Into the Mind of Simon G. Powell – a study in fallacious “logic”.
I was recently humored, and also simultaneously distraught and upset, over the recent interview over at Red Ice with Lana of Radio 3Fourteen. I should say upfront that I’m a huge fan of Red Ice, well usually –
Red Ice Radio’s Radio 3Fourteen interviewed Simon G. Powell, the author of The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning, where in, clearly without studying any of my work or citations, Powell went on a 24 minute tirade, committing such a huge number of fallacies against my work that I figured that rather than lose this opportunity and let it go by, we can utilize it for the listeners/readers to apply their trivium skills and help spot Simon’s fallacies. The word fallacy comes from the Latin: fallare - to lie.
My papers on Wasson and Darwin, Huxley, McKenna, etc, for those interested in what my claims actually are, may be read here:
“Magic Mushrooms and the Psychedelic Revolution: Beginning a New History” – or “The Secret History of Magic Mushrooms” by Jan Irvin – #144
How Darwin, Huxley, and the Esalen Institute launched the 2012 and psychedelic revolutions – and began one of the largest mind control operations in history.
See more on fallacies in my interview with Dr. Michael Labossiere, and in the Trivium studies information:
Michael Labossiere - Logical Fallacies:
I've gone through and marked a large number of the fallacies from Simon Powell's interview in the transcript below, but it's exhausting work with so many, so no doubt I haven’t caught them all (about half), and I may have misidentified a few, but I think this is a worthy mental exercise for a study in fallacious logic and spotting the logical fallacies.
The full Radio 3Fourteen interview may be heard here:
Radio 3Fourteen – Interview Simon G. Powell
“The Psilocybin Solution vs. Elite Psychedelic Psyops”
September 12, 2012
In the following transcript any spelling errors, missed words, etc, that aren’t blatantly Simon’s stuttering and run ons heard above, are then our own fault.
It may be helpful to hear Simon’s interview as you read along (if you're able to bear it).
Good luck and happy fallacy hunting!
Lana: So you are also a Gaiaphiliac. So what do you think about agenda 21 which is pushing for humans to be rounded up into the cities, living in apartments?
Simon Powell: What’s that? Age.. say that again?
Lana: Are you familiar with Agenda 21?
Simon Powell: I’m not familiar with Agenda 21.
Lana: (Gasp) Ok well you need to research this. Because basically the UN is pushing for Agenda 21, which is about climate change, and changing different things for the environment, for the health of the environment and one of those things is rounding people up out of the rural areas and into the cities, living in apartments, because it’s better for the environment.
Simon Powell: Well I, uh, I wouldn’t be able to comment on that. I mean, I mean, uh, I think the majority, I mean, there are mega cities, actually defined as mega cities because so many people live in them. Um, yeah, I mean I don’t know, how, it raises the question of how best to manage 7 billion people, 7 billion is a lot of people, and growing, the population is growing. (4:42)
Lana: And if we get to the heart of the psilocybin experience, what is the message?“
Simon Powell: Well it’s interesting. I was listening to, someone posted a uh Terence McKenna clip on my Facebook wall today or a few days, yesterday I think. And I listened to it this afternoon. And he said something that, I have listened to, I don’t listen to McKenna so much at the moment, I listened to all of his stuff 10 years ago I went through all of his stuff [ironically, Simon doesn’t know that I’m the one who put out about 70 hours of McKenna archives about 10 years ago.], um so I have heard most of his stuff, I mean he is a great guy, a tremendous influence on my own work. But he said one of the, he said and I agree with him, one of the most important things about psychedelics like psilocybin is this concept of unity. If you look at scientific research that has been done and …. The interconnectedness of all things becomes apparent.
McKenna rightly said that all of our theories about the psychedelic experience, or the psilocybin experience, are provisional, ***even what I have written in The Psilocybin Solutions, I don’t know if I still agree with what I wrote in there, they are provisional ideas***.
Lana: There’s also many biblical references to what many say could be psychedelics such as John Allegro’s mushroom cult theory. Are you familiar with that?
Simon Powell: Well how can I not be familiar with that when I have to plow through that Jan Irvin’s [Simon intentionally mispronounces my name throughout the interview despite Lana’s repeated attempts to correct him.] 2 hour – I don’t know what to call it..? [appeal to ridicule] Yeah, can we get on to this? I’ve got to get it out of my system. [appeal to emotion]
Lana: Yeah sure, so…
Simon Powell: It’s your, it's Red Ice Radio’s fault, so uh… [blame casting]
Lana: [laughs] that's right. Let me just let the audience know, that we had Jan Irvin on Red Ice radio and he pointed out Gordon Wasson's involvement with the CIA, claiming that the psychedelic hippie movement was a psy-op, and provides a window into how the elites run their mind control systems. So would you like to comment on that?
