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Timothy Leary's advocacy of mind-altering drugs made him, in Richard Nixon's words, "the most dangerous man in America." At a press conference in San Francisco in 1966, Leary advises his audience to "turn on, tune in, drop out."
One of the stranger claims to fame of the Department of Psychology at Harvard is that it was once home to two of the leading figures in the 1960s counterculture and culture of psychedelic drugs.
In 1960, two promising young psychologists at Harvard, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, began to explore the effects of psychotropic substances on the human mind.
They reasoned that psychology is the study of the mind, including its relationship to the brain, body, and environment. Psychology, they argued, has a legitimate interest in how cognition, perception, and emotion are affected by mind-altering substances. At the time, the possible dangers of researching such substances were not as well known as they were in subsequent decades.
With a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University, Richard Alpert came to Harvard in 1953 as an assistant professor. In the early part of his career Alpert conducted personality and social psychology research.
Timothy Leary received his Ph.D. in psychology from Berkeley University, and came to lecture at Harvard in 1959. Leary’s early research focused on the interaction of dimensions of personality and social relationships he also worked as a psychotherapist.
Shortly after Leary’s arrival at Harvard, he and Alpert started the Harvard Psilocybin Project. Psilocybin is an entheogenic hallucinogen which naturally occurs in certain species of mushrooms Leary and Alpert sought to document its effects on human consciousness by administering it to volunteer subjects and recording their real-time descriptions of the experience. At the time of Leary and Alpert’s research at Harvard, neither LSD nor psilocybin were illegal substances in the United States.
By 1962 various faculty members and administrators at Harvard were concerned about the safety of Leary and Alpert’s research subjects, and critiqued the rigor of their unorthodox methodology (in particular, the researchers conducted their investigations when they, too, were under the influence of psilocybin). Leary and Alpert’s colleagues challenged the scientific merit of their research, as well as the seemingly cavalier attitude with which it was carried out (e.g. poorly controlled conditions, non-random selection of subjects). Editorials printed in the Harvard Crimson accused Alpert and Leary of not merely researching psychotropic drugs but actively promoting their recreational use.
Leary and Alpert insisted on the scientific purpose of their endeavors, and agreed to policies intended to protect their subjects, including a prohibition on participation by undergraduate students. Initially Leary and Alpert only used volunteer (if not fully informed) graduate students in their research. However, in the spring of 1963 Harvard was forced to dismiss Alpert after he administered psilocybin to an undergraduate student off-campus. Leary was also fired from the university, and the Harvard Psilocybin Project came to an abrupt end.
Discredited by their lack of scientific rigor and failure to observe established research guidelines, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert were both banished from academia, but that was far from the end of their public lives: both men went on to become icons of the psychedelic drug, counterculture, and human potential movement. Leary became famous for the slogan “Tune in, Turn On, Drop Out”: Alpert, under the name Baba Ram Dass, wrote a popular book called Be Here Now, described as a “modern spiritual classic.”
Capshew, J.H. (1999). Psychologists on the March: Science, practice, and professional identity in America, 1929-1969. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Krassner, P., Ed. (2001). Psychedelic Trips for the Mind. New York: Trans-High Corporation.
Leary, T. (1983). Flashbacks: An Autobiography. Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.
Leary, T. & Alpert, R. (1962). Letter to the Editor. The Harvard Crimson, December 13, 1962.
Sigel, E. (1962). Psilocybin expert raps Leary, Alpert on drugs. The Harvard Crimson, December 12, 1962
A Psychedelic History of the CIA
By Jeffery St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, Published in CounterPunch.org
On June 17, 1999 the state of Texas put to death by lethal injection John Stanley Faulder, a Canadian who had been convicted in 1977 of murdering Inez Phillips, an oil heiress. Faulder’s case received more press attention than most executions these days, mainly because the Canadian government tried to intervene on his behalf and urged Texas governor George W. Bush to spare his life. Unmoved by arguments that after his arrest Faulder had been denied his right to consult with officials from the Canadian embassy, Bush sent him to the death chamber.
What went entirely unmentioned by the U.S. press was that 37 years ago Stanley Faulder had been the unwitting victim of medical experiments partially funded by the CIA. According to Faulder’s sister, Pat Nicholl, who lives in Jaspar, Alberta, “At 15 Stanley was arrested for stealing a watch and sent to a boys’ home for six months. At 17, another theft got him six months in jail. At 22 he was caught in a stolen car and sent to jail in New Westminster, B.C. for two years. There, he asked for psychiatric help and was put in an experimental drug program which involved doses of LSD.”
“A major civil liberties issue of the next decade will be the control and expansion of consciousness,” Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) declared in a letter to the Harvard Crimson on their shuttered project studying of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. “Who controls your cortex? Who decides on the range and limits of your awareness? If you want to research your own nervous system, expand your consciousness, who is to decide that you can’t and why?”
Faulder was one of hundreds of Canadian prisoners who were experimented upon by psychiatrists in the 1960s and 1970s. The prison LSD program was run by Dr. George Scott, a staff psychiatrist for the Canadian Federal Corrections, who had served as director of the Canadian Army’s psychological rehabilitation department during World War II. After the war, Scott teamed up with shrinks from Allan Memorial Institute, including the notorious Ewen Cameron, to launch a variety of drug, electroshock, sensory deprivation and pain tolerance experiments, using prisoners and patients at mental hospitals as guinea pigs. The LSD for some of the experiments as well as funding for the research was provided by the CIA and the Canadian Defense Department.
Scott was stripped of his license to practice medicine. The sanction was not for dosing prisoners with psychotropic drugs, but for emulating Sandor Ferenczi by making passes at female patients. Even here Scott used drugs and electroshock to aid his seductions. According to court records, Scott used a technique called “narco-analysis” to manipulate one of the women into having sex with him. Narco-analysis involves heavy doses of sodium pentothal and Ritalin. Scott used the pentothal, in combination with electroshock, to take his victim into a near comatose state, implanted erotic suggestions, and then roused her to consciousness with shots of Ritalin. This continued for a period of five years. Scott even prescribed birth control pills for the woman.
In 1969, Robert Renaud, an inmate at the Kingston Penitentiary, claimed that Scott had given him ferocious jolts of electroshock as a punishment for not cooperating with the doctor. Like Faulder, Renaud was in jail for theft and was not considered violent. Scott dismissed Renaud’s allegation, though films of the psychiatrist shocking prisoners from that time have recently surfaced. In response, Scott said he only performed electroshock once a week on prisoners who “were sick enough”.
Scott was sued by 24 women inmates who say they were subjected to his LSD experiments. One of the women who brought the suit is Dorothy Proctor. She was given LSD at the Kingston women’s prison in 1961–the same year Faulder was drugged. Proctor was a 17-year-old black woman, serving a three-year sentence for robbery, when Scott diagnosed her as a sociopath and put her in his experimental program, which included sensory deprivation (a 52-day stint in the Hole), electroshock and mega-doses of LSD. [The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2002.]
