Now You Can Read the Banned
Review of an
30 Years Later You Can Decide:
or PC Gone Crazy?
Note: The Bugle
" discusses the controversy surrounding this
actual staff vote was taken in the
Fall of 1970 on
whether it should be printed or withheld because of the
comments on the physical characteristics of the singer,
Kathy Leibsch --
someone I had never heard of nor seen before, and have
not since, either. I lost, and subsequently quit the
paper. It is printed partly because I hate to waste
anything, especially something I took the time to write
as part of my job and felt should be appreciated, not
rejected, and because the objections are symptomatic of
their time -- if misguided, even as they seemed to me
then -- and therefore of historical interest, as are
the cultural and Milwaukee references
in general. I hope this article, as well as the others
I reproduce in the Zonyx Report, will
add to the picture we have of the old Underground
Press today. Certainly the utter
conventionality of the piece would make one think Kaleidoscope, for
one, did nothing to shake up the establishment, though
of course in this regard, as in many other ways, it was
all over the map. I do wonder what became of Ms.
Leibsch -- if she were half as talented and
attractive as I seemed to think, she should have gone
far. The funny thing is, I don't remember one minute of
the evening in question. But that, they say, is the 60s, which
didn't stumble out of Milwaukee
until the early 70s, just
as they were late in getting here. For more on Kaleidoscope's
treatment of sexism -- as I wrote it -- click here.]
If you accept the
premise that folk music includes the more
contemporary, urban-oriented stylizations of such
as Melanie, Judy Collins, Dylan or Peter, Paul and
Mary -- and why not? -- the id
& eggo folk-haven offers
a fine showcase for the best talent around.
About the concept: id & eggo is
found at the Loser's
Club [now the Y-Not II], 706
E. Lyon St. But it is an independent
operation -- 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday
and Saturday -- in a large candle-lit back
room with an ambience all its own.
revivification of the art can be credited to
brothers Rod and Norb
Eglash [another Eglash,
pharmacist Hy, owned the late Oriental Drugstore, and is now at Osco Drugs on Farwell Ave.],
who have been planning and thinking and
preparing for the opening of their folk-haven
"for 15 years," as they explain it.
The brothers point out
that they were were brought up in a tradition
of folk-music -- they mention Guthrie,
Seeger, Belafonte and Baez -- and feel they
have a mission "to bring folk music to
all age groups."
For the present, only
the over-21 group can legally visit the
folk-haven, but there are plans for Sunday
afternoon jams for younger folk buffs.
Rod (a social worker)
and Norb (an advertising manager) will
continue their full-time jobs while managing
the id & eggo, believing that
"people in their twenties, thirties,
forties and even sixties should identify with
music of their era -- and they'll find
something of it in the folk tradition as we
try to present it here."
To the Eglash
brothers, this is a broad tradition. A singer
or singers appearing in front of a simple
backdrop, accompanied by a minimum of
unamplified instruments -- acoustic guitar,
usually, but perhaps a banjo, harmonica, harp
or autoharp -- probably qualifies as folk
This allows for a
diverse selection of entertainment. Many of
the folk-haven's performers do original
material, but they routinely draw on the
output of such artists as Tom Rush, Josh
White, Jack Elliott and Buffy St. Marie, to
name a few.
folk-haven's relationship with the Loser's Club
is primarily spatial, though friendly -- and
financial. This means there is a $1 (75¢ to
students with ID) admission for the
performers, the rent and expenses, and a $1
drink minimum for the Loser's Club owner.
I recently caught a
full cycle of entertainment on a Saturday
night (there are three sets, providing
continuous entertainment; that night three
acts repeated to fill each set).
It was what we
might have once expected from a good night at
the now-dead Avant
Garde, with an
especially reverential audience (perhaps a
bit over-awed, at that, but the genius of the
Eglashes seems to lie in making us think that
folk music is, really, important) receptive
to a lineup of talent that ranged from the
pleasant to the compelling.
professionalism was Doug
Harris, who bothered
with no nonsense, no introduction of songs
"that I really take to heart," or
"my favorite song of all time," --
as some of the others did -- but got right on
with it in a style that needed no excuses.
projection -- vocal and instrumental -- was
rather rare among the others. Which is not to
say that they were untalented, but that they
could well drop the semi-professional
diffidence (such as Mark
"Well, I 'm going to do this one alone,
and I guess you'll have to put up with
it") and play to the audience as if it
were listening because they enjoyed what was
happening. Generally, they did. And if they
don't care what's happening, make them listen
-- or get off.
Specifically, Chris Neuenfeldt was charming, if occasionally a
little too introspective, working primarily
in the pure vein of Collins and Baez, and
with her own compositions. Inevitably, sweet
rather than powerful, but still a graceful
The team of Mark Attermeir
and Kathy Leibsch was pretty much more of the same,
except that they were two without quite
doubling the impact. Several times they did
come through quite well as a team -- an extra
dose of good spirits was added once as
Attermeier's sister joined in on tambourine
-- but Attermeir's contribution generally was
Folksinging as a steady diet does have a
somewhat dated quality, though there is no reason
why -- in its broader definition as noted earlier
-- it can't bring a crowd back for more, making id & eggo, as the proprietors hope, "the place
But it was somewhat of
a cultural shock shock for me, having
witnessed the day before yet another street
demonstration by a virtually disinherited
generation, window-trashings and beatings and
all, to be plunged into a scene staged like
the early 'sixties.
around at beer parties -- no grass -- singing
Peter, Paul & Mary to someone's guitar,
the pious "protest" songs or the
Kingston Trio's rousing pseudo-historical
performers had that same college-kid
wholesomeness -- it was beyond belief that
there still are such people. With the
exception of Doug
Harris, who at least
looked -- and sang -- as if he had lived a
little bit, they all had the scrubbed,
trim-bearded and long, straight, shiny-hair
appeal right out of an early Peace Corps
Well, they are
certainly not to be faulted for their looks
-- and it may be only the appearance of
innocence, politically, after all -- but it
made for an air of incredible irrelevancy.
Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, among many, can
make one believe their music is more than an
empty vehicle honoring forms of the past.
