Tag Archives: America

The Loopy Landmark of LSD

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Here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, we discuss many topics around drug use.  It’s no secret that drugs make their way into the conversation once in a while.  Alcohol and cannabis are the main ones that are routinely discussed (there’s a whole category that’s been dedicated to cannabis since last year!).  While many drugs come with bad PR reps, there are times that we dig up a PR miracle here and there.

Image result for LSD Tabs

Image result for LSD Tabs

A few weeks ago, we took a look at how businesses are changing the way they work through alternative methods (you can go back to that article here).  The one component of that post that we really dug into was about employees taking small doses of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).  Employees working in the creative industry, especially those residing in Silicon Valley, have been micro-dosing LSD as a unique method of problem-solving.

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As far-fetched as this idea sounds (and this REALLY takes the cake!), microdosing LSD has shown some proven benefits for many employees.  Workers who ingest small doses of acid find it easier to get into the work zone, have magnificent outbursts in personal and work projects, and their overall work becomes much more fun.  The PR miracle seen in this scenario is that the employees will do a better job and they will find it much more interesting.  Better quality work means more audiences will follow the brand.

Image result for LSD Art

Image result for LSD Art

So how did we get here?  How is it that something notorious like LSD became another tool for the creative departments?  What kind of waves have the acid culture made here in American society?  Is there any similarities with the LSD culture and cannabis culture?

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Image result for Dr. Albert Hofmann 1938

To start, let’s begin with a bit of history.  Dr. Albert Hofmann discovered LSD back in November 16th, 1938.  While researching lysergic acid derivatives, he successfully synthesized LSD.  He set aside the chemical for almost five years until he decided to re-examine it on April 16th, 1943.

Image result for lsd alice in wonderland

Image result for lsd alice in wonderland

While he was re-synthesizing LSD, he accidentally ingested a small amount and discovered its powerful effects.  He drifted off into what was described as a Alice In Wonderland-type fantasy of fantastic pictures and extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.  After only two hours, the conditions faded away.

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In just only three days letter, Hofmann ingested 250 mg of LSD while riding his bike (which is now known as ‘Bike Day’ on April 19th).  This was the first intentional LSD trip recorded in America.

Dr. Albert Hofmann continued to ingest small doses of LSD throughout his life.  He always hoped that people would find use for the chemical.

Image result for 1950s LSD experiment

Image result for 1950s LSD experiment

Image result for Time Magazine LSD

Throughout the 1950s, research on LSD became widespread in the field of psychiatry.  Mainstream media reported on this growing trend of LSD research and undergraduate psychology students that were experimenting with it as part of their education.  This trend became so popular that Time magazine published six positive reports on LSD between 1954 through 1959.

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From then on, there was extensive research and testing that was conducted on LSD.  Many patients (whether they knew or not!) were given small doses during their psychotherapy treatment.  One of those notable users was none other than legendary film star Cary Grant (which we’ll explore later on).  Psychiatrists were taking the drug for recreational use and Dr. Timothy Leary’s experiments spread LSD’s usage to a bigger population.

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‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’ was the popular phrase during the counterculture era.  Many participants tuned into LSD’s magical properties and dropped out into their individual lives.  LSD, just like cannabis, was one of many aspects that modified the counterculture movement during the late 60s.  People rolled doobies (some while rolling on acid) to spark up the nationwide movement of peace and love.

Image result for LSD Research

Image result for LSD Research

Decades later and people are still tuning into ingesting doses of LSD.  Even though its considered a schedule I drug, LSD is still being widely studied all across the nation.  It’s no coincidence that people are still turning on, tuning in, and dropping out towards their individuality.

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This makes you wonder if the hippies weren’t just ON something, but they were ON TO something.  Many liberal ideas stemming from the counterculture movement such as legalization of cannabis, wider coverage of the LGBTQ community, and strong feminist leaders rising up continue to flourish more than forty years later.  We have accomplished a lot of work since then and continue to work towards those goals for the future.

