“Dear Mr. Jobs,” begins the 2007 letter from Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann to Apple’s AAPL CEO. “I understand from media accounts that you feel LSD helped you creatively in your development of Apple computers and your personal spiritual quest. I’m interested in learning more about how LSD was useful to you.”
Hofmann, as students of the sixties will recall, was the chemist who first synthesized, ingested and experienced the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide.
“I’m writing now,” Hofmann’s letter continues, “shortly after my 101st birthday, to request that you support Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Peter Gasser’s proposed study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with anxiety associated with life-threatening illness.”
Hofmann, who died last year at age 102, was writing at the request of his friend Rick Doblin, founder of the nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
Doblin was hoping for a financial contribution from the billionaire co-founder of Apple. What he got instead, according to Ryan Grim, who posted the previously unpublished letter Tuesday in the Huffington Post, was a half-hour telephone conversation with Jobs. As Grim describes it:
“[Jobs] was still thinking, ‘Let’s put it in the water supply and turn everybody on,'” recalls a disappointed Doblin, who says he still hasn’t given up hope that Jobs will come around and contribute.