The Brotherhood of Eternal Love
Stewart Tendler and Davaid May
By day, Canter's Delicatessen was a meeting place for the elders of the orthodox Jewish community living in the streets around Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles. Canter's, close to the junction of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, held a monopoly as the only eating place around the area which kept to the complex food regulations of the Jewish faith. Reassured by the management's strictness, elderly men would sip lemon tea and titbits, gossiping about children, grandchildren, Israel and the neighbourhood.
By night, when the old men had gone, their seats were taken over by hundreds of young people drawn from all over Los Angeles. There were other late opening delicatessens in Los Angeles, but the special attraction of Canter's was the booths where conversation could not be overheard. It was there the dealers sat and waited for business, passing a capsule of LSD or an ounce of marijuana under the table in exchange for a handful of dollars. Between two and four in the morning, a steady procession of cars stopped outside as customers arrived.for the booths. Rich and poor congregated at Canter's, at 'Capsule Corner'.
Early one morning in 1966, as the crowd at Canter's began to build up towards its peak, four players sat round a table in an apartment a few blocks away to pass the time with a game of Monopoly. It was nearly 3 A.M. when they were interrupted by a group of people who had drifted over from the delicatessen. They knew most of the new arrivals, but they were not sure about the man with the cameras. Someone stepped forward. 'This is Lawrence Schiller,' he said, 'the guy I told you about who works for Life magazine. They wanted him to do a piece on LSD and Larry here is collecting material. He's all right.'
Schiller was trying to piece together the network of LSD distribution from maker to street user; he had been invited to witness the purchase of doses from distributors by middlemen: the four players were the middlemen and the apartment was the venue for the connection. To Schiller the apartment looked ordinary, another duplex like hundreds of others in the surrounding streets. He glanced round again and his gaze fell on the table. He started.
The Monopoly players, all teenagers, were nonchalantly tossing round teal banknotes.
Schiller made a quick mental tally: ten, twenty... twenty-five ... thirty ... thirty-five. Thirty-five thousand dollars. There lay $35,000 split between four kids who told him they were an insurance company trainee, a student, a rock and roll musician and a full-time drug dealer.
The delivery was casual, too. Another kid, a girl, bounced into the apartment clutching a peanut butter jar filled with purple pills. She whirled around the room and said with glee, 'Look what I got from Owsley.' One of the boys frowned, glancing warningly at Schiller. As the jar was emptied on the table to reveal thousands of LSD doses, Schiller and everyone else crowded round. The boy slipped away to telephone a number on the other side of Los Angeles.
The phone rang in a large, rambling, rented house in the west of the city. The man who answered the call was Augustus Owsley Stanley III, once described by US government agents as the man who did for LSD what Henry Ford did for the motor car. Dubbed by Leary 'God's secret agent', he was the first underground chemist to massproduce LSD to a high quality. 'Owsley Acid' had become a byword among dealers and users alike.. Bespectacled, in his early thirties and with slightly sharp features, Owsley provided the expanding LSD market with doses by the hundred thousand. Grandson of a US senator and Kentucky governor, son of a government lawyer, he was on his way to becoming 'king of LSD'.
When the call from Capsule Comer came through, Owsley and his two associatesMelissa Cargill and Tim Scullywere in a celebratory mood. As far as they knew, no one had ever successfully tableted LSD beforeuntil then, Owsley had made a white LSD powder which was dosed in capsules. The tableting had been performed by hand, the finished pills poured into the peanut jar, then delivered. The run complete, he and his two assistants took a tablet each and sat back to enjoy the fruits of their labours.
But as soon as the boy on the telephone began to speak, alarm bells rang in Owsley's head. The girl had come; there was the Life man present; she had shown him the LSD and had spoken Owsley's name. There were up to 40,000 doses in the jar, and Life magazine with a circulation of millions knew who made them. The very point of using a purple dye to colour the pills had been to confuse the simple chemical test-kits the police sometimes carried which showed up purple if LSD was present in a haul. It now seemed a pointless precaution. Any minute, the sound of police sirens would rise in the distance.
Owsley, Scully and Cargill, fuelled by LSD and adrenalin, scoured the house for drugs. If the police could not get them on an LSD charge, they could make out a pretty good case on the marijuana lying around. Everything Owsley and his assistants could find was piled into the back of a car and driven to the safety of a friend's house on the beach at Venice.
They returned a few hours later, having been thrown off the beach because of their eccentric behaviour, to find not the police but the four teenage middlemen who had bought the LSD. The buyers were up in arms. First of all, they had expected a lot more LSD than they had, and secondly, what was this stuff doing in tablets? No one had ever heard of LSD in tablet form. There were loud cries of 'Rip off. Owsley blanched at the possibility of the police following them to the house and waiting to be certain before they struck. He and Scully could feel paranoia rising again. They told the four to go home and try the tablets. If they were no good, then they could come back and some sort of deal would be struck. They left and, to everyone's relief, were never seen again. The tablets were later heard of in Australia, in Europe and behind the Iron Curtain. They always worked.
Perhaps Owsley's teachers would not have been surprised by such an achievement. Something of a genius at school ne headmaster described him as a near 'brain child' in science subjectsOwsley nevertheless proved to be a problem pupil, moved from school to school; the headmaster who praised his genius potential in science eventually expelled him for being drunk. After finishing school he started an engineering course at the University of Virginia, but quit to head west where he joined the USAF, staying eighteen months. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he drifted round the West Coast in a series of jobs, then in 1963 started a fresh university course at Berkeley.
His first experience with drugs is reported to have been unpleasant: he took a powerful stimulant which shook up the central nervous system. But he was introduced to methedrine, a milder amphetamine, and was impressed enough to decide to make it himself. He persuaded his girlfriend, Melissa Cargill, a chemistry student at Berkeley, to use her term practical project to make 100 grams. The project was a great success, persuading Owsley and Cargill to open the Marine Methedrine Factory in a shop on Virginia Street, close to the campus.
However, methedrine was proscribed; early in 1965, the police swooped to close up the laboratory in the shop's bathroom, and seized all of Owsley's equipment and chemical stores. They took away jars of what they thought were the finished product, only to discover on analysis that the chemicals were not methedrine and were in fact quite legal. They had captured drugs that were on their way to becoming methedrine, while the finished product was actually locked away in the boot of Owsley's car which they did not search. Everything taken in the raid had to be handed back to Owsley with a warning that the police did not intend to let matters go at that, and the next time there would be no mistakes. Owsley fled south to Los Angeles to pursue his growing interest in LSD out of harm's way.
Near Pasadena, in a house on Lafler Road, Owsley sank his profits from methedrine into an LSD laboratory. Creating a dummy company called Bear Research Group'Bear' was his nicknameOwsley ordered chemicals; within two months he took delivery of 500 grams of lysergic acid from a Los Angeles company at a cost of $20,000. He paid in cash and followed up with another 300 grams bought from a second company. It was the last purchase of its kind to be made in the United States before tougher controls were established.
Owsley stored the chemicals in a series of safety deposit boxes under false names. The exact size of the production-run in Los Angeles has never been revealed, but estimates range from 20 grams, equal to 100,000 doses, to 200 grams (ten million doses). Whatever the true amount, it was enough to found Owsley's reputation.
Returning to San Francisco, Owsley went to see Kesey at La Honda, his visiting card a plastic bag of LSD. He supplanted the 'Mad Chemist' who had been supplying the Pranksters, and started appearing at the Acid Tests. There he met the Grateful Dead and began experimenting with electronic equipment to improve their sound. He heard of a young scientist called Tim Scully, who was living near Berkeley and was reputed to be an electronics genius. Owsley decided to find Scully and see if he would help design equipment. Ironically, Scully was in fact looking for Owsley, but with LSD rather than electronics in mind.
Scully had arrived at Berkeley with his scientific abilities proven. At school he built a computer out of scrap parts, for little more than a dollar. The computer, which was designed to work out strategies for playing a simple game, won him second place in a school science competition and an introduction to scientists working at the radiation laboratory at Berkeley. Impressed by the abilities of 15-year-old Scully, they gave him a part-time job analysing data from experiments in high energy physics. He began another school project to turn molecules of mercury into gold but his teachers, afraid they might face law-suits over the potential radiation risk, stopped him, and Scully left to go to Berkeley. Besides his university course in mathematical physics and the radiation laboratory work, Scully, now eighteen, began electronics consultative work for private companies. This business grew so much he gave up university and laboratory work to form his own company.
Just out of his teens, Scully made enough money to put down the deposit on a house near Berkeley, which he filled with student lodgers. It was one of these, a childhood friend, who interested him in eastern philosophy. Scully, the product of parents who taught a very rational, scientific approach to life, was persuaded to read The Doors of Perception and a number of other Aldous Huxley works. He became fascinated by the world of mysticism and psychedelia they revealed to him.
It was almost certainly Owsley's LSD that Scully took and he felt afterwards as though he had been hit by a revelation: 'a sense that this was a way of communicating by natural knowing to people the delicateness of our environment, a sense of the worth and value of other human beings, the need for being gentle both with the environment and each other'. Scully, like many other young people, believed that LSD cut through hypocrisy and deceit. 'Somebody once said LSD is like a virus. Viruses don't reproduce themselves but they enter into a cell and cause the cell to produce more of the virus. That was the effect on me. I wanted to make some more LSD and give it away to a lot of people.'
Scully investigated sources of chemicals, but could find no supplies. However, news of Owsley's chemical coup percolated down to him and Scully began to search for a way of making contact. The ideal thing would be to buy part of the lysergic acid cache.
The two met on Scully's front-door step in Hopkins Street, close to the campus, when Owsley knocked and introduced himself. They talked for several hours: Scully, the tall, lean, serious young man with a dry sense of humour, and Owsley, nearly ten years older, already a veteran of the LSD scene and very nearly the unofficial mayor of San Francisco. Sure, said Owsley, he was going to make more LSD, but not just yet. Owsley was wary, wondering if Scully was an informer. Finally he suggested that Scully work with the Grateful Dead, and they would take it from there. Scully agreed and joined the band behind the scenes. But there came a point when Owsley's funds ran low. The answer was the purple pills.
The money from the Capsule Corner tablets did not last very long, since Owsley was paying most of the Dead's expenses as well as contributing to many projects in the Bay area. He was beginning to feel that his role as major supplier conferred on him certain duties, and he was building up a complex view of LSD and its potential. He saw himself as an alchemist, someone with a mission to make LSD available as a tool to alter history; whatever profits accrued were held in trust.
A few months after the tableting operation and its nerve-racking end, Owsley decided to begin producing LSD again, drawing on his stock of lysergic acid, but the Dead, now again living in San Francisco, made it clear that he and Scully could not make LSD and stay with them. Owsley and Scully had little choice, and quit the band to look for a suitable laboratory site.
Owsley got out of the Volkswagen and looked across the bay from Point Richmond towards San Francisco, sniffing the air appreciatively. Anyone watching might have doubted his sanity. Point Richmond was a little cove with lots of -pretty timber-frame houses and nice neighbours like Berkeley professors, but the smell on the wind was not pleasant. Point Richmond stank. Near to the houses was a large refinery belching out all manner of fumes. But that was fine for Owsley. With all those refinery smells, no one would ever notice the fumes from an LSD laboratory. Another advantage possessed by the neighbourhood was that no one was likely to suspect a laboratory among the professors and artists who lived around there. The actual house he planned to rent had its own special attractions: located right on the edge of the bay, the white timber home stood in such a position that it could be kept under surveillance from only two spots, both of which could be checked before anyone approached the house.
The living quarters of the house were built above the garage and the basement, which ran into each other. The basement could be partitioned off to form a laboratory area; and chemicals and equipment could be driven almost straight in without anyone on the street outside seeing what was happening. The house had one other little feature which appealed to Owsley's sense of melodrama. The basement could be reached from the house above through a trap-door that was hidden under a rug in a cupboard in the bedroom.
The police raid on his methedrine factory had taught Owsley the virtues of caution and security, almost to the point of paranoia. He was always careful to be late for appointments, to vary his movements and check whether he was under surveillance. So, when he came to consider laboratory sites, he sat down and thought out his requirements with great care. Point Richmond was the 'prototypical underground laboratory'.
Owsley, Scully and Melissa Cargill moved there early in the summer of 1966. The couple slept in the house's only bedroom while Scully and any visitors bedded down on the lounge floor. To make sure no one could see into the basement from the road, they set up sheets of plywood, dividing it from the garage.
From Point Richmond they brought in chemical supplies from companies around San Francisco that knew Owsley as a steady customer. The most difficult and unpleasant job was moving in 'dry ice' as part of a condensing process. The laboratory used 100 lb a week, and the car or van they carried it in had to have all the windows open to disperse the carbon dioxide fumes. Owsley and Scully would take circuitous routes to avoid being followed, hoping the fumes would disappear on the way.
Owsley was still working on the basis of a formula for LSDthe formula released by Eli Lilly in the 1950s which left out key details on purification and prevention of decay for commercial rather than security reasons. Point Richmond became a proving ground for filling in some of those blanks. Owsley had got as far as crystal LSD, which in itself required a reasonable level of purity; but he believed that if he could achieve absolute purity, then the LSD would be extra special with extra special results. Between them Owsley and Scully created 20 to 30 grams of what they thought was the purest LSD anyone had yet produced. The crystal lost its yellowish tinge and became almost blue-white under the fluorescent lamp. It was pure enough to be pizioluminescentif the crystals were shaken or crushed, they gave off flashes of light. (LSD is one of a very small group of compounds with this property.)
The laboratory was also used to experiment with mescaline and DMT, a synthetic version of the resinous bark of several South American trees long known for hallucinogenic properties. DMT is similar to psilocybin, though its effects last for only thirty minutes or so (users nicknamed it 'the businessman's lunch'). Production of these two drugs was small, however, and Owsley and Scully devoted most of their time to LSD. Turning from purification, Owsley examined marketing considerations and decided to vary the dye on the crystal, instead of using only one shade. He took five ordinary food colourings, as approved by the Food and Drugs Administration for the food industry, and divided the LSD into 3,600 doses per gram. Each gram was split into five, mixed with dye and put into capsules. Although there was no difference between the capsules, the street dealers reported back that the users were giving the colours different qualities: red was considered laid back; green frantic; and blue the ideal compromise. Point Richmond began churning out 'Blue Cheer', as the capsules were dubbed by users.
Owsley's experimentation was not over, however. In a small town north of San Francisco he rented a house from a man reported to be, ironically, a former guard at Alcatraz, and moved in a tableting machine, to make the first compression-moulded (machine-made) tablets to appear on the LSD scene. They were. white, and became famous as 'White Lightning'. Between midsummer and October 1966 when the new California law banning LSD came into effect, the chemist and his apprentice produced between 200 and 300 grams of LSD, or approximately one million doses, worth $1 million on the street.
On one LSD trip Fat George spent the day wandering the streets, fascinated by the visual insights his dose produced. He carefully examined the carvings and grain on an antique totem pole. Standing over six feet tall and weighing 250 pounds, George Wethern stared like a fascinated toddler at the twinkle of glass equipment in a power station. He was sitting watching the rain dappling the surface of a swimming pool when the police arrived and cautiously shooed him home. You could never be too careful with a Hell's Angel. Introduced to LSD at Kesey's La Honda party, the Angels became fervent converts, doubling and trebling doses to 1,000 micrograms in a twelve-hour session. Despite a number of clashes with anti-Vietnam War protesters, they were welcomed by the hippies of Haight-Ashbury as allies, even regarded as a counter-culture police force. When two popular Angels'Chocolate George' and 'Hairy Henry'were arrested during a Haight-Ashbury festival celebrating (among other things) the death of money, 250 hippies demonstrated outside the local police station. It was a display which included self-interest as well as altruism.
The Angels were not only 'policemen' but also purveyors of drugs. What the Angels were selling was Owsley's products. He knew them through Kesey; they offered him a secure network through which to move his LSD around San Francisco. They might seem unlikely allies but their reputation was high in Haight-Ashbury and, on the practical side, the Angels were renowned for never informing on one another. Nor for that matter were they an easy group to infiltrate.
'Terry the Tramp', born John T. Tracey, was at the centre of the dealing operation. Tracey became the Angels' link with the hippies. A tall, bizarre manonce described by a friend as looking like a yetihe had a string of convictions including one for performing cunnilingus in public. At the La Honda party he got so bored when his friends tried to lynch some unfortunate in one of the few tense moments, that he picked up a spider and chewed it. Wethern, at one time a plasterer, became his lieutenant.
