Transcript: Timothy Leary | Mar 31, 1977

Mike McManus appears in a dark television studio with a lit-up sign that reads his name. He’s in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted gray hair. He’s wearing a tight yellow sweater over a brown shirt.

He says THE FATHER OF THE PSYCHEDELIC
AGE, FORCED OUT OF HARVARD
UNIVERSITY, ARRESTED IN TEXAS,
IMPRISONED IN CALIFORNIA,
ESCAPED TO ALGIERS.
IN THE WORDS OF THE ROD McKUEN
SONG, 'HE'S BEEN TO TOWN'.
MY GUEST: Mr.
TIMOTHY LEARY.
OUR SUBJECT: HIS
VIEW OF THE '60s,
HIS MESSAGE
FOR THE '70s.

(music plays)

In animation, the phrase “The education of Mike McManus” flies by, as Mike walks across the studio and joins Tim Leary at a small round table.

The opening sequence rolls.
Soft flute music plays.

Portraits of Mike made of dots in different colours flash by as the title flies by: The Education of Mike McManus.

Then, Mike and Tim appear on screen again.
Tim is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with straight white hair. He’s wearing a dark blue neckerchief and a checkered pink shirt.

Mike continues TIM LEARY, DO YOU EVER
REMEMBER A TEN YEARS
LIKE THE 1960s?

Tim says I THINK THE 1960s WERE
PERHAPS THE MOST VOLATILE,
EXPLOSIVE, AND IMPORTANT
DECADE IN HISTORY.
I THINK THERE WAS HARDLY
ONE ASPECT OF OUR CULTURE,
AMERICAN AND CANADIAN, AND
WESTERN CULTURE THAT WASN'T
RE-EXAMINED AND REVIEWED AND
REFORMED DURING THAT PERIOD.
I THINK IT WAS A VERY
SUCCESSFUL DECADE.
I SAY TO MY FELLOW VETERANS OF
THE UNCIVIL WAR OF THE '60s,
I THINK WE WON, IF YOU
WANT TO USE THE METAPHOR
OF WON AND LOST.

Mike says WELL, BEFORE WE GET INTO WON
AND LOST, LET'S FIND OUT WHAT
THE FIGHT WAS ALL ABOUT.
NOW, YOU'RE QUOTED NUMEROUS
TIMES AROUND THAT PERIOD IN
THE EARLY '60s AS SEEING
LSD AS THE ANSWER TO ALL
OF SOCIETY'S PROBLEMS.
STILL HOLD THAT?
AND IS THAT WHAT
YOU WERE SAYING?

Tim says WELL, NO, MIKE, THAT
WASN'T WHAT I SAID.
YOU KNOW HOW THE MEDIA
SIMPLIFIES AND PULLS OUT ONE
ASPECT OF A COMPLEX MESSAGE.
THE MEDIA CAN'T HANDLE
COMPLEXITY, ALTHOUGH WE CAN
ONLY TRY TO SEND AN
INTELLIGENT MESSAGE OUT.
BUT WITH AN AUDIENCE LIKE
THIS, I'M SURE WE CAN
DO IT TODAY, MIKE.
THE LSD HAD VERY LITTLE TO
DO WITH WHAT WAS GOING ON
IN THE '60s.
THE REAL ISSUE WAS
CONSCIOUSNESS.
WHEN I BEGAN TALKING AND
LECTURING ABOUT CONSCIOUSNESS
IN THE EARLY 1960s, PEOPLE
WOULD LOOK AT ME AND THEIR
JAWS WOULD DROP, AND THEY
WOULD SAY, WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
YOU ARE EITHER AWAKE
OR YOU'RE ASLEEP.
HA, HA.
NOW WE KNOW THE INDIVIDUAL
CONSCIOUSNESS CAN BE CHANGED,
ALTERED, RAISED.
WE CREATE OUR OWN
REALITY WITH OUR BRAIN.
THIS WAS A TREMENDOUSLY
LIBERATING EVENT.

Mike says BUT WHEN YOU SAY
CREATE OUR OWN REALITY.

Tim says YEAH.

Mike says IS IT A REALITY THAT
HAS ANY RELATIONSHIP TO
OBJECTIVE REALITY?

Tim says WELL, THAT'S THE
AESTHETICS OF HOW YOU
CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY.
IF YOUR REALITY IS NOT IN
SYNC, OR IN HARMONY WITH
OTHERS, THEN YOU ARE
CRAZY OR YOU'RE ECCENTRIC.
THE TRICK, OF COURSE, IS TO
CREATE REALITIES WHICH ARE A
LITTLE AHEAD OF THE TIMES AND
THEN PERSUADE PEOPLE TO WALK
INTO YOUR REALITY.

Mike says OKAY, GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE
OF AN ALTERED STATE OF
CONSCIOUSNESS WHEREBY I SEE
NOW THINGS I DIDN'T SEE
BEFORE, AND I'M A
LITTLE AHEAD OF MY TIME.
THIS IS WHAT YOU SAY YOU WERE
TRYING TO DO IN THE '60s.

