Sunday, 15. January 2017

The LSD cult that transformed America

The Brotherhood of Eternal Love emerged from the hippie culture of ‘60s California – but their ambitions were global. Benjamin Ramm looks at the books and ideas that shaped the group.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the great cultural moments of the last century, the ‘Summer of Love’. It will be commemorated as a season of celebration, but it was triggered by a protest event: the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in January 1967, organised in opposition to the prohibition of LSD. State and federal governments argued that the psychedelic drug, also known as acid, threatened the fabric of US life, and they were right – LSD made neither good consumers nor loyal citizens in a time of war. Their adversary was a group of lawless evangelists who had formed a church in devotion to the drug’s transformative power: the Brotherhood of Eternal Love.

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