“The product line was conceived by former Grateful Dead manager Sat Santokh Singh Khalsa. When the company introduced its first two products, Rainforest Crisp and Rainforest Granola in 1991, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead were on hand. Bob Weir was quoted as saying the new products would make “eating breakfast an environmentally responsible act.” Weir also provided some financing for the launch of the products.”
If Rena had played her cards right, she could have been The Rain Forest Crisp Girl. Her beautiful half-naked image could have graced every box of Rain Crisp cereal. She could have gone on a promotional tour with Bob Weir, and the Dead, Garu. She could have walked on stage wearing giant parrot wings. Instead, she became the archetypal Rosamond Woman, which was the Hippie Currency at the time. My sister had a printing press that cranked out MONEY. Everyone, but me, wanted in on the Poster action. Rosamond had invented a new way to BOX & SELL cornflakes. That Rena came from the Cornhusker State, was, ORDAINED! That my daughter’s fake father served time in San Quinton for impersonating Bob Weir – is ORDAINED!
Donald Trump wants NBS News to get off their Russian Trip, and go for Trumped Up Cereal. With this, we arrive at the nugget center of Human Civilization and Culture, being, Gangsters, Cons, and Crooks have been selling us the same box of corn flakes – since the dawn of time. Putins got cornflakes. The Trump family has cornflakes. The Roman and Egyptian empires were built on cornflakes.
After Bruce Perlowin got out of the joint for selling illegal cornflakes, he went into business with Sat, and was on the phone all day down in Wanda Harkins basement. The Harkins family is my surrogate family. Rena was their guest. That’s Bruce’s basement office on Pinehaven Street in Oakland. I slept here many times. On the wall is a photograph of Svetlana, a famous KBG Spy, who Bruce mock- married in the Fed Lock-up.
Bruce would practice his pitch on Michael and I. We tried to tell him that selling cereal is not like selling marijuana, that sells itself. Bruce was looking for a LEGAL DRUG. Rock and Roll was fueled by marijuana, thus aging Hippies reasoned you could sell Social and Environmental Concerns – IN A BOX! They lost their shirt because they put an Old Fake Guru on the box, instead of Beautiful Naked Eve all alone in the Rain Forest, waiting for her man to come. Rena could have sold Spinach Flakes. sex sells!
Before Bruce got hooked up with Sat&Weir, he went out to Lafayette to be interviewed by my father who was running a Loan Shark Business out of his home. Vic had wanted his son to take over the family business, one day. I turned him down. The Ex-Con and Captian Vic talked for an hour. Later, I asked him how it went.
“You’re friend is bright. But, he isn’t that bright! I can’t use him.”
After selling cereal, there is the ancient loan business. It looks like the Russians, perhaps the Russian Mafia, made the Trump Family some monster loans in order to keep their BRAND afloat. Instead of stomping on the EPA and the Save The Earth Enterprises, Donald should have gotten behind them all the way. Saving the Earth is a huge racket that comes pre-boxed in the New and Old Testament.
“I created it! I can destroy it!”
The world is horrified, because Donald went too far in draining the swamp, and has exposed the core product everyone is making and buying…………BULLSHIT IN A BOX!
Michael married Bruce’s ex-wife, Becky. She was the smart one.
President Trump on Saturday called for NBC News to devote more attention to his unproven claims that President Obama spied on him and stop covering the investigations into Russia’s interference in the election.
“When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story?” Trump tweeted just before 9 a.m.
“It is the same Fake News Media that said there is ‘no path to victory for Trump’ that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!” he added shortly after.
Once asked to describe his former lover, ex-FBI agent and convicted spy Richard W. Miller replied that Svetlana Ogorodnikova was “charming, outgoing, vivacious” and that she spoke atrocious English.
After 11 years in prison on espionage charges, Ogorodnikova still speaks fractured English. But the charm and vivacity are in little evidence. It takes imagination to see any of that in this faded, exhausted woman–the femme fatale convicted of seducing Miller so he would betray his country and pass government secrets to the Russians.