Tim says OF COURSE.
IN THE EARLY '60s THERE WAS A
SMALL GROUP OF US IN AMERICA,
AND IN CANADA, AND WESTERN
EUROPE, WHO SAW THAT
CONSCIOUSNESS
COULD BE CHANGED.
AND WE QUITE DELIBERATELY SET
UP SOME MODELS THAT WE WANTED
PEOPLE TO CHANGE TO.
NOBODY, YOU KNOW, THESE
DAYS OR EVEN THEN,
TALKS ABOUT THE FUTURE.
EVERYONE'S OBSESSED
WITH THE PAST.
WATERGATE AND MACKENZIE KING,
AND YOU KNOW WHAT WENT ON
BACK THERE.
THERE ARE VERY FEW OF US
THAT ARE THINKING ABOUT THE
FUTURE, AND THOSE OF US WHO
DO, WE HAVE A LOT OF LEVERAGE
BECAUSE WE CAN LITERALLY
CREATE THE FUTURE
FOR THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE IT.
NOW, WE SAID THE FUTURE
WE WANTED WAS ONE
OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM.
WE WANTED NO POLICE CONTROL
OVER OUR BODIES OR OUR MINDS.
WE WANTED THE DRAFT ENDED.
WE WANTED THE WAR ENDED.
WE WANT A BETTER AND
MORE EQUAL RELATIONSHIP
AMONG THE SEXES.
WE WANTED MORE INDIVIDUAL
ROOM FOR CULTURAL LIFESTYLES.
LOOK AT THE LIST, GO DOWN THAT
LIST, WE WON EVERY ONE OF
THOSE VICTORIES, AND CANADA
AND AMERICA ARE FREER PLACES
TODAY AND MORE SECURE PLACES
BECAUSE OF WHAT WE DID
IN THE '60s.

Mike says YEAH, YEAH.
BUT YOU WOULDN'T DENY, YOU'VE
LISTED THAT GROCERY LIST OF
SOCIAL CHANGES THAT YOU
WANTED TO SEE IN THE COUNTRY.

Tim says CULTURAL CHANGES.

Mike says CULTURAL CHANGES.
YOU WOULDN'T DENY THAT LSD WAS
RELATED TO YOUR PROCESS OF
SOME OF YOUR PROCESS
OF CONSCIOUS-CHANGING?

Tim says ABSOLUTELY.
DRUGS, PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS,
NOT THE NARCOTIC DRUGS LIKE
ALCOHOL AND HEROIN, BUT
MIND-OPENING DRUGS.

Mike says DO YOU STILL FEEL FOR
MIND-OPENING IN THE '70s,
DRUGS ARE AS ESSENTIAL A
FACTOR AS THEY WERE TO YOU
IN THE '60s?

Tim says NO.
THEY ARE NOT AS
ESSENTIAL TODAY.
WE'VE GONE BEYOND
THAT, I BELIEVE.
ONE OF THE THINGS IS THAT MOST
PEOPLE IN CANADA AND AMERICA
NOW UNDERSTAND
DRUGS INDIVIDUALLY.
THEY KNOW WHAT DRUGS CAN
OR CANNOT DO FOR THEM.
THE PROBLEM IN THE '60s WAS
THERE WAS A PEER GROUP FAD
THING GOING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE
THAT TOOK DRUGS SHOULDN'T.
BUT NOW EVERY SENSIBLE
CANADIAN ADULT, AND YOUNG
ADULT, UNDERSTANDS WHAT THEY
WANT TO DO WITH THEIR HEAD.
TODAY, IN THE UNITED STATES,
DRUGS IS AN ENORMOUS BUSINESS,
AND I HAVE NO MORE INTEREST IN
THE DRUG BUSINESS THAN I DO
IN THE PLUMBING BUSINESS.
DO YOU KNOW, MIKE, THAT THE
ROLLING PAPER INDUSTRY IN
AMERICA IS A QUARTER
OF A BILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S 250 MILLION dollars
FOR THE PAPER ALONE.
I'M NOT INTERESTED
IN THE HARDWARE,
COMMERCIAL WHOLESALING.
WE'RE INTERESTED NOW IN WHERE
WE ARE GOING TO GO WITH OUR
EXPANDED CONSCIOUSNESS.

Mike says WHAT DO YOU THINK DRUGS
DID FOR YOU PERSONALLY?

Tim says THEY OPENED MY MIND.
THEY TAUGHT ME THERE WAS
NO EXCUSE TO BE DEPRESSED.
THERE WAS NO EXCUSE
TO BE STATIC.
YOUR MIND COULD BE
CHANGED AND MOVED.
THERE WAS NO EXCUSE TO BE
CAUGHT IN THE ILLUSION THAT
SOCIETY WAS DOING
THINGS TO YOU.
IT GAVE ME CONTROL OF
MY OWN CONSCIOUSNESS.

Mike says DO YOU THINK, LOOKING BACK,
DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE
FOUND OUT ALL THOSE
THINGS ANOTHER WAY?

Tim says NO, I DON'T.

Mike says DO YOU THINK YOU
DAMAGED YOURSELF AT ALL?

Tim says I FEEL GREAT.
I'VE NEVER FELT BETTER.
I'VE NEVER FELT
MORE OPTIMISTIC.
I'VE MADE PLENTY OF MISTAKES
BECAUSE THEY WERE PRETTY
COMPLEX TIMES.
BUT IT WAS A BALL GAME.
IT WAS A HOCKEY GAME.
I SPENT SOME TIME
IN THE PENALTY BOX.
I GOT KNOCKED AROUND A BIT,
BUT NO, I FEEL I GREW IN
STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE, AND
I'M VERY HAPPY THE WAY IT
TURNED OUT.

Mike says AND YOU FEEL YOU WON?

