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.

Paul and Robert; photo by Steve “Fly’ Pratt.

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.

Mourning of the Magicians

Long in the shadows of the great European powers, the United States emerged after WWII to command the world’s greatest economic engine centered around her merchants of steel, oil and gunpowder, aka the military-industrial complex.

The smoke of WWI had barely cleared before the Morgan-Rockefeller-DuPont axis began fomenting an even bigger boom-and-bang. Right after the “war to end all wars,” IG Farben was manifested through John Foster Dulles’ magic wand (and some massive Wall Street loans). The company was designed as a European mirror of Standard Oil, which was owned by Dulles’ cousin by marriage (the recently deceased David Rockefeller). Farben swiftly transformed into the dominant cartel in Europe, as well as Hitler’s biggest booster. Perhaps best remembered for its creation of a petrochemical poison known as Zyklon B (designed originally for insect infestations, and later deployed to exterminate “useless eaters,” i.e. Jews, gypsies, communists, homosexuals, disabled, etc.), Farben conducted business with Standard Oil throughout the hostilities.

Although the corporation was split into pieces after the war (much like Standard Oil was divided by anti-trust laws), one of Farben’s divisions now owns Monsanto, leading to speculation on who won the peace.

Elements of the Nazi empire were secretly imported into the USA to construct NASA and the CIA, among other projects. NASA was built on the back of German rocket science and the CIA was built on the back of the Gestapo science, some of which seems to have involved forbidden substances and mass mind control. Despite promises never to engage in operations on native soil, the CIA immediately corrupted our media, banking system and major universities, while launching a mind-control program known as MK/Ultra that mixed hypnosis with LSD in the hopes of creating robot slaves.

In 1963, the CIA asserted their dominance by assassinating President John F. Kennedy while deploying Nazi and MK/Ultra assets during the planning, execution and cover-up. There are numerous dirty secrets held close to the vest, but JFK’s murder remains the CIA’s most worrisome secret, and through the decades they’ve launched a thousand memes to divide, misdirect and confuse anyone attempting to penetrate the truth. This blog concerns one of those memes, a spoof religion called Discordianism.

Meet the founder: Gregory Hill. Aside aside from the name, however, virtually nothing is known and it took decades for the name to emerge because he was known only as Malaclypse the Younger. (And who knows if Greg Hill is a real name anyway.) However, we do know some details on Hill’s sidekick and co-conspirator, Kerry Thornley, who was in boot camp with Lee Harvey Oswald. In hindsight it seems possible Hill’s real bio might contain some link to military intelligence, just as Thornley and Oswald may have been subjected to MK/Ultra experiments. The duo were forever entwined after the assassination. Thornley helped concoct a clever brew of fact and fantasy to create the CIA’s original Tin Foil Hat Patrol, and spread a cloud of chaos over the case, one that has defined the spook-infested world of conspiracy theory. Thornley became an important witness for the Warren Commission, providing evidence Oswald was devoted to the communist cause. You see, it was very important a communist kill Kennedy.

You can tell by the photo Thornley was a flower child influenced by the Beats, Merry Pranksters and Maynard G. Krebs, among others. But after his Warren Commission testimony, he attended at a spook-infested summer camp in Colorado popular with the Koch family, co-founders of the conspiracy-mongering John Birch Society. And upon graduation of that program moved to California to become chummy with Johnny Roselli (one of JFK’s assassins.) Thornley then moved to Atlanta and commenced a long correspondence with Robert Anton Wilson during a time Wilson was letters editor of Playboy magazine, the first and perhaps only national magazine to interview DA Jim Garrison. Garrison was a rare public official with balls enough to go up against the CIA.

Wilson was mesmerized and soon heavily influenced by Thornley’s tales of secret societies secretly running the world, a cosmology that bore similarities to the suddenly popular Morning of the Magicians, a text published in France in 1960, but released in America in 1963.

