stevenhager420

counterculture history, conspiracy theory & reviews

Posts Tagged ‘Steve Hager

Return of the Soul Assassins

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MontageIt sure was nice to see a copy of the second Soul Assassin’s 45 rpm record on display at the Hemp Museum in Barcelona. Most people know that name from a Cypress Hill splinter group started by DJ Muggs, but the name actually came to me shortly after arriving at High Times in 1986. Funny how four years spent researching hip hop and the downtown art scene had spiraled me back into my role in a garage band. I could have had a very comfortable career if I’d just stayed with hip hop as it crossed over into the commercial domain. Instead, I veered into the downtown garage scene, which overlapped with the art crowd.

I think Patti Astor was actually staying with me at the time, the Fun having crashed and burned for inexplicable reasons. If I’d had the money to buy out her shows, I’d be a billionaire today from the profit I could have made. David Allen was the art director of High Times when I arrived and his assistant was Brian Spaeth, formerly a member of the Fleshtones, although Brian got squeezed out right before the band went big, causing a strain on his relationship with his former bandmates, which included his brother and best friend.

Balloon-2It was Brian who told me to check out “Mindless Teenage Brain-rot,” Bill Kelly’s show on WFMU. Kelly was playing a lot of stuff I’d never heard before, and it inspired me to get into the game again to help celebrate those little-known masterpieces of primal rock. So I asked Brian if he wanted to start a band.

I wanted something that related to cannabis and sounded authentic to the sixties, and came up with Soul Assassins pretty quickly. I arranged the first rehearsal up in my Upper West Side apartment. I’d found two cardboard boxes and purchased a set of drumsticks. Brian brought a bass and tiny practice amp. I bought a $100 electric guitar and cheap amp. David Bither (who went on to become a leading exec and now co-runs Nonesuch) played guitar. The first song I wanted to learn was “Smell of Incense” by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. It was in E minor and I needed some help with a chord. David laughed at the weird changes. That song wasn’t something Kelly ever played, btw, just a psychedelic masterpiece I remembered from the era, one few of my peers seemed familiar with, and one we never did play in public as we got diverted into mostly Chocolate Watchband tunes for a while. I remember Patti coming home and seeing me beating on the cardboard with a bunch of people jamming. She laughed at this sudden career move and was very encouraging. She loved our energy and completely primitive instrumentation.

Parking-LotVery quickly, I recruited Bob Brandel and Brian Moores, two guys I’d known from the original garage band scene back in Illinois. Bob had played lead guitar with the best r&b band in town, and Brian had drummed with the Finchley Boys (central Illinois’ most famous garage band) after Mike Powers took a leave of absence. I tried to swing Dave Bither over to keyboards, but it turned out he was only interested if he could play guitar so we never saw Dave again. Eventually, for our early gigs, John McNaughton filled in on keyboard on a few songs. You might recognize his name. He was already a famous film director when he became the organist for some early Assassin gigs. But John never made it to any of the recording sessions, unfortunately.

Although no garage bands ever had a trio of female singers, it was a staple in r&b and something I really wanted to include in our sound. The first Assassinettes were our girl friends, but when conflict arose, I dissolved the original trio. I sent photographer Andre Grossmann to investigate The Minds Eye, a new scene that I targeted as something we needed to penetrate. Andre brought back photos and I was immediately struck by a photo of a very exotic-looking girl. Eventually, I called up Ivy, the promoter, as I wanted to run a story on her parties, and she came down to the office and ID’d the picture. “Oh, that’s Allegra,” she said. “She’s in the Black Orchids with Frank.”

LizmarI’d already planted this seed in my mind that Allegra was going to be the star of the new Assassinettes and began fomenting how to manifest that. Allegra showed up at the office with another girl named Abbey. She didn’t want to be part of the Assassinettes, but she was sure Abbey was perfect for the job. And boy, was she right.

Flick found the next piece of the puzzle tending bar down on Avenue A. Her name was Kimona 117, and she wasn’t really into the garage scene, but she had a voice that could bowl you over, really in a class all by herself. From the second she opened her voice up at the first rehearsal, we all sort of stood back and went, whoa, and from that point on she was treated as the Diva and assumed a role as big as Flick Ford, our male lead singer. We also got a new drummer around that time, and, as good as Brian was, he couldn’t compare with Dave Rodway, who took the vibe up several notches. Flick produced all our artwork and loved painting cartoons of the Assassinettes for our flyers.