Simon Powell: yeah well, I'd rather not [appeal to ridicule], but uh [laughs], I listened to Jan Irvin's [intentionally mispronounces my name - again] two-hour diatribe last night [appeal to ridicule], and I put it off for a long time because I didn't want to listen to it because it's just going to be horrible. [leaping to an assumption – argumentum ad ignorantium – killing the messenger – arguing the arbitrary] and I listen to it. First of all, and I could say a lot, but let me just say about John Allegro, and these are my honest opinions about John [he ignores my writings and research on this that Henrik and I specifically discussed – argumentum ad ignorantium]. This is what I know about John Allegro and his Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, and all that sort of thing [dismissive appeal to ridicule]. A long long time ago before I started looking for mushrooms, at the point when I was learning about mushrooms, and decided I would go and look for them, I got a copy of John Allegro's book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross from this local library, and this was a long time ago, about 1985. I then started… ***I couldn't understand his book. It was too academic.*** But I started to read about these Fly Agaric mushrooms. And I went out and looked for them for months. And then I found Fly Agaric mushrooms in abundance in this hanold forest in the outskirts of London. So this is going back to like 1985. I brought shopping bags full of them back to this flat I was staying at with these punk rockers. We were in like a punk band. Um, and I tried every conceivable way of ingesting these Fly agaric mushrooms. And I dried the caps. I mix them with milk. I dried them in an oven. I dried them slowly. I tried every single possible way. So keen was I to get in the facts. And I got no effect whatsoever.
[Note: Simon’s ignorant of Prof. Carl Ruck’s work – who’s come out and fully endorsed Allegro (2009), not to mention Clark Heinrich’s work where Clark explicitly explains the issues of having a full blown experience with the Fly agaric (2002). He’s also ignorant of the works of Wolfgang Bauer and Edzard Klapp, and also Herman de Vries, Okluvuaha Native American Church head James Flying Eagle Moony who discusses this, and Professor John Rush’s 3 books on this, and also Dutch mycologist Gerrit Kaizer’s work. Simon also falsly assumes that Allegro was the first to publish on this, he’s not aware of John G. Bourke (1891), the French Mycological Society (1910 or so) the Wolfe’s (1920s) or Ramsbottom (1953), or Robert Graves (1950s) or Wasson (1956) before him. He tried every way but the way that’s it’s supposed to be done… In fact, I wonder if Simon’s studied a single thing from the entire field of ethnomycology aside from Gordon Wasson and Terence McKenna, whom he’s cited about 20 times to this point – much less ANY of my own work – so, in fact, everything Simon says is entirely an argumentum ad ignorantium.***]
Lana: I heard you're supposed to drink your pee. Like eat them and then drink your pee, and then you get an effect.
Simon Powell: Well that was a Siberian thing …they said... Because the active ingredients which I think is Muscimole, passes through your system and so your urine will be psychoactive. And so that's where that comes from.
[Note: Simon misses the blatantly obvious, that the Siberians used in this way to get a psychoactive effect! The recycling of urine has a dual purpose in the process of consuming Amanita. Both ibotenic acid and muscimol are excreted via the urine, which scientific studies have clearly shown for some time. The purpose of recycling the urine is essentially to increase the potency via decarboxylation of the remaining ibotenic acid into muscimol, thus increasing the high. The ibotenic acid is what is primarily excreted, along with small amount of muscimol, in the urine. However, between the following article by Jonathan Ott and The Botany of Chemistry of Hallucinogens by Schultez, 1980, it is clear that it is the decarboxilation of Ibotenic Acid into muscimol that is responsible for most of the high.
EFFECTS OF IBOTENIC ACID AND MUSCIMOL
Ibotenic acid evokes entheogenic effects in human beings at doses ranging from 50 – 100 mg (Chilton 1975; Theobald et al. 1968). An equivalent effect is produced by 10-15 mg of muscimol (Theobald et al. 1968; Waser 1967). After oral ingestion, the onset of the inebriation is rather slow, and generally 2-3 hours elapse before the full effects are felt (Chilton 1975). This delayed response has also been reported following ingestion of Amanita pantherina (Ott 1976a). The effects last for 6-8 hours, depending on dose. Effects are characterized by visual distortions, loss of equilibrium, mild muscle twitching (not convulsions, as has erroneously been reported), and altered auditory and visual perception (Chilton 1975; Ott 1976a).
