The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Tue May 26, 2020 11:22 pm

The Covert War Against Rock
by Alex Constantine
© 2000 by Alex Constantine





Librarian's Abstract: In a careful review of the available evidence, prizewinning muckraker Alex Constantine lays out the damning facts: (1) Jimi Hendrix was drowned by the forceful introduction of wine down his throat while he had been rendered unconscious, (2) witnesses who knew the truth lied about the events surrounding his death, (3) the British and US press spread the story that he had died of an overdose of heroin without valid evidence in order to trivialize his death, and (4) his abusive and controlling manager, who first falsely claimed to have no knowledge of Jimi's death, then promptly hijacked his fortune and legacy, probably arranged the murder.

Table of Contents

• Acknowledgements
• Foreword
• Prelude: Assassination Politics of the Vietnam War Period: Fascism, American-Style and the Rise of Richard Nixon
• Chapter One: A [Killing] Field Day for the Heat
• Chapter Two: Time Machine: The Birth of Top 40 Radio and Alan Freed's Near-Death Experience (Early CIA and Mob Influences on the Rock Music Industry)
• Chapter Three: Parapolitical Stars in the Dope Show
• Chapter Four: The Death of Cass Elliot and Other "Restless Youth"
• Chapter Five: A Murder in the House of Pooh: Brian Jones
• Chapter Six: Portraits in Carnage: The End of the Rock Festivals
• Chapter Seven: I Don't Live Today: The Jimi Hendrix Political Harassment, Kidnap and Murder Experience
• Chapter Eight: When You're a Stranger: Fragrance De Chaos -- Investigative Findings on the Death of Jim Morrison
• Chapter Nine: Like Coffins in a Cage: The Baez Contras and the Death of Phil Ochs
• Chapter Ten: Who Killed the Kennedys? (And Sal Mineo?)
• Chapter Eleven: "Project Walrus" and Holden Caulfield's Warm Gun
• Chapter Twelve: What'cha Gonna Do? ... The Deaths of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh
• Chapter Thirteen: Gang War: Sons of Chaos vs. Thugs A Tupac Shakur and NOtorious B.I.G. Assassination Digest
• Chapter Fourteen: Dancing on the Jetty: The Death of Michael Hutchence, et al.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Tue May 26, 2020 11:23 pm


Operation CHAOS, a draft outline found among the papers of late political researcher Mael Brussell, provided the framework and inspiration for this study. The decision to write it was made ten years ago, and since that time the author has gathered pertinent material toward this end, often at the suggestion of friends who had a piece of the puzzle to contribute, including Will Robinson, Marilyn Colman and the Brussell Sprouts, David X, Patrick Fourmy, publisher of Prevailing Winds, Al Marcelliene, John Judge, Lee Lew-Lee, Cynthia Ford, Lynn Moss-Sharman, Adam Parfrey, Bennett Theissen, Matty, DasGoat, Virginia McCullough, Dick Farley, "Cynthia Richards," the late Sharon White, Andrew and David, MIHRA, Linda Minor and CTRL's researchers, Vicky Flores-Guerra, Michael Putini, S.M., Melissa Darpino and the patient librarians at UCLA's Research Library and Los Angeles municipal library system. The author also wishes to thank Elliot Mintz, spokesman for Bob Dylan and Yoko Ono, reggae archivist Roger Steffans and Realist editor Paul Krassner for the admirable roles they have played in opposing some of the ignoble acts described in this volume.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Tue May 26, 2020 11:24 pm


The corporate media harbors hundreds of CIA propagandists and fawning loyalists who find revelations concerning domestic political assassinations inconvenient and stroll by with little comment. The central revelation of this volume is the fact that the Agency and Organized Crime have, for over over thirty years, engaged in a program to silence popular musicians whose influence subverts the cynical thought control tactics of American government and media. There exists within both worlds a rigidly "conservative" infrastructure that has little regard for human rights. This infrastructure has contributed to the rise of every fascist regime in the Third World. It has overthrown many a democratically-elected leader and favors death squad rule. It thrives on war, propaganda and social control. It takes a dim view of critics in the music industry, particularly young "communards" who advocate demilitarization, dread-locked musicians standing up for their rights, or street Thugs who condemn police violence and suggest shooting back.

The untimely deaths of John Lennon, Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur, and other rock musicians who lashed out at the established order were followed by widespread suspicion of foul play. The murder of Lennon led Fenton Bressler, an English barrister, to descend reluctantly into the hidden labyrinth of CIA mind control operations, and the result of his investigation, Who Killed John Lennon? (1989), raised provocative questions regarding the deep history of Mark David Chapman. But Bressler was an exception. Hard questions concerning the deaths of most musicians in this book have never been asked. On the contrary, many reporters and biographers are inclined to dismiss, with varying degrees of condescension, evidence of murder as grist for exotic conspiracy theories (though these, of course, do tend to run rampant when fascism, which is inherently conspiratorial, dominates the intelligence community). This unwillingness to dissect covert operations renders reporters with integrity incapable of evaluating the evidence and arriving at an objective judgment. An attempt is made here to correct this imbalance, to treat the evidence with the seriousness it deserves.

A sobering example: ten years ago, the statement that Brian Jones, founding member of the Rolling Stones, was murdered would have been met with ridicule. Everyone knew that Jones died in 1969 by accidental drowning. The "rational" view held that Jones was a fiercely talented but precocious, drug-crazed rogue with an irrepressible death wish. But the subsequent confession of his killer, and the testimony of several witnesses intimidated into silence, has since dispelled the status quo belief (though the press remains largely indifferent). Brian Jones was murdered. Journalists should take care not to let it happen again, but this is not a profession that readily learns from its mistakes. Reporters will transcribe the official verdict on the next "accidental drowning," pride themselves on their "objectivity" for refusing to be lured by bothersome details into contradicting the official record. A politically indifferent public will accept all this and the hypocritical distortions of the propagandists.

Anyone with a penchant to research the subject is advised that there are patterns to look for to distinguish a political hit from the apolitical variety and accidental or natural causes. Nearly all celebrity subjects of this volume knew extreme "paranoia" before their deaths. John Lennon and Jim Morrison were both driven to desperation by constant FBI harassment. Jones was made a nervous wreck by police raids and the intimidations of a circle of killers who infiltrated his household. Jimi Hendrix feared Michael Jeffrey, his manager, a self-avowed intelligence agent with Mafia ties, who stole from him, then arranged for his kidnapping and probable murder. Bob Marley received a death threat from the CIA, and sang about his "War" with the Agency. Tupac Shakur lived in defiance of a COINTELPRO-type operation waged, he realized, to destroy his career and silence him.

Another recurring theme is the posthumous publication of books libeling the deceased and misleading the reader on the circumstances of death. Bob Woodward, Danny Sugarman and the late Albert Goldman worked this genre and profited handsomely from it. In the "mainstream" media, discrediting tactics are also common, and the death is almost always blamed on the victim. Cass Elliott, according to one fraudulent medical expert and a flurry of erroneous press reports, was claimed by "gluttony." Jones was a victim of vague "misadventure," and drugs were said to have contributed -- despite the fact that he had been off them for a month before he died. It was widely reported falsely that Jimi Hendrix overdosed on heroin, and it is universally held that he "choked on his own vomit," though the true circumstances are complex and have driven many of his friends to demand an investigation. Michael Hutchence was supposedly done in by auto-erotic sex, but a broken hand, split lip and contusions on his body have not been explained. In each case, cruel exaggeration and blatant falsehood parade as fact.

The victim often leaves behind witnesses whose testimony is wildly at variance. Sometimes they even contradict themselves on the essential facts. It's tempting to walk away from a case like this in a fit of frustration -- until considering the chill that death threats put on eyewitness testimony. A coerced witness makes false statements to police and the press. Three or four witnesses, knowing that the killers mean business, will fabricate details to fill in the gaps of information they are forced to withhold under threat of retaliation. When seen in this light, blaring contradictions in a murder case should be interpreted as possible duress.

And this brings us to another recurring theme: the cover-up proves the crime. And in each case examined, the perpetrators and their accomplices have altered history by concealing crucial evidence. This book is an attempt to return that evidence to the historical record.

Alex Constantine
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Tue May 26, 2020 11:32 pm



-- Phil Ochs

In 1980, Danish journalist Henrik Kruger collected scraps of suppressed information on the Nixon wing of Republican politics, then observed in The Great Heroin Coup, "Assassination became a modus operandi under Richard Nixon." [1] Political murder, an unplumbed scandal in the bulging file of criminal acts collectively known as Watergate, went unexplored while investigative committees and reporters taking dictation concentrated on milk funds, Nixon's possible knowledge of a routine bugging and the cover-up.

As a result, the dankest political horrors -- including the assassination of celebrities on the left and Nixon's rivals for the White House -- have never been ventilated by the corporate media. Beneath the surface of Watergate ran a spring of excesses far more scandalous than any exposed by the Washington Post, and these never did see the light of day -- for the simple reason that everything known about the Nixon administration was planted in the Post by ranking intelligence officers. [2] The leading candidates for the identity of "Deep Throat," the professed source of Woodward and Bernstein's most significant Watergate leads:

• Washington attorney Robert Bennett, then director of Mullen and Associates, the firm that founded the Free Cuba Committee, a front that once claimed Lee Harvey Oswald as a member, employer of White House Plumber E. Howard Hunt in his glory days.

• Former CIA official Richard Ober, director of Operation CHAOS, the most expansive domestic surveillance and covert operations network in American history, the intelligence sector's response to the anti-war and civil rights movements (Bennett and Ober both ran covert assassination programs, as will be seen.)

• General Alex Haig, who gave up the Pentagon but "not to shuffle papers." Formerly a staffer under General Douglas MacArthur in Korea and scion of the National Security Council, he was chief of staff at the White House under Nixon, nosing out some 245 generals for the appointment.

Whoever the skulking insider may have been, "Deep Throat" proved to be a shallow well of revelations after all. The depths of CIA corruption under Nixon, particularly political murder, went unreported by the celebrated authors of the Post's Watergate coverage because one of them, Bob Woodward, was himself a cut-out for distant "conservative" forces in the intelligence and military establishment. [3] This was a "journalist" who could be counted on to contain the Watergate story, steer it away from the most serious acts of corruption.

Bob Woodward has taken a walk around the block repeatedly when asked about his military intelligence bona fides. On June 13, 1965, three days after his raduation from Yale, young Woodward was declared a Navy ensign in a 20-minute ceremony conducted by Senator George Smathers in a school auditorium. (As it happens, the Democratic senator from Florida was a partner in the real estate holdings of the Lansky Family, [4] a branch of the Mafia closely aligned with the CIA.) One Naval intelligence officer on the USS Wright recalls that Woodward held "top secret 'crypto' clearance, which allowed him access to nearly any declassified [government] document." Reporter Adrian Havill notes that, at the hub of the nation's defense networks, Woodward "had plenty of time to ingratiate himself with the nation's military leadership inside the Pentagon, across the Potomac River from the nation's capital."'

The Nixon administration rose on a foundation of political murder, a fact obscured by Woodward and the Post, and it continued to be a useful policy in the Watergate period, according to Edward Jay Epstein in Agency of Fear (1990). "E. Howard Hunt, after forging a State Department telegram implicating President Kennedy in the murder of Diem, showed the forged document to [Lucien] Conein, who then appeared on an NBC documentary and divulged its contents. (Hunt also briefed the producer of the program, Fred Freed, on the 'secret telegram,' which shaped the program in such a way as to imply Kennedy's complicity in the murder.) However, in an interview with the Washington Post on June 13, 1976, Conein acknowledged that he had been brought to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to superintend a special unit which would have the capacity to assassinate selected targets in the narcotics business." [6]

Assassination was all the rage among Nixon's inner-circle. One of them, "Eduardo" Hunt, mustered a pair of professional hit-men to kill syndicated columnist Jack Anderson -- G. Gordon Liddy, subsequently of Watergate and talk radio fame, and Dr. Edward Gunn, a toxin specialist and director of the CIA's Medical Services Division. Liddy's deposition concerning his recruitment to the murder plot was submitted to the court in a 1980 suit filed by Hunt against reporter A.J. Weberman.

Q: Did Hunt ever discuss any assassination plots?

Liddy: Well, there came a time in 1972, I think it was around February, when Mr. Hunt came to me concerning the journalist Jack Anderson. Mr. Hunt came to me, and he said, "Anderson has now gone too far. He has just identified and caused the death or imminent death under torture of one of our human assets abroad." And he, Hunt, had been charged by his principals, meaning his superiors at the White House, with conferring with me and someone from the CIA who was represented as retired, namely Dr. Gunn, as to how best to prevent Mr. Anderson from repeating his behavior.

This meeting was held in the then existing downstairs luncheon room of the Hay Adams Hotel, now no longer in existence. And Mr. Hunt brought up that LSD business again. Dr. Gunn rejected it on technical grounds. I suggested that the only way to effectively stop Mr. Anderson, was to kill him. Mr. Hunt and Dr. Gunn agreed. The remainder of the conversation consisted of how we ought to do it best. The conclusion was that the Cuban assets were to stage a mugging In Washington which would be fatal to Anderson.

Q: All right. Now if Mr. Hunt had said he had merely discussed with you and Dr. Gunn nothing more than a discreditation of Mr. Anderson, would that be correct or incorrect?

Liddy: That would be absolutely incorrect.

Q: The story reflecting this situation occurred in The Washington Post under an article by Woodward and Bernstein. Are you aware of that article, and were you surprised to see that that had come to light?

Liddy: I was in prison at the time .The article was made available to me. I read it at the time. And I was surprised to see that it was incorrect in that it did not narrate the incident as I have just narrated it to you, which is what actually happened. [7]

In July, 1984, Liddy testified in another lawsuit, this one filed by E. Howard Hunt against the ultra-conservative Spotlight press, an arm of the Liberty Lobby, proclaiming that several approaches to disposing of the columnist were considered -- killing methods with the stamp of the CIA. The Agency assigned Hunt the task of killing Anderson, employing methods found routinely in foreign political plots: "We discussed with Mr. Gunn aspirin roulette in which one takes a single tablet of deadly poison, packs it in a Bayer aspirin jar, we place it in the man's medicine chest, and one day he gets the tablet and that's that. Hunt referred to aspirin roulette." Hunt at this time was employed by the aforementioned CIA front, Mullen and Associates, then run by Washington attorney Robert Bennett. "We discussed Dr. Gunn's suggestion of the use of an automobile to hit Mr. Anderson's automobile when it was in a turn in the circle, up near Chevy Chase. There is a way ... known by the CIA that if you hit a car at just the right speed and angle, it will ... burn and kill the occupant. ... But what I suggested is we just kill him. And they both agreed that would be the way to go about it, and the task would be assigned to Cuban assets."'

Hunt's employer, the Mullen agency, had a long history of participation in political killings. Rolling Stone reported on May 20, 1976, "The Bay of Pigs and the Kennedy assassination are motifs that run through the Watergate affair. Howard Hunt, the chief Watergate burglar, helped establish a CIA front group for the Bay of Pigs, and Robert Bennett, as head of the Mullen Agency, played a decisive role in the undoing of Richard Nixon." [9]

Liddy's deposition in the Hunt suit exposed a death squad in the executive branch: "We had perhaps a dozen men who were willing to come on board in this connection. And Mr. Hunt, to impress upon me the high caliber of these individuals, stated that they had accounted among them for a substantial number of deaths [22], including two who had hanged someone from a beam in a garage." [10]

Were these the same "high caliber individuals" who killed gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, the only reporter to interview Jack Ruby and the author of an open letter to Lyndon Johnson that appeared in her syndicated column on December 21, 1964: "MEMORANDUM TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON; Please check with the State Department ... the leaders of our Armed Forces or our chief scientists, to discover what, if anything, we are doing to explore the ramifications of [electromagnetic] thought control ... could change the history of the world."

Kilgallen, one of the very few reporters in the country to question the Warren Commission's findings, told friends in the entertainment industry that she was going to "bust the Kennedy assassination wide open." But she never had the opportunity. She abruptly died of acute barbiturate and alcohol poisoning -- the New York medical examiner could not say whether Kilgallen died accidentally or was murdered -- on November 8, 1965. Mary Branum, one of Kilgallen's editors, received a telephone call several hours prior to the discovery of the body. The anonymous caller informed Branum that the columnist had been "murdered" [11]

Indisputably, she had. This was the conclusion of a forensic chemist who reported to Dr. Charles Umberger at the New York City Medical Examiner's office -- and was told to keep the chemical analysis under wraps -- in 1978. The chemist ran an analysis of the glass Kilgallen had been drinking from when she died, using forensic techniques that did not exist in 1965. The tests turned up traces of Nembutol on the glass ... but Nembutol was not found in her blood. The blood analysis revealed a lethal cocktail of drugs, three from the fastest-acting groups of barbiturates: secobarbitol, amobarbital and phentobarbital. [12] None of these drugs were detected on the glass.

