Perhaps one of the most obvious manifestations of liberatory psychiatry was the Congress on the Dialectics of Liberation held in London at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm in July 1967. David Cooper (1968) designated the four organizers of the Congress as anti-psychiatrists. Besides himself, these were R. D. Laing, Joseph Berke, and Leon Redler. Both Laing and Cooper gave papers at the conference, as did celebrated social theorists such as Herbert Marcuse and political activists such as Stokely Carmichael.
To Free a Generation was the alternative title of the book of the conference The Dialectics of Liberation (Cooper, 1968). This description makes clear that the book was concerned with how liberation may be achieved. The strands of anti-psychiatry were interwoven with the 1960s counterculture, whose aim was to free the spirit of the age from the nightmare of the world (Nuttall, 1970). The writings of R. D. Laing, perhaps especially The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise, helped to articulate this perspective. Laing (1967) was explicit that civilization represses transcendence and so-called “normality” too often abdicates our true potentialities.
Psychedelic drugs seemed to expand the limits of imminent experience (Wolfe, 1989). One of the originators of hippie culture, Ken Kesey who, with his Merry Pranksters drove across America in a brightly painted bus, wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Kesey, 1963). This successful novel depicts Randle McMurphy's attempt, possibly on behalf of the counterculture, to overthrow the bureaucratic control of Nurse Ratched in the psychiatric institution.