The Purpose Of This Page
I have received so many inquiries about THE PROCESS since I published my PROCESS web pages, that I thought it important to give a voice to it's former members. This seems imperative especially since there has been so much interest and misinformation in the media over the past twenty-eight years. Unfortunately it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find reliable information about THE PROCESS, even on the internet. Many of the links found to PROCESS related web sites are now inactive and lead nowhere. Since my own interest in THE PROCESS started in early 1974 and I tried my best to find 'them' or an existing 'remnant' of them, after reading the Process magazine issue on death, which I have reproduced on my PROCESS web pages, I know exactly how frustrating this unsuccessful search is.
In my heart, soul and spirit, there has been and still is, such a deep longing for The PROCESS, Robert DeGrimston their founder, prophet, and charismatic leader, as well as for their unique and to me utterly Gnostic teachings, rituals, songs, garb and disciples.
Unfulfilled Love is devastating and destructive and I feel to this day, that I have been robbed of something I should have been part of, through the 'coup' within THE PROCESS which not only destroyed something very special that was psychologically as well as spiritually infectious to me and countless others, but replaced it with an unimaginative, bland and boring 'Jehovah' cult, the Jewish 'star of David' and 'Shalom' instead of 'As It Is, So Be It.'
Robert DeGrimston was ousted and his wife became the new leader. No charisma and no imagination spells disaster for any movement and thus, 'The Foundation Faith of The Millennium' was doomed from it's earliest beginnings in May 1974.
In late 1973 I had just been given the Process magazine on Death and began my search for THE PROCESS in May or June 1974 only to end up in New York City's First Avenue and Sixty-second(?) Street in front of a modern, beautiful building with the name 'Foundation Faith of the Millennium' written over an entrance. No sign of The Process Church. I went inside and asked some girls in blue leisure suits where The Process was located, since the address I had was correct and they told me that The Process didn't exist any more. Devastated and almost in tears, I bought a tape on 'Angels' they were hustling and made a hasty exit.
What had become of Robert DeGrimston?
As far as I could find out and trust this information, he lives now on Staten Island or Long Island N.Y. and works for a communications company.
A Love Story with an Unhappy Ending.
In regards to my own search for the 'Process,' I have an interesting little story to tell. The magazines which you see reproduced on my web site were given to me at a witchcraft store on Chapel Street in New Haven, Connecticut in 1973. Being a romantic idealist and often a fool, I fell in love with The Process immediately and went to New York City to talk to them with the ultimate intent of joining them.
Unfortunately there was no sign of the Process at the given address on 38th Street. I went to the main public library on 42nd Street and Bryant park and somehow found the new address which was somewhere on first or second Avenue in the upper 60's streets. When I arrived there after taking the subway and walking quite a distance, I discovered to my dismay that it was now called "The Foundation Faith of the Millennium." Young men and women in blue leisure suits with the "Star of David" on necklaces greeted me apathetically and told me that The Process had changed to this "Foundation Faith" and that Robert DeGrimston was no longer their leader. They gave me some pamphlets and I left, broken in heart and spirit.
Not giving up so easily, I surmised that there must still be a Robert DeGrimston 'faction' and that I was going to find them at all cost. With some intensive research at a public library I found the small publisher in England of a Process book which Robert DeGrimston had authored and telephoned there almost immediately. The night janitor, as he identified himself, answered and told me that they didn't have any idea where DeGrimston was as they had not had any contact with him for a long time. Seeming somewhat sympathetic to my plight, he did refer me to somebody in Holland with the last name of Nielson who was a 'Satanist' (the night-janitors own words) who might be able to help me in my quest. His address was a General Delivery Drawer in an Amsterdam Post Office. I wrote him right away, never to get an answer.
Checking phone-books and yellow-pages from various US cities at the library, I found many listings for The Process Church which, of course, were already disconnected. I remember having a little laugh for myself when I saw that The Process was listed in the Chicago yellow-pages under the "Protestant Fundamentalist" heading.
Then, after years of desperate and fruitless searching, I placed an add in the 'Village Voice, an alternative New York City weekly paper, in 1979 to the effect that I was looking for former Process members who had not converted to the Foundation Faith in the hope that I might get contacted by a group which still might have remained with Robert DeGrimston and continued as the original Process Church.
Living at the time in Waterbury, CT, I listed my home phone number in the add. After a few days my wife answered the phone to an ugly and threatening phone call from a former 'priest' in the Process named Michael. He seemed quite angry at the add because he thought that we were former members who were going to start up the old Process again. Since I wasn't home when he called and my wife knew very little about my obsession with The Process, he told her that he would call back again at night. This he did and we had an interesting but somewhat hostile (on his part) conversation. Speaking with him I recognized that he had a German accent, which was easy for me to pick up since I myself was born and raised in Germany. Asking him about that, he admitted that he was indeed German and we began talking in German.
He told me that DeGrimston had returned to England and that "they were now into more and better things." I believe that these were his exact words, but who knows after so many years? Still the gist of it is definitely the same. The conversation between us was 'friendly,' but I felt a definite 'threat' and sense of deliberate intimidation coming from him which didn't even change when we spoke in German. The way he said that they were into much better things now seemed to implicate to me, at the time, that he was referring to 'secret' activities of which he wouldn't or couldn't speak. Perhaps he was just on an 'ego-trip' and wanted to impress me, but his words left me with an unshakable sense of fear and distrust. Of course, this is my own feeling and relies heavily on my intuition while talking with him. Asking him if he had any Process books left which I could buy, he mentioned that he had some missals which contained ritual, songs and liturgy for Process Church services. We made a date to meet in New York City at the main bus terminal which is on 42nd Street and 7th Avenue. But it is a date which I didn't keep because I felt so disturbed, after our conversation, by his ugly demeanor and boastful words that I was actually shaking and thought better of meeting him, even in a public place.
At the same time I found Bainbridge's book 'Satan's Power,' at Sam Weiser's occult book-store in New York's Greenwich Village. Even though, he had changed the name of the Church to 'The Power,' I immediately realized that it was about The Process Church. My wife found his telephone number at a State University in either Oregon or Washington State. I called him and he was gracious enough to speak to me about The Process (he admitted that he had changed the name to The Power) and Robert DeGrimston. He said that he was almost certain that DeGrimston had returned to England and that there might be small splinters of the original Process left but that he had no connection or detailed knowledge about them or where they were located.
