Seattle Mystic Alfred M. Hubbard

Title: Seattle Mystic Alfred M. Hubbard Inventor, Bootlegger and Psychedelic Pioneer

Author: Brad Holden

Completed: Nov 2022 (Full list of books)

Overview: What an interesting life Hubbard lived! He seemed to bounce from one weird job to another (often conning at least a few people in the process) and usually at the cutting edge of a new field. I knew almost nothing about him before this book and now, part of me wants to chat with him… while the rest of me wants to keep plenty of distance. Either way, it was fun to learn about a bit more Seattle history.

Highlights:

  • curiously looking around at the intriguing inventory of transistors, vacuum tubes and assorted radio parts.
  • Olmstead had become quite affluent thanks to his bootlegging operation, which had grown to such an enormous degree that, for a time, he was Puget Sound’s largest employer.
  • Known as the “Whispering Wires Case,” due to the extensive wiretapping involved, the resulting legal proceeding would end up being the biggest Prohibition trial in history. Olmstead, seemingly unfazed, simply posted bail and returned to work—setting his liquor operation right back into motion again.
  • Aberdeen, a flourishing working-class town built around a thriving logging industry. While Seattle was awash with smuggled Canadian liquor supplied by Olmstead and others, Aberdeen’s liquor market was mostly controlled by competing moonshine operations that set up large-scale stills throughout the heavily forested hillsides.
  • The results were astonishing, with abstinence rates reaching as high as 60 percent. Best of all, LSD therapy was now viewed as an attractive, cost-effective form of mental health treatment.
  • Word soon spread about this Canadian hospital, which was now boasting recovery rates of up to 90 percent, and in no time at all, the rich and famous started arriving by the droves to receive help in overcoming their battles with the bottle or to receive some form of psychological care.
  • research showed that a properly guided psychedelic session provided peace of mind and a much greater acceptance of death for those with terminal illness.
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