© 2016 John Selby
Published by the WizeWell Media Group
This is purely a work of fiction: all characters, organizations
and situations represent the author’s imagination.
they have been granted
the power to seek an
opening to freedom
and leap through it
but having seen the angel of light
they shall no longer praise us –
clinging as we do
to our quagmire past
of decomposed tradition
which labeled mystics as barbarians
and failed to heed the prophets
but they have been
granted the power
to seek ... and leap
B Budd Smith / Mind Dance
Beyond the recreational thrill of a good mystery yarn, this book aims to shed historic light on the mostly-buried and sometimes illegal origins of the scientific push to control mood and mind through bioresonance technologies. Silicon Valley is right now generating new brain-teasing systems to modify, improve, tame and control human emotions and attitudes. They’re also rediscovering the at-work power of micro-dosed LSD and other mind-altering chemicals to stimulate breakthrough thinking – but who’s actively provoking this mind-manipulation push, and can we trust them?
My father, Professor Robert Hadley, is recognized as an early founder of the psych-tech revolution. His later Stanford writings exposed the ethical issues surrounding the ‘voluntary mood-adjustment’ products soon to be prescribed and marketed. However, his early diaries portray a much more visceral, even downright deadly birthing process of our current psych-tech revolution.
When my father was murdered in his Stanford lab (as documented in Google Beta 3) I inherited his unfinished notes, papers and manuscripts – and found two key documents. One was Dad’s private journal revealing his youthful involvement in our CIA’s MK-Ultra mind manipulation fiasco. The other was a diary showing his participation in a murder investigation related to four quarts of Sandoz LSD he was accused of stealing from a federal LSD research lab.
My father’s notes document a murder of the very worst kind, leading to an explosive climax as we discover who committed that murder ... and why. Our government did secretly experiment with mind-control techniques like hypnosis and psychedelics, supposedly to boost creativity. As we’ll see, their hidden strategy was to sideline anti-Vietnam activists by damaging their minds – a strategy that backfired as budding scientists took LSD, gained unique insights into the potential of the mind, and went on to invent psych technologies just now set to transform our world culture.
There were many casualties during that first wild rush up psychedelic hill; Bob Hadley was almost one of them. Let’s warp back to January 1969 in Marin County where Bobbo is hanging low as a grad student at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. A seminary isn’t where you’d expect to find America’s ‘good guy terrorists’ secretly birthing psych-tech while dodging government agents. But those crazy times – bloody assassinations, the Berkeley campus on fire, CIA agents imbedded everywhere – were full of surprises.
Right in the middle of all this subterfuge, on a quiet night off on the remote Hadley family ranch near San Luis Obispo, Bobbo’s father Tyson received a phone call that set both him and this story into instant action. Let’s drop in and enjoy the ride ...
Jack Hadley PhD
Columbia University / Manhattan
The bedroom phone started ringing way past midnight and woke Ty Hadley up with a jolt. Usually a call that late meant he had to put on his part-time badge and go deal with some bothersome alcohol-induced situation somewhere in the valley – but this time it was his son Bobbo who was calling from that seminary he’d recently moved to, up north of San Francisco somewhere in Marin.
“Bobbo – you know what time it is?”
“Sorry – you won’t believe what just happened.”
Still half asleep, Ty shifted slightly into humor mode. “Don’t tell me you’ve finally found Jesus?”
"This isn’t funny – they’re claiming I’m the one who shot him.”
“Shot who – Jesus?”
“Well, not exactly.”
“I’m hardly awake, talk straight to me.”
"Okay. My friend Paul, he’s dead. Somebody shot him right through the head.”
“And I need help up here right away. Bring your badge. The drive’ll take about six hours.”
“Hold on – just exactly where are you?”
“Uhm – San Anselmo jail.”
"Head north all the way up and through the City and across Golden Gate bridge, then on up ten miles, San Rafael exit, head west five miles. Police station is just off Sir Francis Drake, right in town on your left.”
“But come clean with me – if you shot this guy I can’t come try to get you off, you know that.”
“Fuck – of course I didn’t do it,” Bob reacted. “He was my best friend.”