Tim says WELL, I DON'T LIKE THE
METAPHOR OF WIN OR LOSS
BECAUSE THESE ARE GENETIC
HISTORICAL THINGS.
WE SAW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
WE WENT ALONG WITH THE
HISTORICAL EVOLUTIONARY TIDE.
YEAH, WE WON.
EVERY ONE OF THE POLITICIANS
THAT HARASSED US AND PUT ME IN
PRISON IN THE '60s AND EARLY
'70s, EVERY ONE OF THEM IS
EITHER RETIRED OR
RESIGNED IN DISGRACE,
OR DOING TIME THEMSELVES.
BUT I HAVE NO BITTERNESS.
I FEEL ALL THOSE
PEOPLE SHOULD BE OUT.
EHRLICHMAN, LIDDY.

Mike says BUT YOU ARE CONVINCED THE
YOUNGER GANG THAT'S IN ARE
GOING TO BE A LETTER LOT?

Tim says ABSOLUTELY.
THE SUCCESSFUL HIPPIES
HAVE TAKEN OVER AMERICA.
YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING, AS
I WALK AROUND CANADA, AND I
MEET THE YOUNG PEOPLE, 35 TO
40 WHO ARE RUNNING CANADA,
AND ARE GOING TO BE RUNNING
CANADA IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS,
TEN YEARS AGO, THEY WERE
COLLEGE STUDENTS.
TEN YEARS AGO THEY WERE, YOU
KNOW, SURE, OUR PEOPLE ARE
NOW, FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE,
RUNNING CANADA AND AMERICA.

Mike says SO YOU HAVE GREAT
CONFIDENCE IN YOUNG PEOPLE.

Tim says OF COURSE.
THEY'RE NOT YOUNG ANYMORE.
35 TO 40, IF YOU
CALL THAT YOUNG.
YEAH.
I'VE BEEN AROUND THE COUNTRY,
AMERICA, AND NOW I'M IN
CANADA, IN THE LAST TWO
MONTHS, I'VE BEEN FROM FLORIDA
TO BUFFALO TO VERMONT, TO SAN
DIEGO, AND IN AMERICA THERE'S
A SENSE OF CELEBRATION
AND TRIUMPH.
IT'S AS THOUGH THE
OLD REGIME HAS GONE.

Mike says YOU'RE REALISTIC ENOUGH
TO KNOW, THOUGH, THAT THEY
HAVEN'T SOLVED THE COLOURED
PROBLEM DOWN THERE.
THERE IS STILL
TREMENDOUS INJUSTICE
IN OUR SOCIETY TODAY.
I MEAN, WE'RE NOT -- THE '60s
DIDN'T TAKE US INTO PARADISE.

Tim says I DON'T BUY THAT.
I THINK THAT IT'S EASY TO LOOK
FOR NEGATIVE THINGS, BUT THE
FACTS OF THE MATTER ARE,
MIKE, THAT THE HUMAN RACE,
AND PARTICULARLY THE PEOPLE
OF CANADA AND AMERICA TODAY,
ARE MORE SECURE, THEY ARE MORE
PROSPEROUS, THEY HAVE LESS
REALLY TO WORRY ABOUT.
BUT STILL THERE
IS THIS MALAISE.
AND I SENSE IN TALKING TO
CANADIANS THAT THERE'S SOME
FEELING IN CANADA THAT YOU
ARE NOT TOTALLY HAPPY
WITH THE WAY
THINGS ARE GOING.
I THINK THIS IS
GOING TO CHANGE.
I THINK WE ARE GOING TO BE IN
A PERIOD OF FAST MIGRATION
AND MUTATION, AND THAT WE
ARE NOW IN A KIND OF MELLOW
PERIOD WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO
HAPPEN THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

Mike says YEAH, BUT THERE ARE THOSE
WHO SAY, TIM, THAT WE ARE
IN A MELLOW PERIOD BECAUSE
AT THE END OF THE '60s
WE HIT THE WALL.

Tim says THE WALL?
WHAT WALL?

Mike says THAT WE DIDN'T
FIND THE OPENING,
THE DOOR TO THE NEW WORLD.

Tim says YOU FEEL DISAPPOINTED?

Mike says SOMEWHAT, YEAH.

Tim says DO YOU?

Mike says MORE REALISTIC THOUGH.
I'D BE MUCH SLOWER TO GET
ON THE BANDWAGON AGAIN.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Timothy Leary."