One online reviewer sums the book up thusly: “Medieval alchemists producing atomic bombs and atomic fusion3 the Nazi movement inspired by memory/dreams of Atlantis4, the Earth is hollow and we live on the inside, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter and the stars are made of ice, and three Moons have crashed into Earth5 producing great evolutionary jumps and de-evolutionary lapses, like “Gypsies, Negroes and Jews.”6

Hill and Thornley wrote a similar opus for their goof religion published in the style of an underground fanzine, a confusing mix of parody rituals, little-known Illuminati facts tossed with horror fantasies plucked out of Edward Plunkett and H.P. Lovecraft, who’d invented terrifying tales of monstrous conspiracies at the beginning of the century. Horror fantasy held a magnetic attraction in the LSD-fueled Sixties, and the higher people got, the harder it became to discern facts from fantasies, especially when so many fantasies revolved around the JFK assassination. It seems possible counterintelligence realized the Kennedy assassination could best be concealed by wrapping it inside stories of magic powers and alien visitations to deceive the gullible and lead them into the rabbit holes.

Mae Brussell came from a wealthy family, graduated from Stanford and Berkeley, and her father was a prominent rabbi in Los Angeles. She purchased all volumes of the Warren Commission as soon as available and launched a career as a radio host examining holes in the official story. Her files on the subject became as large as Mary Ferrell’s. Later, her research appeared in Paul Krassner’s Realist, and attracted the attention of John Lennon, who donated money to help publish her book. Much of the work involved Operation Paperclip and the MK/Ultra and Nazi connections to Kennedy’s assassination.

In 1977, after publishing Illuminatus!, Robert Anton Wilson was interviewed in Conspiracy Digest about the JFK assassination, the Illuminati, Aleister Crowley, UFOs and other issues. Brussell wrote a scathing response accusing Wilson, John Lilly and Timothy Leary of being CIA stooges leading the youth into a fake drug-addled utopian fantasy involving space travel. “Ask Leary or Wilson anything practical about today’s miseries and they change the subject,” she wrote.

Wilson responded by denying he was a CIA dupe, insisting he was “a high official of the agency since July 23, 1973.”

One of the primary precepts of Discordianism was never believe anything about anything, and Wilson never wavered from his roll as a Prankster-deceiver. In hindsight, however, most of the nonsense people believe today about the Illuminati has roots in his fantasy trilogy, and his work shows little evidence of scholarly research into the history of the Illuminati. Wilson believed the-eye-in-the-pyramid was an Illuminati invention and ridiculed the suggestion the society could have been a Jesuit penetration of freemasonry.

Actually that is certainly one of many valid possible explanations, not something to be ridiculed. According to Wilson, the Illuminati were “good guys” fighting against royalty and religion, and not some devious intelligence operation deploying ends-justify-the-means morality codes. Wilson introduced the idea that the number 23 was an Illuminati concept (it never was) and usually insisted the society had died out shortly after being founded. He believed Oswald shot Kennedy and Garrison’s investigation was a fraud.
Wilson’s biggest contribution to Discordianism was called Operation Mindfuck or OM, and involved disturbing a person’s reality matrix with some mindblowing conspiracy information and then trailing off into some make-believe maze of confusion. Life as zen koan wherein any sufficiently ambiguous answer works for any question whatsoever. If you ever got really high on psychedelics and had friends fuck with your head, you’ll recognize the sadistic underpinnings of Operation Mindfuck, and how it runs contrary to real investigations into conspiracies.

Within a few years, however, Antony Sutton published a factual book revealing how Yale University’s Order of Skull & Bones deploys remarkably similar rituals as the original Illuminati, and the Bonesman have successfully penetrated the upper levels of the CIA, investment banks and military industrial complex. Prescott Bush was a Bonesman and also acted as Hitler’s banker on Wall Street to the point of being chastised for trading with the enemy after the war. The society was created prior to the Civil War by the heir to the American opium cartel after visiting Southern Germany and based off a secret fraternity he’d been inducted into while there. After establishing Bones, he became the biggest financial backer of John Brown, the terrorist who sparked the Civil War’s armed confrontation. No, this is not some Operation Mindfuck going down, just some simple truths that most people have yet to digest.

Brussell, in the meantime, was not up on Sutton’s research. Instead she began making outrageous claims, connecting dots that probably didn’t connect, accusing almost every celebrity death of being orchestrated by the CIA for some nefarious purpose, much the same way every school shooting is instantly branded a fake event by today’s Tin Foil Hat Patrol. Brussell claimed there were immense assassination plots to derail youth culture and claimed Charles Manson was a Manchurian Candidate under hypnotic control.

