Re: Leary and LSD

Elezabeth Gips (
Tue, 30 Jan 1996 13:26:25 -0500

At 10:12 AM 1/29/96 -0500, Michel J Martin wrote:
>Members of the list,
> In the course of my reading on drugs in the sixties, I have come
>across an important contradiction which someone may be able to clarify.
>David Farber, in his synthesis of the sixties THE AGE OF GREAT DREAMS
>says that Timothy Leary rejected the proposition of Aldous Huxley that
>LSD should be used by only a very few, psychologically stable people (p.
>80-81). Yet, newspaper reports from late 1966 which I have looked at
>announced that Leary began to "tell students to abstain," fearing that
>young people were using LSD improperly--and certainly not in the
>religious sort of way he wanted. He was quoted in the NEW YORK TIMES on
>April 22, 1966 saying that he feared that LSD might "be creating a new
>race of mutants."

There are still MANY people who feel that the popular use of LSD ruined the
possibilities of serious research and was responsible for making it
illegal. I don't remember Leary saying that, to me he has always been the
spokesperson for the democratization of god-consciousness - certainly at
the first Human Be-in in Golden Gate Park, (January 1967) he did not tell
anyone to abstain!! Quite the contrary. Also Leary's propensities to jump
on the publicity bandwagons of any moment can't be ignored. (look at how he
is currently dying with such flair, for instance) However, it seems to me
that this was about the time that he got ousted out of Mexico, and he might
have been leaning over backwards to be a good boy.

> Can anyone shed light on this apparent inconsistency? Perhaps
>both claims are true. That is, perhaps Leary rejected Huxley's judgment
>before 1966 but found reason to call for restraint thereafter.
>Michel J. Martin
>Temple Univ., History

"Continuity in Change is the secret of the eternity of the Universe" The I
Elizabeth Gips
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