There is real, radical substance there.
This is not
necessarily the fault of the performers. The Eglash brothers
have, though the room is pleasant -- subdued
light, gold stars on the ceiling, a variety
of couches and tables, an out-of-the-way
coziness -- created somewhat of a drawing
The music is to be
enjoyed -- or not, if such is your reaction
-- after all, not worshipped. Though I won't
quarrel with the $1 cover, the $1 minimum
drink, no matter how little one is hassled,
is a bit much. Far better would be 15¢
beers, less of a concert hall atmosphere and
more give-and-take in the proceedings.
Though I don't
suggest sawdust and peanut shells on the
floor [no doubt a reference to Hooligan's on North Ave.],
an increased flow of cheaper booze, some
relaxing of inhibitions and better times all
around, with the talent struggling a little
against the natural conversational bent of
people out for the evening seems to be in
Unless it's to
be a cathedral visited once a year by the
faithful -- and what East
Side couple will start
out spending $4 to get in the church?
But one almost
extra-planetary vibration which shouldn't
pass unmentioned: It's probably not too
healthy for a movement-oriented medium like Kaleidoscope to dwell on superficial
characteristics not related to talent, but
I'll ignore such a precept any time to remark
on someone as vibrantly impressive as Kathy Leibsch.
Leibsch was so outstandingly
an attention-getter, simply lovely and so
glowing -- albeit with that frightening
wholesomeness -- as to make her voice almost
of secondary concern. I'd almost pay just to
look at her, and that's a quality that won't
hurt any artist.
Her voice -- for
example, in a nicely-explored version of
"Both Sides Now" -- didn't
neutralize any of that attention, and I'd
like to hear more.
Rod and Norb have
promised a great deal more of everything.
five from the top of the list: Max Malinaro, Barry Ollman, Reggie McLeod,
Pat Knudson and Muriel
Hogan, and perhaps
surprise drop-ins by name performers when in
Of special interest is the
appearance of Ric Ollman, classical guitarist and
flutist [and poet], mentioned previously in
this column and justly presaged by Rod in his
soft, between-sets rap from the stage as
"one of the finest classical guitarists
in this area, and I mean this part of the
country, at least."
And by the way -- the
"eggo" derives from a nickname
given Eglash's father as a young boy, and
what more could you possibly want to know?
something about the curious gestalt of the Loser's Club itself
-- but that's another column.
MARCH 20, 1970
A note from
the editors about this article:
This is an important
story. It is based on an interview with a Milwaukee dealer who became a narc,
and should be of interest to the general
reader and anybody with a special concern
about present day enforcement of narcotics
It may also be the source
of misunderstandings about our intentions by
segments of the hip community and by those
who consider themselves liberals who take
responsible positions. For the confirmed
heads and uptight dealers who sometimes blame
Kaleidoscope for drawing attention to
their activities, we can only say that the
narcs are here to stay -- at least until the
laws are changed -- whether or not Kaleidoscope ever mentions drugs.
And they don't have to
read Kaleidoscope to know what's happening.
The only significant
responses to their favorite tactics of
terrorism and bribery will come from an
informed community, based on articles like
those in this issue. And for those who may
read into this story support for those who
deal in all drugs, including heroin, our
position is this:
We unequivocally support
the legalization of marijuana and its
relatives, the mind drugs. The evidence
pointing to their beneficial nature is
overwhelming. Their proper use is a subject
for education, not secret police tactics.
Some drugs, such as speed,
have harmful effects if misused, like many
chemical substances, but again this is a
matter for education, not law.
In the case of heroin and
hard drugs, the evidence is far from
conclusive. It is entirely possible that they
appeal to a certain number of people who are
physiologically and psychologically looking
for something to be addicted to. These people
always find it, at the terrible price of
becoming criminals to pay police-created
It is also possible that
the supposed harmful physical effects may
result from ignorance of the principles of
proper injection techniques and from economic
and psychological factors rather than the
And it is entirely
feasible that confirmed addicts can lead
productive and useful (if that's what society
demands) lives while receiving free
maintenance doses. It is done in England, for example.
How many doctors thrive on
their daily, secret morphine fix? They are,
in fact, our largest single professional
class of drug addicts. Nurses are second.
Both get away until they are turned in by
At any rate, the problem
-- if it does exist -- is not a matter for
the police, whose activities create a large
criminal class that turns against the
straights to survive, and which subsidizes
Opium derivatives would be
among the cheapest of substances to
manufacture, in a natural economy.
Furthermore, we will
vigorously fight against that brand of police
activity which depends on secret police,
addicted stoolies, paid informers and gestapo
tactics of search and destroy (the addict).
If there is a problem, it
must be dealt with at its sociological and
psychological roots, through the favorite
panacea of the liberals in the middle class:
education. But the people -- even
drug-dependent people -- must be protected
from the pigs.
And all narcs are
pigs who root around in human misery --
without changing a thing -- while getting fat
in the process. [M. Z.]
Journalistic Abuse or MJ
By Mike Zetteler
1970 article looks at the
over marijuana use promoted by The Milwaukee
Journal. I made very few
I enhanced the typography a bit to make it
appealing on the Internet.]
With a series of
articles beginning Sunday, May 10 ,
entitled "Our Turned On Youth"
— supposedly an investigation of drug abuse
among high school students — The
Milwaukee Journal has sacrificed the
talents of four fine reporters and whatever
credibility it had as an enlightened force in
the area of public education.
Whatever the intentions of the
reporters, the series plays on the worst
fears of the conservative older members of
society over such essentially beneficial
activities as marijuana smoking.
At a time when millions of
persons from all walks of life — teachers,
reporters, cops, students, soldiers, welders,
lawyers, and executives — are smoking grass
and suffering only from the fear they may be
prosecuted under the laws that were the
product of massive misinformation, the Journal
has taken a frightening step backward.
At a time when hundreds of
thousands of middle-class kids and countless
— by this time — sons and daughters of
senators and government officials face
prosecution and jail as marijuana users, the Journal
adds to the needless anguish of
parents and the youthful victims of
repressive laws by feeding the climate which
delays repeal of anti-marijuana legislation.
