Manufacturing the Deadhead: A Product of Social Engineering… by Joe Atwill and Jan Irvin

Like Irvin, Atwill had become suspicious of the U.S. government’s many connections to the psychedelic movement, which reminded him of the Caesars’ intellectual debasing of their population to help bring on the Dark Ages.

When comparing the results of their research, Irvin and Atwill developed a theory about the origin of the psychedelic movement of the 1960’s: The “counterculture” had been developed by elements within the U.S. government and banking establishment as part of a larger plan to bring about a new Dark Age; or, as it was marketed to potential victims, an ‘archaic revival.’


Human beings need to have godhead symbols, and public relations counsels must help to create them.” ~ Edward Bernays, Father of Propaganda, 1920’s

The research of David McGowan has shown that the connections between military intelligence and the music idols that promoted drug use to America’s youth were too numerous to have been accidental. Among the many examples, Frank Zappa was the son of a specialist in chemical warfare. Jim Morrison’s father was Admiral Morrison, the same Admiral Morrison who oversaw the false flag Gulf of Tonkin incident that launched the Vietnam War that was genocide against the Vietnamese, and killed tens of thousands of American boys. Other rock idols with direct connections to the military included the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas and the Papas, the Grateful Dead and the Police.

The father of Police band member Stewart Copeland was the founder of the Office of Strategic Service (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, and he also co-founded the CIA. Ian Copeland, Stewart’s brother, went on to start the “New Wave” music movement, promoting bands such as his brother’s The Police, and also Squeeze, B-52s, The Cure, Simple Minds, The English Beat, and The Go-Go’s. David McGowan also pointed out that Ian Copeland deliberately associated government power with the pop music counterculture by the names he gave his organizations: “I.R.S. Records,” the band “The Police,” and his “F.B.I.” talent agency. [35]

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Jan Irvin saw troubling implications in his discovery. He was aware, of course, of the CIA’s infamous Project MK-ULTRA, in which the organization had given LSD to unsuspecting U.S. citizens. He also knew of the many conspiracy theories claiming that the government has been somehow involved with the creation of the “drug culture.”  He was also aware of Dave McGowan’s research on the drug and music movement that had come out of Laurel Canyon in the 1960‘s, which showed that many of the “rock idols” who created it were the children of members of military intelligence.[3]

So the fact that a member of the CIA had also been involved with the discovery of Psilocybe mushrooms fit into a large collection of troubling linkages between the American government and the drug culture that emerged during the 1960’s. Irvin decided to do further research into the government’s involvement with the “psychedelic movement”.

In 1992 Terence McKenna published in his book Archaic Revival:

These things are all part of the New Age, but I have abandon that term in favor of what I call the Archaic Revival—which places it all in a better historical perspective. When a culture loses its bearing, the traditional response is to go back in history to find the previous “anchoring model.” An example of this would be the breakup the medieval world at the time of the Renaissance. They had lost their compass, so they went back to Greek and Roman models and created classicism—Roman law, Greek aesthetics, and so on.[5] [emphasis added] ~ Terence McKenna

Most today assume that the CIA and the other intelligence-gathering organizations of the U.S. government are controlled by the democratic process. They therefore believe that MK-ULTRA’s role in creating the psychedelic movement was accidental “blowback.”

Very few have even considered the possibility that the entire “counterculture” was social engineering planned to debase America’s culture – as the name implies.

The authors believe, however, that there is compelling evidence that indicates that the psychedelic movement was deliberately created. The purpose of this plan was to establish a neo-feudalism by the debasing of the intellectual abilities of young people to make them as easy to control as the serfs of the Dark Ages. One accurate term used for the individuals who were victims of this debasing was “Deadhead,” which is an equivocation for a “dead mind” or “a drugged, thoughtless person.”

Aldous Huxley predicted that drugs would one day become a humane alternative to “flogging” for rulers wishing to control “recalcitrant subjects.” He wrote in a letter to his former student George Orwell in 1949:

(original full article)


But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.
Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. [emphasis added] [10]
~ Aldous Huxley

Decades later, one of the CIA’s own MK-ULTRA researchers, Dr. Louis Jolyon West, while citing Huxley had this to say on the matter:

The role of drugs in the exercise of political control is also coming under increasing discussion. Control can be through prohibition or supply. The total or even partial prohibition of drugs gives the government considerable leverage for other types of control. An example would be the selective application of drug laws permitting immediate search, or “no knock” entry, against selected components of the population such as members of certain minority groups or political organizations.
But a government could also supply drugs to help control a population. This method, foreseen by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World (1932), has the governing element employing drugs selectively to manipulate the governed in various ways.

