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Institute Fellow Einhorn: Yippie Turned Teacher

By Linda S. Drucker

He is close friends with former Yippie leaders like Jerry Rubin, yet he regularly associates with some of the country's top corporate executives. He is a fellow at the Institute of Politics and sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor of his room in North House. He is Ira Einhorn, and he believes "a little more hugging could do Harvard a lot of good."

An early activist in the solar energy and ecology movements, Einhorn now specializes in getting hold of an unknown cause and making it popular. "When public structures become despicable, it is the duty of citizens to disrupt them," he said.

During the sixties Einhorn, who was raised as a "typical middle-class Jew," decided that he wasn't going to listen to what his so-called elders and betters told him about there being one "proper" way to structure the world.

"I realized that whether I lived with one woman or two, that whether I was heterosexual, bisexual, or gay was a matter of choice, not of right and wrong," Einhorn, who is teaching an Institute study group, said yesterday.

"My new consciousness was reinforced by LSD, dope, and the loving I was doing," he added.

The Institute of Politics says it is delighted to have the 38-year-old social activist who offers a perspective "different from anybody else's, and contributes to the richness of our program," Janet Fraser, assistant director of the Institute, said yesterday.

The Philadelphia-born and raised Einhorn, however, is not nearly as delighted with Harvard, which he unhesitatingly describes as the most "conservative" and "regimented" in- stitution he has come into contact with in a long time.

"The kids here are incredibly bright, but everything is just so structured. There's simply no time to interact, relax, or enjoy yourself," he said. "It's like you have to schedule your fucking," he added with a smile.

"So many of the creative things in life come out of the casual," he said wistfully, sipping tea at a sidewalk cafe across from the Kennedy School. "Don't feel guilty about bullshitting until two," he advised.

Einhorn is distressed by the narrow specialization that characterizes education here. Harvard students, he believes, are being programmed to assume elite roles, but not to develop innovative responses to crises.

"Furthermore, from the administration's point of view, the student at Harvard is beside the point," he observed.

Einhorn believes in the power of information to bring about changes in society, and he collects it assiduously through the use of a computer system that enables him to exchange ideas with people doing independent research the world over.

At present he is in the midst of investigating a Soviet weapons system which, he claims, can affect the human mind from a distance of 9000 miles.

"I work intensely for most of the year but, for four months during the summer, I disappear," said Einhorn. Usually he seeks a place where there is a cabin, fresh water, no telephone, and lots of books, he said

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