In , Timothy Leary set up an infamous institute at Harvard to experiment with psychedelic drugs. An exclusive excerpt from Don Lattin's. The Harvard Psychedelic Club. How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America. “I enjoyed just about every page of The Harvard Psychedelic Club. This groovy story unfurls — chronicling the lives of men who were brilliant but damaged.


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The harvard psychedelic club

And he never shows contempt for his subjects. In fact, he shows, for the most part, a high regard for these four remarkable men.

Harvard psychedelic club does say that Leary is the most tragic. More important, Lattin shows how this quartet of brilliant insurgents, a sort of Manhattan Project for dismantling the intellectual, scientific, conventional confines of the s, have a lasting impact on how American life is perceived today.

It leaves us with this question: It is supremely entertaining. They are all interesting characters, to be sure. When I started doing my early research and reporting, I realized that not only did I not know the story, but the story harvard psychedelic club never really been told, especially about what happened with Andrew Weil.


Nobody had ever really heard about harvard psychedelic club role in the whole thing. Plus, I wanted to reassess the impact that the psychedelic '60s has had on the culture, because there was such a backlash against all that in the '80s and '90s.

  • The Harvard psychedelic club
  • The Harvard psychedelic club
  • The harvard psychedelic club

Then of course, there's the personal story, which I tell at the end. I struggled about whether or not to put that in the book.

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Why did you end up including it? It explains why I was so fascinated with their story and the questioning of what is the long-term impact of these drugs.

I had some of the most powerfully profound, harvard psychedelic club experiences of my life on LSD, and I also had a bad trip.


All the useless autobiographical trivia was meant to frame how I came to this book, with only a general knowledge of drugs and that decade associated with psychedelics.

I hope I get the facts right: This book briefly describes each man's background, maybe a couple pages per, skimming up to the year when Timothy Leary tried psilocybin mushrooms. Leary and Alpert ostensibly began their psilocybin and LSD experiments with the intention of benefiting society in some way, such as by reducing recidivism in criminals on the hypothesis harvard psychedelic club a feeling of 'connectedness' would cause good behavior.

Mainly, they tried to see if the high would intensify the religious experience and lead to increased spirituality. To this end, Huston Smith was brought in as an expert in world religions, to try to interpret the trips from the perspective of faith.

This obviously all got sidetracked. I love the line that you quoted from Leary when he was asked who he is: I was talking with Ralph Metzner, who worked with Leary and Dass at Harvard in the early '60s, and he said, "You know he wasn't really against everything; he was really more like a trickster from American-Indian lore.

He's not some harvard psychedelic club, all-loving guru. He really tricks you into waking up; he fools you. What do you see as the future use of psychedelics? It has ebbed and flowed. A lot of people are still harvard psychedelic club LSD.

In one of the first books that Weil ever wrote, The Natural Mind, his premise is that we have an innate need to alter our consciousness, almost like our need for food or sex.