LSD Experiment: Research on Acid Trip Effects and Art Drawing - CIA Documentary (1955)

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   Subota, 28 Travanj 2012 00:00

LSD was originally perceived as a psychotomimetic capable of producing model psychosis. By the mid 1950s, LSD research was being conducted in major American medical centers, where researchers used LSD as a means of temporarily replicating the effects of mental illness. One of the leading authorities on LSD during the 1950s in the United States was the psychoanalyst Sidney Cohen. Cohen first took the drug on October 12, 1955 and expected to have an unpleasant trip, but was surprised when he experienced "no confused, disoriented delirium." He reported that the "problems and strivings, the worries and frustrations of everyday life vanished; in their place was a majestic, sunlit, heavenly inner quietude." Cohen immediately began his own experiments with LSD with the help of Aldous Huxley whom he had met in 1955. In 1957, with the help of Betty Eisner, Cohen began experimenting on whether or not LSD might have a helpful effect in facilitating psychotherapy, curing alcoholism, and enhancing creativity. Between 1957 and 1958, they treated twenty-two patients who suffered from minor personality disorders. LSD was also given to artists in order to track their mental deterioration, but Huxley believed LSD might enhance their creativity. Between 1958 and 1962, Oscar Janiger tested LSD on more than a hundred painters, writers, and composers. By the late 1950s, LSD was being used by unlicensed therapists who were drawn to it as a lucrative means to break down patients' psychological barriers; it was not uncommon for them to charge $500 a session.

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