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The Rise Of LSD (1986)

The Rise Of LSD: The main question this documentary asks is whether the experiences of LSD users can make legitimate claim to being spiritual in nature, or whether this is just psychedelic delusion. Split into two parts, 'The Rise of LSD' and 'The Fall of LSD', the research starts at the beginning, with Albert Hoffman (pictured above), a Swiss research scientist who discovered the LSD-25 molecule when he accidentally ingested a dose of the drug in his lab. His experience made him think he was either mad or dead and already in hell, and he could think of nothing to do but retreat home and try to suffer through whatever he was experiencing. After a trip lasting around six hours, he returned to his senses, and it became clearer to him the type of discovery he had just made. After a couple of days convalescing, he returned to the lab, and revealed his discovery to his colleagues. Critics of the apparently mystical experiences of LSD point out that although these people thought they were on a journey, discovering new methods of thought, they were actually just dropouts. Hoffman himself has some of the last words in the documentary, claiming that, while he didn't believe his LSD experiences to be spiritual, he did believe that they represented 'another dimension to reality'. In addition, the 'bad trip' side of LSD is also explored, and users of the drug relate negative experiences suffered while under the influence. These experiences are relayed with such intensity, despite the fact that they are describing pretty mundane events, such as getting a verbal dressing down from a stranger while under the influence, that the effect of such a 'bad trip' will not be under-estimated by the audience.
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