For more than four decades, Don Lattin has written about the social, spiritual, and political aspects of the psychedelic drug movement as a newspaper reporter, freelance journalist, and the author of four books of narrative non-fiction.
In the 1970s, as a young reporter working in the East Bay, Don broke one of the first investigative stories about the US Army’s past efforts to use LSD as a hostile interrogation tool. He also covered the first local campaign to legalize marijuana in the United States—a political movement that continues today in ongoing efforts to decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms, peyote, and ayahuasca in cities and states across the nation.
In the 1980s and 1990s, as a staff writer and columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, Don wrote extensively about various cults, sects, and new religious movements including a generation of spiritual seekers inspired by psychedelic drug experiences in the 1960s and 1970s.
Join KQED Science senior editor Kat Snow for a conversation with Don as they look back on the long, strange trip of his career as an award-winning reporter and best-selling author.
This conversation does not promote, facilitate, or require the use of entheogens. This event and the views expressed by the presenter(s) are not a reflection of the views of California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), its Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research, or the individuals employed by CIIS.
Don Lattin is an award-winning journalist and the author of six books.
His most recent work, CHANGING OUR MINDS - Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy, was published in the spring of 2017. It chronicles a quiet revolution underway in our understanding of how psychedelic drugs work and how they can be used to treat depression, addiction and other disease. The stories behind this cutting-edge medical research and religious exploration reveal the human side of a psychedelic renaissance.
Changing Our Minds is the latest installment in a trio of books about the recent history and prospects for finding beneficial uses for drugs and plant medicines like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ayahuasca.
Don’s previously published work is titled DISTILLED SPIRITS -- Getting High, then Sober, with a Famous Writer, a Forgotten Philosopher, and a Hopeless Drunk. It’s a memoir/group biography that looks at how writer Aldous Huxley, philosopher Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, opened new doors in Western religious thought.
Distilled Spirits is a prequel to THE HARVARD PSYCHEDELIC CLUB -- How Timothy Leary, Andrew Weil, Ram Dass, and Huston Smith Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America. It was a national bestseller and won the 2010 California Book Award, Silver Medal, for non-fiction.
Don’s journalistic work has appeared in dozens of US magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle, where Don worked as a staff writer for nearly two decades.
His other books are JESUS FREAKS - A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge and FOLLOWING OUR BLISS - How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today. He is also the co-author of SHOPPING FOR FAITH – American Religion in the New Millennium.
Don has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, where he holds a degree in sociology. He is a contributing writer for the Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions and the Encyclopedia of Religion in America.
For more information, visit donlattin.com.
Kat Snow, MA, is a veteran public radio journalist who graduated from the Philosophy, Cosmology & Consciousness program at CIIS in 2012. Kat is currently the senior editor at KQED Science, and leads a team of reporters covering climate change, water, energy, and other major science issues in California. Over two decades, Kat has worked as an editor, reporter, talk show host, newscaster, documentary producer and news director. Her stories and documentaries have won numerous regional and national awards. Kat is the public speaking coach for the PCC program's Integrative Seminar at CIIS. She's also a certified Soul Motion teacher, teaching classes in the Bay Area.
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