Thus I was left again without any real hope of ever finding what I was so desperately searching for. The Process has been on my mind for almost thirty years now and only through my web site and the internet have I come closer to former Processeans and 'real,' truthful information, about 'the coup' and the 'real' PROCESS.
Why am I so 'obsessed' with them? Because I fell in LOVE with The Process, with it's rituals, 'theology,' liturgy and its PROMISE. One is not 'rational' when in love...I can only say that it is a metaphysical love affair between me and what I believe The Process was and could be...AND IT IS A LOVE WHICH HAS NEVER DIED! It is the 'chaste' love of the medieval 'Minnesinger' adoring his distant and unattainable love. Never fulfilled and never attained, my Love for The Process has only grown over the last thirty years and is now manifested and expressed through pure cyber energy on my Process web pages. What else could I do to release my pent-up desire to attain the unattainable? Perhaps even Robert DeGrimston will read this page and in merciful beneficence return to his orphaned children from his 'exit' into exile....Children who have grown old, bald and gray over the many years past, but children in heart and spirit nevertheless, whom he left only with beautiful memories and heartaches.
How we miss the sixties and early seventies! How we long for those bygone days of rebelliousness and almost unlimited exploration, of 'Flower Power, free-love and innocent hope for a better world. The Process was a big part of our counterculture generation, our ideals, fears and dreams. Maligned by the ignorant and distorted by the cunning, The Process has, nevertheless, touched upon something indefinable, something so deep and buried within our psyche, that even today as religious fundamentalism, family and conservative 'values' rule our wonderful country, people still find themselves drawn to its philosophy when exposed to their philosophy, pictures and literature on the internet. Everything The Process did, was done exceedingly well. Attracting the best and most talented free spirits of our generation, their magazine designs, artwork, church services, bands, coffee houses, choice of symbols and outfits were not only attractive but SPECTACULAR. Of course it also helped that Robert DeGrimston looked like a Christ-Archetype, Jesus re-incarnated, and exuded a charismatic presence which made one feel that he 'could move mountains' and 'walk on water.'
They had burst upon the urban American scene like 'space invaders' with the almost choreographed ease of professional actors. Resembling a superbly orchestrated Broadway play more than what people imagined a 'church' should or could be. They were ready for America and America's counterculture youth was ready for them. Their stage was wherever they were and who could help it but to be either irresistibly drawn to them, or repulsed. And this is exactly what they 'preached.' Embracing 'Good' and 'Evil,' in one's nature without guilt or shame, they taught that the 'shade of Gray,' the uncommitted, the liberal sense of indecisiveness and hypocritical 'tolerance,' was the real Evil which had to be unmercifully destroyed.
Was not The Process a celebration of opposites, metaphysically and physically, Thesis and Antithesis culminating in Synthesis? From Hegel to Marx and Jung to Hitler, the human archetype embraced in concepts and analysis, exploring endless possibilities and countless 'Dark Nights of the Soul.' The Process not only encouraged our dreams but also our nightmares. "Face your deepest fears and welcome them as friends!" What are such concepts as 'Good' and 'Evil'? One should not reject Evil and embrace Good only, for how could you know one without the other? The yin and yang, positive and negative, masculine and feminine, darkness and light,...duality and yet UNITY! It is a Process indeed, a mental Process, a Knowing or Gnosis, which opens the door to Enlightenment, attained by one's ability to 'Unify the Opposites,' within and without.
Process precepts were revolutionary slogans because they expressed in a few words the wisdom of Truth more clearly than any 'establishment' philosophies or religions. Good and Evil....'The Unification of Opposites'...'As It Is, So Be It'....'The Four Gods' ...'The Four Personalities' ...The Process was 'a process' indeed. A process of unlimited exploration for those honest enough to face not only 'good,' but also 'evil' and embrace BOTH as beloved friends, BOTH as gods residing within us as well as 'in the world.' "Humanity is the Devil," DeGrimston said and does 'humanity' not include our singular Self? Are we willing and able to come face to face with the 'Devil' within? He taught that we must give BOTH, the Devil and the Christ within us their due, the respect necessary to bring about the 'Unification of Opposites' within our psyche and consciousness which, in turn, will 'open the Kingdom of Heaven' to us as master of Self and of our world.
This is sound metaphysics and can not ever be part of any New Age 'feel good,' philosophies which like sugar coated pills for instant attainment taste sweet and pleasant, but turns bitter in the stomach, because they are artificial, hypocritical and false. No, The Process taught that without the 'Unification of Opposites,' nothing could be gained nor achieved, neither metaphysically nor physically. Neither 'within,' nor 'without.' Face your Self with honesty and total integrity, neither condemning your Self nor aggrandizing your Self and accept BOTH, good and evil within you as your point of departure upon The Process...
...A Process, which will eventually, when you are ready, lead you to be able to look into a mirror and really SEE who and what you ARE...
Remember the movie 'Tommy,' when Tommy's mother leads him to the mirror and sings: "Go to the mirror boy...."? Tommy, 'deaf, dumb and blind,' stands in front of the mirror staring at it with his absent eyes until his mother throws a bottle into the mirror and smashes it...(in other words, he can not overcome his self-image, until he is able to break the bond to his mother who knows this and sets the break-away in motion. She represents the origin of his 'defective' self image as the one who, like society and family, taught him to see himself in a defective way) ...the mirror shatters into thousands of pieces and a floodgate is opened which lets all the 'garbage' of false concepts and establishment brainwashing, like TV commercials, come into the room which symbolizes the 'false' or falsely perceived world. Only at this point, after all the 'garbage' has come out and thus cleared the way, is Tommy able to 'walk through the mirror,' and attain Liberation or Enlightenment. Well, to me, The Process Church is the shattered mirror and therefore a possible path to Liberation. Are we not ALL 'Tommie's,' standing before a mirror, deaf, dumb and blind, unable to muster the courage to break it and step through?
