Barriers to Research
Alexander & Ann Shulgin
Yearbook for Ethnomedicine and the Study of Consciousness,
Issue 2, 1993, pp9-20. ©VWB - Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung, 1994.
Text of a presentation made to the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, Section on Medicine and Health, San Francisco, California, January 15, 1989. The presentation itself is preceded by a foreword. The entire text is a working draft for a chapter in the forthcoming book TIHKAL, [now] published by Transform Press, Berkeley. (TIHKAL = Tryptamines I have known and loved)
The scientific literature is becoming unmanageable. Every year there are more and more journals that pop up like mushrooms, dedicated to the publication of papers of increasingly narrow scope and appealing to a reading audience with correspondingly narrow interests.
Some of this is a product of the publish-or-perish ethic of the academic world, where a faculty member will be weighed for his worth as a tenured faculty member by the number of publications he has amassed. This push to publish, to get another paper out there, is a tremendous driving force behind every young scientist who wishes to create a slot for himself in his university department or to receive a priority on his pending grant application that would allow its being funded. This pressure is expressed in a joke that is told about pharmacologists by those who are not pharmacologists (and probably told about coroners by those who are not coroners). What is the definition of a pharmacologist? A laboratory person who, upon injecting a compound into an animal, produces seven publications. There is a sad truth to this form of communication which I have heard referred to as "Salami Science." Paper after paper is published, each looking at substantially the same research work, but through an ever-changing lens. Inject a drug into a pregnant female mouse. Run a maze, and publish a paper on drug discrimination. Collect a dropping, and publish on metabolic transformation. Collect a second dropping and report pharmacodynamic kinetic curves. Let nature take its course and hatch the young, then put a note into a teratogenicity specialty journal. And on and on and on. Sometimes the single "injecting of a compound" is cleverly disguised in the experimental section; sometimes the authors simply don't bother to hide their sloth. They assume, and quite rightly, that no one out there has either the time, the energy, or the interest, to read all of the literature.
But some of this mushrooming of the scientific literature is the product of an ego expression of a different sort. As an example of this type, consider the aging and not-too-widely acknowledged Dr. Angst, Professor of Botany at Silverdale, who asks himself how many scientists out there are aware of the seminal work that I did, some twenty years ago, in defining the Genus Xelorhrobidain the area of the Euphorbia? Maybe the time is right to start a research journal, let's call it Xelorhrobida Letters, and probably we can get Pergamon to publish it if I could guarantee two hundred subscribers. I will call my buddies and get them to promise to submit a research paper in the near future. Let's be sure by making them all associate editors, and giving them free subscriptions.
The average citizen has no idea how much of his income tax dollar goes to just this sort of vanity stroking. Every month there are a half dozen new journals appearing, Volume 1 of this or that, designed to appear six times a year (the issues may be some 50 pages each) for an outrageous annual subscription rate of $320 a year to institutional libraries and subscribed to by the medical libraries where Dr. Angst is on the library committee. And so often the journal predictably fades from sight at the conclusion of Volume 2. Many of the publication vehicles here can be called the hyphenated journals, things that require an overlap of normally separate disciplines, giving rise to names such as: Psychoneuroendocrinology;or In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology; orJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Occasionally one finds an obscure and totally inhouse name such as MacGuires Comments. They come, they go. But they fill a need for someone, somewhere. This is the bottom level of published scientific literature.
The middle level consists of journals that offer to publish the research findings of scientists within a given discipline. And these are journals that are, generally, each devoted to a separate discipline. The Journal of Pharmacology, Analytical Chemistry, Toxicology, Phytochemlstry, Physical Letters. They are, in many cases, the publications of societies that promote themselves as being the organizations that define the scientist. Are you a pharmacologist? Of course. I am a member of the Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and I have published in JPET.Oh! Then you must be a pharmacologist! It is through publication at this level that most of the quality research discoveries are presented to the scientific community.
