Born during a snowy winter in Brooklyn in 1948, Bruce and his parents fled to the warmer climes of Los Angles. He grew up a nerdy (San Fernando) Valley boy with plans to become an attorney. He loved to write and expressed his talents early, with first publication was at age 16 in the Congressional Record of the United States with its topic, Democracy and What It Means to Me.
A child of the Baby Boom, he first went to college in 1966 at California State University Northridge, majoring in Political Science. He left at the end of his third year to become a full-time “hippie.” After living in Laguna Beach California for half of 1969, Bruce set off on a hitchhiking journey which took him all the way to the beaches of Goa, India. The Sixties worked their magic on Bruce and his second publication, a 1971 article for the radical underground newspaper, the Los Angeles Free Press edited by Art Kunkin. Titled LSD: A Key to Enlightenment the article showed that Bruce had given up politics for other interests. He followed this with articles on various themes, including the circumstances around the capture and imprisonment of Timothy Leary, an interview with John Lilly (1972), and essays on LSD and “out-of-body” states” in 1973.
In 1975, he interviewed Robert Anton Wilson, and wrote for Marijuana Monthly. In 1976, Bruce was hired by High Times Magazine when the magazine was published by Yippie radical Tom Focade (1976-1977) as a contributing editor. He did so, and a series of articles soon appeared by him, including his “LSD Purity ” which was the centerpiece for the 1977 “Special LSD issue” of High Times . Next up in April a debate on Synthetic vs. Organic psychedelics, with author Andrew Weil, MD was published. A third piece that same year was “Who Turned on Whom? written in collaboration with Peter Stafford. Bruce also served as a researcher and consultant for the first edition of Psychedelic Encyclopedia, which Stafford published with And/Or Press in 1977. He then moved up as contributing writer for Omni Magazine from 1977-1982 under the editorship of Dick Teraci and Judith Hooper. Around the same time he had moved from Southern California to Santa Cruz, California.
After a second visit to Europe in 1976, Bruce decided to return to college with the hopes of becoming a psychologist and possibly to research psychedelic drugs. He had turned on tuned in and dropped out and lived the hippie life. Now Bruce dropped back in.
He received a B.A. in Psychology in 1979 and finished college with a B.A. in Psychology at UC Santa Cruz. He left Santa Cruz from 1979-1981 to complete a Masters Degree in psychology at U.C. Santa Barbara. Bruce returned to Santa Cruz in 1981 where he lived two decades. In 1982, he began his studying at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, San Francisco for his Ph.D. From the time he moved to Santa Cruz, he worked with a group of people including Peter Stafford, author of Psychedelics Encyclopedia. The group published a magazine called Blotter organized conferences and seminars with Timothy Leary, Alan Ginsberg, Albert Hofmann, William Burroughs Jr. Stanley Krippner, Ralph Metzner, Robert Anton Wilson, Laura Huxley and many others. In 1988, Bruce published Ecstasy: The MDMA Story with Ronan Publishing, Berkeley.
A second updated edition was published in 1994 and the book is still in print, having sold around 50,000 copies and has been translated into Spanish. That same year, Bruce left Saybrook just short his dissertation to start a company called The Mindware Catalog and published two catalogs a year from 1988 to 1995 with its final circulation of one-half million. Printing catalogs cost a lot of money and so Mindware went online and was one of the first web sites to sell software in March, 1995. Since then the company has morphed into the Mind Media Life-Enhancement Network and the Mindware Forum web log. In 1991, he launched another project called Island Group , named for Aldous Huxleyâ??s last novel Island. In his role as President of Island Bruce directed the creation of the IslandWeb, one of the longest continual counterculture sites around. Bruce was editor of six Island Views newsletters. In 1996, he turned the newsletter into Psychedelic Island Views which published three yearly magazines until 1998.
Bruce died on New Year’s Day 2013 at his home in Las Vegas from a lower intestinal gastronomical hemorrhage. He had moved to Las Vegas in 2003 to be close to his mother, Irene, who passed away in 2009 at age 83. In the last years of his life Bruce was in good health and spirits. He continued to run his various internet businesses, pursued graduate studies in psychology at Saybrook, traveled frequently, and wrote daily for his blogs and new book, Future Culture: How to Make New Memes to Change the World. He was working from the couch in the upstairs book room on his latest blog post when he passed. His thoughts and feeling are expressed publicly on his web logs, Bruce Eisner Vision Thing and Mindware Forum.