Nancy dated Stanley Augustus Owsley, and went on a double date with my sister Christine, with the LSD chemist Nick Sand. Christine had come to live with me at Idle Hands. The man behind Owsley,who grew up with Tim Scully, was my patron. These people are associated with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love who I took LSD with in Laguna Beach.
Nancy lived on Ken Kesey’s ranch and is now a co-owner of the Springfield Creamery made famous by Nancy’s Yogurt. I have been on the bus. This is the history I and my late sister are, and will forever be, famous for. We were at the epicenter of something truly unique, something that changed the world forever. I have been recording my Bohemian Roots that led to the experiment to end all experiments. It is my goal to legitimize the so called Hippie Movement so it can go foreword without the drugs.
Shortly after high school, in 1966, Nancy moved to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco to attend college. “It was a wonderful, exciting time,” she says. “The civil rights movement and Vietnam protests, and free speech movements were happening, and a big part of this consciousness-raising was a discussion of natural foods.”
By 1969 she was living in Mill Valley with her sweetheart Gordon Adams. Gordon was a friend of Ken Kesey, counterculture leader and author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Ken owned a farm outside of Eugene, Ore., where many of his band of Merry Pranksters occasionally stayed. He asked Gordon and Nancy to come to Oregon to help take care of the farm while he was in London recording stories with the Beatles.
Post Woodstock, when Ken Kesey decided to close his farm to guests, Nancy needed a new home and a new job. “I heard Ken’s brother, Chuck, had a little creamery in Springfield, Ore., and was looking for a bookkeeper,” she says. At the creamery, Nancy soon found herself sharing her knowledge of making yogurt. “It was a time when we all were focused on taking our destiny into our own hands; the Whole Earth Catalogue was our beacon.” she says. “We shared all kinds of things: how to build a cabin; how to make your own bread; how to get rid of ants the natural way. In San Francisco, I had had access to lots of good yogurts,” she says. “But in Oregon, the majority of commercial yogurt was the over-sweetened variety.”
Tim Scully first met William “Billy” Mellon Hitchcock, grandson of William Larimer Mellon and great-great-grandson of Thomas Mellon, through Owsley in April 1967. They became friends and Billy loaned Scully $12,000 for the second Denver lab in 1968. The product from the lab was distributed by the Brotherhood of Eternal Love; Scully was connected with the Brotherhood via Billy Hitchcock.
Sand started a company with his friend disguised as a perfume company – the real intent of the company was to manufacture Mescaline and DMT. Sand was starting to attract the attention of police because of his lengthy visits to Milbrook and when Owsley visited Milbrook in April 1967 Sand was inspired to head to San Francisco.
Sand’s San Francisco Lab was operational by July 1967. Sand wanted to make LSD but was lacking the necessary precursors. Owsley had given him a formula for STP and would tablet Sand’s product from his own lab in Orinda.
In December 1968 Sand purchased a farmhouse in Windsor, California, at that time a small town in rural Sonoma County. There he and Tim Scully, another psychedelic chemist, set up a large LSD lab. Scully and Sand produced over 3.6 million tablets of LSD, which was distributed under the name “Orange Sunshine”.
Sand was prosecuted for LSD manufacture following a lengthy investigation by federal narcotics agents in the early 1970s. He was found guilty and sentenced, in 1976, to 15 years in a federal penitentiary.
Sand’s attorney appealed his conviction and Sand was released on $50,000 bail. While out of custody he went underground in 1976 and remained a fugitive from federal agents for two decades.
What started as a Happening emerged into a global frenzy and inspired people, still today. According to Babbs, a Happening is something that “can’t be planned ..It just happens! It takes place in public or private and involves everyone present. In Phoenix in 1964, we painted ‘A Vot for Barry is a Vot for Fun’ on the side of the bus and waved flags and played stars and stripes forever..this qualified as both a prank and a Happening.” .