So Be It
Thomas, August 2002
Important New Development:
During 2002 and early 2003 I experienced a formidable effort by former Processeans to mislead my sincere efforts in search of the Truth concerning the former Process Church. Some "former" members were attempting to discourage my Process web-pages and somewhat naive search for former members who could use my website to re-connect and exchange their experiences.
That this active effort to discourage and mislead was not just coming from a couple of former Processeans but seemed to be a well organized and well orchestrated operation became clear to me after exchanging some "heated" e-mails with them and thus experiencing first hand that these people were not just individual former Processeans but were still linked to each other and protecting something in the worst way, just what though I didn't know then.
What became gradually clear to me is: that these people have something to hide, which must be "big" enough to warrant such an effort in regards to my Process pages. Then I also found out that a former "Father" in the Process, wrote some very Satanic articles on a French web-site. Through e-mailing him at this web-site address, I was redirected to a New York State "self-improvement" and occult teacher who also taught Hypnosis and conducted seminars.....He had his own website for these activities also and comparing pictures of him on his website and pictures of him when he was called "Father M......" in the Process literature on my website, one can not help but be 99% certain that this is the same individual, especially since he called himself by the Process name on this French website.
It seems to be common knowledge that the former part of the Process which ousted Robert DeGrimston and then called itself "The Foundation Faith of the Millennium" after much moving around ended up in Kanab, Utah as an animal rescue operation which is now worth millions from donations.
Is it that these former Processeans attempted to dissuade publicity of old Process material to protect this group and their lucrative operation? I certainly don't think so, especially since this was an open "secret" all along.
Then what could it be that worried these people into such extensive clandestine internet work as I have experienced with them? All of them struck me as very intelligent and erudite people and yet there was something about them which not only made me feel uneasy but paranoid. I felt like I was dealing with people of the type of "Michael" of whom I wrote in my "Love Story" in the beginning of this page.
Then there is a certain John (calls himself "Hermandus") who once ran a Process website. He, also from New York State, wrote occasional e-mails promising more info "later," which never came about.
He claims to live in the Albany area and "counsels" some people with Process teachings and rituals. All a lot of smoke but no substance.
Smoke, lots of it, to deceive and mislead my search. Some of my correspondents referred to me as a "loose cannon" who can not be trusted. And yes, when it comes to the Truth and telling the Truth, I most certainly can be called that.
Having read Maury Terry's book "The Ultimate Evil" many times and knowing from my own very limited experience that despite its sensationalist claims about the "Son of Sam" murders and their connection to a Process offshoot, his claims and research are solid and impeccable and yet heavily disputed by many people from many different backgrounds. Why even did I myself attempt to close my eyes and mind to his research and findings? Because I was in "love" and didn't want to loose my cherished illusions of this group. Perhaps the same applies to so many defenders of the Process who should KNOW better, but are still denying the obvious.
Just last week I re-read the latest published paperback of this book and finally must agree with Maury Terry 99%.
Since I also work on a lot of internet material dealing with the "New World Order" and Satanism as the foundation of its conception, I can no longer deny that in my heart and soul I believe that The Process Church was the seed to a variety of murderous Satanist cults, who are more then ever busy in their work of fomenting chaos and murderous evil, including child-abductions and pornography upon this earth.
This is NOT to say that the original Process Church of the Final Judgement had anything to do with all this, but that a seed was planted in the minds of some Satanic low level elements, who, after the schism in 1974, felt betrayed and left-out from the newly formed "Foundation church" and thus formed new Satanic splinter groups... And it is those groups, grown out of The Process but without the discipline and organization of the original Process Church and with little or no resemblance to them, who are involved in true Satanic evil... Whether the people which I communicated with on the internet are involved with these splinter groups, I don't know, but believe strongly that they are not involved with them. Nevertheless, I believe that they know more about this than they let on and are protecting some of those splinter groups for one reason or another. Perhaps only to protect the image of the original Process Church and their part in it and of course the image of the "Animal Sanctuary".
I believe that these people are as smooth as satin and as ruthless as Satan himself. These are people in high and low places who in appearance and demeanor are no different than our next-door neighbors but who, driven by a perversion of the soul and spirit, delight in evil. There might be many names and groupings, cults and even "churches" who are directed from a central source and I have my own ideas who and where they are. But even they are only puppets dancing to the tune of other masters. And I wish that people should be warned and not make light of what I'm writing about here.
Just recently I also re-read the book "The Franklin Cover-up" which deals with child abductions, child prostitution and murder involving very influential people in not only Washington DC but all around this country. It too is an eye opener to what is really going on and how Satanism is used by the "high and mighty" to "do as thou wilt" (as Crowley proclaimed).
I also received e-mail from a man who was very interested in the connection of the "Animal Sanctuary" where DeGrimston's former wife Mary Ann now lives with the "remnant" of former Processeans... the core people as such, the "masters, fathers and mothers" as they were called. I will reprint one of his letters here without his e-mail address although having tried to contact him the address was no longer valid.
So then what is my final conclusion about The Process and it's later splinter-cult developments?
Well, I think that these people, and I mean those who were actively interfering with my efforts to either help re-start The Process, or at least just gain some deeper insight into the original Process, are serving "another master" right now and are desperately attempting to keep the spotlight off anything related to The Process for their own nefarious reasons.
There seems to be big money involved and I go wholeheartedly along with Maury Terry's conclusions.....These People are ruthless and dangerous and I would advise anybody to stay away from them....if they can even find them.
This, of course, also includes the Kanab "Animal-Sanctuary" group.
Why do I think that they were/are knowingly or unknowingly involved with CIA mind control research and mass manipulation? Because after much diligent research and reading of their material which I have collected on my website, I can come to no other conclusion. Based on my experiences and correspondence, I must reluctantly admit that my "love" for The Process was based on its "gothic" appeal and that my reading of their literature was done with "one eye closed," so to speak.
I interpreted this material the way I wanted it to be and not the way it was written. This stuff is "Satanic" and there should be no doubt about it! Now what "Satanic" really means or is, is another question.
