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  The Psychedelic Sourcebook

    Will Beifuss
      published by Rosetta/Flowers 1996

        A Review by Steve Chambers

This is an excellent resource directory for anyone with an avid interest in psychedelics. No, it won't tell you where to get anything illegal, but it has an extensive list of both U.S. and European sources for spores, botanicals, books, tapes, and magazines all related to psychedelics. I consider myself well informed on the subject, but I had no idea there were so many organizations, newsletters and book vendors involved in the distribution of information on psychedelics.

The Sourcebook has been around for four years, apparently as an underground manual for much of that time, and only now with its publication in book form is it widely available. The Sourcebook is divided into ten chapters: 1) Spores and Kits, 2) Spore Germination, 3) Book Catalogs, 4) Audio and Video Tapes, 5) Botanicals, 6) Seeds, 7) Magazines and Newsletters, 8) Organizations, 9) Internet Sites, 10) Miscellaneous. A description is given of each business, and many of their products and prices are reprinted from their catalogs, so the reader can comparison shop and determine who has the cheapest price on a given item. I was very impressed with the Internet section, which has over 100 web sites listed with a description of each one and all organized by subject matter.

What I like best about this publication is the very candid and unapologetic writing style of the author, Will Beifuss. If he thinks a business has poor products or service, he will come right out and say so without mincing his words. He has placed orders with many of the companies to determine how long they take to fill orders and if their products are as advertised. When a business receives a good review, I tend to believe it because he is equally quick to criticize as well. Here are two listings to illustrate my point:

Mind Books 321 S. Main St. #543 Sebastopol, CA 95472 (800) 829-8127 Website: http://www.promind.com Free Catalog. Credit Card Orders Accepted

"Mind Books has put together the finest selection of books of any company listed here. With almost 250 titles in stock, you will discover many books you never knew existed as well as all of the classics. Mind Books catalog is so thorough and complete that I am left speechless. You simply must get this catalog, there will never be a better selection to choose from anywhere. All titles are described quite well, which makes this catalog very readable."

Wildflowers of Heaven P.O. Box 1989 Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557 $2 Catalog $5 Catalog & 1 year of new product updates Add 25% of order for shipping under $25 Free shipping on orders over $25

"I went through a protracted dispute with this company regarding the authenticity of the Trichocereus peruvianus cactus they are selling. I ordered 2 cuttings and had some very knowledgeable people inspect them and there was unanimous agreement that they were not T. peruvianus. Wildflowers acquiesced and changed the name to T. mescalito, then changed it to T. peru, but they still state in their catalog "It's our opinion that anyone wanting a T. peruvianus plant would be just as happy with these - we believe them to be genuine T. peruvianus, but to not offend anyone, we've given them an alias to indicate it's only our opinion." Well, it is my opinion you will not be "just as happy" with these grossly overpriced mystery cacti. Order their T. pachanoi instead, or order T. peruvianus from another company. If you have been wanting to buy a T. peruvianus, educate yourself as to what it looks like - I have a feeling this is not the only company selling a mysterious Trichocereus hybrid as genuine T. peruvianus."

What could have been a rather dry reference directory is instead a very enjoyable and informative guide to the fringe. The author knows his subject matter very well and it shows throughout this fine publication.

The Psychedelic Sourcebook by Will Beifuss, 1996; 72 pg. paperback, published by Rosetta/Flowers. Available from: Rosetta, P.O. Box 4611 , Berkeley, CA 94704 $12.95+$2 S&H.

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