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Baba Ram Dass, spiritual guru and LSD proponent, dies at 88

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Ye Olde Powder Monkey

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Hmmm. Ha

BE HERE NOW book-cover.

I disagree that Dass brought modern zen to the west. He had initial links with Leary.
He brought CIA LSD-experiment fueled MASS DELUSION to the 'Golden-Years' generation.
I won't confirm that he like Leary he had access to US Navy Laboratory & US Army 'Remote-Viewing' LSD enhanced experiments.
Early on, he emigrated to India to study hang-out with the Gurus.

Project GONDOLA WISH, GRILL FLAME, CENTER LANE, SUN STREAK, SCANATE—until 1991 when they were consolidated and rechristened as "Stargate Project".
I've met a parapsychologist involved in this.

I had a two-day 'interview' session, with one female, who claimed in 1999, whilst on a world-wide speaking tour, to have been a professional parapsychologist, participating in the LSD-fueled experiments at Stanford Uni, and before that worked at the Navy Research Labs, on 'remote-viewing' ... she revealed ...

They actually put SOME subjects on so much LSD, that their bodies had to be kept alive on life-support machine, whilst the parapsychologists researched severe 'separating the soul', or "out-of-body" experiments. In my 'interview' I didn't find out if anyone died during the procedure(s).

I actually follow this person's work today, their web presence reveals to me that a lot of the spiritistic beliefs and so-called 'healing techniques' she claims to have mastered, are very most likely the result of utter-hokum results obtained or perceived to have been obtained during the Stanford University LSD 'separation of the soul' experiments. Aka, what they witnessed, they took as physical evidence for real phenomena when it was really deception.

There are many modern day zen teachers who do a proficient and capable job of passing on the dharma without having to make any allusion to drugs. Let he/she be judged by deeds.

Like any religion, Zen is about study & discipline. And dealing with life as it really is, putting no weight to hallucinations & visions induced by drugs, alcohol & empty ritualism, nor pagan, hedonist self-reward cult.

Last Edit by Gladstone

Re: Baba Ram Dass, spiritual guru and LSD proponent, dies at 88
« Reply #1 on: Dec 24, 2019, 12:22:11 pm »


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fyi ... Richard  Alpert is Ram Dass
The Sequoia Seminars - A History
As it turned out, Rathbun's own life had been transformed when he and his wife, Emilia, attended a 1935 wilderness retreat led by Henry B. Sharman, a wealthy retired Canadian. Sharman had written a book entitled Jesus as Teacher, which probed the historical records surrounding the New Testament.

After returning to Stanford, the Rathbuns began conducting study groups for Stanford students in their home on the teachings of Christ. The sessions were later expanded to include a two-week retreat at a center that was established in the mountains about forty miles southwest of campus near the sleepy beach town of Santa Cruz.

They became known as the Sequoia Seminars and ultimately, in the 1970s, spun off a series of cultlike groups (including the Creative Initiative Foundation, Beyond War, and Women to Women Building the Earth for the Children's Sake) that attracted a broad, largely upper-middle-class following.


It was during one of his visits in 1956 that Heard spoke enthusiastically to Stolaroff about a new drug called LSD. The very idea shocked the young engineer, who couldn't figure out why a world-famous mystic would need to take a drug. Nevertheless, Heard was fervent and told Stolaroff about an unusual man who would occasionally come from Canada and administer the  substance to both him and Aldous Huxley.

With two passports and with a murky history of connections to both law enforcement and intelligence agencies, Al Hubbard was without question one of the most curious characters in America during the 1950s and 1960s. There are conflicting accounts of Hubbard's life, but the best summary of his early years appears in Jay Stevens's Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream.

Born in Kentucky, Hubbard surfaced publicly in Seattle in 1919 with the invention of a perpetual-motion machine.17 Later, there were tales of his running war materials by boat up the West Coast, where they were then shipped by land through Canada to Great Britain. And there was an intimation that he had had some loose affiliation with the Manhattan Project as a black-market supplier of uranium. Even after Stolaroff had come to know Hubbard well, he wasn't certain where the truth lay. But he soon fell under Hubbard's spell, viewing him as an especially powerful and articulate individual.

