The Missing Men in the Psychedelic Revolution

As the history of the psychedelic revolution is being written fifty years later, I can’t help but notice some of the most important characters are disappearing from the official narrative. And foremost among the missing men is Ronald Stark.

I recently watched The Sunshine Makers on Netflix concerning LSD chemists Nick Sands and Tim Scully, the duo who produced millions of hits of Orange Sunshine for The Brotherhood of Eternal Love out of Laguna Beach. I found it quite odd that John Griggs, Tim Leary and Ron Starks were left out of the story entirely. So I checked out the maker of this documentary only to discover it was Cosmo Feilding-Mellen, an English royal whose mom was involved with Nick Sands. I suspect she was also involved with Stark, who surfaced in England to recruit psychiatrist R.D. Laing to become the first psychedelic messiah. These characters were swimming in the same pond.

Laing worked for the Tavistock Institute at the time, the English equivalent of Fort Detrick’s MK/Ultra mind control matrix. But before that appointment, Laing made his career breaking fakers trying to slip out of military service as mental rejects, as in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. He’d created a new theory of mental illness along the way in which the crazy people were the sane ones simply creating another reality to escape a crazy world. When examining the actions of psychiatrists inflicting electric shock and other invasive trauma, and comparing that with the reactions of the patients, Laing concluded it was the system that was irrational.

But Laing was spooked by Stark’s elaborate plans for the Psychedelic Revolution he was plotting, so Stark left England and arrived at the doorstep of Tim Leary to make the same offer. Leary was living in upstate New York at the time, in an estate provided by Billy Hitchcock, one of the heirs to the Mellon fortune. Hitchcock became a primary money launderer and also the startup funder for Orange Sunshine. But it was Stark who provided the essential precursor.

At the time John Griggs was running the most important hippie secret society, The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and he was the real hippie avatar you likely never heard of who has been written out of the story. When Leary got kicked out of that New York estate, he fled to Griggs, and affected a Griggs style, wearing Afghan silk robes and putting flowers in his hair and preaching universal love. That was all Griggs. Leary was a West Point graduate who did high-level government research on mind control. But he slipped off the leash and went native and joined the hippie revolution. And then he got lost in the wilderness of mirrors, because that revolution was being usurped from the moment it first appeared.

Meanwhile, Sands gave Griggs an experimental substance to test, and Griggs died shortly after ingesting it. This is when Stark showed up with more LSD than anyone thought existed and Stark forged a relationship with Michael Randall, who inherited the Brotherhood leadership. It was Stark who created the European distribution network for the Brotherhood.

He got ratted out in Italy and put in jail, but convinced a judge he really worked for the CIA and he got released. His death is cloaked in mystery and nothing is known for sure, except that he moved among the biggest drug smugglers and terror operatives and political officials of his time. He had global connections that reached into the highest levels of government and organized crime and the hippie counterculture.

So my question is, why is Ron Stark being left out of the story?

 

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The War on the Black Panthers

There’s a feature documentary on the Black Panthers on Netflix that covers a lot of important ground, although I can’t help but notice some significant facts were strangely left out of the script. I didn’t realize until I watched this that the overwhelming bulk of COINTELPRO activity was focused directly on the Panthers, who had become the younger generation’s most influential and charismatic force for change. When I was 15, I bought a black, double-breasted lambskin jacket and took it off as little as possible. Soon, I would be living in the Berkeley flats, just a few blocks from the Panther birthplace.

The original concept had been to monitor police radio traffic and respond to police activity in an effort to stem the tide of police violence against blacks in Oakland. For this mission they were heavily armed. However, soon the Panthers would be feeding kids free breakfasts and would put down the weapons and issue a ten-point program that wanted an end to police violence as well as the draft. The Panthers pioneered the idea that education, housing, food and health care should be free to anyone who couldn’t afford it.

One of the primary missions of COINTELPRO was to work divisions inside the Panthers, and pit leaders against each other. So the first big split occurred over the issue of weapons and need for violent revolution. Obviously, the FBI wanted the Panthers to be as violent as possible. The strategy for turning Panthers violent may have involved handing out gobs of free cocaine and turning them into addicts. There was only one other organization on the same level of prominence as the Panthers at the time, and that was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), so simultaneous missions were undertaken to turn both organizations violent to justify a police crackdown. The easiest way to neutralize a revolution is to outflank the revolution on the left and lead it farther and farther left until all support from the populace at large disappears. This is essentially what happened with the Panthers and the SDS.

The SDS was destroyed through the creation of the Weather Underground, a violent splinter group that was no doubt a project of the national security state. The Weather Underground took their name from a Bob Dylan song during a time the CIA feared Dylan might ignite a revolution, so Dylan was being closely monitored and he withdrew from public view no doubt in order to escape the multiple ops and scams being run against him. The purpose of the Weather Underground was inciting violence against police. They killed a few on their own to spark the confrontation.

When Fred Hampton successfully merged the Panthers, the Young Lords and the SDS in Chicago, he instantly emerged as the greatest revolutionary leader in America, and was offered the position of national director of the Panthers. Fred came up with a name for the new group he was assembling: The Rainbow Coalition. But Fred was swiftly assassinated, and his rainbow legacy passed off and watered-down by deep state operative Jesse Jackson.

Obviously, the documentary covers Fred’s assassination in detail, but the most important clues were strangely left out. The police who murdered Fred while he was sleeping were the same officers who had years earlier been sent to interview a former Marine involved in a plot to assassinate JFK in Chicago. Both officers ended up rising rapidly through the ranks: Daniel Groth and Peter Schurla. Had that Chicago plot succeeded, the name Lee Harvey Oswald would have been replaced by Thomas Arthur Vallee, who was one of Oswald’s dopplegangers as he was posted at the same base in Japan, one notorious for MK/Ultra experiments. Vallee was a member of the John Birch Society and (like Oswald) had affiliations with Cuban mercenaries.