In a 1998 interview with the CBC program “This Morning” Proctor vividly described the first time she was offered LSD as she was in the middle of a long stint in solitary:
“The prison psychiatrist comes down to the Hole, and he has a student with him, a lady psych student from Queen’s University and she’s to take notes. He pulls up a chair for her and him, and they are outside in the hallway section of the cell, talking through the bars. I am on the floor, no mattress just a blanket. Then I am taken out of the cell that has a commode. I am now in a cell with a hole in the floor for my toilet. It had backed up so I am also in my own waste and stench. So he comes out and presents me with this, you know, we want to help you so much. We want you to correct yourself and we want you to rehabilitate yourself. And I am your friend, and you are worth saving. So just cooperate with me. And I have a pill that just might help you. I am going to rescue you. That was the LSD. I don’t think it was 15 or 20 minutes before Dante’s Inferno. It was obvious. I am locked in. I can’t get away. And the walls start to move in on me. And they melt. The bars turned to snakes and there was an awful vibration in my body. Just awful. And I just thought I had gone mad.”
Scott shrugged off the claims, telling the Ottawa Citizen in an interview in 1997 that he had no regrets about his activities. “I am happy with myself. I don’t give a shit.”
STORY: Renaissance of Psychedelics in Psychiatry
Timothy Leary: “Worse Than Benedict Arnold”
On July 1, 1999 the Smoking Gun website put up 14 pages from more than 500 FBI transcripts and memoranda, showing that LSD guru Timothy Leary was volunteering to snitch, then snitching to the feds about his knowledge of the Weather Underground and almost anyone else Leary thought the feds might be interested in, including his former wife Rosemary, his attorneys and the wife of one of his attorneys. This was in 1974 when Leary was in Folsom prison in northeastern California, after convictions for a number of marijuana busts plus time for his jail break.
It’s not entirely fresh news that the late Timothy Leary was a squealer and a snitch to the FBI. The snitching was well known at the time. The FBI was eager to leak the fact that Leary, high priest of LSD and potentate of the counterculture, was singing about his former associates.
Timothy Leary on Mind Expansion - HISTORY
Mind expansion. (interview with Timothy Leary)
Timothy Leary is the former Harvard psychology professor whose philosophy, "Tune in, turn on, drop out," changed the face of America in the 1960s. Since then, his interests have turned to computers and virtual reality. Periodically, Dr. Leary appears on America Online for informal interaction with subscribers. Here is the transcript of one of his recent appearances.
Timothy Leary: Let me say a few words about what's going on in my life these days. We're working on a newsletter which has a tentative publication date of July 4th. The name is tentatively "Timothy Leary's Animations." The newsletter will be very interactive. We'll be soliciting articles from our readers for future editions.
Question: Dr. Leary, what prompted you to get into software? Also, any electronics-related stories you can relate to us from the 1960s?
Leary: What prompted me to get involved with software is the interaction between computers and the human mind. The language of computers gave me the metaphor I was searching for 20 years ago. As [for] the 1960s, that's a "whole nother lifetime." We're now in the 1990s. Why look back?
Q: Tell us about your software for mind expansion.
Leary: The reasoning behind the mind expansion software is the empowerment of the individual where everything that appears on the screen is what you have put there.
Q: What have you been doing in recent years, Dr. Leary?
Leary: I'm the head of two very influential software development companies. One is called FUTIQUE, and the other is TELELECTRONICS. We are developing 3-D electronic environments for the Mac, IBM, and the new 16-bit videogame appliances. Our company's aim is to load onto compact disc prefabricated fully furnished homes, gardens, landscapes, and any environment that the user would like to "boot up."
Q: What do you think about the Libertarian party?
Leary: I am an enthusiastic member of the Libertarian Party. I think that in politics the politicians of both parties, Democratic [and] Republican, pander to the lowest common denominator. Therefore, Newton's Law of Politics is true: "In politics the scum rises to the top." For this reason, I back the Libertarian Party. Our aim is to diminish, decrease, decimate the power of the state to interfere in the individual's life
Q: Have you been doing any experiments with virtual reality?
Leary: Yes, I am involved with several groups developing TELEPRESENCE environments and electronic environments. I probably give more lectures and demonstrations about VR than anyone in the field.
Q: When will Mind Mirror be available for Macintosh?
Leary: We are trying to get an update and revision of Mind Mirror for the Mac. With graphics, graphics, and more graphics! It is one of the two great sorrows of my life that Mind Mirror, my wonderful head program, was never translated for my Mac-using friends.
Q: Do you have software [currently available] for the Macintosh?
Leary: I do not have functioning Mac software. I can, however, strongly recommend four Mac products which convert the screen into a comfortable, livable, 3-D environment. These programs are 1) Virtual Valerie, 2) Spaceship Warlock, 3) Manhole, and 4) Cosmic Osmo.
Q: What about the software you're currently working on?
Leary: We are working, as I mentioned before, on developing 3-D programs which will allow performers to select and move around in an electronic environment. Our programs are interactor theaters where a small group can assemble for purposes of education, entertainment, and enlightenment. The three E's of the electronic twenty-first century.
Q: Dr. Leary, could you comment on the advent of virtual reality? Someone pointed out that it couldn't compare to LSD. Do you see this new technology as a substitute for drugs?
Leary: No. Virtual reality isn't a substitute for organic psychedelic plants and drugs. Psychedelic drugs allow you to exit the repetitious word processes of your mind to boot up limitless programs, directories, and files in your brain. All of which, by the way, are technicolor, multimedia, and moving at the speed of light. On the other hand, electronic devices like the new computer-graphics hardware allow you to select electronic patterns and multimedia environments to express the panoramas of your own brain.
LSD Guru Timothy Leary Escapes From the Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo 50 Years Ago
Photo: Associated Press/Mark Terrill
The 2020 documentary My Psychedelic Love Story is a ‘trippy’ reminder that 50 years ago last September the High Priest of LSD, Mind Expansion and Higher Consciousness, Timothy Leary, passed through – actually escaped – San Luis Obispo on his way to the world, something very few people can claim.
Leary had been serving an up-to-10-year sentence for marijuana possession at SLO’s Men’s Colony. No single individual was more responsible for stirring up the counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s, spreading the mind-opening message of the LSD experience from coast to coast and around the world, than the former clinical psychologist and Harvard lecturer.
Following his escape, the ensuing global manhunt spanned 28 months and wound its way among homegrown radicals, European aristocrats, a Black Panther outpost in Algeria, an international arms dealer, hash-smuggling hippies from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love and secret agents on four continents. An articulate speaker and compelling author (The Psychedelic Experience, The Politics of Ecstasy, Jail Notes), Leary was considered a serious threat to the government back then with his “turn on, tune in, drop out,” “go out of your mind” and “think for yourself, question authority” mantras.
At the time of his incarceration in SLO, the Men’s Colony was a minimum security facility and detainees could stroll away if they dared – at the peril of serving a longer sentence if caught. But Leary did just that, though how he did it isn’t clear. Leary died in 1996. He would have turned 100 last October.
Here’s how Leary’s escape played in the media in 1970 and 1973.
Timothy Leary, Drug Advocate, Walks Away From Coast Prison
Sept. 14, 1970
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., Sept. 13 (UPI)—Dr. Timothy Leary walked away today from a minimum security prison where he was serving a sentence for marijuana possession. Leary, 45 years old, disappeared during the night from California Men’s Colony West, a prison four miles west of this city midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco near the Pacific Coast.