That, she admits, is something of a blessing. “Thank God, nobody recognizes me now,” she said as she paced her husband’s sweltering West Hollywood apartment after her Sept. 13 release from an immigration holding facility.
Though she and her husband, Nikolai Ogorodnikova, pleaded guilty to espionage. conspiracy charges a decade ago, they insist that they are innocent and are fighting the government’s efforts to deport them.
Bruce Perlowin’s resume is a little different.
Splashed across the top is a bold headline: “Ex-Marijuana Kingpin Needs a Job.”
Beneath that is a quote from a magazine: “Rather than wait years to move up through the corporate ranks, Bruce Perlowin parlayed a knack for organization into the largest drug-smuggling operation in West Coast history. . . . His management skills were formidable, his attention to detail legendary.”
Perlowin, paroled this month from an Oakland halfway house after serving nine years of a 15-year federal prison sentence, said he decided on his admittedly unusual resume because, under the circumstances, filling out an ordinary job application would be “somewhat preposterous.”
“I don’t want to work with anyone who can’t deal with my past, anyone I can’t be 100% honest with,” he said last week. “The company that says, ‘OK, he’s getting a new start,’ is the sort of progressive company I want to work for.”
Perlowin, who lives in Oakland, said he has sent out about 30 of the resumes so far, and gotten back about 10 positive responses.
He has not nailed down anything yet, but he said an “environmentally conscious” company handling a food product harvested in the rain forest has tentatively offered him a position as a national sales manager.
“I feel I’m highly qualified to enter the job market,” he said. “I’ve demonstrated my organizational skills.”
And quite an organization it was.
Perlowin–a slight, soft-spoken man of 41 who sounds more like a ’60s flower child than an entrepreneurial giant of the ’80s–cheerfully admits to running an operation that used a fleet of 90 boats and ships to haul 500,000 pounds of marijuana into California between 1974 and 1983. Sales totaled half a billion dollars.
He tells how he hired a research firm in Berkeley to study how other major drug dealers had operated, “finding out what mistakes they had made,” and seeking out the weak spots in law enforcement so he could set up his own counterintelligence system.
He talks about his hilltop surveillance centers that overlooked San Francisco Bay, crammed with sophisticated electronic gear used to monitor the FBI, Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Administration, customs agents and police.
He mentions the 1,000-foot pier he bought in the bay, safely under the radar shadow cast by the Richmond Bridge, where he set up a dummy boat-building works to cover massive offloadings of marijuana, “right under their noses.”
Also, he describes an elaborate money-laundering scheme–involving a Las Vegas casino, a Luxembourg trust, a Panamanian corporation and a bank in the Grand Cayman Islands–that he used to process the vast flow of small-denomination “street bills” generated by his illicit business.
And he reminisces, a bit wistfully, about the $3-million mansion that he built in a lovely canyon in Mendocino County–complete with bulletproof walls, a stairway that could be electrified to repel invaders and a complex communications center that tied him to the disparate operations of his international smuggling ring.
Thirty months after federal agents closed down his marijuana operation in 1983, Perlowin told The Times in a jail interview that he had been “the biggest in California–one of the biggest anywhere. No one else came close to the scale we were operating on.”
Federal officials did not dispute any of this.
“He’s for real,” Assistant U.S. Atty. James Lassart, head of a drug task force in San Francisco, said at the time. “When you meet him, you think he’s kind of flaky. But after you get to know him, you realize what he says is true. We corroborated it.”
Perlowin, who admits that he used to be “addicted to greed,” says it all started when he discovered as a teen-ager in Florida that there was enormous profit in selling marijuana to his high school friends.
“I thought people should smoke pot, take LSD, to expand their perceptions,” he said, recalling that he had justified his actions by telling himself that he “cared” about his customers.
