Rick Simpson’s hemp oil medicine

Why is the Canadian government persecuting him, why does the media ignore him, and where is the American Cancer Society when you need them?

From the time he was 12 years old, Rick Simpson just wanted a job so he could make some money. He was smart enough to get by in school without having to open a book, so education wasn’t something he took very seriously. After getting in trouble for supplying his ninth-grade teacher with a case of beer as a Christmas present, he dropped out rather than face the consequences from school administrators.

At age 16, he went to work in the steel mills in Ontario, Canada. Two years later, he moved back to his hometown in Spring Hill, Nova Scotia, and got married. Before long, he had a job maintaining boilers for All Saints’ Hospital. Then his cousin was diagnosed with cancer. “They found a little bump on his rib cage and cut him open,” Simpson says. “He went from 200 pounds down to about 130. In 1972, we were having a drink and he collapsed right in front of me. I knew damn well it had to be the cancer coming back. They gave him six months to live, and he made it through three. I was 22 years old and didn’t know anyone who had died from cancer. He was down to about 50 pounds when he died on November 18, 1972. I used to shave him, and it was like trying to shave a skeleton.”

Two years after his cousin died, Simpson was listening to his car radio when he heard the results of a medical study at the University of Virginia claiming that THC reduced brain tumors in mice. “I stopped my car and just stared at the radio,” Simpson recalls. “At the time, I didn’t smoke pot or anything, although most of my friends did. The guy on the radio was laughing like a fool. Like this was all a big joke. I never heard anything more about it, so I thought it must be a joke.”

It was no joke. The Medical College of Virginia had been funded by the National Institutes of Health to find evidence that marijuana damaged the human immune system. Imagine their surprise when the results came back indicating the opposite: Instead of hastening the death of mice implanted with brain cancer, marijuana dramatically slowed the growth of their tumors and extended their lives. The DEA quickly shut down this promising research.

According to Jack Herer, two years later, President Gerald Ford would put an end to all public cannabis research and grant exclusive rights to major pharmaceutical companies to develop synthetic THC.

Fast-forward to December 1997: Simpson had been working at the hospital for 25 years and was covering asbestos on the boiler pipes with duct tape. He was using an aerosol spray that allowed the tape to stick to the asbestos. He didn’t realize, however, that this spray was capable of causing a temporary nervous-system shutdown if the fumes were inhaled too deeply. And that’s exactly what happened.

“Luckily for me, the boilers were shut off, or I would have been burnt to nothing,” he says. “I fell backwards off the ladder and struck my head on a steel loading ring. Of course, I don’t remember any of that. When I came to, I was hung up in the pipes by the side of the boiler.” Simpson slowly made his way back to his office and fumbled around for over an hour trying to call for help, but he couldn’t even make the phone work. Finally, another engineer showed up for his shift and took Simpson to the emergency room. When asked his name, Simpson had no response. He was taken to the trauma center and put on oxygen. “It felt like my head was going to explode,” he says. “I remember it looked like people were moving funny—they were kind of jerky. I told the doctor, and he just kind of shook his head.”

After three hours in the trauma center, the sensation went away and Simpson was told to go home. He doesn’t remember much about the next few days, including the drive home, but somehow he made it. When his next scheduled shift came up on Christmas Eve, Simpson reported for work even though he was still feeling woozy. At around 10 p.m. that night, while still at work, Simpson’s head began ringing. The ringing got louder and louder. By 3 a.m., he was back in the emergency room seeking treatment. When the nurse checked his blood pressure, she was so alarmed that she immediately gave him a pill and called a doctor. The ringing never went away. “At lower levels, it’s about 93 decibels,” he says, “which is about the same as having a lawn mower running in your living room. I became very short-tempered. They tried every possible drug, but nothing worked. It got so bad I wanted to shoot myself.”

Within a year, Simpson was having trouble remembering anything because he was taking 1,000 milligrams of Tegretol a day. Reading was out of the question, because by the time he got to the end of a sentence, he’d already forgotten what the sentence was about. Then, one day, he watched an episode of Dr. David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things, Canada’s longest-running documentary series.

The episode was about the enormous promise of marijuana as a medicine. “I went right back to my doctor and asked if marijuana would help,” Simpson recalls. “Of course, he told me it was bad for the lungs and still under study. So I went out and got some pot and tried it, and it worked better than anything they were giving me. So I went back again and asked for a prescription, but they still wouldn’t give it to me.”

By 2001, Simpson was a chemical zombie from all the drugs he’d been taking. But he was still determined to get legal medical access to marijuana, so he asked his doctor: “What would you think if I took the plant and made an essential oil, and then ingested the oil rather than smoked it?”

The doctor agreed that this would be a more medicinal way to take it, but still refused to write a prescription allowing Simpson legal access to the plant. A few months later, the doctor informed him that they had tried every possible treatment and nothing had worked, so Simpson was now on his own. He decided to stop taking pharmaceuticals and start eating hemp oil exclusively.

“I didn’t really believe the hemp oil could bring me back the way it did,” he recalls. “But once the system gave up on me, I just continued making oil and taking it on a regular basis. The ringing was still there, but now I could live with it.

Within a few months, people saw the difference. The oil controlled the pain, my blood pressure, and it allowed me to sleep. I lost weight and looked 20 years younger.”

For many years, Simpson had lived with three suspicious spots on his skin—two on his face and one on his chest. “Yes, this looks like skin cancer,” his doctor said upon examining them. In January 2003, the doctor surgically removed the spot near Simpson’s eye and sent it in for a biopsy. A week later, Simpson was sitting at home when he recalled the 1974 news report about THC and cancer.

“I knew I was supposed to go back and get the other two spots removed,” Simpson says. “When I removed the bandage from the spot they had removed, I noticed it looked red and infected, and there was pus coming out of it. That’s when the news report from 30 years earlier kicked in. I looked at the oil and I thought, ‘Well this is full of THC, and I’ve probably got skin cancer.’ I put a little oil on two band-aids and covered the two little bumps. Four days later, I took the band-aids off and both bumps had disappeared.” Within a few weeks, the cancer that had been surgically removed reappeared. So Simpson tried the same treatment and got the same results:

Four days after being treated with hemp oil, the red bump was gone and the skin had completely healed. Obviously, Simpson was overjoyed by this discovery, and he could hardly wait to share this information with his doctor, who had for so long resisted marijuana as a treatment for his head injury. So, after picking up his pathology report, he mentioned to the receptionist (who was also the doctor’s wife) that he had something important to discuss with her husband.

“I treated my skin cancers with hemp oil—” he began. But he’d barely gotten the words “hemp oil” out, he recalls, before the receptionist went ballistic: “The doctor will not go there!” she yelled. “The doctor will not prescribe this!” “I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone,” Simpson says now. “I’d just told her I cured my cancer, and she should have been interested. It was freaky.”

Simpson soon made a visit to his mother’s house. For years, she had suffered from weeping psoriasis. He applied the hemp oil to her infected skin, and within a few weeks the sores were healed and the scales had disappeared. Thus began the long journey of Rick Simpson and his miraculous hemp-oil medicine. The fact that Simpson has always given this oil freely and without any charge has greatly enhanced his already-legendary status.

“In the beginning, a lot of people didn’t want to put the oil on their skin,” he recalls. “In the first year, I treated 50 to 60 people for various skin conditions. The following year, I was treating a man with a melanoma cancer on his left cheekbone. It had been removed five times. It was a nasty-looking thing—you could put your finger right into the hole. I told him I could heal it, but of course he didn’t believe me. Three weeks later, it was completely healed. And that’s when he mentioned to me he had glaucoma. I said, ‘Well, hemp is the best treatment for glaucoma.’ He was the first one to start eating the oil other than me.

