“So You’re Going to Take LSD”: A Beginner’s Guide From 1967


‘ “So you’re going to take LSD.” Thus begins a how-to manual by Lisa Bieberman, who was then a 25-year-old Harvard graduate and former assistant to Richard Alpert (aka Ram Dass) and Timothy Leary (aka Nixon’s “Most Dangerous Man in America”) in their famed LSD experiments. Published in 1967, the year before the hallucinogen was criminalized, the pamphlet was recently unearthed by Psychedelic Frontier, a blog for the “consciousness expansion” community.

Bieberman seems to have been an ardent but surprisingly down-to-earth acid adherent, and earnest about her task. This guide for beginners is mainly addressed to practical matters to promote the best possible “LSD session.” She is eager to correct disinformation (LSD does not make you think you can fly) and to dispel romantic illusions (LSD does not make you smarter, more creative or a better person). And because she believes that LSD’s benefits are almost entirely emotional or spiritual in nature—and that therefore you and your companions should stay in one room, sit still and say nothing—her advice leans heavily on what NOT to do…’ (Substance.com).

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