However, when Krassner began checking out her evidence for a potential book on Manson, it didn’t add up. Krassner suffered a paranoid meltdown at his dentist’s office and soon departed the plains of conspiracy theory.

Meanwhile, Karl Koch was the son of a right-wing publisher in Germany, and he began rebelling against his dad as a teen. Karl had an early interest in computers as well as a fascination with the Illuminatus! Trilogy, claiming to have read the book 30 times. Karl may have been Wilson’s biggest fan and the two met briefly at a hacker convention. Karl was especially taken with the magic number 23 and seems to have swallowed Wilson’s imaginative suggestion that George Washington could have been assassinated and replaced by Adam Weishaupt, something based solely on a slight resemblance between the two men and the fact the eye-in-the-triangle appears on US currency (even though Weishaupt never used that symbol). Of course it was all OM and Karl got mindfucked.

Despite operating with only a primitive Commodore 64, Karl successfully penetrated a number of military-industrial websites around the world and sold passwords and other information to the KGB to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, a connection established by his cocaine dealers. Most of the money he earned from hacking flowed back into the dealers’ hands. Karl descended into a paranoid cocaine-induced psychosis for a while. Meantime the German authorities offered up a hacker’s amnesty in order to crack the subculture and Karl took the offer, but was soon found in a forest, burnt to a crisp. Strangely, his death was ruled a suicide, but a more likely explanation is the drug dealers killed him in retaliation for going state’s evidence.

Karl died on May 23, 1989.

Inside the Patty Hearst Kidnapping

Where are the counterculture journalists of today? The sixties produced a bunch of us, but we desperately need reinforcements because our society has become awash in idiot culture, short-term attention spans, click-baits, celebrity gossip, and runaway narcissism. But it wasn’t always like this. There was life in America before the dumbing-down campaign reached epidemic proportions.

PM Press published two of Paul Krassner’s penetrating essays on life behind the curtains in the seventies, one on the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, and the other on the murder of Harvey Milk. This book is a quick read designed to appeal to even the shortest of attention spans, but it also plumbs deep into the murky waters of the national security state, which took over the country long ago, and apparently had numerous operations ongoing in California in the seventies designed to derail the counterculture revolution.

The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst and brainwashed her into joining their violent revolution, which included robbing banks, territory already well charted by the Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany as well as the Weather Underground, a pro-violent off-shoot of a once non-violent Students for Democratic Society.

If you can’t get control of a movement through penetration ops, the other way to co-opt any movement is by creating a more fanatical and violent alternative that can accuse the movement leaders of being too timid. This sort of game has been played for a long time, yet few journalists ever catch on.

Krassner caught on, although his groundbreaking conspiracy research often got all mixed up with his political satire. Real investigative journalists in America tend to die young: just ask Steve Kangas, Danny Casolaro or Gary Webb. It’s unfortunate, Krassner dropped his conspiracy investigations because they began making him paranoid. To make matters more confusing, Krassner practically invented fake news in the 1950s and 60s by writing satirical stories in The Realist. His favorite trick was to make up something so outrageous it couldn’t possibly be true, but fill it with details that fooled people into thinking it might be. The best example would be his account of LBJ fucking JFK’s head wound in order to alter the direction of the fatal shot, something a few people in the Beltway seemed to have briefly swallowed.

Fortunately, satire is not a part of this collection, not really. While covering the Patty Hearst trial, Krassner discovered the family of an SLA member had hired Lake Headley, an ex-police intelligence officer, to find out what the SLA was all about. Headley soon informed them the SLA was part of the CIA’s CHAOS program. Donald DeFreeze, founder of the group, was a documented police informant who had probably been subject to mind control during his incarceration.

It’s strange how the publisher promotes this as “satire,” when, in fact, it’s just good journalism, the sort we need more of today.

In Praise of Paul Krassner

I’ve made it one of my life’s missions to celebrate the under-celebrated counterculture figures, a list that includes Mezz Mezzrow, Johnny Griggs, John Sinclair, Tom Forcade, Ina May Gaskin, Stephen Gaskin….and, Paul Krassner, the dean of counterculture journalism.

Krassner created the first counterculture magazine, The Realist, and immediately became a target for a wide variety of intel ops. They followed him for the rest of his life. For a brief time, he was publishing some cutting-edge conspiracy research, but soon veered out of that orbit because it was making him paranoid. He was investigating possible CIA links to Charlie Manson at the time.