It would appear that muscimol is the psychoactive constituent, and that following ingestion of ibotenic acid, a fraction of the material decarboxylates to muscimol, which then produces the inebriation. After oral ingestion of ibotenic acid, a substantial percentage of the drug is excreted unaltered in the urine, but small amounts of muscimol are also excreted (Chilton, unpublished). This mechanism would potentially explain the Siberian urinary drug recycling practice. After ingestion of the mushroom, the celebrant would excrete substantial amounts of ibotenic acid in his urine. A second user ingesting the urine of the first, would cause some of the ibotenic acid to be decarboxylated to muscimol during digestion, producing inebriation when the muscimol was absorbed; and the bulk of the ibotenic acid would be re-excreted in his urine in turn. Thus a 100 mg dose of ibotenic acid might potentially represent four or five 10-15 mg doses of muscimol, and Steller’s 1774 report that one dose of mushrooms could be recycled through four or five persons is certainly feasible. Muscimol itself probably does not play a significant role in urinary drug recycling, since it was found that only a small percentage of injected muscimol was excreted in the urine of mice (Ott et al. 1975a). This hypothesis has yet to be verified quantitatively in human beings, though it has been demonstrated qualitatively in preliminary experiments (Chilton 1979).
The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens by Richard Evans Schultes, 1980 (Harvard)
Subsequent investigations of Amanita muscaria by Eugster and others in Switzerland and by Takemoto and others in Japan led to the isolation of various amino acid derivatives with characteristic psychotropic activities corresponding to the psychic effects described following ingestion of this mushroom. These were ibotenic acid, muscimole, muscazone, and ®-4-hydroxy-pyrrolidone-(2).
Ibotenic acid is the zwitterion [A molecule or ion having separate positively and negatively charged atoms or groups] of a-amino-a-[3-hydroxy-isoxazolyl-(5)]-acetic acid monohydrate. It occurs in the mushroom in the racemic [b. Composed of dextro- and lævorotatory isomers of a compound in equal molecular proportions, and therefore optically inactive.] form (Good et al., 1965; Muller and Eugster, 1965).
It separates from water in colourless crystals, mp 145o C. Ibotenic acid must be considered a principal active constituent of Amanita muscaria, being present to the extent of 0.3-1 gm/kg of undried carpophores of material of this species collected in southern Germany and in Switzerland . Ibotenic acid easily decarboxylates and loses water to be transformed into muscimole, which is the enol-betaine of 5-aminomethyl-3-hydroxy-isoxazole.
Muscimole forms colourless crystals, mp 174o-175o C, which are extremely soluble in water. Muscimole is probably not a genuine constituent of living Amanita muscaria. It is produced mainly during extraction of the mushrooms by decomposition of ibotenic acid (Eugster, 1968; Eugster and Takemoto, 1967). ]
Simon Powell: Um, so that was my first exposure. I then got Allegro's book again. I don't know I saw it… I got up from a secondhand bookshop about five years ago. And tried to read it again and again. Unless you're a philologist, experts on languages, it's an intractable book. ***I just couldn't, you know, understand it.*** It's a book for philologists, language experts. [Note: He’s admitting his own inability to understand the work, which bears nothing on my or Allegro’s works.] I suspected, and I'm not alone here [appeal to popularity], and I've always suspected that he was a sensationalist [Note: Simon omits that I dealt with these exact claims in my book The Holy Mushroom (2008) – which deals specifically with this issue using 100%, primary documentation! He's simply regurgitating Jonathan Ott's unsupported claims (1993/96) that were also refuted with primary documentation (see pp. 89ff). He ignores that these issues were also discussed in my interview with Henrik.]. The fact that he, and others have pointed this out [only Ott], the fact that he published, it first got published in a newspaper called the Sunday mirror [Simon would only know this through my work, as I republished it with Allegro’s daughter, Judy Brown] and I think 1970, and that's a rubbish newspaper [ad hominem], you know, it's not a highbrow newspaper [appeal to authority]. And he would've got paid a lot of money [circumstantial ad hominem] because they serialized it over sort of eight issues or something [Incorrect – it came out over 4 issues - http://johnallegro.org/popular-press/popular-press-by-john-allegro/sacred-mushroom-and-the-cross-sunday-mirror-1970/ ]. And it's a sensational book to say that Christianity, that Jesus was the Fly agaric mushroom [irrelevant]. It's so, so sensational, but sensational equals book sales [just because something is sensational, or never before published, doesn’t make it wrong].
