The Tin Whistle

counterculture history and conspiracy theory

Freedom Fighter Reunion; Hash Bash 2017

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freedomfighterconventionBack in 1987, the marijuana rally scene had long since faded away, and it wasn’t until a group called the Freedom Fighters appeared that the modern rally scene took off. That’s because in the late 1970s, the media was using smoke-ins to mine images of hippies smoking joints in public, and these images were greatly alarming mainstream America, and were helping turn people against legalization. Because it was so difficult to distinguish hippies from burnt-out drug fiends on looks alone, NORML began a policy of not supporting smoke-ins. It was the birth of what became known as “the suits versus the stoners.”

I thought it was a silly policy by NORML because you can’t have a culture if you don’t congregate and hold ceremonies. So when I got a letter from some students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor saying their legendary Hash Bash founded by John Sinclair was down to less than a dozen die-hards and about to die, I took action by creating the High Times Freedom Fighters. The concept of wearing tri-corner hats and Colonial outfits was to help carry the new message about hemp and our founding fathers, while also costuming the members so that their appearance could not be held against them. The Freedom Fighters became instant magnets at every rally because news crews seek people in colorful costumes. Members were trained to start talking about George Washington and hemp as soon as any cameras were rolling on them.

14753363_10153757053487024_6239109113042836686_oTo encourage participation, members were given pins at every rally they attended and there was even one letter-writing campaign where you could get a pin with a blue Liberty Bell for every response you got from Congress. John Birrenbach gathered so many responses his tricorn became smothered in pins. I didn’t initially realize the implications of what we were doing, but the magic began manifesting on a big scale right away, and the costumes and Betsy Ross flags were certainly helping.

Within two years, the Freedom Fighters became the largest legalization group in the country and only required $15 to get a lifetime membership that included the Freedom Fighter Newsletter edited by Linda Noel, who was the original brains behind the Boston Freedom Rally. From their inception, the Freedom Fighters were wired into my Cannabis Cup, and a member elected by open council to attend the Cup all-expenses paid every year, an honor won by luminaries like Jack Herer and Gatewood Galbraith. It was bizarre when High Times told me to give up the organization saying it conflicted with my editorial duties. I’d amassed a volunteer army of over 10,000 members, and many were enthusiastic supporters pouring immense energy into creating new rallies and other cannabis events all over the country. It was certainly snowballing.

14642352_10154731718660921_9065905013702339237_nThis background is all in the way of announcing a Freedom Fighter reunion at the 2017 Hash Bash. I’ll be looking for a psychedelic bus to take us there, and a site where we can hold a proper ceremony honoring our departed hemp heroes. Jack, Gatewood, Chef Ra, and Tom and Rollie of Rainbow Farm.

We will also be doing inductions for the Pot Illuminati, my replacement for the long defunct Freedom Fighters.

Written by Steven Hager

October 21, 2016 at 2:04 pm

My Guide to Zero Budget Publishing

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prmo2After three years of self-publishing, I have some hints for newbies in the field.

1) I suggest joining Quora and using that site to navigate all forks in the road. Before undertaking any new project, ask Quora for advice. You typically get a response from an expert in the field within hours. Most Quora users are polite and seeking information only and there is an unspoken rule against hostile behavior, although some of the younger users engage in flame wars and loaded emotional content.

2) Set up a free blog. Three years ago, I asked Quora, “what is the best blogging site,” and determined WordPress was the option I liked. It’ll take time to design and tweak your blog, and you need to blog something everyday for a month or two before you’ll get any sense of bearings and find your unique voice and subject matter. Look for an under-developed niche that doesn’t have a lot of competition. Many of my books began as a series of blogs on a subject that interested me, a list that includes my most recent one, Killing Lincoln: The Real Story.

3) Feed your blog into social media sites, and use social media daily. Every book should have its own Facebook page.

4) Create a video site, Youtube or Vimeo are the big ones. Video is the best way to promote any product. Even a video shot on your smart phone can be useful.

5) Join ToonBoom to make your promo videos. To get HD resolution, you’ll need to pay an annual fee, which is worth it. Your animations will download easily to your video site. No experience is necessary to make professional-looking animations instantly.

6) Join Klout to get feedback on the effectiveness of your social media. Whenever you experience a bump on Klout, that indicates something is working. Find out what that is and keep doing it. Without a feedback loop like Klout, it’s difficult to judge how effective your social media is.

6) Publish your book on Smashwords and CreateSpace, or some other combination of ebooks and print-on-demand.

7) Join Prlog to circulate a free press release. These likely won’t get much attention, but every book should have an official-looking release that can be circulated on social media. You should post a promotional blog that provides links to your promo video(s) and press release(s).

