Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Timothy Leary news

I've been following the Timothy Leary Futique Twitter account for about a couple of weeks, but here is some news I've missed: A new short biography of Timothy Leary, Timothy Leary's Trip Through Time by R.U. Sirius, has been released by Futique Trust, Leary's estate. You can purchase a paper copy or download a free ebook (as a PDF) here. (Hat tip, Eric Wagner). I haven't had time to actually read it yet, but there's a lot of stuff about Robert Anton Wilson and it's apparently an "authorized biography" that leans toward putting the blame  for Leary's career as a snitch on his female partner. ("After a couple of months, they split up. Robert Anton Wilson told friends that the main source of conflict was that Leary was unhappy with the extent of Harcourt’s cooperation with the feds." In fairness, Sirius then writes,"In Flashbacks, Leary, less specifically, said only that she’d identified with them too much. Joanna claims that Timothy signed off on everything she did.
I have no reason to disbelieve her... or believe her... and I can say the same of Timothy — which I guess leaves this story in stalemate. ")

I've been reading the JMR Higgs Leary bio, I Have America Surrounded, which has me thinking about reality tunnels (a concept Leary invented before RAW helped popularize it) and about how Leary's women fared after becoming involved with him (generally, not really well, by Higgs' account.) So in the spirit of helping my (generally male) readers enter a different reality tunnel, here's an excellent blog post by Miri M. on "Why You Shouldn't Tell That Random Girl On The Street That She's Hot." (Via Arthur Hlavaty, who invites you to the interesting reality tunnel manifested by  his blog.  Arthur recently noted an anniversary: "On 5/5/77, I finally got up the nerve to print up & mail out my first zine (The Diagonal Relationship). Most of the good things in my life come from that." Today would that be, "to launch my first blog?")


fyreflye said...

At the time of Leary's recapture and the rumors about his alleged cooperation with the Feds there was a lot of talk in the underground press about the likelihood of Joanna Harcourt Smith actually being an FBI plant. I notice, BTW, that Harcourt Smith is now the site owner of the popular (among stoners)
podcast future primitive.org.

PQ said...

The Psychedelic Salon podcast featured a lengthy interview with her in which she told the story of her experiences with Leary. A really fantastic interview, I thought. You can easily find it in the archives.

On the subject of cooperating with authorities, she said something about Leary giving her over to them in a tradeoff so he'd get less time. She then used her connections with underground figures to snitch to the Feds and get people (mainly the underground lawyers, from what I understand) arrested.