The free NYC 420 has arrived!

NYC420_edited-1New York City finally gets a free 420 event. The Temple Dragons were the original crew that ran the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam for 25 years. The members of the crew were all cross-trained to do any job, which meant selling tickets, providing non-violent security, shooting video and especially running the ceremonies, which always involved music. Members of the crew have reformed in NYC to create an annual tradition for the celebration of cannabis culture. (There is also a boat ride around Manhattan sponsored by the Cannabis Cup Band, and this year the tours depart at 7 & 9 PM.

Remembering Rainbow Farm

Tom and Rollie

Rainbow Farm was something of a watershed for me, the end of the four-year trail trying to manifest a cannabis festival that could rival Woodstock.

The mission had begun with a trip to visit Ken Babbs of the Merry Pranksters. “I’m thinking about calling it the World Hemp Expo Extravaganja,” I said. “That’s great,” said Babbs, “but you should just call it Whee!” That’s when a lot of stuff clicked in my head and I realized the vibe we were really trying to scout was fun, and I endeavored to manifest the world’s most fun festival possible, and I am sure in many people’s minds succeeded. Just ask Fishbone. But I was saddened to see a recent attack on the festival in the Portland Mercury, a savage piece of hippy bigotry posing as humor if ever there was, a piece that failed to mention a single ceremony, much less the amazing birth of a baby. Although it’s true the site was comically packed with people stoned out of their minds, we were used to that vortex from years of producing the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, and referred to the telepathic effect as “entering stonerville.” Whee just had ten times more stoners.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 9.28.52 AMJohn Sinclair, Dennis Peron, Stephen Gaskin and Paul Krassner did a peace circle with the Rainbow Gypsies early the first day while tents were still going up. Just seeing that circle made the event for me, but there would be dozens more to follow over the weekend, some small, and some immense. I was sure we were well on our way to rebuilding the counterculture and couldn’t imagine the difficulties that lay ahead.

One significant problem was Oregon was infested with meth heads, and that scene carried a ton of bad vibes and rip-offs. The other problem was the owner of the site was way out of tune and had no respect for the Pranksters and no idea who Ken Kesey was on the cosmic scale. But after two festivals, he ended up losing the property, while fighting county officials and local law enforcement the entire time.

The next property owner to volunteer to host my event was Gideon Israel in Washington. But after one Whee, he was also taken down by a local sting operation. Gideon’s festival site was a campground called Rainbow Valley.

I made a plea at the Cannabis Cup for someone brave enough to hold a Whee! festival considering the first two were crushed by the authorities. That’s when I joined forces with Tom and Rollie of Michigan. They were the brave ones who stepped forward, only this time the authorities weren’t just taking the property. First, they had child services take away their son and refused all contact. Although a gay couple, the boy was Rollie’s child and the most important thing in their lives. And after losing the boy, they both lost their minds and decided to go down swinging.

I was in Woodstock when it all went down and had just returned to New York City. While picking up some video tape at B&H, a teller told me a plane had struck the Trade Towers. I noticed the smoke while riding my Honda Hawk across town. But when I got to my office, I was horrified to discover a string of voice messages from Tom and Rollie, the first of which announced their plan to stage a Waco-like event to bring awareness to the benefits of cannabis legalization. But as the messages went on, they became more and more frantic, until it was just Rollie. By that time, I’d already searched online and discovered they were both killed by FBI snipers. The story was already nearly a week old, but virtually nothing had penetrated the national media. And, of course, this was September 11, and a story was unfolding that would wipe Tom and Rollie’s quest for glory from the pages of history.

Fortunately, Dean Kuipers wrote a book about the event, and the book is being made into a major motion picture, so hope remains alive Tom and Rollie’s quest for martyrdom may not have been in vain. This is a difficult subject for me because it accompanied the shock of 9/11 in a massive double whammy. I had a string of people join me on my missions only to wind up in prison for a few years. But now the authorities were taking lives as well as prisoners. For years, I found it impossible to write anything about Rainbow Farm or about 9/11.

The saddest part for me was the Whee! vibe was all based around improvisational fun and peace ceremonies and learning how to foster and spread non-violence.

When I emceed the first circle to be held at Rainbow Farm, Tom came running up to join in and hold hands, an indication he really wanted to participate in peace culture.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 9.19.39 AMGatewood Galbraith, a trail-blazing attorney from Kentucky, was pushing armed revolution at the time, and may have helped hook Tom up with the spook-infested Michigan Militia, a huge mistake. I will always wonder if I’d been at work that week, would I have been able to talk Tom and Rollie out of this insane plan to create a Pot Waco? Could my participation in some way have prevented their deaths? Had I known what was going on, I would have attempted to mediate a peaceful solution when the stand-off began. I just never got the chance to play that role and it haunts me.

But you can check out that first peace circle at Rainbow Farm on a video from my archives first posted online two years before their deaths.

