This article is the latest in a series on the theme that the results of psychedelic drug therapy strongly challenge the dominant materialist paradigm of modern science. There were two previous articles, and for relevant background information about Stanislav Grof please refer to either of them¹.
Grof describes the following anecdote² as the most extreme case in all his many sessions of altered-state therapy. A woman was referred to him as a candidate for LSD therapy, because 11 months of conventional treatments had achieved nothing. The woman was suicidal, had a criminal record — guns had already been involved. Her first three psychedelic sessions brought forth violence, sexual abuse, and a difficult birth, but there were no major breakthroughs. In the third session, however, about 20 minutes in, the woman’s face took on a “mask of evil”, becoming constricted. Then a deep male voice started to speak through her, introducing himself as the Devil. He told Grof that the woman was his, and started to threaten and blackmail him, telling all the things that would happen to him and his programme if he tried to take the woman from him. The entity referred to things the patient couldn’t have known (therefore, we assume, it was not some bizarre aspect of her own personality). Grof says that he had never seen anything this extreme. The woman’s hand had become “spastic, like a claw”. Grof was in a state of “metaphysical fear”. He decided to meditate on light and focused on this for a long time. After about two hours the woman’s face and hand suddenly relaxed. Her regular voice returned and she was in wonderful shape.
In the feedback session which followed Grof decided against telling her what had happened. When she returned the following morning, she was radiant, and showed no sign of depression. Two weeks later she was released back into the community. It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Grof single-handedly achieved an exorcism through LSD therapy. Now, can any materialist neuroscientist explain to me how this woman’s brain managed to create this incident?
2. Grof tells this story on tape 3 of a series of audiocassettes The Transpersonal Vision, Sounds True (Publishers). Colin Wilson retells the story, having met Grof and heard the story from him, in Alien Dawn, Virgin Publishing, 1998, p3–4. He gives more details, and the woman is given the name Flora.