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The Rose Of Paracelsus: On Secrets & Sacraments Paperback – December 10, 2015
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About the Author
William Leonard Pickard is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, with degrees in chemistry and public policy. He was formerly a research associate in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, a Fellow of the Interfaculty Initiative on Drugs and Addictions at Harvard, and Deputy Director of the Drug Policy Analysis Program at UCLA. His interests include Victorian literature, deincarceration technologies, the neuropolicy of cognitive enhancement, and the future of novel drugs. He encourages correspondence from the thoughtful reader.
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While the Rose of Paracelsus is a challenging book to read, I found that once I got into the groove I was able to follow along fairly well. I do recommend keeping a dictionary close at hand, and to refer to it often.
To me it's a conglomeration of many different genres or styles, which I could see might put some people off. It's part prose, fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, allegory, poetry, novel, part autobiographical. It is not the tell-all autobiography that we all really want from Mr. Pickard. But I'll take it since he is still such an enigma; and to read anything from him 'in his own words' is pretty much gold if you have an interest in his story.
And let's face it, the author is a fascinating person. If half of what they say about him is to be believed, then 'planetary scale batches' indeed!
This book came along at a good time for me. Having just finished some books about LSD and the 60's (Acid Dreams and some others about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love), I inadvertently learned about William Leonard Pickard. It seems to me he might be a major missing link in the history of the 60's and psychedelics in America (and maybe the world). It will be interesting to see how this book fits into the psychedelic canon. In a future edition there is supposedly going to be an index and footnotes, etc. looking forward to that for some reason.
I'm surprised more people aren't aware of him. Especially with all the renewed interest in LSD as a therapeutic compound, and the interesting brain scans and other studies. Maybe Obama could set him free before he leaves office on the condition that he write that tell-all and give some interviews. Has anyone seen any real life interviews with him, or even a recent picture? He's got his website and it has some good articles and documents linked to it. There is the Rolling Stone article floating around on the Internet, a book by someone in the case, another by someone related to the case, a few miscellaneous phone interviews, but nothing really substantial. So many mysteries.
I can't finish this review without mentioning that 'The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets and Sacraments' was written by hand in a cell in a maximum security prison by a fellow human being who is paying the ultimate sacrifice for ... as far as I can tell ... just pissing off some folks in the 'old establishment'. I think he must have really pissed them off because they gave him not one but two life sentences. That's just crazy.