Inside the New World Order

cop-steroids-policeI got my first speeding ticket during a recent trip to my hometown in central Illinois after pulling out onto a busy street with cars coming in both directions. I’d goosed the gas so as not to force oncoming traffic to brake. Unfortunately, this happened right in front of a speed trap.

I can remember a time when the police looked and talked pretty much like everyone else in town. Those days are gone. Today, they seem to be coming out of a different mold, like Navy Seals on steroids. Which I wouldn’t mind at all if they were friendly Seals.

The whole encounter gave me a creepy feeling. And it wasn’t just the $120 fine. After I got home, I had solicitations from a lawyer as well as a County Clerk offering a $50 safety course as a diversion to shield my insurance premiums and driving record. Every aspect of law enforcement is being mined for profit. And that’s really the way the whole country runs these days: whatever makes money is good.

But talking about the sorry state of American culture is not popular these days, and the kids have much more important things to focus on, like intensely violent video games. Meanwhile, most rights promised by our Constitution have virtually been disappeared while most wealth has quietly and quickly been drained into the hands of a small group of interlocking corporations operating on a global scale.

In the 1950s, everyone assumed global conspiracies were real and the biggest was supposed to be the Communist conspiracy. There were, in fact, secret Communist cells operating in major cities across the USA. But what they don’t tell you is that most of these were penetrated, if not controlled, by spooks.

Communism was funded by certain banks to the tune of millions of dollars, and the same banks that setup Communism, also setup the Nazi Party and fostered the Hitler war machine. A key banker involved in this hoodwink was Prescott Bush, whose family would soon rise to great power.

In the 1960s a vast social movement started with teenagers rebelling against their parent’s culture and forging a new path not based solely on the profit motive. Will another generation like that ever emerge again?

There’s an 8th Grade graduation test going around facebook that looks more like something you’d see in graduate school than Middle School and it really hit home just how dumbed-down teens have become. One wonders what possible role pills and processed foods have played in this ongoing de-evolution. Back in the 1960s, a whisleblower from one of the rightwing think tanks (Antony Sutton) showed how our education system had been hijacked by the Eastern Establishment and the one-hour classes and bell-ringing was introduced via German ideas on building compliant factory workers and soldiers. It was more about socializing kids to accept authority than empowering their abilities. And the reality that we’ve been headed down that road ever since shows in the dismal rankings of our schools as compared with other countries. If we would just empower the kids instead of breaking their spirits while filling their minds with violence and sex through the media.

But politics is so passe these days. Turn up the gangsta rap and pass me an Adderall.

And don’t think the FBI and CIA didn’t jump headfirst into the counterculture revolution, planting stooges in positions of power, same as they did with the Communist revolution. Which brings me to the origins of “conspiracism,” a word invented by John Foster “Chip” Berlet.

Berlet dropped out of the University of Denver in 1971 to join the counterculture revolution. He edited a series of books for the National Student Association. Years later we would learn the National Student Association was a CIA front and that at least 400 journalists were secretly working for the CIA, producing mountains of disinfo in an operation known as “Mockingbird.”

Berlet worked briefly for High Times as Washington correspondent, although the only significant journalism he contributed was an attack on Lyndon LaRouche. That’s an interesting story on its own, since LaRouche was one of those weird Marxists who appeared in the 1960s using military-grade mind control techniques to construct a cabal of followers. LaRouche has produced numerous articles exposing Berlet’s intelligence connections. What I see in their encounters today is a staged dialectic with a couple of veteran spooks role-playing against each other.

Today, Berlet’s research is funded by the Ford Foundation, long known to have a close relationship with the CIA. See, when researchers like Danny Casolaro started investigating the connections between the JFK assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Marcos gold, all the dots started to line up. So Berlet became the front man on messing up that blackboard. “Nothing to see here!” He invented the word “conspiracism” as a major ploy in that op.

We know where the pinnacles of power reside: The central banks, the oil companies, the military, the universities and the religions are all important elements. What we never investigate, however, is the connections between these centers of power. The Federal Reserve operates in secrecy because they don’t want you to know the names of any major stockholders of that privately-held corporation.

More recently, Berlet has handed the “conspiracism” crown to Michael Barkun who has become the media’s new go-to guy when discussing the crazy conspiracy theorists. Barkun’s close relationship to the FBI is no secret. Most of what these guys discuss in the way of conspiracy theory involves either Alex Jones or David Icke, both undoubtedly controlled lighting rods who manufacture paranoia rather than real research.

And that’s how this operation works. Icke and Jones lead people into paranoia, and then Berlet and Barkun brand all researchers as paranoid. Meanwhile, the British Journal of Psychology has already published a paper on the dire effects of viewing conspiracy websites.

“Participants were exposed to conspiracy theories concerning the issue of climate change. Results revealed exposure to information supporting the conspiracy theories reduced participants’ intentions to reduce their carbon footprint, relative to participants who were given refuting information, or those in a control condition. This effect was mediated by powerlessness with respect to climate change, uncertainty, and disillusionment. The findings suggest conspiracy theories may have potentially significant social consequences, and highlight the need for further research on the social psychology of conspiracism.”

The word is already in the psychology lexicon and it’s only a matter of years before they start locking up people like me for the insane belief that a hidden cabal might be orchestrating wars for profit. And all because I have this silly idea that war produces 17 times more profit than peace, at least if your industry is based in the military-industrial establishment.

If you really want to step out of this matrix, a great place to start would be my ebook Dirty Money, which you can read in less than an hour and costs less than a dollar. It traces the corruption running through the banking industry since it was invented. It just might open your eyes to some of the shit going on behind the curtain.

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Birth and Death of the Freedom Fighters

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 my company grew unhappy with the organization, 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.