Episode 43: Psychedelic Cults Part 3 - Bad DMT Trips, Chris Cantelmo, and the Terence McKenna Machine Elves

DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) not only produces vivid (and often hellacious) hallucinations but some wacky beliefs as well. Chris Cantelmo is a DMT cultist recruiting teenagers on Reddit via dank memes and Reddit Gold, and Terence McKenna thinks DMT allows one to communicate with intelligent beings he refers to as "machine elves".

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DMT: An introduction

DMT is a chemical substance which occurs naturally in many animals and plants which is both a derivative and structural analog of tryptamine. According to PsychonautWiki,

DMT is present in over 65 species of plants and has been identified as being a normal constituent of human metabolism and an endogenous neurotransmitter in certain rodents.

It is often ingested as a psychedelic drug which has been used through various cultures throughout history. Rick Strassman labels it “the spirit molecule”. According to PsychonautWiki, 

Dr. Rick Strassman has hypothesized that the pineal gland is responsible for the production and release of DMT which he believes possibly could be excreted in large quantities at the moments of birth and death. However, this has been questioned with the argument that the pineal gland secretes insufficient amounts to produce psychoactive effects.

German chemist Richard Helmuth Fredrick Manske first synthesized DMT in 1931. However its discovery as a natural product is often credited to Brazillian microbiologist and chemist Oswaldo Gonçalves de Lima. In 1946 Oswaldo isolated an alkaloid he called nigerine from the root bark of a Mimosa tenuiflora. In 1955 a team of American chemists led by Evan Horning isolated and formally identified DMT in the seeds and pods of Anadenanthera peregrina. According to the Wikipedia article on DMT, 

In terms of a scientific understanding, the hallucinogenic properties of DMT were not uncovered until 1956 by Hungarian chemist and psychiatrist Stephen Szara. In his paper published the same year titled 'Dimethyltryptamine: its metabolism in man' he references the plant Mimosa hostilis in which he injected the extract into his own muscle. 

Like many hallucinogens DMT is illegal in most countries. Quoting from PsychonautWiki, 

Unlike most highly prohibited substances, DMT is not considered to be addictive or toxic by the scientific community. Nevertheless, unpredictable adverse reactions such as uncontrollable anxiety, delusions and psychosis can always occur, particularly among those predisposed to mental disorders. While these negative reactions or "bad trips" can often be attributed to user inexperience or improper preparation of set and setting, they have been known to happen spontaneously among even highly experienced users as well.

The effects of DMT include a rapid onset of intense experiences in a relatively short span of time compared to most psychedelic drugs. Due to the drug’s short duration time it was known in the US during the 1960s as the “businessman’s trip”. 

DMT is either ingested, inhaled, or even injected Its effects depend on the dosage. When DMT is injected or inhaled the effects often last a relatively short period of time, usually between 5-15 minutes. If one were to ingest DMT orally or alongside the ayahuasca brew used by the native Amazonian tribes, the drug can manifest some extremely intense hallucinations. Some of these hallucinations are described as mystical experiences, out of body experiences, ego death, euphoria, and overwhelming geometry. According to PsychonautWiki,

The visual geometry encountered can be described as more similar in appearance to that of psilocin than LSD. It can be comprehensively described through its variations as intricate in complexity, abstract in form, equally organic and digital in feel, structured in organization, brightly lit, multicoloured in scheme, glossy in shading, equal in sharp and soft edges, large in size, fast in speed, smooth in motion, equal in rounded and angular corners, immersive in depth and consistent in its intensity. At higher doses, it is significantly more likely to result in states of level 8B visual geometry over level 8A. The geometry present with smokeable DMT is considered by many to be the most profoundly intricate and complex set of visual geometry found within the entirety of the psychedelic experience. In comparison to orally active DMT (ayahuasca), it is significantly more digital in appearance and contains a colour scheme which is similar to LSD and a structured style that resembles a high dose of psilocin.

DMT Feels like Dying SIGN ME UP!

