dissertations about psychedelic topics within six 90-minute sessions. The five english language sessions, will be introduced and moderated by Thomas B. Roberts, PhD (USA), Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology, and the German language session by Torsten Passie, MD, MA (GER). One session will be solely about themes around “Ayahuasca.“ We are delighted to present in Basel the future generation of psychedelic researchers.

5. “Forum“ – The attractive Supporting Program

The Patrons of the World Psychedelic Forum will present themselves at their own information desks.

An exhibition of rare documents and objects around psychedelics and the counterculture of the 1960’s from the extensive and unique collection of the Ludlow Santo Domingo (L.S.D.) Library, Geneva.

An exhibition of selected documents from the collection of Dr. Albert Hofmann.

In the “Forum” Film Program we will show contemporary and exeperimental psychedelic videos and films.

Director Ben De Loenen presents his film “Ibogaine – Rite of Passage”, a revealing documentary about the use of Ibogaine for the treatment of addiction and its spiritual background.

With Psychopticon Animatris II – A Continuing Tour of Altered States in Film, Jon Hanna presents the 2nd part of his unique collection of diverse clips from the 1930s through to the present showcases with hallucinatory content and inspiration in pop-culture animation. Whether induced by dreams, meditation, mental illness, alcohol, or other drugs, these psychedelic depictions of crossing liminal boundaries are frequently beautiful, often humorous, and always entertaining.

In the foyer you can meet numerous experts, partly active as speakers in the main program, partly as contributors specifically for this supporting program:

Carolyn Garcia presents her Ten Deep Breath Gong Bong, an easy way to alter consciousness without substances, and other simple methods to improve mood and mental health.

Adele Getty, Cynthia Palmer, and other “SheShamans” will discuss “Past, Present and Future, and Passing the Torch”, addressing psychedelics in terms of these questions: How did we get here, historically and personally, what role do psychedelics play now, and what is our responsibility to the future and the next generation.

Michael Horowitz, former co-director of the Ludlow Santo Domingo Library, offers tours through the L.S.D. Library, sharing stories and anecdotes to single exhibits.

Ethnobotanist Wolf-Dieter Storl offers a walking-tour of healing plants and herbs growing within the immediate neighborhood of the Congress Center.

Martin Schöne shifts between art and science, and he invites the visitors to encounter themselves, by the phenomenon of resonance, using his Brain-Avatar.

Daniel Sutter “DJ Electric” has collected and documented psychedelic music for more than 20 years. In various sets, he presents this style of music by means of background information and samples of tunes from his collection of over 1,500 records.

Psychotherapist Constanze Weigle talks about the positive effects of psychedelics during pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation, and invites an exchange of experiences.

Here you can have a look at the complete “Forum“ Supporting Program.

6. Final Approval for Swiss LSD End-of-Life Anxiety Study

On 5 December Peter Gasser(CH) MD, received the final permission for his MAPS-sponsored LSD/end-of-life anxiety study! He had previously received approval from Swissmedic and a Swiss Ethics Committee This approval marks the completion of the initial phase of the psychedelic research renaissance, which has been building slowly since 1990. It is the first time worldwide since 1972 (Richards, Grof, Goodman und Kurland) that it will be legally possible to treat people with LSD in psychotherapy.

In his recent circular letter he says: “I am very proud and happy that this opportunity is open to me and Barbara Speich, the co-therapist and it is very clear for me that I would like to dedicate this study to Albert Hofmann the inventor (or he would say the finder) of LSD. I phoned him and for him as well it is a satisfaction to know that his “problem child” will become a new chance to prove its value under scientific conditions. To show this will be the task of my pilot study. I am convinced that this will succeed but I am unprejudiced enough to remain curious what results the study will give.

All of us at the Gaia Media Foundation are very happy about this positive development and we congratulate Peter Gasser for his success. During the World Psychedelic Forum we will inform extensively about this but also about other ongoing and planned studies and research projects with psychedelics.

Welcome!

Together with Albert Hofmann, we very much look forward to seeing many of the participants of the 2006 LSD Symposium again at the World Psychedelic Forum 2008, and to welcoming many new visitors.

The organizers

Dieter A. Hagenbach

Program Manager

Lucius Werthmüller

Project Manager

Comments are closed.