The Rainbow Murders

Briery Knob is one of the highest points in West Virginia, once the site of a fire lookout tower and popular hangout for teenagers seeking Appalachian and Allegheny views. Thirty-eight years ago, on June 25th, in the dusk of early night, the still-warm bodies of two females were discovered by a horrified camper. Since the bodies carried no identification, several days elapsed before anyone learned who they were, or why they had been executed with single shots to the head.
The previous day, Vicki Durian (26) and Nancy Santomero (19) had set-off from Wellman, Iowa, hitchhiking to the annual National Rainbow Family Gathering, to be held July 1-7 in Monongahela National Park. They were arriving early for Seed Camp. Held in a different National Forest every year since 1972, the gathering’s primary purpose was holding a prayer for world peace from dawn until noon on the fourth of July.

For decades, the government had harassed this event relentlessly, seeking to prevent tens of thousands of peaceniks from assembling on public land. In 1980, this harassment campaign remained in full swing as every year hope was renewed inside the Forest Service that somehow a loophole could be found around Constitutional guarantees of peaceable assembly.

The first Rainbow Gathering had been held at Strawberry Lake, near Granby, Colorado, and since many attendees came from West Coast hippie communes, the mountain states remained ensconced as preferred destination. In fact, until coming to West Virginia in 1980, the Rainbows had never crossed the Mississippi River, coming closest with a 1975 foray to the Ozarks of Arkansas.

Unfortunately, the scouts picking the site did not realize they had landed 25 miles from the compound of the National Alliance led by William Pierce and Revillo P. Oliver. It was the best financed and organized white supremacist organization in the world, drawing a million dollars a year in donations at peak, no doubt aided by Oliver’s murky background in intelligence and Pierce’s connections to the military-industrial complex.

In 1955, Bonesman William  F. Buckley founded the National Review, and his close friend Oliver was named an important contributor. Three years later, Oliver founded the John Birch Society with Robert Welch and Fred C. Koch, and Pierce joined four years later. In 1966, Pierce moved to Washington DC to work for George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party. Within a year, Rockwell had been assassinated and Pierce taken command of the schism that resulted.

Both Pierce and Oliver were obviously intelligent and had attained advanced degrees before becoming rightwing propagandists. Oliver wrote essays and op-ed pieces, while Pierce pumped out a pair of influential novels designed as brainwashing tools for inciting paranoia and violence. Few, if any, of their followers had PhD’s. In fact, many never graduated high school and never held anything close to a normal job. Another interesting detail was the dearth of married men in the ranks. And the few who were married had ordered wives from Eastern Europe, a trend Pierce encouraged having been married six times over, three of those to Hungarian mail-order brides.

No doubt as soon as it was revealed in the local media thousands of hippies (a group practicing free love, nudity and race mixing) were about to descend on the community in large numbers, the polemics of hate in the National Alliance compound must have hit fever pitch. Pierce had recently released his first novel, The Turner Diaries, and the speed with which this book traveled around the world inciting terror ops indicates hidden forces may have been in play spreading its message. And I say that because the book is ponderous, childish, and poorly written, obviously dashed out, and mostly known today for predicting the Oklahoma bombing and 9/11, or at least the use of airplanes as bombs flown by kamikazes.

Many years later, however, Pierce published a prequel explaining how the racists in The Turner Diaries managed to seize power. And it all started with an assassination campaign conducted by the protagonist, who began by randomly shooting interracial couples on sight. And this is where things get murky because Hunter was dedicated to Joseph Paul Franklin, a convicted and executed serial killer who committed most of the gruesome acts depicted in the novel, only in real life with real bullets. The message was how noble and inspiring it was for loners to dole out vengeance against Jews, blacks and Muslims, and it was through these noble acts that Zionists running the world might be overthrown.

A day or so after the funeral services, an anonymous call was placed to the mother of one of the victims, expressing sympathy. The police were notified and immediately became suspicious, so when the  caller made yet another sympathy call, the phone was being tapped and he was swiftly ID’d and made part of the investigation.

At 250 pounds, Jake Beard was certainly intimidating. He already had a charge pending against him for murdering his ex-girlfriend’s cat. Unfortunately, Beard’s possible connections to the National Alliance were never part of any media coverage that ensued, and when Beard was arrested, he went State’s Evidence, fingered others as the culprits, forged his alibi, and soon claimed a third Rainbow girl had been killed three months later and run through his wood chipper to destroy the evidence in a scene that later appeared in Fargo. Police would later determine this story was cleverly fabricated as a rabbit hole.
Meanwhile, others involved were talking, but telling conflicting stories while seeking immunity. In 1983, Lee Morrison, claimed he and Gerald Brown had picked up the women initially and after drinking for a while, he had passed out. When awakened, he found himself on Briery Knob and said he witnessed Brown shoot both women and that he had helped move the bodies to the edge of a field on orders from Brown.

