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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***

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Psychedelic culture is far from perfect

And the growing popularity (and potential profit) of both psychedelic culture and psychedelics as an industry, are shining a spotlight on those problems and creating new ones in the process.

Yet, there is some sense that, if psychedelics are worth anything as a means of bettering ourselves as people, they must offer those of us who work with them some increased capacity to address acute and systemic problems arising within our culture, right? Maybe, maybe not.

Nonetheless, the problems–like ‘bad actors’ in the scene and the cultural distortions rippling out from the encroachment of corporate influence –exist and it is up to those of us within psychedelic culture to address them in a way that generates solutions and increasingly protects from the potential harms those problems cause.

However, how do we do this? What is the best way to address the problems present in psychedelic culture–be it bad actors, corporate influence, or something else just waiting to rear its ugly head?

That’s a big question, which is why it is being explored in this episode of The Psychedelic Café.

Our guest for this psychedelic cafe

(in alphabetical order according to their last name, excluding host James W. Jesso):

Marta ketchmarchek

Co-founder and coordinator of The Psychedelic Society of The Netherlands and Facilitator at Synthesis, a psilocybin retreat center in Amsterdam


Jeronimo M.M. talks about the impact of corporate influnce on psychedelic culture
Member of ICEERS, which is the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service.
[Check out Jeronimo’s one-on-one interview on Adventures Through The Mind]


Brain Pace talks about the impact of corporate influnce on psychedelic culture
Politics and ecology editor for Psymposia and lecturer of psychedelic studies at Ohio State university

Trevor Millar

Trevor Miller talks about the impact of corporate influnce on psychedelic culture
Owner of Liberty Root Therapy, Chair for MAPS Canada, and on the founding board of the Canadian Psychedelic Association

Anya Oleksiuk

Psychedelic documentary filmmaker and co-owner and co-director of The Psychedelic Society UK

Mareesa Stertz

Filmmaker behind Healing Powers, a doc-series on GaiaTV, and co-founder of the psychedelic news site, Lucid News

Bett Williams

Bett Williams talks corporate influnce impact on psychedelic culture
Author of The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey
[Check out Bett’s one-on-one interview on Adventures Through The Mind]

discuss this episode on our subreddit

Episode Clips



Episode Breakdown

  • How psychedelic exceptionalism informs how we think about bad actor’s in the scene
  • The importance of community to resource people addressing conflicts and harm in psychedelic culture
  • Introducing Psymposia and their perspectives and approach to addressing problems in the culture
  • Introducing The Canadian Psychedelic Association and the value of community
  • Creating events to help discuss serious issues psychedelic culture is otherwise bypassing
  • Wondering about whether or not psychedelics should be held as part of a public politic
  • Why anti-rival maturity is vital for actual progress in culture, psychedelic and otherwise
  • Introducing the Netherlands’ Guild of Guides and how they are dealing with bad actors
  • The psychedelic industry is being led by huge players of corporate Influence
  • Can the psychedelic experience help us change the business of psychedelics?
  • What comes after the end of prohibition and how do we get there?
  • Positive peer pressure and becoming a community that forwards culture towards the future we want to see
  • The psychedelic community is not “one” community, so how do we work together?
  • How the forces at work with colonialism are the same forces shaping the modern psychedelic industry through corporate influence
  • The value of working where you can work rather than trying to work everywhere
  • Optimism VS naiveté
  • How distorted exceptions causes those “doing their best to do better” to get torn down for not already being perfect
  • Medicalization is NOT access
  • Capitalism and climate change
  • Not letting ourselves get manipulated into tearing down the lowest hanging fruit
  • Will the psychedelic industry actually be profitable?

What Is The Psychedelic Café?

The Psychedelic Café is a structured conversational space exploring various, deep questions about the nature of mind, life, and reality.
Each cafe features a curated selection of 4-5 people to explore a question according to a specific structure, based on the method of Dharma Talking, a conversational technology from Jean Robertson, forged in The Liminal Space Agency Meta-Monastery, and based on “The World Cafe”.
Why this style?

The cafe structure creates a quality and dynamic of conversation, idea sharing, and mutual learning that is incredibly ripe and valuable for not only the people involved but the listening audience who will be able to listen to it afterward. In the current times of uncertainty, complexity, and change, I believe the psychedelic cafe will offer content not otherwise available in a time where it is deeply needed.



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*** Extra BIG thanks to my patrons on Patreon for helping keep this podcast alive! Especially, Andreas D, Clea S, Joe A, Ian C, David WB, Yvette FC, Ann-Madeleine, Dima B, Chuck W, Alex F, & Eliz C


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the psychedelic cafe group talks — THANK YOU James for putting together and hosting these!

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