Professor Donadrian Rice is now the chair of the University of West Georgia's psychology department. In 1969, however, he was an undergraduate researcher in Krippner's lab and a small-town South Carolina kid in the big city. At one point he told the dream lab director that he'd never tried mescalin. That's an odd thing to say to your boss, but Krippner's response was more unconventional still. He scored Rice a hit and escorted his tripping assistant to a showing of Fantasia. This is a fond memory for Krippner; the movie is one of his favorites, and he recalls he made sure to take Rice to a 3-D showing so "all the characters would be jumping off the screen." Rice, who had never seen Fantasia — let alone while on mescalin — recalls it as "a pretty intense movie to see under those conditions."

The mescalin and other hallucinogens were floating around the lab, in Rice's recollection, for "side research" and "off the record" studies on telepathy. Krippner remembers things differently than his longtime friend — experiments involving illegal drugs, he says, would have put him in a bad place with the hospital board. Hallucinogens around the lab were "only being used during recreational periods." There was, however, that one experiment where, per the words of Bob Dylan, everybody must get stoned. That was the one written up in the Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine. But that wasn't in the lab.

The music died down on a February night at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, N.Y., and 2,000 heads gazed up at the stage, nearly all of them "in various altered states of consciousness induced by marijuana, hashish, LSD, and the music itself," per Krippner. On a screen suspended above the Grateful Dead, the following words appeared: "YOU ARE ABOUT TO PARTICIPATE IN AN ESP EXPERIMENT." The concertgoers were informed they would soon be shown a picture, which they should "TRY USING YOUR ESP TO 'SEND'" to Malcolm Bessent, a self-proclaimed psychic dozing in the dream lab, 45 miles off.

Asking a member of the Grateful Dead if he remembers any particular concert is akin to asking Willie Mays if he recalls a random midseason ballgame. But band members haven't forgotten "the ESP shows."

"Oh, I remember," confirms Mickey Hart, one of the band's drummers. The Dead, in Hart's recollection, stopped playing while the crowd read the instructions. But as soon as the images were projected onscreen "we began playing really hard to be totally engaged in that experiment. We were the vehicle, the thing at the center of it all."

On four of the six concert nights, a pair of independent judges deemed Bessent's dreams to be highly relevant to the image sent his way by the Deadheads. On Feb. 19, 1971, for example, concertgoers were shown a painting titled The Seven Spinal Chakras, picturing an ethereal man hovering in the lotus position with symbols projected onto his spinal cord. That night, Bessent reported dreaming about a man who was "suspended in mid-air or something.... I was thinking about ... a spinal column."

In their subsequent writeup, Krippner and his colleagues remarked on the need for "future work" to explore the "intriguing" notions that being high on LSD, miles away from your telepathic subject, and having thousands of senders might have an effect on the yet-unproven power of telepathy. That didn't exactly happen. Krippner, however, did later that year debrief an auditorium full of Soviet scientists about his work with the Dead ("a band with a keen interest in both ESP and altered states of consciousness") and gifted his hosts with several of the group's LPs.

For decades, this study was known only to those Soviets and the most staunch aficionados of psychosomatic dentistry. Then it was exhumed by the Dead.

The burgeoning ranks of academics analyzing the Grateful Dead unearthed Krippner's works in the late 1980s, declaring them to be the first scholarly papers on the band. In the ensuing decades, members of the Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus have published hundreds of papers and dozens of books. The group has held a national gathering for 15 consecutive years; Krippner is a frequent guest and is hailed as the field's godfather. "The proper way to contextualize Stanley's work is that it was a way of measuring the bond between the fans and the band," says Nicholas Meriwether, director of U.C. Santa Cruz's Grateful Dead Archive and founder of the Scholars' Caucus. "Even though he wasn't making this claim, that's the great claim found there." Hart agrees, noting "the powerful buzz" and "great union" pervading the ESP shows.

