The Steven Hager Archives

Going up for sale soon and just the tip of the iceberg really on what I am holding: The Steven Hager Archives.

Need to find a landing spot while I can still function, and where it will be put to good use.

Untitled by Steven Hager, watercolor on paper, 1968.

1963 to 1969
Letters, drawings, short stories, artwork and memorabilia, including the only complete copy of The Tin Whistles, created in 1968. The material covers the emergence of garage rock and hippies in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Few realize the first real psychedelic anthem was The Finchley Boys “Only Me,” never released and written early in 1966, a song that deployed eastern-tinged scales and feedback to great mystical effect. The band was whisked out to San Francisco and momentarily adopted by the trailblazing Cockettes as “the next big thing.” Written by 15-year-old Mark Warwick, “Only Me” was never the same after Warwick left the band. Champaign became counterculture mecca in part because John Cage was living and working there, creating his most impressive ceremonies. Bob Nutt and Irv Azof (of Live Nation fame) became promoters for the local teen rock bands, which included the Knight Riders, for whom I played bass. Also includes documents involving the entrapment case a State Narcotics Taskforce put on me, a case never successfully prosecuted, just held over me for two years waiting in vain for me to cave and go State’s Evidence against my counterculture cohorts. All underground newspaper publishers were subjected to similar ops, unless they were created by the FBI’s Cointelpro in the first place.

1970-1971
Exile to Sweden, thanks to a low draft number, where I lived out my down-and-out in Stockholm fantasies, bought an antique used typewriter and began churning out philosophical musings, some of which involved CIA penetrations on the deserter movement, a wing of which was connected to LSD trafficking. The most notorious dealer had been jailed just prior to my arrival. Penniless, and on a one-way ticket, I bluffed my way through customs wearing a skimmer, carrying a silver-tipped cane, and wearing an improvised outfit out of a bygone era. “I’m here to inspect Stockholm University to see if I want to attend,” was all I told them. I ended up as an extra in the film on Joe Hill and nearly scored a speaking role as the costume crew took a liking to me.

1972-1977
College journalism, first at San Francisco City College, then playwriting at the University of Illinois. My one-act play was invited to the prestigious National College Theatre Festival and garnered a standing ovation. My plays were heavily influenced by Anton Chekhov and Samuel Beckett. Then it was back to journalism as I picked up a Master of Science degree from the University of Illinois. My thesis project was an examination of the recently created anti-abortion movement, which included a visit with the founder of the movement in St. Louis, Phyllis Schafly.

1978-1984
Professional journalism begins, first at Showbusiness Newspaper, the seedy underbelly of the theater business, led by the notorious Leo Shull. A procession of magazine jobs followed before arriving at the Daily News, where I began writing about hip hop in 1980, collecting massive interview recordings from the major creators and then publishing the first history on the subject while landing a film deal with Orion, which became the groundbreaking “Beat Street.” From there I began interviewing leading figures emerging in the art world, including Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf and published the influential “Art After Midnight” so hated by someone at St. Martins Press they shredded thousands of copies only to see the value rise astronomically in a few years. It remains the best document of the East Village art scene.

1985-2005
Started working with High Times and rose to Editor-in-Chief in a few years, while launching a parade of movements, starting with the hemp movement, the medical marijuana movement, the home cultivation with Dutch seeds movement, the Sea-of-Green cultivation technique that transformed indoor cultivation, and led the emergence of Amsterdam as the world cannabis capital. I also founded a legendary garage-revival band, the Soul Assassins, who began performing at major rallies. Began doing college debates with the former head of NYC DEA, and ended up visiting 400 colleges, and videotaped nearly every debate. Switched from taping interviews to recording everything on video, especially the ceremonies. After creating numerous events, like the Cannabis Cup, WHEE!, the Stonys, the Doobies, the World Marijuana Film Festival, I assembled video crews to live mix four-camera shoots in anticipation of streaming events on the internet. Wrote a screenplay based on my garage rock days titled “The Runaways,” and planned a $100k production but failed to raise the funds although a successful reading was staged at the Living Theater to much applause. I launched a parody of “Survivor” titled “Cannabis Castaways” that became so popular it crashed the website repeatedly. The focus of many events was injecting a dose of clean spirituality into the cannabis freedom movement and deploying 420 as the spearhead on that effort.

Bell, book and candle have been the foundation for ritual for millennia, so I created 7-candle sculptures as a focal point for ceremonial altars. Seven colors, seven scents and seven symbols drawn from a variety of cultures to signify unification of all religion under one rule: “Don’t hurt anybody.” This followed my belief cannabis was the original sacrament that launched peace culture, which created Buddhism and Christianity. Aum and Amen are the same thing, just different ends of the Silk Road.

The video crews were needed to document my belief that holding peace ceremonies could foster a template for passing responsible cannabis culture down to the next generation and prove the case of religious use. I planned to send this case to the Supreme Court using the video as evidence, along with my investigations into the history of religion, and how cannabis’ essential part in creating most religions had strangely been written out of history. In 1990, I wrote the first national magazine article explaining how the CIA killed JFK, and then assembled the greatest investigative journalism team High Times money could buy, a list that included Paul Krassner, Dick Russell, Peter Gorman, Mike Ruppert, Dan Hopsicker, and Robert Anton Wilson. Strangely, both campaigns created immense pushback from the bosses at High Times, although it took them years to figure out a way to declaw and erase me.

2006-2018
Created “The Tin Whistle” blog now with millions of views, and self-published a series of books on culture, politics and cannabis, including “Killing Kennedy,” “Killing Lincoln,” “Hip Hop Archives,” “1966,” “Cannabis, Magic & Religion.” Since zero of my original script of “Beat Street” was used (too much sex and drugs), I rewrote it as “Looking For the Perfect Beat,” and hope to see it produced some day.

 

Released a book of my songs with lyrics and chords. Made numerous short videos and built a Youtube site with millions of views.

I own the rights to all my journalism, books and video, including all work I did with High Times, and have the largest archive of High Times related material, including maps to where all the bodies were buried, and the keys to understanding why my investigative journalism, as well as my campaign for spiritual rights may have upset the powers-that-be.

Not long after my departure, High Times began losing millions of dollars annually.

Meanwhile, I became a specialist in navigating the fake conspiracy network which I call the Tin Foil Hat Patrol, something deployed to discredit legitimate deep state research.

 

Legitimate facts casting doubt on the official 9/11 narrative

The fact many reported hearing explosions and yet zero attempt was made to document the claims and the site was immediately contaminated and all evidence carted away and destroyed. That’s not how you really investigate a crime scene.

The fact Building 7 never got mentioned in the Commission report.

The fact tremendous activity took place just prior to the event. People were placing huge bets two airline stocks would decline, while the securities trading company in the towers was doing massive transfers up until the collapse. All these trades could have been easily tracked and investigated by the FBI.

The fact we rushed the already-written Patriot Act into law, something ripped right out of a Nazi playbook to restrict human rights and allow the national security state to run rampant.

The fact we invaded two countries with zero evidence of any involvement, one for oil the other for opium. The fact the CIA was working with the opium cartel was obvious and little attempt was made to hide that fact.

The fact a FEMA videographer reported strange goings-on and had to eventually flee the country.

The fact hundreds of Israeli intelligence operatives were collecting data from a variety of sources, while many were shadowing the alleged hijackers. One team was located in Florida around the corner from where Mohammed Atta lived, and another was caught videotaping the fall of the towers from Liberty Park in New Jersey, indicating they had some prior knowledge. Some of these operatives were held for weeks in confinement before being quietly sent back to Israel. A DEA report on these activities was strangely published on Salon.

The fact that Atta hung out in strip joints, drinking and doing cocaine strongly indicates he was not a jihadist, but more likely an intelligence operative.

The fact almost all the alleged hijackers came out of Saudi Arabia with suspicious visas that never should have been issued. Many got assistance from Saudi agents while in the USA, and received flight training on US bases (but not how to land). All these facts should have been well-known to the FBI.

