Dr. Rick Strassman stirred up both controversy and a cult following when he became the first doctor in 20 years to research the effects of psychedelic and hallucinogenic substances on human subjects. His work was carried out at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine right here in Albuquerque. Over the course of his project’s five-year life span, he administered approximately 400 doses of DMT to 60 volunteers and recorded their experiences. He found the substance—which can be produced naturally in the human body—has a number of theoretical connections to near-death and birth experiences, alien abductions, spiritual enlightenment, and various mystical states. His work was detailed in the 2001 book DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences. Now Strassman is returning to Albuquerque for a special, one-night-only screening of Austin-based filmmaker Mitch Schultz’ documentary The Spirit Molecule.
Joe Rogan serves as the Rod Serling-esque guide through Schultz’ world of talking-head scientists, artists and spiritualists, and trippy, animated imagery. Among those interviewed in the film is Spiros Antonopoulos, a former Alibi staffer who volunteered for the DMT study back in the ’90s. Clearly, local connections run deep. Strassman will be conducting a Q and A after the film, so it’s a given that tickets will go fast for this one. Guild Cinema will be screening The Spirit Molecule at 6 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25. You can log on to guildcinema.com for more info.