We never had a decent recording made, which is why I’m anxious to return to a studio some day while we are still able. Unfortunately, we lost Abbey, and Lucy has now moved back to Boston. If she ever reads this, I hope she contacts me because we’re going to have that long-awaited reunion some day. Abbey has a sister in Texas around her age, maybe we can recruit her. That would be awesome.

I was working on creating a national hemp activist network called The Freedom Fighters at the time, so naturally the Soul Assassins became the house band for that group. The idea was to paint a psychedelic bus and have the Soul Assassins ride to rallies and crank rock vibes for an emerging political cause. I wanted to put my mark on the Magic Bus iconography and ride the Prankster magic to new heights if I could. And I guess we did, because the world started changing fast after a few of our ceremonies, although we soon found it difficult to get on some stages suddenly as our events now involved tens of thousands of people and there was much friction from local bands and promoters and everyone wanted the stage now. Even though the audience loved us, some of the people who controlled these rallies took an instant strong dislike to us, perhaps because I was editor of High Times and maybe they thought this was my scam, trying to launch a rock career, when really, having a commercial success was not on my mind. We were living in the moment, rocking out and having the time of our lives. If I could get that moment back, I could do a much better job navigating the industry. Because we had the talent. Somehow, the magic slipped away just as we were getting successful and once the band split apart and we lost our Assassinettes, we were a rudderless ship adrift at sea with no magic Goddess circle to orbit around.

I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I imagine our next and perhaps last public performance will probably be at Giorgio’s in the next year or so, because that’s where we used to practice and it was also the scene of many of our best parties. Stay tuned for more info.

Birth and Death of the Freedom Fighters

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FFsteveI started a goof column called “My Amerika by Ed Hassle” when I first came to High Times, a tribute to my favorite deejay at the time, Bill Kelly, who’s Sunday afternoon radio show had become my favorite weekly ceremony, inspiring me to form my own band, The Soul Assassins.

Bill would read from the Weekly World News, including a right wing column called Ed Anger’s My America. Since hippies are considered the lamest thing possible in New York City (then and now), I parodied that redneck columnist by creating a hippie fascist who believed in UFO’s and was always pissed off about something. Of course, a huge segment of my audience thought Ed Hassle was a real person and agreed with all his hippie fascist ideas (just like many readers of the Weekly World News never realized Ed Anger was comedy). Ed Hassle founded the first national hemp legalization group, The Freedom Fighters. Members got an ID card and instruction manual that included where to go for the next rally and campground and how to dress for the event. All members were encouraged to bring Colonial costumes and carry drums or musical instruments or flags. Anything to make a more theatrical appearance.

The first Freedom Fighter rally was held at the Ann Arbor Hash Bash, where I revealed to the puzzled membership there was no Ed Hassle. Funny thing, a lot of them assumed it was really the magazine’s most famous columnist at the time, Ed Rosenthal. When I’d first discussed making a cartoon character for the column, I told Flick Ford to make him look like “Ed Rosenthal on acid with long hair and dressed like a typical deadhead.” So I probably created the confusion. But when Jack Herer signed on to become one of the founding members, I dropped the Ed Hassle character from the magazine entirely and published a one-page interview with me, where I revealed the truth and cleared up the misconceptions about the Freedom Fighters’ origins. Because what had started as a goof, had suddenly transformed into a dynamic political movement. That’s when I became a target of a few people in the establishment media, who claimed I was creating a dangerous cult similar to Hitler’s stormtroopers? All I knew was I had a tiger by the tail.

The Freedom Fighters were heavily influenced by the Rainbow Family Gatherings and the first place we assembled was the Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A local member, Thom, found us a campground and we set-up Rodger’s giant tipi, which had arrived from West Virginia in the Purple Bus. Chef RA and I ran the 24-hour free kitchen in shifts. We held council at 4:20 PM and also during breakfast and dinner. On the morning of the rally, most of us climbed in the Purple Bus for the ride into town. I often led the parade and carried the loudest drum, a tom-tom from my precious vintage 1960s drum kit used by the Soul Assassins.

I had no idea I was a budding shaman at the time, but looking at the photos, you can see the transformation. I was wearing a lot of psychedelic images and patching my jeans with psychedelic patches. A tricorn hat, moccasins and sunglasses completed the ceremonial outfit.

