Neo-American Church

Chapter 44


We were in a trap, you see—a trap of our own making.

I had further adventures at Millbrook, but that Millbrook never returned. It ended in 1968 as it had begun in 1963, in confusion and contradiction, a distillation of seemingly incompatible elements representing all the great motions of human nature from the top to about halfway down, from as many angles as one could tolerate.

As a place to live and learn, Millbrook was just fine. I enjoyed every minute of it, even when I was miserable. It was the only place where I’ve lived where I found it not only possible but easy to love my enemies. Hatred arose only when we were attacked from the outside by the Scum of the Earth. No matter how desperate things got internally, the place somehow almost never produced serious anxiety in anyone who didn’t have a bad case to begin with, perhaps because everything that happened was either obvious or incomprehensible or both at the same time, just like the people who lived there. The big problems almost never lasted long enough to permit anyone to work up a real case of nerves over them, and you could almost always find someone willing to join you on whatever kick you happened to be on.

It’s the only way to live.

In 1969, I distributed peyote to a band of the faithful on the Washington Mall, not far from the famous art collection of Billy’s famous ancestor (or of his famous ancestor’s brother, to be more precise). When the police I had forewarned refused to arrest me, I went to the Justice Department with Joe Gross (stout fellow!) as a witness and plunked a bagful of peyote down on the desk of the Chief Counsel of the Justice Department, secure in the knowledge that “Bungalow Bill” had promised to see the thing through by getting me the money necessary for the case through a most cooperative (10 percent off the top) National Students’ Association. With great reluctance, the Chief Counsel charged me with possession of peyote.

Tim, at that time engaged in an absurd attempt to become Governor of California, refused to help by word or deed. My effort, he said, was “premature.” Sure enough, Billy welshed again, taking a trip to Europe at the crucial moment.

My consolation prize: Catherine Gordon, a seventeen-year-old blonde and brilliant beauty from the National Cathedral School knocked on my door in Washington to do an interview for a term paper.

Since the relationship which followed overwhelmed everything else in sight, almost all of which, including my marriage to Wendy, was going to hell anyway, I went to live with Kate in a cute apartment in South Hadley, Massachusetts because she was enrolled in nearby Smith College for the fall term. I even managed, much to my surprise, to get a job as a clinical psychologist at the local funny farm, but it was not to be, once again.

Nixon’s mind police were out to get us all, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the “silent majority.” First, I was fired because I tried to fill prescriptions from Joe Gross for small amounts of a variety of psychoactive drugs at a pharmacy in Northampton. Then a little creep named Paul Kane, who had been part of the Kuch-Mead-Malone axis in D.C., showed up at my door, asked to flop on my couch overnight and set me up for a grass and acid possession bust. While I was out on bail from that one, and while Kate and I were having lunch, the local cops broke our door down and arrested us on a charge of Lewd and Lascivious Cohabitation, a monstrous crime for the love of which the people of Massachusetts are justly famous.

Things became not only Kafkaesque but pathetic. I was arrested in Massachusetts thirteen separate times on different varieties of these same two charges. Eventually, I did six months of actual servitude and then took refuge first at Millbrook with Billy, who had become a mere tenant himself, living in Clum’s old house, after selling out his half-interest to Tommy to cover the loss he suffered in the attempted takeover of Armour by General Host Corporation. Then, after Billy welshed on a couple more things, I went to live at the Ashram’s ranch at the termination of Mescal Road, just a few miles northwest of Benson, Arizona, where the scorpions and the tarantulas roam.

Everything went to hell in 1969. On the issues important to Psychedelians, the mass media could not be expected to do better than the supposed counter-culture media, which was securely in the hands of the infantile communists and egalitarian primitivists. These “Maoists,” as many called themselves, were willing to tolerate Tim’s pseudo-scientific maunderings about higher consciousness as the lifestyle or women’s-page side of what they firmly believed to be an old-fashioned political revolution of “the young” against “the old.”

The understandable opposition of potential military slaves and many others, myself included, who were horrified by it, to the American invasion of Vietnam was converted by the media into a supposed general struggle to wipe out social injustice through mob action. This was universally pictured in the press and on the tube as the ruling passion of legions of American kids, most of whom were only seriously pissed off about two things: Vietnam and the drug laws.

The above narrative of post-Millbrook events sounds like fiction because everything is so neat and right as things generally are only in stories and scripts. The facts are available to anyone who wants to look them up. I hereby grant blanket permission to anyone to obtain copies of any and all records of my criminal history, which I confess to contemplating with a kind of balmy, mindless pride, from anyone who holds them.

