A former disciple of Timothy Leary says that “the scene” is beginning to get “disenchanted” with drugs and that the “new scene is to be straight.”
Allen Y. Cohen told a Catholic student audience in Dubuque, Iowa, last month that ten years of research prove it is “impossible to misuse any drug and get away with it. There’s no way you can last—the drug abuser either quits, dies, or loses his mind.” But he added that the message is not getting through to junior-high-school students. “That’s the problem.”
Cohen is now an assistant professor of psychology and dean of men at the experimental John F. Kennedy University near Berkeley, California. In an address at Loras College he traced his life for four years as a “psychedelic utopian,” living with Leary first in Mexico and then on a large estate in New York.
He said “everybody figured that LSD was going to change the world,” but it didn’t. Nor did it provide a solution for those seeking higher forms of spiritual motivation, he said.
Cohen declared he had concluded that drugs are totally useless for spiritual advancement. He added that he believes there is the possibility of achieving real higher consciousness without chemicals. “There are ways to discover the fountain of inner happiness. But the use of drugs is not one of them.”
One of several incidents that fed Cohen’s doubts about drugs involved a friend who after “turning on” with pure LSD ended up in a mental hospital after trying to set fire to his wife and child.
“It just kind of struck me,” he said, “that if these guys were the saints of the Western world, we were in for big trouble.”
After “dropping” LSD about thirty times, he said, he realized that “no matter how good the experiences were, we always came down and nothing really ...1
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