FFtogetherI always made a lot of psychedelic signs at the campground and carried a homemade bag around my waist with water-based paints and brush. I learned about customizing my environment from Kenny Scharf (and the Merry Pranksters), and I learned about the power of instant signs with sigils from Rainbow. First thing I’d do is make an elaborate recycling center in a central location. It made a huge impression to see such a lavishly decorated art installation that also served such a useful function. This center always had a free box, where anyone could drop off or pick up anything, a good place to share vital supplies. Of course, the cops would always show up and camp close by, despite the wickedly cold nighttime temperatures. We had tents and a tipi, while they had a lavish RV. Other spooks, however, were no doubt embedded inside our group.

But that was the magic of Rainbow. Everything was so open and loving it didn’t matter if someone was a spook! In fact, some suspected spooks were among the hardest working Rainbows! I’d always make a point of making friends with anyone I suspected of being an undercover. Undercovers sent into the Rainbow Gathering were just as likely to get zapped by the vibes and flip into Rainbow Family people as anyone else.

So that’s how I set up the Freedom Fighters. Everything was open and loving and nobody expressed any negative energy about anything within the group, which was devoid of machinations or power struggles. It was the people on the outside who created the problems. The Freedom Fighters reached a crisis point when someone on the outside sent a letter threatening the President and called themselves a Freedom Fighter too, which initiated a Secret Service investigation of my group, even though we were expressly non-violent and forbade weapons at all our events. The state leader in Georgia resigned after his home was broken into and all membership information removed. There were other incidents, including a break-in at my apartment. At the same time, the government launched a huge assault on the magazine’s advertisers, known as Operation Green Merchant. Paranoia abounded.

In three years, the Freedom Fighters accomplished a lot. The rallies we manifested became the biggest political events of our time and I’d amassed one of the largest mailing lists in the movement. But I wanted to pursue a more spiritual path and didn’t want to raise a family with such a target on my back, so I gave the mailing list to NORML and that was the end of the Freedom Fighters and the end of my career as a political activist. I stopped organizing political events and started organizing ceremonies.

Some day I hope the Freedom Fighters hold a reunion.

Transformational tools for healing ceremonies

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ImageI’ve spent the last seven years developing these transformational tools and I think they are ready to release to the general public. I hope all the shamans, magicians, witches and warlocks check these out at some point. They combine aromatherapy, color therapy and crystal therapy with sigil magic.

Some have asked me to prescribe some ceremonies, something I hesitate to do. When you get these candles you have to first transfer the sigil to the candle and then decorate the candle and add the gemstone somewhere. You must put your juice into the candle or it can’t make magic.

If you want to get really serious right away, start a morning ceremony. I’m sure you already have one. Mine is walking the dogs, followed by feeding the dogs, followed by a cup of coffee and slice of toast. But if I wanted to get really serious, I’d go into my bedroom, where my candles are set-up at the foot of my bed. I’d pick up the red candle, hold it, smell it, meditate on the sigil and then light the candle. Then I’d do some stretching, some yoga, some exercises designed around the root chakra. Then I’d blow out the red candle and pick up the orange candle. This might involve yoga or it might involve sexual stimulation. If I had a partner, I’d always light the green and the orange, which would put some jasmine and rose into the room. Anyway, one at a time you can work your way through all the candles and have a 20 minute daily ceremony that covers all the chakras in some aspect. Later in the day, around 4:20, you repeat the ritual.

And if you ever get stressed out, or start to fall into a rage, just go towards the altar, start the daily ceremony. It will work just as good as taking a hit off a joint. Anyway there are infinite ceremonies that can be done with the candles and I’m looking forward to getting some feedback from the users on any insights you develop so we can continue to share the knowledge.

Written by Steven Hager

March 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

In Praise of Doctor Grinspoon

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With any luck, marijuana will soon be legal and millions of patients will no longer be persecuted for seeking herbal remedies. It’s been a monumental struggle conducted through numerous generations but when the great warriors who made a difference are finally counted, Dr. Lester Grinspoon will remain in a category all his own.

I first met Lester on the set of the Ron Reagan Jr. show in Los Angeles. Lester immediately reminded me of my dad. Not just because of a certain facial resemblance, but also because Lester was a professor at Harvard and my dad was a biochemist there in the 1950s, although he and my mom hated the politics at that university. To get an idea of how vicious Harvard can be, Lester was denied full professorship his entire life despite having a powerful impact on the history of medicine on many levels.

At this point, cancer touches everyone, but none like Lester, who lost an 11-year-old son to that most dreaded disease. It was during this process Lester discovered the medicinal effects of marijuana. He published the first honest look at the subject and at that moment every door of possible advancement inside Harvard closed forever. Lester could have just kept his mouth shut, like so many others within the system, but Lester’s integrity is too great. And that is why Lester is the soul and conscience of the medical marijuana community, and I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate person for that job.

