A newly unveiled set of documents reveals that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs held Top Secret clearance from the Pentagon despite his admission that he used LSD and marijuana extensively, took his first Apple sales trip to the Soviet Union with the help of a lawyer he suspected of working with either the CIA, KGB or both and believed he might be vulnerable to blackmail only if the blackmailer kidnapped his daughter and was after money rather than government secrets.
He also did some phone phreaking at age 14 and was arrested briefly in 1975 when police in Eugene, Ore. Questioning him about possession of alcohol underage found out he had an outstanding warrant for speeding and nicked him for that instead.
Those are the highlights of an investigation by the Pentagon's in-house intelligence unit the Defense Investigative Service that Wired magazine was able to acquire through a Freedom of Information Act request.
During the 1988 investigation Jobs appeared to be open – voluble, even – about his drug use, which was mentioned in the file released by the FBI last year and in any number of unauthorized Jobs biographies.
Jobs apparently felt comfortable enough with the DoD investigators to admit he took LSD 10 or 15 times between 1972 and 1974 and to admit he used the then-popular hallucinogen because "it was a positive life changing experience for me and I'm glad I went through that experience."
Jobs also admitted having spent two months at the Oregon Feeling Center – a pop-psychology Ashram/mental-health treatment center – trying to eradicate his occasional depression and work on anger issues using Primal Scream therapy.
In his later life Jobs was famous for verbally abusing and sometimes screaming at employees and colleagues at Apple, a tendency he admitted to the DoD was prompted by situations "when things didn't go right."
It's unlikely anyone would have felt any less demeaned by it or disliked Jobs more afterward if he'd admitted at the time he was Primal Screaming at people rather than just yelling petulantly. But at least they'd have known they were being Screamed at by someone with the training – not just the infantile maturity level – to do it right.
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