Leary, Timothy

Leary, Timothy (1920–1996) – Clinical psychologist and counterculture drug guru. With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Leary founded the Harvard Center for Research in Personality in 1958. After eating a number of “magic mushrooms” (psilocybin) in 1960, Leary underwent “the deepest religious experience of my life,” leading to his clinical experiments (on student guinea pigs) with LSD, initially funded by the military. Leary subsequently became disillusioned by academia, “dropped out” of Harvard, and established the privately funded international Foundation for Internal Freedom in 1963. Leary became the most vocal and controversial spokesperson for drugs, particularly psychedelics and especially LSD, as an indispensable aid to human development. His message to “tune in” (by taking LSD), “turn on” (to the counterculture), and “drop out” (of mainstream society, or at least challenge its ideology) was particularly attractive to young people, and Leary, as “high priest of drug culture” was frequently challenged by, spent some time on the run from, and was imprisoned by the authorities.
See also Entheogens.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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