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Offlineelcharrosays
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Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers
    #11616423 - 12/09/09 01:48 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

http://hightimes.com/news/ht_admin/6053

By Nick Schou



The strange case of the so-called “Hippie Mafia,” the longest, most surreal saga in the annals of American counterculture, is finally over.


On November 20, Brenice Lee Smith, the last remaining fugitive from the legendary band of outlaws known as the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, pleaded guilty to a single charge of smuggling hashish from Afghanistan to Orange County. In return, the Orange County District Attorney's office, which had originally charged Smith with smuggling hash in 1972, dropped all other charges against him. After having spent the previous two months behind bars, Smith left jail a free man early the next morning. He has now returned to his wife and daughter in Nepal, where he has spent the past 30 years.


In an interview shortly after being released, Smith said he returned to California after four decades on the run to be interviewed by a documentary crew making a film about Buddhism. He claimed he spent six years in isolation during his time at a monastery in Darjeeling, India, alongside his guru, the Lama Kalu Rinpoche. Smith's tenure at the monastery ended in the mid-1980s thanks to civil strife at the hands of ethnic Nepalese who were demanding an independent “Gurkaland” state.


Denying that he's had anything to do with drugs since the early 1970s, Smith says that he instead has dedicated his life to constant prayer. “I practice my religion day and night, all the time,” he said. “I sleep very little, maybe three or four hours a day and other than that I sit and pray for the benefit of the world and the people who live in it and my own karma that follows me like a shadow in everything I do. What goes around comes around.”


For his part, Deputy District Attorney Jim Hicks, whose father Cecil Hicks presided over the original Brotherhood conspiracy case, confirmed in an interview outside the courtroom that the Hippie Mafia case is now closed. “That's it,” he said. “We've concluded it.” Hicks added that he had been prepared to go to trial with testimony by former Brotherhood member Travis Ashbrook, who was recently released from prison for growing marijuana, that Smith was "one of the original 13 members of the Brotherhood." According to Hicks, Ashbrook had spoken voluntarily about Smith's involvement with hash smuggling, but had stated that this involvement was minimal.


Reached by telephone at his house near San Diego, however, Ashbrook expressed amazement that Hicks had claimed he'd agreed to testify. "Absolutely not," he said. "I can't believe they said that. There is no way I would have taken the stand. They asked me about Brennie and all I said was that Brennie didn't do anything in the Brotherhood, he wasn't any kind of kingpin and how come you haven't let him out of jail yet?"


"It's clear he wasn't the biggest player," Hicks said of Smith. "If anyone was, it was probably Ashbrook. What he said helped us determine a plea that would adequately describe his conduct and that's what we have."


The Brotherhood was formed in Modjeska Canyon, California in 1966 by a group of mostly high school friends from Anaheim, including Ashbrook and Smith. Many of them were street thugs or heroin addicts but who after dropping acid, found a new sense of spiritual purpose, adopted Eastern religious teachings, became vegetarians, and swore themselves off violence. At the behest of the group's leader, John Griggs, they befriended Timothy Leary with the aim of transforming the world into a peaceful utopia by promoting consciousness-expanding drug experimentation through LSD, including their famous homemade acid, Orange Sunshine.


To finance that goal – becoming America's biggest acid distribution network in the late 1960s and early 1970s – the Brotherhood also became the nation's largest hashish smuggling ring, with a direct pipeline between Kandahar, Afghanistan and Laguna Beach. By the time police finally cracked down on the Brotherhood in 1972, the group was in disarray, a downward spiral that began when Griggs perished of an overdose of synthetic psilocybin in August 1969, an event that Smith witnessed. He says that Griggs immediately realized he'd taken too much and retreated to his teepee with instructions that he not be taken to the hospital, no matter what happened. “He knew he was going to leave his body that night,” Smith says. “He went into convulsions and we put him in the car and by the time he got to the hospital they pronounced him dead.”