Hubbard is intriguing in part because while most popular accounts of the introduction of LSD in America focus on the roles played by author Ken Kesey and psychologist Timothy Leary, Hubbard was an earlier proponent, and an important influence in the use of psychedelics by a number of Silicon Valley's pioneering engineers.

Hubbard, while he was the  president of a Canadian uranium mine, had discovered psychedelics in the early 1950s when he participated in mescaline experiments at the  University of Vancouver.

He found LSD in 1955, and in addition to Huxley, Heard, and perhaps more than one thousand others during the 1950s, he introduced the drug to Stolaroff and indirectly to a small group of engineers who formed a splinter group from the Rathbuns' Sequoia Seminar.

Myron Stolaroff

He [Stolaroff] returned to California a zealot, a convert to the new LSD faith. He had decided that experiences like the one he had had in Canada were the answer to the world's problems.

LSD would give society a new set of powerful tools to advance human development. Like Engelbart, Stolaroff set off on his own grand quest to augment the human mind.

His first stop was his closest friends at the Sequoia Seminar, where he had become a member of the group's planning committee. He introduced them to LSD in turn and created an informal research group composed of five fellow engineers and their wives.

The group included a young Ampex engineer, Don Allen; Stanford electrical engineering professor Willis Harman; and several others from both Hewlett-Packard and SRI.

Stolaroff's study group set in motion an unheralded but significant train of events, plunging a small group of technologists into the world of psychedelics almost a decade before LSD became a standard recreational drug on American college campuses.


Fadiman had gone to Harvard and studied social relations. He soon came to consider the field as psychology without rats, and he had instead focused his energy on being an actor. After graduating in 1960, he spent a year in Paris, and while he was there Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert along with Aldous Huxley passed through on their way to deliver an academic paper on psychedelics in Copenhagen.

In Paris, Alpert, who had been Fadiman's professor at Harvard, told him, "The greatest thing in the world has happened to me, and I want to share it with you." He proceeded to pull a small bottle out of his pocket, introducing his former student to LSD.

Forced back to America by the threat of the draft, Fadiman moved to California a year later and arrived at Stanford as a distinctly unhappy graduate student in 1961. He was feeling that school was a waste of his life, which he would have rather spent in more cultured Augmentation Europe.

Moreover, having recently been introduced to psychedelic drugs, the world suddenly seemed like a much different place. Full of self-pity, he began leafing through the Stanford class catalog looking for something that might be interesting to study. He found a small section of crossdisciplinary  classes, including one being taught by an electrical engineering professor, Willis Harman, called "The Human Potential." The class was to be a discussion of what was the highest and the best to which human beings could aspire.

In his new, more highly attuned state, Fadiman thought to himself, There's something here. That morning, he walked across campus to visit Harman. The man to whom he introduced himself looked like a totally straight and conservative engineering professor, and when Fadiman asked if he could take the interdisciplinary course, Harman replied that it was already full for the quarter, and perhaps he should think about it for the next quarter.

"I've taken psilocybin three times," Fadiman said quietly. The professor walked across the room, shut his office door, and said, "We'd better talk."

In the end, Fadiman became Harman's teaching assistant. He was able to talk to the students about things that Harman felt he couldn't. He also soon became the youngest researcher at the newly founded International Foundation for Advanced Study, Myron Stolaroff's project for continuing his research on the uses of LSD.

When Stolaroff and Harman set up shop in Menlo Park in March 1961, they weren't the only ones on the Midpeninsula exploring the therapeutic uses of LSD. Experiments were already being conducted at the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Menlo Park, and the Palo Alto Mental Research Institute had also begun introducing local psychiatrists and psychologists, and even writers such as Allen Ginsberg, to psychedelic drugs.15

But the foundation was something new. Engineers rather than medical professionals led the project, and the clinic was intent on charging a five-hundred-dollar fee for each experience. An early local newspaper report described the foundation's goals as being "partly medical, partly scientific, partly philosophical, partly mystical."16

Stolaroff, with the help of Willis Harman, largely funded the foundation, the real purpose of which was to conduct the research needed to make LSD credible in the medical profession. They worked with several psychologists, including Fadiman, as well as the mysterious Al Hubbard, who was a mentor to both Harman and Stolaroff and who became a member of the board of directors.