A few years ago, I wrote the first major magazine article on Rick Simpson. Before I published the article, I sent a copy to Lester to review. I did this knowing Lester had his own battle with cancer and I was also encouraging him to start eating massive amounts of oil. Lester was alarmed by my article, however, as he felt it conveyed an unbalanced portrayal of the science involved. Everything was anecdotal and zero evidence had been produced by anyone. His rebuttal to my article was posted on the High Times website and some people thought I was upset. On the contrary, I was happy to have some perspective from a qualified source of information. The mission became clear: find some real evidence regarding cannabis and cancer.

The first person I contacted was Valerie Corral at WAMM in Santa Cruz. At this point, Val had not even heard about cannabis oil treatment and it took years for her to marshal some evidence. During this time, only a few fully documented success stories emerged, including biochemist Dennis Hill, 4-year-old Cash Hyde, and Michelle Aldrich, who’d received oil from Valerie. I was overjoyed when Michelle came forward and had a brief facebook exchange in which I said I was looking forward to Lester’s mea culpa. (When Lester first contacted me, he’d said if any real evidence emerged of cannabis curing someone’s cancer, he’d write the first paper on the subject. He brought up the words mea culpa. They aren’t really part of my vocabulary.) So when I said I was looking forward to Lester’s “mea culpa” I did not mean to suggest Lester needed to write anything or, worse, was withholding information. I was only expressing my hope that the curative effects of cannabis oil will some day be documented and more widely known among the general population. But every time we seem on the verge of taking that step forward, we slip another step back. For example, Lester was in the process of writing up Dennis Hill’s success story when it was discovered Dennis had a major setback. We also lost young Cash Hyde.

People ask me all the time, what should I do? Who do I believe? If you have cancer, my advice is to move to Colorado or Washington (or at least get some oil from those locations). But I also strongly urge you to see an oncologist and pursue all avenues of defense. The oil, meanwhile, will do no harm and will certainly make you feel better. The anti-tumor effects of cannabis are well documented, but shrinking tumors and curing cancer are world’s apart. When Lester writes a paper about cannabis curing cancer, you can believe we’ve crossed the Rubicon. But only Lester can be the judge of when that should happen, if ever. In the meantime, I’d appreciate the activists on all sides of this issue to avoid further baiting me or Lester, a person I would never disrespect or dishonor.

In closing here’s a clip from our first encounter:

Written by Steven Hager

December 12, 2012 at 6:31 am

Origins of the Hemp Movement

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When I came to High Times, most of the pro-marijuana rallies originally organized in the seventies had died out. There was one flame left, however, in Ann Arbor, and it was flickering.

Soon after becoming editor, I got a plea from some students living in a dorm at the University of Michigan, asking High Times to come out and rejuvenate the annual event, which had shrunk to a handful of die-hards. I’d recently been introduced to an unpublished manuscript, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, and soon flew out to the valley where Jack lived. I wanted Jack to co-found a new legalization group with me. (NORML was not really interested in rallies at the time, as the images of old hippies created an image problem for them. NORML had also passed on Jack’s manuscript, which he’d offered to let them publish, and thought Jack’s claims were exaggerations.)

Of course, I wanted High Times to publish the book and Jack agreed I was the ideal editor. Jack also agreed to my plan of creating the Freedom Fighters. The idea of wearing tricorner hats as a publicity stunt to draw attention to hemp and away from recreational cannabis use was a big part of my initial vision. It also solved the “image problem” and added a fun element to the rallies. I wanted the Freedom Fighters to march into the rallies in a ceremonial fashion, in an attempt to take the flag back from the right wing. It was a very obvious attempt to flip the switch on the sigils they had been working by claiming the founding fathers as ours. At that first meeting, Jack and I discussed a Hemp Tour across the Midwest, that would start with the Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, and include my ala mater, the University of Illinois, once the center of hemp processing in Illinois, and then home to a very strong NORML chapter led by Debby Goldsberry, (current Freedom Fighter of the Year).

Jack and I created the organization and held our first national convention a day before the next Hash Bash. How many attendees can you identify? And how many of the state chapter heads from the convention went on to do big things in the cannabis reform movement?

Written by Steven Hager

November 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

A Bitter End to the Sixties

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I attended college for free in San Francisco in the early 1970s, enrolling in San Francisco City College and studying theater and journalism. After I got kicked off that student newspaper, however, I got heavily into creative writing and became a huge fan of Anton Chekhov, although I was also influenced by current trends in theater, especially the work of Harold Pinter and Edward Albee.

