A file compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the late industrialist Steve Jobs released on Thuesday reveals that some close to him noticed a change after he took up eastern religion, while others cited past drug use, and a tendency to be ruthless in pursuit of his goals.
In one excerpt from the file, which was available online, a nameless person even refused to comment on the former Apple CEO due to lingering questions about his ethics. Another explained that he was mostly honest and straightforward, unless he wasn’t getting what he wanted.
Another cites him as using marijuana and LSD in the 1960s and 70s, but there was no report of anyone observing him using drugs later in his professional life. He didn’t abuse alcohol much either: the report states that he would only drink wine occasionally.
The revelation about Jobs’ LSD use is not surprising. He once told a reporter that taking LSD was one of “the most important things” he’d done in his youth, and that the visions he experienced helped bring about the design of the original Macintosh computer.
That period of his life was famously depicted in the 1999 film “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” and he even once received a letter from LSD inventor Albert Hoffman, who asked how the drug was useful to Jobs. It’s not clear if Jobs ever replied.
Similarly, the FBI’s notes about his conversion to Zen Buddhism are also unsurprising, as he’d long been known to have a relationship with a Zen master who later became Apple’s official corporate spiritual adviser. The FBI file says that Jobs’ life changed for the better after he embraced Zen Buddhism, leading him into a “spartanlike and at times even monastic existence.”
The report was put together after President George H. W. Bush requested he be vetted for a possible appointment to the President’s Export Council, which never happened.
(H/T: The Wall Street Journal)