18th June 2021
It has now been a week since I first read the testimonials by the Solidarity & Rage/Seeds of Solidarity collective, which affected me deeply. It's been a time of intense self-reflection and emotional processing, greatly aided by conversation and the resources suggested by the collective. I would like to respond to the collective's transformative justice requests as a follow up to my initial blog post.
Publicly acknowledge the serious harms outlined in the testimonials, the patterns of behaviour, and the deep hurt they have caused.
I acknowledge that the testimonials show several people were hurt by my irresponsible use of psychedelics, lack of care in intimate relationships, and lack of empathy over the period 2010-2017 (for clarity, my first psychedelic experience was in 2012). Whilst there are important details and interpretations that I contest, I understand and accept this bigger picture. I sincerely apologise to those that were hurt by my past actions in connection with these topics.
I understand that since I was frequently in leadership positions I had a responsibility to exercise a particularly high standard of behaviour, which I failed to do on a number of occasions. Going forward, I am committed to the safe and responsible use of psychedelics, healthy and empowering intimacy, and deep listening and empathy.
Step back from leadership roles and ‘thought-leadership’ opportunities. This includes declining invitations to speak, deactivating his email newsletter, and resigning from leadership positions within current organisations.
I have stepped back from my role at Dandelion Collective (the parent organisation of The Psychedelic Society) whilst my colleagues receive independent advice on the way forward. I already held no formal leadership or ownership roles in the co-operative and decentralised organisations I work with.
Whilst I reflect further, I will not be accepting any speaking invitations nor use my email list for the rest of 2021, though I will fulfill outstanding teaching obligations. I will spend this time focusing on my learning journey with the continued support of my UKCP-accredited psychotherapist.
Stop publicly and privately co-opting anti-oppressive movements, such as intersectionality, shamanism and ecofeminism.
I will not do anything to publicly or privately co-opt the movements named here or other anti-oppressive movements (of course I will continue to offer them my full support).
Engage in a therapeutic process with a UKCP-certified therapist (as alternative therapists are often complicit in spiritual bypassing) to enable understanding and acknowledgement of pain caused, and help prevent harmful and abusive behaviour in the future.
I have been in therapy with my UKCP-accredited therapist for six months now which has been pivotal in providing new perspectives on my past behaviour. I am committed to continuing this process and will be reflecting deeply on these events.
The past 10 days have been amongst the most emotionally intense of my life, akin to the periods around the premature deaths of my parents. To give some idea of how my feelings have evolved:
With time, there may be more that I feel able to share.
I hope that real healing for everyone involved is possible. It would mean a lot to me if this letter were published on whoisstephenreid.com (edit: on 26th June, Seeds of Solidarity published a link to this post).
May we all find peace,