But what about that highest level of publication, the interdisciplinary journal which is devoted to any and all fields that are collected under the broad umbrella of scientific observations and factual reporting? When I was young, and blossoming forth into this exciting world, I had been taught that every major country (one with some self-image of being "first world" in the areas of research) had its own journal that could serve as a sort of a national emblem. These were the ne-plus-ultra of class and prestige. To publish in such a journal was a mark of international recognition and acceptance by your peers. England had its Nature, the United States had Science, Switzerland had Experientia, France had the Comptes Rendu, and Germany had its Naturwissenschaften.Each of these maintained the principle of multidisciplinary reporting as a founding heritage, but each of them has found that such an ideal does not bring in enough subscriptions. And so, each of them has become more and more specialized, at the cost of any appeal to a broad interest amongst its readership.
Science, the weekly publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is an excellent example. Years ago, articles involving archeology, geology, astronomy, mathematics, and embryology would compete equally for space on its pages. Recently, sadly, the editorial staff has chosen to go the genome route, and almost every page within the reports section deals with genotypes and DNA sequencing. With a $10,000,000,000 encouragement to be realized over several years from several governmental agencies for the unraveling of the human genome, I can't fault their specialization. That's where the money is. There's where the public acclaim will come from. The advertising revenue reflects this specialization. I am sad to say that I believe this is prostitution at its most blatant, and I have let my membership in the AAAS lapse.
So, it was with some surprise that I received an invitation to attend, and address, an AAAS meeting in San Francisco. The topic of the symposium was the "Designer Drugs" but it was made known to me that there would be quite a bit of freedom extended, allowing discussions to involve related topics. I assumed that there would be much mention of MDMA, since that drug had just been swept into the Schedule I classification by the invocation of the Designer Drug Act of 1984. And, as this move would effectively stop any and all research on its use in clinical practice, I knew that this would be the area that I would have to address. Since there had been no medical value acknowledged for MDMA, it was, by definition, a drug that could not be explored in medical research. And, as it was untouchable in the research environment, no medical value could ever be demonstrated. I saw a mindless iron hand removing some of the freedoms of research, and somehow, this loss had to be exposed. Why not use the invitation from the AAAS gene cowboys to the San Francisco Annual meeting, in early 1989, as an opportunity to discuss this situation. Why not, indeed!
What follows is the text of my presentation. I thought of creating an exciting title such as "Psychedelics and DNA" but abandoned the idea. So my presentation was more modestly titled, was given to an audience of perhaps 400 individuals, and was largely ignored.
New barriers to research
In a paper that I presented a few years ago to the California Association of Toxicology, I stated that we were blessed in this country with what could be considered among the best narcotics laws in the world. Approximately 250 drugs, and four plants, had been brought under Federal control and were specifically and explicitly named. There was rarely any ambiguity in the courts as to whether a material was or was not an illegal drug.
The procedure for adding new materials was well defined. When the Federal authorities became aware of a drug which they felt might present a potential public health hazard if it remained unregulated, a published announcement was made through the Federal Register. This action started a sixty day process, and at the end of that time, the drug would either be placed in a schedule, in keeping with the degree of its danger and the presence or absence of medical utility, or hearings would be set up to help decide these issues.
There were many in the law enforcement community who felt that this process was too time consuming. Congress was asked to allow the hearings process to be deferred, and in 1984 it passed an emergency scheduling act that allowed the temporary placement of a drug into Schedule I without hearings and with only a thirty day notice. This was to apply only to drugs which were felt to be an imminent hazard to public safety. But please note that the drugs involved were still explicitly named, and the hearings could still be held if specifically requested.
Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic with many years of proven medical usefulness, and it served as the focal point of the Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986. A great number of structural modifications of Fentanyl had been synthesized by Janssen Pharmaceutica in Belgium. Some of them, compounds such as Alfentanil, Sufentanil, Lofentanil, and Carfentanil, have been incorporated successfully into medical and veterinary practice. All of these are morphine-like narcotics that differ from one-another largely in their potency and duration of action. A very large number of additional structural modifications of this parent drug have been explored in the academic community.
Then, a few years ago, one of these synthetic variants of Fentanyl appeared in the street heroin trade. Almost as soon as it had been identified, a second and different one appeared, instilling a legitimate concern within the law enforcement community. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) expressed its fear that these new drugs, cleverly named "designer drugs" in imitation of the "designer jeans" fashion concept, could continue to appear, one after another, and effective enforcement would be impossible. Although the Emergency Scheduling Act of 1984 was fully in force, it was stated that a general, rather than a specific law was needed.
