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Reefer Madness> by Rak Razam

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In the classic 1936 propaganda movie 'Reefer Madness', a good young man is seduced into the ways of "marihuana… the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America", and descends into a nightmare of crime, rape, murder and eventually madness. According to the movie, now a cult classic on the stoner circuit, 'Marihuana is... [a] drug – a violent narcotic – an unspeakable scourge... ending often in incurable insanity." Well, at least they got the last bit right. Over seventy years since the first wave of marijuana demonising, the “incurable insanity” has well and truly set in with politicians worldwide, and shows no sign of abating. Around 39 per cent of our population are reported to have tried the devil's weed, and crop sales are worth an estimated $5-8 billion Australia-wide. With the clash between official rhetoric and the cultural experience as wide as ever, a fresh wave of ‘Reefer Madness’ is sweeping our nation, fuelled by stories of mind-bending ‘hydro’ cannabis and drug war clichés that hide deeper-seated issues.


Trippin' with the Dalai Lama

* based on a true story, as told to Undergrowth magazine...


The fourth method of awakening [i.e. enlightenment] is through the use of specific herbs. In Sanskrit it is called aushadi... knowledge of the herbs is a closely guarded secret.
- Swami Satyananda Sarawati, Kundalini Tantra

There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Hindus and probably the Buddhists of earlier days did regard the taking of psychedelic drugs as part of the wide range of sadhanas which led to ecstasy... The mythological and iconographical corollary to this is, apart from the personification of soma as the quintessence of all mind-affecting beverages, the frequent epithet of oiva as the lord of Herbs (Ausadhisvara).
– Agehanada Bharati, The Tantric Tradition



The Dalai Lama story... well, there's not much to it. It might all have been a hallucination really, the eternal play of Lila as if wafts down from the hills of Mount Meru. I am an unreliable narrator at best, dear reader, and you must remember that this was in my psychopuppy stage, when I used to take psychedelics and explore with the Buddhist masters. So Caveat Lector, and don’t try this in your home reality grid.


Dionysus Now> by Graham St John

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It was July 2007. I guess I had travelled to Greece to locate the Dionysian festal, in a region proximate to its origins. I wanted to dig around the roots of what now passes for carnival, but which, under Christian and commercial interests, has been domesticated in the modern West. I travelled to the island of Limnos in the Northern Aegean for the Island of Fire Festival, a psytrance festival on a remote sandy beach near the village of Moudros on a tree devoid island shaped like a horseshoe.

Empty Show 2007

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This film documents the 9th 'Emptyshow', a graffiti art exhibition created in an abandoned building. The Emptyshows have been going for about 5 years in Australia. Basically a bunch of street artists find an abandoned space- take it over, paint it up & have an opening. No-one knows who organizes the shows, invitations to the opening is by word of mouth and the location kept a secret until the last minute. This film was made especially to screen on the Fed Square outdoor screen as part of "Caught on Tape".

NOMADOLOGY: IRIS #1

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'wrapped in prayers' by Ben Donovan

UNDERGROWTH presents NOMADOLOGY: IRIS #1


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Riversong Mural > by Tim Parish

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Into the Light> by Dennis McKenna


Dennis McKenna is one of the leading figures in the global psychedelic and scientific communities investigating plant entheogens and indigenous plant medicines. He was involved with the “Hoasca Project” studying ayahuasca usage by members of the Church de Vegetal and recently issued the manifesto “Ayahuasca and Human Destiny”. Along with his late brother Terence, Dennis co-wrote the book “The Invisible Landscape” which revealed their psychedelically influenced insights into the nature of reality and spacetime they received during “The experiment at La Cholerra” in South America in 1971 (later recounted in Terence’s book “True Hallucinations”).


The Rael World> by Rak Razam

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So I call up the prophet Raël on Skype, talking to him over the internet in far-off Switzerland, where he’s staying in some chalet or something while he pushes ahead with his mission to preach the word of the aliens to save us from Armageddon – if, like, we live righteously and stuff, and give Raël the money to build an embassy for their arrival.

Raël’s assistant has the sweetest, sexy French voice. Her name is Li-Li. She sounds delectable, and if that’s really her avatar on the Skype dial screen she's a hot, caramel-skinned honey. If I was dialing up the Pope, or the Dalai Llama, or any other global religious leader it might be wrong to think lewd thoughts about their personal assistants, but this is Raël, man, ALL his personal assistants are gorgeous, and at the core of his religious teachings is a simple recipe of free-love and feelgood vibes. Like, if I was there in the chalet I’m sure he ‘d be offering me Li-Li and a one-way ticket to the mothership, he’s just that kinda guy. So don’t be so hard on him, y’know, I mean all people with just one name are a bit weird – Cher, Madonna, Prince, Raël, it comes with the fame, I guess, or the enlightenment.

Tasmania's Clean Green Future: Too Precious To Pulp? > documentary by Heidi Douglas

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Gunns Ltd’s proposed pulp mill will affect the future of all Tasmanian families. This film explains the environmental, economic and health impacts of the proposed pulp mill that Gunns, the Tasmanian State Government and the Federal Government have so far ignored.

Produced by Heidi Douglas


Adventures in Innerspace> by Erik Davis

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Let's say you're a buttoned-down organic-chemistry jockey at Merck. One day you tweak a molecule ripped off from a Peruvian native medicine, and you wind up with a powerfully psychoactive compound. Instead of squelching anxiety, instilling a reliable boner, or giving young minds that magic amphetamine edge, the drug helps you touch the hem of God -- or at least something a lot like the hem of God. At times it hurtles you into a blazing hieroglyphic phantasmagoria more sublime and gorgeously bizarre than anything on the demo reels of Hollywood FX shops. On other occasions it leads you to the lip of a fundamental insight into the dance of form and emptiness. And though later attempts to communicate your insight founder on the shoals of coherence, the experience still leaves you centered and convinced that ordinary life is fed by deeper springs.