In 1956, Timothy Leary was the Director of Psychology Research for the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Canada. He had just completed writing a 518 page book titled - 'Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality: A Functional Theory and Methodology for Personality Evaluation'. It was described as the 'Best Book on Psychotherapy of the Year'.
In early 1960 he ingested seven of the Sacred Mushrooms of Mexico - 'psilocybe Mexicana', and as a result of the experience, dedicated his life to this 'new instrument' of psychology.
By 1963 he was experimenting with and studying the effects of LSD. He was using two books by Aldous Huxley as reference points, The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell.
In 1969, Leary joined John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Montreal Bed-In and Lennon subsequently wrote him a campaign song called "Come Together". In the same year time he wrote an essay for David Solomon's book The Marijuana Papers. The following is an excerpt from that article.
"None of us knows how to handle the power and promise-threat of mind-expanding chemicals. But if I am confronted with a fifteen-year-old who does not know what he is doing and a fifty-year-old who does not know what he is doing, I'll take the fifteen-year-old every time. In using a new form of energy, whatever mistakes the teenager makes will be in the direction of sensation, love-making, curiosity, desire for growth. The fifty-year-old has abandoned sensation, lost the impulse to make love, killed his curiosity, and dissipated his lust for growth. You know how he uses new forms of energy: for control and power and war making.
Support the kids. Listen to them. Learn from them if they will let you. They are closer to their nervous systems, closer to cellular and seed wisdom, closer to the Divine Energy than we parents".
In 1971, Hunter S. Thompson, (a compulsive hermit with an atavistic fondness for the .44 Magnum and extremely amplified music), put an altogether different twist on the culture of drugs and kids.
In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas he said: "The big market these days is in downers. Reds and smack - Seconal and heroin - and a hellbroth of bad domestic grass sprayed with everything from arsenic to horse tranquillizers. What sells today, is whatever Fucks You Up - whatever short-circuits your brain and grounds it out for the longest possible time.....The Milltown man has turned, with a vengeance, to skin-popping and even mainlining.....and for every ex-speed freak who drifted, for relief, into smack, there are 200 kids who went straight to the needle off Seconal".
With that oblique thrust at Timothy Leary, Hunter S. managed to predict the sadness of the current youth culture. Those of us older and sane enough to remember the opening of the doors of perception in the 60's and 70's should be ashamed that we, as a majority of substance abusers, did not use the newly gained awarness to positively change the world.
Help the youth of today to experience mind altering substances completely and safely. We, as adults and parents are responsible for the corruption, greed, death and poverty that plagues mankind today.
Sorry kids, we just got too stoned and forgot about the consequences of the fun we were having.
Timothy Leary passed away in 1996 and his ashes went into space.