In 1956, the writings of Aldous Huxley prompted Dr. Sidney Cohen to test lysergic acid as a potential mental health treatment. In this old test footage, watch a self-described "normal" test subject get totally double-rainbowed.

Says Don Lattin, author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club, over at The Huffington Post:

I came across doing research for my next book, a group biography of British writer Aldous Huxley, philosopher Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. It's from a television program, circa 1956, about mental health issues.

The researcher, Dr. Sidney Cohen, was dosing volunteers at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Los Angeles. Aldous Huxley, who first tried mescaline in 1953 and wrote about it in his seminal book, The Doors of Perception, got Gerald Heard interested in the spiritual potential of psychedelic drugs.

Cohen also worked with Wilson to see if LSD could potentially be used to treat alcoholics and give them mental clarity to confront their addiction. Needless to say, said treatment did not catch on.

[Via Boing Boing]