Brown was arrested, but at a preliminary hearing, Morrison recanted. He said he had been put up to making a false statement by Beard who had told him something might happen to his family if he didn’t make the false statement. Charges against Brown were dismissed and Beard was re-arrested. After a long trial, Beard was found guilty, but by then he’d already implanted an escape hole.

In October 1980, serial killer J.P. Franklin was finally captured in Florida, ending his five-year-long reign of violence, and he eventually confessed to numerous murders and attempted murders, including that of publisher Larry Flynt, who had survived although he remained paralyzed. This campaign of death had begun in 1977 and involved dozens of victims. For years Franklin had drifted around the country robbing banks and donating blood when the bank money ran out. He confessed to the Rainbow murders in 1997 to an Ohio assistant prosecutor who was investigating another case claiming he had picked up the women and decided to kill them after one said she had a black boyfriend.

Because of this confession, Beard was released, and eventually captured a $2 million settlement for his “false” conviction. Before being executed, Franklin recanted his racist past, claiming he’d discovered in prison blacks were actually human just like him.

Beard took his millions and retired to Florida, leaving many to wonder if maybe the Franklin confession had been faked.  All someone had to do was familiarize Franklin with Briery Knob so he could draw a crude diagram on where the bodies were found. But if Franklin really did this, why would Morrison finger Brown and then claim it was on orders from Beard? Many still believe to this day Beard committed the crime.

Captain Midnight’s Secret Decoder Ring

Funny how the mainstream media insists the Illuminati don’t exist, yet never conducts research on the subject, treating it like a Tin Foil Hat delusion. The real study of history, however, involves penetrating a web of secret societies that plots war and revolution in order to engineer maximum profits. There are many layers to this onion and penetration of its inner core is unlikely in our time. But one can see enough shadows on the cave wall to at least raise some suspicions.

India and China were the primary economic engines at the dawn of history but lost considerable ground with the rise of European imperialism. But the end of the first World War really signaled the coming rise of the USA as future policeman of the globe. Secret societies are embedded into our DNA and were around before the dawn of history. Magic, religion and secrecy are welded together, essential tools for mass mind control, and even though magic and religion are the exact same thing, our Western world divides them into a manufactured dialectic of fundamentalist versus occultist. Religion was invented as a fulcrum for manifesting war. First, a self-appointed King anointed a Pope, and then the Pope anointed the King as chosen by God to lead the population into war against some infidel whose property could then be seized by the King.

At least one peace prophet tried to expose this scam early in the game. He was named Mani, and attempted to unite all religion to end war around 260 AD. Mani actually achieved the largest congregations of his time but only for a brief moment before vicious campaigns by the other religions murdered him, destroyed his legacy, and killed his followers who refused to reject Mani’s philosophies of non-violence. Mani was the most well-known Christian in the world before Constantine got control, but also the most well-known Buddhist and the most well-known Zoroastrian Magi. Yet today, nobody knows his name. After months researching a book on Jesus, I concluded Jesus was a mythical creation, and the version of Jesus crafted by Constantine was designed to replicate and replace Mani as the true avatar of his time. Many elements of Mani’s bio were worked into the Jesus myth, as was Mani’s appearance. Since Mani likely promoted cannabis oil for healing the lame and blind, it’s also likely cannabis disappeared from history as part of Mani’s erasure. Just as Moses was simply a Judaic interpretation of Zoroaster, Jesus originated as the Judaic interpretation of Buddha.

Popular religions are immense power centers, and all centers of power become corrupted over time. The more corruption, the more need for secrecy. The inner core of a power center will always seek alliances with other corrupt power centers and when these secret societies collide, even more powerful secret societies can be born.

George Creel

On April 13, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information, aka Creel Committee, named for George Creel, who trained a generation of propaganda experts, starting with Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud. Creel’s primary mission was to lay psychological groundwork to convince America they wanted to enter the European war, something that was cleverly accomplished through manipulations of the mass media. Harold Gray was a journalist who enlisted for WWI and returned to the Chicago Tribune after the war and soon became a Freemason.  In 1924, he came up with the idea of a political cartoon based on a wayward, street-savvy teen he met on the streets of Chicago. “Little Orphan Annie” soon became a soap box for attacking all things socialist.

The key character other than Annie was Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, a kindly munitions factory owner who had become filthy rich profiteering off WWI. Like many others on Wall Street, Warbucks lost his fortune when the markets crashed in 1929. And when FDR was installed a few years later, the comic became one of his primary critics. The powers-that-be were so incensed by FDR’s New Deal, they were actually plotting his removal and installation of a military dictatorship very similar to the overthrow of the Weimar Republic and ascension of a military intelligence officer named Adolf Hitler, who was aided by those same Wall Street forces (see Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler by Antony Sutton).

