The teen was later found in front of a full-length mirror, naked and talking to his reflection.
He tried to negotiate a cocaine deal with an oak tree.
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Green needed to get a legitimate job to distract the authorities, they told him.
He would need to abandon the party scene for a discrete, seemingly ordinary life. Skinner and Cole were grooming Green to be a better drug dealer.
The notes led Green to a pay phone in a sandwich shop, then a call led to the nearby Peace of Mind bookstore, where he found a final message hidden in a specific book that instructed him to meet Cole in the parking lot of a health food store.
The game took hours, ending with Cole inviting Green into her car. Green saw the balding, bearded man—the same from the rave and from the Taco Bell parking lot—parked nearby.
The use of mushrooms, fungi, and other plant-related hallucinogens permeate indigenous spiritual traditions, but it wasn’t until 1938 that a Swiss scientist, Albert Hofmann, tried synthesizing ergotamine (an extract of ergot fungi) and wound up with lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. On Saturday, November 28, 1953, Olson’s trip ended when he was pushed from, thrown out, or jumped out of the glass window of his room and plummeted 10 floors down. Today, we know his death was the result of a covert CIA project known as MK-Ultra, which dosed unwitting men, women, and children with LSD for scientific research. Initially they focused on discovering new techniques for mind control, torture, and brainwashing.
Reports quickly spread about its mind-altering effects. The program was declassified in 2001, but nobody knows how many died as a result of the experimentation. Similar CIA projects grew in scope and ambition during the 1950s, and included subjects like future counterculture figures such as Ken Kesey, Robert Hunter, and Ted Kaczynski.
One of the most evocative myths pertains to Soma, or Chandra, the havoc-creating moon lord of plants in Vedic Brahmanism. Frank Olson, a biological warfare specialist, stayed at the Hotel Statler in New York City.
“Let Indra drink, O Soma, of thy juice for wisdom,” the , the same mushroom that appears in Siberian folklore and ancient Central American pottery. Unbeknownst to him, the Central Intelligence Agency dosed him with enough LSD to seriously impair his mental state. The CIA’s drug experimentation projects took root post-WWII.
A classmate of Skinner’s recalls seeing him arrive in a 1957 Bentley S1. A tall, fleshy math geek, Skinner didn’t play sports like football or basketball. “I played him one afternoon and beat him,” the classmate remembered.