Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World

Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0312607172

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Few stories in the annals of American counterculture are as intriguing or dramatic as that of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love.

Dubbed the "Hippie Mafia," the Brotherhood began in the mid-1960s as a small band of peace-loving, adventure-seeking surfers in Southern California. After discovering LSD, they took to Timothy Leary's mantra of "Turn on, tune in, and drop out" and resolved to make that vision a reality by becoming the biggest group of acid dealers and hashish smugglers in the nation, and literally providing the fuel for the psychedelic revolution in the process.

Just days after California became the first state in the union to ban LSD, the Brotherhood formed a legally registered church in its headquarters at Mystic Arts World on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, where they sold blankets and other countercultural paraphernalia retrieved through surfing safaris and road trips to exotic locales in Asia and South America. Before long, they also began to sell Afghan hashish, Hawaiian pot (the storied "Maui Wowie"), and eventually Colombian cocaine, much of which the Brotherhood smuggled to California in secret compartments inside surfboards and Volkswagen minibuses driven across the border.

They also befriended Leary himself, enlisting him in the goal of buying a tropical island where they could install the former Harvard philosophy professor and acid prophet as the high priest of an experimental utopia. The Brotherhood's most legendary contribution to the drug scene was homemade: Orange Sunshine, the group's nickname for their trademark orange-colored acid tablet that happened to produce an especially powerful trip. Brotherhood foot soldiers passed out handfuls of the tablets to communes, at Grateful Dead concerts, and at love-ins up and down the coast of California and beyond. The Hell's Angels, Charles Mason and his followers, and the unruly crowd at the infamous Altamont music festival all tripped out on this acid. Jimi Hendrix even appeared in a film starring Brotherhood members and performed a private show for the fugitive band of outlaws on the slope of a Hawaiian volcano.

Journalist Nicholas Schou takes us deep inside the Brotherhood, combining exclusive interviews with both the group's surviving members as well as the cops who chased them. A wide-sweeping narrative of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll (and more drugs) that runs from Laguna Beach to Maui to Afghanistan, Orange Sunshine explores how America moved from the era of peace and free love into a darker time of hard drugs and paranoia.

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Brotherhood was making selling acid and pot in Laguna Beach. Jack apparently forgot his errand. Instead, he went to a Grateful Dead concert at the Fillmore Auditorium and used a hundred-dollar bill to light up a massive joint. When Leary found out what had happened, he called Griggs and apologized. Griggs said all was forgiven, but insisted that Leary come down to Mystic Arts World to see what the Brotherhood was all about. Leary soon took Griggs up on his invitation. “John didn’t tell me about

camp. When Griggs first moved to the ranch, there were two barns full of tools, a working tractor, even a windmill that pulled water from a well. There was also a corral full of cattle. A few months later, when Wright showed up with Joe Miller, a sculptor who’d helped in the construction of Mystic Arts World, nothing seemed to be working. Everyone was living in teepees. Griggs and his clan didn’t eat meat, so they’d given all their cattle away to local ranchers. A bulldozer that came with the

property had somehow disappeared. “He gave away the bulldozer,” Wright says. “He tried to give away the two diesel generators to Joe and me, but we couldn’t get our act together in time to work out the transportation and somebody else got them. Joe was as perplexed as I was when Johnny began to willfully dismantle the infrastructure of the ranch. The climax of one hundred years of man learning how to wrest a living from the dry, hard West, and here he was giving away the hardware.” Wright found

raid, a serious raid, a big raid. There was a breeze, and papers were blowing in the wind. It was like the street was trying to recover.” A few months later, police raided the Workhovens’ house and hauled the couple off to jail after finding several ounces of marijuana. Janice, who frequently laundered Brotherhood money at local banks, had ten thousand dollars stuffed in her infant child’s diaper bag that night. As the police led her away, she gave the baby and the bag to her friend Patty Yirka.

of the conversation, as I recall it, had to do with the fact that I had the Brotherhood of Eternal Love covered from dawn to dusk in Afghanistan and the days of the Brotherhood running free there were over.” Burke told Bevan that the police were awaiting his instructions as to whether they should arrest him and throw him in the notorious Demazang Prison, where he could spend years without seeing the light of day. At first, Bevan tried to deny everything. He claimed he was an antiques dealer and

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