To me it is the creation of chaos through reversal of all values with which we grew up and which we take for granted for a society to function. It includes thus also to de-humanize mankind and bringing it to it's lowest denominator through mind-manipulation which can be accomplished on a small scale in a cultic environment or on a large scale, as we experience it today at the "dawning" of the Satanic New World Order, through fear, insecurity, uncertainty, media exposure, especially television, music and youth alienation.....as well as male-female alienation.
In short we are bombarded with Satanic chaos from all directions...and this bombardment is not coincidental as a result of "modern," more liberal times and life styles, but is planned and directed, orchestrated, by our own "government" and those who control all "governments" at this point in time.
It is used to create a mental state of apathy, fear, helplessness and hopelessness in people, to make them pliable enough for further plans of virtual enslavement in the New World Order.
The Process and other cults are often "sponsored" by intelligence groups because it is an easy way to study human behavior under mind-control conditions and to find individuals who can be further programmed to commit acts of violence, mayhem and assassinations who can later be blamed as "lone-nuts" committing these horrible and un-explainable deeds for no other reason than a grudge or temporary insanity. Patsies like Oswald, Sirhan-Sirhan, Manson, the Columbine shooters and so many more could be mentioned here....So cults serve three or more functions, they can be studied by the "right" people for human compliance to mind control paragems, cause fear and havoc in society, and serve as a recruiting ground for advanced programming victims who can be turned into assassins.
I want to add to this that my conclusions about The Process do NOT include Isaiah nor Angela whom I found to be honest and searching for the same thing I once was and whom I wish well upon their path.
This quote from a famous book should explain what I mean:
"Various types of belief can be implanted in many people after brain function has been deliberately disturbed by accidentally or deliberately induced fear, anger or excitement. Of the results caused by such disturbances, the most common one is temporarily impaired judgement and heightened suggestibility. Its various group manifestations are sometimes classed under the heading of "herd instinct" , and appear most spectacularly in war time, during severe epidemics, and in all similar periods of common, which increase anxiety and so individual or mass suggestibility." Dr William Sargant, a psychiatrist at the Tavistock Institute, in his 1957 book, Battle For The Mind.
I have made some changes to the previous article on 10-22-06, as I think that I didn't make myself quite clear.
Somebody on the internet just made me aware of this article
Written by Edward Mason, formerly Father Luke...
by skepticaltheurgist on Mon 17 Apr 2006 04:16 PM EDT
| Permanent Link | Cosmos
The Process often said it was a mirror in which people saw themselves. That, it claimed, was a function of the open-eyed acceptance with which it met all and sundry: people simply projected onto it whatever they were concealing from themselves. The same thing, be it noted, was said about Aleister Crowley, which could explain why some found him to be a powerful focus of sacred power and others insisted they encountered a cesspool of human depravity. When there is, effectively, a complete absence of reactivity in another, that individual or that group simply take on the qualities concealed inside the observer.
My own dealings with Holger Haffke have been solely by email. I contributed some pieces to his website - www.gnosticliberationfront.com - a few years ago, then broke off after some acrimonious exchanges about his obsession with Holocaust denial. The site disappeared for a time, but recently came back up.
Before our correspondence stopped, he admitted to me that he couldn't understand the Processean concept of the mind. This is understandable, because it's not that easy to absorb from scratch. What was more difficult for me to accept was his level of suspicion, which made him almost unreachable. He seemed narcissistic and self-pitying (read the autobiographical “A Gnostic Childhood” on the site to grasp my point) and paranoid. As I experienced him, he was locked into a perspective of the Germans having been unjustly stigmatized after WW2, and this fed back into his rejection of the fact of the Holocaust. His sense of the importance of his own experiences was something I couldn't relate to what he actually said about his life, and any effort to question this met with snarling scorn. I can already see the comment he might post to this blog in response, damning me for my meanness, ignorance, and sense of my own superiority.
Holger discovered a couple of Process magazines a few months before the original Church folded in 1974. He waited a little before checking the thing out in person, only to find it no longer existed, except as its own bastard child, The Foundation Faith. His grief and loss at this (“In my heart, soul and spirit, there has been and still is, such a deep longing for The PROCESS” he says on the site) underline what I'm saying about his odd self-pity.
The charisma of The Process is now surely stale-dated, yet it continues to influence many, Holger clearly included. It's as if that open stance, that straight, wide-eyed look, is still somehow active. Thwarted in the 1970s, Holger had a wild hope three years ago that he had rediscovered The Process' hidden core, only to learn (whether he would acknowledge it or not) that he had run across a couple of hyped-up and very junior Processeans without much clue or credibility. The efforts of some people to point this out made him conclude he was facing “a well organized and well orchestrated operation” to discourage and mislead him. I'm apparently one of the people he means by this; his learning that I'm in contact with a few ex-members only deepened his sense of an exclusive conspiracy. A mean part of me finds this funny; a more thoughtful part finds it sad; and my most objective part finds it irrelevant. I don't overrate this blog's minuscule significance in the world, but I get the feeling Holger overrates that of himself and his website.
It was suggested that I tell him to take my contributions off the site, and I considered it. But I think they give it some balance, especially when he is saying, for example, that he has read Maury Terry's dreadful book Ultimate Evil and finds Terry's “claims and research are solid and impeccable.” In this, I see him projecting that paranoid, self-pitying streak again, and finding kinship with a nut-job who floats around in the murky, shallow waters of tabloid journalism.
The Holocaust doesn't die. There are still people alive haunted by its horrors, as there are some Germans, like Holger, who can't acknowledge it and move on.
My job often puts me in contact with German-trained engineers, so I sometimes deal with people who still carry inside them the anguish of the War and the desperate decade that followed it. Most have accepted history, and bear its scars as best they can. A few cannot: though both groups have a hard time talking much about it. It's far easier to disown the whole thing and project it onto a group such as The Process that, however bizarre and dishonest it could be about itself, did really nothing anyone would call criminal.
“I can no longer deny,” Holger adds on the site, “that in my heart and soul, I believe that The Process Church was the seed to a variety of murderous Satanist cults, who are more then ever busy in their work of fomenting chaos and murderous evil, including child-abductions and pornography upon this earth. I believe that these people are as smooth as satin and as ruthless as Satan himself. These are people in high and low places who in appearance and demeanor are no different than our next-door neighbors but who, driven by a perversion of the soul and spirit, delight in evil.” Whether he notices the disjuncture between this remark and his earlier statement that: “In my heart, soul and spirit, there has been and still is, such a deep longing for The PROCESS,” I can't say. Sadly, I doubt it.