According to a paper in the Frontiers of Psychology journal titled, “DMT models the Near-death experience”,

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are complex experiential episodes that occur in association with death or the perception that it is impending. Prospective studies with cardiac arrest patients indicate that the incidence of NDEs vary between 2–18% depending on what criteria are used to determine them. Although there is no universally accepted definition of the NDE, common features include feelings of inner-peace, out-of-body experiences, traveling through a dark region or ‘void’ (commonly associated with a tunnel), visions of a bright light, entering into an unearthly ‘other realm’ and communicating with sentient ‘beings’. Reviewing the phenomenology of NDEs, we have been struck by similarities with the experience evoked by the classic serotonergic psychedelic N,N, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

It has recently been shown that the temporal sequence of events unfolding during an NDE is highly variable between people and no prototypical sequence was identifiable in a sample of 154 participants, although four main dimensions were relatively consistent, namely: ‘out-of-body experiences,’ ‘seeing a bright light,’ ‘encountering spirits/people,’ and a ‘feeling of peace’.

Results revealed an intriguingly strong overlap between specific and broad features of these states, with DMT participants scoring high on a standard measure of NDEs and in a comparable way to people reporting bona fide NDEs, with only subtle differences that might relate more to obvious contextual differences than anything to do with the specific inducers themselves.

Another study regarding the effects on DMT took place at Imperial College Clinical Research Facility in London. A BBC article titled, “A DMT trip 'feels like dying' - and scientists now agree” states,

It has been speculated in the past that a lot of [psychedelic] experiences – not only DMT but also LSD and so on – contain themes of death,” says Chris, who led the study. “If I were to speculate, one possibility may be that the system is reaching such a high level of disorder that the psychological reaction might be, ‘Oh my God, I'm dying',” Chris explains.

Iona describes some of this "disorder" as feeling detached from her body and says she quickly found she was experiencing a strange, unfamiliar detachment from her sense of self too. “My body just didn’t seem relevant anymore," says Iona. "And I felt like I arrived in some consciousness soup which seemed like a different realm to the one I ordinarily inhabit – even in dreams. It just seemed like everything was rotating and swirling and spiralling. It didn’t seem like there were normal space-time proportions going on.”

Some of the patients in the study said they felt relieved after the experiment concluded. They were said to be “in a good mood” while having a whole new outlook on life. 

Some DMT Trip Testimonials

This if from an article titled, “I Did DMT At A Castle In Paris And Went Straight To Hell. Here’s What You Should Know Before Doing Psychedelics" by Megan Bruneau. Bruneau explains in the article that she is known among her friends as the one who doesn’t do drugs. She begins in the article, 

As a therapist, I strongly recommend in-depth-research and consulting a professional before experimenting with psychedelics. Do not do what I did, which was listen to a Joe Rogan podcast and commit to doing DMT the next time the opportunity arose.

Despite being not one to normally do psychedelics she describes that she is very adventurous and up to try new things. Or as she says, 

This all to say that when I was invited to a Burning Man-meets-Summit cryptocurrency “unconference” at a castle in France, I thought, Oh Helllllll no. And because of that reaction, I decided I should probably go.

On the plane ride over with her new friend, and fellow-conference attendee she met over Facebook, she began to talk about her desire to do DMT. Her new friend mentions that he has some with him and that Bruneau didn’t need to feel any anxiety about taking DMT. He said, 

Don’t worry, I’ve figured out the exact dosage you need to simply feel a general sense of euphoria and, at most notice the trees are glowing a bit.

So they arrive together at this castle in France, and this man she just met who she calls “the DMT Chauffeur” begins coaching Megan through the administration process saying, 

“Okay, here’s what you do” he explains in a “this is serious” voice, as he hands me a vaporizer with a silicon tube attached. “Hold down the button for half a second. Start inhaling. Keep the button held down and inhale for two seconds. After two seconds, let go of the button but keep inhaling for half a second so you get some oxygen in there as well. Hold it in for two seconds, exhale, and you’ll have the perfect high.”

She stares at him blankly and asks him to repeat these instructions again. She didn’t want to fuck this up obviously. He repeats the instructions but she says it does not fully compute while she decides to go with the -- oh fuck it route. This can’t be much different than smoking weed, and takes a deep breath off the pen. She explains what happens next,

Within seconds, the already-glowing-green garden transforms into the setting of a Pixar horror movie. Each leaf withers before my eyes, suddenly an ashen grey-brown. The sky, which had formerly been twilight-blue, bleeds fiery, as though I’ve just clicked the scarlet bucket-option on Microsoft Paint … Ashamed, I regretfully acknowledge I’ve taken residence in The Underworld, despite thousands of hours of yoga, meditation, therapy, and other forms of self-inquiry.