The Ashram did end up in the desert at the termination of Mescal Road, where I eventually joined them, after spending my last night on the estate in a tent in the woods with three girl scouts. (A quiet little “sleep-in,” believe it or not. Trixie Belden and friends were merely trying to cheer me up, bless their kind little hearts.) It was “General Host” against a slaughterhouse company. Billy did sell his interest in the estate to his twin brother and then moved into Clum’s house as a tenant. Peggy married Walter Bowart, who then deteriorated into a “CIA mind control”-style paranoia case. I was in and out of Northampton’s jail, which was built by Civil War prisoners, exactly thirteen times. I was declared innocent of lewd and lascivious cohabitation, of which I was guilty, but guilty of possession, of which I was innocent. And while all that was happening to me, Tim was being tried, convicted and imprisoned in California because Jackie left a joint in his father’s car’s ash tray. This happened right after Tim dumped on my peyote test case as an example of “bad timing” while I was bottoming out in D.C. because Billy welshed.

The fact was that the Supreme Court window was slightly open for a brief period at that time and has been firmly shut ever since.

When Tim escaped from prison, I escaped from Arizona, because Mike and Gai Duncan offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse which restored me and the Church to a functioning public life.

“Those who are rich and great seem to know everything and own everything,” Lao-tzu said to Confucius, “but they only serve to illustrate human folly.”

To the unenlightened, such talk sounds like sour grapes, and nothing more. When life is understood as a dream, however, there is no reason not to think that the “rich” and the “great” serve to illustrate human folly. Who else could do it so well?

As for the many failings of Millbrook, I Snazzmly take all the blame. I didn’t play my role well enough to justify the scenery. There’s an endless list of things I did that I should not have done, and things I didn’t do that I should have done.

But what the hell, I never claimed to be perfect. It was still a good show, an A- perhaps, and one can only resolve to do better next time.

When I look back on it I usually don’t see profound lessons inscribed on the landscape in letters of fire, or anything like that, but rather a host of unconnected interludes, vignettes, snapshots, heads poked out of windows to offer a cheery greeting. In a word, scenes. People and places and deeds from ’63 are mixed up with people and places and deeds from ’70.

We are well-advanced out of the ooze of the booze age and into the warmth and light of the hemp age. The camel’s nose is in the tent (1997) and the hump will follow. The acid age, in terms of tents and camels and humps and stuff like that, hasn’t even started yet.

When Christopher Columbus was sent back to Spain in chains it didn’t mean the exploration of the New World was over. When America was discovered, the imaginations of Europeans were liberated beyond any chance of cancellation. To merely believe in another world, as in the case of pie in the sky, is one thing. It is another thing entirely when you know you can get there by buying a ticket.

The extraordinary general harmlessness, as well as the enormity, of the revolution in consciousness which began on the day an obscure employee of Sandoz accidentally discovered LSD will someday be recognized by everyone. The bloodiest wars in history have not accomplished a thousandth as much genuine change in the general scheme of things as we have with our magic elixir.

Unlimited cheap power through cold fusion reactors and solar converters, super-conductivity, fully automated factories, houses grown from seeds, and chimp domestic servants who will love their work and behave like true Christians are all on the way.

A superior species is also on the way. The Goombahs are coming, right out of the test tube and into the White House in three generations. If the United States doesn’t do it, the Chinese will. Can we tolerate a Goombah gap? Nay, I say.

The means to eliminate almost all diseases through eugenics and genetic engineering already exist or soon will and are only being resisted by the most primitive manifestations of the repetition compulsion.

Once these trifling problems have been taken care of, the human race, as we have known it, will cease to exist. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Why anyone should love the human race, as distinguished from particular human beings, is as much a mystery to me as it was to Mark Twain.

The social orders which presently bar the gates of Mr. MacGregor’s garden to Peter Rabbit rest on the crumbling foundation of paranoiac systems of religious ideas which never had much joy to offer, and now have virtually nothing to offer except pie in the sky. They have only survived so long because those who profit from them have always and everywhere suppressed the facts about the psychedelic sacraments and savagely proscribed their use whenever the devices of censorship, slander and obfuscation failed.

These decrepit spook shows, and the megalomaniacal civil powers they support and which are supported by them, have become systems of institutionalized child abuse which must, to survive, systematically corrupt the education and sanity of children to create fresh hordes of crazed, bloody-minded slaves who will think only what they are told to think and do only what they are told to do, including bumping each other off when required.

Anyone who thinks America isn’t crazy should thumb through the latest TV Guide.

Societies composed of lunatic killer robots, no matter how large and well-situated in terms of natural resources, are becoming increasingly non-competitive. During the times of Ghengis Khan, there may have been some group survival value in it, but things have changed.

High-technology civilizations can only be efficiently operated by people who think in an empirical way. Empirical thinkers do not derive truth from authority, but from experience and, in stark contrast to almost every other religion on Earth, it is experience, and experience only, and direct and personal experience at that, which we offer.

Money back if you’re not satisfied.

Psychedelianism has already become the actual, living religion of the West. That most of its practitioners don’t call it that only demonstrates its power. They don’t need to.

