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Blowing America’s Mind


John Selby


Paul Jeffrey Davids

A True Story of Princeton, CIA Mind Control, LSD and Zen

by John Selby and Paul Jeffrey Davids

Yellow Hat Publishing — January 2, 2018

An Insider Exposé: College Kids are Guinea Pigs in CIA’s Mind-Control Experiments

In the 1950s, the CIA had a macabre fascination with hypnosis and psychedelic drugs, and they unleashed programs to make use of them for military purposes. They lavished funds on a highly‐classified mind‐control project (which they named MK‐ULTRA) with the intent of bending the minds of enemies, foreign and domestic, and of erasing memories of secrets known to their own retired agents. As MK‐ULTRA grew into the 1960’s, their list of targets expanded to include college students – especially anti‐Vietnam‐War activists.

John Selby and Paul Jeffrey Davids, the authors of Blowing America’s Mind: A True Story of Princeton, CIA Mind Control, LSD and Zen, were among Princeton University students in the late 1960’s who got tangled up in these secret experiments at the nearby New Jersey Neuro‐Psychiatric Institute’s Bureau of Research. Recruited and paid to experience multiple deep-hypnosis sessions (mingled with micro‐doses of LSD), Selby, Davids and students from other campuses, such as Columbia and Harvard, believed what they were told: that regular monitored experiences of this type would introduce them to a kind of ‘super‐consciousness,’ spiritual enlightenment, and even better sex. Engaged in some of the very first psychedelic research, led by famous ‘psychedelic pioneers’ such as psychiatrist Dr. Humphry Osmond, Selby and Davids got some of the positive pay‐off, but nearly lost their identities – and their minds – in the process.

This true story documents their experiences as guinea pigs in secret CIA mind‐control deep hypnosis research, and it reads like scenes in a movie – intrigue and conflict at then all‐male Princeton University, dreamy and euphoric journeys to other worlds, hormone‐and‐drug‐ induced fun and frolic, sky‐rocketing escapes from Vietnam‐era reality, and drastic changes in their states of mind and behavior. Set at Princeton, and awash in mind manipulation and near mental disintegration, as well as a being a love story, it is in some ways a cousin to A Beautiful Mind.

Selby and Davids began trying to document their experiences a few years after graduating but realized that the confessions and self‐exposure involved – the raw reality of it all – was more than they were prepared to reveal at that time. They retained their avid interest in altered consciousness, but left their story untold – until now.

Blowing America’s Mind is a fascinating journey of love, drugs and covert governmental intrigue. Suspenseful in documenting the impact of the ‘Psychedelic Revolution’ at Princeton in the late 1960’s, the book is a complex, poignant drama detailing CIA-sponsored hypnosis and LSD research, as the famous all-male Ivy League university is on the eve of going coed and on the edge of imploding.”

Jeremy Kagan, Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, USC, and Chairperson of Special Projects for the Directors Guild of America

About the Authors

Paul Jeffrey Davids is the co‐author of six “Star Wars” books for Lucasfilm. He was production coordinator and a writer of the original animated “Transformers” TV series; executive producer of Showtime’s “Roswell: The UFO Cover‐up,” starring Kyle MacLachlan and Martin Sheen, and he has produced and directed ten feature films, including “The Sci‐Fi Boys” and “The Life After Death Project,” both of which aired on SyFy, and “Jesus in India” and the bio‐pic, “Timothy Leary’s Dead.” As an undergraduate at Princeton, he won three top writing awards, then studied under full scholarship at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies in Los Angeles. Davids is also the bestselling co‐author of An Atheist in Heaven: the Ultimate Evidence for Life After Death? (2016) as well as being an accomplished artist.

John Selby is a noted author, psychologist and researcher of mind‐brain exploration; the developer of unique mind‐management methods; and the creator of the BrightMind Network. His expertise in creating new cognitive tools and Focus Phrase methods for quieting the mind led to the founding of the mind‐tech company called WizeWell. As an awareness‐management consultant, John has worked with leaders in companies such as Citibank Europe, the Allianz Group, the American Airlines Pilots Association, Plantronics and many more. John Selby is the author or co‐author of many bestselling books, published in 14 languages, including:

  • Quiet Your Mind: A Guide to End Chronic Worry and Negative Thoughts
  • Seven Masters, One Path: Meditation Secrets from the World’s Greatest Teachers
  • Executive Genius: How to Build a High‐Awareness Company
  • Tapping The Source: Master Keys for Abundance and Happiness
  • Shooting Angels (the first of four novels in the Jack Hadley Mystery Series)
  • Let Love Find You: Seven Steps to Open Your Heart to Love
  • Expand This Moment: Focused Meditations to Set Yourself Free

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