Famous Mushroom Users
There are mushrooms that go good with your salad or hamburger
and then there are the mushrooms that will take you on a magic
carpet ride. Also known as "shrooms", these mushrooms
possess hallucinogenic qualities that cause people to see and
hear things that are not there. This outside-the-body experience
is nothing new as many people over the centuries have eaten these
particularly types of mushrooms to achieve this effect.
In recent years, a number of notable people have experimented
with mushrooms to expand their own personal horizons. Each of
them has achieved fame in their own way but how their use of mushrooms
played a role in expanding their point of view remains to be seen.
Certainly one of the biggest proponents of consuming magic mushrooms,
Timothy Leary also used LSD as well. He conducted studies on the
use of the mushrooms noting their effects on his own mind and
body. Leary also experimented with marijuana, heroin and nitrous
oxide as well. Leary was one of the most controversial figures
in his promoting these types of drugs on the human body. In the
end, he asked that his own death be videotaped as well.
McKenna was truly a remarkable figure in that he seemingly experimented
with virtually every hallucinogenic drug. Mushrooms were certainly
a main focus of his experiments and he is considered a renaissance-type
figure in the field of psycho-stimulants. McKenna believed that
ingesting mushrooms was not only wonderful, but that they were
also responsible in large part for the evolution of the human
species over the past 200,000 to 300,000 years. His beliefs, in
terms of human evolution, have yet to be proven. McKenna passed
away in 2000 from a brain tumor.
Professor Albert Hofmann
Hofmann is arguably most famous for synthesizing LSD-25, which
helped establish the drug in the popular culture. He also extracted
the psilocybin from mushroom grown in Mexico and proclaimed their
incredible power to alter the mental state. Hofmann remains a
central figure in the promotion of magic mushrooms and their effect
on the mind.
R. Gordon Wasson
Wasson was previously known for being a vice president of the
JP Morgan Bank. However, he took up an intense study of mushrooms
and their unique properties. His journeys to Mexico and South
America were written down along with his experiences in consuming
the fungi. His intense interest and journals helped push the notion
of mushrooms becoming more mainstream in their use. However, he
was later disappointed as the 60s culture embraced mushrooms for
reasons outside of his own liking.
In addition to Wasson, there are other famous people who have
indulged in the use of mushrooms, including John Lennon, George
Harrison and Ringo Starr of The Beatles, Sting, Henry Luce who
founded Time Magazine and modern celebrities as well, including
The power of mushrooms is still pervasive in the culture today,
albeit perhaps not with the kind of attention or study that it
had in the past. Still, the magic mushroom does have its followers
and those who believe in its unique properties.