The dealing be gan on a small scale with the two Angels cruising San Francisco offering a little marijuana and LSD in $50-$100 deals. The appearance of three hippies in search of $8,000 worth of LSD helped to change all that. The exchange became the basis for a permanent arrangement, escalating to deals worth $70,000 a week: the hippies sold to neighbours and paid up in bundles of small-denomination notes wrapped in animal skins until Wethern, tired of counting the notes, refused to take anything smaller than $50 bills. Owsley passed on raw LSD crystals which the Angels tableted themselves at 4,000 doses to the gram, using a formula the chemist supplied. With street prices now rising to $3-$5 a dose, they were churning out up to 25 grams of LSD worth $225,000-$375,000.
The market could bear it. Haight-Ashbury was turning into a drug entrepot. Nothing was organized, but people would drift in from out of town, make a buy and then take it back to campuses or hippy enclaves in some comer of a city or town. The streets were like an open-air drug Bourse, an exchange for Owsley's LSD, and for marijuana, much of it brought up across the border from Mexico.
The major staging-post for the shipments from the south was a little seaside town near Los Angeles called Laguna Beach and a shop on the Pacific Coast Highway called the Mystic Arts World.
The Mystic Arts World Store was opposite a Mexican fast-food stand on South Laguna Beach. At the front it sold the sort of things to be found in a thousand similar stores that were sprouting up across the America of 1966 and 1967home-made clothes, natural foods, leatherware, brass, tapestries, pipes and papers for marijuana smoking: another 'head shop', a sort of frontier store for America's newest pioneers, the hippies; a corner shop for the colony of young people moving into Laguna Beach, south of Los Angeles, to enjoy a 'Haight-Ashbury on sea'.
But the real business of Mystic Arts lay at the back in the meditation room. The floor was covered from wall to wall by foam rubber overlaid with thick carpeting, making visitors feel as though they were walking on a huge, luxurious bed. At one end, a small waterfall tumbled into an indoor rock garden. The sound was soft and rhythmic, lulling. In another corner stood a water pipe. Scatter cushions had been left here and there for customers, who removed their shoes before entering, to loll at their ease. A group of young men in their twenties might be sitting round at the beginning of an LSD session: their hair was long; they wore patched jeans and loose shirts, embroidered waistcoats over painted T-shirts and single strings of thick, crude beads. Some had the deep sunburn that you find in this part of California on surfers, where the heat of the sun has burnt into the skin, magnified by the sea-water, and left a rich tan. Others had the thick-set, hard-muscled build of mechanics.
They were men with a cause, yet theirs was not quite the burning ardour of the radicals elsewhere in the country, streaming across the campuses towards the administration blocks and screaming against betrayal, grappling with the police as they denounced L.B.J. and vowing they would never fight in Vietnam. Theirs was another kind of fervour: there was no violence, just the unswerving confidence of missionaries going about their work.
The meditation room was, on occasion, the private chapel of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a legally incorporated religious charity. At other times it was the front office of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, drug dealers extraordinary. The essence of the Brotherhood might well be summed up in Owsley's 'chemistry is theology'.
The man to watch at the LSD sessions was a short, stocky character wearing a Hopi Indian headband and flowing green Eastern trousers and shirt. John Griggs, dark and intense with bright blue eyes, was the founding figure of the Brotherhood: a man who had discovered LSD in dramatic circumstances.
At the time, Griggs, approaching his middle twenties, was the leader of a marijuana-smoking south Los Angeles motorcycle gang, preying on supermarkets. Largely unschooled, Griggs was a wandering adventurer who had earned the name of 'Farmer John' after disappearing into the Californian mountains to live as a trapper. He rode with his pack along the freeways and highways that criss-crossed Los Angeles in search of fresh excitement. On a summer night he led his gang through Hollywood towards Beverly Hills and Mulholland Drive. According to the grapevine, a well-known Hollywood film producer up there kept a cache of pure LSD in his refrigerator. Griggs and the gang decided it was time they tried this LSD stuff everyone was talking about.
They burst in on the producer during a dinner party. All the guests froze as the gang, armed with guns and knives, came out of the darkness... but all they wanted was the LSD, and they took it. The host was so relieved that he rushed out to the driveway as they started up their motorcycles and cried after them: 'Have a great trip, boys. Jesus, I thought it was something serious.'
The gang roared out of Los Angeles towards the vast, high acres of Joshua Tree National Park beyond the city. They climbed higher and higher into the hills among the yucca trees until they were above Palm Springs and, at midnight, they came to a halt. Motorcycles parked in a group, they stood round in the clear, sharp mountain air and shared out the LSD, made by Sandoz. Each man swallowed the equivalent of 1,000 micrograms, four times a normal dose, and wandered off to await the result. It was cold and the yuccas with their twisted stems and shrouds of dead leaves cast fantastic shapes in the gloom.
As the sun burst across the sky at dawn, hours later, Griggs threw his gun into the dry scrub and shouted: 'This is it. This is it.' The gang regrouped round their motorbikes, shaken and overwhelmed. All had thrown away their weapons. They started home for Anaheim, a flat Los Angeles suburb of pale-coloured houses, and what was to be a new life.
Griggs was the proselytizer, the moving spirit. He talked to old schoolfriends like Glen Lynd and Calvin Delaney. Lynd had already tried marijuana and now took the LSD Griggs passed on to him. Like Griggs, Lynd was in his middle twenties and something of a drifter. The group that began to assemble totalled nine. Most of the young men, all in their early or middle twenties, came from Anaheim. Michael Randall was from Long Beach, although he had attended Anaheim Western High School. He started smoking marijuana in 1963 but remained on the edge of the group, since, he was finishing a course in business administration at California State College.
At first, the group did little more than meet at the weekends to try out the psychedelics, but Griggs had wider visions. He urged the others to move with him out of Los Angeles, east to Modjeska Canyon, in the countryside beyond the city. The group shared a couple of houses, feeling, like Alpert and Leary had felt at Harvard, that they had 'something wonderful in common'. Those who had jobs continued to workRuss Harrigan for example was a longshoremanbut all now began a little drug dealing as well. Lynd and Harrigan went down to San Pedro with the odd kilo of marijuana brought back from trips to Mexico, and all the group sold LSD from San Francisco to visitors to Modjeska Canyon. Several of them enrolled in research programmes at the University of California, Los Angeles, in order to continue using the psychedelics for free.
But on Wednesday nights they came together to talk about their futures. Lynd said later: 'There was hopeful thought of buying land... the purpose was to buy it so people could live on it. We could farm it or whatever.' Plans began to form round the notion. Lynd had heard Leary lecturing and had been impressed. Griggs went east to meet him at Millbrook. Leary was taken with him: 'an incredible genius' was how he described Griggs; 'although unschooled and unlettered he was an impressive person. He had this charisma, energy, that sparkle in his eye. He was good-natured, surfing the energy waves with a smile on his face.' As far as Griggs was concerned, Leary was his guru, one with some useful practical ideas.
In the summer of 1966 when Griggs went to Millbrook, Leary was working on his plans for the formation of the League of Spiritual Discovery. Griggs and his friends seemed to have a good thing going out there in the West, so why not set up something similar? The new psychedelic religion was not something all-embracing and spiritually omnipotent. There was no Pope to set out the prescribed dogma. This religion was about a new kind of spiritual freedom which you found for yourself. The basic tenets of the League included: 'enthusiastic acceptance of the sacramental method by the young... a recognition that the search for God is a private affair... the rituals spring from experiences of the small worship group... the leaven works underground... friends initiate, teach, prepare and guide...'
Ten days after California banned LSD in October 1966, Lynd, his wife and a friend walked into the offices of a Los Angeles attorney on Sunset Boulevard and signed the papers incorporating the Brotherhood; Lynd was the only Brother who did not have a criminal record, so he was designated to organize the incorporation. According to the legal papers, the Brotherhood, tax exempt, was dedicated 'to bring to the world a greater awareness of God through the teachings of Jesus Christ, Rama-Krishnam Babaji, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mahatma Gandhi and all true prophets and apostles of God'. Was there a hint of Leary's influence in this list? Griggs had recently returned from a trip to the East, and the Brothers were largely 'unschooled'.
To achieve its ends, the Brotherhood intended to 'buy, manage and own and hold real and personal property necessary and proper for a place of public worship and carry on educational and charitable work'. Was there an echo of the League's tenets in article 4-D which read: 'We believe in the sacred right of each individual to commune with God in spirit and in truth as it is empirically revealed to him'? This was 'a recognition that the search for God is a private matter', written another way. Lynd said years later: 'Well, it was John Griggs' main idea to incorporate because he had talked to Leary, and it was possible to incorporate to become tax-exempt as far as land goes and, if and when marijuana ever becomes legal, become tax-exempt on marijuana.' There were no fixed rules for joining; no name signing or ritual. But there was one basic rule among the Brothersthey believed in taking as much of the psychedelics as possible, the largest doses of LSD they could buy. The articles of association did not explain how the Brotherhood intended to buy its land or establish its place of worship. You cannot really tell a lawyer or the State of California that you intend to raise capital by breaking the lawby massive dealing in drugs.
Laguna Beach is an artists' colony and resort thirty miles south of Los Angeles. There are only two roads into the town: the Pacific Coast Highway or, from inland, down Laguna Canyon. The town itself, like the Stage of an amphitheatre, sits at the base of a semicircle of sandstone hills rising to 1,200 feet above the Pacific. Amid the bright flowers and clapboard homes the hissing rush of the surf, rolling across the sand eight to twelve feet high, is the major disturber of the peace. The plastic and concrete sprawl of Los Angeles could be on another planet. The peace brought the artistsLaguna has a museum devoted to the works of early Californian paintersand the ocean brought the surfers. In the early 1960s Laguna was a sleepy little township with the sort of mix to be found in many Californian communities. The American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution thrived alongside the artistic communityindeed, the local high school football team was called the Laguna Beach Artists. Once a year on Labor Day, things got a mite out of hand on the 'Walkaround', a fifty-year-old custom in which the passing of summer was mourned, by a walk from bar to bar along the Pacific Coast Highway. Other than that, not much happened in Laguna.
But in the mid-1960s, the number of young surfers was growing and they brought with them other young people eager to live a rude life away from the cities; among them were the Brotherhood. A mile from the beach, a cluster of about fifty houses made up a sub-suburb called Woodland Drive beneath one of the sandstone hills in Laguna Canyon. It was a ramshackle area of gorse and dirt tracks, running down to badly paved streets and a single street light, but it was home for the colony of youngsters. The Brotherhood moved into four white-painted houses.
The scene was painted for a journalist some years later by one of the young men who lived in the Drive: 'I went to school in Hollywood and got into surfing and just like everyone else I wound up in Laguna. Things were happening then, opening up. The chicks were seeing things and there was a lot of grass and there was a vibe that you could make it with love and digging each other... I'd go down to Laguna more and more and finally I just moved into a place on the Canyon with some chicks and a couple of other guys. It was cheap and it was fun. You know the bond, the thing that tied us up together was surfing and dope and balling. We'd get up early in the morning, stay out in the sun all day and somebody always had more grass... Then this cat Farmer John started coming around and he was really into acid. So we did a lot of acid and dug it and Farmer John was putting down a heavy brother-love rap.' Griggs, a charismatic figure, began to enlarge the Brotherhood, drawing people in to create concentric rings which spread out from the central core of Brothers who had moved into Laguna.
The Brotherhood and its apostles were no longer occasional dealers. ne business was now a full-time occupation, financing the way they lived and the opening of the Mystic Arts World Store. At first, there had been odd deals of marijuana tucked inside matchboxesand, the next moment, consignments of kilos. They arrived in Laguna so often that Lynd for one no longer found anything strange in this new life. 'It was just an everyday occurrence. We would buy kilos of marijuana across the Mexican border and sell them to other Brothers who would turn round and sell them, with the money going to the store. Then there was the LSD sales. Different people would go up to San Francisco which was the place to buy LSD and buy it in quantity to resell in Laguna,' he said. As far as the marijuana was concerned, 'there could be anything from one kilo to as many as 300 to possibly 400 kilos at a time. I had taken kilos most likely on half a dozen occasions, possibly even a dozen occasions to places like San Francisco. Most of the money that was made was turned into the shop. Randall would collect money and Johnny Griggs would collect...'The two men were at the centre of the distribution system for the marijuana. According to Lynd, kilos were bought for $45, sold to Griggs and Randal for $65-$70, who then sold them for $100 or more. The buyers broke down the kilos to smaller dealers selling on the streets. Sales were not confined to the houses up in Woodland Drive. At night, the area round the Taco Bell fast-food stand, close to the Mystic Arts World, and crowded with surfers, beach bums and hippies, buying and trading small deals.
Lynd may have sounded nonchalant about the source of supply in Mexico, but the Brothers worked out a careful system centred on a town near Tijuana, a few miles south of San Diego. The long-haired Brothers may have seemed unlikely company for an officer in the Mexican police, but once a month they met for a quiet chat. There was not much that a policeman missed in a tiny Mexican town. A group of young Americans renting a house, coming and going with battered cars and trucks on the dusty roads in and out of town stood out among the local peasantry and the tourist buses thundering past. But a policeman has to live, even a local police chief. he had arranged their tenancy and offered to watch the house for a few dollars; for $30 a month, the Brothers paid him not to. In return for this outlay, the Brothers could buy their marijuana, hide it in the fenders of their cars and drive across the border without problems. No one seemed to bother them.
Griggs was so excited by the Brothers' successes, he would telephone Leary at Millbrook: 'Hey, Uncle Tim, we've just moved half a ton of grass and we've got some righteous acid.' The calls came in about once a week, but Leary tended to dismiss them, although Jack, his son, now in his teens, decided he would go west to California and have a look. He returned home to Millbrook filled with enthusiasm. One evening, he told his father, Griggs was counting out a stack of $1,000 bills by the light of candies. The air in Griggs' home on Woodland Drive was heavy with incense and the smell of marijuana. Jack Leary leant over, took a banknote and lit it with one of the candles. As a thousand dollars disappeared in a bright flame, black ash and the smell of burning paper, no one batted an eyelid.
But back at Millbrook, Leary was astonished. He called Griggs and offered to repay the $1,000 dollars, but Griggs would have none of it. 'Hey, Uncle Tim, we all wanted to burn a thousand-dollar bill. It was a great thing he did, very enlightening.'
Leary was becoming a frequent visitor to the West Coast as he toured the country lecturing and lobbying. When he decided to visit Laguna with Rosemary, his latest wife, he was greeted like an elder statesman and given conducted tours of the Brothers' achievements. He said: 'They were running the store which was an enormous, beautiful place. Just a group of guys who were pooling all their resources to raise consciousness. They were dedicating their lives to becoming better people. They could see it happening round the country. They were pioneers.'
Hollingshead, the man who had given Leary his first LSD experience, had returned from Britain and joined Leary in Laguna. 'The Brotherhood felt they were leading a new society,' he remembered. 'California was the country of the future. It was as if the culture had entered into them. They were responding. Righteous dealing was a sacrament, with Tim as their guru. I have always found them very gracious people, very honest, very wisebut also very naive. It was the Dead-end Kids who took acid and fell in love with beauty.' The Brothers were making money out of dealing, but Hollingshead said: 'Griggs was not thinking in those terms. He was only thinking of getting the psychedelics on the streets so that people could take them. They were totally committed. They had tremendous determination. They were all very tough; once they were moving dope, they were manic. When the stuff came from Mexico they did this non-stop thing...'
Lynd slammed down the boot of the car, climbed into the driving seat and drove over to pick up his wife and children. Once they were settled, he turned the car northwards out of the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, on to the long, dusty desert roads; a young man and his family innocently about their business. Christmas 1967 was just a few days away. Perhaps they were heading home for the holidays, visiting the grandparents. The highway patrols ignored them.
The brand-new Cadillac, the dream and envy of many a fullblooded American, took the miles of tarmac like a stately liner. There was no rest for the huge chrome car. The family slept as Lynd crossed America straight as an arrow on the long country roads, whistling past farms, towns, cities. He drove, eyes fixed, for New York. The car's air-conditioning went off and the heating came on as the air outside grew colder. The roads were sometimes snow-lined now.
As he drove into New York, Lynd, tired after his marathon, searched for a telephone. Griggs had told him to call a certain number in New Jersey and the people at the other end would be ready. In the boot were 250 kilos of best marijuana.
He rang. No money yet. Leary needed $5,000 fast. Lynd tried the contact number again. The buyer had raised a stake. Lynd dropped his family off, and grabbed a flight back to the West Coast. At one in the morning he was back in Laguna with the money for Leary. He took another flight back to New York to finalize the deal on the marijuana.
He had hardly recovered his breath back home in Laguna before he was on the road again. As 1968 opened, the Cadillac had been replaced by a big Ford camper and a cargo of 500 kilos, again bound for New York and the same buyer. This time there were no hitches. Ten days later Griggs appeared in Woodland Drive with two suitcases. He opened them up in front of Lynd and Randall, revealing wads of banknotes. Three times the Brothers counted the money and then they were satisfied. Lynd's two drives had yielded $98,000. Over $40,000 had to be paid to a connection in Los Angeles who provided the marijuana. The arrangement with the Mexican police chief had fallen through after someone had tried getting across the border without paying the monthly dues and had been caught on a tipoff from the policeman. Mexican marijuana now came to the Brothers from the barrios of Los Angeles, or across the border in Arizona.
