Did Bill Wilson use LSD?

Question: Is it true that A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson used LSD after he stopped drinking?

Answer: Yes, back when it was still legal in The United States and Canada, Bill used LSD in a clinical setting. At the time LSD was an experimental drug tried in many types of therapies. It was done in the company of Canadian pharmaceutical researchers who were investigating potential clinical uses for this new drug.

Bill first took LSD on August 29, 1956. According to Pass It On: The story of Bill Wilson and How the A.A. Message Reached the World, published by A.A. World Services, Inc., Bill was enthusiastic about his experience; he felt it helped him eliminate many barriers erected by the self, or ego, that stand in the way of one's direct experience of the cosmos and of God. He thought he might have found something that could make a big difference to the lives of many who still suffered.

Bill is quoted as saying:

It is a generally acknowledged fact in spiritual development that ego reduction makes the influx of God's grace possible. If, therefore, under LSD we can have a temporary reduction, so that we can better see what we are and where we are going — well, that might be of some help. The goal might become clearer. So I consider LSD to be of some value to some people, and practically no damage to anyone. It will never take the place of any of the existing means by which we can reduce the ego, and keep it reduced.

See pages 370 & 371 in Pass It On.

If you find any links that are not working, please contact the Webmaster with an update.