Barry Blackwell: Joel Elkes –An Integrative Life


James Harris’ comment 

Joel Elkes at Johns Hopkins


Stanislav Grof (1931 - ), Paul Grof’s brother was brought by Joel to Johns Hopkins as Fellow of the Foundations Fund for Research in Psychiatry in New Haven, CT, originally to start a new research project of psychedelic therapy. Because of the hysteria created by Maimon Cohen’s paper of the effect of LSD on chromosomes, Joel decided not to start this project. Grof then joined the existing psychedelic research program at Spring Grove State Hospital, which was later moved to the newly built Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. He also taught psychotherapy as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins and, after the death of Walter Pahnke, he became Chief of Psychiatric Research at the MPRC. He was a co-founder of transpersonal psychology and played an important role in the development of pre- and perinatal psychology.


Another recruit was Roland L. Fischer (1915-1997). He was an experimental psychologist and psychopharmacologist known for his early work on schizophrenia, the perception-hallucination continuum model of altered states of consciousness and for his work on gustation which later contributed to research supporting super tasting.


Fisher had worked with Hoffman in Basel (who had discovered LSD) and was an early proponent of the study of hallucinogens as models of psychosis. His calling card read "cartographer of consciousness and biologist of the fleeting moment."


James Harris

August 4, 2016