Smedley Butler

This plot was fortunately foiled by the courageous Major General Smedley Butler, who would write War is a Racket before being disappeared from the national stage. After being offered the job of first dictator in America, Butler played along in order to identify the major players and then rushed the evidence to an open session of Congress.

Horrified, Congress instantly sought shelter behind closed doors and when the smoke and mirrors cleared, Butler’s plot was declared a fantasy and Butler lost his otherwise sterling military career. Butler had been the darling of the national media up until that point, and had made the cover of Time after a successful campaign in Haiti, but he never returned to that cover because now he was an authentic whistleblower, and national magazine covers are reserved only for fake whistleblowers, like Daniel Ellsberg, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

The immensely popular Little Orphan Annie radio show (sponsored by the British malt-beverage company Ovaltine), was the first to deploy a decoder ring as sales gimmick. Since Annie was mixed up with the world of spooks and secret societies, she required knowledge of cryptography in the struggle to suppress the rise of labor unions. But when the show’s popularity began to fade, Annie was swiftly eclipsed by Captain Midnight’s Secret Squadron. Ovaltine continued sponsorship, but this show was actually under the direction of the Getty Oil company.

The Captain Midnight franchise was born inside a Chicago advertising agency. The star of the show was Captain Jim “Red” Albright, a former WWI Air Force pilot recruited by a mysterious but powerful person. Captain Albright was tasked with creating a squad of volunteers to fight foreign spooks, and if you bought enough tins of Ovaltine and mailed the packaging to the radio show, one could obtain a Secret Squadron ID card and a crude cipher machine for decoding messages transmitted during every show. Very similar to the sort of secret messaging that did occur during the World Wars when spook-run radio programs were relaying messages to spooks in the field behind enemy lines. Somewhat disappointingly, however, once decoded, the secret messages turned out to be instructions to buy more tins of Ovaltine.

Just as the Creel Committee was formed to seamlessly bring the USA into WWI, it appears Captain Midnight may have been designed to seamlessly bring us into WWII, and I say that because two months before Pearl Harbor, Captain Midnight exposed the Japanese plot to bomb Pearl Harbor, which should have been plenty of time to prepare against the onslaught, although maybe you know we remained woefully unprepared, possibly because great carnage was required to create enough blood lust to sweep the country into war on two fronts. At the time, the Captain Midnight show was probably the most listened to radio show by members of the United States Air Force. Designed as a kids show, it became wildly popular with adults, especially those in the armed forces.

I put this bit of propaganda alongside William Pearce’s The Turner Diaries for its Nostradamus-like intuition and ability to raise blood lust, as Pearce’s book predicted the use of airplanes as bombs flown by kamikazes and soon became the primary tool for inspiring the rise of violent, fanatical rightwing terror groups in the USA and Europe. For example, it was Timothy McVeigh’s favorite novel.

The social register (old money) is just another layer of the onion, and they have numerous secret clubs, where concerns and desires are discussed in the dark. And these clubs have magic ceremonies that draw on the same instincts as those that captivate the masses. No magic is real, unless, of course, you believe. And that is why those spooky Youtube videos concerning the Illuminati are fabricated rabbit holes leading the gullible into a time bomb. Anytime anyone tries to scare you with magic or religion, it is always a hoodwink.

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?

Was the National Socialist Underground a joint CIA-MI6-BND Project?

Ever heard of this trio? The National Socialist Underground is their name and they became the nineties rightwing counterpart to the sixties leftwing Red Army Brigade. The NSU went on a decade-long killing spree in Germany that evaded detection by the best efforts of the German police. Fortunately, a film and documentary now available on Netflix unravels some of the mysteries, but the most perplexing one is why did the police get so much resistance from their own internal intelligence agencies? Since random terror is on the rise throughout much of the world, it might be helpful to investigate a crew that helped formulate the template.

Unfortunately, one of the most fascinating tangents in this case worthy of investigation is not discussed in either film, and that would be the elusive Andreas Strassmeir, a suspect in the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma in 1988. Strassmeir disappeared and returned to his native Germany before the FBI could question him about that case. He was the son of the German Chancellor’s chief-of-staff at the time and a former officer in the Panzer Grenadiers before decamping to a kibbutz in Israel and then moving into a rabid rightwing Christian identify cult known as Elohim City in Arkansas. Strassmeir was made the cult’s chief-of-security upon arrival and soon met Timothy McVeigh, the sole patsy executed for the bombing, although there were others obviously involved (a pattern repeated in the complex NSU affair). The usual explanation for any glaring investigative anomalies is “protecting sources.

A novel was the template deployed to indoctrinate a new wave of violence-loving fanatics in order to provoke an all-out race war. Odd that the insane idea of sparking a catastrophic race war was also at the heart of Charlie Manson’s soul. Eerily, the book predicted flying planes into buildings, as well as the destruction of federal buildings with fertilizer bombs hidden in vans. Originally set in the 1980s, The Turner Diaries was eventually re-dated for the far-off future. By capturing military bases, the racists eventually kill every non-white human being on the earth. Make no mistake, mass genocide is the stated goal, and within a decade, the book would be cited by terrorists in North America, England and Germany as a primary inspiration for their violent deed.