At a time when marijuana laws
are used for outright political suppression
and to restrict the advocacy of ideas
generated by the alternative culture — 9
1/2 years to White Panther leader John
Sinclair for giving away two joints to a
narcotics agent, 20 years to Dr. Timothy
Leary for possession of a small quantity
of grass — the Journal is
doing its part to foster this witch hunting
and attack on individual liberty.
Even if inspired by an admirable
wish to save so-called "drug
abusers" from themselves, the series
relies on an anonymous format — thus
reducing reporter's individual responsibility
— to present a manufactured horror story
whose ingredients are myth, half-truths,
self-seeking statements from officials with a
vested interest in maintaining "drug
abuse" as a governmental concern, and
manipulated and edited interviews with those
least prepared to defend their way of life.
I mean, of course, young persons
who volunteered when, in the series' words, a
"reporter, after putting out the word to
schools that he wanted to talk to abusers and
pushers, had 24 in a few days."
Whoever edited the series,
possibly Alex Dobish himself — the reporter who
"coordinated the project" as well
as reported for it — decided that any user
they talked to would be labeled a
"drug-abuser" — if not a
"pusher" — for shrewd
article from the same Kaleidoscope.]
And I wonder: If the Journal
did a serious investigation into the values
of, say, democracy, would they query average
high school students, letter club officers or
even student-body presidents? I think they
would go to statesmen, philosophers and
social theorists — from Thomas Jefferson to
Barry Goldwater to Abbie Hoffman.
It would certainly be beneath
their integrity to pit young spokesmen
against leading proponents of fascism or
religiously dominated states, from General
Franco of Spain to the Pope
himself. Yet, with no qualms the reporters
seek out kids who may or may not have
problems, with only one thing in common —
some experience with drugs of many different
On the other side we have the
sterile authoritarian spokesmen for all that
is repressive, unimaginative and machine-like
in an urban, profit-oriented culture.
These are the voices of the
school principals and administrators —
public school administrators, not the O'Neill's
of Summerhill fame or the Leslie
Fielders who have the security of tenure
and recognition in many universities.
These are the rigid medical and
psychological opinions of the most
institutionalized and dehumanized experts —
officials of county and government supported
hospitals, who are unfortunately faced with
providing for society's most pathetic
rejects, while reflecting the values of the
very society that caused the problem.
And no school administrator ever
kept his job by telling a worried parent or
scare-mongering reporter, "So Johnny's
smoking a little grass? So what, it's
nothing to get upset about — probably does
him good. I turn on weekends myself, really
helps me get a perspective on things. And
I've got a really great stereo..."
Who would you want for the head
of the cuckoo's nest that is Nicolet High
School? A powerful, creative and
accomplished novelist like Ken Kesey,
or its present principal, book-burning
automaton James 0. Keiels?
But nowhere in this series is
the voice of an Aldous Huxley, Allen
Ginsberg, Alan Watts, Ken Kesey,
William James or Timothy Leary
heard to defend the values of psychedelic
experiences. Not that one would have to go so
far from Journal Square to find a
balancing point of view — in fact, Alex
Dobish and crew need look no farther than
the Journal's city room, and
they know it.
Maybe even more damaging is the
fact that an extensive body of scientific
investigation into the medical, social and
political implications of marijuana has been
Wait a minute — wasn't this a
series about drug abuse in high schools?
Naturally, that's where the
reporters went. That's where the problem is.
Oh yeah? What problem? That is
the real point of these comments — that
there may be problems of many sorts among
high school students — and everybody else
— but the series has done absolutely
nothing but assume the very thing that
millions are disputing: that marijuana is one
of these problems.
Then, the error is aggravated by
looking to cops and scholastic
disciplinarians for control of the
Ignored is the plight of
thousands of youngsters who are getting a
good taste of jail or have records as
convicted felons for using or selling to
their friends a substance that even the Journal
series can find no real fault with
except that it causes red eyes, or perhaps
"makes the user accident prone."
In an age when a real campaign
to remove marijuana from anyone's list of
dangerous drugs is called for, the Journal
chooses to march backward by
indiscriminately lumping it with everything
from alcohol to cocaine [note the
In an enlightened time when the
best thought is toward not punishing real
addicts -- from alcoholics to junkies — but
to treatment aimed at psychological and
sociological causes, the Journal
has put its resources into reversing this
And the real sufferers of the
barbaric attitude that calls for the
imprisonment of heroin addicts and marijuana
users are ultimately the public. The junkie
is driven to crime to pay for his heroin on
the Mafia's black market, which in
turn uses its profits to make inroads into
more legitimate businesses. With marijuana,
the enormous costs of police and courts
necessary to begin to enforce invalidated
laws are born by tax-paying parents who are
paying for the privilege of sending their own
children to jail.
itself has called attention
to the sick web of stoolies, paid informers
and the like [see story at right], which
police maintain to keep up their arrest
quota. While remarkably ineffectual in
controlling drug use, the informer system
results in innumerable infringements on the
right to be free of police entrapment and
Unfortunately for these kids and
their parents, the Journal could
have done a lot to improve communications
between the generations and regained the
respect of its younger readers. But it chose
not to do so; no doubt, all too many will
take its slanted, vicious series as the
ultimate in a balanced, concerned
In one article, I cannot, of
course, completely discuss the marijuana
debate as such, or the larger question of
whether it should be punishable by jail to
merely possess or use privately any substance
under the sun.
But I can provide a direction
for the concerned reader in which to look,
which the Journal has failed to
do. You wouldn't know it, but there are many
reputable books, containing results of
clinical studies, scientific monographs and
overall views on the uses of drugs in this
culture which are of infinite more worth than
hokey interviews with school officials and
self-proclaimed "drug abusers."
Of course, it is in the Journal's
interest — given its intentions — to
ignore sound scientific data and rely on
inference, juxtaposition and omission to
achieve the distortion of reality it passes
off as a weighty series on drug abuse.
