Mar 23, 2023

Part II: Who’s Researching the Researchers?

Veterans who trusted MAPS with their trauma have made allegations of manipulation and deceit. "Psychedelic Soldier" image generated using the Midjourney app

This is the concluding feature story in the multi-part Dig series, “The Ecstasy of Agony,” investigating the politics of psychedelic research and its commercialization, with a focus on the historic and present-day links between psychedelia and the military. The first feature explored how veterans were deployed by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies’ (MAPS) as public relations mascots to gain public sympathy for psychedelic pharmaceutical agendas. This piece delves deeper into the lived experiences of veterans recruited by MAPS and explores allegations of manipulation tactics on the part of MAPS and its researchers — allegations that raise serious questions about MAPS’ methods and relationships with veterans over the last decade.

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Nov 1, 2022

Part I: A Long Strange Loop

The emergence of veterans and active duty soldiers as the face of psychedelic research is the result of a controversial political strategy. Psychedelic soldiers. Generated by Russell Hausfeld using Midjourney.

This is the first of a multi-part Dig series, The Ecstasy of Agony, investigating the politics and ethics of psychedelic research and testing on soldiers. Subsequent pieces will be published over the next three months.

Last Veterans Day, former Texas Governor Rick Perry bounded onstage at a swanky affair in the ballroom of the Californian Hotel del Coronado. The audience of several hundred was not the crowd you might expect to pay $500 to hear a conservative politician. It was not made up of oil and gas industry professionals or would-be entrepreneurs seeking inspiration and business tips from the onetime presidential hopeful. The attendees were heavily represented by advocates for psychedelic therapy, gathered for an event called the “Strength in Numbers Gala to End Veteran Suicide.”

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