“I try to use these tools to increase intelligence and to operate the mind and brain. Most schools do not teach young people to think for themselves. Most schools indoctrinate, to train you to play your part in society… I didn’t start anything, the use of certain botanical vegetable substances, the psychotropic to open and activate your brain, that’s been going on for thousands of years”.-Timothy Leary, 1992, TV Interview (- see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0NSi7tiQBE)
Who was Timothy Leary?
He was an influential psychologist and ahead of his time in proposing psychedelics could change lives for the better. Now that 21st century research confirms the benefits of such substances for treating addiction, anxiety and depression, Timothy Leary’s ideas are being reconsidered and even vindicated (1).
Dr. Timothy Leary had been a cadet at West Point, became a well-respected psychologist at Berkeley, served as research director for the Kaiser Family Foundation, and was a major figure spear-heading psychedelic research at Harvard. His “Leary Circumplex”, and book Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality* were influential in the sub-field of personality psychology. In the late 1950s Leary was considered one of psychology’s brightest new stars yet left academia to “tune in, turn on and drop out”.
With a team of like-minded explorers he began groups like “The International Foundation for Internal Freedom” and “the League for Personal Discovery” and became a political target in the war on drugs. This led to a lengthy prison sentence and his subsequent escape. As fugitive on the run, he was hunted by various alphabet agencies. To the counter culture, Leary was a hero of consciousness yet older generations considered him a dubious and outrageous character. President Richard Nixon called Leary “the most dangerous man in America”.
To date, most biographies and portrayals of Dr. Leary range from the denigrating (for example, he was just a “recreational” drug user and ego-driven self-promoter who misled a generation) to hero worship (i.e., he was a ‘true visionary’ and a “Galileo” for science). It is true Leary was a flamboyant figure but it’s equally true he aimed to liberate people from stifling limitations. There are many a scurrilous account of Leary’s life that seem to miss the point of his work. To be sure, he made mistakes but no one could say his life and work were unimportant.
(The following is a super-condensed version of events. I recommend Timothy Leary’s readable autobiography, “Flashbacks”, published by Tarcher, March 17, 1997).
Timothy Leary was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1920. As a young man, he often got in trouble for bending rules and various infractions, especially at school where he was expelled and West Point. At the United States Military Academy, he was accused of supplying alcohol to fellow cadets and court martialed but later absolved of wrong-doing and honorably discharged.
Leary was amorous and got kicked out of Alabama University for spending a night in the female student dorm. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Leary was drafted and served as a “psychometrician” before returning to his studies and earning a PhD in Psychology.
The environment shapes peoples actions”.-B.F. Skinner, Harvard Behavioral Psychologist
By the late 1940s, the Behavioral school was achieving greater popularity with psychologists. This school was more interested in the counting and control of observable behavior and dismissed ideas of “mind” or internal mental states. Behaviorists like Harvard’s B.F. Skinner often worked in in sterile lab settings, watching animals operate in their environment.
In order to make psychology into a more ‘respectable’ science, the Behaviorists tried to generate research results that were carefully controlled, measured and tabulated like those of the physical sciences. The behaviorists saw success in using their research to derive behavioral modification techniques. These reinforced pigeons, rats and dogs to gain rewards and avoid bad responses.
Originally a student of the behavioral and number-driven school, Timothy Leary realized that internal events were also significant. New approaches such as Cognitive and Personality psychology were appearing and Leary felt humans were more than behavioral machines. A lifelong bad ass, he also hated the idea of an “authority” controlling “subjects”.
According to one biographer, Leary thought it possible for the individual to shape his or her own destiny:
“Tim Leary wrote: ‘Everything that can be found in mental disorder can be found in anyone’. The neurotic/psychotic subject was at one end of the spectrum, the ‘normal” subject was at the other. Rather than blame parents, race or instinctual heritage, problems were caused by subjects own repetitive and self-limiting responses. By changing inaccurate perceptions and rigid responses, Leary believed that a person could determine his or her own role in the world” (Robert Greenfield, Timothy Leary a Biography, 2006, Harcourt, page. 90).
With a new focus on interpersonal factors, Leary came to disavow the laboratory and favor a more natural setting. He felt it necessary for psychologists to interact with experimental subjects to understand the data and not be detached observers watching behind glass.
Leary came up with a model for understanding interpersonal interactions that is referred as the ‘Leary Circumplex’ (aka the ‘Interpersonal Circumplex’) that is still used today. His book from the fifties, Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality is well regarded.^*
Life Begins at Forty
“After being ‘pushed out of history’s notice’, the mushrooms had been rediscovered by an amateur researcher and banker named R. Gordon Wasson in 1955 in the mountains outside Oaxaca… British psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Humphry Osmond accompanied Aldous Huxley to visit Wasson in his office at J.P Morgan in New York City to listen to him talk about the wondrous power of the mushrooms…. Wasson was asked by an editor at Time-Life to write about the mushroom ceremony. His account was published in the July 1957 issue of Life magazine along with photographs by Alan Richardson… Frank Barron (a friend and colleague of Tim Leary’s) was so inspired by the story that he went to find the mushrooms on his own”.– (Ibid, Greenfield, Pages 111-112,)
In the 1950s, Tim was like most college professors of the day. He looked bookish and was not yet the smiling, charismatic figure the public met in the sixties. He described himself as a “middle-class liberal robot who drove home each night and drank martinis” (2).
When colleague Frank Barron told Leary of his experiences with magic mushrooms (psilocybin), Leary thought his friend was endangering his career.
“I was a bit worried about my old friend and warned him against the possibility of losing his scientific credibility if he babbled this way among our colleagues”. (Ibid, Greenfield, page 103).
Leary advised against “chemical meddling” as he associated drugs with authoritarian treatments such as giving patients pills or electric shocks to alter them to “acceptable” standards. Barron kept on, however, and managed to spark his colleague’s interest.
Five years earlier, Tim’s wife had committed suicide and Leary and family were left traumatized. By age 40, Leary felt increasingly sad and empty:
“My joy in life, my sensual openness, my creativity were all sliding downhill”-Tim Leary. (Ibid, Greenfield, page 110)
Leary tried psilocybin mushrooms while visiting Cuernavaca, Mexico. Called “Flesh of the Gods” by the ancient Aztecs, the mushrooms grew on nearby volcanic mountain slopes. Using his earlier ideas for a more interactive research experience, Leary organized group experiments where both subjects and researchers took the drug.
Leary went on a ‘visionary voyage’ and came back a changed man.
Later Tim told philosopher Arthur Koestler, “I learned more in six or seven hours of this experience than in all my years as a psychologist… gone were the perceptual machinery which clutters up our view of reality… gone the mental machinery that slices up the world into abstractions and concepts. Gone the emotional machinery which clutters up our own ambitions and petty desires”. (Ibid, Greenfield, pg. 113)
Later, Leary said on the subject of LSD:
“LSD takes you out of the normal space-time ego. I always go through a process in which the space game comes to an end, the time game comes to an end, and the ‘Timothy Leary game’ comes to an end. This is the peak, and at this point a new neurological imprint can be made because all the old imprints are suspended for awhile”. (Timothy Leary quoted in Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati, Pocket Books, By Robert Anton Wilson, page 21).
It wasn’t long before Leary saw the potential of psychedelics to change and empower the individual. He was soon in touch with psychedelic experts.
He contacted journalist and author Arthur Koestler, Dr. Humphry Osmond, (who first coined the term psychedelic in 1957), and Aldous Huxley, author of quintessential tome, The Doors of Perception (1954).
Leary was also in touch with Alan Ginsberg who introduced Leary to fellow Beat Poets Jack Kerouac and William S Burroughs.
Author of banned book ‘Naked Lunch’, Burroughs had personally researched several substances himself. He wrote multiple “reports” of the “junkie” life. For a while, Burroughs resided in Timothy Leary’s attic.
Tim also reviewed the work of an earlier Harvard psychologist, William James ^^^. James’ Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature considered how experience is important to understanding the human mind:
“The intense, even pathological varieties of experience (religious or otherwise) should be sought by psychologists, because they represent the closest thing to a microscope of the mind—that is, they show us in drastically enlarged form the normal processes of things” .– William James, Harvard Psychologist
Leary compared his mushroom experience to a religious-like experience opening his mind to a greater reality. He likened the experience to a “divine process”, where a person examined their life under the “microscope” given by psychotropic substances.
