Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the most legendary chemists to ever create LSD—Tim Scully—who produced over 3.5 million doses of 99.99% pure LSD that was distributed under the name “Orange Sunshine.”
He was the subject of the 2015 British documentary, The Sunshine Makers. And about a dozen years ago he and I worked together at Autodesk, a software developer in Northern California.
During the mid-60s, Scully lived with and built sound equipment for the Grateful Dead. While at it he became the sidekick of Owsley “Bear” Stanley, the Dead’s audio engineer that went on to build the band’s famous Wall of Sound. Prior to that, however, Bear was the most popular manufacturer of LSD during the 60s. In fact, Bear was the first known private individual to manufacture mass quantities of the substance and It’s alleged that he learned the technique from his chemist girlfriend, Melissa Cargill.
In 1966 Scully and Owsley set up a lab in Point Richmond, California, and started making acid together. However, the two parted ways at the end of 67 when Owsley was arrested. Scully then set up his own lab. And during this time he was briefly associated with The Brotherhood of Eternal Love.
The Brotherhood guys started out as a motorcycle gang, but after they held up at gunpoint a movie producer that had some LSD they had a change of heart—tossing out their guns to become non-violent acid dealers. They used acid as a religious sacrament and vowed to help distribute Scully’s LSD in an effort to transform the world into a softer, gentler and more caring place. So as to not just turn on the United States, which would lead to a defensive weakness, the Brotherhood scattered Scully acid across the four winds even getting it into Vietnam and behind the Iron Curtain.
A year later Scully set up a third lab with the late Nick Sand, another celebrated clandestine chemist who is credited as the first underground chemist on record to have synthesized DMT—another amazing psychedelic material.
Unfortunately Scully’s reputation as one of the major acid manufacturers of the hippie era finally caught up with him and he spent several years in prison during the ‘70s.
Scully was 20, in 1965 when he took acid for the first time, and the experience he said, “was like getting struck by lightning.” Instantly, he decided that his purpose was to make as much LSD as he could and give it away for free. If he would have succeeded he would’ve made about 750 million doses of the purest LSD known to man and distributed it to anyone who wanted it. A noble cause that’s still impacting society more than a half-century later.
So without any further adieu, please enjoy the following interview that I conducted with Tim on Saturday, October 12th, 2019.
Leave a Reply