EXCERPTS FROM ‘THE PERIODIC TABLE OF ENERGY’
On January 17, 1973, Timothy Leary—the “high priest” of LSD and, at the time, the “most dangerous man in America,” according to Richard Nixon—was apprehended by US officials at Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan. Leary had been on the lam for almost three years, following his Weather Underground-assisted escape from a prison in San Luis Obispo, California, after he had been sentenced to a term of six months to ten years for possessing two joints. From Afghanistan, Leary was sent to the California Medical Facility, a state-run prison in Vacaville, before being transferred to Folsom Prison. During his imprisonment in CMF he conceived The Periodic Table of Energy, a 203-page “manual explaining how to decode the basic blueprints which guide the evolutionary journey” that explores theorized convergences between the periodic table of the elements, evolutionary biology, genetics, neuroscience, extraterrestrial intelligence, the tarot, the I Ching, and the zodiac. The manuscript remained hidden for close to 40 years, and no portion of it has ever been published until now. VICE was fortunate enough to acquire a small selection of pages, which we have reproduced here in some semblance of a logical order. If you’re interested in reading the entire work you can spend an estimated $30,000-$50,000 when Bonhams auction house puts it up for sale on October 10. Until then—and probably forever—this is the only glimpse you’re going to get of Leary’s Periodic Table.