BREAKING! Leonard Pickard & Clyde Apperson win compassionate release

[A bright note of thanks to Covid-19! Many older US inmates in are being denied such release despite proof that prisons are a fertile breeding ground for coronavirus and are not equipped or funded to provide prisoners adequate medical care. Leonard is 74, Clyde 65. 

See our original coverage here: “US Censors LSD Trial, Double Life Sentence Without Parole”, March 22, 2015 

We extend every good wish to Leonard & Clyde. FREEDOM is priceless!

Please buy Leonard’s book so he can make a new life. The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets and Sacraments, Société Anonyme/Sub Rosa Press, 2015. Amazon:

We’re not going to share 20 year old photos or photos taken in prison. We want to see Leonard & Clyde as  FREE MEN!]

LSD Chemists William Leonard Pickard & Clyde Apperson Released From Prison
Russell Hausfeld
Psymposia: July 24, 2020

Neşe Devenot, David Nickles, and Brian Normand contributed to this story.

PDF: Leonard Pickard & Clyde Apperson win compassionate release

Update: (July 27, 2020 / 9:41PM) A source has informed Psymposia that William Leonard Pickard was officially released from prison today, July 27, at 3PM PST. Pickard will be free from prison, but will be under supervised release for the next five years.
(July 25, 2020 / 12:38AM) On July 24, 2020, a Memorandum and Order was filed in the United States District Court of Kansas, in the case of United States of American [sic] vs. William Leonard Pickard. This Memorandum and Order states that Pickard’s motion for compassionate release is granted.

The decision comes after Pickard spent 20 years in prison for conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and dispense LSD. Pickard and his partner, Clyde Apperson, were arrested in 2000 while moving what was alleged to be their LSD laboratory across Kansas, and they were convicted in 2003. Pickard was given two life sentences and Apperson was sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Mike Dupler, a friend of Pickard, told Psymposia that “[Apperson’s] early release has been approved by the court and [he] is currently at a pre-release or half way house pending full release.”

A petition for “Request for Modifying the Conditions or Term of Supervision with Consent of the Offender” was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas on behalf of Clyde Apperson on June 4, 2020. The petition allows Apperson to be released from prison to home confinement in advance of his scheduled release date of October 11, 2028. The petition states that Apperson is proposing to release to the District of Oregon to reside with his sister and brother-in-law. According to the Bureau of Prison’s (BOP’s) database, Apperson is currently located at Residential Reentry Management Seattle pending release to home confinement. A representative of RRM Seattle told Psymposia that Apperson’s assigned facility is RRM Seattle, however that is not his physical location. The representative explained that they cannot release Apperson’s actual location publicly at this time.

At Pickard’s sentencing DEA Special Agent in Charge William J. Renton, Jr. stated, “The proof of the significance of these prosecutions and convictions lies in the fact that LSD availability in the United States was reduced by 95% in the two years following their arrest.” At the 2008 World Psychedelic Forum, writer Jon Hanna—presenting on behalf of Pickard—questioned the DEA’s claims.

While in prison, Pickard wrote and published The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets and Sacraments, which is widely regarded as a masterpiece of psychedelic literature.

[More commentary at presstime:]

609 The Rose of Paracelsus 001

“Introduction and commentary”
3:38.25 hours, MP3
Psychedelic Salon: June 10, 2019


Today’s podcast features an introduction to The Rose Of Paracelsus: On Secrets & Sacraments by Leonard Pickard. Rolling Stone once called Pickard “The Acid King”, and his book is being called a modern masterpiece. It tells the story of an international clan of secret LSD chemists. And who better to tell this story than Leonard Pickard, who is now serving two life sentences in a maximum security prison in the United States, having been accused of manufacturing large quantities of acid, billions of doses according to one ex-DEA agent. 

Over the next two years we will present a reading of this book, along with commentary, by friends of Leonard’s. Today we feature an introduction of The Rose of Paracelsus with a series of readings from various chapters, followed by some commentary on the readings. In the months and years to come, we will be podcasting a reading of the entire book, chapter-by-chapter.

Magnificent! “The Rose Garden”, is expected to continue for 200 hours!

You should buy the book, The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets and Sacraments 

Leonard wrote this stunning book in pencil on foolscap in a US maximum security prison. He has no access to Internet or libraries.

As psychedelics are researched for medical therapeutics, it’s time to release Mr. Pickard:

The first audio adaptation is as masterful and magical as is the book, bringing together readers from many disciplines.

EMAIL address to contact the

Guest speakers:
 William Leonard Pickard, author, The Rose of Paracelsus
 Kat & Alexa Lakey, discussing The Rose from Santa Cruz, and Cusco, Peru

Guest readers:

 Julian Vayne & Nikki Wyrd, reading from Devon, England;

 Brother David Steindl-Rast, reading from Gut Aich Priory in Salzburg, Austria;

 Ben Sessa MD, reading from London, England;

 Ralf Jeutter, reading from Germany;

 Julie Holland MD discussing The Rose from New York City

 Ryan Place, reading from Detroit, Michigan;

 Mark Schunemann, reading from the University of Oxford;

 – Estia from University of Durham (UK), reading from Paris;

 – Jo from University of Durham, reading at Durham, England;

 Nese Devenot PhD, reading from Case Western University
School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio;

 Bruce Van Dyke, reading from Reno, Nevada;

 Greg Sams, reading from London, England

Announcing: The Rose of Paracelsus by William Leonard Pickard


Publisher: Société Anonyme/Sub Rosa Press (December 10, 2015)

ISBN-10: 0692509003

ISBN-13: 978-0692509005

Paperback: 656 pages

Price: $27.95

Available from Amazon: and from Amazon UK, Germany, and Italy using the same product number,

and CreateSpace:

The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets & Sacraments, William Leonard Pickard’s first book, was inspired by the eponymous Juan Luis Borges’ short story.

The book has been called by one reviewer “the finest writing on altered states of consciousness since Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions (1821).”

Leonard’s book explores processes leading to cognitive enhancement and examines the lifestyles of acolytes who have developed advanced capacities of thought, memory, and perception.

The writing has been called “an opera of intrigue,” “sensuous, intelligent, poetic,” “a portal opener,” “reading this book is a psychedelic experience.”


Full review to follow shortly. Meanwhile, here are a few teasers:

Book teaser 1

Book teaser 2

Book teaser 3

Book teaser 4

Extended book teaser

Hunter Thompson




Sentence: 30 years without possibility of parole

Clyde Apperson #14058-031


Victorville Medium I Federal Correctional Institution

PO Box 5300

Adelanto CA 92301

Sentence: 12 years without possibility of parole + three others 1-5 years, release date 2023

Oshan Cook #14619-111


Taft FCI

Federal Correctional Institution

PO Box 7001

Taft CA 93268
Open Letter from Oshan
Communicating with Oshan
Oshan FAQ

Sentence: 41 months, release date 2015

Jonathan Taylor Dugan #80313-053

MCC New York

Metropolitan Correctional Center

150 Park Row

New York NY 10007

Convicted, awaiting sentence for Silk Road

Peter Philip Nash #92226-054

MCC New York

Metropolitan Correctional Center

150 Park Row

New York NY 10007

Sentence: Double life sentence without possibility of parole

William Leonard Pickard #82687-011

U.S. Penitentiary Tucson

9300 South Wilmot Road

Tucson AZ 85756

Convicted for The Farmer’s Market, release date 2016

Ryan Christoph Rawls #63687-019

FCI Jesup

Federal Correctional Institution

2680 301 South

Jesup GA 31599

Sentence: Life sentence without possibility of parole

Robert J. Riley #59047-065

“Mushroom Bob”

U.S. Penitentiary Pollock

PO Box 2099

Pollock LA 71467


Sentence: Five year sentence for Silk Road

Steven Sadler #43614-086

FDC Seatac

Federal Detention Center

P.O. Box 13900

Seattle WA 98198

10 year sentence, release date 2017

James N. Schweda #12799-085

Sheridan FCI

Federal Correctional Institution

PO Box 5000

Sheridan OR 97378

Sentence: Double life sentence without possibility of parole

(Tim’s father, Timothy V. Tyler, Sentence: 10 years, died in prison in 2001, a year before he was to be released)

Timothy L. Tyler #99672-012

U.S. Penitentiary Canaan

PO Box 300

Waymart PA 18472

Double life sentence plus 40 years for Silk Road

Ross William Ulbricht #18870-111

MCC New York

Metropolitan Correctional Center

150 Park Row

New York NY 10007

10 year sentence, convicted for The Farmer’s Market

release date 2022

Marc Peter Willems #67557-112

FCI Lompoc

Federal Correctional Institution

3600 Guard Road

Lompoc CA 93436

The following are sacraments prisoners. Please help us find current information.