At the start of the 1990s, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Communist empire began collapsing. It was in the impoverished eastern sectors riddled with damaged souls that intel went trolling, because suddenly the old game of capitalist-versus-communist was obsolete, and a new boogyman needed to be installed quick or the dialectical strategy of tension might be lost. The scene began with heavy metal skinhead bands singing songs of praise for Nazi ideology and grew from there. The songs were illegal in Germany, and underground distribution provided an important source of funds.

If the BND was not actively fomenting the neo-Nazi revival, they were certainly watching the developments very closely. In fact, they sought to identify every person attending the concerts and buying the records, and opened files on hundreds of teenagers in order to profile ones that could be twisted into becoming informants. Just as the American Communist Party had been led by spooks from its inception, many of these Nazi organizations were headed by informants and agents paid through slush funds. The BND was providing the money to stage the events and were covering the publicity and promotion costs.

Tino Brandt was the BND’s most highly placed informant inside the Nazi youth movement. He was later found guilty of child abuse and now resides in jail. But when he was just 17, Brandt was already running a high-profile Nazi cult with funds provided by the BND. He held many fundraisers for the National Socialist Underground, money that went to purchase fake passports and weapons, including the Ceska 83 that was used in the random murders.

These are the victims of that Ceska 83. At the time, the police were stuck on a theory Turks were being killed as part of some criminal conspiracy. The police lied incessantly to the victims’ families and instead of looking for killers, investigated them. They became the primary targets and the usual dirty tricks were trotted out in failed attempts to force confessions from families already suffering from PTSD. Meanwhile, the BND assured local police that the trio known as the NSU had already fled to the United States, presumably to some Elohim City-type encampment. None of that was true, however. The trio was living in plain sight in Germany under fake IDs and continued randomly killing foreigners, robbing banks and receiving assistance from BND informants and agents for years to come.

As could be expected in a situation like this, the BND files on this case are permanently sealed. (To protect the sources, of course.) The film is titled: NSU: German History X, and the documentary is titled: The NSU Complex. There are details to be mined in both, but neither will satisfy the desire to get to the bottom of who was running this operation. When the local police finally figured out the bank robberies and murders were connected, and knew the perpetrators were using a white RV, it was simply a matter of locating an RV close to the scene of a robbery.

That RV was stuffed with automatic weapons and ammo and the two occupants seem to have been monitoring the police radio band because as soon as a call came in that a white RV had been spotted, they set the vehicle on fire and committed suicide. There are a lot of problems with this scenario. First, why no shoot-out? For such gung-ho paramilitary types, wouldn’t a shoot-out have been a more spectacular end for a racist martyr? Second, why destroy the van and its contents, unless, of course, you need to hide the trail back to the hidden hands that assisted your operations?

I suspect mind control might be in play on many terror events these days, especially the ones where the perpetrators kill themselves while destroying all their computers and cell phones.

Is the CIA Manufacturing Manchurian Terrorists?

Mind control is nothing new. Certainly Rudyard Kipling knew all about it in 1901, when he wrote Kim, a book about spooks in India that coined the words “the great game” to describe the wilderness of mirrors created by counterintelligence operations. In the book, a young protagonist is recruited as a British spy to gather information on Russian activities in India, and in the process the lad is taught how to resist hypnosis. Unfortunately, a masonic emblem worn around his neck gives him away to the enemy at a key moment, although he is able to convince them he is an innocent disciple of a Tibetan monk and not a spook.

Kipling was a master mason, and his best short story The Man Who Would Be King, also deploys two plot devices that hang on masonic symbolism. Kim must choose in the end between following the path of Tibetan Buddhism or continuing the great game. Which side he picks is left ambiguous in the 1950 film.

The great religions have always been a part of the great game because religion is the oldest and strongest mind control on earth, created to anoint kings and popes with the power to wage war, the world’s biggest profit machine. So religion was created to make profit, not to bring enlightenment. If you want a taste of enlightenment, first you must penetrate the great game, and then you might realize there’s only one rule: don’t hurt anybody. Those complex dogmas are hooey and always have been. In fact, dogmas are deployed mostly to justify hurting the infidels.

During the Korean War, some downed American pilots confessed to a secret program testing out chemical and germ weapons. This actually went on, of course, although our government still plays it like the North Koreans brainwashed those pilots to lie. This led to the publication of a book called Manchurian Candidate, written by a former publicist for Walt Disney. As in Kipling’s work, masonic elements abound as the sinister mom is revealed to be a high-ranking member of the Eastern Star. She brainwashes her son to be her personal assassin/sex slave.

The best and brightest students in America are quickly and easily recruited into the best colleges, and swiftly rise in the establishment through a myriad of channels. Having a super high IQ is easily quantified and identified, and these genius types often go to work for the military industrial complex in some capacity.

