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Steve Jobs’ top secret clearance request reveals details on youth and LSD

Matt Pitchford Contributor
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The legend that is Steve Jobs continues to grow. On Monday, Wired Magazine released a questionnaire that Jobs filled out for a top secret-level clearance application to the Department of Defense in 1988.

In the document, Jobs described his fears that his daughter may be kidnapped in order to blackmail him, his brief arrest over a minor speeding ticket in Oregon and his LSD use in the 1970s.

The fact that Jobs used LSD is not new. Jobs had already told John Markoff, in an interview for the 2005 book “What the Doormouse Said,” that “doing LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”

In the Defense Department clearance questionnaire, Jobs wrote something similar:

I used LSD from approximately 1972 to 1974. Throughout that period of time I used the LSD approximately ten to fifteen times. I would ingest the LSD on a sugar cube or in a hard form of gelatin. I would usually take the LSD when I was by myself. I have no words to explain the effect the LSD had on me, although, I can say it was a positive life changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience.

While the documents do not indicate why Jobs would need a top secret security authorization, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography, Jobs got the clearance because of intelligence contracts Pixar signed with agencies to allow them to use its Pixar Image Computer for rendering images and information from reconnaissance flights and satellites.

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