Monday, August 6, 2012

Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD, The CIA, The Sixties and Beyond

Please indulge me while I get back on my Brotherhood of Eternal Love rap. Having read two other books on the subject, I purchased a copy of this book from for a very reasonable price. There is a lot more detail herein about what was going on in the Brotherhood during 1969: Specifically check out Chapter 9: The "Season of the Witch," beginning on page 223 of 345.

I'm not going to transcribe the entire chapter for you like The Colonel might do, but let me carve out some of the more pertinent parts for you:

"The saga of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love is a bizarre melange of evangelical, starry-eyed hippy dealers, mystic alchemists and fast-money bankers. Federal investigators described them as a "Hippie Mafia" of approximately 750 people that allegedly grossed $200,000,000.

It all started back in 1966 when a motorcycle gang from Anaheim...held up a Hollywood producer at gunpoint and robbed him of his stash of Sandoz LSD. A wekk later the bikers dropped the acid on a hill overlooking Palm Springs in Joshua Tree National Park. They must have seen the Burning Bush, for they threw away their guns and ran around the desert at midnight screaming, "This is it!"

While (the) Mystic Arts (head shop) provided a steady income, it wasn't enough for the ambitious plans of the Brotherhood. They needed more money to purchase land for their growing membership, so they started dealing drugs - mostly marijuana at first...Within the next few years the Brotherhood of Eternal Love developed into a sophisticated smuggling and distribution network that stretched around the globe.

There was just one hitch in the otherwise flawless operation: they lacked a sufficient quantity of LSD for wholesale marketing. Ever since Owsley's arrest in late 1967, a steady supply of high-quality street acid had been hard to come by.

With the Brotherhood ready to serve as their distribution arm, Sand and Scully embarked upon a full-fledged manufacturing spree. (Billy) Hitchcock bought some property in Windsor, a small town sixty miles north of San Francisco. In January of 1969, Sand and Scully went to work.

By the time the Windsor lab shut down in June 1969, Sand and Scully had turned out no less than ten million hits of the soon-to-be-famous orange sunshine. The chemists protected themselves by keeping the drug off the streets until they liquidated the entire laboratory. They also experimented with new formulas, concocting a grab bag of psychedelics, some of them scarcely known to the scientific community, let alone narcotic officials. Hitchcock concurrently hired a prestigious New York law firm - Rabinowitz, Boudin and Standard - to research the legal status of obscure hallucinogenic drugs.

The image of the Brotherhood as saintly dealers did not tally with the seamier side of the fast-money crowd that gravitated around Billy Hitchcock, the sugar daddy of the LSD counterculture.

In the spring of 1968 Hitchcock and acid chemist Nick Sand journeyed to The Bahamas, where they stayed at the spacious mansion of Sam Clapp, chairman of the local Fiduciary Trust Company. Clapp was a college chum of Hitchcock's and they had been doing business together for years...Hitchcock took full advantage of his unlimited borrowing priviledges at Fiduciary. At Clapp's urging he poured over $5,000,000 into unregistered "letter stocks" associated with the Mary Carter Paint Company, later known as Resorts organization supected of having ties to organized crime. Resorts International proceeded to build a casino...called Paradise Island. It was new year's eve 1968 and the guest of honor at this gala event was none other than Richard Nixon."

But wait, there's more!


Matt said...

Welcome everyone to Acid Week. There will be a daily acid-related post through Friday.

Patty is Dead said...

Shall we take a trip down memory lane?
Head in the clouds into the acid rain
Time means nothing I can smell the trees
Chase that rainbow with the summer breeze
Answers Come In Dreams

Defy all logic and brave the storm
Mother nature beside you do you feel warm
Flashback to your days of youth
Youve been there once youre living proof
Answers Come In Dreams

And follow the trails off the fairies tails
In a day glo sheen where no one fails
Altered States and a new ID
Open your eyes and sing with me
Answers Come In Dreams

Suze said...

I love Hercules and Love Affair!

Patty is Dead said...

@Suze, hehe I was doing "Northside." I guess Patty is showing her age...LOL

fiona1933 said...

How many people on this blog have taken acid? Me, I'll put my hand up. But not for over 30 years.
Man. I'd love to do that again. Can't even think where I'd get hold of it now.

fiona1933 said...

Speaking of acid, I think it's really important to remember that acid in the 60s was the very real thing indeed. It was serious stuff. By the time I was taking acid in the 80s, it was very diluted and yet it was still a complete other world. When it hits the peak, you are totally open. I remember sitting in a kid's play park tripping and one guy, who wasn't, told us all that the shapes of the play equipment had originally been modelled on circus animals: the slide on an elephant, the climbing frame on orang-utans, the swings on peacocks long swishing tails, the roundabout on circling tigers....and as he said it, I absolutely saw it, I saw the animals and the equipment overlaying them, it was so clear! And I said breathed: "oh, yeeaaahhh!" what a revelation! And the guy started howling with laughter - you idiot!- he fell right off the swing. The hallucination vanished.
But it wasn't really a hallucination. It was like discovering a great truth deep inside. It seemed like it was a fabulous secret, but you wanted to tell everyone.

I thought of this often when I read about how Charlie used acid to instruct. That's how it's done. When someone tells you that ''everything is good, there's no right or wrong, there's no time or death, and that justice consists of doing back what has been done to you" it's like you find it deep inside yourself, some collective knowledge you are all uncovering together. He didn't need to tell them he was the Messiah. They'd have found that out together. Under acid, they'd have looked over at Charlie with his long hair, flowing clothes, happy smile, all his charisma and seen him 2000 years ago.

fiona1933 said...

So what I meant to say was, that if the 80s dilute acid could make me see circus animals in the park, what could 60s acid do? I wouldn't even dare take that. 80s stuff was great but it's also scary, very scary at the peak. Its not horrible, but it's just so intense. Especially when you have to go to school.

I hear acid now is so dilute people take two and three tabs at a go. I used to take half a one, it was well enough. Half a Smiling Mushroom, great.

60s acid, as open as that. Any guru could plant anything he liked in your brain. The question is, does it change you irrevocably? I didn't see circus animals again. But then, no-one was working on altering my moral compass. Susan Atkins maintained that it does change you, you don't go back to the start again.

So any 60s kids here can tell us what it's really like?

Patty is Dead said...

Hi, Fiona. I've learned through my research that acid is indeed very hard to come by any more. The only place its still being made, and not in very large quantities, is Northern California. The other "designer drugs" seem to have taken its place in youth culture.

fiona1933 said...

Won't anyone else own up to taking it? How can Manson bloggers not try it at least? I know I've got a much greater depth of understanding because of it. When I read Helter Skelter, aged 16, I could filter it through the acid lens and know what the kids felt. There are 60s people on this blog! Didn't they ever try any Owsley stuff?