Soon, I transferred to the University of Illinois theater department and became a budding playwright, although I only ended up writing one play. My instructor, Kenneth McLean, was so impressed that he staged this one act play, assigning Randi Collins to direct. I remember my first meeting with Randi. She was a talented director but couldn’t make sense out of my play the first time she read it, as she had no experience with blue collar life. I guess it seemed like meaningless dialogue going nowhere, but after I helped Randi select a cast (we were lucky to get some of the best actors in the department), I gave Randy some notes regarding the subtext behind many of the lines. I remember telling Ken Benda, who was playing the lead character, Lonnie, to talk fast, and John Hickey, who was playing Gerald, to talk slow. The dynamics between these two provided most of the comedy in the opening minutes of the play. Soon, however, the darkness of a world with no future emerged and Randi began to sense the futility the play was attempting to capture.

The photo above shows John Dunn, who went on to have a successful theater career in New York, Ken Benda, and Lorry Robin, during an early rehearsal.

Much to my surprise, Ken McLean submitted the script to the American College Theatre Festival and it was accepted, so we all got to travel up to Milwaukee for another performance. It was supposed to be a reading, but we put on a fairly polished production. I remember how stunned that audience was after the play. Several other playwrights congratulated me and let me know my work showed tremendous promise, although the moderator of the discussion group afterwards felt it was just a fragment and not a fully realized play, which provoked a huge disagreement from some of the audience.

After the performance, we all went back to the dorm where we were staying and I told some ghost stories to the cast. Randi, my director, got so scared she had to leave the room and was scared to be alone with me for the rest of the trip. That’s when I discovered I had a flair for scaring the shit out of people.

I never wrote another play, though, as I seemed to get it all out of my system with just this one. But when I went back to take a look at the script recently, I was amazed at how well it holds up. In the mid-1970s, a lot of young people were graduating high school or even college without much of an idea of what to do next. Most of the jobs that were available to us were very boring factory jobs, most of which have been moved overseas today, so the situation for the current generation is even more bleak. Meanwhile, the sixties counterculture revolution seemed pretty much over by 1975, having been completely co-opted by the mainstream. There just didn’t seem to be any future for many young people, a situation that seems to be repeating itself with this generation, which is why I think theater students today might enjoy staging this script again. I’d certainly love to see another performance someday, which is why I put the script on smashwords.com for free.

If you’re a theater student, I hope you check it out. Just follow the links at the top-right to navigate to my eBook site.

Written by Steven Hager

November 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

Through the JFK Disinfo Looking Glass

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Recently, Paul Krassner was sent an interesting new theory about the JFK assassination. Krassner knows my interest in this area, so he forwarded it to me. The article began with:

Was Doolittle the Mastermind of the Kennedy Assassination?The origins of the John Birch Society is a fabrication. It was founded in order to put pressure on Eisenhower to approve more funding for the ANP. I believe the Birch Society was a front pressure group founded by Doolittle. Doolittle is the one who let Roosevelt know Joe was dead.

To: Paul Krassner

From: Steve Hager

The assassination was directed on one level through James Jesus Angleton’s “Executive Action” program, which was headed by William Harvey, and on another level by Chicago Mob Boss Sam Giancana. After JFK and RKF discovered Harvey was still working with Johnny Roselli to assassinate Castro (after the CIA was told to back off), they wanted Harvey sacked from the CIA, so Angleton had him transferred to Italy. Soon thereafter, the Executive Action program was put back into action, only this time, the target was JFK, not Castro. The connection between Roselli and Harvey had been initiated through Howard Hughes’ second in command Robert Maheu in discussions with Chicago Godfather Sam Giancana. Maheu started his career as Chicago FBI second-in-command under Guy Bannister, who also figures in the assassination.

Roselli made his bones under Al Capone as triggerman in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. He was a freelance fixer and hit-man who evolved into Sam Giancana’s eyes and ears in LA.  Once when he was up on a murder charge, the witness and the investigating DA both turned up unexpectedly dead. Charles Nicoletti, Giancana’s favorite hitman in Chicago, was also likely recruited for the hit. Roselli confessed his role several times, to his mistress and to Bill Bonanno while in jail. Roselli turned up dead before he could testify to Congress a second time (he’d already revealed the plot to kill Castro). Also Bill Harvey may have whacked Giancana, who also controlled Jack Ruby. The end game reveals Angelton and Harvey arm-chaired into forced retirement, with Giancana, Roselli and Jack Ruby all eventually assassinated. Yes, the CIA and various crime organizations work together, but in the final analysis, it’s the CIA who plays the role of big dog.