It is therefore necessary to
expose these devices, and throw in a little
explanatory background information, even
concerning the personal lives
and work habits of Journal
reporters, because the four reporters
involved should not sleep well nights, after
having prostituted themselves to produce this
outrage against morality and common sense.
Are you noted for serious, heavy
drinking, Alex Dobish? Remember,
I worked in the Journal library
for 13 months. l am sometimes noted for
serious, heavy drinking, I'll admit, and I've
also noticed the habitually drunken reporters
at Joe Deutsch's and the Turner's
Club. Or nodding at their desks.
wrote a story detailing his own chronic
alcoholism, long concealed -- to the extent
of keeping jugs of fine wine in his car
trunk to down even as he continued to work.]
But you say, what has that to do
A man can drink hard and still
be productive, and it's none of anyone's
business. Look at [humor columnist] Gerry
But you, Alex Dobish, are
helping to send kids to jail with this
series. Even alcoholics are not jailed for
owning a bottle of whiskey. Are you proud?
And you, Mike Schmitz, with your slightly unkempt
hair, a moustache, the Journal's
likeable hippie reporter. You donate your
time and special awareness to the
Underground Switchboard. Do you smoke
You and I know which of your
colleagues do. Or some of them — I have not
worked at the Journal for three
years, and undoubtedly grass is more
prevalent now than it was. Are you
happy, Mike Schmitz, that a mother
will agonize and her child go to jail,
because you wrote for a series which defines
marijuana use as a problem and, ultimately, a
Black reporter Shirley
Hatchett, can you be unaware that
drug laws are primarily used against
minorities — Blacks, Latin Americans,
political dissidents and now the emerging
alternative culture? How many Blacks are
exposed to the training schools of crime, the
prisons, [for] minor narcotics violations,
while affluent suburban white youths are
The climate is slowly changing
as wealthy white kids are being prosecuted in
ever greater numbers — but you have done
nothing to help.
Education reporter David L
Bednarek, why haven't you done your
homework? Let me suggest a reading list for
Because this is a point that
should be brought home to the Journal's
editors: The series not only fails to please
a drug-crazed minority of hippies and
radicals, it is simply sub-standard
To quote Gerald Grant in
the Spring 1970 issue of the Columbia
Journalism Review, on a newspaper:
"work tends to be defined as scurrying
about and asking questions. It is the
rare reporter who has the fortitude to sit at
his desk and read a book on a subject he
intends to write about.
"Not infrequently one reads
a long newspaper series — in which hundreds
of man hours of reporting and travel time
have been invested — and it's glaringly
obvious that some of the most basic books
written in that field have not been glanced
at by the writers."
Similarly, Grant writes,
"The reporter calls an expert for a
quote as an unfortunate shortcut to thinking
the problem through himself. He asks not what
do I think, but what do they think? He seldom
has a sense of personal responsibility for
what he writes."
Surely the Journal
could have provided some depth to exhibit, as
Grant says, "an independent intelligence
that seeks to wrest meaning from the torrent
of events rather than acting as mere
The sad thing is, though, that
the four reporters are acting as transmission
belts precisely because their investigations
are being used by the Journal to fit
someone's preconceived notions about drugs
and what the public should know.
Let's take a look at how the
series achieves some of its more insidious
effects, in a strikingly uniform handling of
subject matter. Its most glaring fault
lies in the definition of terms.
As I've mentioned, any subtlety
is excluded from the start: "Drug USE is
the properly directed use of drugs in medical
treatment... Drug ABUSE is the use of a
variety of products — from aspirin to
heroin — not for medicinal benefits but to
change one's level of awareness."
There you have it: IF it's
medicine it's all right. Anything else that
changes one's level of awareness is
abuse. It follows that anyone who
admits to having used these substances should
be labeled a drug-abuser. Using these loaded
terms, the series goes on to try to prove the
existence of a problem by referring to the
very thing that should indicate something is
wrong with this classification: the large
number of people who indulge in the activity.
And what does "change one's
level of awareness" mean?
Certainly, no one smokes grass
with the same set of expectations that lead
one to turn to downers. Let me indulge
then, in a scientific definition of terms,
which the Journal finds
convenient to dispense with.
It is from the book, The
New Social Drug; cultural and legal
perspectives on marijuana, edited by
David E. Smith, M.D., and published as a
paperback Spectrum Book by Prentice-Hall,
Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
In an article titled Use
of Marijuana in the Haight-Ashbury
Subculture, J. Fred E. Schick, M.D.,
David E. Smith, M.D. and Frederick H. Meyers,
M.D. write: "It is of central importance
to distinguish between the use and the abuse
of a particular drug, whether one talks about
alcohol, marijuana, or the amphetamines.
Any drug may be used or it may be abused.
For example, many people drink alcohol but do
not become alcoholics. How then do we define
abuse? Abuse may be defined as the use of a
drug to the point where it seriously
interferes with the user's health, social or
But this definition is ignored
by the Journal precisely
because nowhere — if one scrutinizes what
said and discards the skillfully planted
emotional inferences — is it ever stated
why grass is considered dangerous. How then
can it be abused? Consider their table of
drugs and effects. Grass produces
"erratic behavior, distortion of time,
space, color and sounds and loss of
memory" following bigger doses. Small
doses produce "feeling of great
perceptiveness and relaxed pleasure."
In such bald terms, "loss
of memory" is an outright lie, though
one's experiences of events — including the
memory of them -- are necessarily affected.
As for the rest, they certainly aren't
expressed in positive terms — imagine a
symphony on a radio described as a
"distortion" of normal sound; that
is, what the listener hears before he turns
the stereo receiver on. Essentially,
marijuana awakens a dormant sense of
appreciation in a manner similar to turning
on a radio.
Or describe it any way you like
— naturally it has effects, but if this is
the worst they can come up with, many people
should wonder why John Sinclair is
serving 9 1/2 years in jail.
Oh yes — it also "makes
the user accident prone." But nowhere in
the whole bloody series is this charge
documented. All the research — as the
reader can confirm for himself, in the book
mentioned — is to the contrary. Even if
true, this charge would merely indicate
common sense [be used], as in any human
activity, not jail for the users.
