The first contemporary European to drill a hole in his head for the purpose of becoming "permanently high" is Dr. Bart Huges of the Netherlands. After three years of research into what he has termed "brainbloodvolume" and its effect on the mind, Dr. Huges administered his own self-trepanation on January 6, 1965. Dr. Huges went on to attain a legendary status in European radical lore as a leader of the Dutch Provos, sort of proto-Yippie/situationists who wreaked havoc on the Amsterdam public of the mid-'60s.

After observing a man standing on his head at a hash party on the then-swinging Spanish party isle of Ibiza, Huges eventually determined that a physiological property - brainbloodvolume - was in control of the most elusive and sought-after of psychic conditions, enlightenment. A stubborn literal-mindedness has yielded a novel if largely overlooked theory: that the third eye of ancient mystical lore is an actual hole in the human cranium.

The interplay of brain chemistry, bio-electrical impulses, and states of consciousness is still a vast and largely taboo region of medical research. Certainly altering the vessel - the cranium - might also fundamentally alter the fragile neurochemical soup which it contains as well. Is trepanation an aberrant atavistic impulse brought on by reckless LSD consumption or is it a timelessly effective form of body modification for the purpose of mind/body adjustment? How does this deliberate intrusion into the sacrosanct realm of the cranium challenge our precarious societal convictions at a fundamental level? Are we in fact lagging millenia behind the superior psycho-physiological engineering of the ancient Peruvian and Tibetan priesthoods due to an arbitrary medical prejudice?

John Michell, the brilliant Fortean investigator, writer and adept in the occult lore of ancient Britain, tells the story of Joey Mellen and Amanda Feilding, the world's only happily trepanned couple in his piece which originally appeared in MD magazine. Following that is an early interview with Dr. Huges by an as yet-untrepanned Joey Mellen published in the '60s British avant-garde literary journal The Transatlantic Review. TR was edited by now-superstar poet Heathcote Williams (Whales) whose celebrated radical theater piece AC/DC contains a climactic trepanation scene. Dr. Huges surprisingly cites fellow Dutchman Hieronymous Bosch in this interview as an authority on the efficacy of trepanation for the treatment of the insane.

Michael Holingshead (a pseudonym meant to read "Hole in his Head"), was a founder of the World Psychedelic Centre and is perhaps best known for being the first to introduce Dr. Timothy Leary to LSD. In his autobiography The Man Who Turned On the World, he describes his prison production of Joey Mellen's pro-trepanation play Paradise Lost - The True Story. This excerpt contains Joey Mellen's ode to brainbloodvolume and trepanation, "The Great Brain Robbery" containing the memorable couplet, "All your prayers won't save your soul/Adults you need a hole."

An excerpt from the Smithsonian Institution's 1957 Annual Report discusses prehistoric surgical trepanation techniques and their geographic distribution. Finally, courtesy of Fortean Times - The Journal of Strange Phenomena and Tim Cridland, editor of Off the Deep End, are two recent interview with Amanda Feilding in which she recalls her experiment in self-trepanation and her Parliamentary campaigns advocating government funding of trepanation on demand.

At this stage in human history, the number of adherents of this most direct approach to the mind/body conundrum is noteworthy for its minisculeness. What strikes the reader is the contrast between the outlandishness of their actions and the reassuringness of their "logic." An attempt at reconciling the seeming Stone Age obtuseness of three self-trepanators with their sincere hopes for the eventual elevation of humankind and attainment of a state of constant euphoria through trepanation is the objective of the following exploration.>>>>>