Tim says THAT'S GOOD.
THAT'S GOOD.
BECAUSE CERTAINLY ONE OF THE
THINGS ABOUT THE '60s WAS
THERE WAS A LITTLE
TOO MUCH OPTIMISM.
WE THOUGHT IT WAS
GOING TO BE EASIER.
WE DIDN'T EXPECT NIXON.
WE DIDN'T EXPECT THE
KENNEDY ASSASSINATIONS.
IT GOT A LITTLE HEAVIER THAN
WE THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO GET.
THAT TESTED OUR STRENGTH.
WE SURVIVED, WE WON.
I THINK IT'S USEFUL, MIKE, TO
THINK OF WAVES OF EVOLUTION.
AND I STUDIED THE SURFERS IN
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, AND YOU
LEARN A LOT FROM THEM, THAT
WE CAN'T CHANGE THE WAVE.
THERE WAS A WAVE IN THE '60s
WHICH CERTAINLY AFFECTED ALL
OF OUR LIVES.
THEN THERE WAS A COUNTER WAVE.
THERE WAS AN EBB TIDE.
THAT WAS THE NIXON
AGNEW REPRESSION.
IT WAS INEVITABLE.
WE STIRRED UP SO MUCH FREEDOM
THEY COULDN'T HANDLE IT.
NOW, THERE'S
ANOTHER WAVE COMING.
IT WAS SYMBOLIZED, I THINK,
BY THE CARTER ELECTION,
BUT IT'S NOT POLITICAL.
AND THIS WAVE IS GOING
TO TAKE US FARTHER.
SO DON'T BE DISCOURAGED BECAUSE
NOTHING MUCH HAPPENED.
DURING THAT PERIOD OF
QUIESCENCE OF THE LAST SIX
YEARS, I WAS IN PRISON, OF
COURSE, FOR 44 MONTHS OF IT,
BUT EVERYONE WAS IN A
PRISON TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.
YOU KNOW, BECAUSE WE DIDN'T
LIKE WHAT WAS GOING ON.
BUT I THINK WE'VE
LEARNED A LOT.
AND WE ARE GOING TO
BE MORE SKEPTICAL.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO
BUY EASY SOLUTIONS.
BUT NO, GOOD THINGS
ARE GOING TO HAPPEN.

Mike says OKAY, SO MUCH FOR YOUR
INTERPRETATION OF THE '60s.
WHAT'S YOUR MESSAGE FOR
THE '70s, TIMOTHY LEARY?

Tim says WELL, THE PROHIBITION AGAINST
NEW IDEAS HAS BEEN REPEALED
IN AMERICA.
IT'S NOW POSSIBLE -- I GO
AROUND AND I SAY, I'M GOING
TO DO SOMETHING VERY
RADICAL RIGHT NOW.
I'M GOING TO TALK TO YOUR
VIEWERS AS ONE INTELLIGENT
PERSON TO ANOTHER.
I KNOW THAT'S OUT OF
FASHION THE LAST FEW YEARS.

Mike says YOU HAVEN'T SEEN OUR SHOW.

Tim says I KNOW, MIKE.
THAT'S WHY I CAME
ALL THE WAY HERE.
THIS IS THE PLACE TO DO IT.
BUT THERE ARE SOME NEW IDEAS
WHICH I THINK MERIT OUR
ATTENTION, OUR ENGAGEMENT.
THESE THREE IDEAS WE
SUMMARIZED IN THE ACRONYM
OR THE MEMORY DEVICE SMIILE.

Mike says SMILE.

Tim says S-M-I-I-L-E.
THAT STANDS FOR SPACE
MIGRATION, INTELLIGENCE
INCREASE, AND LIFE EXTENSION.
AND WHAT IT MEANS IS WITHIN
THE NEXT TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS,
WE ARE GOING TO BE LEAVING
THE PLANET, IN FAMILY GROUPS,
TO COLONIZE SPACE.

Mike says THIS IS SPACE MIGRATION.

Tim says SPACE MIGRATION.
WE ARE GOING TO GET A
LOT SMARTER BECAUSE HUMAN
INTELLIGENCE ALWAYS INCREASES
AT A TIME OF MIGRATION.
AND WE ARE GOING TO LEARN
HOW TO, THROUGH GENETIC AND
BIOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES,
EXTEND THE LIFE SPAN.
SO, LITERALLY, WE CAN LIVE
AS LONG AS WE WANT TO.
THERE'S NO REASON WHY ANYONE
VIEWING THIS PROGRAM TODAY
NEED EVER DIE.
SCRATCH DEATH FROM
YOUR APPOINTMENT BOOK.
DEATH IS A PRE-PROGRAMMED
OBSOLESCENCE.
IT'S A SELF-DESTRUCT BUTTON
WHICH WAS NEEDED UNTIL
WE'RE NOW READY TO
LEAVE THE PLANET.

Mike says ARE YOU SERIOUS?
YOU SAID WE WERE TOO
ENTHUSIASTIC IN THE '60s
AND SLOW DOWN IN THE '70s.

Tim says I DIDN'T SAY SLOW DOWN.
NO, EVERYTHING I'M SAYING
NOW IS NOT MY IDEA.
I'M NOT HALLUCINATING HERE
WITH MIKE IN TORONTO.
EVERYTHING I'M SAYING IS
BASED UPON SCIENTIFIC...

Mike says OKAY, LET'S TALK
ABOUT SPACE MIGRATION.
TECHNOLOGICALLY POSSIBLE?

Tim says ABSOLUTELY.
NO BREAKTHROUGHS ARE NEEDED.
THE RETRO ROCKETS THAT ARE
GOING TO TAKE US, FERRY US UP
INTO SPACE, HAVE BEEN ROLLED
OUT OF THE PALMDALE HANGAR
IN CALIFORNIA.
THEY ARE BEING TEST RUN.
AND WITHIN TWO YEARS, WE ARE
GOING TO BE SENDING MATERIAL
AND CARGOES INTO SPACE JUST
THE WAY WE NOW -- IT'S GOING
TO BE LESS INTERESTING
THAN 747 FLIGHTS.
IT'S ON THE WAY.
AND THIS IS NASA
GOVERNMENT STUFF.

Mike says ALL RIGHT, THAT'S GOING
TO BE THE BEGINNING OF THE
COLONIZATION PROCESS.
THEY ARE GOING TO START.