Fadiman, who soon was teaching at San Francisco State, finished his Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford, and his research at the foundation focused on the changes in beliefs, attitude, and behavior that resulted from taking LSD.
The foundation was not far from Roy Kepler's bookstore and a short walk from the hole-in-the-wall store where the Midpeninsula Free University store and print shop were to locate in the mid-sixties. In another building a block away, Brand later established the Whole Earth Truck Store and the Whole Earth Catalog. About a mile away from the truck store, the original People's Computer Company settled and in turn was the catalyst for the Homebrew Computer Club in the mid-1970s. The club itself served to ignite the personal-computer industry.
Most of the Bay Area was comfortably oblivious. Beginning in 1961, for a period of more than four years, the International Foundation for Advanced Study led more than 350 people through LSD experiences.
...Among the participants were Dr. Charles Savage, a physician who had conducted medical experiments for the U.S. Navy in the early 1950s, exploring the use of psychedelics as a truth serum,

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So Alpert was at Stanford from 1956 to 1958, The same time as the Sequoia Seminars were experimenting with LSD. I find it hard to believe that Alpert who gets his PHD in "Human Development" and then spends two years as a prof at Stanford did not at least hear of the experiments going on all around him . Now it is said that Alpert was a "closeted" gay man and that he was having an affair with a man in Berkeley/Oakland? so maybe all this was just ignored by him. I find it interesting that I can find NOTHING about him regarding his time at Stanford. Again has his bio been massaged? The Stanford University website has nothing on this prominant alumni...

And then, he makes a beeline for Harvard and starts up a program with Leary (where he could be top banana? Just a co-incidence? REALLY? Or was he given instructions to startup another "program" ). It maybe that Leary and Alpert were used as a way to coverup the origins of the earlier programs at Stanford SRI and to discredit LSD as a "therapy".

Also for background Alpert's father George was extremely well connected as president of the New Haven Railroad .

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Also George Alpert was one of the founders of Brandeis University named after Louis Brandeis:
Louis Brandeis
United States Supreme Court Justice from 1916 to 1939.
Brandeis became active in the Federation of American Zionists in 1912, as a result of a conversation with Jacob de Haas,  During Wilson's first year as president, Brandeis "played a key role in shaping the Federal Reserve Act," according to banking historian Albert Link ...
Brandeis also brought his philosophy and influence into the Woodrow Wilson administration to bear in the negotiations leading up to the Balfour Declaration

Brandeis and Jekell Island 1910:

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Richard Alpert AKA Ram Dass born original last name Alperovitz
Richard Alpert (born April 6, 1931), also known as Baba Ram Dass, is a contemporary spiritual teacher who wrote the 1971 bestseller Remember Be Here Now. He is well known for his personal and professional association with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s. He is also known for his travels to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba.

Youth and college
Alpert was born to a prominent Jewish family in Newton, Massachusetts. His father, George Alpert, was one of the most influential lawyers in the Boston area and president of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, as well as one of the leading founders of Brandeis University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The youngest of three boys, Richard as a child was described as being engaging and loved by all—the family mascot. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University, master's degree from Wesleyan University and doctorate (in psychology) from Stanford University.

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Alperovitz Family Part 1

[Ram Dass is Related to Herb Alpert (brass)]

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Leary (and his longtime associate, psychologist Richard Alpert) matured professionally in a CIA-funded research world. In 1948, Leary, then a UC Berkeley graduate student, attended the yearly convention of the left-wing American Veterans’ Council in Milwaukee. There he met CIA officer Cord Meyer. Meyer’s professional specialty was infiltrating and discrediting various organizations deemed "un-American" or "disloyal." Meyer persuaded Leary to help him. Leary acknowledged Meyer’s influence, crediting him with "helping me understand my political-cultural role more clearly."

