Revilo P. Oliver is a clue to the JFK assassination

Revilo P. Oliver

Once you identify the principle polemicists salting the intel-sponsored propaganda, you’re halfway to enlightenment; and once you identify the major memes those polemicists are salting, you can easily ID a lot more spooks and avoid their rabbit holes to nowhere. Anyone supporting obviously fake memes is either a spook or hoodwinked true believer and there is no other option. Spooks and true believers can’t be trusted, so divide conspiracy research into two categories, trusted and not trusted, and learn from both categories. With practice and a keen eye for detail, you’ll soon be learning more from the disinfo than the authentic intel (mostly because there’s a lot more noise than signal). But you must avoid falling into the traps, what I call the rabbit holes, the biggest of which is racism in any form. The most powerful forces promoting ethnic cleansing are spook-driven, manufactured to assist the war-for-profit scenarios with their divide-and-conquer propaganda, something always easily identified.

The post-WWI generation was turned against Jews in many ways and on many levels, but mostly through Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, both of whom demeaned the culture whenever possible. These were the two most influential novelists when novels were an influence. At the time, Jews were not integrated into high society, not allowed to join the country clubs or fraternities of the oligarchy. Instead, rich Jews had their own aristocracy centered on families holding stock in the Federal Reserve, the ones who also owned some of the biggest investment banks, the ones linked to names like Rothschild and Warburg. This division between these two powerful oligarchies along the Eastern seaboard was intentional and in place prior to the Civil War. They are still separate in some quarters.

I suspect Revilo P. Oliver worked for OSS during WWII. He was a brilliant intellectual and mastered a dozen languages, and was considered an expert in the origins of religion. He taught at the University of Illinois, where I grew up, evolving into a major player on the national stage.

Residing walking distance from campus on Ohio Street, Oliver could be seen slouching off to his office in the Classics Department wearing an enormous black fedora and ankle-length trench-coat, looking like a parody of an intelligence operative. His vicious letters to the editor of the News Gazette probably served mostly to recruit members to the local lodge of the John Birch Society, an organization Oliver had a hand in creating.

Soon, however, his buddy William Buckley, a Boner from Yale who ran the National Review, dropped Oliver as a contributor. And then the Birch Society began purging the most virulent racists off their rolls, of which Oliver was the ringleader. Oliver responded by publishing evidence the Birchers had been overrun by the same Jews manipulating the State Department, United Nations, and world-wide Communist conspiracy.

During Halloween, local children in his neighborhood collecting donations for UNICEF were warned in advance to steer a wide birth from his block, lest they cross his path and engender a political rant on the evils of globalism.

“When my sister was reading Nancy Drew she and Connie Marshall, whose dad became a federal judge, went all around the Oliver’s house tapping the walls for secret entrances,” recalls Mary Gates DeRosier. “Mrs. Oliver had a funeral for her dog and invited the neighbors. My mom went and told us that the dog was laid-out on the sofa surrounded by flowers. Mrs. Oliver was always giving us flyers about the dangers of Coca-Cola and of fluoride in the drinking water.”

Oliver moved on by creating the National Alliance, now known as the National Vanguard, the wellspring from which many generations of terrorists with strange links to intelligence operations have sprung. Funny, how nobody writes or talks about Oliver today, except his supporters, even though his role as a spook propagandist should be obvious with hindsight.

Soon after JFK’s assassination, Oliver published a dissenting opinion claiming JFK was a communist who’d been murdered by the communists because he’d decided to “go American.” He claimed Lee Harvey Oswald had been trained by the KGB, and the Warren Commission had been preordained to claim Oswald was a lone assassin. This was published after the commission was announced, long before the 888-page report appeared. Oliver’s theory was peppered with distortions and outright fabrications, as well as some amazing secret truths, evidence of inside sources. The government, especially the State Department, was heavily penetrated by a secret communist conspiracy run by Jews, claimed Oliver, and as evidence he cited the impossibility of a Marine formerly posted at our most secret base in Japan defecting to Russia, and then freely returning to America, and yet not monitored by the FBI. This could only happen if the State Department was infested with cooperating communist conspirators claimed Oliver, ignoring the more obvious explanation Oswald was an American spook who was returning from a failed penetration operation in Russia.