Nearly $50,000 the richer, the Brothers drove over to Palm Springs. Leary's advice was to do what they had always promised themselvesbuy land. Led by Griggs, the Brotherhood put a cash down-payment on the Idylwild Ranch and bought themselves a 300-acre retreat. Not for them the crowded streets of Haight-Ashbury and a beaten-up Victorian house. Southern California slept on in the sun, paying them no heed. But up north...
The Gray Line coaches left San Francisco's main hotels on the hour every hour for the $6 'Hippie Hop', billed as the 'only foreign tour within the continental limits of the United States'. Scott McKenzie was singing 'San Francisco (Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair)'.
1967 was the year Haight-Ashbury was well and truly discoveredthe year, as one visiting journalist put it, when 'hippie culture made the transition from scene to seen. Sociologists, educators, clergymen, and radicals and reactionaries of no professional persuasion spend long hours watching the boppers go by. Reporters infiltrate the demi-monde, then surface with the inside story of drugs and orgies for the square press. Television cameramen wait for authentic happenings...' Transition was the key word. Middle-aged America, and Europe for that matter, was becoming aware of a 'youth revolution', a 'counterrevolution': the discovery that the young were decidedly striking out on their own, encouraged by fashionable thinkers ranging from Leary to Marcuse. At a time when the number of American troops in Vietnam was climbing towards 500,000, for the first time, Ho Chi Minh's treatise on revolution was published in the United States for the first time, not as an exercise in 'know your enemy' but as a signpost towards the wilder shores of radicalism. In The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman played out the role of the young, middle-class American bored by success, trapped by middleaged corruption. Bonnie and Clyde turned death and destruction into a balletic exercise where armed robbery became black comedy and the good guys were the ones firing at the federal agents. On Broadway, the President of the United States was lampooned in Mac-Bird.
But the core of the cultural change was on neither the screen nor the stage. Music was the essential tool, reaching out to millions on records, tapes and radios. Tim Scully, electronic adviser to the Grateful Dead as well as an LSD chemist, once said there was a great interest in 'what could be done with music as a tool for altering consciousness and changing the culture. That became part of the general belief system, that psychedelic drugs and music were both very powerful for cultural change and most of the people involved, well everybody I ever met in the music scene was very involved in the drug scene and vice versa. Generally most of these people were aggressively interested in changing our culture.' In 1967 Jimi Hendrix topped the LP charts with 'Are You Experienced?', the Beatles were third with 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'; Buffalo Springfield sixth, Cream tenth and the Byrds eleventh.
A portrait of Aldous Huxley was included in the assorted figures and faces on the sleeve of the Beatles' 'Sergeant Pepper' album. The Doors took their name directly from The Doors of Perception.
The record companies were among the first to recognize the rebellion that was being articulated primarily through music. For example, CBS printed advertisements stating that they supported the revolution, implying that to buy CBS records would in some way help financially; the reaction of CBS stock-holders is not recorded. As Haight attracted journalists and tourists, it also attracted others, who, seeing the public interest, knew a fast dollar when they saw one. Even people who swear fealty to the flag and lead totally conventional lives like to dice just a little with the wild side, when the wild side can be made acceptable. The clothes were adapted by fashion designers for sale in high street stores and the mystique of Haight eventually became Hair, a box-office triumph.
The Fillmore, The Avalon Ballroom and The Winterland in San Francisco featured an endless procession of concerts, which one inhabitant of Haight described as 'the village well'. On New Year's Eve 1966, the celebrations at The Winterland, Bill Graham's latest showplace, marked the changing year with the entry of a white horse ridden by a figure i n a loincloth who released white doves into the crowds. But 'village well' was no longer quite the right phrase for Haight's meeting places. An unofficial census at the start of the year put the population of the community at 10,000; a few months later, Haight gave notice to the increasingly worried officials of City Hall that up to 100,000 young people could be expected to arrive in San Francisco in the summer months.
There were also the unannounced, unpublicized visitors. In the summer of 1966 the main alternative newspaper, the Berkeley Barb, under the headline 'Barb bares under-cover drug men', had revealed the existence of a special course on Berkeley's campus for agents of the Food and Drugs Administration. Under the auspices of the university's criminology department, the FDA, charged with enforcing the new law on the psychedelics, was girding its loins for battle. Every afternoon the 'students' were trained in karate, wrestling and boxing at the campus gym. Older than normal members of the undergraduate population, the agents were lectured on the street language and behaviour of Haight and the hippiesessential studies for tyro members of the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control, BDAC. They were to combat the psychedelics while heroin and cocaine remained the purview of the Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotics, whose veteran agents had little chance of insinuating themselves into the hippy communities even if they wanted to; trained to fight the organized-crime drug syndicates, the agents regarded LSD as 'kiddy dope'.
Dismissive though the phrase might be, it was not inappropriate. Studies by two doctors in California in 1966 and 1967 showed estimates of LSD usage in high schools ranged from a conservative 4 per cent to a liberal 30 per cent, but in certain high schools in Los Angeles the estimates, from reliable sources, put use at up to 50 per cent. The doctors talked of a hallucinogenic epidemic throughout the state. Within Haight, a free medical clinic found that 85 per cent of patients had used LSD at least once. There were no national figures for LSD at the time, but estimates of marijuana use ran to ten million people, again most of them young.
As the BDAC agents came on to the streets in 1967, the Berkeley Barb obligingly published a picture of their graduation class and a training brochure. Agents, it suggested, should keep watch on psychedelic bookshops, and be aware of tablets from illegal laboratories. 'They appear', ran the text, 'to be the product of a fairly sophisticated manufacturing process.'
Owsley and Scully knew very well who the brochure had in mind. Haight was the acknowledged LSD capital of the world and Owsley was its most important manufacturer. Reeking of patchouli oil, Owsley dispensed largesse to the Grateful Dead, charities and the Diggersa group dedicated to non-violent anarchy and philanthropywhile enjoying the plaudits of his clientele. Owsley clung to the belief that his vital role as producer of LSD made him immune from the ministrations of BDAC. According to his credo, 'chemistry is theology'; and if the task was divine, then the Powers above would protect him.
Scully was rather more realistic. If 'dues' had to be paid, they would be paid. The psychedelics were worth it. There was no intention of throwing the rule book out of the windowjust one narrow little law passed by people who had no idea of what they were doing. LSD was a means of social change; Scully argued that people who turned on with LSD began to take a different view of governments particular and general. Their opinions became critical and: since no establishment wants to lose power, the chances of the politicians making LSD generally available were slim. Scully had an answer: he would make enough LSD to turn on the worldor, rather, that part of it which would be receptive. It would take, he calculated, 200 grams, or 72 million doses at 360 milligrams a time.
Perhaps it was naive but then the psychedelic movement was naive. All you had to do, so the logic ran, was to get enough LSD to enough people... and the world would live happily ever after. Scully put up his idea to Owsley, only to find that the master craftsman had fallen, for the time being, into a leisurely holiday mood. Owsley was happy to finance Scully and supply him with lysergic acid from his private cache, but work was out. If Scully wanted to start, that was fine. For himself, Owsley felt that even alchemists deserve a break. Perhaps he would go east and visit the famous Millbrook. In the spring of 1967 Scully began work on his own... or, rather, almost on his own. The BDAC men started to appear.
Before Scully set off, he brought out a wide-band radio receiver he had built and walked slowly round the sixteen-foot truck. Down the street the BDAC agents sat impassively in their cars. Scully finished his circumnavigation and nodded an all-clear to his companion. The receiver showed that there was no evidence of any sort of bleeper attached to the truck that was loaded with a ton of chemicals and equipment. The truck, once a workhorse for the Grateful Dead's electronic equipment, could not be tailed electronically. The BDAC men were still relying on old-fashioned techniques. As the vehicle's engine roared into life, the agents in the -two cars also turned on their ignitions.
On Interstate Highway 80 the green truck rumbled along at the head of the convoy. The agents speculated on their destination for the day. They had found Scully after they had paid a visit to a Bay chemical firm requesting information on anyone asking for chemicals which the BDAC scientists said would be needed for LSD production. Scully, with an introduction from Owsley, duly turned up. The firm even allowed a BDAC man to be present when Scully came back for his order; he helped Scully load up. Perhaps it was a little foolish for the agent to get into his car and immediately start following Scully, but sooner or later the target would have worked out he was being tailed.
The sight of a BDAC car in the rear-view mirror threw Scully, the first time. Gradually he realized that the agents were not only inexperienced but unlikely to act unless he led them to a laboratory. He could go through red lights, do anything outrageousand the BDAC men sat in their cars, pretending they were invisible.
When Scully pulled in for fuel on a trip, the agents would pull in at the garage as soon as he had left and quiz the attendant for any clues to the next port of call. As soon as they pulled out, Scully would pass them going the other way and stop at the garage again to ask what the agents had asked. Then the agents would go back and ask what Scully had asked about them.
But they never lost him. Since the streets were laid out in grids, the two BDAC cars simply drove along parallel roads, linked by radio, until they saw the truck. The only problem they ever had was when Scully was using a car and nobody could work out where he went.
Today it was the truck again. They seemed to be heading for San José.
In the cab of the truck Scully called for directions from his companion as they came into the city. His friend spread out a map, looking for the junction he had ringed.
It was close now: a point where ten or twelve roads converged. Scully could see the junction as the first of the BDAC cars closed in through the traffic. He hunched over the wheel, his foot on the accelerator keeping the speed steady.
As he came closer the lights were green, and then started to change.
Scully jammed his foot down hard. On red he was across, scraping over as traffic started across behind him. In the mirror he could see the first of the BDAC cars trapped, unable to dodge across because of the traffic pressure. It was a long red lightScully had checked.
Scully turned the truck through the side streets with no sign of the agents behind. The chemist and his friend had picked this area precisely because the streets did not run in grids, so there was no way the agents could pick him up.
The truck headed out of San José. Scully was still shooting anxious glances at the mirror, but the BDAC men were gone, still searching disconsolately through the back streets of San José. If they had kept up with Scully's car on those mysterious trips, they would have known where to go: Scully was on his way to Denver, Colorado. His new laboratory was 2,000 miles from San Francisco.
He had rented a suburban house, telling the owner that he was doing work with radio isotopes on a government licence which required special security. Notwithstanding the planning rules for the area, the work had to be done in the basement and if the lady wanted to sell, which she did, Scully would eventually buyif his work was kept secret.
After a day-and-night drive across the Rockies, Scully, the van and the equipment arrived safely. With the laboratory set up, he returned to San Francisco and Owsley's store of lysergic acid. But when he mentioned the chemical a strange thing happened. Owsley was stricken by intuition. Though capable of being hard-headed, Owsley was one of those people who went very much by gutreaction, and now he announced that his reaction to the idea of a fresh LSD run was negative. What he failed to tell Scully was that the lysergic acid was hidden in an Arizona safety deposit box under a false name. Owsley kept no written records and he had forgotten the false name. The 'negative intuition' was cover for an acute attack of embarrassment. But Scully's work could not be allowed to go to waste. Owsley made a suggestion.
Instead of the promised lysergic acid, Owsley offered Scully a tablet with 20 milligrams of a new drug called STP. Developed in 1964 by an experimental chemist working for the Dow Chemical Company, STP was an amphetamine-related psychedelic like mescaline. Unlike LSD, the body does not readily assimilate STP and effects can last as long as seventy-two hours when large doses are taken. LSD peaks only last an hour, but an STP user taking a dose of, say, 20 milligrams finds that he seems to go on rising through a peak lasting up to twelve hours. Smaller doses of 3 to 5 milligrams produce a very smooth effect rather like, as one user put it, 'somebody has taken your eyeballs and washed them like a window cleaner with a soft cloth; everything just flows very smoothly'. One of Owsley's friends coined the initials STP after an oil additive for engines, and journalists later spelled out the initials as Serenity, Tranquillity and Peace.
The great advantage of STP was that neither BDAC nor the government knew anything about it. Scully would be making a drug that did not officially exist, which meant that any 'dues' (risks) were minimal. Scully, not entirely enamoured with STP after his own experiences, agreed to make the stuff while Owsley waited for his 'intuition' on LSD to come positive. (Owsley had undergone hypnosis to try and remember the name for the deposit box.) To reduce any risks, Scully persuaded Owsley not to sell any STP until the Denver laboratory had completed production. The raw materials for the drug were easily obtainable but Owsley only had a rough sketch of the process, which left Scully to refine the manufacture with the aid of the scientific libraries at Berkeley. Production was finally under way when Scully was contacted by Owsley. Having finally made it to Millbrook, Owsley had made contact with Nick Sand, 'alchemist to the Neo-American Church'. After an eventful journey across America, Sand was in San Francisco, eager to learn the secrets of STP.
Nick Sand was not the sort of chemist to spend his time sitting in a faculty building looking up formulae. He was a graduate of the bath-tub school of chemistry and at the age of twenty-six he was a senior member of the alumni, the Prohibition bootlegger reincarnated. A bright, energetic New Yorker, he sought nothing else in life but to make chemicals and money. There are those who say that Sand to his dying day will be working somewhere in a laboratory. He was street-wise where Scully was innocent, with an ego every bit as bigmaybe bigger -than Owsley's.
He began his career in his mother's home in an apartment block in Brooklyn while still at school. In the early 1960s he spent a year away at college, came home and worked for a degree in sociology and anthropology at Brooklyn College. A devotee of Gurdjieff, a Graeco-Russian mystic, Sand belonged to a New York group dedicated to his teachings, which may well have led him into Greenwich Village and the LSD scene. From there he travelled up to Millbrook and grew to know Leary well.
After finishing college in 1966, Sand worked for a short while as a census-taker for the New York port authority the only legal job he is ever known to have hadand then established the Bell Perfume Company with Alan Bell, a childhood friend. Sited opposite the local police station and the Hall of Justice, the company set out to manufacture mescaline, DMT, the drug made by Owsley at Point Richmond, and DET, another hallucinogenic closely related to DMT. It was there Sand established his reputation by cooking up a bath-full of DMT. Unlike Owsley, Sand was not particular about the purity he achieved, and the DMT came out a yellowish orange rather than the salt-like crystal it should have been. The impurities in DMT are the same substances which give faeces its smell. Sand's DMT stank.
By the time Owsley turned up at Millbrook, Sand had other problems. The New York police were taking an interest in his activitieshe had a conviction for possession of marijuanaand the time might well be ripe to make a move westwards. Leary was constantly visiting California now and Hitchcock was interested in going out there as well. Owsley expounded the virtues of STP and the pleasures of HaightAshbury. Sand loaded up a truck with equipment and chemicals, recruited a partner for the West Coast and began driving but, being Sand, there just had to be that little disaster on the way.
State Patrolman J. J. Johnson never benefited from the BDAC men's campus education. He was cut more in the Broderick Crawford mould of law-enforcement officer, not a man for finesse. Two hundred miles north-west of Denver, Johnson was guarding a weigh station at Dinosaur, near the township of Craig, in late March 1967. Trucks are supposed to be weighed at weigh stations to make sure they are not travelling overloaded and therefore being a menace to themselves and other highway users. That was what the law said and that was what Officer Johnson was there to make sure happened. But there was this ageing truck with California plates which did not seem to be stopping.
Sand, with his equipment and chemicals on board, was not about to stop for anything as trivial as a weigh station in the middle of nowhere. The next thing he knew as the weigh station disappeared behind him was the sound of a police siren: Officer Johnson in hot pursuit.
Sand pulled over, to find himself covered by a large police revolver in the unwavering hand of the state patrolman. Ten days in the county jail.
But the bad luck had only just started. A drug store in Craig, where Sand was jailed, had been burgled the night before the weigh station incident; the local sheriff got to thinking about this and the truck and the New Yorker driving it. Innocent people do not evade weigh stations. Backed by a posse, the sheriff broke into Sand's truck.
Next thing, the telephone lines to BDAC regional headquarters were fairly burning as the good sheriff summoned expert help. The sheriff and the BDAC men proudly announced they had uncovered a mobile laboratory with 20 lb. of 'LSD', valued initially at $336 million. Since the drug was not pure but apparently only partially processed, the estimate rapidly dropped to $1.5 million.
However, the law officers' jubilation soured. Was the search lawful without a warrant? The BDAC men rounded on the sheriff for acting in haste. Sand left them to argue the point. Freed on bail, he was now bereft of both equipment and chemicals. (The truck's contents were eventually returned two years later because the search had been unlawful.) He could not even return to New York for fresh supplies because, the day after his arrest, the old laboratory was destroyed by fire and Alan Bell died. The story Sand gave to friends was that Bell was the victim of the same imprecision which made his DMT stink: he had fallen asleep in the laboratory, leaving a flame burning.
