Xaviant Haze has put together an interesting article, building on the excellent research of Dave McGowan on the mysterious world of Laurel Canyon, that connected the early folk rock music scene to Satanism and military intelligence. In particular, Haze makes mention of a strange 1983 B-movie called Wavelength, about a young couple who discover aliens being held by the US government for experimentation in an underground base in Laurel Canyon. In Haze’s words, the movie “drops hints about where to look when confronted with the Canyon conspiracy.”[i]
This is a topic I deal with in my book, Black Terror White Soldiers, where I add my own findings as well. As McGowan has shown in his multipart “Inside the LC,” many of those musicians, like David Crosby, John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, and Frank Zapa grew up on military bases. Zappa’s father was a chemical warfare specialist assigned to the Edgewood Arsenal in Aberdeen, Maryland, a facility deeply enmeshed in MK-Ultra experiments, and where numerous Nazi scientists were employed under Operation Paperclip.[ii] Zappa, in the early years, was Laurel Canyon’s father figure, leading an entourage in a residence dubbed the “Log Cabin,” where, in the words of Michael Walker, author of Laurel Canyon, there “raged a rock-and-roll salon and Dionysian playground.”[iii]
Many of these musicians were involved in MK-Ultra, a known “mind-control” operation of the CIA, whose real focus was the spread of LSD through the Haight-Ashbury scene of San Francisco, to produce the 60s counter-culture scene, as per the dictates of the notorious Frankfurt School of psychologists. The chief evangelist of the project was Aldous Huxley, the kingpin of the CIA’s subversion of culture, and author Brave New World, a dystopia about a society drugged into servitude.
Huxley also wrote The Doors of Perception, which exploded the fascination with the “mind-expanding” possibilities of drugs. Jim Morrison, who named his band The Doors after the book, and one of the earliest to arrive on the Laurel Canyon scene, was the son of US Navy Admiral George Stephen Morrison, who was in command of the warships that purportedly came under Viet Cong attack, in the false-flag operation known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964.
Key to the CIA’s MK-Ultra operation was the soundman for the Grateful Dead, known as Owsley Stanley, or “Bear.” At only fifteen, he “voluntarily committed” himself to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington DC where, as Colin Ross explained in The CIA Doctors, Dr. Winfred Overholser Sr. funded LSD research through the Scottish Rite Committee and was at the center of the mind control network[iv] St. Elizabeth’s is also where presidential assailants, serial killers or other federal cases are kept, such as Ezra Pound and John Hinckley, Jr. who shot Ronald Reagan.
After a stint in the US Air Force, beginning in 1956, Stanley moved to LA, where he worked at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, founded by Jack Parsons. Parsons was a leader of the Agape lodge, the American chapter of Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), and also one of the first known contactees of the so-called “Nordic” aliens. Likewise, Crowley claimed in 1919 to have contacted an extraterrestrial named Lam, which looked much like the iconic “greys” that have now come to be associated with alien contact.
Along with L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, beginning in 1946, Parsons started the “Babalon Working,” a series of rituals designed to manifest an individual incarnation of the archetypal divine feminine called Babalon, and to conceive a child through sexual magic. Parsons wanted to create a Moonchild, as outlined in Crowley's occult novel by the same name.[v]
Parsons associated with Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, who was also heavily influenced by Kenneth Anger, who enjoyed cult status in Hollywood as author of two controversial Hollywood Babylon books, and as underground experimental filmmaker of Crowley-inspired films that merged surrealism with homoeroticism and the occult. Anger became acquainted with notable countercultural figures, including Tennessee Williams, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger and his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, which he involved in his Crowley-themed works, Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and Lucifer Rising (1972).
