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The Exit

   2020    Culture
The Hale-Bopp Comet is passing Earth and rumours of a mysterious object following the comet could mean the sign that the Heaven’s Gate community could be looking for. With plans for the Exit, the group members begin saying goodbye to the world. In the aftermath of the suicides, the world and the surviving former followers react.
Series: Heavens Gate

The Second Harvest

   2020    Culture
The message of the group begins to change and losing identity and group mentality is pushed. With more lockdowns and rules, longtime members of the group begin to question or leave. With no sex permitted with members, Dick Joslyn’s membership in the cult poses problem for Do... leading to a new request for the group.
With dwindling numbers, the group needs a new boost of membership. The Exit begins to be discussed as the Hale-Bopp Comet approaches.
Series: Heavens Gate

Chapter 2 Psilocybin

   2022    Medicine
Magic mushrooms, long considered sacred by the Indigenous Mazatec in Mexico, become the subject of scientific studies measuring the intense effects of its Psilocybin and its potential therapeutic use.
In the second episode, we are introduced to Ben, who’s battled with crippling Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) his entire life. When he had his firstborn, Ben’s life became full of panic attacks regarding his son’s safety, and he knew something had to change. Ben signed up for a psilocybin-assisted therapy clinical trial which was testing whether the psychedelic could help people with severe OCD. In the session under the influence of psilocybin, Ben felt decomposed and eventually grew into a tree. While living as a tree, he saw his human self, playing with his child. Though this sounds scary, from Ben’s perspective, it was beautiful. He was one with the universe, seeing himself in the ultimate third-person perspective. Finally, he saw how it could be different if he didn’t let his OCD control him. And several months out, all the symptoms disappeared.
Ben’s story is one of many told in this series, which gives hope that help is right around the corner for the millions who suffer —often in silence— with debilitating mental disorders. But Michael Pollan’s work is showcasing the success stories. Often, even in the most successful trials, psychedelic-assisted therapy only helps up to a third of people enter remission. More frequently, patients are helped —sometimes substantially— but they still suffer with their illnesses and some people aren’t helped at all.
Series: How to Change Your Mind

Doubt

   2022    Nature
Even as the science grew more certain, the oil industry continued to block action to tackle climate change in the new millennium. In a revelatory interview, Christine Todd Whitman, George W. Bush's former environment chief, tells the story of how the industry successfully lobbied President Bush to reverse course on his campaign promise to regulate carbon emissions.
Tensions grew between two of the world's biggest oil companies, ExxonMobil and BP, after the latter publicly called for action to tackle climate change. The election of Barack Obama provided hope for supporters of climate action, but the billionaire Koch brothers made an effort to block the new president's attempts to pass climate change legislation, and climate denialism became the mainstream position of the Republican Party. A lawyer who worked for Koch brothers through this period speaks on camera for the first time.
Series: Big Oil vs The World

Chapter 3: MDMA

   2022    Medicine
Championed by both therapists and ravers, ecstasy stands out as the first psychedelic likely to become legalized, thanks to passionate advocates.
The episode about 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is focused on Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) clinical trials treating Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Series: How to Change Your Mind

Chapter 4: Mescaline

   2022    Medicine
The last episode explores Mescaline, the psychoactive molecule in San Pedro and peyote cacti, a sacred medicine that Native Americans have had to fight for the right to use. At the Indigenous practices there's always an elder, someone who knows the territory very well, who's presiding. There's usually a group, a community is involved, There's always an intention, a purpose to what you're doing, and you're treating it as sacred, in order to achieve altered states of consciousness, which contribute to worship in various ways, or celebration or healing.
But maybe all this is not so new to Western culture after all. In the old Greek histories of Eleusis, people who were initiated there got the drink, the kykeon, and then they had the illumination. The precise recipe is a mystery, but we know that the kykeon was a psychoactive brew that was used at the Eleusinian mysteries, a sacred annual ritual of enlightenment practiced by some of the world's greatest minds including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. So why did this ritual come to an end more than 1,000 years ago? Was the possibility of illumination or achieving a higher consciousness considered threatening to the powers that be? Have the drug wars been merely an extension of that fear?
Psychedelics has a major part in how we can heal as a community, how we can heal as a city, and how we can heal as a country. The current renaissance of psychedelics could not come at a better time as the world confronts a crisis in mental health. But psychedelics have much to offer. The psychedelic experience changes the mind in ways that will help scientists better understand how it works. All these altered states allow us to probe what is the greatest mystery in all of nature. The emergence from mere matter of something as miraculous as consciousness. But an even bigger question is whether psychedelics might help us address the environmental crisis of how we think about our place in nature. One of the greatest gifts of psychedelics is how they reanimate the natural world, allowing us to perceive the subject, the spirit of all species, not just our own. And to feel a deeper sense of interconnectedness with nature.
Series: How to Change Your Mind
Walking with Cavemen

Walking with Cavemen

2003  History
The Life of Mammals

The Life of Mammals

2002  Nature
The Last Dance

The Last Dance

2020  Culture
The Story of China

The Story of China

2016  History