His prison clothing — blue denim shirt and pants — and one of his socks were found a few hours later in a service station rest room about two miles south of the prison on U.S. 101, the main north-south highway. The prison is on California 1— the “hippie highway” used by hitchhikers heading north for the Big Sur region.
Leary, a former Harvard instructor and an early advocate of LSD, was convicted last fall in Santa Ana, Calif., and sentenced to six months to 10 years in prison. He has been working in the prison clerical pool since being committed March 18.
The service station attendant who found Leary’s clothing told the authorities that he had not seen Leary or anyone suspicious during his all-night shift. He found the clothing in the rest room about dawn and notified officials after hearing of the escape. The change of clothing seemed to indicate that Leary was met outside the prison by an accomplice after he scaled a 12-foot chain link fence topped by two strands of barbed wire.
Leary was convicted after he, his wife, Rosemary, 34, and his stepson, John, 20, were stopped by a policeman at Laguna Beach on Dec. 26, 1968.
Timothy Leary Sentenced To Up to 5 Years in Escape
April 24, 1973
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., April 23 (UPI)—Timothy Leary, the drug cultist, was sentenced to six months to five years, in prison today for his 1970 escape from the California men’s colony. Superior Court Judge Richard Harris ordered the new prison term to run consecutively with Leary’s original sentence on a Marijuana charge. That means Leary, has to complete his first sentence, six months to 10 years, before starting the new term.
Bruce Margolin, Leary’s attorney, immediately filed notice that the conviction and sentence would be appealed.
Timothy Leary on Mind Expansion - HISTORY
For those of you who don't know, Timothy Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for advocating the use of LSD. He taught at the University of California, in Berkeley and also at Harvard University. He was a frequent user of LSD and believed in its properties of mind expansion. Basically, he was a G. President Nixon referred to him as "the most dangerous man in America." Most likely because Leary came up with catchy phrases made trendy by the youth, such as "turn on, tune in, drop out," and "think for yourself and question authority." After a wild ass journey through life, he died the day after Dana's 21st birthday.
If I could have gotten my pregnant butt out from the bus in time, I could have met him too!! I learned a lesson and when Neil Young popped by, I went to check him out.
2018-02-20 “Legend of a Mind” Timothy Leary & LSD
Feb 21, 2018 #1 2018-02-21T02:32
“Legend of a Mind” is the name of a 1968 song by British rock band The Moody Blues. It’s about a man named Timothy Leary, a former Harvard University instructor and research psychologist. In the 1960s, Leary would become an advocate of the drug LSD – lysergic acid diethylamide – a mind- altering, hallucinogenic compound.
LSD, also known in the 1960s by its slang name, “acid,” became something of a revolutionary, counter-cultural substance in that period. And Leary, after a time as a university researcher exploring the drug’s psychotherapy potential, became a kind of “pied piper” for the drug’s recreational and spiritual use. He would write a dozen or more books on LSD and the psychedelic experience. And with subsequent media attention, he became something of national guru to a younger generation then rebelling against the status quo. During the 1960s he also became known for his phrase, “turn on, tune in, drop out,” a slogan he used for urging people to embrace self-enlightenment through psychedelic drugs and mind expansion, while “dropping out” – i.e., breaking free of social convention, questioning authority, and becoming independent thinkers. Leary’s explanation of his slogan was typically more nuanced than what the media often suggested, i.e, “getting stoned dropping out of school, work, etc.”
What follows below is a short history on Leary and the times – from his Harvard days and LSD proselytizing to his run-ins with famous entertainer Art Linkletter, U.S. President Richard Nixon, and the federal government in their denunciations of him and their battles over drug use, as well as Leary’s flight from the law. But first, by way of musical introduction to show how Leary imprinted on popular culture of that day is the history of the Moody Blues hit song of 1968, “Legend of A Mind,” which served to boost the respective careers of Leary and the Moody Blues as well as burnishing the Leary/LSD connection in cultural history.
“Legend of a Mind” was recorded by the Moody Blues in January 1968 and was first released in July 1968 on their album, In Search of the Lost Chord, which explores a variety of “quest and discovery” themes, including those of spiritual development and higher consciousness. The U.S. drug scene had already begun to surface in 1965-66, and Leary and LSD had both been in the popular press by then as well. “Legend of A Mind” is seemingly a praiseworthy ode to Leary, intimating for him a guru-like status, though it is the song’s Eastern mystical sound that conjures up a trip-like, ethereal quality, offering a prime example of that era’s psychedelic music.
“Legend of a Mind”
Known for an earlier 1964 rock-n-roll hit, “Go Now,” the Moody Blues had gone through some personnel changes by 1967-68 and began moving in a new musical direction. The group then consisted of Justin Hayward, vocals and guitar John Lodge, bass, guitar, vocals Ray Thomas, flute, percussion, harmonica, vocals Mike Pinder, keyboards, vocals and Graeme Edge, drums, percussion, vocals. The group’s previous album, Days of Future Passed, of 1967, produced hit songs such as “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon,” marking them as a rising international rock band.
The Moodies’ style and sound at this point in their career had a certain orchestral, Eastern, and mystical quality about it, due in part to the use of a novel keyboard instrument called a Mellotron – an instrument capable of duplicating orchestral sounds of violins, flutes, choirs, and more. Adding to the Moodies’ distinctive sound at this time were two Indian instruments – the sitar and the tambura – then being used selectively by other groups such as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles as well. The sitar and tambura are heard throughout In Search of the Lost Chord and “Legend of a Mind.”
Ray Thomas, who wrote the song, sings the vocals, and also has a long, beautiful flute interlude in the middle of the 6:40 minute song. That portion of the song suggests an under-the-influence moment, as wandering, seductive background music ebbs and flows, finally emerging with an optimistic ending and presumably, a positive “trip around the bay.”
The Moody Blues song, while never mentioning LSD per se, puts Leary at the center of its lyrics, describing him as the person who dispenses thrills on “trips around the bay.” But more than the lyrics, it is the song’s musical sound that suggests the mystical and “trippy” effects of LSD. In fact, the Moodies’ music captured the psychedelic experience perhaps as good, if not better than, any group of that era.
Bruce Eder of AllMusic.com, writing a profile of Ray Thomas, observes:
…Thomas delivered the [MoodyBlues’] defining psychedelic-era anthem, “Legend of a Mind.” With the central phrase “Timothy Leary’s dead/Oh no, he’s outside, looking in” and its elaborate instrumentation (swooping cellos and droning Mellotron sharing the spotlight with Thomas’ flute), the song became a central part of the psychedelic era’s ambience, and part of the pop culture ‘soundtrack’ almost as much as the Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ or ‘Penny Lane’ the fact that it utilized the name of Dr. Timothy Leary, a widely known, once respected academic turned LSD guru, only boosted the group’s credibility as a serious psychedelic act within the counterculture of the period….
“Legend of a Mind”
Timothy Leary’s dead.
No, no, no, no, He’s outside looking in.
Timothy Leary’s dead.
No, no, no, no, He’s outside looking in.
He’ll fly his astral plane,
Takes you trips around the bay,
Brings you back the same day,
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
Timothy Leary’s dead.