Given the right setting, this process could also function as a therapy for those suffering from mental disturbance. As a psychologist, Leary saw the potential and grew very excited.
“Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms… I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. (As a fictional author) I do the same thing.”– Philip K Dick, Science Fiction Author
At this point in relaying the Tim Leary story, a Philip K Dick story comes to mind. In his science fiction story, The Electric Ant, a man wakes from an accident to learn he is not human but a biological android who was programmed to behave in very limited ways. The accident frees him to envision other possibilities and so he changes his programming to suit the kind of future he wants. By tweaking the program his mind runs, he interacts with people and does things in ways that are more beneficial to his life and new goals.
Leary saw the psychedelic drug as a way to “suspend” limiting programs people are running on the ‘hard-drive’ of their brain. By doing this, the experiencer can now change his behavior and life to what he truly wants it to be.
Instead of being at mercy of reality-imposing authorities, Leary believes “any reality is an opinion – we make up our own reality”.
“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).”– Harvard University Psychology Department
The so-called “cavalier” colleagues initially brought their mushroom study to Harvard where Leary had found employment and Alpert already worked. A Swiss company supplied them with psilocybin in pill form and later, LSD.
After meeting Tim, Harvard professor Dr. Richard Alpert considered his new colleague to be a real “visionary” in an academic world full of “fakes”. (Ibid. Greenfield page 109). Participation in studies was voluntary but Alpert encouraged graduate students to consider psychedelic research for academic projects.
Meanwhile, Leary attempted to offer hope for criminal minds by giving psychedelics to inmate volunteers at a local prison. Results seemed promising yet without adequate follow-up were ultimately inconclusive.
From his earliest experiences with the mushrooms, Leary realized that some settings were not ideal for a psychedelic experience. For example, the harsh and grim institutional environment of a prison could factor in bringing on a “bad trip”. To mediate this, he began using a system that considered “set, setting and dosage”.
This system is explained by later researchers:
“LSD reaction involves a series of complex interactions between doses, “set” (thoughts, mood and expectations of the subject prior to treatment) and “setting” (the physical and interpersonal environment in which the subject undergoes treatment)”. (see+ at bottom).
Yet the Harvard psychedelic research would soon come to an end. Some graduate students complained about Alpert and Leary’s singular focus on psychedelics.
To address concerns over the program, a meeting was held on campus involving the various stakeholders. Leary calmly handled objections but the meeting was covered in the campus paper and then discussed in the Boston Herald with the alarming title, “Hallucination Drug Fought at Harvard – 350 Students Take Pills”. The aforementioned “350” were actually volunteer subjects and not necessarily students but the damage had been done.
Ultimately, the Harvard power elite stepped in to address “safety” concerns and protect the school’s reputation. For a start, they demanded control over the dispensing of psychedelics for research.
Institutional restrictions would only conflict with Leary’s unorthodox research methods. Leary wanted to “relax the control”:
“I was dissatisfied with the theory and methods of psychology and trying to develop a existential-transactional approach to the study of human events. Existential means you study natural events as they unfold without prejudging them with your own concepts. Transactional means you see the research situation as a social network, of which the experimenter is one part. The psychologist doesn’t stand outside the event, but recognizes his part in it, and works collaboratively with the subject towards mutually selected goals…. it bypasses the traditional experimenter-subject and doctor-patient relationships. It tells the doctor and the scientist to relax his control. It urges that everyman be his own scientist. Do his own research. It bypasses the controlled experiment with in favor of the natural sequence of behavior. You don’t design an experiment, Dr. Jones, you are already part of one”(3).
