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Psychedelic Research

Date: 09-24-11
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: James Fadiman, Robert Zubrin

Dr. James Fadiman, who's been involved with psychedelic research since the 1960s, joined Ian Punnett to discuss the newest research into the psychotherapeutic value of visionary drug use for increased personal awareness, spiritual epiphanies, and a host of serious medical conditions. Before it was banned, LSD was the most researched psychiatric drug on the planet, Fadiman said. It was first synthesized in 1938 from ergot fungi and is effective in miniscule doses of only millionths of a gram, he added. Mainstream researchers used LSD therapeutically to treat normal neuroses, alcoholism, and even autism before it was banned in 1966, Fadiman reported. Among hardcore alcoholics there was a 50% success rate, and even higher efficacy results for those with autism, he noted.

Curiously, the main effect of LSD occurs after the drug itself has left the body, he revealed. It is thought to work by opening up one's "awareness capacity," Fadiman continued. Religious studies scholar Dr. Huston Smith learned this after taking LSD and having an experience which confirmed what he understood to be at the core of all religious faiths, Fadiman explained. "Psychedelics give you a kind of a different view of everything... they take you much more into observing your life," he said. A recent study at UCLA demonstrates how this inner journey can help people diagnosed with terminal cancer. According to Fadiman, a drug similar to LSD, psilocybin, has successfully treated anxiety in late-stage cancer patients.

Falling Space Debris

In the first hour, aerospace engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin commented on NASA's falling satellite and other space objects that could strike our planet. According to Zubrin, 10 tons of meteors hit the Earth every year and to date there has been only one recorded casualty—a dog in Egypt in 1911. We don't have to worry about satellites coming down on us, he said, noting that the greater danger is near Earth asteroids. A fairly sizeable one impacts the planet about once a century, he added. Zubrin also briefly talked about the increased activity of the Sun and the minor inconveniences (communication disruptions, power blackouts) we can expect over the next few years because of it.

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