The CIA had assembled a thick concordia of lethal methods. On April 2, 1979, the Washington Post reported that the Agency had experimented with exotic poisons that left the subject in a condition that would indicate natural causes to an unsuspecting coroner. The project began with an anonymous, undated memo on assassination by "natural causes." "Knock off key people," the heavily censored document specified, "how [to] knock off key guys ... natural causes ..."

And then there's a declassified memo from a CIA consultant to an official of the agency discussing clandestine methods for killing us softly.

1. bodies left with no hope if the cause of death being determined by the most complete autopsy and chemical examinations.

2. bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate accidental death.

3. bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate suicidal death.

4. bodies left with residue that simulate those caused by natural diseases. [13]

Kilgallen was not the only whistle-blower dispatched in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination. In January, 1968, Ramparts magazine reported on the death of Gerrett Underhill, a staffer at the Army's Military Intelligence Service and advisor to the Agency. "Immediately after the [John Kennedy] assassination, a distraught Underhill told friends that a semi-autonomous CIA clique which had been profiting in narcotics and gun-running was implicated." A few months later, "Underhill was found dead of a bullet wound in the head."

Some of the same "high-caliber individuals" behind the murders of Kilgallen and Underhill may have turned up yet again in the shooting of George Wallace, the fiercely segregationist Democratic governor of Alabama who vied with Richard Nixon for the presidency in 1972.

Wallace was campaigning at a shopping center in Laurel, Maryland, an appearance that drew a crowd of some 2,000 supporters. Two critical primaries were a couple of days off and the polls predicted that Wallace would take Michigan and Maryland by a landslide. If he survived the primaries, there was every chance that he could walk away with a sizable share of conservative votes that otherwise would have gone to Nixon. Wallace was therefore perceived as a threat. "Remember one thing," Wallace exhorted all in his last campaign speech, "there's not a dime's difference between Nixon and McGovern, or Nixon and Humphrey. It's up to you to send them a message in Washington, a message they won't forget!"

But it was Wallace who received the message when, after stepping down from the podium, a short, plump, smiling 21-year old man in sunglasses pushed through the crowd. "Hey, George. Over here! Governor Wallace turned toward the voice of a grinning Arthur Bremer, an unemployed busboy from Milwaukee, who produced a snub-nosed .38 caliber revolver and fired four rounds into the candidate from Alabama. Three of the governor's entourage were also wounded before the gun was pried from Bremer's hand.

Wallace survived but spent the remainder of his life in a wheelchair, his legs paralyzed. He took potent anti-depressants for years after the shooting. Bremer was summarily convicted on four counts of assault with intent to kill and was led away to serve a 53-year prison sentence. It was quickly determined that he had acted alone. Subsequent events suggest otherwise.

A few minutes after the shots were fired, Nixon aide Charles Colson directed E. Howard Hunt to fly to Milwaukee, break into Bremer's apartment and recover all "embarrassing evidence," according to Woodward and Bernstein in All the Presidents Men. Gore Vidal, novelist and literary critic, opined that Hunt actually penned Bremer's diaries. Wallace himself stated openly, "my attempted assassination was part of a conspiracy."

All told, the four victims suffered 18 bullet wounds -- but Bremer's gun was a five-shooter. Arthur told his brother that he had accomplices who had paid him handsomely to shoot George Wallace. Bremer was out of work, so who picked up the tab for his repeated stays at the opulent Waldorf-Astoria in New York?
Milwaukee police files on Bremer portrayed him as a "subversive" with ties to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). These were seized after the shooting and classified secret by the ATF acting "under the highest authority."

Tim Heinan, a Marquette University student who moonlighted as an undercover agent for the Milwaukee Police Department's Special Assignment Squad, learned that Arthur Bremer had ties to a CIA operative named Dennis Salvatore Cossini, a federal "counter terrorist" who specialized in the infiltration and control of radical organizations including the local SDS chapter the gunman had joined. The agent was fired after Heinan confessed his links to Bremer. Cossini headed for Toronto and was next seen dead, slouching in a parked car with an overdose of heroin in his veins. One of the police investigating the death mused "Somebody gave him a hot shot." [14]

Heroin "overdoses" would recur in the coming hit parade, and the Nixonites would dance on the graves of the casualties in a covert war that ultimately altered the political course of the country.



1. Heinrik Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence & International Fascism, Boston: South End Press, 1980, p. 164. Kruger and others have documented assassination and extermination campaigns in Vietnam, Guatemala, Argentina and Brazil -- represented in Latin America by local death squads. "The White House appears to have sponsored a secret assassination program under cover of drug enforcement.
It was continued by the DEA, which seemingly overlapped with the CIA in political rather than drug enforcement. Until 1974 the training of torturers [and] Latin American death squads came under the auspices of the CIA and USAID's Office of Public Safety."

2. Henry Kissinger, an old CIA hand, was untouched by the scandal. He lied repeatedly to Congress concerning illicit wiretaps placed by his office on the telephones of newspaper reporters and National Security Council staff, yet gracefully escaped leaving the administration in disgrace with Richard Nixon (See, John Marks, "The Case Against Kissinger: Rolling Stone, no 166, August 1, 1974, pp 10-14). Throughout the Watergate exposures, the media sustained a hands-off policy toward Kissinger, despite the revelation of his threat to "destroy" anyone who leaked information on the secret bombing of Cambodia. He was portrayed by the press not as a perjurer or wire-tapper, but at all times as an eminent statesman and moral bulwark against Communist tyranny.

3. Adrian Havill, Deep Truth: The Lives of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, New York: Birch Lane, 1993, p 43.

4. Kruger, p. 155. Senator Smathers was a controlling shareholder in the Major Realty Co. with Lansky subordinates Ben Siegelbaum and Max Orovitz.

5. Admiral Moorer, Woodward's superior officer, was the stereotypical hard-bitten Pentagon hawk, a close friend to two of the most powerful Nixon appointees, Henry Kissinger and John Mitchell.

He was an enigma to most employees at the Pentagon, best known for his temper tantrums. The Admiral, a ferocious anti-communist, pushed for open warfare with the Soviet Union and denounced as a "dirty bastard" and "unshaven peacenik" anyone who disagreed with him on this score or any other. He was the most feared official in Navy history. Mark Perry, a Nation correspondent, found that Moorer's "apparent lack of intelligence was his most important quality." Thus the Nixon administration's "secret plan to end the war" echoed Moorer's sentiments. The "plan": the US should step up the Vietnam war to pressure North Vietnam to concede. Nixon considered Moorer to be a model "loyalist," a figure he could respect. The Admiral won a reappointment to chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1972, and continued to urge Nixon on to more devastating levels of military violence in Vietnam.

Under the watch of Admiral Thomas Moorer, Bob Woodward held authority over all communications to the Naval wing of the Pentagon, including the Secretary of the Navy's office. The Admiral and former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird both stated on tape in 1989 interviews that Woodward's duties included briefing Alex Haig at the Nixon White House. "Later," Havill found, "Moorer attempted to back away from his recorded statement."

The Admiral back-stroked, made "contradictory statements and [sounded] befuddled. Laird said he was 'aware that Haig was being briefed by Woodward.'"

6. Edward J. Epstein, Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America, Verso Books, 1990. First published in 1977 by Putnam.

7. Liddy Deposition, September 30, 1980. Hunt v. Weberman.

8. Hunt's testimony, July 11, 1984 Hunt v. Spotlight, USDC Miami, Florida.

9. Howard Kohn, "The Hughes-Nixon-Lansky Connection: The Secret Alliances of the CIA from World War II to Watergate," Rolling Stone, May 20, 1976.

10. Hunt v. Weberman.

11. Lincoln Lawrente, Mind Control, Oswald & JFK: Were We Controlled? Kenn Thomas, ed, Kempton, IL Adventures Unlimited, 1997, pp. 162-63.

12. Lee Israel, Kilgallen, New York, Delacourte, 1979, p. 441.

13. Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, New York Carroll & Graf, 1989, p 557. A significant CIA leak confirms that the Agency has a keen interest in the lethal arts. Barry Rothman, a CIA assassination methods specialist, was interviewed by Playboy in January, 1977, and explained that he'd been enlisted by an unidentified spy with "an encyclopedic knowledge of guns, particularly Nazi weaponry." The recruiter was "a fascist, basically. He had a deep- seated, violent prejudice against anything that wasn't Aryan." Rothman was recruited in 1952 and graduated from the development of certain explosives to sophisticated biochemical warfare toxins. Not an agency to let talent go to waste, the CIA requested that he write a handbook on improvised weapons systems. He surveyed plant poisons. "Common things you can walk out and find right now in your backyard can, if treated properly, yield very deadly poisons that are not easily detectable. I think I included about forty plants and instructions on how to use them. The Agency was very pleased with it." He moved on to biological agents that "can be made without too much grief. There are a fair number of those." But there was "one peculiar thing" about the CIA assignment that disturbed him. "I was specifically instructed to orient [the handbook] toward domestically available materials and plants. Plants that grow in the U.S. and materials that are sold in the US. What that means, I don't know, but it makes you wonder."

14. Eric Norden, "The Shooting of George Wallace -- Who Really Wanted Him Dead," April 1984, pp 21ff.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Tue May 26, 2020 11:45 pm



Swing Kids involves a very small footnote to a very large historical event. In Nazi Germany in 1939, we learn, while Hitler was rounding up Jews and launching World War II, a small group of kids wore their hair long and danced to the swing music of such banned musicians as Benny Goodman and Count Basie. Occasionally they got into fights with the brownshirts of the Hitler Youth Brigades.

If the Swing Kids had evolved into an underground movement dedicated to the overthrow of Nazism, we might be onto something here. But no. A title card at the end of the film informs us that some of the kids died at the hands of the Nazis, and others were forced into the German army and killed in battle ... [1] Roger Ebert, Film Review, March 5, 1993

In 1967, an increasingly subversive form of music melded with politics in San Francisco. Still eclipsed by federal classification are the tactics of the intelligence sector in the destabilization of the lives of politically-tuned musicians on the fringe of the anti-war movement, as revealed before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a leaked intelligence memorandum submitted for the record on April 26, 1976:

Show them as scurrilous and depraved. Call attention to their habits and living conditions, explore every possible embarrassment. Send in women and sex, break up marriages. Have members arrested on marijuana charges. Investigate personal conflicts or animosities between them. Send articles to the newspapers showing their depravity. Use narcotics and free sex to entrap. Use misinformation to confuse and disrupt. Get records of their bank accounts. Obtain specimens of handwriting. Provoke target groups into rivalries that may result in death ["Intelligence Activities and Rights of Americans: Book. II, April 26 1976, Senate Committee with Respect to Intelligence Report]

For the first time since its creation, the warfare state meticulously erected by the Dulles brothers, J. Edgar Hoover, Dean Acheson, General Douglas MacArthur, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon and an army of anti-Communist cold warriors was threatened by an increasingly militant segment of the population. "Fascists" and "Pigs" burned in effigy on campus from sea to psychedelic sea.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation rose to the challenge. Many rock musicians of the day struggled for a place in the American pantheon of stardom only to experience ferocious political repression. "That's what killed us," recollects Roger McGuinn, lead guitarist for the Byrds. "We got blackballed after drug allegations in 'Eight Miles High,"' and Hoover's spies never seemed far away. "They'd been chasing after us because somebody left some hashish in the airplane coming back from England. So they came down on us in a recording studio and said, 'Whose is this?' Of course nobody claimed it." On one occasion, on tour in Iowa, David Crosby, lounging on the balcony of a Holiday Inn, whiled away the time before a concert firing .22 caliber blanks with a slingshot at a brick wall about thirty feet down. A group of "Rednecks" staying at the Motel played poker at the ground level, and riled by the tiny explosions, "started climbing over the balcony, fuming, 'Guys died in Iwo Jima for punks like you," McGuinn recalls. "They were pounding on Crosby, when suddenly the FBI appeared. You know, 'FBI, son. Break it up!' They took these guys out and sent them off to their room. I don't know if it was just a coincidence, but what were [the FBI] doing in the middle of Iowa? From then on I used to be looking over my shoulder, thinking the government was after me." [2]

The deaths of Byrds' guitarists Clarence White in July, 1973, and Gram Parsons two months later, have long been grist for speculation. Clarence White and his brothers were packing the car after a show in Palmdale, California -- the home of Lockheed (military contractor and CIA haunt) -- when Clarence was struck by a drunk driver named Yoko Ito. Alan Munde, a banjo player for the White Brothers when they toured England and Sweden in the spring of 1973, recalled in an interview taped at the Tennessee Banjo Institute that White then lived "near Lancaster, California, where his mother and dad had lived.... But that's where Edwards Air Force Base was, and that's where there was a lot of aircraft industry up there, and Roland [White's dad] worked there ... and then Clarence bought a house ... and [performed] at a club, you know, that Clarence had played many many times before he was with the Byrds, to pick, and was just comin' out loadin' up the stuff, and had put the stuff in the trunk and walked around to get into the car, and the lady came by and side- swiped the car and hit him, and knocked him on down the road, and Roland had just walked around to the front, and he was -- you know, they don't know that, but he was hit also and knocked over the hood of the car, by the lady and you know, Clarence was, you know, 150 feet down the road." [3]

"The driver of the car, Yoko Ito," according to a brief in Nashville Babylon (1988) by Randall Riese, "was booked on suspicion of felony drunk driving and manslaughter." The glassy-eyed Ms. Ito was reportedly pregnant, yet had gone on an alcoholic binge, picked a fight in a bar and capped off the evening by running over a popular musician and dragging him down the road, completely unaware of the fatality. Clarence White came tumbling over the hood of her car, and yet she didn't know that she'd even struck a pedestrian.

White's close friend Gram Parsons, a sometime Byrd with his own band, the Flying Burrito Brothers, was laid low at the Joshua Tree Inn shortly after midnight, September 19, 1973 (one day before singer Jim Croce was killed in an airplane crash, resulting, according to press reports, in the filing of a $2.5-million lawsuit against the FAA by the singer's widow -- the tree that killed him was not indicated in the map of the airport runway prepared for Croce). "The circumstances of Gram's death were shrouded in mystery," writes Rolling Stone correspondent Ben Fong-Torres. [4] Initially, the press reported that Parsons died of "heart failure," like Jim Morrison before him, "due to natural causes." His death certificate, however, signed by Dr. Irving Root, states that Parsons was claimed by drug toxicity over a period of weeks. Traces of cocaine and amphetamine were detected in his urine, and a high concentration of morphine. The latter was found in his bile and liver. Convincing on the surface -- until it is considered that morphine toxicity requires that the drug be found in the blood. It wasn't. Forensic tests did detect alcohol, but no drugs were found in his bloodstream, so the cause of death was not an overdose, as many have since claimed, and drug toxicity is still possible but highly unlikely.

Dr. Root noted that Parsons had reached "toxic levels of drug intake," and sustained them for weeks. (The source of supply has never been publicly identified. A rumor has it that Gram had been buying drugs from a woman, now deceased.) Dr. Margaret Greenwald, a San Francisco coroner, told Fong-Torres that narcotics accumulate over time in the liver and urine. The morphine and trace deposits indicate not that they killed him, but that "he'd been using [those drugs] for a long period of time," she explained. [5] So the exact cause of death remains a mystery and there is no hope of exhumation to resolve critical inconsistencies because Parson's cadaver was stolen at the Los Angeles International Airport in transit to New Orleans for burial and burned at Joshua Tree.


The coffin heist was perpetrated by Phil Kaufman, road manager for the Flying Burrito Brothers. Kaufman was a fledgling Hollywood actor before he met Parsons. In the meantime, he'd been arrested on drug charges and sentenced to Terminal Island Correctional Institute in San Pedro, California. It was here that Kaufman met Charles Manson, then an aspiring rock musician. Kaufman wrote about his first contact with Manson in an autobiography, "there was a guy playing guitar in the yard one day at Terminal Island. And it was Charlie, singing his ass off." When Manson was released, Kaufman, from prison, put him in touch with contacts in the Los Angeles music industry. Kaufman was released from prison in 1968. He moved in with Manson and lived with him for a couple of months, met and befriended the Rolling Stones that summer, and in August was introduced to Parsons [6]. Gram Parsons was one of many unexplained casualties on the periphery of Manson's cult.