One last "danger" —
that of "psychological
addiction." But of course if it
isn't dangerous, any sort of addiction isn't
dangerous. And anyway, psychological
addiction is no addiction at all, as you
might be able to figure out if the writers
wanted you to.
Psychological addiction means
that you find it pleasurable and tend to do
it again. Like eating sundaes, mountain
climbing or watching television, it may
become a part of your life.
Of course pot is pleasurable, or
people wouldn't take it up. But we
trust that most people learn to regulate
their lives to allow for pleasurable and
unpleasurable activities. Nothing
"I look at it as
a community service"
be finer than a nice spontaneous walk on a
pleasant summer day, but your average wage
earner will overcome the temptation and stick
at his job.
He has learned that working
ultimately produces its own rewards, and that
a walk in the sun won't keep a roof over his
head in the winter. The same for pot-smoking:
it's just a part of life, and very little
comes for free.
Paradoxically, the detractors of
grass used to argue that it inflamed one to
the point of committing crimes of passion and
violence: rape, murder or the legendary,
"I'm a bird and I can fly out the
window" suicidal scene. Now they claim
it leads to lethargy, indolence and lack of
Well, it's hard to deal with
myths, and the Journal doesn't
help. Oddly enough — perhaps because the
series tries to avoid creating a favorable
attitude towards grass among its readers —
the users interviewed seemed to have had
rather a disappointing time of it.
Well, it's too bad but grass,
like alcohol, doesn't agree with everyone. On
the other hand, it should be a point in its
favor that it's not an irresistible delight.
But the series doesn't have to depend on fact
to achieve its effects.
To take a typical example, we
are told about a car with Wisconsin
plates that was seen harvesting wild
marijuana in South Dakota.
The driver was stopped and
arrested on his return to Wisconsin.
The next paragraph: "We
concentrate on the pusher," (police
inspector) Dolan said. "We feel the
pushers are the most vicious people
Next paragraph: "Marijuana
also grows wild in some sections of the
state. It's there for the picking."
The whole passage is introduced
by reference to the Winnebago State
Hospital, "where hopeless addicts
sometimes end up, physically and
mentally wrecked -- vegetables."
Is anyone claiming that there is
any such thing as a hopeless marijuana
addict? Vegetables, no less? But somehow
people picking wild
marijuana are labeled "vicious
people," because they -- naturally --
are going to sell it to those that don't have
Of course, the distinction
between a pusher and a dealer is ignored for
the purposes of making (headline): Mothers Weep as They
Learn of Sons' Drugs. But the hip
community, like Steppenwolf, knows a
dealer is a man with a lot of grass in his
hand, and a friend, but "Goddamn the
If the series' irresponsible
refusal to look honestly at the differences
between heroin and marijuana didn't turn you
off right away, you were then treated to
interviews with "abusers."
Poor 17 year old Mary, who "smoked a lot
of crud," which she thinks was not even marijuana.
After several more sessions she (a "hippee"
and a "neophite," which are
certainly unusual spellings) succeeded in
being not depressed. But even hash turned
her off, and she gave the whole thing up.
Then, incredibly, we are told
she "watched some of her friends get
deeper and deeper. Drug suppliers profited.
They traded on the misery and pleasure that
drug abusers get."
What is the meaning of that
garbage? The subject is pot, remember.
How did they get "deeper and
deeper?" You mean that, unlike Mary,
they liked it?
Then how is anybody trading on their
Of course, dealers make a profit
— but remember, even though it grows wild
for the picking, Alex Dobish and Co.
like to see the pickers sent to jail. So the
dealer is compensated for his risks, charging
what the traffic will bear. This is known as
It's probably pointless to
analyze all the distortions in the articles.
The pattern is always the same. The
histories of kids with problems are
superficially analyzed, and they all seem to
start with grass and then LSD
and go on to speed or heroin.
What good does it do to quote experts
elsewhere in the article who point out that grass
is not addicting and does not lead in any
meaningful sense to heroin?
The worried parent reads the lurid case
histories and makes the obvious associations.
Of course, well-adjusted users
are notably missing from the interviews,
though if the problem is so extensive as to
give rise to percentages of users in student
bodies of 50%, surely some scholarly,
well-adjusted dopers could be found.
While the series does, at first
glance, seem to recognize that marijuana
smokers like to call attention to others'
dependency on alcohol, an important point is
ignored. This argument is really meant to
point out the hypocrisy of alcohol users, not
to say that all drugs are equally bad.
In fact, marijuana is
nothing but a boon to most of its supporters,
and a remedy for alcoholism.
This effect is verified by the Haight-Ashbury
study I mentioned. Yet the Journal
tries to use alcohol's known disastrous
effects to influence our thinking about
And what are we to make of this
double talk by Dr. Treffert of Winnebago
State Hospital on the relative merits of grass
and alcohol: "It is true that
there is no compelling evidence that the
occasional use of marijuana is harmful in the
"But, the marijuana user
starts out specifically to get himself to the
point of intoxication in order to avail
himself of the drug effects.
"The alcohol user
generally is not looking for intoxication but
rather relaxation and some of the other
effects of the drug short of
In other words, no matter what
effects you're after with grass, if it
works for you, you're guilty of intoxication.
But with alcohol, you've got to be
falling-down drunk, otherwise you're just
And this outrageously slanted
value system is also a justification for
sending smokers to jail or mental hospitals,
even though no one would crash through a door
to apprehend a sleeping drunk.
It has never been Kaleidoscope's intention to
discount the dangers of drugs like heroin,
speed and barbiturates. Or even alcohol. But
against the possession of drugs — as
opposed to regulation of sales — breed
illicit traffic in them and create criminals
out of people with problems.
And most people learn to deal
with the real world, which contains a variety
of harmful substances. Many of these
substances, though they can be damaging, can
be used for a variety of purposes with no bad
use depends on education, and newspapers —
underground or otherwise — can play a large
part in this education. Laws simply will not
Furthermore, marijuana should
not even be mentioned in a discussion of drug
abuse. But the Journal's
series — with so many additional errors
that we have run out of space to correct them
individually — can earn only the contempt
of anyone who Is knowledgeable about drugs.