It is also notable that two individuals associated with the Grateful Dead were once employees of the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program–band member and lyricist Robert Hunter [15], and author Ken Kesey[16] whose “Merry Pranksters” were often at the Grateful Dead shows promoting LSD use to the “Deadheads.” Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest promoted the archaic revival by concluding with a heroic American Indian escaping from modern tyranny and returning to a primitive culture. Furthermore, Grateful Dead song writer John Perry Barlow, in 2002, admitted in a Forbes magazine interview ironically titled “Why Spy?” that he spent time at CIA headquarters at Langley.[17]

MK-ULTRA ran a number of its operations near Haight-Ashbury, the San Francisco district where LSD would become commonly used. Declassified CIA records show that there were at least three CIA “safe houses” in the Bay Area where “experiments” – the giving of LSD to unsuspecting citizens – went on. This subproject of MK-ULTRA was code-named “Operation Midnight Climax.” Chief among Operation Midnight Climax’s  safe houses was the one at 225 Chestnut on Telegraph Hill, which operated from 1955 to 1965.

While the odd role that MK-ULTRA played in launching the psychedelic movement is well known, its involvement in bringing about another part of America’s descent into intellectual neo-feudalism is not. Incredibly, MK-ULTRA was also involved in bringing about the “New Age” quasi-religious movement, which debased the reasoning of anyone who succumbed to its philosophies.  Another progenitor of this movement, which believes in “channeling” and other fictional elements, was the book A Course in Miracles, written by two MK-ULTRA employees; William Thetford and Helen Schucman.[18] In the book the reader is asked to believe that Helen Schucman, a Jewish scientist hired by the CIA to study how to control the mind, was chosen by Jesus Christ to channel his current ideas to humanity.

At the same time the Grateful Dead was promoting LSD use in San Francisco, another music drug counterculture scene with many suspicious connections to military intelligence began promoting the drug to the young people attending the music clubs on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. The counterculture scenes in LA and San Francisco were part of a larger whole that included Britain and New York. The media gave the new music drug culture almost unlimited exposure, which reached its zenith with Life magazine’s coverage of the Woodstock music festival. Although Life presented Woodstock as three days of “Love and Understanding” it was in fact a culturally debased event – a true archaic revival – that featured drugged teenagers fornicating in the mud while their rock idols provided encouraging background music.

Many of the events that led up to the counterculture and Woodstock have been presented as accidental. For example, the string of occurrences that led to the publication of Life magazine’s cover story about Gordon Wasson’s experiences upon taking the psilocybin mushroom. Irvin has shown, however, in his paper Gordon Wasson: The Man, the Legend, the Myth, that there were too many contradictions in his story line for Wasson to have had the “chance meeting” with the editors of Life that led to the publication of the article:[19]

Wasson’s direct boss at J. P. Morgan was Henry P. Davison Jr. Davison was a senior partner and generally regarded as Morgan’s personal emissary.[20] As it turns out, it was Henry P. Davison who essentially created (or at least funded) the Time-Life magazines for J.P. Morgan in 1923. After a row with Henry Luce for publishing an article against the war for Britain in Life, Davison “became the company’s first investor in Time magazine and a company director.”[21]

Another J.P. Morgan partner, Dwight Morrow, also helped to finance the Time-Life start-up.

Davison kept Henry Luce in charge of the company as president, as he and Luce were both members of Yale’s Skull and Bones secret society, being initiated in 1920. In 1946 Davison and Luce then made C. D. Jackson, former head of U.S. Psychological Warfare, vice-president of Time-Life. It seems to me that the entire operation at Time-Life was purely for spreading propaganda to the American public for the purposes of the intelligence community, J.P. Morgan, and the elite. […]

Yet another Skull and Bonesman behind the establishment of Time-Life was Briton Hadden, who worked with Davison, Luce and Morrow in setting up the organization.  Hadden was also initiated into Skull and Bones in 1920. The list of Bonesmen that tie in directly to Wasson and his clique is astounding, and also includes people like Averell Harriman, initiated 1913, who worked with Wasson at the CFR[22], and was a director there.[23] […]

Documents also reveal that Luce was a member of the Century Club, an exclusive “art club” that Wasson had much ado with and may have held some position with, and which was filled with members of the intelligence and banking community.  Members such as George Kennan, Walter Lippmann and Frank Altschul appear to have been nominated to the Century Club by Wasson himself.[24] Graham Harvey in Shamanism says that Luce and Wasson were friends, and this is how he came to publish in Life:

A New York investment banker, Wasson was well acquainted with the movers and shakers of the Establishment. Therefore, it was natural that he should turn to his friend Henry Luce, publisher of Life, when he needed a public forum in which to announce his discoveries.[25]
~ Graham Harvey

[…] However, the most common version of the story is the one told by Time magazine in 2007:

Wasson and his buddy’s mushroom trip might have been lost to history, but he was so enraptured by the experience that on his return to New York, he kept talking about it to friends. As Jay Stevens recalls in his 1987 book Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream, one day during lunch at the Century Club, an editor at Time Inc. (the parent company of TIME) overheard Wasson’s tale of adventure. The editor commissioned a first-person narrative for Life.