8) Answer questions on Quora daily related to the topic of your book. Strive to become one of the most read posters on your subject of choice. The top ten in every subject are awarded honors on Quora, and it is not difficult to become one if you have good information to share.

When all these cylinders are up and humming, you’ll likely be on your way to a career in self-publishing on zero budget.

Good luck and happy publishing.

Written by Steven Hager

October 19, 2016 at 9:12 am

Posted in Autobiographical

May the circle keep on tokin’

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chefraDedicated to James “Chef Ra” Wilson

G                                                 G7
I was standing by my window
………C                           G
On a cold and cloudy day
When I saw Chef Ra a-skating
…………..G                D7        G
Come to carry my blues away.


G                                               G7
May the circle keep on tokin’
…………….C                           G
Bye and bye Ra, bye and bye
There’s a better world awaiting
…………G         D7         G
In the sky Ra, oh so high.

G                                                         G7
Well, I noticed, the town was lonely
………..C                         G
For Chef Ra, he had gone
All his friends, we were cryin’
………….G            D7            G
For we felt so sad and alone.

G                                               G7
May the circle keep on tokin’
………….C                      G
And get high, oh, so high
There’s a better time awaiting
……….G           D7              G
In the sky, with Ra, so high.

G                                      G7
Undertaker, undertaker
……………..C                             G
Won’t you please drive by slow
For that man you are a-haulin’
………….G         D7           G
We so hate to see him go.

G                                               G7
May the circle keep on tokin’
………….C                             G
And get high, Ra, oh so high
There’s a better world awaiting
…………G       D7            G
In the sky Ra, in the sky.

Written by Steven Hager

October 13, 2016 at 7:04 am

True Origins of the Holy Grail

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screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-15-18-amStrange the Holy Grail remains our central myth, yet few pay attention to its origins. Probably because those origins are steeped in cannabis. Herodotus, the father of western history, first documented the three sacred golden gifts (plow/yoke, axe and cup) bequeathed to Greece’s ancient northern neighbors, the Saka, who had divided into a caste system based around those three gifts. Herodotus also documented the culture’s great affection for cannabis sweat lodges. By his time, they had already built the (poorly-named) Silk Road. (In truth, it was cannabis that built their highway; silk came along later in the game.) Another myth is the Saka conquered cultures with brunt force, when in reality, despite their superior weapons and highly militarized society, their culture was so incredibly advanced it was readily absorbed into the many cultures they traded with. And because they traveled from Europe to China and India, the Saka absorbed elements from both east and west. Saka priests (many of whom were transsexual) had best magic because their primary sacrament was the greatest medicine on earth.

A few hundred years after Herodotus, Quintus Curtius Rufus documented those same three sacred gifts as essential to the Zoroastrians, although the weapon had morphed into a spear and arrow. In later Nart versions, it became a golden sword. However, throughout history, the golden cup retained its importance in Zoroastrian and Gnostic traditions, and this cup was a symbol of spirituality long before the arrival of the cross. Interestingly, the grail appears on Templar tombstones as well, indicating the powerful secret society had an early association with the grail. In fact, issues with the Templars may have originated with their defense of the Cathars, and there is speculation that two of the original nine Templar knights were Cathars. It’s worth noting that the Cathar grail was called “Mani,” leading me be believe the Persian prophet Mani, who lived around the year 200, was the source of their dualistic beliefs. Mani attempted to unify all known religions and his followers built temples throughout the Silk Road, all of which were destroyed or absorbed by other religions.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 12.12.42 PMUnfortunately, the version of the grail told today has been completely sanitized from any association with cannabis, when in fact, it’s the substance in the grail that carries the magic, and not the metal itself. I find it interesting Southern France became a center for mysticism, launching many occult societies, and the greatly persecuted Cathars were undoubtedly the inspiration behind much of that.

Meanwhile, the growth of Islam displaced the Zoroastrians, but the haoma cup was easily morphed into Islam’s Cup of Jamshid, said to contain the elixir of immortality. In early European mythology the grail contains the key to bringing peace to the kingdom. In reality, both claims are true: cannabis is the key to long-life, and it has a soothing effect that helps tamp down rage and violence.



Written by Steven Hager

September 27, 2016 at 10:27 am

Secrets of the American Revolution

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screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-9-41-37-amAfter publishing his landmark study of the Constitution in 1913, Charles Beard of Yale University became the most eminent and influential historian in America, and it took decades of nit-picking to bring him down from that perch. He was soon universally ignored inside his profession, a role later reserved for Antony Sutton, who picked up on some of Beard’s style. For both, history was the study of economic interests, not dogmas.

