The Beckley Foundation is a UK-based charitable foundation with UN accreditation. It was established in 1998 by its director, Amanda Feilding, with three principal aims:
- to develop our understanding of consciousness and how it may be enhanced, and to open up valuable new avenues of treatment for physical and mental conditions, through pioneering neuroscientific and clinical investigations
- to educate thought leaders and the public about both the science of psychoactive substances and the policies that control them
- to improve global drug policy, which causes devastating harms and suffering world-wide, as well as severely impeding scientific research.
The Beckley Foundation has been at the forefront of initiating, designing and carrying out pioneering studies, working in partnership with leading institutions around the world. Our recent research has used the latest brain imaging technology to uncover some of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of psychedelics. In the process we have revealed novel avenues of potential treatment for depression and other conditions, and provided the neuroscientific underpinning for the beneficial use of psilocybin and MDMA as aids to psychotherapy in treating PTSD and other psychological problems.
The Foundation has published over 40 books and reports on key areas of drug policy and the history of LSD research. It has hosted nine influential international seminars, mainly at the House of Lords. The Foundation works to create an evidence base for governments and the UN. At the invitation of President Otto Pérez Molina, we are currently working closely with the Government of Guatemala in the development of policies aimed at reducing violence and corruption in the region. The Beckley Foundation Founder and Director Amanda Feilding will be giving a presentation on Sunday, April 21.
The Council on Spiritual Practices is a network of scientists, scholars, and spiritual guides devoted to increasing the availability, under suitable conditions, of profound spiritual experience. With the entheogens, CSP focuses on the betterment of well people, rather than the treatment of patients with psychiatric diagnoses under a medical model. CSP was instrumental in forming and staffing the psilocybin research team at the Johns Hopkins University. The Hopkins group has demonstrated that, among properly selected, prepared, and guided healthy participants, well more than half will reach a unitive state of consciousness in a single session, which they rate as among the most meaningful experiences of their lives and as having lastingly beneficial consequences. CSP-supported research at Hopkins is ongoing. In 2005, CSP prepared an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the União do Vegetal's use of a sacramental tea containing DMT, a controlled substance. Following a unanimous Supreme Court ruling, the UdV is now able to practice freely. CSP also participated in the Washington, D.C. coalition responsible for the 1993 federal law by which the UdV secured its right to practice. CSP’s draft “Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides” (1995) and derivative documents from various groups are helping to bring attention to the matter of skilled and responsible guiding, as are the five books in CSP’s entheogen project series. The Council on Spiritual Practices convenor Robert Jesse will be giving a presentation on Saturday, April 20.
The Heffter Research Institute was incorporated in New Mexico in 1993 as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. As the premier scientific institution devoted to research on psychedelics, the Institute promotes research of the highest scientific quality with the classic hallucinogens and related compounds (sometimes called psychedelics) in order to contribute to a greater understanding of the mind, leading to the improvement of the human condition, and to alleviate suffering. More than 75 scientific papers have been published with Heffter support. As a virtual Institute, nearly all of the funds we raise go directly to basic and clinical research. In addition to supporting numerous scientific investigators at their home institutions, the Institute also supports the Heffter Research Center in Zürich, Switzerland, under the direction of Dr. Franz Vollenweider, the world’s foremost expert in clinical studies of psychedelics and related substances. The Institute has a Scientific Advisory Panel comprised of some of the world’s leading scientists. We have a competitive granting process, in which research proposals are sent out for rigorous review by specialists in the field to determine whether they are suitable for funding. Studies funded wholly or in part by the Heffter Institute include the first study of psilocybin in terminal cancer patients carried out by Dr. Charles Grob, at Harbor-UCLA. Studies currently underway include expanded studies of the use of psilocybin to treat cancer patients at New York University and at Johns Hopkins University, and pilot studies using psilocybin to treat alcoholism at the University of New Mexico, and using psilocybin in a treatment program to end nicotine addiction at Johns Hopkins. Heffter Research Institute Founder David Nichols will be giving a presentation on Friday, April 19.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a non-profit research and educational organization that explores health and consciousness through innovative clinical studies and scientific analysis. MAPS’ mission is to develop psychedelics and marijuana into legal prescription medicines, to create a network of therapeutic clinics, and to educate the public honestly about the risks and benefits of these drugs. By rigorously examining psychedelics and their implications for human health, MAPS sheds light on the beneficial and often overlooked aspects of a variety of agents like MDMA, medical marijuana, ibogaine, ayahuasca and LSD. Sharing the knowledge and insights gained through MAPS’ research with the scientific community and the public is an important element of the organization’s mission. One way we do this is to host conferences, workshops and events that bring together psychiatrists, psychologists and scientists with interested members of the public. Our events provide a space for those studying human health, consciousness, psychedelics, and marijuana to engage in discussion, share ideas, and expand public awareness of how these drugs can benefit our society.
This conference is made possible in part by the generous support of the following individuals and organizations: