Marcia Moore (May 22, 1928 – January 14, 1979) was an American writer, astrologer and yoga teacher brought to national attention in 1965 through Jess Stearn's book, Yoga, Youth, and Reincarnation. She was an advocate and researcher of the psychedelic properties of the drug ketamine. Moore disappeared in 1979 and although her remains were found in 1981 the cause and circumstances of her death are still unknown.
Moore was born Marcia Sheldon Moore, in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 22, 1928, the only daughter of Robert Lowell Moore, founder of the Sheraton Hotel chain, and Eleanor Turner Moore who was an artist, illustrator and esotericist. She had three brothers, writer Robert (Robin) Moore, John S. Moore, and William K. Moore. Robin Moore wrote The French Connection and The Green Berets among other works.
In 1947 she married Simons L. Roof, an aspiring writer, and in 1950 the couple moved from Cambridge to Concord. They had three children. In 1955, the family left for an extended trip to India, where they studied Hindu and esoteric religions. They returned to the United States in the fall of 1957.
A published astrologer, she last married anesthesiologist Howard Alltounian and together they lived a reclusive life experimenting with ketamine. She became a proponent of the drug ketamine in her 1978 book, Journeys Into The Bright World, written together with her husband. The book promoted the existential richness of the ketamine-induced dissociative experience, and the possibilities for using this drug in conjunction with Jungian psychotherapy.
Disappearance and death
In the winter of 1979, Moore disappeared. Her remains were found two years later in the woods near her Washington home. It has been hypothesized that on a winter night in the forest, Moore had injected all the ketamine available to her, became unconscious, and died of hypothermia. Her lower jaw was identified via dental records. Ann Rule has stated that Moore's skull had been found with a hole in it; one of her friends suspected it was a bullet hole, but investigators believed it may have happened due to the skull's exposure to the elements over two years. This information was not immediately published by investigators at the time of the discovery. Her death remains unsolved.
Moore married four times: Simons Roof, with whom she had three children, Louisa (Loulie) in 1948, Christopher in 1951, and Jonathan (Jonny) in 1953. The couple divorced in 1961 and she married Louis S. Acker in 1962. She later married Mark Douglas and moved to Maine, where the couple published a series of books on yoga. In the late 1970s, she married Howard Alltounian, M.D. (1937-2006) and they moved to Washington, near Seattle.
Moore's personal papers, the Marcia S. Moore Collection, 1948-1999 (Bulk 1948-1964), were given to Concord Library by her son Christopher Roof in May 2009.
- Reincarnation, the Key to Immortality, with Mark Douglas, Able Trust edition, ISBN 978-0-912240-02-2, 1968.
- Diet, Sex and Yoga, with Mark Douglas, Able Trust edition, ISBN 978-0-912240-00-8, 1970.
- Astrology in Action, with Mark Douglas, Able Trust edition, ISBN 978-0-912240-03-9, 1970.
- Journeys into the Bright World, Para Research Inc, ISBN 978-0-914918-12-7, 1978.
- Astrology: The Divine Science, Able Trust edition, ISBN 978-0-912240-04-6, 1978.
- Yoga, Science of the Self, with Mark Douglas, Arcane Publications York Harbor, ASIN: B0006X5POC, 1979.
- Palmer, Cynthia; Horowitz, Michael. Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience, Park Street Press (2000), ISBN 0-89281-757-7, pp. 254-255.
- Jansen, Karl. Ketamine: Dreams and Realities, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (2001), ISBN 0-9660019-3-1. Moore and Alltounian are extensively featured in this book, including quotations from Journeys into the Bright World and comments on ketamine use made by Alltounian after Moore's death.)
- Rule, Ann. A Rage To Kill And Other True Cases, Pocket Books (1999), ISBN 0-671-02534-1, pp. 269-270.