Many musicians of note shared McGuinn's suspicion that Big Brother was stalking them. Evidence that they were not suffering from paranoid delusions was deposited in the 1980s at the FBI's reading room in Washington, D.C., scores of declassified files. This collection included seven pages of notes on Jimi Hendrix, 89 on Jim Morrison, and, oddly, 663 documents about Elvis Presley. (Presley's file opens early in his career, when "concerned" conservatives petitioned J. Edgar Hoover to "do something" about this swivel-hipped, slack-jawed, decadent despoiler of American adolescents. A former spy ripped off a letter to the FBI in 1956 to complain that Presley had masturbated on stage with his microphone to "arouse the sexual passions of teenage youth." The complainant confessed: "I feel an obligation to pass on to you my conviction that Presley is a definite danger to the security of the United States." [7])

But the attentions of Hoover's agents were lavished not only on Top 40 pop idols. Even a celebrated conductor of Leonard Bernstein's caliber could be stalked by the Feds -- the FBI monitored his every move for more than thirty years.

On July 30, 1994, the London Times reported "Intelligence files on [Leonard Bernstein] reveal that the bureau spent countless hours examining his links with associations deemed either Communist or subversive." Bernstein swore under oath in 1953 that he was not affiliated with the Communist Party in any way, and three decades of unrelenting spying by the Bureau, beginning in the mid-'40s, failed to produce a scrap of evidence to the contrary. "It also observed his support for the civil rights and anti-war movements, in particular the Black Panthers ... Bernstein, however, was known by both his friends and family as a man who espoused liberal causes in a totally arbitrary manner." [8] Bernstein was a liberal with an audience that respected his beliefs, and Hoover's secret police watched him as closely as they would any anarchistic, dope-addled rock idol.

One agent provocateur on the FBI payroll, Sarah Jane Moore, the would-be assassin of President Gerald Ford, observed the Bureau's counter-revolution from the inside. She described an atmosphere of cynical acrimony in a note to reporters curious about her motive in the assassination attempt:

"The FBI directed me to people and organizations seriously working for radical change ...

"There was no coordination not even any communication between these groups. The whole left as a matter of fact seemed disorganized, strife-ridden and weak. And I realized the reason for this was the FBI, whose tool I was, who clearly and correctly saw the strength and power of the idea of socialism, realized it represented a very real danger to our profit-motivated corporate state and who had declared total covert war against not only denim-clad revolutionaries but also against all progressive forces, even those working for the most acceptable 'American' reforms." She explained:

I listened with horror once to a bright young agent as he bragged about his abilities in the area of anonymous letter writing and other forms of character assassination, not of big important leaders, but of little people as soon as they showed any leadership potential. The Bureau's tactic is to cut them down or burn them out before they realize their potential.

I remember Worthington (my Bureau control) saying, "You don't seem to realize that this is war!" He thought the next two or three years would be the most crucial in our nation's history. His greatest fear at that time was that the left would rediscover the documents and ideas from the first and second American revolutions and use them to spark a new revolution.

He said that these words are as powerful today as ever and that properly used (actually he said "cleverly" used) the people could be aroused by these ideas and would fight again to achieve them.

That explains my political beliefs. It does not explain why in the name of a dream whose essence is a deep love for people and a belief in the essential beauty and worth of each individual, I picked up a gun intending to kill another human being.

When I was getting ready to go public regarding my spying activities, a journalist attempting to verify some facts was told by the FBI that if the story appeared I would be in danger.

This warning was repeated to me by the FBI with the additional suggestion that I should leave town. Charles Bates told me that of course they couldn't stop me from talking, but that I was placing myself in danger if the story appeared. He stated that at any rate he was not going to allow the FBI to be embarrassed. If there was anything they didn't like in the story they would simply see that it was edited out, that they had done that before, that he had "friends" on that particular paper somewhat higher up than the reporter level.

I had already had a phone call saying I was next that was just after the murder of a friend. Now friends and foes alike vied with each other to warn me, each claiming to have heard from sources they refused to name that I was to be "offed" or at the very least beaten.

Beyond a certain point pressure and threats are counter-productive. When one is threatened to a point where one is convinced; that is, when I finally accepted the fact that I was not going to be able to get away -- that I wasn't willing to pay the price -- the realization I would probably be killed ceased to frighten -- it brought instead a sense of freedom. [9]

Conservatives, blind to the slag-pile of political corruption within their own ranks, suspected a Soviet conspiracy in the rising challenge to authority and organized against the storm.

In 1970, three weeks after Nixon invaded Cambodia, Edwin Meese III -- the godfather of the far-right political school christened by the Washington Post (on January 26, 1984) the "Alameda Mafia," then Governor Ronald Reagan's legal affairs secretary -- observed in a McCarthyesque lecture delivered at a state law enforcement conference, "The challenge is clear. The enemies of society who are here in California are willing to sacrifice a generation of youth to obtain their objectives. They are not only willing but desirous of losing an international conflict. They will not stop at endangering life and indeed they have killed several and injured thousands." The solution: "Maximum photography, maximum evidence gathering by officers who are not involved in the actual [political demonstration] control activity" -- maximum spying, maximum keeping of secret files on private citizens. [10]

At the federal level, the CIA was already pursuing similar objectives under the aegis of an illegal domestic operation code-named CHAOS. Among the political targets of CHAOS, count Black Panther Geronimo Pratt, framed for the murder of two radicals on a tennis court in Santa Monica, California. Pratt was subsequently released from prison in June 1997, 27 years after his sentencing, because it was proven that a witness had lied on the stand. [11] The International Secretariat of Amnesty International issued a press release the following year citing the court's "failure to disclose crucial information about a key prosecution witness in the trial of Geronimo ji Jaga [Pratt] -- a former leader of the Black Panther Party released last year." This stonewall, insisted AI, "should result in the reversal of his conviction and finally put an end to 27 years of injustice." [12] Pratt is generally considered a target of COINTELPRO, the FBI's notorious counter-surveillance program, but Pratt is aware since requesting his files under FOIA that CHAOS agents hitched horses with the Bureau to drag the Panther into an erroneous conviction.

Politically active hippies were also fair game. One victim of the onslaught was the underground press, according to Donna Demac, an instructor in interactive telecommunications at NYU, "that diverse assortment of publications that ... empowered many of the social movements of the 1960s." The CIA and FBI "collected information on each paper's publisher, its sources of funds and its staff members. Many underground newspapers were put out of business when they were abandoned by advertisers who had been pressured by the FBI. The Bureau also created obstacles to distribution, fomented staff feuds and spread false information to create suspicion and confusion." [11]

The Central Intelligence Agency and its military counterparts, covert templars of the ruling caste, watched the dissent movement's rise with growing anxiety; the Operation was the Agency's response to civil unrest and cultural upheaval. If nothing else, the word CHAOS implied that officials of The Firm were aware of the social upheaval they were about to unleash upon an unsuspecting proletariat.

Freedom of Information Act requests for the most sensitive files are consistently denied.

"During six years [1967-1972], the Operation compiled some 13,000 different files, including files on 7,200 American citizens," concluded the Rockefeller Commission, which failed to pursue leads to settle critical allegations. The files inspected by the CIA's in-house committee concerned some 300,000 individuals and political organizations, and the CIA's Directorate of Operations created an index of some seven million names. [14]

Leaks were handled at the top. In April 1972, an article by Victor Marchetti, an ex-CIA officer, "CIA: The President's Loyal Tool," appeared in The Nation, charging the Agency with deceiving and manipulating the media, and co-opting the youth movement, cultural organizations and labor. William Colby, then the CIA's executive director, recruited John Warner, a deputy general counsel, to halt the publication of a book that Marchetti planned to publish on the criminalization of the CIA. Warner turned to White House aides John Ehrlichman, the head Plumber, and David Young, a right-wing extremist from Young Americans for Freedom, a Nazi front for "conservative" agents emigrating to the U.S. from Munich. Together, they obtained approval from President Nixon to drag Marchetti into court where US District Court Judge Albert V. Bryan, Jr. ordered him to submit the book to the Agency for redaction. [15]

Operation CHAOS was the inevitable mutation of covert domestic ops conceived during the Eisenhower administration and its directive to monitor emigre political groups on domestic soil. A reformed insider, Vern Lyon, former CIA undercover operative and current director of the Des Moines Hispanic Ministry, writes that the directive led the CIA to establish a network of proprietary companies and covers for its domestic operations. So widespread did the network become that in 1964, President Johnson allowed CIA Director John McCone to conceive "a new super-secret branch called the Domestic Operations Division (DOD), the very title of which mocked the explicit intent of Congress to prohibit CIA operations inside the US."

The classified charter of the DOD mandated the exercise of "centralized responsibility for the direction, support, and coordination of clandestine operational activities within the United States." This would include break-ins of foreign diplomatic sites at the request of the National Security Agency (NSA). Lyons: "The CIA also expanded the role of its 'quasi-legal' Domestic Contact Service (DCS), an operation designed to brief and debrief selected American citizens who had traveled abroad in sensitive areas." The DCS also helped with travel control by monitoring the arrivals and departures of US nationals and foreigners. In addition, the CIA reached out to former agents, officers, contacts and friends to help it run its many fronts, covers and phony corporations. This "old boy network" provided the CIA with trusted personnel to conduct its illicit domestic activities. [16]

A massive destabilizing effort was waged against the peace and civil rights movements. The Army's Counter-Intelligence Analysis Branch collected personality profiles, mug shots and compiled "blacklists" of anti-war activists, stored them on computer-files and microfilm reels. The Pentagon's intelligence operatives, disguised as reporters, gathered information at peace demonstrations -- the "Midwest Audiovisual News," an Army intelligence front, interviewed Abbie Hoffman at the 1968 police riot in Chicago. [17]

The military program came complete with "operations centers," direct lines to local police, teletype machines to field intelligence units, street maps, closed-circuit video, and secure communications channels. A 180-man "command center" appeared in 1968 following the riots in Detroit. By 1969, the center was housed in a $2.7-million war room in the cellar of the Pentagon. [18]

This was the year Richard Helms prepared a CIA research paper on the antiwar movement entitled "Restless Youth" for Henry Kissinger. The cover letter explained, "in an effort to round out our discussion of this subject, we have included a section on American students. This is an area not within the charter of this agency, so I need not emphasize how extremely sensitive this makes the paper. Should anyone learn of its existence it would prove most embarrassing for all concerned." But a small group at the CIA's Office of Security was already monitoring student organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. Helms expanded the domestic spying operation with the creation of the Special Operations Group (SOG), directed by Richard Ober, one of the "Deep Throat" candidates, to conduct "counterintelligence." This was the direct precursor of CHAOS. SOG operatives provided the CIA Office of Current Intelligence with scuttlebutt on the peace movement. Within a couple of years, domestic operations swelled to meet the perceived threat to military-industrial rule, even paralleling the growth of antiwar protest. [19] But invisibly, in the shadows of the resistance.

In 1974, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh exposed CHAOS in the New York Times. Hersh reported that the CIA had conducted a massive spying and covert operations program on domestic soil. The story inspired the Church and Pike hearings of 1975. These investigations verified Hersh's allegations. But the media, especially the leading newspapers and news weeklies, ridiculed and reviled Hersh. The Washington Post, Newsweek and editorial pages across the country actually questioned his sanity and dismissed the story as a whimsical "conspiracy theory." Time rushed to the Agency's defense. "Many observers in Washington who are far from naive about the CIA nevertheless consider its past chiefs and most of its officials highly educated, sensitive and dedicated public servants who would scarcely let themselves get involved in the kind of massive scheme described." [20]



1. Peter Wicke, a music historian at Humboldt University in Berlin, emphasizes that the Nazi suppression of jazz and swing was motivated largely by economics. "January 30, 1933 marked a deep cut for some forms of popular music under the fascist dictatorship in Germany. The new ruling powers left no doubt about their role in the arts with the renewal of Germany. A once flowering European center of music expired into the Agony." Propaganda expenditures directed against the emergent musical movements "targeted the economic competition of the American music industry," and, oddly enough, "the Jewish population -- who had less to do with jazz than the other subpopulations of Germany." American recordings were banned, but Telefunken Studios artists Peter Kreuder's Orchestra, Heinz Wehner's Swing Band and Kurt Widmann were promoted in Nazi Germany, and the business of jazz recording continued after the prohibition was enacted against imports, "not undisputedly, but evenly, without closer inspection, minus the annoying competition from overseas." The corporate influence on Nazi policies concerning jazz and swing music contributed to "a beautiful banknote of private feeling" in Germany. See Peter Wicke, "Populare Musik im Faschistischen Deutschland: .

2. Bruce Pollock, When the Music Mattered: The Musicians Who Made it Happen Tell How it Happened, New York Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1983, p. 86.

3. Randal Morton, "Alan Munde's Interview," Clarence White Chronicles, no 14, September 13, 1998.

4. Ben Fong Torres, Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons, New York, St Martin's, 1991, p 228.

5. Fong-Torres, pp. 200-201.

6. Fong-Torres, pp 116-17.

7. "Rock Heroes on the FBI Record," Correspondent (UK), October 1, 1989.

8. Tom Rhodes, "Files show FBI tried to settle score with the maestro of radical chic: London Times, July 30, 1994, p. 11.

9. Sarah Jane Moore, correspondence with Linda-Marie, Internet posting,

10. Edwin Meese, executive secretary to Governor Reagan, untitled lecture typescript, 1970, released under FOIA request.

11. Geronimo Pratt interviewed by former Black Panther Lee Lew-Lee, 1997 Angus Meredith, in Secrets: The CIA's War at Home (Berkeley. University of California Press, 1999): "The FBI's COINTELPRO [was] run in collaboration with CHAOS." (p 69).

12. "USA: Crucial information 27 years too late for Black Panther leader: Amnesty International press release, AI INDEX. AMR 51/41/98, 1 July 1998.

13. Donna A, Demac, Liberty Denied: The Current Rise of Censorship in America, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1990, p. 77.

14. Rockefeller Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, June 1975, New York, Manor Books, pp 23, 41.

15. Angus Mackenzie, Secrets: The CIA's War at Home, Berkeley University of California Press, 1999, pp 43-44.

16. Verne Lyon, "Domestic Surveillance: The History of Operation CHAOS," Covert Action Information Bulletin, Summer 1990.

17. Blanche Wiesen Cook, "Surveillance and Mind Control: Howard Frazier, ed., Uncloaking the CIA, New York: The Free Press, 1978, p 178.

18. Daniel Brandt, "The 1960s and COINTELPRO: In Defense of Paranoia," NameBase NewsLine, no 10, July/September 1995.

19. Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA, New York: Pocket Books, 1979, pp 314-15.

20. Kathryn Olmsted, "Watchdogs or Lap Dogs?" Albuquerque Weekly Alibi, July 21, 1997.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Tue May 26, 2020 11:50 pm


The Mafia was to be enlisted for the covert war against the counterculture, an incarnation of Operation Underworld (the WWII-era alliance between the military and the Mob to sabotage the Italians under Mussolini) on the domestic front, a natural since gangsters already dominated much of the popular music industry "The music business," Albert Goldman acknowledged in 1989, "has always been a dirty business with strong ties to organized crime and a long tradition of corrupting the media. One of the dangers that researchers in this field run is that they will stumble across something that will alarm the crooks, who are paranoid from the jump." Goldman reported that the lesson was driven home when Linda Kuehl, a friend writing a book on the life of Billie Holiday, was killed in Washington, D.C. by a plummet from the terrace of her hotel room. Goldman phoned police and learned that they had ruled suicide out as the motive (she'd been cleaning her face with cold cream when she fell). He also "learned that she had been running scared because she was getting calls from strangers who kept admonishing her, 'Why don't you just write about the music?"' [1]

In the mid-'60s, CHAOS officials and the Mob both eyed the rising tide of political rock music askance. Each had an incentive for exercising control over the industry. The CIA was in the business of decimating the New Left and popular music had, in the wink of a half-note, been transformed into a viper pit of long-haired "communards" screaming for revolution and an end to the war in Vietnam. The Mafia, of course, wanted more constrictive financial control over the recording industry, the artists it signed, everything from production to distribution.

It's not as though these two powerful entities, the CIA and organized crime, were unknown to the industry. Top 40, the reigning broadcast format in America, owes its very existence to the NSC-CIA-Mafia combination.

In the beginning there was Morris Levy. Morris began his career as an appendage of the Genovese Family and rapidly rose through the ranks. He was enlisted by the Mob as a juke box promoter in the 1940s. His brother was gunned down by business rivals who mistook him for Morris -- who lived to become one of the most feared men in the business. He was the owner of the famous Birdland jazz club in New York City, and a partner, with George Goldner, a seedy record promoter, for the Rama label (home of R&B doo-wop group The Crows) and a subsidiary, Gee Records (Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, The Regents). [2] These labels and further subsidiaries (Roulette, End) pumped out apolitical bubblegum (Tommy James, Little Anthony, The Shangri-Las) through the 1960s.

