The Secret Chief Revealed Psychedelic Therapy Book Notes & Summary

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The Secret Chief Revealed is a book interview with Leo Zeff who was a Psychologist and Jungian therapist before transitioning to using psychedelic-assisted therapy sessions.

His life changed dramatically in the 1960s when he became acquainted with LSD and mescaline.

These substances lead him into a whole new area of self-understanding and he found them enormously effective in helping his clients- so much so that he abandoned conventional therapy to pursue the study and practice of using these new substances.

Leo proceeded to conduct his trips even when the government made the substances illegal because he determined that the results and the ability to have such a life-changing impact on people was worth the risk.

He mentioned numerous times that traditional therapy just didn’t work and that the only way to help people experience meaningful changes in their life was through another spiritual medium like psychedelic medicine or another life-altering event that was able to create a personal awakening.

In this post, I will detail the process that Leo used in his trips for excellent results.

Notes About Leo Zeff Psychedelic Therapist

  • It was only because Leo was blessed with an abundance of heart that he was able to guide people into their unconscious minds and souls. The unconscious mind can be very frightening and we have made it unconscious because we want nothing to do with it.
  • It takes a strong heart, honesty, and a desire to learn and face one’s problems in order to enter the dark areas of our suppressed inner self. Nothing is more helpful than the presence of a kind, loving, understanding person thoroughly familiar with the dark regions of the mind. Someone who is confident in their ability to help one navigate and resolve those regions that have been an enormous burden in the past and who knows the wonder of being free.
  • Leo was a person who felt deeply and understood that expressing such feelings is the most honest way of being oneself. It is not the choice of words, but the ability to feel deeply and genuinely express one’s feelings that make one authentic.
  • These are the traits that anyone should look for in a guide when embarking on any type of transformative process like this. Someone they feel safe with, able to share every fear they have with, someone who is able to feel deeply, be loving, has humility and can provide strength to guide you through the scary places inside.  
  • When he first began he had the mindset of no easy way to Satori or healing. You’ve got to work hard and suffer. He was like the typical Christian who didn’t have much confidence in grace. Yet he knew what grace was and experienced it many times. He had to overcome all of those prejudices first before he could really explore honestly and openly. And of course, his first trip dispelled all his doubts. Then there was never a problem.

Helping People on Trips

  • If people got frightened he would hold their hand or hold them in his arms and tell them to go ahead, experience it out
  • He would talk to them in advance to let them know that this was available 
  • Most trips were fine but if someone got frightened with the transition point between one stage of consciousness and the other he would prefer to be close to them
  • At times he would ask them what they were experiencing. If it was pain or something then he would ask them to describe the pain, where it was, and go into it. For example, if it was in the stomach then he would say “okay now think about opening your mouth and going down into your mouth and describe what you see as you keep going down into your guts.”
  • There also was physical contact. It was important in those days that they would have something to resist before they turned on. Sometimes he would have to lie down on the person, grab the edge of the bed, and tell them to push against him. He would say, “push harder, harder, harder!” And they would and when they succeeded in getting him off they were through to the other side! Similar to giving birth or going through something very intense.
  • One of the things he always had people do was once they were able to sit down and make notes of what they could recall, he would have them write up the whole thing.
  • We get in touch with feelings we’ve never been able to experience before and at a depth and level that we’ve never been able to reach on trips. That could be fear, it could be love, it could be ecstasy, it could be anything.

Filtering & Selecting Trip Candidates

  • On the role of the guide, they need to help people, not for their own good but just to allow people to bring their own experiences to themselves
  • He very soon learned that his traditional techniques of helping people in therapy do not work, they just don’t work. You just need to leave people alone and help them experience what they need to. They know what the hell is wrong with them or the God within them knows what’s wrong and provides them with whatever they need which the guide knows nothing about and they don’t even know.
  • His intuition and his gut were the only things that he relied on to determine if someone was a good candidate for a trip or not
  • He would get a vague feeling of anxiety that would stay with him after talking if he sensed something wasn’t right. He would then talk with them a few more times to determine if his intuition was correct.
  • He would have to have the feeling that he really wanted to trip this person because he knew it was right
  • Other factors besides the intuitive and subjective:
    • How much work they have done on themselves in terms of individual growth
    • How long they have been working on themselves
    • What training they’ve had
    • What readings they’ve read
    • What they feel they’ve accomplished
    • When someone says “ I know all the things in my mind, but I want to get them in my heart”
    • He can tell in their history and by talking to them how far they’ve gone and what they are stuck on
    • When he got the feeling that he was interested and thought a trip would be exactly what they needed he knew it was a fit
  • The feeling of trust is really important and when he feels a great connection with the person they arrange a trip
  • People in therapy had to first get clearance from their therapist because once you do a psychedelic experience you are often changed and most of the time will have a hard time relating to the therapist if they have not experienced a trip or spiritual awakening

