Happy New Year from myself and all at the Beckley Foundation!
25 years ago this year, I made the decision to transform myself, from a woman with no letters after my name, to a Foundation. After decades of using art and political campaigns, I had come to realise that Science was the best way to overcome the taboo and break through the oppressive wall of the War on Drugs.
For several years, our work at the Beckley Foundation was thought of as fringe and dangerous, not to be taken seriously. But in time, the data we produced spoke for itself. Now, after all this time, public opinion of psychedelics and altered states of consciousness is at an all-time high in our culture.
We have witnessed significant strides in drug policy reform across multiple continents, including decriminalisation, legalisation, and medicalisation. Just recently, the UN officially shifted its stance towards harm reduction and human rights-based drug policies, and away from prohibitionist criminalisation.
Still humanity faces the heavy costs of war, the ever-growing mental health epidemic, environmental disasters, and economic struggles. We know that psychedelics have the potential to help us heal at least some of humanity’s traumas and help guide us towards a better future. Thus, it’s vital that we fast forward our progress despite the remaining challenges and bureaucratic obstacles. Cutting-edge research is essential to break the enduring taboos that hinder our progress.
I am therefore excited to be nearing a new era for the Beckley Foundation. As some of you may know, I have, over the last year or two, been developing the Double-Headed Research Programme, which focuses particularly on LSD, in macro- and micro- doses. This is some of the most cutting-edge research I have ever conceived, exploring the underlying mechanisms of the psychedelics and the mystical experience, as well as their potential to enhance cognitive function, restore mental health and help alleviate problems associated with aging, such as the decline of cerebral circulation and production of brain energy.
I am very proud of how far we have come, and I thank all our kind funders for your invaluable support.
Wishing you a lovely Christmas, and a very happy and productive New Year!
25 Years of the Beckley Foundation
In honour of our 25th anniversary, we would like to present to you a short reflection on the past, and glimpse into the future of the Beckley Foundation…
While the process of getting psychedelic studies off the ground can often be an unnecessarily arduous and lengthy endeavour, we are excited that the Double-Headed Research Programme is now very near ‘take-off’. Conducted with scientists from top universities around the world, the programme will investigate LSD in both macro- and micro- doses, and explore the realms of mechanistic, clinical and observational research. We believe this is the most ambitious research programme into LSD yet conceived.
Long ago, I promised Albert Hoffmann, that for his 100th birthday present, I would bring his ‘problem child’ back into civilised society. But sadly, I failed because of unexpected taboos… as the saying goes: “the gods never tell the time“. But hopefully, now, this programme will help make it happen by exposing the incredible potential of LSD at so many different levels. By utilising the most advanced neuroimaging technologies, we will shine new light on many of the mechanisms involved, from the most transformative psychedelic experiences, to the most minute details of LSD’s effect on the microvascular system.
Beyond mechanisms, we will be conducting clinical trials into the effect of LSD microdosing on a variety of indications which have not yet been studied, opening up the possibility of psychedelics being used as a powerful tool for healthy ageing and a more connected living for neurodivergent people.
We are hopeful that at least three of the studies in the Programme will be launched in the first quarter of 2024.
To bring this research to fruition, we have partnered with incredible new collaborators from world leading universities, and we look forward to giving more details in the New Year.
We would like to give many thanks to our supporters, who make this work possible. We hope you will continue to be by our side as we embark on our most exciting adventure yet.
Amanda has spoken at Breaking Convention since its beginning. This year’s event in April was held at Exeter University, where Amanda took the stage once again alongside her friend David Luke and other great minds in the field.
Amanda’s old friend, Rick, made history this year with the MAPS Psychedelic Science 2023 conference in Denver, Colorado, which broke the record of the largest psychedelic conference ever held. Amanda’s talk, A Life of Science and Dreams, was held in front of a packed audience (you can read the talk here). It was a wonderful occasion to meet friends old and new.
You can watch Amanda’s talks here:
Our friends from Beckley Waves (including Amanda’s son, Rock) also kindly held a wonderful party in Denver to celebrate Amanda’s achievements and the 25th anniversary of the Beckley Foundation. It was an incredible opportunity to reflect on our mission and how far we have come, whilst connecting with new passionate minds who are ready to push the field into the future alongside us.