Beard believed there were two American Revolutions, one to break from England, and one to cement an elite aristocracy into control. Far from being the wonderful document we celebrate today, the Constitution was the spearhead of a counter-revolution, conceived and instituted by the largest bond holders from each state, the banksters of their day.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 10.53.36 AMGeorge Washington was the richest man in North America at the time, as well as the largest single investor in the Revolution. Loyalist landowners faced seizure from the new government, just as landowners who’d supported the revolution had faced seizure if England won. I imagine many rich people tried to remain neutral, or played either side when convenient.

Washington was the most powerful Mason in North America, and a large number of Masons attended the Constitutional Convention, but that should not be surprising since Masonic principles support the equality of man. But it’s also true Masonry became infected at the highest levels by European royals, and flourished in both the British military and the world’s first multinational corporation, The East India Company.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 11.09.27 AMI’ve always found it interesting that the original flag of the East India Company had 13 stripes alternating red and white, and if you possessed one of those flags, turning it into the stars and stripes would have been a relatively easy affair. Since the East India Company was the dominant cartel controlling the American economy, it would have made sense for them to embed prominent operatives into the revolution, in order to preserve the best environment post-revolution for continuing their immense profits. And many of their allies were located along the Eastern seaboard, involved with the China trade, which involved picking up opium in India and transporting it to China to trade for valuable goods.

Written by Steven Hager

September 16, 2016 at 10:25 am

Revilo P. Oliver is a clue to the JFK assassination

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Revilo P. Oliver

Once you identify the principle polemicists salting the intel-sponsored propaganda, you’re halfway to enlightenment; and once you identify the major memes those polemicists are salting, you can easily ID a lot more spooks and avoid their rabbit holes to nowhere. Anyone supporting obviously fake memes is either a spook or hoodwinked true believer and there is no other option. Spooks and true believers can’t be trusted, so divide conspiracy research into two categories, trusted and not trusted, and learn from both categories. With practice and a keen eye for detail, you’ll soon be learning more from the disinfo than the authentic intel (mostly because there’s a lot more noise than signal). But you must avoid falling into the traps, what I call the rabbit holes, the biggest of which is racism in any form. The most powerful forces promoting ethnic cleansing are spook-driven, manufactured to assist the war-for-profit scenarios with their divide-and-conquer propaganda, something always easily identified.

The post-WWI generation was turned against Jews in many ways and on many levels, but mostly through Earnest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, both of whom demeaned the culture whenever possible. These were the two most influential novelists when novels were an influence. At the time, Jews were not integrated into high society, not allowed to join the country clubs or fraternities of the oligarchy. Instead, rich Jews had their own aristocracy centered on families holding stock in the Federal Reserve, the ones who also owned some of the biggest investment banks, the ones linked to names like Rothschild and Warburg. This division between these two powerful oligarchies along the Eastern seaboard was intentional and in place prior to the Civil War. They are still separate in some quarters.

I suspect Revilo P. Oliver worked for OSS during WWII. He was a brilliant intellectual and mastered a dozen languages, and was considered an expert in the origins of religion. He taught at the University of Illinois, where I grew up, evolving into a major player on the national stage. He had a hand in creating the John Birch Society and the National Alliance, now known as the National Vanguard. Funny, how nobody writes or talks about Oliver today, except his supporters, even though his role as a spook propagandist should be obvious with hindsight.

Soon after JFK’s assassination, Oliver published a dissenting opinion claiming JFK was a communist who’d been murdered by the communists because he’d decided to “go American.” He claimed Lee Harvey Oswald had been trained by the KGB, and the Warren Commission had been preordained to claim Oswald was a lone assassin. This was published after the commission was announced, long before the 888-page report appeared. Oliver’s theory was peppered with distortions and outright fabrications, as well as some amazing secret truths, evidence of inside sources. The government, especially the State Department, was heavily penetrated by a secret communist conspiracy run by Jews, claimed Oliver, and as evidence he cited the impossibility of a Marine formerly posted at our most secret base in Japan defecting to Russia, and then freely returning to America, and yet not monitored by the FBI. This could only happen if the State Department was infested with cooperating communist conspirators claimed Oliver, ignoring the more obvious explanation Oswald was an American spook who was returning from a failed penetration operation in Russia.