Killing Kennedy: The Real Story

bignbiggerJFKIt’s astonishing how tight a lid the major media has kept on the JFK assassination over the last 50 years. As a long-time writer on the subject, I’ve taken particular note of the parade of fake whistleblowers luring the unsuspecting researchers into rabbit holes salted with time bombs. Every generation brings a new wave of manufactured disinfo and the noise-to-signal ratio has been immense. All the noise is evidence of a conspiracy. The media was consolidated into a private cartel prior to WWII and now serves propaganda and pablum, and no longer capable of investigating deep politics in America as they are wired into the national security state.

After more than five decades, however, like a scene out of The Bridge on the River Kwai, the muddy water is descending on the JFK assassination and exposing lines leading into JM/Wave, the CIA’s largest station outside Langley when Kennedy was killed, with over 2,000 professional mercenaries on its payroll. Once JFK approved a secret assassination program inside the station, that very same squad ended up killing him in a tragedy worthy of Sophocles or Shakespeare. The last remaining data dump of documents still being held for reasons of national security is due out later this year, and that release guarantees new revelations, as well as new rabbit holes salted with time bombs. But rest assured, the crime was committed by Ted Shackley, David Morales, and John Roselli, and covered-up by Allen Dulles, James Angleton and J. Edgar Hoover.

One of the more interesting dots I was recently able to connect was eyewitness Richard Carr’s testimony concerning two men he saw standing in the window of the 6th Floor Texas Book Depository during the assassination, and how much they resembled Ted Shackley and David Morales. Carr got a closer look a few minutes later, when he witnessed them exit the back of the building and jump into a waiting Rambler station wagon. Miraculously, Carr survived two assassination attempts and was even able to kill one of his assailants.

Whether you are new to the case, or a long-time researcher, you’ll find material in this book not covered anywhere else. As an insider in counterculture media, I was allowed a closer examination of many of the leading whistleblowers and concluded many were really spooks salting time bombs. I also believe the case needs to be distilled and not buried in a blizzard of details, so I try to keep the word length down to the minimum necessary to round all the necessary bases. Instead of letting the noise distract or mislead, I follow disinfo to its source, and study the structure of the disinfo matrix for clues. Everyone brings something to the table, especially the spooks.

The disappearing Mauser is a key to the JFK assassination

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-26-03-amDeputy Sheriff Roger Craig is one of the greatest unsung heroes who sought justice after JFK’s murder in Dallas. Craig arrived at Dealy Plaza seconds after the shooting and raced to the picket fence at the top of the knoll, closely following the motorcycle cop who’d ditched his bike to run up the hill. The scene behind the fence was chaotic because a large number of people had already gathered. There were footprints and cigarette butts near where many witnesses saw a plume of smoke appear as the shots rang out.

Craig noticed a woman attempting to drive out of the parking lot and stopped her, taking her into custody for questioning. Deputy Sheriff Lewis appeared and took her off his hands.

Craig then crossed Elm Street and began interviewing witnesses. Arnold Rowland and his wife said they saw a man with a rifle in a Texas School Book Depository window overlooking the plaza before the presidential limo arrived. They hadn’t said anything because they assumed he was a secret service agent. Deputy Lewis appeared again and took the Rowlands off his hands.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-12-42-59-pmSuddenly, a shrill whistle sounded and Craig noticed a man in his twenties run down the knoll from the direction of the depository. A green Rambler station wagon slowed and the man jumped inside. Craig wanted to detain this vehicle, but traffic was intense and he failed to cross in time. When he did make it across, Craig went to the depository steps and was greeted by a man claiming to be a Secret Service agent. Craig began talking about the suspicious Rambler, but the agent seemed little interested. Craig’s boss, Sheriff Decker appeared and told Craig the suspect had left the scene and someone should search inside the depository.

Upon arriving at the sixth floor, Craig quickly located three spent cartridges by the southeast corner window, all lined up as if carefully set in place, something he found highly suspicious. One cartridge had a strange crimp. A rifle was soon located stashed in a pile of cardboard boxes. Stamped on the barrel was “7.65 Mauser.” Captain Fritz, chief of homicide for Dallas, arrived and took possession. That night the murder weapon used to kill JFK was described on all three networks as a German Mauser.

By the way, the Mauser is a short-barrelled carbine invented for use by cavalry officers. Carbines are not typically a weapon of choice among professional snipers due to limited range and low bullet velocity. They are, however, slightly easier to conceal than long barrel rifles. The Italians made a cheap imitation of the Mauser, the 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano.

Problem is the cartridges on the floor were 6.5 Carcanos, which meant the rifle and cartridges didn’t match.