But if you watch the series on the Unibomber on Netflix, you’ll also see how easy it is to troll for disturbed minds. The whole point of MK/Ultra was identifying people easily hypnotized, something aided by slipping some LSD into their cocktail. The project was wildly successful, so much so that the records had to be destroyed. No doubt the project was moved far away from government oversight.

Trolling for potential terrorists is easy to do if you have access to information. There are likely two types of terrorists: dimwitted patsies and genius masterminds. Obviously, the Unibomber was one of the latter. Strange how so few Americans even realize how he went through a brainwashing program while attending Harvard as a young teen, although the Netflix series puts a spotlight on it all.

Our current terror is caused by a number of factors. First, you can’t invade other countries without creating blowback, and every drone bomb we drop, creates blowback against us. Second, you can’t create a culture that worships violence without inflating violence. Many of our teens these days spend a majority of their time playing addictive shooter video games, and the school shootings have not had much impact on that pastime. Third, you can’t put millions of teens on SSRIs and speed drugs like Ritalin without a significant percentage of them losing control of their minds.

But the scariest of all the causes would be those off-the-shelf MK/Ultra-style brainwashing projects that seek out vulnerable minds and pump them with jihad dogma. Or just hypnotizes them into becoming robot assassins with no dogma other than death worship. Sadly, I fear this may be taking place, and there’s little hope of getting inside that great game. Unless, of course, we are ever able to dismantle the CIA and organize a secret-less government that doesn’t manufacture war for profit.

Operation 420 Mindfuck Redux

Waldos on the wall

The First Obituary of Steven Hager by Paul Krassner
It’s a sad irony. When Steven Hager was the editor of High Times magazine, he was contacted by the Waldos — a group of high school students who coined 4:20 as the time to toke at the intermission between their classes each day. He became the first journalist to interview them. However, he chose to commit suicide today, on Mount Tam, at 4:20 a.m. on the 20th of April, sort of like a contemporary marijuana boomerang.

Robin and Sweetbryar at Hager’s wedding in Magic Meadow, Woodstock, NY

He was a prolific author. His first publication, the Cap’n Crunch Courier, was a free Xerox zine. His books ranged from Hip Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music, and Graffiti to Killing Kennedy: The Real Story. He was the first editor to publish and promote the work of hemp activist Jack Herer. He published an e-book, Cannabis Cures Cancer?

He founded Pot Illuminati, and learned from Art Kunkin, founder of the Los Angeles Free Press, who received a letter from the “Order of the Phoenix Angel” stating the jurors involved had all been members of the Illuminati, the evidence of which was that all had only had one nipple.

Mr. Hager claimed that “Robert Anton Wilson’s fan club hounds me for saying Wilson’s Illuminati research is bunk, although they admit it’s 99 percent fantasy. In my world, it’s a sin to mix fantasy with conspiracy research. That is called fake news today, and we have too much of it.” He created events from a garage-rock revival band, the Soul Assassins, to the annual Cannabis Cup, where ceremony awards were voted every Thanksgiving in Amsterdam, where he launched the Counterculture Hall of Fame.

But even though High Times became the magazine success story of the ‘90s and his founded Freedom Fighters spearheaded the return of the rallies, re-igniting the sleeping marijuana movement, success only seemed to bring problems for Steven Hager, as he was soon forced to disband the Freedom Fighters and there were constant pressures to shut down the Cannabis Cup as well, or at least remove his supervision.

He moved home to concentrate on events and how to document them for posterity as he felt there was something important in these 420 ceremonies he was manifesting. At the time, he was primarily interested in building up WHEE! As the premiere cannabis event in North America.

Mr. Hager wrote in a suicide note explaining that “I got kicked to the curb and lost access to all the wonderful things I created. The entire cannabis scene is a great turnoff, fueled by a lot of greedy carpetbaggers, but money changes everything. I was first on hip hop and fled that scene when the corporations moved in and kicked the first generation to the curb. My death to the world of cannabis is timely and will deter any of the carpetbaggers from trying to deploy me in any of the marketing schemes.”

His family consists of a separated wife, and two teenage sons. A memorial will be announced.

Operation Mindfuck mindfucked me

Judge Jim Garrison.

In the late 1960s, a brave New Orleans District Attorney suspected a coverup in the JFK assassination. Since crucial segments of the case fell within his jurisdiction, he initiated a secret investigation. Unfortunately, this investigation was immediately penetrated, revealed to the public, and for the rest of his life, Jim Garrison was blanketed in spooks.

Suddenly, ordinary citizens like myself were forced to become amateur sleuths, lining up available dots to determine what happened because it was obvious intelligence footprints were all over the case, and the Warren Commission’s magic bullet theory made no sense. But suddenly, there arrived a lot of noise and confusion, and some of that was a result of Operation Mindfuck.