Well, what can I say?
This is my response to the person who sent me Edward Mason's (Luke's) blog:
How the US Government Created
the "Drug Problem" in the USA
by Michael E. Kreca
"The bottom line on this whole business has not yet been written."
Dr. Sidney Gottlieb
CIA Technical Services Staff director for the MK-ULTRA program
Eighteenth-century German philosopher Georg Friedrich Hegel long ago developed, among other things, what he called the principle of "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" to explain the process of deliberately enacted social disorder and change as a road to power. To achieve a desired result, one deliberately creates a situation ("thesis,") devises a "solution," to solve the "problems" created by that situation ("antithesis,") with the final result being the ultimate goal of more power and control ("synthesis.") It is unsurprising Karl Marx and his disciples like Lenin and Trotsky, as well as the US government in its so-called War On Drugs, made this process a keystone of their drive for total control of all individual actions that, in their views, were not, in Mussolini s terms, "inside the state" and thus controllable by the same.
In September 1942, OSS director and Army Maj. Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan began his search for an effective "truth serum" to be used on POWs and captured spies. Beginning with a budget of $5,000 and the blessing of President Franklin Roosevelt, he enlisted the aid of a few prominent physicians and psychiatrists like George Estabrooks and Harry Murray as well as former Prohibition agent and notorious Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) director Harry Anslinger.
The OSS/FBN team first tested a potent marijuana extract, tetrahydrocannabinol acetate (THCA), a colorless, odorless substance, lacing cigarettes or food items with it, and administering them to volunteer US Army and OSS personnel, all who eventually acquired the nickname "Donovan’s Dreamers." Testing was also conducted under the guise of treatment for shell shock.
Donovan’s team found that THCA, which they termed "TD," for "truth drug," induced "a great loquacity and hilarity," and even, in cases where the subject didn’t feel physically threatened, some useable "reefer madness." Peyote, morphine and scopolamine were judged too powerful to be used in effective interrogation. In light of all this, Donovan concluded, "The drug defies all but the most expert and search analysis, and for all practical purposes can be considered beyond analysis." The OSS did not, however, end the program. By that time, faced with the terrifying ship losses the USA was suffering from German U-boats, Donovan pressed on, hoping to find some effective chemical means to help interrogate captured U-boat sailors.
In May 1943, George Hunter White, an Army captain, OSS officer and former FBN agent, gave standard cigarettes laced with THCA to an unwitting August "Augie Dallas" Del Grazio, an influential New York City gangster. Del Grazio, who had by then had done prison stretches for assault and murder, had been one of the Mafia’s most notorious enforcers and narcotics smugglers. He operated an opium alkaloid factory in Turkey and was a key participant in the long-running Istanbul/Marsellies/NYC heroin pipeline commonly known as the "French Connection." Influenced by the THC, Del Grazio (who was also helping to smuggle spies and Mafiosi into German-occupied Italy) revealed volumes of vital information about underworld operations, including the names of several high ranking city and state officials who took bribes from the Mob. Donovan was encouraged by the results of White’s tests when he wrote, "Cigarette experiments indicated that we had a mechanism offering promise in relaxing prisoners to be interrogated."
Unsurprisingly, the extensive wartime German experiments with various hallucinogenic drugs at the Dachau concentration camp, directed by one Dr. Hubertus Strughold, later honored as "the father of aviation medicine," aroused great interest in the USA especially after an October 1945 Navy technical mission to Dachau reported in detail on Strughold’s work. So great, in fact, that when the OSS and its successor, the CIA, imported 800 German scientists of various specialties under the auspices of the infamous "Project Paperclip" during 1945-55, it made sure to include Dr. Strughold.
Dr. Strughold’s barbaric "medical experiments," for which his subordinates were tried and convicted as war criminals at Nuremburg, were nothing more than a series of bizarre and unspeakably brutal tortures. Even so, he learned a lot about human behavior and mescaline, a natural alkaloid present in the peyote cactus. Mescaline, long central to many Native American religious rituals and first chemically isolated in 1896, is a phenethylamine whose ergoline skeleton is also contained in lysergic acid (a tryptamine.)
Sandoz Labs chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann also discovered a lysergic acid derivative called ergonovine, a medication used to retard excessive postpartum uterine bleeding. Based on his work with ergonovine, Dr. Hofmann first derived d-lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate-25 (LSD, a refined alkaloidal liquid byproduct of a rye fungus, ergot) in a series of experiments in Zurich in 1938. He used the naturally occurring lysergic acid radical, the common item in all ergot alkaloids, as the major component of the substance. Further experiments in this vein yielded psilocybin, derived from the Mexican Psilocybe cubensis mushroom, hydergine, essential today in the improvement of cerebral circulation in geriatric patients, and dihydroergotamine, an important ingredient in blood pressure medication.
The well-read and broadly educated Dr. Hofmann knew ergot had a long natural and cultural history as both medicine and poison. Ancient Greek midwives used to give an ergot-based, gruel-like drink, called kykeon, to their patients about to give birth. Kykeon was also consumed during the autumn Eleusinia, the ancient Greek agricultural festival celebrated in honor of the goddess of agriculture, Demeter. Across the Atlantic, sacramental Maya morning glories, beautifully depicted at the ancient Mayan temple-palace complex at Teotihuacán, Mexico, dating to about 1450, also contain ergot-based alkaloids.
However, the mindset the CIA had in its drug research work was far different from that of Dr. Hofmann’s. To our Cold War spymasters, ex-Nazis like Dr. Strughold were definitely evil, but they were definitely useful as well. This pervasive amoral pragmatism led, of course, to the extensive and notorious MK-ULTRA experiments in which, for nearly 25 years, thousands of everyday Americans, both military and civilian, were heavily dosed with numerous very potent artificial psychoactive drugs, often without their knowledge or consent.