And it has helped destroy the
lives of persons young and old who use
marijuana, and needlessly assaulted the
serenity of their misinformed relatives and
To verify this, we recommend The
New Social Drug (previously
mentioned), The Book of Grass
(a Grove Press book), and Marijuana
Papers, edited by David Solomon,
available at Interabang
bookstore. With these as a guide, the
reader is on his own way to an intelligent
I cannot resist one more quote
from The New Social Drug, from
an article by Gilbert Geis, Ph.D. He
writes: "It matters not much, I
think, whether marijuana will prove to be
somewhat more or somewhat less harmful then
we now believe it to be. There are things
much more dangerous than marijuana that
remain well beyond the reach of the criminal
law. It may be noted for instance that
overindulgence in food presents considerably
more serious problems for the well-being of
our society than use of marijuana. Overweight
people kill themselves prematurely, make poor
soldiers, and waste valuable commodities. Yet
nobody seriously proposes the creation of new
crimes, labeled first- and second-degree
obesity, or the establishment of an S.S.
corps (for Supermarket Surveillance), or
restrictions on the import of Israeli
halvah, Swiss chocolate, or Italian
spaghetti — commodities that poison the
bloodstream and make us vulnerable targets
for a foreign takeover."
And to quote again, from the
same issue of the Columbia Journalism
Review, Clarence Darrow at a
trial of the Communist Labor Party members
said in 1920:
"When a new truth comes
upon the earth, or a great idea necessary for
mankind is born, where does it come from? Not
from the police force, or the prosecuting
attorneys or the judges or the lawyers or the
doctors; not there. It comes from the
despised and the outcast; it comes perhaps
from jails and prisons; it comes from men who
have dared to be rebels and think their
thoughts; and their fate has been the fate of
rebels. This generation gives them graves
while another builds them monuments; and
there is no exception to it. It has been true
since the world began, and it will be true no
It is perhaps unrealistic to
expect the Journal to be in the
front of a campaign to overcome superstition
and legalize marijuana. But they could
at least do an honest job of reporting all
sides of the question. The best of
their reporters — quaffing their beers and
passing joints around in a small gathering
after working hours — will agree, and do
The worst — the whoring Dobishes
and Schmitzes — can go about earning
their money while bearing the knowledge they
helped send teenagers to prison for smoking
one of nature's gifts, and led families to
grief at one another's lack of comprehension.
[See Postscript at right]
Avoiding Stoolies, Set-ups, Raids:
Narc Talks, Turns In Pigs
you've been dealing some dope -- grass, hash
or smack -- in the bohemian labyrinth around
Milwaukee's Brady Street or out in
the posher neighborhood near Wauwatosa's high
You got stoned
with a buddy, a head you've known for a long time,
and sometime during the night when you're both
pretty much wiped out he mentions he wants to
score an ounce from you.
Maybe he's been busted
recently, and he tells you he wants to get back on
his feet again.
Sure, it's groovy with you,
and he says, "My partner's got the
ninety-five dollars, I gotta call him." In a
little while this dude comes to the door and comes
in to pick up the ounce of hash.
He doesn't say much -- you
ask him if he wants to try some of this great shit
and he says no, he's got too much to do, he can't
get stoned now. So he scores the ounce and splits.
Maybe you would have been
more careful, but your buddy assured you that the
guy was all right, he'd known him for a long time.
Still, you're coming down a little, you've got a
funny feeling, and you ask your buddy, a head
you've known for years -- or shit, you decide
you're paranoid, and it's the next day you ask:
"Say, man, that was a
narc I sold to last night, wasn't it?"'
Your buddy -- and after all,
he just got stoned with you so you know you can
trust him -- says no, the dude was all right.
You're relieved, and a week or two goes by, and
nothing happens, and you decide you've been
paranoid after all, just like you can get
Chances are that two months
later you and about 25 other people will be a part
of the latest "crackdown" on narcotics
as a series of terrorist raids is staged one night
by the Milwaukee Police Department. Though the
warrants will specify charges of selling dope to a
cop, additional charges of possession of a variety
of substances will mount as the victims are
surprised in their homes.
had been set up that night by the narcs, and
fucked over by a friend who became a narc to save
his own ass. The next stop is jail, where you may
even start thinking about how you can turn in your
own friends to save yourself.
The scenario is accurate,
according to a Milwaukee dealer who went through it. He turned into
an informer and narc for what he thinks are good
reasons, and sent -- by his own count -- almost 15
people to jail for dealing in narcotics and forms
Though he doesn't want to be
identified, understandably, he decided to tell me
about it for Kaleidoscope
readers. What he had
to say may save many people from going to jail. It
also exposes the sick, corrupting and plainly
ineffective methods used by cops to give the
appearance of dealing with the so-called drug
His reasons for talking are
varied. For one thing, though I'm not even going
to describe him, many of the people that count
know who he is. They are the people whose lives he
helped mess up, and their friends, and leaders in
the hip community.
It's not giving away
anything to say that he's into a legitimate
business now and does not want the hatred of that
By taking a real chance on
bringing down the vindictiveness of the Milwaukee cops, he may
help someone who might otherwise be set up the way
He says he is
concerned about the proverbial -- even in head
land -- "little guy" who deals in the
street for small profit and some fun.
Whatever his motives, he
didn't have to give an interview. And he thinks
most of the dealers he knows would do what he did
-- in fact, they are doing it. So he decided to
explain his side.
As Hank (I'll call him that)
interjected sometime in the course of our three
and one-half hour interview:
"Hell, I did something
to save my ruddy neck, and I've paid the price.
What else can I do? See, I went out to save my
hide, and I picked a few scapegoats that no one
"Most of 'em were
dealing smack, and I've got no use for that at all
-- it's a bad scene. Believe me, they won't be
missed. The other three or four were pure
assholes, one of 'em ripped off my friend for
three thousand dollars. He had it coming.
"What happened to them
ain't nothin' to what I've gone through in the
last year and a half. But I'm still walkin' the
streets, even though a couple dudes said they were
going to kill me.