[…] Since this article was written in the post-Luce and Jackson age, the author was a little more candid about the Wasson/Luce/J.P. Morgan/psychedelic revolution connections:

After Wasson’s article was published, many people sought out mushrooms and the other big hallucinogen of the day, LSD. (In 1958, Time Inc. cofounder Henry Luce and his wife Clare Booth Luce dropped acid with a psychiatrist. Henry Luce conducted an imaginary symphony during his trip, according to Storming Heaven.) The most important person to discover drugs through the Life piece was Timothy Leary himself. Leary had never used drugs, but a friend recommended the article to him, and Leary eventually traveled to Mexico to take mushrooms. Within a few years, he had launched his crusade for America to “turn on, tune in, drop out.” In other words, you can draw a woozy but vivid line from the sedate offices of J.P. Morgan and Time Inc. in the ’50s to Haight-Ashbury in the ’60s to a zillion drug-rehab centers in the ’70s. Long, strange trip indeed.[26]


There is a recording of Dr. Timothy Leary actually describing the retrograde culture that those who dropped out would participate in: In this talk, Leary, Alan Watts, Alan Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Allen Cohen describe how those that “tune in, turn on, drop out” would abandon modern culture and return to the status of a peasant.

It is important to note that marketing and PR expert Marshal McLuhan, who had a strong influence on Leary and later McKenna, is the one who actually developed the expression “Tune in, turn on, and drop out”:

In a 1988 interview with Neil Strauss, Leary stated that slogan was “given to him” by Marshall McLuhan during a lunch in New York City. Leary added that McLuhan “was very much interested in ideas and marketing, and he started singing something like, “Psychedelics hit the spot / Five hundred micrograms, that’s a lot,” to the tune of a Pepsi commercial. Then he started going, “Tune in, turn on, and drop out.”[14]


Culture normally changes slowly and for many reasons, and the 60’s American drug counter culture was certainly a long time in the making. But, incredibly, most of the events that led to it can be traced back to two men: Gordon Wasson and his close friend Edward Bernays, the father of propaganda. Given Bernays’ background and political perspective, his role in bringing about the drug culture is highly suspicious.

Bernays wrote what can be seen as a virtual Mission Statement for anyone wishing to bring about a “counterculture.” In the opening paragraph of his book Propaganda he wrote:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.[28]

Bernays’ family background made him well suited to “control the public mind.” He was the double nephew of Jewish psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud. His mother was Freud’s sister Anna, and his father was Ely Bernays, brother of Freud’s wife Martha Bernays.

When considering his influence on his nephew, it is important to bear in mind that though Freud is famous for his theories of individual psychoanalysis, he and the group that surrounded him developed the first theories concerning how to “pull the wires which control the public mind.” Among the key members of the Freudian psychoanalysis movement in England, most of whom were associated with the Tavistock Institute, were Gustave Le Bon, the originator of the term “crowd psychology”[29]; Wilfred Trotter, who promoted similar ideas in his book Instincts of the Herd in War and Peace[30]; and Ernest Jones, who  developed the field of Group Dynamics.[31] Bernays refers to all of these theorists in crowd control in his writings.

Crowds are somewhat like the sphinx of ancient fable: It is necessary to arrive at a solution of the problems offered by their psychology or to resign ourselves to being devoured by them.[32]
~ Gustave Le Bon

Freud often pointed out the positive effects of sublimation. In other words, that in order to maintain civilization, individuals needed to sublimate many sexual and violent urges. For example, Freud cited the need for males to sublimate what he named the Oedipal Complex, which he claimed was the innate desire of young males to kill their fathers in order to have intercourse with their mothers.

Bernays manufactured the public’s adoration of Enrico Caruso, who is often called the first American pop star.  Bernays wrote: “The overwhelming majority of the people who reacted so spontaneously to Caruso had never heard him before.”  “The public’s ability to create its own heroes from wisps of impressions and its own imagination and to build them almost into flesh-and-blood gods fascinated me. Of course, I knew the ancient Greeks and other early civilized peoples had done this. But now it was happening before my eyes in contemporary America.”[34]

In his 1980 interview in Playboy magazine John Lennon also claimed that the military and the CIA created LSD, though this did not stop him from encouraging its use:

We must always remember to thank the CIA and the Army for LSD. That’s what people forget. Everything is the opposite of what it is, isn’t it, Harry? So get out the bottle, boy — and relax. They invented LSD to control people and what they did was give us freedom.

In light of the discovery that the CIA funded Gordon Wasson’s trip to Mexico, Lennon’s comments begs the question as to how he came to his understanding about the CIA popularizing LSD, and raises additional questions about his assassination.

One thought on “Manufacturing the Deadhead: A Product of Social Engineering… by Joe Atwill and Jan Irvin

  1. Anonymous June 3, 2016 at 1:26 PM Reply

    Great article.


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