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Modern shaman, best known for authoring The Essential Psychedelic Guide, the authoritative manual for the use of hallucinogens. (Mirrored here on Everything2)
In some cultures, the shaman is an honored and revered figure; while he/she occupies a place that is by necessity somewhat removed from the rest of his/her society, they are nevertheless figures of great value to the community as a whole. Unfortunately, this is not the case within "modern" Western society, and our shamans are often persecuted, prosecuted, and at best anonymous. When one passes from this world into the next, it often does not even render a blip upon our cultural radar. Such was the case in early 1997, when the community of Western psychedelic shamen lost one of its most courageous, intrepid, and articulate members, D. M. Turner. Turner was the author of two ground-breaking books on entheogens that are essential elements in the libraries of modern psychonauts: The Essential Psychedelic Guide and Salvinorin: The Psychedelic Essence of Salvia Divinorum.

-from the introduction to D. M. Turner's online works:

On New Years Eve, 1996, the noted author and lay-psychedelic researcher known only by the pseudonym D. M. Turner drew a hot bath, injected himself with an unknown amount of ketamine, and settled in for the last trip of his life. When his body was found weeks later, the cause of death was determined to be natural causes. It is assumed that Mr. Turner lost consciouness at some point during the evening, slid under the water, and quietly drowned. But no one really knows what happened that night. Taking into account ketamine's extremely low toxicity levels, it is highly improbable that this was an overdose situation. However, since Mr. Turner was also one of ketamine's greatest advocates, it is ominous that this is the first publicly known ketamine-related death. His passing is a truly sad and perplexing loss for all of us, and we will no doubt miss his articulate and insightful voice.

-from In Memory of D. M. Turner:

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