(As an aside, let me ask you to put a moment's thought into the phrase "designer drugs." How could we, as scientists, have allowed such an idiotic, pejorative term to be used in our hearing more than once, without having immediately torn it to bits and shown it to be completely meaningless! Every one of us knows perfectly well that when you synthesize a new potential drug, whether you work for Ciba or for the CIA, what you come up with is a designer drug. Designed to do something new. Perhaps designed to avoid patent law. Perhaps designed to allow a new scientific paper to be published. Almost every new and unknown drug is a variation on an old, known drug.)
Congress was given carefully worded suggestions by the DEA, through the offices of the Attorney General. These concerned the need for a "Designer Drug Law" that could be used as a blanket control covering any new drug that could be abused, if it lay outside of the medically approved pharmacopoeia. In other words, Congress was provided a written outline that would establish legal control over any "designer drug."
The recommendations of the DEA were followed nearly verbatim, and Federal law was written and passed to attempt to control anything and everything that might appear on the illicit drug scene. This legislation is called "The Controlled Substances Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986" and is part of Public Law 99-570. It was signed into law on October 27, 1986, just days before the national elections, and the news and ramifications of it have been largely lost in the noise and drama of the political events of the time. I personally believe that this law presents a shameful barrier to a very important segment of scientific research.
Let me dissect this law into its two major parts. What is an analogue? And what is the behavior, involving an analogue, that is criminal?
According to this law, a drug is an analogue if it meets any one of the following criteria:
First, the chemical structure of the drug is considered. The compound is an analogue if its structure is substantially similar to the structure of any listed Schedule I or II drug. Just what are the structures of the drugs that are contained in these two schedules? You can find a complete spectrum of functional groups. All four types of amines are present; primary amines, secondary amines, tertiary amines, and quarternary ammonium salts. All three types of alcohols are present; primary alcohols, secondary alcohols and tertiary alcohols. There are acids, esters, ethers, amides, ketones, and nitriles.
There are examples of all the most common heterocyclic ring systems, such as pyridines, piperidines, pyrrolidines, indoles, imidazoles, morpholines, thiophenes, furans, pyrans, quinazolines, dioxoles, oxazolines, pyrimidines, and purines. And of course, there are simple benzene-ring aromatic compounds and there are simple non-benzene-ring aliphatic compounds including cyclopropyl rings, cyclobutyl rings, cyclopentyl rings and cyclohexyl rings. One would be hard put to find a structure of any drug, anywhere, which could not be argued by some person, somewhere, as being in some way structurally related to a Schedule I or a Schedule II drug.
And what was the reason for the use of the intentionally vague phrase "substantially similar?" There is a term in rhetoric known as a disclaimer, a word introduced as a hedge or qualification, a word chosen to allow a certain freedom of interpretation. Words or phrases such as almost, probably, approximately, in a few days, in two weeks at the latest, are disclaimers. There is a measured ambiguity in the phrase "similar to" and there is a measured ambiguity in the phrase "substantially the same as." But what is to be inferred from "substantially similar?" Suddenly, the exactness, the precision of the original Controlled Substances Act, with its explicitly named drug targets, had been totally compromised.
A second, independent definition of an analogue deals with its pharmacological action. A drug is to be legally considered as an analogue if it has a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic action that is substantially similar to that of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug. In short, any drug which affects the CNS (central nervous system) in any of these ways, or in ways that could be construed as being "substantially similar" to those evoked by a scheduled drug, becomes an analogue within this legal definition. Again, the vague double disclaimer "substantially similar" must be reckoned with as part of the description.
A third definition is an extension of this, and involves the way a drug is represented. If a material is intentionally represented as having a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic action substantially similar to that of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, it becomes an analogue.
Not all, but any one of these definitions is sufficient to define an analogue. Or perhaps the first and either of the other two definitions are sufficient. The only exceptions—the only conditions under which such a drug is not considered an analogue—are if it is already scheduled (a scheduled drug cannot be an analogue), if the drug has been approved or exempted by the FDA, or if the drug is not intended for human consumption.
And what is the nature of one's behavior with an analogue that shall constitute a criminal act? It is the intent to make it available for human consumption. And if such were to occur, the analogue would be treated as if it were a Schedule I drug.
This law has given the authority for the decision as to what human research studies may or may not be performed directly to a governmental administrative body, where it had never before rested.