During 1954–59 Leary was the director of clinical research and psychology at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Oakland, Calif
. The personality test that made him famous, "The Leary," was actually used by the CIA to test prospective employees. A grad school classmate of Leary’s, CIA contractor Frank Barron, worked with the Berkeley Institute for Personality Assessment and Research, which was funded and staffed by CIA psychologists.

In 1960 Barron, with government funding, founded the Harvard Psychedelic Drug Research Center. Leary followed Barron to Harvard, becoming a lecturer in psychology where he remained for three years. Leary’s Harvard associates included former chief OSS psychologist Harry Murray, who had monitored the early OSS "truth serum" experiments, and numerous other knowing CIA contractors. One of Dr. Murray’s many test subjects was a Harvard undergraduate math major named Theodore Kaczynski.

In the spring of 1963, Leary and Alpert left Harvard and founded the International Foundation for Internal Freedom (IFIF) – later renamed the Castalia Foundation – on a 2,500-acre estate in the small upstate New York community of Millbrook. There, the pair of psychologists continued their hallucinogenic drug research and soon became the chief investigative target of an ambitious Dutchess County district attorney named G. Gordon Liddy. Multimillionaire William Mellon Hitchcock generously bankrolled the founding and operation of IFIF/Castalia and later financed a huge black-market LSD manufacturing operation.

Even so, Leary carefully stressed proper mindset, setting and dosages in a book he coauthored with Alpert and Ralph Metzner, The Psychedelic Experience. It was based on an ancient Tibetan shamanic manual, The Book of the Dead. The latter work referred to an herbal tea similar in content to but far less powerful than LSD, and insisted on mental discipline as an inherent part of the process. The Incans of Andean South America, for instance, were an invaluable source of medical knowledge, and used whole herbs like ayahuasca and the coca leaf, not their artificially refined alkaloids, and spiritual technique was also taught as a key part of the process.

However, much like the crusading "drys" before and during Prohibition, the MK-ULTRA inquisitors with their police state mentality in concert with misinformed and emotionally distressed LSD users, had found their "devil drug," (the term used by the Harrison Tax Act advocates in the 1910s and Marijuana Tax Act backers in the 1930s) replete with tragic tales of already emotionally distressed and lonely young people quite unprepared for such an artificially powerful entheogen. It was also well within CIA policy to randomly distribute LSD laced with the lethal poison strychnine so as to create "horror stories" useful as propaganda. Dr. Hofmann himself chemically confirmed the presence of pure strychnine in several random street samples of LSD.

Consistent with its policy of deliberately confusing the beneficial ancient herbs with extremely dangerous synthetic alkaloid derivatives, the CIA surreptitiously distributed of these synthetic compounds, termed "psychedelics," to the public. One of them was STP, originally developed as an incapacitating agent for the Army in 1964 at Dow Chemical. Dow even made the STP formula public information three years later. This potent synthetic put many unsuspecting people on a three-day trip, and sent many, hysterical with anxiety, to the emergency room. That, of course, was the purpose of its distribution.

Last Edit by Gladstone

Re: Baba Ram Dass, spiritual guru and LSD proponent, dies at 88
« Reply #2 on: Dec 24, 2019, 12:32:52 pm »

Ye Olde Powder Monkey

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So, returning to ZEN. Ram Dass was very peripheral I think regarding it, I had that book.

If you want to read the classics of ZEN contemplation; then as Christians have The Bible:
which is a book of Dogma, standards pertaining to 2000++ years ago, with no current addenda then ...

Any Zen-master worth his salt will be well versed in recommended study and readings of:

The Gateless Gate & The Blue Cliff record.
Two Zen classics pertaining to 'Koans' inherited from as early as the days of The Buddha, and built on.

I have these, and they're good. They will put you in the traditional Zen mind of contemplation ...
but to know how to read these, make use of them; it's best if you listen to podcasts made by current dharma inheritors as found at &;
zmc is a monastery retreat in California; whereas zmm is based in New York, unrelated & from different 'schools' of modern Zen.

There are no shortcuts in Modern Zen study, to enlightenment, I have come to believe.
Zen for me, is not an appeal to the emotions, far from it but if anything appeals to logic.
A calming of the mind; such as the essence of how life is, can be appreciated and built on.

Last Edit by Gladstone


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