Tim says WHEN I TALK ABOUT SPACE
MIGRATION, DO NOT THINK
ABOUT
BUCK ROGERS
OR
STAR TREK
OR
2001.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT CYLINDERS
OF SPACE WORLDS THAT ARE 30
MILES LONG, FOUR OR FIVE MILES
IN DIAMETER, IN WHICH THE
CLIMATE AND THE LANDSCAPING
WILL BE ABSOLUTELY WHAT THE
GROUPS WANT.
SO WHEN YOU THINK OF SPACE
MIGRATION, DON'T THINK OF
SPACESHIPS AND ALL THAT
ASTRONAUT ACROBATICS,
THINK OF THE MOST RURAL OR
MOST PASTORAL OR BEAUTIFUL
EARTH SCENE THAT YOU WANT.
WE'RE LITERALLY GOING TO
CREATE THE ENVIRONMENT, THE
CLIMATE, AND THE LANDSCAPE
THAT WE WANT UP THERE
IN SMALL GROUPS.

Mike says WHAT'S SMALL?
FOUR OF US?

Tim says NO, NO, NO, IT'S GOING TO
TAKE SEVERAL HUNDRED AS A
MINIMUM, UP TO 5,000.
ALTHOUGH, THEY HAVE ON THE
PLANNING BOARDS, SPACE WORLDS,
SPACE COLONIES WHICH WILL
HAVE UP TO A MILLION PEOPLE.
BUT THAT'S A LITTLE TOO
URBANIZED FOR MOST OF US.

Mike says AND WHAT'S YOUR
ENTHUSIASM FOR?
LIKE CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
TO FIND THE NEW WORLD,
SORT OF KIND OF THING?

Tim says YES.
WE'RE IN EXACTLY THE SITUATION
TODAY, IT'S LIKE 1493.
THE ASTRONAUTS HAVE COME BACK
AND HAVE TOLD US THAT THE LUNAR,
THE MOON SAMPLES, SOIL
SAMPLES, CONTAIN OXYGEN,
SILICON, AND THE METALS
NECESSARY TO BUILD THESE WORLDS.
I'M INTERESTED BECAUSE
IT GIVES US A CHANCE TO
EXPERIMENT WITH
NEW LIFESTYLES.
WITH POPULATION INCREASING,
AND WITH THE POLITICAL
TENSIONS OF THE HAVE AND HAVE
NOT NATIONS, THIS PLANET IS
GOING TO BE A VERY UNHEALTHY
PLACE IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS
UNLESS THERE IS SOME ROOM,
SOME WINDOW TO MOVE OUT.

Mike says BUT WHAT MAKES YOU
OPTIMISTIC, TIM, TO THINK
THAT WE CAN DEVELOP THE KIND OF
WORLD UP THERE THAT WE'RE NOT
ABLE TO CREATE DOWN HERE?

Tim says BECAUSE MOST OF OUR PROBLEMS
DOWN HERE, MIKE, CERTAINLY
POLITICAL PROBLEMS, ARE DUE
TO TERRITORY AND COMPETITION
OVER TERRITORY, AND WHO IS
GOING TO BE THE TOP PERSON
AND THAT SORT OF THING.

Mike says BUT YOU ARE TAKING HUMAN
BEINGS ALONG WITH YOU.

Tim says YES, BUT THERE WILL NOT
BE TERRITORIAL PROBLEMS.
UP THERE, IT'S LITERALLY
CHEAPER TO BUILD A WORLD FOR
5,000 PEOPLE THERE THAN
IT WOULD BE TO BUILD A
CONDOMINIUM FOR 5,000 PEOPLE
DOWN HERE BECAUSE ENERGY IS
FREE THERE, AND BECAUSE THE
NATURAL RESOURCES ARE FROM
THE MOON AND ASTEROID
BELT ARE QUITE FREE.
SO IT'S LITERALLY CHEAPER
TO LIVE UP THERE
THAN IT IS DOWN HERE.

Mike says ALL RIGHT, CHEAPER.
BUT YOU'RE NOT ANY LESS
HUMANLY DESTRUCTIVE.

Tim says YES, BECAUSE IT'S CHEAPER TO
BUILD A NEW WORLD THAN FIGHT
OVER THE OLDER, I SAY TO MY
ARAB AND JEWISH FRIENDS, LOOK,
WITH THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU
ARE SPENDING FIGHTING OVER THE
GOLAN HEIGHTS, WE'LL BUILD
YOU TEN GOLAN HEIGHTS.
FOUR FOR THE JEWS, AND FOUR
THE ARABS, AND TWO FOR THE
IRISH WHO THOUGHT THE IDEA UP.
[laughing]
MIKE LIKES THAT.

Mike says I LIKE THAT.
THE SECOND POINT IN SMIILE
WAS INCREASED INTELLIGENCE,
AND THE LAST ONE
WAS LONGEVITY.
LIFE EXTENSION.

