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Haight Ashbury II?: Burning Man Arts Festival and the GOP (“Turn on, Tune in, Burn up!”)

COMMENT: Liv­ing in the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area, one becomes famil­iar with the back wash of the so-called “counter cul­ture” of the 1960’s. The resid­ua are every­where, includ­ing more than a few peo­ple who have gone absolute­ly off the deep end, either from drugs or too much intel­lec­tu­al and cul­tur­al rel­a­tivism.

It is also impos­si­ble to live in the Bay Area  and not be aware of the Burn­ing Man Arts Fes­ti­val. When it first took off, we thought it was some sort of weird-ass Nazi/Occultist rite, with peo­ple camp­ing out in the desert, tak­ing lots of drugs and observ­ing a giant form of a man being burned in effi­gy.

One could not exag­ger­ate the amount of heavy-duty drug tak­ing that takes place there. It is drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs–LSD, Ecsta­sy and God knows what else.

After it became the phe­nom­e­non that it has become, we con­clud­ed that it was an intel­li­gence oper­a­tion of some kind, prob­a­bly like the LSD/drug cul­ture of 1960’s. (For more on this sub­ject, check out AFA #28, the descrip­tion for which fol­lows the arti­cle excerpt.)

Tak­ing place on gov­ern­ment land, way out in the desert, it struck us as an ide­al place to exper­i­ment on peo­ple. 

Now comes a sto­ry from The Wash­ing­ton Post inform­ing us that the event epit­o­mizes “main­stream” GOP val­ues and that peo­ple asso­ci­at­ed with the event are lob­by­ing Con­gress.

In this con­text, we also note that part of the back wash from the ’60’s mess is a very real form of counter-cul­ture fas­cism, described at length in FTR #437.

This does indeed sound like “Haight Ash­bury II.”

God help us for say­ing this, but at this dis­tance in time, we’ve come to believe that any­body dumb enough to pay $300.00 to go hang out in a salt desert and take lots of drugs with a bunch of hip­pies deserves to be used as a human guinea pig.

Far out.

The main-street Repub­li­can val­ues of ... Burn­ing Man?” by Suzy Khimm; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 05/03/2012.

EXCERPT: There’s not a cor­po­rate logo in sight at the coun­ter­cul­tur­al arts fes­ti­val, and noth­ing is for sale but ice and cof­fee. But at its core, Har­vey believes that Burn­ing Man hews close­ly to the true spir­it of a free-enter­prise democ­ra­cy: Inge­nu­ity is cel­e­brat­ed, auton­o­my is affirmed, and self-reliance is expect­ed. “If you’re talk­ing about old-fash­ioned, Main Street Repub­li­can­ism, we could be the poster child,” says Har­vey, who has­tens to add that the fes­ti­val is non-ide­o­log­i­cal — and doesn’t antic­i­pate being in GOP cam­paign ads any­time soon.

For more than two decades, the fes­ti­val has fund­ed itself entire­ly through dona­tions and tick­et sales — which now go up to $300 a pop — and it’s almost nev­er gone in the red. And on the dry, bar­ren plains of the Neva­da desert where Burn­ing Man mate­ri­al­izes for a week each sum­mer, you’re judged by what you do — your art, cos­tumes and par­tic­i­pa­tion in a com­mu­ni­ty that expects every­one to con­tribute in some form and frowns upon those who’ve come sim­ply to gawk or mooch off oth­ers.

That’s part of the mes­sage that Har­vey and his col­leagues have brought to Wash­ing­ton this week, in his meet­ings with con­gres­sion­al staffers and the Inte­ri­or Depart­ment to dis­cuss the future of Burn­ing Man. In fact, the fes­ti­val is already a known quan­ti­ty on the Hill: Har­vey and his col­leagues have been com­ing to Wash­ing­ton for years to explain the fes­ti­val to pol­i­cy­mak­ers, in least part because Burn­ing Man takes place on pub­lic land that’s man­aged by the Inte­ri­or Depart­ment. . . .