[Note: Simon omits that I dealt with these very claims in my book The Holy Mushroom, using all primary documentation (pp. 89-91). Simon further omits that there is no evidence for these claims of the amount of money that Allegro supposedly made, and omits that this claim originated from Wasson himself. Simon then makes an appeal to ridicule and a guilt by association, making it appear that anything published in the Sunday Mirror is of no value. He omits that Gordon Wasson too published in Life magazine and not in anthropological journals. He omits that the fact of this and the publication of Allegro’s book has been addressed by Prof. Carl Ruck and Allegro’s own family.]
You know, if you want to sell millions of books, you write a sensational book, you know [no irony there]? But here's the thing, right? Here's my, this is the, this is the the the nub of it. If you, if you… On, on YouTube, there is a film of John Allegro, it's about a 15 min. interview with him. I think it’s from about 1976, it's an interview with John allegro, where they're talking about this fly agaric mushroom, was he Jesus, was it Jesus and all this kind of thing. In that film there is a tell. You know when people play… In my opinion it’s a tell [his unsupported opinion doesn’t make it so.] You know when people play poker?
Simon Powell: You know a tell in poker?
Simon Powell: You know if you've got a bad hand and you're bluffing you might scratch your nose or something, you know, you've got a tell.
Lana: give it away.
Simon Powell:[scratching the nose is typically a sign of nervousness – Allegro was in a TV interview].
A poker player will spot your tell, you're giving the game away through a tell. [Here Simon is attempting to make a guilt by association and red herring fallacies that are totally unrelated to Allegro’s work, not focusing on Allegro’s own citations, etc. He seems incapable of staying focused on the topic he’s discussing.] Here's another example of a tell, is uh, that numbskull [ad hominem], what he called? The spoon bender guy, the guy who bends spoons, Uri Geller! Uri Geller made a career on pretending that he could bend spoons. Yeah, I mean it's just an illusion as James Randi… it's a cheap trick, you know? It's an illusion that, you know, that magicians can do. But he made his career on bending… you know, this mysterious pa… now he's got… the fact…that he he he never wanted to admit that he, uh, you know, conned people. And his tell is the fact that about, I don’t know, about 5… Because I detest people like Uri Geller… about five years ago he started calling himself…. He stopped saying he had paranormal abilities and mystical powers, and called himself a mystifier. Now that's a tell! Because what he's saying is yes, I trick people and it's not real. But I can’t admit it fully. I'll just change the way I described myself. So he calls himself a mystifier. He mystifies people. That’s a tell! Yes?
[Note: During this long red herring about Geller, who pertains absolutely nothing to Allegro’s work, he doesn’t notice that Geller is the man who worked with Andrija Puharich, who worked with Wasson. Puharich was in charge of “The Nine” – at the Esalen Institute. No irony there! As I wrote in my book The Holy Mushroom:
Wasson attacked Allegro for citing the work of Dr. Andrija Puharich, whom he simply calls “a man”. He doesn’t mention that Puharich was in fact a medical doctor who had worked with the US military and had left his post as Captain of the Army Chemical Center at Edgewood, Maryland in April 1955 (Levenda, 2005). It was only two months later in June 1955 that Wasson himself worked with Puharich, though they had already met in February of that same year (Puharich, 1959). It appears that Puharich was in charge of collecting psychoactive compounds for government research. There is strong evidence to suggest that Puharich was actually working with the MK-ULTRA program, US Army Intelligence and the CIA (Levenda, 2005).”]
Simon Powell: He's giving the game away. He just doesn't want to fully admits that he’s a bullshitter. [Notice how Simon is attempting this elaborate red herring in attempt to tie a fraud like Geller to Allegro – who’s completely unrelated.] Right now back to the Allegro thing. You go on YouTube - watch that uh uh 1976 interview with Allegro [this is an interview that I published with the help of Dutch mycologist Gerrit Keizer – who happens to support Allegro’s work and has researched it extensively. Watch it here: http://johnallegro.org/john-allegros-the-sacred-mushroom-and-the-cross/2011/01/]. And there's a… in my opinion, there is a tell in there. Because at one point they.… Now bear in mind that he's written this book saying that Jesus [laughs] was this fly agaric mushroom [appeal to ridicule]. That's a massive claim! [irrelevant] That fly agaric mushroom must be phenomenal [post hoc fallacy – does not follow. His level and understanding of it bears nothing on how other cultures reveared the mushroom – like the Siberians, for instance.], it must make psilocybin… the psilocybin mushroom trivial in comparison [red herring - again, his conclusion does not follow his premise]. This must be a divinely powerful, supremely powerful mushroom! I didn't get any affect when I tried it.