In a strange way, Krassner’s satire pioneered the creation of fake news because he loved inventing the wildest stories just to see if people would swallow them, and in most cases, someone always did.

Funny little known story: When Tom Forcade arrived in New York with great spiritual fervor, he was flying the colors of Sinclair’s White Panther Party, but Sinclair’s entourage did not trust Tom and revoked his chapter while John was in jail, leaving Rev. Tom in charge of the Free Rangers. Tom quickly decided Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin did not deserve to be chiefs of the movement and started a counter-revolution against them. But during that attempted coup, Tom never, ever spoke badly of the third in the Yippie trinity, Paul Krassner, and even offered him the job of editor of High Times, but Paul later went to Penthouse instead, which was probably a great loss to the potential of what might have been. (Later on, Ken Kesey would also choose him as a co-editor.)

At an underground media conference, Tom stole $500 from Jerry and burned it secretly in the parking lot because that’s a political act Jerry had encouraged. Tom would later brag about it in his little-known book Caravan of Love and Money.

Pot Stories for the Soul was the first book I edited when I launched High Times Books in 1999.  Okay, I didn’t edit a thing. Krassner is untouchable, but I did play a somewhat crucial role. The original manuscript was titled Amazing Dope Stories and contained not just pot, but all drugs. After being blown away by the material, I suggested to Paul that we break it into three books and call the first one Pot Stories for the Soul, to be followed by Acid Trips for the Soul, to be followed by Mushroom Trips for the Soul….

But after the first volume came out (and won the Firecracker Award and became a Book of the Month select), we got hit with some legal threats from the Chicken Soup for the Soul people and the other two volumes got their names diverted to avoid a lawsuit.

A new edition contains tons of new material as well as a new intro by the Dean himself. Five stars.

Oh, and check out my documentary on Paul:

Guide to the Disinfo Matrix

I was on facebook the other day when one of my unknown friends posted a link to a book titled Big Oil by Dean Henderson. It didn’t have a single review on Amazon so I thought it was something new. In the promo material, some person from South America said it deserved the Pulitzer Prize. It was super expensive at $25, but often the most reliable books on deep politics cost money, so I thought I was ordering a real book and bought it without really looking into the author at all.

Unfortunately, when the book arrived yesterday, I quickly discovered it was filled with misinformation and quoted people like David Icke and William Cooper as if they were serious journalists, which they are not. I opened it at random and came to a quote saying Allen Dulles was a member of Skull & Bones, a secret society at Yale, when, in fact, Dulles had gone to Princeton. Soon, I realized Dean Henderson is either a knowing agent of disinfo or a brainwashed stooge of the disinfo matrix (more on that later).

Paul Krassner, the dean of underground journalism, began printing conspiracy research in the 1960s in his national magazine, The Realist, forging a trail few in journalism would ever follow. Pretty soon, researchers were crawling out of the woodwork and sending Paul stories. Even today, when he no longer publishes conspiracy research, these characters are still peppering him with their nutty theories. I know because Paul forwards the wackiest stuff to me, as if to say, “see how crazy your compatriots are?” Many of these people are undoubtedly plants. Of course, the most famous of these characters was Mae Brussell, whose research seemed authentic at first, but pretty soon Paul realized Mae was leading him down a rabbit hole and connecting dots that didn’t really connect, leading him on a wild goose chase to nowhere. That’s when Paul stopped trusting conspiracy researchers [Paul adds: I felt it necessary not to have predisposed perception, to distinguish coincidence from conspiracy, and not let what might be perceived as evidence be tainted by ego or agenda]. After most people get burned after falling in a rabbit hole, it becomes really difficult to get past the noise to the real info that noise is designed to conceal. The game is to sheep-deep all deep political research as crackpot nonsense by flooding the field with crack-pot nonsense. Unfortunately, this game has worked very well for over 50 years now.