The function of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has evolved over the years into one of safeguarding the public from exposure to medicines that have disproportionate hazard, or that are ineffective, or that are mislabeled. And the evaluation of protocols for the determination of actions and risks of medicines is clearly the FDA's major contribution to the protection of the public from any inadequate evaluation of these risks. But this role has heretofore been restricted to the weighing of the virtues of a drug versus the risk of using it as a medicine. What are the virtues being claimed? What is the basis for these claims?
The FDA has always carefully avoided any act that could be interpreted as directing the practice of medicine. That was the province and the responsibility of the physician. And they have always avoided any intimate involvement in the structure of academic research, as this was the province and the responsibility of the individual researcher. The officials of the FDA have never before been given the role of judging the merits of research, or been put in a position of having the power to allow or disallow the pursuit of a research question. That has classically been a matter involving the relationship between the researcher, his professional peers, and his experimental subjects.
We, as the research community, have largely accepted this complete somersault over the age-old traditions of exploratory research. We have quietly acceded to a non-scientific authority that can oversee and, to an increasing degree, influence the direction of our inquiry. Somewhere along the line in this country, within the past five years, we have begun to lose that sense of independent looking, the asking, searching and questioning, and the insistence upon being personally responsible for what we do in our search and how we conduct that search.
I am making a heart-felt plea for the changing of these drug laws; laws which take the research initiative concerning human studies away from scientists and give it to politicians.
I know that there will be a number of questions and arguments. Let me try to anticipate them.
There have been remarkable successes in the development of animal models for human illnesses. Why not use them and avoid the risks implicit in human experimentation?
Indeed, many of the human illnesses now have superb animal models. Agents that relieve pain can be screened for, and evaluated in, animals which have been given painful stimuli. Agents that can reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels can be titrated in animals that have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. Toxic side-effects can be detected in animals. These are areas where animal research is indispensable in the discovery of new medicines, and in the evaluation of their safety and potential usefulness.
There are numerous areas where animals can be valuable in the search for drugs that are needed for the treatment of non-animal illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis. For these, the animal models that are used are based on the animal responses to drugs known to be effective in man in the relief of human symptomatology. But the animal models that are used are not intrinsically valid, since these diseases do not exist naturally in the animal.
For example, an antipsychotic drug known to be effective in man might induce a characteristic behavior pattern or a consistent biochemical change in an experimental animal. And similar changes by a completely different drug would imply that it, too, might possess an antipsychotic action. The screening of drugs with such animal models can provide leads to new and potentially interesting families of antipsychotic drugs, but the validation of the action must take place in the psychotic human subject. The animal model may even serve research needs by providing an access to receptor site studies or neurochemical research which can be used to explain psychosis in man. Yet, intrinsically, the model in animals is a forced one. There are no spontaneously psychotic rats.
There are, however, many aspects of the human mind for which no animal model is conceivable.
Consider things such as empathy, imagination, inflation, creativity, the anticipation of mortality, and the search for meaning, all of which are unique products of the human mind. Not a single one of these qualities can be demonstrated believably in a rat. And I am completely convinced that none of them will be satisfactorily explained by the study of the distribution of neurotransmitters in a rat's brain. So, how can one use a rat as an experimental animal for the discovery of a drug that might influence or touch upon these aspects of human mental and emotional experience? If these areas are to be explored, they can only be explored in man.
But the governmental reviewing agencies are composed of respected scientists with unquestioned standing in the professional community. How can you object to their evaluations of research projects?
I can object in a simple, straight-forward answer. A person who has integrity, be he explorer, scientist, or philosopher, cannot tolerate another person's usurping his right to ask his question in his own words. If the question is badly asked, or if the answer is sought in sterile ground, the man of integrity takes full responsibility for his own errors or his mistakes. And he learns from them. He will formulate his own questions and he will evolve his own answers, in his own time and way.
In my opinion, the present reality is that permission to conduct certain kinds of scientific research—the kinds that must be done in human beings and cannot be done in any experimental animal—is, for the most part, now given or withheld according to reasons of politics, not of science.
Do you advocate discarding laws concerning human experimentation?