It was a somewhat frustrated Sand who arrived in San Francisco, but Owsley saved the day. Instead of one laboratory he would have two. Sand would set up shop in San Francisco and Scully would continue in Denver. The output would be tableted and distributed by Owsley.
Provided with the formula for STP, Sand, the hustler, decided on a short-cut and sent it off to the chemical suppliers he had used in New York. Could they perhaps make up this formula? Back came a negative reply and his cheque. If it had to be a laboratory, then so be it... but Sand, the chemist, vowed that his would pump out STP like never before.
In July 1967, Sand started business. The laboratory was hidden in an area on the east side of San Francisco between two large agricultural markets. In a rented house overlooking the approach road, Sand kept a sentry ready by a telephone to warn of approaching police.
But the greatest danger was in the laboratory itself. The pride of his laboratory was a 150-gallon soup-vessel bought from a restaurant supply store in San Francisco. Scully had designed a piece of equipment with which Sand could 'cook up' STP. The vessel, six feet high and three feet across, was Sand's interpretive short-cut on Scully's careful drawings. At first no one noticed anything. Sand and his helpers worked busily away round the soup-vessel as it built up heat, the top secured by a pressure-cooker lid. Then someone started coughing. The heat was really rising in the vessel now. Someone else was coughing. Then everybody began wheezing and gasping for air. There was a mad rush for the doors and fresh air.
There comes a point in the process when noxious fumes are given off, especially if the process is allowed to overheat. Sand had allowed his wonderful soup-vessel to overheat, pouring out hydrochloric acid. When he got back into the laboratory, Sand could look at the sky through the hole in the roof eaten away by the acid.
As Sand corrected his mistake and made his repairs, STP was already being distributed from Denver. Owsley had ignored his deal with Scully, passing out 5,000 doses for the summer solstice festival organized in Haight. The dosages were highOwsley had distributed 30-milligram doses at Millbrook earlier in the year and left the place floored for three daysand warnings rapidly spread through Haight. Attempts to stifle the effects with thorazine, the standard response to bad LSD experiences, only seemed to make things worse. Finally 'the Alchemist' appeared in the offices of the Berkeley Barb to put the record straight. STP, he understood, was made 'by people who considered it a sacrament and if it was not free it was not STP'.
The Denver laboratory produced at least 2 lb of STP before Owsley finally remembered where he had put the lysergic acid. In the early autumn, Owsley and Scully finished the cache to produce more White Lightning and what became famous among devotees as 'Pink Owsley'. Owsley was refining his work with greater and greater skill. He devised a system for recycling impure material from the purifying process and using it again. Early tablets were uneven in content but Owsley worked to rectify this, trying to ensure that LSD could not be rubbed off or soaked away with the sweat of a hand.
Although at his peak, Owsley may well have considered retiring. The cache of lysergic acid was finished and the attractions of Haight were beginning to pall under the deluge of touristsnot to mention the men from BDAC. There were also the profits of Owsley's productions. By the winter of 1967 over $320,000 were salted away in safe-deposit boxes around San Francisco. Another $225,000 had been moved abroad, courtesy of Billy Hitchcock. The trip to 'Millbrook had not been uneventful. Near the estate, Owsley had been stopped by police and, reeking as usual of patchouli oil, he aroused their suspicions. Searching Owsley's car, they discovered a safe-deposit key for a New York box filled by Melissa Cargill, his girlfriend, who flew across the United States to top up the box. A panic-stricken Owsley contacted Hitchcock... who knew just what to do. Since the 1960s, he had acted as a broker for the Fiduciary Trust Company, based in the Bahamas and an offshoot of Bernie Cornfeld's ill-starred Investors' Overseas Services empire. Charles Rumsey, Hitchcock's friend, was the New York lawyer for Fiduciary. The two opened the safe-deposit on behalf of Owsley, and in the bedroom of Hitchcock's New York apartment the money was passed over to the general manager of Fiduciary to open the 'Robin Goodfellow' account. Owsley also had an account in London, contents never revealed. The task may have been divine, but the fruits were certainly worldly. By comparison, Scully earned little more than $6,000 a year with Owsley, and his ambitions went no higher than a plain Chinese meal.
While Owsley was meditating on his future and organizing the tableting, Scully was still insistent on his goal of turning the world on. Owsley shook his head. Try Hitchcock, he said; he might just be interested. The young millionaire had first visited San Francisco after meeting Owsley; he liked what he saw. Millbrook, beset by feuds between the various esoteric tenants and the attentions of the police, was past its heyday. Haight was where it was at, and Hitchcock moved his life west.
Renting a house in the pleasant San Francisco suburb of Sausalito, home of artists and LSD luminaries, he maintained his business life through a secretary in New York who kept in touch by telephone. Through Leary, he met the West Coast psychedelic movement; and through Owsley, he stepped into its illicit side. Once again he found his wealth attracted attention. While working on the STP laboratory, Sand popped up clutching the formula Scully had given him, claiming it was the original, promising he had the help of the inventor and asking for finance. Hitchcock demurred but promised to stay in touch. Owsley introduced his new friend to the Angels. Hitchcock warmed to Owsley's suggestion that perhaps he, Hitchcock, might like to move in. He moved another $90,000 for the chemist to the Bahamas. Short of cash to operate, Scully borrowed from Hitchcock on behalf of Owsley -whose credit was clearly goodand then Sand, Scully and Hitchcock got together for a conference. If Owsley did quit, maybe... That was always providing the damned BDAC agents...
BDAC agent Orve Hendrix was sitting in his car outside the Scully home when he saw Scully come out with another man. Hendrix spotted that the man was trying to conceal a brown paper bag, and as far as he was concerned that meant only one thing. Scully was up to something which might be enough to get the case against him rolling. With his partner in the second BDAC car some way behind him, Hendrix tagged on behind Scully and friend as they drove out of Berkeley and into the hills. They drove into an area with a lot of dead-end streets, turned into one and pulled up outside a house.
As Hendrix came along the street, Scully and the second man, still clutching the bag, got out of their car and began walking up to the f ront door of the house. While his partner stopped at the top of the road, ready to take off quickly if necessary, Hendrix stopped his car outside the house next door to the one the two men were approaching.
Getting out, Hendrix began walking up the pathway as though he too were calling on someone who just happened to live next door. Unfortunately, a woman in the house had heard Hendrix's car pull up and came to the door. Thrown for a moment, he backed away down the path and, as he did so, Scully's friend rushed across the front lawn to stick a camera in his startled face.
Hendrix exploded. Screaming mad, he ran after the photographer and Scully as they rushed for their car, frightened that in his fury the agent might pull a gun on them.
Pulling away, they could see Hendrix climb into his own car, start the engine and try to make a wild turn to follow them out of the dead end.
In his haste he knocked over a mail box, and Scully stopped his car. 'Hey, mister. You knocked over those folks' mail box,' he shouted.
Hendrix, startled, stopped the car and went round the rear to try and right the crumpled box.
Under the headline 'Hunting the Nark can be quite a Lark', the Berkeley Barb printed both the picture and the story in November 1967, without attributing the source. Scully had taken his revenge after a year of harassment.
A year earlier, Scully had taken to smiling and waving at BDAC agents like old friends. It was 'nicer than scowling at them; I was trying to maintain a friendly attitude at that point. We thought the government was evil but the folks working for the government we thought of as ordinary people caught up in doing their jobs who were sincere too. So we tried to avoid getting them mad at us.' What changed was that Scully, a nice enough man, after months of being tailed, could take no more. The constant hassle of trying to lose the agents became too big an irritant and he concocted the trap as a minor revenge. The bag was the poisoned bait: the camera was inside it.
BDAC eventually printed the story as a cautionary tale in its internal staff magazine. Agent Hendrix still works for the federal successor to BDAC.
While Hendrix nursed his bruised ego, BDAC considered its revenge. For months agents had been out on the streets hovering on the fringe of Haight, buying drugs, trying to trace back sources, keeping abreast of the market. Often single men in their late twenties and early thirties, they were prepared to put in long hours of surveillance.
The ideal opportunity was a buy which led back towards the source of supply, but Owsley was always very careful about his distribution. BDAC could not get beyond the street level to the Hell's Angels and their supplier. The Denver laboratory had closed without ever being discovered. The BDAC's only hope was to reach the LSD at the tableting stage.
Agent Ken Cresswell had been after Owsley for a very long time when he was offered some genuine Owsley LSD tablets from a dealer with a small supply. The dealer was not one of the normal sellers supplied through the Hell's Angel chain, and Cresswell went through with the deal. The dealer was followed surreptitiously, for once, leading the BDAC men back to a three-storey house at Orinda, near the city. Cresswell suddenly became very interested indeed when he saw who the tenants were.
Scully was still laughing over the incident with Hendrix on 20 December 1967, when he looked out of his home in Berkeley and noticed that the BDAC stake-out had changed alarmingly. Where there were normally two or three agents, now he counted something like thirty.
Owsley always insisted that any telephone calls should be made from public telephone boxes to avoid the risk of tapping. Scully slipped out and rang the chemist. Something's up, he told him, there are BDAC guys everywhere. Have you got any problems? Maybe we should take off for a little while.
Paranoia, Tim, said Owsley. Pure paranoia. No problems here. Forget it.
But Scully was still uneasy, whatever Owsley's famous intuition told him. Scully flew down to Los Angeles to see a leading criminal lawyer whom Owsley kept on retainer. He was sitting in counsel's office the next day when the telephone rang with a chastened Owsley on the line.
On 21 December, six BDAC agents broke down the door of the Orinda house and discovered Owsley's tableting operation, 161 grams of STP and 217 grams of LSDone dealer put the street value of the haul at over $11 million.
Owsley was just setting up a barbecue for some friends. As the BDAC men crowded in, his first response was 'How did they find me?' The dealer Cresswell had followed was one of the small team working on the tableting. Careful though the chemist might be about distribution, he always allowed the tableters to take something for themselves to sell privately.
As the agents inspected the tableting rooms that were covered with plastic sheeting to allow LSD dust to be collected and recycled, Owsley stood on his dignity. 'You're uninvited guests. Please take only the contraband.'
'Oh, you mean this,' the agents asked, brandishing the stockpiles of LSD and STP.
'I make only the purest acid, for my family and friends,' Owsley said huffily. Furthermore, he said, all his products conformed to the highest federal regulations for legitimate drugs.
Released on bail, Owsley rapidly emptied his safety deposit boxes with the aid of the Angels, and prepared for his trial. A federal court gave him three years in prison and a fine for tax evasion. His advice to Scully was simple: 'You're on your own.'
It was not only lonely, it was getting cold. Haight's Summer of Love was turning into a Winter of Despair. In the autumn of 1967, the community officially declared 'The Death of Hippie' complete with an autopsy by the Berkeley Barb. The newspaper's own pages showed the changing times with an influx of pornography and massage parlour advertisements. In 1968, federal controls on drugs changed, to make possession of the main psychedelics a misdemeanour and their sale a felony. The short-lived BDAC was soon to be merged with the Bureau of Narcotics, forming the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, controlled by the Department of Justice instead of by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The psychedelics were now considered in the same light as narcotics.
Scully, however, still believed it was possible that the psychedelic movement could survive its over-exposure and the advances of the law, not to mention public cynicism and corruption. He clung to his aim of turning the entire world on. For succour and support he now looked towards Hitchcock and the promises held out by the talks of the autumn. The young millionaire might not be a chemist or a folk hero like Owsley, but his credentials were impeccable in the psychedelic movement. Apart from the loan of Millbrook to Leary, he had also provided financial aid for the would-be psychedelic revolutionary in his brushes with the law. On the West Coast, Hitchcock's home at Sausalito was open house for local luminaries.
Scully's proposition was quite simple. He not only wanted to make more LSD but he wanted to give it away. He recalled later; 'My view was that the sale of psychedelics was corrupting and was going to be the downfall of the drug scene. People getting into things above their heads and dealing drugs is more addictive than taking them.' There had already been one dramatic killing in San Francisco in September 1967 when a black dealer in Haight called 'Superspade' was shot and stabbed while carrying $50,000 to make an LSD buy. Scully was equally unhappy about Owsley's use of the Hell's Angels. The gang had not dallied with LSD for very long; the transformation created by the drug wore off. The psychedelics added to a growing list of drugs from which they extracted huge profits, using violence and intimidation to achieve dealing monopolies. At the same time, new networks were created. An Angel called Tommy Teeshirt supplied rock musicians, while a non-Angel was used to sell to suburban 'closet heads'users who wanted to keep their 'straight' image with the neighbours.
Scully knew that although Owsley treated himself handsomely out of his LSD profitswith trips to Europe, for examplehe also ploughed considerable amounts into the Haight community and backed the musical efforts of the Grateful Dead. But the Angels Used their profits in a bizarre carnival of spending. TraceyTerry the Tramp and head of the distribution networkbought Wethern, his second-in-command, a seven-foot anti-tank gun for his birthday, which the Angel added to an arsenal including foreign machine guns and hand-tooled pistols. There were exotic petsseveral Angels kept lionessesand the Harley-Davidsons were retired honourably, to be replaced by Jaguar and Cadillac cars.
Haight now included a large number of people whose only form of support was drug dealing, either on a street level for the Angels or on behalf of other entrepreneurs. Scully thought he could see danger ahead. 'There is a lot of status, egoism, friends. I have met very few people who have ever kicked the habit and I was beginning to see the process. I was trying to put a stop to it. I wanted Billy Hitchcock to finance large amounts of acid which could be given away.'
Hitchcock explained that he too saw the virtues of LSD. He later said: 'I don't believe the drugs themselves were responsible for the process of learning but I think they maybe cleared the tubes or the blocks that had allowed me to accept certain things in a sort of prima facie way without really examining them.' But on one thing he was adamant: there would not be any free LSD. The drug might be sacred, but in Hitchcock's view people never valued anything that they got for nothing. Besides, what was a dollar a dose?
At the end of the day it was Hitchcock who won. How could he lose? He had the money, and if Scully wanted to get out LSD he would have to accept the terms. Hitchcock became the banker, although he later told friends he had been nothing more than a counsellor and financial adviser. That may be true up to a point, but this member of one of America's wealthiest families also played a role somewhere between director and fixer, not only helping Scully but also Sand.
The BDAC men had stopped the tableting process, but Sand was still merrily churning out STP from his San Francisco plant. However, there was no way of turning it into presentable form for the street.
Out of that grey, cold mist that seemed to Scully to be creeping up on the psychedelic movement and infiltrating it with the mores of professional criminality, came Donald Munson. Munson claimed to have the solution to Sand's problem.
He was discovered by accident at a Hollywood party where he appeared to be very knowledgeable about the drug world. Pressed by other guests, he claimed to know where certain types of equipment were easily obtainable. One of the guests passed the information back to Sand, who conferred with Scully. The two made contact with Munson and found themselves with a very unlikely character. Donald Munson, in his mid-thirties, was a onetime gold smuggler who now worked as the scriptwriter for a religious programme on TV. But the demands of scriptwriting could be set aside if the price was right. He did indeed know of a tableting machine which was in the hands of a man called 'Joe'. If that did not sound a little dubious to Sand and Scully, 'Joe' could be found in Chicago, where the gangsters were supposed to work and play.
'Joe' was huge. A heavy-set man dressed in a black suit, dark gloves and dark hat, he looked like a cross between an American football player and an undertaker. Furthermore, at the meeting place outside Chicago's main airport, it was quite clear that he was none too impressed by his customers. Scully and Sand, the latter with a bankroll in his back pocket, shook hands as Munson introduced them. The two chemists, dressed in jeans, could feel the restrained power in the man's grip. Was that bulge in his jacket a gun?
Ushered into 'Joe's' car, as sombre as the dress of its owner, the chemists found themselves being driven along the shore of Lake Michigan. It was a dark, wet night and the lake looked wide, deep and hostile. Sand could feel the bankroll burning in his back pocket.
And then the car stopped. The engine no longer muffled the sound of the rain and the wind.
'Joe' turned round in the seat and said: 'I'd like to show you my gun collection.'
Sand and Scully froze as the man reached forward into the car's glove compartment. 'Joe' brought out a gun and passed it over to the back seat.
What were the two chemists to do? Turn the gun on the man and make a run for it? Keep cool.
They admired the gun.
'Joe' reached into the glove compartment again. He turned round with two large marijuana cigarettes.
'You guys wanna smoke?'
With considerable relief and some bewilderment, the two chemists lit up. For a Mafia man, 'Joe' had some very quaint habits. It began to dawn on Scully and Sand that things were not quite as they appeared.
