Overdose of psychedelic ‘love drug’ killed man at festival at VT legislator’s farm

by Guy Page and Rob Roper

State police have named the Boston man who died of an overdose July 7 at a regional version of the Burning Man Festival, hosted by a Vermont legislator. They also named the drug that killed him: MDA, a psychoactive and psychedelic amphetamine also known as ‘the love drug’ because it creates heightened feelings of closeness and euphoria.

Ian Denhardt, 35, died of ‘acute MDA intoxication,’ police said yesterday. The autopsy conducted by the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office concluded the manner of the death was accidental.

MDA (also known as Sally, Sass, and Sassafras) is a psychoactive drug belonging to the amphetamine family. The names Sass and Sassafras refer to the fact that MDA, like MDMA, comes from the oil of the sassafras plant in the illicit manufacturing of the drug. MDA was reportedly a drug used in MKUltra, a CIA program that also administered LSD to subjects with and without their knowledge. American tennis player Harold Blauer reportedly died in 1953 after MKUltra researchers injected with with 450 MG of MDA.

Every year, State Representative Kirk White (D/P-Windsor-Addison) hosts the Firefly Arts Collective on his family farm in Bethel. The festival is described as a New England version of Burning Man. Its website says, “This event operates under the 10 Principles of Burning Man: not to dictate how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it has organically developed.”

A neighbor who shared video of the event, including the arrival of ambulances and police, said these events often are loud, disruptive, rife with recreational drug use and public sexual activity. This year’s festivities saw three overdoses requiring an emergency response, with one death resulting.

The following was reported by VDC in early July:

Rep. Kirk White

Asked to confirm or deny rumors that a death occurred, Bethel Fire Chief David Aldrighetti confirmed that there was an overdose death on July 7 at the festival, and that two other overdose victims, including the wife of the deceased, were treated and survived. The Chief also said this isn’t the first overdose at the Firefly festival in its 15-year history.

The Vermont State Police responded to VDC’s request for information on the incidents with a general press release:

“The Vermont State Police is investigating a death that occurred during the Firefly Festival in Bethel on Friday, July 7, 2023. State police learned at about 11:26 p.m. July 7 that the Bethel Fire Department and White River Valley Ambulance had responded to a 911 call regarding an unresponsive 35-year-old man from Boston, Massachusetts. He was pronounced deceased on scene about 10 minutes later. 

“The body was transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy. A determination on the cause and manner of death is pending toxicology testing, which can take several weeks or months to complete. Preliminary investigation indicates the death is not suspicious. The name of the decedent is being withheld at this stage of the investigation. 

“Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Vermont State Police in Royalton at 802-234-9933. No further details are available at this time.

Firefly released this statement on its website:

“Many of you may have witnessed emergency vehicles and personnel on Friday night. In the interest of community transparency and to address community questions we would like to share the following information.

“On the evening of Friday, July 7th, three participants had medical emergencies at our event. Firefly volunteers and retained on-site medical staff worked quickly to provide care and call for outside help.

“Professional medical staff escorted one distressed participant to the First Aid tent for care and observation. During care they became unresponsive, and medical staff and volunteers performed CPR until the arrival of local emergency responders. Unfortunately, this participant was pronounced dead after receiving care from local emergency responders.

“Two other participants in distress were transported to nearby hospitals for care. They have both been discharged and are expected to make a full recovery.”

Rep. White is serving in his second term as a state legislator. He is described on the Firefly history page as “neopagan writer and Vermont state assembly member….” White is also the author of Adept Circle Magic, described on Amazon as, “Written for every Wiccan who is ready to expand his or her knowledge of the Craft, this comprehensive volume addresses the practical matters of spells, meditations, and rituals, as well as ethical and spiritiual [sic] concerns important to witches of every skill level.”

In a May 2022 interview with VT Digger, White described Firefly as “a bunch of hippies in my woods,” but he has not yet responded to VDC’s questions regarding this story.

