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The Sadness of being Gay

Clinical studies suggest homosexuality can be cured with LSD
by Ram Dass and Klara Kali

Later in this article, psychedelic ‘gay’ icon Ram Dass (Harvard Professor Richard Alpert) describes how homosexuality can be cured by the safe and responsible use of psychedelics. The astute reader may ask: What, then, is the cause of homosexuality? The Castalia Foundation suggests that homosexuality is caused by childhood sexual abuse.

Despite being called gay (meaing 'full of joy') many homosexual people are deeply miserable. They are so uncertain in their sexuality that they claim to take pride in their being homosexual while simultaneously claiming they made no choice in the matter.

What a queer state: To take pride in something which you had no role, or choice in.

Are balanced humans typically proud of their brown eyes? Are they proud of their red hair; or that they have ten fingers? Obviously not, as we did not choose these things. Humans are proud of achievements, not proud of arbitrary aspects of our being, decided (the homosexual says) by our genes. To take pride in your sexual orientation, by this rationale, is logically absurd.

The self-described gay person is therefore in a state of complete confusion: Claiming to have not chosen to be gay, while simultaneously celebrating their ‘pride’ at not having made this decision. The paradox is almost suffocating. Fortunately, there is an exit.

Childhood sexual abuse imprints strong associations in the child’s mind. Typically, when a child is repeatedly raped by an adult of the same gender, especially a close ‘caregiver’, the child’s natural heterosexuality is supplanted by homosexuality. As neurologists know: What fires together, wires together. The neurological association of same-sex interaction with the child’s sexual function creates an enduring mis-wiring. This can later be remedied though use of psychedelics in a safe space, as Ram Dass describes in a moment.

Conversely, a sexually abusive mother can set up a sense of unconscious repulsion in the abused infant; leaving him open to a lifetime of fear and distaste at the female form. The sexual impulse, seeking an outlet, turns to homosexuality.

The same type of discovery was made by LSD researcher Stanislav Grof, who wrote in Psychology of the Future (2000), that:

On a more superficial level, there were often biographical factors that seemed to contribute to my patients’ sexual choice [revealed under the effects of LSD]. Particularly frequent was either the absence or emotional distance of the father figure and resulting deep craving for affection from a male figure.

In an adult male, a strong need for an intimate, loving, and affectionate relationship with a male figure can be satisfied only in a homosexual relationship.

Another common factor was a strong fixation on the mother, associated with boundary problems, and incest taboo.

Grof also disovered a clear case of homosexuality being induced by severe trauma. Interestingly, this was observed in an adult subject, but the reader can imagine the effects are compounded when the survivor is a child at the time of the abuse, and the abuse is repeated hundreds of times, or more:

...[The Nazis] referred to this form of slave labor as Totaleinsetzung. At that time, two SS officers repeatedly forced [Peter] at gun point to engage in their homosexual practices.

When the war was over, Peter realized that these experiences created in him strong preference for homosexual intercourse experienced in the passive role. This gradually changed into fetishism for black, male clothes and finally into the complex obsessive-compulsive masochistic behavior described above.

Here Grof has used LSD to explore the origins of both Peter's homosexuality, and his preferences for BDSM. Such core motives are common; what is uncommon is uncovering them. LSD facilitates this type of deep work in the subconscious mind.

Our society is terrified by such possibilities. There are enormous commercial opportunities in promoting homosexuality: Ongoing pharmaceutical profits from disease medication, and an entire social movement, is predicated on the basis that homosexuality should be celebrated and even encouraged. Many wealthy interests are at risk if we become aware of the underlying psychology of homosexuality. The core trauma must be denied, or a great deal of money will be lost.

Interestingly, The Castalia Foundation posits that some degree of bisexual-curiousity may be a relatively natural state, however, homosexuality (a state, in which the polarity of conventional sexual function is almost entirely reversed) has its origins in childhood sexual abuse.

Survivors should be treated with care and respect, and not forced to ‘recant’ their position. The way free is through careful, consensual self-healing, as Ram Dass outlines here. Percecuting homosexuals is a disgusting and ignorant position and stems from a misunderstanding of the trauma that underlies the pathology. Further traumatizing a trauma-survivor is no solution to trauma. Compassion is essential. We'll let Ram Dass explain the rest.

LSD and Sexuality

by Richard Alpert (Ram Dass)

This is a review of a case of homosexuality that was treated therapeutically with LSD, and male-female psychedelic sessions.

This presentation is in the form of a clinical report, and some speculations regarding some of the relationships that we have noted between the use of psychedelic chemicals and sexual behavior. We shall consider the effect of psychedelics on marked sexual pathology, namely homosexuality. In general, we have assumed that the sexual pathology with which we have been dealing is primarily psychogenic in nature, although the effects may be the result of intermediate endocrine action as well. Furthermore, we have leaned towards a Freudian model of the early development of sexual identity.

As for the manner in which the psychedelic chemicals affect the nervous system: We still do not actually know what the mechanism of action here is. It seems possible that LSD, and the other psychedelics, affect the serotonin at the synapses between neurons. Most notably in the perceptual, cognitive, and affective areas of the brain. This effect is realized psychologically in alteration of association patterns.

The subjective experience of this alteration in association patterns is extraordinary. When a stimulus is presented, rather than experiencing only the most highly probable cognitive, or affective associations (which, of course, may be pathological), one experiences perhaps all possible responses simultaneously. This provides an experiential richness, freshness, and inter-relatedness which then, theoretically, allows for the possibility of the emergence of new external behavioral responses.