Preparation for a Trip

  • If someone asks how he would describe a trip he would say to imagine you are on a round circular stage and you’re standing in the center of the stage. There is a huge curtain around the stage which is closed and where the curtain comes together there is about 3 feet of opening.  You’re standing in the middle of that stage and you’re looking through the opening. Everything you see is the totality of your experience of yourself. What happens on a trip is by some mysterious means the curtain very gradually is pulled back. It’s pulled back until it’s pulled all the way around the back and you’re given the opportunity to see everything that’s been there the whole time but you couldn’t see it before because there was a curtain. All the different levels of experience that are possible to have you have. All the different truths, all the different things, you have. You experience it. Then as you start to come down, very gradually the curtain gets pulled back around until you’re all the way down.
  • When you’re all the way down, the difference is that before you had about three feet of space that was open to look through. You now have about fifteen feet of space. You have really expanded your awareness.
  • He would tell people that whenever they would get frightened he would ask them to just look at what they were afraid of and experience it and not do anything else with it. Then to tell him what the experience was when looking at it 
  • He had them live with this and face this until it transformed. As it did, the block was gone.
  • If you’re walking along and there’s someone behind you and you’re worried and scared about it and you start to run, the more you run from fear the greater it becomes. Once you stop and turn around it turns out to be some silly little thing, and the fear disappears. There are many little anecdotes like that he would share with people.

Photograph Collection Process

  • He would have people get a bunch of pictures from their life history:
    1. Starting with the pictures of themselves, one at age two and one every two years thereafter through adolescence, sixteen or eighteen
    2. A picture of their mother and a picture of their father when they were young but they can still remember their mother and their father, and a recent picture of each
    3. Same with siblings, an early one that they remember and a recent one
    4. A picture of a grandparent that was significant in their life
    5. A picture of any aunts, uncles, or cousins, that were significant in their life
    6. If married, some wedding pictures
    7. If they have children, a picture of the children when they were about 2 years old which is when they start to develop personality, and a recent one of each
    8. If not married a picture of any woman or man who has had great significance in their life
    9. Other significant pictures
  • Gather them all together and put them in front of you and start with one. The top one or anything like that. Pick it up and look at it. Just look at it to see what you experience in connection with that picture. Look at it a little while. You may not experience anything and that’s ok. Put it aside and pick up the next one. If it provokes any memories or feelings sit with them for a bit and let them go where they want to. Whatever feelings you have, allow them to be there. Whenever you come across a picture on the list, set it aside on another pile. Go through all the pictures you’ve got, every single one of them
  • I ask them to do this no further away than a week before the trip, as close to the time of the trip as they can. This really turns people on. When they come they’re in the middle of their trip already.

Individual Trip Procedure

  • The group trip followed the individual trip always with Leo
  • His first trip was always with LSD
  • He liked to start in the morning early preferably at their own home
  • His equipment consisted of headphones, two face masks, a cassette player and recorder, tapes for music, and a special cup
  • He thought the cup was used as a very important symbol in the transformation experience like it’s done in traditional religious settings
  • He would record the whole trip 
  • He had a set of agreements and structures that he would go over first:
    • They would not leave the house at any time without prior clearance
    • They agree that there will be no physical harm or violence
    • Reiteration of the security requirement that they won’t reveal who or where they did the trip
    • He asks them to agree that there will be no sex whatsoever
    • The last one is he makes them agree that if at any time he asks them to stop then they will stop what they are doing….and if he asks them to do something they will do it…..this is an agreement of faith in him that they will trust him to take care of them during the trip
  • Before beginning the trip he asks them to review this prayer:
    • Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of thee; Though only knowest what I need; Thou lovest me better than I know how to love myself; O father, give to Thy child that which he himself knows not how to ask. I dare not ask either for crosses or for consolations; I simply present myself before thee, I open my heart to thee. Behold my needs which I know not myself; see and do according to Thy tender mercy. Smite, or heal; depress me or raise me up; I adore all Thy purposes without knowing them; I am silent; I offer myself in sacrifice; I yield myself to Thee; I would have no other desire than to accomplish Thy will. Teach me to pray. Pray thyself in me. Amen.
  • After they have read this prayer he then hands them the cup with the medicine in it which he has already explained the significance of going back to Jesus
  • After the drop ceremony, he asks to see their pictures. He has them organize them according to this list, their own pictures first with the youngest on top and the oldest one on the bottom. Same with the mother and father and other pictures. The last one to look at is their current lover if so.
  • Once they drop the medicine he tells them to look at their pictures and then they talk a bit and he also reminds them that if they get scared going between different stages of consciousness all they have to do is hold out their hand and he will be with them through it
  • He always has a security bucket and a package of kleenex in case they get nauseated 
  • He tells them that music is the vehicle that takes you to all the different places you go on your journey
  • When people start to come down they usually want to use the restroom and he tells them to take a look in the mirror…..later on they usually report some amazing things they see
  • When they come down enough where they’re able to talk but still somewhat hallucinating he does the picture trip with them where he holds the pictures in front of them and just asks them to feel into them and tell him if they have anything to say 
  • Usually, people don’t react much to the 2-year-old pictures but they start to react and cry at around age 6 which is the age when most people start to do what other people tell them they need to do instead of being who they are
  • He tapes everything and this tape is important to help them reconnect with everything they said and experienced on the trip later on 
  • After the picture trip, he lets them just sit around and enjoy the rest of the time until the babysitter comes by to pick them up 
  • He doesn’t like to leave them alone on the day of the trip and he wants them to spend the rest of the evening and night with someone they know, love, and trust and preferably who has done a trip before.
  • If the person who comes to pick them up hasn’t tripped before he briefs them on what to expect and know.
  • He tells them if anything comes up don’t hesitate to call him