“The identification of the murderer was a near-miracle. If not the result of divine intervention, it was the result of a series of coincidences of the same order as might enable a bum with a dollar in his pocket to enter a casino in Reno and emerge with a thousand,”noted Oliver, in another one of his many spot-on assessments. This miraculous identification and capture of Oswald began with the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit. Oswald’s wallet was discovered at the scene, along with four spent cartridges from his revolver. Strange Oliver could recognize the anomaly of Oswald’s strangely trouble-free re-entry into the USA after supposedly defecting to the enemy, but missed this highly improbable wallet, especially considering Oswald was captured an hour later with a wallet in his pocket (and a revolver that didn’t work). Which means the wallet at the scene must have been planted. There’s also the witnesses to the Tippet slaying who claim Oswald was not the man they saw fleeing the crime. The only other option is believing the official story Oswald murdered Tippet, then calmly emptied his revolver, tossed his wallet on the ground and then fled the scene, found a new wallet with ID, found a new revolver (that didn’t function) and discarded his working revolver, which is the version Oliver opted for in this instance.

“Americans known to be opponents of the Conspiracy, including General Walker, prominent members of the John Birch Society, and leaders of other conservative organizations, began to receive threats of death by telephone from creatures who somehow knew that Kennedy was dead before he reached the hospital,” wrote Oliver. I believe this detail is also spot-on in that Texas John Birch supporters put up the $150,000 to pay the shooters and were among the first notified of the mission’s success, but salting that observation with the lie these calls included death threats to the paymasters is an obvious misdirection that recalls Edwin Stanton’s efforts to claim he was a target of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy, and not one of the instigators himself.

Oliver was especially harsh on the then director of the Council on Foreign Relations, the recently-fired former CIA head, Allen W. Dulles. “Dulles was the head of an American spy ring in Switzerland during the Second World War and is said to have done a fairly good job,” began Oliver, “although it was believed at the time that his organization was infested with double agents who were really in the employ of the Soviet — and even more serious implications can be drawn from the testimony given in Karlsruhe last July by Heinz Felfe, a Soviet agent who had been Mr. Dulles’ German counterpart and supposed competitor in Switzerland.” Yes, Dulles was head of OSS in Europe and was posted in Switzerland, and recruited the bulk of the Nazi spy network into the CIA in a secret surrender with Malta Knight Reinhardt Gehlen, who was later rewarded by becoming head of the West German secret services, but Felfe was a minor figure when posted in Switzerland compared with Dulles, and just one of many spooks accepting pay from all comers.

“One writer has recently suggested that it was the C.I.A. that arranged the assassination of Kennedy; I know of no evidence to support that opinion, but obviously Mr. Dulles’ creation is open to suspicion. Perhaps that is why he is a member of the “special commission,” wrote Oliver in a brief and startling moment of spot-on clarity that was instantly jettisoned.

Oliver claimed the commission would paint “Comrade Oswald as a poor, lone critter who done it all alone. Probably ‘psychiatrists’ will be produced to prove he done it ’cause, at the age of six months, he had to wait an extra five minutes for his bottle.” Strange that Oswald was likely worked on by CIA psychiatrists while a teen in New York, prior to his being hypnotized by David Ferry while a member of Ferry’s Civil Air Patrol in New Orleans. The fact he knew the outcome before the investigation began was yet another spot-on.

Oliver was called before the Warren Commission to testify, and I imagine that was a scripted encounter. Mark Lane was another one of the few independent investigators allowed to present evidence directly to the Commission. It took me decades to realize Lane’s testimony was likely scripted as well, for he was also a former OSS officer, and was likely guided into a role as the premier debunker of the official story. He soon tainted himself by embracing Willis Carto’s holocaust denial movement. Isn’t it strange that both Oliver and Lane were on polar opposites of the political divide, one far left the other far right, and yet both believed in a Jewish conspiracy running the world?

