The Weird Naturalism of the Brothers McKenna
Esoteric Media and the Experiment at La Chorrera
I recently published a reworked portion of my dissertation in the International Journal for the Study of New Religions. It looks in depth at the wild conceptual matrix and practical protocols that Terence and Dennis brought to their notorious and legendary experience in the Columbian jungle. Here is the abstract (in academese, natch!):
When Terence McKenna and his brother Dennis performed the so-called “Experiment at La Chorrera” in Columbia in 1971, they staged what became one of the most legendary and storied trip tales in contemporary psychedelic culture. This paper diagrams the matrix of Jungian alchemy, Marshall McLuhan, and science fiction that underpinned the protocols and conceptual apparatus of the Experiment. These ideas are tied to McKenna’s early unpublished text Crypto-Rap, which is briefly summarized as an example of “weird naturalism.” In essence, it is argued that Terence and Dennis McKenna “esotericized” media theory into an occult apparatus of resonance, sympathy, and apocalyptic ontology.
Download the pdf: The_Weird_Naturalism_of_the_Brothers_McK