“Get the books written. They will outlive us.” (~1966-67)

I found this letter in a folder of “Unidentifiable Correspondence” (73.9). My research suggests it was written by Alan Marlowe, who had stayed at Millbrook in 1966 along with his beat poet wife, Diane di Prima, and their children:

73.9 Alan Marlowe to Leary

Dear Tim,
Diane and I are concerned about you. Remember that all these things that are happening in the relative world are not important. The raids, the courts, the nnewspapers [sic].
What is important is to keepin [sic] contact withe [sic] highest leval [sic] of your being. To Mediatate [sic], to find the time and space to establish a detachment from it all. And to remember that the only power is the power of love.
We must not fight, ie. establish an us and a them. We must not be drawn into their games, but witness the proceedings as a film or play..
Speak the truth, calmly, and with love.
Get the books written. They will outlive us. They will teach, and stand for generations. Anything that stops the flow of the writing is wrong. If all people and battles must be forsaken for the clarity of mind, purity of spirit that must go into the written word, then forsake them.
Do not get caught up in the wirlwind [sic] of activity, of Maya, and foreget [sic] that you are eternal, and that politics, nations, mens [sic] laws , are not.
Support the law and do not break it. Remain untouchable. The law is changed by the power of mind, by the evolution of generations. The old men die, and the young men die, and the young men come to power. The children are born knowing all the things we have struggled to learn.

Millbrook will be raided again in two months. The place must be kept immaculate. It”s [sic] purpose, the study of philosophy and religion in the light of modern science, the pursuit of the and restatement of the ancient truths, and the synthesis of the new doctrines for our age, must be made clear.
Retreat… Attention to details. Get the Review squared away, and the book for the New American Library written. The LSD texts.

Pretend that all the things that have passed since that day in Texas are not of major importance. Do not let these events influence your writing or lectures.

Remember the words of our Lama. There is still much to learn.

Wr [sic] love you, we pray for you. Come and visit. Spend a day in peace.

[Signed Alan]

Historical notes: In December 1965, Leary and his teenage daughter were arrested for marijuana possession in Loredo, Texas. G. Gordon Liddy led the first raid on Millbrook (Leary’s New York commune) in April 1966, half a decade before Liddy would earn notoriety for the 1972 Watergate scandal. Subsequent raids on Millbrook would ultimately lead to the commune’s dissolution around the end of 1967, proving Alan Marlowe’s forewarning prophetic.

This letter is significant for its emphasis on the importance of language in shifting cultural consciousness about psychedelics. Leary would go on to publish High Priest – his poetic, autobiographical chronicle of psychedelic self-experimentation – with New American Library in 1968.


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