Tim says LIFE EXTENSION.
QUICKLY, WHY ONCE WE GET OUT
INTO SPACE ARE WE GOING TO BE
BRIGHTER THAN WE'VE BEEN,
AND WHY ARE WE GOING
TO LIVE LONGER?
BECAUSE IN THE HISTORY OF
HUMAN EVOLUTION AND IN THE
HISTORY OF MIGRATION, WE STARTED
IN BABYLON, ATHENS, ROME.
WHEN WE HIT THE ATLANTIC COAST
THERE WAS THIS BACKUP OF ENERGY.
THEN WE HAD PORTUGAL, SPAIN,
THE GREAT EMPIRES THAT EXPLORED.
AT THE TIME OF MIGRATION AND
MOVING OUT, PEOPLE GET FASTER.
WE HAD TO BUILD SHIPS, WE HAD TO
BUILD COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES.
I'D LIKE TO TELL THE
CANADIANS, LISTEN, WE ARE ALL,
NORTH AMERICANS ARE THE SEED
DESCENDANTS OF MIGRANTS.
NOW, DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE
IN CANADA, OR YOU'LL BEGIN TO
FIGHT OVER THE SPOILS,
AND YOU'LL GET INWARD.
LOOK AHEAD, CANADIANS, BECAUSE
LIKE AMERICANS, THIS IS WHERE
IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.
NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT IS
THE LAUNCHING PAD FOR THE
HUMAN RACE TO
MOVE INTO SPACE.
WE'VE GOT THE RESOURCES.
WE'VE GOT THE ENERGY.
WE'VE GOT THE COURAGE.
WE COME FROM CRAZY MIGRANT
PEOPLE WHO CAME HERE WITH SOME
SORT OF VISION, SO I'M
INVITING CANADIANS TO JOIN
AMERICANS IN THIS MOVING OUT.

Mike says NOW, THAT'S YOUR ROLE IN
THE '70s, TO DO WHAT YOU ARE
DOING NOW, AWAKEN INTEREST
AND ENTHUSIASM, AND ALL THAT
KIND OF THING.

Tim says RIGHT, RIGHT.
AND HOPE.

Mike says AND HOPE.

Tim says I'M A HOPE DEALER.

Mike says OKAY, LET'S GO BACK A BIT.
WHERE ALL HAVE
YOU BEEN IN JAIL?

Tim says I WAS IN 29 JAILS AND
PRISONS ON FOUR CONTINENTS.
AFGHANISTAN, ALGERIA, AND OF
COURSE MAINLY IN CALIFORNIA.

Mike says YOU'VE BEEN IN
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT?

Tim says I WAS IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
FOR ABOUT 24 MONTHS DURING
THIS PERIOD.
NOT FOR ANY DISCIPLINARY
REASONS, SIMPLY THE PRISON
AUTHORITIES DIDN'T KNOW
WHAT TO DO WITH ME.
I'M SURE YOU'VE READ
SOLZHENITSYN, THE PRISON
AUTHORITIES DON'T KNOW WHAT TO
DO, PARTICULARLY IN AMERICA,
WITH A POLITICAL PRISONER.
BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT
I WAS NOT A CRIMINAL.
THEY WERE AFRAID -- THEY
ALSO KEPT ME ISOLATED
BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID
I MIGHT BE CONTAGIOUS.
[laughing]
AND THEY'RE RIGHT.

Mike says LISTEN, WHAT, IN A FEW WORDS,
WAS THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE
FOR YOU IN PRISON?
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?

Tim says I WAS AN IVORY TOWER PROFESSOR
BEFORE I WENT TO PRISON.
AND IN PRISON, I
LEARNED ABOUT FORCE.

Mike says OH, COME ON, AT HARVARD YOU
WERE NO IVORY TOWER PROFESSOR.

Tim says AS FAR AS VIOLENCE AND FORCE,
REALLY, IT WAS A PRETTY
GENTEEL, CIVILIZED PLACE.
PEOPLE WERE DOING
STRANGE THINGS INWARDLY,
BUT NOT OUTWARDLY.
IT WAS PRETTY...
I LEARNED WHAT IT WAS LIKE
TO HAVE TO LIVE WITH GANGS
AND WHO HAD THE POWER.
THEN I REALIZE THAT
IT'S ALL MAFIA.
IT'S JUST WHICH
MAFIA DO YOU BACK?

Mike says WITHIN THE PRISON.

Tim says NO, WITHIN SOCIETY.
THAT'S WHAT POLITICS IS ABOUT.
I CAME OUT OF IT FEELING THAT
THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, AND
THE AMERICAN AIR FORCE, SURE,
I DON'T BELIEVE IN WHAT THEY
ARE DOING, BUT STILL,
THEY'RE THE BEST MAFIA.
THAT'S THE GANG THAT WILL GIVE
ME THE MOST OPPORTUNITY TO GROW.
AND PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DEVELOP
ARE BETTER OFF UNDER THE
PROTECTION OF THE AMERICAN
AND CANADIAN GOVERNMENTS.
I'VE BECOME VERY HARD
BOILED ABOUT POLITICS.
I'VE HAD TO FACE KNIVES.
I'VE HAD TO LOOK INTO THE
EYEBALLS OF GANG LEADERS, AND
STAND UP WHERE MY REPUTATION
AND MY DEGREES DIDN'T MAKE
ANY DIFFERENCE.
I HAD TO SHOW
THAT I WAS A MAN.
AND I GAINED A GREAT DEAL OF
TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE AND
CONFIDENCE BECAUSE OF
THESE EXPERIENCES,
WHICH RARELY COME TO AN
IVY LEAGUE PROFESSOR.

Mike says OKAY, SO YOU'LL BE READY FOR
ONE QUICK TOUGH QUESTION.
RUMOUR HAS IT THAT YOU
ACTUALLY GOT OUT OF JAIL IN
THE END BY BEING A STOOL
PIGEON AND TURNING ON FRIENDS
AND EVEN RELATIVES.