J.D. Tippit

“The identification of the murderer was a near-miracle. If not the result of divine intervention, it was the result of a series of coincidences of the same order as might enable a bum with a dollar in his pocket to enter a casino in Reno and emerge with a thousand,”noted Oliver, in another one of his many spot-on assessments. This miraculous identification and capture of Oswald began with the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit. Oswald’s wallet was discovered at the scene, along with four spent cartridges from his revolver. Strange Oliver could recognize the anomaly of Oswald’s strangely trouble-free re-entry into the USA after supposedly defecting to the enemy, but missed this highly improbable wallet, especially considering Oswald was captured an hour later with a wallet in his pocket (and no revolver). Which means the wallet at the scene must have been planted. There’s also the witnesses to the Tippet slaying who claim Oswald was not the man they saw fleeing the crime. The only other option is believing the official story Oswald murdered Tippet, then calmly emptied his revolver, tossed his wallet on the ground and then fled the scene, which is the version Oliver opted for in this instance.

“Americans known to be opponents of the Conspiracy, including General Walker, prominent members of the John Birch Society, and leaders of other conservative organizations, began to receive threats of death by telephone from creatures who somehow knew that Kennedy was dead before he reached the hospital,” wrote Oliver. I believe this detail is also spot-on in that Texas John Birch supporters put up the $150,000 to pay the three shooters and were among the first notified of the mission’s success, but salting that observation with the lie these calls included death threats to the paymasters is an obvious misdirection that recalls Edwin Stanton’s efforts to claim he was a target of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy, and not one of the instigators himself.

Oliver was especially harsh on the then director of the Council on Foreign Relations, the recently-fired former CIA head, Allen W. Dulles. “Dulles was the head of an American spy ring in Switzerland during the Second World War and is said to have done a fairly good job,” began Oliver, “although it was believed at the time that his organization was infested with double agents who were really in the employ of the Soviet — and even more serious implications can be drawn from the testimony given in Karlsruhe last July by Heinz Felfe, a Soviet agent who had been Mr. Dulles’ German counterpart and supposed competitor in Switzerland.”Yes, Dulles was head of OSS in Europe and was posted in Switzerland, and recruited the bulk of the Nazi spy network into the CIA in a secret surrender with Malta Knight Reinhardt Gehlen, who was later rewarded by becoming head of the West German secret services, but Felfe was a minor figure when posted in Switzerland compared with Dulles, and just one of many spooks accepting pay from all comers.

“One writer has recently suggested that it was the C.I.A. that arranged the assassination of Kennedy; I know of no evidence to support that opinion, but obviously Mr. Dulles’ creation is open to suspicion. Perhaps that is why he is a member of the “special commission,” wrote Oliver in a brief and startling moment of spot-on clarity that was instantly jettisoned.

Oliver claimed the commission would paint “Comrade Oswald as a poor, lone critter who done it all alone. Probably ‘psychiatrists’ will be produced to prove he done it ’cause, at the age of six months, he had to wait an extra five minutes for his bottle.” Strange that Oswald was likely worked on by CIA psychiatrists while a teen in New York, prior to his being hypnotized by David Ferry while a member of Ferry’s Civil Air Patrol in New Orleans. The fact he knew the outcome before the investigation began was yet another spot-on.

Oliver was called before the Warren Commission to testify, and I imagine that was a scripted encounter. Mark Lane was another one of the few independent investigators allowed to present evidence directly to the Commission. It took me decades to realize Lane’s testimony was likely scripted as well, for he was also a former OSS officer, and was likely guided into a role as the premier debunker of the official story. He soon tainted himself by embracing Willis Carto’s holocaust denial movement. Isn’t it strange that both Oliver and Lane were on polar opposites of the political divide, one far left the other far right, and yet both believed in a Jewish conspiracy running the world.

If you want to find a contemporary salter of disinfo, check out Jan Irvin, who treads in Oliver’s footsteps with lies and distortions. Irvin produces propaganda supporting the theory the hippies were created by the CIA, and that Tim Leary, Ken Kesey and me are employees of that agency, and not its critics. Since I’m on the inside of this particular conspiracy theory, it’s impossible for me to ignore Irvin is making shit up. So I put him in the “not trusted” category. And wouldn’t you know, he also believes Jews are running the system through some secret satanic cult based on the teachings of Aleister Crowley, which just confirms my suspicions intel is exploiting Crowley for propaganda. But they do the same thing with their phony UFO evidence they are constantly manufacturing.

My advice: avoid any variation on any rabbit holes resembling: the Communists are running the world; the Jews are running the world; the Satanists are running the world, or the CIA created the hippies.