[Note: Just because the Amanita rejected Simon, and that he doesn’t use it correctly, doesn’t mean that it’s not a valuable tool. He’s trying to compare apples to oranges. He’s furthermore ignorant of ALL of the research on this topic by ALL authors outside Allegro, Wasson and McKenna – likely regurgitating McKenna’s long ago debunked argument in Food of the Gods. Simon’s clearly ignorant of The Epistle to the Renegade Biships, a canonized Orthodox Christian text that I was the first to publish in 2008 that specifically discusses “the holy mushroom” – see The Holy Mushroom, pp. 149 ff].
Simon Powell: And uh, I don’t think wor… Gordon Wasson… Even Wasson admitted that the psycho activity is a bit questionable [Wasson admitted to having prepared them improperly and not having drank his urine, just like Simon. We covered this in A&S – 2005/2009]. It's not even classed as a psychedelic, muscimol, the active ingredient.
[Note: circumstantial ad hominem – Simon further omits that we went into psilocybe mushrooms in the works as well, and between myself and Prof. John Rush, we’ve published over 240 Christian icons showing the mushroom. Also, did you notice how Simon doesn’t attack Wasson for being one of the first to propose the fly agaric! – see notes above on Ibotenic Acid and muscimol.]
It’s classed as a - as a sedative or hypnotic. You know, it's not in the same league as psilocybe and anyways. [irrelevant]
[Note: He attacks Allegro for not trying the mushroom. This is a circumstantial ad hominem and bears nothing on Allegro's work. It's well known that Allegro never even had a drink in his life. See Brown, 2006]
Simon Powell: “anyways imagine that this Allegro wrote this book saying that this whole Christian religion got it all came back to this Fly Agaric mushroom. Now in 1976 when they interviewed him, it was legal that mushroom, it still is legal to consume, but yet when the interviewer was asking, “have you ever taken this mushroom?” This is the tell-tail, he laughed, he got nervously, he sort of laughed nervously, ‘oh no I would never take that. They’re strong.’ Or something. That is the acid test! [this is a circumstantial ad hominem and is irrelevant] if you are going to say that this thing is at the heart of Christianity, and it’s legal to take and they grow within 10 miles of where you live, lived in, you’re gonna take it. That’s the acid test. You take it. You go and see. That’s the acid test. [Allegro based his reports of the experience from available academic journals. See the exact breakdown of this in The Holy Mushroom – 2008] If he didn’t it’s absurd [circumstantial ad hominem, appeal to ridicule], it’s like someone writing a book proclaiming that some ayahuasca [red herring] is the greatest thing in the world or something and they’ve never tried it [red herring – Allegro was a biblical scholar and was only interested in reporting what he saw.]. You know. Yeah. I think you’ve got to try the thing. [That’s Simon’s opinion. Allegro felt it was a poison by what he’d read.] The fact that he… it’s a tell! So I think. [yeah, so? That’s all you’ve got is a red herring to support your argument?] My opinion and it’s the same Jonathon Ott [appeal to authority – who’s been refuted on this issue – see my book The Holy Mushroom, pp. 89-91] and probably a lot of others [appeal to popularity], a lot of other critics is that he was a sensationalist [what is a sensationalist, someone who says Christianity was based on mushrooms? Or someone who says they can solve the world’s problems with mushrooms?]. I don’t think he believed it himself [based on what? Arguing the arbitrary]. And of course Jan Irvin, he has, he’s republished the book, so it’s like he has given over to that guy now so he’s gonna follow that path through. So that’s why he is coming out with all this [non sequitor – Simon’s reasoning is baseless] , scarred…, That two hour thing, it’s the worst, it’s like trolling through mud [appeal to ridicule – based on what?]. I can’t believe, I can’t believe, I saw that he had raised $3,000 to make this film about this wacky theory [ad hominem / appeal to ridicule] that that Gordon Wasson was part of the CIA. It’s just so absurd [arguing the arbitrary / argumentum ad ignorantium].
Lana: Why is it absurd to you?
