Why Is GoDaddy’s Founder Funding MDMA Research?

Written by Robert Hammell

Bob Parsons, billionaire founder of online domain registry, donated $2 million towards psychedelic research, specifically MDMA.[1] The online mogul also inspired others to donate a combined $30 million towards the cutting edge medical treatment, but the question lingers: why him, and for what benefit?[2]

MDMA as a Treatment Plan

MDMA and several other psychedelics show promise in the treatment of PTSD and other traumatic events.[3] MDMA is especially promising because it is safer than all other psychedelics, is fast acting with minimal impairment of cognitive functions, and gives users a warm feeling of acceptance and happiness. By comparison, many other psychedelics last longer, have the potential to impair perception, and rely on emotional strength that trauma sufferers may not possess. Basically, MDMA allows users to experience a more comfortable reality that they can build on with continued therapeutic practices. MDMA assisted psychotherapy has shown a significant statistical improvement in treating PTSD sufferers over psychotherapy alone.[4]


Parson’s Motivation

Bob Parson has a personal reason for funding this MDMA research. A Vietnam War veteran, Parsons was a marine in one of the most devastating wars in recent history. He came back from the war suffering from PTSD, and though he built multiple successful businesses, it destroyed two marriages. Finally, the entrepreneur tried psychedelic therapy under the supervision of a trained professional. Though he claims he is not completely cured of his trauma, and continues psychedelic therapy several times a year, he credits the treatment with his progression thus far.


Reference List
1. Haun, J. (2021, August 27). The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Donates $2 Million to Psychedelic Research. Bob Parsons.

2. Silicon Valley and Wall Street Elites Pour Money Into Psychedelic Research. (2020, August 20). WSJ.

3. Doblin, R. (2002). A Clinical Plan for MDMA (Ecstasy) in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Partnering with the FDA. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 34(2), 185–194.

4. Smith KW, Sicignano DJ, Hernandez AV, White CM. MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. J Clin Pharmacol. 2022 Apr;62(4):463-471. doi: 10.1002/jcph.1995. Epub 2021 Nov 28. PMID: 34708874.

About the author

Robert Hammell

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