Group Trip Procedure

  • He generally has between 10-12 people in the group and 3 guides
  • Everyone arrives Friday evening around 8 and greets each other and meets the new people 
  • Then they all gather in the living room and sit around the room
  • The leader makes announcements and goes over the agreements
  • It’s the same set of agreements as the individual trip but with one big new one: that there is no sex whatsoever during the weekend
  • This is very important because the experience brings out so much love that people tend to be close to each other and want to share the love. When they know that there is no sex it allows them to feel comfortable
  • Before they start they have a group discussion where everyone can share what they are working on, how far they have come, and all that stuff
  • They then go to sleep and get up early in the morning around 6:30 AM, use the restroom, and do their usual morning business
  • One at a time each person sits down at a table with Leo and the leader and they go over what medicine they will be taking. Frequently they already know what they want but they go over it and give them their envelope with the medicine in it
  • They all gather and have a dropping ceremony and then they walk around a bit until they start to turn on where they then go to their space and put their headphones and shades on
  • The only time the leaders hear from them is when they haven’t turned on yet and need a booster
  • He doesn’t encourage them to talk but just to be with themselves
  • By the middle of the afternoon, they start to come down and they get up and move around a bit……later on they start to put out some nibbles on the table 
  • When they’re all down they gather around and have a champagne ceremony and after that, they eat dinner
  • They spend the night again and then the next day before leaving they have a reading and share their experiences together

Materials & Doses

  • Psychedelics he used:
    • LSD- he does an individual trip with LSD first
    • Psilocybe cubensis mushroom, dried
    • Mescaline
    • MDA
    • Ibogaine
    • Harmaline
    • MDMA
  • Psychedelic trips vs psychoactive trips
    • Psychedelics are acid, mescaline, psilocybin
    • MDA, MDMA, Harmaline, and ibogaine are not psychedelic
    • People have more spiritual trips on the hallucinogens
    • Realization or experiencing in a new dimension and coming out of a very deep level of feeling comes from the psychedelic substances. Realization of God’s truth and not the one we think is truth. It’s not of the mind, it’s of the self, the soul. Everything you see you experience with a whole new configuration.
  • MDA
    • One trip that he had every time he would get anxious the trip would tell him, “everything is in this moment, nothing exists except this moment. Every time I would get anxious I would say hey wait a minute, I’m anxious, what was I just thinking about. What I was thinking about was before or after or about to or whatever. I wasn’t in the moment. I’d look around and experience in my senses and the anxiety disappeared. That was MDA.”
  • Ibogaine
    • No hallucinations, a heavier, deeper, and longer trip
    • It’s profound for everyone but people experience it differently. Some love it and some find it very painful
    • Those who find it painful are the ones who have not been confronting what Mr. Ibogaine is handing them and have been trying to avoid it
    • This is a substance where people really confront blocks and come to terms with truths they are trying to deny
  • MDMA
    • Beautiful trip, full of beauty and love and good feeling
    • Acceptance of yourself and realization of your own perfection in such a way that you say “I don’t think I ever want to put myself down again.”


  • The only thing he can do at the moment is recall what they were like when they first came to him and then to see them as they are now-beautiful loving friends of mine out there in the world doing great things. Really doing great things. All of them. And continuously on the path of further exploring and further searching.
  • One of the first things they learn to do is take complete responsibility for themselves and their lives. This is something that we all keep working on. No more blaming or attributing the cause of anything out there to anyone else. That’s really the heart of the whole training I’m involved in.
  • The people change from being very disturbed and mixed up to a clear place where they function much more creatively, in terms of relations to other people and themselves. They affect the lives of everybody they come in contact with in a positive way for the most part, whereas before they affected them negatively.
  • The eyes become open and the senses become open. It’s like the garden of Eden. People are much more aware. But people fall back into their old ways also.
  • Transformation is the best word to use. From one way of looking at things to another one.
  • Nobody has ever been able to achieve transformation by their own unaided efforts. That is a belief he has. It requires some sort of medium. Medicine, consciousness shift, crisis, spiritual guide, therapist, etc.
  • Turning on is the phrase he uses for getting into a state where transformation occurs
  • Our birthright of wisdom and compassion has been sacrificed on the altar of self-interest, materialism, and reductionism. So opposed are we to discovering the errors of our decisions that we have made practically all substances which can reveal to us our true nature illegal to possess.
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Josh is a writer and entrepreneur who runs a small digital content publishing business. His main interests are in topics related to developing personal and financial freedom. When not working he enjoys reading, yoga, surfing, being outdoors, meditating, exploring, and hanging with friends.