“Is Joanna Harcourt-Smith, [Timothy Leary’s] one contact spokes-agent, a sex spy, agent provocateuse, double-agent, CIA hysteric, jealous tigress, or what?” —Allen Ginsberg
Why did Timothy Leary, the High Priest of LSD, become a narc in 1974—abandoning the millions he urged to turn on, tune in, and drop out? Was his “perfect love” Joanna Harcourt-Smith a government pawn, as suggested by Allen Ginsberg? Or was she simply a rich, beautiful, young woman out for the adventure of a lifetime? Looking back, Joanna doesn’t know.
From the moment she met Timothy, Joanna’s days were filled with sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Their star-crossed love affair seemed like the fulfillment of some magical destiny, but sinister forces were at work. Joanna now knows the Nixon administration would stop at nothing to put Timothy back behind bars.
In My Psychedelic Love Story, Errol Morris and Joanna Harcourt-Smith will reexamine this chaotic period of her life and explore the dark side of the Timothy Leary saga: his period of exile, reimprisonment, and subsequent cooperation with the authorities. Devotion or selfishness. Perfect love or outright betrayal. Destiny or manipulation. Whatever the reason, the doomed relationship between Joanna and Timothy put the final nail in the coffin of the 1960s counterculture.