Acid, Greasers, Hippies and Violence: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love


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With slick hair, a wry smile and a penchant for violence, John Griggs was the picture of a Sixties California greaser. His gang caused chaos across Anaheim, and Griggs himself was a habitual user of hard drugs. Until, one night in 1966, they robbed a Hollywood pool party for its acid, Griggs took a bunch, and almost overnight pivoted to becoming one of America's leading proponents of psychadelics—right when hippie culture and the Summer of Love was at its peak.

Griggs' cult-like Brotherhood of Eternal Love became a lodestar for America's counterculture—and a gigantic smuggling operation from Mexico and the States, to the so-called Hippie Trail, stashing Afghan and Nepali hash in cars, film reel cans or even surfboards before reaping the thousand-percent markup back home. Griggs' goal was to flood America with so much LSD that every man and woman would get high and help create a new, peaceful utopia.

When renowned academic and acid-lover Timothy Leary joined Griggs' cause, the Brotherhood may have looked unstoppable. Then it was stung by disaster after disaster—from hardened criminals and police informants, to Leary's manic downfall and a plucky local cop named Neil Purcell. Part 1 of our show on the Brotherhood of Eternal Love charts John Griggs' irresistable rise to messianic stardom, and his group's creation of a new, potent acid named Orange Sunshine, just before his utopian vision began metastasizing into something most folks would later know as the "Hippie Mafia".

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