Marcia Moore

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Marcia Moore (May 22, 1928 – January 14, 1979[1]) 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 dissociative 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.


Early life[edit]

Moore was born Marcia (pronounced mar-SEE-uh) Sheldon Moore, in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 22, 1928, the only daughter of Robert L. 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 Green Berets (1965) and The French Connection (1969) among other books.

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.[2]

Moore finished her studies at Radcliffe College in 1960. Her senior thesis was published under the title Astrology Today: A Socio-Psychological Survey.[2]

Drug proponent[edit]

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 with her husband.[3] 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[edit]

In the winter of 1979, at age 50, Moore disappeared.[2] Her remains were found two years later in the woods near her Washington home. It has been hypothesized[4] 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.[5] The cause of her death remains unresolved.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Moore married four times throughout her life. Her first husband was 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.[2]


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.[2]


  • 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Date of her disappearance and — presumably — her death.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 2009, Robert C. W. Hall, Jr., William Munroe Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass., mounted 2 October. "Marcia S. Moore Collection, 1948-1999 (Bulk 1948-1964)". Archived from the original on 2015-08-27.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.)
  5. ^ Rule, Ann. A Rage To Kill And Other True Cases, Pocket Books (1999), ISBN 0-671-02534-1, pp. 269-270.