This phenomenon of the obsessive "interests of national security" expediency combined with our celebrity-obsessed pop culture that gleefully raises and shamelessly promotes snake oil hustlers as well as the pharmaceutical industry’s pricey "pill for every ill" philosophy, was a form of incompetence and arrogance far more hazardous than any synthetic alkaloid ever developed and came as no surprise to those like Dr. Hofmann. LSD, invaluable in psychiatric treatment – actor Cary Grant was cured of alcoholism by carefully administered doses of the drug under close medical supervision – is thousands of times more potent than the traditional herbal mixtures. In fact, it is thousands of times more potent than the milder of the entheogenic alkaloids. It is effective at doses of as little as a ten-millionth of a gram, which makes it 5,000 times more potent than mescaline. It should not be taken without training or supervision.
The Navy tested mescaline as part of its 1947-53 Project CHATTER. MK-ULTRA was first organized in 1949 by Richard Helms under the direction of Allen Dulles as Project BLUEBIRD. Two years later, it was renamed ARTICHOKE (after one of Dulles’s favorite foods) then termed MK-ULTRA in 1953, finally becoming MK-SEARCH in 1965 until the program's "official termination" eight years later. MK-ULTRA was directly responsible for the wide underground availability of LSD, phencyclidine (PCP – also called "angel dust"), dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (STP) and other powerful synthetic psychoactive drugs in the 1960s. In the early 1950s, the CIA and the Army had contacted Sandoz requesting several kilograms of LSD for use in the test program. Dr. Hofmann and Sandoz refused this request, so Director Dulles persuaded the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical luminary Eli Lilly (later the pioneers of and chief cheerleaders for the widely prescribed antidepressant Prozac) to synthesize the drug contrary to existing international patent accords--making the US government and Lilly the first illegal domestic manufacturers and distributors of LSD.
These were distributed via the agency’s sometime allies in organized crime and through the FBI’s counterintelligence programs (COINTELPROs) directed against various activist groups of the period. The actual definition of the term MK-ULTRA remains unclear but a former Army Special Forces captain, John McCarthy, who ran the CIA’s Saigon-based Operation Cherry which targeted the Cambodian ruler Prince Sihanouk for assassination, claimed that MK-ULTRA stood for "Manufacturing Killers Utilizing Lethal Tradecraft Requiring Assassination."
On April 10, 1953, in a speech at Princeton University, CIA director Allen Dulles (further feeding the already widespread but misguided fear about the high effectiveness of the alleged Chinese "brainwashing" of US POWs in the Korean conflict) warned that the human mind was a "malleable tool," and that the "brain perversion techniques" of the Reds were "so subtle and so abhorrent" that "the brain&becomes a phonograph playing a disc put on its spindle by an outside genius over which it has no control."
Propaganda, in its simplest form, is condemning one’s opponent publicly for doing what one is already doing privately. Dulles, of course, was that very "outside genius." Three days after warning assembled Princetonians of the disturbing ramifications of these techniques, he had directed MK-ULTRA researchers to perfect them. Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA’s expert on lethal poisons, (who reputedly was the inspiration for director Stanley Kubrick’s bizarre "Dr. Strangelove" character played by Peter Sellers in the 1964 film of the same title) headed up the operation as director of the Chemical Division of the Technical Services Staff and, via a front organization called "The Society For Human Ecology," distributed $25 million in drug research grants to Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley and other institutions.
Meanwhile, George Hunter White, of THCA-laced "Lucky Strikes" fame, had returned to the FBN (now the DEA) at war’s end and continued to research behavior modifying drugs. In 1955, when MK-ULTRA was running full throttle, he was a high ranking FBN administrator who helped the Agency develop and implement a similar operation called Midnight Climax. In this infamous scheme, "safehouses" staffed with prostitutes were established in San Francisco. The hookers lured men from local taverns back to these safehouses after their drinks had been previously spiked with LSD. White’s team secretly filmed the subsequent events in each house. The purpose of these so-called "national security brothels" was to enable the CIA to experiment with the use of sex and mind altering drugs to extract information from test subjects, and it was planned, from spies, POWs, defectors and saboteurs.
Midnight Climax was terminated after eight years when CIA Inspector General John Earman charged that "the concepts involved in manipulating human behavior are found by many people within and outside the Agency to be distasteful and unethical." He stated that "the rights and interest of U.S. citizens were placed in jeopardy." Earman further noted LSD "had been tested on individuals at all social levels, high and low, native American and foreign." Richard Helms, MK-ULTRA’s bureaucratic godfather, summarily rebuffed Earman’s charges, claiming that "positive operational capacity to use drugs is diminishing owing to a lack of realistic testing. Tests," Helms continued, "were necessary to keep up with the Soviets." However, Helms reversed himself a year later when testifying before the Warren Commission investigating the JFK assassination, claiming that "Soviet research has consistently lagged five years behind Western research."
Upon retirement from civil service in 1966, White wrote a startling farewell letter to Dr. Gottlieb. He reminisced about his Midnight Climax work. His comments were frightening:
"I was a very minor missionary, actually a heretic, but I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all-highest?"
Where else indeed, but as a member of what would later become the hypocritical War on (Some) Drugs?
By the end of the 1950s the CIA was funding just about every qualified LSD researcher and psychologist it could find, through such contractors as the Society for the Study of Human Ecology, the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, and the Geschichter Fund for Medical Research. Author John Marks, in his 1975 book, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, identified the CIA’s LSD research pioneers as:
Dr. Robert Hyde at Boston Psychopathic Hospital
Dr. Harold Abramson at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Columbia University in New York City
Dr. Carl Pfeiffer at the University of Illinois Medical School, Champaign-Urbana
Dr. Harris Isbell of the NIMH-sponsored Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Ky.
Dr. Louis Jolyon West at the University of Oklahoma, Stillwater
Dr. Harold Hodge at the University of Rochester (N.Y.)
