The Entheos Foundation was born of a collective passion for exploring the potential of psychedelics in therapy. In early 2018 Dr. Suresh Muthukumaraswamy of Auckland University reached out to Amadeus Diamond of Psychedelics New Zealand to collaborate on funding for Dr. Muthukumaraswamy’s trial exploring LSD micro-dosing at Auckland University. The two had differing approaches – Dr. Muthukumaraswamy being a scientist and researcher had a data-driven interest while Amadeus, as an administrator of a large community of lay-people had a more socially-driven interest. These complimented each other well and led to the introduction of Dr. Will Evans to the effort. Dr. Evans is also a researcher on the LSD trial and crosses both areas of interest with a medical anthropology background.
Simultaneously Amadeus was contacted by Mark von Nagy. Mark is an entrepreneur and all-around caring guy who had recently, along with his wonderful wife, been introduced to the potential healing benefits of Psilocybin in their home-away-from-home, Vancouver. Mark was introduced to the group with a vision of raising and expanding the discussion around psychedelics in New Zealand and was willing to do whatever was required to make that happen. With that, the core group of players was in place. There seemed a logical place for this group to take things.
During meetings with various professionals and advocates regarding the LSD trial, the multiple wide-ranging discussions gave rise to the concept of a local funding body to facilitate the ideas and vision they had been exploring together. There was precedent as Dr. Muthukumaraswamy had previously done work through the Beckley Foundation in the UK; there was passion as Amadeus had been moving toward this idea for nearly a decade as administrator of Psychedelics New Zealand; there was compassion as Dr. Evans’ background gave him a unique people-centric approach to psychedelics and there was know-how as Mark had working knowledge of companies and experience getting things done. Over the last 18 months the group has worked around their day jobs to bring each other into the light and develop a frame-work for The Entheos Foundation.
Now, The Entheos Foundation is an active organisation with members having helped the effort to fund and receive regulatory approval for the LSD microdose trial at Auckland University and progressed the public dialogue by speaking on many platforms such as the University of Auckland Winter Lecture Series in 2019, a half-day seminar at Victoria University in late-July 2019, Splore festival in 2019 and 2020 along with multiple media pieces over the last two years (which can be found here). As we move forward we hope to continue to push forward the conversation around Psychedelics, facilitate on-going research and inform the conversation around how drug policy in New Zealand affects these efforts. We have the science, passion and know-how to make real change in New Zealand. We very much hope you’ll join us!