At that time, he also had arthritis and had to sleep with a pillow between his knees. About two weeks after taking the oil, he stopped sleeping with a pillow, and his ocular pressure was already way down. When I started giving him the oil, the pressure was around 31 or 32. Last time I checked, it was 13 or 14.”

Once Simpson started giving people the oil to take internally, it was only a matter of time before he tried it with cancer patients. Simpson became increasingly confident of the oil’s healing properties after it was successfully used by several people with internal cancers. Even patients with Stage 4 terminal cancer—people who had been given only weeks to live—were miraculously brought back to health. Not only did the oil heal diabetic ulcers with a topical application, it also cured diabetes and allowed some patients to stop using insulin. Simpson kept treating patients until they got better, but he soon determined that a 60-gram treatment was necessary for serious illnesses.

The oil is eaten as quickly as possible, starting with small doses until a resistance is established. Eating a gram of oil a day can be disorienting, but many adapt rapidly to the pharmacological effects. After Simpson successfully treated a woman with cervical cancer, she visited the local chapter of the Royal Canadian Legion to share her story.

The Legion is a veterans’ organization whose lodges function as unofficial town halls in remote areas of Canada. Rick Dwyer, the bartender at the Legion, was so fascinated by the woman’s story that he asked her to invite Simpson to drop by. “I met Rick in 2005,” Dwyer recalls now. “He told me he could cure skin cancer and diabetic ulcers and other skin diseases. I didn’t believe him, but I could see he was sincere, so I asked if I could go with him to visit some of the people he was treating. So I interviewed his patients, and there was no doubt there was something to what he was doing.”

Before long, Simpson was treating members of Dwyer’s Legion chapter, and the hemp oil continued to show successful results against a variety of chronic illnesses and infections. As a past president of the organization, Dwyer knew the Legion’s mission—to serve veterans and their dependents, promote remembrance, and act in the service of Canada—and he felt strongly that this included a responsibility to share the information about Simpson’s hemp oil with as many people as possible. Dwyer contacted the local public-health authorities and asked them to investigate. He made calls to elected officials.

“Nobody would even come look at the evidence,” Dwyer says. “I told the zone commander, ‘People are suffering, and this stuff works.’ But I just kept running into brick wall after brick wall.” The Royal Canadian Mounted Police had already raided Simpson’s property in 2003, after hearing reports that he was circulating marijuana oil. They seized all the plants in his backyard and confiscated his oil, but no charges were filed. In 2005, Simpson voluntarily returned to the RCMP office to drop off scientific information supporting his treatment, as well as a videotape containing interviews with patients. He made it clear to the RCMP that he intended to keep helping people who had nowhere else to turn.

He continued to get plants to make the oil by working out trades whereby local marijuana farmers brought in their buds and split the oil they generated with Simpson. Most growers use shake to make water hash or oil, but Simpson is adamant that the best colas are necessary for making the best medicine for cancer. He will not make oil from shake unless it’s intended for topical application only. He also prefers indica-dominant plants.

Shortly after Simpson dropped off his video with the RCMP, the Mounties returned and seized 1,620 plants from his backyard. This time he was arrested and charged with marijuana possession, cultivation and trafficking. Meanwhile, Dwyer’s father had checked into the hospital with Stage 4 lung cancer. “He also had a bad heart and sugar diabetes,” Dwyer says. “I remember telling him, ‘Dad, don’t take the chemotherapy—if you take it, you’re dead. Go to Rick and get some oil and your chances of survival will be a lot better.’ I remember my father looking at me, and what was he thinking? ‘My son has no medical background.’ Who’s he going to trust? After his first chemotherapy treatment, he swelled up real bad. His legs swelled; his arms were full of fluid. He was suffering horribly. The doctors told us he wasn’t going to make it. He talked to us and said the things a father says to his children when he knows he’s going to die. I just kept thinking about the oil. I knew it worked on skin cancers and diabetic ulcers, but I wasn’t sure it would work internally. So I called Rick and said my dad only had 24 hours to live, 48 at the most. Rick didn’t know if it was too late. I think my dad wanted to die, he was suffering so horribly. It was like he was breathing out of a straw. I had a tube of oil in my pocket, and I remember thinking, ‘I’ll probably get arrested if I give this to him.’ I asked the nurse to give him the oil, but she refused. The doctors didn’t want to be responsible. So I put some oil on a cracker, and my father ate it. Then I left the hospital, and my brothers stayed on the death watch.” When Dwyer returned the next morning, something truly miraculous had taken place: His father had slept soundly for the first time in weeks, and he continued to sleep throughout the day. When he finally woke up, he had a smile on his face. “I thought to myself, ‘My God, he’s got a chance, but I’ve got to get him out of this hospital,’” Dwyer says. An ambulance took his father home, and he continued eating hemp oil for the next few months. “He was breathing better and didn’t want the oxygen anymore. The oil healed two sores on his legs. The fluid went out of his arms and legs. But what really shocked me was that his prostate was shot, and one day he asked the nurse to take out the catheter. She said he’d have to go back to the hospital to have it put back in, and that would hurt like hell. And I looked at him and said, ‘Dad, can you pee?’ And he said, ‘Yes!’ I told the nurse to take it out, and I watched him pee like a racehorse.”

Then something even more remarkable happened: “The nurse came to check his lungs one day and said, ‘Clear as a bell.’” After that, says Dwyer, “I decided to hold a meeting at the Legion and invite the politicians, the police and the media so they could meet the people who had been cured of cancer and other diseases. The meeting was just supposed to look at the evidence so they could draw their own conclusions.”

But on the day that the meeting was scheduled to be held, Maritime Command changed the locks on his Legion chapter’s doors and informed Dwyer that his rights and privileges had been revoked. The Legion hall would remain closed until a new executive committee could be formed. An anonymous phone caller to Dwyer’s wife said ominously: “Tell Rick he’s getting in over his head.” She took the call as a veiled threat and broke down. Dwyer is unable to recount this part of the story without breaking down himself. “I tell [Simpson], ‘There’s many a night when I wish I’d never met you,’” he says, wiping tears from his eyes. “‘I wish you hadn’t shown me what you showed me, because this has been a terrible burden on me’—especially when I meet people with cancer. I try to explain this medicine to them, but people are so close-minded. They talk about swine flu killing people? My God, cancer and diabetes are killing millions across the world.”

Rick Simpson’s trial in September of 2007 was a carefully stage-managed affair. Simpson had obtained 48 sworn affidavits from patients, but the presiding judge decided that no medical testimony would be allowed. “I had people cured of terminal cancer sitting in the court waiting to testify—they wouldn’t let them on the stand! They wouldn’t let me introduce any scientific evidence. I defended myself, and when I cross-examined the Mounties, first thing I did was hold up a copy of an interview I’d given to the Spring Hill Record from September of 2004, one year before I was charged. It was a full-page article detailing everything I was doing. Would a criminal have a full-page article in the newspaper detailing his activities?

