PTSF54 – Theft, Patents, and Ethical Psychedelic Companies

In this week’s Solidarity Fridays episode, everyone’s back and so is the news.

They cover California Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 519 bill to decriminalize psychedelics statewide (which is the first time a decriminalize bill has been put through and passed by lawmakers instead of ballot initiatives), a 3rd Massachusetts city decriminalizing psychedelics, an article pointing out how the various flaws in our capitalistic world also thrive in the psychedelic world, and a TIME magazine article on ibogaine and Marcus and Amber Capone’s VETS organization (that curiously didn’t mention Marcus’ 5-MeO-DMT use or iboga’s endangered status).

But there are 2 big articles that lead to the most discussion this week: first, Psymposia’s article about Third Wave’s Paul Austin stealing provider information (possibly including Kyle’s) from and MAPS and the ethics of doing something like this, and second, Vice’s article examining patents and ethics within the psychedelic world. How can companies be profitable while also being ethical? How can a company grow within a capitalistic society without falling into the greed traps of our Western ways?

And although he doesn’t call it out, this episode features the return of this show notes writer’s favorite PT segment, Joe’s Paranoid Update- this time about the chaos that could ensue if the Colorado River dries up.

Notable Quotes

“We can work on ourselves, but does that ultimately heal the society when these systemic issues are at play which continue to make us sick? It just feels like this endless feedback loop. …If we’re just focused on our individuation and not actually engaging and participating in the community, in the society, then what are we doing the work for? Are we just doing it for our individual selves?” -Kyle 

“Representation matters so much and it affects people’s self-esteem and self-worth when they don’t have it there, because they don’t think that that’s ever going to be a possibility for them. It just felt so good to be able to put that article out there and to represent some different types of people in this space and highlight their really important and often overlooked work. And we’re going to continue to do it.” -Michelle 

“It really is just this cool new therapy for the affluent class [that] Compass [Pathways] wants, and that’s how you make the most money. But I think that if you were an ethical psychedelic company, that wouldn’t be the goal. That wouldn’t be the mission, and you wouldn’t dress it up all in this B.S. language.” -Michelle

“I do feel like we’re in the middle of something really powerful and it can either really change everything or… not. I just hope that we, as a community, keep our eye on the prize, which is like- it’s more than psychedelics. It’s cultural change, societal change.” -Michelle

Links California Senators Approve Bill To Legalize Possession Of Psychedelics Like LSD, MDMA And Psilocybin Northampton City Council votes in support of decriminalizing psychedelic drugs The Third Wave’s Paul Austin Has Been Accused of Stealing Information For His Psychedelic Provider Directory Why Psychedelics (Alone) Won’t Heal Us Psychedelic Anti-Racism: The Workbook

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi Inside Ibogaine, One of the Most Promising and Perilous Psychedelics for Addiction Comparing 18-MC vs. Ibogaine for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder Is it Possible to Create an Ethical Psychedelics Company?

The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi Colorado River Compact PT221 – Bennet Zelner – The Pollination Approach

Mt. Tam Psychedelic Integration Jam

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PT238 – Kile Ortigo – Integration and Existential Exploration

In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview Palo Alto-based Ph.D., author, clinical psychologist, and “integration specialist,” Kile Ortigo.

From what he’s learned at his time at the Grady Trauma Project, the National Center for PTSD, VA work, hospice work, and his own practice, he talks about the flaws of active intervention models of therapy and why what can be most healing for someone is often just letting them be and bearing witness to their experience. And he talks about burnout in healthcare, secondary trauma, common factors that help in all therapy techniques, Jung, “Altered States,” and what we might derive from the popularity of Marvel movies.

And he talks about his book, Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide For Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration, and integration: what it actually means, the basics of how he works with clients, if it’d be possible to create some sort of integration measurement, the importance of being flexible when intention-setting, how the psychedelic journey relates to Campbells’ idea of the hero’s journey, and the importance of movies like “Joker.”

Notable Quotes

“I think that’s one of the downsides of working in any sort of big, large, complex system- is that the metrics that you’re being evaluated on are how many patients you’re seeing a day or a week, not necessarily: are they improving?”

“We need to loosen our attachments on active interventions sometimes and realize that just bearing witness- being present in a mental way can be what’s most healing.” 