Leroy Bouzek – 5 years

David Carpenter – 16 years, 6 months

Richard L. Chapman – 8 years

Levon Dumont – 15 years, 8 months

Joseph McVeigh Smith – 15 years

Marcus Taylor – 10 years, released?

Sean Twaits – 8 years

There are certainly more psychedelics sacraments prisoners. These lists are solely of US Federal prisoners and we’re sure there are many more at the state level and overseas. Please add details for your loved ones.

DIED IN PRISON 2014 – 41 years old

Who are the real criminals?

Sentence: Life sentence without possibility of parole

Roderick Walker #13615-055


U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton

PO Box 2000

Bruceton Mills WV 26525



Spencer Adams – 10 years, released 2006

Kenneth Louis Bauer – 48 months

Patrick Brumm – 5 years, released 1993

David Chevrette – 10 years, released 1995

Brian Keith Colbeck – 37 months, released 2014

Michael Evron – released 2013

Seth Ferranti – 25 years without parole, released 2014

Palmer Hanson – released 2012

Karen Horning – life sentence, released 2006

John Paul Irvin – 7 years, released 2003

Allen Lint – 66 months, released 2012

Brian Nichols – 5 years, released

Donald Shackleford – released 200

John M. Schoenecker – 5 years, 3 months, released 1993

Cory Stringfellow – 16 years, released 2001

Thomas Vivian, Jr. – 10 years, released

Roderick Walker – life sentence, released 2013

Consider this: 779,000 Americans took LSD in 2009.


DownloadThe Hippie Code

In 1967, suits from Time Magazine published their own bullshit “hippie code”, not ours. They got it wrong. This is the real hippie code.

All beings are one. Treat every being with kindness, understanding, and compassion. Be good. Do good.

Ahimsa: nonviolence. Do no harm. Never use violence, no matter what. It just doesn’t work.

Love is all. Live love. Love everyone. Serve everyone.

Listen, with an open mind. It’s not you who are important. Show respect for all. And shut up.

You are a being of light. Educate and enlighten yourself, then share the light with others.

We have only one truth to depend on. Universal truth. Honour that truth without fear. No one can take it away from you.

There are no dogmas and no karmas. Live your life today.

Fix it in your mind: What would Gandhi do?

Free yourself from all expectation. It’s all in your head. Surrender.

Time got the last part right: “Turn…on…to beauty, love, honesty, fun.”

“Turn on. Tune in. Drop out.” was the right message. Let go of the brainwashing.

Be here now…

So…you need 3G with that? (But will we get 4D in time?) Just breathe the universe, in and out. It only needs you. And, don’t shave your head—it makes you look like a criminal!

If you need more reminders, read Be Here Now again, and again, and again, and again, until you get it!






Leonard Pickard, Sussex, 2000


May the long-time sun shine upon you,

All love surround you,

And the pure light within you

Guide your way on…

[Mike Heron, Incredible String Band, 1968]

from here:



US Penitentiary Victorville, Adelanto, California

to here:



US Penitentiary, Tucson, Arizona

After sentencing, William Leonard Pickard was held prisoner at the US Penitentiary Victorville in Adelanto, California and is currently a Federal prisoner in Tucson. He welcomes visitors should you be in the area but visits must be arranged well in advance.

Visiting regulations are here:

Leonard’s mailing address is: William Leonard Pickard FRN 82687011, POB 24550, Tucson AZ 85734.

Email and voicemail are forwarded to Leonard for response:, (313) 557-6219.

US censors LSD trial, double life sentence without parole

The Strange Trip and Fall of Leonard Pickard

Criminal Injustice in the Heartland

CJ Hinke
Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)

 DownloadUS censors LSD trial

More than 13 million Americans have tried LSD. US President John F. Kennedy himself engaged in LSD sessions with his lover Mary Pinchot with acid supplied by Timothy Leary. His brother, US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was a vocal critic of the LSD ban; his wife, Ethel, was successfully treated for alcoholism in LSD sessions at Vancouver’s Hollywood Hospital, under the auspices of the International Association for Psychedelic Therapy, which claimed a success rate of 80%. Both brothers were assassinated; few know that Pinchot was also assassinated in her Washington apartment in 1964; her address book was never found.

This article addresses another kind of assassination, life sentences for LSD.

UntitledNike Atlas Minuteman ICBM

The heartland of the United States is riddled with hundreds of nuclear missile silos, now relics of the cold war. Many of these 20+ acre properties were sold to individuals including those doomsday proponents who saw them as the perfect place for survival come Armageddon. The silos have 47-ton fortified blast doors and a 66,000-pound battery bank. They also seem to be popular as a great modern location for server farms and hacker camps.

Wamego, Kansas, is the heart of the heartland and welcomed the silos for their government employment opportunities in the country’s farm belt. Waumego was named after Potawatomie chief Waumego but all the Potawatomies were killed in the American Indian Wars in frontier massacres during the mid-1800s. Accordingly, Waumego has modernised its name to Wamego but the local pride in country values and simple pleasures of its residents remain the same.

Dorothy’s farmhouse was blown to Oz from Kansas in L. Frank Baum’s famous children’s book. Although the Dorothy Gale house is located in nearby Liberal, Kansas, Wamego is home to the Oz Museum, one of the largest private collections of memorabilia from the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz.

The circumstances of the 2003 trial of Leonard Pickard in Wamego, however, belong far more to the Land of Oz where things just might not be what they seem than to the grey Kansas prairie where the colors of the law are simply black and white.

On November 6, 2000, William Leonard Pickard and Clyde Apperson were arrested by a force of US Drug Enforcement agents  while attempting to flee from a leased Kansas missile silo while allegedly dismantling a “large non-operational [emphasis supplied] clandestine LSD laboratory”. They were charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and dispense LSD, carrying a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison without parole. Regardless, there has been no parole available to Federal convicts since 1987.

Government statistics and lies

The DEA called the silo site “one of the largest LSD laboratories in the world” capable of producing “one-third of the world’s LSD supply” and the first lab bust since 1991 calling their 2000 effort “Operation White Rabbit”. The chemical ingredients seized from the site were alleged to be capable of producing between 36 million and 60 million doses of LSD. However, in conflicting testimony at trial two DEA witnesses testified that the chemicals seized could produce either 413 million or 826 million doses.

This stupendous quantity of LSD was supposedly to be produced from ten US ounces of ergotamine tartrate, alleged by the DEA to cost $1,000,000 and used only for producing LSD. A total of 40 E.T. canisters were seized, including 30 at another location, secreted, that is to say, stolen, and stored at the home of the inlaws of chief DEA informer Gordon Todd Skinner. These ‘extra’ canisters are simply not mentioned in the DEA press release on Pickard’s conviction. At trial, these were described by a DEA witness as one-litre canisters. Elsewhere, they are described as being one-kilogram canisters. Furthermore, on DEA analysis, some of this material was found not to be E.T. at all but ergocristine which, they allege, can be used interchangeably with E.T. in LSD manufacture. Ergocristine was, at the time of their seizure, which was not illegal and not controlled in law as a an LSD precursor chemical until 2011.

