Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American psychologist and author known for his strong advocacy of psychedelic drugs. Evaluations of Leary are polarized, ranging from bold oracle to publicity hound. He was "a hero of American consciousness", according to Allen Ginsberg, and Tom Robbins called him a "brave neuronaut".As a clinical psychologist at Harvard University, Leary founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project after a revealing experience with magic mushrooms in Mexico. He led the Project from 1960 to 1962, testing the therapeutic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin, which were legal in the U.S., in the Concord Prison Experiment and the Marsh Chapel Experiment. Other Harvard faculty questioned his research's scientific legitimacy and ethics because he took psychedelics along with his subjects and allegedly pressured students to join in. One of Leary's students, Robert Thurman, has denied that Leary pressured unwilling students. Harvard fired Leary and his colleague Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass) in May 1963. Many people only learned of psychedelics after the Harvard scandal.Leary believed that LSD showed potential for therapeutic use in psychiatry. He took LSD and developed a philosophy of mind expansion and personal truth through LSD. After leaving Harvard, he continued to publicly promote psychedelic drugs and became a well-known figure of the counterculture of the 1960s. He popularized catchphrases that promoted his philosophy, such as "turn on, tune in, drop out", "set and setting", and "think for yourself and question authority". He also wrote and spoke frequently about transhumanist concepts of space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension (SMI²LE). Leary developed the eight-circuit model of consciousness in his book Exo-Psychology (1977) and gave lectures, occasionally calling himself a "performing philosopher".During the 1960s and 1970s, Leary was arrested 36 times. President Richard Nixon once called him "the most dangerous man in America".
You must log in to post a comment.Log in
There are no comments yet.