Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary Speaks from Beyond the Grave



Jeff Riggenbach has written an interesting article about Timothy Leary and Thomas Szasz for mises.org. Since the article quotes from Riggenbach's Reason interview with Leary, and since that interview is a pretty fascinating conversation, I've posted a pdf of the Q&A here. Among the topics covered: prison life, space colonization, and whether it's true that "Squeaky Fromme stands in a Sacramento courtroom…for believing exactly what Dylan told her in the Sixties." The article appeard in the April 1977 issue of the magazine.

Bonus links: My review of a recent Leary biography. Nick Gillespie's review of the same book. And a Leary profile that Brian Doherty did back in the '90s.

NEXT: Federal Wiretapping, Like Almost Everything Else, Bigger Under Obama Than Under the Horrible, Evil Republican he Replaced

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  1. Fun fact: I used to be best buds with Riggenbach’s nephew.

  2. Thanks for the PDF it shall be an interesting read later when i get a chance. Leary has always intruged me, as a pyshconaut. It seems that thoose who have taken lsd or other mind expanding drugs, always have a slightly tilted view of the universe, for the good i might add, than someone who hasd never travelled, so to speak. Personally think people should be allowed to expand thier minds, but then again. thoose who do usually then see how petty the goverment is and how horrid people can be, but yet how wonderful people can also be, if not ordered about or overly restrained by thier rulers.

  3. So, what’s the ‘barners at the Mises Institute gotta say about Leary?

    Roll Tide, Timmy!

  4. Too bad he couldn’t help Pete find the key to fifty million fables.

  5. I’m always intrigued by the interaction between libertarianism and science. Libertarians tend to generally hold themselves out as rational and scientifically-rooted with respect to most topics (religion/evolution comes to mind) but some have a tendency to flip sides when it clashes with their world view (such as claiming that there is ZERO man-made global warming, despite significant evidence to the contrary). The reverence for Thomas Szasz strikes me as a similar discounting of science where pseudo-science better fits one’s libertarian world view. Like most libertarians, I believe that people should take responsibility for their actions, and I also agree that some have used “mental illnesses” as an excuse for their own choices. But to jump from that observation to the conclusion that there’s no such thing as a mental illness at all–in the face of significant evidence to the contrary–seems like a gross overreaction at best and willful ignorance at worst.

    1. Yeah, libertarianism like all other political persuasions has its share of fanatics. It’s usually the newest converts to libertarianism that think we’ve got everything figured out and it’s just a matter of implementing our goals.

      1. Obviously I’m libertarian too, which is why it confuses me. I expect irrationality from Democrats and Republicans.

        1. To be fair, I haven’t heard of a Randian-Gillespist Libertarian Dictatorship popping-up…yet.

        2. Well, just expect some irrationality by people in general and your expectations will always be met.

  6. Did Fromme or Manson ever go around quoting Dylan. Didn’t they just obsess over The Beatles?

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