Simon Powell: The I… When I wrote the Psilocybin Solution. [red herring] I read, in the index, there is about 5…, if you wanna know about a guy. Get a feeling for someone, and they’re an author, then read their books. [Note: the irony here is that Simon has not read my books.] I have read most of Gordon Wasson’s books and he wrote, he published lots of ugh papers. And he was a scholar you know [irrelevant – a scholar can be CIA – and many are.] and he wrote really, really good. Like, like his fir.., Yeah, this is unfor, this is unfor, well it’s almost unforgivable [appeal to emotion]. Jesus said [red herring / appeal to belief]. I think Jesus was a teacher [appeal to belief]. Christ means awakened one [no – it means anointed one – Christ is from crisco, or oil.]. So I side with Morris Nickels [appeal to authority] who suggested that and Gergiev that suggested that Jesus came from an esoteric school that taught self-knowledge [red herring]. Jesus taught to forgive and I guess that’s what stops from having chips on your shoulder [Simon, try to practice what you preach], but what Jan Irving said, what he did at one point, that was almost, almost unforgivable [appeal to emotion – here comes the whambulance!], he quoted Gordon Wasson about how Gordon Wasson discovered this mycophobia or mycophillia with his Russian wife. She had a tradition of liking mushrooms and he was an Anglo Saxon, who didn’t wanna. And the way he, Jan Irving was readying Wasson in this horrible voice to poke fun and that’s a terrible thing [OMG, Gasp! Can you believe it?! Because Wasson is an unquestionable god, and Simon is a religious Zealot selling his religion!] because Gordon Wasson wrote some good scholarly works [irrelevant]. And I am indebted to Gordon Wasson [irrelevant/appeal to emotion/ hidden agenda to protect. He should be indebted to truth, not vacuous, fallacious tirades] as a lot of people are in the, who are interested in the history of psilocybin [and Amanita too, let’s not omit that fact]. His, his scholarly work is uh, is first class [irrelevant, appeal to authority. It’s Wasson who’s in question here.]. So you know someone has to speak up.[Appeal to emotion – Wasson’s Cheer leader yay!] It was awful listening to that. It was almost unforgivable. I don’t know why he came out? [If Simon had bothered to read the material, this would have been obvious] You know? But um. Yeah, alright. I did write some notes down. [incredible!] He went on about the Century club saying that it was a front for the CIA. Well I mean it… I think he said he got letters from the secretary there [the librarian]. You can check on Wikipedia that the club is still there. It’s for literacy, social, wealthy people, you know. Ah, you can get, they sent him letters, records. You know. What are we to conclude that the CIA has got really lax security that you can just get copies of letters from them [no, this is 60 years ago. It’s not current. Ever hear of FOIA or Freedom of Information Act request, Simon? Try contacting the librarian instead of making up lies and suppositions.] this is information. Um what else? Yeah well I wrote down this $3000 that Jan Irvin raised. I, I, I’d love it if some people started up a Kickstarter project to stop Jan Irvin [the irony is . Let me put that out there, anyone out there listening. Ah maybe 99.9% of your audience are really behind Jan Irvin and thinking who the fuck is this British guy talking here. You know. But if there is anyone out there [laughs] who’d like to see Jan Irvin’s project stopped wants this stopped, then start a kick starter thing to stop, [laughs] raise money to stop Jan Irvin’s ugh.
Lana: But you have to admit that the CIA does have a history of using psychedelics for nefarious purposes.
Simon Powell: Yeah
Simon Powell: It’s not…Wasson knew about it. It’s well known that Wasson’s second trip to Mexico was funded by the Geschickter Fund, I mention this in my book, was funded by the Geschickter Fund which were a CIA organization and they sent a chemist out there under the guise of being an anthropologist or something. He had no empathy whatsoever and he had a horrible time on the mushroom, which is good, um and it’s because the CIA were interested in psilocybin to see if it could be used as a truth drug, but it can’t. It can’t be used as a truth drug or anything. So they gave up their quest on it. So I am not denying MK-ULTRA that they gave LSD to unsuspecting prisoners or soldiers or whatever. But um all the other stuff is... We have a word it. Jan Irvin’s 2 hour diatribe could be, there is a single word in the English language that sums up his whole 2 hours and that word, that word is bullocks.
