LSD in the 1960s
Neurotic Roger Sterling finds truth on this week's episode of Mad Men with the help of LSD. Thanks to his experimental much younger wife, Jane, Roger reluctantly attends a dinner party, which becomes much more interesting once acid comes into the mix.
As expected, this season of Mad Men is full of historical references from 1966. If you paid close attention to Roger's one-liners, you may have heard him say, "Well, Dr. Leary I find your product boring," after his early reaction to LSD leaves him less than entertained. Roger, who eventually comes around to the drug during his trip, wasn't talking about Jane's professor friend hosting the party. Dr. Timothy Leary was a Harvard psychologist who founded the League for Spiritual Discovery (LSD) in 1966. The holy sacrament of the religion was LSD, and Leary hoped to get it legalized under freedom of religion. As an ad man like Roger Sterling could appreciate, Dr. Leary was the face of the LSD brand, and his one-liner "turn on, tune in, drop out" was meant to work like an advertising slogan.
Before the counterculture of the 1960s, LSD captured the interest of the US government. The CIA conducted experiments, hoping it could leverage the drug for mind control or chemical warfare. Also beginning in the 1950s and gaining popularity during the '60s, psychotherapists used it as a way to get to a patient's subconscious. By 1967, the Beatles had released "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Although John Lennon denied the title was a reference to the psychedelic drug, the BBC banned the song. Soon came a more significant ban. In 1968, the US made LSD illegal. Take a look at some photos of Dr. Leary and his following from the 1960s now.