If you want to find a contemporary salter of disinfo, check out Jan Irvin, who treads in Oliver’s footsteps with lies and distortions. Irvin produces propaganda supporting the theory the hippies were created by the CIA, and that Tim Leary, Ken Kesey and me are employees of that agency, and not its critics. Since I’m on the inside of this particular conspiracy theory, it’s impossible for me to ignore Irvin is making shit up. So I put him in the “not trusted” category. And wouldn’t you know, he also believes Jews are running the system through some secret satanic cult based on the teachings of Aleister Crowley, which just confirms my suspicions intel is exploiting Crowley for propaganda. But they do the same thing with their phony UFO evidence they are constantly manufacturing.

My advice: avoid any variation on any rabbit holes resembling: the Communists are running the world; the Jews are running the world; the Satanists are running the world, or the CIA created the hippies.

Psychogeography & spiritual evolution

B. F. Spath has just released a masterpiece of psychogeography, a little-known occult art form that emerged out of the French counterculture of the late 1960s and one that’s been evolving through a small handful of radical European artists ever since. With this book, Spath strikes his claim as an American grandmaster of the order.

Psychogeography involves telepathic emanations and psychological impacts of specific locations and also improvisational wanderings through new environments, a quest whose purpose is the act of questing into the unknown. In Spath’s case, however, this translates into a fascination with Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, once a sacred site for Native American ceremonies, and from the 1770s through the 1800s, one of the premier ceremonial sites for Europeans in North American. Before the advent of Ellis Island, immigrants arriving in Manhattan landed mostly here, and it was from these docks many clipper ships departed for distant shores in search of opium, spices, silk and china. For someone buried in the basement of a Lower East Side tenement, Battery Park becomes the key psychological escape from the suffocating claustrophobia of modern life.

The book involves the sacramental use of cannabis for making telepathic contact with ghosts of ancient ceremony and ritual, and the perils that sometimes afflict the intoxicated.

Since Spath is one of the founders of the Pot Illuminati, I’m hoping this book sparks great interest in the coming revolution in cannabis spirituality, a movement I expect to overtake many established fundamentalist religions someday.

The most important thing about the Pot Illuminati is the one rule: “don’t hurt anybody,” and while we respect the rituals of ancient religions and study their histories, we reject all dogma as false, and don’t recognize leaders, except in respect to the most creative among us. We don’t fund-raise or collect money from anyone for anything, which make us the only non-corruptible religion on the planet.

The ancient city of Balkh, once a jewel of the Silk Road although now long abandoned, is some of the geography I’d like to explore someday, perhaps even following the Oxus River down to the Caspian and Black seas, a route traversed by the original stoner tribe. There are spiritual sites dotted all through the Caucasus Mountains created by this cannabis-using tribe, as well as a ring of settlements buried in mud around the rim of the Black Sea, settlements that were engulfed by a tsunami created when the Bosphorus Strait was breached due to rising sea levels. Someday this area will become a mecca for pilgrims seeking a connection with the origins of cannabis spirituality.

The First Hip Hop Journalist

Talk to me about being raised in Illinois and how you became a writer.
I started a fanzine in 7th Grade and by the 11th I was publishing my own underground newspaper called The Tin Whistle distributed to four high schools, and banned at all of them.

My hippie newspaper published six issues in 1968. The schools in Illinois were very racist and polarized at the time, but my newspaper led a movement for recognizing black student rights among other campaigns. We were able to elect the first black student council president in the history of Urbana High School, and he did a lot to heal the broken race relations. His name was James “Chef Ra” Wilson and he taught me a lot about ceremony. We both ended up going to the first Woodstock festival, then he went to Jamaica and became an early Bob Marley devotee. We worked on many projects for decades until one Christmas Day when his heart exploded while he was sleeping.

What was your entry into hip hop?
I moved to New York at the end of 1979. My roommate Jeff Peisch was into the music scene and working at Record World Magazine with Nelson George, and he gave me a promo copy of These are the Breaks by Kurtis Blow. Shortly after that, I went to the New York/New Wave art exhibition curated by Diego Cortez, and was astounded by a subway train titled Break by Futura 2000. The connection between the song and the mural made me realize something was going on and nobody was covering it. As a young reporter, it looked like an opening.