The fact that thousands of architects, engineers, relatives of victims, first responders, and now even some NYC fire commissioners are pressing for a new investigation.

The fact that the Pentagon is ringed with security cameras and yet no video of the strike has ever been released. Strangely, the plane had to make a corkscrew turn and come hit the backside of the building to surgically take out the accounting office investigating three trillion dollars unaccounted for. Had it just flown straight into the building, it could have hit the offices of the Joint Chiefs instead.

The fact that former Mossad assassin Juval Aviv, the subject of Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” said many intelligence agencies had advance knowledge of the plot and warned US officials.

The strange death of Mary Meyer

Mary, Mary, where you goin’ to….with that eyedropper of LSD in your hand, baby?

Let me explain how the world really works: There’s an extremely wealthy oligarchy of American aristocrats, many of whom have strong alliances with relatives in Europe, and they regularly gather in private ceremonies to harmonize while plotting a future that involves preserving their great fortunes, cartels and secret monopolies. Today, most people call this crowd “the elites” but I call them “Old Money.”

Mary Pinchot Meyer was one of this crew and wore charm and grace like a second skin according to her friends. She may have been one of the few women sexy enough to lure JFK from away from Marilyn Monroe and she enjoyed bringing sacraments to her liaisons with the President, usually marijuana, which was good for his back pain, but also at least one time LSD because it was legal at the time while pot was not, and she felt everyone could benefit from a psychedelic-induced spiritual awakening.

Mary’s best friend from college married James Angleton, who rose to head of CIA counterintelligence, the dirty tricks side of the agency, while Mary married Cord Meyer, who rose to become chief of the CIA’s Project Mockingbird, the mission to plant propaganda in news and entertainment media. Mary became a famous journalist herself. Old Money has a left and right and just like all the rest of us slobs are supposed to divide up into “liberals” and “conservatives,” Old Money divides to commandeer those ops, only us regular slobs can only read the news, while Old Money owns the newspaper plant. Mary was at the top of the liberal wing of Old Money, the ones who’d been funding the Communist, socialist and labor movements.

LSD was being passed around freely at the CIA at the time and being experimented with for mind control ops involving hypnosis, so Mary had no trouble getting access. Almost immediately, her life changed dramatically and she took on the mission to turn on the most powerful people in Washington so they might see the divine light and start working for world peace. Apparently, she didn’t realize Washington is run by the military-industrial complex. Both Kennedy brothers apparently fell under Mary’s influence around this time, but then most males in Washington swooned a bit when Mary passed by.

What Mary didn’t know, however, was that devious James Angleton had long been bugging her phone, reading her mail and secretly using Mary as a source of intelligence as she weaved through the upper circles of society spreading her message of world peace. So when Mary began talking with Timothy Leary in order to get advice on how to best invoke a spiritual response on LSD, Angleton was listening in. And after Mary reported to Leary that Jack loved LSD and had secretly joined her mission to end the Cold War and dismantle the nuclear arms race, well Angleton took that news to his mentor Allen Dulles, cousin by marriage to the Rockefellers, a man who once ran the CIA but had been fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs debacle.

Mary called Leary after the assassination and was distraught. “He was changing too fast,” she sobbed. “They covered up everything, I’m afraid.”

On October 12th, 1964, two weeks after the publication of the fraudulent Warren Commission Report, she was found dead on a jogging path in the park. Two bullets, one to the head and one to the heart. Gangland execution-style. I’d check on mad dog Bill Harvey and handsome Johnny Roselli to see if one were in Washington that day, although a homeless black man found in the park became the designated patsy.

Meanwhile, within minutes, Angleton arrived at Mary’s home to retrieve her diary and any other potentially dangerous evidence.

Just shine a light on James Angleton and his movements and mind set immediately after the assassination and you’ll see trail of dead bodies leading off into the darkness.

