A 2011 production of HAIR; the wildly popular 1968 anti-war American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Was the CIA behind HAIR too?
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"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same way in any country."
-- Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall, Luftwaffe-Chief and founder of the Gestapo, at the Nuremberg trials
The CIA and the 1960s West Coast Music Scene
We had written an article about mind control that included the role of a top-secret CIA research project known as Project MK-ULTRA. MK-ULTRA operated from the early 1950s through the 1960s by using Americans (without their consent) as guinea pigs in an illicit research project to alter mental states and brain function. The project remained secret for two decades until 1975 when the Church Committee Hearings revealed the CIA's illegal activities. We knew that MK-ULTRA was involved in experiments in sensory deprivation and sexual abuse. But what really got our attention back then was the confirmation that MK-ULTRA had infiltrated the New Age anti-Vietnam War Movement to undermine its legitimacy, which included the widespread distribution of psychedelic drugs.
As teenagers growing up in the 1960s the San Francisco and Laurel Canyon music scenes and the antiwar movement were synonymous. A new age was dawning and our generation wanted to believe that we could keep war from becoming part of it. What we didn't know until recently was how much influence military intelligence and the CIA had in forming what we believed was an organic outgrowth of popular sentiment.
The Laurel Canyon Connection
Before bands such as The Mothers of Invention, The Byrds, The Mamas and The Papas and The Doors became famous, the songwriters, musicians and singers who would form those bands flocked from all over North America to Laurel Canyon. What was strange about this sudden migration of musical talent to Laurel Canyon was the absence of a music industry in the area at the time. What it did have though was Vito Paulekas and the Freaks; a regular feature of the Sunset Boulevard Club scene starting in 1964. Paulekas became well known for supplying a corps of wildly frenzied dancers to stir up interest in the new Laurel Canyon bands and is credited with their early success. Having materialized a musical revolution out of thin air, he has also been credited as the inspiration for the hippie movement, its fashion and its free-love communal lifestyle.
Another oddity of the Laurel Canyon phenomenon was that a large percentage of the artists who arrived descended from America's most influential ruling families, came with military or intelligence backgrounds, or were somehow connected to high-ranking military personnel or intelligence operatives. One example of this unusual confluence of talent is Frank Zappa(Mothers of Invention), who spent his youth at the Edgewood Arsenal Chemical Biological Center where his father worked as a chemical-warfare specialist. It also happens that the Edgewood Arsenal was connected to MK-Ultra's chemical mind-control program.
Major Floyd Crosby, father of David Crosby (Crosby, Stills and Nash), was an Annapolis graduate and WWII military intelligence officer descended from a prominent New York-elite founding family, the Van Rensselaers. Crosby's mother's family, the Van Cortlandts, started their American adventure in 1637.
And then there were The Doors. According to Wikipedia, keyboardist Ray Manzarek served in "the highly selective Army Security Agency as a prospective intelligence analyst in Okinawa and then Laos" in the run-up to the Vietnam War. The Doors' producer for their first five albums, Paul Rothchild also served a stint in the same elite Military Intelligence Corps in 1959.
When the Music's Over Turn out the Lights