Black and white photograph of psychologist and LSD advocate Timothy Leary.

Timothy Leary

(1920 - 1996)

A promising young psychology professor, Timothy Leary was appointed to the position of lecturer at Harvard in 1959. While there, Leary founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project in 1960 to study the cultural and philosophical implications of psychedelic drugs. The controversial program was shut down in 1963 and Leary was dismissed, whereafter he formed a small hedonistic community in Millbrook, New York; intensively explored the effects of LSD; was incarcerated for marijuana possession; escaped from prison with the aid of the revolutionary group the Weather Underground; fled to Algeria and later Afghanistan, where he was captured in 1973; and returned to a California prison. Leary was released in 1976 and continued to appear in lectures and debates on psychedelic drugs until his death from prostate cancer in 1996.

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My advice to people today is as follows: if you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.

—Timothy Leary, 1966

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