No, no, no, no, He’s outside looking in.
Timothy Leary’s dead.
No, no, no, no, He’s outside looking in.
He’ll fly his astral plane,
Takes you trips around the bay,
Brings you back the same day,
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
Along the coast you’ll hear them boast
About a light they say that shines so clear.
So raise your glass, we’ll drink a toast
To the little man who sells you thrills
along the pier.
He’ll take you up, he’ll bring you down,
He’ll plant your feet back firmly
on the ground.
He flies so high, he swoops so low,
He knows exactly which way he’s gonna go.
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
He’ll take you up, he’ll bring you down,
He’ll plant your feet back on the ground.
He’ll fly so high, he’ll swoop so low.
He’ll fly his astral plane.
He’ll take you trips around the bay.
He’ll bring you back the same day.
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
In 1967, the “Summer of Love” commenced with all manner of young people gathering in San Francisco, elevating the term “hippie” in popular culture as well as the Haight-Ashbury drug scene.
Timothy Leary was already some years into his LSD notoriety by then, having published The Psychedelic Experience in 1964 with colleagues Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner and lectured around the country. In San Francisco in 1967, Leary spoke at the “Human Be-In” gathering in January at Golden Gate Park (more on this later) where some 30,000 heard him offer his philosophical phrase, “turn on, tune in, drop out.”
The following summer, the Moody Blues released In Search of the Lost Chord, hitting No. 23 on the U.S. album charts in July 1968, also reaching No. 5 in the U.K. Three songs from the album would bring more notice to the Moodies – “Ride My See-Saw,” “Voices in the Sky,” and “Legend of a Mind.” And the album itself would be lauded over the years for its musicianship (33 instruments used by the Moodies themselves) and its mystical and psychedelic qualities.
The 1960s, meanwhile, continued to see cultural change throughout the world, driven by the post-WWII baby boom. By 1968 in America – a presidential election year – political tumult and convulsive change were front and center. Already buffeted by ongoing Vietnam War protests and civil rights unrest, the assassinations of Martin Luther King in April and Bobby Kennedy in July added more woe to the nation’s misery. Then came the televised protests and street riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that August. Social protest, drugs, alternative life styles, Eastern mysticism, and the call of the counterculture were all part of the scene. Youth the world over were then searching for explanations and alternatives. The “Timothy Leary” song became part of the musical backdrop.
Although Leary initially did not like the Moody Blues song, he soon adopted it as something of a theme song during his lecture tours. But the irony was, as Ray Thomas would later reveal in a Rolling Stone interview, he wrote the song as something of a put on “I was taking the piss out of him,” Thomas said in the interview. “I saw the ‘astral plane’ as some gaily painted little biplane: you pay your two bucks, and he’ll take you around the bay for a little flight…” Numerous listeners, however, never got the put on, “hearing” the song’s spiritual and exploratory content instead.
Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, in a 1996 interview with rock critic Roger Catlin of the Hartford Courant(CT) newspaper, added his perspective on the song:
“Some of us in the band — and this was 1966, ’67 — were going through our own psychic experiences, as a lot of musicians were at the time, probably being led by the Beatles. We were reading a lot of underground press and reading about Tim Leary, so we put him in…”
“The song is a very tongue-in-cheek version, a very cheeky English version of what we thought things would be like in San Francisco in the `flower power’ days’… It was tongue in cheek, but with a background of serious meaning. It did mean something to us. We were using a lot of phrases of the time, extracts from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, talking about the astral plane and so forth, and it’s a reflection of that.”
The Moody Blues – some of whom had taken LSD in 1967 – didn’t meet Timothy Leary until their first U.S. tour, later in 1968. “We met Tim, and he wasn’t offended by our lyrics at all,” said Hayward. “He enjoyed it, and we became friends over the years.”
Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder, who arranged the song, said in a 1996 interview, that the line,“Timothy Leary’s dead / Oh, no, he’s outside looking in,” was actually a high compliment to Leary. “It was quite metaphysical,” Pinder explained. “It used him as an out of body experience and looking back at life at a normal level.”
Others have also noted this line in a similar vein, that “Timothy Leary’s dead” had to do with “ego death” as experienced in transcendental meditations as instructed in Tibetan Book of the Dead. In fact, Leary’s 1964 book, written with colleagues Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner – The Psychedelic Experience – also instructed its readers how to prepare for and take LSD and other such drugs and was subtitled, A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of The Dead.
“Those who didn’t get the message behind the song,” Pinder would say with a laugh during his 1996 interview, “were on the other outside looking in.” As for Leary, he never had a problem with the song, according to Pinder.
Regardless of how the lyrics are parsed for “Legend of A Mind,” or what they were intended to mean, the song is one of the classic examples of psychedelic music in that era – as are several other Moody Blues songs and the album, In Search of the Lost Chord. For millions in the late 1960s, the song was taken at face value, as part of the culture.
“Legend of A Mind” certainly made Leary more of a pop star than he already was at the time, and kept his name tied to that era thereafter.
For the Moody Blues, “Legend of a Mind,” proved to be one of their most popular numbers, especially in concerts stretching over some 35 years.
And apart from the song’s composition and history, there is, of course, a lot more to the legend of Timothy Leary and LSD than the Moody Blues tune. That part of the story is next.
From Resistance to Renaissance: The Legacy of Dr. Timothy Leary
Approximately fifty years ago, Dr. Timothy Leary told the world’s younger generations that they had “ been born into an insane asylum.” The good news was that it was “simple and obvious to take advantage of the insanity around you to make your escape.” In the mid-1960s, Dr. Leary’s attitude toward American society in general, and specifically his faith in the therapeutic potentials of psychedelic drugs caused the psychologist, psychedelic researcher, lecturer, advocate for alternative lifestyles, and author to be dismissed from his position at Harvard University, ridiculed by his peers, and relentlessly targeted by an American government desperate to discredit him.
Branded “the most dangerous man in America” by Richard Nixon, Dr. Leary believed his problems stemmed from the fact that he was “in the unfortunate position of being twenty years ahead of my time.” His estimation may have been a little less than accurate. Socially, politically, and spiritually he was light years ahead of the status quo. Yet in 2019, the mention of his name still evokes nervous laughter as well as a host of other negative reactions from young and old alike who know nothing about him except that he advocated the use of LSD, and how could such a person be anything but a crackpot, a charlatan, and a criminal?
Was Timothy Leary’s position on psychedelic drugs the main reason that the author of thirty books and four hundred research papers, articles, and essays was considered such a threat to mainstream society during the 1960s? From their standpoint, advising young America to “turn on, tune in, drop out” was recommending the reckless use of psychedelic drugs, and the abandonment of family, society, morals, education, work, and every other responsibility. Yet as frightening as this misinterpretation sounded at face value, the real meaning of Dr. Leary’s misrepresented words posed a much bigger challenge to the normalcy of established society. What he was actually telling young people to do was to look within themselves, discover their own divinity, and detach themselves from the constrictions of social and material struggles. Mainstream America had every reason to worry.