I’m quickly distracted from my shame by the fact that I’m dying. Anyone who’s had a panic attack knows what I’m talking about. Unable to breathe and aware of my rapid heartbeat, with surprising calm I announce to DMT-Chauffeur and Doomed Situationship [this is what she calls the guy she was dating at the time] that I’m about to die. “Guys, this is exactly what I didn’t want to happen.” I whine, my voice thick with disappointment. “I’m dying.” The DMT-Chauffeur responds with, “You’re not dying”. 

Do you want more contact or less contact?” Doomed Situationship asks me gently, touching my hand. I turn my attention toward him for comfort, only to be met by Lucifer: he’s the same shade as the sky and is sporting a set of nubby black horns. He smiles — which I can only assume is a gesture of consoling — but his Devil-like manifestation makes this “consoling gesture” fucking terrifying. Doomed Situationship’s head then rolls off his body like a bowling ball coming out its machine feeder. NBD. “This is not good” I think. I stare at him speechlessly before deciding it’s best to look straight ahead and pretend he isn’t there.

No longer distracted by Satan, I’m once again reminded I’m dying. Shit. Still unable to breathe, I look down at my legs, which disintegrate. Then, writhing in distress, I aspirate, collapse, and “die” (DMT-Chauffeur and Doomed Situationship later tell me I was still the entire time).

So that’s fun. Here’s another fun testimonial by a woman who goes by Snafflehag in Erowid experience vaults online,

This trip was like being thrown into an inferno, in the deepest pits of hell, and having pure evil boiled out of me. I’m not talking simmered … I’m talking about being brought to a rapid, rolling boil. It was INTENSE. I remember thinking “Holy shit, I had no idea it could be like this!” but all that could escape my lips was a barely audible “Wow”. There was a loud humming sound, like the sound of a didgeridoo that enveloped me. It was absolutely maddening. At first I thought it was my boyfriend, who was trip sitting for me. But then I realized that he wasn’t making any sound at all. Then I thought it was the music, but it didn’t stop when the song ended. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk. All I could do was moan and whine in the hell that I had created for myself. My rational mind had not left me entirely. I kept telling myself over and over in my head, “It’s okay… this too shall pass. This can’t last forever … and by the way, you asked for this … this is what you wanted and now you’re getting it, so suck it up and take it like a warrior should.

Another psychonaut by that goes by Salen on PsychonautWiki page explains his DMT trip, 

I have kept a smile on my face and happy thoughts in my head, but instead of enhanced colors and wavy lines, All the color drained out of the room, and everything went black and grey and white. Everything in my room started to become indescribable in shape, and jagged and constant in geometry. As the world started to get stranger, I remember my tower shaped fan stretching up to, and absorbing into the ceiling. It still remained attached to the ground, and it took on an odd texture. It started moving about the room as if attached to a rail attached to the ceiling. I was finally consumed by the grey geometry and everything went black. 

I "awoke" in my own mind. I was staring at an incredibly angry face that seemed exactly like a Chinese demon, or Chinese dragon face. Exaggerated eyebrows, long outwardly curved fangs, and cartoonish eyes and facial hair. Very traditional in Chinese style. I could only see this face and a background of a texture that seemed shaped and to flow like fire, but moved in a more predictable and solid way. 

He is shaking me around. I feel no connection to my body or limbs, but I can feel him shaking my "soul" back and forth very violently. He suddenly throws me to another face, similar in style and design, but different. I can feel my "soul" being shaken, he throws me again, to yet another face. I can feel myself bouncing around as if I am the ball a pinball machine. I felt shaped like a ball too… or just a face anyway... Every throw increases in speed and intensity. I spend less and less time with each face as I speed up, but it seemed to last for years, even still. It was such a shocking experience, I blacked out eventually.

I woke up in my room, alone. The color was back, but everyone was gone.. I felt incredibly disappointed and morose. As I got up to get off of my bed to turn off the lights to go to sleep, my door opened and a man who's face i cannot remember if I recognized pointed a gun at me and shot me in the head. I felt the bullet puncture through the right side of the top of my head and push through my brain, stopping in the middle somewhere, and I blacked out pretty immediately. At least it didn't hurt.

I woke up in my room, again, alone. I was pretty freaked out by what had just happened and I was just happy it was over, and focused less on the idea that people weren't around. Before I got a chance to get up off of my bed, my door opened and the man pulled a gun and shot me again. This time on the left side of my head. I felt in go in similarly, but at a different angel. Still with no pain, just sensation. I, again, fell out of consciousness. 

