‘America’s leading scholar of High Strangeness’ Dr.Erik Davis, enters the Bureau.
We hear about Erik’s career charting the highs and lows of counterculture, esoterica and psychedelia in America and meet three of the most influential radical psychedelic characters of 1970s - the writers / thinkers / lunatics Philip K Dick, Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson.
Each had extraordinary mystical experiences in the heady days of early 1970 countercultures which kickstarted an incredible outpouring of radical theories, fiction, speculations, conspiracy theories and consciousness exploration.
We hear about radical politics, drugs, strange new religions, environmentalism, cults and the darkening of the psychedelic dream as the sunny uplands of the 1960s turn into the confused melting pot of the 1970s.
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Mike Jay, the UK’s foremost historian of psychoactive plants, joins us to talk about the deeply strange hallucinogen/drug/medicine/sacrament mescaline - a substance derived from the peyote cactus.
Whilst other psychedelic compounds are more popular - and much more in the news - Mike tells us why mescaline was actually the very first psychedelic.
We hear strange stories of drug use in 19th century London, Native American medicine ceremonies - and Bovril..
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Forget California, swinging sixties London or the Paris riots for a moment, Estonian filmmaker Terje Toomistu joins us to talk about the hippie movement of the Soviet Union.
It had all the characteristics of Western hippiedom: long hair, groovy music, esoteric spirituality and drugs. The only thing missing perhaps was the radical public politics that would have pushed the repressive Soviet authorities into drastic, brutal action
Terji’s film, with its super groovy soundtrack of rare tunes, provides a fascinating glimpse into a moving, daring subculture that flourished east of the Iron Curtain.
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