Then they brought out their expert. So I said, ‘You are a marijuana expert for the RCMP, correct? What do you know about hemp?’ He said, ‘Nothing, because hemp and marijuana are different plants.’ I got out the book and read the law from 1923, which says nothing about ‘marijuana,’ but does call it ‘Indian hemp.’ So I shredded him—I beat them hands down, even without the medical testimony.” The jury needed only three hours to deliberate. But when Simpson was called back into the courtroom for the verdict, he noticed that the crown prosecutor wasn’t in the room. A witness later told him that the prosecutor was seen departing the jury room right before the jury was brought back into the courtroom. It proceeded to find him guilty on all counts. “So I got in touch with the judge, but he wouldn’t do a damn thing. They can tamper with juries, but not us. Then he called me into the side room before sentencing and said, ‘Rick, the truth of the matter is that the government wants the researchers to bring this out.’ I looked at him and said, ‘If one of your kids was diagnosed with cancer tomorrow, what would you be looking for?’ And down went his head. So we go back into the courtroom, and he says: ‘In my 34 years in the legal system, I’ve never seen a case like this. There was no criminal intent.’ He admitted the scientific evidence exists to back up what I was doing. Now, I was facing 12 years in jail, but he gave me a $2,000 fine and didn’t even put me on probation, because he was getting a little bit of conscience. One time I used to be proud to be a Canadian; now that word means nothing to me.”

Thanks to an Internet video titled Run From the Cure, which Simpson produced with filmmaker Christian Laurette, hundreds of thousands of people have been introduced to his hemp-oil treatment. Early on, Jack Herer became one of Simpson’s biggest supporters. “I first heard about Rick five or six years ago,” says Herer. “I didn’t believe him, and I knew all the cancer and THC studies that have been done—rats with all sorts of cancers were 100 percent cured and lived 40 percent longer than rats who had nothing at all.” But when he looked at the human evidence, Herer changed his mind. “Now Rick has treated over a thousand patients—and there are others like him, like Ron Smith in Kentucky, distributing oil to terminal-cancer patients and having similar results. And Rick can’t even come to the United States because of his conviction.”

Unfortunately, not everyone is saved by hemp oil. While the HT photographer was taking pictures for this story, Simpson received word that one of his patients had died after only two days of treatment. Simpson estimates that his success rate with terminal-cancer patients is about 70 percent. “The ones that can’t be saved are usually the ones who’ve had the most chemotherapy and radiation, or wait too long to start the treatment,” he says. “They have to be able to stay alive long enough for the oil to start to work.” In fact, most patients who undergo chemotherapy die from the treatment, not the disease. But because chemotherapy is a multibillion-dollar industry that supports some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, it’s unlikely these corporations will give up this profit stream without a struggle, no matter how many dead bodies pile up.

But the most amazing development in this story took place in April of 2009. Led by Manuel Guzman, a team of biochemists at the School of Biology at Complutense University in Madrid investigated the use of cannabinoids in treating cancer. Although similar investigations have been conducted on lab rats and tissue cultures many times since the original 1974 study in Virginia, this time the researchers used actual cancer patients and analyzed their results with methods used to gauge the progress of chemotherapy treatments. Their findings were published in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and are available free online at HYPERLINK “http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37948” http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37948.

The Spanish researchers had two patients suffering from recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, a fast-moving brain cancer. Using electron microscopes to analyze brain tissue taken before and after a 26- to 30-day THC treatment, the researchers found that the THC had eliminated cancer cells while protecting the surrounding healthy ones. The psychoactive chemical in marijuana promoted the death of brain-cancer cells by helping them feed on themselves in a process known as autophagy. Strangely, little mention of this groundbreaking study made it into the national news. Instead, the media continues to run gutter-science reports on marijuana’s cancer-causing effects, even though regular users of marijuana continue to have lower cancer rates than non-users.

While working on this story, I got a call from longtime hemp activist Joe Barton, who had been providing free oil to a throat-cancer patient in Woodstock, NY. After Barton delivered 25 grams of oil—nearly half the treatment—his home was raided by an Ulster County drug task force. The police confiscated all of the plants and oil, which ended the treatment prematurely. Six months later, the patient died. “The oil was working,” says Barton. “His neck tumor had gone down, and he was talking normally again.” As a repeat marijuana “offender,” Barton is now facing a 20-year sentence.

Holy Knight Defenders of the True Story of the Grail

Everyone knows the nation has been swamped by a crisis in violence, although nobody seems to know how to fix the problem. Much trauma today can be traced to the insane war on drugs that continued for decades and we have casualties on both sides. It never should have happened. Cannabis is the world’s greatest medicine and there was no need to destroy lives over a healing plant that grows everywhere.

My current mission is to build Dizzyhippieland (working title), a dogma-free ceremony site for helping those with PTSD. I will start by erecting a memorial to the victims of the war on drugs, including law enforcement officers killed and injured, as well as growers and users of marijuana.

The plan is to recruit 12 of the coolest people in the world. These volunteers will build and occupy their own hobbit homes around a lake or riverbank. There will be bike trails through the forest lit by LED lights that one can ride day and night. (My primary vehicle is a solar-powered trike called the Elf. I already have a fleet of them ready to move to the site, as well as a fleet of pedal boats.) These are the rides at Hippiedizzyland. No cars or combustion engines allowed inside and everything will be solar powered. The volunteers will be allowed to rent out their homes and/or use them to vend arts and crafts.

In April, I’ll unveil my new 420 ritual. Although I never got credit for spearheading 420, I was the first person to create 420 ceremonies outside Marin County. My new 420 ritual is based on Peter Schumann’s puppet theater and you can find an elaborate script on my Facebook page.

I was 16 when I founded my first counterculture publication in Urbana, Illinois. Ours was a fascinating town stuffed with colorful characters. Johnny Roselli was a frequent visitor as the 20-something who inherited the local TV station and newspaper was his favorite mistress. Chicago “men of honor” came down often to shoot quail in the cornfields.

More important to me, the town was a seething hotbed of revolutionary thought. This energy got focussed at the Unitarian Church on campus. A beatnik coffeeshop called The Red Herring opened in the basement.

My tribe created garage rock. I went from a shy wallflower with no friends to having supreme confidence with my new trajectory in life. The power and glory of music should not be underestimated. Music, math and spirituality ride together.

I witnessed the full illumination of the biggest local rock star Jim Cole. He transformed quick after his first public performance on the sidewalk of Green Street. Watching the footage of early Elvis on his toes, his entire body charged with electric energy, reminded me of Jim. He reached an illuminated state while his life became performance art.

Where did this power come from? Every super hottie in the twin cities wanted to eat Jim alive and they squealed with delight during his performances. Jim wasn’t the only one in the band soaking up those juices. The 15-year-old guitar player Mark Warwick wrote “Only Me,” one of the first psychedelic rock songs. The next year, I created The Tin Whistle.

After I moved to NYC, I got into punk, because I understood the connection between punk and garage rock. I founded the Soul Assassins and began creating psychopunkadelia.

Then I landed at the dying High Times, which I quickly turned into the magazine success story of the 1990s. Everything I did while at High Times was recorded on video and I hold the only copies of the footage. I kept notes, letters, audio and video tape, photos, and original art from 1964 until the present. It represents the world’s most valuable counterculture archive and is income-producing. The archive will be moving to the Church of the Holy Grail at Dizzyhippieland.

Most of the so-called cannabis churches today are hoodwinks working out-dated dogmas. I gag when I see people calling themselves “reverend this or that” or “Weed Jesus.”

I provide something different: real enlightenment. I have ransacked the history of religion and magic and distilled the ancient wisdom down to its ultimate essence. First, let your mind be free of all dogma. There is only one rule: don’t hurt anybody. Once you strip away the fake dogma, you can follow your heart, where the real Bible is already written.

My revival movement involves spreading peace culture. My ceremonies are always free to attend. I hand out hymnals and do singalongs of my spirituals, which are dogma-free.

