Reddit Reddit reviews Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond

We found 35 Reddit comments about Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Historical Study
Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond
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35 Reddit comments about Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond:

u/perfektstranger · 21 pointsr/HistoryPorn

Psychedelics played a bigger role than most people realize. It was the first time on earth there was a substance available to the mainstream in huge quantities that actually changed your perception on a massive level, and it was being taken by prominent social figures. Even as a psychedelic user and advocate myself, I totally underestimated the impact until I read the book "[Acid Dreams - The Complete Social History of LSD]
(". Highly recommended.

Edit: Incoming downvotes from people who probably dont know much about psychedelics

u/toraksmash · 13 pointsr/todayilearned

They weren't just dosing citizens for experimental purposes - they would regularly dose each other just for shits and giggles. It began as a search for a mind-control drug.

Acid Dreams is a great book about the history of the CIA's interactions with LSD. You'll also find appearances by the likes of Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey and their kin. It gives a nice contrasting view of the two (or three, or thirty) different ideologies present amongst the assorted Acid taking groups of the 60's in regards to what they could all agree was a chemical that was going to change everything.

u/eternalkerri · 10 pointsr/AskHistorians

I'm assuming you're mostly interested in the LSD/"Mind Control" aspects of MKUltra.

Much of the official CIA/DoD documentation on MKUltra was destroyed during the 1970's in a big document purge around the time of the Church Comittee. After the revelations of Watergate as well as the era of the post J. Edgar Hoover FBI and revelations of COINTELPRO, the CIA began to purge a lot of it's documents as well as turn a lot of them over.

Much of their clandestine works that were being conducted inside the U.S. with testing and experimentation, as well as it's working with the FBI on counter-espionage were shut down, however MKUltra was officially shut down in '73.

Much of the MKUltra research work was basically "outsourced," to universities, pharmaceutical companies, and research and teaching hospitals. It's a well known and established fact that known psychologists and psychedelic researchers received government grants to study drugs like LSD, BZ, mushrooms, peyote, etc. The DoD also conducted their own experiments

One of the ironies of these paid government experimentations was that it "leaked." People like Leary became so enamored with the drug and the atmosphere of a collegiate environment (Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, etc.), allowed the drugs to quickly get out of hand and out of the laboratory setting. Essentially many of the researchers and doctors being paid by the CIA and government were the first to start the psychedelics movement.

However, by the mid 1960's the CIA had lost interest in LSD, but not before it turned it lose on the world. There were some wild experiments such as dosing an elephant to death, dosing cats.

Some experiments were pretty nasty too. They experiemented on prisoners, and in one case kept 200 patients dosed on LSD for over 45 days. In some of those cases the doctors have been sued or been subject to censure. However, on the whole, many of these scientists and doctors simply went on with their work in pharmaceuticals and psychology.

In the end, over 1000 academic papers were written about psychoactives. However due to the widespread abuse of and criminalization of the drugs, halted experimentation by the mid 1960's. During this period though, people as varied as housewives to Carey Grant and Francis Crick (of DNA fame), experimented and used the drug. Due to the problematic nature of the drugs abuse a lot of information has been clouded and thorough, modern research has not been done until very recently. During it's brief period of testing, it was discovered that LSD combined with psychotherapy in a controlled environment with a trained facilitator had strong potential to aid treatment. There is also strong evidence that it is very useful in treating other substance abuse issues such as alcoholism, but of course this requires more study.

There is a great book about MKUltra and LSD called Acid Dreams which covers the history of LSD from it's discovery through the 1970's to include its use in MKUltra and the CIA, as well as a history of MKUltra's psychedelic experiments.

u/mossyskeleton · 8 pointsr/Drugs

OP are you reading Acid Dreams? I'm reading it right now... seems like every page there's multiple mind-blowing TIL's like this.

u/juanfranela · 7 pointsr/todayilearned
u/kabuli · 7 pointsr/AskHistorians

This is true. Outlined well in Acid Dreams by Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain Known as MKULTRA, another interesting aspect is the psychiatric community and some of their personal lives intertwining with those governmental groups.

u/eatcrayons · 7 pointsr/worldnews

I read "Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond" over the summer, not knowing much about LSD history besides the CIA made it, and it was one of the greatest reads of my life. Explains all of the steps of the movement, about public opinion, the main personalities involved, and the political movements that came from all of these different groups.

u/dubsideofmoon · 6 pointsr/todayilearned

Check out the book Acid Dreams . It's fantastic, and it covers this and all the other totally wild things that happened in the early days of LSD. It also includes information on the weaponized hallucinogens that were used against enemy troops in Vietnam.