AFA #28: The CIA and LSD

Begin­ning with the CIA’s research into LSD as part of its inves­ti­ga­tion of mind con­trol tech­niques, this broad­cast high­lights the pro­found role of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty in the dis­sem­i­na­tion of hal­lu­cino­gens and the devel­op­ment of the recre­ation­al cul­ture attached to their use.

The CIA and mil­i­tary exper­i­ment­ed with the drug (LSD) in a vari­ety of clin­i­cal and social envi­ron­ments. In addi­tion to pro­duc­ing psy­chot­ic and (in some cas­es) lethal results, this exper­i­men­ta­tion also served to infil­trate the drug into intel­lec­tu­al and pop­u­lar cul­ture. Writ­ers Aldous Hux­ley, Ken Kesey and Allen Gins­berg were intro­duced to the drug (direct­ly or indi­rect­ly) through the nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­men­t’s LSD exper­i­men­ta­tion pro­grams.

Tim­o­thy Leary’s ear­ly research into LSD was sub­si­dized, to some extent, by the CIA. Lat­er, Leary’s LSD pros­e­ly­ti­za­tion was great­ly aid­ed by William Mel­lon Hitch­cock, a mem­ber of the pow­er­ful Mel­lon fam­i­ly. The financ­ing of the Mel­lon-Leary col­lab­o­ra­tion was effect­ed through the Cas­tle Bank, a Caribbean oper­a­tion that was deeply involved in the laun­der­ing of CIA drug mon­ey.

After mov­ing to the West Coast, Leary hooked up with a group of ex-surfers, the Broth­er­hood of Eter­nal Love. This group became the largest LSD syn­the­siz­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing orga­ni­za­tion in the world. Their “chief chemist” was a curi­ous indi­vid­ual named Ronald Hadley Stark. An enig­mat­ic, mul­ti-lin­gual and well-trav­eled indi­vid­ual, Stark worked for the CIA, and appears to have been with the agency when he was mak­ing the Broth­er­hood’s acid. The qual­i­ty of his prod­uct pro­ject­ed the Broth­er­hood of Eter­nal Love into its lead­er­ship role in the LSD trade. Stark also oper­at­ed in con­junc­tion with the Ital­ian intelligence/fascist milieu described in AFA #‘s 17–21.

The broad­cast under­scores the pos­si­bil­i­ty that LSD and oth­er hal­lu­cino­gens may have been dis­sem­i­nat­ed, in part, in order to dif­fuse the pro­gres­sive polit­i­cal activism of the 1960’s.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: CIA direc­tor Allen Dulles’ pro­mo­tion of psy­cho­log­i­cal research by the Agency; the work of CIA physi­cian Dr. Sid­ney Got­tlieb for the Agen­cy’s Tech­ni­cal Ser­vices Divi­sion; con­nec­tions between Stark and the kid­nap­ping and assas­si­na­tion of Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Aldo Moro; Stark’s mys­te­ri­ous death in prison while await­ing tri­al; Leary’s con­nec­tions to the milieu of the “left” CIA and the role those con­nec­tions appear to have played in Leary’s flight from incar­cer­a­tion; the CIA’s intense inter­est in (and involve­ment with) the Haight-Ash­bury scene of the 1960s. (Record­ed on 4/26/87.)


8 comments for “Haight Ashbury II?: Burning Man Arts Festival and the GOP (“Turn on, Tune in, Burn up!”)”

  1. John Per­ry Bar­low, Dick Cheney’s cam­paign man­ag­er and Grate­ful Dead asso­ciate, is active in BM.

    Posted by David | May 17, 2012, 7:02 am
  2. Two quick things:

    1‑LSD has been a cre­ation of Albert Hoff­mann work­ing at San­doz, a sub­sidi­airy of the I.G. Far­ben car­tel, accord­ing to your own research.