If not for prohibition, I believe we’d have a lot more weed spirituals. You can find my hymns on my Youtube site under The Seeds of Doubt. Check out my anthem, In Search of the Grail. The real secret of the grail saga was not the cup itself but the medicine that went inside, an elixir capable of bringing peace to the kingdom. The grail story is really about the power of cannabis to bring peace.

I’m not interested in chasing money. I am interested in exposing fake gurus and weed religion carpetbaggers who spread Santa Claus stories about everlasting life.

I’m looking for a few dozen acres in the Catskills with a private lake or riverbank where I can erect a phoenix on a commanding site so that when the sun rises on April 20th, it appears between the phoenix’s wings to illuminate a crystal on top of a peace pole.

If you contribute $5 or more to building Dizzyhippieland, your name will be on that memorial (provided you rank among the first 420 donors).

Kudos to Larry Green for being the first to send a donation. Jiffy Schnack was the first volunteer. He was an artist-in-residence at Area when I first met him. Since then, Coke La Rock, Busy Bee, Grandmaster Caz, and Shawn “Ammo” McQuate have saddled for the ride.

Maybe you’d like to ride with us? I am looking for capable artists, musicians, performers, carpenters, mechanics. You’d be allowed to develop your own rockstar compound on the site if accepted onto the crew.

It’s not a full-time gig and there won’t be pay beyond room and board.

There’s nothing plastic about Dizzyhippieland, although everything is constructed cheaply. Tents, tipis, Christmas lights, and non-toxic spray paint create much of the set pieces. There will be numerous stages, saunas and massage tables because they are useful in healing. There will be fireworks and burns at the center of the lake during major ceremonies. The stage faces the lake with the sun behind it, and the lake acts as a sounding board. The music becomes magical from this lake effect.

The growth of the site will depend entirely on how many people come to the ceremonies, the first of which will occur between April 19-21, 2023.

Of course, if any cannabis companies step forward and want to help sponsor such a place, I would welcome them.

And their karma might soar because they did something for peace and not plata.

https://gofund.me/e2ef5a94

Guide to Some Famous Fake Whistleblowers

When intel wants to lead independent researchers into a rabbit hole, they start by manufacturing a lightning rod. A fake whistleblower. Every major crime committed by the CIA is dominated by a fake whistleblower. Mark Lane is a great example.

The Apocalyptic Mike Ruppert

The fake whistleblower will get all the headlines. The fake whistleblower will be attacked through staged confrontations. These flame wars only serve to buttress the fake whistleblower’s position at the top of conspiracy mountain. I am reminded greatly of the feud between Mike Ruppert and Chip Berlet.

Ruppert exposed the war games on 9/11 that shielded the hijackings with fake radar blips blanketing the East Coast and then led his followers into Peak Oil, which was a scheme to double oil prices by falsely claiming we were about to run out. He also dug a 9/11 rabbit hole called “Lt. Vreeland.”

Berlet led the primary attack on 9/11 conspiracy theory, while the “truth” movement was deeply embedded with spooks of all stripes from day one. This should be considered evidence of an inside job.

Chip Berlet invented the word “conspiracism” and promoted the idea that all people who thought 9/11 might have been an inside job belonged in insane asylums. Berlet was briefly made Washington DC correspondent for High Times due to his connections to Michael Kennedy. Both were tutored in intel ops by Leonard Boudin, whose uncle had founded the American Communist Party with John Reed. Of course Louis and Reed were both spooks, as was Leonard as well as anyone connected to his “Committee on Public Safety.” In this case,  protecting “public safety” involved setting off hundreds of bombs and terrorizing America with leftwing violence for over a decade. Shades of 1984 newspeak.

Right after 9/11 the internet was flooded with conspiracy theory. Mostly crackpot info, but the more intellectual element pointed towards the Mossad. The leader of this meme called himself “Sean McBride” and he posted out of the Boston area. He never resorted to the racist language of his acolytes. I spent weeks debating McBride right after the event on a discussion board while getting pounded by haters.

One day, I posted fragments from Chip Berlet and McBride, revealing they were most likely the same person. Berlet was the chief debunker in the media of any Israeli connection to 9/11, a strong defender of Israel and considered an expert on Mossad operations. Berlet was a close associate of both Michael Kennedy and A.J. Weberman. Strangely, McBride went silent for hours. Typically, he was all over my posts. And when he did come back he explained he’d been busy “playing tennis.” Before long, Berlet lost his cushy paycheck from the CIA-connected Ford Foundation. I had to wonder if the two events might have been connected.

Walter Bowart

Walter Bowart was the first fake whistleblower on MK/Ultra. I have a letter or two from him in the archives. Bowart had a connection with Stephenson, indicating an MI6 component to exposing mind control.

The CIA was all over the LSD explosion and were behind much of the manufacture, distribution and profiteering. Their key operative was Ron Stark. Good luck finding anything real about him. The CIA’s alternative counterculture included Kerry Thornley, who put a smokescreen over the Boners involvement in the JFK hit. Thornley was assisted by Robert Anton Wilson in that regard.

Jan Irvin (right) turned Joe Rogan (left) onto DMT. I pay little attention to Rogan’s conspiracy-laden podcasts because he has a history of being played by intel stooges like Irvin.

I did podcast interviews with Jan Irvin and Ed Opperman some time ago after getting dumped by High Times. They sought me out and I was unaware of their Tin Foil Hattery. Irvin was involved in shifting Jack Herer away from cannabis and into amanita muscaria, a well-worn trail blazed initially by Gordon Wasson, a VP at JP Morgan. Irvin was greatly assisted in this mission by a pedophile named James Arthur (aka James Dukovic), who committed suicide after his crimes were exposed. Arthur abused some of Herer’s kids. Since Irvin has spent time in mental institutions, it’s possible he got programmed in the process. He’s a raving lunatic on the order of Mark Passio, and obviously those two support each other. In a nutshell, Irvin promotes the idea an Aleister Crowley sex magic cult run by Jews secretly runs the world. You have to pay Irvin to listen to my interview, but I undoubtedly went after McGowan and his theory that the entire counterculture was a CIA op from day one. McGowan was the one who invented the crisis actors rabbit hole.

Ed Opperman

Along these same lines, you’ll find the phony baloney Opperman Report. I think my interview with Ed got scrubbed. I did my best to call out the real intel operators infesting the counterculture movement. They involve lawyers, like Mark Lane, all members of the Communist-created National Lawyers Guild. On the super dark side of this group stood Michael Kennedy whose radical activities begin while stationed at Ft. Knox, KY, before he was relocated to Berkeley after getting mustered out. He was a secret leader of the terrorist Weather Underground.

I only saw Kennedy scared twice. The first was after he discovered New York magazine was investigating him for a potential cover story. I didn’t know it at the time, but Kennedy was connected to the murder of a San Francisco police officer. It was the first of numerous bombs set off by his unit, although they probably weren’t expecting a fatality, which is why they never took credit. During the planning, Kennedy’s wife was meeting with Bernadine Dohrn, as they had the same gynecologist and appointments were timed to coincide. This is spook ops 101.

Lance Taylor (center) changed his name to Afrika Bambaataa and began grooming kids entering Middle School.

Kennedy was terrified this might come out. His trajectory had moved swiftly from jousting with the government in numerous high-profile cases, to living in the Boner enclave in Wainscott and rubbing elbows with billionaires.

