There are three or four people sitting-lying
around in a messy room, the curtains are pulled
tightly closed and the only light is a candle
burning. One young man is rubbing his upper lip
with his index finger while he stares blankly
into the dark ceiling. The only sound coming
from him is an occasional, "wow". His lip is
raw where he has been rubbing it. Two other
people are pushing marbles back and forth across
the floor to one another while they giggle
stupidly. They've been doing that for more than
an hour. These people are using LSD, or
"tripping on acid ".
WHAT EXACTLY IS LSD?
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a “schedule
I” drug under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse
Prevention and Control Act of 1970, meaning it
has a high possibility for abuse and has no
accepted medical use whatever.
LSD (Artist: William Rafti)
LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Albert
Hofmann working in the Swiss pharmaceutical
company called Sandoz. It comes from a fungus
called ergot that grows on rye and other
grains. Hofmann was hoping to develop a new
drug which could be used to stimulate
circulation and respiration. However, the tests
he conducted were not fruitful and he forgot
about LSD for five years.
Historically, the first mentions of ergot were
in the Middle Ages in Europe where outbreaks of
massive poisonings affected thousands of persons
at a time. At that time the cause was a mystery
and was assigned to superstitious sources. One
such supposed source of the affliction was
witchcraft. It is now widely believed that the
hysteria that can accompany ergot poisoning is
to blame for many of the witch trials in the New
World and to a much greater extent in Europe.
Witch-hunts hardly occurred where people didn't
In 1943, five years after the development and
initial tests of LSD, Hofmann accidentally
ingested (or somehow absorbed) a bit of the
chemical and experienced "restlessness and some
dizziness". He was understandably intrigued and
tried an experiment in which he purposely took
what he considered to be, "the smallest quantity
that could be expected to produce some
effect". This was less than 250 millionths of
a gram. Even that was enough to produce an
What followed was the worlds first "acid trip".
In his book, LSD, MY PROBLEM CHILD, Dr. Hofmann
"Every exertion of my will, every attempt to put
an end to the disintegration of the outer world
and the dissolution of my ego, seemed to be
wasted effort. A demon had invaded me, had taken
possession of my body, mind and soul."
LSD IS AMAZINGLY TOXIC
Even those who believe there may be some benefit
to this drug admit that LSD is an incredibly
toxic substance. The usual dose that a human
would take is around 65 micrograms, which is
less than three millionths of an ounce. But
even that small amount is some 5,000 to 10,000
times more powerful than mescaline, another
powerful hallucinogen that comes from a cactus.
225 Doses of LSD on Blotter Paper
"The toxic or even fatal dose range overlaps the
range of recreational dosage." Dr. H. Kalant
University of Toronto.
In one report from 1962, two psychiatrists,
Louis Jolyon West and Chester M. Pierce,
injected a 7000-pound bull elephant with LSD.
The animal collapsed in five minutes with
convulsions and died in agony 95 minutes later.
The dose¾less than one third of one gram.
The purpose of this irresponsible test was to
study madness in male elephants.
Despite the known serious health effects of LSD,
this compound and similar variants were secretly
tested as “mind-control” drugs by certain
psychiatrists on behalf of various governments
during the 1950s. Secrecy leads to curiosity
and lay press kept “discovering” and promoting
this drug, in effect advertising it. Perhaps
the most famous proponent of LSD is Timothy
Leary, then a young psychology instructor at
Harvard, who was dismissed from faculty and then
made himself into a highly publicized and
self-proclaimed martyr for his cause: to
organize one’s life around an LSD subculture.
CREATING MADNESS IS WHAT LSD DOES BEST
In the early seventies a friend of mine, while
on LSD got lost in the restroom of a restaurant
for more than 40 minutes. She had become
mesmerized by her own appearance in the mirror
and eventually became so disoriented and
frightened that she literally couldn't find her
way out of the place. That incident sent this
person into a morbid depression. Ultimately, she
attempted suicide and ended up in some
psychiatrist's "care". The last I heard, she
was on antidepressants and trying to "pull
herself together". I knew this girl; she had
no history of psychosis or neurosis prior to
this bad trip.
Image by Daniel Bayona
I have been in the position to see many people
enter drug rehab. I have seen the condition
they are in and the look in their eyes as they
walk through the door. Those who have been
taking LSD are recognizable in that they are
unable to focus their attention; they are
nervous, "not quite there" and very
Finally, in my years at the Narconon Program, I
have seen no evidence for the claims that
hallucinogens inspire creativity or
enlightenment. More likely, they tend to do away
Mr. Tony Bylsma, a Certified Chemical
Dependency Counselor and Executive Director of
Narconon Drug Prevention & Education, has since
1980 educated many thousands of students on the
dangers of drugs. In addition he has years of
experience in rehabilitating drug addicts. He
can be reached at 1-888-966-3784.
Toll Free: 888-800-8331
For more information, please contact:
Drug Prevention & Education
Blvd. Suite 18
Los Angeles, CA 90041
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