I’m too old and too wise to fall for this crapola, although I can’t say the same for a lot of people I meet, who seem to gobble up the latest pronouncements by Icke, Rense, Jones and the rest of the captains of disinfo. Henderson’s book wasn’t just sourced through these dubious characters, though. He also quoted a number of more reliable conspiracy researchers, some of whom have suspicious axes to grind. In this list, I’d include anyone from the Lyndon LaRouche organization, Alex Constantine, and Mike Ruppert. These are probably disinfo agents, but at least they’re journalists who deal with verifiable facts and not baseless rumor and innuendo. The rabbit holes they lead you into (like Ruppert’s “Peak Oil” scam), are more credible than the shapeshifting aliens in Icke’s manifestos, although ultimately, I don’t think these sources can be trusted any more than their obviously crackpot counterparts.

After I got Henderson’s book, I learned he’s a regular on the Icke/Rense/Jones disinfo circuit. He also seems to be an activist in the Green movement. The environmental movement is heavily seeded with agents because the oil companies have to keep in eye on environmentalists to make sure they don’t do anything damaging to their bottom line, which is why they’ve installed an oligarchy insider like Al Gore as their chief lightening rod. It’s a dialectical game, just like almost everything else that goes on inside deep politics.

Once you get past those two levels of disinfo, you get to real journalists with no visible axes to grind, a list that includes Antony Sutton, Gary Webb, Steve Kangas, Daniel Hopsicker, Dick Russell, Alfred McCoy, Danny Casolaro, and Peter Dale Scott. These are the authors you have to read and if I find their names and books in a bibliography, then I know I’m dealing with a serious researcher. The more serious a researcher is, however, the more ignored they will become over time. Deep political research is a great way to “break your rice bowl,” which is how they put it to Antony Sutton when he veered off the designated rails. You can put me in this category too, as I once had a flourishing journalism career, but after I began publishing deep political research in High Times, I soon realized I no longer had a journalism career. My book, The Octopus Conspiracy, got exactly one review when it came out—in a local publication in Woodstock, New York.

Shortly after 9/11, Retired General Mirza Aslam Beg, former chief of staff of the Pakistani Army, said 9/11 was an operation of the American intelligence agencies. Beg also claimed Wikileaks is a tool of psy-war, and not a real whistle-blowing operation, and that Osama bin Laden died in 2009, and that the Seal Team killed a lookalike stand-in. Of course, researchers like me know Beg is probably telling the truth.

Oh, and by the way, I left my review of Big Oil on Amazon. It wasn’t very favorable.

My Life as a General in the War Against War

I didn’t plan to take over High Times, in fact, I was a sporadic user of recreational drugs most of my life. It wasn’t until I moved to New York City in 1979 that I got really tempted. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum; I got empowered and began manifesting ceremony and ritual like crazy.

My initial vision was constructed around hemp being essential when this country was founded, yet the symbols (or sigils) of our founding fathers were under the control of the radical right wing, unfair and inaccurate to say the least.

So I launched a campaign to create a wave of awareness that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were devoted hemp farmers, and that hemp could save the world by replacing oil, a concept recently introduced to me by Jack Herer. I flew out to Jack’s home in the Valley and laid out a plan to create a national group called the Freedom Fighters, based around the Boston Minute Men, who would attend rallies across the country. The rally movement had basically died out and I felt between us, we might be able to rebuild that movement, with Jack as the leader, of course. “And I want you to come to the Rainbow Gathering with me,” I told Jack. You see, both Rainbow and the Dead scene had considerable overlap, but I knew Rainbow was the center of energy on the real spirituality, while the Dead scene was tainted around the edges. Probably, I also wanted to pull Jack out of hard drugs and bad food, only one of which I was successful at.

The first year I hit the rally circuit I was dressed in a psychedelic shirt and tri-corner hat and carried a snare drum, but by the time the next season came around, I was wearing a brain-tanned leather outfit made by Agatha, and, on my head was a huge top hat with a pink psychedelic peace sign painted on the front. (Later, Agatha became the seamstress of choice of the local Hell’s Angels, but the original leather jacket she created was a replica of the double-breasted black leather jacket I wore throughout the sixties.)  I was wearing Agatha’s Native American warrior outfit and beating a round Native American drum with a peace sigil painted in psychedelic paint and chanting some Native American-type chant to Mother Earth (yes, I guess I was trying to move the energy from a father sigil to a mother sigil) and I was leading this immense parade down the main drag of campus-town in Madison, Wisconsin, one afternoon, when some student jutted up and asked, “Are you a shaman?”