Funny thing about Opperman. He hung out with Yippies and Zippies in the early seventies and also knew Lance Taylor, who would later morph into Afrika Bambaataa. Unfortunately, Bambaataa was a pedophile who created a bizarre cult stuffed with Tin Foil Hattery. It’s dangerous to speak out about him because at least one insider who tried to expose the real story ended up getting murdered. Bam was able to get the center of gravity on hip hop for a brief time thanks to Planet Rock, his homage to Kraftwerk. Sadly, I played a crucial role in building up Bam’s reputation.

Towards the end of my Opperman interview, after I realized Ed was a McGowan fan and also supported Alex Jones’ outrageous lies that nobody died at Sandy Hook School….it was all crisis actors…. I cornered and roasted Ed over that issue. I can’t find that interview and it may be behind a paywall or scrubbed. I did make my own copy though. The list of people appearing on the Opperman Report gives a solid map to the Tin Foil Hat Patrol.

This may become my greatest lasting legacy. Far into the future, researchers may untangle intel’s massive campaign to manufacture lightning rods and unmask the network of intel sock puppets supporting ops like Alex Jones.

CODA:

Kennedy had zero experience with divorce litigation and Trump had a bulletproof Roy Cohn pre-nup. Kennedy began by telling Ivana to claim Donald had raped her against her will during their marriage. That was just the first of a long line of absurdities that back-fired. After it was over many months later, Ivana called Kennedy’s office as she had some questions about the bill he’d submitted.

Ivana and Kennedy’s wife seemed to go from best friends to no longer friends, and a rumor spread Ivana was happy with the final settlement, conveniently hidden behind a non-disclosure agreement.

My analysis in a nutshell is a coalition of East Coast old money and European royalty are working on keeping the status quo, which is why so much blather in our media on the Crown and the Pope as those magic shows require constant promotion to keep their hoodwinks going. All royals of the world are watching closely and most of them are related, so status quo is all in the family.

In order to manage the opposition, they must run all reform movements in secret. When you have a centuries old power structure, the secret police come with the territory, and the most effective leader was Adam Weishaupt, an orphan raised by Jesuits. But in my time, I may have clashed with his second coming in Kennedy, also raised by Jesuits from age 4.

Weishaupt ran the fake opposition against the Vatican during the Enlightenment Era, but upon his death, the church was called in, and he was granted full absolution.

How similar Kennedy received a full military funeral with army brass in attendance after running the terrorist Weather Underground and jousting with the CIA and Pentagon in numerous litigations. In other words, the fake opposition against the government. I submit this is evidence Kennedy began his career as a Vietnam war dissident while working secretly for G2.

If tyranny is to prevail, first, kill the peacemakers

KGB and CIA counterintelligence styles were vastly different because America is an open society while Soviet is closed.

KGB had an immense pool of people to pull from. They would seek out the right personality types for covert ops. Super hottie and bisexual candidates of both sexes that could kill on command without raising their blood pressure were the most highly prized recruits.

CIA agents were defectors or White Russians. It was much harder for them to pass as authentic. They relied mostly on hypnosis. Agents would be conditioned to resist breaking cover. 

KGB expected a long, protracted struggle and embedded hundreds of sleeper agents who were supposed to become Americans, raise children, even attend churches, and then maybe 20 years down the road, might get activated for a mission. CIA didn’t have that sort of patience.

Tai Chi was central to KGB philosophy, which meant directing energy not engaging it head-on. The first major maneuver was into the Civil Rights movement. And also recruiting lawyers, who were deemed essential to the cause.

The Communist lawyers, most of whom could have been true-believers, created the National Lawyers Guild, which positioned itself as the Knights in Shining Armor for the fight for equal rights in America. A large number of double agents were placed into the NLG, and that list would include Mark Lane, Michael Kennedy, Bill Kunstler, Bernadine Dohrn. In fact, these are the most famous members of the group.

Bernadine Dohn. CIA super hottie

In fact, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Dohrn were the CIA’s most highly prized super hotties. Rumors swirled around Fonda’s sexuality for decades. Dohrn, on the other hand, forced bisexuality on all her cadres during her crackpot “Smash Monogamy!” movement.

Fred Hampton was trying to turn the Panthers non-violent while Kennedy and Dohrn were supplying them with assault rifles and C4 and telling them to “kill cops.”

When Fred began denouncing the Weather Underground as lunatics, Chicago police connected with the CIA murdered him, and Dohrn arrived first on the scene to lead press and use his murder as her fulcrum to fame. You can’t imagine a more dishonorable act than trying to exploit Hampton’s death to provoke violence.

It’s the same thing as what happened when Ghetto Brother Black Benji was murdered on the streets of the Bronx. The Ghetto Brothers wanted a war with the gang that killed him, and came to promise blood revenge to Benji’s mother, who said, “My son was all about peace.” Instead of a gang war, the Ghetto Brothers organized the Hoe Ave. Peace Conference that ended gang violence and allowed for the rise of Hip Hop. Hampton had done the same thing in Chicago, ending the war between the Latin Kings, Blackstone Rangers, Gaylords and Vice Lords.

Watch The Americans series about KGB sleepers on Amazon and then imagine its Dorhn and Ayers posing as sane, normal people by day while plotting cop killings at night. The woman on the left plays the Michael Kennedy role (protector of the agents in the field).

They were in direct communication with Soviet, Cuban, and Chinese agents, all of whom advised them not to kill cops, or even use bombs. Of course, they didn’t follow that advice and kept up their terror campaign until it had zero traction left, so they came out of the cold and got university jobs with pensions. KGB sleepers don’t get that treatment, much less cop killers with three dead bodies to explain.

The author of the series says the CIA inadvertently gave him the idea for a series about spies, explaining, “While I was taking the polygraph exam to get in, they asked the question, ‘Are you joining the CIA in order to gain experience about the intelligence community so that you can write about it later’—which had never occurred to me. I was totally joining the CIA because I wanted to be a spy. The job at CIA, which he later described as a mistake, helped him develop several storylines in the series, basing some plot lines on real-life stories, and integrating tactics and methods he learned in his training, such as dead drops and communication protocols.

Beat Street, What Went Wrong?

After I signed the contract handing rights over my script to Harry Belafonte, he slyly grabbed a copy of all my interviews by asking me to provide copies to the Schomberg Library in Harlem. I didn’t realize the library would advertise that fact and lead a parade of researchers, including Jeff Chang, to the treasure trove of early hip hop history. Many decades later, I realized searching my name on the internet mostly turned up links to the Schomberg Library.

I emailed them recently and asked for the return of my transcripts as they hadn’t even given me credit for donating them.  After admitting a problem, their lawyer switched gears and claimed they didn’t have my transcripts and from then on, just kept gaslighting me. The day I signed that contract and turned over the transcripts was the day my name and presence disappeared entirely from Beat Street. I got zero recognition upon release and retain little to this day. I got the Morris Levy/Frankie Lymon treatment from Harry Belafonte.

Henry Chalfant was a super cool dude, one of the first photographers to document NYC graffiti. Manny Kirchheimer was the first filmmaker, and his film Stations of the Elevated is online. While I was working on Beat Street, Henry was just completing Style Wars, which was largely the work of Tony Silver. Tony I didn’t like so much. It was Tony’s idea to build Style Wars around Cap.

Belafonte and his crew already had my script, a realistic portrayal of a budding rap group trying to make a record. Slice of life and It also had a Romeo-Juliet style story concerning a South Bronx rapper hooking up with a girl from a privileged background.

But when Belafonte got a sneak preview of Style Wars, everything changed and my script was tossed and they began writing a new one using my characters names, and it was all about Cap, who they renamed Spit.