In his 1966 recording, Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, Dr. Leary defined turning on as looking within, finding wisdom, and becoming aware of different levels of consciousness. He likened it to a form of sensitivity training. Young people were encouraged to turn their parents on as well — not with drugs, but by dialoguing with them, and helping them open up to their own possibilities. In his book, Politics of Ecstasy, he advised parents to “sit down with a youngster and relax and tune into a new theme” because “the best way for any parent to dissolve fear and develop trust in the youngsters” was to ask them about their music, their philosophy, and benefit from “their timeless point of view.”
To tune in, he explained, was to begin to invest one’s internal energy in a harmonious exchange with the external environment. Everyone needed to find his or her own divinity, move out of old patterns, and refashion their physical surroundings into external representations of who they really were. And the way to drop out was to “lovingly, gracefully detach yourself from the insane rituals and social pressures which surround you. Leave all situations and relationships that do not make sense to you” but remain aware that “you cannot drop out externally until you have detached yourself internally.”
One can imagine that in 2019, these recommendations still wouldn’t be easily digested by some of the powers that be, but in the late 1960s, what horrified the old order the most about the man who said his desire in life was “to expand and elevate the consciousness of the whole human race” was his advice to “drop out of the old man’s game.” In a talk given at UCLA in January 1967, when resistance to the Vietnam War was gaining momentum, Timothy Leary cautioned students against the “menopausal mentality” that made old men send younger ones out to die in wars. He told them, “Men seek external power when they’ve lost the internal power.”
While the establishment argued that dropping out was nothing more than an escape, Dr. Leary insisted it was anything but a withdrawal from reality. The real addictive process was created by the society that rewarded conformity and compliance with bigger salaries, new cars, larger homes, and coveted promotions. Refusing to play the game anymore was the harder choice. The true dropouts had to be creative. They had to figure out what life was about, and what had meaning for them, and then find lifestyles and means of making a living that did not compromise their principles. “As you drop out,” Dr. Leary predicted, “you will find that you do nothing which is not an act of beauty.”
Did this formula for escaping the “conforming, rote lockstep which we call American society” have to include the use of psychedelic drugs? Couldn’t the expansion of conscious be achieved without chemicals? And why did Timothy Leary, a man approaching the age of fifty in the late 1960s focus almost exclusively on the younger generation as if there were an age limit on the ability to accept change? Wasn’t he himself proof enough that young people were not the only ones capable of being receptive to new ideas? Neuroethology, the study of the effects of the nervous system on animal behavior and its role in solving evolutionary problems, provides some insight and possibly some answers to these questions. Ethology was a science that fascinated Dr. Leary. He found the process of psychological imprinting particularly intriguing.
During a talk given at Cooper Union in 1964, Dr. Leary explained the phenomenon of psychological imprinting. This biochemical programming occurs within a critical period when the nervous system is open to registering certain external stimuli. For some species, the critical period may last for only hours after birth, while for others it may last for days. Imprinting results in life-long irreversible conditioning. Once the critical period is over, imprinting can no longer take place. To illustrate this phenomenon, Dr. Leary described an experiment involving newborn ducklings that were shown a moving orange basketball instead of a mother duck. Wherever the basketball was rolled along the floor, the ducks followed. Once the critical period was over, researchers gave the ducklings the opportunity to interact with a live mother duck. They ignored her, and continued to follow the basketball. Dr. Leary described the result of this experiment as both “amusing”, and “terrifying.” The mind, he added, will go to great lengths to rationalize and protect early accidental imprints. And then he asked his audience, “What accidental orange basketballs have you and I been exposed to early in life??”
Dr. Leary theorized that each generation harassed and persecuted “exactly those men that succeeding generations will revere” due to reasons that were purely neurological. The adult nervous system could not tolerate being challenged by ideas and methods that went against the human being’s dependence upon the imprinted symbol system of his society. He believed it took one generation for new ideas to become accepted.
In Politics of Ecstasy, Dr. Leary described the young people of the 1960s as “different” in that they were not destined to “grow up like Mom and Dad.” He insisted this could not merely be attributed to any sociological trends. It was an “evolutionary lurch.” These young people deserved the support of their elders rather than their scorn. This younger generation was also open to the use of psychedelic drugs while their parents’ generation found it impossible to accept the idea of using drugs to expand their consciousness. Middle-aged and older adults were conditioned to associate only two things with drugs: “doctor-disease” and “dope fiend-crime.”
Since psychological imprinting is irreversible, and can occur only during the first few days of life, what could be done to remedy the effects of negative imprints, or the consequences of the absence of imprinting? In his research, Timothy Leary concluded psychedelic drugs played a role in postponing or influencing imprinting by delaying the focus that resulted in the imprinting process. Under the influence of LSD, commitments to past external imprints were temporarily lost.
Dr. Leary described the human brain as a “camera with literally billions of lenses” that continuously processed unfathomable amounts of information. During their lifetimes, human beings interpreted experiences by the same old imprint “snapshots” imposed upon them directly after birth. Psychedelic re-imprinting could temporarily suspend these snapshots and allow new snapshots to “come to rest”. However, the old imprint would not be totally lost due to years of conditioning, and the rituals associated with them. Reprogramming the nervous system with LSD required at least five to eight days between doses. This refractory period allowed the new snapshots sufficient time to “harden.”
Dr. Leary’s personal experience with psychedelics began in 1960 with psilocybin, the naturally occurring compound produced by over two hundred species of mushrooms. “I learned more about psychology, about the human mind, about the human situation in the five hours after eating these mushrooms,” he said, “than I had learned studying and doing research, and treating people in psychotherapy.” During a television interview on The Merv Griffin Show in 1966, Dr. Leary explained his enthusiasm concerning the potentials of psychedelic drugs was fueled by his dissatisfaction with modern psychology. After working in his chosen field for fifteen years, he arrived at “the sorry conclusion that psychology wasn’t doing much to solve the emotional or mental problems of the human race, particularly the American people.” He told his host he had taken LSD over three hundred times.
Timothy Leary maintained that the alteration of consciousness could only be studied from within. Observing the effects of psychedelic drugs from the outside would yield negligible results. “No more dosing up the passive subjects.” The scientist had to be willing to take the “magic molecule” himself. In the early 1960s, his employer, Harvard University, disagreed with this strategy. Between 1960 and 1962, Dr. Leary and his research partner, Dr. Richard Alpert, conducted a series of experiments on volunteers to determine the psychological effects of psilocybin. The Harvard Psilocybin Project came to an end for a number of reasons, none the least of which was the fact that the researchers conducted their experiments while they themselves were under the influence of psychedelics. The university charged Drs. Leary and Alpert with not following the institution’s established research protocols, and accused them of promoting the recreational use of psychedelic drugs. Both were dismissed from their positions at Harvard.
As LSD gained popularity and notoriety in the world outside of medical research (partially because of the Harvard research project scandal), the Swiss chemical researcher who discovered it in 1938 began referring to the drug as “my problem child.” While Albert Hofmann was not surprised that the substance which had such profound effects on mental perception was of interest to those outside of medical science, he never imagined that LSD would become a recreational drug. Hofmann was alarmed by its “careless, medically unsupervised use,” but held fast to his belief that when it was used wisely under proper medical supervision, “this problem child could become a wonder child.”
