More than a year after founding the Psychedelic Society of Brooklyn, I’ve decided to step down and pass the leadership baton to others. I don’t make this decision lightly. I’ve poured my heart into this group. But it’s the right decision for me personally. My friend and society member Colin Pugh will take the lead in running the group.
When I started the meetup two summers ago, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had never run a group before, let alone a meetup group about psychedelics. In many ways, I felt completely out of my depth and my comfort zone. But I felt like I had to do something. I’ve never felt as passionately about an issue in my entire life, and I thought that starting this group would be a small step in the right direction to change the conversation about psychedelics. And I’m happy to say that I think it has. Through our lectures, our parties with Psymposia and Consciousness Hacking, our strategy sessions, our many dinners, our open mic night, our advocacy (from bicycle day to our collaboration in the#PsychedelicsBecause campaign), and the many, many informal gatherings in between, we have been a force for good in the psychedelic movement. We’ve also helped build community in New York, which is something I’m particularly proud of.
I still remember that first day in the park. I was really nervous, even with my unicorn hat and a prepared spiel. And not only had I resolved not to share my own personal experiences, but I sheepishly prohibited others from sharing theirs. In some ways, this made sense. My main motivation at the beginning was to educate and advocate for psychedelics, I didn’t want the group to just be a trip-sharing forum, and also . . . I’m a lawyer. But over time, my thinking and motivations changed. I saw the power that sharing personal experiences could have, both from a personal and emotional perspective and as a way to advocate for psychedelics. I also realized that the main goal of this group needed to be to build community and empower individuals who are looking for a psychedelic home. It is a psychedelic society after all. And over the past months, the nature of our events has changed to reflect this. Nothing has made me happier than seeing new members making friends and connections at our psychedelic dinners.
In line with this change of thinking, I have been working with several others, including Colin, over the past several months to reformulate our mission and vision to emphasize the importance of community. We’ve also been working to create a new website, which is now live atwww.psychedelicbrooklyn.com. Our friend, society member, and web developer Andrei Gheorghe designed the site. Andrei will also assume a leadership role in the group.
The group will continue to educate through the creation of cutting edge content (we have a new blog with a tremendous first post) and to advocate through events like bicycle day, but the central focus will be community. To help with that, we’ve created an event calendar (“aggregator”) that points to psychedelic oriented events in the New York area where new relationships and social networks can be formed. And of course, we will continue to host our own events. Along with others, I’ve worked incredibly hard on the new site, the mission/vision, and the other new content. I think you’ll agree that it looks great.
This group means a lot to me. The friendships I’ve made because of it mean a lot to me. I’m proud of the work it’s done, that you all have done. And not to sound overdramatic, but the last thing I want to do is abandon it. But I’m confident that’s not what I’m doing. I’m leaving it in good hands. We have a great website. Great people who want to contribute and build community. I think the group has a good reputation and good relationships with other groups in the community. Indeed, the future is bright for our society.
I plan on staying very active in the psychedelic movement (perhaps putting my skills as a lawyer to use), and I will obviously stay a member of this group. This is just the end of my leadership role with the Psychedelic Society of Brooklyn.
I hope to see you all around Brooklyn and New York. And obviously feel free to message me for any reason. It’s been a real pleasure to meet and get to know so many of you over the past 15 months.