However, there were prominent critics of the US government’s activities, the earliest among them being Aldous Huxley, the famed author of the chillingly prescient 1932 novel Brave New World (which described a totalitarian society whose population was completely controlled by forcible administration of a government-mandated "happiness drug" called "soma.") While taking mescaline supplied by famed English surgeon Dr. Humphrey Osmond (who discovered the close similarities between the molecular structures of adrenaline and mescaline), Huxley completed another novel entitled The Doors of Perception in 1954. In that book, the novelist described his intensely personal vision of the world around him:
"I continued to look at the flowers, and in their living light I seemed to detect the qualitative equivalent of breathing – but of a breathing without returns to a starting point, with no recurrent ebbs but only a repeated flow from beauty to heightened beauty, from deeper to ever deeper meaning. Words like ‘grace’ and ‘transfiguration’ came to my mind&Those idiots (MK-ULTRAns) want to be Pavlovians; Pavlov never saw an animal in its natural state, only under duress. The ‘scientific’ LSD boys do the same with their subjects. No wonder they report psychotics."
Obviously, this isn’t a typical CIA spook writing, and, given Huxley’s incredible mind, creative vision and compassion, we’re not talking about a moron or a mental case either. Which means that giving someone mescaline while they’re being tortured or lobotomized or electrocuted at Dachau will only tell you a lot about torture, lobotomies and electrocution, not about mescaline.
As author Marks noted:
It would become supreme irony that the CIA’s enormous search for weapons among drugs – fueled by the hope that spies could control life with genius and machines – would wind up helping to create the wandering, uncontrollable minds of the counterculture."
Admiral’s son and musician Jim Morrison led The Doors, [of Perception] a quartet of Liverpudlians sang of "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," while the Rolling Stones dropped transparent hints about "Mother’s Little Helper." To take a lesson from Orwell, what is more important about the 1960s, indeed, about any period in history, is not so much what really happened as how that period is remembered publicly decades later.
The public memories of that particular era were carefully manipulated in great part by the deliberate creation and promotion (via television and the recording industry) of the phony and in reality quite small "drug/rock/hippie subculture." The first underground LSD labs were actually set up by the FBI in 1963 in both New York City and San Francisco. Many began to incorrectly confuse the ancient medical art of herbalism with the shenanigans of amateur basement "flower-power" and "biker" chemists. Overenthusiastic pitchmen like social psychologist Dr. Timothy Leary and Beat poet Allen Ginsberg sadly failed to sufficiently stress that key difference, although the technically competent Leary clearly understood the artificially high potency of LSD.
Leary (and his longtime associate, psychologist Richard Alpert) matured professionally in a CIA-funded research world. In 1948, Leary, then a UC Berkeley graduate student, attended the yearly convention of the left-wing American Veterans’ Council in Milwaukee. There he met CIA officer Cord Meyer. Meyer’s professional specialty was infiltrating and discrediting various organizations deemed "un-American" or "disloyal." Meyer persuaded Leary to help him. Leary acknowledged Meyer’s influence, crediting him with "helping me understand my political-cultural role more clearly."
During 1954-59 Leary was the director of clinical research and psychology at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Oakland, Calif. The personality test that made him famous, "The Leary," was actually used by the CIA to test prospective employees. A grad school classmate of Leary’s, CIA contractor Frank Barron, worked with the Berkeley Institute for Personality Assessment and Research, which was funded and staffed by CIA psychologists. In 1960 Barron, with government funding, founded the Harvard Psychedelic Drug Research Center. Leary followed Barron to Harvard, becoming a lecturer in psychology where he remained for three years. Leary’s Harvard associates included former chief OSS psychologist Harry Murray, who had monitored the early OSS "truth serum" experiments, and numerous other knowing CIA contractors. One of Dr. Murray’s many test subjects was a Harvard undergraduate math major named Theodore Kaczynski.
In the spring of 1963, Leary and Alpert left Harvard and founded the International Foundation for Internal Freedom (IFIF) – later renamed the Castalia Foundation – on a 2,500-acre estate in the small upstate New York community of Millbrook. There, the pair of psychologists continued their hallucinogenic drug research and soon became the chief investigative target of an ambitious Dutchess County district attorney named G. Gordon Liddy. Multimillionaire William Mellon Hitchcock generously bankrolled the founding and operation of IFIF/Castalia and later financed a huge black-market LSD manufacturing operation.
Even so, Leary carefully stressed proper mindset, setting and dosages in a book he coauthored with Alpert and Ralph Metzner, The Psychedelic Experience. It was based on an ancient Tibetan shamanic manual, The Book of the Dead. The latter work referred to an herbal tea similar in content to but far less powerful than LSD, and insisted on mental discipline as an inherent part of the process. The Incans of Andean South America, for instance, were an invaluable source of medical knowledge, and used whole herbs like ayahuasca and the coca leaf, not their artificially refined alkaloids, and spiritual technique was also taught as an key part of the process.
However, much like the crusading "drys" before and during Prohibition, the MK-ULTRA inquisitors with their police state mentality in concert with misinformed and emotionally distressed LSD users, had found their "devil drug," (the term used by the Harrison Tax Act advocates in the 1910s and Marijuana Tax Act backers in the 1930s) replete with tragic tales of already emotionally distressed and lonely young people quite unprepared for such an artificially powerful entheogen. It was also well within CIA policy to randomly distribute LSD laced with the lethal poison strychnine so as to create "horror stories" useful as propaganda. Dr. Hofmann himself chemically confirmed the presence of pure strychnine in several random street samples of LSD.
Consistent with its policy of deliberately confusing the beneficial ancient herbs with extremely dangerous synthetic alkaloid derivatives, the CIA surreptitiously distributed of these synthetic compounds, termed "psychedelics," to the public. One of them was STP, originally developed as an incapacitating agent for the Army in 1964 at Dow Chemical. Dow even made the STP formula public information three years later. This potent synthetic put many unsuspecting people on a three-day trip, and sent many, hysterical with anxiety, to the emergency room. That, of course, was the purpose of its distribution.
During 1955-75, the Army tested LSD (termed EA-1729) and PCP on several of its enlisted men at what was then the headquarters of its Chemical Corps, Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, something described in detail by Bill Kurtis in a televised 1995 A&E Investigative Reports segment titled "Bad Trip to Edgewood." The CIA also tested PCP (in conjunction with electroshock "therapy" and sleep deprivation) at Allain Memorial Institute in Montreal under the direction of the notorious Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Ewen Cameron. The Chemical Corps (whose commander in the 1950s, Lt. General William Creasy, advocated a new military strategy of LSD-based "nonkill warfare") then stockpiled PCP for use as a "nonlethal incapacitant." Excess doses of PCP, reported the CIA, could "lead to convulsions and death." Soon, PCP was flooding the streets.