Convicted LSD chemist Nicholas Sand mentions that he was able to obtain 375 grams of LSD from one kilogram of E.T. In any case, a 20% yield of LSD can be expected from using E.T. Where the E.T. came from remains a state secret and was never revealed at trial; however, Poland, Hungary, the former Czechoslovakia,  Mexico, and Costa Rica remain among the world’s leading producers. Local Wamego police said LSD was never manufactured in the silo facility.

Untitled2 d-Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)


The LSD lab allegedly operated undetected for two years in Santa Fe, N.M., producing a kilogram every five weeks, before being moved to a second silo at Carneiro, Kansas, rented by Skinner, an uncharged co-conspirator turned DEA informant. The DEA also alleges Pickard and Apperson operated prior illegal LSD labs in Colorado, California and Oregon.

The lab was said to have been moved from the Carneiro site after the silo’s owner committed suicide, despondent following his divorce. Both 115-foot deep, 15,000 square foot silos were former homes to first-generation Nike Atlas-E (at Wamego – missiles housed horizontally and lifted vertical by hydraulics) and Atlas-F (at Carneiro – missiles housed vertically) Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying four-megaton nuclear warheads at a cost of $3.4 million, as part of a mutual assured destruction strategy; the silos themselves cost three million dollars to build in 1960.

Local residents who thought nothing of having a nuclear weapon of mass destruction in their backyards were horrified by the alleged LSD lab. Local news media commented wryly, “LSD is not a common Kansas drug”.

Although Clyde Apperson was released on $200,000 bail, the Kansas judge refused to release Pickard despite letters from the chief San Francisco district attorney, British aristocracy, the director of UCLA’s drug policy program, and his neurobiology prof at Berkeley, ruling that he might “flee or endanger the community”.

At his first court appearance after being denied bail, Leonard Pickard’s handcuffs were removed just long enough for him to hold his newborn daughter. He was being held nearby in Kansas’s Leavenworth Penitentiary, a Federal institution built in 1895 and notorious for its gang violence. Under US law, a “James hearing” is conducted in conspiracy cases, allowing the prosecution to use hearsay or third-party evidence which was later freely admitted at trial.

Untitled3ICBM Highway

The former missile silo was owned by the Wamego Land Trust, a corporation owned by one Gordon Todd Skinner who had previously been charged in June 2000 with presenting a false Interpol (also described as US Secret Service) identification card at a gambling casino and sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine. Skinner had also been charged with involuntary manslaughter due to a multidrug overdose at the missile silo in April 1999, having represented himself as a doctor and prescribing medication in 2000, fraud, and theft of a pair of $120,000 stereo speakers seized in the DEA raid.  In his role as a DEA informant he stated he was part of a conspiracy to manufacture LSD at the Wamego silo and was distributing LSD in Kansas.

Betrayal and lies

The fate of Leonard Pickard became bound to the betrayal of convicted petty criminal Todd Skinner in exchange for immunity from prosecution not only for the LSD case but for all his other charges. Skinner’s legal paranoia caused him to fly to Washington, D.C., with an attorney to make a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice in exchange for the LSD lab. It is apparent authorities had no suspicions about any of these locations before Skinner confessed them. Skinner further stated at trial he was willing to lie to stay out of jail.

DEA witnesses testified at the Pickard trial that a 100-microgram dose of LSD cost 29¢ to produce, a process taking 10 to 14 days, and would sell for three to 10 dollars. Skinner testified that he and Pickard had received at least $30 million in LSD sales but that he only used psychedelics as “sacraments” and not as recreational drugs although he admitted to having used 163 different drugs. Skinner’s girlfriend, Krystle Cole, claimed that each kilo of LSD was worth three million dollars.

Skinner stated that this money was received in Dutch guilders and converted to US dollars at gambling casinos. He also stated that they had received some $500,000 US currency notes. However, US $100,000 notes were the largest denomination ever minted, not circulated, as a gold certificate and only in 1934, thus exposing Skinner’s lie.


During Skinner’s role as a government informant following the arrests of Pickard and Apperson, the DEA stated he had hidden 26 (30 is also mentioned) canisters of E.T. at his inlaws’ home in nearby Manhattan, Kansas. In conflicting trial testimony, the DEA alleged each ounce of E.T. cost $1,000,000 but Skinner testified that each canister cost only $100,000, or $4,000,000 in total, rather than $40 million. This was not Todd Skinner’s first starring role as a government informant having previously been principal witness in a New Jersey marijuana sting which he orchestrated.

Unusually, Skinner was accused of perjury by the prosecution at the close of the Pickard case, in an apparent attempt to head off defense calls for a mistrial and subsequent appeals due to legal and procedural improprieties and misconduct throughout the case.

Following the trial and the expiration of legal immunity granted him by the DEA, Skinner was arrested for firearms possession and threatening with a firearm; and distributing Ecstasy, and possession of 10 ounces, at the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. His luck ran out when he was convicted in 2006 of the kidnapping, assault and torture of a teenager for which he received a life sentence, as well as 30 years and 60 years to be served consecutively.

tumblr_mprdtdzeoG1s050b3o1_500-1Krystle_Cole_Slidekrystle-in-silo-1 copyKrystle Cole

In all, six prosecution witnesses were given immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony. Although Skinner’s betrayal was clearly the most heinous, he was not alone.

Pickard had given $319,000 in cash from 1996 to 1999 to Dr. Richard Halpern, associate director of substance abuse research at Harvard University’s McLean Hospital and a principal researcher funded by the pro-legalization Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Although he was not called at trial, Halpern became a “cooperating witness” for the DEA, signing a total of nine reports from 2000 to 2002 and recording telephone conversations. Although his research is still funded by MAPS (with Pickard’s support), his cooperation in Pickard’s conviction and sentence called his ethics into serious question in the psychedelic community.

Government use of self-interested informants calls all evidence presented into question. A legal case either has intrinsic merit or not. If there is insufficient evidence, as is apparent in this case, the exploitation of informants guaranteed immunity from prosecution for their crimes should not afford greater legal weight in a criminal trial where citizens’ very lives hang in the balance.

Alex Grey

LSD blotter art                   [Alex Grey]

”I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation – the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence … flowers shining with their inner light and all but quivering under the pressure with which they were charged … words like ‘grace’ and ‘transfiguration’ came to mind.”

[Aldous Huxley on LSD, 1953]

The demonization of LSD exploration

San Francisco doctor David Smith who has researched LSD use since 1967 said that a “philosophy of psychedelics” establishes that LSD makers are more interested in benefitting society than profiting by the enterprise. DEA-licensed biochemist Alexander Shulgin writes in PIHKAL, “…there seems to be no violence associated with any level of the LSD trade, and acid chemists and dealers (and many users) typically have a semi-mystical, proselytizing reverence for the substance.”

Expanding consciousness was the goal. At least one trial witness was funded by singers Sting and Paul Simon.

Todd Skinner testified as a prosecution witness that Leonard Pickard was a member of a both shadowy and flamboyant psychedelic smuggling network named the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, formed 10 days after LSD was made illegal in 1966. Lore has it that Brotherhood chemist Nicholas Sand produced 3.6 million tabs of Orange Sunshine in 1969 alone, the most popular ever. The demonization of the Brotherhood with Congressional hearings in 1971 resulted in the discovery of four complete LSD labs and the seizure of 3,500 grams of actual LSD amounting to 14 million doses in 1972.

But the impact of the Brotherhood was largely a creation of the US government; in fact, Timothy Leary has stated, “The Brotherhood was about eight surfer kids from Laguna Beach, California.” Leary escaped from prison aided by the radical group, The Weathermen, with $60,000 from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love and, some would have it, secret funding from the CIA.