Tim says WELL, YEAH.
THOSE RUMOURS ARE
TOTALLY FALSE.
I FLATLY DENY THEM.
I'M IN CANADA TODAY, AND OUT
OF PRISON BECAUSE I'M ON BAIL
BECAUSE I'M FIGHTING MY CASE.
I'M GOING TO WIN MY CASE.
I'M STILL IN AN
ADVERSARY PROCESS.
THE UNITED STATES JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT DID ME NO FAVOURS
TO LET ME OUT.
AND THESE RUMOURS ARE, YOU
KNOW, THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO
DETRACT FROM MY CREDIBILITY.

Mike says OH, SO YOU THINK THERE'S
KIND OF A PLAN THERE TO
BRING YOU DOWN?

Tim says OF COURSE.
MY SIGNAL, THE SIGNAL THAT
I'M SENDING OUT IS ONE THAT'S
GOING TO CHANGE THINGS.
I REPRESENT CHANGE.
THE STATIC FORCES HAVE TO --
THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS.
I WANT THEM TO CHALLENGE ME.

Mike says JOHN WHITE, WHO WROTE A BOOK
CALLED
RELAX, TOLD ME THAT
WHILE YOU WERE IN JAIL, YOU
HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH BEINGS
FROM AN EXTRA PLANETARY OR
FOREIGN PLANET, AND THAT'S
WHAT GOT YOU ONTO THIS WHOLE
THING YOU ARE ONTO NOW.
IS THAT TRUE?

Tim says WELL, A LITTLE ESCAPE PLOT I
WORKED OUT WITH SOME PRISONERS.
WE WERE TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH
WITH HIGHER INTELLIGENCE.
ACTUALLY, NO, WE
DIDN'T SEE ANY UFOs.

Mike says NO, HE JUST SAID
IN YOUR HEAD.
NO, YOU DIDN'T
EXPERIENCE ANYTHING?

Tim says OH, YES.
I DO BELIEVE WE ARE ALL UFOs,
WE ARE ALL UNIDENTIFIED
FLYING ORGANISMS.
I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF
SECRETS BUILT INTO OUR DNA
CODE WITHIN THE CELLS OF OUR
BODY THAT WE CAN DECIPHER.
YEAH, I THINK THERE IS A LOT WE
CAN LEARN FROM GOING WITHIN.
OH, YEAH.

Mike says SO THERE WAS SOME SORT OF
EXPERIENCE IN THE JAIL.

Tim says YES.
I SAW IN PRISON THAT NONE OF
US ARE BASICALLY TERRESTRIALS,
AND MANY OF US ARE GOING TO
LEAVE, AND THAT WE ARE ALL
IMPRISONED BY GRAVITY.
GRAVITY IS THE ULTIMATE DRAG.
IT'S THE ULTIMATE DOWN TRIP.

Mike says THAT'S GOOD.
ON THAT NOTION OF GRAVITY
BEING THE ULTIMATE DRAG, WHEN
YOU LOOK SUPERFICIALLY AT SOME
OF THE POINTS IN YOUR LIFE,
ONE SEES, TIMOTHY...

Tim says YES, MICHAEL?

Mike says THAT YOU DROPPED OUT
OF HOLY CROSS COLLEGE
THEREBY ALIENATING
YOU FROM YOUR MOTHER,
WHOSE RELIGION WAS CATHOLIC.

Tim says OH, YEAH.

Mike says AND THEN LATER ON, YOU
DROPPED OUT OF WEST POINT,
THEREBY ALIENATED YOUR FATHER
WHOSE GREAT LOVE WAS
THE MILITARY.
THEN, CONTROVERSY AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA'S
HOSPITAL IN SAN FRANCISCO,
AND YOU QUIT THAT.
THEN, FORCED OUT OF HARVARD
UNIVERSITY BECAUSE OF YOUR
DESIRE TO GET OUT OF YOUR
HEAD, OR GET OUT OF THE NORMAL
CONSCIOUS STATE
YOU WERE LIVING IN.
AND NOW, YOU WANT TO
GET OUT OF THIS PLANET.
IS THERE A PATTERN THERE?

Tim says OH, SURE.
THERE'S NEVER BEEN REBELLION.
I'M NOT A REBELLIOUS
PERSON AT ALL.

Mike says YOU'RE NOT?
THAT JUST CONTRADICTS
EVERYTHING I'VE JUST SAID.

Tim says OF COURSE.
I BELIEVE IN CHANGE.
I BELIEVE IN MOVEMENT.
OF COURSE I'VE LIVED
THROUGH 30 B MOVIES.
HAVEN'T WE ALL?
I BELIEVE IN MUTATION.
I BELIEVE WE CAN
DEVELOP AND GROW.
I THINK LIFE IS
AN ESCAPE PLAN.
WE WERE PLANTED ON THIS
PLANET, AND WE ARE SUPPOSED
TO LEAVE IT.
WE'RE SUPPOSED TO MOVE
THROUGH THE STARS.

Mike says DIDN'T YOU EVER HAVE A PERIOD
IN YOUR LIFE, EVEN A FEW
MONTHS OR A FEW HOURS WHERE
YOU WERE HAPPY RIGHT
WHERE YOU WERE.

Tim says OF COURSE.
I'M HAPPY RIGHT
HERE WITH YOU.

Mike says OH, I THINK YOU'RE
ANXIOUS TO GET OUT.

Tim says OUT OF WHAT?

Mike says OUT OF HERE.