Even today, Project Mockingbird continues and part of its propaganda is to make you think we still don’t know who killed Kennedy. A few even push the tired old “Oswald acted alone.” But the truth has been available for decades if you know how to sift through the disinfo for kernels of truth, and once you connect enough dots, it ends with Angleton and Dulles. 

Something heavy went down…

The ancient Persians considered Balkh the “mother of all cities,” which may be why something heavy went down 5,000 years ago. Balkh was the largest, richest and most important oasis on the road connecting China and India to Europe. In fact, the trail split not far from the city’s immense walls, the southern route tailing off towards the Khyber Pass, while the northern led into the Hindu Kush to Kashgar.

Just as in Sumer, Turkey and Egypt, irrigation methods soon created immense gardens and orchards to support a growing population, and most crops were planted safely inside the city walls. Priests were placed in charge of water and seed distribution, as well as prayers and divinations for a good harvest.

One day there appeared a prophet in the city who instigated a major shift in cosmology. Up until his arrival, it had been assumed the universe was dominated by a vast multitude of greater and lesser spiritual energies, and each community had been free to make up their own pantheons.

When he first appeared on the scene, Zoroaster was a very controversial figure. He apparently accused some of the priests of practicing the dark arts and claimed their magic was fraudulent. It’s strange how today Zoroaster is known as “the first magician,” when, in fact, he seems to have gotten his start by exposing fake magic. During this time, an evil eye accusation could result in an execution. So if a priest accused you of giving someone the evil eye to explain why disaster had befallen them, you were pretty much a lost cause. I’m speculating here, but I believe Zoroaster may have put an end to such superstition.

One thing for sure, Zoroaster obliterated the ancient pantheons that had stood for millennia, replacing them with two forces, one good, and the other evil. It’s gone down in history as the origin of monotheism, even though in practice there were many lesser spirits in play. The other important contribution was the creation of a epic hero involved in seeking enlightenment, which supplemented the prior epic hero involved in feats of heroic strength. It was the first time a philosopher/scientist/astrologer emerged to replace the warrior avatars.

A number of epic hymns were written to celebrate Zoroaster’s quest for enlightenment. Some even attribute the first half dozen to Zoroaster himself. In a nutshell, he went to the top of smokey mountain, communicated with a magic plant, and came back down with the good god’s official rule book.

One day, a new young king of Balkh decided this new prophet Zoroaster was onto something heavy. And that’s when fire temples began sprouting all along the Silk Road serving a mixture of cannabis and milk with spices. This was Zoroaster’s Eucharist for healing the blind and lame, as well as curing depression, a magic staircase to the mind of the good god.

Known as soma in India, haoma in Persia, and shuma in China, the medicine helped transform Zoroaster into becoming the most famous prophet of his time. And, of course, after his death, magical stories about him increased and rapidly erased any human figure. This is the natural trajectory any mythic figure must undergo simply because people want to take their religion with a heavy dose of enchantment. So the debunker of fake magic became the world’s greatest magician.

There’s also been a lot of hoodwinking going on about when he really lived. Lately, there’s even been an attempt to date Zoroaster after Moses, when, in fact, Moses was obviously based on Zoroaster because it was the first Zoroastrian king of Persia (Cyrus the Great) who defeated the corrupt Babylonian empire and freed the Jews. Not only did Cyrus free the Jews, he gave them funds and instructions to rebuild Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. This all happened before the Jews had a written language, and in gratitude, Moses was fashioned as the Jewish Zoroaster, and most of the cosmology lifted right out of the Avesta.

And, of course, in short order, something heavy went down in Jerusalem.

Return of the Jack Boots

The Antifa jackboot army reminds me greatly of the terrorist Weather Underground, the intel-sponsored group that destroyed the peaceful counterculture through their takeover of the previously peaceful Students for a Democratic Society and their promotion of the insane Charlie Manson. (Watch the video below for the details on that op.)

If you think dressing up in black, wearing a mask, and engaging in violence is a solution to world problems, guess again….you’re a tip on the spear of agitprop, the goal of which is to divide our nation into warring factions concentrated on combat against each other, ignoring the path to any solutions to the problems of wealth inequality, healthcare and education.