I woke up in my room … I attempted to explain to my friends what I had gone through but it was difficult because DMT will often make it difficult to express my thoughts outwardly while I am still under its spell.

Sainto Daime

This Brazilian cult doesn’t even call their Ayahuasca tea “Ayahuasca”, preferring to call it “Sainto Daime” instead. Sainto Daime tea is different from traditional ayahhuasca because it contains Jagube vine and Psychotria viridis, also called “Queen of the forest”. It was called that because the found of Santo Daime because of a lady he saw in a vision, which caused him to found the cult in the first place.

I’m sure you’re dying to try the stuff, but hold your horses. First, you need to prepare during a week-long festival called a “feitio”. Everyone sings hymns, the men turn the vine into powder, and woman clean and sory the leaves. 

Thankfully our US listeners won’t have to travel far to get in on the action, since there are Sainto Daime outposts in Borrklyn and San Diego.

Uniao do Vegetal

Another Ayahuasca-friendly Brazilian cult is Uniao do Vegetal (UDV), which is “The Union of the Plants” in Porteguese. The Cult made it big stateside after the the Supreme Court allowed the UDV to use ayahuasca in its religious ceremonies in 2006. Sante Fe now has a branch with 300 members.

Every two weeks, members drink ayahuasca and enter a trance-like state for four hours. These ceremonies start by hugging each other and wearing forest-green uniforms emblazoned with their logo. Even the folding chairs they sit on are green! The chairs are arranged in concentric rings facing a portrait of Jose Gabriel da Costa, the founder of UDV. After ringing a bell at the altar, the congregants line up to the altar where a chief fills their glasses with ayahuasca. They raise their glasses and say “May God guide us on the path of light forever and ever - amen, Jesus. Amen. Then they drink up and get groovy.

Chris Cantelmo

[r/CantelmoismExposed was vital to the research for this section.]

Another advocate of DMT is Chris Cantelmo, who names his views “Cantelmoism”. On his website, you can find what he has learned,

I have recently discovered that DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) is the natural neurotransmitter that explains everything about humanity and also happened to be an extremely good cure for my cancer.

Cantelmo explains that before we go through puberty, DMT is produced by the pineal gland. But once we go through puberty and the “sex hormones” start ramping up, DMT production is eliminated. This signals the time we need to be in “stressful, boring situitions” suitable for finding a mate and raising children.

Now you might think that once we get older and sex hormone production decreases that we might get some of that sweet DMT back. Well, that’s how it USED to be. Older folks would then,

Reconnect to the spirit world and became a calming and guiding presence to the world. That was a time when wisdome really did reside in our elders.

So, why doesn’t this happen anymore? Cantelmo offers to explanations. One is our obsession with longevity and with that an obsession with looking and feeling younger. This perturbs the DMT process, I guess. But a more sinister cause is FLUORIDATION.

It has been hypothesized, and I think correctly, that fluoridation of our water supply leads to a  calcification of the pineal. Calcification of the pineal, combined with our fear of staring at the sun (which activates DMT production) has lead to profound stupidity, frankly, in older adults in the modern  industrialized world.

Thus, we have moved from an age of wisdom to an age of treason against God and Ingenuity, which is just treason against DMT.

Speaking of God, DMT is the God Molecule. But before you dive into that heavy subject he has some notes. First, DMT is not for children. As mentioned earlier, Children are already chockful of DMT and thus under the influence of God. Second, Some adults are thankfully already in touch with God, and so don’t need DMT either. But they do often make one mistake: they reject DMT because you don’t need drugs to be in touch with God. But DMT isn’t a drug! After all, it is “made naturally by humans inside humans.” This article is for those silly atheists out there exclusively. Third, the God Cantelmo is talking about is not limited to any one religion or spirituality. This is a free agent deity. 

Alright, enough prepwork; let's get into the good stuff. DMT, simply put, puts you in closer contact with God. But, say those dastardly skeptics, what about people who have bad trips on psychedelics and especially DMT (As Brent mentioned earlier)? Cantelmo is not totally sure how this happens, but he assumes it is the fault of the ego.

Problems may arise when people under the influence attempt to use their egos to overcome the experience. Using opne’s ego to overcome god will not work, this is as true as the day is long.