"But if you're going to
be a snake you gotta be good at it, and I was the
best they had."
Hank gestured in the
direction of the telephone. "And I've got the
power, and I don't scare, my friend. I stopped
worrying a long time ago."
The morality of what he did
does bother Hank, though, and he brings it up
again later: "They're all better off in jail
than where they were."
I suggest that maybe they
would have liked to make that decision themselves.
"You talk about what you went through,"
I said. "What do you think they're going
symptoms," he responds casually. "Most
of 'em were smack freaks. And there ain't one of 'em
that wouldn't have done what I did, and they know
Apparently caring what I
think about his character, he impulsively shows me
a note sent to him by a girl he set up for a bust,
now in Taycheedah. It is actually a
plaintive little, poem, conveying the sense of a
fragile, passive personality. The subject matter,
among other things, dope, and the fact that the
writer is in prison.
projects a somewhat injured tone, the poem is not
accusative. It is not bad poetry.
"What do you think
she's thinking?'* Hank demands. "Does that
sound as if she's hostile towards me?
"Not really," I
have to admit.
That seems to settle the
matter as far as Hank is concerned, and we get on
to other things. The mechanics of how he was set
up by a friend for the narcs. How he became a narc
himself. How the chain that periodically results
in roundups of 20 to 30 for dealing or possession
"It's like a game to
them," he said of the Narcotics
Bureau, otherwise called the Narco
Division, of the Vice Squad. "They
pile up 30 or 40 warrants in a couple of months --
it's almost a quarterly thing -- and they joke
about it. and they say, well, let's go get 'em
finally they've got enough warrants, and they pull
men from any department they can, because there's
only about 10 who actually work for the Narcotics
Bureau, so they'll take 'em from the Homicide
Squad or Robbery. And
there'll be about 20 cops to pile through your
they'll spend the next 16 or 17 hours on the raid.
and you'll read about the big bust in the papers
the next day -- if you're still on the
The delayed, mass raids are
conducted rather than immediate and individual
arrests, Hank said, for several reasons. The cops
enjoy the paranoia it creates, and they believe it
does result in a decrease in dope traffic, at
least temporarily. People get rid of their
stashes, and all that.
The illusion of police
omnipotence makes it easier to get confessions and
more names from the victims, and helps prevent
"What would you think
if 20 cops came through your front door, and they
already had everybody else you knew?" Hank
(A pointless question, by
the way, for this reporter. Of course I never have
anything to do with illegal drugs in any form, Mr. McCann.)
And then, most
of the people brought in on one raid are connected
with each other through dealing and sharing. The
arrest of one is a warning to others who may have
reason to think they're involved.
This suggests one set of
counter-measures to Hank. Any community worthy of
the name should have a warning system, either by
telephone or through runners. When the first bust
is made the word should go out so that anybody who
might be on the list can get rid of his stash and
escape a second count of possession when he's
And if he's at a party or
turning on with friends everybody can split so
that when one is arrested the rest won't be
searched and busted too.
Of course, this won't stop
the arrests, and most of the victims will
inevitably end up in jail. Then like Hank, they
have some decisions to make.
Ninety per cent of the time,
he said, the cops won't make the suggestion that
the victim become an informer. But if the victim
offers to make a deal, perhaps at his attorney's
suggestion, District Attorney E.
Michael McCann will go along with it on the
favorable recommendation of the Vice Squad.
What did Hank
get out of his deal?
"All the charges
dropped -- and on consecutive sentences I could
have served 60 years in jail."
In his lawyer's words, it
was a choice between $200 and $7,000. The first
figure is the minimal lawyer's fee which is
incurred in making a deal. The second is the cost
of an appeal to the state Supreme
didn't say a word, just let me sweat it out in
that cell by myself, and I figured out what I had
to do," Hank said. On his lawyer's advice
("Do you have $7,000?" the lawyer asked
him bluntly) Hank offered to make a deal.
At that time, he pointed
out, he was facing similar charges in another
county, which made him more vulnerable and led, in
fact, to his own set-up and bust by police narc Thomas W.
McKale. Or "Red," as Hank
knew they already had me, and I could tell them a
He added that most people
wait too long after being busted before making a
deal -- and they may not necessarily convince the
Vice Squad that they would be any good at narcing
As I mentioned, Hank was
himself set up by a friend who had been busted. It
followed the scenario outlined at the beginning of
this article -- almost all busts by local narcs
An important exception is
when a victim is inexperienced or stupid enough to
be taken in by a plainclothesman to whom he'll
sell directly, without an introduction by a known
head, and WITHOUT TURNING ON TOGETHER. (The
significance of this will be explained later.)
It can also happen that an
arrest will immediately follow an exceptionally
large sale. But most individual small busts,
especially for possession, are flukes. They result
from routine searches or general harassment which
can be guarded against.
The dealer can, then,
protect himself from the bust which results from
the planned set-up. The major rule is: "Never
make a deal with more than one other person, or
sell to someone you don't know."
The tip-off is that someone
you do know and have turned on with will try to
get you to make the actual sale to someone else.
Because if an informer buys directly from you, his
testimony is worthless if there are no witnesses.
The word of a police officer is different.
It could be a valid bust,
however, if the cops arranged to witness the sale
from a distance, so keep that in mind too. Any
squads or strange trucks visible through the
window? Yes, the pigs are that dumb. (They take
pictures of license plates, too, while they're
Another important rule is:
"Don't do any business with anyone who has
been busted himself." He may be all right,
but why take the chance? Watch the papers for the
Hank stressed that the
third-party, the police narc, will not say much
and will try to leave the scene as soon as
possible. And he will never turn on. Hank is
emphatic about this:
"'The locals won't
touch it, they're not allowed to. If they got
caught their ass would be nailed to the
They also believe in what
they're doing, and "most of them think that
the law is the law and they have to enforce it,
though they may not enjoy sending kids to jail.
Some do -- but most of 'em have to kind of psych
themselves up to it."
The respect for law that the
police narc has is not, however, universally
shared by the beat cops, who often smoke grass.
"And I know at least two who deal
themselves," Hank said. "If any of 'em
got caught even using they'd never work in a law
enforcement agency again."