Vince Salandria is a clue to the JFK Assassination

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-41-41-pmThe Warren Commission had problems right out-of-the-gate, and the biggest became known as the single bullet theory. Even though the wounds were tampered with and notes of the autopsy immediately burned, the official report had considerable difficulty explaining how one pristine bullet found on the stretcher at Parkland Hospital caused seven wounds in two men. The solution was invented by a young Philadelphia DA, who would soon rise to great heights in American politics. His name was Arlen Specter.

In 1964, Vince Salandria was a history teacher at Bartram High School with a law degree who did legal work on the side when Specter was invited by the local bar association to give a talk concerning his work for the Commission. Specter spoke in front of an audience of 150, and then asked if anyone had a question. Salandria stood up. “Your single bullet theory is a fraud, a magic bullet theory,” he began. “How could anyone support such a blatant absurdity?”

“Have you read the report?” smirked Specter.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-54-20-pm“Yes, I have,” replied Salandria, “all eight hundred and eighty-eight pages.”

Specter was visibly taken aback. He’d not been expecting opposition on this dog-and-pony show, much less from someone so well-armed with facts. After JFK was assassinated Salandria told himself if Lee Harvey Oswald was killed before any trial took place, it would mean the CIA was behind the coup. When that happened, he drove to Dallas to investigate and interview witnesses. He met with Oswald’s mother, who told him her son was in the CIA, and she was very proud of that fact. In the Warren Commission Report, Specter had successfully painted Oswald’s mom as a lunatic. He tried sparring with Salandria but after losing every parry, Specter asked for a new question and moved on, his credibility somewhat shaken. It was a scary moment when the entire facade threatened to come down, and Specter would never forget it.

Salandria went home in an inspirational fever created by the audience’s reaction to his comments and composed the first critique of Specter’s theory, and soon had it published it in Philadelphia’s Legal Intelligencer, becoming an instant star inside a growing band of citizen researchers disputing the official story of JFK’s murder. These debunkers were virtually shunned because so few believed the CIA would kill its own President.


A few years ago a professor in Florida did his own digging around, and uncovered this document through the FOIA that revealed the CIA invented the term “conspiracy theorist” as a derogatory term to be deployed while dismissing critics of the Warren Commission Report. The document outlined a variety of strategies for debunking the debunkers.

In order to cement the fallacy of the conspiracy theorists they needed to invent some really nutty conspiracy theories, so what happened next is a string of whistle-blowers introduced mind-blowing new evidence in JFK’s assassination, and then began pursuing completely different conspiracy theories, often involving aliens, theories that could easily be swatted away, thus tainting and negating any JFK revelations.

Screen Shot 2016-09-12 at 9.22.46 AM.png

Two of the original memes they introduced were “dead people are alive” and “living people are dead.” I don’t know which came first, Elvis or Paul, but both were extensively mined for this counterintelligence propaganda operation.

Here’s the photo that launched the Elvis meme and this story was also accompanied with the release of documents from Elvis’ DEA and FBI files. Not only had Elvis traveled to Washington DC seeking credentials as a Special Agent in the war on drugs, one of his airplanes had been investigated during a drug investigation. Elvis had zero to do with illegal drug-running, but he was a heavy user of legally prescribed narcotics.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-9-16-19-amBoth the “Elvis is alive” and “Paul is dead” memes were promoted extensively by the Weekly World News, which I strongly suspect was deployed as a counterintelligence propaganda tool for dumbing down America, a role the entire media complex seems to be embracing these days.

More recently people inside the Air Force have confessed to planting fake evidence of alien visitations in the UFO community. And wouldn’t you know a lot of early JFK researchers ended up promoting the “aliens are here” meme. Most of this disinfo came in the form of forged “top secret” documents that never existed in the real world, and since intel deals with these sorts of memos every day, they know how to forge them and make them look really good.

The growth and spread of phony intel propaganda memes over the decades dwarfs the efforts of real citizen researchers, the noise to signal ratio is immense, and the landscape now includes “we never landed on the moon,” chemtrails, “no one got killed at Sandy Hook,” “no planes were used in 9/11,” and many, many more. As Goebbels noted, “tell a big lie, and stick to it.” Only I believe he was talking about the British MI6 propaganda and not his own.

Strangely, at the end of his long career, Specter invited Salandria to lunch at the Oyster Bar in Philadelphia. Salandria was surprised by this invitation and ended up doing most of the talking. He’d ended up losing his teaching job for promoting conspiracy theory among his students. Perhaps Specter was pumping him for the state-of-the-art in JFK research, or maybe he was trying to improve his karma. Specter’s last words were along the lines of perhaps he hadn’t been fraudulent after all, but merely incompetent. “You’re not that incompetent,” replied Salandria.



Written by Steven Hager

September 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm

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