Brilliant Animals: John C. Lilly, Ken Russell, and Cold War Behaviourism, by Peter Sands

Brilliant Animals: John C. Lilly, Ken Russell, and Cold War Behaviourism, by Peter Sands

John C. Lilly is probably best known for inventing the sensory deprivation tank. Popularised in Ken Russell’s movie Altered States (1980), and more recently in Netflix’s Stranger Things (2016), Lilly’s tank was designed to suspend its subject in absolute darkness and without sensory input in order to discover new things about the human’s internal reality. In reference to Lilly’s own LSD-fuelled self-experiments in the tank, Russell’s protagonist, Dr. Edward Jessup, sets out to uncover the essential secrets of the human’s genetic memory under the influence of a hallucinatory drug. Floating inside the tank,…continue reading →