Roselli claims to have taken the fatal head shot and was treated by anti-Castro Cubans in prison as their conquering hero. He said he was positioned in a storm drain under the overpass. His first shot went through the windshield and caught Kennedy in the neck. Nicolleti’s shots may have come from the Dal-Tex building, one of which hit Kennedy in the back, another struck Gov. Connolly. James Files claims to have been positioned at the grassy knoll. Harvey remains a likely candidate as possible team leader. There were no shooters positioned at the School Book Depository, although a rifle was pushed out the window where Oswald was supposed to be just as the shots rang out. Since the Cubans were the back-up/support staff, they likely would have handled this task. It’s possible few but Harvey realized Angleton was running a whole other side of the operation, centered on disinfo propaganda. Many mafioso believe to this day it was actually their hit, and fail to understand the complex role played by the military and intelligence networks. The murder of officer Tippet has always remained a mystery, although perhaps Tippet rejected his mission of assassinating Oswald, which would have necessitated his instant elimination from the scene. As you move higher up the chain, you find George H.W. Bush of the CIA reporting to J. Edgar Hoover on the activities of “misguided Cubans” in Dallas that day. Bush’s father helped fund the rise of Hitler and was certainly a player in the Eastern Establishment after liberating Geronimo’s skull from its burial site at Fort Sill and bringing it to that occult house of worship, Skull & Bones at Yale University, where, no doubt, the present inductees gather round it for ceremonial photographs.

Since my response was so detailed, Krassner forwarded it to the author of the Doolittle Rabbit Hole story, who then attempted to prove that the anti-Castro Cubans (who have become the best source of info on the assassination) are actually a rabbit hole, and that the real story of the JFK assassination is Area 51 and an alien coverup. We are in the land of such quackery as David Icke here and disinfo really doesn’t really get any more transparent. Disinfo artists often have complex boilerplates but never engage in any real conversation. Here are some highlights:

If you think that the mob had the power to kill Kennedy you have problems Hager. Plus what motive did Angleton have in killing Kennedy? With Doolittle we have a means, motive and opportunity. Here are two other articles I put together one debunking L. Fletcher Prouty’s claims about the TFX and the other shows what affect Kennedy’s cancellation of the ANP caused. Even if the two people Hager claims were members of the kill team. That does not mean they were not in the employ of some WASP’s higher up on the food chain. It is purely serendipitous that I came upon this theory. I have long been a fan of Prouty and I found out that his facts did not check with “Kelly” Johnson’s and Ben Rich’s story’s on the TFX.

You have done very little research indeed if you think James Angleton was controlled by the mob. Angelton was a Yale grad and protege of Allen Dulles, who is David Rockefeller’s cousin. The fact that Bill Harvey was placed in charge of the CIA Executive Action program, and that he hired John Roselli as his primary assistant in this matter is well documented. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Fletcher Prouty, so one wonders why you want to drag him into the conversation, or why you want to paint me as claiming the mob was behind killing JFK? I suppose you have your agenda though. My allegations are based on comments Roselli made to his mistress and to Joe Bonnano while in jail before the CIA killed him because they thought he was going to tell Congress the truth.

I apologize for making you feel like I painted you as claiming the mob did it. I am still unclear though as to what you are claiming the motive was behind the assassination. You may have given a reason behind why the CIA killed Bonnano but that does not explain why the CIA killed Kennedy. I think that my theory gives a very clear motive for Kennedy’s death. Both Shell Oil and Lockheed were going to lose out big, if Kennedy cancelled the Blackbird Program. Shell Oil was charging the government outrageously for the “special fuel” JP-7 which purportedly cost more than the finest single malt whiskey. Which the Blackbird used. It also makes sense of why Kennedy was reluctant on revealing the existence of the plane. And why one of the first things that Johnson did was to make the plane public. Lastly my theory explains what the true origins of the John Birch Society are and why they have been so busy over the years pumping out wackadoodle conspiracy theories concerning Kennedy’s death.