Government tried continually to link LSD with terrorism through the US Weathermen, the German Baader-Meinhof Group, the Angry Brigade, the Red Army faction, the Red Brigades, and the Irish Republican Army as a national security issue just as now government insinuates that the illegal drug trade finances terrorism. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that the CIA actually promoted and protected LSD distribution in order to disrupt and neutralize the New Left. Other rumors even suggest that Timothy Leary worked for the CIA.

We may never know for sure: Richard Helms, CIA director under presidents Johnson and Nixon, ordered all secret MK-ULTRA documents–130 boxes of them– destroyed on his departure from office in 1973. He was the only CIA bureaucrat convicted of lying to Congress over illegal, undercover operations. The demonization of psychedelics was the result of another CIA experiment: the importation of tons of cocaine which had the effect of destroying any groundswell of a radical community for political change.

Carl Oglesby, former national president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) makes this observation: “What we have to contemplate nevertheless is the possibility that the great American acid trip, no matter how distinctive of the rebellion of the 1960s it came to appear, was in fact the result of a despicable government conspiracy…If U.S. intelligence bodies collaborated in an effort to drug an entire generation of Americans, then the reason they did so was to disorient it, sedate it and de-politicize it.”

In 2007, the US government once again blamed 90% of American LSD on another ’shadowy’ group, the Llama Tribe. The Llama Tribe began in La Conchita, California, in 2003 founded by punk musician Charlie Womack aka Charlie Llama and Papa Chongo; they are a major presence at the annual Burning Man festivals in the Nevada desert. It seems “90%” is the DEA’s favorite number and a gullible public always falls for this hysterical propaganda.

Hofmann's Molecule 3Dr. Albert Hofmann (1906-2008), Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Father of LSD
[Joey deVilla]

Leonard Pickard is hardly the first and perhaps the least famous LSD chemist to be arrested. Bernard Roseman,  Bernard Copely, Augustus Owsley Stanley III, Melissa Cargill, Tim Scully, Nicholas Sand, Ronald Stark, Denis Kelly, Robert Thomas (Order of the Golden Toad), Quentin Theobald, Peter Simmons, Richard Kemp, Christine Bott, Paul Arnaboldi, Gerry Thomas, and Lester Friedman all served only minor sentences after being arrested with massive quantities of LSD. G. Walter Dash and Casey Hardison were not so lucky—Hardison got 20 years in England and Dash 30 years in America. Many others convicted for LSD distribution have been equally unlucky. However, many believed, and believe still, that their lives should be devoted to the manufacture of psychedelics and made LSD as a conscious act of civil disobedience.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency estimates there have been fewer than one dozen LSD chemists ever to feed what Freud called “the Nirvana instinct” in man: “Their exclusivity is not surprising given that LSD synthesis is a difficult process to master.” The DEA further states that 25 kg. of E.T. can produce five or six kilograms of pure LSD crystal”…which, ideally,…”could be processed into…“100 million”…doses…”enough to meet…the entire annual U.S. demand”. Wow—100 million hits is the amount of LSD the DEA says is consumed each year by the 300 million US population, one dose for every three people.

There are at least six chemical processes to make LSD. Ironically, the process of public trials of LSD chemists had the very public result of releasing the processes of LSD synthesis, published and made available to a mass audience, in particular, the previously unpublished peptide coupler method. Government was determined not to make the same mistake with Leonard Pickard.

lsdd-Lysergic acid diethylamide [World of Molecules]

Pickard’s defense subpoenaed Robert Cleve Bonner, commissioner of the US Customs Service and a retired US District Court judge, to testify about a telephone conversation from Pickard relating to a Russian lab manufacturing a synthetic narcotic called fentanyl.

Fentanyl was invented in 1959 as a synthetic morphine analogue used in anesthesia and pain relief. Unlike LSD, fentantyl is highly addictive and 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is produced by a simple, four-step process at room temperature. Twelve different fentanyl analogues have resulted from clandestine manufacture, some of them 1,000 times more potent, and at least one of them 17,958 times morphine in strength. Pure domestic fentanyl from the source sells from $240,000 to $640,000 per kilo, imported heroin for $100-200,000; fentanyl offers six times the profit margin. When diluted, fentanyl is 7,000 per cent more profitable than heroin.

This wonder drug has one principal adverse side effect: instant death from respiratory arrest. Pure fentanyl is lethal in infinitesimal doses—think a dose as small as a speck of dust. Fentanyl kills users before they have time to pull the needles from their arms. The DEA calls fentanyl “the serial killer of the drug world”, a “weapons-grade narcotic”.

In 2002, 800 theater-goers were taken hostage in Moscow by Chechen rebels. Russian special forces ended the siege by pumping the theater full of gaseous fentantyl. 117 hostages and 50 rebels died.

For this sort of drug, there is another sort of underground chemist. George Marquardt was, fittingly as it happens, named for the Army photographer on the Enola Gay. He was a self-proclaimed genius who won the 1964 Kansas State Science Fair award the same day he was expelled from high school. Marquardt was a self-taught fentanyl chemist who set up his lab in tiny Goddard, Kansas in 1991. Once Marquardt’s fentanyl hit the streets, scores—at least 126 and up to 300—users died from overdose in the eastern US. In 1993, Marquardt was sentenced to 25 years.

Marquardt was an unrepentant chemist, saying “[It’s] the last American folk adventure…the light in the moon…narcotics agents chasing you all over the land. It’s a fantasy made real,” and telling the judge his profession was “drug manufacture”. Of what sort? “Clandestine.” He also ratted out his principal dealer.

Leonard Pickard wrote to Marquardt in his Oregon prison. One of Marquardt’s revelations to Pickard was that the DEA had not seized his complete laboratory but only a small portion of it. The Kansas court ruled that this was hearsay and thus inadmissible as evidence despite the fact that the prosecution was permitted to rely on hearsay evidence. One of Pickard’s principal defenses at trial was that Todd Skinner had possession of Marquardt’s lab stored at the Wamego silo and Pickard was going to destroy it.

Leonard Pickard won a Westinghouse Talent Search scholarship in 1962 as one of the top forty science students in the United States and was offered twenty-two further scholarships. He studied at Princeton University for a year, then graduated with his baccalaureate degree in science from New York Regent’s. Pickard also served an 18-month Federal sentence in California from 1976 for LSD manufacture. When he was free, he became a Zen Buddhist monk for two years and studied neurobiology at the University of California at Berkeley. Pickard was arrested again in 1988 for a California LSD lab but charges were dropped when he became an informant. Charges were also laid for a lab in Oregon in 1998. The Kansas court also alleged that Pickard studied at Purdue University under David Nichols, a biochemist with a DEA Schedule I license to manufacture LSD.

It appears that Leonard Pickard, described in academic references as a “talented” and “brilliant” chemist may have succumbed to self-preservation by becoming a DEA informant himself. We have, however, uncovered no evidence that he ever testified against anyone in court nor did his information seem to damage anyone.

Pickard went on to complete a Master’s degree in the criminal justice policy and management program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997. The fields of Pickard’s research were future drug epidemics, heroin trafficking into the United States, drug abuse in Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union and offshore money laundering. Leonard Pickard then became deputy director of UCLA’s Drug Policy Analysis Program.

He attempted unsuccessfully to broker an exchange of 800 kg. of seized heroin for the return of US Stinger missiles from Afghan warlords in order to secure a shorter sentence for a Mohammed Akbar, a convicted Afghani heroin smuggler, whom he had met in prison.


Who’s driving?

Misleading “evidence”

Unless the reader has not been paying attention, an enormous number of discrepancies are evident throughout the Pickard case. These discrepancies served to prejudice a Kansas jury in favor of conviction, a jury which reached a verdict in only five hours following an 11-week trial. Uniquely American, jurors were invited to wear jersey sweaters from their favorite schools on Fridays during the trial: seven from Kansas State University, three from the University of Kansas, one from Washburn University, one from the University of Michigan and another “the red and white colors of Emmett Grade School”.

