New York Times : A Trippy Trip to Mexico


May 10, 2022

The New York Times

Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers/ That grow so incredibly high.

-- "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" The Beatles

Picture yourself in a room by an ocean with pink-petaled trees and sapphire skies. Then imagine being surrounded by guides feeding you a powerful hallucinogen every 72 hours or so, to expand your consciousness and strip you of your ego "game."

For two summers in 1962 and 1963, at least 50 day-trippers retreated to the Hotel Catalina Beach Resort on the Pacific Coast in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, to do exactly that. The first known Western psychedelic retreat was organized by the soon-to-be-fired Harvard psychology professor Timothy Leary and his partner in mind-expansion studies, Richard Alpert (renamed Ram Dass after a visit to the Himalayas). They called themselves the International Federation for Internal Freedom -- IFIF.

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