Although law enforcement declared victory over the Brotherhood in August 1972 when the largest drug raid in California's history at the time took place, new evidence reveals the group continued to smuggle hashish from Afghanistan for several more years. One of the arrest warrants used to jail Smith when he was arrested at the airport in San Francisco pertained to a smuggling case from 1979, just weeks before the Soviet invasion. Grand jury transcripts from that case show that several Brotherhood members, including Smith, were charged with shipping hashish from the Kandahar-based Tokhi brothers – who had been supplying the Brotherhood since 1967 – after a load was captured by police in the Bay Area. The government's main witness in the case, however, testified that Smith had played virtually no role in that operation, however, other than flying to Kabul, Afghanistan to “build a tennis court” and “visit his goofy guru,” an apparent reference to Rinpoche.


Smith refused to answer any questions about that case or the charges against him, or to talk in detail about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. “It's all in the past,” he said. “It was not about drugs or LSD or anything like that. We wanted people to be happy and free and not like what society conditioned you to want to be. Basically we loved everyone and wanted everyone to find love and happiness. We wanted to change the world in five years but in five years it changed us. It was an illusion.


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Offlinebriant230
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: elcharrosays]
    #11616681 - 12/09/09 02:28 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Overdose on synthetic psilocybin????? How much did this dude ingest, I never heard any deaths related to psilocybin...


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Offlinetrue
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: elcharrosays]
    #11616698 - 12/09/09 02:31 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

crazy shit man

we need more people like this


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Offlinelearningtofly
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: true]
    #11616787 - 12/09/09 02:45 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

why are they calling them a mafia? that implies violence. These are just a bunch of people who wanted others to be happy.

Isn't it funny that wanting peace and happiness is criminal?


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Offlineoxalic32
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. [Re: briant230]
    #11616875 - 12/09/09 03:02 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

.


Edited by oxalic32 (12/19/10 05:52 PM)


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OfflineDragonChaser
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: learningtofly]
    #11617002 - 12/09/09 03:19 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

learningtofly said:
why are they calling them a mafia? that implies violence. These are just a bunch of people who wanted others to be happy.

Isn't it funny that wanting peace and happiness is criminal?




Typical media tactics.

By calling them a mafia, they sensationalize it.  Even though its clear these guys wanted to spread enlightenment, peace, and love, they were doing it by distributing evil drugs.  'Drugs are bad, therefore these guys are bad'.  It was an organized group of guys committing illegal acts, so they want to call it a "mafia".


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My name is Mud


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InvisibleJohn Nada
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: elcharrosays]
    #11617668 - 12/09/09 04:48 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

GDF is a gang.


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Offlinesmokescreen
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: John Nada]
    #11617970 - 12/09/09 05:36 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

damn I would hate to od on psilocybin.  what a brain squashing experience that must be.


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:ganja: "Let's get together and feel alright" :ganja:                  :cubie: :mushroom2::tripping:


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OfflineFungus Amungus
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: smokescreen]
    #11618171 - 12/09/09 06:12 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

It's probably the only way to actually see "God" when you die. I am sure after ingesting that much psilocybin he saw some type of higher powder before he passed.


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OfflineFortius_Penguin
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: smokescreen]
    #11618229 - 12/09/09 06:23 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

We DEFINITELY need more people like this.

Media portrays it as a victory over evil....


so sad....


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Offlineewikk055
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: Fortius_Penguin]
    #11618827 - 12/09/09 07:42 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

RIP brother.


--------------------
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Offlinebriant230
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: ewikk055]
    #11619156 - 12/09/09 08:24 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

"
Quote:

Most people eat mushrooms. I'm sure you could eat a shit load of powder and die."




I understand this, I still have never heard of it ever happening however and am still even more curious how much he took..either way holy shit, I would not wanna go out that way, what an intense experience that must have been.


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OfflineNature Boy
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: elcharrosays]
    #11619232 - 12/09/09 08:34 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Wow...how interesting to learn (39 years after the fact) where the "four ply" Orange Sunshine originated that blew my mind in 1970.

Swallowed the pellet (only way I can describe it) with no water while driving to a park.  It stuck in my throat.  Just under 20 minutes later I could feel it coming on, and 45 minutes later the grass in the park was singing to me, and the last thing I remember was that the boughs of the trees were bending down towards my face...

Suffice it to say the police were involved, and I was "mercifully" handed over to a VERY angry man whom I did not recognize (my father!) who then took me to the hospital, since I did not know who I was.

He thought I was "kidding."

Quite a night.

N.B.