Sandoz Laboratories, where Hofmann did his research, had concerns of their own. For nearly twenty years, they had supplied LSD, free of charge, to qualified researchers throughout the world. In a letter issued in August 1965, the director of the pharmaceutical department at Sandoz said the company would stop distributing the drug. Like Albert Hofmann, they said they could not have “envisaged” its “exploitation.” They had made the patented drug available to clinical researchers because the initial experiments conducted on animals and humans at Sandoz had “pointed to the important role that this substance could play as an investigational tool in neurological research and in psychiatry.”
In spite of the American government’s attempts to discredit, stop, and silence him, Timothy Leary continued to be a strong advocate for psychedelic research. In 1966, he went to Washington D.C. to testify as an expert witness before a senate subcommittee investigating recreational drug use among American young people. Rather than prohibiting psychedelics, he recommended more studies, and suggested legislation requiring LSD users to be trained licensed adults. When Ted Kennedy belittled his testimony and asked him if LSD was dangerous, Dr. Leary reminded the senator that cars were dangerous too, if they weren’t used properly.
In October 1968, Congress passed the Staggers-Dodd Bill as an amendment of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Possession of LSD became a federal crime. To the old order for whom psychedelics represented the counterculture, radicalism, and a threat to their power, it was imperative to paint Dr. Leary as a quack and a menace irresponsibly handing out LSD and catastrophic advice to the youth of America.
During his Cooper Union talk in 1964, Dr. Leary had warned that there was no room for reckless administration of psychedelics. “You should be very careful with whom you take LSD, and where you take LSD, and you should be very well-prepared…” In an interview for Playboy Magazine in 1966, when he was asked what he thought of casual sex catalyzed by the use of LSD he replied, “Nothing good can happen with LSD if it’s used crudely, or for power or manipulative purposes.” In Politics of Ecstasy he wrote, “The danger of LSD is not physical or psychological, but social-political… The political and ethical controversies over psychedelic plants are caused by our ignorance about what these substances do… The greatest enemies of mankind are ignorance and fear. What are the protections? Accurate information openly shared, and calm courageous response to the evidence.”
The real reason the establishment considered LSD dangerous, he told students at UCLA in 1967, was because it worked. They feared it because “it throws into different perspective the rituals and the orthodoxy and the structure of the time.” According to Dr. Leary, there had always been (and always would be) two societies “uneasily” sharing this planet — “the overground and the underground.” The latter were those alienated from the established power either by deprivation or by choice. Pressure from that underground “builds up gradually over decades.”
By the second half of the 1960s, that underground pressure was giving birth to a cultural revolution. Mainstream Americans were not prepared for this, and they were not prepared to consider the possibility that the drug laws of the time might be in violation of the 1st and 5th Amendments. And referring to LSD as a “sacrament” did little to boost Dr. Leary’s popularity with the establishment. Even more distressing to the old order was his revelation that God wanted intelligence from human beings, rather than mere obedience. Gaining more intelligence led human beings to become more religious because “the smarter you are, the more you wanna know who did it!”
Although Timothy Leary had no qualms about telling Americans young and old that any laws violating the sanctity of the human body needed to be dismissed, he was not insinuating that those who used consciousness-expanding drugs irresponsibly were above the law. “Can you prevent your fellow man from altering his consciousness if he thereby poses a threat to others or to the harmonious development of society? Yes… but the burden of proof… must be on society.” He said, “If the things I put in me lead me to rush around outside disturbing Caesar’s order, arrest me. If the things I put in my body cause me to be untidy or to break laws out there, I have no defense. There are plenty of laws to protect public decorum and highway / byway safety… but in the sanctity of my own home with my family, my co-religionists… that’s our business.”
In 1970, Timothy Leary was sentenced to twenty years in prison for the possession of a small amount of marijuana, due in part to President Nixon’s war on drugs which increased the penalties and the number of incarcerations for drug offenders. After serving six months, he escaped. When he was recaptured and brought back to California in 1973, he was placed in solitary confinement and more time was added to his sentence. In 1976, almost two years after Nixon’s resignation, Dr. Leary was released from prison by order of Governor Jerry Brown. Two decades later, Nixon’s former domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, admitted the war on drugs had in actuality been Nixon’s private war on anti-Vietnam War leftists, the counterculture, and black Americans. He wanted mainstream America to associate all war resistors and hippies with LSD and marijuana, and all black Americans with heroin.
Until his death from prostate cancer in 1996, Dr. Leary continued to lecture, debate, write, and take psychedelic drugs. He also continued to insist that the government had no right to tell citizens what to do with their bodies and minds. He stressed that what he was advocating was “Think for yourself and question authority,” and not the idea that chemicals were the only keys to an open mind.
More than half a century has passed since Timothy Leary was dismissed from Harvard University and an entire generation of young Americans became aware of LSD. For the children and the grandchildren of the 1960s cultural revolution, the debate continues and sharply conflicting opinions abound. The man who once encouraged the planet to turn on, tune in, and drop out has been called brilliant, evil, a prophet, a charlatan, a philosopher, a crackpot, dangerous, holy, a criminal, a saint. To this day, some blame him for causing psychedelics to become discredited in the eyes of the American government and medical science. The problem child that Albert Hofmann had hoped would become a wonder child remains an orphan. In 1970, the DEA classified LSD and all psychedelics as Schedule 1 drugs, chemical substances with no accepted medical use in treatment, high potentials for abuse, and unsafe to administer even under medical supervision. Psychedelic research came close to a standstill for the following two decades, but began to slowly pick up again during the 1990s. Studies conducted to determine the therapeutic effects of psychedelics on anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, anxiety in autistic adults, depression, cluster headaches, posttraumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, opiate addiction, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders have yielded promising results warranting further research.
It has taken far longer than the “one generation” Timothy Leary predicted would be necessary for the true potentials of psychedelic drugs to be recognized and accepted by mainstream society, but as Aldous Huxley once observed, facts cannot be ignored out of existence. Thanks to meticulous scientific research and education, we are learning that psychedelics do indeed show the potential to alleviate some aspects of physical and mental suffering. Americans young and old are gradually changing their minds about consciousness altering drugs.
MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), The Beckley Foundation, Heffter Research Institute, ICEERS (International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research), and Clusterbusters are among the many organizations working worldwide to change perceptions of psychedelic drugs, and reform drug laws. Determined to find new and more effective treatments for the debilitating pain of cluster headaches, advocates from Clusterbusters convinced the administration at Harvard Medical School to undertake their first psychedelic research project in forty years. The results of their clinical study which appeared in the peer-reviewed medical journal Neurology in 2006 were positive, and resulted in further studies involving the use of psychedelics in the treatment of cluster headaches.
Founded in 1986, MAPS was established for the purpose of conducting ethical research in protected environments to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of psychedelic drugs and marijuana with the goal of making these drugs legally available for patients to safely benefit from. In 2018, MAPS raised 27 million dollars for FDA phase 3 research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Researchers believe the drug may be approved for use in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy by 2021.
The man who encouraged a generation of young people to think for themselves and question their leaders also advised them to “take responsibility for making your own life beautiful.” The universe, according to Dr. Leary, is an “intelligence test” and “the more you use your head, the more in tune you get with the original purpose, design, and goal of the genetic code” and “if there’s anything the genetic code seems to want, it’s to keep itself going.”
