Drugs and alcohol made a mess of William S. Burroughs Sr. and his son, so the Dreamachine may have been a hopeful solution. Getting high without drugs and with a controlled time period does sound better than their drug experience. Unfortunately, the strobe-light effect causes seizures in some people and may not reliably offer the hallucinatory experience.
FLicKeR is Nik Sheehan’s documentary; which, explores the Dreamachine.built by Brion Gysin, Burroughs’s and Ian Sommerville (the John G. Geiger’s book Chapel of Extreme Experience is the prime basis for the film).
William S. Burroughs Sr. had a cult following and he was a follower of many cults. My novel is about a cult and I gave the main character of my prequel—the Burroughs name. She happens to be in Palm Beach, at this point in my writing; where the parents of Burroughs Sr. had a home. Burroughs came from ‘old money’ stemming from the Burroughs adding machine. I may do something else with Burroughs in mind.
My fictional cult is in search of ways to improve their genetic memory drug. I see them testing the drug alongside the Dreamachine. Making my circus-cabaret more psychedelic seems likely, too.
The middle picture shows David Woodard and William S. Burroughs behind the Dreamachine; a device which stimulates the optic nerve. On the right is a picture of William S. Burroughs Jr. who died in Florida. Both of these pictures come from Wikipedia.