Cap was never mentioned in my book or my script. But when I asked Phase 2 who were the current kings, Cap was the first name he mentioned. “You have to give him props, because he’s so up,” said Phase.

Graffiti was divided into crews and crews had conflicts that sometimes included dissing each other’s work. Sometimes it involved tag rights, like the conflict between Snake and Snake-1. Snake 1 began adding “king of all snakes” to his tag.

Cap was not the loner they portrayed him as. He was in the Morris Park Crew, some of whom were dust heads. Instead of asking Phase or Tracy about Cap and his crew, Silver focussed on the younger writers in opposing crews building Cap up as the evil villain of graf, dissing the most sacred rules. Some of those kids were scared to death of Cap in real life, but in the film they talked big shit about how somebody was going to cap Cap. I imagine some of that drama could have been coached and encouraged by Tony.

Eventually, Cap was run out of the crew so demonized was he by Style Wars and Beat Street.

Beat Street should have started with the murder of Black Benji and the Ghetto Brothers Peace council.

The opening song should have been “Just Begun” by Jimmy Castor. The sound track should mostly been based on the real street hits, Apache, Mexican, Give it Up or Turnit Loose.

All art and graffiti should have been supervised by Phase and other greats and featured Dondi, Lee, Futura, Zeph, and given cameos to Haring and Samo.

The actors should have been real South Bronx or capable of walking, talking like a real South Bronx teen.

The interiors should have looked like real South Bronx homes, which means the black rappers were more middle class with nice couches covered in plastic, while the Latins more often were under the poverty line with mattresses on the floor.

As a result of these blunders, the film was not very successful. Really it flopped. Christmas theme in July? What happened is it got massive video rental sales. Which was nice as it got me a lot of royalties through the years, although nothing close to what Harry captured.

The Schomberg Library threw a party with Belafonte to celebrate the anniversary one year. I wasn’t invited. That was before I asked for my transcripts back and got snowballed.

The Real Secret of the Holy Grail

Mani was the greatest avatar of the ancient world and also the greatest portrait painter and calligrapher. He inspired the greatest religious revival of his time, but did not wear expensive robes, nor cultivate toadies. What Mani did was successfully integrate the best of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Mani’s bible equated spiritual energy with light, and considered the light of the sun as Jehovah, and light of the moon as Jesus.
Mani used the Zoroastrian sacrament of mixing hot milk with cannabis flower to heal the blind and lame, serving this elixir in a sacred chalice. The origins of the grail story start in ancient Scythia, long before Mani’s time, and centuries before the arrival of Jesus.
 
Mani lived several hundred years after the mythical birth of Jesus, but he was the most famous Gnostic of his time, and considered himself one of Christ’s appointed agents on earth, just as many Buddhists in India considered him the living Buddha.
Execution of ManiMani was lured back to Persia under false pretense, skinned alive and decapitated for the crime of trying to end war over religion. The gate in Persia where his head was put on a pike still bears his name, although nobody seems to know anything about him. That gate is his only trace.
A holocaust soon followed on Mani’s followers, and it did successfully tamp down his philosophy for centuries, but eventually, all across Europe, a movement very similar to Mani’s appeared. It became known as Catharism. It had no leader. Cathars rejected the crass commercialization of Rome 300 years before Martin Luther came to similar conclusions. They believed in a connection between light and spiritual energy, and worshipped a form of Christianity with a Buddhist flavor, rejecting heaven and hell for reincarnation, just like Manichaeism. 
 
The Pope in Rome at first tried to negotiate with the Cathars in France, around Languedoc. After that failed, he declared the first crusade, the Albigensian Crusade, which could have been an even bigger and more horrific ethnic cleansing than Mani’s. The closest thing I can imagine is the Rape of Nanking. Entire towns were destroyed, women and children raped, and then murdered. It didn’t matter if one was Cathar or Catholic. “Let God sort them out,” said the evil Pope.
 
The last hold-outs were in Montsegur. In 1244, their fort was stormed after a brutal 10-month seige. The 200 inhabitants were thrown on a bonfire.
 
But the night before the siege ended, a small group successfully slipped through enemy lines, carrying their greatest treasure to safety, a green-stained goblet. Perhaps this was an actual artifact from Mani, and if so, would have been the sole surviving possession from the greatest avatar of the ancient world.
 
Monument to the murdered Cathars.

Many decades earlier, Wolfram von Eschenbach wrote Parzival, a search for the grail. His grail castle is called Monsalvat, which is similar to Montségur and has the same meaning: “safe mountain.”

The book Crusade Against the Grail by Otto Rahn in the 1930s revived interest in the connection between Catharism and the Holy Grail, and painted Parzival as a veiled account of the Cathars. That research fascinated Heinrich Himmler, who made Rahn an archaeologist in the SS, which, later, helped inspire Raiders of the Lost Ark.
 
It’s a bit lonely connecting these dots from Scythians to Zoroastrians to Mani to Catharism to Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s been a solo adventure, but I’m hoping others will pick up and follow the trail. This is the true secret of the holy grail. It’s not about the actual chalice but the elixir that went inside.
Eventually the real story has to get out.
Maybe I can fit it into Pot Waco.

Green Easter drops on 420 Eve

On April 19th, 2021, at 4:30 PM, a ceremony for peace by Steven Hager and the Seeds of Doubt will premiere on Youtube. Several songs from the film have already been posted on the site. “In Search for the Grail” is the film’s theme song.

Arab Spring on Wall Street as “autistic retards” storm the capital

Vlad and Keith (separated at birth?

In 2019, a freelance day trader named Keith Gill decided to launch a campaign to save GameStop, which was being targeted for demise by Wall Street short-sellers. He bought a large position of the stock when it was $4 and began talking up his campaign on Reddit as “deepfuckingvalue” and on Youtube as “Roaring Kitty.”  Gill believed if enough gamers joined this crusade, they might push value, possibly as high as $50. In August, 2020, he began promoting the idea of squeezing the hedge fund short sellers who had highly-leveraged positions and shorted over 100% of the stock. He urged his fans to “hold the line, because we set the price.”

Millennial gamers (as well as many GenX and Boomers) joined this campaign en mass (and suddenly Gill’s shares were worth millions), but it was not until Elon Musk tweeted “Gamestonk,” that value jumped from $70 to $400. Gill’s shares were now worth around $50 million. That’s when Robinhood (run by Vladimir Tenev) suspended sales because so many were buying the stock, crashing value to $150. The reason they gave was concern over meeting SEC requirements, not any liquidity issues, but two days later they got a billion dollar infusion. There seems to be a link between the major shareholders on Robinhood and the hedge funds short selling GameStop. Gill, meanwhile, nonchalantly posted a screen shot of his position, indicating he had sold zero stock and made no attempt to take profits from the surge. His gamer army quit Robinhood, migrated to Vanguard or Fidelity or some other brokerage, and kept buying the stock until it rebounded over $300.

This is not some normal situation. The gamers are refusing to sell their shares, what they call “diamond hands.” The short sellers won’t back down either. They have lost $19 billion so far and stand to lose a whole lot more. They can’t understand why these kids won’t take 5,000 percent profits (what the gamers call “tendies”) and go home.

Wall Street will likely never be quite the same as this group has grown into the millions and they now represent one of the most powerful hedge funds in the world, only they are decentralized and democratic.

Well, not quite since Gill is the leader, and is now to the gamers like Jerry Garcia was to the Deadheads.