What was the first article on hip hop that you read that changed the game for you? Who wrote it? How did you hear about it?
For over a year I didn’t read anyone’s articles. There were none. I only wrote my own. There were a couple of photographers on the scene, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, but I was the only journalist. Most of the coverage aside from me was coming out of England. But they weren’t on the ground and going to any parties, just reviewing records and sometimes interviewing acts if anyone came to England, which was rare early on.

What was the first magazine/newspaper publication that you heard about just focused on hip hop? Did that inspire you to write for it?
There were no magazines until after Run DMC. I guess The Source was the first big one that went all hip hop, although Phase 2 had a fantastic fanzine he was self-publishing for years. I had long since stopped covering hip hop when The Source appeared.

Who were you looking up to as far as writing?
The journalists who most influenced me were Calvin Tompkins, George Orwell, Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe.

Do you call yourself a hip hop journalist?
I sometimes call myself the first hip hop journalist, because in the early days I was the only professional reporter on the scene. But I have 30 books and only three are on hip hop, and all those concern only the first generation from 1974 to 1984.

How did you feel when your name was on the cover of The Village Voice for your cover with the words “hip hop” on it?
Bambaataa coined the term and focused the culture. I just told his story. It took the Voice half a year to print it, although it was “accepted” immediately. I was enraged they held it so long because I was afraid someone was going to break the story, but fortunately, after endless phone calls and threats to publish elsewhere, they finally put it on the schedule.

You were able to make a major impact in how we receive hip hop through your writing and Beat Street. Did you ever have any intention to impact the culture the way you did?
If only my script had been used, it was the real thing. The movie was a great disappointment. Only the dance crews and some of the rap performances saved it. The plot was completely whack. I didn’t recognize any South Bronx people I knew and wrote about.

Who was your favorite artist interview?
In the world of hip hop I am closest with Grandmaster Caz, Coke La Rock and Busy Bee. In fact, we are all members of a secret society called The Pot Illuminati and hold ceremonies upon occasion. Those are three of the greatest storytellers in hip hop, and also three of the most overlooked people in hip hop’s history.

Who was the 1st person that you heard of calling themselves a hip hop journalist? What opened up for you because of it?
By the time hip hop went global and hip hop journalism was born, I was long gone and had no interest in the gangsta rap that came up in a huge wave to displace the political fervor of Public Enemy. I only did research on the first generation, from Kool Herc to Funky Four to Furious Five to Treacherous Three to the Cold Crush Brothers. And I also covered graffiti and some of the original dance crews. I was in a rock band in the sixties, and after rap got commercialized, I formed a garage band and played three-chord-rock for a decade. Being around hip hop inspired me to get back to my own musical heritage. Although I did one hip hop performance early on as a deejay with Jeff Peisch rapping and David Bither (now of Nonesuch Records) on saxophone. Between the three of us we had enough talent to give the soon-to-emerge Beasties Boys a run, but it was just a one-off goof. But David blew the lid off that party as I recall, with me scratching up some hip hop anthem.

What was the first article you wrote about hip hop?
A biography on Futura 2000 for the New York Daily News. After that I had my Voice cover story, followed by one more Voice story. Then I wrote three articles for the Soho Weekly News. And then a couple stories for the East Village Eye. Then I sold Beat Street and published my book, Hip Hop. Then I stopped covering hip hop and not a single hip hop magazine ever asked me to write anything or even gave me props for blazing the trail, although everyone was reading my book to find out how it all started. Most of the people I was hanging with never got props either, like Coke La Rock. Virtually nobody knows him, yet he was right there with Herc when it all happened and playing a major role. My book went out of print really fast and copies started selling for $500 for years.

Whats your experience with publications?
I prefer to self-publish and maintain control over my work.

Who are some rappers you that you feel changed the game for hip hop?
Grandmaster Caz elevated rapping with his comedy and complex story lines and Melle Mel elevated lyrics to high art with those lines in Superappin’ that became the best part of The Message. In fact, my version of Beat Street (called Looking for the Perfect Beat) was built around the political awakening of a kid in the South Bronx who moves from partying to seeing-the-big-picture. When Run/DMC landed, they brought back the original first generation style of staying hard and giving no quarter, something the original scene had drifted away from.