Gee Records was founded by Levy and Goldner specifically to draw in Alan Freed, then a rising R&B concert promoter in Cleveland (he oversold one concert and thereby incited the first rock 'n' roll riot), to New York. Freed was hired at Gee in the Fall of 1954 to work his promotional genius, and from the gun he and Goldner were close allies. Levy did not entirely trust his new partner, however, and schemed to bring him under control, eventually arranging a meeting in which Alan Freed -- drunk at the time -- was convinced to sell his share of the label to Levy. The Mafioso now had a controlling interest in the company, one of the first to enter the rock 'n' roll market.

John Elroy McCaw, another early kingpin in the genre, was also instrumental in bringing Alan Freed to New York. McCaw was a veteran of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the CIA. After the war, McCaw bought a New York radio station, WINS at Seven Central Park West, and geared the station's programming to hockey and basketball games. But by the early 1950s, the station pioneered the very first disk jock format, twenty-five minutes of Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Steve Lawrence and other popular crooners of the day, followed by five minutes of news. It soon became clear to the programming directors at WINS that the jock was the radio personality of the future. When Freed arrived in New York, he found himself in the historically unprecedented position of shaping not only the music youth would dance to (under Mafia control), but the medium that delivered it, as well (at a station run by a veteran intelligence agent).

Freed, at a starting salary of $75,000, was expected to boost the ratings, and toward this end he had no use for Perry Como. Rick Sklar, then an apprentice copywriter and producer, reports that when Freed arrived in New York, along with him "came hundreds of 45-RPM singles that he piled helter-skelter in an old five-shelf supply cabinet in our office. That chaotic, uncatalogued collection would become the most influential record library in commercial radio, imitated by stations everywhere. It would change the sound of popular music in America and the world for generations."

The WINS jocks couldn't know that in ten years time the invention of rock radio would inspire a subculture of anti-war activists and flag-burning bohemians to "tune in." Dissent inevitably died with a drugged whimper. Drugs would enter the equation of music plus youth with the politics of heroin and LSD. Hallucinogens fragged organized resistance to the war, but they were only one of many dubious contributions the Agency has made to American culture. Strains of drugged hedonism found their way to Top 40 radio with tambourine men peddling magic swirling trips, pink-eyed adolescents wringing their hands at mother's little helpers. The surf wave of Top 40 radio was transformed into a spawning ground of counter-cultural self-medication, and with the escalation of the Vietnam War, quasi-Marxist politics infused with strains of mystical idealism.


Ironically, "Top 40," the pied piper of rebellion, owes its very existence to McCaw, Alan Freed's boss, the entrepreneurial brains behind "big beat" radio and an old covert warrior at ease in the closed chambers of Washington's national security "elite". "Elroy's government contacts were extensive," writes Sklar. "He had maintained many of his OSS connections after the war and was quite prob-ably still engaged in government intelligence work during the time that he owned WINS. McCaw associates tell of saying good-bye to him in New York, with plans to meet him in Chicago the next day, only to have McCaw call from Cairo and cancel the meeting ... He was a member of the Advisory Council of the National Security Council, placed there, along with other key industry figures, by his old boss, Air Force General Hap Arnold." [4] Elroy McCaw was the "unauthorized civilian" whose inadvertent admission to an NSC meeting at the White House, chaired by John F. Kennedy -- who had never met the man and thought him an intruder -- caused a press furor in 1961. (The NSC and General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold commanding general of US Army Air Forces during WWII, both played significant roles in seeding the prevailing Cold War culture. The NSC was patterned after Hitler's security council, and its jurisdiction was to oversee the CIA by dictate of the National Security Act of 1947. [5] McCaw was therefore instrumental in determining CIA policy.)

The yawping, warbling, mind-numbing repetitions of Top 40 radio were given trial runs first in Omaha, Kansas City and New Orleans. The format was fine-tuned at WINS under McCaw, and the radio industry would never be the same. "WINS hit the air in September of 1957," Sklar recalls, "with sharp jingles, screaming contests and promotions, and Top 40 music. The city had never heard anything like it." The jocks had personalities, an unprecedented development. "News was introduced with ear-splitting sensationalist effects ... A different sound was played each hour. One newscast would be introduced by a woman screaming, another by a fire engine siren, and still another by the sound of machine guns." [6]

The station lured more listeners than any other radio station in New York within a month of breaking out the hit parade format. But corruption thrived behind the DJs mindless bluster, whistles and the latest "Pick Hit of the Week."

Alan Freed, the godfather of hit radio, was scapegoated by Orrin Hatch's House Legislative Oversight subcommittee probe of payola in 1959. He was also very nearly a target of assassination the year before. In 1958, McCaw called Freed into the WINS owner's office and announced his intention to fire him. The DJ was so shocked that he canceled a concert and spent the entire day pleading for his job. Freed was still in McCaw's office when a rock promoter, enraged by the sudden cancellation, exploded through the rear entrance to the radio station, gun in hand, searching for Freed. Sklar's pregnant wife, Sydelle, and Inga Freed were standing at the Coca-Cola machine. They immediately bolted into the record library and locked the door behind them. The gunman was unable to find Freed, who was still pleading with McCaw in the latter's office, and stomped out of the station in a cloud of disgust. [7]



1. Albert Goldman, "Rock's Greatest Hitman," Penthouse, September 1989, p 222.

2. Marc Eliot, Rockonomics: The Money Behind the Music, New York. Citadel, 1989, pp 47-48.

3. Rick Sklar, Rocking America: How the All-Hit Radio Stations Took Over, New York, St Martin's, 1984, pp 11, 17 and 19.

4. Sklar, p 54 John E. McCaw died in 1969. He sired four sons, including Craig McCaw, who has been as influential in the molding of media and culture as his spook father. McCaw, Jr. entered the cable industry early. A Craig McCaw timeline: 1973: Craig takes over the daily operation of a small cable television operation in Centralia owned by him and his three brothers. 1974: The company enters the radio common carrier (paging) industry. 1982: The company is granted spectrum licenses made available by the FCC. 1986: The company buys out MCI's cellular and paging operations. 1987: Deciding to invest heavily in the emerging wireless industry, the company sells its cable holdings. 1990: McCaw Cellular purchases 52 percent of LIN Broadcasting stock -- LIN owned interests in five of the top ten cellular markets. 1991: McCaw initiates an upgrade of its systems from analog to digital. 1992: The Wireless Data Division contracts with UPS to track packages throughout the US. 1994: McCaw merges with AT&T (Source 1995 AT&T press release). The latest Forbes Four Hundred report notes that in 1994, the McCaw family "agreed to invest up to $1.1 billion in Nextel Communications." All four brothers are exceedingly wealthy. Bruce R McCaw, Forbes reports, is worth $800 million; Keith W. McCaw, $775 million; John Elroy McCaw, Jr., $750 million.

5. Mae Brussell, "Why is the Senate Watergate Committee Functioning as Part of the Cover-Up," Realist, August 1971, p 22 .After WWII, a Nazi base was established in the Caribbean. The NSC, "patterned from German intelligence, provided the espionage framework inside the White House for our political assassinations as well as the Watergate 'Plumbers' and election manipulations."

6. Sklar, p. 28.

7. Sklar, p 46.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 12:04 am

CHAPTER THREE: Parapolitical Stars in the Dope Show


The nation entered a mode of heightened security after the appearance of alien youth that grew its hair long and balked at the idea of hurling itself into the Asian inferno. This was the summer of the Denver Pop Festival at Mile High Stadium, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, the Mothers of Invention and Credence Clearwater Revival, among other emerging acts. The festival was marred by slugfests between club-swinging cops, gatecrashers, and-foreshadowing the hellish landscape of Altamont-bikers hired to maintain security. Thousands in the stadium were forced onto the field when tear gas wafted through the stands, a police response to bottle-throwing gate-crashers. The next day, the police arrived armed to the molars. Some 300 cops with police dogs assembled at the foot of a hill where a group of non-paying long-hairs sat listening to "free music." The police brought along a weapon called the "Pepper Fog," a device that pumped plumes of tear gas and scalding mace. They were also armed with high-caliber rifles loaded with bird shot.

The mood of the crowd was idyllic. Nevertheless, the authorities cranked up the Pepper Fog machine, and its loud motor attracted the attention of some concert-goers who wandered down the hill to investigate. A single watermelon rind flung by a young rocker or provocateur arced into the platoon of cops. Immediately, the rind toss was addressed by a huge cloud of choking and blistering Pepper Fog. Everyone on the hill swallowed the gas.

Police clubbed anyone caught scaling the fence to crash the concert, even women, into a sorry state of submission. To force a mass confrontation, the men in blue marched into the stadium with their rifles raised -- but there was no show of resistance from the crowd. After the event, the Denver police chief mislaid blame for the violence on the American Liberation Front, a group of anti-war activists who had recently held a "live-in" at City Park to demonstrate that "revolution through music is possible." [1]

A clandestine counter revolt was waged by the intelligence agencies and their allies in the corporate sector. Former FBI agent Paul Rothermeil told reporter Peter Noyes that he had been asked by Texas Millionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt (his father, bombastic ultra-conservative H.L Hunt, was a suspect in the killing of John Kennedy; Nelson himself was at one time among the world's wealthiest men, the sole title-holder to all of the oil reserves in Libya) to form a "killer force" in Southern California to prey on liberal organizations and peace activists. Hunt's death squads would recruit from the John Birch Society (a fascist front that received generous financial support from the Texan) and train in the desert. The killers were to be armed with exotic "gas guns" manufactured in Europe. These beauties induced heart attacks that deceived any coroner. Rothermeil refused the offer, and shortly thereafter discovered that his telephone had been tapped by the millionaire's private security force. [2]

LSD appeared on the streets as if on cue to destabilize student dissent. More potent drugs used in federally-sponsored behavior modification studies also found their way to society at large. STP, a hallucinogen developed by the Dow Chemical Company in 1964, was considered an "incapacitating agent" by scientists on the CIA payroll. Research subjects were rendered semi-comatose for several days after dropping the hallucinogen. In 1967, Lee and Shlain report in Acid Dreams, "for some inexplicable reason, the formuIa for STP was released to the scientific community at large."

Five thousand tablets of STP were distributed in Haight-Ashbury as the "Summer of Love" embarked. "Few had heard of the drug, but that didn't matter to the crowd of eager pill poppers. They gobbled the gift as if it were an after-dinner mint." Some of the attendees were still tripping three days later. Emergency wards in San Francisco were choked with freaking bohemians.

Phencylidine, or PCP, an animal tranquilizer sold by Parke-Davis, made its first appearance in San Francisco's bohemian underground, one of many mind-blistering drugs that spilled from the CIA's medicine cabinet into the streets of San Francisco. [6]

The marketing possibilities were not lost on La Cosa Nostra, of course. The Mob revived its Prohibition role, opened mass production labs and a meticulously organized a network of traffickers to move black market hallucinogens. [7]

Lee and Shlain ask, "And what was the CIA up to?":

According to a former CIA contract employee, Agency personnel helped underground chemists set up LSD laboratories in the Bay Area during the Summer of Love to "Monitor" events in the acid ghetto. But why, if this assertion is true, would the CIA be interested in keeping tabs on the hippie population? Law enforcement is not a plausible explanation, for there were already enough narcs operating in the Haight. Then what was the motive? A CIA agent who claims to have infiltrated the covert LSD network provided a clue when he referred to Haight-Ashbury as a "human guinea pig farm."

A dozen years earlier in the same city, George Hunter White and his CIA colleagues had set up a safe house and begun testing hallucinogenic drugs on unwitting citizens. White's activities were phased out in the mid-1960s when the grassroots acid scene exploded in the Bay Area. Suddenly there was a neighborhood packed full of young people who were ready and willing to gobble experimental chemicals -- chemicals that had already been tested in the lab but seldom under actual field conditions. [8]

Charles Manson and Timothy Leary arrived in San Francisco at roughly the same time. Both had a keen interest in mind control. In the labyrinth of Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi observes: "Somewhere along the line -- I wasn't sure how or where or when -- Manson developed a control over his followers so all-encompassing that he would ask them to violate the ultimate taboo -- say 'kill' and they would do it."

In 1993, a book appeared in Germany offering up a partial solution to the Manson mind control mystery, an intimate glimpse of the CIA's activities in the Haight district: Murder's Test-Tube: The Box of Charles Manson, by Carol Greene. A French review found the book's other characters "far more frightening than Manson himself." There was Dr. Wayne O. Evans, director of the Military Stress Laboratory of the US Army Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts in the 1960s. Evans took part in the Study Group for the Effects of Psychotropic Drugs on Normal Humans, a conference held in Puerto Rico in 1967, and issued a report, Psychotropic Drugs in the Year 2000.

In considering the present volume, it is our hope that the reader will not believe this to be an exercise in science fiction. It is well known that the world of 15 years hence presently exists in the research laboratory of today.

When we consider the effects of these advances in pharmacology we must ask:



Evans glimpsed shimmering vistas of mass mind control on the horizon. The average citizen might consider military psychopharmacology a morbid subject. "If we accept the position that human mood, motivation, and emotion are reflections of a neurochemical state of the brain, then drugs can provide a simple, rapid expedient means to produce any desired neurochemical state that we wish. The sooner that we cease to confuse scientific and moral statements about drug use, the sooner we can rationally consider the types of neurochemical states that we wish to provide for people." The unstated provider of said "neurochemical states" would, of course, be agents of the federal government.

Consider Charles Manson's contacts in Haight-Ashbury:

Dr. David E. Smith [currently an associate clinical professor of occupational medicine and toxicology at the University of California, San Francisco, and a visiting associate professor of behavioral pharmacology in the department of psychiatry, University of Nevada Medical School] and his colleague Roger Smith (no relation), both of whom were associated with the famous Haight-Ashbury Clinic in San Francisco. They shared an interest in the concept of "behavioral sinks"; believed that rats, in response to overcrowding, were naturally inclined to violence, criminality, and mass murder; and believed that the percentage of rats who would engage in such behavior could be increased by the influence of drugs. Dr. David Smith added a new dimension by injecting the rats with amphetamines. Author Greene presents and defends the thesis that for both Smiths, Haight-Ashbury represented an opportunity to test these theories [on humans]. David Smith referred to Haight-Ashbury as the national center for habitual drug abuse, and the first slum for teenagers in America. Both Smiths were personally acquainted with Manson, and Roger Smith was Manson's parole officer when Manson first came to Haight-Ashbury, direct from prison. [9]

"No doubt about it," Lee and Shlain conclude, "LSD was a devastating weapon." [10]

And that's exactly how officials of the CIA saw it.
Allen Dulles wrote in a memo to the Secretary of Defense in 1955 that Langley took an interest in hallucinogens in the first place due to "the enthusiasm and foresight"of Dr L. Wilson Greene, technical director of the chemical and radiological labs at the Army Chemical Center. Greene was the author of a 1949 paper, Psychochemical Warfare: A New Concept of War, a bit of Orwellian inspiration for CIA and Army officials who have cited the report as their inspiration in the study of drugs as military ordnance.

Dulles reported in his memo that the Agency was testing hallucinogens on "groups of people" or "individuals engaged in group activities." [11]

The list of groups susceptible to drugging did not exclude the Nixon administration. UCLA's Sidney Gottlieb testified in September, 1977 that once, when Nixon visited a foreign country, his traveling party was secretly drugged by the CIA. [12] ABC News later reported that the incident took place during Nixon's sojourn to the Soviet Union in May, 1972. [13]

At the dawn of the counter culture, CIA personnel mingled with drug dealers in San Francisco's swelling hippie district. Scientists with Agency credentials moved to the Haight and set up "monitoring" stations, among them Louis J. West of UCLA, formerly Jack Ruby's psychiatrist. (Dr. West testified that Ruby had an epileptic fit and accidentally shot Lee Harvey Oswald as a result of his involuntary twitchings). West also went on to the chair of UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute and oversaw the illicit mind control experiments of Drs. Jose Delgado, author of Physical Control of the Mind (1969), and Ross Adey, a veteran of Operation Paperclip. Dr. Margaret Singer, currently an advisory board member of the CIA-anchored "False Memory Syndrome Foundation," also participated in the study of LSD as a politically-destabilizing weapon.