“So how come they think you did the deed?”
“You remember that .22 long-nose pistol you gave me a while back for Christmas?”
“Bit pricey but nice piece.”
“That’s what he was shot with. They caught me by the body with the gun in my hand.”
“So – do you know who did the shooting?”
“Nobody would shoot Paul.”
“You have any legal help yet?”
“No, I just now got hauled in.”
“Okay, I’ll be up there first thing in the morning. Don’t talk to nobody.”
“Right. Hey. Thanks.”
"That’s what Dads are for. Just as long as you didn’t shoot him.”
“Honest to God.”
“Alright then. Good enough for me.”
Just six hours earlier, as his diary shows, Bob Hadley had been driving to an important meeting, speeding south on Sir Francis Drake Drive through Mill Valley to catch the freeway to Sausalito, then over the big bridge at the tip of Sausalito Bay and down to the parking lot at the harbor.
A middle-aged friend named Alan Watts owned a big old houseboat called the Vallejo, a forty-foot two-decker ferry that had once plied the local waters of San Francisco Bay. The converted houseboat was now moored permanently in Sausalito’s small-boat harbor, along with about thirty other floating homes. On that moonlit night of January 11, 1969, Bob was hurrying to the houseboat to discuss an unexpected dilemma – his best friend at the seminary had taken LSD and (almost but not quite) turned into a walking talking highly-charismatic Jesus.
Knowing he was late, Bob half-ran from the parking lot down a series of floating docks to the slightly-rocking Vallejo. The wind was cold and salty on his lips, the moon hidden behind Sausalito’s jutting hill, stars sharp in the sky. Walking the wobbly gang-plank onto the house boat, Bob heard vague fragments of a blues song Jerry Garcia was singing on a stereo somewhere nearby. Just then he heard a short outburst of laughter coming from the houseboat – and walked the plank onboard.
Crossing the outside deck and pushing open the door into the big room, he looked around at around twenty people sitting atop throw pillows on the floor. He noticed several seminary friends and a dozen members of Alan’s inner circle – but Alan hadn’t invited press to this meeting, not even the Oracle reporter who’d broken Paul’s transformation story three days ago.
As always playing leader of the group, Alan was on his own pillow in front – a short skinny hipster philosopher, well-known for mystic psychology books and lectures that the younger generation eagerly gobbled up. “I mean really,” he was saying in his British accent as Bob entered, “the very last thing we need is yet another leader – our society has always been controlled by a boss of some kind. Now comes this fellow Paul, who’s definitely attained at least temporary status as a spiritual presence. But hear me on this – he must not be turned into yet another new spiritual boss.”
Alan spied Bob standing in back. “Oh, there you are. Where’s Paul, we’re all set – isn’t he with you?”
“Paul decided not to come,” Bob told him.
“But you were supposed to bring him – how are we going to help the man if he doesn’t even show up?”
“Alan,” Bob said impatiently, his tense upset mood making his voice edgy, “if Spirit’s really speaking through Paul like you say, he can choose for himself what to do and when he needs help. Actually he’s totally down tonight and doesn’t want to talk to anyone.”
“Oh. I see.” Alan eyed Bob’s terse expression with concern. “Yes, he’s certainly free to do what he wants. I could tell from his talk today, he’s tapped into inspiration from far beyond – so then. Have a seat, let’s tune in.”
Bob sat slouched on a pillow. A few moments went by in Zen silence except – no sounds just then but the gently lapping of tiny waves against the old wooden hull, and the flapping of a flag somewhere nearby in the breeze. Bob tried to watch his breathing, quiet his thoughts and slip into that special place that Alan was teaching him to enter.
Alan spoke again: “Okay, so what I feel is this,” he said to the group in his emphatic guru tone. “Paul seems to now be living within that Taoist realm where all is organic, all is revealed – and he’s also graciously communicating to us from that expanded spiritual vista. Since he isn’t hear to share with us, right now let’s all just relax, open up and join him in this universal feeling of being entirely organic, unified, whole. Breathe into this effortless expansion with each new deep spontaneous breath.”
