Thursday, October 10, 2013

1754 Waller Street at Stanyan : The BEL Aquarian Temple

Here is a link to Robert Ackerly aka Christopher Wheat (That's right, wheat) aka Bobby BEL and his daughter Amy in the Haight Ashbury this year, talking about the BEL's time there from 1966-1967. Robert is a founding member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love (aka BEL, "The Tribe" or "The Church"), who gave a lot of money to the Diggers' free kitchens and the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic. He has a website here and also runs Youtube Channel "Bobby BEL." At one time he had a show on NoCal community television called "Santa Cruzin'." The camera man is identified as "Brother Fleet," who has been around "since the beginning."

Some Highlights from Clip 1:

1:40: When I got to the Haight I didn't know anybody. I knew this one guy and we were going to go to Canada, but I didn't go." Canada, you say?

2:16: "I'd known him from before at the Steiner Street house. He had this crash pad. We were selling acid on the streets." Sellin' acid!

2:40 "I met these girls who had a hash connection and pretty soon it just began to blossom." Sellin' acid AND hash!

5:00 ("Rojo" or "Mojo" and (inaudible)"Dale" or "Gale") brought 500 pounds of weed in this Pink Cadillac right in the first days."

5:30 "We had three hundred pounds of pot right there in that garage."  Sellin' acid, hash, AND weed!

6:55 "We funded the free clinic." Patty wonders aloud if he ever had a seafood dinner with Gibby Folger?

8:00 "Pam's connection had this DMT." Sellin' acid, hash, weed AND DMT!

8:20 "Fat Bobby was a gay dude the Joker met in Pasadena." The Joker? Was he also a Gypsy?

9:00 "(Steve) stole the DMT connection, and took it to Laguna Beach where he blew up his house. Instant Karma." (Footnote: In hippie, "instant karma" is a catch all that means something akin to "fugettaboutit.")

Some highlights from clip 2:

1:05 "Johnny Griggs came up here when Orange Sunshine first came out...and, uh, made some phonecalls you know, and started setting up a distribution system...Elliot Miller (aka The Joker) is another brother from Anaheim that nobody knows about, and he had a whole network."

2:00:Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker were in there because these girls knew 'em. And so, uh,
they made this movie called "The Trip" or something (He means Revolution) with Today and all that. I was supposed to be in it, but I forgot about it. Spaced out."

5:40 "Diana made us these robes. Our Haight Street robes, like a monk. You know the robe, I used to take her around on Halloween when they were little kids with my shotgun and my Afghani...ha ha ha...That's right...Amy and Andrew grew up in Hawaii."  Say what? You used to wear a religious robe around the Haight? Huh.

8:00: "It first started getting weird when they did a casket on Haight Street, and buried the hippies. The hippies are dead: that means it's come to an end, you can't label us." We will call ourselves slippies, instead!

8:40: So, a lot of people started coming into the Haight that were pretty much criminals."

9:45: "Hells Angels had cops in town that worked for the police."

14:30. "So we took off, and we had some friends up in Potter's Valley...and that was the end of The Haight." FYI, people, Potter's Valley is just a hop, skip and jump from Ukiah and Booneville. The core members of the BEL were there when The Family was, too. And weren't "The Witches" dealing acid to the local kids?

Patty can only say ooEEoo so many times: so many coincidences. So many parallels. So many connections. The elder hipsters say it all the time: "What started out as a good thing went bad." They are not lying. But they are not telling the whole truth, either. The murders were horrifically shameful, especially given everyone's initial intentions. No one wanted to admit that anything they might have done personally helped to set the wheels in motion that crushed five (no, make that six. No, make that eight. No make that nine) innocent people. No one could admit to having met or having known anyone else. It was too risky, scary and shameful to do so, and it may still be, who knows?

In 1969, Charles Manson became the focus of a magnifying glass that we (all of us) used to bore a hole right through him. He was and still is the repository for a hell of a lot of guilt, and shame, and fear. Charles Manson is absolutely not a serial killer, but Patty truly believes that he was probably a "hippie mafia" middleman and enforcer. It's an important distinction, no?

And because Patty loves you, here is your lagniappe regarding the 2009 arrest of Brenice Lee Smith:

2:10: “so now that the story’s coming out, the Senate investigating is over right now uh… because of the last case two years ago… we can tell our stories and they can’t do anything to us, and all that kinda stuff.”