DMT will have different effects depending on whether the user already has a connection to God. The Godly user will experience a “lovely interaction”, and once the trip ends they will “return to… normal with a feeling of renewal, akin to rebirth”. The Atheist user will be confounded at first. They have never experienced the world as God intended i.e. the way the world looks when blitzed on DMT. But while they perceive correctly, they will try to use their “analytical methods learned in school”, which can’t do the job of describing their experience. Either they will conclude that their analytical methods are correct and thus DMT sucks, or realize their analytical methods suck and take DMT all damn day.

Yeah yeah yeah whatever what about curing cancer? He first learned about DMT’s oncological benefits in a surprising way,

I have been involved in a secret study of a new cancer treatment being undertaken by Mexican doctors with funding from the Chinese government.

Apparently it involved DMT and even cured Cantelmo’s brain tumors. While he was supposed to keep it a secret, he felt he had an ethical duty to reveal this cure to the world. Of course, Big Pharma knows all about DMT curing cancer. But they are trying to patent a version before the world finds out that the stuff we already have and which CAN’T be patented does the job. But Cantelmo also says that Big pharma doesn’t want to cure cancer. “Their goal has been and will always be to keep you alive with cancer so they can make as much profit as possible, your well-being is of ZERO concern.” But Big Pharma is not the only culprit here. The military and intelligence communities keep stockpiles available to use during warfare as a “non-lethal way to immobilize troops.” Cantelmo recommends watching the many YouTube videos on DMT “over and over”. 

He ends with this message:

If anyone you know is suffering from cancer, please demand that your doctor get DMT for your needs NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week, NOW.

So aside from curing cancer, what are the benefits of DMT? Cantelmo says his health has improved. He lost 30 lbs and his chronic joint pain in his knees and shoulder has been eliminated. In case you thought he had joint pain because he was a wuss, he makes sure to tell you it was from intense mountain biking, triathalan, and ironman competition. Before he was a heavy drinker, and now he hardly thinks of drinking. In short: 

Nothing in my life has been diminished. I have more friends, better relationships, increased optimism and more money.

Cantelmo knows you are skeptical, but wants to ensure you that all this is indeed possible,

This probably all sounds too good to be true, which makes me wonder why we believe that there has to be a downside to anything. It turns out win-wins are not only possible, but inevitable, and that the sooner we all realize this the sooner this earth will make the garden of eden seem low rent.

DMT is also important, perhaps essential, to having an open mind. Cantelmo makes this conclusion after thinking about babies,

One of the original features of our infancy is that we are incapable of being judgmental: it literally never occurs to us.

DMT causes one to have an open mind, and the reason people who haven’t taken DMT are skeptical about it is because they haven’t taken it and thus do not have open minds.

The people whose minds are least open - scientists foremost among them - are often the most skeptical.

But perhaps the most important aspect of DMT is hair growth, and for reasons you might least have expected. Cantelmo came to this realization after noticing his DMT experiments coinciding with new “robust growth” of new hair on his head. This got him thinking: don’t most geniuses do their best work when they are younger? Physicists especially do their best work before they are 30. With this realization in mind, Cantelmo began looking at photos of geniuses and was rocked by a realization: “geniuses seem to share something in common - a full head of hair when genius struck.” So, DMT “it’ll also put hair on your head.”

Cantelmo even did a Reddit AMA a month ago called “I am Chris Cantelmo I Discovered DMT Cures Cancer and Explains Schiophrenia AMA” Here are some of the top comments:

Please don’t do that. Tell people that DMT cures cancer. It does not.”

“You are an utter moron and loser. Just sayin. Fuck off.

“How did you discover that DMT cures cancer?”

“I had brain cancer then started inhaling DMT and it went away.”

“Cum hoc ergo propter hoc. Do you know what the causation fallacy is?

“You are a phallic fallacy. Do you know what phallic is?

“Do you have any proof?

“Yes my most recent tests show no sign of cancer or tumors. Thank you for asking.”

“Could you post the test results”

“No. You won’t believe it anyway. I will allow an independent analysis if a third party pays for them.”

“I’m always open to change my mind about something if convincing evidence can be provided.”

“Get lost like a 56 y/o man (me) battling brain cancer has to convince you. Do you realize how disgustingly ugly a person you are? Who care what you think you energy leech.”

