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Walter Armstrong Walter Armstrong

The Man Who Accidentally Started the Drug Culture


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Howard Bloom, the scientific Big Thinker and author of The Lucifer Principle and The God Problem, was a big-time music industry impresario in the 1970s before he got chronic-fatigue syndrome and settled into his widely acclaimed second career.

In his new book, How I Accidentally Started the Drug Culture in 1962, he reveals that his “cosmic” cognitions had their origins in his rocking and rolling psychedelic youth.

Here’s a taste of one of his early revelations:

But my friends had incredible news to share. They had discovered the magic elixir that unlocked the secrets of the universe, the mystic potion that allowed those in psychic pain to descend into the basement of the human mind and straighten out the plumbing, the lens through which the wonders of the universe could be seen in all their glory. It was the stuff the graduate biochem students at Berkeley had learned to synthesize in their spare time. These scholars had been kind enough to make their magic formula available to the world, sweetened and wrapped in handy, reusable aluminum foil. For this act of kindly sorcery, they were charging a mere pittance—$5.00 a cube. Their key to the secrets of a painfully tangled cosmos was called LSD.