In any decade, an individual declaring himself a member of “an ancient trade union of spiritual teachers” working toward expanding and elevating the consciousness of the whole human race would, at best, be the object of ridicule. During the 1960s, overground America’s disdain for the underground outcast they labeled an insane dangerous drug guru manifested itself in a lot more than simple ridicule. Now the notion that parents need to communicate with their youngsters and be a source of emotional support to dissolve fear and establish trust is hardly a revolutionary idea. It’s common sense. Today, challenging aspects of society that are unacceptable, and striving to live in a harmonious exchange with the environment are not just counterculture values. And the desire to pursue a creative meaningful beautiful life is not perceived as a threat to social order.
Because of his enthusiasm for psychedelic drugs, and his belief that each of us is responsible for creating his or her own reality, Timothy Leary will always be a controversial and revolutionary figure, lauded and reviled. To Richard Nixon, the paranoid president who saw enemies everywhere he looked, Dr. Leary was indeed a dangerous man. At the other end of the spectrum, the ethnobotanist and lecturer Terence McKenna once described Dr. Leary as “a guy who’s probably made more people happy, arguably, than anyone else in history.” Both men were right, of course, because the truth is often found somewhere in between two extremes. And truth is always stranger than fiction.
Timothy Leary Archives
Tim’s family, friends, collaborators, volunteers, and other varieties.
This list is very incomplete and very much in progress. Please let us know if you should be on this list.
- (Advisory Board) (Trustee, Futique Trust) (Leary.com and Retinalogic) (Mind Mirror Co-Developer/Publisher) (Curator, Digibarn Computer Museum, Virtual Worlds
Pioneer, and agent for the Futique Trust) (Mind Mirror Developer) (Author/Researcher/Collaborator) (Digital Photography Specialist) (Leary.com and Retinalogic) (Tim’s Personal Archivist and Bibliographer) (Advisory Board) (Advisory Board, Tim’s Godson) (Collaborator/Friend) (Tim’s Son) (Personal Assistant/Collaborator/Friend and More!) (Coordinator/Promotion) (Psychologist/Researcher/Collaborator) (Digital Librarian/Webmaster) (Team Tim Volunteer) (Author, Collaborator, Friend of Tim) (Trustee) (Editor, Leary On Drugs) (Author, Advisory Board)
John Perry Barlow Bio Coming Soon!
Denis Berry (Trustee) Bio Coming Soon!
Joey Cavella (original Retinalogic and Leary.com teams) Joey has been called one of the “pioneers of internet design,” as he was one of the original members of the Leary.com web development team, which was chosen as People magazine’s “Cool Site of the Year,” in 1996, and also launched web sites such as nerve.com (which won a webby award in 2000) and sonicnet.com.
After releasing “How To Operate Your Brain,” a video Joey and his brother Chris Graves made with Timothy in 1993, the team turned to the web. At Dr. Leary’s request Joey and Chris moved their studio into Tim’s garage and began work scanning Timothy’s archives and building Timothy’s official home on the web, leary.com.
Leary.com became a cultural phenomenon when Tim announced a live, online “de-animation.” The site was one of the first websites to introduce a three-dimensional site navigation. With photographs of Dr. Leary’s actual house, a virtual walkthrough of the house was created where books and archived documents could be found in the library, videos on the tv etc. (Leary.com now, Leary.com then)
Joey is now a freelance web developer in New York.
Ed Craig (Mind Mirror Co-Developer/Publisher) Edward Craig is publishing Timothy Leary’s Mind Mirror on the Web, in partnership with the original software developers, Bob Dietz and Peter Van den Bleemt.
Edward met Timothy Leary in 1985, when Timothy performed a demonstration of Mind Mirror at a software store Edward managed. Pursuant to a lifelong interest in psychology and software applications, he is pleased to offer Mind Mirror to the public in a new, multi-user, social-networked version with advanced database and data modeling capabilities.
Ed’s major career experience has been in the computer products and Internet industries, where he has worked with storefront retailers, systems integrators, support and support vendors, distributors, publishers, and manufacturers. He founded Quicksilver Mirror LLC to publish innovative software for psychological applications, such as Mind Mirror.
Bruce Damer (Curator, Digibarn Computer Museum, Virtual Worlds
Pioneer, and agent for the Futique Trust) Bruce Damer is a leading expert in the subject of Avatars, the representation of people in 2D and 3D graphical Cyberspace worlds. In the mid 1990s he formed the Contact Consortium, the first organization and conference dedicated to the subject and authored the first book “Avatars!”.
In the past several years Bruce has headed up DigitalSpace, a company which now provides NASA with 3D modeling and visualization for the future of space exploration. Bruce and his wife Galen Brandt live on a farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they host a hippie bus art and music studio and stage performances, raise pot bellied pigs and house a large vintage computer collection in their barn called the DigiBarn Computer Museum.
Bob Dietz (Mind Mirror Developer) Bio coming soon!
Robert Forte (Author/Researcher/Collaborator) Robert Forte studied the history and psychology of religion at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and has taught at the University of California Santa Cruz. He served on the board of directors of the Albert Hofmann Foundation, and is the editor of Entheogens and the Future of Religion and Timothy Leary: Outside Looking In.
J.P. Goguen Bio Coming Soon!
Chris Graves (original Retinalogic and Leary.com teams) Chris Graves was a founding member of the Leary.com web development team and the Retinalogic video production team. He worked with Joey Cavella, Camilla Grace, and Joi Ito, with funding from Digital Garage, to create the award winning 1996 website that was the first of its kind in so many ways. (Leary.com now, Leary.com then)
Michael Horowitz (Tim’s Personal Archivist and Bibliographer) Michael co-founded the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library (FHLML on wikipedia), the world’s first library exclusively devoted to psychoactive plants and drugs. He and his partner, Cynthia Palmer, edited two anthologies: Moksha: Aldous Huxley’s Writings on Psychedelics and Visionary Experience, and Sisters of the Extreme: Women’s Writings on the Drug Experience.
Michael operates Flashback Books, a mail-order business specializing in rare drug literature and the s counterculture. Michael first met Timothy in 1970, and was his archivist, bibliographer, editor and friend. He and Vicki Marshall edited Leary’s late writings and talks, Chaos & Cyber Culture, and, with Karen Walls and Billy Smith, An Annotated Bibliography of Timothy Leary.
Todd Huffman (Advisory Board) Todd Huffman is a technologist and lifelong Leary admirer, manifesting in his involvement in various Leary-esque projects. He has done research on the nature of cognition and sensory perception, is an advisor to the life-extension research of the Methuselah Foundation, contributed to the Whole Brain Emulation Roadmap, worked in cryonics, develops new hypertextualization interfaces, and promotes the free exchange of ideas with the BIL Conference.
Joi Ito (Advisory Board, Tim’s Godson) Bio Coming Soon!
Ron Lawrence (Collaborator/Friend) Independent Macintosh consultant, musician, filmmaker Timothy’s friend and Macintosh tutor, mentor assistant and personal handyman. Worked extensively with Vicki Marshall in helping to restart, organize and maintain the Leary archives.
Co-owned, with Vicki Marshall, a small Macintosh consulting and desktop publishing company called Knoware, which published “Timothy Leary’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1” in 1990 and made Leary publication, software and music available by mail order (1990-2000).