“Mythology is being created, I would say, at a very rapid pace these days, and it’s being communicated in a much higher scale. And that’s primarily through our science fiction, I think, because it’s previewing some of these challenges that are here right now and we knew they were coming, but we haven’t been paying attention to them and we need to. ‘Black Mirror’ is important.”

“There have always been multiple stories that need to be told, including counter stories to our dominant narratives (our hero’s journey). And that’s why a film like ‘Joker’ from last year was so incredibly important. We needed to hear the story of the shadow and why we need to pay attention to the shadow, and not from a place of judgment or antagonism, but of compassion.”


Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide For Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration, by Kile M. Ortigo, Ph.D.

Project New Day

Psychedelics Today: PTSF 34 (with Craig Heacock)

About Kile Ortigo

Kile M. Ortigo, Ph.D., is an award-winning clinical psychologist and founder of the Center for Existential Exploration, which supports people exploring profound questions about identity, meaning, life transitions, and psychospiritual development. He also serves on advisory boards of Psychedelic Support, an online training and clinician directory for legal, psychedelic-informed care, and Project New Day, a non-profit organization providing harm reduction resources for people using psychedelics in their addiction recovery process. He received his PhD from Emory University and is a certified psychedelic therapist trained at CIIS and mentored by Dr. Bill Richards (who wrote the foreword to his second book, Beyond the Narrow Life). For several years, Dr. Ortigo worked at the National Center for PTSD (NC-PTSD) where he collaborated on technology development and implementation projects, ranging from apps like Mindfulness Coach to online programs like webSTAIR. With colleagues at NC-PTSD, NYU, and Harvard, Dr. Ortigo coauthored Treating Survivors of Child Abuse & Interpersonal Trauma: STAIR Narrative Therapy (2nd Edition), which was released in June 2020.

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PTSF53 – Psychedelics and Creativity, with Laura Dawn

In this week’s Solidarity Fridays episode, technical difficulties lead to a week off from the gang reviewing the news, and instead, Joe interviews microdose & mindset mentor, entrepreneur, author, public speaker, retreat leader, and voice of the Psychedelic Leadership podcast, Laura Dawn.

Dawn talks about her path from Montreal to building a retreat center by a volcanic hot spring in Hawaii, only to see that dream end with the volcano’s eruption. But due to an ayahuasca experience that fed her a song and the lyrics, “Trust in the great unknown,” she did exactly that and followed her heart towards coming out of the psychedelic closet and beginning teaching people the ways of microdosing and ways to inspire creative thinking. 

They talk a lot about creativity: how to define it, misconceptions about learning and practicing creativity, the 4 Ps of creativity, the concept of convergent/divergent thinking and cognitive fluidity, the 5 stages of creativity, flow state, peak performance, and her framework of preparation, practice, and psychedelics towards a more open and creative mind.

Notable Quotes

“When we think about creativity and creative thinking, we can start to understand this as a range of cognitive processes that can best be described as a dynamic fluid movement between multiple states of mind, and of course that’s where psychedelics really come in.”

“By creating a conceptual framework, we can teach ourselves. It’s almost like uploading a neurological program in the mind, which then allows you to perceive reality differently, and you can train yourself how to perceive in that way by taking that framework and that understanding into the psychedelic space.”

“Think about creativity and creating not for the thing in and of itself. …It’s not about the thing. When people are afraid to create, take the leap for the act of flying through the air, not because you think you’re going to stick the landing.”

“I think everything comes down to intention. There is very much so this quality of focusing on peak performance from a place of like, the drill sergeant and the whip, and ‘I’m not good enough, I need to get over there and be better,’ and I think it’s easy to fall down that road. But then there’s also another aspect that we can choose to relate to it differently, of like: how much can I expand what I believe is possible to create with my life on this planet while I’m alive?”



Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work, by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari

The Neuroscience of Creativity, by Anna Abraham The 4P’s Creativity Model and its application in different fields

Psychedelic Leadership podcast: This is Your brain on Psychedelics, with Psychedelic Neuroscientist Manesh Girn

James Taylor’s Five Stages of the Creative Process

Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life, by Alison Gopnik Updating the dynamic framework of thought: Creativity and psychedelics Single Dose of Hallucinogen May Create Lasting Personality Change

Patañjali’s quote

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