He looked around into the apt gaze of his followers, then tuned inward again: “Something momentous is definitely happening. We must help Paul as an awakened community. Let’s help him birth not a new religious or political movement, but a pure spontaneous awakening – a new social creation that’s organically guided rather than politically driven. This is what Jesus originally taught, and here in this moment we’re perhaps participating in that long-awaited birth of a truly heart-centered society.”
“But wait,” someone in the front spoke up. “Paul attained his spiritual state by taking a psychedelic. Does this mean everybody needs to do acid?”
“No – Paul said over and over the last few days that we must simply and devoutly listen to our own inner voice, so that we allow this new reality to unfold without any ego manipulation. Trust is the word for tonight. Let’s relax our minds now, go beyond words and finish with meditation. Sandy, play some flute, sooth our souls.”
“Alan,” an elderly woman in rather elegant attire said from her folding chair by the side wall. “Please be pragmatic for just one moment. The reality is that Paul will draw giant crowds if he continues with his Christ-like teachings. This could become exponential, it will sweep the country, maybe the whole world. But I ask you all – is this media frenzy what we want, what Paul needs?”
“Doris, this flow is simply happening. Everyone’s been praying for twenty centuries for Jesus to return. What if he has? What if we’re all living right now in the eternal moment of spirit? I myself feel a bit overwhelmed, my thoughts of future turn to mush. Let’s quiet the mind, participate in the greater whole, fully trust as we open to commune with our source. Flute please.”
At around ten everyone departed except Bob. Alan led him up rickety stairs to the small enclosed captain’s room where Alan maintained his private consultation space. He closed the door, went over and brought out a whiskey bottle. Bob as usual felt bothered by the liquid crutch of this otherwise spiritually-lofty man – but Alan didn’t care. Alcohol helped to loosened his spiritual flow.
“So,” he said, nailing Bob with an intense look. “Your aura’s a mess – tell me what happened tonight with Paul. He seemed just fine at his afternoon talk in the meadow.”
“Well he totally crashed during dinner, drank wine and Spirit departed. He went entirely mute, caught in some old negative emotion. I’m worried – maybe he needs professional help. Julia’s way beyond her limits with him.”
“Okay. Tomorrow morning I’ll come and talk with him, maybe take him up to my cabin. He talks like a true master but it must be bizarre for his ego, tapping into such a pristine level of realization. And meanwhile, how are you doing?”
“Oh, okay,” Bob mumbled, “After three days of this, I’m feeling shaky.”
Alan sat down on the sofa and took time to ceremoniously pour himself a formal shot glass which he downed immediately with a satisfied smacking of his lips. “Just remember constantly, Bob, to stay centered in your breathing. Some new spiritual beast is being born and we’re all caught blindly inside its great rumbling belly.”
“Okay. Whatever. I need to get back.”
“Wait – don’t go yet. Paul’s wife Julia. Beautiful girl. You and her – something going on? I don’t mean to pry but that situation could turn explosive. Paul could easily come unhinged.”
“They hadn’t made love for five months, he’s been mostly gone for months in the Seminary library reading Gnostic manuscripts.”
“Mostly the ones related to the psilocybin mushroom rites in Gnostic initiation ceremonies. That’s what provoked him to try LSD.”
“Okay. By the way, two CIA guys were here.”
Bob tensed. “That’s not good.”
“Leary’s been playing them for fools for years but something’s somehow gone sour and he needs a place to retreat – you come from that big ranch way out in nowhere, what’s the chance he could disappear there for a week or two?”
“My dad would flip.”
“You told me he was fairly hip for a cowboy.”
“Yeah, he’s doing his best to understand me – but he’s a deputy sheriff down there. Leary and my Dad – no way. Look, I need to get back to Paul.”
“They were asking about you too.”
Bob froze. “What about?”
“The Sandoz episode, that’s what they’re after.”
“Well earlier on they were bothering me on that front too – but they have zero proof I took the stuff, there’s a dozen people at the Institute who could have.”
“A single dose is microscopic, four quarts of pure LSD is enough to get five million people blasted. That’s crazy power – please don’t mess with the CIA.”