The time is not far off when we will achieve victory over horseshit in these parts. We do not need force to do it because psychedelic experience and the religious philosophy which logically follows from it reduce and sometimes abolish the fear of death. Nothing that does this can be resisted for long.

Death cannot be viewed the same way by those who deny the externality of relations as it is by those who affirm it, supernaturalists or not.

The dream simile should never be forgotten. Death, a frequent occurrence in dreams, usually leads to an abrupt change from one dream to another, or, and the distinction is merely one of nomenclature, to an “awakening.” It’s not a “problem.” It’s an illusion like everything else.

There is no reason why the dreamer should not live on. In Snazzm terms there are no difficulties in seeing it this way and Snazzm terms are the only terms which apply. There are little trips and big trips. Sometimes scenes change, sometimes acts, sometimes entire dramas, but show business continues, as long as you want it to.

Nothing holds. All is transformation. I can’t supply a soothing chaser of cosmic minds and oversouls (one per “multiverse”?) and such, because all of that is horseshit. It is your mind. It is not plural. If the truth is strange, it will sound strange also.

“The gods of the hills are not the gods of the valleys,” said Ethan Allen. Neither are the idioms. Interesting that six movies have been made about Billy the Kid, a stupid murderer, and not one about Ethan, whom one might think would better fit the picture of an American hero.

True, I sometimes say it is my mind and I sometimes say it is your mind. I never say it is our mind. There is no contradiction in this because I believe I am talking to myself, and there would be no difficulty in it for you if you believed you were talking to yourself. You can only argue against my logic if you assume I assume what I deny.

“Let the dead bury the dead,” said the founder of a great religion, which went wrong and stayed wrong as soon as he was no longer around to control it. The words of J.C., nevertheless, are frequently easy to understand as metaphors for Psychedelian facts.

It’s all an illusion, but it’s an illusion maintained with all the power of the mind, that is to say, with all the power.

To live with this fact fully realized is an almost unbearable ecstasy which most people cannot endure for more than a few hours every now and then; but one may recall and refer to it as needed while living a reasonably happy life.

The instrument for demonstrating the truth of these assertions ought to be available for about $5 a hit, adjusted for inflation, from Spanish Eddy around the block, and actually is in many places.

Much of the panic is due to this. LSD depresses the market for expensive and artificial substitutes: “drug alternatives” like supernaturalist religion and other forms of mass sedation. It is an outrageous insult to the Great American Established Church, which is an alliance of supernaturalists, that anyone should be able to purchase from Spanish Eddy for $5 a hit that which our glorious ancestors could not obtain for all the tea in China.

Tut, tut.

Vast libraries of ancient and venerated tomes are revealed to be 100 percent horseshit from A to Z.

Tish, tosh.

Heroic battles for control of education and public opinion come to nothing as all factions are overwhelmed by a “Higher Power.”

Nothing new about that.

Terrible sacrifices to uphold various doctrines are shown to have been based on false assumptions and misunderstandings made by all involved.

Well, back to the old drawing board.

Yes, it’s a blueberry pie in the face for many of our glorious ancestors, most of academic philosophy and vast realms of the Higher Learning.

In the Mulamadhyamakakarika, Nagarjuna says, “Nothing exists anywhere, whether we conceive of it as born of itself or of others or of both or of no cause whatever.”


If this world is an illusion, then this book is an illusion. I wrote it, but you made it up. You have to assume that if you want to follow me.

The external world is your “unconscious” mind. This book, or whatever, is not a reflection, or a symbol, or an abstraction. Repression and manifestation are exactly the same thing, only held apart by an abstract system of categorization you keep trying to hang on to. There is nothing hydraulic about it. Nothing is pushed down or brought out. It’s all right in front of your nose, all of it, always. It is in this that the relation between humility and Enlightenment consists. Swami Igapoo cannot see the world as already his, because it is filled with the very imperfections which, in his personality, he denies, in order to pretend to a moral superiority over others.

There is only one good argument, which is just as good against monotheistic supernaturalism, and that is to say:

“OK. So let us say that death is no problem. But what about suffering? What good does your philosophy do someone wishing for death because the pain is unbearable? Is the problem of suffering abolished because life is seen as a dream? So what if all relations are mental? You still have to go to the dentist when you have a toothache, don’t you? What difference does it make?”

The answer to this is rarely heard. On those occasions when I have accomplished the necessary transformation, I have had nothing to say, for the simple reason there was nobody around to ask the question or listen to the answer.

Suffering? What suffering? Suffering and not suffering and not not suffering are all hallucinations.

This reply, understandably, will not satisfy supernaturalist metaphysicians and naive realists.

Solipsistic nihilists, on the other hand, shouldn’t have any trouble seeing that the way to end a nightmare is to awaken from it.

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