Lana: Well there you go. After…
Simon Powell: Wasson’s first book. The idea is just so absurd that it was a contrived cover. Wasson’s first book, Russia Mushrooms and History, which was published in 1957, he only met, and I had the honor of reading it, cause it’s a really rare book and I read it at the British library. There are only 500 books made. It’s a genuine, it’s a, you read that book and you realize this someone very interested in the history, the cultural history of, ah, of mushrooms in particularly psychoactive mushrooms and the last chapter is about his psilocybin experiences. And then he, he then went on after he retired from JP Morgan back, he went on to write a number of important scholarly books about psilocybin, so his work is very important. And ah, Jan Irvin is just, ah, I do not blame, he contacted Wasson’s family about the archives or something, I can’t blame them to, for wanting to keep him at arm’s length you know. I don’t know what’s governing. I don’t know if Jan Irving [intentionally mispronounces my name] knows its bullocks or if he actually believes it. He has got this stupid thing on his site, this brain program, he’s got a chart with Gordon Wasson in the middle with all these lines leading out to Hitler and the JFK assassination. I am surprised he didn’t have links to Genghis Khan and Stalin and maybe, maybe Gordon Wasson was involved with the HIV virus and maybe Gordon Wasson is behind earthquakes or something you know. It’s just absurd, absolutely absurd. And it just messes, it dirties the whole psychedelic movement. It tarnishes it, you know.
Lana: Are you someone who’s into
Simon Powell: It’s absolutely expletively ridiculous.
Lana: Are you someone who is into conspiracy?
And He then starts going on about, how absurd can this get, he then starts talking about the Esalen Institute, whatever it’s called, that sort of new age, where all these new age people go. He mentioned Alan Watts and then mentioned that Alan Watts had a handler. That is, there aren’t words for how crass that is. You go on, you look at, there are some wonderful wonderful ah, audio clips of Alan Watts he was a wonderful chap, really great wisdom there, the idea that he had a handler, a CIA handler, is Fucking crass.
Lana: Are you someone who is normally into conspiracy or you kind of shrug that off?
Simon Powell: There is only one conspiracy that we should really, really, really be concerned about. And it leaves all the other conspiracies behind but people don’t really want to know about it, and they think I’m crazy. That’s the conspiracy of nature, or the whole systems of the Universe, the forces of nature, the laws of nature, to self-organize on every single thing single scale, and to self-organize life into existence. And then to evolve life to the point of consciousness, so that we can be, we are in this privileged position where we are the universe waking up to itself. That’s a big conspiracy, that’s a conspiracy that I’m interested in. Not this idea that… look, my, my Metanoia film, right, which I spent years making that film, I did all the music and everything. Some, this is how stupid some people are now, someone commented on there, someone said to me on this Youtu.., on this Metanoia thing, “Ah Simon G Powell, I thought you were the real deal and then you mentioned about population control and then this person then suggested that I was part of some sort of elite or something, you know. All I mentioned
Lana: I saw that comment.
Simon Powell: All I mentioned at the end, it was just a casual thing, at the end of the film I was saying, I said that we need a new relationship with nature, we need a new clean renewable energy, and population control. I didn’t mean rounding people up and shooting them Nazi style, I mean that population is an issue. Cause there is an optimum carrying capacity of the earth. You know.
Lana: Well a lot of times, a lot of times…
Simon Powell: It’s an issue to be talked about, population is.
Lana: yeah, I think a lot of times its…
Simon Powell: Every time we bring new people into existence and they use a lot of resources you know. But the fact that this person that I was part of this some shadowy elite,
Lana: Yeah people can reach for…
Simon Powell: Someone rightly said, someone rightly answered, they gave a quote from, I think it was Thomas Coon, the philosopher Thomas Coon, and Thomas Coon rightly, I think, said that in the old days when your crops failed or your house fell apart or you got ill, you blamed demons, you would say there was demons or an angry god, or some witch had put a hex on me, that’s just, that superstitious nonsense is just now being replaced by these shadowy groups, you know the groups of bankers meeting in Temples underground with their trousers rolled up.
Lana: Oh but Simon, you need to do some research, and, there is quite a bit of that going on, but if you’re not researching into it, you’re not seeing it.
Simon Powell: If, if you say so. Nobody knows what’s, Terence McKenna had it right when he said, “nobody’s in control, nobody knows what’s happening”. The big bang, you know the big bang theory, this idea that there was this creative event 145 billion years ago, that creative explosion is still happening, life is part of that, consciousness is part of that, nobody knows what is happening, something incredible is happening cause here we are and were conscious beings on this fucking incredible biosphere, nobody’s controlling that, not people, it’s bigger, bigger than people.
Lana: Yeah, well ultimately the only thing that someone can control is your consciousness.