The most famous happening of the Pranksters was the nationwide trip on the Furthur. While on a trip to New York, the Pranksters needed an automobile that could hold fourteen people and all of their filming and taping equipment. One of the members saw a “revamped school bus” in San Francisco that was for sale. The Pranksters bought the bus and named it “Furthur”. Babbs was the engineer for the bus. Babbs is mostly credited for the sound systems he created for the Trips Festival. Prior to Babbs’ creation, it was discovered that particular music usually sounded distorted when cranked to high levels because of the cement floor on the San Francisco Longshoreman’s Union Hall(where the Trips Festival was taking place). Babbs being a sound engineer resolved the problem. He made sound amplifiers that, when turned up to high sound levels would not create distorted sounds.
The purpose for this Happening was to link the psychedelic tribes from the west and the east. Many people tend to remember the east tribe because of Timothy Leary and LSD. Many misjudgments have been made on the Pranksters and their promotion of LSD. However, Babbs makes it clear that “just because we used LSD does not mean we were promoting its use. (LSD) is a dangerous drug..[It’s] a way, I guess, of breaking down the conformist ideology.” .
Timothy Leary on Nick Sand
Question: After moving west to California in the late 60s, you became
connected with a group called the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. In
1973, Nicholas Sand, a chemist for the Brotherhood, was arrested in
St. Louis for operating two LSD laboratories. Indictments in
California around the same time also named Ronald H. Stark, who
allegedly operated an LSD lab in Belgium. In the book Acid Dreams,
the authors name Stark as being a CIA informant. In retrospect, do
you believe the CIA was involved in putting acid out on the street to
preempt a possible political revolution?
Leary: I don’t know about that. But it’s a matter of fact that most
of the LSD in America in the late 50s and early 60s was brought in by
the CIA and given around to hospitals to find out if these drugs
could be used for brainwashing or for military purposes.
You talked about Nicholas Sand. The whole concept of the Brotherhood
of Eternal Love is like a bogeyman invented by the narcs. The
brotherhood was about eight surfer kids from Southern California,
Laguna Beach, who took the LSD, and they practiced the religion of
the worship of nature, and they’d go into the mountains. But they
were not bigshots at all. None of them ever drove anything better
than a VW bus. They were just kind of in it for the spiritual thrill.
Nick Sand was a very skillful chemist. He made LSD that the
Brotherhood used. He was a very talented chemist.
The guy Stark. I was accused of heading this ring. I never met Stark.
Never knew he existed. I heard he’s a European money launderer. But
that was not relevant to what was going on out here. What is relevant
to your question is … yes, the CIA did distribute LSD. As a matter
of fact, the DEA (the Drug Enforcement Agency) is out there right now
setting up phony busts, setting up people, selling dope. And it’s
well known that during the Reagan administration Ollie North was
shipping up tons of cocaine to buy money to give to the Contras and
Scully grew up in Pleasant Hill, which was across the Bay from San Francisco. In eighth grade he won honorable mention in the 1958 Bay Area Science Fair for designing and building a small computer. During high school he spent summers working at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on physics problems. In his junior year of high school, Scully completed a small linear accelerator in the school science lab (he was trying to make gold atoms from mercury) which was pictured in a 1961 edition of the Oakland Tribune. Scully skipped his senior year of high school and went directly to U.C. Berkeley majoring in mathematical physics. After two years at Berkeley, Scully took a leave of absence in 1964 because his services as an electronic design consultant were in high demand. Tim Scully first took LSD on April 15, 1965.
Scully knew the government would move quickly to suppress LSD distribution, and he wanted to obtain as much of the main precursor chemical, lysergic acid, as possible. Scully soon learned that Owsley Stanley possessed a large amount (440 grams) of lysergic acid monohydrate. Owsley and Scully finally met a few weeks before the Trips Festival in the fall of 1965. The 30-year-old Owsley took the 21 year old Scully as his apprentice and they pursued their mutual interest in electronics and psychedelic synthesis.
Owsley took Scully to the Watts Acid Test on February 12, 1966, and they built electronic equipment for the Grateful Dead until late spring 1966. In July 1966 Owsley rented a house in Point Richmond, California and Owsley and Melissa Cargill (Owsley’s girlfriend who was a skilled chemist) set up a lab in the basement. Tim Scully worked there as Owsley’s apprentice. Owsley had developed a method of LSD synthesis which left the LSD 99.9% free of impurities. The Point Richmond lab turned out over 300,000 tablets (270 micrograms each) of LSD they dubbed “White Lightning”