Pete Townshend, guitar thrasher for The Who, was one of the few popular musicians who shunned the drug, found it politically and spiritually useless. He let that particular bandwagon roll by. "When you trip, you love yourself. You don't realize you were better off as you were," he said. "The trips are just a side street, and before you know it you're back where you were. Each trip is more disturbing than the one that follows until eventually the side street becomes a dead end. Not only spiritually, which is the most important, but it can actually stop you thinking." Townsend tried a hit of LSD given to him by Berkeley chemist Owsley Stanley III at the Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967. It would be 18 years before he gave the drug another try. "It was incredibly powerful," Townshend recalled. "Owsley must have had the most extraordinary liver" [14] By the time he got to Woodstock, Townshend was completely put off by the CIA's mind control drug. As a "cynical" English culturatum, he "walked through it all and felt like spitting at the lot of them and shaking them, trying to make them realize nothing had changed and nothing was going to change." The alternative society that blossomed In the mid-1960s was already rapidly disintegrating. Townshend blamed Woodstock, "a field full of six-foot-deep mud laced with LSD. If that was the world they wanted to live in, then fuck the lot of them." [15]

Rock historian Charles Kaiser also considers LSD a weapon, and not a tool of spiritual revelation as the guinea pigs were led to believe. "One CIA memo called the drug a 'potential new agent for unconventional warfare."' Potential? "That was certainly what many people hoped it would be for the swarms of hippies who descended on the Haight in the summer of 1967. Vastly more powerful than marijuana or hash, LSD was the drug that took you, instead of the other way around. In 1966 Leary had founded the League for Spiritual Discovery, explaining, 'Like every great religion of the past, we seek to find the divinity within and to express this revelation in a life of glorification and worship of God' ... But to the disappointment of the left, there never was any direct correlation between drug use (or promiscuity) and politics. This was one aspect of the deeper dichotomy between recreations of the sixties and their political content. Worshiping under the banner of sex, drug, and rock 'n' roll, millions of young Americans smoked marijuana, tripped on acid, sped through the decade on superfluous amphetamines, dressed wildly, danced violently, and seduced one another assiduously. Then in roughly the same proportion as their parents, they continued to vote Republican." [16]

"Dropping out," ditching the corporate warfare state, was postulated by the emerging leadership of the anti-war subculture. And the philosophical direction of the swelling drop-out class was influenced by metaphysical, counter-cultural spokesmen with CIA support, each talking a blue streak about self, transcendence, consciousness expansion and equally high-minded, apolitical flights of mental expatriation.

On the East Coast, Ira Einhorn, an eclectic new-age quack, and his friend Andrija Puharich, inventor of the tooth implant and a CIA-Army mind control researcher, lectured the counter-culture on drug reveling and "alien" visitations. Among the business sponsors of Ira Einhorn (currently a fugitive living in France, wanted for the alleged murder of his girlfriend Holly Maddox), the Bronfman family of Seagram's fame; Russell Byers, a HUD director; John Haas, president of Rohm and Haas chemical conglomerate; Bill Cashel, Jr., a former Marine and president of Bell Pennsylvania. Einhorn wrote a chapter for a book edited by Humphrey Osmond, the infamous LSD chemist, Tim Leary and Alan Watts. His attorney was Arlen "Magic Bullet" Spector. [17]

Whole Earth Catalog editor Stewart Brand was the prototypical drop-out ... or was he? Brand was born in 1938, a native of Rockford, Illinois. He attended elite Phillips Exeter Academy, graduated with a degree in biology from Stanford University in 1960. Between 1960 and 1962, Brand was assigned to active duty as a US Army officer. He qualified for Airborne, taught basic infantry and worked as a Pentagon photojournalist. In 1968 he founded the original Whole Earth Catalog, a compendium of tools for alternative living.

"Brand organized one of the key events of the LSD era," writes Benjamin Woolley in Virtual Worlds (1992) -- the 1966 'Trips Festival' in San Francisco. It was to be the grand finale of Ken Kesey's Acid Tests, a blissful "state of collective psychic intimacy that caused individual minds to melt into one single, seamless consciousness." Stewart Brand saw in the Acid Test a glitzy public gathering to rival a rock concert for spectacle. "Hard though it may now be to believe, [he] set about attracting business sponsors. Brand's commercial pragmatism and boy scout enthusiasm resulted in a sort of huge village fete, one that attracted an estimated 10,000 people and perhaps, though this goes unrecorded, a profit. It was so successful that a New York promoter reportedly wanted to book the acid test for Madison Square Garden."

In September 1967, precisely as CHAOS was launched by the CIA and the White House, Dr. Timothy Leary, tossed out of the Army for erratic behavior, abandoned experimenting with LSD on prisoners for the CIA in upstate New York, dropped a reading of the Tibetan Book of the Dead and donned the robes of designated LSD media prelate.

"In addition to this long mainstream tradition of far-out Sufi gnostic experimentation," Leary told religious historian Rick Fields in 1983, "there was another branch of drug research." [18] While still at Harvard, Leary was approached by Henry Murray, chief of psychological operations for William Donovan's Office of Strategic Services during WWII (and after the war a mind control researcher at Harvard who enlisted as a subject of experimentation one Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber [19)]. At the 1950 spy trial of Alger Hiss, Murray openly testified: "The whole nature of the functions of OSS were particularly inviting to psychopathic characters; it involved sensation, intrigue, the idea of being a mysterious man with secret knowledge." [20] And so Leary was fascinated with psychedelic compounds, "like most intelligence men," he added, and volunteered early on for the psilocybin trials, surreptitiously sponsored by the Company.

Kesey and Allen Ginsburg, among many others, first tasted LSD by signing onto Agency-funded research programs.

"Hundreds of Harvard students had been tripped out by answering ads in the Crimson," Leary explained to Smith. "So when I got here, I must tell you, I was the square on the block. We shared these drugs as novices, as amateurs, hesitantly moving into a field that had no signposts or guidelines. There was simply no language in western psychology to describe altered states of consciousness or ecstasies or visions or terrors. The psychiatrists said these were 'psychomimetic' experiences."

Dr. Leary's CIA resume has roots in 1954, with his promotion to director of clinical research and psychology at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Oakland, California. At Kaiser, Dr. Leary developed a personality test, "The Leary" -- administered to Leary himself in 1970, in prison [21] -- adopted by the Agency to test applicants.

Dr. Leary was the bosom ally of Frank Barron, a former grad school classmate and CIA acid head. [22] Barron was employed by the Berkeley Institute for Personality Assessment and Research -- Leary later admitted that the Institute was "staffed by OSS-CIA psychologists." In 1966, Barron founded the Harvard Psychedelic Drug Research Center. Mark Riebling, a Leary biographer, writes "Leary follows Barron to Harvard and becomes a lecturer in psychology. After Barron administers to him some CIA psilocybin and LSD, Leary begins tripping regularly. He also studies the effects of psychedelics on others in controlled experiments. He later admits to knowing, at the time, that 'some powerful people in Washington have sponsored all this drug research.' In addition to Barron, Leary's associates and assistants during this period include former OSS chief psychologist Murray, who had monitored military experiments on truth-drug brainwashing and interrogation, and Dr Martin Orne, a researcher receiving funds from CIA." [23] (Orne, with the late Dr. West and Dr. Singer, was a guiding light of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, an organization that specializes in discrediting ritually-abused, mind-controlled children and their therapists.)

Leary swapped hallucinatory epiphanies with Aldous Huxley, a visiting professor at Harvard University. Huxley convinced Leary to form a "secret society," writes Riebling, "to launch and lead a psychedelic conspiracy to brainwash influential people for the purposes of human betterment. 'That's how everything of culture and beauty and philosophic freedom has been passed on.'" Huxley suggested that he initiated "artists, writers, poets, jazz musicians, elegant courtesans. And they'll educate the intelligent rich."

In 1962, Mary Pinchot Meyer (gunned down on a Potomac towpath, October 12, 1964), divorced from Cord Meyer, her CIA official husband visited Leary at Harvard. "Leary will later recall her as 'amused, arrogant, aristocratic."' Meyer informs Leary that the government is "studying ways to use drugs for warfare, for espionage, for brainwashing." She asks that he "teach us how to run [LSD] sessions, use drugs to do good. Leary agrees. He provides her with drug samples and 'session' reports, and is in touch with her every few weeks, advising her on how to be a 'brainwasher.' She swears him to secrecy." One day after the assassination of John Kennedy, she phoned him, Leary recalled, and she was overcome with fear and grief. "They couldn't control [Kennedy] anymore," she told Leary. "He was learning too much ... They'll cover everything up." [24]

Leary was a magnet for espionage agents. He was constantly surrounded by operatives of the intelligence agencies. In the end, he paired up with G. Gordon Liddy in a traveling radio road show. Liddy was a CHAOS veteran. [25]

On September 12, 1970, Tim Leary escaped from prison, aided, according to Benjamin Woolly, "by the Weather Underground ... apparently funded by [CIA runamuck] Ronald Stark and the Brotherhood of Eternal Love." Leary's famed flight to Switzerland was facilitated by CIA contractees. "May 1971," writes Riebling, "Leary and his wife escape to Switzerland with the assistance, according to Leary, of an 'Algerian bureaucrat named Ali,' who 'made no bones about his connection to the CIA ... and [Leary says] 'that's the best mafia you can deal with in the twentieth century."'

The prison escape was financed by the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and the LSD distributed by the Brotherhood was provided by convicted CIA terrorist Ron Stark.
Profits from the sale of the LSD were deposited in Castle Bank, a CIA hot money cooler legally represented by Paul Helliwell, a business promoter for Meyer Lansky and the CIA's chief launderer of heroin proceeds. [26]



1. Jim Fouratt, "Denver Festival: Mace with Music," Rolling Stone, no 38, July 26, 1969, pp 6-8.

2. Jim Hougan, Spooks: The Haunting of America: The Private Use of Secret Agents, New York, William Morrow, 1978, pp 20, 74-75.

3. Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, New York Carroll & Graf/Richard Gallen, 1992, pp. 191, 321.

4. Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA, New York Pocket Books, 1979, pp. 319-20.

5. E. Howard Hunt, Undercover Memoirs of an American Secret Agent, Berkeley, 1974, pp. 211-12.

6. Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond, New York, Grove Weidenfield, 1992, p. 187.

7. Ibid, p. 188 "Hard core Cosa Nostra-type criminal figures [run] an extremely well-organized traffic in hallucinogenic drugs" -- James Finlator, FDA official.

8. Ibid., pp 188-89.20.

9. David E. Smith, M.D. biography, Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic publicity release. Manson was released from prison in March, 1967. Dr. David Smith, according to Vincent Bugliosi in Helter Skelter, "got to know the [Manson] group through his work in the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic" (p. 222). Before opening the clinic, Smith had lived in the Haight-Ashbury district for 32 years. He was a student at the University of California at San Francisco medical school, specializing in psychopharmacology, the study of the effects of drugs on the mind. Smith is a past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He was succeeded as president of ASAM in 1995 by Dr. G. Douglas Talbott, M.D., who served three years in the Korean War as an Air Force captain. He was Chief of Medicine at the 275th Hospital, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, a medical aide to both the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Upon his discharge in 1956, he returned to his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, where he entered private practice. He worked closely with NASA in its nascent Nazi-overrun days, and was a civilian consultant in charge of crew selection for Project Mercury, among other responsibilities The military-industrial connections of Smith and Talbott are among many indications that ASAM is an intelligence front.

10. Lee and Shlain, p. 190.

11. Alan W. Scheflin and Edward M. Opton, Jr., The Mind Manipulators, New York, Paddington Press, 1978, p, 159.

12. lbid, p. 158.

13. Ibid., p. 499.

14. Geoffrey Giuliano, Behind Blue Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend, New York, Plume Books, 1996, p. 77.

15. Giuliano, p. 91.

16. Charles Kaiser, 1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation, New York, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1988, pp. 205-06.

17. See Steven Levy, The Unicorn's Secret Murder in the Age of Aquarius, New York: Prentice Hall, 1988.

18. Rick Fields, "Flashback & Fast Forward Psychedelics in the '80s," New Age, July 1983, p. 41.

19. Alexander Cockburn, "We're Reaping Tragic Legacy from Drugs," Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1999, p. B-5. Murray was chairman of Harvard's Department of Social Relations, and, Cockburn notes, "zealously prosecuted the CIA's efforts to carry forward experiments in mind control conducted by Nazi doctors in the concentration camps. Just as Harvard students were fed doses of LSD, psilocybin and other potions, so too were prisoners and many unwitting guinea pigs."

20. R. Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency, Berkeley University of California Press, 1972, p. 7.

21. Lee and Shlain, p. 260.

22. Frank Barron, born in 1922, a psychologist and presumably a philosopher, earned his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 1950. Early in his career, Barron's publications in the field of creativity attracted the interest of the Agency. He was employed for over thirty years at the Berkeley Institute for Personality Assessment and Research, an organization funded and staffed by former OSS-CIA psychologists. On two occasions, Barron rejected offers to become director of psychological personnel for the CIA. Frank Barron biography, Council of Spiritual Practice home page,

23. Mark Riebling, "Tinker, Tailor, Stoner, Spy," Osprey Productions/Grand Royal web page, 1994.

24. Russell, p. 461.

25. A Nazi link to G. Gordon Liddy foreshadowing his escapades in the Nixon White House. In 1961, Interpol -- a world police force reorganized and Nazified by Heinrich Himmler and J. Edgar Hoover in 1937, with Nazi General Kurt Daluege holding the reins -- was charged by the World Jewish Congress with providing "an unexpected sense of safety" to Nazis in hiding. Vaughn Young, in "The Men from Interpol," describes the events preceding the appearance of G. Gordon Liddy in the Nixon White House. "By 1968, the Nazi issue had quieted sufficiently to allow the election of Paul Dickopf as president. Besides working in Heydrich's SD, where Interpol was located during the war, Dickopf had assisted in rebuilding the police infrastructure in postwar Germany, achieving a senior position for himself in the Bundeskriminalamt. During his four-year reign, the organization achieved a momentary state of financial affluence ..." At the White House, in 1969, events were transpiring that would reach across the ocean five years later. The image of fair and efficient law enforcement, carefully nurtured since Heydrich, was about to fall away. Eugene Rossides, as Interpol's boss in the Treasury Department, moved up the international ladder to follow in Hoover's footsteps. Elected to serve with Dickopf as a vice-president, Rossides was also busy in the U.S. Treasury giving a job to a young man by the name of G. Gordon Liddy."

Leary's tie to a disgraced agent of the FBI is consistent enough -- after his extradition from Switzerland, according to his file, the LSD advocate agreed to inform on the counter-culture for the bureau.

26. See Penny Lernoux, In Banks We Trust, New York: Penguin, 1984. Helliwell, the smack-infested CIA attorney, also snatched up 27,000 acres of prime real estate in Florida on behalf of Walt Disney, the site of Disney World.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 12:19 am

Chapter Four: The Death of Cass Elliot and Other "Restless Youth"

The late Mae Brussell, a mercurial encyclopedia of political research in Carmel, California, reached some startling conclusions in an unpublished manuscript entitled "Operation CHAOS".

By August, 1967, Special Operations Group went after the youth. By July, 1968, Operation CHAOS, identical to Chilean "Chaos," went after the "restless youth." This wasn't a study. It was an attack.

Mid-summer of 1969, one month before the Manson Family massacres, Operation CHAOS went into the most tight security [mode]. They had perfected enough LSD to cause every violent act or symptom associated with the violence in Los Angeles or at Altamont. It was identical to giving poison candy at Halloween. LSD was the moving force, the cause for the Sharon Tate-La Bianca slaughters. It was fed at the Spahn Ranch for a steady diet.

July, 1968, explicit orders went out to proceed, accompanied with instructions to neutralize segments of our society, including those restless youth. By 1969, the 555, Special Services Staff of the FBI, combined with the Justice Department, and with CIA's Operation CHAOS

August, 1969 was the Sharon Tate-La Bianca slaughter. [1]

What Manson called home was a relic of Hollywood's past. The Spahn Ranch was the backdrop for movies made by Tom Mix, William S. Hart and John Mack Brown. Parts of Howard Hughes's The Outlaw were shot there. But the ranch had one more claim to historical significance. Next to George Spahn's property stretched the Krupp Ranch, owned by one of the wealthiest families in Nazi Germany, a ranking sponsor of Hitler's aggression and its accompanying atrocities. The chief US prosecutor at the International Court determined that "both Krupps, Gustav von Bohlen as well as Alfried, are directly responsible. They led German industry, violating international agreements and international law. They employed forced labor, dragged and forced into Germany from almost all countries occupied by Germany ... These workers in Krupp's care and in Krupp's service were undernourished and overworked, misused and inhumanely treated." Thousands in the Krupp-owned concentration camps were worked to death. [2]

The Krupp Ranch has since been transformed into a blooming commercial Bavarian beer garden. Howard Hughes purchased some 500 acres of Krupp-owned land in Nevada after his move to Las Vegas. [3]

Much has been made of Manson's interactions with the Process Church of the Final Judgment in Los Angeles, a religious organization that worshipped a buffet of Jehovah, Lucifer and Satan. "Release the fiend that lies dormant within you" was one Process teaching. "Learn to love fear" was another.

