Orange Sunshine

Nicholas Schou

Once upon a time, when LSD was legal and 1960s rock bands were creating music to assist in opening doors of perception, some fans/hipsters were inspired to completely knock doors off their hinges. Nicholas Schou’s written about how a group of Orange County LSD enthusiasts—the Brotherhood of Eternal Love—transformed from spiritual activists using LSD as a sacrament into the “hippie mafia.” His nonfiction history reads like a true-crime story. They counted Timothy Leary among their members and bankrolled The Weathermen, a radical underground left-wing organization, to break him out of jail. They supplied drugs to the Hell’s Angels at the infamous Rolling Stones concert at Altamont. The Brotherhood originated as utopian street dealers who found distributing, smuggling, and making money far easier than living the hippie lifestyle. Sloppiness and excess led to frequent busts, and overdoses and accidental deaths of the more elite members. This well-researched book (out in paperback Dec. 6) is not just a good read, but also gives a personal, anecdotal element lacking in other accounts of the era.