Podcast 355 – “Building a Psychedelic Community”


Guest speakers: Annie Oak, Twilight, and Bruce Damer

Occupy Palenque Norte


Today’s podcast features a panel discussion with Annie Oak, Twilight, and Bruce Damer that took place at the 2012 Palenque Norte Lectures held at that year’s Burning Man Festival.

“Women tend to vote against drug law reforms in greater numbers than men, because they’re worried about their kids. And without the full participation of women [in the movement to reform drug laws] we will not succeed in gaining our civil rights.” -Annie Oak


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The Women’s Visionary Congress

Palenque Norte 2013 Speakers

The Tor Project

East Forest

What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution
By Gar Alperovitz

Posted in Annie Oak, Bruce Damer, Burning Man, Culture, Future, Palenque Norte, Psychedelics.


  1. Lorenzo,
    One week before I listened to this podcast I had an experience with one of the plant teachers telling me that “you should spend less time with social media, as it creates stress and removes your focus from the here and now”, I sense some synchronicity here.

    After reading your other comment here on the forum, I understand that your main reason for leaving Facebook etc. is not the fear of government surveillance, but more the annoyance of being data mined by corporations, and the uncertainty of what this data can be used for in the future.

    It is quite obvious that there is a war going on on the internet, between commercial interests and individual freedom. For me being born and raised in a world without internet, and seeing it grow from a fringe phenomenon to a world wide communications network with commercial interests, surveillance, social networking etc. is staggering, and the path forward is a big question mark. Is it going to be Terence´s virtual world, or some nightmarish Orwellian 1984 scenario?

    In my opinion, the current cultural paradigm cannot exist for much longer. Its like we are running the program “2013” under a “1950´s” OS, it just does not make sense any more, and I believe (and hope) that more and more people are getting conscious of this.

    As for your decisions, I think I understand why you are doing this, but leaving Facebook and not answering mails from the most common mail clients will lessen your reach and interaction with the community, but if I have understood you correctly, you have more mails than you can read as it is, so in that regard it might actually be a good thing.

    But using Tor for everyday surfing, that seems a bit over the top to me.

    Thanks for eight years of education and mind candy !

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Thank you for better understanding my position than many others seem to. As you note, I do get way too much email, but by not feeling the need to respond, but only to read them, makes it much more manageable. As for TOR, see the previous comment where someone’s surfing habits cost them a job. That said, I can’t use TOR for everything. For one thing, Hulu.com doesn’t work in TOR because Hulu thinks that I’m coming to them from out of the country. But at least I know TOR is working :-). And I will still be communicating with people through Twitter messages, which are short enough to deal with. After all, even with as many FB friends as I have, it only represents around 1% of the monthly salon downloads. I’ll miss interacting with them on FB, but hopefully they will interact through these comments and Twitter.]

  2. Great podcast Lorenzo! I will comment only on your comments at the end of the podcast right now. I think this is a great idea to leave both Facebook and G-mail. I deleted my Facebook about 4 years ago and haven’t looked back since. However, I still use G-mail and with the recent NSA information coming to light and your comments about data mining I will be looking to switch. I know you mentioned Joe’s hosting site and you mentioned that yours in a good deal too but I can’t find the names of either of these. I am worried that I will experience diminished functionality with searching and user interface, but that’s a small sacrifice for enhanced security.

    I use Tor for only some of my internet time right now, although I will now be looking to go full-time on Tor. The only thing is that accessing some of the forums that I frequent and such on Tor under my same username would defeat the purpose, so I need to decide if I want to leave those websites (one being my home for the past 5-6 years, accumulating a large sum of posts, friends, and memories) and be secure, or use the clearnet to continue to post on those websites. Not to mention that I know somebody on one of the psychedelic-themed forums that I frequent get turned down for a fairly basic, non-government job because during the interview process they had somebody find his account on the forum and denied that person the job on account of being involved with the forum. Just a reminder that even if you’re not posting your name and address all over the web, it is still quite easy to link internet activity to your person, if you’re not impeccably careful.

    I do think this is an incredibly important step that we need to be taking as a community, safety first.

    I do fantasize about building an independent network that could link the psychedelic community, although I am not computer savvy enough to do this or even to evaluate if this is an idea even worth entertaining. Between government spying, data mining, and the ridiculous amount of personal data available that myself and many others slowly leak onto the clearnet (not consciously, but it seems to come out in casual conversation), plus the threat of internet censorship in the not-too-distant background, it seems like it might not be the worst idea to me, but you are the tech wizard. Seems like this might be more of a pipe-dream (or just part of the plot for the Genesis Generation, that’s probably where I’m getting the seed for the idea). Maybe using Tor properly and no longer disclosing any personal information would be the best way to go.

    Sorry for the rambling, caffeine on no tolerance tends to do that to me, so feel free to ignore this post if it seems like nonsense, but the topic is definitely on the forefront of my mind.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I agree with what you say. It isn’t easy to change old habits, but as your friend found out, a person’s surfing habits can even eliminate them from non-government jobs. Like you, I’m not tech-savvy enough to set up an alternative, but I will be sure to join something that is more secure.]

  3. Lorenzo,

    Please don’t leave facebook and continue reading emails from all providers.

    I claim that it’s actually good that we are being watched by governments! Why?

    The more brainy among the goverment spy slaves will actually be surprised about how intelligent and reasonable we psychedelic people are – when we go into the underground, they will never have a chance to learn that fact.

    It’s a chance for them to reduce their prejudices!


    [COMMENT by Lorenzo:] Thanks for the comment, and while I applaud your positive thinking, I’m afraid that I’ve lived too long and had too much experience with “the government” to believe that their mindless drones will ever think of the psychedelic community as intelligent and reasonable. Obviously, I’m much too cynical about the government, any government, to have any positive expectations about their behavior. Here is what I recently posted in the discussion about my decision that is taking place on my FB page.

    Dear Friends: If you think that my decision to leave FB has to do with an attempt to avoid government snooping then you either haven’t read my comments or don’t understand them. I accept the fact that we live in a surveillance state, and that there is nothing I can do about it. That’s just what is. . . . My main complaint is with these large corporations gathering my personal information and selling it to their advertisers. Just now, in order to log into FB I had to allow them to set 15 cookies!!! That’s absurd. . . . I have the same complaint with Gmail. They data mine EVERYTHING and let their advertisers tell me that one of my neighbors just bought something from someone or other, and that I may want to buy something from them as well. . . . I simply don’t appreciate that kind of intrusion in my life. . . . As for FB, like Douglas Rushkoff and many others, I’ve been thinking about leaving for a long time. And while Twitter still is available for the government to access however they may please, I like the 140 character limit to both postings and direct messages. Plus, I have more Twitter followers (psychedeliclozo) than FB friends. . . . I could give some other reasons for my not wanting to respond to gmail, etc., but I doubt if they would mean much to most people.

Comments are closed.