As Perlowin’s sales expanded from ounces to pounds and eventually tons of marijuana each week, he moved his operations to California.
Transport planes were acquired to fly potent Punta Roja marijuana from the interior of Colombia to the coast, where it was loaded on boats recruited from the financially troubled Northern California fishing fleet. Larger craft–a 125-foot tug and an 85-foot minesweeper–stood by to assist in case of a breakdown on the 4,500-mile voyage to his dock in San Francisco Bay.
Perlowin said that by spring in 1983, his personal profit had totaled more than $30 million.
He said that even as he was mapping plans for one last, great haul before retiring from the smuggling business, one of his employees, documentation in hand, had begun talking to the FBI.
On March 11, 1983, Perlowin was on a jetliner, “headed for a yoga class in Detroit,” when the plane made a stopover in Chicago.
The resume, which began with the headline: “Ex-Marijuana Kingpin Needs a Job,” helped Perlowin get a $25,000-a-year position as national sales manager for the Rainforest Products company in Mill Valley.
Perlowin said he will use the same entrepreneurial skills that helped him build what federal authorities called the West Coast’s biggest marijuana-smuggling ring to market nut and cashew cereals.
“I can sell like a madman–I’ve proved that before,” the 41-year-old parolee said Thursday. “But this time I’ll do it in a legal, socially responsible, contributing way.
Perlowin wrote the unusual resume upon his release last month from nine years in federal prison, reasoning that, under the circumstances, filling out an ordinary job application would be “somewhat preposterous.”
The resume referred to Perlowin’s considerable management abilities, honed as he built and ran a smuggling empire that used a fleet of 90 boats and ships to haul 500,000 pounds of marijuana into California, with sales totaling half a billion dollars.
One of those who read the resume was Sat Santokh Singh Khalsa, a former manager of the Grateful Dead rock group who now heads Rainforest Products. “I think he’ll do a great job,” Khalsa said. “He’s shown that he’s imaginative and can work on a large scale while keeping track of details at the same time.”
SAN FRANCISCO — At first glance, Bruce Perlowin seems rather mousy–slight, bespectacled, soft-spoken, with a scraggly beard and tangled hair tied back in a ponytail–sort of a leftover flower child from the ’60s.
He talks about the love-ins, about “everyone sitting around in the sun, getting to know each other, listening to the band playing.” He says that his great dream was “to raise the consciousness of the planet”–through yoga and “smoking a little pot.”
But when you ask Perlowin, 34, about what he used to do for a living–before federal lawmen caught up with him and he was sentenced to from 10 to 15 years in prison–he makes it clear that the dream got sidetracked, and on a grand scale.
Fleet of 90 Vessels
He talks about the fleet of 90 vessels–including fishing boats, speed boats and even a converted minesweeper–that he used to haul about 340,000 pounds of marijuana into California over a five-year period, with sales totaling $120 million.
He tells how he hired a research firm in Berkeley to learn how other major drug dealers had operated, “finding out what mistakes they had made” and seeking out the “weak spots” in law enforcement so he could set up his own counterintelligence system.
He mentions the hilltop surveillance centers overlooking San Francisco Bay, crammed with sophisticated electronic gear used to monitor the Coast Guard, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Customs agents and local police.
He brags a little about the 1,000-foot pier he bought in the bay, safely under the radar shadow cast by the Richmond Bridge, where he set up a dummy boat-building works to cover massive offloadings of marijuana–“right under their noses.”
He describes an elaborate “money-laundering” scheme–involving a Las Vegas casino, a Luxembourg Trust, a Panamanian corporation and a bank in the Grand Cayman Islands–that he used to process the vast flow of small-denomination “street bills” generated by his illicit business.
And he reminisces–a bit sadly–about the $3-million mansion that he built in a lovely canyon in rural Mendocino County; complete with bullet-proof walls lined with steel, a stairway that could be electrified to repel invaders and a complex communications center that tied him to the disparate operations of his international drug-smuggling ring.