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LSD may not receive as much coverage here, but it certainly holds a special place in the PR world.  The drug is currently being studied to this day even after halting all work since 1980.  We’re finding more and more surprising benefits of the drug even though it still remains at Schedule I.

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There’s a lot of undiscovered properties that have yet to be found within LSD.  All we need to do is go further down the rabbit hole to see what awaits us.



Micromanaging Your Micro Dosed LSD

Image result for Snow White Hi Ho gif

Image result for Snow White Hi Ho gif

In this 21st century, the way we conduct work has changed dramatically.  We continue to search for alternate ways to improve our work lives.  Whether it’s increasing wages for employees or renovating the overall landscape of the office space, we’re always brainstorming new ideas in order to keep the business afloat.  These ideas apply especially to businesses working in creativity.

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Creative agencies (advertising, PR, marketing, whole nine yards) are working harder than ever to release their best work for the public.  They’ll have to have all of the tools they need at their disposal.  Some employees sip on their favorite tea or craft beer while brainstorming more ideas.  In other cases, workers consume cannabis while working on their projects.

What’s interesting is that these aren’t the craziest ‘work habits’ that creative employees do.  The latest trend sweeping around the nation?  Micrdosing LSD.

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Image result for LSD gif

Seriously folks – employees are consuming micro doses of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) for improving overall work life.  Microdosing LSD may seem like a bizarre work trend, but some are reaping some amazing benefits from the procedure.

Image result for LSD 1960s

Image result for LSD 1960s

Lysergic acid diethylamide was created by Dr. Albert Hoffman back in 1938.  Ever since it became popular back in the 1960s, acid has been fueling its way into mainstream culture (we’ll dig deeper into LSD’s history later on).

Image result for Silicon Valley Ca

Image result for Silicon Valley Ca

This unique psychedelic trend has been happening for quite a while now.  It all started when young professionals in Silicon Valley, California started microdosing LSD before heading into work.  Since then, a growing number of employees are insisting that microdosing psychedelics (cannabis, LSD, psilocybin, etc.) help improve their performance at work.  They say that they become more creative and focused with the task at hand.

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Surprisingly enough, Silicon Valley has had a long history of psychedelic drug use in order to boost creativity (Fun Fact: technology celebrities Steve Jobs and Bill Gates experimented with LSD!).  Decades later and more technological enthusiasts are turning to microdosing LSD in order to get their creative juice pumping.  Besides, they will need all of their tools that is at their disposal.

Image result for LSD tabs

Image result for LSD tabs

Microdosing psychedelics like LSD or magic mushrooms has some incredible health benefits that help combat various illnesses.  LSD has been taken to treat depression, anxiety, alcoholism, OCD, PTSD, and even been used to quit smoking tobacco.  The real PR miracle here lies within the increased creative output LSD offers for employees.

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Employees that take a micro dose of LSD will have brilliant outbursts in personal and work creative projects, feel as thought it is easier to get into the work zone, and the overall work becomes fun.  When the work goes from the mundane to being exciting, employees work harder and more efficiently to get the job done.  The PR pro will write better press releases, mad men will design more creative advertisement ideas, and marketers will design clever creative tactics to get the product or service out to the audience. It becomes a WIN-WIN situation for every creative employee.

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The way we work will always change every year.  We have to drum up new tactics for improving overall work life in order to produce more incredible content.  Advancements in technology are pushing us harder than ever to showcase the best work we can create.  New problems drum up alternate ideas for discovering the solutions (microdosing LSD is just one of them).

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Image result for Creative tools

I think this is an intriguing idea.  As bizarre as a tactic as it is, micro dosing LSD does provide some healthy benefits.  Employees in the creative department need all of the tools they can get.  Whether that tool be a hammer or a joint, it’s these products that help us get the job done efficiently.  PR pros like me need our tools to write better each day.

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When you think about taking LSD, you probably think of dirty lazy hippies slumming around the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.  Maybe those hippies weren’t just ON something, but may be on TO something.  They initiated this widespread counter-culture movement that carried on decades later.  It’s this counter culture that caused for things like cannabis legalization, a wider recognition of the LGBTQ community, and for feminists to rise up as leaders in the nation.  Smoking reefers and taking LSD wasn’t so much about just doing drugs, but rather, becoming a revolutionary movement that would shake up the nation for years to come.

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So much change has happened since LSD became popular for the counter-culture movement and it continues become a part of our society in many ways.  It’s not just a part of California’s culture, but a part of our nation’s culture.  You know times have truly changed when white-collared workers are taking small doses of illegal psychedelics in order to complete their work.

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We have many complex problems that we face in the future, but it’s the tools from our past that will help complete our work we have in the present.

Santa Clause Swings By Spooky Salem!

It’s been almost a month since Salem celebrated another fantastic Halloween celebration and now the city’s got another holiday event – Santa Claus heading to town and the lighting of the Salem Holiday Tree!

Santa’s Arrival & Holiday Tree Lighting

SMS Tree Lighting and Santa 2015 - Photo Credit Creative Salem

That’s right folks – Santa Claus will be making his appearance yet again in Salem!  Santa Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel, which is at 18 Washington Square West.  He will be arriving on 6:00 p.m. at the rooftop (with some help from the Salem Fire Department!).

If you’re interested in attending, I’d recommend arriving to the Salem Common by 5:45 p.m. to catch Santa’s arrival.  Bring your friends and family for a night of carols, festivities, and lots of fun!

After Santa arrives, we will be followed by a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall towards Lappin Park (its nest to the Bewitched Statue within the intersection of Essex and Washington Street), where we will join Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Santa for the Holiday Tree Lighting.  Everyone is also welcome to bring lanterns to carry with them.  Both store-bought or homemade would work great.

Special Guest: Angie Miller

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Another special guest that we are thrilled to have is North Shore’s own Angie Miller.  She will be leading several holiday songs for the Tree Lighting at Lappin Park.  Angie Miller is most known for being a finalist on season 12 of American Idol.  Since then, Angie Miller resides in Los Angeles and is enjoying her flourishing career (she goes by her artist name Zealyn).

Salem Main Streets (SMS)

Salem Main Streets (SMS) continues to revitalize downtown Salem as the vibrant, year-round, dining, retail, and cultural destination it is today.  Some of the many community events and initiatives that SMS supports include Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, the Salem Farmers’ Market, and most especially the October Information Booth.  It’s so exciting to see another holiday event sweeping through downtown Salem this week!

Many thanks go out to the Hawthorne Hotel, Remix Church, Gigi Gill, the City of Salem, and many other community partners that helped make these events happen.  Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Francis donated this year’s tree in memory of Joseph R. Ingemi III.  The tree will be secured and decorated by the City of Salem Tree Department, with assistance from Mayer Tree Service as well as Spencer Contracting for transportation and installation.  Many donations went towards the lights and decorations, with many donations stemming from Salem’s October visitors via Gigi Gill.

About Salem

Image result for Salem Witch Trials

Image result for Salem Witch Trials

Salem has a colorful and bizarre history, being known for the infamous ‘Salem Witch Trials’ event.  The Salem Witch Trials was a disturbing event during the 17th century in which many individuals were accused of witchcraft and black magic.  These creepy tales modified Salem as the Witch City it is today.  Many shops feature products of witchcraft such as wands, capes, hex bags, potions, and many other kooky things involving black magic.

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That ‘black magic’ flows through the streets during October when Salem residents gear up for Halloween month.  Halloween is Salem’s most significant event of the year, with hundreds of thousands of tourists from all across the nation to visit the Witch City.  While other events are held every month, nothing comes close to the spookiness that is Halloween.

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Centuries later and Salem continues to be the spooky ‘Witch City’ that it is today.  Minorities were oppressed during the 17th century, with some women sentenced to death due to witchcraft.  But celebrities like Gigi Gill are flipping the city upside-down – fighting back against those who are preventing Salem from flourishing higher.  Gigi provides as a quintessential example that people from all walks of life are welcome.  Leaders like Gigi help make Salem a better place not just for the LGBTQ community, but for other communities as well.

If you’re looking for something to do after Thanksgiving, I definitely recommend checking out Santa’s Arrival & the Holiday Tree Lighting in Salem.  It’s going to be quite the event to ring in the holiday season!

For those looking for more information on any of the events, feel free to contact Salem Main Streets Executive Director Kylie Sullivan at kylie@salemmainstreets.org. Feel free to follow Salem Main Streets on Twitter and Facebook.

Until then, Happy Holidays!

AHS Cult Season Finale + Final Thoughts

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Last Tuesday was the season finale of American Horror Story: Cult.  It’s been more than two months since we dived into the cult theme for this season’s chapter.  We dealt with creepy clowns, crazed neighbors, bouts of betrayal, brutal acts of revenge, and one insane cult leader.  Other than the crazy cult that Kai initiated, we dived into the true horror stories of bizarre cult leaders of the 20th century.

Let’s start with a quick summary of what went down during the finale:


Image result for AHS Cult Kai in prison

Image result for AHS Cult Kai in prison

We start the story 11 months later where Kai is in a maximum-security prison (more on that backstory just a bit).  Kai connects with members of the prison, increasing his army for his revolution.  He has more members doing his bidding, including employees of the prison as well.  While in the prison, Kai has been planning to kill Ally once he gets out.

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In the next scene, we go back to the event where Ally catches Speedwagon.  Ally realizes that Speedwagon was the mole of Kai’s group and proceeds to kill him.  Meanwhile, Kai bands his group together for a plan to massacre one-thousand pregnant women.  A SWAT team storms through the Anderson basement, disrupting their plan and taking Kai away (this is how Kai was sent to the maximum-security prison in the first place).

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Months after the SWAT raid, Ally reveals to Beverly that the FBI recruited her as an informant in order to capture Kai.  It was Ally who turned Kai over to the authorities in the first place.

Image result for AHS Cult Kai Prison

Image result for AHS Cult Kai Prison

Kai later escapes from the maximum-security prison, only to infiltrate a televised political debate between Ally and her opponent.  He tries to kill Ally with his gun, but failed to because the gun was unloaded.  Beverly later shoots him in the skull.

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After her political debate, Ally ended up winning the Senate seat of Michigan.  The finale ends with Ally donning an emerald SCUM cloak as she heads off to her next meeting.  Surprise, surprise – Ally became a part of Bebe Babbitt’s group to change the system.  That surprising twist marks the end of American Horror Story: Cult.

Final Thoughts

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Image result for AHS Cult Valerie Solanas

This season dove into the themes surrounding a cult.  Kai Anderson, as well as other crazy cult leaders that were featured on the season, revealed some shocking insights about what a cult does to human beings.  As insane as the messages were, people still blatantly followed the leader’s every word.

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Some people are truly lost in the world, seeking for some guidance or hope that an answer will come to them.  When they are truly desperate for their answer in life, human beings will follow some divine figure that could provide them the results they are searching for (beggars can’t be choosers you know!).  Some individuals joined a cult out of fear or anger that they have felt for a long while.

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Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

That fear/anger has been bubbling underneath the surface, waiting to explode at any minute.  The real event happens when those few individuals with those same thoughts band together to take action over their problems.  Kai’s members joined the cult based off of the same fear/anger they felt after the November 2016 elections.  After Donald Trump was elected, the group decided to take charge on this new world they were living.

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Many notorious cult figures, like Kai Anderson, made their mark on the world because of their revolutionary ideas.  Their hospitality, smooth charisma, determination, and ambition made them the valued leader of their community.  Some of their demands were disturbing, yet people blindly followed orders.

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As insane as their movements were, you have to admit that their community had some detailed tactics.  Whether it was Hitler’s strategy for the Third Reich or Charles Manson’s ‘Helter Skelter’ movement, these cult leaders came with some meticulously detailed plans for the world.  They were all planning something BIG for the nation and that plan went into extreme details before carrying them out.