Mindfuck began with a missive from Robert Anton Wilson to his editor at the Realist, Paul Krassner. The Realist was one of the only outlets covering the emerging psychedelic revolution, as well as the latest research into the political assassinations. Although circulation was small, influence over the counterculture was immense. Wilson’s instructions included: “circulate all rumors contributed by other members,” and “attribute all national calamities, assassinations or conspiracies to the other member-groups.”

After the Garrison investigation was exposed, Garrison was forced to rush his case to court, where he easily convinced a jury JFK had been assassinated as a result of a conspiracy, but failed to convince them Clay Shaw had been Oswald’s CIA handler and paymaster. (Many years later, it would be determined that role probably fell to David Atlee Phillips.)

One of Garrison’s chief supporters in the media was Art Kunkin, founder of the Los Angeles Free Press. Kunkin received a letter from the “Order of the Phoenix Angel” stating the jurors involved had all been members of the Illuminati, the evidence of which was that all had only had one nipple. Meanwhile, Krassner published “The Parts Left Out of the Kennedy Book,” which seemed entirely plausible until it ended with LBJ in the back of Air Force One fucking JFK’s head wound to change the direction of the bullet, a story that momentarily got traction in some gossip corridors inside the Beltway. If you’re going to tell a lie, make it a whopper and it’s more likely to be believed, as Goebbels used to say.

This sort of pranking was not new to Krassner. After all, the Realist was a satire magazine that mixed fact and fiction on a regular basis in the interest of comedy. In 1964, after Lenny Bruce got blacklisted, the Realist published his death notice. Bruce was not amused. He got enlightened, and then was disappeared, a trajectory I’m not personally unfamiliar with.

Kerry Wendell Thornley.

Soon, Wilson created a fake religion through the inspiration of Kerry  Thornley, who in hindsight could have been an MK/Ultra mind robot. Thornley was posted in Japan with Oswald and before the assassination, moved to New Orleans to write a book about Oswald. He gave key testimony to the Warren Commission to convince them Oswald was a true Communist at heart. It later turned out Thornley was well-known to Clay Shaw, and after testifying in Washington, he moved to California and became buddies with Johnny Roselli, who always claimed to have been one of the shooters before ending up in pieces in a drum barrel in Biscayne Bay.

Wilson and Thornley planted stories about the Illuminati in various leftist, libertarian and hippie publications, introducing the secret society to the counterculture. “We accused everybody of being in the Illuminati,” Wilson recalled. “Nixon, Johnson, William Buckley, Jr., ourselves, Martian invaders, all the conspiracy buffs, everybody.”

Col. Aquino, Sammy Davis, Anton LaVey.

After I became editor of High Times, I made Krassner a regular contributor and assigned him feature stories on the history of the counterculture. Krassner soon introduced me to Wilson, and he also began contributing. At this time, I had my own research going into the Franklin Savings and Loan that involved child abuse at the most famous Catholic orphanage in America, Boy’s Town in Nebraska. A key figure in my investigation was a colonel stationed in California named Michael Aquino, who had become the number two satanist under Anton LaVey, before creating his own Temple of Set.

A boy in Nebraska claimed Aquino was involved in programming children. The Discovery Channel funded a documentary, but it never got aired, although you can watch the rough cut on Youtube while it remains up (see video below).

Suddenly a data dump on the case that included details on Aquino’s background appeared on the internet, posted by a relatively new researcher named Dave McGowan. I asked all three of these writers to suggest a conspiracy story for High Times. Wilson submitted a story on Priory of Sion that tracked into the Masonic lodge P2 that had been fomenting terror events under a leftist false flag in order to destroy the left in Italy. Krassner wanted to attend a David Icke lecture, something that eventually morphed into a book dedicated to Wilson titled: “Murder at the Conspiracy Convention.” McGowan sent me a manuscript titled “Wagging the Moondoggie,” which claimed the moon landings were faked. Meanwhile, the Aquino data dump disappeared from the web.

After I emailed McGowan that I would never publish anything so absurd as “we never landed on the moon,” he got immediately hostile, and also became suspicious of my email address, phoenix420@hightimes.com. “Phoenix is the name of the CIA’s biggest assassination project, and 4/20 is Hitler’s birthday, so what is going on with you, Steve?”

Meanwhile, Krassner’s manuscript arrived, and it seemed in order until suddenly a murder took place towards the end and chaos broke out at the conspiracy convention. There was a lot of dialogue between Icke and Krassner, some of which had actually taken place between Krassner and Mae Brussel years earlier, before Krassner determined Brussel was off the deep end and lost interest in real conspiracy investigation. We never had a real conversation on the subject and he explained his loss of interest in conspiracy on a freakout he had at his dentist’s office. Conspiracy theory was making him paranoid and unstable. But I was horrified to see Aquino enter his story and get painted as an innocent victim, so I immediately called Krassner on the phone and asked about the murder.