Simon Powell: The idea that there is a group of people that is running history is crap. Yes, there are bad people, people, get obsessed with money and power and they do bad things, history’s always been like that. This is getting out of hand now, everything is a fucking conspiracy.
Lana: So if humans keep up on the bad track, you know disconnected from nature and the soul, what will we involve into then?
Simon Powell: Sorry? Um, I’m sorry, I’m just looking at my notes, to see if there is anything else I wanna say, cause it was so bad, yeah, let me just say one more thing about his ridiculous diatribe, the whole point of the psilocybin thing, and I, his called, his organization is called Gnostic Media, and Gnosticism is all about knowledge direct knowledge and that’s what mushrooms can give you. Ah, the whole point of the mushroom is not history and all this kind of thing, it’s the actual experience itself, higher states of consciousness, everything else is beside the point, everything else is looking the wrong way. Psilocybin is a tremendous natural resource because it empowers you. That’s what we should be talking about the actual experience, it’s a shame McKenna is dead you know. It’s the actual experience and all this crap that people like Jan Irvin’s coming out with and you, you, you’ve got some responsibility because you broadcasted, it just muddies the water. The psilocybin experience itself will empower you and that’s what we should be looking to and talking about and making something whole.
Lana: So did you go through Jan’s entire article?
Simon Powell: No, I listened to the 2 hour thing, I, went to, I saw another video of him that I flipped through before, it’s an overview of thing.
Simon Powell: Look, I, I, I think, I might be wrong, but I think I’ve got a good sense of bullshit. I really believe that, the older I get I think I can detect bullshit. I think I’ve got a good.., it’s just my opinion I can’t prove it, it would be quite difficult to prove it, but I think I can detect bullshit, and there’s lots of bullshit ideas about there and you don’t pursue every single whacky idea you come across. And it’s just bullshit. I know, I know because I, well I don’t know, “know” is.., I’m convinced as convinced can be, having read.., like I said that thing about Allegro, the tell and all that, what I said about Allegro and having read Gordon Wasson’s book, he was you know, his life, the later part of his life, was dedicated to ah, ah, ah, unearth, unearthing the, the, the, the use of psilocybin in Mesoamerican culture.
Lana: Well at the end of the day if you get something good out of it, I guess that’s all that really matters.
Simon Powell: That’s what I’m saying the experience is the most important things.
Lana: So if humans keep up on the bad track were on, disconnected from nature and the soul, what will we involve into then?
Simon Powell: We won’t, we’ll go down the pan like the dinosaurs. Nature…, you know, I have tried to introduce, people have heard of the survival of the fittest, in my book Darwin’s Unfinished Business and in my Metanoia film I talk about the survival of that which makes sense. What that means is that nature will only preserve in the long run, sensible behavior. A sensible behavior means that you, you behave in a way that fits in with the larger environment, which is a larger web of life. If we continue, not if, if human culture continues to not make sense, within the large context, it will be pruned away.
Lana: Do you think maybe Mother Nature will have a big depopulation event wipe out a bunch of humans, maybe leave some.
Simon Powell: Yeah, I mean I don’t know. But we won’t, can’t carry on in this business as usual, cannot carry on indefinitely.
Lana: So speaking on psilocybin, should everyone try it?
Simon Powell: No I wouldn’t advocate everyone. No, you should be over 35 and you should have a science degree or an art degree.
Lana: (chuckle) Are you joking?
Simon Powell: I am covering myself.
Lana: (chuckle) so,
Simon Powell: Um no, no, not, they are not for everyone. I mean, you have to, no, it’s for everyone? No, if you want to, they should, they, what you need, I recently went to, back in April, I went to this forum in America, it was partly about the near death experience but they also had psilocybin researchers there who done, you know the latest John Hopkins research, they’re giving psilocybin to people dying from cancer and this kind of thing, um and I met all the main psilocybin researchers and I think there is a general agreement, I have been pushing this for, I don’t know, maybe the last 6 months or so in interviews and such, what we need, cause at the moment, people… for instance there is an interest in ayahuasca and people who have got the money are going all the way out to Peru to take ayahuasca and have these therapeutic experiences. Not everyone can afford to go all the way to Peru, to take ayahuasca. What we need, and I call them revitalization centers, we need places in culture all over Europe and America, where people can go and have a guided.., so what I’m saying to you, everyone should have the opportunity to take them in a civilized fashion. Yes.
Lana: There are actually ayahuasca churches actually in America. There is one in Bend, Oregon that I know about.
Simon Powell: Right. Well that’s good.