Note: Although Tim always referred to Zach as his “son,” Zach was technically Tim’s stepson. Zach’s mother, Barbara Chase, married Tim in 1977, when Zach was 4 years old.
Raised on an Apple II+ and lots of video games, Zach found himself immersed in all things digital at a very young age, thanks to Tim’s early vision of computers and their effect on human potential.
After the mid 90s success that was Leary.com, Zach went on to successful career in the digital marketing arts. Part of Zach’s initial journey found him working in the middle of some great “dot- bombs” including Whatshothow.com and iFuse.com. Soon after, Zach spent many years at the digital marketing helm for such brands as Apple, Playboy, Daimler/Chrysler, Fox, Mars Inc., and Energizer.
After 4 years of working on Apple at TBWAChiatDay, Zach took his talents to an entirely new venue – the music business. The complex 21st century music business is in a constant state of reinvention which, is exactly what Zach was looking for. His deep love for music, technology and marketing resulted in co-founding an independent marketing company called PKZ, Inc. PKZ is set up to service bands with their marketing needs either in the label structure or out their first clients are Coldplay and Depeche Mode.
Zach studied Jazz at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Vicki Marshall (Personal Assistant, Collaborator, Friend and More!) Chaos manager, writer, editor co-owner of a small Macintosh consulting and desktop publishing company called KnoWare, which published “Timothy Leary’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1” in 1990 and made Leary publications and software available by mail order (1990-2000) originator of Timothy’s “Just Say KNOW” campaign served as Timothy’s editor, collaborator, archivist (1988-2000), administrative coordinator, personal assistant and primary health-care coordinator served as administrative coordinator for the Leary Estate and Futique Trust (1996-2000). Organized the entire Leary archives into a comprehensive database and catalog which is still in use today.
Dean Metzger (Coordinator/Promotion) Dean spent his twenties as a successful business man but became dissatisfied with working for money only. So, in 1974, he retired from classical business, traveled and studied various disciplines, and specialized in having fun for ten years.
Dean produced and directed the very first Harley Davidson Television Commercials. His next film project involved major Rock and Roll stars and a unique treatment for heroin addiction. As a result of the film, Dean had the opportunity to participate in the field of medical research. He would stay on that project for ten years. From there he entered the field of biophysics, where he stayed for the next ten years.
Due to a serious accident, he became a talk show producer/host on KNRY in Monterey CA. While in Monterey, he met Richard Andolesen, the owner and curator of the John Steinbeck Museum, in Pacific Grove CA. For the next nine years, Dean worked on various projects for the Museum and was left in control of the infrastructure of the museum after Dr. Andolesens passing.
He has been working with the estate for the last four years helping in various areas of development.
Ralph Metzner (Psychologist/Researcher/Collaborator) Bio coming soon! Lisa Rein (Digital Librarian/Webmaster) Lisa Rein is the Digital Librarian for the Timothy Leary Futique Trust. In 1995, while Lisa was visiting Tim in his home, he told Lisa his dream of having his personal archives digitized, searchable, and accessible to everyone online. Now, almost 12 years after Tim’s death, she is working with the Futique Trust to fulfill Tim’s dream.
Lisa was the Text and Graphics Editor for one of Tim’s last published works, the graphic novel “Surfing the Conscious Nets.” She is a co-founder of Creative Commons, and was its first CTO. She received her BA and MA from San Francisco State’s Broadcast Communication Electronic Arts Department, and is a frequent lecturer there on copyright, fair use, social networking, web media and culture, digital archiving, virtual worlds and artificial intelligence.
Andrew Rondeau Andrew was born into Catholic family in Central Massachusetts. Starting at a young age, he always had a fascination with technology especially computers. With a little help from his father, Andrew taught himself to program shortly before his 11th birthday. As a teenager, Andrew ran a popular dial-up BBS called “The Z” in Worcester Massachusetts. The discussions on his BBS and others prompted him to learn to see through propaganda and how establishments manipulate us into believing misrepresentations to be true. This lead Andrew to study the flaws in the American drug war and also invoked his disillusion with contemporary American religion.
Andrew indulged his interests in technology, religion, and fact seeking when he entered college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science, built his first set of speakers, experimented with meditation, and alternate techniques of quickly inducing a meditative state of mind.
After college, Andrew came to appreciate Tim’s life when he read “Start Your Own Religion” and “Musings on Human Metamorphosis.” He seeks to facilitate online communities through his current project, http://asumaku.com and real-life communities of people who wish to establish shared culture and tradition.
Douglas Rushkoff (Author, Collaborator, Friend of Tim) Douglas Rushkoff is the author of a dozen best-selling books on media, technology, and society, including “Media Virus,” “Cyberia,” and “Life Inc.”
He has hosted Frontline documentaries, written hundreds of articles, teaches Media Studies at the New School and now has his own radio show, The Media Squat on WFMU.
Douglas and Tim became friends in the 1980’s, working together on articles about virtual reality and consciousness in cyberspace. Douglas acted as Tim’s literary agent in order to keep some funds coming into the house during the last year of Tim’s life, and put together the project “Design for Dying.”
Donna Scott (Trustee) Bio Coming Soon!
Hassan I Sirius (Editor, Leary On Drugs) Hassan I Sirius is a 32-year-old San Franciscan who edited “Leary On Drugs,” a new collection from Re/Search Publications. . In another life, he works for an investment banking firm. His bosses do not suspect his alternative predilections.
Hassan worked as a freelance editor in his early twenties. He stole his nom de guerre from one of RU Sirius’s books, in which RU referred to “my great and terrible brother Hassan I Sirius.”
R.U. Sirius (Author, Advisory Board Member) RU Sirius is former Editor-In-Chief of the legendary counter/technoculture magazine, Mondo 2000 and current editor of h+, a pdf based magazine published by Humanity+.
He coauthored Design For Dying with Timothy Leary and wrote an introduction for the recent Re/Search release, “Leary On Drugs.” He also wrote an intro for one of the many reissues of Dr. Leary’s “The Politics of Ecstasy.”
He has written hundreds of articles for mainstream and alternative publications and has been a columnist for ARTFORUM International, San Francisco Examiner, and Wired News. Other books include “Mondo 2000: A User’s Guide to the New Edge” with Rudy Rucker “Cyberpunk Handbook” with St. Jude “Counterculture Through The Ages” with Dan Joy and True Mutations: Conversations on the Edge of Science, Technology and Consciousness.”
“Six words: drop out, turn on, then come back and tune it in. and then drop out again, and turn on, and tune it back in. it's a rhythm. most of us think God made this universe in nature-subject object-predicate sentences. turn on, tune in, drop out. period, end of paragraph. Turn the page. it's all a rhythm. it's all a beat. You turn on, you find it inside, and then you have to come back (since you can't stay high all the time) and you have to build a better model. But don't get caught - don't get hooked - don't get attracted by the thing you're building, cause. you gotta drop out again. It's a cycle. Turn on, tune in, drop out. Keep it going, keep it going. the nervous system works that way. gotta keep it flowing, keep it flowing. ”
Watch the video: Timothy Leary - The Mind and Consciousness (June 2022).