Psychedelic philanthropy: The nonprofit sector and Timothy Leary’s 1960s psychedelic movement

A new article in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will interest AHP readers, “Psychedelic philanthropy: The nonprofit sector and Timothy Leary’s 1960s psychedelic movement,” by Chris Elcock. Abstract:

Little has been written on the financial support behind Timothy Leary’s unorthodox research into mind?altering drugs like LSD and psilocybin and his subsequent psychedelic movement. Indeed several individuals and organizations helped the psychedelic cause by directly funding Leary’s ventures, offering legal and logistic assistance, and organizing fund?raising campaigns. I argue that classic philanthropic attitudes and wealthy patrons played a major supporting role for Leary’s psychedelic movement in the first part of the decade and that the changes in Leary’s research objectives and his transition from academic to LSD guru were accompanied by changes in the patterns of support that occurred throughout the 1960s. This paper also connects Leary’s legal troubles in the second part of the decade with the rise of the movement to legalize cannabis and points to historical continuity by looking at contemporary endeavors to fund psychedelic research.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.