    2- Leary’s escape was han­dled by the Weath­er­men, who became lat­er the Weath­er Under­ground, fea­tur­ing Berna­dine Dohrn and William Ayers. These two have been close to Barack Oba­ma for years. We have come full cir­cle. For those of you who would like to check my arti­cle about the links between Oba­ma and this kind of “Left” con­nect­ed to the intel­li­gence comm­nuni­ty, here it is:


    Posted by Claude | May 17, 2012, 10:38 am
  3. @Claude: Admit­ted­ly an inter­est­ing arti­cle but I do find cer­tain things hard to believe. And I don’t see any legit­i­mate evi­dence col­lab­o­rat­ing your claim that the move­ment around Barack Oba­ma is a form of 3rd Posi­tion fas­cism.

    Hon­est­ly, I hate to sound con­fronta­tion­al, Claude, but you do seri­ous­ly need to re-research and look over some things, it seems(but try not to assume I’m attack­ing you here because I’ve made the same mis­take on a few occa­sions).

    Posted by Steve L. | May 18, 2012, 5:51 pm
  4. @Steven:

    The idea of this arti­cle was to regroup all con­nec­tions sur­round­ing Barack Oba­ma and expose the net­work it con­sti­tutes. If your think again about it, you will see that around Barack Oba­ma you find Islamists, Pales­tini­ans, Extreme-Left­ists, Black activists, and oth­ers who showed some­times racism toward whites or Jews, anti-Israelis, ex-Weath­er­men, etc. It does­n’t mean that every­body is con­nect­ed with every­body else nor that it means that there is a delib­er­ate attempt to have every­body work on the same plan.

    The best way to describe it: The Chica­go School. The term “Chica­go School” was used to describe a cer­tain uni­ver­si­ty trend in Human­i­ties and Social Sci­ences. Quite frankly, it is not a coin­ci­dence if the city of Chica­go breeds that kind of activists after all. Up to now, it has pro­duced all the nice indi­vid­u­als that are pre­sent­ed in the arti­cle. It is a “soup”, the same way Wik­ileaks is a soup, like Dave described it to us in a few of his last year shows.

    To make a long sto­ry short, because Islam, the so-called “Left” and ele­ments inim­i­cal to Jews or Israel meet around Barack Oba­ma, I think I am enti­tled to call it an exem­ple of a milieu where we can see the rise of third posi­tion fas­cism.

    Dave did a sim­i­lar work expos­ing the con­nec­tions between the far-right and Islamists in the GOP. The Rove/Norquist/Talat Oth­man con­nec­tion with­in the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion is anoth­er type of the same third posi­tion fas­cism but from the oth­er side of the coin.

    Posted by Claude | May 18, 2012, 11:02 pm
  5. the trou­ble with these peo­ple at the burn­ing man is that they just don’t think. as mark twain once said, “they only think they think.”

    Posted by David | May 19, 2012, 5:52 pm
  6. @Claude–

    I very much appre­ci­ate your con­tri­bu­tions to this web­site, but in this case, I’m afraid Steven is right.

    Oba­ma is not Third Posi­tion. There are many aspects of con­tem­po­rary polit­i­cal cul­ture that I find repug­nant and Oba­ma has been tan­gen­tial to more than a few.

    There is a lec­ture I did in the sum­mer of 2008, which is includ­ed on a flash dri­ve that will be avail­able soon, as a pre­mi­um avail­able to con­trib­u­tors to the sta­tions that car­ry this pro­gram.

    In that lec­ture, I high­light indi­ca­tions that Oba­ma is a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cer, per­haps some ele­ment of CIA, or State Depart­ment intel­li­gence.

    The Amer­i­can polit­i­cal land­scape is all pay for play. In 2000, no one had ever heard of Oba­ma, by 2004, he was the next big thing.

    Oba­ma’s asso­ci­a­tion with ex-Weath­er­men is prob­a­bly deriv­a­tive of his intel­li­gence con­nec­tions.

    The Weath­er­men gave every indi­ca­tion of being an agents-prova­ca­teurs oper­a­tion.

    I believe that he was maneu­vered into place. In the Third World, the U.S. hav­ing a black Pres­i­dent has giv­en this coun­try far more grav­i­tas than most Amer­i­cans will ever grasp.