The jury foreman, Scott David Lowry, forgot to mention he was a lawyer and in the same law class at Washburn University’s School of Law in Topeka with the Federal prosecutor, Gregory C. Hough. Lowry was also in law school with another Federal prosecutor from the Tenth District, Thomas Luedke, and the U.S. Attorney for Kansas, Eric Melgren. The law school is housed in a single building at Washburn, and is described as a school “where every student can know every other student” in the admissions brochures. Surely such disclosure by jurors must be incumbent in order to prevent ethical conflicts of interest.

Although never mentioned during trial, the DEA press release following conviction stated that “this was the largest LSD lab seizure ever made by the” DEA, producing 90% of the world’s supply, and that DEA agents seized 41.3 kilograms (90.86 pounds) of LSD and approximately 23.6 kilograms (51.92 pounds) of the (non-psychoactive) LSD byproduct, iso-LSD, capable of producing 13 kilos more LSD. Except for the troubling fact there was no LSD.

These figures appear to have been reached by extrapolation from traces of LSD found during the seizure. However,  the DEA spun the truth on Pickard’s conviction, stating that “LSD in its pure form…and its related chemicals” amounted to 198.9 grams or just over seven ounces. (Yes, but how much LSD???)

The DEA also states that they have only ever made “four seizures of complete LSD labs and that three of these seizures involved Pickard and Apperson”. In fact, a DEA report, “LSD in the United States” states they seized six LSD labs from 1981-1987; by 1993, 13.2 million Americans had tasted LSD. If these amounts had actually been LSD, we are talking about more than 400 million 100 mcg. doses.

One life to give

On November 25, 2003, Leonard Pickard was given two life sentences without possibility of parole and Clyde Apperson was sentenced to 30 years also without possibility of parole. Leonard Pickard’s and Clyde Apperson’s sentences were upheld on appeal to the US 10th Circuit Court on March 28, 2006. Their only remaining avenue for appeal is the US Supreme Court.

Intelligent citizens, of course, find the very idea of the state putting someone to death barbaric public vengeance. A life sentence, two life sentences, 30 years, without any possibility of release, is equally, and perhaps even more, inhuman. If war criminals, mass murderers, serial killers, need to be separated from society forever, just perhaps, such sentences may be justified…maybe.

But Leonard Pickard and Clyde Apperson harmed no one. The only conceivable reason they received such unprecedented sentences is because they know the secret. Government wants to make sure these highly skilled chemists never get a chance to cook again.


LSD 60th Anniversary blotter art   [Steve Postman]

As was written (anonymously) of another prolific LSD chemist: “Nicholas Sand was taught a secret process, a sequence of actions so dangerous, so overwhelming, that they can only be performed away from the eyes of the crowds, in hidden forests that others only whisper about. ¶The product of these actions is a trace, an engraving in the fabric of nature that can seek out the most intimate regions of your mind and open them up to the infinite worlds, the storms of possibility in which you washed for certain moments when you were young (but you were taken away to dry and rest, ‘forget about the storms you saw, they never happened’). ¶When you live in the storms, reality is another word for adventure and in the sky are faces where others see clouds.”

“There are millions who have been touched, and millions who are just waiting.”

“I knew who I was this morning, but I must have changed several times since then.”

[Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland]

Certainly, in the 1967 words of Canadian psychologist Duncan Blewett, “…the discovery of LSD marked, together with the splitting of the atom and the discovery of…DNA…, one of the three major scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century…The psychedelics are the strongest tools ever dreamed of for man’s betterment.” Perhaps American psychologist and world expert on altered states, Stanley Krippner, in 1981 went even further: “I think it would be no exaggeration to compare the discovery of LSD, and the use of LSD…to the Copernican revolution, the Darwinian revolution, and the Freudian revolution.” Paediatrician John Beresford pioneered the delivery of polio vaccines on sugar cubes. Dr. Beresford bought a gram of Sandoz Delysid for $300 and it was an easy step for sugar cubes to turn on Aldous Huxley.

LSD, however, is not merely a laboratory tryptamine but has been, and still is, used extensively by indigenous Mexicans in its natural form. Botanical LSD derivatives, ergot alkaloids, are found in the seeds of at least 500 species of Convolvulaceae or morning glory, found widely throughout Central and South America, as discovered by the acknowledged founder of modern ethnobotany, Richard Evans Schultes, of Harvard University in 1941. Used particularly were Rivea corymbosa, named in Nahua dialects ololiuhqui by the Mazatecs and vucu-vaha by the Mixtecs, along with Ipomoea viloacea, named bahdo negro by the Zapotecs and tlitliltzin by the Aztecs before them.

These only to came to light in Western scientific circles through the work of famed American amateur ethnobotanist, R. Gordon Wasson, following Dr. Hofmann’s discovery. As the last chief of the North American Quahadi Comanche tribe and founder of the Native American Church, Quanah Parker, put it, “The white man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks to Jesus.”


Xochipilli, “Child of Flowers”, Tlalmanalco, Mt. Popocatépetl, Mexico, circa 1450 A.D. Adorned with morning glories, tobacco and psilocybin mushrooms, “the dream flowers”. [Mark Franklin]

Down the memory hole

This is the real reason why there was almost no national or international media coverage for the biggest LSD lab ever. Despite a major investigative article following the arrests in the almost-mainstream biweekly Rolling Stone based on prison interviews with Leonard Pickard, the story was not picked up by a single wire service, nor did articles appear in the mainstream press, the alternative press or even Internet media right through to sentencing. Government didn’t even bother to resort to media spin. The story was hardly a whisper and went almost universally unreported except for local media.

British author and philosopher George Orwell coined the term “memory hole” in his novel, 1984, to refer to a small chute in the Ministry of Truth leading to a large incinerator for inconvenient documents and records accompanied by media articles which had been “revised” by the Ministry of Truth. Wikipedia states that current usage “is seen by some as a precursor to the tactical and strategic operations of governments, particularly as a method of silencing those whose historical views are out of synchronicity with governmental or more popular views.” A seminal quotation from 1984 notes: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Leonard Pickard and Floyd Apperson’s trial and repressive for a nonviolent “crime” which had not even yet occurred were effectively obscured in all media and disappeared down the memory hole.

LSD requires a sophisticated system of manufacture under highly controlled conditions, including raw materials and scientific expertise far beyond any amateur efforts. An anonymous prominent author writes, “In spite of the fact that tobacco and alcohol present far greater dangers to public health, LSD remains unlawful. To this day the governments of the western world pursue a zealous campaign to eradicate its use and incarcerate those concerned with its production and distribution. And since the news media is controlled by the same governments, or by business interests, opposition to this policy goes unreported.”

Today, LSD is still readily available, even without Leonard Pickard and Floyd Apperson, often costing only 25¢ (US  cents) or 10p. (British pence sterling) per dose.

It is not only Pickard and Apperson’s case which has gone entirely unreported. There have been at least 2,000-3,000 younger and older followers of The Grateful Dead in prison in the United States who consider LSD their sacrament. Overwhelmingly, these Deadheads are incarcerated for many years over possession of small amounts or for small-scale sales and distribution to their friends. Most serve time in state prisons. These young people were targets of the DEA’s Operation Dead End in 1993 and 1994.

A few notables are Federal prisoners. A case in point is that of Timothy L. Tyler. Tim was arrested for sending LSD through the US mails. As the acid was sent to his family home, his father, Timothy V. Tyler was also arrested and given a 10-year sentence; after serving nine of those years, the elder Tim died in prison. Tim the younger pled guilty to drug distribution for 13,045 hits of acid, roughly three grams, for which he had netted around $3,000. As this was his third arrest, the mandatory sentence under Federal three-strikes guidelines was a life sentence without parole. Tim has been in prison since 1992; he was 24.

