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TIMOTHY LEARY’S DEAD

What You Need To Know:

TIMOTHY LEARY’S DEAD is an apt title for a mildly interesting, but inferior documentary. Leary was a tremendously influential and unusual character. As a Harvard professor in the early sixties, he began experimenting with LSD as a mind expanding drug. His controversial position that drugs unlock the primitive genetic capabilities of the brain eventually got him fired from Harvard and several other universities. He finally formed his own commune in Millbrook, New York. There, he made it his mission to “turn on” as many people as possible to this new consciousness. He was an Establishment figure who became clearly anti-Establishment, making him a hero to the hippie counter-culture. He became, as the title of one of his books suggest, the “High Priest” of the drug culture.

If Leary is to be regarded as a hero, he is a tragic one. His life was an unending search for meaning and recognition, even up to his death. He left behind a trail of broken marriages, spent several years in prison and ultimately became a victim of his own foolishness. Leary’s justification for drug use is its very downfall. Unfortunately, the filmmaker has chosen to portray Timothy Leary and his irresponsible beliefs in a positive light

Content:

(Pa, L, S, NNN, A, DDD, FR, M) Pagan, anti-authoritarian worldview with false Eastern & New Age religious elements; some offensive language; “free-love” espoused; extensive male & female nudity; alcohol use; extensive drug use & drug use espoused; and, the death of Timothy Leary is shown & his decapitated head is shown frozen in cryogenic state

More Detail:

Timothy Leary has become a mythic hero to a lost generation. TIMOTHY LEARY’S DEAD attempts to introduce him as such to a new generation. There can be no doubt that Leary was a tremendously influential and unusual character. As a Harvard professor in the early sixties, he began experimenting with LSD as a mind expanding drug. His controversial position that drugs unlock the primitive genetic capabilities of the brain eventually got him fired from Harvard and several other universities. He finally formed his own little commune in Millbrook, New York. There, he made it his mission to “turn on” as many people as possible to this new consciousness. He was an Establishment figure who became clearly anti-Establishment and that made him a folk hero to the Hippie counter-culture. He wrote books, spoke at rallies and named himself the “High Priest” of the drug culture.

If Leary is to be regarded as a hero, he is a tragic one. His life was an unending search for meaning and recognition, even up to his death. He left behind a trail of broken marriages and spent several years in prison. Ultimately, he became a victim of his own foolishness. Leary’s justification for drug use is its very downfall, “all things fall apart, and you’re left with you.” Timothy Leary contracted inoperable cancer and chose to broadcast his final trip over the worldwide web and now film. After his drug-induced death, he had his head removed and cryogenically frozen in the hope that future scientists could implant his brain in another body. He even had some of his ashes shot into space on a rocket, ignoring the biblical reality that after death comes judgment and all other attempts at immortality are vanity.

This documentary falls short in quality. Not just because of the poor visual elements (much of the original footage was shot in the sixties), but also because the writer/director/producer has compiled the material in a meandering manner – sometimes following the story of Leary’s life chronologically, sometimes turning topical.

The sentiments of the filmmaker are clear. He chooses to portray Leary in as positive a light as possible. The few times that he does elicit comments from authority figures with an opposing view, he portrays them as rigid party-poopers. He has a police officer spokesman (in uniform) denounce Leary’s drug philosophy. To the officer’s credit, he gives a concise and accurate delineation of how drugs cause moral, spiritual and civic irresponsibility.

Leary’s friends say that he never regarded himself as a spiritual leader, but his spiritual position and beliefs are betrayed in his own words, “You’re a god: act like one!” Timothy Leary did act like his own god. If anything positive can be said for the man, it is that he lived his life and went to his grave without compromising his beliefs. Regrettably, along the way down, he dragged millions with him. Is our generation better off today, now that the “Turned-On, Tuned -In, Dropped-Out Generation” has become the predominant culture? TIMOTHY LEARY’S DEAD is an apt title for a mildly amusing but inferior documentary.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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