    I have referred to him as “Lee Har­vey Oba­ma” because of my belief that the Karl Rove/Talat Othman/Operation Green Quest milieu is set­ting him up for a huge fall, prob­a­bly hav­ing known that he was a sure to be elect­ed, once the mar­ket col­lapsed.

    I have reit­er­at­ed this in my long series of pro­grams about the “Arab Spring.”

    Oba­ma has had a num­ber of seri­ous­ly threat­en­ing things direct­ed at him, from air­craft being allowed to pen­e­trate air space around Camp David, to “hos­tiles” being allowed to get far clos­er to the White House than one would believe pos­si­ble.

    This did not hap­pen to Dubya, it did hap­pen to Clin­ton.

    A clas­si­fied man­u­al for main­tain­ing Oba­ma’s secu­ri­ty was found lying in a gut­ter in Aus­tralia. That could only have been a warn­ing.

    You are a sup­port­er of Israel, as am I, although my sup­port is polit­i­cal in nature and deriv­a­tive of my life­long active oppo­si­tion to fas­cism.

    I con­sid­er “reli­gious Zion­ism”, to coin a term, to be a dan­ger­ous fan­ta­sy that may well lead to the anni­hi­la­tion of Israel, and a war that will do untold dam­age to the U.S. as well.

    I do not think that “God” gave any land to any­one. That is a notion of Supreme Being as real estate bro­ker.

    No sale.

    I men­tion this because I have found sup­port­ers of Israel to be, frankly, pho­bic of Oba­ma.

    For Jews or sup­port­ers of Israel to align with the far right is sui­ci­dal.

    Your belief that Andrew Bre­it­bart was mur­dered by Oba­ma is a dog that won’t hunt.

    Orson Bean, Bre­it­bart’s father-in-law, said that Bre­it­bart had a his­to­ry of heart trou­ble.

    I am twen­ty years old­er than Bre­it­bart and look years younger, in per­son. Bre­it­bart had a weight prob­lem, which may have led to his coro­nary prob­lems.

    Andrew Bre­it­bart was an hys­ter­i­cal, ultra-right wing pro­pa­gan­dist. When he died, it was the only good thing he ever did, and he was 43 years late on that.

    Good rid­dance to bad rub­bish.

    Blam­ing Bre­it­bart’s death on Oba­ma strikes me as being in the same vein as the “Bill/Hillary Clin­ton mur­dered Vince Fos­ter” b.s. that cir­cu­lat­ed dur­ing the 1990’s.

    As a sup­port­er of Israel, you should feel deep con­cern over Netanyahu’s alliance with the GOP right and Rom­ney.

    My own sup­port of Israel is all but erod­ed. Watch­ing Netanyahu active­ly court John Boehn­er and the GOP “Auster­re­ich” made me sick and furi­ous.

    The friend of my ene­my is my ene­my.

    Netanyahu is the heir to the fas­cist ele­ment in the Zion­ist mov­ment. As I have not­ed in a FTR pro­gram, the Likud sent a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the con­gress of the Allean­za Nationale, the Ital­ian Fas­cist par­ty.

    The Israeli right wing con­tin­ues to net­work with Euro­pean fas­cists, as I have not­ed in sev­er­al Food For Thought posts.

    That is mad­ness.

    I would also note that there is a qua­si-fas­cist over­tone to Netanyahu’s insis­tence that the Arabs/Palestinians must ver­bal­ly acknowl­edge Israel as a “Jew­ish state.”

    He explic­it­ly said as much. The fact of the mat­ter is that Israel is NOT a “Jew­ish state”–it is a pri­mar­i­ly Jew­ish state with sev­er­al mil­lion Mus­lim Arabs as minor­i­ty cit­i­zens.

    If I were one of those Israeli Arabs–who enjoy a bet­ter sit­u­a­tion than most in the Arab world–I would resent that.

    It strikes me as being in the same vein as the Born-Agains insist­ing that the U.S. is a Chris­t­ian nation.

    No Sale.

