11 January 2013

One Step Beyond | The Sacred Mushroom


Regarding a January 1961 episode of the TV anthology series One Step Beyond:
Host John Newland traveled to Mexico where he met with a local shaman who was an initiate in ritual use of magic mushrooms. The then-unknown mushrooms were purportedly able to increase the user's psychic powers. On camera, Newland ingested several mushrooms and allowed his reactions to be filmed for broadcast.
This was the only episode of the entire series to have a relatively reality-based "documentary" tone, rather than the scripted docudramas that made up all other episodes. Although the subject matter (the enhancement of psychic powers) was in line with the rest of the series, this episode was somewhat controversial and was omitted from the syndication package; it has been seen only rarely since its original broadcast. However, according to Newland, it was the most popular episode of the series.

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