Some Harvard colleagues were unhappy with what they saw as “poorly controlled conditions” and “non-random selection of subjects” but journalist Greg Miller reviewed the Leary archives and found painstaking notes from the Harvard psychologists:
“My short tour of the archives did seem to show an interesting evolution… laid out stacks of mimeographed research proposals, protocols, and data Leary and his colleagues collected at Harvard. There were highly detailed “session reports” of their subjects’ – and their own – experiences on psilocybin and DMT”.Greg Miller, Wired Magazine, “Timothy Leary’s Transformation From Scientist to Psychedelic Celebrity”, October 1, 2013. see https://www.wired.com/2013/10/timothy-leary-archives/
The Harvard researchers concentrated efforts outside the world of officialdom.
In the Spring of 1963, Alpert was fired for giving drugs to an undergraduate off campus. Instead of firing Leary outright for controversial research, Harvard pointed out his failure to give scheduled lectures and overall absenteeism. Leary, Alpert and others continued their research, first in Zihuantanejo, Mexico then islands in the Caribbean but they were told to move on. At last, young wealthy patrons gave them the use of a mansion in Millbrook, Massachusetts for a dollar per year rent.
This proto-hippy-like “communal” home was soon invaded by local authorities, led by conservative G. Gordon Liddy, a prosecutor for the District Attorney, who is oft accused of attempting to gain fame by prosecuting Leary:
“In 1966, he led a drug raid on the Hitchcock Estate in Millbrook, leading to an unsuccessful trial. Although the case generated much publicity, other lawyers complained that Liddy received credit for something in which he played a relatively small role” (4).
Instead of finding drugs, Liddy confiscated Leary’s wife Rosemary’s peat moss plants. But the persecution of Leary would continue for more than a decade.
Liddy, on the other hand, ended up jailing himself. He was involved in the Watergate Scandal of 1972, leading the team known as “the plumbers”. The group broke into the Democratic party headquarters late one night in an attempt to find information that might aid the re-election of then president Richard Nixon. For his trouble, Liddy received a twenty-year sentence while Nixon was forced to resign.
“In the interest of equity and fairness”, Democrat President Jimmy Carter commuted Liddy’s sentence, allowing for his 1977 release. (Also see (4))
Leary would end up debating Liddy onstage in lecture tours thru the eighties. Oddly enough and in a rare instance where opposing sides put aside their differences (something unheard of in 2021! ;-), the opponents became friends!
Liddy told artist and Holocaust survivor Nina Graboi he liked the people who agreed with Leary more than those who agreed with him because “they were more open and receptive”. (Ibid, Greenfield. Page 544)
Tune in, Turn On and Drop Out
After being expelled from Harvard, Mexico, Antigua and Dominica in four months (My to August, 1963), we cravenly decided the authorities were not so ready for the 21st century concept: Every citizen a Scientist. So we fell back to the familiar historical turf upon which most earlier freedom movements had fought the battle – religion”.– Timothy Leary
From Millbrook, Leary went on lecture tours to promote his ideas, encouraging young minds to “Tune in, Turn On and Drop out” . This was at the height of the sixties counterculture revolution where media focused more on the drug-taking hippy than the previous generation’s Rat-Pack alcoholic.
Attending a lecture by Leary was a “hip” thing to do for some college students. The Lennon-led Beatles were in vogue and a few “liberated” youth let their hair down, wore funny clothes and tried new things including drugs. Some dropped-out, a few became Far Left college professors but the vast majority cut their hair, got a good-paying job and became their parents.
Most people are slaves to convention and Leary envisioned people having the ability to change. To spread his message to a sixties audience, his lecture was a multi-media extravaganza – a psychedelic light show, often using young musicians and wearing guru costumes. Like William James, Leary explained how psychedelic drug taking could be a religious experience or “divine process”. Taking LSD was likened to a sacrament.
Playboy magazine editor Robert Anton Wilson described Leary’s performance:
“He walked onstage barefoot, burned incense, did a lecture on Buddha illustrated with psychedelic slides, and weird lighting effects and more or less came across as an oriental Billy Graham. It seemed a brilliant scientists had turned himself into a second rate messiah but a day or two later I met Tim on the street… Tim was more turned-on, vibrant, joyous and grandiose than ever but also had even more sense of humor than previously and kept poking fun at his own Guru act. Neither of us said it aloud, but it was understood that much of Tim’s current persona was just agitprop for the one cause he really believed in: the possibility that LSD… could reprogram enough nervous systems to accelerate consciousness and intelligence before we laid ourselves and our planet to waste”.Robert Anton Wilson in Cosmic Trigger, The Final Secret of the illuminati. 1977, page 41).