Matt said...

Great read, Patty. Thank you.

Patty is Dead said...

You bet!

Patty is Dead said...

Robert also talks about the time they ripped off all the LSD in Hollywood back in 1965.

Where did Patty see recently that Bruce Davis tried acid as early as 1966?

They also discuss the Chateau Livre in Ben Lomond where all the Gypsy Jokers hung out was one of two big music halls at that time. The other one? The Catalyst, owned and operated by Neil Young.




Matt said...

YES Patty, but there really was a movie "The Trip" 1967, by Jack Nickolson and staring Peter Fonda and its all about - YOU can guess!

AND it was partly filmed in "Laurel Canyon."

Robert Hendrickson

Patty is Dead said...

Thank you Robert, you just made Patty's day. This "other" Robert seems just on the verge soooooo many times of just saying it. He's so burned its like you can actually watch as he forgets, and then remembers again what's still supposed to be a secret.

Farflung said...

Apparently some sort of marathon review took place in Sacramento last month which appears to have been a virtual ‘Squeak-mageddon’:

The Squeaky Ford Reunion

Not a lot of new information, but the photos are interesting. You could win a sudden death, Family trivia round by knowing the gun’s holster was Plaintiff’s exhibit 16. Huh, how do ya like them apples? Coincidentally the article points out that Squeaky delivered an apple with great effect upon ‘The Man’.

I did notice one thing regarding the accessories associated with the holster (and this isn’t a threat to my crushingly obvious masculinity). The straps which attached the holster to Squeaky’s leg appear to be a pair of women’s belts. One being a delightful, mauve and magenta, horizontally striped number with a sassy three ring buckle, which would look simply smashing with a cocktail or full length dress. The voluminous burgundy purse would be perfect to discreetly store breath mints, perfume, depilatories, Beano, seat protectors, tweezers, Tic-Tacs, Mace spray, Pepper spray, Binaca, a disposable razor, Chuck E Cheese token, Half roll of Mentos, and single lint covered Life Saver. Then I noticed something weird. Along with the red hood, red robe, red dress, red purse, and red belt for attaching the holster is a narrow blue belt also. That’s right, BLUE!

So for some reason, Red has somehow acquired a blue belt. Hmmmm… gosh your honor, I didn’t know that Squeaky, my roommate, planned on shooting the President. We’re always borrowing each other’s clothes… bzzzzzzt.

Next contestant, sign in please. Here’s everyone’s favorite subject in the form of a conspiracy. Did Squeaky ask Blue if she could think of anything which would work for strapping that holster to her leg?

So Sandy Good appears to have some explaining to do. What would Sandra say? Hey man, I lost my favorite blue belt and didn’t know where it went. But one thing’s for sure; I didn’t lace it around Squeaky’s leg and buckle it tight, while she held the holster in place. Anyone could do that without any assistance, so there’s no need for a re-creation, or demonstration because that was a long time ago, and I need to protect trees.

So Squeaky didn’t know squat about Lauren’s murder in Stockton, even though Lauren was shot at the kitchen table. And Blue didn’t know squat about Squeaky’s plan to assassinate Ford, even though they shared a tiny apartment, and Red has a blue belt strapped to her leg. Your honor, I rest my ironclad cases.

Suze said...

Beano! LOL. That made me laugh so hard I think I woke up the day sleeper next door!

St. Circumstance said...

Excellent Patty!

Johhny Gale?? as you know patty he was a member- maybe thats the reference??

I will look when I have time- but one of the sites I visited awhile back- Inside the LC maybe?

has still photos from the movie The Trip ...

Patty and Anne- you have both really grown as writers in my opinion. I have watched for awhile as you have gotten more confident and it shows in the style and content of your posts- which I have to come to enjoy greatly...


Patty is Dead said...

Thank U Saint. He could be saying Johnny Gale, he could be saying Dick Dale. Crazy George in the bottom photo was the Deltone's drummer at some point.

Patty is Dead said...

Patty is also hoping that CieloDrive gets his hands on the "48 color photographs" taken by the LA County Sherriff's Office at Gary Hinman's residence. And, she hopes that they are HIGH RESOLUTION.

Max Frost said...

Yes, The Trip

Written by Jack Nicholson. Directed by Roger Corman.

They actually filmed some of the Sunset Strip riots - Peter Fonda got arrested. I believe it's all in the movie.

A great double feature is The Trip and Psych Out.