Categories: Life&Death

31 replies »

  1. Funny how WCAX didn’t mention who hosted this party when I saw it, maybe CBS affiliated?

  2. Key connection: MKUltra, in their continuing efforts to derail the God-connection we all have naturally within us – and score for the little guy who thrives on chaos, fire, and death…

  3. Progressives too often demonstrate poor judgement.
    “Hold my beer while I ingest this purported, psychoactive substance of unknown origin.”

  4. Someone should be charged in connection with this. If White knew that illegal drugs would be used at his festival and did nothing to stop it he should be charged with facilitation in the commission of a felony.

    • And what Progressive Communist is going to charge another Progressive Communist with a crime?

    • Should.
      Don’t even prosecute the dealers here, why would they ever go after a landowner?

      Notice he said “his woods” too….sorry Abenaki, guess you ain’t getting that particular patch of land back.

  5. The Fire Fly Festival…..sounds totally harmless when in fact it is an invitation to reckless endangerment….this is the second legislator to be associated with reckless behavior who is also getting a pass from the media….remember the underage drinking party in Shelburne? Home to sitting legislator Representative Chea Waters Evans?
    Not only “crickets” from the media when these things happen, but no follow up. Both White and Evans are Democrats and so….naturally, they are above reproach…..

    • Max Yasgur was a conservative Republican, so go figure.
      My conservative Republican father forbade me from attending.

      • JayDee (JD) strikes again with ‘misinformation’.

        Max Yasgur had a rental agreement through a real estate agent with the Woodstock concert organizers. And Yasgur sued the organizers for certain damages. And Yasgur’s neighbors sued Yasgur. And it appears to be coincidental that the 1969 Woodstock concert was in Bethel, NY while the ‘burning man’ gathering was in Bethel, VT.

        Really. Go figure, JD.

        “The festival organizers faced a string of lawsuits and had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on cleanup, according to Joel Makower’s book Woodstock: The Oral History, which notes that the organizers also reached a settlement with an indignant local farmer who claimed his cows refused to give milk during the festival’s commotion. “

        Oh, and Yasgur, while being a “pro-Vietnam War political conservative”, also “firmly believed in the right of free expression (even if the expression came from people whose lifestyles and beliefs were very different to his own).”

        So maybe Yasgur was a Republican after all. A Progressive Democrat would likely never be so accommodating.

        And only two people died at the 1969 Woodstock concert. One was run over by a tractor. The other the result of an overdose. Not bad given that more than half a million people showed up. Hey, the NY Thruway was closed…man.

        How many people attended The Bethel, VT gathering?

        Who knows what point JD is trying to make? Perhaps the person who ‘liked’ his comment might explain it to us.

  6. Progressives live in a state of perpetual dysphoria hence the need for psychoactive escape. The family of the dead man should sue the sh!t out of the host for reckless endangerment with death resulting. Paging Harding & Mazzotti…

  7. “Who” hosted the festival is a matter of public record and for some reason, he ran unopposed in the 2023 election. Run a worthy opponent in 2025. (I don’t live there and would have not voted for him regardless)

    The MKUltra program saw its heyday during the Eisenhower administration when all us kids were practicing “duck & cover”.
    (I did not know about MKUltra. Fascinating reading.)

    Beer and psychoactive drugs appeal to a wide variety of voter blocks and religious persuasions. (This I do know about firsthand, but not in the past 40 years)

  8. It’s time to get rid of this legislator NOW. The drugs that were used are Illegal and this like having the fox guarding the henhouse & think all is OK. This kind of behavior is not what we need in representatives of the people of VT. Let’s get real & stop ‘kindly slapping the hands’ of the ones that are supposed to uphold the Constitution & laws. This is totally NO and there should be legal reprimands to both the legislator & the State of VT for still allowing Rep White to remain in office.

    • But, but, but…he’s so “cool”. I’m betting he even sat at the cool kid’s table at his high school. Nothin’ cooler than doin’ drugs, duuuuude; at least until you’re dead.