What’s interesting is not that some CIA-connected cops shot up Fred Hampton, but that the crime scene was bizarrely left wide open and unguarded and the first person to arrive was Bernadette Dorhn (real last name: Ornstein), the first student organizer hired by the National Lawyer’s Guild, a Communist organization infiltrated, if not supervised, by operatives of the deep security state. Dorhn led Chicago press on a guided tour and correctly identified the scene not as a gun battle (as asserted by the police), but as a one-sided massacre. Media coverage was deployed around the country to incite the counterculture peace movement into supporting an open season on cops as the best response to Fred’s death, while scaring the rest of the country into thinking a civil war was becoming imminent.

None of this unfolded by accident. The reason the crime scene was not secured was to allow Dohrn to deploy Fred’s assassination as her springboard to national fame and assist the National Lawyer’s Guild takeover of the non-violent SDS. Soon Dohrn would be feeding gobs of LSD to dozens of recruits while forcing them into group orgies.

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.

Treasure of the Holy Grail

Act One: The Year is 5,000 BC

The Scythians are a bloodthirsty, slave-trading, warrior tribe and males and females use bows and arrows from birth with great accuracy. They travel in hemp-covered wagons, are fantastically tattooed all over from a young age, and wear golden armor. This is the tribe that invented the wheel, domesticated the horse, and forged the Silk Road from Europe to China.

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-1-06-56-pmTheir coming-of-age ritual is to kill an enemy in battle and drink his hot blood from his skull cap. Not so difficult when you understand the enemy is on foot and carries a battle ax, while the Scythian rides a horse and shoots with a recumbent bow, the tommy gun of the steppes.

The skull cap is lined with gold and used for future ceremonies. The Scythians love sweat lodges fumigated with cannabis flowers.

They blind slaves they keep and ship their offspring to live with other clans. Children are raised in groups and do not know their parents, but treat all adult as parents. Any one can make love with anyone else, and a bow and quiver on the door of a wagon signifies copulation in progress.

One day, a young gay Scythian, who does not participate in battle, abhors the slave trade, and investigates magical plants, discovers cannabis flower mixed with hot milk has a much greater effect than inhaling cannabis fumes in a sweat lodge. He shares this concoction with his blind father and his sight miraculously returns. The golden cups are soon filled with cannabis and milk and not blood, thanks to revelations achieved through this new sacrament. The slaves are freed and their sight returned.

Act Two: The Year is 5,000 AD

The secrets of the young gay Scythian have long been lost, and the kingdom has been in perpetual war ever since. Young King Arthur assembles 12 and commands them to find the secret that will bring peace to the kingdom, which according to legend is a golden grail held captive in a blackened forest.

littlegrailThe black forest is surrounded by a vast oil-drenched wasteland and guarded by a custodian called the Fisher King, who suffers from poisonous fumes emanating from the wasteland. One of Arthur’s young knights manages to cross the wasteland alive without succumbing to its effects and gains entrance to the mysterious estate and soon discovers a princess brings a golden cup to the King in order to keep him alive. He discovers it is not really the cup that is important, but the medicine that goes inside.

The knight returns to Camelot and the sacrament quickly brings peace to the kingdom, while inspiring great creativity and frivolity.

20 conspiracy theories that turned out true

debateBOSHPresident Abraham Lincoln was killed as a result of a conspiracy inside his own administration.

Alfred Dreyfus was railroaded in France in 1894.

Sicilians invented a secret society in America in the 1840s that eventually took great power.

The Chicago White Sox were paid to throw the 1919 World Series.

Major General Smedley Butler was approached by leading figures on Wall Street to overthrow FDR with a mercenary army of WWI vets.

Scientists knew asbestos was toxic in the 1930s, but all evidence was buried. The same could be said for tobacco cigarettes.

General Motors conspired to rip up electric trolley tracks starting in 1938.

Hundreds of Nazi spies and scientists were secretly located to the New World under new identities after WWII. Operation Paperclip, as it was known, was greatly assisted by the Vatican and involved collusion by the Knights of Malta.

Billions in gold and other assets stolen by the Nazis and Japanese were put into funds controlled by the CIA (Black Eagle Trust) so as to avoid restoring it to the rightful owners. It appears the operation was aided by Opus Dei, a society that has assumed great power inside the Vatican.

The government began a mind control program in the 1950s (MKULTRA) that secretly fed LSD to unsuspecting citizens for years.

The FBI began an illegal dirty tricks program known as Cointelpro in 1956 and continued through to 1971 when it was uncovered.

Many prominent figures in the national media became CIA assets through Project Mockingbird in the 1950s, a propaganda operation that continues today in some form.

JFK turned down a plan by the Pentagon (Operation Northwoods) to blow up an American ship and blame it on Cuba to justify an invasion.

The CIA’s JM/Wave station assassinated JFK with the help of the Chicago outfit and Texas oil barons.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was staged to justify a war in Vietnam.

Karen Silkwood was murdered after she blew the whistle on her own company.

The CIA-backed Contra army was involved in cocaine distribution to raise funds.

Barry Seal flew cocaine for the CIA into Mena, Arkansas, while Bill Clinton was governor.

A right-wing masonic lodge in Italy (Propaganda Due) plotted terrorist acts to be blamed on leftists.

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.

True Origins of the Holy Grail

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.