These cases are completely unknown in the public sphere. The Deadheads bring the total number of psychedelic prisoners worldwide to almost 3,000. The most egregious example of press accommodation to censorship is the case of an LSD chemist sentenced to 38 years in Australia which was unmentioned in the press.

In September 2007, Stefan Wathne, a wealthy trustee of the American Ballet Theater in New York, was arrested in New Delhi and spent 57 days in jail before being voluntarily extradited to the US in January 2008. Wathne, an Icelandic national, is charged with laundering three million dollars of Pickard’s money through Russia on a indictment dating from 2005. Watne had been introduced to Pickard by Harvard psychedelic researcher, Dr. John Halpern.

Wathne received a rather unusual flavor of justice when a Federal judge in San Francisco ruled his extradition from India was illegal after video testimony by a former chief justice of the Indian supreme court and its solicitor general clarifying that Indian law does not prohibit money laundering. In May 2009, the US judge ordered Wathne out of the country but did not dismiss the charges against him. This means that Wathne could only travel to a handful of countries not having mutual extradition treaties with the US.

It is unclear whether he will be deported if he does not leave voluntarily or if charges will proceed if he remains in the US. He is currently free on five million dollars bail and has not left.


Alice Through the Looking Glass Blotter Art, 900 hits  [Mark McCloud]

The future of LSD research

LSD was first synthesized in 1937 and discovered to be psychoactive in 1943. It was criminalized in the US on October 16, 1966.

Dosage levels for LSD vary widely, typically measured in micrograms or µg, gamma, millionths of a gram. As used for consciousness expansion and religious experience in the 1950s and 1960s, 250-350 µg was a common oral dose, available as liquid, powder, crystal, tablet, gelatin, windowpane, and blotter.  A group calling themselves the Psychedelic Rangers used dosages of two to three thousand micrograms. Currently, 20 µg is said to be a party dose and 100-150 µg a normal dose.

The ban on LSD created a nation of cultural expatriates and spiritual exiles. By declaring war on psychedelics, the US created a criminal class unprecedented in human history, a generation of the privileged, the affluent, the educated. After LSD was outlawed, only outlaws had the acid. Lest readers think governments’ so-called ‘war on drugs’ is well meaning, we urge you to reflect on Mississippi State Senator Bobby Moaks’ “Smoke a Joint, Lose a Limb” bill which provides for punishment of marijuana smokers by amputation of an arm or leg instead of prison.

LSD is never toxic–no lethal dose in humans has ever been discovered. CIA scientist Dr. Louis Jolyon “Jolly” West dosed an African bull elephant named Tusko with 28 grams (or two million eight hundred thousand micrograms) at the University of Oklahoma in 1962; this enormous dose of LSD did not kill the beast but attempts to revive him did. It should be noted that this vitally important experiment was repeated on two further elephants at UCLA with no ill effect.


Tusko                                 [Gayle Curry]

LSD has no potential for addiction; if one takes it frequently, it simply ceases to have any effects at all. In CIA experiments, seven prisoners were kept on LSD for 77 days, responding to their increased tolerance by trebling or quadrupling their dosages with no long-term adverse consequences. A 1960 study of 25,000 LSD trips of 5,000 subjects determined no prolonged adverse reactions. The test subjects were the most hopeless psychiatric cases, who were given from 25 − 1500 mcg once to eighty times, proving a wholly remarkable pharmaceutical safety record.

Consider this—the US Federal Drug Administration approves the licensing of hundreds of psychoactive compounds every year. Unlike the psychedelics, these drugs have no proven safety record and many, like Paxil, have disastrous consequences. However, unlike the psychedelics, these drugs are patentable and generate millions in profits for pharmabusiness, and millions in taxes. Big pharma’s lobbyists to politicians produce piles of money.

R.J. Mishan writes in 1985: “I have suggested that, if their sale were legalized, the popularity of these psychedelic drugs would be limited, their widespread use—which, I think, is feared—could indeed prove a threat to the continued expansion of modern industry. If new opportunities were extended to individuals for strange and exhilarating explorations into the mysterious universe and the mysterious self, the markets for media entertainment, for package tourism and for all the modern accessories of commercial hedonism would surely diminish. And if the popularity of such psychedelic drugs were to have any perceptible and enduring effects, they would certainly involve the curtailing of economic growth. For they do tend to shift the individual’s interest from the search for ways of keeping up with the machine toward the search for meaning and purpose….Finally, in our technocratic civilisation, in which adjustment to the machine entails becoming like the machine, the hallucinogenic experience is one way of releasing, for a while, the faltering human spirit trapped inside the machine.”

In the late 1950s, the CIA applied to dose with LSD the unwitting crew of a live, armed Nike missile silo with its finger on the button. Shades of Dr. Strangelove (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), it’s likely a good thing such an experiment was not approved or we might not be here to tell the tale! It took till 1992 for LSD to finally find its way into the temples of war.

Enter the spooks

The late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy chaired a committee which denounced the CIA’s Project MK-ULTRA   brainwashing and mind control experiments using LSD running for two decades. MK-ULTRA itself is an acronym for for “Manufacturing Killers Utilizing Lethal Tradecraft Requiring Assassination”.


Spy v. Spy     [Antonio Prohias]

Government confusion over dosages is not peculiar to the Pickard case. The CIA tried to purchase 10 kilograms of LSD from inventors Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland in 1954 for $4,240,000–enough for 100 million doses–to be told that only 10 milligrams were available.

Eventually, the CIA persuaded the Indianapolis pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to synthesize and supply them LSD “in tonnage quantities” in direct violation of the international patents owned by Sandoz. Eli Lilly became the first government-sponsored, illegal LSD lab.

Many unwitting test subjects, among them prisoners, mental patients, foreigners, the terminally ill, sexual deviants and ethnic minorities, have successfully sued the US government for a lifetime of insanity. One American soldier, James Thornwell, a black American stationed in France, was tortured after being dosed in 1961 over his alleged theft of classified documents; at least nine “foreign nationals” died under the US Army’s LSD interrogation program, “Operation Third Chance”.

MK-ULTRA also sought to monitor all scientists engaged in LSD research on a worldwide scale. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is thought to have created the first underground LSD labs in both San Francisco and New York City in the early 1960s.


Optical LSD Laboratory   [Mycotopia]

LSD is harmless. We’ll repeat that again, in case you didn’t get it the first time: LSD is harmless. LSD can only used for its integrative and visionary potential, to “discover and cultivate the divinity within each person”, as described in Acid Dreams, a seminal work on the subject.

Even MK-ULTRA’s CIA spooks were not immune to LSD’s mystical potential. One spy wept openly during his LSD session, declaring, “I didn’t want it to leave. I felt I would be going back to a place where I wouldn’t be able to hold on to this kind of beauty.” His colleagues promptly labelled him psychotic. In one way, the spooks got it right even though they were talking about the Soviets when they described psychedelics as an “outside genius over which…[the user] has no control”.

LSD’s human potential

As integrative physician honored as “America’s most trusted medical expert”, Dr. Andrew Weil, stated in Peter Stafford’s Psychedelics Encyclopedia: “Employed intelligently, they [the psychedelics] are not only safe but sometimes highly beneficial, since they have the potential to produce dramatic cures of both mental and physical problems as well as to provide experiences of great personal value.” In short, LSD can make you a better person.

Pioneer LSD researcher who invented the term ‘psychedelic’, British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond described it best: “I believe that the psychedelics provide a chance, perhaps only a slender one for homofaber, the cunning, ruthless, foolhardy, pleasure-greedy toolmaker to emerge into that other creature whose presence we have so rashly presumed, homo sapiens, the wise, the understanding, the compassionate, in whose fourfold vision—art, politics, science and religion are one. Surely we must seize the chance.”