A short film, once again filmed and edited by Alice Rausch, can be seen below.
2023 saw Amanda’s contributions to the field of psychedelics celebrated by many influential media outlets. Beatrice Hodgkin of the Financial Times wrote one of the best feature articles ever written about Amanda, with greatphotographs by Mark Anthony Fox. The response to the article has been incredible, drawing new eyes to Amanda’s work.
“My hope is that the concept of altered states of consciousness is accepted by society.” – Amanda Feilding in conversation with the Financial Times
On her way to Denver in June, Amanda stopped by Austin, Texas to see Joe Rogan for a intriguing conversation about her life and work. A passionate psychedelics advocate, Rogan has amassed a diverse and enthusiastic audience bigger than most major television networks combined.
“I really appreciate your life’s work, what you have done has been remarkable.” – Joe Rogan
Also during the summer, Amanda had inspiring and thrilling conversation with the charming powerhouse, Dua Lipa, for her acclaimed podcast series, At Your Service. They spoke about Amanda’s years of dedication and resilience against the taboo on expanded states of consciousness, and about her vision for the future of psychedelics.
Other media releases from this year include:
– 27th January 2023 – Sophie Benge – Country and Town Magazine: [Tripping with Truffles]
– 30th January 2023 – Mattha Busby – DoubleBlind Magazine: [Psychedelic Legend Amanda Feilding is Turning 80—And Her Retreats are Open for Business]
– 17th April 2023 – Mick O’Hare – [The New European: The ‘Queen of Consciousness’ on 80 years of LSD]
– 3rd April 2023 – Seeking Podcast – Psychedelics 2 | Rediscovery
– June 19th 2023 – Zach Haigney – The Trip Report by Beckley Waves – The Artist’s Way: 25 Years of Amanda Feilding’s Beckley Foundation (see also Part II and Part III)
Just last week, we released our new report: Reversing the Exploitation of Amazonian Indigenous Peoples: Drug Trafficking and Extractive Economies in Peru.
In an effort to shed light on the critical situation in the Amazon, the Beckley Foundation commissioned a report by the distinguished Peruvian lawyer, Ricardo Soberón Garrido, director of the Research Center on Drugs and Human Rights and past President of the National Commission for the Development of a Life without Drugs, (DEVIDA). The report delves into the complex dynamics that are currently jeopardising the Amazon and its native inhabitants, which include drug trafficking propped up by failed drug policies.
In honour of Roland Griffiths
It was with great sadness that we received the news this October that our dear friend and colleague, Roland Griffiths, passed away after bravely facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. He was a remarkably courageous, kind and spirited human being, a true role model for many young researchers in our field. He will be sorely missed, and we are eternally grateful for everything his life represented.
Celebrating Amanda’s Dearest Ally
I would also like to celebrate my long and wonderful friendship with Vivian Kear.
Not long after I started the Foundation, and was working off the kitchen table, I was joined by a bright young woman from Chile, who would quickly become not only a life-long friend, but my greatest companion in the work I do. She has been with me now almost for as long as the Foundation has. While I have done my best to steer this ship, it has been she who helped me keep it steadily on course, working tirelessly to help me bring my ambitious aims of reinstating psychedelics into society, to fruition.
She became part of our family and will remain so. It is both with great sadness but also a sense of celebration for me that she will now take a rest from the stresses of the Foundation. I could never have asked for a better friend on this journey. She will always be there in the background, ready to give her advice and support.
Thank you Dear Vivi, for everything.
Our work has always been and continues to be possible thanks to your generous support. We have come so far on our journey to make psychedelics understood and accessible to the people who can benefit from them. Such progress is only happens when we come together as fellow human beings and pool our resources towards the work that will bring us closer to a better future. The Beckley Foundation has been honoured to play a part in this progress, and we are far from finished with our work. Thank you all for remaining by our side through both flourishing and difficult years, and we look forward to continuing to march forward alongside you.
Whether it’s your first or 100th time, consider donating to the Beckley Foundation to help our work push the field to new heights in 2024!
Once again, from Amanda Feilding an all of us at the Beckley Foundation, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Psilocybin for Depression
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