See, a lot of us magicians are into magic long before we even realize what we’re doing. These energies move through us naturally, so as I stood there for a few extra beats, I was thinking, am I a shaman, political activist, or guerrilla street theater performer, or what they hell am I? Pretty soon, I decided if I was a shaman it was time for something really bold, something with even more immense vibe than this 30,000 person rally. If I could just reassemble the greatest magicians of the sixties revolution, you know, the Gaskins, the Pranksters, the Hog Farm, Paul Krassner, John Trudell, John Sinclair, and what if we called that ceremony Whee!?

People are bugging me. They want to hear stories about Whee! I dunno, I might, or I might move in new directions. Stay tuned for my next unexpected episode because I don’t know which way I’m going. Funny thing about the Freedom Fighters, though, we made a Tri-corner hat for Jack right away, and that very hat sits on my altar. And that, my friends, is what my magic is all about. Planting positive sigils in your orbit.

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952468&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+steven+hager

The Secret to Enlightenment

“Harmony is the key to the universe” —Confucius

Many people make the mistake of thinking religion is something handed down from God, manifested on earth by a chosen prophet. By design, that sort of thinking turns every other religion into a false culture, making jihad not only possible, but transforming jihad into an honorable ceremony of death. In fact, spirituality can be found in all things, good and bad, and one man’s noble cause is another man’s holocaust.

All these systems run on magic, no matter what they tell you, or what side of the fence you’re on, and magic works under basic principles, most of which are obscured to keep mud in the water and keep their magic working on you without you realizing it. Magic is the original form of mind control, and once you understand that concept, you can slip off the leash. The first step to enlightenment is realizing all religious services are, in fact, magic ceremonies, and although ceremonies can have many forms, the most common form are ceremonies of harmonization, designed to create a group telepathic mind to focus energy on an idea, icon or symbol. The tools used in these ceremonies take on telepathic power as a result of the meditations. But that power only works on those who believe in the ceremonies. If you don’t believe, there’s no magic. It’s basically the same whether you’re sitting in church or going to a live concert to hear your favorite band. Both are magical ceremonies.

One of my satori moments came while visiting one of my primary spiritual teachers, Stephen Gaskin, when he said: “You know, Steve, enlightenment is not like climbing a mountain or ringing a bell. It comes and goes. Sometimes you’re enlightened and can stone people with your presence, and sometimes not.”

The idea of an individual retreating to a high mountain cave, meditating for years, finding enlightenment and returning to civilization is a false myth, although such meditation may be necessary to quiet a manic mind.  One thing about spirituality, there will always be scores more fakers and frauds than real messiahs. We found that out the hard way in the 1960s, a decade that brought out the craziest of New Age cults. I ended up sticking with just a handful of elders: Stephen and Ina May Gaskin, Ken Kesey and the Pranksters, Wavy Gravy, Chef Ra, these titans emerged as my spiritual teachers.

The secret is realizing you have the power to invent your own ceremonies, and the more you hybridize and raid from other cultures, the deeper your ceremonies will project across the astral plain. The real avatars are people like Bob Marley and John Lennon and not the ones wearing big hats in big cathedrals and temples. Creativity and spirituality are the same thing. Through ceremonies, you can discover magic. Just ditch the dogma because there’s really only one rule: don’t hurt anybody.

Through the JFK Disinfo Looking Glass

Recently, Paul Krassner was sent an interesting new theory about the JFK assassination. Krassner knows my interest in this area, so he forwarded it to me. The article began with:

Was Doolittle the Mastermind of the Kennedy Assassination?The origins of the John Birch Society is a fabrication. It was founded in order to put pressure on Eisenhower to approve more funding for the ANP. I believe the Birch Society was a front pressure group founded by Doolittle. Doolittle is the one who let Roosevelt know Joe was dead.

To: Paul Krassner

From: Steve Hager

The assassination was directed through the CIA’s executive action program at JM/Wave founded by William Harvey. After Harvey had a blow-up with RFK at the White House, he was removed from leading Group W, which ran JM/Wave, the CIA’s largest station outside Langley. Soon thereafter, his executive action program was put back into action, only this time, the target was JFK, not Castro. The connection between Roselli and Harvey had been initiated through Howard Hughes’ second in command Robert Maheu in discussions with Chicago Godfather Sam Giancana. Maheu started his career as Chicago FBI second-in-command under Guy Bannister, who also figures in the assassination.

