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Jan Irvin - Gordon Wasson & The Secret History of Magic Mushrooms
August 9, 2012
Jan Irvin is an independent researcher, author and lecturer, speaking at both academic and public venues. He is the host of Gnostic Media and the curator of the official website for John Marco Allegro. Jan returns to discuss his latest research on Gordon Wasson, an influential New York banker and the godfather of the modern psychedelic movement. According to the historical record Wasson, an amateur mycologist, first ‘discovered’ ‘magic’ mushrooms. Irvin shares his evidence which points to the possibility of a secret history of the mushroom in the elite power structures of the west. Jan explains how the psychedelic/hippie movement was a psyop and can provide a window into how the elites run their mind control systems. He’ll talk about how the mushroom and other mind altering sacraments can be used to control the illumination of the masses. Jan questions the foundations of psychedelic history, the new age movement and UFOs.


Relevant links
“Magic Mushrooms and the Psychedelic Revolution: Beginning a New History” – or “The Secret History of Magic Mushrooms” by Jan Irvin – #144
Jan's Online Brain database:
Investigating Wasson Brain - MK-ULTRA and the launching the psychedelic and environmental movements
Download the Brain software:
Download Jan's entire Brain database file:
Note: For use in the software version only (this version is the best, clearest representation of the database and the easiest to follow and research). This version must be IMPORTED into the Brain software after installation.

Comments (9)

Irvin did discover some interesting data about Wasson, though his political leanings and circle of friends were known enough to distrust Wasson and his intentions.
Beyond that Irvin draws huge speculative conclusions from very little substantive information and hangs up on silly issues like the honeymoon story. Virtually everything apart from membership in CFR Century club is extreme speculation and guilt by association. Psychedelics have never been successfully used for mass or individual psychological control and were quickly banned when the effect was opposite. The 60's were not a time of submission and obedience or trust of mass media, but the exact opposite and psychedelics contributed to the intellectual and political rebellion. His underlying premise does not hold up in any way, and he resorts to ridiculous arguments which needed to be challenged. Even if Wasson was CIA /agent of empire, which Irvin makes a decent case for, this hardly means that he was part of a successful plan to use mushrooms for mass control. I too am highly suspicious of spiritualism that relies on positive thinking or excuses itself from political action but some of that is simply personal philosophical inclination and has no insidious undertones. What is equally dangerous and more dangerous on red ice is the inclination to gnostic notions that the most important thing is some all explaining understanding of history and the battle for cosmic control. Meanwhile Red Ice distinctly ignores pervasive and real problems like global warming as though it were an invented plot by the elite as Icke suggests with no evidence. I think Red Ice should be more diverse and grounded with more varied points of view and should ask hard questions when a guest like Irvin strays into guilt by association or wild speculation.
#9 - jonabark - 08/04/2013 - 05:45
John Lamb Lash and this topic
This is really amazing. I first heard of Wasson from John Lamb Lash’s work (whose work I highly regard). I wonder how Lash would react to this discussion? Lash, at least in 2007 with his Future Primitive talks, speaks as if Wasson was genuine and his work was revolutionary and paradigm shifting and mentions in passing that he was a straight banker.
#8 - Thomas Dean Nordlum - 28/02/2013 - 19:55
"anyone wish to comment on this guys findings?"

Love to...

Jan is one of the best researchers out there. His findings may be similar to some previous work, but unlike most of those he seems to have no agenda to promote. This is a guy who, until recently, held views diametrically opposed to what he is putting forward now. And he is, of course beeing viciously attacked for doing so by all manner of creature, previous friend, or foe, tenured, or otherwise. And with good reason. He is hacking at the false foudation they have built their careers on, and they are afraid to say, as another fine researcher, Mark Passio, puts it "I Was Wrong". Too bad for them the facts say it for them and it is only a matter of time.

If people would simply look at the data presented and forget their precious preconceptions, founded on stories, and conjecture, arbitrary arguments, etc. instead of attacking his character, as the previous posted identified; if they would actually read Allegro and Wasson and compare the two objectively, they might see then how he reached his conclusions. But instead amazingly they openly admit their intention never to do so. Then construct strawmans and set the torch to them.

The truth is not politically correct. It's not comforting, cheery or kind. But it makes sense, if you actually take the time to look.
#7 - Stephen - 27/08/2012 - 08:38
Wonderful interview
I'm 61 and lived through the cultural impact of everything in the history covered by Jan. I was especially immersed in the psychedelic subculture and later segued off into some of the more rigorous and militant subversive politics of the early 70s left.
I was active with the Labor Committee (now called "Larouche") between 1972 and 1976 and am also familiar with their version of the 60s counter-culture history as a reworking of the German Weimar "wandervogel" movement, their "War on Drugs" efforts, etc. The Larouchies were also among the earliest to highlight the seminal roles of Kurt Lewin and the Tavistock Institute along with articulating one of the earliest comprehensive critiques of Theordore Adorno and the Frankfurt School. Jan has done excellent scholarly work and documentation on his own independently of the Larouchies and others. . He has simply arrived at some similar facts and conclusions based on his own independent work. Henrik, it would be really enlightening to hear and interview with Dave McGowan on the birth of the late 60s music scene in Laurel Canyon and its implicit Pentagonal roots. In fact, Jan Irwin and Dave McGowan should get together and refine a complete new paradigm for our understanding of the 60s "revolution"/counter-culture as simply a particularly interesting example of post-modern social engineering.. Or maybe not so "post-modern" when viewed against the precedents of Rome, Byzantium or Mystery Babylon. This is a big subject. All you folks are doing a great job of tackling it. May I thank you on behalf of an entirely engineered generation of "baby boomer" virtual "rebels without a cause".
#6 - saigirl - 19/08/2012 - 23:35
I think Irvin's work is objective and provides an alternative to the establishment meme. Jan will never appeal to eveyone; check out his references and facts, let them do the talking and not his personal style. I would sepculate that an author that goes against the elite: struggles for funding; is attacked on their character not for their findings and eventually becomes an aquired taste. I find the reference " more unlikeable over the last two years" very interesting and would be fascinated to hear the evidence for that. Ad hominem! I am sure the elite would find him more unlikeable! Maybe he should be nicer then we would all enjoy his work on the CIA.
#5 - louismartin67 - 19/08/2012 - 22:29
I just wish he would let Henrik finish a sentence... haha
#4 - Jarrod - 19/08/2012 - 16:55
Pass the shrooms
Personally i'm not massively engaged by Jan's findings. The idea of the counter culture being an op and the chosen substances of said revolution being highly controlled and propogated is not new. He does seem to have made some good connections and affiliations between groups and individuals but really his work isn't ground breaking or particularly interesting either. Gene Odening really got the ball rolling on Jan's new approach to information and material and If you listen to the second interview on Jan's Site you can hear the stark differences between the two speakers style and preparation.

I don't disagree with his overall thesis - But I do think that he has become more and more unlikable over the last 2 years. Surely to be correct or contextually aware doesn't have to mean that you have to become as linear as the very academics whose work you are r-evaluating?.

I'm not attacking him really - I just wanted to be honest about the whole thing and see what others thoughts are on the topic.
#3 - G.Wasson - 19/08/2012 - 12:29
loved this podcast. really enjoy Jans super-skeptical approach.
Socrates would be proud.
The truth usually lies somewhere between the two different extremes, i find.
Listening to Jan definately makes me feel a lot less paranoid these days tho ;)
#2 - scott - 18/08/2012 - 12:27
anyone wish to comment on this guys findings??
#1 - Emilio - 18/08/2012 - 05:13
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