1691: Salem and LSD...
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Thread: 1691: Salem and LSD...

  1. #1
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    1691: Salem and LSD...

    1691-1692: The town of Salem experiences some weird phenomenons: people hallucinating, experiencing severe cramps, itching feelings just under the skin,...

    Since there is no medical explanation for these phenomenons, the people of Salem have to find another scape-goat. Influenced by Catholic Church, they go for the only logical explanation: The Devil himself must be involved. Soon, they find about 150 people that 'qualify' to be witches.

    They have two options: either confess, and be hung; or not confess and commit a crime against God (for lying) which was ever worse...

    1976: Linda Caporael claims to have found an explanation on why those 'victims' were suffering from the described symptons. In short, they were on LSD.
    Now, LSD is a synthetic drug and wasn't around back in 1691.
    Here's Linda's hypothesis: the Salem-people's main food-source was grain. The ground they cultivated it on: swamp.
    In 1943, Albert Hoffman was researching ergotized grain (grain infested by a specific fungus; the fungus literally takes over the grain). While making an extract, he spoiled some of the stuff on his hand. He started to hallucinate and suffer about the same symptons as the 'Salem-victims'. Ergotized grain contains alkaloids, nerve-toxins. The same alkaloids are what gives LSD its hallucination-enducing effects.
    Caporael was the first one to link the two events. Her theory: the people in Salem suffering from those symptoms weren't ill, they were intoxicated, drugged. I won't go into detail about the proof she found, but it sounds pretty convincing to me (The witch-haunts in Europe concentrated on places where grain was harvested,...). Although her 'evidence' was discounted by lots of prominent scientists, I think she's made some very good points...

    So next time someone needs an exorsist: send him to Betty Ford...

  2. #2
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    Very well worded
    That's very interesting Negative, good research.

    <Negative> Jethro-afk > it's not the effects that are hallucinating... it's the effects that are causing hallucination
    <Jethro-afk> Negative > What are you yabbering on about?
    *** Quits: [pHA]XeNoCiDe-afk (Quit: )
    <Negative> Jethro-afk > lsd
    <App> acid
    <Jethro-afk> Oh, speed
    <App> tips
    <App> trips
    <Jethro-afk> It makes you hallucinate, can't you just say that?
    <App> not only that though
    <Jethro-afk> Makes your heartrate increase
    *** Quits: trials (Connection reset by peer)
    <Jethro-afk> I don't know, I've never taken lsd
    <Negative> Jethro-afk > just saying that 'hallucinating efects' sounds like 'the efects are hallucinating'... effects don't hallucinate, they cause hallucinations... therefor, the word should be hallucinogating
    <App> Its good for sorting your head out, thats why tribal medicine men used to take it ages back...one every now and then is okay i'd say
    *** Joins: Shmoo
    <Jethro-afk> Negative > hallucination-inducing
    <Jethro-afk> or enducing
    <Negative> Jethro-afk > Ha! that's more like it

  3. #3
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    I read a medical-thriller based upon that same belief a few years ago. I am unsure of the title, but the author is Robin Cook (who is well known for his realistic medical-thrillers). The book didn't say that it was LSD specifically, but some other hallucenogenic (sp?) drug that was extracted from the grains. In the novel, a young woman inherits a house in Salem and discovers that her ancestors were branded as witches. Soon, her world is turned upside down as "witches" begin to appear again. It was a very enthralling read, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the Salem Witch Trials and this belief that they may have been influenced by natural forces, rather than religious ones. If I can remember the title, I'll post it here. I should have the book in my library somewhere.

    AJ

  4. #4
    Purveyor of Lather Syini666's Avatar
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    Hmm, LSD as the cause of the Salem Witch Trials, I'd believe it. On the topic of tribal use of hallucinagenic (sp?) drugs, check out Altered States. Its a kinda old movie, but very tripped out and just plain bizzare, but it really makes you question reality. Some Shamans still use peyote and mescaline, and arent subject to US law because its part of their religion, and therefore legal.
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  5. #5
    The Iceman Cometh
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    Just to clarify for Negative and Jethro: the correct term would be "Hallucinogenic Effects" if you want to discuss the effect it has, causing people to hallucinate, though I guess hallucination-inducing would work (sounds kinda weird though)

    AJ

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    Originally posted here by Syini666
    Hmm, LSD as the cause of the Salem Witch Trials, I'd believe it. On the topic of tribal use of hallucinagenic (sp?) drugs, check out Altered States. Its a kinda old movie, but very tripped out and just plain bizzare, but it really makes you question reality. Some Shamans still use peyote and mescaline, and arent subject to US law because its part of their religion, and therefore legal.
    you know, its probly not that there exempt from US law, its more along the lines of sence indian reservations are considered to have the same rights as a small country so therefor make their own laws about such things....... and if their belifs say that they use drugs for this raindance or that blessing then theres US laws that state that its completly legal........

    er, thats all my understanding of the laws about the reservations tho..... i think that its right, or atleast close to it, if im wrong and someone knows spacifics then please correct me

  7. #7
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    I've heard that this phenomenon was recorded in the
    middle ages. I found an interesting link on the subject.

    http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty...135/LECT12.HTM
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  8. #8
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    I checked my library and found the book I was talking about (I was excited, it was the first book I grabbed, since it's alphabetically organized by title then author). The book is called "Acceptable Risk" by Robin Cook (found HERE on Amazon, for those interested). Below is a short explaination of the book:

    Kimberley Stewart is inexplicably drawn to the memory of her ancestor Elizabeth who was inextricably associated with the Salem Witch Trials of the seventeenth century. Such was her involvment that she has remained a taboo subject within the family ever since. Intrigued and convinced that Elizabeth is innocent, Kim sets out to renovate the old family house and discover exactly what atrocity her ancestor was accused of.

    However, Kim is not the only one making investigations, her scientist boyfriend, Edward Armstrong, discovers a bacterial mould in Elizabeth's cellar which he isolates into a remarkable anti depressant. All appears to be going fantastically well and the new "feel good" drug, Ultra, seems to be a miracle find which can only lead to great wealth and happiness. "Ultra" is allegedly free of side effects but as Edward's behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and the mutilated corpses of animals begin to show up near the laboratory Kim decides to investigate the truth. The peace of Salem is threatened by a modern day witch hunt and it becomes imperative for Kim to discover the link between the past and the present
    AJ

  9. #9
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    lmao, trust Neg to find summin dark, witch hunts and LSD sounds good :P
    where do i sign up???


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  10. #10
    GreekGoddess
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    Wow, I can believe that....interesting find......

    There are so many herbs and plants that give off hallucinogenic effects that are completely legal in the United States. One of them being Salvia Divinorum. It's a shamanistic plant, used to provide imagery in meditation. But it's also completely legal for non-shamans to buy and smoke however they please.

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