Evil Nerds and Drug-Crazed Hippies
The general public soon became aware of Dr. Timothy Leary. To many an older person, Leary was just a nerd gone wrong . He was the crazy “LSD Psychologist” – a guy who threw away his career to live the life of a bohemian. They saw the new youth culture as possibly well-intentioned but mostly misguided and impractical. Older generations remembered the Great Depression and believed in hard work and conservative values. They laughed when James Bond said he needed “ear muffs” to listen to the Beatles and took routine pleasure in disparaging the counter-culture, well into the seventies.
Yet the G. Gordon Liddy, J Edgar Hoover and ultra-conservative crowd were deeply troubled, not to mention aghast. Leary might have advocated careful, controlled and process-driven LSD experiences but recreational drug use was also on the rise^^. In addition to the rise in drugs, civil rights and student-led demonstrations were making for turbulent times. Some student demonstrations turned violent and the Weather Underground were soon blowing up empty buildings to protest the Vietnam War. The attempt to roll-back communism in faraway places was not going so well and hippy youth were asking the world to ‘give peace a chance’.
The establishment protectors were worried American youth would turn into the ‘unemployable’ and ‘useless’ flower children featured in sixties pop culture. The FBI tapped John Lennon’s phone (Hoover and company gathered more than 300 pieces of intelligence about the former Beatle) and began spying on youth “leaders”. They conflated old enemies with the new counter-culture and looked for evidence to prove their suspicions. In the minds of the establishment, the Manson cult murders only confirmed that “drug-crazed hippy” hoards were overrunning America.
To the keepers of conformity, counter-culture heroes like Dr. Timothy Leary were a cancer to be excised.
But the fear was excessive. John Lennon was not out to destroy American civilization – he wanted to live there! Although there were 1960s-early 70s demonstrations, riots and extreme organizations, the rebellion was generational and short-lived.
Despite the impression Woodstock and other sixties film footage gives, only a small percentage of youth were full-time hippies – approximately 1% or so of Boomers by estimate (5).
Many were counter-culture “part-timers” who wore some of the fashion but had no intention of moving into a hippy commune or dropping out of college. As one former hippy put it, many “dipped their toes into the water and moved on” (from post by Chris S Issod. Also in (5)).
Most became part of the establishment:
“Out on the road today, I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac”.-From the song, Boys of Summer, by Don Henley
Songwriter and musician, Don Henley later explained he “was driving down the San Diego Freeway and got passed by (an expensive) Cadillac Seville, the status symbol of the right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie – all the guys with the blue blazers with the crests and the grey pants – and there was this Grateful Dead “Deadhead” bumper sticker on it!” (6)
A lot of students follow the pattern of “liberals as youth, conservatives when older”. They might have grown up with the counter-culture but when they get older and had to pay their own bills, they dug what the Republicans were saying about cutting taxes. As their environment and problems changed, so did their politics.
The very few that were extreme radicals might have worn some hippy fashion but they weren’t about peace and love.
Violence is negated by John Lennon in the Beatles song Revolution:
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destructionRevolution by John Lennon, The Beatles White Album, 1968
Don’t you know that you can count me out…
Leary’s Counter-Culture vs Mass Psychosis
A few became the left-leaning educators who dominate modern Universities and others mutated into Cadillac-driving conservatives but few former hippies would advocate violence.
More disconcerting are the new “cancel-culture” and other extremists who have gained influential power in media, business and politics. Divisive year-long election campaigns, unsuccessful impeachments and the unbalanced propaganda-like mainstream media have left many citizens in one of two strongly opposing camps. With the pandemic scare placed on top of this, mass hysteria is a real threat. 20th Century history teaches that extremism often leads to totalitarian (and genocidal) regimes. These people have zero tolerance for other opinions or open debate. They are ideologues.