“I made it up,” said Krassner.

I had no idea how to fix this mess since I was on deadline and crunched for time, and even though I knew this piece was putting mud in the water on Franklin, I went ahead and published it against my better instincts because I respected Krassner as the dean of counterculture journalism. Knowing what I know today, I would have rejected it.

Many decades later, I did some investigations into the Illuminati, only to discover Yale’s Skull & Bones is the only chapter we know of for sure, and that fraternity is just a recruiting ground for potential members, and not a place for hatching crimes (other than crooking, which involves stealing ceremonial objects and possibly also, human remains, which actually qualifies as a black satanic ceremony).

The point is to bind 15 juniors into a cohesive unit that will always put the order first. The new inductees make their bios available to the older members and some careers will advance accordingly. There is one rule: In any situation, a Boner must be chosen before all others, qualifications be damned. And since the original Illuminati plan was to have two wings: one involving people of high moral calibre and the other involving people willing to do anything necessary to achieve goals (and never let those two wings mingle), you can’t blanket all Boners with some universal condemnation.

The other significant factoid is that George H. W. Bush’s father was high in Skull & Bones and may have crooked Geronimo’s remains, which is why his tribe requested their return a few decades ago. One of the Bush brothers is the lawyer who represented the society in the court case. And, of course, George himself is wrapped up in details all over the place, including a memo he sent Hoover on “misguided Cubans,” as well as the fact many were warned to stay away from the Franklin story because it tracked straight to the top of the Republican Party. That was President George H. W. Bush they were undoubtedly talking about. Maybe you know Georgie has a flair for groping the asses of young girls on stage near him despite being confined to a wheelchair. And he typically uses the same lame joke while abusing them, something about “David Cop-a-feel.”

In keeping with the bizarre aspects of this case, William F. Buckley, one of the targets of Wilson’s wild Illuminati attacks, is a high-placed Boner, and we know this because he personally padlocked the door to the tomb when one class tapped some females. The entire society had to vote on the issue before the girls could be admitted.

Real conspiracy research involves real people, with real names, committing real crimes that can be brought into a courtroom. Mindfucking created a huge problem, and certainly played a role in keeping a lid on some dark deeds. In retrospect, I wish I’d been a bit more sophisticated and more careful. By the time I had things almost figured out, I was already disappearing.

Meanwhile, the Wilson fan club hounds me for saying Wilson’s Illuminati research is bunk, although they admit it’s 99 percent fantasy. In my world, it’s a sin to mix fantasy with conspiracy research. That is called fake news today, and we have too much of it. Meanwhile, McGowan went on to write highly detailed stories on how the Boston Marathon bombings were fake (nobody got hurt) and how the entire hippie counterculture was invented by the CIA. He died young of cancer and if you question any of his obvious rabbit holes, there’s an organized Tin Foil Hat Patrol that will appear to defend him and attack your credibility. Same thing with Wilson though.

I made a few trips out to Nebraska to do my Heads versus Feds debate with former NY DEA chief Robert Stutman and made friends with John DeCamp, the lawyer who appeared on the scene to represent the abused kids pro bono. DeCamp informed me one of his clients had identified Aquino as being involved, and accepted my invitation to the Heads versus Feds debate, sat in the front row, and during the question and answer segment, I introduced him and thanked him for his efforts to help the kids. Somewhere I have video of the encounter. What I didn’t know at the time, was that both DeCamp and Stutman had been posted under William Colby’s Phoenix Vietnam assassination project that destroyed the fabric of Vietnamese culture by assassinating the alpha tribal leaders. According to what DeCamp learned after the war, the people making the list of who should be killed turned out to be double agents. They were killing to make the Commie takeover easier, not resist it.

But then DeCamp, I much later found out, had lived at Boy’s Town himself as a teen, spoke Farsi, married a Vietnamese woman, and had remained extremely close with CIA chief Colby until Colby’s suspicious death by drowning.

If you can figure out this wilderness of mirrors, let me know.

By the way, I certainly don’t suspect Krassner as some nefarious operative, based simply on how little traction he gets in the mainstream media when should have gotten his own TV show fifty years ago. He was the key person who opened the door to Kesey world and convinced Kesey I was one of them. No doubt there are dimensions of mindfuckery yet to be explored and I’m just skimming the surface of intel psyops.

Wormwood: Killing Frank Olson

Frank Olson was a talented chemist who got recruited into developing chemical and germ weapons for the Army.  Among his many projects, he helped place an LSD-like substance into an aerosol that was covertly sprayed on a small town in France, resulting in seven deaths and 50 people hospitalized in psyche wards. Olson was involved with the CIA’s MK/Ultra group that deployed drugs and hypnosis to manufacture mind slaves. As the Cold War progressed, however, and the CIA began secretly using chemical and germ weapons on North Korea, Olson began having doubts about the secret experiments at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which is why he stepped down as the head of the Special Operations Group, although he continued working in the lab as a subordinate.