How to occupy religion

When Tom Forcade made the bold move of relocating his commune from Arizona to New York City in a school bus filled with Mexican weed, he devised the perfect cover: a church group, with him as head pastor, which is why he wore a clerical collar—although he added a black slouch cowboy hat worthy of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western as his crown.

When I say magic and religion are the same thing, and run on the same rules, costumes are a great illustrator of the concept. By dressing as a Reverend, Forcade disarmed Christian opponents to hippies. It’s the same when someone puts on a Santa Claus outfit. Suddenly, they’re not a normal person, but something somehow connected to vibrations on the astral plane.

I’ve been studying the history of cannabis and religion for 30 years, and the creation of the Pot Illuminati is almost as complex and well-thought-out as the creation of Bitcoin. Constructing a corruption-free form of religion is no easy task. First, you have to strip away the useless dogma, which represents the encrusted mind control propaganda. You can download my free ebook The New Pot Enlightenment on numerous platforms for a complete picture of the religion. There’s only one rule: don’t hurt anyone.

And by the way, that includes feelings. Notice there are some who delight in wounding people with gossip, and when called out respond: ‘it was just a joke, dude.” What they are really doing is employing telepathic weapons, flying false flags. There are plenty of ways to do humor where all sides laugh heartily. But when one side weeps, that wasn’t humor at all, but a death bomb to the heart.

The Pot Illuminati, on the other hand, are experts at dropping love bombs. And a lot of our lingo and philosophy comes from Carl Von Clauswitz, the preeminent European philosopher of war, a man respected in the highest corridors of the Pentagon and CIA. That’s because if you study your opponent’s magic, you can steal his sigils and tap his telepathic energy. It’s not unlike hacking into an opponent’s website. I discovered this technique in the late 1980’s when I created the Freedom Fighters and formed a tribe wearing tricorner hats with psychedelic Colonial outfits. Within a few years we were on the Boston Common with 100,000 people cheering us, although the national news media never spoke a word.

The Pot Illuminati is not seeking donations nor converts. While I realize the Tree of Life, Burning Bush and Holy Grail all involve cannabis, I do not slavishly imitate religions of the past and also realize there is much more to life than getting stoned. Not to mention, the less you do, the higher you get. Spirituality flows through us naturally, and you only need to meditate to connect with signals. There are many flavors and vibrations to choose from but love with always be the most powerful and you should never hang endless on one vibe. My personal favorite is fun.

Remembering Tseng Kwong Chi

Perhaps someday someone will make a film of my book Art After Midnight and explore the New York social scene born in the shadow of CB’s by freshman art students from around the world, converging at a time when world’s collided and paradigm’s began shifting in downtown New York City.

I selected Tseng Kong Chi as a primary photographer for my 1985 book, although I included all the great photographers who documented the scene, especially Harvey Wang, who took this photo of Tseng performing with Keith Haring at Club 57. I’m pretty sure this was before Tseng assumed his Chairman Mao identity, and that Club 57 was the lab where Tseng honed some skills. Club 57 was an orgy of creativity in action.

When they finally make a great film about this scene, it won’t be about Basquiat, Haring or anyone else, but the entire community because everyone who attended these ceremonies made a contribution. Like most movements, 50 stars were involved, but there were 500 in the audience, and the audience is just as important as the stars when it comes to birthing new movements because they add the necessary psychic energy to lift the movement higher. And Tseng was certainly one of those 50, so its wonderful the Grey Art Gallery has recognized him with a long overdue major exhibition.

Without Tseng, where would Borat be? If only I had a video camera back then and the foresight to follow Tseng around like he followed Keith—only Keith was chalking subway panels while Tseng was crashing the biggest old-money events in town with a self-created VIP name-tag and a non-speaking Mao persona. He even got photos with Henry Kissinger and Henry thought he was some visiting dignitary from China and not a performance artist. But this was performance art on a whole new scale.