    I know this is a ram­bling com­ment, but I will close by not­ing that Oba­ma him­self said peo­ple seem to have pro­ject­ed their own hopes onto him. Cer­tain­ly, his cam­paign active­ly mined those pro­jec­tions, but, hey THAT IS ELECTORAL POLITICS!

    I would note that Robert Wil­son who, like your­self, has made many excel­lent and much-wel­comed con­tri­bu­tions to this site drew may wrath weeks ago for his con­tention that Oba­ma was sim­ply a con­tin­u­a­tion of Bush/Cheney.

    From the stim­u­lus (too small but effec­tive in halt­ing the melt­down) to his Supreme Court appoint­ments to his tepid health care reform (still a big improve­ment over what had exist­ed) to his envi­ron­men­tal pol­i­cy, Oba­ma is fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent, though not as dif­fer­ent as many hoped.

    Oba­ma’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy he has pur­sued main­tains a vig­or­ous counter-ter­ror pro­file.

    He would not have been able to do any­thing else.

    I will con­clude by not­ing that even his Jus­tice Depart­ment under the less-than-opti­mum Eric Hold­er under­took some­thing pro­found.

    In a Food For Thought post, I cov­ered the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion’s active inter­dic­tion of an inter­na­tion­al mon­ey laun­der­ing oper­a­tion DATING TO 1953!!

    Now, JUST WHAT do think that oper­a­tion might have been, hmm­m­mm? Again, dat­ing to 1953!!! That is ter­ri­bly, ter­ri­bly impor­tant and sig­nif­i­cant.

    You sure as Hell would not have got­ten that from Dubya, McCain or Rom­ney.

    Thanks ever so much for your par­tic­i­pa­tion on this web­site,

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 19, 2012, 9:43 pm
  7. @Dave:

    Thanks for these remarks. I will clar­i­fy a few points just to be sure we agree on my posi­tions con­cern­ing Oba­ma and the rest. Maybe the writ­ing of my arti­cle could be improved to reflect that.

    First, I have nev­er said that OBAMA killed Bre­it­bart or that he want­ed to kill him. He nev­er­the­less signed, if I am not mis­tak­en, an Exec­u­tive Order that legal­izes tar­get­ted assas­si­na­tions of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. Some­body else could have done it. Maybe.

    Sec­ond, I have nev­er said that Oba­ma was third posi­tion. It is rather the crowd sur­round­ing him and with whom he evolved that gives me that impres­sion. For me, the Chica­go milieu is bad and breeds rad­i­cals. But the right is not any bet­ter, of course.

    Third, I agree, the Weath­er­men were prob­a­bly agent provo­ca­teurs.

    Fourth, con­cern­ing Israel, reli­gious Zion­ism is prob­a­bly wrong as you say, but we must not for­get that Israelis face anni­hi­la­tion not only since 1922, year of the Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion, but since the begin­nings of Chris­tian­i­ty. John Lof­tus’s The Secret War Against the Jews remains, for me, the best tool to under­stand the sit­u­a­tion. When the fate of the Jews is secured, the state of Israel is secured, we will have plen­ty of time to crit­i­cize Zion­ism and Netanyahu or any oth­er politi­cian in place. I don’t like Netanyahu court­ing right-wingers, but there is not much of a choice. Oba­ma is not favor­able toward Israel and the U.S. has only two par­ties...

    Fifth, yes, Oba­ma is very dif­fer­ent from Bush. Ide­aly, if we could com­bine the best of the two in just one can­di­date, that would be great. But unfor­tu­nate­ly, it does­n’t work like that it seems.

    I kept it brief and I hope it clar­i­fies things.

    Posted by Claude | May 20, 2012, 7:09 pm
  8. [...] Before I let you read the arti­cle, here are a cou­ple of points that I post­ed on SpitfireList.com on May 20th 2012 as a response to some crit­i­cism about the arti­cle from the web­site host. These [...]

    Posted by Ayers and Dohrn, Barack Obama, the death of Andrew Breitbart and the rise of Third Position fascism | Lys-d'Or | June 8, 2012, 5:44 pm

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