'Joe' introduced himself properly as Joe Helpern; it became clear, as the night wore on, that the nearest he had got to organized crime was having a Chicago address. He drove to a motel which he said was owned by 'our people' and where the chemists were told, 'Anything you want, just ask.' Once everyone was booked in, Helpern produced a shopping bag of best marijuana to pass away the evening. Over dinner he played chess with Munson. Afterwards he discussed Gurdjieff with Sand. No... whatever Helpern was, he was not Mafia.
The next day he turned out to be the salesman for two ancient tableting presses stored in Detroit. Sand paid $7,000 for machines that he would have to cannibalize into one working piece of equipment. Munson got a third of the price for the machines which, even transformed into one, still never worked properly.
A few weeks after the Chicago trip, Scully found himself on a second business trip. In the men's department of a leading New York store he busily shucked off his hippie image under Munson's watchful eye. Off came the jeans, the loose shirt, the beads. On went a nice tasteful collection of Ivy League clothes: a quiet jacket and slacks, a shirt, a tie. Munson took him for a haircut. Good smugglers, said the man who used to run gold into India, do not arouse suspicion. Good smugglers, he told Scully, should not look like hippies. Scully was on his way to Europe in search of raw materials.
The major problem facing both Scully and Sand was the availability of chemical bases. Owsley's cache was finished, and federal agents were wise to the possibility of purchases in the United States. There were two potential sources: one was a Swiss chemical trader Sand knew through his dealings on the East Coast. The other was an Englishman Hitchcock knew of who went back to the very early days. His name was Michael Druce, and early in 1968 he was to be found working in London as a chemicals broker, a wheeler-dealer in drugs and compounds on the wholesale markets of Europe. In his own small way Druce, who had left school at fifteen to work for a chemical company and then struck out on his own, had played a significant part in the emergence of the psychedelic movement in the United States. For in the early 1960s, Druce had supplied psychedelics to both Millbrook and the West Coast, as well as to Europe.
Druce was not a convert to the psychedelics although he did dabble in them. His interest was largely one of profit. He said recently: 'There was a lot of business to be had in Eastern Europe and one of the things for which there was a big market in those days was Czechoslovakian LSD. The LSD was a good starting-up point because no one knew anything about it.' Early in the 1960s, the Czechs, no longer bothered by the expired Sandoz patent, were producing 24 grams of LSD each quarter and exporting it through a state trading company. In Britain the Czechs' outlet was their own company, Exico. The LSD came in Imilligram vials for small orders or in 100-milligram ampoules of powder for bulk purchases. At one stage Druce was Exico's biggest British consumer for laboratory chemicals. It was he who organized the sale of 400 grams of LSD to Red China.
But Druce also cultivated a mail-order business and over a period supplied a total of 30 to 40 grams of LSD. One source within Exico suggests that Druce's business was even bigger, with purchases of 9 kilos between 1964 and 1965. In Britain, Druce sold LSD in London, Oxford and the Home Counties. In the United States, he sold 5 grams to a middle-aged woman in Los Angeles; she capped the drug into 100microgram doses in her kitchen and sold them.
In some ways Druce could vie with Hollingshead as the man who turned on the worldthe title Hollingshead used for his autobiography of life with Leary. It was he, Druce, who kept Millbrook going when LSD was in short supply in the United States. The connection was Alper who flew to London to pick up cash deliveries at rendezvous in the plush bars of the Cumberland and Hilton hotels. The rapport which grew between them was such that Alpert once presented Druce with a copy of a book he and Leary had written together on psychedelic use.
With LSD proscribed, Druce withdrew from business. His name, however, was not forgotten by the Millbrook group. Soon after Billy Hitchcock moved to the West Coast, a representative arrived in London and visited Drucenow owner of Charles Druce Ltdwith a long list of psychedelics which Druce says he refused to supply.
Early in 1968, Billy Hitchcock suggested to Scully that Druce might not have such qualms about raw materials. The Americans knew that lysergic acid or ergotamine tartrate was being produced in Italy and Czechoslovakia. It might be dangerous to approach the producers direct, but a broker like Druce would arouse no suspicion. Chemical brokers or traders work like their equivalents in other commodity markets, storing merchandise against price rises or trading with one another. If Druce could get the supplies, Scully, with Munson's aid, would smuggle the chemicals back to the United States.
Scully tried both Sand's Swiss broker and Druce. Once again he found he was moving in a world which was not always what it seemed.
Druce indeed had lysergic acid on offer which, it transpired, was the same lysergic acid the Swiss source claimed to have (Druce and the man were involved in trading). The Swiss man had already taken a hefty deposit and was asking twice Druce's price. A deal was instead struck with Druce for $4,500 and the lysergic acid sent to the United States by post, stuffed in several children's brightly coloured soft toys. But on examination in the United States, Scully discovered he had bought what looked like talcum powder. Druce, telephoned long-distance, pleaded ignorance. As a sign of good faith he offered I kilo (1,000 grams) of lysergic acid at the price normally charged for 750 grams. After reference to Hitchcock, Scully agreed. Apart from anything else, they needed the order Scully had also placed for ergotamine tartrate.
Druce knew the chemicals might be used for something like LSD, but he saw the deals purely as good business deals which in themselves were not illegal. Scully paid $9,000 for 2.8 kilos of ergotamine tartrate at $3.25 a gram. The ergotamine was sent to the United States as 'CQ equipment for gas chromatography', a means of chemical analysis, and picked up at a chemical firm by someone on behalf of 'Tim Philips', Scully's name in London. Scully would go back to London and collect the promised kilo of lysergic acid, which could be placed in a Swiss bank deposit until needed.
The money from the psychedelics was now steadily moving out of the United States to hidden corners of the banking world in the same way professional criminals hid their gains. While Scully was busy arranging raw materials, Hitchcock went to work for Sand much as he had for Owsley. Sand had made use of Swiss accounts before he moved to the West Coast; but in the spring of 1968, led by Hitchcock, he followed Owsley's example by moving funds to the Bahamas. On a trip to Nassau with Hitchcock, he opened up an account with Fiduciary Trust under the name of Alan Bell, his dead partner, and deposited $70,000. In the space of a year, the trust had handled $385,000Owsley had moved a further $90,000 to his account from the money he recovered after he was arrested and bailedand much of it came through the Angels. Owsley's link with them had been taken over by Sandbut it proved to be a dangerous liaison, as Scully feared.
Both Hitchcock and Sand had met TraceyTerry the Trampthrough Owsley. The chemist's parting gift to his friends among the Angels was a cache of LSD crystals the BDAC men had missed and a new connection for their drug supplies. According to Tracey's number two, Wethern, Sand was more than eager to fill the breach, offering a weekly supply of LSD worth $50,000 in exchange for $40,000. The Angels were happy with the arrangement sweetened by samples of DMT, the drug Sand had made in New York and which he handed round at the conference. If the Angels liked the drug, he would make it for them in return for a supply of raw materials. The Angels did indeed like the quick-acting drug and agreed to supply chemicals.
The first delivery of LSD went smoothly enough. Sand handed over 27,000 yellow tablets which Wethern circulated among other Angels and in Berkeley. 'Me word came back that they were every bit as good as anything Owsley had made. But as the system regularized, complaints started to come back from the streets that customers were not getting LSD. Wethern personally 'interviewed' Sand who admitted that he still had some STP to get rid of before beginning LSD production. The Angels, lacking any other supplier, were forced to accept the situation and sell STP until Sand had exhausted his stock. Sand should have realized then the dangers he could face if he tried to be too clever.
The STP brought further problems when 12,000 doses hidden in a garage were transformed into a useless blob by moisture. Tracey and Wethern decided to force Sand to take back the wasted material and drove the seventy-five miles from San Francisco to Cloverdale where Sand was living on a rented ranch. Wethern, having failed to shoot the lock off the ranch gates, climbed over with Tracey. The two massive Angels stalked past the duck pond, the geodesic dome, the orchard and the tepees installed by Sand, towards the main house. The inhabitants greeted the visitors cautiously. Witnesses to the visit said that the Angels, in their usual tactless way, toted guns at women and children, held everybody up and then took anything of value they could find. Wethern denies this but admits that he and Tracey practised with their guns on a hillside until a worried Sand arrived to replace the useless drugs.
Peace returned. However, the Angels began to discover they were now having difficulties in moving any STP at all. No one seemed to want to buy. In their own inimitable fashion, the Angels began to investigate the state of the market. Their conclusions resulted in a very unusual business conference.
Wethern parked his car outside a cemetery. In the back Sand was jammed in between several large Angels. Why, Wethern wanted to know, was there so much trouble moving STP? Why Nick? Why Nick?
The Angel answered for him. The gang had paid a visit to a dealer who had always been a good customer, on the boat that he kept. With a rock and a rope round his neck the dealer explained that he no longer wanted Angel STP because he could get it at a better price.
Do you know who from, Nick? the Angel asked. Guess. You.
The revelation was the signal for Sand to be pistol-whipped. As he slumped, bleeding, Wethern still wanted to know how Sand could keep up his supplies to the Angels and run another deal on the side. It is not recorded how long Sand took to pluck up the courage and reply. But finally he did.
The raw materials Sand had requested from the Angels to make their DMT had been diverted to STP production. Chemicals stolen by the Angels from factories, laboratories and universities had been used to cheat them. Wethern estimated that Sand had been given, free, enough chemicals to make something like 8 million STP doses.
Before Sand left the car, Wethern pressed his nose to the window and made him stare at the tombstones across the road. The message was very clear.
A chastened Sand finally ended his STP production in May 1968, worried by the appearance of police in the area. There was little doubt now that Scully had been right. In future the Angels would be strenuously avoided, but trusted dealers do not appear as if by magic. At least there was a little time to spare. As Sand closed down, Scully began operating his LSD run; the search for new distributors could be paced against his progress.
Once again he had chosen suburban Denver as his venue. Having worked there once without detection, there was no reason why he should not succeed again, safely distanced from San Francisco in a city which he now knew. In June, Scully had hardly started when he had to return to San Francisco. He left without qualms. Nothing could go wrong in the sunny, sleepy streets of the Colorado capital.
Like all the homes around it, 1050 South Elmira Street, Scully's laboratory site, had a large lawn. In the summer everyone vied to keep their lawns green and lush. Each evening the soft swish of sprinklers ushered home the weary Denver suburbanite. But not at Number 1050 in the summer of 1968. Water in that part of Denver had to be drawn by pump from wells, and the pump at Number 1050 had broken down.
Two of Scully's friends were in charge of the rented house; they decided to fly to San Francisco to report the problem to Scully. Scully, busy with other matters, just told them to go back and get the thing fixed. The couple decided to drive back leisurely.
They were still on the road when the neighbours began telephoning the owner of the house about the state of the lawn. It was no good having a nice house in a nice suburb if someone let the side down by not keeping their grass up to scratch. Think what would happen to house prices if lawns dried out. It would be an eyesore. And an eyesore was appearing on the turf of Number 1050. The dry grass was turning a nasty shade of yellow.
An angry owner drove up to the house one Saturday.
The grass was so dry a cigarette stub would have sent it up. Walking round the silent house he wrinkled his nose. There was a terrible smell from somewhere. A dead body? My God. Someone has changed the locks. Call the police.
A patrol car arrived. With the owner's permission, the policeman broke in. The party began hunting the house for that awful smell.
In the basement they found the smell coming from spilt chemicals. They were standing in a laboratory as sophisticated as any in the city's hospitals. Scully had invested $25,000 in building up the best laboratory the illicit LSD world had probably seen at that time.
Next day, while the fire brigade Watered the lawn, police scientists examined the small samples of LSD they found. After analysis, they reported the quality was higher than anything made by Sandoz or other of the commercial firms.
In San Francisco, Scully had heard nothing from his friends and put in a call to Denver. He put the telephone down with a start when a voice answered: 'Scully residence.' There were papers lying around with his real name on, but the house had been rented under a pseudonym.
It was too late to warn the couple on the road. Scully had no idea where they were. For all he knew, they might already have been caught. Four days after the laboratory was discovered, they arrived in Denver, blissfully unaware of events. The laboratory had made frontPage news, but they never noticed. They managed to drive up to the house without even seeing the police cars. Walking in to find all manner of strange people wandering around, they demanded to know what was happening... and were promptly arrested.
Scully still had lysergic acid picked up from London, but there was now neither a laboratory nor a distribution network. Scully, with many of his possessions in the hands of the police in Denver, joined Hitchcock at Sausalito while they discussed what to do next.
They were still pondering their next move when Hitchcock had a couple of callers. John Griggs had met him before, through Leary, when the millionaire first came west. In the summer of 1968, Griggs dropped in again, bringing Michael Randall with him. The Brotherhood also had difficulties.
In the months since taking over the Idylwild ranch the Brothers had developed a tradition, by the summer of 1968, of using LSD communally once a week, often under the leadership of Leary. A group of Brothers, Leary and Rosemary would climb up to the ridge abovethe ranch buildings each week and into the cave set aside for the ceremony. The cave was quite large, fitted out with fur rugs on the floor and large cushions covered with Indian silk. Near the entrance a crude fireplace had been built, and light came from two hanging lamps.
At their best, the communal sessions were a tremendous experience. Sometimes, when the moon was full, the rugs would be hauled out of the cave and set round a square hearth nearby. The hearth, based on the ceremonial hearths used by Indians for peyote ceremonies, was surrounded by a large circle of fine sand and became the core of the session. As the others sat hushed, Leary would say a prayer enjoining the congregation to open their minds to the wonders to come. A small wicker basket circulated, filled with LSD, and each person took whatever size dose he wantedthe average was usually as much as 1,500 micrograms.
With the moon gleaming above, shining on the desert and Palm Springs in the distance, the session gathered pace. First an Indian peyote rattle would be passed round; as each person took hold of it they began to yell, shout, laugh, screamtheir voices ringing out on the still air.
As the voices died on the night, the mood quietened to rhythmic chanting for a hour or so. Then a flute would accompany the voices, dancing alongside them. This was the cue for other instruments to pick up the beat until everyone was playing somethingdrums, guitars.
One July night in 1968, the rhythm and harmony never emerged. The LSD went round as usual. Griggs, Lynd, Randall, several other Brothers and the Learys each took their doses. Yet the effect was muted, and the session limped through the night with more troughs than peaks. It was a scattered, uninspiring experience which ended as the sun rose.
In the morning the Brothers held a post mortem with Leary. The weakness of the LSD made a mockery of the whole sacramental ceremony, and yet their LSD had come from San Francisco as usual. Leary told them it was important to get a good strong source. There might well be LSD on the streets in San Francisco, but no one knew how good it was. The Brothers asked if it was still possible to get the Sandoz LSD. No, said Leary. He really did not know where they could get any reasonable LSD. It was Griggs who suggested that the source could be Hitchcock and his friends. He and Randall went north.
A few weeks after they had arrived at Hitchcock's Sausalito home, Nick Sand drove along Highway 74, past the village of Mountain Centre, to the dirt road which led up to the padlocked gates of the ranch. When the Brothers moved in they changed the combination of the locks to I94-3, the year of Hofmann's discovery, but Sandas a result of the visit to Sausalitowas expected. He was visiting ostensibly to look over the Brothers' arrangements, because he was planning improvements to the ranch at Cloverdale.
He liked what he saw. There was a main ranch house, a wooden building with four bedrooms, two large barns with living quarters attached, another little house and, further away, a one-bedroomed house where Leary stayed. The Brothers were in the process of buying themselves a dozen horses. Plans Were afoot for a sauna where people could retire with a large marijuana cigarette and just ooze and smoke. Land was being dug up for vegetables so that the ranch could be as near self-sufficient as possible.
But what struck Sand was the amount of space, the spare buildings and the isolation of the place on a plateau, with a good view for miles around. In the corral near the main house Sand put his proposition. The Brothers wanted LSD and he and his colleagues needed a production site. How about using the ranch as the base for a new laboratory?
Just as he had tempted the Angels with supplies of DMT, so Sand sweetened his proposal with a bag of blue capsules. The Brothers were invited to take handfuls of the capsules which Sand described as his latest product, 'Blue Levis'. Very good LSD, he assured them and he could make more if he had a good laboratory site.
The Brothers went into a huddle. The LSD was impressiveit was almost certainly the work of Scully, who had brought 100,000 doses from Denver before he lost his equipment. However, the idea of a laboratory on the ranch was not very appealing. The Brothers were content to deal, but nothing more. They wanted to get good LSD on to the streets; and if Sand could help them do that, they were prepared to distribute his product.
Sand left without getting his site; but he, Hitchcock and Scully had partially solved their problem. Once they could get a production run moving, they had a good, safe distribution routeand Scully for one could put aside his fears of corruption. The Brotherhood were building up a reputation across Southern California for square, fair dealing. No guns here. Griggs would not allow it. When two dealers skipped with $5,000 in Laguna, Griggs forbade the other Brothers to try and catch them.