“I was the biggest in California–one of the biggest anywhere,” Perlowin said. “Nobody else came close to the scale we were operating on.”
Federal officials don’t dispute the point.
“He’s for real,” said Asst. U.S. Atty. James Lassart, head of the federal task force in San Francisco that put Perlowin behind bars.
‘What He Says Is True’
“When you first meet him, you think he’s kind of flaky,” Lassart said. “But after you get to know him, you realize what he says is true. We’ve corroborated it.
“He’s a very intelligent man. Very organized. He ran a very heady operation–the biggest we’ve ever seen.”
Perlowin–who has been spending most of his time recently at the federal penitentiary in Texarkana, Tex., where he has been serving concurrent sentences after pleading guilty to racketeering, income tax evasion, currency violations, smuggling and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise–is currently in the San Francisco County Jail.
Prosecutors here are trying to get him to testify before a federal grand jury about some of his more than 200 associates in the smuggling operation.
Sat Santokh Singh Khalsa, Sikh Leader
Born in 1939 in the Bronx, NY, the boy who was given the name Bertram Kanegson, decades later became Sat Santokh. He’s been an activist most of the last 50 years, a teacher of Kundalini Yoga for the last 40, and for a while, the manager of the Grateful Dead. Speaking of the early development of his journey, he says, “At age six, I knew what the Holocaust was. I lost almost all of my large extended family except for two or three. I remember the Movietone news in which we’d see images from the concentration camps. They were burned into me and shaped my life. I spent much of my life being angry with God.
Do you think that the world would be better off moving towards where people no longer hold to a particular collective identity?
Every religion has a beautiful and noble spiritual side. But most people are entangled with their pain and fear. For me, the different fundamentalists around the planet are all the same. There is no real difference between Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Islamic and Christian fundamentalists. They are all full of fear and anger, and they don’t understand at all what religion is really about.
I don’t think people need to give up being Jewish, or Hindu or Christian or any religion. But if they understood and really followed their practices, the world would be a better place.
What do you think the medicine is for healing confilct?
Actually, I think one of the things that needs to change on the planet is the way we raise our children. There are 10 or 15 countries in Europe where it’s illegal to beat a child. I’d like to see all religions take that stance. It’s probably my next project. I don’t expect to accomplish it in my lifetime. There are good people working on it, such as Alice Miller, who first wrote about the German experience and started the “Save the Children Foundation.”
Also, we need to learn to listen and talk like civilized people and work out conflict. When you are sitting in fear, it’s hard to do. Israel is like a powder keg of fear. The people may not go around thinking about it, but it’s so small and vulnerable that there is not a single person who cannot imagine Israel just disappearing from some great act of violence. They want to hold on to their place, though it’s a fear-based way, not in a long term, conscious way, of doing that. Even though we have fear, we need to learn to transcend the fear and look at what really needs to be done.
There’s very interesting work going on in Israel related to all this, but it’s not reached a position of policy making.
God is so central to most religions. What does it mean to you?
In my LSD experiences and in my practice I’ve experienced the divine in a number of different ways. Now, every day in my practice, I sit in a space of connection to the divine.
I know that in the Jewish tradition, there are wonderful discussions involving the famous leading rabbis telling about God. One transition I made was that I went from my head to my heart. I think with my heart, not my head, about my practice. Practice is experiential, not intellectual…….There is something or some “one” there, who I don’t understand. Neither male, nor female, infinite.
Sat Santokh Singh Khalsa is a Sikh teacher of the 3HO International, founded by Yogi Bhajan. He is a long time peace activist as well as teacher of Kundalini Yoga. He has dedicated his life to ending war and helping people heal from trauma.
Information about his life and current teachings is available on his website: http://satsantokh.com/
He has developed “Creating Our Future – Healing the Wounds of Life” workshops for personal and planetary healing: http://satsantokh.com/creating-our-future/