Hart credits Krippner with an even more seminal role in the lore of the Dead. On a number of occasions, Krippner hypnotized Hart and Kreutzmann to better synch their drumming. "We'd find the inner workings of rhythm, a special lock between me and Bill. We found what we would call 'The Root Lock,'" Hart recalls. In hypnosis, the drummers could play for eight, 10, or 12 hours straight without a break. "Bill and I were able to go deep. Sometimes he'd play with his right arm around me and I had my left arm around him; we were one organism." It was only with two drummers in deep unison, Hart continues, that the band could produce the Dead's signature sound. And it was only with Krippner's direction that Hart and Kreutzmann managed to start their own long, strange trips. "We never got into that before we met Stanley," Hart says. "He was the catalyst."


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13 comments
philthom4s
philthom4s

Would there be all on four types of person in him? Also, is he going to be in Calgary any time soon to  do a show or to be paid for services?

Phillius | www.mybite.ca

psychespace
psychespace

FYI, the documentary that I hope to make is not in any way associated with the student film described below by the esteemed Dr. Jean Millay. It is not a Saybrook project; it is rather a project I have undertaken with my production company "Native Land Productions". With the approval of Dr. Krippner, it will honor and celebrate his 80th year on the planet. Please write KRIPPNER in the subject line when you send your stories, archival footage, and memorabilia to me at: psychespace@earthlink.net.. Thank you! Nadine Vaughan, Ph.D.

psychespace
psychespace

I have known Stanley Krippner since the mid 1970s when I met him on the Princeton Campus at an East Coast meeting of the Humanist Psychology Institute.  Many years later, he served as the chairman of my doctoral dissertation committee. Since then, he has remained an esteemed colleague and friend. Krippner is the most scientifically sophisticated person I know . His research, as his words, are modest when compared with the enormous body of work he has contributed to the field of psychology and the world. As a filmmaker, I now look forward to making a documentary of his life and works. I encourage you to send your stories and early footage (all subject to verification), about this remarkable man, to me at: psychespace@earthlink.net.  Please write KRIPPNER in the subject line. Thank you! Nadine Vaughan, Ph.D.

Jean Millay
Jean Millay

Dr. Krippner is one of the most intelligent, spiritual, leaders in the study of consciousness of our age. Among his scientific research, he bravely introduced Humanistic Psychology to the U.S.S.R. a decade before Ronald Reagan began calling it "The Evil Empire." Stanley Krippner's powerful influence there helped pave the way for Glasnos, at the end of the Cold War. He is greatly loved for his work in many other countries, such as Brazil. Ever since he allowed me to participate in one of his dream telepathy studies in 1969, I have followed his extraordinary contributions to knowledge. He deserves a Nobel Prize. A film about his life was begun by a non-professional film maker, a few years ago, and was dropped for many illogical reasons, though one was for running out of money. The footage is still available, and with help from others, it could be completed. Helpful donors should contact: www.saybrook.edu.

Custom Logo Design
Custom Logo Design

i am the one saying on media that it is impossible to find a loophole in our security... and it happened 2 days after my comments.

mMzotec Shaman
mMzotec Shaman

I had a reoccuring dream of 911 about 6 months before the planes hit nyc.I had been on tour with dead just before that tragic event.I am Mazotec shaman

Briandrake9
Briandrake9

One of the world-class healers that Stan Krippner documented and worked with who earned a Master of Science in Omnicorporeal Reality for his paranormal abilities is Dennis Adams in Mt. Shasta, CA. Search for him on the internet and you'll see why Stan Krippner's work is so important - for helping us understand and extend the realm of what is truly possible. Dennis Adams teamed with healer Olga Worrall and proved under scientific conditions that life essence can be altered with the mind. Results were published in a journal of psychic research in 1983. Adams also showed other researchers such as Henry Dakin how the mind can be used for a variety of effects on matter.

Juris D Ahn
Juris D Ahn

Astounding. Important information for us all.

Michael M. Hughes
Michael M. Hughes

Superb article about one of my favorite researchers. However, please correct the spelling of mescaline (there's an "e" at the end).

Levinasfan
Levinasfan

Stanley sensei, Laurence's Goddad.

freds4hb
freds4hb

I already knew you'd write this Joe.

Eric J. Lindblom PhD
Eric J. Lindblom PhD

No, I hadn't heard about the ants. Thanks for asking, though. Eric J. Lindblom PhD

CPR
CPR

As one of the ants who's lived in Stanley's pocket over the years, I thank you for this excellent piece. You hardly scratched the surface of this amazing man's life, but it's a worthy start.

 
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