The Roots of the Flower People

Back in California, Gregory Bateson had maintained the Huxley operation out of the Palo Alto VA hospital. Through "SD experimentation on patients already hospitalized for psychological problems, Bateson established a core of "initiates" into the "psychedelic" Isis Cult.

Foremost among his Palo Alto recruits was Ken Kesey. In 1959, Bateson administered the first dose of "SD to Kesey. By 1962, Kesey had completed a novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which popularized the notion that society is a prison and the only truly "free" people are the insane.15

Kesey subsequently organized a circle of "SD initiates called "The Merry Pranksters." They toured the country disseminating SD" (often without forewarning the receiving parties), building up local distribution connections, and establishing the pretext for a high volume of publicity on behalf of the still minuscule "counterculture."

By 1967, the Kesey cult had handed out such quantities of "SD that a sizable drug population had emerged, centered in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. Here Huxley collaborator Bateson set up a "free clinic," staffed by **Dr. David Smith -- later a "medical adviser" for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML); **Dr. Ernest Dernberg an active-duty military officer, probably on assignment through MK-UItra; **Roger Smith-a street gang organizer trained by Saul Alinsky. During the Free Clinic period, Roger Smith was the parole officer of the cultist mass murderer Charles Manson; **Dr. Peter Bourne -- formerly President Carter's special assistant on drug abuse. Bourne did his psychiatric residency at the Clinic. He had previously conducted a profiling study of GI heroin addicts in Vietnam.

The Free Clinic paralleled a project at the Tavistock Institute, the psychological warfare agency for the British Secret Intelligence Service. Tavistock, founded as a clinic in London in the 1920s, had become the Psychiatric Division of the British Army during World War II under its director, Dr. John Rawlings Rees.16

During the 1960s, the Tavistock Clinic fostered the notion that no criteria for sanity exist and that psychedelic "mind-expanding" drugs are valuable tools of psychoanalysis. In 1967, Tavistock sponsored a Conference on the "Dialectics of Liberation," chaired by Tavistock psychoanalyst Dr. R.D. Laing, himself a popularized author and advocate of drug use. That conference drew a number of people who would soon play a prominent role in fostering terrorism; Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael were two prominent American delegates.

Thus, by 1963, Huxley had recruited his core of "initiates." All of them -- Leary, Osmund, Watts, Kesey, Alpert -- became the highly publicized promoters of the early LSD counterculture. By 1967, with the cult of "Flower People" in Haight-Ashbury and the emergence of the antiwar movement, the United States was ready for the inundation of LSD, hashish and marijuana that hit American college campuses in the late 1960s.

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