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Abram Hoffer correspondence

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 88

Scope and Contents

The Abram Hoffer correspondence contains a typed letter from Abram Hoffer to Ralph Metzner concerning the use of Hoffer's Berkeley LSD paper by Metzner.  It also includes Hoffer's opinion of the Liangs and Berkes' ideas on schizophrenia.


  • January 9, 1967


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Biographical Information

Abram Hoffer was born November 11, 1917 on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, Canada.  He earned his BS in 1938 and his MS in 1940 from the University of Saskatchewan; he then completed his PhD in 1944 from the University of Minnesota and his MD in 1945 from the University of Toronto.  Upon the completion of his degrees, Hoffer took a position as Director of Psychiatric Research in the Psychiatric Services Branch, Department of Public Health, Saskatchewan.  While Hoffer was serving as director, Dr. Humphry Osmond joined the team in 1951 and brought with him the M Hypothesis that he and John Smythies formulated.  The M hypothesis of schizophrenia is the idea that sufferers of the disease had a chemical with the psychological properties of mescaline that was somehow related to adrenaline.  Later, Hoffer’s team developed the Andrenochrome Hypothesis, which states that adrenaline was oxidized to adrenochrome causing schizophrenia.  The team also deduced that large doses of vitamins B-3 and C could be therapeutic; the hypothesis was tested on schizophrenics, and Hoffer asserts that they saw wonderful progress in several patients.  He and Osmond published Chemical Concepts of Psychiatry (1960) and Hallucinogens (1967), and both contributed to Clinical and Other Uses of the Hoffer-Osmond Diagnostic Test (1975).  Hoffer later concentrated his research on nutrition in the 1970s and published How to Live with Schizophrenia (1978), Orthomolecular Nutrition (1978), and Nutrients to Age Without Senility (1980).  In 1976, Hoffer moved to Victoria where he practiced psychiatry; he became a founding member and president of the Senior Physicians Association of British Columbia.  On May 27, 2009, Hoffer passed away from a brief illness.    Sources: "Abram Hoffer." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2011.   Hoffer, Abram. “Dr. Hoffer’s Autobiography.” 9 December 2011.


0.20 Cubic Feet (One half-width letter size manuscript box.)


Material is arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Michael Horowitz of Flashback Books, June 1, 2011.
Abram Hoffer correspondence
Under Review
Stephanie Schmitz, Kristin Leaman, and Serena Potter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Third edition. Collection description was first completed December 2, 2011.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States