Casey Alexander Paleo

As the Western world approaches the dawning of a psychedelic renaissance, it would be wise to pause for a look back at our history, if we hope to avoid the doom of repeating it. While it’s not fair to hold Timothy Leary wholly accountable for the reaction that the psychedelic movement of the 1960s elicited from the dominant culture of its time—he was, in the final analysis, more the movement’s lightning rod than its architect—we cannot overlook the outcome of his attempt to lead a full-frontal assault on the existing power structure, which was frankly disastrous. His rallying cry urging Americans to “turn on, tune in, drop out” provoked a conservative backlash of such ferocity that our society is still reeling from it: Nixon famously identified Leary as “the most dangerous man in America,” declared the War on Drugs, and enacted the prohibition of psychedelics via the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Just like that, the most powerful tools for psychotherapeutic healing and consciousness exploration known to humankind were driven out of public reach into the underground, where they have remained, by and large, for almost half a century… continue reading.

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