I wonder that about a lot of conspiratorial theory. However, it is clear that a fairly extensive conspiracy tried to topple President Trump, so conspiracies really do happen.
Again with the conspiracy stuff. What is this fascination with "conspiracies"?
You know what is a conspiracy? Every human interaction involving two or more people. Two guys decide to make a run to the store for a six pack of beer before the football game starts. They conspired to get beer. Have more than five or six guys at the party and conspiracies really proliferate. Bob and Joe like lite beer, but the others like IPA. Secret discussions ensue regarding what type of beer to buy and how much...should we have sausage or pepperoni on the pizza...someone will be left out of that discussion...CONSPIRACY!!!....The people putting on the football game conspired with the concessions vendors at the stadium and the tv network. The tv network conspired with the companies that make televisions. Everything. Sending money to Mother Teresa's orphan program is a conspiracy. Sending your children to school is participating in a conspiracy to educate the young.
You want a democracy? Well that means you have a govt run by people; not AI robots. People put their heads together and come up with all kinds of plans. That's conspiring. Some of the plans they act out on. Sometimes some of those actions are against the law of the land. That then becomes a criminal conspiracy. Sometimes the plans violate someone else's code of ethics. Sometimes people get trapped into group think and don't even realize they are conspiring to create a shared view of reality that might not even have any objective truth. Even if we had AI robots running things, it would be a conspiracy because someone had to program the robots and they had an agenda of some kind. This podcast/blog is a conspiracy in which we are participating. We are against materialistic science. We are conspirators.
The word really has no meaning outside a court of law where a specific illegal action is being looked at. The court and all of its judges and lawyers are involved in a conspiracy known as the "legal system". Then they all have their own sub-agendas and social cliques. Those are also conspiracies.
So the govt funded Wasson? So what? Why wouldn't it?
The first time I ingested a psychedelic - it was LSD.... 200 micrograms - a healthy enough dose to get a full psychedelic spectrum experience, but not an insane dose level. It was in liquid form (a diluted solution) that came in brown glass vials. I won't speak to the source...this was a long time ago...The dosage could be measured accurately from a pipet (sp?) type dispenser. I had read about it and was told about it by the people that obtained it for me. But nothing prepared me for the actual experience. There I was a couple hours later....wide awake and feeling more intensely intellectually and psychically aware than ever before...my thoughts, my awareness, my very essence expanding up and up through levels of consciousness ...All was Mind..... WOW! THIS IS IT! ....was a thought that crossed my mind.....but who was the mind that just had the thought?......that question led to an unfolding of new layers of reality and realization....and there was a certain funny aspect to the question....it was ridiculous and it made me laugh....a deep belly laugh....because in the midst of all of this direct connection with all of this MIND, it was a indeed a silly question and it was an amusing artifact of an outmoded thought habit that I once had......when was it that I used to think in such a narrow silly and misguided way?........Holly Cow!....It was just a minute ago!.....I just experienced universes of consciousness and went on incredible mental and spiritual journeys and, by outmoded thinking land measures, it all happened in a like a minute....There is no time. It's another silly construct...this makes me laugh even harder. The puny idea that is my day to day ego is kind of a sad limited little thing....yet I start to feel a sense of compassion and love for that sad fragile little thing....this propels me through a river of archetypical concepts....and I am off on another journey through layers of Mind.....on and on and on....except there is no on and on and on because it's all happening now and there is not time....when you get to the bottom you get back to the top.......now I'm talking to a spiritual force that seems to exist independent of me and is wise and kind......yet it isn't independent of me because All is One....WOW! This isn't a dream or hallucination....it is real! Realer than what the outmoded used to experience day to day....on and on and on....but not on and on...NOW. HERE......EVERYWHERE...
None of that which occurred was (or is) intellectual musings. Rather a direct experience of these things. Let that soak in - Direct Experience. That is what psychedelics do for me.
Back to the CIA and "conspiracies" for a moment....
....The CIA (using CIA as a generic term for many govt agencies since that is what all the conspiracy nuts like to do) had discovered LSD in the 1950s. They apparently thought it might be good for interrogating people and getting the truth out of them. They were looking for substances that would do that for them. That research, despite offending the more sanctimonious delicate flowers amongst us, is a legitimate thing for a national security agency to do in a world where nuclear armed enemies could destroy humanity any day. However, the reports of the drug's effects were different and rather interesting. Since it was deemed physically harmless, CIA guys decided to try it themselves. They experienced amazing states of mind like I did.
Breaking news...CIA guys are people too. Usually pretty smart people at that. They were as impressed with the state of mind induced by LSD as I was. Being people with interests and dreams and concerns and everything else that everyone feels and thinks, they naturally thought that maybe these substances could bring about some good in society. Like, what if everyone had a taste of the True Nature of Awareness? Maybe it could make for a better world? Hippies certainly thought (and said) that same thing after using the drug. CIA guys aren't allowed to? Hippies hold a copywrite on those thoughts?
So you get a Wasson funded to explore a related drug that is found in certain mushroom species. You get the cover of LIFE magazine. ....Hey, let's legitimize this stuff a little and see what happens if more people, a wider swath of society starts using it. It just might make a positive difference in the world, what with nuclear weapons proliferating and the horror of WW2 recently behind us it's worth a shot.
Why a banker? Because CIA guys were almost exclusively recruited from the Ivy League. They needed to have what used to be referred to as "Background". A banker was someone they could trust and relate to because he too had background. That's old school WASP ...I realize that the prols and hippies hate it. Tough. Besides, the banker already had a great interest in mushrooms. Why this needs to be twisted into some kind of fuel for paranoid fantasies escapes me entirely.
I think I mentioned that in a democracy you get a govt of people....so ...some people are bad guys. Straight up sociopaths. Others become misguided and cold hearted for various reasons; sometimes because they are distracted and not paying attention....people like that (and sociopaths )are everywhere - even in guru-land and hippy communes ....anyhow, yes, when you're dealing with people, some of them are going to get out of hand and do bad things, like some of the more infamous examples of MK Ultra activities.....I refer back to my example and question in a previous comment (up thread) about airline crashes. When a plane crashes it needs to be investigated and we need to do all we can to ensure that the issue is remedied......but we still fly and we still know that some day another plane is going to crash........why do we apply a totally different standard to the CIA?
I think all of this conspiracy theory stuff is, on the one hand, a pathetic admission - almost a desperate cry - that says "I am weak and powerless and people are messing with me". . ...on the other hand, it is an attempt to cover up that weakness by appearing to be "in the know" , and thus somewhat in control, regarding big forces in society and life in general.
It seems to me that when most people use the word "conspiracy" it is emotionally loaded and has sinister connotations + a specific meaning beyond the face value. What they are really saying is "People with more *power* than I are making decisions that might impact me in a negative way and I am not even aware of what those decisions are or who is making them and that scares me".
But, because of that strong subjective element as to what is a "conspiracy" then we get into all kinds of disagreements based on personal values, intelligence and levels of understanding. So I don't like the term outside of legal definitions. Sam hired Big Pete to murder his business partner. Here's the evidence. Ok. That is a criminal conspiracy to commit murder. No problem. The CIA helped Wasson go study mushrooms? Not a conspiracy. Just people being people. The fact that some of the players are associated with the government is immaterial.
Like I said, if you don't want to be mind controlled, then don't be. It's that simple. No one is forcing you to believe facebook memes, or the "news" or to put LSD on your tongue. No one can rob you of your honor or integrity or your essential soul....unless you let them.