"There are two modes of existence - two modes of life - given to man," Moreau mused. "The first one results from our communication with the external world, with the universe. The second one is but the reflection of the self and is fed from its own distinct internal sources. The dream is an in-between land where the external life ends and the internal life begins." With the aid of hashish, he felt that anyone could enter this in-between land at will.
-Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau
Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau
Club des Hashischins
You can rattle off hundreds of names in cannabis celebrity but I'm guessing Dr. Moreau would be absent. Sure there were pioneers that came before and many many trying to claim a spot in history since, but Dr. Moreau was a first.
Dr. Moreau made hashish fucking cool...
Hôtel de Lauzun, formerly Hôtel Pimodan, meeting place of the Club des Hashischins 1844-1849
The clubs origins lies with Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau a psychiatrist who had conducted a couple experiments with hashish in the late 1830's after returning to Paris from the middle east. In early 1840's his hashish supply was running short, so instead of conducting experiments on patients he choose to use people that could explain the effects in more detail, poets, writers, musicians, painters, Doctor's and of course himself.
Club Des Hashischins or the "Club of the Hashish-Eaters" was born...
The elite hip crowd meet at what was then known as Hôtel Pimodan, today known as Hôtel de Lauzun. Dr. Moreau with his hashish supply, administered these parties through a drink called "dawamesk" (a mixture of hashish, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pistachio, sugar, orange juice, butter and cantharides).
Club des Hashischins, inside Hôtel de Lauzun, grand meeting room
Members such as Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau, Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, Gérard de Nerval, Honoré de Balzac, Eugène Delacroix, Aurthur Rimbaud, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas would meet monthly to ingest the Hashish.
The Hashischins under the spell of the hashish, were then encouraged to practice the arts, writing, drawing, theorizing or just to explore the mind. All the while Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau would be observing the behavior as part of his hashish experiments.
The Absinthe Drinker by Viktor Oliva 1901
A mad hater version of the dead poets society, the parties were epic. As word of the parties spread, elite minds the world over would clamor for a spot to become a Hashischin.
Amazing times with some amazing people that would go on to shape culture for decades to come. Their legacy still resonates throughout poetry, books, plays, art, medicine and science.
Table Corner by Henri Fantin-Latour, 1872 with some Hashischin members
Next time your smoking that bowl, blow one out in honor of the hashish pioneers, blow one out for the Club Des Hashischins...
"Behold the time of the Assassins"