In 2021, the new extremists are like Manson-led cults but on a “massive” scale (++) and the mainstream media unwittingly supports their power. If a charismatic cult-of-personality demagogue comes along, there could be a nightmare reality in store for humankind:
“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”-Aldous Huxley
As a part of “The International Foundation for Internal Freedom”, Timothy Leary’s ‘revolution’ was about the internal freedom of the individual and not control over others. “Dropping out” was more about disentangling oneself from limitations, preconceptions and conditioning.
By being able to see things differently, one gains the ability to re-program him or herself – a “new neurological imprint can be made”, much like how Philip K Dick’s Electric Ant character re-programs himself to live a more fulfilled life.
Leary’s ideas on LSD were lost on many:
“While in Folsom, (Leary) was placed in a cell right next to Charles Manson and though they could not see each other, they could talk together. In their discussions, Manson was surprised and found it difficult to understand why Leary had given people LSD without trying to control them”. (7)
Tim told Manson: “That was the point. I didn’t want to impose my realities. The idea is that everyone takes responsibility for their own nervous system, creates his own reality. Anything else is brain-washing”.-The Most Dangerous Man in America, Bill Minutaglio & Steven L. Davis, page 340.
We look further at the “dangerous man”, his prison escape(s) and the problem of placing psychedelics in the hands of Big Pharma, in part 3 , the conclusion of Pandemic, Psychedelics and Timothy Leary.
-Andrew James Brown
1 – Below are some of the media and research articles published in the past 10 or so years discussing the benefits of psychedelics. Although research sample sizes have been relatively small and further research is needed, the results thus far are promising:
On Leary’s Vindication: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/357803
On Psychedelics vs. Anti-Depressants: https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/21/02/19330047/psilocybin-four-times-more-effective-than-antidepressants-study-finds
US National Institute of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4813425/
Frontiers in Psychology: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01681/full
Big Pharma and Psychedelics: https://www.pharmamanufacturing.com/articles/2020/pharmas-next-strange-trip/
2. Ulrich, Jennifer (2018) The Timothy Leary Project, Elephant Book Company, page 8.
* Leary, Timothy (1957). Interpersonal diagnosis of personality: A functional theory and methodology for personality evaluation. New York: Ronald Press.
** Dangerous and “bad” drug trips have always been feared and few have understood Leary’s system to deal with negative psychedelic experiences involving “Set, Setting and Dosage”. During a formal questioning by then attorney general Robert Kennedy, Dr. Leary was asked if drug-taking was dangerous. Leary responded that if the quality of drugs were poor they would indeed be dangerous:
“Leary continually tried to point out the horror of the black market that would be created by across-the-board criminalization of LSD, and Kennedy continually heckled him and tried to trip him into a ‘incriminating admission’ (that the drugs were unsafe). The government went ahead and illegalized LSD research… The black market sprang up almost immediately. Nobody knew what they were buying and bad trips multiplied horrendously… All of this could have been prevented if Leary’s work on Set, Setting and Dosage had been correctly understood”. (Ibid, Cosmic Trigger, Robert Anton Wilson, page. 38).
3. Timothy Leary (1968), High Priest, Ronin Publishing Inc, page 13
^ For example, “Dr Richard Varnes of the Phillips Graduate Institute and practicing psychologist in Beverly Hills, still uses the Leary Circle. He calls Leary’s book Interpersonal diagnosis of personality: A functional theory and methodology for personality evaluation a masterpiece”, (Ibid, Greenfield, pg. 90).
^^ Recreational drug use can be problematic for civilization’s keepers. Excessive alcohol, the previous generation’s drug of choice, had long proved disastrous to both families and economic productivity. Recreational drugs might provide a little relief to the pressures of life but their misuse can result in horrendous costs for both the individual and society (for example, addiction and organized crime). The Harvard psychologists seemed unorthodox in their approach to research, causing many to accuse Leary of using drugs “recreationally” while Leary considered his psychotropic drug research as a path to self-discovery and a new frontier for science.
^^^ Timothy Leary UCLA Lecture, January 18, 1967
+ Therapeutic Use of LSD in Psychiatry: A Systematic Review of Randomized-Controlled Clinical Trials https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6985449/