Maybe you know this movement took massive energy from the collision of hip hop and punk? I like to think of Tseng’s work as 3D graffiti because it was all about getting up. When a writer starts, the first mission is to formulate a word, tag, nickname, message to be promoted. The Mao character was Tseng’s tag in a way and I think he remained mute because Tseng was shy and it took a lot of confidence for him to launch into these epic social scenes and remain in character.

The Grey Art exhibit includes an enormous print of a photo Tseng shot for the back cover of the book, inspired by a continuing series Tseng was working on, in which he was photographing Keith, Kenny, Bruno, Carmel, Ann, John, Min and a few others. He had a series of group shots taken just before some big ceremony or night on the town. I asked him to do the same thing for the back cover, only I wanted to include some other major characters in the book, like Patti Astor, Steve Maas, Animal X, Joey Arias, David McDermott and Peter McGough. I probably talked it over and we decided it should be kept down to a dozen to be manageable. And at the last second, Kenny Scharf dropped out, and although Jean Michel was invited of course, I didn’t realize including Jean could only be guaranteed if we’d taken the photograph at his place on Great Jones. There may be people left out of this photo still harboring faint grudges today, and I wish we’d just invited all 50 stars and made it like Sergeant Pepper’s. Next time I’ll know better.

As the objective reporter, I didn’t want to insert myself into the photo, so I didn’t even attend the shoot. In hindsight, another mistake. But Tseng did call me as soon as John Sex walked in the door. “He doesn’t have his hair up,” said Tseng, massively disappointed. I think we’d both envisioned John in the center with his giant pompadour. “Don’t worry,” I said. Later when I saw the photo, I noted Joey had come prepared to upstage John’s hairstyle with something more epic than a giant blonde pomp—black devil horns.

The 44th Anniversary of 420

One fine fall day in 1971, an enlightened group of high school students at San Rafael High School in Marin County invented 420 as a secret code for cannabis. These Waldos were the younger generation of the Merry Pranksters, and I say that because both groups manifested an immense amount of creative energy, and continue to do so, and 420 was just a tiny piece of their contributions. Someday a book or film on the Waldos will be made that brings their story to life, because their 420 ceremony is now as big (or bigger) on the astral plain as the Prankster’s Magic Bus, which means 420 is approaching Wizard-of-Oz like significance in the universal group mind.
Like the Pranksters, the Waldos were sacred clowns who invested fun into all their adventures, and both used cannabis as a tool to elevate those energies. There are lots of lessons to be learned, but the most important is the necessity to band together in groups to pass through life’s ceremonies. Both the Waldos and Pranksters had strong harmony that keeps them unified to this day. You can’t manifest culture on your own, it has to be done in groups. You’ll also notice both the Pranksters and the Waldo’s have a zen-like appreciation for living-in-the-moment, and injecting theatricality into daily life to invest it with deeper meaning.
I organized 420 ceremonies for a long time before I discovered the Waldos, and when I finally flew out to meet them, I ended up jamming and playing with them for days. In fact, It was very similar to what happens when Ken Babbs and I get together. Someday I hope we can bring all my jam buddies across the world together for an epic 420 jam session.
This was actually my first year in a long time celebrating 420 in New York City. I took the afternoon boat ride around Manhattan with the original Cannabis Cup Band on Saturday. It was an epic experience and I got to share some thoughts about cannabis and spirituality, and we lit the seven candles. We could use a daily 420 boat ride like this because it sells out instantly.

Li’l Zeus Krishna

Li’l Zeus Krishna you don’t know what I got.
Li’l Zeus Krishna you don’t know what I got.
I’m not braggin’ bro, so don’t put me down, but I got the sweetest little avatar around, he’s my Li’l Zeus Krishna and he heals the blind and lame, while walking on water, and spreading fun everywhere…
He’s a Li’l Zeus Krishna, and he’s Son of Jah
Throw in some Apollo and add some Ra, you gotta Li’l Zeus Krishna who covers all the bases in that concept called Jah.
Li’l Zeus Krishna you don’t know what I got.