“I assure you, the jars are well stashed, entirely out of circulation. Look, I gotta run.”
“Did you hear,” Alan said, “that the Institute was suddenly shut down?”
“No – I cut communication when I left.”
“Humphry’s back in Canada.”
“Please, he did his absolute best and he deserves our reverence. How’s your memory of all that?”
“Foggy as usual.”
“Well then. I’ll be at your cottage around nine. Take care of our boy. You taken any acid lately?”
“No. I got the message, hung up the phone.”
“Infinity is always waiting to be mined.”
“Alan, I’m not a philosopher. I’m a scientist. Bio-resonance. Non-drug cure for depression.”
“Ah yes – your mother.”
“If you want to see it that way.”
“You still managing the Seminary scene?”
“Not much choice after I lost my Institute draft deferment. Better than being in Nam but I tell you, religion in general gets darker the deeper I look. Like Paul says, it’s too easy for the light to go black. And with Nixon getting inaugurated next week, things are liable to get totally dark. ”
“Check. So go on home now, take care of Paul.”
Around 11:20, Bob approached the entrance gate leading into the seminary. The whole hill-top campus was surrounded by a high stone wall with only this opening for cars to enter. For the fist time in seminary history, provoked by the sudden situation of Paul and his riff-raff followers, the Administration had posted a security man at the gate to ID everybody entering seminary property – but after 11 there was no guard.
Bob drove on through the gate, up along redwood trees past dorm buildings and the three stone mock-castle edifices housing administration, library and lecture halls – then up the final steep climb to the top of Holy Hill where, fifty years ago, two dozen small cottages had been built atop Holy Hill for married students – two humble rows of houses with rustic paths meandering among redwoods on each side of the sloping hill.
Bob parked and walked down to the left, past the first row of cottages toward his own domicile in the second row. He pushed away the hope that Julia would surprise him in his bed as she had several times recently. Luckily Paul was a deep sleeper. Bob hoped she’d been able to ease Paul out of the mood that had come over him a few hours before. They might both be asleep for the night. This whole thing had become so crazy, out of hand, beyond anything Bob could have imagined –
Caught up in a cacophony of confused thoughts, Bob saw lights still on next door in Paul’s living room. His stomach tensed, he considered knocking to see how they were doing – and it was just at that moment that a single jolting gunshot pierced the peace of Holy Hill.
Bob stopped dead in his tracks, not believing his ears. The sudden memory of handing Julia his .22 pistol two afternoons ago filled his mind – he’d almost certainly just heard that same pistol being discharged in Paul’s cottage. Apprehension grabbed at his breathing, he almost turned to run like hell back up the path to his car, expecting Paul to swing open the front door of his cottage and come out shooting at Bob after having killed Julia –
But he didn’t run nor did Paul open the front door. After maybe ten seconds of blank hesitation, Bob’s body started moving again on its own, walking on down the path, forcing him to approach Paul’s door. The sound of his own breathing was loud and raw in his ears as he made it to the front porch of the cabin, then stood silently a moment at the door –
Did he hear sounds of somebody going out the other entrance down into the woods? Yes – that was the back door closing. Bob pounded on the front door hard with his knuckles three times – then without waiting he tried the knob. It turned and the door opened and he half-stumbled into the small living room of the cottage.
Even before he could shout for Julia he saw Paul there, sitting comfortably in his recliner chair, quiet and at peace – with his eyes staring off into blank space. There was just the one lamp giving light to the room and at first Bob failed to notice the small dark hole in the center of Paul’s forehead.
“Paul – what’s up?” he managed to mutter.
Then he saw the pistol on the floor between him and Paul. Without thinking he reached down and grabbed the gun – just in time to straighten up and turn at the sound of hurried footsteps coming down into the cottage through the front door.
Julia stood there for one short eternal moment staring at her dead husband, then staring at the very much still-alive Bob Hadley – standing there with the pistol in his hand that must have just killed her husband.
She did what anybody would – gaping at the corpse and seeing the bullet hole, she screamed bloody murder and went running back out of the house in a freaked-out panic.