Mark Stahlman (via RadioMail) on Sun, 15 Jun 1997 21:37:24 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Timothy Leary is Dead


The title of this short, authorized documentary film regarding the life and
times of Tim Leary reminds me of the slogan printed on the those tee-shirts
out at Budapest's fabulous (at least for us Westerners) Statue Park (where
all the Stalin-era megaliths have been conveniently assembled):

"Marx is dead, Lenin is too and I'm not feeling very well myself"

After leaving the screening last night, my girlfriend turned to me and said,

"What do you think about the way that the movie protrayed Leary as a guy
who fought all his life from the outside" (perhaps echoing the
way-pre-death Moody Blues lyrics that said Tim was "looking in from the

To which I replied;

"It's really going to be interesting when people realize how much on the
inside Tim really was.  Cover stories like this have a fascinating way of
turning in on themselves when the truth finally come out."

In the film, which fawns over Tim and exhalts his influence (tempered with
that sly mind-fucker Ram Dass' dissing him for not being a "mystic"), Tim
tries to be both an outlaw and an elite member of a winning secret team. 
He is careful to only target the Republicans as the bad guys, while
emphasising that he was hardly a victim and that he got along with the
Democrats just fine (even describing how JFK dropped acid).  Yes, he did
die in his Beverly Hills home.  Outsider he was not.  Brief political
prisoner, yes.  Outsider, no.

Tim does, however, have to lie-through-his-teeth to keep up the pretense of
outlaw.  In the film he specifically says that his Harvard group only took
private funds and no government money was ever involved in his drug

This is, of course, completely untrue.  Tim Leary's entire professional
career was financed by the CIA.  His early work in personality profiling
was pure CIA.  His mentor, Frank Barron, was pure CIA.  His boss at Harvard
was pure CIA.  And, when the story is finally written, Tim's Harvard
buddies will admit that they knew the money was from the CIA all along.

This all reminds me of the night I sat in Tim's living room, passing the
bong, and when I asked him, "So, Tim, tell me about the CIA?"  He fixed me
his trademark glare (delivered from about one inch away from my face) and
said, changing subjects (?);

"Let me tell you about Eldridge Cleaver.  In Algiers he was my jailer; In
Folsom I was his."

I take this to mean that you can take the CIA's money but does that mean
that they are really in charge?  Now, you know Tim, that's a really good
question.  Maybe you could elaborate?

Which brings me to another Tim Leary quote, this time actually from John
Perry Barlow regarding his last visit with Tim, in which Tim was reported
to have said (something like), "Ah, Barlow, you are the last person I
needed to see before I die." This was reported as if it meant that after
having seen Barlow, Tim's life was complete and he could now leave his
fleshy vehicle behind.  Of course, there is the other possibility.  Tim
might have been sarcastic and meant that the *last* thing he needed was to
see this Global Business Network (GBN) informant in his final dying days.

The alternative explanation is, for me, made all the more plausible by
another reported quote from Tim's death bed to the effect that nowadays,
"The heart of evil is the Global Business Network."  Hmmmm, I do sorta
wonder if that could be true?  Tim, could you elaborate?

And, I am embarassed to have to report to this forum that WIRED has
apparently taken my advise and performed a morph on itself by combining its
previous "rightwing" Rosetto-ism with its natural "leftwing" twin --
Soros-ism.  Yes, the current cover-story is all about how the next 25 years
will bring an incredible *BOOM* in prosperity and happiness.  Yup, and it
is written by the head of the GBN, Peter Schwartz and WIRED's own
features-editor Peter Leyden.

It should be required reading for nettimers.  If you combine free-markets
with the open society (yup, his exact words but without mentioning Uncle
George), you get growth which doesn't harm the enviroment and ultimately
even ends all oppression.  And, you get a "smiley-face" to put on your
prison cellblock wall, too.  

This is the latest in a long series of "Open Conspiracy" manifestos and, as
usual, it is most notable for what it totally ignores, politics and human
psychology.  Power doesn't exist in GBN's world because the GBN (the
"Hippie Trilateral Commission") is an integral part of that power by being
one of the largest futurism consulting firms to very the multi-nationals
who wield that power.  GBN is the "Open Conspiracy's" corporate fitness
coach -- personal trainer to oligarchs worldwide.

Now that poor Johnny Barlow has been dragged through the village-square a
few too many times and he doesn't have any limbs to pull off anymore, maybe
it's time to focus a little attention on his "superiors."  Maybe, Mark Dery
or some excellent political-economist in our midst would like to analyse
this remarkable GBN "scenario."  Maybe, some critical-theorist would like
to delve into how Soros-like "openness" and cyber-lib "freeness" are just
two sides of the same hermenuetic coin.  How about someone with knowledge
of psychology taking a look at the implications of this essay for
"personality" and, even, "sanity."  And, I'll try to help with the
techno-utopian history as best I can.

Maybe, we will all pause a minute remember that there is big world out
there which is being divided up for looting rights by the nascent princes
of the New Dark Age as we speak.  And, maybe, we'll think a little harder
about the "survivalists" in our midst who are prepping for the gang-warfare
to come as 25% of the population becomes the "Lost."  Gift-economy, indeed.

I'm sure that Tim would have wanted it that way.

Mark Stahlman
New Media Associates
New York City
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