Lisa Rein writes, "Fresh from a Supreme Court victory in a marijuana case, and armed with a campaign song written by John Lennon, maverick psychologist and prominent LSD researcher Timothy Leary decided to run for governor of California in a bid to unseat the incumbent Ronald Reagan, only to be knocked out of the race by a felony conviction and 10-year sentence for possession of two half-smoked marijuana joints, as a symbol of Nixon's newly proclaimed War on Drugs."
With bail wrongly denied on the basis of his published writings and talks, his appeal going nowhere, and believing escape to be his only option, Leary worried about the safety of his archives, which encompassed 20 years of professional research and associations.
Leary archivist Michael Horowitz explains how he received a tutorial on psychedelic consciousness from Leary during their first in-person meeting, while tripping on acid in the prison visiting room, and how he and Robert Barker managed to keep the archives safe from government agents, after Leary's high-wire prison escape.
Numerous rare historical artifacts from the Leary Archives at the New York Public Library illustrate the story, including a never-before published letter from Leary, describing in detail his first days with Rosemary in Algiers under the protection of the International Black Panther Party.
ACID BODHISATTVA: THE HISTORY OF THE TIMOTHY LEARY ARCHIVES DURING HIS PRISON AND EXILE YEARS, 1970-1976 (Part One)
[Lisa Rein/Timothy Leary Archives]