Roselli made his bones under Al Capone as triggerman in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. He was a freelance fixer and hit-man who evolved into Sam Giancana’s eyes and ears in LA.  Once when he was up on a murder charge, the witness and the investigating DA both turned up unexpectedly dead. Charles Nicoletti, Giancana’s favorite hitman in Chicago, was also likely recruited for the operation. Roselli confessed his role several times, to his mistress and to Bill Bonanno while in jail. Roselli turned up dead before he could testify to Congress a second time (he’d already revealed the plot to kill Castro). Also Bill Harvey may have whacked Giancana, who also controlled Jack Ruby. The end game reveals Angelton and Harvey arm-chaired into forced retirement, with Giancana, Roselli and Jack Ruby all eventually assassinated. Yes, the CIA and various crime organizations work together, but in the final analysis, it’s the CIA who plays the role of big dog.

Roselli claimed to have taken the fatal head shot and was treated by anti-Castro Cubans in prison as their conquering hero. He said he was positioned in a storm drain under the overpass. His only shot probably went through the windshield and caught Kennedy in the throat. Another shooter was located in the sniper’s nest of the Texas School Book Depository, and there could have been another in the Dal-Tex building, but the kill shot came from behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll.

Ted Shackley was probably at the 6th Floor window with David Morales. A Cuban was seen picking up Lee Harvey Oswald in a Rambler station wagon shortly after the event. A team of French assassins, possibly Gladio operatives, were flown in.

Many mafioso believe to this day it was actually their hit, and fail to understand the complex role played by the military and intelligence networks. The murder of officer Tippet has always remained a mystery, although perhaps Tippet rejected a mission of assassinating Oswald, which would have necessitated his elimination. As you move higher up the chain, you find George H.W. Bush of the CIA reporting to J. Edgar Hoover on the activities of “misguided Cubans” in Dallas that day. Bush’s father helped fund the rise of Hitler and was certainly a player in the Eastern Establishment after liberating Geronimo’s skull from its burial site at Fort Sill and bringing it to that occult house of worship, Skull & Bones at Yale University, where, no doubt, the present inductees gather round it for ceremonial photographs.

Since my response was so detailed, Krassner forwarded it to the author of the Doolittle Rabbit Hole story, who then attempted to prove that the anti-Castro Cubans (who have become the best source of info on the assassination) are actually a rabbit hole, and that the real story of the JFK assassination is Area 51 and an alien coverup. We are in the land of such quackery as David Icke here and disinfo really doesn’t really get any more transparent. Disinfo artists often have complex boilerplates but never engage in any real conversation. Here are some highlights:

If you think that the mob had the power to kill Kennedy you have problems Hager. Plus what motive did Angleton have in killing Kennedy? With Doolittle we have a means, motive and opportunity. Here are two other articles I put together one debunking L. Fletcher Prouty’s claims about the TFX and the other shows what affect Kennedy’s cancellation of the ANP caused. Even if the two people Hager claims were members of the kill team. That does not mean they were not in the employ of some WASP’s higher up on the food chain. It is purely serendipitous that I came upon this theory. I have long been a fan of Prouty and I found out that his facts did not check with “Kelly” Johnson’s and Ben Rich’s story’s on the TFX.

You have done very little research indeed if you think James Angleton was controlled by the mob. Angelton was a Yale grad and protege of Allen Dulles, who is David Rockefeller’s cousin by marriage. The fact that Bill Harvey created the CIA Executive Action program, and hired John Roselli as his primary associate in this matter is well documented. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Fletcher Prouty, so one wonders why you want to drag him into the conversation, or why you want to paint me as claiming the mob was behind killing JFK? I suppose you have your agenda though. My allegations are based on comments Roselli made to his mistress and to Joe Bonnano while in jail before the CIA killed him because they thought he was going to tell Congress the truth.