Tim says OUT OF THE STUDIO?
IT'S GOING TO TAKE ABOUT TEN
YEARS BEFORE WE CAN LEAVE
THE PLANET.
AND THOSE TEN YEARS ARE GOING
TO BE THE MOST EXCITING.
IT'S GOING TO BE A
NOAH'S ARK THING.
WE'RE GOING TO BE SELECTING
THE FRIENDS THAT YOU WANT
TO GO WITH YOU.
IT'S GOING TO BE AN
EXTREMELY CHALLENGING TIME.
I'M IN NO HURRY.
I AM CHANGING.
CHANGE IS MY MESSAGE.
THE MESSAGE OF THE DNA CODE
THAT KEEPS US GROWING.
WE GOT TO DOUBLE
OUR INTELLIGENCE.
WE'VE GOT TO GET SMARTER.
OH YEAH, CHANGE
IS WHERE IT'S AT.
BUT I HAVE NO
FEELING OF REBELLION.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO
GIVE ANYTHING UP.
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THE BEST
OF THIS WORLD WITH US, AS THE
NOAH STORY SO PREMONITORY
SUGGESTS WE ARE GOING TO DO.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP
ANYTHING OR TURN OUR BACK
ON ANYTHING.

Mike says MAYBE WHEN WE ALL COME
TO GO, YOU'LL STAY.

Tim says MAYBE.

[laughing]

Mike says DO YOU LOOK BACK, TIM, ON
THE '60s AND THINK MAYBE,
IN SOME WAYS, YOU WERE TOO
EXCESSIVE, TOO PROVOCATIVE?
MAYBE IF YOU HAD BEEN A
LITTLE LESS ENTHUSIASTIC...

Tim says WHAT?

Mike says WELL, THE MESSAGE COULD
HAVE COME THROUGH, AND YOU
WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO
PAY SUCH A HIGH PRICE.

Tim says I DIDN'T PAY A PRICE.
YOU UNDERSTAND, I'M HAPPY
WITH -- I DON'T THINK EVER IN
HISTORY HAVE MORE PEOPLE BEEN
GIVEN MORE FREEDOM TO MOVE
AND CHANGE BLOODLESSLY, AND
CHEERFULLY, AND HAPPILY.
IT WAS A WONDERFUL REVOLUTION.
I DON'T THINK -- THE MOTTO OF
MY LIFE IS NOT TURN THINGS DOWN.
PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS SAYING,
TURN THE MUSIC DOWN,
OR LESS INTENSITY.
WELL, IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE
INTENSITY, YOU TURN YOUR
OWN RECEIVERS DOWN.
BUT WE'RE GOING TO GO ON
SENDING OUR SIGNAL OUT AS HIGH
AND FAR AND AS FAST AS WE CAN.
AND IT'S TOTALLY VOLUNTARY.
NOBODY HAS TO -- WE'RE NOT
TRYING TO SIGN PEOPLE UP.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO PASS LAWS
TELLING YOU YOU HAVE TO
BELIEVE US.
AS A MATTER OF FACT,
DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING
I'VE SAID TODAY.
MY JOB IS TO STIMULATE
YOU TO THINK.

Mike says THAT'S GOOD.

Tim says NOT TO SELL YOU
A BILL OF GOODS.

Mike says IF YOU DON'T FEEL THEN YOU
WERE TOO PROVOCATIVE OR TOO
EXCESSIVE, THAT THAT'S YOU,
THAT'S THE WAY YOU'VE ALWAYS
BEEN, AND ALWAYS WILL
BE, HAVE YOU ANY REGRETS?
DO YOU THINK, PERHAPS, PEOPLE
MISUNDERSTOOD YOUR MESSAGE,
AND YOU WERE A FACTOR IN
CAUSING CONSIDERABLE PAIN TO
YOUNG PEOPLE WHO GOT ONTO
DRUGS AND PARENTS WHO LOST
CONTACT WITH THEIR CHILDREN?
A LOT OF PAIN IN THE '60s.

Tim says YES.
THE ONE REGRET I HAVE FOR THE
'60s IS I SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN
PULLED INTO THE POLARITY
OF THE POLITICS.
AND STEP BY STEP, I WAS PUSHED
INTO A POSITION WHERE I HAD
TO FIGHT THEM.
AND THAT WAS AGAINST
EVERYTHING WE BELIEVED.
BECAUSE THERE'S NO US OR THEM,
THERE ARE NO GOOD GUYS OR BAD
GUYS, WE'RE ALL
IN IT TOGETHER.
BUT BECAUSE OF THE NIXON
THING, AND BECAUSE OF THE
POLICE SITUATION, BECAUSE OF
VIETNAM, WE GOT INVOLVED IN
THIS HORRIBLE GENERATION
WARFARE IN WHICH LITERALLY
MILLIONS OF PARENTS WERE
BLAMING ME BECAUSE I WAS
SUPPORTING THEIR CHILDREN,
AND MOVING WITH THE YOUNGER
GENERATION TOWARDS WHAT
WE BELIEVE HAD TO BE.

Mike says SO THAT'S A REGRET.

Tim says I WOULD HAVE DONE EVERYTHING
POSSIBLE TO HAVE HARMONIZED
WITH THE OLDER GENERATION.

(music plays)

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Guest, Timothy Leary.

Producer and Director, Susan Murgatroyd.

Executive Producer, Mike McManus.

A learning opportunity by TVOntario.

Watch: Timothy Leary