The widespread use of hallucinogenic drugs may well lead society to "a higher level of social conscience" and may be useful as "a survival kit" for world crises.
So said Dr. Humphrey Osmond, director of New Jersey's Bureau of Research in Neurology and Psychiatry, at the Kennedy School's 14th seminar on "Hallucinogic Drugs and Society" last night.
Osmond, who is credited with creating the word "psychedelic," said that hallucinogens are a "new vision" which should be spread throughout society as part of its natural growth.
But Osmond warned his fellow drug proponents that hallucinogens as a social tool "will have to be incorporated into a social structure which can be spread across this earth."
"But I don't know how you're going to do this," he added. "The scientists really do not want to undertake notions that involve vast changes in social morality. It will require an act of synthetic imagination on your part."
Osmond traced the beginnings of the hallucinogenic movement in this country to the Peyote religion of the American Indians. The Indians began worshiping what orthodox clergy termed "the diabolic root" in the 1930's when their civilization was in a demoralized condition.
According to one Peyote apologist Osmond knew, the Indians had a credible theology: "God had two sons-one was Jesus, when the white men crucified; the other was Peyote, whom the Indians still worship."