--------------------
All submitted posts under this user name are works of pure fiction or outright lies.  Any information, statement, or assertion contained therein should be considered pure unadulterated bullshit.  Note well:  Sorry, but I do not answer PM's unless you are a long-time trusted friend.  If you have a question, ask it in the appropriate thread.

                                                                               


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InvisibleI_was_the_walrus
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: Nature Boy]
    #11619500 - 12/09/09 09:08 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Its been known for years nick sand and tim scully were the chemists behind the orange sunshine. Funny thing is sand was arrested in '76 and given 15 years. He went on the run for 20 years making dmt, lsd, mdma and other things in canada, was arrested in 1996, and only served 5 years...


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Offlinemelfdis
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: John Nada]
    #11619736 - 12/09/09 09:54 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

StevenMichael said:
GDF is a gang.




lol


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OfflineSalCato
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: melfdis]
    #11620515 - 12/10/09 12:04 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Nick Sand, while on the run in Canada, also made Synthetic Mescaline and Lysergic Acid Sec-Butylamide, quite an accomplishment. Awesome guy, i wish i was half as knowledgeable.


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OfflinePDU
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: SalCato]
    #11620979 - 12/10/09 01:47 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I am not sure precisely how much synthetic psilocybin the fellow ate, but he mistook it as mescaline and took several grams (i believe.)

It is discussed in Chinacat72's thread "the thumbprint."

However, if you read this: http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/showthread.php?s=8013af18fae75acae6b62e1b23319be1&t=283944 it contests the validity of the details of the OD.


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OfflineNature Boy
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: I_was_the_walrus]
    #11621615 - 12/10/09 06:41 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I'll have to google him.  I always thought it was Owsley acid.  I'd also heard (on this forum, I think) that Orange Sunshine was actually ALD-52, some kind of LSD analog.

N.B.


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All submitted posts under this user name are works of pure fiction or outright lies.  Any information, statement, or assertion contained therein should be considered pure unadulterated bullshit.  Note well:  Sorry, but I do not answer PM's unless you are a long-time trusted friend.  If you have a question, ask it in the appropriate thread.

                                                                               


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Invisibleroquet
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: PDU]
    #11621818 - 12/10/09 09:10 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

PDU said:
I am not sure precisely how much synthetic psilocybin the fellow ate, but he mistook it as mescaline and took several grams (i believe.)

It is discussed in Chinacat72's thread "the thumbprint."




It's mentioned in the LSD history, "Storming Heaven", where it describes the death as a poisoning from tainted synthetic psilocybin.


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Offlinedwtk
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Re: Case Closed on “Hippie Mafia” Smugglers [Re: roquet]
    #11622004 - 12/10/09 10:22 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

interesting read about the overdose:

Quote:

There were few people on the ranch at the time: Griggs, his wife, another of the original Brothers and his girlfriend. The couples were living in two tepees on either side of the ridge above the ranch. The two men decided to test the psilocybin which Sand had brought from Switzerland. After swallowing some crystals, Griggs went to his own tepee. Twenty minutes later, he yelled from the door: 'Don't take the stuff. Don't take this psilocybin. It's a complete overdose.'

    It was dark now and the other man called back something.
    'If you want to get high, take acid, throw the psilocybin away. Don't take it,' Griggs shouted again.

    About half an hour later, the other man, who had turned to LSD instead, walked over to Griggs' tepee. The Brotherhood founder was seriously ill, but he refused any suggestion of going to hospital. 'I don't want to go and be busted for being loaded,' he said. 'It's just between me and God, and that's the way it's going to be.' The Brother went back to his own tepee.

    But as the night wore on, Griggs became progressively worse. His wife could not bear it any longer. It was agreed he would have to go to hospital now. He was carried into the emergency room in the arms of the Brother who had been with him on the ridge. As the door closed behind them, Griggs shivered and died on the morning of 4 August. The psilocybin must have been pure and Griggs had widely miscalculated the dose, victim of the firm Brotherhood principle of taking as much as possible of any psychedelic.

    Lynd, hundreds of miles away at his Oregon home, was under the influence of 1,000 micrograms of Orange Sunshine at the time of Griggs' death. He had a sudden vision of his friend lying on the ground; he sensed a searing pain, followed by an equally terrifying stillness. It took him twenty-four hours to get back to Southern California, where a distraught Randall told him that Griggs had died.




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