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

In the end, American Horror Story: Cult gave us a disturbing glimpse into the world of cults.  There were no supernatural elements this season, yet the cult them was frightening enough.  All of the main members joined Kai’s cult out of the increasing fear after the 2016 elections.  Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton were the main stars of the season, but the series definitely worked around these events.

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And with that, I can conclude that I’m done joining the cult and I’m ready to see what the next adventure brings us next season.

AHS Crazed Cult Leaders!

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Image result for american horror story cult Beverly and Ally

The moment is finally here…tonight is the LAST episode of American Horror Story: Cult!  It’s been a twisting and bizarre chapter this year, what with this insane cult storyline.  Kai’s army is growing stronger all while killing off his loyal followers (Beverly and Ally are the last remaining main members so far!).

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            Before heading into the final episode, we were introduced to some stories about notable cult figures.  Kai held meetings with his army to discuss the stories of David Koresh, Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, and even Charles Manson.  Out of all of the crazed cult leaders in the country, Kai looked up to Charles Manson the most.  But what’s crazier than Kai’s fascination with these leaders are the bizarre stories about the leaders themselves.

Here are the shockingly true stories about the cult leaders mentioned in the past two episodes:

Marshall Applewhite

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Our first crazed cult leader is Marshall Applewhite.  Marshall Applewhite hailed from Texas and founded a cult known as the Heaven’s Gate religious group.  He organized a mass suicide event in 1997, claiming thirty-nine people during the ritual.  The group believed that an accompanying spaceship would take their spirits on board to a journey towards another planet.  In order to ascend into the spaceship, members of the group committed suicide within their mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Image result for marshall applewhite

Image result for marshall applewhite

A media circus followed after discovering their bodies and much discussion was held over Applewhite’s actions.  Applewhite was featured on the covers of Newsweek and Time on April 7th, 1997.  His story was featured everywhere in the nation.

David Koresh

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Image result for David Koresh

David Koresh is most famous for the Waco Seige back in the early 90s.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) raided Mount Carmel Center (where David held his prisoners hostage).  This standoff lasted 51 days ended on April 19th when U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno approved final assault where the Branch Davidians were to be removed by force.

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During the course of the assault, the church building caught on fire.  80 Branch Davidians, including David Koresh, were barricaded inside the building.  Medical examiner reported of people being shot or even stabbed while inside the building.   It was a bizarre standoff event that ended in a fiery blaze (LITERALLY!).

Jim Jones

Image result for Jim Jones

Image result for Jim Jones

Jim Jones’s historical episode gave rise to the term ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’.  He organized a mass murder-suicide with over 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana.  Him and other group members discussed how the group should commit a ‘revolutionary suicide’ by drinking grape-flavored Flavor Aid mixed with cyanide.  Temple films showed Jones opening a container full of Kool Aid for his group.

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Even as members cried in hysterics, Jim Jones calmed them his soothing charisma.  He pushed them to commit this so-called ‘revolutionary’ act.  It resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life through a deliberate act (that is, until the 9/11 attacks).

Charles Manson

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Last but not least is the most notorious crazed cult leader of all – Charles Manson.  Charles Manson established the Manson family, a quasi-commune that rose in California around the late 60s.  His followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations between July-August 1969.  He was found guilty in 1971 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for deaths of seven people.

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Anyone familiar with the former TV series Aquarius would remember the story of Charlie’s journey with his community.  Both TV series refer back to the atrocious time when the Manson Family committed the murders around southern California.  To this day, Manson is serving multiple life sentences in Corcoran at California State prison.

That’s it for today’s discussion of the crazed cult leaders featured in American Horror Story: Cult.  Some provided sedatives to ‘leave their bodies’ or spark a ‘revolution’ while others simply created a strong army that would do their bidding.  Cult leaders have a lot of powers over their followers, severing ties with those who are their weakest link.

Kai’s army is growing stronger and it will all go down tonight at 10 PM on FX!