The most amazing thing is how they refuse to take the money and have drawn a line in the sand to reign in the predatory practices of Wall Street, which is a fixed game favoring the already rich. But there’s suddenly a new game in town. The gamers have developed their own hilariously nihilistic zeitgeist with an ever-expanding slang that has become almost impenetrable to outsiders. They call each other “autistic retards” as a badge of honor. The best I can correlate is this is similar to black use of the “n” word. They call stocks “stonks.” They talk of somebody’s wife’s boyfriend, which has become an endlessly running gag. The last week, however, the community got an amazing jolt as millions upon millions flowed into their coffers. Then Robinhood cut the wind from their sails.

While a few boomers, like me, immediately sold all shares, I was so shamed afterwards by my millennial son, that I bought back in with diamond hands after spending a few hours at r/wallstreetbets. I sent a tip to Keith immediately, not realizing it was a faux pax. He doesn’t want tips and prefers you buy stock instead.

You really have to go to r/wallstreetbets to get a sense of how passionate these crusaders are.

Not financial advice. I just like the stonk.

A brief history of religion

Study the Scythians to help navigate the missing history of religion. Their religion was documented by Herodotus, the father of Western history.

Scythians believed god sent them three golden objects: a golden cup, a golden plough, and a golden battle ax.

The cup was too hot too touch, but one day a boy was able to pick it up. His offspring became the royal Scythians, in charge of appointing the Enares, who ran the ceremonies. The family with the plough was put in charge of planting hemp and other crops in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. During the summer, they moved their herds up the mountain fields to graze, and returned to the banks of the Black Sea during the winter. I could write a long time about their customs, even though they had no written language and everything we know comes from Persia or from Greece, in other words, their enemies. The Scythians built and controlled the Silk Road, which meant they were also involved in the slave, drug and spice trades. Silk didn’t appear until millennia later.

When the straits of Bosphorus were first breached, possibly due to a meteor strike, sea water flooded into the Black Sea burying all the towns and villages on the shore, as well as several islands. The survivors move away, some to Turkey, some to Persia, some to Afghanistan. They develop flood myths.

Meanwhile, in Bactria a new avatar emerges, Zoroaster, who is using the Scythian sacraments, and popularizes drinking hot milk mixed with cannabis, which turns out to be the most effective delivery system, both for medicinal and inspirational purposes. Zoroaster is a barefoot holy man, not a warrior like Heracles, the previous avatar. He carries a magic stick instead of a magic sword. He saves the tribe through feats of magic, not through feats of strength.

The first Zoroastrian king of Persia (Cyrus the Great) defeats the corrupt Babylonian empire and replaces it with a more enlightened form of government. He frees the Jews enslaved by Babylon and says, “Take this money and go back to Jerusalem and rebuild your temple and write down the history of your tribe.”

Naturally, they create a new avatar to update Abraham, named Moses, who is a composite of Zoroaster and Cyrus. Like Zoroaster, Moses goes to the top of “smokey” mountain and comes back with god’s rules after conversing with a burning bush. Like Cyrus, Moses was a foundling whose real identity was kept hidden.

Alexander the Great’s father becomes the first to defeat the Scythians in battle, opening the way for his son to march across the Silk Road and conquer Bactria. Meanwhile a new avatar emerged in India and became popular in Bactria. His name was Buddha. The great pantheons of Indian, Greek, Egyptian and Persian gods had been rejected by Zoroaster, who created the first monotheistic religion, but Buddha creates the first “no gods” religion in which your fate is ruled by karma, not by whims of some god.

Alexander embraces Buddhism before he dies and for centuries afterwards the entire Middle East becomes Buddhist with a Greek flavor. Judea borders the Greco-Buddhist empire, and soon the most advanced Jews are working on a new avatar, inspired by Buddha. Stories and scrolls are written to celebrate this new movement, which is vegetarian and seeks to stop the slaughter of birds and animals inside the temple.

This is a small, tiny movement, but one that troubles Rome, so they send one of their citizens to persecute these new Christians causing trouble in the temple, interfering with the slaughter of animals and birds, which makes a lot of profit (and Rome gets a cut).

The persecutor is unable to wipe out the movement, so he joins it and becomes its biggest influencer after the movement’s leader, James, is thrown off a tower and murdered. Thus ends any talk of vegetarianism.

Two hundred years later, a boy is born of a Christian father and Zoroastrian mother in Persia, and develops unique theories on religion at a young age, amazing the Magi while only 12. He successfully merges all religion to end war, and becomes a hunted man in return. He is such a vegetarian he won’t eat roots, only freely fallen fruits, nuts and vegetables. Lured out of safe haven in India he is skinned alive and decapitated for the crime of trying to end war. His murder makes him famous worldwide and the mercenary army of Rome begins flocking to his religion in droves, reading the bible he wrote by himself in his own unique calligraphy. He was the greatest portrait painter of his time. His temples spread over the world, until it got so big, Rome got worried again.

That’s when Constantine embraces a small cult designed to give comfort to the poor, and transforms it into an imperial juggernaut to take over the world. Many elements of Mani’s life are incorporated into the story of Jesus.

Not a single temple, bible, nor painting of Mani’s survives the great Inquisition, although pockets survive in modified form, like the Cathars in France. Eventually the Pope will order them all slaughtered to stop the spread of Mani’s dualism.

Mani had been healing the blind and lame, not with magic, but with the original oil of Moses, a mixture of cannabis resin suspended in olive oil with some spices, and a tad of opium and ephedra if available.

Rome disappears Mani and disappears cannabis at the same time. The Scythian holy grail, which was about the substance inside the cup, is transformed into the Christian Eucharist.

Confessions of an Acid Queen

Johanna at 26

Johanna Harcourt-Smith was 26-years-old when she met Timothy Leary. After Leary turned informant, she was branded a CIA-honeypot by Allen Ginsberg and shunned by just about everyone. For a time, most of the counterculture turned on Leary and his acid queen.

The primary person Leary ratted out was a lawyer named Michael Kennedy who’d engineered Leary’s prison escape through the terrorist Weather Underground. Leary was only told they “were political people,” not that they were terrorist bombers responsible for the death of a San Francisco policeman. The Weather Underground sought to use Leary as a publicity tool by sending him to Algeria to live with Eldridge Cleaver. They wanted to replay the film Algeria, which documented the success of a terrorist Islamic-Marxist revolution led by downtrodden Muslims, who had no rights in French Algeria. Hundreds of thousands died in their fight for independence, and the Weather Underground was envisioning a similar scenario in the USA, except led by middle-class teenagers. The real mission, however, was driving the left violent in order to marginalize and isolate it from the mainstream.

In 1969, Leary successfully legalized cannabis for a brief moment when he appealed a pot conviction all the way to the Supreme Court and won, so the antiquated 1937 Marijuana Tax Act had to be swiftly replaced by the Controlled Substances Act, which broadened the reign of terror on medicinal plants.

In 1987, when I arrived at High Times the entire editorial staff had recently been fired over the Christmas holidays. The magazine was teetering on insolvency and circulation had cratered. The advertising base consisted of two companies selling lookalike pills obviously intended to be sold as real on the blackmarket. Caffeine was likely the primary ingredient. The magazine had recently relocated to save money on rent, and the files that survived were in a shambles. There were no photo files, and no manuscript log for unsolicited articles. All unsolicited material disappeared into a black hole. The publisher was an accountant who kept the magazine running by cutting expenses. But the publisher turned out to be a puppet for lawyer Kennedy.

Tom Forcade (aka Gary Goodson)

Tom Forcade had created a trust to gift the company to loyal employees in the event of his demise, but when Kennedy learned of this, he immediately engineered a trip to the bank vault where the document was stored, and wrote his name on the list of trustees, while promising to serve as “protecter” of the agreement.

Soon Tom was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and Kennedy conspiring with Tom’s widow and family, including Tom’s lawyer uncle, the author of the trust. He was a former tank commander in WWII who’d been recruited into military intelligence. Employees began exiting en mass, mostly through sudden firings, but some because the thrill was gone. High Times became a treacherous environment run like an intelligence operation, where information was on a need-to-know basis.

Since the counterculture media had died or been co-opted by the 1980s, being put in charge of a nationally-distributed magazine represented a huge opportunity and I had no problem turning the financial situation around instantly just by upgrading the magazine’s content and focusing on celebrating the remaining counterculture, which included the Grateful Dead followers and Rainbow Family. One day A. Craig Copetus, one of the original High Times employees, visited the office. He seemed surprised to hear Kennedy had taken control. “Right before he died, Tom held a meeting and told us not to let Kennedy get control,” said Copetus. Obviously, Tom had second thoughts about that trip to the bank vault.

Micheal Kennedy

I sent a letter to Kennedy outlining my plans for creating universal, non-violent ceremonies that would focus on ending the drug war. I was already doing these cannabis-infused ceremonies in Amsterdam as part of the Cannabis Cup, as well as filming them, and felt a class-action lawsuit could be successfully mounted to protect hippies from persecution by claiming pot was a legitimate sacrament. To bolster these claims, I’d been accumulating evidence Zoroastrianism, the foundation for Judaism and Christianity, had originated as a cannabis cult, and the smoking bush of Moses was a reference to the inspirational power of cannabis. Despite offering a splendid opportunity for Kennedy to double-pay himself and get tremendous publicity for himself (and for the magazine), and increase sales, and especially because it would save countless thousands from jail and financial ruin, Kennedy never responded to the letter.

What Kennedy did instead is launch a series of campaigns to have me fired. A series of publishers were installed, all instructed to “start looking for a new editor.” Attempts were made to kill the Cannabis Cup, but I managed to offload that to Michael Esterson for a licensing fee. The agreement also kept videotaping alive as Esterson agreed to cover that cost. But as soon as the WHEE! festival became profitable, and Mountain Girl agreed to move the festival to her estate, Kennedy summoned me to his office, where he unexpectedly declared WHEE was dead. Kennedy informed me it was a huge waste of time and resources. Bolstering this lie required support from the publisher, who was Mike Edison at the time, who would soon be fired, and who later write a revenge memoir branding me as incompetent. Apparently, among my many crimes was believing the assassinations of the 1960s deserved further investigation, and that a group of teens from Marin had invented 420.

The next year, the trust dissolved and Trans High Corporation gifted to the employees. I was given some token shares along with a handful of other real employees, but Kennedy and Tom’s family held the majority. Kennedy moved into the High Times office and began running the operation into the ground. Meanwhile, I could never comprehend why Kennedy was so angry with me all the time since I’d been making him millions and sales sank without me at the helm. He was living on billionaires row on Central Park South, his summer residence was an ocean-front property in the Yale enclave in the Hamptons, and he also had a winter home in Palm Beach, as well as an estate in Ireland. I was a single dad living hand-to-mouth with two kids with a disabled wife to support at a different location, and just eking by thanks to the debates I was doing on college campuses against the former head of the New York DEA.

Buffalo Mailer

One day, I was summoned to Kennedy’s office where he introduced me to Buffalo Mailer, Norman Mailer’s son. Kennedy wanted Buffalo to provide some young energy to the aging editorial staff, so he was being installed as Executive Editor and I needed to introduce him to staff as if it was my idea.

The following day, I was again summoned to Kennedy’s office upon arrival in the morning, where a shame-faced Mailer held a copy of a just-released New York magazine, which contained an interview with Richard Stratton where he announced his next project: running High Times. Kennedy had made a secret deal with Stratton and Mailer was Stratton’s stalking horse. I felt sorry for Mailer, for allowing himself to be dragged into participating in a slimy hoodwink. At the editorial meeting later that morning where Mailer announced the real situation to the staff, only Natasha shed tears for me. The others were already angling for elevation on the masthead.

Richard Statton

I was moved out of the office so as not to interfere with the transition. I could never understand why nobody wanted my participation as I’d always thought of magazines as a team effort, and the goal was assembling the best possible staff. My investigative journalism had been a significant part of the magazine’s success, so why wouldn’t that continue? Instead, my contribution was limited to a 500-word monthly column, for which I was paid a steadily dwindling salary.

One day I got an email from Johanna saying she wanted to talk. I’d believed the stories about her being a CIA agent, but I was having second thoughts about that, as well as the truth concerning Kennedy’s participation in the Weather Underground. I knew Bill Ayers remained a close friend since I’d recently edited Kennedy’s adopted daughter’s wedding video.

I soon began formulating my alternative history of the 1960s, in which Tim Leary and Charlie Manson are manipulated pawns deployed to de-tooth the counterculture. Knowing I was on treacherous ground, I sent an email to Kennedy requesting permission to interview Johanna. Strangely, I got a response right away, and it contained an emotional plea not to because the memories remained an open wound. That email was nothing like any other email I ever received from Kennedy. It wasn’t like him to show weakness.

Johanna died recently from breast cancer, but she was able to finally get her story out. She’d watched Wormwood on Netflix and felt compelled to contact the filmmaker, who’d instantly agreed to interview her. During the film, it becomes apparent Johanna felt she was being manipulated into Leary’s orbit and it was through surveillance on her that the CIA was keeping tabs on Leary. But she’d never been a knowing participant. And I believe this is the way a lot of intel operations work. Few have any clue to the unseen strings or who the puppet masters might be.

Teenage Johanna

Johanna had become promiscuous at age 15, and a parade of powerful people connected to arms trafficking and illegal drugs soon became her friends and lovers. She became part of the Rolling Stones jet-setting entourage. At 26, she was likely nearing the end of a glamorous career as swinging super hottie, when Aleister Crowley devotee Anita Pallenberg (who’d inspired the Stones “Sympathy for the Devil” phase), told her to look up Leary because he was available and hiding out in Switzerland.

At their first meeting Leary pulled out Crowley Tarot deck.

Johanna and her mother

I was disappointed the film never delved into whether Johanna could have been sold by her mother to the CIA as an MK/Ultra sex slave. She’d had a raging libido from the age of 15, and typically held at least eight males under her command at all times. The reason Wormwood resonated so deeply could have been because her role as an acid queen was ordained.

The sad truth about Leary is he was half-visionary and half-huckster. His first book on the psychedelic experience was based around the Tibetan Book of the Dead, magic incantations intended to lead the dying to nirvana, basically the same hoodwink MI6 operative Somerset Maugham deployed in the Razor’s Edge, in which the secrets of the universe are located in Eastern philosophies. Imagine leading people from India or China to adopt Catholicism as the true faith. Enlightenment is not like climbing a mountain. You don’t reach the top and become released from temporal bondage. There is no nirvana, no heaven, no hell, no eternal soul. You’re just replacing one Santa Claus story with another. The real secret to magic and religion is it only works on believers.

Strangely, the Weather Underground celebrated the Manson murders, and held Charlie up as a counterculture hero for “killing pigs.” They also celebrated Sirhan Sirhan for the same reason. Both Leary and Manson were held in isolation at the same prison, but their cells strangely located next door, allowing them to communicate.

“They took you off the streets so I could continue your work,” said Manson.