Kennedy pissed off the oil companies by threatening to end the depletion allowance; Kennedy pissed off the mob by shutting down some of their operations; Kennedy pissed off Dulles (and the Rockefellers) by firing Dulles off the CIA; Kennedy pissed off  Angleton and the right wingers in the CIA by seeking a backdoor appeasement campaign with the Communists in a secret attempt to end the Cold War; Kennedy pissed off the Pentagon by signing the first non-proliferation agreement with the Soviet Union; Kennedy pissed off the military-industrial complex by resisting a land war in Vietnam; Kennedy pissed off the Cubans exiles by not providing jet support to the Bay of Pigs; Kennedy pissed off Bill Harvey by getting him sacked out of his position at the CIA; in short, Kennedy pissed off a whole lot of people, including some of the most powerful and dangerous in the world. But ultimately, it may have been the changes he went through after one of his mistresses introduced him to LSD and he became a peacenik, that may have been what really worried some people.

A good book with some of the latest data that you might want to check out, that I would recommend: “Someone Would Have Talked” by Larry Hancock, a book that documents the people on the inside who did talk and what they actually said. The most important early whistleblower was Richard Case Nagell and Dick Russell wrote a groundbreaking book about him, “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.

H.P. Albarelli has a book coming out very soon called “A Secret Order” and I’m certainly looking forward to this release, as his investigation on MKULTRA and the death of Frank Olson was groundbreaking.

Are you claiming that all of those things motivated Angleton? The way I see it he was on the losing side of the battle between the Military and the Civilian side of the agency. So, are you claiming that all of those thing motivated Angleton? Why would he be motivated by those thing? How would he have been affected? Was he financially connected to any of those circles?
Win Scott was Mexico station chief when the assassination occurred. A few years later, he wanted to retire and write his memoirs. The story of what happened next is covered in Dick Russell’s book “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” but essentially, Angelton had Scott poisoned and showed up at his house upon his death to collect all his papers, files, correspondence, and, most important, the manuscript to his unpublished book. The only reason Angelton would do something like that is if he felt Scott intended to implicate his role in the assassination.

Angleton had very close ties to the Eastern Establishment, MI6, The Vatican, and Israel. Who his ultimate master may have been, I leave to your discretion, he was an intensely secretive man and evolved into a deeply sick, paranoid person, a real Shakespearean tragedy, due to the karma he created. He also got suckered by several double agents, like Philby, and endlessly tortured real defectors and denied their real info (which was that the Soviet Union was a broken-down shell with no spare parts and the image of this mighty nation was a joke).

In several assassinations of key people, Angleton is often the first to arrive on the scene, scooping up evidence, like Mary Meyer’s diary that discussed her LSD trip with JFK. Meyer was best friends with Angleton’s wife at the time and he had no trouble whacking her.

What I am basically trying to tell you is that Angleton did not have the power to initiate the coup, but he was in a  position to take the fall, so he covered his ass, eventually pushing suspicion on Howard Hunt. Hunt as mastermind of the assassination was a very early rabbit hole constructed by Angleton to hide his own participation. It worked because it kept the spotlight on Hunt and Sturgis and away from Angelton and Harvey.

420 Disinfo Exposed

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Steve Bloom continues his selective and self-serving history of 420. In his latest missive, Bloom says: “In 1996, a person calling himself Steve Waldo contacted High Times claiming he and five friends had coined the term while they all attended San Rafael High School in Marin Country north of San Francisco in the early 1970s. So High Times named the Waldos the founders of 420.”

In truth, Steve Waldo contacted the 420 Tours website, not High Times. I’d just recently resigned as editor-in-chief of the magazine so I could concentrate on building events and shooting video and had spent six years promoting 420 ceremonies at the High Times office, at the Cannabis Cup, and at the Whee! festivals I created. Bloom never participated in any of these 420 ceremonies and told everyone my “theory” about the Waldo’s inventing 420 was untrue. For many years Bloom insisted the Waldos were liars. All this was well documented in Mike Edison’s slimy book that details his conflicts with the High Times staff.

But the worst piece of disinfo promoted by Bloom is the idea that I had nothing to do with spreading 420 ceremonies around the world, when, in fact, I was the first person to announce that 420 was evidence of the spiritual powers of cannabis. Until I began organizing 420 ceremonies, the only 420 ceremony being held was in Marin County. Bloom claims that Deadheads created 420 ceremonies, which is not true. It was students at San Rafael High School that organized the first 420 ceremonies. The Waldos were fans of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, not “Deadheads.”

Shame on you, Steve Bloom. Tell the truth and stop trying to write the history of 420 without my place in it.

Written by Steven Hager

April 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

Game Change & SSRI Psychosis

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I’ve been on the road with Bob Stutman for over ten years now, and the most amazing thing about our Heads versus Feds debate (recently cited as “the hottest college act in America”) is the chemistry that has developed between us.

