Earlier in life, Ram Dass, who birth name is Richard Alpert, earned a Ph.D. at Harvard. In the 60s and 70s, he, along with Timothy Leary, became interested in the religious potential of LSD. Dass is a practitioner of Eastern-inspired philosophy, and is careful to distance himself from corruption and cult-leader-like behavior of other gurus.
Spiritual teacher RAM DASS. Ram Dass' book, "Be Here Now," was a widely used spiritual guide during the early 70s. Ram Dass followed that book up with several others, among them "The Only Dance There Is" and "How Can I Help?" Ram Dass started out as Harvard professor Richard Alpert. While at Harvard in the early 60s, Alpert joined with Timothy Leary and others in the early psychedelic experiments. That led him to investigations of meditation and spiritual practices.