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The Social History of LSD

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Vassar College

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  1. Introduction
  2. The government, the CIA and research and testing of psychedelic drugs
  3. CIA's experiments with LSD
    1. Testing acid on unwitting American citizens
  4. The Psychedelic Research Project in 1960
  5. The voyage of the Furthur
  6. LSD and changes in the mental state
  7. The psychedelic scene after the 60's
  8. Works cited

When Albert Hofmann created LSD 25 during experimentation in his laboratory, he had no idea what was to become of it, or what kind of an impact it would have. "Dr. Humphry Osmond invented the term 'psychodelic', which was later amended to 'psychedelic to get rid of the nuthouse connotation of 'psycho'." (Wolfe 39). This term encompasses a whole generation, a cultural revolution that took place during the 60's. Since its creation, LSD, among other psychedelics, has had a great impact on the American culture.

[...] Kesey came up with the character of Chief Broom, through whom the story of his first novel is told, from and LSD trip (Wolfe 42). Kesey wrote several passages of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest while on peyote and LSD. "He even had someone give him a shock treatment, clandestinely, so he could write a passage in which Chief Broom comes back from 'the shock shop'." Allen Ginsberg (1926 - 1997) was a writer and poet from the Beat generation that participated in the acid scene. [...]

[...] With its LSD-testing programs in college towns, such as the one where Ken Kesey and Robert Hunter, later Garcia's lyricist, first tasted the forbidden fruit, the CIA sowed the seeds of the chemical manipulations of consciousness that remain a leitmotiv of the Dead's culture of enchantment." Ken Kesey was on of the first to have LSD tested on at the Veterans Hospital in Menlo Park in 1959. He learned of the experiment from his friend, a psychology student named Vic Lovell. [...]

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