Journalist Don Lattin will explore the extraordinary psychedelic partnership of writer Aldous Huxley; philosopher Gerald Heard; and Bill Wilson, the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Huxley, the famed author of Brave New World, introduced Heard to psychedelics. Then Heard turned on a who's who of American cultural figures in the mid-1950s, including Wilson, who soon started his own psychedelic salon in New York to see if LSD could be used to help die-hard drunks sober up by discovering "a power greater than ourselves." Lattin will also will show rare footage from a previously forgotten 1950s television show, Focus on Sanity, in which LSD researcher Sidney Cohen interviews research subjects while they are tripping (for a preview, go to the Harvard Psychedelic Club page at www.donlattin.com).
Lattin, the longtime religion writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, will also discuss his own sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious misadventures as a religion writer "worshiping at the altar of drugs and alcohol." Lattin recounts his rocky personal journey from 1960s and 1970s counter-culture, through the fast-living, cocaine-fueled 1980s and 1990s, to his struggle to get sober and find a spiritual practice that works in his life.