In the center of this peaceful revolution in botany stood a single person – Richard Evans Schultz, the same Schultz, whose Mexican studies were interrupted by World War II. Schultz spent more than fifteen years in the Amazon; he regularly reported to the Office of Strategic Services on the yield of natural rubber, until the invention of synthetic rubber made this work unnecessary; he also studied and collected orchids of tropical rainforests and plateaus. While Schulz was traveling, it turned out that his interest in the experiments of Kluwer with mescaline and the fascination with psychoactive plants of Mexico did not die out in South America.

Years later, he will write about his work among the shamans of the Sibundo valley in southern Colombia: “The shamanism of this valley may well personify the most highly developed psychedelic consciousness on Earth.” What was true of Sibund was, in general, almost as true for the Upper Amazon, and for the next several decades, it was Schultz and his graduate student who practiced and spread the gospel of modern ethnobotany.

Schulz focused on psychoactive plants from the very beginning of his work. He truly understood that Aboriginal peoples, who diligently gathered the whole arsenal of medicinal and medicinal plants, probably best understood their effects on the psyche. After working on peyote and mushrooms, Schulz turned his attention to several types of defiant vision of convolvuli consumed in Oaxaca. In 1954, he published his work on Amazonian nasal (snuff) drugs, and thus heralded the world to the existence of the traditional shamanic use of DMT of plant origin.

Over the next thirty-five years, the Harvard group meticulously researched and published all the uses of psychoactive plants that were in its focus. This part of the ever-expanding work – an integrated set of taxonomic, ethnographic, pharmacological and medical information – forms the basis of the database that is used throughout the world.

The birth of ethnopsychopharmacology took place at Harvard under the watchful eye of Schulz in many respects during those troubled years when Timothy Leary was at Harvard, creating for her, by his efforts to incorporate psychedelic experience into the social agenda, a largely different reputation.


It is doubtful that Liri or Schultz find much in each other. They could hardly be more different – the reserved Brahmin, the botanist Schultz, and the trickster shaman and the social researcher Leary. Liri had his very first psychedelic experience with mushrooms; he later recalled that this first contact with psilocybin in Mexico prompted him to what he called his “planetary mission”. But economic benefit policies have spread to the Harvard Psilocybin project; LSD was more affordable and cheaper than psilocybin. Michael Hollingshead was the person most responsible for choosing LSD as a vehicle used in psychedelic Harvard circles.

got caught by Hollingshead, who became his guru. Leary followed him all day long … Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner, two closest associates of Leary, had a hard time seeing him in such a helpless state. They decided that he was completely mad, and blamed Hollingshead for this. But their own introduction to the contents of the mayonnaise pod was only a matter of time. Hollingshead gave this tool to members of the psilocybin project, and since then LSD has become part of their research repertoire.

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