The Modern Writer

Want to be a writer? Start a blog. After a few hundred blogs, self-publish an ebook. Keep editing and improving that ebook and after a year and several major re-writes, self-publish a print version.

How much will this cost? Nada. In fact, I do it all day long and have over 30 self-published books in print covering a huge variety of platforms, although Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords and Nook are my biggest.

I recently combined a dozen of my top ebooks into five print-on-demand paperbacks. Of those my best-seller is Hip Hop: The Complete Archives, and a significant number of copies are being purchased in Great Britain, which makes me happy because that’s a cool place to get recognized. In the case of ebooks and print-on-demand, you should keep updating and improving constantly, and take instant advantage of the feedback. Your audience always has access to the latest version via the cloud so they have an incentive to help this process of constant improving. This process is a huge game-changer in the world of publishing and a lot of people have yet to realize its power.

Meanwhile, I plan to publish my Art After Midnight as a color photo book sometime, as well as updates on The Bitcoin Revolution and Cannabis Cures Cancer, both of which are drawing global sales but are in need of updates.

So don’t sit around waiting for some publisher or agent to discover you. Just blaze your trail and keep moving forward.

Questions from Alice

Hagerposter1You talk about having experienced “hippie bigotry” at various moments in your career. How has it changed? Would you say that it’s gotten better or worse? Is its presence within the weed activist community (e.g. Cheryl Shuman) a new phenomenon?
Anyone who dresses and talks different from TV sitcoms will be subject to varying degrees of prejudice and persecution. Respect for hippie culture is probably at an all-time low, but this is a swinging-pendulum and love for non-violent communication skills will return. Meanwhile, the excesses from the first wave of hippie culture continue to be examined so as to avoid making the same mistakes twice. And there were a lot of mistakes, so this review process is important.
What role do you think stoner/hippie aesthetics play in the legalization movement, if any? I spoke to someone who made the argument that dressing differently from the mainstream—and obviously pro-marijuana—was important to activism because it spread a message. What’s your take?
People should dress however they want, but ceremonies have appropriate costumes that can enhance ritual and contribute to a sense of enchantment. You don’t wear a Brooks Brother’s suit to a Rainbow Gathering, and you don’t show up for a business meeting in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops. When the Pot Illuminati meet for major ceremonies, we tend to dress up as if going to Sunday church and pay considerable attention to our accessories, although I prefer scarfs and ascots to ties. But we still manage to look different.
How has the aesthetic associated with weed culture changed the since the 60s/70s? I know this is a huge question—if there’s a book on this topic you want to point me to I’d be happy to check it out.
Nothing stays the same; everything is constantly evolving although the same dramas go round and around in cycles. The most noticeable fashion change may be the adoption of flat brim hats, something that began in hip hop and crossed over to stoner world. Hip hop has had the biggest impact in the last 20 years.
In 20 years, what do you think the aesthetics of weed will look like?
Everything goes in cycles, and old concepts will be celebrated and adapted for new generations, but it will happen in waves that are unpredictable. Pants will go baggie, then narrow, same with lapels and ties. How much of this is driven by the fashion industry and how much by street fashion I can’t say, but hip hop started in the streets.
Are there any historical moments where this debate over weed’s “image” came up in other contexts?
In the late 1970s, NORML killed the smoke-ins because they were seen as counter-productive. This is when the divide between the Grateful Dead culture and the “suits” first appeared, although it wasn’t hostile at first. After the rallies disappeared, it appeared to many hippie culture had disappeared, but it had really just gone underground.
In 1986, I made an effort to bring back the rallies, only as “hemp rallies” not “smoke-ins.” NORML saw the wisdom of this and supported this new hemp movement, but it was really me and Jack Herer and Debbie Goldsberry and Paul Stanford and Brian, and especially thanks to Doug McVay, who bridged the two coasts. High Times was the eight hundred pound gorilla in creating this new movement, and since I centered it on Jack Herer as our spokesman, he quickly transformed from “crazy Deadhead nobody listened to,” to Moses of Marjuana, a title he fully deserves.
But after Jack got really big, he began venting against High Times and NORML for ignoring him for years, and sadly he never really acknowledged my role in public until shortly before he died, when a filmmaker asked him how it all began and he said “Steve Hager.”
Everything changed at High Times after I arrived, and the magazine began exploring not just hippie culture, but post-modern shamanism and conspiracy theory, essential elements for true enlightenment. I’d encourage you to check out my most recent book, Killing Lincoln: The Real Story to get an understanding of deep politics because Lincoln was an inside job, but then so was JFK and so was 9/11.
Six global companies own 1,500 media outlets, and you can’t talk about inside jobs in the mass media or they’ll break your rice bowl and paint you crazy. Look what they did to Gary Webb for exposing CIA cocaine. Eventually this dam is going to break, however, and when it does, there’ll be massive loss of faith in our major institutions. But we can prepare our spiritual cultures by helping them evolve. My idea is to dump all the dogma, but keep the best rituals, myths and poetry intact, only mix them up into one universal stew. Do what you want, just don’t hurt anybody.
There is a tremendous sense of greed infesting the cannabis world presently, and this is something new, and our arena has become a breeding ground for scam artists of every stripe and variety. Meanwhile, the original activists remain united on our desire to see the cannabis industry maintain a higher level of business ethics than those typically found on Wall Street. We know cannabis carries a heightened sense of spirituality, and that’s something many cannabis carpet baggers may never comprehend.

