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  1. #1
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    Laguna beach, the brotherhood of love and a hippie rememberence.

    I found this site interesting.

    Lot's of intersting stories and cool pictures and stories about how the hippies came about and the players of the era, Timothy Leary, John Griggs and some unknown chemists.

    Where hippiedom was born, and some say died.

    Can anyone spot Earl in the picture above?

    Open the link for the full picture. Very interesting.

    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 1967—home-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 ardor 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 fervor: 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 work—Russ Harrigan for example was a longshoreman—but 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 programs 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 Brothers—they 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 law—by 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 artists—Laguna has a museum devoted to the works of early Californian painters—and 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 community—indeed, 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 matchboxes—and, 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 wise—but 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...'
    The Brotherhood of Eternal Love

    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 survive—at a price.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Laguna beach, the brotherhood of love and a hippie rememberence.-4758604_orig.jpg  
    "In my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself."

  2. #2
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    Simon43's Avatar
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    Luang Prabang
    You got me totally confused! I thought it was about Laguna Beach, PHUKET!

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