  9. So I knew the legislature had some very different people and those who appear to be withes but this confirms we do have witches too. I would have thought a witch would be a woman as depicted in history. Definition of Wiccan: Wicca, the largest of the modern Pagan, or Neo-Pagan, religions. Its followers, who are called Wiccans, typically identify as witches and draw inspiration largely from the pre-Christian religions of Europe. Having publicly emerged in England during the 1950s, Wicca is now found primarily in Western countries, and the number of Wiccans is probably in the low hundreds of thousands. Followers often use the pentagram, or five-pointed star, as the main symbol of their religion.

    The same symbol of the occult. The VT voters sure do know how to pick ’em. Note he is a dem/prog the party leading Vermont into the dystopia Utopia through their cult like following. It does seem like a bad spell has been cast over Vermont. How much more weird can it get?

    • The decline in faith goes hand-in-hand with the rise in evil. I stated way back that this entire state is in dire need of an exorcism. Performed by an actual exorcist using the actual Rite of Exorcism & invoking Christ and all His Angels & Saints to liberate this state from the dark powers that have enveloped it.

      A state that murders its own innocent babies in the womb and accelerates the demise of those who suffer due to illness – and then calls forth others from throughout this floundering nation to engage in the same here as though promoting a type of “death tourism” isn’t weird — it’s truly demonic.

      • Interesting take on how to solve all of Vermont’s problems. What happens after The Devil and his minions have been banished? Will only right-wing Republicans remain? Can I stay if I am Catholic by injection??

  10. Nope. You can’t stay under ANY circumstances. Stay Godless my friend!!!

  11. Representative White is an irresponsible person by encouraging this kind of activity. Hosting a big event or a party implies you are responsible and condone the activities that occurred. I am certain his legislative policies and decisions are equally irresponsible like many of his collegues which is why Vermont has become what it is today.

  12. I feel bad for the neighbors who have to listen to these mostly out of state idiots blasting music & other ridiculous noise all night long in the woods for a whole week. That’s the real offense. And coming from a pagan guy who claims he loves nature. What a clueless jerk.

  13. Lat’s just say that if the party was a celebration of basic American freedoms and traditional values and an alcohol overdose death occurred, there would be calls for holding the host responsible… If there was ANY discussion of gun rights he would also be held in violation of the new “anti-milititia-training” law.

  14. So the party favors were provided by Pfizer and the Deep State? Psychoactive amphetimines – would that be akin to “don’t take the brown acid?” Considering the theme of this party and the attendees, they didn’t adhere to their organic practices and principles. Mushrooms don’t kill, but chemical compounds forumlated in sketchy places by sketchy people certainly do. Appears the bread and circus events are turning deadly by design. No harm or foul will be come to “Representative” White as he is a cool woke dude and only following his Master’s orders.

  15. I am sure that Kirk is devastated by the tragedy, and condolences to the families of the victims.

    Unfortunately Rep. Kirk White is just another “straw man” legislator serving in disservice to the people as I discovered during the Covid-19 scam when he was asked if he knew what VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) is? He did not, despite being both a Vt. Legislator and licensed medical professional, and thus with a civic and professional responsibility to know.

    Such ignorance is not unrelated to the latest tragedy as the State of Vermont is still pushing the Department of Defense, TrumpBiden, Operation Warp Speed, “clot shots” aka the Covid-19 vaccines, known by the NIH, Fauci et. al. to be dangerous, and having been proven to be killing and maiming unprecedented numbers of people.

    What are Rep White and his Progressive cohorts doing, much less the Democratic and Republican party straw men, woman and neutered?….Nothing!

    Just remember Congress is exempt from taking the clot shots!

  16. If his daughter, Killian, took the dirt nap, would it be different?
    Pray that the entire family’s world view be shown ‘the way’ through the valley of the shadow of death. They all need God’s mercy ….

    Jesus was brutally beaten and murdered on our behalf;
    Jesus received our just condemnation, and we received God’s mercy.

    Because of His love for us, God wants us to be with Him.
    His mercy is required for that to take place; there is an inseparable connection between God’s love and mercy. Jesus laid down His life and became the sacrificial lamb (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29) so that God’s mercy could be extended to us.

    Instead of punishing us for our sin, God allowed His Son to take the condemnation in our place. That is the ultimate act of God’s mercy (see Ephesians 2:4–5).
    To our eternal benefit, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13b).