Fresh off the publication of Illuminatus!, the interview included RAW’s musings on conspiracy theories, space migration, life extension, the Eight Circuit Model and Aleister Crowley.
In response, Mae Brussell—the Matron Saint of Conspiracy Theorists—fired off the following letter challenging RAW’s contention that Tim Leary’s stint in prison was anything but difficult, and in actuality (or at least in Mae’s reality tunnel) Leary had been coddled by the Feds (and fed steak!) and that his time in lock-up was actually a cake-walk.
Mae further employed the cake metaphor to explain how the likes of Leary, RAW and John Lilly were in cahoots with the CIA to corrupt the youth of America!
White sugar is a drug in cake icing used to induce us to consume white flour. Sugar is, literally, a reward for eating the cake. Lilly, [Bucky] Fuller, Wilson, and Leary are the white sugar frosting that sweeps people into happy time, scooping them up into a dream world so they will avoid the reality of a good diet of sound action. Leary, Wilson and their likes are used by the CIA Intelligence Community to sugar sweet the yellow brick road to Oz, while the means to enslave mankind are being manufactured under our noses…
In response to Mae’s missive, RAW came clean about his role in this diabolical brainwashing plot, confessing that he’d been a “high Official of the Central Intelligence Agency since July 23, 1973” and, further agreeing with Mae’s theory on the “white sugar” allegations, agreed that:
Dr. Leary didn’t merely have a high time at that great pleasure resort, Folsom Prison, as Mae has discovered; he had a great time in all the 29 prisons he visited during the last six years, although actually most of the time he was living (with a private harem) in the Taj Mahal, only appearing at the prisons often enough to keep alive the myth that he was a political prisoner…
One might conclude that Mae’s theory re: RAW and Leary as dastardly members of this “white sugar mafia” was, in essence, a metaphor to suggest that they’d been used by intelligence agency handlers to soft peddle psychedelics and space migration and all the other heady stuff they were entertaining at the time.
In this vein, I remember hearing one of Mae’s tape recorded radio shows (from the early 1980s) where she claimed that Leary, RAW and other unnamed “spychiatrists” were part of a mind control squadron that went around brainwashing important people. For instance, Mae claimed that this Leary-RAW MK-ULTRA tag team showed up at Larry Flynt’s mansion (during the period that Flynt was attempting to expose the Kennedy assassination) and effectively messed with Flynt’s mind and influenced him to drop his one million dollar reward to expose the assassination. Afterwards, Flynt became increasingly erratic, like showing up for his trial dressed only in a diaper made out of an American flag, and a number of other publicity stunts that gave the impression he’d gone off his nut.
(If anyone has a copy or knows which episode from the Worldwatchers Archive of this specific Mae Brussell tape please contact your humble chronicler here at HD hindquarters so I know I just didn’t imagine hearing it.)
Given these peculiar insights, one wonders if Mae, at some point, hadn’t been exposed to the rantings of Kerry Thornley, as it was during this period (late-70s/early-80s) that Kerry’s schizophrenia kicked into high gear and he was making similar claims that both RAW and Leary were working as his handlers, covertly visiting him in Atlanta to do whatever it is that diabolical mind control handlers do. It makes perfect sense that Thornley may have contacted Mae in this regard, as during this period he was firing off letters left and right to whoever would listen to his JFK Assassination revelations, and his suspicions that he’d been MK-ULRTA’ed.
Case in point: A 1975 “affidavit” in which Kerry talked about a “team” of handlers he met in Atlanta, one of whom “bore an uncanny intellectual and psychological resemblance to an anarchist writer friend of mine [RAW] who lives in California…”
In RAW’s intro to The Prankster and the Conspiracy, he wrote:
I remember my last phone conversation with Kerry, during which he announced that just a week earlier I had come to Atlanta, argued with him about my alleged CIA connections, spiked his drink with LSD, and brainwashed him again. I told him that I had not left San Francisco in months, and that if he had a bad acid trip the previous week then somebody else gave him the acid, not me. I insisted on this as persuasively as I could.
Finally, Kerry relented—a bit. “Well, maybe you believe that”, he said. “But that means your bosses have been fucking with your head and implanting false memories in you too!”
“How do you argue that you haven’t had your head altered? “Look,” I said, I’ll put my wife Arlen on. She’ll tell you I haven’t left here in months.”
“That won’t prove anything,” he said with the calm certitude of a Gran Master announcing checkmate. “They probably fixed her head too.”
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I felt lost in an Escher painting…
A 1976 letter from Kerry (to Greg Hill) claimed that both Leary and RAW visited him that year, and he went on to write that, “I am literally surrounded by the intelligence community, but after the first three attempts to murder me things seem to have cooled down and most of the spies now appear to be on my side…”
During this period, RAW and Leary wrote on article (June 1976 issue of Oui) entitled “Brainwashing: How To Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind in Five Easy Steps” which may have further fueled the fire in the minds of some that RAW and Leary were taking names and washing brains!
Download “Brainwashing: How To Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind in Five Easy Steps” here.
6 replies on “RAW vs. Mae Brussell!”
seems like mae was jan irvin’s mentor
Honestly this doesn’t prove Mae wrong. To say Thornley contacted her is speculation at best. I feel Mae got some things wrong but she also got some things right. No one knows everything and we are all led by our intuition which leads us to search some avenues further than others. Could it be that you’re defending RAW because he wrote the forward to your book and you two are friends? It sounds more plausible than Thornley contacting Mae without a speck of evidence.
I was present on one of those days when Larry Flynt regaled the courtroom with his outrageous antics. He named mob types that he had been in business with and went into an anti-Semitic tirade against his Jewish lawyers. At the time I was research director for Flynt’s short-lived Rebel Magazine and sometimes acted as a liaison between Larry and Mae.
Ah, very interesting, Ted!