A Process newsletter from London, written by "Soror H" shortly after the Tate-LaBianca murders, celebrated Manson and claimed him as a fellow Process Satanist.

Manson went astray where others in the PROCESS have succeeded. He was sucked into the whirlpool of Fame and Fortune and when he didn't cut it, he decided to cut it up. He testifies to those areas many of us deny exist. Perhaps the fascination is that he carried out his ideas in action, and showed many of us what it's like to actually commit the crime we'd like to commit.

Manson was clever in his choice of beliefs: the whole Beatles Helter Skelter thing was, of course, a model to instill the PROCESS into his followers, who were more likely to respond to such "turned-on" symbols than the more traditional ones. The whole thing was a scam; a guru trick, but Manson's intention was to open up the occult centres of perception by a unique, pop-based outlook influenced primarily by the PROCESS. [4]

Manson, the aspiring rock artist, and his family of tripping satyrs socialized with established recording artists in Los Angeles. He lived for a year with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, who would drown in twelve feet of water in 1983. Bobby Beausoleil, convicted for the torture-murder of Gary Hinman, was a devotee of Manson's. The rock group Love, founded by Beausoleil's musical companion Arthur Lee (of the signature multicolored glasses), was not a band of laughing survivors. Since the Manson episode, a curse has dogged their heels. Guitarist Bryan Maclean and bass-player Ken Forssi are dead Tjay Cantrelli, born John Barberis, a sax player and flutist, is also presumed dead, at least this is the most probable conjecture. Johnny Echols has disappeared and is also thought to be deceased. Michael Stuart, drummer, changed his name to conceal his identity and his whereabouts are unknown. Arthur Lee, convicted in 1995 to 12 years at the Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California, for firing a handgun into the air, is fiercely reluctant to discuss the group's past, and so are survivors of Love's many incarnations. But the prison sentence is unreasonably harsh -- considering that a fan visiting Lee at his home on Mulholland Drive confessed to firing the pistol himself, and that the fan suffered such remorse over the conviction that he developed a bipolar disorder and was hospitalized. William Cenego, the fan, insists that the forensic test for gun-powder residue on Lee's hand was negative. "I think Arthur had an incredibly unfair trial," Cenego laments. "It's almost not accurate to describe it as a trial."[5]

The death of Dennis Wilson was questioned by Mae Brussell in her weekly "Worldwatcher's International" broadcast on KAZU-FM, Monterey, California, on January 16, 1984:

There's [an] article in the San Francisco Chronicle ... that said: 'Dennis Wilson was responsible for one of the group's darkest secrets. 'Me and Charlie, we started the Family."' He said he'd founded the Manson Family. He made a record with Charles Manson. On the 20/20 album, Dennis Wilson is credited as author ...

Bill Oster was the fellow who allegedly owned the yacht where he drowned. [Oster:] "He appeared to be clowning [Wilson] when he dove into 12 feet of water. He did not surface after the dive. He poked his hand above and waved. I saw the body slip. I thought he was clowning. I knew he had to come up for air."

The Los Angeles Herald said that "His wife called at the boat at 4:30." That would be the exact time he was going under. A woman answered and she was "kind of rude."' She said: "We've got some trouble here" and slammed down the phone. That would be the exact time that he was bubbling and waving and nobody jumped in for him. And at 5:30, one hour later, according to another account, he was picked up.

Two days before the drowning, Wilson had signed into St. John's Hospital to "be clean of alcohol and drugs." A man and a woman visited him. Wilson became agitated and signed out of the unit. He was taken immediately to the boat.

Medical examiners found a gash on the drummer's forehead:

The coroner said [the gash] "didn't contribute" to his death. He died as a result of "drowning." He has a hit on the head and drowns in 12 feet of water.

Wilson's friends check him out and supplied him with alcohol, and he has a hit on the head and drowns in 12 feet of water. He was buried at sea. This assures that there will be no autopsy after that bang on the head. He's fed to the sharks ... that's the old Grenada trip they're using. And there's no way now to ever know what caused that bang on his head, or how deep it was ...

In Sharon Tate's home there were video movies of military VIPs. I know there were, but who was on those tapes? They belonged to the LAPD. Would Dennis Wilson know who was on those tapes? He was close to that scene.

Ed Sanders notes that Manson met Abigail Folger, the wealthy coffee heiress found dead among the carnage on Cielo Drive, at the home of Mama Cass Elliot. [6]

"Gibby," Maury Terry learned, "had more money than she knew what to do with. She was into finding herself and new directions, and she was always investing in things." She doled out cash to Manson on occasion. Then stopped. "Manson turned against her when she refused to layout any more bucks for him."

When Manson lived in San Francisco, Folger loaned $10,000 to the Straight Theater at Haight and Cole Streets. Manson then lived on Cole Street, on the same block as the Process Church. On September 21, 1967, the Magick Powerhouse of Oz performed at the Straight in celebration of the "Equinox of the Gods." Bobby Beausoleil was the lead guitarist at this august function.

Folger also funded Timothy Leary, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and the Process Church of the Final Judgment in the establishment of the "Himalayan Academy," not far from the Esalen Institute. The Leary Lab was chock-a-block with pricey brain-scanning gear, oscilloscopes, and advanced bioelectronic hardware. Manson was a hanger-on at the Himalayan Foundation. In fact, he first encountered the Process there, joined the openly Satanic sect, according to Terry, "and later convened with the group in Mill Valley and at a dwelling in San Anselmo occupied by a well-known personage aligned with the LSD scene. Both cities are in the Bay area." [7]

Folger, a financier of a covert CIA lab, knew another regular of Mama Cass's entourage, Bill Mentzer, currently serving a life term for the murder of fledgling Hollywood producer Roy Radin, a partner in The Cotton Club. He never lived to see the movie -- Robert Evans, a partner with the deceased in the film and a friend of Henry Kissinger, did.

Mama Cass

The nucleus of this pathological parade, Cass Eliot, nee Ellen Naomi Cohen, born in 1941 and raised in Washington, D.C, was a German baronness by marriage. Her second husband, Baron Donald von Weidenman, a German nobleman, is currently an artist living in New York.

Cass was one of a famed quartet, The Mamas and The Papas, sometimes described as America's first hippies. The quartet formed in New York City in 1963 around songwriter John Phillips. Holly Michelle Gillian Phillips, born in Long Beach, California on June 4, 1945, gave up a modeling career to sing with Phillips and married him in 1962. The Journeymen, as they were then known, also included Scott McKenzie, who would join the surviving Mamas and Papas in 1985.

Cass moved with the group from the East Coast to Los Angeles in 1964, and they were signed by Lou Alder's Dunhill label. The Mamas and Papas split up in 1968. Michelle Phillips set out on a successful acting career, appearing in Dillinger and Valentino. She was a regular on Knots Landing. Michelle married actor Dennis Hopper for eight days in 1970. John Phillips and Dennis Doherty, the Papas, also went solo with mixed success. Cass Elliot, however, launched a highly successful career. She produced seven albums and several singles before her death in 1974.

Cass' beau at the time of her fatal heart attack was Pic Dawson, then under investigation by Scotland Yard for international drug smuggling, and the son of a State Department official under Henry Kissinger.

Cass had recently finished two weeks at the London Palladium The coroner's report was not conclusive. She "probably choked to death," but there was also "a possibility of heart attack."

In his career biography of Cass Elliot, Jon Johnson published twelve photocopies from her FBI file, released after an FOIA request. The pages are almost entirely obscured by black ink (?). Hoover's Bureau surveilled Cass at the request of Alexander P. Butterfield, a retired Air Force commando and Nixon's chief security advisor.

"She reportedly has associated with drug addicts," the FBI report mentions, "and individuals opposed to the President's Vietnam policy."

One report marked "urgent" and "confidential" states that Cass Elliot attended a fund-raiser in Hollywood attended by Jack Nicholson and Ryan O'Neal, among other celebrities. The event was hosted by the Entertainment Industry for Peace and Justice Committee (EIPJ). The FBI file gossips that "between dates with Henry Kissinger, Marlo Thomas also attended the EIPJ meet with Barry Diller." Tuesday Weld, Burt Lancaster and Jane Fonda, among others, also attended the fund-raiser.

Cass had political ambitions. "I think that I would like to be a senator or something in twenty years," she told Mike Douglas. She attended a variety of Democratic Party functions, participated in a Madison Square Garden rally sponsored by Rose Kennedy. "I saw in the Democratic Convention in Chicago that there were more people interested in what I was interested in than I believed possible. It made me want to work ... there would be room in an organized movement of politics for me to voice myself." (Johnson).

Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist, a fixture of the "underground" press, suspects Cass was the target of political foul play. "Cass Elliot was a friend," he says. "I believe she may have been killed. She knew an awful lot about the incredible criminal links between Hollywood and Washington and Las Vegas ... She was also a friend of Sharon Tate's. On the night Bobby Kennedy was killed, [Cass] had dinner with Sharon and Roman Polanski at the home of film director John Frankenheimer in Malibu Beach."'

Pathologists in London refused to specify the cause of death at a public hearing. They did, however, mutter fatuously that she may have "choked" to death. The most-ludicrous-explanation award went to Dr. Keith Simpson, whose autopsy detected a "left-sided heart failure. She plainly had a heart attack." He claimed, to cries of outrage from the medical community, that a section of Elliot's heart muscle had actually "turned to fat." The coronary lapse was attributed to "stress." Johnson:

The conclusion was termed "improper" by a Vanderbilt University heart specialist immediately after it was made public ."It is true that obesity is related to high blood pressure and stroke, but there's no correlation with a heart attack," disputed Dr. George V. Mann. "He's stating an old-fashioned dogma, a Victorian concept of fatty degeneration that has gone out in modern times. Old time pathologists tend to look at deposits of adipose tissue around the surface of the heart and associate it with a heart attack, but a heart attack is due to limitation of blood supply to the heart muscle with the result that some of the muscle dies."

Whatever the underlying cause, the verdict remained unchanged. She died of a massive heart attack. [9]

Blood tests detected no drugs or alcohol in her system -- but then this is the same report that arrived at ersatz "Victorian" conclusions. She took to her grave knowledge of drug trafficking by Pic Dawson, a State Department official's son, and any information that Manson and Mentzer may have shared with her -- exactly as Abigail Folger was silenced on Cielo Drive, taking with her any knowledge she may have had of the Himalayan Institute and related federally-sponsored "human guinea-pig farms."



1. Mae Brussell "Operation CHAOS: The CIA's War Against the Sixties Counter-Culture," unpublished ms.

2. State Archives Administration of the German Democratic Republic, Brown Book: War and Nazi criminals in West Germany, East Germany: Verlag Zeit im Bild, 1965, pp 41-2.

3. Brussell.

4. Soror H., undated Process newsletter, London, vol. 2, no 1, 1970.

5. Sara Scribner, "Love Hurts," New Times (Los Angeles weekly), March 11, 1999, pp 15-21.

6. Maury Terry, The Ultimate Evil: An Investigation into America's Most Dangerous Satanic Cult, New York: Dolphin, 1987, pp. 494-95.

7. Ibid, pp 495-96.

8. Paul Krassner in Craig Karpel, "The Power of Positive Paranoia," Oui, May 1975, p 111.

9. Jon Johnson, Make Your Own Kind of Music: A Career Retrospective of Cass Elliot, Hollywood Music Archives Press, 1987, pp 71-72.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 12:26 am

Chapter Five: A Murder in the House of Pooh: Brian Jones

"Merry Old England" is a stubborn non sequitur. The UK is one of the gloomiest places on earth. In the late 1960s the shadow of Big Brother fell on British youth and civil rights activists as ominously as it did in the States. The National Union of Students and the National Council for Civil Liberties, based in London, collected a dossier on police agents who'd approached students to spy on their fellow academics. One of these cases concerned John Bell, former chairman of the Durham University Conservative Association. Bell reported that he'd been visited by a detective who attempted to recruit him to inform on student leftists. Bell rejected the offer and told the leader of a campus Socialist organization about the incident. [1] Another student, Bill Clinton, was also courted by the CIA, while attending Oxford University, and enlisted -- by Operation CHAOS, the most sweeping covert program in the history of the Agency -- for the same purpose. [2]

Counterintelligence operations in the UK kept pace with those in the States. Robert Lashbrook, a representative of the Human Ecology Fund -- the notorious CIA front at Cornell that quietly disbursed grants for mind control experimentation, with or without the consent of the human subjects -- was then assigned to the London station. Agents under Lashbrook's supervision slipped LSD to English rock groups before performing without their prior knowledge to "study the drug's effects on their musical abilities."

Before long, some of the most popular rock acts in Britain were scoring the mind control drug directly from Lashbrook's CIA colleagues. [3]

David Schneidermann, the Rolling Stones' LSD supplier for one night, certainly exhibited that air of cloak-and-dagger. Schneidermann, Mick Jagger recalls, was a "sinister" Yank hailing from California, but "he had so many passports no one was certain of his origin." Schneidermannn brought to Keith Richards' hotel room "a suitcase [that] contained every herb and chemical to stab or stroke the mind ... along with choice LSD from San Francisco. Schneidermann had let believe he was bending the law all over the world. He was on a James Bond thing, the CIA or something." [4]

Singer Marianne Faithfull recalls Schneidermann as "a fantastic" drug peddler. "He was a Californian who dressed in proper suit-and-tie and carried a leather attache case in which he had almost every kind of drug you could think of, including several types of LSD." [5]

Schneidermann nearly destroyed the Stones with one stroke. On February 11, 1967, the band whiled away the evening recording a four-track rough cut tentatively titled "Blues One." Afterwards, Keith Richards drove to the Mayfair Hotel in a chauffeur-driven Bentley. The remaining Stones and their entourage followed Jagger in a Mini-Cooper "S" to West Sussex, a convoy that included photographer Michael Cooper, Marianne Fathfull, King's Road jet-setter Nick Cramer, and "Acid King" David Schneidermannn. They were met at Keith's hotel room by George and Pattie Harrison. [6]

Bob Dylan and the Who blared on the stereo. "While the party was in full swing," bassist Bill Wyman wrote in his autobiography, "an informant, who had earlier telephoned the News of the World, arrived at the newspaper's offices. In that first phone call at about 10 PM, he told a reporter that he had some information about a party some of the Rolling Stones were holding. The informant rejected the paper's suggestion that he should go to the police, saying, 'I want to remain anonymous, but I think the police should know what's going on."' The informant, Wyman realized, was an insider. "Who else would know that only 'some' of the Stones would be there?"

The newspaper's editor, finding the "insider" credible, phoned police and was referred to the West Sussex narcotics squad. [7]

Marianne Faithfull told historian A.E. Hotchner that the next morning, "Schneidermannn came to our rooms and distributed Sunshine [LSD] to all of us ... By afternoon we all began to emerge from our rooms, floating on LSD trips." [8]


Wyman wrote that Schneidermann woke the guests "with cups of tea and offered some of them 'white lightning,' a hallucinogenic drug that had the effect of LSD but was slightly less powerful." [10] As Richards recalls it, "we had all taken acid and were in a completely freaked-out state when the police arrived." The television was on with the sound off and the stereo blasting. Keith answered the door, and said, 'Oh, look, there's lots of little ladies and gentlemen outside."'

Another drug peddler arrived, a mystery man Richards had never met. "He'd come with some other people and was sitting there with a big bag of hash," said Richards. "They even let him go, out of the country." He wasn't what they were looking for. [11]

This was a peculiar enough squad of drug police. For one thing, they weren't in the least concerned with drugs. In fact, the Stones were wanted for their political sympathies and all that anti-establishment wriggling, prancing, sneering and taunting. One of them, guitarist Brian Jones, had gone so far as to publicly criticize establishment war policies. "Nothing destroys culture, art or the simple privilege of having time to think quicker than a war."

"The whole raid was a set-up," Marianne Faithfull insists to the present day. Keith Richards and others who witnessed the bust likewise came to the conclusion that Schneidermann had arranged it. "We also believed information was supplied by the fink, Schneidermannn, who, despite having an attache case chock-a-block with drugs, was not searched. When a cop asked to see the contents of his case, Schneidermann said it was full of exposed film and couldn't be opened, and the cop let it go at that. Also, Schneidermann mysteriously disappeared that very evening, never to be seen again."