Anger also introduced Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page to Aleister Crowley, who became the owner of one of the world’s largest collections of Crowley memorabilia, including Crowley’s notorious Boleskine estate on the shores of Scotland’s Loch Ness. As explained by Gary Lachman, founding member of the New Wave band Blondie, and now author, in Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius, “tales of pacts with the Devil followed Zeppelin throughout their career, and stories of orgies, black masses and satanic rites were commonplace, mostly centered around the infamous Chateau Marmont off the Sunset Strip.”[vi]
Page composed a soundtrack for Anger’s Lucifer Rising, a film for which Crowley associate and OTO member Gerald Yorke was credited as a consultant. Yorke had also been the personal representative of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama to the West.
Anger and the Laurel Canyon groups were closely associated with Vito Paulekas, his wife Zsou and Karl Franzoni. Vito also happened to be first cousin of Eva Paul, wife of Winthrop Rockefeller.[vii] According to Barry Miles, in his book Hippie, “The first hippies in Hollywood, perhaps the first hippies anywhere, were Vito, his wife Zsou, Captain Fuck [Franzoni] and their group of about thirty-five dancers. Calling themselves Freaks, they lived a semi-communal life and engaged in sex orgies and free-form dancing whenever they could.”[viii]
Vito and his wife Zsou’s three-year-old boy was the first candidate to play in Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising, before dying of a tragic accident, ascribed in the documentary Mondo Hollywood in morbid sarcasm, as “medical malpractice.” The child died on December 23, 1966, the very winter solstice heralded the Age of Satan by LaVey, who performed the role of the devil in Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother alongside Mason “Family” member, Bobby Beausoleil. Zsou suggested the fall occurred during a “wacky photo session,” which may be connected to the fact that, according to Beausoleil, some of Anger’s film projects were for private collectors: “Every once in a while he’d do a little thing that wouldn’t be for distribution.” According to biographer Bill Landis, Anger was at one time investigated by the police on suspicion that he had been producing snuff flicks.[ix]
According to Miles, Vito operated “the first crash pad in LA, an open house to countless runaways where everyone was welcome for a night, particularly young women.”[x] By the mid 1960s, the group had expanded into a guesthouse known as “the treehouse” at the Log Cabin. The “treehouse” attendees included Mick Jagger Marianne Faithfull, members of the Animals, Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere and the Raiders, Alice Cooper who joined Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Janis Joplin, and Roger McGuinn and Mike Clarke from the Byrds. Journalist John Bilby recalls, “Tim Leary was definitely there, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar were there.”[xi] Zappa took over the commune in 1968.
Also included in the pack was Kim Fowley, who had spent time working as young male street hustler, but had his greatest success creating the Runaways, featuring Joan Jett, who were recently the subject of a film in 2010. Fowley crassly attired the band in leather and lingerie, and boasted, “everyone loved the idea of 16-year-old girls playing guitars and singing about fucking.”[xii]
It was the Runaways’ lead singer, Cherie Currie, who co-starred with Robert Carradine in Wavelength. Robert, who would later star in Revenge of the Nerds, is one of a number of prolific actors in the “Carradine family” of American actor John Carradine. As McGowan points out, according to authors such as Craig Heimbichner (Blood on the Altar), Martin P. Starr (The Unknown God), and John Carter (Sex and Rockets), Dennis Hopper and John Carradine, were both members of the Parsons’ Agape Lodge of the OTO, alongside, actor Dean Stockwell, and science-fiction writer, Robert Heinlein. According to Gregory Mank in Hollywood’s Hellfire Club, John Carradine and John Barrymore were also members of the so-called “Bundy Drive Boys,” who engaged in such practices as incest, rape and cannibalism.[xiii] Robert’s brother was David Carradine of Kung Fu fame, who later died in what appeared to be a ritualistic murder.
[ii] Linda Hunt, Secret Agenda: the United States Government, Nazi Scientists and Project Paperclip (St. Martin's Press, 1991); ABC PrimeTime Live, Operation Paperclip, 1991, and hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, 1991.
[iii] Michael Walker, Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-And-Roll's Legendary Neighborhood, (New York: Faber and Faber, 2006) p. 26.
[iv] Colin A. Ross, The C.I.A. Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists (Manitou Communications, 2006)
[x] Ibid., p. 58.