I’m hoping to grow our webcast into a cable TV show and would appreciate any feedback our fans (or critics) have to offer. The show just took a new direction today, as we moved from hard news concerning the drug war, to reviewing two shows recently produced by HBO.

They call us “The Ultimate Odd Couple” and the point of Heads versus Feds is to show that even people from opposite ends of the cultural spectrum can actually hold discourse in a respectful manner.

Last night we visited Virginia Tech, and had a rare tense moment when I talked about the relationship between SSRI’s and school shootings. Afterwards, Bob told me he thought it was callous to bring up that tragedy, especially since no SSRI’s were involved. As far as I know, the medical facts in the case were never released.

Only one in ten studies on SSRI’s was ever published and they show SSRI’s are no better than placebo pills. The other nine studies, however, were shredded. Shredded, no doubt, because they discovered a link between SSRI’s and psychotic behavior—like yesteday’s Jet-Blue-pilot-meltdown. We’ll likely never know the truth about a possible SSRI-Psychosis cover-up until some form of class-action law suit appears. For all our sakes, I hope it comes soon as the legal drug companies are currently pushing the concept SSRI’s “are for everyone.”

Written by Steven Hager

March 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

The Cannabis Cup and 420

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What has the Cannabis Cup have to do with 420? Isn’t it in November? –Chris Bennett

In early 1990, High Times news editor Steve Bloom returned to the office from a trip to the Bay Area and brought with him a flyer to an April 20th event to be held at the top of Mount Tamalpias in Marin County. The flyer indicated that “420” was California police code for “marijuana smoking in progress.” Bloom thought the flyer was funny and a bit ridiculous. I felt otherwise. Since I’d recently started my research into the spiritual history of cannabis use, I immediately seized on the flyer as evidence of the spiritual power of cannabis and began holding 4:20 PM ceremonies in my office at High Times. I also made 4:20 ceremonies a central element in my legalization group, The Freedom Fighters, which was the largest pro-pot organization in the country at the time as we had the biggest mailing list. And the next time I returned to produce the annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, I held an open council at 4:20 PM and invited everyone. All the early 4:20 councils at the Cannabis Cup were videotaped and segments can be viewed in my history of the Cannabis Cup on my Youtube site (link at right).

Aside from the 4:20 PM council, the Cannabis Cup crew, specifically the Temple Dragons, began holding 4:20 AM celebrations at the Quentin Hotel lobby. (This was Rocker T’s idea and he will be performing at the Medical Cup after party in San Francisco this weekend.) The 4:20 AM ceremonies soon became very crowded as word leaked out that this was the best party at the Cannabis Cup. Hundreds of people took photos of themselves in the Quentin lobby next to a clock as proof they attended a 4:20 AM Cannabis Cup ceremony. (During this time, I also began using 420 as a central element of the Whee! festival I created in Oregon.)

The 420 events at the Cannabis Cup became so popular, in fact, that the tour agent, Air Tech, decided to change the name of the official tour to the event to “420 Tours.” They set up a website under that name and were soon contacted by Steve Waldo, who indicated that he and his friends had started the 420 fad. I flew out to San Francisco to meet with Steve and check out his claims. I returned to the office a few days later and announced I’d discovered the true origins of 420.

Unfortunately, then-publisher of High Times Mike Edison disputed my story and refused to accept that the Waldos were, in fact, the true originators of the term. This is all documented in Edison’s slimy book about his brief tenure at High Times. In the book, Edison asserts that the Waldos were not the originators of 420 and that I was being delusional and trying to suppress other stories, all of which I knew were disinfo.

Thus began my long odyssey trying to convince the world about the true history of 420. Now many people spread many stories and try to stake claims on having a “better” explanation. But no one can document the use of the term “420” as a reference to marijuana prior to 1971, other than Steve Waldo. And no one can document 420 ceremonies outside Marin county aside from mine for years before those ceremonies started appearing almost everywhere around the world. And you think the Cannabis Cup had nothing to do with this? It’s strange to read Cannabis Culture now claim they were using the term in the mid-1990s, (years after I began my 420 ceremonies) when, in fact, Marc ridiculed my 420 councils at the Cannabis Cup after he attended the event the first time, which is where he likely heard the term for the first time. At the time, Marc said my attempts at “hippie spirituality” were out-dated and completely lame which broke off our relationship for a long time.

If you like this blog, please check out my free eBooks, just click the link at the top-right column of this page that says, “click here for free eBooks.” And don’t forget to subscribe to my email alerts so you don’t miss any future posts. And thanks for stopping by.

Written by Steven Hager

April 20, 2011 at 11:19 am

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