Of course not. There must be laws because there are people who seem unable to empathize with others and who apparently do not care about other people's fear or pain. We must protect the innocent from them. We have known of such people in Hitler's Third Reich and we have known of them in our own CIA. There must be laws that protect the helpless from those persons who would misuse power There must be laws to punish the abuse of children or the drunk driver. I believe that laws must be at hand which insist upon the three traditional principles of human experimentation: obtaining informed consent, seeking peer review, and the acceptance by the researcher himself of personal responsibility. But all other drug laws must be repealed. Not decriminalized or legalized. These are merely new laws over old ones. Laws involving drugs must, in general, be repealed.
But think for a moment on this abuse of children theme. Children may be of small age or of great innocence. It is within the concept of informed consent that one can find the best answer to society's need to protect its innocent against a potentially abusive member of the research community. When you give informed consent it means that, first of all, you are a fully responsible adult, not a child. Second, that you are aware of yourself, your surroundings, and your social context. And third, that you agree without any kind of coercion (such as rewards or threats) to whatever activity it is that you have decided to participate in.
Peer review represents the establishment of a close liaison with knowledgeable and interested colleagues. It is through the consensus of a peer group that society is protected against the manipulations of the crack-pot, the sociopath, or the seductive charmer who might be able to coerce a naive and unsophisticated individual into giving his informed consent.
The ultimate responsibility for any inquiry must be assumed by the researcher himself. He should be able to speak from personal experience when he states that his new and experimental drug is not life-threatening. He should be able to say with confidence that it is free from disturbing side effects, since he himself has tried it at or above the intended dosages. In the area of psychopharmacology, especially in research with exploratory drugs which may affect the state of mind, I hold that it is irresponsible to give to another person any drug which you have invented or discovered, unless you have personally experienced that drug's effects.
This is a form of ethics that is gradually but steadily disappearing from the research scene. We call upon the government authorities for permission to perform our experiments, as if their blessing somehow assured us of safety, and freedom from risk. There has always been risk in using drugs to probe the machinery of the human mind, just as there has always been risk in using drugs to affect the physical body. There always will be.
If one looks at the basis of this entire business of laws, regulations, and losses of scientific courage, one is confronted with some profound questions. How afraid are we of truly looking at and into the mind? Are we all so distrustful of what we suspect we might find in exploring the human mind and spirit that we must pass laws against certain kinds of investigation?
What is the inevitable future of research into the mind, as opposed to simply the chemistry of the brain, if the laws now on the books are allowed to remain unchanged? The investigation into the nature of mind started with the appearance of man, and it will continue in its many ways as long as man is curious. The tools will basically remain the same as they have always been. These include the use of meditation, the study of dreams and sleepwalking states, exploration by means of hypnotic trance, and the use of psychoactive substances that bring about alterations in perceptions and states of consciousness.
It would be a tragic development if we were to see the dissemination of knowledge accumulated by such investigations revert to the old system of word-of-mouth, or perhaps underground pamphlets—shades of the Dark Ages. The information which should, in this day and age, be published openly by reputable and responsible scholars in good, respected journals will instead be lost to the scientific community at large. It will again become a new form of arcane, occult knowledge. This reorientation is already happening, as a matter of fact. We are becoming a society of respectable establishment journals, increasingly separated from an underground of mystical-psychological-alchemical knowledge that is being transmitted, not from laboratory to laboratory, but from bookstore to bookstore.
What is there to be lost by working within the framework of these new regulations?
There is everything to be lost. Regarding present-day experimentation with drugs that might have the changing of a person's state of mind or state of consciousness as the primary expectation, the official framework that is in place is clear. We are told that, as there is no virtue to be gotten from any such experiment, and since no answer to any valid question can be expected, there can be no risk tolerated. Thus, no experiment can be approved.
I believe that it is more important today than ever before in human history that we begin to try to understand the human mind. The human brain is now very popular, and it is surrounded on all sides by questioners and probers, by makers of positron-emitting ligands that will locate receptor sites that are begging to be named, by analysts with exquisitely sensitive spectrographs who can measure the slightest hints of metabolites in body fluids. The human mind, on the other hand, has always been surprisingly unpopular. It is to many scientists an object of distrust, awe, and apprehension. In many parts of the scientific community, there is an absolute refusal to acknowledge that it exists at all. The only people who seem to be making a living out of trying to understand any part of the mind are psychotherapists, terrorists, and the makers of horror movies.