LSD docked at 5-HT2A receptor


LSD docked in the human brain’s 5-HT2A receptor

[The Basement, Neurophys, University of Wisconsin]

No one has ever discovered exactly how LSD works. Early researcher Dr. Sidney Cohen has estimated that for every average dose only about 3,700,000 molecules of LSD (approximately 2/100ths of a microgram or 0.00000002 gram) pass from the blood into the brain’s billions of cells “and then only for a very few minutes”. The universe can still conceal some of its mysteries from humans.

LSD creates no social problems…unless one considers the 1960s rebel generation. As Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain write in their book, Acid Dreams, “The LSD story is inseparable from the cherished hopes and shattered illusions of the sixties generation.” LSD was the chemical catalyst for an entire generation to question authority, the first ever to question the management of government and its methods. If the government lied about the dangers of psychedelics, what else were they lying about? As Peter Stafford comments, “…Taking a psychedelic became something of a political act.” Government certainly wouldn’t want that to ever happen again. Does LSD contain a cure for apathy? Consciousness pioneer John Lilly handed down an 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not bore God”!

Pentagon-Mungo Thomson

Levitating the Pentagon: October 21, 1967  [Mungo Thomson]

Where do we go from here?

Our modern society is distinctly lacking in shamans and visionaries. We have lost the path because we won’t credit anyone with a light. We have not had any leader with vision precisely when such visions of a whole planet are most needed. Government wants it that way. They don’t want anyone messing with the system, and slowing down the gravy train.

LSD’s first therapeutic use was by Swiss psychiatrist Werner Stoll, son of Sandoz president, Arthur Stoll. From the late-1940s to the mid-1960s more than 1,000 scientific research papers were written using 40,000 test subjects. For the first time in decades, psychedelic research and scientific study is now being approved worldwide, just as LSD research once was successful in treating schizophrenia, alcoholism and autism. LSD has also been used to great effect as transcendental spiritual therapy for terminal cancer. Psychedelics still show great promise for human society and no menace. At no point in history have we ever been so sorely in need of the very definition of psychedelic—“to manifest our soul”.

Respected visionary and philosopher Aldous Huxley’s last request of his wife on his deathbed in 1963 was for “LSD – try it, intramuscular, 100mm”; an hour later Laura Huxley gave him a second injection of 100mm. Laura writes: “All struggle ceased. The breathing became slower and slower and slower until, ‘like a piece of music just finishing so gently in sempre piu piano, dolcamente’, at twenty past five in the afternoon, Aldous Huxley died.” There is no apology necessary for such an adventure. If LSD can ease our transition from life to death, acceptance of pain and the the terrors of the unknown, for that reason alone should it be made legal. As Huxley writes in Island (1962): “Nothing really belongs to you not even your pain.”

In his 1979 book, LSD Psychotherapy, Czech psychiatrist Stanislav Grof has expressed deep regret that psychiatry lost a unique research tool and powerful therapeutic agent when LSD was legally prohibited: ‘Many observations from psychedelic research are of such fundamental importance and so revolutionary in nature that they should not be ignored by any serious scientist interested in the human mind.’

The question asked is, does popular use of psychedelics cheapen or demean further scientific research?Responsible scientists and inventors, including both trained psychedelic chemists like Albert Hofmann and Alexander Shulgin, as well as underground chemists, have always used their first creations on themselves. That’s what exploration means.

Governments’ wars on drugs have changed the landscape of human society, and not for the better. Drug wars have become wars on privacy, creating legal impunity rather than protection of basic rights and liberties. They have spawned repressive laws and regulations which are not founded in common sense or given any legal latitude. Government prosecutors lie to gain convictions and employ criminal informers on the historical scale of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and apartheid South Africa. American prisons are far more packed with drug prisoners than those classical dictatorships ever were. The trial and sentence of Leonard Pickard and Clyde Apperson are not unique. LSD prisoners with huge sentences receive no media coverage and simply are made to disappear.

Most recently, the Deep Web marketplace Silk Road was targeted for online ‘drugs’ sales using untraceable Bitcoins, including the psychedelic sacraments. Its founder, Ross Ulbricht, styled Dread Pirate Roberts, was handed a double life sentence plus 40 years without possibility of parole in February 2015. Eight others, including buyers from the site in several countries were also charged.

Silk Road enabled sellers and buyers to connect along with user comments. Users were able to comment on safe delivery, purity, effects, and honesty of the sellers. Surely, such a system is far preferable to crack dealers on the streetcorners of every metropolis and often accompanying violence and ripoffs. If governments truly believed in public safety, such supermarkets are to be applauded not criminalised.

Two US Secret Service agents were charged with stealing $820,000 in Bitcoins from Ulbricht. US Secret Service agents make $46,964 a year. Of course, they copped a plea. Numerous Darknet enterprises have, of course, already taken up the slack.


Casey Hardison making 2C-B in his lab in the back of his old school bus.

In particular, Casey Hardison was so outraged by the draconian sentences imposed on Pickard and Apperson that he taught himself to cook and was then busted for 145,000 hits in an envelope to an American address.

It is high time for a new renaissance for psychedelic studies and redress for all LSD cases. By pursuing war on consciousness governments are stifling human potential and creativity. Leonard Pickard and Clyde Apperson deserve a new trial resulting in their freedom.

Our inspiration: Dr. Abram Hoffer (1917-2009)

This investigative report is dedicated with great affection and profound respect. 

 to my friend and mentor, visionary Canadian psychiatrist and LSD pioneer,

Dr. Abram Hoffer (1917-2009).


One other result of including the weight of carrier material is that LSD offenses are punished much more severely than cocaine or heroin crimes, even though those drugs are considered much more dangerously addictive.

* The sentence for one defendant who sold 12,000 doses of LSD was 20 years in federal prison.

* To receive a sentence of 20 years in prison for selling heroin, a person would have to sell 10 kilograms, enough for 1 million to 2 million doses.

* To receive a sentence of 20 years in prison for selling cocaine, a person would have to sell 50 kilograms, enough for 325,000 to 5 million doses.

Source: Chapman vs. United States, U.S. Supreme Court case No. 90-5744. Majority opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, joined by six other justices. Dissent by Justice John Paul Stevens, joined by Justice Thurgood Marshall. Extrapolated from The Los Angeles Times.


No Place Like OM
 Download: 01 Bibliography

The Clemency Report

Free Leonard Pickard website:

The Wamego [Kansas] Times: 2000-2003 [No website.]

The Topeka [Kansas] Capital-Journal, 2000-2003

Peter Wilkinson, “The Acid King”, Rolling Stone Magazine, July 5, 2001,

Seth Rosenfeld, “William Pickard’s long, strange trip”, The San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 2001,

Ryan Grim, “The 91-Pound Acid Trip”, Slate Magazine ,March 14, 2005,

Jon Hanna, “Halperngate”, The Entheogen Review, Vernal Equinox 2006,

John Beresford, M.D., “Halperngate II”, The Entheogen Review, Summer Solstice 2006,

Erik Davis, “The Bad Shaman Meets the Wayward Doc”,, February 10, 2006,

Pickard trial, Grand jury indictment November 8, 2000,

Pickard trial, Second superseding indictment, June 20, 2001,

Pickard Trial, Testimony of Gordon Todd Skinner Vol. 1, 2003,

Pickard LSD Trial Transcripts

Duncan Campbell, “The Trip Goes On”, The Guardian, February 28, 2007,

Jean MacIntosh, “City Jet-Setter’s Bizarre LSD Trip”, New York Post, February 18, 2008,

Michael Mason, Chris Sandel & Lee Roy Chapman, “Subterranean Psychonaut: The Strange and Dreadful Saga of Gordon Todd Skinner”, This Land Press, 2013

“Intensive DEA Investigation Uncovers Lethal Fentanyl Lab in Wichita, Knight-Ridder, February 17, 1993

“Drug Wizard of Wichita”, Newsweek, June 20, 1993

Ryan Grim, “Who’s Got the Acid”, Slate Magazine, April 1, 2004

Stephen Tendler and David May, The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, New York: Panther/Granada,1984,

Nicholas Schou, Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest toSpread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World, New York: St. Martin’s 2010.

Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain, Acid Dreams: A Complete Social History of LSD, The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond, New York: Grove, 1985,,

Jay Stevens, Storming Heaven: LSD & The American Dream, New York: Grove, 1988

Rhoney Gissen Stanley, Owsley and Me: My LSD Family, Monkfish, 2013.

Lee Dick & Colin Pratt, Operation Julie: How the Undercover Police Team Smashed the World’s Greatest Drugs Ring, London: W.H. Allen/Virgin Books, 1978.

Lyn Alexander, Operation Julie: The World’s Greatest LSD Bust, Y Lolfa, 2012.

Leaf Fielding, To Live Outside the Law: Caught by Operation Julie, Britain’s Biggest Drugs Bust, London: Serpent’s Tail, 2011.

James Oroc, “The Second Psychedelic Revolution”, Reality Sandwich, 2014

Part One: “The End of Acid”

Part Two: “Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin: The Psychedelic Godfather”

Part Three: “Terence McKenna, The Rise of the Plant Shaman”

Part Four: “Alex Grey: The Mystic-Artist”

Part Five:

Don Lattin, The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America, New York: HarperOne, 2009

Stanislav Grof, LSD, Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research into Realms of the Human Unconscious, [Realms of the Human Unconscious] New York: Viking, 1975

Albert Hofmann, LSD, My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.

Albert Hofmann, “The Discovery of LSD and Subsequent Investigations on Naturally Occurring Hallucinogens”, in Discoveries in Biological Psychiatry, edited by Frank J. Ayd, Jr., and Barry Blackwell, New York: Lippincott, 1970.

Albert Hofmann, LSD and the Divine Scientist: The Final Thoughts and Reflections of Albert Hofmann, Rochester: Park Street Press, 2013.

Myron J. Stolaroff, The Secret Chief Revealed: Conversations with Leo Zeff, Pioneer in the Underground Psychedelic Therapy Movement, Santa Cruz: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, 2005.

David Black, Acid: a New Secret History of LSD, 2003

John C. Lilly, The Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiography of Inner Space, New York: Bantam, 1973.

John C. Lilly, “Dolphin-Human Relation and LSD 25”, in The Use of LSD in Psychotherapy and Alcoholism, edited by Harold A. Abramson, New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967.

John C. Lilly and Kutera Decosta, “Sex and Drugs with Whales and Dolphins”, New Realities, March 19, 1997.

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, New York: Frarrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968.

Mark Christensen, Acid Christ: Ken Kesey, LSD, and the Politics of Ecstasy, Tucson: Schaffner Press, 2010.

Michael E. Kreca, “How the US Government Created the ‘Drug Problem’ in the USA”,

Alexander and Ann Shulgin, Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved (TIHKAL): The Chemistry Continues, Lafayette: Transform Press, 1997.

The San Francisco Chronicle: Joel Selvin, “For the unrepentant patriarch of LSD, long, strange trip winds back to Bay Area”, July 12, 2007, and

Bruce Eisner, “Interview with an Alchemist: Bear: Owsley, LSD Chemist Extraordinaire, In Conversation with Bruce Eisner”,

“Here’s to Nicholas Sand, Alchemist of LSD”,

Richard Laing and John Hugel, “Law Enforcement: An Interview With an LSD Clandestine Chemist” [Nicholas Sand], in Hallucinogens: A Forensic Drug Handbook, 2003,

Free Casey Hardison website:

Casey William Freeblood Hardison, “A Brief History and) Motivation of an Entheogenic Chemist”,

Michael Allen, “The Psychedelic ‘Drugs Wizard’ WhoRan One of England’s Biggest LSD Labs”, Vice News, October 29, 2014

Thomas Lyttle, “LSD Blotter Art”, Luminist, 2004.

Julian Morgans, “Mark McCloud Has 30,000 Tabs of Acid in His House”, Vice, 2014.

“Blotter Art: The Institute of Illegal Images”, Juxtapoz, 2009.

Alex Grey

Chapel of Sacred Mirrors

[Anonymous], “LSD – the case for legal change”,

Richard Glen Boire, Esq., “An Introductory Note on Banned Books and Other Controlled Substances”, The Journal of Cognitive Liberties, Spring/Summer 2000,

E.J. Mishan, “Why LSD Should Be Legalized”, in Pornography, Psychedelics & Technology: Essays on the Limits to Freedom, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1980

Drug War Prisoners, Committee on Unjust Sentencing website:

Human Rights and the Drug War website:

The Faces of the Drug War, Justice Through Clemency website:

The November Coalition – The WALL – Prisoners of the War on Drugs website:

US Drug Enforcement Agency, “LSD in the United States” , n.d., [The 149 street terms for LSD and associated slang are particularly amusing.]

R.C. [sic], “B.C.’s Acid Flashback”, Vancouver Sun, December 8, 2001,

R.E.L. Masters & Jean Houston, The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience, New York: Dell, 1966, 2000

William Braden, The Private Sea: LSD and the Search for God, New York: Quadrangle, 1967.

D.V. Sivasankar, LSD – A Total Study, New Delhi: PJD Publications, 1975, [excerpt]

Abram Hoffer & Humphry Osmond, The Hallucinogens, New York: Academic, 1967,

Stephen Snelders, “The LSD Therapy Career of Jan Bastiaans, M.D.”, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Newsletter, Spring 1998

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies website:

James Fadiman, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred  Journeys, South Paris: Park Street, 2011.

Christopher Gray, The Acid Diaries: A Psychonaut’s Guide to the History and Use of LSD, South Paris: Park Street Press, 2010.

Simon G. Powell, The Psilocybin Soiution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning, South Paris: Park Street, 2011.

Thomas B. Roberts, The Psychedelic Future of the Mind: How Entheogens are Enhancing Cognition, Boosting Intelligence, and Raising Values, South Paris: Park Street, 2013.

Rick Doblin and Brad Burge (Editors), Manifesting Minds: A Review of Psychedelics in Science, Medicine, Sex, and Spirituality, Berkeley: Evolver, 2014.

Thomas B. Roberts and Michael Winkelman (Editors), Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogenic Substances As Treatments, New York: Praeger, 2007.

Ben Sessa, The Psychedelic Renaissance:  Reassessing the Role of Psychedelic Drugs in 21st Century Psychiatry and Society, Muswell Hill, 2013.

LSD Research Consortium website:

Jessica Locke Del Greco, “LSD Research: An Overview”, Mind Mined Productions, n.d.,

The Psychedelic Library website:

DRCnet Online Library of Drug Policy website:

The Vaults of Erowid website: Library:

Blue Light Web forum:

Magic Mushrooms Demystified Web forum:

Lycaeum Entheogen Database website:

The Albert Hofmann Foundation:

The Beckley Foundation Scientific Library website:

Peter Stafford, Psychedelics Encyclopedia, Berkeley: Ronin, 1978, 1983, 1992.

Peter T. Furst, Hallucinogens and Culture, Novato: Chandler & Sharp, 1976.,g/Hallucinogens-and-Culture.html,,g/Furst-Peter-T-Hallucinogens-And-Culture.html,

“Memory hole”, Wikipedia

H.P. Albarelli, Jr., A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, TrineDay, 2011 ISBN: 193629608X.

Radffi Khatchadourian, “Operation Delirium: Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets”, The New Yorker: December 17, 2012

Colonel James S. Ketchum, Chemical Warfare Secrets Almost Forgotten: A Personal Story of Medical Testing of Army Volunteers, ChemBook, 2006 ISBN: 1424300800.


British Broadcasting Corporation Horizon, Psychedelic Science

Cable News Network, Life in Prison for Selling LSD

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies YouTube channel

Vice Magazine, High on Krystle: The Underground LSD Palace

Blotter art:

Mark McCloud:

Zane Kesey: