Gordon Wasson: The Sacred and the Profane – Rak Razam interviews Jan Irvin

Experiential journalist Rak Razam talks with independent researcher, author and lecturer Jan Irvin from Gnostic Media about his forthcoming documentary on Gordon Wasson, influential New York banker and the godfather of the modern psychedelic movement. According to the historical record Wasson, an amateur mycologist, first 'discovered' 'magic' mushrooms via Maria Sabina in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1955, the account of which was published in the seminal LIFE magazine on May 13, 1957. Irvin, however has uncovered documentary evidence which points to the possibility of a secret history of the mushroom in the elite power structures of the West, and to the life and times of Gordon Wasson himself. What would it mean to history if the mushroom's true story, at the foundations of world religions, came to light? Does Wasson's entrenched position within the power elites of the banking and establishment world reflect an ongoing fixation with the mushroom and other mind altering sacraments within their own ranks, and in their approach to controlling the illumination of the masses? The sacred and the profane is all revealed in this in-depth, lively discussion that shakes the foundations of psychedelic history.

Link to original show

  15 comments for “Gordon Wasson: The Sacred and the Profane – Rak Razam interviews Jan Irvin

  1. May 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Having a hard time with this Jan, your voice is really low and Rak’s voice is loud. Classic catch 22 lol

  2. Tex Long
    May 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    There has been serious speculation that the transcendent experiences of many early Mormon Church members – back when Joseph Smith was personally passing out the communion comestibles – was due to the presence of certain mushrooms in the communal goodies. Descriptions of behaviors definitely are familiar to anyone who has observed ‘shroomers in flight. Seemed plausible to me, anyway.

    • Jan Irvin
      May 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      We’ve done an episode on this – see the archives – my interview with Dr. Robert Beckstead and James Warren Flying Eagle Mooney.

  3. BD
    May 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    A great pair of episodes. I thought this interview was well done. The interviewer is quite sharp and asked all of the right questions. He covered all of the reasonable doubts someone might have and Jan’s responses clarified the subtleties of the argument.

  4. Ryan Caron
    May 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Incredible interview. Could you elaborate a bit on Mark stahlman, and his theory that Skull and Bones was using some form of an ergot ritual? I tried searching but couldn’t find anything substantial, and would love to read about that. I think you’re definitely right that Wassons story about his excursion with his wife is blatantly false. It seems more probable to me that he was initiated into these mysteries long before this. It’s also very interesting if you look at page 222 of Carl’s book “Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras” where behind the masonic rebus there is a species of psilocybin with what looks to be the third eye or whatever you wish to call it,and this is an image from 1882. I think that entheogens play a huge role in the upper levels of these fraternal orders, and like i said previously, it’s more likely that Wasson, given his connections, was already initiated into these mystery traditions years before this.

    Thanks again Jan.

  5. James
    May 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Jan, I loved the episode (like always) but I found that the interruptions almost rendered this podcast unlistenable

    • Jan Irvin
      May 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      🙂 I agree… it was frustrating.

  6. Patrick
    May 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I agree that Wasson cannot be trusted, I agree that we should not have a government, but what I dont really understand is why the elites would want to popularize entheogens? Obviously LSD and Mushrooms have done much more to spread rebellion then consent to authority figures. While there are certainly problems with new age philosophy and their shallow notions of “positive thinking” people from that community are clearly more often against the government then people outside the new age culture. Just because they have bad logic skills doesn’t mean they automatically like the government. People were already indoctrinated in to following the state before Wasson “discovered” mushrooms, if their plan was to brainwash people it has sure back fired making people more rebellious then ever. (though crap like “the secret” getting people to think positively about consumer culture is more than likely an attempt to co-opt the new age not everyone who believes in metaphysics is a fluff bunny) While MK ULTRA is a reality so is the fact that people who take psychedelics are much more likely to question authority and dislike the government. Whatever is going on I think you have brought up lots of relevant information to understanding our real history.

    Jan, I wonder what you think about the Heffter institute being funded by the likes of Rockefeller.. I like Dennis Mckenna but Laurence Rockefeller is clearly not to be trusted.

  7. Dan
    May 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    The host talks way too much. Jan’s skills are much more refined when it comes to guests. The show is almost unlistenable in sound quality then when you add a host that keeps interrupting, it’s a bit much.

  8. henry
    May 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Okay boys and girls, divide the podcast into 12 equal parts, those of you who are born in January, transcribe the first 1/12th of the podcast, adjust for the day of your birth so we can get it all done with the least redundancy, get it? or improve it.


  9. Wingman
    June 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Well, Henry Luce was OSS then CIA…as was Jackson and so many others…so…
    if the CIA runs an organ of dissemination, then I think it seems safe to suppose, the Organ of disemmination was in the service of the CIA or of their varied schemes and agendas…however mediated by the impress, character, vagueries, genius or abilities of whatever particular personages, or their possible complex cross-purposes, complexities of motive, or addendum.

  10. ned
    June 25, 2012 at 5:57 am

    I enjoyed listening, thanks for the good talk…. lots of interrupting going on. While I like the approach of critical thinking & backing up conclusions with hard facts I left with the feeling that not much was really proven. I am new to this specific subject though, but I was left feeling like Jan drew lots of conclusions and allegations without making his citations clear… plus I still don’t understand what Wasson’s alleged hidden agenda really was or what possible service it would have had? Still a fascinating discussion !

  11. Jan Irvin
    July 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I’ve finally edited and released my recording of this interview, of which the quality is far better than Rak’s. Enjoy!

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