The rest of Cantelmo’s Reddit activities do not put him in a better light. In an interview with r/InsiderMemeTrading, Cantelmo walked back slightly on the whole “DMT cures cancer” thing.

DMT cures cancer, or at least makes cancer beautiful.

But there is more to DMT than making cancer aesthetically pleasing. Cantelmo has also seen angels and other spiritual beings.

I had a near-death experience on DMT and SAW ANGELS descending from the heavens in the form of winged unicorn cloud formations and a cloud ladder formed by Rapunzel’s hair. Huge white demon ghosts nibbled the dry skin off my face and the spirit of a huge dead cow floated over me to smell the saliva my dog Jed had moments earlier licked onto my cheeks. This stuff is too insane to even dream up or make up.

For example, in a post to r/DMT, Cantelmo reveals that aliens are on earth training him to be a leader or ambassador. Those who inflict damage on the environment will apparently be killed AND eaten by these ETs. He also mentions them on his website, hoping he can “convince the feline-insects not to make plant food out of you non-believers.”

Like any good crank, Cantelmo has a lot of really good ideas about Physics. Instead of the four fundamental forces physics recognizes (electromagnetism, weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, and gravity), Cantemo insists there is only electromagnetism, and these others are simply magnetism over long and short distances.

Silly physicists always want to make things so complicated!

Cantelmo also advocates staring at the sun, discussing his sun gazing prowess:

I stare directly into the sun each day and my vision is better than yours. You are such a weak worm. You could try staring into the sun yourself but you are such a scared pathetic dweeb you will not even attempt this. LOSER.

But Cantelmo DEFINITELY isn’t scared. Just check out this tweet from a few days ago:

A man who isn’t afraid of anything is a rather attractive figure. I called the FBI to my home to teach them how to prepare and vape DMT.

So far I have been able to verify that Cantelmo said all the stuff above. Sadly, his subreddit is either private or no longer available, so many of the links I have found are no longer available. But since all the rest have been on the money I figured we should share them after this caveat.

[7/11/2019 r/Cantelmoism is back! Sadly, we recorded the episode before it returned.]

  • Einstein was wrong: E=MC Cubed

  • Peer review journals are just places where ideas are stolen by jealous failed researchers.

  • DMT also cures AIDS.

  • Radiation and chemotherapy are torture.

  • A crash worse than the Great Depression will soon be upon us.

  • Mitt Romney called him up and asked for an endorsement.

  • DMT will immunize us from the impending alien attack. 

Tales from the Machine Elves

In the 1990s, the psychiatrist Rick Strassman performed his infamous research into DMT. According to Psychology Today,

This was the first time in over 20 years that the US government had allowed human studies on psychedelic drugs since such research had been effectively banned. Volunteers, who were all experienced users of psychedelic drugs, found that high doses of DMT had a usually overwhelming and instantaneous psychedelic effect, that Strassman described as a “nuclear cannon”. As this rush progressed, most volunteers lost awareness of their bodies and of their surroundings at least until the effects peaked after about two minutes. 

After a few minutes, volunteers were able to begin describing their ongoing experience, which normally lasted 30 minutes. All volunteers experienced visual imagery that could be seen with eyes open or closed. Colours were brighter, more intense and more deeply saturated than in normal awareness or dreams. Many participants saw kaleidoscopic geometric patterns, as well as concrete recognisable scenes. Typically, participants felt initial anxiety at the rush effect, which was frequently followed by intense euphoria, although mixed emotions, such as fear and excitement, were also common. Mentally, participants noted that after their initial confusion at the rush subsided, their thought processes seemed clear and normal and they felt able to observe what was happening.

Strassman (2001) reported that “about half” of the 60 volunteers entered what he described as “freestanding, independent levels of existence” of a highly unusual nature. These places were inhabited by what volunteers described as intelligent “beings”, “entities”, “aliens”, “guides”, and “helpers”. These appeared in a variety of forms, such as “clowns, reptiles, mantises, bees, spiders, cacti, and stick figures.” 

These beings have been reported by other investigators, including Terrence McKenna who described them as “self-transforming machine elves,” as well as in more sober case reports from research on people with schizophrenia conducted in the 1950s. Strangely enough, reports of these kinds of beings seem to be unique to DMT, as Strassman was unable to find anything similar in the research literature on other psychedelic drugs.” 

