In the early 1960s, scientists openly advocated for experimentation with psychedelics. This effort, however, quickly turned into a discredited enterprise involving recreational drug use. But what if a study of psychedelics was undertaken with trusted scientific rigor? William A. Richards does just that in Sacred Knowledge, the first well-documented, sophisticated account of the effect of psychedelics on biological processes, human consciousness, and revelatory religious experiences. Richards argues that, if used responsibly and legally, psychedelics have incredible potential to assuage human suffering and constructively contribute to the quality of life on our planet. His work is based on nearly three decades of legal research with volunteers aged twenty-four to eighty-one.
William A. Richards is a clinical psychologist with formal training in theology and comparative religion at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Earlier in his career, he pursued psychedelic research at the Spring Grove Hospital and Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore. His graduate education included studies at Yale University, Brandeis University, Catholic University, the Andover-Newton Theological School, and the University of Göttingen.