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  1. #1
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Post Alexander Shulgin, Dead at 88

    Alexander Shulgin, "Godfather of Ecstasy," Dead at 88

    Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, pioneer, pharmacologist, author, and medicinal chemist, passed away this evening at the age of 88. He is best known for introducing MDMA, a form of ecstasy, to psychologists in the 70s.

    Shulgin published the popular TiHkal (Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved) and PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved) with his wife, Ann. Shulgin was formerly a chemist for The Dow Chemical Company before he moved on in 1965 to pursue his own research, which he performed at his house in Berkeley, California.

    He is credited with having sampled and synthesized over 200 psychedelic drug compounds.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member yeghor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    Alexander Shulgin, "Godfather of Ecstasy," Dead at 88

    Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, pioneer, pharmacologist, author, and medicinal chemist, passed away this evening at the age of 88. He is best known for introducing MDMA, a form of ecstasy, to psychologists in the 70s.

    Shulgin published the popular TiHkal (Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved) and PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved) with his wife, Ann. Shulgin was formerly a chemist for The Dow Chemical Company before he moved on in 1965 to pursue his own research, which he performed at his house in Berkeley, California.

    He is credited with having sampled and synthesized over 200 psychedelic drug compounds.
    Do you have Russian heritage?

  3. #3
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Sad news indeed. I generally don't like the psychadelic community as a whole (too many nutso "spiritual" folk that drive me crazy), but this man really grew the area and shared a wealth of knowledge. Maybe it's because I'm also an organic chemist too, but I really appreciated what he did. I have his books; most of it is synthetic methods to make these drugs, written in journal format (i.e. I could easily make these if I wanted), and it's easy to follow. He also offers subjective anecdotal experiences on different doesage levels of all the compounds. Quite brave really. Structural-activity relationship is one thing, but sometimes even a seemingly minor change can have drasticly different an unexpected effects.
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  4. #4
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    the formless thing which gives things form!
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  5. #5
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Post our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit

    Alexander Shulgin, Psychedelia Researcher, Dies at 88
    By BRUCE WEBER
    JUNE 7, 2014
    New York Times

    Excerpt:

    Alexander Shulgin, a chemist who specialized in the creation of and experimentation with mind-altering substances, and who introduced the controversial drug popularly known as Ecstasy for potential therapeutic use, died on Monday at his home in Lafayette, Calif., east of Oakland. He was 88.

    The cause was cancer, his wife, Ann, said.

    Dr. Shulgin, whose interest, as he put it once, was “in the machinery of the mental process,” was both a rogue and a wizard, a legitimate scientist and a counterculture hero. Over more than four decades, working generally within the law (if occasionally on the edge), trying out his concoctions on himself, his wife and a few friends, and publishing his results, he was the creator of almost 200 chemical compounds capable of rejiggering the quotidian functions of the mind.

    As The New York Times Magazine cataloged Dr. Shulgin’s output in 2005: “stimulants, depressants, aphrodisiacs, ‘empathogens,’ convulsants, drugs that alter hearing, drugs that slow one’s sense of time, drugs that speed it up, drugs that trigger violent outbursts, drugs that deaden emotion — in short a veritable lexicon of tactile and emotional experience.”

    His work resulted in patents — his drugs have been used in treating hypertension, reducing nicotine cravings and addressing senility, among other things — but it has also been appropriated by recreational users, sometimes to dangerous effect. In 1967, one of his compounds, popularly known as STP, whose effects include hallucinations and a sense that time has slowed down, was deployed in high doses by San Francisco thrill seekers, sending dozens, if not hundreds, to emergency rooms with fears that they would never return to normal.

    Dr. Shulgin had something of a peekaboo relationship with the authorities. On the one hand, he had a strong relationship with the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bob Sager, formerly head of the agency’s Western Laboratory, was a close friend. Dr. Shulgin often advised drug agents, served as an expert witness in drug trials, wrote a reference work on controlled substances used by law enforcement and for many years was licensed by the D.E.A. to do research on Schedule I drugs, those identified as having no clearly defined medical use and a high potential for abuse.

    On the other hand, he sometimes ran afoul of the drug agency. Many of the compounds he worked with were not originally illegal because they had not existed until he created them, but once they did exist and had gained a public reputation, the drug agency often designated them Schedule I.

    In 1993, the D.E.A. raided his lab, and he was fined $25,000 for violating the terms of the Schedule I license and had to turn it in.

    Dr. Shulgin is probably best known for his resynthesis of the drug MDMA, which had first been patented in 1914 by the German drug manufacturer Merck and later abandoned because no appropriate use of it had emerged.

    In 1978, two years after he first made the drug in his laboratory and tried it on himself, he published a paper (with another chemist, David Nichols) that declared that MDMA induced “an easily controlled altered state of consciousness with emotional and sensual overtones.” He thought it could be therapeutic in reducing anxiety and other emotional problems.

    Some therapists indeed found that it encouraged rapid improvement in some patients, but after MDMA migrated to recreational use — and became known as Ecstasy, or X — the D.E.A. classified it as a Schedule I drug. It was banned in the mid-1980s, at a time when Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drug use was at its peak. In recent years research on its potential uses (for example, in the treatment of traumatized war veterans) has re-emerged.

    Alexander Theodore Shulgin, who was known as Sasha to friends, was born in Berkeley, Calif., on June 17, 1925. His parents were teachers, and he was a precocious student, entering Harvard at 16. He left college to join the Navy during World War II, serving in Europe.

    He told The Times that his interest in the way the mind works dated to his military service, when a nurse gave him orange juice before he had surgery for a thumb infection. He found undissolved crystals in the bottom of the glass and, assuming they were the remains of a sedative, fell unconscious. It turned out that the crystals were sugar, and the way his mind had tricked him provoked a lifelong curiosity. He later earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

    It was in 1960, while he was working for Dow Chemical, that Dr. Shulgin had his first psychedelic experience. He used the drug mescaline, and an epiphany resulted — that it was possible to chemically extend the horizons of perception.

    “I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit,” he said. “We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can analyze its availability.”
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    “I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit,” he said. “We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can analyze its availability.”
    Mmm.

  7. #7
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    He was one of the reasons I decided to get into chemistry. I really liked how he was an experimenter of the mind, not just a dopamine-loving "junkie". RIP indeed.

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