As mentioned by Psychology Today, Terrence McKenna coined the term “machine elves”. These entities are supposedly at the center of many DMT trips. As Vice reported on Strassman’s experiment,

The DMT trials resulted in an unexpectedly high number of encounters with entities in seemingly "freestanding, independent levels of existence." Strassman wrote he was "neither intellectually nor emotionally prepared for the frequency with which contact with beings occurred in our studies, nor the often utterly bizarre nature of these experiences. Neither, it seemed, were many of the volunteers, even those who had smoked DMT previously.

McKenna, when speaking of his DMT experiences, describes his encounters with these entities as follows, 

On the other side, as you break through, there’s a cheer. There’s a whole bunch of entities waiting on the other side… And you burst in this space and they’re saying, ‘How wonderful that you’re here, you come so rarely, we’re so delighted to see you!’… 

These things are there, and they’re hammering at you, and they come forward, they’re like jewelled self-dribbling basketballs. And there are many of them and they come pounding toward you and they will stop in front of you and vibrate, but then they do a very disconcerting thing, which is, they jump into your body. They jump into your body and then they jump back out again. 

And the whole thing is going on in this very high speed mode, where you’re being presented with thousands of details per second… And these things are saying, ‘Don’t abandon yourself to amazement.’ Which is exactly what you want to do. You just want to go nuts with how crazy this is. They say, “Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Pay attention. Pay attention to what we’re doing.’ 

Well what are they doing? Well what they’re doing is they’re making objects with their voices. They’re singing structures into existence… And what they will do is they’ll come toward you, and then -- and you have to understand, they don’t have arms, so we’re kinda downloading this into a lower dimension to even describe it -- but what they do is they offer things to you. They say, “Look at this! Look at this!’ And as your attention goes toward these objects, you realize what you’re being shown is impossible. It’s impossible. It’s not simply intricate, beautiful, and hard to manufacture, it’s impossible to make these things… These things are like the toys scattered around the nursery of a UFO… The toys themselves appear to be somehow alive. The toys themselves can sing other objects into existence. So what’s happening is there’s just this proliferation of elf gifts! And the elf gifts are moving around, singing...They’re saying, ‘Do what we are doing.” And they’re very insistent. They say, “Do it! Do it! Do it!”

They are known by other names too. Conspiracy maestro Alex Jones, whom our president assures us has an amazing reputation, calls them “clockwork elves”. And it turns out that, whether they are real or imagined, they are the true source of the New World Order’s power. As Alex Jones explains,

This is what the government’s into, folks. They’re taking the DMT. They’ve got the black op commanders gobbling high powered hallucinogens in -- see, I don’t even get into all this stuff. We’re in trouble ladies and gentlemen. We’re in trouble. The clockwork elves, all of it, I shouldn’t even get into it. But the issue here is that whether this stuff’s real or not, the globalists think it is, and the elves are telling them, ‘Come on, join us, plug in, it’s gonna happen.’ 

People read Dick’s stuff thirty years ago and they go, ‘how did it all come true?’ Because he had government connections, ladies and gentlemen. Phillip K. Dick was being fed this stuff. And he got several of his novels stolen. And got threatened. And a lot of other stuff happened. But -- alright, I’m now ranting. 

The point is is that these CIA people, and if you go back they’re the ones that gave out ingredients for LSD on college campuses, they’re the ones that synthesized DMT, they’re the ones that did all this, the owners of Time Life Books, in the forties were obsessed with this, they believe they’re communicating with entities, they call them clockwork elves, Joe Rogan talks about it, he takes it, you see the elves, little green hats. There’s a reason all cultures see the elves. I’m not into this, I don’t take it. Let’s say it’s not real. Okay? I don’t want Natural News to say that Jones believes in elves. 

The Elite, okay, and most of these men you see at Bilderberg, there’s a reason they’re all whacked out of their minds. They’re taking DMT. You think they’re all a bunch of old men? They’re in power because they were into this stuff seventy years ago! They were jacking DMT seventy years ago. They were injecting it. They were in special tanks, their whole science is way ahead, we don’t even know what they’ve got!”

So, does the Bilderberg Group have a point here? Are these clockwork elves real? Rick Strassman seems to think it’s totally possible. Quoting again Psychology Today,

Intriguingly, many volunteers refused to believe that these experiences were hallucinations or dreams, as they seemed too real. Strassman reported being initially quite baffled by and unprepared for the frequency of these entity experiences among his volunteers. In his book he even entertains the idea that these entities are genuine inhabitants of some sort of normally invisible alternative reality, perhaps of a parallel universe.