Intel is fomenting another Civil War, and no doubt will find ways to profit from it. I guarantee, you will find just as many spooks in Antifa as there are in the Nazi movement, and the most violent members of both groups are swiftly corralled under intel supervision. This is just the beginning, and you can expect knee-jerk reactions as the confrontations accelerate. Denouncing violence in all forms is the only path to peace.
–Steven Hager Aug 19, 2017

Violence begets violence. And is easily penetrated, directed and inflamed by intel. Drop your attention, and this will dry up and go away. What we don’t want is our children sucked into these dialectical games only designed to divide and conquer.

The Nazis were backed by IG Farben and the biggest corporations in Germany. IG Farben was created by John Foster Dulles using Wall Street loans. There are no major USA corporations backing the Proud Boys or the KKK. The battle between fascism and communism was a staged dialectic.

The Proud Boys are not the Nazis, and the country is not in danger of them organizing a coup.

Of course, if they can suck enough people into fomenting violence in the streets, all bets are off, and what shreds of the Constitution remain will evaporate in the name of national security.

Virginia and the Duke

Virginia Roberts made a life-changing decision. Long ago, when she was still a teenager, she ran away from home and ended up working at a Trump casino, where she was discovered by Jeffery Epstein, a former Bear Stearns executive who’d created his own company to profiteer on the incredibly greedy and corrupt medical-industrial-pharma complex.

Upon seeing Virginia working a lowly coat check position, he immediately recruited her into his teenage harem, a harem made available to visiting dignitaries. Epstein’s favorite site for sexual ceremonies was a private island he owned off the Virgin Islands. Many famous and powerful people visited over the years.

That’s Virginia in the photo above with the Duke of York wrapped around her sexy waist. The person taking the photo is undoubtedly Epstein, and that’s his accomplice and sometime sexual partner Ghislaine Maxwell looking very pleased. She’s likely smiling because she knows what a compromising photo this is, a card to be held close to the vest forever. Unfortunately, the cards were confiscated when Epstein was convicted of child abuse a few years ago and given an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to reduced charges. It was a slap on the wrist, really, and the sentence allowed him home visitations.

But did you know Ghislaine is the youngest daughter of Robert Maxwell, who had relations with almost every intelligence agency on earth, although no one knows where his true allegiance lay, if anywhere other than himself? Maxwell was assassinated by Mossad frogmen shortly after helping move tons of gold out of Russia into an underground bunker in Israel. So the fact Epstein made an alliance with Ghislaine is interesting as she arrived in New York with a $120,000 annual inheritance, not nearly enough to pay for the investigation of her father’s death, much less rocket her to the front lines of Manhattan social life.

So I suspect Epstein bankrolled that highly confidential investigation by former Mossad super spook Juval Aviv, a man made famous by Stephen Spielberg’s film Munich. I spent an hour with Aviv a few years ago, and he told me about the gold and the Mossad assassination of Maxwell, although he may have been speaking in probabilities and not certainties (wink, wink).

Here’s what’s certain: The people in power pleasure themselves however they please, and consider themselves above any rules of mere mortals like me and you. Thus the abuse of children is just one of many diseases afflicting their minds. Although Virginia was 17 when most of her abuse occurred, she bears testimony to girls as young as 11 being involved. Virginia escaped because once she reached 19, Epstein sent her to Thailand to study massage techniques, where she met an Australian who rescued and eventually married her. They have three children and live in California.

The British press went berserk dealing with these revelations and it’s funny how they gloss over the Maxwell angle and keep printing he “fell off his yacht,” as if his death was some unfortunate, avoidable accident. The latest book on Maxwell reveals he was involved in stealing and selling the notorious Promis software that was used to penetrate banks and intelligence agencies around the world through a secret back-door. He was around a billion dollars in debt and demanded the Mossad give him the billion to stay afloat or else he planned to spill some beans. The Mossad thought it over, and sent in the frogmen.

New York City’s best grower/dealer?