Just wanted to point out that there are real books on this stuff, and not just websites.

u/SecretChristian · 6 pointsr/LSD

Not specifically about LSD, but good:

Anything by Aldous Huxley (Doors of Perception in particular)

About LSD and great:

LSD: Doorway to the Numinous

Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD

u/fightsonlyforfrogs · 5 pointsr/Drugs

I'm on my phone so can't type as great an answer as I'm die you'd like. However I just finished reading this book:

It goes into all the detail you would ever want about psychedelics and their affect on our culture over the years. I'd highly recommend it.

u/Xaao · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

This one is awesome: acid dreams

u/trippinglydotnet · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

Start with: How to Change Your Mind (start with this detailed annotated summary). The pop culture starting point these days. The summary is all you need to read to understand the entire book but the book is well worth the time.

After that you'll have more ideas where to do. Below is a lot of stuff. I've watched/read all of them, so happy to answer any questions/give more guidance.


Study the "classics" by taking a look at these (skim the long ones to start):

Seeking the Magic Mushroom (first western trip report on mushrooms)

My 12 Hours As A Madman (another historically important trip report)

The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based On The TIbetan Book of the Dead (classic book on guided trips)

LSD My Problem Child by Albert Hoffman

Al Hubbard: The Original Captian Trips


Docs to Watch:

The Sunshine Makers (documentary)

Orange Sunshine (documentary)

Aya: Awakenings (documentary)

Dirty Pictures (documentary)

A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin (documentary)

Hoffmans Potion (documentary): r/"


And a whole lot of others:



The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide – James Fadiman
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction – Gabor Mate
Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream – Jay Stevens
Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from clinic to campus – Erika Dyck
The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem – Andrew Weil
Acid Hype: American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience – Stephen Siff
Acid Dreams: The complete social history of LSD – Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain
Drugs: Without the Hot Air – David Nutt
A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life – Ayelet Waldman
Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain – Nicolas Langlitz
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 – Don Lattin


Terence McKenna discusses the stoned ape theory

A Conversation on LSD – In a video from the late 1970s, Al Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Humphry Osmond, Sidney Cohen and others reflect on LSD’s heyday

Alison Gopnik and Robin Carhart-Harris at the 2016 Science of Consciousness Conference

The Future of Psychedelic Psychiatry – a discussion between Thomas Insel and Paul Summergrad

Documents, Articles & Artifacts

Al Hubbard’s FBI file

Remembrances of LSD Therapy Past – Betty Grover Eisner’s unpublished memoir about her role in developing psychedelic therapy

LSD, Insight or Insanity – Transcript of excerpts from hearings of the Subcommittee
on the Executive Reorganization of the Senate Committee on Government Operations [concerning federal research and regulation of LSD-25] May 24, 1966

The Brutal Mirror: What an ayahuasca retreat showed me about my life —A Vox writer’s first-person account


Forums Includes experience reports, discussion of spirituality, ecology, healing, and recovery by means of the vine are collected here. A place to learn from members of ayahuasca churches, as well as a few foreign language channels.

Bluelight: A 20 year old online harm reduction forum that fosters open and factual discussion of drugs and provides support for those seeking recovery from addiction.

DMT Nexus: A hub for underground psychedelic research on botanical sources of tryptamines and other psychedelic compounds.

5Hive: A newer forum devoted specifically to 5-MeO-DMT — synthetic, botanical or toad-derived.

Mycotopia: All things mycological — discussions of edible, wild, and psychoactive fungi.

The Shroomery: A forum  devoted to cultivating psilocybin-containing mushrooms and sharing trip reports.

TRIPSIT: A 24/7 online harm reduction resource.  Users can chat instantly with someone about their drug experience, or questions they may have about about the safe(r) use of a wide variety of controlled substances.

u/jonnyjedi · 3 pointsr/todayilearned
u/thegonzotrip4200 · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

Dude, just finished The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test yesterday. It was awesome how much it really put you "in the pudding". Will definitely check it out. Another book on the subject is Acid Dreams: A Complete Social History of LSD. Erowid Review.

u/pathogen · 2 pointsr/Marijuana
u/soupified · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Acid Dreams covers the history of LSD and the CIA's involvement. Lots of time, money and reckless experimentation went into finding a substance that would consistently allow interrogators to influence the minds of captured spies.

