Working with Stephen

Most of the allegations I have read date back to before I knew Stephen, and nothing I say is intended to discount what others have shared, or the concerns they raise, and my hope is that increased scrutiny will mean fewer people experience harm in the future, and I believe this process has begun.

Reading the allegations in isolation creates a very strong characterisation of Stephen, so I'm hoping it is useful to add context by sharing my experience of working with Stephen over the last two years.

I've had some strong disagreements with him, and initially found his working style disorienting and confusing.

In the last two years, I've observed a sincere attempt to take feedback on board, a commitment to personal growth, and engagement in mediated processes that have led to tangible change increasingly evident over time.

I also sense a genuine desire from Stephen to contribute to a wider community and to the world. I've witnessed many instances of kindness and generosity where there was no personal gain to Stephen that I could see.

I perceive that he increasingly recognises the power and privileges he holds and has undertaken a very real distribution of his resources to those willing to take these responsibilities on board, most evidently in transitioning The Psychedelic Society to a workers co-op, and then handing it over to those more passionate about its continuation.

I believe there were several unsafe spaces created by a wide community of people interested in pushing boundaries, exploring alternative ways of relating and using psychedelic substances, which in the right context can be healing and in the wrong context, very damaging.

I'm encouraged by a gradual shift towards increasingly recognising the need for greater safeguards, and accountability in many of the spaces Stephen has instigated or advocated, both by him and those who remain engaged in those spaces.

— Amir