Edgewood also received an average of 400 product "rejects" a month from major US pharmaceutical firms. These "rejects" were actually drugs found to be commercially useless because of their demonstrated hazards and numerous undesirable side effects. In 1958, Edgewood obtained its first sample of a "reject" called phenylbenzeneacetic acid (BZ) developed by pharmaceutical giant Hoffmann-LaRoche, later known by its street nickname as "brown acid."
BZ (some 10,000 times as powerful as LSD) inhibits the production of hormones which aid the brain’s transfer of messages and instructions across nerve endings (synapses), thereby severely disrupting normal human perceptual, behavioral and sensory patterns. Its effects generally last about three days, although symptoms-migraine headaches, giddiness, disorientation, auditory and visual hallucinations, and erratic if not maniacal behavior – could persist for as long as six weeks. "During the period of acute effects," noted an Army physician, "the person is completely out of touch with his environment." The Army also developed artillery shells and rockets with warheads able to deliver large dosages of BZ to selected targets.
In the summer of 1964, Beat novelist Ken Kesey (the author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and who had been an MK-ULTRA test subject at Stanford along with Allen Ginsberg and Grateful Dead musician Bob Hunter) launched a yearlong cross-country trip in a Day-Glo painted school bus filled with friends called "Merry Pranksters." The Merry Pranksters distributed thousands of doses of LSD along the way (a phenomenon colorfully described in author Tom Wolfe’s 1969 novel, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test) supplied by one Ronald Hadley Stark. Stark (who died in 1984) was a CIA operative fluent in five languages with access to unlimited public funds and numerous high-level contacts in business and government throughout the world.
For instance, when the underground manufacture and distribution of LSD was suddenly derailed in 1969 due to the scarcity of its key ingredient, ergotamine tartrate, and increasing federal law enforcement pressure, Stark, via the Laguna Beach, Calif.-based Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a small group of local surfers led by chemist Nicholas Sand, got it quickly back on track. For five years, Stark, aided by the Castle Bank of the Bahamas (which pioneered the art of money laundering for the Mob) and his contacts in a French pharmaceutical firm, facilitated the mass production and distribution (via the Brotherhood and other groups) an even more powerful strain of LSD nicknamed "orange sunshine." This firm also manufactured BZ. Stark (who operated LSD labs in Brussels and Paris as well) claimed he was going to supply orange sunshine as an offensive weapon to CIA-backed Tibetan rebels fighting the Chinese occupation.
Stark also was a close friend of the Los Angeles founders of a small breakaway Scientology sect called "The Process Church of the Final Judgement," English expatriates Robert DeGrimston Moore and Mary Ann McClean.
Regular attendees of the Process Church included members of the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and other prominent pop performers as well as an ex-convict and wannabe rock musician named Charles Manson. Manson and his followers became heavy users of orange sunshine – the trademark "bad acid" of the day – which they were all on when, on Manson’s orders, they carried out the brutal August 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders. When Stark (who is believed to have distributed an estimated 50 million doses of LSD during his Agency career) was arrested for drug trafficking in Bologna in 1975, Italian magistrate Giorgio Floridia ordered his release on the grounds that he had been a CIA agent since 1960. Judge Floridia documented and justified this using a list of Stark’s numerous intelligence contacts.
These were and are all classic government COINTELPRO-style tricks – this is how natural herbs and their mild, pharmaceutical-grade derivatives were quickly and easily made lethal and consequently demonized. How was this done? First, foolish claims were made that there was no difference between safe whole herbs and their potentially deadly ultra-refined alkaloids, next, the best of the traditional herbs and the milder of the pharmaceutical-grade alkaloid derivatives were made unavailable, and finally, the streets were flooded with potentially deadly synthetics. Deliberate perversions of science like angel dust continue to be a great propaganda tool for our diehard drug warriors, and the worn catchall excuse of "the interest of national security" is used to justify appalling covert drug capers ranging from CIA-sponsored heroin production and trafficking in Southeast Asia in the 1960s to the Bush/Clinton/Mena/Nicaragua cocaine-for-arms smuggling schemes in the 1980s.
These Constitution-shredding police state methods were adapted from the Nazis and the Soviets by and large and were applied by the CIA, NSA, DEA, BATF, IRS and FBI against us. Scores of groups, ranging from the American Indian Movement and Black Panthers to militias and religious organizations like the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas (in which the government first falsely charged as illegal methamphetamine dealers in order to get a Posse Comitatus Act waiver to use military force against them) were either disrupted by agents provocateur-style riots, bombings and armed standoffs, smeared in the mainstream news media through the "Reichstag Fire" approach, or, in the case of the Davidians, physically exterminated. The War on Some Drugs is merely a horrible extension and intensification of these tried-and-true Hegelian methods, a "war" in which we all lose.
Bowart, Walter; Operation Mind Control, Dell Publishing, 1978.
Delgado, Jose, Physical Control of the Mind, Harper, NYC, 1969.
Huxley, Aldous, The Doors of Perception, Harper, NYC, 1954.
Lee, Martin; Shalin, Bruce, Acid Dreams, 1986.
Marchetti, Victor, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, New York, 1974.
Marks, John, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, New York, 1975.
Masters, Robert & Houston, Jean, The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience: The Classic Guide to the Effects of LSD on the Human Psyche, 2000.
McCoy, Alfred, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, Lawrence Hill, 1972, rev. 1991.
Meerloo, Joost, The Rape of the Mind, Crowell, NYC, 1956.
Skinner, B.F., Beyond Freedom and Dignity," Knopf, NYC, 1971
Smith, Harris R. OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency, Berkeley, 1972.
Stevens, Jay, Storming Heaven – LSD and the American Dream, 1998.
April 19, 2001
Michael E. Kreca lives in San Diego and has been a financial reporter for Knight-Ridder,Business Week and the Financial Times of London.
Copyright © 2001 LewRockwell.com