Timothy Leary is highly based
Think for yourself and question authority
— The dude himself
Timothy Leary (1920 - 1996) was an American psychologist and 60’s counterculture figure. The guy studied psychology in the University of Alabama but got his PhD in the same place BSD and sockets were born. (in 1950, before sockets and BSD).
Then he travelled to mexico and experimented with magic shrooms (Psilocybe Mexicana, specifically) and he said “[I] learned more about his brain and its possibilities … and more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than […] in the preceding 15 years of studying and doing research in psychology.”
This guy was hippie enough to think that, by taking LSD, you’ll automatically be a good person. Once he said that if Kennedy and Khrushchev took LSD together, the Cold War would end (which, tbh, could be true).
Leary thought that all drugs (except psychedelics) are shit because they make us go back in evolution of the human mind. Depressant makes us useless, alcohol makes us primitive animals. While psychedelics help us to evolve.
He was doing research in Harvard but he got fired.
When crossing the Mexico-US border, his daughter was caught with one or two joints1. Leary took the responsability and he was sentenced to 30 years of jail2. But he was set free under conditional liberty.
In 1969 John Lennon & frens had one of those bed events (which is not necessary fucking but speak about how love is awesome and how the vietnam war must be stopped, things hippies did). Leary went to one and had fun.
He was caught again with weed. But in this case he said it is a plot of the government to put it in jail. And went free again for conditional liberty.
To try to escape from that legal status, he anounced his candidacy for governor of California against Ronald Reagan. His only promise as Governor was to legalize LSD. His slogan was “Come together, Join the party”. As Leary and Lennon were friends, Lennon wrote a song to support his campaign. The song is obviously “Come Together”, the first song of Abbey Road.
Sadly, Americans are Americans and they elected Ronald Reagan over Timothy Leary.
In 1970, he was sentenced to 20 years of jail for those 2 times they caught him with weed. I must say that from this part, this guy’s life seems like a good movie3.
They made him a psychologic test to see his role in prision, as this guy did a lot of psychological research in Harvard, some of the tests were designed by Leary himself. So he knew how to answer them in a specific way so they think he’s submissive, for-authority, instead of the countercultural rebel he really was. So the test results gave that Leary is a conformist, obedient with interest in gardening. So they put im in a low-protection jail as gardener. Because they thought he won’t have any intention of flee from prission. But he did because he was in a low-security prision.
He said it was a prank to the State. He went to jail again, but the Brotherhood of Eternal love (Those guys who gave LSD for free) and the Weathermen (Extreme left organization).
Then he went in exile with his… 4th… 5th wife, under the protection of the Black Panters. The Black Panters didn’t like his messed up way of life (taking LSD and shit) so they tried to kidnap him, so in 1971 they had to go to Switzerland. Nixon’s government convinced Swiss’ government to put Leary in jail. But Nixon couldn’t convince them to extraditate him to the US. Nixon said that Leary is “The most dangerous man in America”. I don’t see how this hippie could be the most dangerous guy in America, but Nixon told so. Like dude only wanted to help people, using LSD for that purpose. It’s debatable if Leary’s methos were good or not, but we cannot argue about his good intentions (He wouldn’t be here if he did things i don’t consider based). What we can argue about, though, is that Nixon was more dangerous than Leary, but not gonna talk about that here :-)
They caught him again god knows where and they extraditated him this time (altough there was no formal law to do so). He was facing a 95 years sentence. He was put in an individual jail of maximum security. Charles Manson was at his left. Manson also gave LSD to his sect, and Manson was impressed of how Leary gave LSD to do good things.
To try to redouce his sentece, Leary started to collaborate to the FBI giving them information about the Weathermen. His own children said that Leary was a snitch, but he wasn’t a snitch, snitches sucks and a snitch couldn’t be in rocks/people :-). What Leary did is to give information about the Weathermen the FBI already had. He always waited for the aprobal of the Weathermen before giving the information. So he never gave anything that could be useful to the FBI. His sentence was redouced.
Then in 1976 his life started to be more relaxed, but still interested.
In this phase of his life, he just was an actor for movies, sometimes interpreting fictional characters, or sometimes just being himself.
He also tried not to shill drugs so he would give a better image to society. (But in private he would still get high as shit).
Then the 90s came and he said that computers are the LSD of the 90s. I don’t know if I agree with that affirmation, wasn’t alive in the 60s nor in the 90s. But computers were something unbelivable for that time, just like LSD in the 60s.
Timothy Leary became highly interested for transhumanism, computers and all kind of futurism. So he associated with many characters of with those interests, such as Robert Anton Wilson (Discordianism guy) and William Gibson (Neuromancer guy).
Then this guy became cyberpunk as shit, he tried to get technophobic bohemiams to “Turn on, boot up, jack in”.
Then he published Chaos and Cyberculture in which he elaborates on PC being the LSD of the 90s. Great book altough you have to consume maybe a bit of mescaline to understand it.
So Leary tried to have himself done whatever Morgan Everett did to Lucius DeBeers to keep him alive. But in 1996, for want of the price of tea and slice the old man died.