I am deeply committed to the concept that the art of chemistry can provide superb tools for use in this area of research. Over the last thirty years I have devoted a major part of my efforts to the task of making sense of the human mental processes by the designing of research probes that in some way influence them. The techniques I have used can be summarized as follows.
First, there is the conceptualization of a potential probe that can be argued as having some possible constructive or disruptive effect on a person's psyche or sensorium. It is synthesized, then gradually brought up through graded dosages in self-experimentation until there is some indication of biological activity noted or until the assay is deemed—for whatever reason—to be no longer worth the time and risk.
Needless to say, most materials have proven to be of no great value, but some few have made the search worthwhile. With them, a careful clinical trial amongst a small and experienced group of subjects serves to define the action with considerable exactness, and the findings are then published in an appropriate medical or pharmacological journal so that the compound can be explored by other researchers in the area.
Through just this form of research, several tools and potential pharmaceuticals have come into the hands of researchers. The prototype hallucinogen DOM (STP), the serotonin receptor ligands DOI and DOB, the auditory distortant DIPT were all discovered by these techniques. There would have been no other way to have discovered them.
I am making an appeal here, very simply, for a resumption of this kind of courage. I am speaking for the removal of artificial restraints that are, if not completely prohibitory of such research, at least casting a heavy chill on it. In the present social and political climate, such a chill is enough to discourage many researchers from these avenues of exploration, avenues which I strongly feel must be traveled. Let me consider a single example, one which was the focus of intense interest at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) meetings not long ago in Puerto Rico. This is the remarkable and controversial drug MDMA.
Here is a drug that has the unusual property of, more often than not, freeing a patient in psychotherapy from the anxiety and lack of trust that often prevents the emotionally fragile person from expressing his feelings to another. And, as has been attested to by many therapists and patients, MDMA allows a personal perspective, which is called "insight," with a minimum amount of fear and self-censoring. All of this without any loss of self-control or rationality.
The recent flood of primate research with MDMA has shown that there are long-term changes in the serotonin systems in the brains of some animal species although there is as yet no clinical study which has shown that such changes occur in man.
I am completely convinced that this is the type of tool that must be developed and explored as a possible adjunct to psychotherapy. The official line is, at the moment, that MDMA has a large risk factor, and no medical utility. That is, in my opinion, totally incorrect. The extent of risk to humans can only be extrapolated from animal experiments, and MDMA has been shown to have less toxicity than the FDA-approved appetite suppressant fenfluoramine. But there is a real medical utility and an immense medical promise. The FDA has not allowed any IND (Investigation of New Drug) application to be effective and so, to the extent that the term "currently accepted medical use" means FDA approval for medical use, there can be no medical use. The fact remains that MDMA has proven extraordinarily effective in many clinical applications and therapeutic interventions.
However, since it came to administrative attention at the same time that the Fentanyl analogs became notorious, it was labeled a designer drug, and condemned as an abuse drug that had no virtue. The DEA holds that it is a hallucinogen, which is simply untrue. MDMA is not a hallucinogen.
How might a compound with similar action be discovered and developed for potential medical utilization? By definition, thanks to the present Analogue Amendments currently in force, such a drug would be an analogue (it would have an action substantially similar to a Schedule I or II drug) and it would be a felony to explore it in man without prior FDA approval. And I know of no animal screening, from behavioral screening to drug discrimination studies, which could demonstrate those subtle properties that separate MDMA from any of the structurally related stimulants which do not share those properties.
This is simply one example of the many paths through the unknown territory of the human mind that must be pursued and which are currently very difficult to explore in light of our present scientific and political attitudes.
In an effort to facilitate law enforcement, and in the pursuit of an ideal of rational social behavior, we have allowed laws to be passed which have robbed us of our freedom to inquire. To accept these laws without argument and without protest means not only a further loss of our integrity but also—as I said earlier—a continuing loss of essential information to the scientific community and society at large.
Discoveries about the functioning of the human mind and psyche must be made in the open—not in hiding. The effort to develop a working vocabulary for various levels of mental experience and the sharing of information and theories about what is discovered—all this must be done out loud, not in conspiratorial whispers and anonymous underground publications.
The continuation of the human species itself obviously requires that we get to work very quickly indeed to understand as much as we can about how the human mind functions. We must use all possible tools toward that end, and we must use them with care, with love, and with respect.