Corporations will own all of your relationships one day, including your psychedelic experience

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It’s not really that hard to guess what was going through the head of venture capitalist and Paypal founder Peter Thiel who is worth $2.2 billion, when Compass Pathways, a company in which he’s heavily invested, filed a patent application for psychedelic therapy — not for the drug itself, psilocybin is in the public domain and can’t be patented. It intends to own via patent the way in which a guide interacts with a subject during a psychedelic session. Compass Pathways, which began life as a not-for-profit, is now a publicly-traded psychedelic mental health company with questionable intentions.


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I’ve been trying to find women who are affiliated with psychedelic medicine — not wannabe practioners, but those who have done real work. I came across a not-exactly-scientifically-sound paper written by a psychologist associated with the University of Ottowa titled: ‘Diversity, equity, and access in psychedelic medicine.’ Her prior written work was singularly focused on “microaggressions” dozens of articles, and even a textbook devoted to them: fighting microaggressions, locating and identifying people who might have committed them; the ways in which microaggressions could cause harm.

Despite her questionable scientific credibility, I contacted her anyway. Including women’s voices in the psychedelic…


Releasing psychic energy tied to the fear of death and worry about the future allows patients to live more meaningfully in the present

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Over the last fifteen years, psychedelics have begun to make a slow but inexorable return to the psychotherapeutic treatment space. Clinical findings from the years prior to their 1971 banishment were consistent. No other method had been found to be as effective for alcoholism, depression, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, smoking addiction, or anorexia nervosa. That said, it’s not possible to talk about the re-emergence of psychedelics without first talking about their disappearance.

Although psychedelics had been used widely in psychiatric medicine for many years prior to their 1971 ban, the first scientific study to examine the drugs’ effects in healthy…


A mis en scène of fake humility

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A multi-tweet advice thread calling itself “HARSH WRITING ADVICE” popped up in my Twitter feed a few days ago from someone I don’t know and don’t follow. Its aim was to dispense tough girl “HARSH WRITING ADVICE” tips to aspiring writers. I rarely react to Twitter. I’ve got better things to do. But her series of HARSH WRITING ADVICE tweets provoked me. They were misguided, they were sad, but above all, they were an auto-da-fé denouncing the very idea of women being competitive or ambitious.

I gathered from the context she’s a screen writer. …


I failed to see my father for the predator he was until I saw him through my friend’s eyes.

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It is summer and I’m at my parents’ house in Palo Alto, on the Stanford campus. I have a newly-minted MA degree in English from Brown.

I’ve hunkered down in my old bedroom, which is no longer mine, really, because the moment I left home, my parents rented it out to Stanford students as a kind of up-the-hill-faculty-ghetto-dorm-room. The room happens to be vacant for a few weeks because the paying occupant has gone away. My parents’ message is clear: you’re not welcome; and you’d better believe we’re going to recoup our costs for having raised you.

Located at the…


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Starting this week, I’ll be publishing a newsletter on Substack devoted to psychedelic science and psychedelic medicine where I will post news, commentary and analysis about psychedelic science and how it will affect mental health, medicine and psychotherapeutic practice. I will also cover government policy, safety, and what happens when big business gets involved.

Sign up here. Newsletters delivered to your inbox twice per month. No circus. Fact based. Stay informed.

My newsletter explores psychedelic drugs, the scientific basis for their clinical use and their benefits to psychotherapy. I report on their potential impact on the fields of medicine, mental…


I have my own needs, which up until this minute have taken the back seat

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My sister’s death was caused by the incest and victim blaming in my father’s family.

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We meet in the parking lot of the Chevy’s in Gilroy — a chain of pseudo-Mexican restaurants in central California, a notch or two better than Denny’s. It’s easily identified by a sign near the freeway and close to the road, which is why my sister chose it. She gets out of the car. She comes over and embraces me.

“I finally got my sister back. I never thought I would.” She smiles, and the smile is comfortingly familiar, although there is something wrong with her eyes.

“You always had me,” I say to Andrea. “You just didn’t know it.”


Pathogens don’t care if politicians weaponize public ignorance

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Typhoid Mary was the first rock-star human disease super-spreader. Even if you don’t know who she was, you’ve probably heard her name. She’s the embodiment of a disease spread by a human or animal vector who herself has become immune to it.

Typhoid Mary’s tale has a lot to tell us about how the Sars-CoV-2 virus, or Covid-19 proliferates. Because of her, we now know that people who have recovered from a mild bout of a deadly infectious disease can go on to infect those around them.

When it comes to transmissability, the two diseases are not really dissimilar. A…


Living a lie about who you are has never made anyone a better parent

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We are living in the suburbs outside of Boston in an eerie little New England town called Waban. It is probably 1960. There is a local library where Deborah and I check out books every Thursday, a drugstore with a soda fountain, an A&P, an elementary school, a post office and a hardware store on whose back wall a large poster of a scantily-clad, busty young woman leaning seductively against a bicycle is festooned.

It is late afternoon, bordering on evening. It is getting dark. …

Erica Rex

Writer for NYT, Sci Am Nat‘l Mag Award. Climate, mental health, wild things. erica.rex@gmail.com. Newsletter https://psychedelicrenaissance.substack.com/

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