I apologize for making you feel like I painted you as claiming the mob did it. I am still unclear though as to what you are claiming the motive was behind the assassination. You may have given a reason behind why the CIA killed Bonnano but that does not explain why the CIA killed Kennedy. I think that my theory gives a very clear motive for Kennedy’s death. Both Shell Oil and Lockheed were going to lose out big, if Kennedy cancelled the Blackbird Program. Shell Oil was charging the government outrageously for the “special fuel” JP-7 which purportedly cost more than the finest single malt whiskey. Which the Blackbird used. It also makes sense of why Kennedy was reluctant on revealing the existence of the plane. And why one of the first things that Johnson did was to make the plane public. Lastly my theory explains what the true origins of the John Birch Society are and why they have been so busy over the years pumping out wackadoodle conspiracy theories concerning Kennedy’s death.

Kennedy pissed off the oil companies by threatening to end the depletion allowance; Kennedy pissed off the mob by shutting down some of their operations; Kennedy pissed off Dulles (and the Rockefellers) by firing Dulles off the CIA; Kennedy pissed off  Angleton and the right wingers in the CIA by seeking a backdoor appeasement campaign with the Communists in a secret attempt to end the Cold War; Kennedy pissed off the Pentagon by signing the first non-proliferation agreement with the Soviet Union; Kennedy pissed off the military-industrial complex by resisting a land war in Vietnam; Kennedy pissed off the Cubans exiles by not providing jet support to the Bay of Pigs; Kennedy pissed off Bill Harvey by getting him sacked out of his position at the CIA; in short, Kennedy pissed off a whole lot of people, including some of the most powerful and dangerous in the world. But ultimately, it may have been the changes he went through after one of his mistresses introduced him to LSD and he became a peacenik, that may have been what really worried some people.

Are you claiming that all of those things motivated Angleton? The way I see it he was on the losing side of the battle between the Military and the Civilian side of the agency. So, are you claiming that all of those thing motivated Angleton? Why would he be motivated by those thing? How would he have been affected? Was he financially connected to any of those circles?
Win Scott was Mexico station chief when the assassination occurred. A few years later, he wanted to retire and write his memoirs. The story of what happened next is covered in Dick Russell’s book “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” but essentially, Angelton had Scott poisoned and showed up at his house upon his death to collect all his papers, files, correspondence, and, most important, the manuscript to his unpublished book. The only reason Angelton would do something like that is if he felt Scott intended to implicate his role in the assassination.

Angleton had very close ties to the Eastern Establishment, MI6, The Vatican, and Israel. Who his ultimate master may have been, I leave to your discretion, he was an intensely secretive man and evolved into a deeply sick, paranoid person, a real Shakespearean tragedy, due to the karma he created. He also got suckered by several double agents, like Philby, and endlessly tortured real defectors and denied their real info (which was that the Soviet Union was a broken-down shell with no spare parts and the image of this mighty nation was a joke).

In several assassinations of key people, Angleton is often the first to arrive on the scene, scooping up evidence, like Mary Meyer’s diary that discussed her LSD trip with JFK. Meyer was best friends with Angleton’s wife at the time and he had no trouble whacking her.

What I am basically trying to tell you is that Angleton did not have the power to initiate the coup, but he was in a  position to take the fall, so he covered his ass, eventually pushing suspicion on Howard Hunt. Hunt as mastermind of the assassination was a very early rabbit hole constructed by Angleton to hide his own participation. It worked because it kept the spotlight on Hunt and Sturgis and away from JM/Wave and Angelton.

Who’s the counterculture messiah of today?

I was in a meeting with one of the coolest execs in the entertainment industry, talking about a possible history of the counterculture documentary (a project I would certainly love to work on), when she asked me, “Who is the grandmaster of counterculture today? The living Jack Kerouac of our time?”

I didn’t think much more about it until I got home, but after a few hours this question really began to bug me. Just who is the living Jedi Knight of the counterculture, the Temple Dragon who commands our greatest respect?

I gotta say, it’s a toss-up between Wavy Gravy and Ina May and Stephen Gaskin.

But when you jump down to the next generation, its sort of a ghost town, although Seattle Hempfest founder Vivian McPeak certainly comes to mind in a field of shadows.

I love this photo from the original Woodstock, btw: Wavy and Krassner, two Jedi’s of the counterculture meet on the ceremonial field and exchange zen-like epiphanies, no doubt. And though you might not recognize him at first (I know I didn’t), that’s Abbie Hoffman in the tie-dye standing between them.