In Defense of Religion

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.57.46 AMIt’s interesting my junior high school buddy Stuart Vyse has become the go-to-guy for shredding superstitious nonsense, while I’ve become a post-modern shaman investigating magical energies. You can read about an interesting adventure Stuart and I had in 1966 in Urbana, Illinois, in my book Magic, Religion & Cannabis (link below).
Stuart is now a columnist with the prestigious Committee of Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and his debut column was: “Happiness, Religion, and Status Quo,” based around a study recently conducted by New York University. Stuart’s essay concludes religious people support the status quo, and that alliance provides emotional comfort.
I believe spirituality expresses in all living creatures, and state religion is an attempt to monopolize the telepathic airwaves. There are rational people who believe in science and evolution (and reject the fundamentalist doctrines of religion), but still attend services and show respect for the rituals of their ancestors because it provides a moral code as well as the necessary sense of enchantment that comes with magic. Our sense of ritual is easy to spot during birth, marriage, death and other major life events, and our behavior during these events provides a window on our soul.
There’s no difference between magic, religion and Santa Claus, and, in fact, the Santa Claus myth was invented by a Siberian shaman, who undoubtedly handed out psychedelic mushrooms before performing the myth in front of a campfire. If we didn’t believe in the importance of ritual enchantment, why hoodwink all the kids with the Santa Claus myth? Obviously, we do it because the myth provides an entertaining and powerful experience on Christmas Eve, when kids open presents for the first time believing they were dropped out of the sky by a supernatural being. And we know how powerful that experience is because we all went through it, and when this ritual is recreated for our children, we share that joy again.
Any and all attempts to attack religion will create martyrs, steel the minds of the believers, and strengthen the resolve of the congregations to keep their rituals intact because they are a lifeline to the ancestors. At the same time, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that religion has become the biggest problem, at the root of almost every war, despite their individual dogmas professing to honor peace. The only way to defeat the war octopus that dominates our global financial landscape is by entering the world of magic and religion, and helping religions evolve as they must, because nothing ever stays the same forever.
However, religion evolves slowly and the basic tools of ritual remain unchanged in 5,000 years: bell, book and candle. (I consider music and mathematics to be synonymous with the word “bell” in this situation.) In support of these three basic tools, an enlightened post-modern shaman adds a sacramental substance, such as cannabis, peyote or mushrooms, which provides an immediate sense of enchantment so necessary for a successful ceremony.
I’d like to invite Stuart to join me at the National Rainbow Family Gathering this July 1-7 since it will be held in the Northeast this year, and maybe even Vermont, where I will introduce him to a magical forest and invite him sip peyote tea while I engage in some rituals for peace. If nothing else, it might make for an interesting column in CSI.