If anyone still had any ethical doubts, Leary could vouch for the Brothers. Indeed, he even put his praise into print. The East Village Other in New York published 'Deal for Real, The Dealer as Robin Hood', in which Leary suggested it would be a moral exercise for all users of the psychedelics to do a little dealing 'to pay tribute to this most honourable profession... brotherhoods or groups of men'.
The sort of people he had in mind were the Brothersdescribed in the piece as 'a group of clear-eyed smiling beautiful dealers. They were young men in their twenties as all dealers have to be young. At that time their life situation was close to perfect. They were living together with their families in nature.'
Leary was so struck by them that in the summer of 1968 he moved on to the ranch, taking over the little one-bedroomed house and a plot of land by its side. The Brothers were his new patrons. Millbrook was dead, after a long, wasting illness. In May 1968, Billy Hitchcock and his family issued eviction orders for the various tenants through one of Hitchcock's companies.
When Millbrook was discussed shortly after the Learys arrived to take up residence at the ranch, Leary told Lynd that the faults of the estate were rooted in a debauched and uncontrolled lifestyle which constantly threw up problems. That may have been one of the reasons. The others were the constant attentions of the local police, the friction between different groups on the estate and the 'undesirables' who seemed to follow Leary home from his excursions to New York. By 1968 there were in fact three religious groups living in partial rivalry at Millbrook Leary's League, Art Kleps' Boo-Hoo church and an ashram. The League had the big house; the church had the gatehouse; and the ashram was set up in the carnage house. If that was not enough to create chaos, there were also the psychedelic pilgrims whose influx constantly annoyed neighbours. Posters were put up telling outsiders that no visitors were allowed in without permission, but that did nothing to mollify the police who began a campaign of steady harassment, ranging from arrests for crimes such as having a dirty car windscreen to raids on the estate for 'criminal facilitation'. Hitchcock sweetened the eviction notices by handing each of the three religious leaders a cheque. Leary quit Millbrook for the Brothers' ranch with a pay-off of $14,000.
No, Leary assured Lynd, the ranch would never have the same problems as Millbrook. The people on the ranch were all more or less of the same age, most were married couples, and the arrangement was far more stable than Millbrook had been. Besides, life on the ranch was fairly well organized.
The Brothers rose at six each morning for an hour of meditation to the sound of rock music or tapes of a Buddhist chant. Then the work of the day would start, with the wives taking care of the cooking (which was vegetarian) and the cleaning, while the men set about the chores of the ranch itself which included mending a large number of fencessince the horses they had bought turned out to be largely unbroken. The afternoon might be spent with a ball game or discussions with Leary who had officially amalgamated the League with the Brotherhood, symbolizing the bond with little medallions worn by the Brothers and bearing the Chinese Yin and Yang motif. Leary taught the Brothers the games theories he had once practised at Harvard, explaining his belief that human behaviour was. affected by rules, ritual and roles. Hours were spent mulling over ideas that had once made Leary such an acclaimed innovator. The commune's discussions ranged from Zen Buddhism to the current status of the psychedelic movement.
Someone in the Pentagon rashly tried to call up one of the younger Brothers for the war in Vietnam. The night before he was due to go to the induction centre, he was fed every kind of drug on the ranch. The next morning, still blasted out of his mind, the Brothers dressed him in the weirdest clothes they could find, bundled him into an old car and trundled off to the centre. After dropping him at the door, the car cruised back and forth outside. A few minutes later, he was hurled out in the road. The US Army had standards to maintain.
Leary was asked to endorse the plans for demonstrations and opposition to the war at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago. Groups like the Yippies (the Youth International Party) and the revolutionary Black Panthers wanted the psychedelic movement to be there. Leary conferred with the Brothers. Signs of trouble in Chicago were in the air. The Brothers wanted no part of violence, which seemed at odds with their concepts. The idea of people taking LSD and then taking part in what couldand didbecome street battles was too much to accept.
When Chicago erupted in August 1968, the ripples never reached out to Idylwild where life seemed almost blessed. Leary was inspired to write a film script of the scenea model of the society of the future, a dream world. Hollingshead, who joined Leary at the ranch, tells the story of the aftermath of a party the Brothers had been to in Los Angeles. At five or six in the morning, the Brothers were on their way back from a party in Hollywood. Dressed in beads and light robes, they were feeling thirsty when someone spotted an orange grove. The car pulled up and everyone began running around, climbing trees, laughing and throwing oranges to each other. No one worried about six or seven kilos of marijuana tucked away in the abandoned car. The morning air was loud with shouts of glee when a police prowl car pulled up.
On the face of it, a dangerous situation. The Brothers were clearly stealing oranges and it would take little more than a cursory search of the car to nail them with something more serious. Griggs came over to the man and explained things.
Nothing serious officer. Just a few guys who got thirsty on the road.
The police listened, nodded and told Griggs not to let it happen again.
Hollingshead said: 'They had fantastic luck. Griggs would take incredible risks like that. I compare them to Mr. Magoo, where Mr. Magoo is crossing the bridge which is falling down and he does not know this because he can't see it.' To the Brothers, the incident was no different from the time a patrol car went off the road outside San Diego chasing a marijuana load. As one put it: 'Those motherfuckers get zapped each time.' Like Owsley, they believed there was some sort of divine protection for their sacred role of moving drugs. The barns on the ranch were regularly packed with bales of marijuana neatly tied by a baling machine the Brothers found and renovated. Shortly after Leary moved in, the Brothers were off on what he called one of their 'spiritual journeys'.
In the summer of 1968 Lynd found himself heading eastwards towards Afghanistan. With a bank roll of $6,000 he bought a Volkswagen camper in West Germany, fitting it out for the long overland trek, on the advice of a Californian who made the trip to Europe to help him. The vehicle was loaded with extra stores, water cans, petrol tanks. The Volkswagen also had another modification: under the beds a hole had been cut to make a hidden compartment.
No one paid a great deal of attention to Lynd. The Baltic and Middle Eastern countries were beginning to grow accustomed to strange-looking Europeans and Americans heading east, many of them in battered campers like Lynd's. The roads to the east were not the smooth highways of the United States but sometimes rough roads climbing and twisting, ducking down and stretching across dusty scrub. Petrol stations were few, rest-rooms rare. The other traffic was comprised of huge juggernauts road-running between east and west, with consumer items going one way and farm produce the other. There were times when you needed a good air-conditioning system, which few European cars had, and times when the windscreen became clogged with dead insects. Stones bounced off the camper. Sheep ambled across the road. Californians are sometimes accused by other Americans of a certain insularity, an indifference to the rest of the world, sitting smugly in their Pacific paradise, yet here was Lynd quite prepared to go halfway round the world and into the unknown in search of hashish, hash.
Hash is the resin of the cannabis plant, dried and hardened into a dark lump, often considerably more potent than marijuana. As a product of the Middle East and Central Asia, it was rarely seen on the West Coast until the hippies began moving eastwards. By the mid1960s they were going east in search of the mystic experiences and sources so often woven into the theology of the psychedelic movement from the texts and teachings of Asia.
A Brotherhood expedition to buy stock in Iran, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan for the Mystic Arts World Store in the spring of 1968, found itself in the bazaars of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Hash was a mere $20 a kilo, compared with $2,000 a kilo in California, and the expedition brought back 50 kilos.
The hash was greeted with enthusiasm in Woodland Drive in Laguna, where a consortium system for drugs had developed between the Brothers. Some would provide finance and others organize purchases; then the stocks would be split up for distribution. Six of the central Brothers decided that Afghanistan was worth more than a chance encounter. Led by Griggs and Randall, the group decided they would provide the money while Lynd and several others would make the trip. It was to be the prototype of many others.
Lynd drove through the plains and hills of Turkey into the desert of Iran, towards Afghanistan and the beginning of the Himalayas: into a world of mud homes and thin leathery men who still kept sharp knives in their belts or cradled ageing fowling-pieces in their arms.
Lynd's goal in Kandahar, at the base of the Hindu Kush, was to find two brothers, the Tokhis. The first Brotherhood travellers had stumbled on them by chance when the manager of their hotel suggested they might be interested in doing business with them. One man was called Ayatollah and the other Nasrullah. Both were in their late twenties, but Ayatollah (which means 'Light of God') was the prime mover. He started his working life selling kebabs on the streets, saved up to buy a taxi and made enough to open a hotel. Nasrullah was homosexual, taken in by an Afghan dignitary in his teens and later becoming the proprietor of a rug shop.
The hotel and the rug shop were part of a much wider business empire. The Tokhis were also important figures in the sale of 'honey oil', hash.
One of the men who had been on the first trip was supposed to join Lynd in Kandahar to make the introduction, but Lynd decided not to wait. He walked through the dust and dirt of an Asian city to find the Tokhis.
He found Nasrullah's shop opposite the Tourist Hotel which -Ayatollah now owned in Shari Nar. Lynd paused. The shop was supposed to sell rugs, but this one sold clothes. Perhaps the Tokhis had changed their business.
Slowly and carefully he explained in English to the tall Afghani that he was in Afghanistan to buy hash, dope, uh... drugs. Hashish. He was from Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach in the United States.
Nasrullah was interested but cautious.
Perhaps the gentleman had friends he had met? He mentioned the name of one of the Brothers on the first trip.
Yes indeed. Lynd certainly did know him. Of course he knew him. He was about so tall, and he wore...
Nasrullah pulled out a pocket book and showed it to Lynd. The names of the Brothers on the first trip were written down. Nasrullah knew all about the Brotherhood. The others had explained it to him and said there would be more buyers. In the shade of the shop, the Afghani and the American began to talk business.
The next day, Lynd was introduced to Ayatollah, a thin-faced man with sunken cheeks, short hair and a thin moustache. A deal was struck for 250 lb of hash, which Lynd had no doubt would sell rapidly back home.
The American and the Afghanis seemed to be getting on famously. Lynd told them they were all brothers together, the Afghanis enthusiastically agreed. Lynd was a favoured customer, sweetening future deals by paying $20 per lb., $5 more than the Tokhis were asking.
Ayatollah took him to see the hash being made at his home and the friendship was sealed over a pipe or two of hash.
Lynd did not have enough cash to pay for the loadthe Brother who was joining him would have the moneybut the Tokhis were still happy to load up the Volkswagen in a quiet valley outside Kandahar. It was there that Lynd began to learn of the veniality of the Afghans.
The bed had been cut out and the hash was being put into the hidden storage space when an Afghani in uniform pulled up on a motorcycle. Nasrullah said the man was a police official and Lynd began to panic, but his host told him to keep calm. The official was told that the Volkswagen was under emergency repair, and seemed satisfied. Why don't you come up to my house afterwards, he suggested.
On the patio of the man's villa, Lynd found that the attitudes of the Afghani police were considerably more relaxed than those of their American counterparts. The official offered the party food and the pleasures of his hookah.
When the Volkswagen was loaded and the other Brother had arrived, the shipment was ready for its journey home. The plan was to drive the camper to Karachi and then ship it back to the United States, but the cash did not cover the sea journey. Racked with dysentery, Lynd decided to fly home, raise some more cash and telex it to Karachi. He arrived at Kabul airport wearing a coat Nasrullah had specially made for him. It contained a secret compartment hiding 6 lb of hash which would be sold to raise more cash for the main load.
Lynd, ticket in hand, was on his way to the aircraft when a customs official stopped him.
Lynd was led to an interview room where the drugs were quickly found. He was growing wise in the ways of Afghanistan. Nasrullah had undoubtedly tipped off the man, who was now expecting to be paid off to free him. Lynd gave him $175 and went off to his flight. He was just getting himself comfortable in the aircraft when the official popped in and returned his hash. Lynd stuck it in his belt, flying home to Los Angeles with the hash undetected.
Griggs drove Lynd south to Laguna and sold the hash in a matter of hours. The profit was sent off to Karachi and the Brothers waited for the camper to arrive.
They chose Wilmington, Los Angeles, as the port of entry, and took no chances. The Volkswagen, brought in under a fictitious name, sat for two days on the dock while Lynd kept watch in case customs agents were taking an undue interest. When the coast was clear, another Brother went on to the dock and took possession of the camper. He filled in the paperwork for the first stage of customs clearance, the tank was filled and the battery reconnected.
The Brother drove over to Lynd. The camper still had to be inspected. The customs inspection post was round a corner and out of sight. The Brothers looked at each other. What was to stop them driving out? Lynd hopped in and the camper headed for the last part of its journey.
When the load was eagerly weighed out so that each investor could take his share, Lynd discovered that the Tokhis had sold him 125 lb. instead of 250 lb.: Lynd had never weighed the hash. He had even paid over the odds.
The mood soured quickly. Lynd took 10 lb. of hash and decided to leave the others to squabble. No one knew what to do with the camper, so they tossed coins and Lynd took it with him. The others might feel shortchanged, but the load was still worth a great deal.
At the end of the day the shipment generated $400,000. The hash could well subsidize the LSD supplies. While the Brothers had been busy in Afghanistan, their new allies in San Francisco had not been idle either.
The guide who met Druce and his companion at San Francisco airport seemed businesslike, if a little casual in his dress. Sand, in jeans and sandals, typified the Englishman's idea of an American student. As they were driving away from the airport, Sand pulled in to give a hippie a lift, and the two began chatting happily about where to get the best grass (marijuana). Druce's travelling companion was totally mystified. Ron Craze had never taken a drug in his life and he had absolutely no idea what the Americans were discussing. He and Druce had come all this way to ask Hitchcock for funding to start their company, not to sit in a car with two men talking about God knows what.
Druce shared offices in London with another company whose owner held a half-interest in his business. Craze had come over from Exico, where Druce had once bought his LSD, to work for the man on legitimate chemicals business. Like Druce, who started in business at a humble level, Ron Craze was on the look-out for new business opportunities, and seized on the idea for a specialist firm which would sell feed to developing countries by a totally new method. The problem was finance. Druce came into the discussions, holding out the possibility that American contacts might just have the money needed. He could buy up the other interest in his firm, turn it over to what would become Alban Feeds and set up a new company which would deal in specialist chemicals. The two companies would be interrelated through holdings.
The contacts Druce had in mind were Scully and, through him, Hitchcock. Approached with the idea of Alban Feeds, the millionaire felt that a small investment could be an inducement to Druce to maintain the supply of base materials for LSD. Druce and Craze, who claims he was in the dark about the other side of Druce's contacts, were summoned to San Francisco, fares paid by Hitchcock, to discuss the. matter.
In the pleasant summer heat of San Francisco, the two Englishmen were whisked out of the city to Sausalito and Hitchcock's home. But after the prompting to fly over, there seemed no urgency to do business. Everything was low key, although people took great care when coming and going, as though they expected to be followed. Hitchcock himself was constantly on the telephone to New York, playing the market, checking on share movements. Druce was impressed by him, but otherwise bored. The two Englishmen were left to watch TV most of the day. One evening, they were taken into San Francisco for a meal which ended with a visit to someone's friends who seemed to live in a bare house with boarded doors. After climbing through the window, Craze was introduced to a group of rock musicians. Back at the Hitchcock home, there was still no news of the $5,000 needed for Alban Feeds. However, Craze had finally realized that things were not quite what they seemed. Sand expatiated on the virtues of creating a better world with LSD. Craze listened politely as the chemist told him that any ordinary illness could be tackled and cured through the mind; Sand wanted to set up a clinic in Switzerland. Scully told the Englishman that if. LSD were put into water supplies, there would be no more war.
On the last night they got down to business. 'There were not more than five of us altogether,' said Druce. 'There was the usual thing about quality but that was their problem in production.' Druce realized Sand was the chemist. 'I got the impression they were fragmented. Guys with the money on one side and guys with the laboratory on the other.' As far as money was concerned, Druce 'had a rough idea they could earn five to six million dollars. I was not worried, providing it was done in the United States. It was a strictly business proposition.' The money would be forthcoming for Alban Feeds, while Druce would set about supplying raw materials.
He took home with him, according to Craze, a shopping list of chemicals written on the back of one of his catalogues. Druce was also commissioned to check comparative prices, and back in London began sending out requests to companies for their catalogues to pass on to the United States.
Soon after the San Francisco trip, Hitchcock, Sand and Scully arrived in London to finalize matters. Druce said he was told they wanted as much raw material as possible, every, three or four months. According to Scully, Druce was left with orders for 5 kilos of lysergic acid and 10-20 kilos of ergotamine tartrate. He was sent in the region of $100,000 for the orders, on top of the money for Alban Feeds and earlier payments.