Strange how High Times kept bringing me back. The final go-round was the most excruciating of all, but I always had a sense the powers-that-be were playing defense against me when they should have been on my team.

While I’d been away this time for two years, video operations entirely ceased, and this happened during the same time frame that Youtube took off and minted a generation of video stars outside the establishment pipelines. The magazine had bizarrely gone no-pot for a disastrous year followed by a nothing-but-pot policy.

I knew nobody was really on my team, but I dove into rebuilding my video operations, but this time on a professional scale. I turned my office into a video studio and shot and edited video every day. Making this foray into film and television was my biggest priority, although I also brought back real investigative journalism, something the magazine was in dire need of, and penned two of my greatest features, one on the CIA’s LSD attack on a French town after WWII, and the other was on an unknown Canadian named Rick Simpson. Both articles attracted attention, something High Times hadn’t seen much of since I’d departed.

But my pride and joy was my High Times Reality TV pilot that I was working up for Comedy Central. I’d already had a couple meetings with the head of the network and they were watching the show’s progress with great interest. I was working on creating the cannabis alternative to Sasha Baron Cohen. Unfortunately, much of the staff were somewhat devastated upon my return as no doubt they’d been expecting the promotion themselves, and some had zero intention of working with me on anything. It certainly helped this attitude along that the owners were ringleaders of the vibes against me.

The first half of the show got screened at the free Woodstock Film Festival. The second half was shot but the footage was hijacked and used to make a generic “welcome to the Cup promo” film that ignored the Borat-style film I’d shot, and replaced it with an endless parade of bud shots.

Hopefully, some day, I will finish the project. But in the meantime, you can check out part one here:

 

Cannabis Castaways

When CBS announced a former British commando had moved to Hollywood and was launching a survival elimination game show called “Survivor,” I instantly knew the concept was going to be a big hit, mostly because it was mining tribal traditions, something I’d been doing for over a decade through my events and organizations.

Of course, I didn’t want some cutthroat competition, just a group of cinematic stoners checking out all the strains of the annual Cannabis Cup. Maybe that sounds easy, but it’s actually quite a daunting task unless you’re an experienced bud-tender or distributor who knows his strains.

We had a talented young comedian, a hip hop music producer (and grower), an aspiring performance artist, a medical user, a noted activist, and a super hottie from England. They were all thrown into a one bedroom houseboat in Amsterdam and told they had to stay onboard until they had tried all the strains, which were released slowly in increments of a half dozen or so at a time.

After 36 hours or so, the young comedian requested to get off the boat and soon announced he was off pot for good. He had entered the contest not really being very experienced with cannabis, but only wanting to win the contest and get some notoriety for his comedy. As a joke, he rolled a dozen strains into a giant joint and began toking on it. Within a few minutes, you could see a pronounced change in his body language.

The Castaways picked the Cannabis Cup winner that year, and I was planning on another season, and keeping some of the Castaways as characters in my tv universe I was building, but when they returned to the States, the hip hop producer’s estranged wife initiated a custody battle to bar access to their daughter based on his participation in the show. When he called me hysterically after the judgment, I asked for a copy of the transcript.

I’d just won a similar custody battle based on my being editor of High Times initiated by a bipolar member of my wife’s family, so I had experience with the terror this dude was going through, and you don’t know real mental terror until someone swoops in and seizes your only child.

But, at the same time, I had to admit the transcript read like a Cheech and Chong script. The producer had denied being involved in the show from the get-go and the lawyer led him down a garden path until he produced a copy of High Times with him on the cover, holding his distinctive cane, a cane he now held firmly in his grasp in the witness stand. The producer went down in flames.

I contacted the comedian because I wondered if he wanted to work on an animated film about our project. A lot of the comedy we’d worked on together during the event had been successful. We’d produced a sitcom every night for four nights running and showed the results to open the shows at the Melkweg. This mini series was treated with waves of applause and belly laughter and was obviously the most entertaining thing we’d produced content-wise from all my improvisational explorations.

But the comedian freaked again, and sent a letter to all the Castaways saying I was planing on mining their personal tragedies for profit and advised them all never to speak with me again. He certainly never did.

