This post is the first in a series called “America’s Radical History Revealed”, which will highlight radical reformers, rebels and non-conformists of every stripe… holy men and hell raisers, saints and sinners; I cast no judgements. People such as these have changed the world and always have. I celebrate their passion and dedication to setting minds and souls free. You can and should decide for yourself.
The following is a short excerpt from an article called, “Retracing the Steps of Psychedelic Outlaws on an LSD Mission From God”, written by and published by KQED public media in Northern California…
It sounds like the plot to a Paul Thomas Anderson movie: a cult of Southern California surfers worships LSD as a deity in the early ’60s, becoming so obsessed with spreading psychedelics to the masses that they move their families in together and form a church.
Church members engineer an international smuggling ring to bring hash, pot, and acid back from sources in Europe and Afghanistan. They trick out their vans and surfboards with secret compartments to hide the contraband from border agents. They launder their money through an art gallery in Laguna Beach, build an LSD lab in Palm Springs, and are ultimately responsible for distributing over 100 million hits of acid.
What’s being described here is no fiction. It’s the very real — and very colorful — story of The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the subject of Orange Sunshine, an excellent new documentary by director William A. Kirkley.