Of Harvard and Hippiedom
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Published in: September-October 2010 issue.


Harvard ClubThe Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America
by Don Lattin
HarperOne.  256 pages, $24.99


TIMOTHY LEARY proclaimed it “the greatest Good Friday in two thousand years.” On the morning of April 20, 1962, the Dean of Boston University’s Marsh Chapel led his congregation in an intense two-and-a-half-hour session of dark poetry, dramatic homily, and somber music about the Passion of Christ. Meanwhile, a clandestine experiment was being conducted in the church’s basement. Under Leary’s supervision, half of twenty volunteers were given the hallucinogen psilocybin, while the rest received a placebo. The purpose of the experiment was to test the drug’s reliability as an entheogen (a psychoactive chemical.)

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