The actual cognitive and affective richness of experience cannot, of course, find direct expression in conceptualized thought (the maximum speed of which is about three concepts per second), but a new experiential-base is provided from which to act. It is impressive to experience the amazing richness of associative material from which ones brain can process simultaneously during an LSD session.

Thus it is our working-model that the psychedelics work as a therapeutic vehicle through perceptual-cognitive-affective reorganization. For example, if a man looks at a woman (about whom he usually has certain highly-fixed associative habits of perceiving, thinking, and feeling) after the ingestion of a psychedelic medicine, he not only sees her in the habitual way but he sees her in literally hundreds of other ways as well. This fresh perception allows for the development of a set of new meditating-responses and ultimately an alteration in external behavior patterns.

It is the myriad minimal cues in a human face which lead to the associational-lushness: The set of a cheek bone; a wrinkle by the eye; the pinkness of skin; the depth of eye; the fullness of a lip. All these things trigger off associations of ethnicity, age, historical, and social dimensions. Our male subjects report over and over again that to look at one woman during a strong LSD session is to see 'woman' in all her potential forms: The harlot; the virgin; the seductress; the genius; the matron; the mother; the goddess, and so on. At the same time, the subject feels all feelings associated with 'woman'. These may include lust, anger, love, kindness, protectiveness, vulnerability etc. In the same way, LSD subjects can look at any man and see 'man' in all his potential forms also.

LSD is very difficult to work with therapeutically. Extensive programming of sessions is required and there is a need for the understanding of the experience by the sitter. This means that every sitter or guide has to have psychedelic experiences herself before considering the use of psychedelics as a therapeutic device. This case I’m going to review briefly concerns a thirty-eight year old male who has been acting out homosexual behavior since the age of fifteen. He has had literally thousands of homosexual encounters, all of one or two incident duration, and has during this time had sexual relations quite unsatisfactorily with three women.

Prior to the first session with LSD there was a two week preparation period. That is: a period during which the guide and the subject get to know one another; a case workup was created; as well as directed-reading to prepare the subject to help program his own experiences.

It is important in assessing critical-variables involved in change to keep in mind the tremendous amount of time that the guide and the subject spend together. This time may indeed be all that accounts for the change in behavior; it may not be the LSD at all. Those of us that have worked with LSD, however, expect otherwise.

Session One was primarily an orientation session, with 200ug of LSD allowing the subject to get familiar with the experience of taking a psychedelic medicine. The session lasted fifteen hours and was carried out in a comfortable, quiet space. Soft music and and a psychologically safe and warm environment were provided to allow the subject to relax and go with the experience without much direction other than a few short pre-arranged readings of a basically Taoist nature.

Keep in mind that the subject is a person who contacted me by letter and said, “I’ve heard about LSD and I think it could help me. Would you work with me?” And yet it is only in the second session that we start to deal specifically with the symptom. Before the second session, the subject and I collaboratively picked the artifacts that we would use in the session. Using a Wolpian type approach to anxiety areas, we selected a set of slides of great paintings of women (such as the Mona Lisa and works of Rafael and Titian) for presentations during the session.

The first two hours of session two were quiet hours with soft music. This was a time during which the participants could relax and float, free of encumbering identities. Then, the pre-selected slides were presented for about ten minutes each, enlarged to life-size, for a total time of about one and a half hours. Following this period, the subject was presented with a set of photographs (his mother, old girlfriends, and current women friends), which he had collected prior to the session for this purpose. He studied these photos for another two hours. (With other subjects an additional step has been used, involving a mirror and the contemplation of the subject’s own body). Throughout the presentation of the slides and photos the guide had, for the most part, been silent, now and then gently asking such questions as:

“Who is that?”
“Who else?”
“What are the characteristics of that woman?”
“What is woman?”

Later, the subject reported that he had felt an initial panic reaction of withdrawal followed by an increasing involvement, ultimately experiencing “how biologically obvious heterosexuality is.” He reported feeling an attraction, both sexual and otherwise, towards these women. This excited and encouraged him, for it was the first time he could consciously recall having experienced such feelings in connection with females.

Session three, a month later, could be called a Tantric session. Those of you who are familiar with Garrison’s book on Tantric Yoga will understand what I’m talking about. The subject chose a female companion—someone who was close to him and who would like to have a relationship with him. She in turn collaborated in preparation for the session. Her main role was to just “be there” and to hold him through the session if he desired it.

At first, the subject experienced an intense panic reaction. He experienced impotence, shriveling of the penis, and a cold fear. No demands were made upon him, and the eight or ten hours of the session allowed him to work through much of his anxiety. He was, however, left still very uncertain about his sexual identity. Between sessions, by the way, he was acting out homosexuality, although the frequency and impulsivity was diminishing.

Session four, which he was somewhat reticent to have after his panic of session three, along with my own discouragement after session three, was again with the same woman. This time he experienced very strong sexual desire towards the woman almost immediately and they experienced sexual union, which she reported as the most profound sexual experience of her life. This encouraged him considerably.

One year later, our subject is now living happily with a woman. It is another woman, unfortunately, or fortunately, I do not know. But he has been living with her for eight months. They have been having intercourse every night, except during her periods. He has had two homosexual experiences since that time and he did them, he said, mostly to test and find out “where I was at” and whether or not the changes were real. Now he finds that he can still involve himself in homosexual experiences, but he keeps returning to the heterosexual one and finds it indeed more satisfying. This is a major change in his perceptual, cognitive, and affective organization. I can’t tell you what will happen a half year from now. He may be back out on the streets; I certainly don’t guarantee a thing.

This article was adapted from Richard Alpert's work printed in Psychedelic Review Issue #10, published in 1969. Psychdedelic Review is The Castalia Foundations's periodical magazine.