The funding came direct from European bank accounts. The various trips from San Francisco had laid out a network of bank accounts for Hitchcock and the chemists. Late in July 1968, Hitchcock warned Sand that Fiduciary in the Bahamas was no longer a safe haven; there were rumours that the American authorities were taking an unhealthy interest in the company. Hitchcock recommended the Paravicini Bank in Switzerland. Some years before, Hitchcock in his profession of broker had struck up a successful deal with the bank, and they would be happy to repay any debts. Both Sand's Alan Bell account and the remains of Owsley's Robin Goodfellow account were transferred to the Berne offices of Paravicini. Sand, no slouch himself in the world of Swiss banking with its secrecy and tight security controls, moved $114,000 from an account at another Swiss bank. Hitchcock was given power of attorney for Sand's account because it would be used for stock investment on which the millionaire would advise. Hitchcock's own account at Paravicini would provide finance for Druce.
The Swiss accounts had the obvious virtue of making it difficult for the American authorities to follow the business activities of Hitchcock and friends. While he was in Switzerland, he and Sand also arranged other ways of keeping Federal agents at arm's length. With the help of a Zurich bank official, the two men created a Liechtenstein corporation called Four Star Anstalt. Hitchcock later explained that the company was created because 'we were dealing with substances which were at best controversial. We were dealing with funds from unexplained sources and there was certainly no advantages on the other side of the ledger to any overt operations.'
The idea of Four Star Anstalt, funded through an account at the Vontobel Bank which Sand had used in the past, was to cope with the purchase of a site for the next laboratory to supply the Brotherhood. This time, if the laboratory was found, Hitchcock and friends would be well distanced from it. First of all, any investigator would have to get through the secrecy surrounding Swiss banks, then, if he succeeded, he would find himself up against the brick wall of the Liechtenstein company. Although a dot on the map of Europe, the country is the home of hundreds of thousands of companies, many of which are nothing more than paper creations run from the offices of local lawyers sworn to secrecy.
If the catastrophe of Owsley's fall and the discovery of the Denver site taught Hitchcock and the others anything, it taught them to put themselves as far away from federal agents as possible. They even thought of moving any future laboratory abroad. They first got the idea of the Bahamas while they were sorting out the original arrangements for the Fiduciary account. The island was conveniently close to the American mainland, yet at the same time outside United States' control. American investors came and went every day. Soon the scheme embraced not only a laboratory but a whole centre, like Leary's at Zihuatenejo. Scully, an enthusiast for Huxley's Island, was gripped by the idea and flew out to rendezvous with an official from Fiduciary who promised to help with any local problems.
The assistance amounted to an introduction to two men who, Scully was assured, would be of great help in his work. The problem was that the two reminded Scully very strongly of his first dramatic meeting with Joe Helpern in Chicago. However, whereas the subfusc giant turned out to be more machismo than Mafia, Scully's helpers were a little too realistic. Numbered among the American investors eager to put money into the Bahamas were members of the organized crime syndicates, and as the three explored the area around Nassau, Scully decided his travelling companions were Mafia musclemen. The two men told Scully they would take care of everything and the chemist decided he was probably included in the 'everything'. With visions of life chained to the bench of a Mafia laboratory, Scully preferred to take his chances on the American mainland.
Back home, Scully was nevertheless careful. The site he chose was a lonely house in Windsor, near Santa Rosa, using Sand's money. Scully's lawyer, a San Francisco tax expert called Peter Buchanan, would handle the details of the $41,000 purchase. To avoid the Internal Revenue Service, Buchanan agreed to hide the source of the money by changing it into bank cashiers' cheques or money orders, putting them through his firm's trust account and using that account to buy the house. It was a laborious task. Buchanan laundered $10,000 at 16 different New York banks, flying east in person. He did the same back on the West Coast, and in December a 'Mr James Orr' became the apparent owner of the house.
Hitchcock and Scully drove to a mushroom farm at Cupertino to recover stored laboratory equipment and chemicals Scully had laid in. When they arrived, the farmer's daughter warned Scully that some strange men had been hanging about in the neighbourhoodthe BNDD (successors to BDAC) were on the trail again. They occasionally staked out in a chicken coop. The day Sand and Scully arrived, the coop was empty.
Scully and Sand agreed to split the raw material between them on the production run. Scully would go first, and Sand would follow. The New Yorker was none too bothered. He was planning a holiday in Mexico and some brushing-up on his techniques.
The bath-tub graduate had finally decided to go to school. He could be found part of the time in the laboratory of Professor Lester Friedman at Case Western Reserve University, Missouri. Sand had stumbled over him when he had tried to get STP made commercially. The firm he wrote to had suggested he approach Friedman, their consultant. The underground chemist and the overground chemist eventually met, and Sand began to pick his brains.
Lester Friedman was a tall, balding man in his forties. His specialist work, on chemistry connected to the sense of smell, had been translated into several languages, and he had something of an international reputation. A family man, sober and well-read, he did not fit easily into Sand's circle; but, like Sand, he had a passion for chemistry and considerable financial acumen. He will not talk now about those days, but perhaps his passion and his commercial sense got the better of him. Druce, who knew him quite well as a figure in chemical trading, says it was easy to forget he was an academic when they were doing business.
With the end of STP production, Sand began working at Case Western in the summer. He introduced Friedman to Hitchcock and, according to Hitchcock, the talk centred on compounds, simplification of processes and the improvements Friedman could make to the manufacture of LSD. Just as Druce had been given Alban Feeds, so Friedman received a research grant from Sand for his services. For the moment he stayed in the background, coaching Sand in December 1968.
With raw materials stored in one of Hitchcock's safety deposit boxes, Scully began work in January 1969, just as the New Year came in.
The Brotherhoodtheir hash supplies securedawaited delivery.
The crowds at the Anaheim rock concert were settling down, waiting for the bands to begin. The air was turning blue with rising cigarette smoke. Here and there you could smell the thick, musty scent of marijuana. The place buzzed with conversation and teenagers walked backwards and forwards getting drinks, chatting to friends. On stage the last pieces of equipment were being moved into place with bumps and thumps. A roadie blew deeply into the microphone, clearing away any electronic gremlins with a sound which came out as a short, almost rasping rush of air. There were cheers from the audience and a thin whine On the amplifiers which strangled itself into an unpleasant, unbroken electric scream.
Somewhere out of nowhere it suddenly started to rain. Hard, heavy rain like hail which collected in the aisles, fell down people's necks and drummed on their shoulders and heads. Kids looked round and up. This was not rain. Someone must be fooling around with popcorn in the seats higher up. No, wait. It was not popcorn. Someone was throwing down orange pills. They were being scattered like seeds. Kids started cheering. Free pills, free drugs.
Free from whom, where? There he was. A man in black leather trousers and a T-shirt scattering pills as he ran, like a frenetic farmer, behind with his sowing. He had very dark hair which flowed behind him, a thin moustache and a small beard. When he stopped for a moment, the hair settled down over his shoulders. He was small, about five foot six inches tall. Then he started running again, but he had stopped long enough for the legend on the T-shirt to be read: 'Orange Sunshine Express'.
John Gale, a rising figure in the Brotherhood's distribution network, was spreading the word for the Brothers' new LSD in the best way he knew how; on Laguna Beach he had handed out 100,000 doses in a day. Orange Sunshine, the most famous LSD since the days of Owsley, was hitting the streets.
Gale was the promotional salesman extraordinaire. Owner of a surfing shop called Rainbow Surfboards near the Mystic Arts World Store, the young man was not an original Brother but the son of wealthy parentshis father was the owner of a famous marine engineering firmwho had been lured into the world of surfing and helped by the Brothers after a surfing accident.
What he was handing out was Scully and Sand's latest production, given its name from the colour, produced by mixing food-dyes into a yellowish orange for the pills. Orange Sunshine, with the help of Gale, was building itself a name as 'righteous acid', sold with the imprimatur of the Brothers.
The mission of getting good LSD on the streets still counted for quite a lot. The proselytizing of Gale's ventures was subsidized from the booming hash sales. The LSD sold in gram lotsof between 3,200 and 3,400 doses per gramto dealers lower down the scale at $2,800 a time.
When Lynd, having moved to join his family in Oregon, dropped in on Randall in Laguna, Randall was only too keen to describe Orange Sunshine.
'It's really starting to move, you know,' Randall told Lynd. 'People are starting to buy it.'
Randall was already bettering Hitchcock's plans for doses at a dollar a time. Doses were going for 45 cents, and Randall believed the price could come down to 15 cents.
He interrupted the conversation to rummage in a cupboard and fished out a large, clear plastic bag. It was filled to a depth of a foot with hundreds of thousands of doses. Later, Lynd watched Randall and others weighing out the tablets and tipping them into plastic bags. He was in Randall's home when the distributor walked in with 100 grams ready for sale. Everyone agreed that Orange Sunshine was the best LSD the Brothers had ever found. So it should have been. Scully had taken great pains over his first uninterrupted production run, both in what he made and in the security that permitted him to continue without detection.
With the lessons of Owsley's professional demise, the capture of the Denver laboratory and the continuing interest of the BNDD agents in mind, no one was taking any chances this time. Windsor was a poor substitute for a foreign base, but Scully set up the best security checks he could. Sand was not allowed near the laboratory until Scully was finished, and then the second chemist had to produce his run in one continuous operation without leaving the site: Sand was a bit too keen on bragging about his achievements for Scully's liking. Nothing would be sold until the raw material was completely exhausted, so that if Federal agents traced sales backwards they would simply find an empty laboratory.
Scully had one more ace up his sleeve. Windsor was not producing LSD but ALD-52, similar but not illegal, or so Scully believed. Scully found the ALD formula among scientific papers and books in the specialist library at Berkeley. It was a compound Hofmann had tested years before. At the University of California Medical Center, Scully uncovered the scientific paper Hofmann and a colleague had published on the drug. From the US Patent Office he drew patent number 2,810,723, lodged by Sandoz with production details. In The Hallucinogens, co-authored by Osmond and Hofmann, Scully discovered a table comparing the effects of ALD and other drugs in the same family.
The table suggested that ALD might actually have advantages over LSD, reducing any side effects but achieving a stronger trip. Measurements of brain waves while people were taking the two drugs showed that while LSD produced brain waves associated with intense concentration and anxiety, ALD produced brain waves showing a more relaxed mental state.
There was one snag. Hofmann's formula meant making LSD first, then converting it into ALD. Although the finished product might be legal, at a crucial stage in its production it was illegal. The solution was a simple reversal in the order of production so that at no time was drug illegal. Neither Hitchcock nor the Brothers were told of ALD. Hitchcock had been badly burned financially when STP had picked up a bad name on the street. It was thought he would oppose ALD as yet another innovation that would prove difficult to sell. The drug was simply labelled 'acid', and he and the Brotherhood were none the wiser.
They took their first delivery one evening late in February 1969, at Hitchcock's home in Sausalito. The millionaire had been up at Windsor with Scully, working as a general handyman round the production site, a physical contribution small by comparison with the finance of between $100,000 and $200,000 he had given the chemists. Sand was at the house, and Rumsey too. The Brotherhood was represented by Griggs. He took charge of a box of hand-made pills. There were five small bottles filled with powder which were to be machine-tableted later.
Oh yes, Randall told Lynd, Orange Sunshine was certainly going to move and the Brotherhood was in the debt of the chemists. Scully was invited down to the ranch and discreetly taken round Laguna, before having dinner with Randall and his family. Sand took his reward more substantially. The profits from Orange Sunshine were paying for the purchase of the Cloverdale ranch at a price of $155,000. Griggs paid the chemist's share of the acid profits into a safety deposit box at a San Francisco bank which Buchanan and Rumsey, Hitchcock's friend and helpmate, would launder through other accounts before passing on to Sand. On one visit to the box, Rumsey found $90,000 salted away.
The success of Orange Sunshine encouraged both Sand and Scully to continue with their efforts. Scully and Hitchcock re-opened the question of a foreign laboratory, but now their ideas were grandiose.
When Scully and Hitchcock pored over the atlas in the Los Angeles offices of Scully's lawyer, the spot under the attorney's finger looked like paradise. Clipperton Island, in the Pacific Ocean, was no bigger than the 'i' in its name on a map. A volcanic atoll two miles square, Clipperton was one of the last relics of France's colonial past. Devoid of freshwater supplies or human habitation, the island was once a settlement for supplying guana for fertilizer. During World War II it had served as a US Navy weather station and servicing base.
Now the island was to become the world's first independent state based on LSD. Established with the funds from LSD sales in the United States, Clipperton would be run according to the principles of the psychedelic movement, prospering by the export of hallucinogenics developed and made by Scully. The country's financial institutions organized by Hitchcock would provide a useful alternative income, attracting the money that was sloshing round the world trying to dodge taxation or curious policemena real off-shore investment centre. Other countries, principally the United States, might rail at Clipperton's economy, but the intricacies of international law could smother the strongest resolve. It was one thing to bust a laboratory in Denver but quite another to invade an independent island, 700 miles off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Hitchcock and Scully decided to make France an offer.
An emissary was sent to Europe with $2,000 to investigate the purchase. The millionaire and the chemist went on dreaming. No news. Were the French being typically Gallic and awkward? Nothing so grand. The emissary was rather more realistic than his patronshe took the money and disappeared. Hitchcock and Scully were dissuaded from trying again by the discovery that the French government were planning to set up a research station on the island.
Sand's dreams, although simpler, also seemed to founder. All he wanted to do was go on making Orange Sunshine, but nowhere could he get the raw materials. Druce had suddenly dried up. First Munson went to reason with him, then both Munson and Sand went to talk with him, but Druce said there were difficulties and delays. What he failed to mention was that raw material used in the busted Denver laboratory had been traced back to him. The American authorities could not do anything, but a detective sergeant from Scotland Yard paid a call on Mr Druce, which made it clear that Mr Druce might be unwise to continue supplying the chemicals.
Munson went out to Czechoslovakia in search of materials at source, posing as the East European representative of the fictitious firm of Syntex Lavine, the latter name taken from the name of his apartment building in New York. Attempts to reach senior officials of the state chemical company proved negative. Sand went out on a second, fruitless journey. All their efforts had yielded was a quantity of psilocybin bought from a Swiss dealer on the way to Prague. Munson smuggled the drugs back into the United States. Sand, a regular visitor to the Brotherhood ranch, passed some on to Griggs.
Life on the ranch went on as usual, often in a haze of marijuana, since many of the Brothers would smoke up to thirty cigarettes a day. A brown dog called Nasrullah wandered around and the water towers were painted orange, after the new LSD. The original Brothers were the core of a gathering band still spreading wider and wider. The Mystic Arts World Store never seemed to make enough money to maintain itself, but there was plenty coming in from the various drug deals: 400-500-lb loads were now being hidden in Laguna. New figures were emerging in the distribution networks. Just as Gale was making a name for himself with LSD, so 'Fat Bobby' Andrist was doing the same with hash, taking over the Afghanistan runs. A huge, Rabelaisian figure with hair down to his shoulders and a thick moustache which drooped over triple chins, Andrist was not above ostentatiously smoking large marijuana cigarettes and insulting passing police patrol cars.
With the experience he had gained from Afghanistan, Andrist also became a prime figure in the developing connection with Hawaii. The quality of the islands' marijuana, of which 'Maui wowee' was the most famous brand, made it a valuable import for the United States. Andrist set up a small canning workshop, sending tins of what were supposed to be local fruit, but were in reality marijuana, to California. A colleague opened an import/export business called 'Unbelievable Imports' and brought stereos from Japan which were shipped on to the United States, also stuffed with marijuana.
The interest in Hawaii was not however restricted to produce. Maui, one of the islands, became a new base for the Brothers. The second biggest of the 132 islands in the southernmost American state, its normal population of 50,000 live in a delightful climate. The hippies began settling themselves up on the coastal strip in the town of Lahainapronounced La-high-nahwhich, after a chequered career as a whaling port and holiday retreat for the Hawaiian royal family, became a new Laguna, with legitimate businesses including a health and fruit-juice bar.
The Brothers also set up another commune on mainland America under the leadership of Lynd. Financed by sales of Orange Sunshine, he bought a parcel of land in Grant's Pass, a remote part of Oregon. The full purchase price was $20,000 and, to avoid arousing the suspicion of the police or tax officials, the deal was done in the name of Lynd's brother-in-law, Robert Ramsey.
For their money, Lynd and the Brothers got themselves a stretch of virgin land bordering on a forest. This commune, unlike the ranch, would be very basic and could also be a hide-out for fugitive Brothers. Just about everything had to be transported to the site, and Lynd set up tepees. He now dressed like a backwoods farmer. His long blond hair fell over the top of his denim overalls. The new image included a full beard.
Hawaii, Afghanistan, Oregonthe Brothers were steadily moving further afield. They could even be found in the sleepy English resort of Broadstairs looking out to the English Channel, enjoying the archetypal English summer holiday by the sea. At the height of the season, four of them rented a flat above a fish-and-chip restaurant on the sea front, to await vehicles arriving at the port of Tilbury before reshipping them to the United States.