The police got satisfaction from the raid-- until it dawned on them that none of the suspects present at Richard's flat actually had drugs on them. Schneidermann was released and boarded a plane for California, taking the evidence with him. "When it came down to it, they couldn't pin anything on us at all," said Richards "All they could pin on me was allowing people to smoke on my premises. It wasn't my shit. All they could pin on Mick was these four amphetamine tablets [benzedrine, legally prescribed and obtained] that he'd bought in Italy across the counter. It really backfired on them because they didn't get enough on us." [12]

But the arrests of Jagger and Richards did land them before the bench. They were both found guilty and sentenced to prison. A third defendant, art gallery owner Robert Frazier, was also convicted. (It was Frazier, an occultist on the Aleister Crowley path, who introduced Jagger to film-maker Kenneth Anger, an early recruit of Anton La Vey's Church of Satan. Anger received generous grants from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations to fund his movies. He relocated to England after living for a spell in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, where he co-habitated with convicted murderer Bobby Beausoleil. [13]) When the verdicts were read, Jagger turned pale. He nearly fainted, wept openly in the courtroom. Protests of the sentencings broke out on Fleet Street and at the News of the World editorial offices.

Under questioning by Mr. Morris, the Crown's prosecutor, Keith Richards openly discussed the conspiracy. He assumed under questioning that the News of the World had arranged the bust, but Schneidermannn was no journalist, and the coordination of phone taps and a full-blown intelligence operation is beyond most newspapers. The busting of Jagger and Richards was an act of political harassment, a coordinated attempt to discredit the Stones. They were spied upon, Richards testified that one night when he stayed with Brian Jones, he noted "a brown furniture van with white side-panels. There was no name on the van. The same night I saw it outside Mick's house. In the same week, I was followed by a green florist's van, which had the same white panels." [144 (After his move to the United States, John Lennon also complained that he was constantly tailed by parties unknown who drove him to a state of "paranoia." [15])

Faithfull recalls hearing "peculiar noises" on Jagger's telephone. She and Jagger also noticed "a blue and white van permanently parked near our house, so we figured we were both being watched and listened in on."

Keith Richards was mystified and annoyed the night he fell asleep and woke up to find that someone had slipped through a newly-installed and very costly security system. [16]

The fusion of music and politics made the Stones enemies of the state. Mick Jagger had watched the anti-war protests at the London Embassy and followed the youth rallies in Paris. While awaiting trial, he told the Daily Mirror, "I see a great deal of danger in the air." The fans "are not screaming over pop music anymore, they're screaming for much deeper reasons. We are only serving as a means of giving them an outlet. Teenagers the world over are weary of being pushed around by half-witted politicians who attempt to dominate their way of thinking and set a code for their living. This is a protest against the system. And I see a lot of trouble coming in the dawn." [17] Jagger openly sassed the wigs: "War stems from power-mad politicians and patriots. Some new master plan would end all these mindless men from seats of power and replace them with real people, people of compassion." [18] The "half-wits" and "mindless men," of course, were not numb to Jagger's venom and replacement was not on their desk calendars.

Ultimately, the convictions of Jagger and Richards were overturned on appeal. The judge declared in each case that "no proper evidence" had been presented by the prosecution to prove possession or even indulgence in drugs.

But Marianne Faithfull looks back at "all that persecution, the fact that every time any of us were in a car we were stopped and searched." One evening, "one of many, many busts, the cops very obviously planted something during their search. Mick set the guy up -- the detective, whoever he was -- to pay him off, and filmed the payoff with a hidden camera." All charges were immediately dropped. [19]

The police had Jagger and Richards, and, Bill Wyman observes, "wanted to bust another one and dispatch the Stones for good." On May 10, the very same evening of the arrests in West Sussex, the doorbell chimed at the Brian Jones home. About a dozen bobbies entered and conducted a 45-minute search of the premises. The detectives turned up one planted vial of "pathetic grass," according to Wyman, a bit of low-grade marijuana to justify an arrest. They also found a small quantity of marijuana resin, and Jones, who confessed to smoking pot in the past, was charged. Like Jagger and Richards, he was convicted the first time around. But within a month of the arrest, his emotional state wavered under the pressure. The possibility of going to prison terrified him and continual police harassment aggravated his fears. Prince Stanislaus Klossowski de Rola, a close friend with Jones on the day of the arrest, explained why the guitarist's behavior was erratic toward the end. "An artist can be hounded into a state in which his mental health will deteriorate and that's what happened to Brian." [20]

But Brian's legal problems were not the entire cause of his decline and fall. A hostile clique, a very odd construction crew hired to restore Brian's home, originally A.A. Milne's cottage, muscled their way into his private life at Cotchford Farm. Brian's friend Nicholas Fitzgerald ran into the rhythm guitarist and founder of the Stones at a pub before he was found at the bottom of his swimming pool. Jones was in a snit over "a bunch hanging out at the farm." For a lark, they'd =hidden his motorcycle. When on the phone, the line would sometimes suddenly go dead. "Then when I get the engineers in, they say there's nothing wrong. They're always leaping up to answer the phone and then they tell me it was a wrong number. I just can't trust anybody. I know you think I'm paranoid. Maybe I am, but not about this. I know they're up to something." [21]

Bassist Bill Wyman found the crew "a horrible group of people," and it was largely due to their intimidations that Jones decayed "physically, mentally and musically." [22]

Richards recalled the bullying by Jones' house "guests" after the murder: "Some very weird things happened the night Brian died. We had these [people] working for us, and we tried to find out. Some of them had a weird hold over Brian. I got straight into it and wanted to know who was there and couldn't find out. The only cat I could ask was the one I think who got rid of everybody, and did a whole disappearing thing so that when the cops arrived, it was just an accident. Maybe it was I don't know. I don't even know who was there that night, and finding out is impossible. It's the same feeling with who killed Kennedy. You can't get to the bottom of it." [23]

Not, that is, until the killer confessed on his death bed. In April, 1994, the UK's Independent reported:


Police are to consider reopening the investigation into the death of former Rolling Stone Brian Jones 25 years ago, after claims in two new books that he was murdered.

The books to be published this month, conclude that the 27-year-old guitarist was deliberately drowned in the swimming pool of his country mansion by one of his aides. Both name a builder, Frank Thorogood, who died last year, as the man responsible for the killing at the star's home in Cotchford Farm, Sussex, on 2 July 1969.

An inquest recorded a verdict of death by misadventure, assuming that Jones -- who was notorious for his rock-star excesses -- had drowned because of the drink and drugs he had been consuming in the weeks after he was sacked from the Rolling Stones ...

Paint It Black by Geoffrey Guiliano and Terry Rawling's Who Killed Christopher Robin, claim to have unearthed fresh evidence about Jones' final hours which proves he was deliberately killed. Mr. Guiliano's book quotes an unnamed associate of Mr. Thorogood's, described as "a husky Cockney," who admits helping him hold Jones's head under the water. [24]

Witnesses have elaborated on Thorogood's death-bed confession, and the story that has emerged completely contradicts press accounts. Nick Fitzgerald now acknowledges that he arrived at the Jones estate shortly after the drowning, walked past the summer house behind the mansion and "saw the full glare of the lights over the pool and in the windows of the house. We had a clear view of the pool." Fitzgerald approached to find three men dressed in sweaters and blue jeans, probably workmen, but the spotlights "blotted out their features and made their faces look like white blobs. At the very moment I became aware of them, the middle one dropped to his knees, reached into the water and pushed down on the top of a head that looked white." Two others, a man and a woman, watched passively. "The kneeling man was pushing down on the head," Fitzgerald told Hotchner, "keeping it under. The man to the right of the kneeling man said something. It sounded like a command." One of the men leaped into the pool and "landed on the back of the struggling swimmer." A third man was "commanded" into the pool to hold Jones down.

From the bushes near Fitzgerald, a "burly man wearing glasses" rushed him. The man pushed Richard Cadbury, a companion, out of he way and grabbed Fitzgerald by the shoulder. He stuck a fist in Fitzgerald's face. "Get the hell out of here, Fitzgerald," the man spat, "or you'll be next."

"He meant it," Fitzgerald reported decades after the fact. He had never seen the Cockney before, yet somehow the brute knew his name. Shaking, he stumbled to his car and Richard floored it away from the murder scene. They were too terrified to go to the police. "Brian was dead I couldn't rectify that and I might be putting my own life in danger. So I let it pass, but that scene hasn't passed from my mind and even to this day it troubles me very much." [25]

Who authorized the clean-up after the murder? Fitzgerald attempted to contact Cadbury the day after Jones died. He was told that Cadbury had picked up and moved, leaving no forwarding address. A pair of other witnesses, Anna Wohlin and Linda Lawrence, received instructions to leave the country immediately."

Wohlin was visiting Cotchford Farms at the time of death and was instructed to alter her testimony. She writes in The Murder of Brian Jones (1999) that Frank warned her "Just think about what you say to the police. The only thing you need to tell them is that Brian had been drinking and that his drowning was an accident. You don't have to tell them anything else. 'I left Brian to go to the kitchen and light a cigarette and I don't know any more than you.' But there's no need for you to tell the police that you saw me in the kitchen. Just tell them we pulled Brian out of the pool together." Wohlin recalls, "Frank was worried, and I knew he had every reason to be. But I was scared, too. I didn't want to end up like Brian, so I did what Frank had told me to do. I didn't dare challenge fate. Frank lied during the interview. Janet's recollections seemed confused. And I concealed the truth. I know I let Brian down. I'm still ashamed of withholding information, but I was scared of reprisals."

The coroner ruled that Jones was felled by "misadventure." In Merry Old England legalese, this means "accidental death not due to crime or negligence," a spurious judgment at best. The word "murder" did not appear in the report, and he laid blame on the victim with emphasis on liver deterioration brought on by chronic narcotics and alcohol abuse.

The death of Brian Jones has since been universally laughed off, attributed to drug use, when in fact he was completely off drugs, with the exception of ale and wine, for several weeks prior to his drowning. It is evident that he was drugged the evening of his murder, suggesting premeditation, planning. Eyewitnesses reported that he drank a couple of brandies before taking a swim. But Jones biographer Laura Jackson was shocked to discover in the biochemist's analysis "far and away the most disturbing truth relating to Brian's death." Jones was "subjected to thin-layer chromotography, a technique designed minutely to separate and analyse the body's components, and which failed to reveal the presence of any amphetamine, methedrine, morphine, methadone, or isoprenaline. What it did reveal, however, is far more alarming: two dense spots, one yellow-orange in color and one purple which were not able to be identified. Brian's urine revealed an amphetamine-like -- not amphetamine, and the distinction is important -- substance 1720 mgs percent, nearly nine times the normal level."

The tell-tale signs of a cover-up by authorities are unmistakable. The bottle of brandy that Jones drank from was confiscated by PC Albert Evans "for analysis," and was never seen again. No lab report on the wine appeared in court papers. [27] Any probes into the drowning of Brian Jones were relegated to the Sussex Criminal Investigations Division (CID). The CID had the option of referring the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions -- instead, the division chose to monopolize the investigation, in the end claiming there was "no evidence" to warrant prosecution, although at least one senior investigator protested this decision. East Sussex coroner David Wadman suggested falsely that the Home Office and police had thoroughly investigated the drowning. "I am bound to say that I think it is extremely unlikely that you'll obtain any further information," he insisted. But a Home Office spokesman subsequently rejected the claim that an investigation had been conducted at all, admitting flatly, "We do not have any information touching Mr. Jones' death." [28]

A.E Hotchner found that the death is still, some thirty years later, a sensitive subject in some quarters. While living in London, Electra May, his editorial assistant, scheduled an interview with Justin de Villeneuve, the mentor of Twiggy, the doe-eyed celebrity model of the 1960s. Two days before the de Villeneuve (his real name was Nigel Davies) interview, Hotchner took a train to Eastbourne to meet with the coroner, Mr. E.N Grace, "who kindly provided me with all the police and medical reports relative to Brian's death, and a transcript of the inquest. A few days later, Electra phoned de Villeneuve to confirm the interview for that day. 'There is no interview,' de Villeneuve's assistant said." Electra asked why he had chosen to cancel. "Because Hotchner has been to see the coroner, hasn't he? We didn't know he was opening that can of worms. That's why." Hotchner's secretary was unnerved by this response, he notes, since "she thought she was the only person who knew about my meeting with Coroner Grace." [29]

Who sent the lorries to the estate to cart off Brian's possessions, the same sort of looting that followed the death of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, and other star-crossed musicians? After the funeral at St. Mary's Church, the workmen who killed Jones repaired directly to his mansion, girlfriends in tow. An estate worker said, "They drank, laughed and joked crudely and cavorted about. They even took their women to Brian's bed. It really turned me over. I was out in the grounds and they hadn't even bothered to close the curtains. You just couldn't help but see them in there, in Brian's bed. It was utterly appalling." Jones' belongings, with the exception of a couple of his most valued musical instruments, were systematically loaded into vans lined up in front of the house. Shortly thereafter, a bonfire was set in the garden. "A group of men were burning an enormous amount of stuff. I know, because I had a very nice little Bible and they'd flung that on, too," said a gardener. "They were burning Brian's things -- his clothes, shirts and what have you. I don't know on whose sayso, but they cleared no end of stuff out of his house and burned the lot." [30]

Jones was buried at Cheltenham Cemetery two days after the murder. In 1980, Rolling Stone staked an epitaph to the life of Lewis Brian Hopkin-Jones. "Jones played rhythm guitar for the group since its inception in 1962, but his contribution was more spiritual than musical. His flamboyant appearance and notorious lifestyle -- which included fathering two illegitimate children by the time he was sixteen -- set the tone for the band's image." Rock critic Greil Marcus likewise found the essence of the band in him. "What the Stones as a group sang about ... Jones did." [31]

But the account of his death left by police and the media industry is a fiction, because he was off drugs completely at the time. His death was not an accident caused by a life of abuse. He was murdered.



1. "Random Notes," Rolling Stone, no. 38, July 26, 1969, p 4.

2. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, "Student Bill Clinton 'Spied' on Americans abroad for CIA," London Telegraph, June 3, 1996. Also see, Roger Morris in Partners in Power ( 1996). Among the first to publicly note the relationship of Clinton with the CIA was Gene Wheaton, formerly an NSC contractee and a Christic Institute investigator, in radio interviews following the first Clinton inaugural. On June 10, 1996, the Telegraph reported, "in the late 1960s, Mr. Clinton worked as a source for the Central Intelligence Agency ... He was certainly no dangerous radical. 'No attack by his reactionary opponents would be more undeserved than the charge that young Bill Clinton was 'radical,' concludes [Roger] Morris. The bearded, disheveled Rhodes scholar was recruited by the CIA while at Oxford -- along with several other young Americans with political aspirations -- to keep tabs on fellow students involved in protest activities against the Vietnam War. Morris says that the young Clinton indulged in some low-level spying in Norway in 1969, visiting the Oslo Peace Institute and submitting a CIA informant's report on American peace activists who had taken refuge in Scandinavia to avoid the draft. 'An officer in the CIA station in Stockholm confirmed that,' said Morris. The Washington Establishment would like to dismiss this troubling book as the work of a fevered conspiracy theorist. But Morris is no lightweight. He worked at the White House in both the Johnson and Nixon administrations, resigning from the National Security Council in 1970 in protest over the US invasion of Cambodia. He went on to become an acclaimed biographer of Richard Nixon.

3. A.E Hotchner, Blown Away: A No-Holds-Barred Portrait of the Rolling Stones and the Sixties Told by the Voices of the Generation, New York Fireside, 1990, pp. 2 18-19.

4. Mae Brussell, "Operation CHAOS," unpublished ms.

5. A.E. Hotchner, p 232.

6. Bill Wyman with Bill Coleman, Stone Alone, New York Viking, 1990, pp. 404-5.

7. Ibid.

8. Hotchner, pp. 232-33.

9. Wyman.

11. Hotchner, p. 233.

12. Hotchner, p. 234.

13. See Bill Landis, Anger: The Unauthorized Biography of Kenneth Anger, New York Harper Collins, 1995.

14. Wyman, pp. 437-38.

15. Pete Hamill, " Long Night's Journey Into Day: A Conversation with John Lennon," Rolling Stone, no 188, June 5, 1975, p 73. Lennon: "I went on the Dick Cavett show and said they were followin' me ... [And] when they were followin' me, they wanted me to see when they were followin' me."

16. Landis, p 167.

17. Davin Seay, Mick Jagger: The Story Behind the Rolling Stone, New York: Birch Lane, 1993, p. 98.

18. Hotchner, pp. 231-32.

19. Brussell.

20. Wyman.

21. Hotchner, p. 296. Psychological pressure of this sort put Jones in a hyper-vigilant state, tactics common in mind control operations. The Manson Family attempted to bully and cajole Los Angeles studio musician Terry Melcher and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys into forking over "travel expenses." The shakedown of guitarist Gary Hinman ended in his murder by torture. Brian Jones was also murdered after an argument over money with Thorogood. Jones had been stalked by the workmen for months. The psychological intimidations led, according to Jones' friend Robert Hattrell, to "odd mental behavior, paranoiac, afraid there were people after him, out to get him.