Definitely worth a read - some very, very interesting stuff.

u/slashoom · 2 pointsr/The_Donald

BZ bombs for sure. Except those of us who know how to handle psychedelics will be fighting against the Enlightened Operatives.

u/L4Life · 2 pointsr/LSD

You should read this book if you're interested:

u/nursebad · 2 pointsr/RationalPsychonaut

It was very accepted and practiced in the 50s. The book Acid Dreams goes into in depth.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/offbeat

"mushrooms" are not the same as LSD by a long shot, although I beleive ergotamine, a crucial ingredient, is derived from a fungus.

I highly recommend the book "Acid Dreams" and of course "LSD - My Problem Child" If the DEA Micrograms bulletins are to be believed, any "lsd" you find now could be made up of god-knows-what. The closest you can probably come to being sure you've taken "lsd" (or maybe even ALD-50) is to see if the trip lasts 8-10 hours etc. An LSD trip would also be distinct from a mushroom trip.

u/legalize-drugs · 2 pointsr/conspiracy

I repeat: This poster is trolling you guys. He has no evidence, and none exists, that LSD is still in use as a mind control drug. Its early history, including attempts by the CIA and military to use it in a wide range of applications, is well-documented in the book "Acid Dreams" by Martin Lee et al.

u/malcomte · 2 pointsr/PsychonautReadingClub

Acid Dreams --

This is a great book on the history of LSD and the personalities (and government agencies like the CIA) that led to the acid explosion of the 60s. Well sourced and well written.

> “An engrossing account of a period . . . when a tiny psychoactive molecule affected almost every aspect of Western life.”—William S. Burroughs

u/seeking-soma · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

Read Chasing the Scream and Acid Dreams to get a full picture of why we are where we are now.

What others are saying is right. It's a political move to criminalize minorities and rebellious youth cultures.

u/gusaroo · 1 pointr/Marijuana

Anyone interested in the history of LSD or its therapeutic use should read "Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD." Fascinating book. It talks a lot about the CIA's investigations into using it for espionage, the psychiatric uses (and how it was used successfully to treat alcoholism), the hippies and counterculture, etc.

u/logicisadyingtrend · 1 pointr/booksuggestions One of the most fascinating books I've read on the movement. Covers LSD from it's discovery to MK Ultra to being used by the counterculture.

u/bodycounters · 1 pointr/Drugs

There is a lot of stuff in this book that supports the idea that psychedelics have a place in mental health treatment. A great read, I recommend it if you are interested in this topic.

u/Messena · 1 pointr/todayilearned
u/Jhivemind · 1 pointr/bassnectar

Acid Dreams is the one that immediately comes to mind for me, mainly because the only reason I ended up knowing about it and picking it up was through a twitter recommendation by Lorin himself. It's quite an account of LSD culture and opened my eyes (pun intended) to some systematic lies that I never knew existed. Highly recommend if the subject matter is at all of interest to you! Cheers!!

u/fuckhead69 · 1 pointr/JoeRogan

the old hippie dude at my job bought me a copy of Acid Dreams by Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain. Fascinating read on the history of LSD.

u/zorbathustra · 1 pointr/politics

Google is full of links. I haven't read this book, but I might... it seems like a compendium of facts I've pieced together myself:

u/gloria_snockers · 1 pointr/Drugs

the most extensive and expansive book I've found is acid dreams , It describes the scene in real detail.

u/LocalAmazonBot · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

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u/BeefAndBroccoli · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

Acid Dreams is another fantastic book which focuses on the connection between the counterculture and the CIA, including how the CIA distributed acid to the masses

u/manspaceman · 1 pointr/LSD

I recommend taking a look at a book called Acid Dreams. This is more or less what happened during the 60s. People began taking LSD and decided they wanted to change the world. One take away from the book though is that because your LSD experience is so heavily influenced by your set and setting, different groups of people can interpret their LSD experiences in very different ways, and so it becomes difficult to organize towards a common goal.

u/carlEdwards · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

It depends on what facet of the government's involvement you're interested in. You might find Acid Dreams interesting.