Their landlady remembers 'they went on like saints. They all talked about brotherhood, love and religion all the time. They seemed to have hardly any money and ate little more than apples and cheese. They did not smoke or drink and they had no luxuries of any kind. Very humble people, they would listen to Krishna music. They said there was a man who ran the organization and he was very religious, just like a guru.'
Everyone got on very well, and the landlady agreed one evening to run the man who appeared to be their leader to Tilbury to pick up a van. As he was getting the Bedford van out of the customs shed, he was arrested. In the spare tyre of the van the police found 15 lb. of marijuana. The Brother, who described himself as an unemployed health food salesman, got eight months' imprisonment and deportation. The police strongly suspected that some of the cannabis would have stayed in Britain: they found a number of London addresses.
The man arrested in Broadstairs gave a false name and it took the police some time to discover his real identity. When a second, more senior Brother was caught coming into Britain with a small amount of cannabis, the police deported him, admitting they were not sure who he was.
With so much foreign travel, the Brothers were perfecting a system of false identification to mask their movements. Its success was such that the methodology was even applied at home in the United States.
The trick of disappearing and reappearing in a fresh and officially recognized guise has since been described in a book aptly entitled The Paper Trip and published in California in the early 1970s. The key is to get hold of a genuine birth certificate, either by claiming one for someone who has recently died, or finding someone who died young. In either case, so long as the applicant roughly answers the description of the deceased, a birth certificate will be issued by the registrar of the place of birth. Using someone who has recently died tends to provide problems because they will already have records of social security or driving tests attached to their name. Therefore, it is better to hunt for someone who died young.
Other means of identification are relatively easy to obtain. Pass a local driving testand the 'new' person has a licence. A social security number can be obtained from a local security office with a claim that the applicant originated on the other coast of the United States and has since been abroad for a long time.
The Brotherhood's use of false identification was quite startling. Randall may have had as many as twenty sets of false identifications, while one of his LSD distributors used to share the name 'Christopher Wheat' with his partners during large deals. If the police ever got on to the trail they would find Mr Wheats popping up at the same time hundreds of miles apart. One hash dealer was picked up in San Francisco with a false identity and got bail. Later in Hawaii he was arrested againagain with false identification and once more disappeared on bail.
The Brothers employed their false identities to get passports, usually by applying through post offices. Over 30 per cent of all passport applications are made this way in the United States and the standard of scrutiny is very low. It was equally easy abroad to go to the local embassy, seeking a replacement for a 'lost' passport.
The police began to suspect situations where their prisoner, although a down-at-heel hippie, seemed by some coincidence to have an impeccable set of papers on him; but for much of the time they could do little but list the aliases in a growing list of 'also known as' or 'AKA's', and hope that someone would use the same name again.
When it was difficult to get real papers, the Brothers went into counterfeiting. They even set up a mobile forgery outfit in a trailer to turn out papers like student identity cards. The trailer kept on the move round Southern California, ready to help out where needed.
For it was now clear that Laguna Beach and the ranch could not stay exempt from police interest. The officers were mesmerized as the trickle of marijuana was transformed into a floodbut not for long.
Officer Neal Purcell kept watch on Woodland Drive as best he could. It was not easy, but Purcell had a sense of righteousness which drove him as strongly as any Brother. A slim, compact figure with a clipped moustache, Purcell came to Laguna in the autumn of 1968 and did not like what he saw. America was in his view beset by moral decayin his last job he had specialized in entrapping homosexualsand 'degenerate' is a word one would have expected to tumble easily from his lips. Purcell was conservative, old-fashioned and angry at the way the United States appeared to be changing in the 1960s. Not even the pretty little California resort town where he now found himself was exempted from the debauchery of current American life. Long-haired kids wandered round the streets openly using drugs and, furthermore, a man like Timothy Leary roamed the place spreading all manner of mischief, safe from interference. Purcell's way was Mace, helicopters, squad cars. Such police paraphernalia would have cleared out Laguna, but no one listened to Purcell. The policeman was not quite sure what Laguna and Woodland Drive added up to, but he was going to make it his business to find out.
Shortly after Christmas 1968, Leary crossed swords with Purcell.
The policeman spotted a station wagon blocking a roadway. He later claimed he did not realize it was Leary's until he approached the car, but as he drew near he saw Leary roll down the window and release a cloud of marijuana smoke which wafted over to the keen-nosed Purcell.
Rosemary Leary was beside her husband, and Jack, her stepson, was in the back, apparently on all fours. As Purcell identified himself and began asking questions, Jack Leary made faces at him through the car windows. Purcell was not amused at such disrespect to the uniform. The car was searched and Purcell came up with two marijuana cigarettes. 'Big deal,' said Leary.
Still fighting court cases arising out of arrests in the East and Texas, Leary was charged with possession of marijuana and released on bail. Leary was still trying to challenge the headmasterignorant of, or not caring about, the cost to friends and allies. The Brothers were to find out that their guru was something of a liability.
Early in 1969, Leary announced his candidature for the governorship of California, challenging Ronald Reagan. Starting yet another merry dance with the media, Leary led them back to his mountain retreat, to the Brotherhood ranch. Considering what his highly public presence at Millbrook had done, it was not a bright move.
He was already facing a thirty-year sentence for the Texas marijuana charge in 1965 pending an appeal now winding its way up to the Supreme Court. He had been arrested again on a drugs charge, and led the world right back to the Brothers. They were openly connected with a man whom the new Nixon administration, elected on a strong law-and-order plank, was believed to have firmly in its sights. Some fears were abated in May 1969 when Leary won his appeal against the 1965 conviction.
But the relief did not last long. In July, Charlene Almeida, a 17-year-old friend of Leary's daughter, was found dead while visiting the ranch. An autopsy using relatively new blood-analysis techniques showed traces of LSD in her blood. Homicide detectives were on the ranch talking to Leary, who was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Things seemed to be going from bad to worse. The homicide men were followed by state narcotics agents. Afghan hash was on its way to the ranch in surfboards made up specially by John Gale. The boards had been props in a film on surfing, which was itself a cover for the drug deal. Suspicious of the film crew, the police had followed them in their camper out of Los Angeles. Griggs was standing on a hill with a pair of binoculars watching as the police swooped at the gates of Idylwild. He saw one of his friends trying to escape, clutching a surfboard, as the police closed in. The ranch settled back into an uneasy calm but, just over a week after the arrests, the ranch suffered another death, a very significant one.
There were few people on the ranch at the time: Griggs, his wife, another of the original Brothers and his girlfriend. The couples were living in two tepees on either side of the ridge above the ranch. The two men decided to test the psilocybin which Sand had brought from Switzerland. After swallowing some crystals, Griggs went to his own tepee. Twenty minutes later, he yelled from the door: 'Don't take the stuff. Don't take this psilocybin. It's a complete overdose.'
It was dark now and the other man called back something.
'If you want to get high, take acid, throw the psilocybin away. Don't take it,' Griggs shouted again.
About half an hour later, the other man, who had turned to LSD instead, walked over to Griggs' tepee. The Brotherhood founder was seriously ill, but he refused any suggestion of going to hospital. 'I don't want to go and be busted for being loaded,' he said. 'It's just between me and God, and that's the way it's going to be.' The Brother went back to his own tepee.
But as the night wore on, Griggs became progressively worse. His wife could not bear it any longer. It was agreed he would have to go to hospital now. He was carried into the emergency room in the arms of the Brother who had been with him on the ridge. As the door closed behind them, Griggs shivered and died on the morning of 4 August. The psilocybin must have been pure and Griggs had widely miscalculated the dose, victim of the firm Brotherhood principle of taking as much as possible of any psychedelic.
Lynd, hundreds of miles away at his Oregon home, was under the influence of 1,000 micrograms of Orange Sunshine at the time of Griggs' death. He had a sudden vision of his friend lying on the ground; he sensed a searing pain, followed by an equally terrifying stillness. It took him twenty-four hours to get back to Southern California, where a distraught Randall told him that Griggs had died.
As Lynd listened to Randall, the ranch was emptying. Brothers were collecting their possessions and moving out. It would be many months before they returned. The gods no longer seemed to be smiling. Leary, returning to Laguna from the gubernatorial campaign, told Lynd he detected a change. The disappearance of Griggs seemed to alter the Brothers, but he could not quite put his finger on it.
On top of the troubles at the ranch, there were now also problems with the LSD chemists and their patron. Hitchcock began to move his affairs back to New York, fearful that his role in the history of Orange Sunshine and STP might be close to discovery. Despite all the security arrangements, a man tends to confide in his wife; in the case of Hitchcock, this had proved to be very unwise. The couple had separated and Hitchcock's spouse was suing for divorce. She had filed papers as yet undisclosed by the court which went in considerable detail into her husband's interests in the psychedelics. Hitchcock moved back into a now peaceful Millbrook to muster his defences. He wanted out of Orange Sunshine.
Scully felt the same, but in his case the pressures were immediate. For some time Scully had believed on legal advice that although the BNDD clearly knew of his involvement with the Denver laboratory, they could not make a case which would stand up in court. With the Windsor laboratory closed down, Scully developed an interest in flying, using an aircraft provided by Hitchcock. The two were planning a holiday in Mexico and Scully drove out to his local airfield to check some radio equipment. He was arrested by BNDD agents investigating the Denver laboratory, taken back to Colorado and charged. Out on bail, Scully had no intention of carrying on with LSD. His job was done. Someone else could carry on the torch for the millions out there in America. Scully was not sorry. He could also see unpleasant changes taking place. There was a last burst of song and the psychedelic movement slipped into a twilight.
For three days the 400,000-strong crowed camped. There were heavy downpours, but the youngsters sheltered under makeshift covers while the music played. There were thirty-one groups and performers at Woodstock, New York State. Janis Joplin told the crowds: 'Even Billy Graham doesn't draw that many people.' Another performer added: 'Hey, man. I just gotta say that you people have gotta be the strongest bunch I ever saw.'
At the beginning, an official had said: 'If we are going to make it you had better remember the guy next to you is your brother.' By and large, the huge crowds took the advice to heart. Woodstock, with its array of some of the finest rock groups and artists, became in many people's minds the epitome of what Peace and Love meant. The day after it ended the New York Times, in an editorial headed 'Nightmare in the Catskills', asked 'What kind of a culture is it that can produce so colossal a mess?' Woodstock in the middle of August 1969 proved to be a swansong. The New York Times should have stayed its headline writer's hand until December. The real nightmare was at Altamont, Livermore, California.
The Rolling Stones, on tour in the United States, wanted to put on a free concert. Originally they hoped to stage it in San Francisco and asked the Grateful Dead to set it up for them; after all, the Dead were veterans at this sort of thing. But Altamont was not like Haight-Ashbury or Woodstock. The 300,000-strong crowd was sullen, fickle, scared; like a restless beast which could change dangerously at any minute.
The crowd was asked from the stage to 'cool it, cool it' by Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane, but it went on bubbling, not. improved by the presence of the Hell's Angels as security guards. The Rolling Stones held off going on stage on the advice of their organizers, but finally they came out into the blinding pool of light before the crowd.
They were going into 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' when trouble started, about ten or fifteen rows back, over a motorcycle which had fallen down. An 18-year-old black hippie was stabbed and beaten to death by Angels wielding billiard cues. Somehow, the moment was the summation of the changing times: murder done in the middle of an immense crowd, the cues rising and falling, and the music playing on as though Peace and Love would reign for ever, when in fact it was being brutalized on the sodden, dirty, trampled grass. Leary was at Altamont. He saw no psychedelics but an array of amphetamines, heroin and alcohol.
He later wrote: 'In a sense Altamont was a microcosm of the overall political situation since 99 per cent of everybody wants to get high and groove and love, while less than 1 per cent get their kicks from violence...'
For once Leary underestimated. Having worshipped Peace and Love, the young were turning full circle towards War and Hate. Cynics might say that every movement comes up against basic human nature and the potential for corruption, while sociologists might argue that the young were so intoxicated with the image of their own power that they turned to aggression when their aims were frustrated.
Campus after campus was in uproar over the war in Vietnam. The new Nixon administration found itself confronted by huge demonstrations close to Capitol Hill: to Nixon, student protesters were 'bums', even when killed by National Guardsmen. The violence was reciprocated. The Black Panthers posed, holding automatic weapons, and drilled their cadres. Small armed communes stood on the steps of their homes posing for the cameras; unsmiling couples held children and rifles; policemen in flak jackets and helmets crouched at corners with carbines. Ideas that had once been the preserve of tiny minority groups were being bombed and blasted on to the TV screen and the front page: 'Off the Pigs. Kill the motherfuckers. Fuck the System. Power to the people. Right on.'
A senatorial investigation established that between June 1969 and April 1970 there were 4,330 bombing incidents. There was no shortage of information available on how to make bombs. The Anarchist Cookbook contained illustrated instructions on all aspects of weaponry and sabotage, as well as explaining the manufacturing process for LSD. The Mini Manual of the Urban Guerilla, by the Brazilian revolutionary Carlos Marighella, became the standard textbook for the young revolutionaries and the French Marxist journalist Regis Debray provided a modern empirical and political model.
The worldwide protest against the Vietnam War, capitalism, imperialism et al. created a romance-tinged image of guerilla war which vied for status with the drug-world figures. There was a ready hero and martyr in the life and death of Che Guevara, whose career began with Fidel Castro and ended in a Bolivian jungle with a bullet. The security forces stood proudly round the body like sheriffs of the Old West when they killed an outlaw. Guevara became the first pop revolutionary idol. His bearded face, surmounted by a black beret, stared out from T-shirts and posters. His name was even given to boutiques.
His successors in the concrete jungle of American cities were groups like the Weathermen, drawn from the radical wing of the Students for Democratic Society and named after the line 'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows' in a Bob Dylan song. In the wake of the uproar at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, they had steadily moved underground, issuing communiqués of resistance to the Nixon administration through the 200 newspapers of the underground press which now reached up to five million young people.
Guevara might not approve, but his successors were never far removed from the drug culture. A Working Guide for the Utilization of Undercover Special Agents, written by the FBI for its programme against the Weathermen, noted they were getting succour and cover from communes and collectives. The Weathermen, thought to number about fifty, kept infiltrators at bay by demanding that novices should take LSD at one or more group sessions, so that an imposter could be unmasked and a true believer admitted to the revolutionary discipline of the group consciousness. There would always be links between the new guerillas and the drug world, both in the United States and abroad.
The Weathermen were not the only ones now using LSD for reasons far removed from those of its initial supporters. Charles Manson, in his way also a revolutionary, used it to indoctrinate would-be members of his gang. The Manson murders seemed to be the proof of all the arguments that had been raised against the spread of psychedelics. The story was flesh and blood to the anxieties about drugcrazed 'animals' stalking the streetsat complete odds with the fact that LSD and marijuana had rarely been associated with violence.
The Manson 'family' came to light after the murder of Sharon Tate, wife of the film director Roman Polanski, and some friends in a secluded home above Los Angeles in the summer of 1969. Miss Tate, eight months pregnant, had been stabbed to death. The walls of the house were smeared with slogans written in the blood of the victims. Manson, a man with Messianic convictions and a criminal record, was in Haight-Ashbury at its height. He drew around him the core of a commune, often recruiting impressionable young girls, and eventually found a place for it on a ranch. Fear seems to have been the basis of his religion, which turned to some sort of Holy War. Play was made by newspapers over the use of LSD by Manson and his followers in their rites; but at the root of the case lay the personality of a very strange man.
Manson and his followers were indicted in December 1969, a few days after Leary came to trial on the Laguna Beach arrest by Officer Purcell. After years of evading the law, the pyschedelic revolutionary would be convicted again, but this time would go to prison. Kesey, his proselytizing rival, had already left the front ranks of the psychedelic movement.
Ken Kesey, after exiling himself in Mexico, had returned to California and served a prison sentence. Now he was moving out of the state, back home to rural peace on a farm in Oregon.
The law was getting tougher all the time. Drug-control legislation was now being consolidated into the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act by an administration which saw the fight against drugs as a major issue.
Such actions would not scare the Brothers. Too many of them had grown up and matured in the excitements and intrigues of dealing to want to change their lives. The hardening responses of authority toughened resistance without anyone noticing where that might leaddeeper into criminality. Like all great outlaw gangs, a mythology was growing round the Brotherhood and its LSD chemists which concealed as well as embellished the truth.
At Christmas 1969, the Mystic Arts World Store burned down in circumstances no one could ever explain. The fire was not considered a terrible loss. The idea of eventually living off the profits of the shop had been doomed by the drugs that were dealt to get it started. Everyone grew too fascinated in drug dealing to want to serve in the store,
As the smoke cleared, the Brothers with the rest of the psychedelic movement were heading towards the Badlands where outlaws surviveat a price. The man who stepped into the breach created by the retirement of Hitchcock and Scully was a man well versed in such situations.
The Badlands Brotherhood International