“I arrived at Capt. Fritz office shortly after 4:30 PM,” wrote Craig later. “I was met by Agent Bookhout from the F.B.I., who took my name and place of employment. The door to Capt. Fritz‘ personal office was open and the blinds on the windows were closed, so that one had to look through the doorway in order to see into the room. I looked through the open door at the request of Capt. Fritz and identified the man who I saw running down the grassy knoll and enter the Rambler station wagon—and it WAS Lee Harvey Oswald. Fritz and I entered his private office together. He told Oswald, this man (pointing to me) saw you leave. At which time the suspect replied, I told you people I did. Fritz, apparently trying to console Oswald, said, take it easy, son—we‘re just trying to find out what happened. Fritz then said, what about the car? Oswald replied, leaning forward on Fritz’ desk, that station wagon belongs to Mrs. Paine—don’t try to drag her into this. Sitting back in his chair, Oswald said very disgustedly and very low, everybody will know who I am now.”

Because he was a Dallas police officer, it was impossible for the Warren Commission to completely ignore Craig. However, when the Commission report was released significant changes were made to his testimony. Meanwhile, Craig was ordered never to talk about the case with anyone in the media. After being caught talking to someone, he was fired.

Like other important witnesses, Craig was shot at, driven off the road, and hounded at almost every twist and turn of his remaining short life. As a key witness to the assassination, he’d assumed he’d become famous someday, but instead was quickly flushed down a rabbit hole. Many early gatekeepers like Mary Ferrell worked hard to discredit him, which, in hindsight is probably the best indication of how important he really was. Mary Ferrell was a lawyer for Mobile who made the assassination her life’s obsession. She never really managed to connect the dots on the case, even though the most obvious trail led straight into JMWAVE, William Harvey, Ted Shackley and David Morales. Craig sadly died of a gunshot to the chest in 1975. Self-inflicted so they say and it could be true because he was a completely broken man whose autobiography had been universally rejected by the publishing world.

(Excerpted from Killing Kennedy: The Real Story. To read the rest of the essay, buy the book, link below or at the top of the sidebar.)

Thoughts on World War I

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-9-58-05-amEngland had the world’s greatest empire thanks largely to immense coal supplies powering their navy, and coal mines were the biggest bone of contention between France and Germany. But around 1900, a shift in the winds began blowing, as titans of industry realized oil was a more efficient source of energy that allowed battleships to travel farther and faster.

Suddenly, control over oil fields ascended the throne as most valuable resource and there was a world-wide rush to locate new ones. Rockefeller monopolized North American oil, while the Nobels and Rothschilds made deals with the Czar to build refineries in the Caucasus.

Most nations of the Middle East are recent creations, along with those comprising the strategically critical Balkan states. At one time, these countries were united into the Ottoman Empire, and prior to WWI, Germany was their ally, and they were building a crucial Berlin-to-Baghdad railroad through the Balkans.  The Balkans are historically the smuggling route through which east and west connect, the drug pipeline into Europe.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-06-55-amThe heir to a British goldmine fortune created APOC by investing $500,000 to look for oil in Persia outside the Ottoman Empire. In 1908, he struck pay-dirt in what is now called Iran. Today that company is called British Petroleum.

The discovery of vast new oil fields in the Middle East rearranged the geopolitical agendas of the major powers and ushered in the wars that followed.

War is not some accident or miscommunication, but an extension of economic interests by any means necessary. Vast profits are produced, and winners architect exploitation of crucial resources for decades to come.

This is why a well-funded and highly-organized Balkan independence movement emerged, and two brief wars broke out in the Balkans prior to the start of WWI. These mini conflicts primed the pumps for the invasions and realignments that followed.

British intelligence grew concerned about the rise of a great German empire. And WWI certainly destroyed that possibility for many years.

In 1915, the dominant economic power of North America ( J.P. Morgan), began secretly buying the most important newspapers in preparation to launching a propaganda campaign designed to bring America into WWI on the side of the British.

By the end of the war, the Kaiser had abdicated and Germany accepted responsibility and given harsh fines. The terms were designed to create deep resentments instead of a lasting peace.

POSTWAR SHAKEDOWN

smedleyMajor General Smedley Butler, the most decorated soldier in our history, revealed a plot by the most powerful men on Wall Street to manifest a coup against FDR and install a military dictatorship. Butler had been enlisted to lead a 500,000 man army that would be raised with $3 million in their coffers. Butler played along for a time in order to collect as much evidence as possible, and then took the evidence to Congress.

Congress did their best to cover it up and the men involved famously laughed it off claiming it had been a joke. And to this day we don’t know if it was a real coup they were planning, or a set-up-to-fail coup that would have allowed FDR to declare marital law.

Meanwhile, thanks partly to the birth of their military industrial complex, the USA was surpassing England as the world’s economic powerhouse, and Wall Street was challenging London as the primary financial center.

Wall Street banks immediately began investing millions into building armament factories in Germany, preparing for the next epic battle, which would be constructed around the elimination of the Czar and capture of the Russian oil fields, a feat that would be achieved by funding the Communist revolution.

Freedom Fighter Reunion; Hash Bash 2017

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.

My Guide to Zero Budget Publishing

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.