A double dose of the beautiful Susan Strasberg (Christopher Jones was married to her before he had the affair with Sharon Tate)

Unknown said...

Doc Sierra said...

I see you all have been busy. I was away for a while and am catching up on the blogs and my emails. I have over 300 unopened emails. Ugh!

Matt said...

To Farflung:

Great find/link to the "Squeaky" courthouse reunion "party"

At one CineFamily MANSON showing, I explained to the crowd some of "Squeaky's" everlasting after-effects to the Ford incident.

BUT I never fully realized that even in the law enforcement/Judicial world there is mostly only "ho-hum" days of boredom, not only for the jurors, but also for the cops who testify, and the judge, who's heard it ALL before.

Then, many years later when grey-hairs realize they really don't have much to talk about, they recall the three most significant events in there lives. There was the time the judge came to work drunk and tried to kiss Ms Prissy. There was also the time the "new" Secret Service agent- assigned to the Kennedy motorcade in Dallas -accidently shot Kennedy in the back of the head - OPPs! AND the time the President peed in his pants, when a 98 pound, freckled face, little girl played "surprise" on him.

BUT a "reunion" for "law an order" types who were actually involved in an "event" that eventually paved the way for the U.S. Military to realize that a "chick" with a gun can also be a "bad-ass" just like "Dirty Harry." Now, that's something to talk about.

AND the agent that took "Squeaky" down and thus saved the rest of us from "what's his name" becoming president - well HE sure has something to talk about.

Robert Hendrickson

Patty is Dead said...


St. Circumstance said...

How about this one....

Head is a 1968 psychedelic adventure comedy film musical starring television rock group The Monkees, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was written and produced by Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson, and directed by Rafelson.

lol Hope your feeling well Doc!!

Max Frost said...

Oh yeah St. - forgot about that one

Farflung said...

I wonder if Nelson ever tipped one too many and lamented out loud how he could have been ‘Number 39’, if only some ginger cocksucker had learned how to chamber a round.

I suppose being born a Rockefeller you would be accustomed to having everything just land in your lap. He let the Senator from Kansas run with Ford in ’76, when he found out there weren’t “people” to do the campaigning for him. True story.

Anonymous said...

If the point of this article is to tout possible connections between "the Family" and the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, I respectfully suggest that none of the listed coincidences are particularly significant. While I certainly have no personal knowledge about whether any individuals from the two groups knew each other, just because some of the Brotherhood and "the Family" sold illegal medicines and lived in San Francisco at the same time doesn't add up to much. Furthermore, isn't a more apt definition of "instant karma" 'getting what's coming to you soon after your misdeed,' not 'fugettaboutit.' Finally, terming CMM as "hippie mafia" needlessly (and inaccurately) confuses him with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, who came to national prominence in the 1972 "Rolling Stone" article "The Strange Case of the Hippie Mafia." Anyway, the Brotherhood is fascinating, especially their late leader John Griggs, to any us interested in countercultural groups of that era.

Patty is Dead said...

Yeah Summer, Patty is making some leaps of faith but then so are you. Patty does not know for 100% that its true, but having looked at the Family and their associates from a chronological, historical and temporal perspective, having drawn a number of strange parallels that when taken exponentially must have statistical significance, people knew each other. From waaaaaaay back, before Charlie ever got out of Terminal Island.

Patty is Dead said...

People always talk about the Family as if it just sprung out of nowhere because Charlie got high on LSD at a Grateful Dead show, bought a bus, then started seducing young chicks with hot sex. Did Charlie invent the scene? No. The scene invented Charlie.

"Hippie" and "mafia" or "hippie mafia" is furthermore significant because of the "personal" drugs found at Cielo by the police. This is the top post right now at The Official Site.

You ain't heard the last of this yet from Patty...

Patty is Dead said...

Oh, it's you, Chris Till. You're working on a book?

Doc Sierra said...

When I was a teenager in the 70s going to concerts in Oakland and San Francisco there was a cult that was trying to pick up teenaged girls. Riding home on BART after an AC/DC show in Oakland two males and a female were trying to get a conversation going with my girlfriend. I promptly told them to take walk. I don't know what cult it was but they all wore robes and leather medicine bags. The men all had long hair and beards and I never heard any of the females speak. I wish there was some way for me to identify the cult.....

Doc Sierra said...

Hi Patty. Doing well, thanks Saint.....