22. Wyman, p 428.

23. Brussell.

24. "Murder Claims Raise Doubt over Rolling Stone's Death," Independent, April 4, 1994, p. 2.

25. Hotchner pp. 297-99.

26. Laura Jackson, Golden Stone: The Untold Life and Tragic Death of Brian Jones, New York: St. Martin's, 1992, p. 217.

27. R Gary Patterson, Hellhounds on Their Trail: Tales from the Rock 'n' Roll Graveyard, Nashville, Tennessee, Dowling Press, 1998, pp. 202-3.

28. Jackson, pp. 225-26.

29. Hotchner, p. 299.

30. Jackson, pp 224-25.

31. Burk Uzzle, "Rock & Roll Heaven," Rolling Stone, June 12, 1980, p. 45.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 12:30 am

Chapter Six: Portraits in Carnage: The End of the Rock Festivals

Five months after the drowning death of Brian Jones, a music festival held near San Francisco turned murderous, smothering Aquarius and its political anthems with a handful of apocalyptic screen images, "restless youth" seemingly devouring itself. The Rolling Stones were the centerpiece of the hellish fiasco at Altamont on December 6, 1969. The band would forevermore be tainted by the surreal violence of Gimme Shelter, the documentary film that chronicled the disaster, and so would the counterculture the Stones had done much to inspire.

The festival was conceived in the first place to redeem the group's flagging image. The press had laid into Jagger and crew, emphasizing their greed, "The stories of the Stones' avarice spread," journalist Robert Sam Anson reported, and critics pointed to Mick's $250,000 townhouse, the collection of glittering Rolls Royces, "and [they] wondered how revolutionary 'a man of wealth and taste' could be. A token free appearance would still those critics. The concert, problems and all, was going to happen, For the Stones' sake, it had to."

The group's management set out to select a site for the event. They consulted Jan Wenner, the editor of Rolling Stone, who sent them to several professional concert promoters, and they in turn put them in touch with famed San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli, fixture of California's well-heeled "conservative" power base.

This was the first Big Mistake. Belli was summed up at his funeral in July, 1996 by Bishop William Swing, in a eulogy stitched with irony in the context of Operation CHAOS, at Grace Cathedral. Over the infamous attorney's pale cadaver, the Bishop bid farewell to Belli.

A man of law against the chaos of life,

A man of chaos against the laws of life. [1]

A cartoon that appeared after Belli's death in the San Diego Union Tribune was an eloquent expression of his ethical standards. It depicted St Peter on the telephone, reporting, "I've got a guy here claiming he was struck and injured by one of the Pearly Gates," and there, smiling like an angel, stood a well-groomed soul identified by the nametag on his briefcase "M. Belli." [2] The San Francisco Chronicle bid him farewell with a letter to the editor that appeared on the Op- Ed page. "Melvin Belli helped establish the principles of the plaintiff attorney: avarice, immunity to logic, self- aggrandizement and perfect contempt for the interests of society." [3]

He was not only an ambulance chaser par excellence. The legendary Melvin Belli was one of the CIA's most trusted courtroom wonders until hypertension and cardiovascular disease claimed him on July 9, 1996. His client roster included Jack Ruby, Sirhan Sirhan, Martha Mitchell and Jim Bakker. His first high-profile client was Errol Flynn, who, according to thousands of FBI and military intelligence documents released under FOIA to biographer Charles Higham, was an avid admirer of Adolf Hitler, recruited by Dr. Hermann Friedrich Erben, an Abwher intelligence agent, to spy on the United States. The FBI, Higham discovered in the midst of poring through the many boxes of FOIA documents dropped on his doorstep, pestered Flynn and the studio employing him over his wartime association with a Nazi, "but there was little doubt that Will Hays and Colonel William Guthrie, a high-ranking Army officer on the studio payroll as Jack Warner's troubleshoot in all matters connected with politics, were responsible for the cover-up. Hays and Guthrie managed to smother the numerous inquiries that began seriously to threaten Errol's career." [4] Melvin Belli, Flynn's attorney, could also be counted on to button his lip, and he did repeatedly as a CIA-Mafia legal counsel in a number of assassination cover-ups. [5]

It was Melvin Belli who chose the speedway at Altamont for the festival. "As a staging ground for a rock concert," Anson concluded, "especially one expected to draw 300,000 people or more. Altamont could hardly have been worse. The raceway, which was on the brink of bankruptcy, was small, cramped, and difficult to reach. Its acres were littered with the rusting hulks of junked automobiles and thousands of shards of broken glass. In appearance, it had all the charm =of a graveyard. Worst of all, though, the deal for its use had not been sealed until the final moment. Whereas Woodstock had taken months to prepare, Altamont had to be ready within twenty-four hours." [6]

The second Big Mistake of Altamont was the hiring of Ralph "Sonny" Barger and a contingent of Hell's Angels to keep the peace.

Barger, it has since been divulged, was an informant and hit man on the payroll of the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). When Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver fled the country for Algeria, the ATF negotiated with Barger to "bring Cleaver home in a box." He often made deals with law enforcement in exchange for dismissal of charges against fellow Angels. Barger was even hired by federal agents to kill immigrant farm labor activist Cesar Chavez, and may well have if Barger hadn't first been arrested by police in the Bay area on a prior homicide charge. [7]

The accusation arose in the death of Servio Winston Agero, a drug dealer. In a surprise courtroom maneuver, Sonny took the witness stand and confessed to his arrangement with local police and federal agents. Over a period of several years, he testified, he had brokered deals with Oakland authorities to give up the location of hidden caches of automatic weapons, mortars and dynamite in exchange for the dismissal of all charges against members of his motorcycle gang. This was a deal he had brokered with Edward Hilliard, then a sergeant at the Oakland Police Department's vice squad. Hilliard refused to comment when questioned by reporters. The defendant admitted for the record that he sold narcotics for a living, forged IDs, and slept with a pistol under his pillow. On seven occasions, though, Barger refused to respond to questioning and was fined $3,500 by Judge William J. Hayes for each demurral.

Deputy prosecutor Donald Whyte asked the "spiritual" leader of the Hell's Angels, an admitted federal operative, to name officers who asked him to "kill someone." Barger squirmed and claimed that he could not recall, exactly, but attempted several phonetic variations of a possible name. [8] Even in the courtroom, it seems, he was not about to risk retaliation by government contacts.

But the deal was exposed anyway by ATF whistle-blower Larry Shears. The agent told his story to narcotics agents, and they gathered evidence on the murder plan before talking to the press. Shears announced that Barger had been contracted to kill Chavez, an assassination ordered by agribusiness magnates in the San Joaquin Valley. Chavez was only alive, Shears reported, because there had been delays. The first came when ATF agents insisted that certain files first be stolen from the farm union. The arson of union offices was attempted by hired hands, another delay. Confirmation of these allegations came three weeks later when union officials complained to reporters that there had been recent "arson attempts against [farm] union offices. Others have been riddled with bullet holes, and on at least two occasions attempts were made to steal records in the union offices."

The next glitch in the Chavez assassination, Shears said, came when the hit man, Sonny Barger, was arrested for the Agero murder. To support his statements, Shears waved a federal voucher at reporters signed by Senator Edward Kennedy, a payment of $10,000 to Shears for services rendered as an informant to narcotics agents and the IRS. [9]

In March 1989, according to wire releases, Sonny Barger was convicted with four other Angels for conspiracy to violate federal firearms and explosives laws in a variety of plots to kill members of rival motorcycle clubs. Barger and Michael Vincent O'Farrell were sentenced in US District Court, Louisville, Kentucky, for their part in the transport of explosives with intent to kill. Barger and three others were slapped with additional counts for "dealing with a stolen government manual." Barger was freed on parole three years later The mystery of his early release was dispelled by the Tucson Weekly in 1996 -- it seems Barger had a political guardian. "You can talk about the biker tradition," a law enforcement source explained, the Harley, the patch that they've killed for, but in the end, what's most important is money. Hell's Angels is represented in 18 countries now. They're probably the largest organized crime family that we export from the US. At the center of this global expansion is Oakland-based International President "Sonny" Barger, who's had his hand on the throttle of Hells Angels' money and mayhem machine since the late '50s, despite occasional prison stints. When Barger was released from prison in 1992, an estimated 3,000 people attended his party ... Some influential people might get bought. I can't tell you that Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell received any money... I do know that he used his influence to try to get Sonny Barger out of prison." [10]

Barger's booze-swaggling, two-wheeling entourage were paid killers. And since the carnage at Altamont, the Hell's Angels have twice attempted to kill the Rolling Stones. In March, 1983, a witness calling himself "Butch," his true identity protected by the federal witness program, testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee about plots to kill the Stones. "There's always been a contract on the band," he admitted under questioning. There were "two attempts to kill them that I know about. They will some day. They swear they will do it." The vendetta, Butch said, originated with the killing at the Speedway concert, and was motivated by the failure of the Stones to back the Angel prosecuted for the killing. The first attempt to assassinate the entire band took place in the mid-'70s. "They sent a member with a gun and a silencer" to a hotel where the Stones were staying. The hit-man "staked out the hotel, but [the Stones] never showed up," said the government informant. And in 1979, the Angels' New York chapter "were going to put a bomb in the house and blow everybody up and kill everybody at the party." But this conspiracy sank with a cache of plastic explosives, accidentally dropped overboard from a rubber raft. Killing the Stones, he testified, was an "obsession" with the bike gang. [11]

Who in 1969 suspected that the Hell's Angel was in reality a death squad leader in the pay of "conservative" political operatives? The swastika tattoos and gothic jewelry? Window dressing. The roughing up of peace demonstrators? The shootouts? The terrorizing of small towns? The rapings? The drugs? A refreshing break from the status quo.

A supplier from Berkeley donated 1,000 hits of LSD laced with speed to Barger's Altamont security force, and the Angels toted along several cases of red wine and a generous supply of barbiturates. The concert commenced at 1 PM with a set by Santana, and before long the beatings began. By the time Santana ripped to a close, the first casualties limped into the first aid station. There were broken arms, open wounds, shattered jaws and ribs, and bad LSD trips that left joy-seekers screaming in terror. There were so many of these that the Thorazine cache ran dry within a few hours, leaving the overdosed untreated. [12]

The Jefferson Airplane played songs about social unity and revolution and a flung beer bottle fractured a woman's skull. She reeled, fell, stood and collapsed again.

Jagger arrived in a helicopter. Anson writes "Kids got up, yelled, and started running, bursting past the Angels to get close to him. Jagger emerged, smiling, waving, calling greetings, with Timothy Leary at his side flashing the peace symbol." [13]

Jagger hurried to the safety of his trailer. The Angels resumed beating concert-goers. A photographer was told to stop shooting the violence and give up the film. He refused and an Angel smashed him in the face with his camera.

Crosby, Stills and Nash preceded the Stones, but the escalating violence forced them to cut their set short. The Stones would not play until the sun went down and delayed their appearance some 90 minutes, aggravating the macabre tension of the event. The Angels, riding on electric currents of methamphetamine and lysergic acid, bludgeoned the audience with lead-filled pool cues. At long last, Jagger strutted across the stage, sporting a red, white and blue stovepipe hat, silver pants, black boots, an Omega symbol emblazoned on his chest.

The Rolling Stones packaged the occult education they had received from Satanist Kenneth Anger. "The top hat," explains Anger biographer Bill Landis, "was snatched from the legend of [Bobby] Beausoleil: the Mansonite killer of LA guitarist Gary Hinman. "The Crowleyan personal power tripping" was amplified by "pop iconography and massive amounts of cocaine to fuel Jagger's attempt at incarnating Lucifer." [14]

The Stones managed to lumber through "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Carol," but "Sympathy for the Devil" was accompanied by howls from the crowd directly in front of the stage. Jagger urged the audience repeatedly to "cool down, cool down, now ..." Another outbreak accompanied "Under My Thumb." The source of the commotion was the stabbing death of Meredith Hunter, 18, who pulled a gun and reportedly took aim at Jagger.

"As Mick peered out," Ben Fong-Torres recalls, "there were kids staring at him in incredulous silence, mouthing the word, 'Why?"'

After the concert, reports Anson, "there was a mysterious shake-up in the Angel hierarchy, and the suicide of one Angel who had been particularly close to the rock scene." Alan David Passaro, 24, one of Barger's soldiers and an ex-convict, was charged with Hunter's murder. But Barger himself was unapologetic." I'm no peace creep by ny sense of the word. Ain't nobody gonna kick my motorcycle." [15] Passaro, already serving a prison sentence on an unrelated offense when served, was eventually acquitted on grounds of self-defense.

A platoon of cinematographers was assembled by directors Albert and David Maysles to shoot Gimme Shelter, the Altamont documentary. They were directed to concentrate on the violence, not the performances on stage. A recent TV Guide review of the video complains that the crew "focused resolutely on the mayhem and discord." [16]

"Sympathy for the Devil" was the last-gasp anthem of the festival scene in America. A repeat of the disaster was visited upon Louisiana a few months later, when an excess of 50,000 young people turned out for a "Celebration of Life" on the Atchafalaya River. The Galloping Gooses motorcycle club, hired to attend to security, chain-whipped the celebrants, leaving three dead and many wounded. [17]

A cancer was growing on the counter-culture.



1. Herb Caen, "Above and Beyond," San Francisco Chronicle, July 24, 1996, p. B-1.

2. Ibid.

3. Letter to the editor, San Francisco Chronicle, July 19, 1996, p A-16.

4. Charles Higham, Errol Flynn: The Untold Story, New York: Doubleday, 1980, pp 91-92. Background on Higham and the government documents released to him come from author's interviews of Higham.

5. San Francisco columnist Herb Caen reminisced about Belli's bosom friendship with the screen idol, both of whom had a keen interest in teenage girls. "When he and his close friend and client, Errol Flynn, were out on the town, no young lady was safe. Two Rogue Scholars on the loose, both exceedingly handsome and dangerous to know too well. Every time I saw Mel on the make I thought of Dorothy Parker's line about the girl who lost her virginity sliding down a barrister. One night at Cal-Neva, the Tahoe gambling joint with the California-Nevada state line running through the lobby, I saw Mel crossing that line with a very young girl. Referring to the then-statute against crossing a state line with a minor for immoral purposes, I asked him 'Does she know about the Mann Act?' 'Know about it?' he whooped 'She loves it!'" Herb Caen, "Friday's Fractured Flicker," San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 1996, p C.I For background on Melvin Belli's interaction with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Mafia, see Constantine, A, Psychic Dictatorship in the USA, 1995, p. 191; Diamond, S., Spiritual Warfare, 1989, p. 30; Hinckle, W., If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade, 1990, p. 200; Johnson, R.W., Shootdown, 1987, pp. 377-8, 394-5; Kalltor, S., The Ruby Cover-up, 1992, pp. 224-35, 415-6; Marrs, J., Crossfire, 1990, pp. 414, 424; Piper, M.C., Final Judgment, 1993, pp. 161, 172-5, Ragano, F. Raab, S., Mob Lawyer, 1994, pp. 241-8, 360, Scheim, D., Contract on America, 1988, p. 154, Scott, P.D., Deep Politics, 1993, p. 233.

6. Robert Sam Anson, Gone Crazy and Back Again, New York: Doubleday, 1981, p. 141.

7. Account of Larry Shears, ATF agent, alleging that Barger was recruited by ATF agents -- at a time when G. Gordon Liddy worked for the ATF, a division of the Treasury Department -- to assassinate Eldridge Cleaver. December 17, 1971 news broadcast, Channel 23, Los Angeles, CA.

8. Drew McKillips, "Amazing Story by Hells' Angels Chief," San Francisco Chronicle, December 12, 1972, p. 1.

9. "ATF Agent Says He Was Part of Coast Plot to Kill Cesar Chavez," New York Times, January 2, 1972, p. 31).

10. Karen Brandel, "Angels in Arizona," Tucson Weekly, Aug 15, 1996, p 1.

11. Hotchner, p. 320.

12 Anson, p. 148.

13. Anson, p. 149.

14. Bill Landis, Anger: The Unauthorized Biography of Kenneth Anger, New York: Harper Collins, 1995, p. 177. It is ironic that with Scorpio Rising (1964), Anger the satanist had launched the popular mythos surrounding the Hell's Angels. Anger's cultural oddity, Landis writes, "made them seem more lyrical after all the media reports on gang rapes, chain whipping and stomping they were doing." (pp. 118-19).

15. Anson, pp. 156-57.

16. "Gimme Shelter, 1970," TV Guide Movie Database, Internet posting.

17. David P. Szatmary, Rockin' in Time: A Social History of Rock and Roll, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1987, p. 149.
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