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Full Review
Psychedelic Shamanism
by Jim DeKorne
Loompanics Unlimited 
Book Reviews
Reviewed by Yogi Shan, 12/12/1994

This book, published by Loompanics, has been mentioned on usenet a number of times.

I had the opportunity to briefly look it over last weekend. Naturally, I headed straight for the chem section, a chapter titled, “Extractions”, or something.

Well, I must say that I am completely unimpressed with this bozo Dekorne’s abilities. The information he presents is riddled with errors and nonsense. In fact, I have seen much better stuff here in alt.drugs. And you don’t pay $20 for alt.drugs.

An example is his declaring lemon juice to be acetic acid. Bzzzzt! Thank you for playing. It’s citric acid.

My memory is hazy, but there were other more serious errors. He suggests starting fluid as a source for ether, without mentioning that the presence of lubricating oil in this stuff makes it worthless for extractions.

He then fails to mention that if you extract with ether (and many other solvents), you had better vent your sep funnel often, due to the pressure buildup from the ether vapour. Much grief awaits those who don’t. With idiocies like this, one wonders if he’s even done the things he claims.

Another recipe extracts the drugs out, calcines the extracted plant material to ash, and adds the drug back for consumption. If you think this is a useful procedure, I’ve got news for you.

His extractions all the standard acid-base extraction. [...] posted here (for free) a much better procedure that started with a methanol extraction, followed by an acid-base extraction. The initial methanol extraction reduces the volumes needed in the acid-base extraction.

A few more points of complaint with regards the “Chemical Extraction” chapter:

  • his clear as mud use of ratios when he’s talking about a 3:1 ratio of DMT : harmaline. Very confusing for the amateur.
  • use of a PVC tube when collecting ether (I’m pretty sure that ether affects PVC, contaminating the ether)
  • he tells you to use a 10% volume of ether to extract an aqueous layer using a mason jar. (I’ve already mentioned that one has to vent the jar frequently or you’re in for a big surprise). He then suggests siphoning the ether off with no more explanation that that. Quite a nifty trick for such a small volume, for an amateur. Sounds like he’s just speculating.
  • DeKorne fails to mention the emulsion layer, the bane of many the home extractor. He also hasn’t bothered to explain his methods with a few good clarifying diagrams.
  • he mentions the use of Draino as a substitute for NaOH, without mentioning the little pieces of aluminum turnings in Draino.
  • for the example using San Pedro cactus, DeKorne says “filtrate” when he means “residue”.
  • DeKorne says that you need three weeks to do an extraction. Ha!
  • DeKorne suggests multiple freezings and thawings to break down the cell structure. Doesn’t mention that the active alkaloids might not survive this method, or might survive at a much lower potency. Far better to dry and powder, or blenderize, in my opinion. See the alt.d FTP site for tried and true quality extraction procedures. They’re in the “Australian Natural Highs” FAQ and the Chemical Extraction” FAQ.
  • He doesn’t stress enough the flammability danger of ethyl ether vapours.

In the front of the book it states:

“Neither the author nor the publisher will be held accountable for the use…of the information contained in this book.” Kinda about sums it up, wouldn’t you say?

Loompanics makes its money selling junk like this. A lot of their stuff is amateurish garbage put out by crooks, phonies, and posseurs. But these are books about doing illegal things, so who’s going to complain, right?

Remember, a fool and their money are soon parted.

Originally Published In : alt.drugs
Other Reviews of this book:


  1. Hi…

    I am glad that I came accross your comment as I was readily bidding on this book on Ebay and calcelled my bids as a result.

    SO, the question that I have for you is: Is there another book that you would reccomend to people in stead of this book??
    (If not you should consider writing one as it seems that you have extensive knowledge in this area :-)..

    Comment by JosieQ — 12/22/2007 @ 2:54 pm

  2. Mr. De Korne discribes in this book how he invented some DMT like substance and left it around the house for three weeks before experimenting with this substance. One of his his lab rats was [name edited]. He mentions her as S. in his experiments. As a result of his experiments this highly gifted woman is now a complete basket case. Her career was ruined and she is now on SSI. Also four children were in house and it is possible several of them ingested this substance which was left in refrigerator marked with a skull and cross bones. One of her children was forced to take Ritalin in ireponsible doses. This man actions were criminal. Unfortunately no one has taken this man to court. Please be warned that this book is very dangerous.

    Comment by Ramon Venado — 6/12/2008 @ 1:30 am

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