Olson’s colleagues at CIA were sufficiently alarmed to arrange an intervention disguised as a holiday retreat to determine his potential as a security risk. During this retreat, Olson may have refused to recant certain statements, which may have been made while under the influence of a glass of Cointreau secretly laced with LSD. When he returned home, he confessed to his wife on having made a “a terrible mistake.” Believing his job and future were in jeopardy, Olson requested to be fired and/or threatened to submit his resignation, naively believing the Army would let him walk away carrying many of their biggest secrets. Instead, a few days later, they had two operatives club Olson unconscious before throwing him out of a 13-story window across from Penn Station in New York City, November 28, 1953.

The original story told was incoherent. Olson had either jumped or fallen accidentally, and even though a co-worker was in the room at the time (apparently locked inside the bathroom), he could offer no clues as to motive or circumstances.  Olson’s son Eric was 9-years-old when his father died, and would devote most of his life unraveling what happened, a voyage that took him deep into the rabbit holes of the wilderness of mirrors. Eventually, in the 1970s, a new narrative was released by the CIA after Olson had his father’s corpse exhumed and found evidence of murder. Now the CIA admitted they had covertly dosed Olson with LSD and caused a nervous breakdown. President Ford invited the family to the White House to apologize and soon a $750,000 check was handed over, provided the family signed an agreement not to sue for wrongful death. Part of this op was the sudden arrival of Seymour Hersh from the New York Times playing role of knight-in-shining-armor. Hersh’s long and celebrated career as the preeminent CIA whistleblower is rooted in protecting CIA sources, and his reach the uppermost realms of the agency.

I wrote about this case for High Times years ago when Hank Albarelli’s illuminating book, A Terrible Mistake, was first published by Trine Day, and even called Eric for some quotes at the time because I found him such an inspirational figure. For decades Eric has refused to accept the layers of lies and has relentlessly pursued evidence with his brilliant spotlight mind. And he did find the truth, although it did not bring closure.

Like Eric, I’ve had my own obsession over the decades about the CIA, only mine involves their murder of John Kennedy, while his involves the murder of his dad. Both murders, however, were ordained and executed by the same people. And despite cracking these cases, neither of us has found closure, probably because those same forces are running the secret government and our voices are too faint to have impact. Maybe this Netflix series Wormwood will have some impact, however. We can certainly hope.

Netflix is making some of the best films these days, and this one makes a great companion to their recent miniseries Manhunt: Unibomber, which deftly illustrates how a teenage math prodigy was sculpted into a serial killer at Harvard through MK/Ultra experiments. One is a docudrama and the other a feature, but they both take viewers on a voyage deep into the heart of intel ops. In both cases, MK/Ultra techniques for hostile interrogation designed to splinter personalities and destroy egos was deployed with tragic results.

I remember years ago when I met some academic friends of my father who’d been studying CIA involvement in drug trafficking, mostly by reading Counterpunch. “Yeah,” I said, “but you realize Counterpunch is likely MI6. You have to peel another layer off the onion.” From there I launched into my theories on how the Illuminati manufactures war-for-profit through secret societies and intelligence agencies, and urged them not to fall for the dialectical games or the phony knights-in-shining-armor, for these knights are really gatekeepers. They believed what I was saying, but were also quite saddened. “Does knowing all this make your life better or worse?” they wondered. As Eric Olson knows all too well. The truth is a bitter pill.

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.

High Times and me

I was fired by High Times for requesting a small raise to cover the cost of my kid’s braces ($250 per month). At the time my take-home pay did not even cover the rent on my apartment, and I had a disabled family member I was taking care of that required an additional location, and was a single dad with two kids. They dismissed any possible raise, even though the cannabis cup I created was making millions, and the magazine circulation had shrank to unprofitablity without my leadership. This angered me so much that I requested a buy out on the ten percent of the company I owned. They said, see what you can get. I got four offers at $250k per share, half my shares. High Times fired me, threatened me with litigation, seized all my archives, and forced me to give up the shares for less than a quarter on the dollar. And then they didn’t even honor the bullshit deal.
Why was I so angry at High Times? Mostly because I’d recently got back from lunch with the head of Lion’s Gate and his top execs and they had greenlighted a $2-million movie called High Times Cannabis Cup, and after that lunch, Lion’s Gate hired a screenwriter, who met with me and the producers, and wrote a brilliant script that was a comedy, yet it included all my concepts on ritual theater, and non-violence, and cannabis ceremonies, and really gave props to the Temple Dragon Crew, and the Temple Dragon Band, and used the candles in the film. This was going to be my vindication after being chained in a cellar for seven years by High Times, only High Times squashed the film by saying they had to take out the Temple Dragons and all their magic.
They couldn’t even respect my humble little attempt to tell the world that the true story of the holy grail involves cannabis.