Friday, January 04, 2008

Long Strange Trip

What do you get when your cross IBM, the CIA, and LSD down in NSW?

One really strange tale.
FEW people realise that Keith Windschuttle, the conservative author and ABC board member, was a 1960s student radical who published an article extolling the virtues of dropping acid.

But 40 years on, Mr Windschuttle has revealed something even stranger about that incident - he might have been the innocent pawn in a CIA plot to destroy the counterculture.

In October 1967, Mr Windschuttle - then a 25-year-old arts student at Sydney University - caused a furore when he published an article in the campus magazine, Honi Soit, explaining how to manufacture and ingest LSD.

Under a headline borrowed from a Beatles lyric - "Turn on with Honi and float downstream" - the two-page article lambasted the NSW government's plan to outlaw possession of the drug, which was still legal. "The real reason behind the bigotry surrounding LSD remains a mystery," Mr Windschuttle wrote.

The Daily Telegraph denounced the article, NSW deputy premier Charles Cutler called it deplorable and other government figures demanded that Mr Windschuttle be prosecuted for obscenity, sacked as Honi Soit's editor and expelled. Sydney University took no action.

Mr Windschuttle, now editor of the conservative magazine Quadrant and a critic of drug culture, has rarely spoken of the incident and says he's spent much of the past 20 years trying to atone for his Leftist antics in the 1960s.

But although he was named as the only author of the article, the historian admits much of it was written by an American who turned up in the magazine's offices, claiming to work for the computer company IBM.

"He looked like a US marine in a business suit, with a big jaw and a crew-cut," Mr Windschuttle recalls. "He had the formula for LSD and he had an article explaining how wonderful LSD was. He told me that although they all looked pretty straight at IBM, they were really anti-establishment characters."
Read the rest. It's most amusing.

Windschuttle sounds like an interesting fellow.

Anyone who hammers Chomsky is fine with me.

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