But we did get a live web show so popular it kept crashing our website while it was on, and the highlights were immortalized in a DVD you can watch here:

Forever Fun

It’s unfortunate how little video footage got captured during the first Whee! festival outside Eugene, Oregon. The entire adventure had begun as my plot to establish a Weed Woodstock. (Although, in truth, the original was funded almost entirely by weed money, and the event helped cement Woodstock as a weed distribution center.)

I remember taking the trustees to lunch at some five-star restaurant and saying, “You have to be committed to a new event for five years, because that’s how long it may take to break even.” But I assured them after five years, my Whee! fest would be as big if not bigger than Woodstock. And I believed this because the event was promoted as a prayer for world peace, a serious non-denominational ceremony recognizing cannabis as the sacrament of peace culture.

Of course, Whee! exploded immediately, drawing 20,000 to the event, most of whom got in for free and were fed free by a non-stop crew kitchen, and anyone could volunteer to be crew.

After the OM circle, someone handed a bottle of whiskey to Felipe and said he was done with this. Felipe and I did a bunch of powerful ceremonies together, and that was certainly one of the best.

But the day after the event ended, we invited the Pranksters to our motel room to celebrate and eat pizza. Only Ken Babbs showed up, and this is what transpired. The next day, we went to see Kesey, and he introduced me to non-linear video editing, just going prosumer. I had been a devoted follower of improvisational ritual theater as practiced by the Pranksters, and took this direction very seriously, devoting the rest of my life to capturing video of the ceremonies I was staging. Sure glad I kept these memories, and if you want to know what Hager ceremonies look and feel like, this will clue you in.

As soon as I got back to New York, the trustees informed me that Whee! had been a financial failure. Although I knew that was a lie. Through immense efforts I manage to resurrect one more Whee! at the same site the next year before my precious Whee! ceremony was cast to the winds, and thus ended my longstanding campaign for the recognition of spiritual rights for cannabis users.

 

Chef Ra Escapes Babylon

Tom Forcade had multiple film projects in the works when he committed suicide. He’d recently bought controlling interest of a smuggling project, and went to show a rough cut to Robert Evans in Hollywood. Forcade had just paid an editor to whip the chaotic footage into a story. He put a lot of effort into trying to make sense of that footage, some of which involved footage of a real smuggling operation, but Evans sadly told him the edit still wasn’t working.

Apparently, Forcade’s moves into Hollywood contributed to two things: cocaine and guns. According to Gabrielle Schang, Forcade didn’t carry a pistol until after being introduced around Hollywood. He’d been a dealer and distributor and magazine publisher, but was also branching into smuggling and film at the same time. His most precious documentary project involved filming the Sex Pistols historic tour of America. Forcade bought a plane and sent Jack Combs on a mission. He never recovered from Jack’s fatal crash at the end of that ill-fated mission. And that also ended any High Times forays into the film world until I arrived.

Before coming to High Times, I’d launched a moderately successful film project called Beat Street, and never lost sight of expanding my efforts into the world of film and video. When prosumer equipment finally reached the realms of the masses, I began documenting everything, quickly evolving into the most video-centric magazine editor on the national stage. I shot thousands of hours of footage, and often assembled 7-person crews to do four-camera edits with live switching of my major events. All this was working towards the creation of a counterculture television network.

The first project I pitched to the trustees was a Chef Ra travel guide to Jamaica. I was creating an entire galaxy of High Times stars and Ra was intended to be one of the brightest.

Imagine my surprise when the trustees tell me they are putting up thousands of dollars to make the Chef Ra film. That was the good news. The bad news was the project was being given to the aspiring filmmaker son of the head trustee. I didn’t get to play any role in the film until the end. They spent a week in Jamaica and shot a lot of random footage and needed Ra to help work it into a story.

That’s not the best way to make a great documentary and it showed in the final product. But it remains the best portrait of Jim Wilson we have, and since Jim co-wrote the script used to stitch the scenes together, it carries his creativity and compassion.