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?

Origins of the Radical Right

There’s a lot of discussion about how Rockefellers and Rothschilds run the Illuminati, but in truth the trail into the oligarchy ruling the planet runs wider and deeper than two families. There are many others jousting for a slice of the skim. The Duponts, certainly, but also the Mellons.

Banker Andrew Mellon (left) was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Warren Harding, known today as one of the most corrupt executives to occupy the Oval Office. His administration was brief, however, as Harding died unexpectedly under mysterious circumstances while visiting San Francisco. Some say it was flu, others blame a heart attack, but we’ll never know for sure because his widow refused an autopsy, while rushing back to Washington to quickly burn all his papers.

Mellon kept his job through two more administrations, which shows how immense his influence was. He invented trickle-down economics and cut the tax rate on the richest Americans from 75% to 25%, while reducing corporate and inheritance taxes.  Although he was a great friend to the super rich, eventually Congress launched an impeachment hearing against him and began marshaling evidence of corruption, which prompted Mellon to swiftly resign to become Ambassador to England, always a plum posting for oligarchy insiders. He remained only a year, however, before retiring from public life, indicating the move was a diversion from a sticky situation.

Among Mellon’s most notable accomplishments was the vast reduction of WWI debt owed by Germany and France, as well as the creation of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. He unleashed his nephew-in-law Harry J. Anslinger to foment a war on marijuana and jazz culture after the Bureau of Prohibition became obsolete. Creating a war on plants was Mellon’s solution for keeping his alcohol vice squad intact.

President Franklin Roosevelt detested Mellon and launched an IRS investigation which determined he owed two million in back taxes, even though Mellon was the third largest tax payer behind Rockefeller and Ford. Rather than pay up, however, Mellon justified his reduced payment by explaining that as Secretary of the Treasury, he could set his own tax rate on himself according to what he felt he owed. The IRS dropped the case after Mellon’s death.

In 1958, Richard Mellon Scaife (left) inherited a chunk of the Mellon fortune after the death of this father Alan, who’d served as a major in the Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA. In fact, a number of Mellons can be found in crucial positions in the OSS. While a freshman, Scaife was kicked out of Yale. He’d rolled a keg of beer down a flight of stairs, where it collided with another student, breaking his leg. When his mother died in 1972, Scaife became a billionaire and took control of the vast Mellon empire. According to his sister Cordelia, Richard, his mother and her were “gutter drunks.”

Scaife became a supporter of Barry Goldwater and was crushed by his resounding defeat at the polls. In order to take control of the country from the Democrats, it became necessary to muster a grassroots campaign to derail the exploding counterculture revolution. Scaife would soon either create or take control of countless propaganda fronts and think tanks, and by working divisive issues like abortion and gun control, the operation began constructing what became known as “the moral majority.”

Robert LeFevre was one of the first libertarians and founded a school in Colorado designed to indoctrinate leaders for a right-wing revolution. LeFevre became the model for a character in a Robert Heinlein novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Among those who attended the school was Kerry Thornley, who served at Atsuki and became a close associate of Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as members of the now-famous Koch family, who helped create the notoriously conspiratorial John Birch Society and also backed Goldwater’s failed presidential bid.

On the other side of the dialectic, however, Scaife’s cousin Billy Mellon Hitchcock became Tim Leary’s sugar daddy, and began bankrolling an LSD distribution network that was soon raking in illegal profits. One of Billy’s operatives was Ronald H. Stark, who apparently carried a copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress wherever he appeared. And Stark appeared in some of the strangest places, like a Zelig planted inside the counterculture.

In 1983, Scaife held a meeting with FBI informant John Rees and Chip Berlet, formally of the National Student Association, a CIA-front. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a hit squad on the emerging Lyndon LaRouche organization that was recruiting undergraduates (many of whom were of Jewish descent) into a political action hit-team aimed at discrediting both the counterculture and the new right-wing movement being fomented by key families around the country, most notably: Scaife in Pittsburgh, Bradley in Milwaukee, Olin in New York, Smith Richardson in Pittsboro, Coors in Denver, and Koch in Wichita.

Chip Berlet briefly became Washington DC editor of High Times magazine, and hosted A.J. Weberman when he came to investigate the JFK assassination. Thornley and Weberman would play key roles in sheep-dipping E. Howard Hunt as key instigator of the JFK hit, a rabbit hole I believe was cleverly devised by James Angleton to shield the real operatives, Ted Shackley and Johnny Roselli. They’d been charged with the mission to kill Castro, but after JFK called off the hit and began working for world peace, the CIA-sponsored hit team went off-the-shelf and hit JFK instead of Castro.

When you peer deeply into these events, it seems many of these famous altercations are staged dialectics for propaganda effect. By simultaneously funding Communists and anti-Communists, one can control the debate parameters, and these massive feuds have a way of building true believers on both sides of the divide.