Underground LSD-Lab in a Missile-Silo. And a Goth-Stripper.

(Vice Direktlsd, via Reddit)

Vice hat die ziemlich weirde Story von Leonard Pickard, Gordon Todd Skinner, der ehemaligen Stripperin Krystle Cole und ihrer Zeit in einem Underground-LSD-Labor in einem ehemaligen Raketensilo. Und ich bin mir supersicher, dass ich die Story hier schonmal hatte, aber ich glaube, das Video dazu ist neu. Naja, und solche Geschichten bringe ich aus ein paar Gründen natürlich gerne nochmal.

What is known is that in 1997, a virtuosic organic chemist named Leonard Pickard joined forces with Gordon Todd Skinner, the heir to a spring-manufacturing fortune, to organize what would later become the world’s most productive LSD laboratory. A laboratory that, according to some sources, produced 90 percent of the LSD in circulation, in addition to unknown quantities of MDMA, ALD-52, ergot wine, and quite possibly LSZ... but I’ll get to that later.

Leonard Pickard is an anomaly among clandestine chemists—one of very few who was able to achieve great success in academia. He studied at Harvard, Purdue, and UCLA while producing kilos of MDA and LSD in secret laboratories under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. He was charismatic and gentlemanly, with excellent posture (he would advise slouchers to let their vertebrae fall vertically, like “a beautiful string of pearls”). A notable photo depicts Leonard at a scientific conference in Sussex, gently appreciating the scent of a long-stemmed rose. He was like that.

Gordon Todd Skinner (known by friends as Todd) is an autodidact chemist of uncertain ability; indeed, whether he is a chemist at all is subject to debate. He allegedly performed his first mescaline extraction from L. williamsii at the age of 19. By 25, he was incarcerated and facing life in a New Jersey prison for trafficking 42 pounds of marijuana. In order to beat the charges, he began a long and fruitful career as a government informant. In 1996, he purchased a decommissioned Atlas E nuclear-missile silo in Wamego, Kansas, and transformed it into a subterranean psychedelic palace. Three years later, he purchased a second silo to house an LSD superlab. The laboratory, however, only operated for a short time, and by October 2000 Todd was providing DEA agents with a guided tour of the premises. Simply dismissing Todd as a snitch would ignore the fact that he seemed to possess a deep and honest commitment to the distribution of psychedelic drugs for the betterment of mankind, which makes what he did all the more complex.

Lastly, there is Krystle Cole, a former goth stripper from Kansas, who fell in love with Todd and was ushered into his private circle of chemists and dealers. Krystle met Todd in February 2000, and they shared six months of lysergic bliss in the silo before things began to catabolize into chaos. By August 2000, Todd was afraid the LSD laboratory was under government surveillance and decided to preempt any criminal charges he might face by turning in Leonard. He furtively began recording conversations and compiling evidence. This led to Leonard’s arrest, and a nationwide (and possibly global) LSD drought that lasted throughout the early 2000s.

Life is a Cosmic Giggle on the Breath of the Universe – A Tour of Gordon Todd Skinner's Subterranean LSD Palace