Tim Leary

Tim Leary

Timothy Leary, also known as ?Uncle Tim?, ?The messiah of LSD?, and ?The most dangerous man in America?, was born on October 22, 1920, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He went to a public high school where he discovered girls and the ability to attract attention from those in authority. After high school he attended Jesuit College Holy Cross, but Tim wasn?t satisfied with Holy Cross, so he took a test to get into West Point. He got very high marks and was accepted. Timothy was very enthused and proud to be at West Point. However, his enthusiasm faded when he realized that he was being trained not to think, but to follow. One day, on a return trip from a football game, Timothy was invited to drink with a few of the upper classmen who brought some bottles of whiskey. The illicit event was unfortunately discovered the next day, and the Cadet Honor Committee punished Tim by inflicting a kind of solitary confinement: everyone was forbidden to speak a word to him. A date was set for a court-martial. Timothy was aquitted in less than two minutes, which caused the disgruntled and unsatisfied Committee to maintain the silence punishment. Leary had to endure nine months of being ignored. When he became a sophomore, some of the cadet officers whom where not on the Honor Committee approached Tim to talk about the situation. They informed him that the whole business was causing morale problems. They wanted to make a deal for Tim's departure. He said that he would leave Westpoint if the honor committee would read a statement in the mess hall proclaiming his innocence. They returned two days later with an approval. Tim went back home and applied to more colleges. He was accepted to the University of Alabama where he became a psychology major. Shortly after, Tim was expelled for sleeping over at the girls? dormitory. He was an A student. When he was kicked out of college he was sent to basic training in artillery at Fort Eustis Virginia. The army needed psychologists, and since Tim had already started the major they let him finish his degree in the service. He was going to be stationed on an infantry boat in the south pacific. Luckily, his old friend from the University of Alabama was now the chief psychologist at the army hospital in Pennsylvania. He managed to get Tim a transfer to his hospital.
In 1944, while training as a clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania, he met Marianne. They married, moved to Berkeley, and had two children Susan and Jack. There he earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of California Berkeley, and over the next few years conducted important research in psychotherapy. By the mid-50s he was teaching at Berkeley and had been appointed Director of Psychological Research at the Kaiser Foundation. His book "The Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality" was enjoying much success. With extensive study, his team discovered that one third of the patients who received psychotherapy got better, one third got worse and one third stayed the same, meaning psychotherapy wasn't really working.
His personal life, unfortunately, took a turn for the worse. Marianne suffered from post partum depression after she had Susan and both her and Tim started to drink and fight regularly. On Tim's 35th birthday he awoke to find Marianne in a closed garage with the car running. She was already dead. Incredibly depressed and feeling that he was "practicing a profession that didn't seem to work," Tim quit his post at Berkeley and moved to Europe where he was living on a small research grant. In Europe Tim's old Berkeley colleague Frank Barron visited. He told of his trip to Mexico where he ate sacred mushrooms and had a religious experience. Barron thought that these mushrooms might be the link to the psychological metamorphosis that they had been looking for. Tim was unimpressed at first and ironically warned Barron about losing his scientific credibility.
Shortly after, David McClelland, the director of the Harvard Center for Personality Research, was in Florence and interviewed Tim for a teaching post. During the interview Tim explained his theory on existential transaction, informing that the whole relationship between patient/therapist should be changed to a more egalitarian information exchange. McClelland was impressed saying that "There is no question that what your advocating is going to be the future