Hence, why DMT is known to some DMT cultists as the “spirit molecule”. Strassman says,

The Hebrew Bible's model of prophecy is appealing because it comports well with the reports of the DMT volunteers. One's sense of self is maintained, there is an external free-standing independent-of-the-observer spiritual world that all-of-a-sudden appears. One relates to the content of the experience, rather than being dissolved into it. There are concepts and images which are the "stuff" of the prophetic state rather than the "detritus" of the mystical one. One is "with" God rather than being "one with" God.

Not all people that have looked into this stuff are very impressed. Psychedelic researcher James Kent has a somewhat different take,

I want to question this notion about DMT as a gateway to the spirit world, because when I think of a spirit world I think of angels, ghosts, God, the old Hindu spirits, gurus traveling through the Bardos, and none of that is in the smoked DMT experience. 

It’s like going into a crazy rubber room or a pocket Looney Tunes universe somewhere. And to me, it didn’t seem all that spiritual. It seemed weird. It seemed like a very strange video game, like I was in some sort of plastic world where things could morph and cohese and disappear at any time. And it wasn’t like I was sitting in the Taj Mahal meditating on the importance of my own life. It was like I was being pelted with cartoon characters. And that was not spiritual. It was just weird. 

So, I either needed to reassess my view of what spiritual is, and accept this sort of crazy rubber room pocket universe as the spirit world, and this is where you go when you die, and this what what happens to you when you die, these crazy cartoon characters jump out at you and say, “HOORAY!” Or I had to go back and say, “Well, maybe this is something else. Maybe this isn’t the spirit world. Maybe this is some sort of crazy part of our own psyche that’s being brought to the fore by the DMT experience.

Is it true, as Alex Jones and a plethora of DMT cultist message boards will tell you, that all cultures and people always see the clockwork elves? Kent maintains that the whole idea that the “machine elves” are an eerily consistent archetype of the DMT experience in need of some kind of comprehensive explanation is totally overblown. And even though Kent claims he’s had experiences similar to McKenna’s, it’s not so straightforward,

The archetypal DMT "entities" are pretty well categorized, with most people seeing elves or aliens or fairies or angels or some kind of loopy little spirits that dance about and tell riddles. Sometimes it is a spirit-animal like a jaguar or a snake, sometimes it is none of the above and goes totally off the map. But getting back to the elf thing (which is what many people find to be the most curious aspect), I initially found it very surprising to be confronted by elves in my DMT experiences, and on psilocybe mushrooms as well, and did indeed perceive them as externalized, morphing, disincarnate beings. I even managed to carry on rudimentary conversations of sorts. However, the more I experimented with DMT the more I found that the "elves" were merely machinations of my own mind. While under the influence I found I could think them into existence, and then think them right out of existence simply by willing it so. Sometimes I could not produce elves, and my mind would wander through all sorts of magnificent and amazing creations, but the times that I did see elves I tried very hard to press them into giving up some non-transient feature that would confirm at least a rudimentary "autonomous existence" beyond my own imagination. Of course, I could not. Whenever I tried to pull any information out of the entities regarding themselves, the data that was given up was always relevant only to me. The elves could not give me any piece of data I did not already know, nor could their existence be sustained under any kind of prolonged scrutiny. Like a dream, once you realize you are dreaming you are actually slipping into wakefulness and the dream fades. So it is with the elves as well. When you try to shine a light of reason on them they dissolve like shadows.

In conclusion, I’d just like to mention a couple more things. The visions produced by DMT are not solely elves and alien entities. A wide variety of archetypes and just plain-old whacked-out stoner shit creeps into the mix. It is highly individual and in many cases is heavily dependent on set and setting. This fact alone (more than anything else) leads me to believe that the DMT entities are mere figments. If, for example, everyone always saw talking penguins and only talking penguins while high on DMT, that would be much harder to explain and much more mysterious. The fact that DMT "consciousness" reveals itself in so many forms tells me that the "messenger" -- be it elf, alien, jaguar, or whatever -- is basically arbitrary within the context of the patterns and archetypes our minds tend to pick out of random noise.

Update 8/7/2019

Chris Cantelmo has a habit of deleting his weirder videos on his YouTube channel. To archive these videos, a new channel was created: Chris Cantelmo Archives. Enjoy!


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