After the bust, if the
victim agrees to set up other victims in turn, he
is introduced to the workings of the world of
narcs and stoolies.
Most of the contacts are
made, logically enough, on the fifth floor of the Safety
Building, where the Vice Squad is
Also on that
floor is a file of names and addresses. There,
under several sets of locks are the names of
thousands of drug users and dealers -- and the
names of those the Narco division only suspects
may be users or dealers. About 80% of the city's
users are in the files, Hank estimated.
They are the names that come
up when victims are being interrogated, maybe kids
freaking on a bad trip on the way to the hospital
in a squad or police ambulance. They are names
mentioned by mothers who call up and say their
kids are on dope.
They are names that keep coming up in
police reports on suspected persons. (The mothers,
by the way, are asked if they want to swear out
formal complaint and have their sons searched and
arrested. If not, the information is merely added
to the files.) Addresses are listed separately and
cross-indexed to the people who are known to have
"They'll bust a young kid on possession and
jack him around until he's blue in the face, to
get names. He doesn't know he doesn't have to
talk," Hank said. "The 16 to 19 or 20
year old group is the most dangerous, they've got
the biggest mouths in the world."
cops are not really interested in the casual user
at this point. "It's just a pain in the ass
to bust the guy who smokes a J a week. They want
There is also a network of
informers in every high school, perhaps 20 to a
school, who pass on information about who's using
and peddling through their principals.
"They're not paid or
anything. They just think it's a cool thing to do
and they can turn in people they don't like."
There are only a handful of
paid informers, people who have information and
think they can sell It. "But I can think of
maybe three people on the East Side who got
rather wealthy that way," Hank said.
varied sources, information builds up in the files
and patterns emerge. Names and addresses keep
coming up. Tips about who's using, however, are
not very damaging in themselves, "If they
bust someone, they want to make damn sure he's got
it on him at the time. The fact that he's a user
But in time, a likely victim
will be set up and busted. "They're not in a
hurry -- they'll spend three or four months
building a case. Cops are very patient
But when the actual raids
begin, though, they move fast. And at that time
the stoolie's identity usually becomes known and
his usefulness ends.
However, the third-party
system does keep the civilian narc's name off the
warrant, which is issued on the cop's testimony.
The victims have to piece together for themselves
what happened. Oddly enough, it is very common for
most new victims to be suspicious right away.
"They just have a strange feeling, even
though we were stoned together and not paying much
attention " Hank said.
"Of course, when they
ask me the next day, what am I going to say? Sure,
that was a narc you met last night?" he asks.
He also maintains that he
did give signals to most of the people he set up.
"If they went ahead with it, that was their
own fault. Besides, anybody who's dealing takes
that chance. He always had the choice. And a
dealer doesn't have any friends."
The time lag between the
sale and most busts is due to the building up of
related cases for a mass raid, but is is also
caused by the delay of at least a month in getting
analyses from the FBI lab in
cops score is sent there for analysis. This
brought some other helpful information from Hank:
"The big push is for
grass and hash. They will not buy acid, or if they
do it's to come back for grass later. They
don't store it properly, and it deteriorates by
the time they get it there. None of the acid
they've sent away has come back positive. Mescaline, same
"Speed they won't
touch, or most pills, unless they're
pharmaceuticals they're sure of. They have been
ripped off too many times.
they're leery of smack -- they
don't know what to look for. They've been sold
Ajax Cleanser and baking soda, by someone who told
them it was heroin."
The cop narc
will also try for repeater buys, to build more
counts. One danger signal may be that the narc
won't go for a deal on the spot involving more
"They're not allowed to
spend more than that. They have an account of
$10,000 they can draw on at any time, but it's
only for show -- they'll flash it to make a buy,
but they won't let it get out of their sight.
"And they won't front
money. Tell them you need the cash first to go get
the stuff and they'll back out."
One sign that a bust may be
imminent, maybe months after a questionable sale,
is an odd phone call. The caller asks for someone
who isn't there, or says something meaningless and
hangs up. It's simply to make sure the victim is
"Of course, most of the
kids around Brady Street don't have
any phones, or they're under wrong names and so
screwed up they can't be tracked down.
it's something to keep in mind."
But generally, Hank feels
that people are too paranoid about possible
surveillance. The narcs don't usually have the
manpower to follow people, and rarely stake out a
house. They have more effective means of keeping
their arrest numbers up, though they have little
effect on actual drug use.
"When people think they
spot a stakeout, it's usually something else, like
the Robbery Squad."
Neither do the Milwaukee
narcs tap phones, Hank said. "I'm not saying
the Feds don't, but not the locals.'' Which brings
up the important distinction between the Federal
Narcotics Agents and city police narcs.
The locals receive only a
small amount of training, mostly a matter of cops
training other cops here in the city. In addition
to the regular Narco men, a few beat cops are
periodically taken in, told to grow hair and sent
out to circulate in plainclothes until they become
In fact, Hank advised many
on how to look freaky.
They may last for about six
months, at the end of which they are buried deep
in the department at a desk job for another six
months, then returned safely to their beat.
The Feds, however, go
through a complete training course. "They all
turn on," Hank insisted. "They know what
it is, how to look and how to act. You'll never
The only consolation is that
the Feds are not interested in the casual user.
But if they feel they have to make a bust, they'll
call in a regular agent and never blow their own
cover, even to the point of going on trial
"And they're around --
there's one in every major university in the
country. I know there's one at Marquette, but I
don't know what he looks like."
There is no
protection against the Feds, Hank added, but
intuition and the knowledge that they are
primarily after inter-continental arrangements.
The Feds and the local narcs
are, by the way, a source of irritation to each
"The locals blow a lot
of cases for the Feds, who might be working two
years to build a case against someone when the
city pigs step in and bust him. And then they
probably don't make it stick."
Several hours after Hank and
I began talking over hamburgers and coffee in a
small restaurant, we got around to the subject of
a dealer and his motives.
For him it was simple:
"I was a fucking capitalistic pig -- all
dealers are. I worked maybe two or three hours a
day, a lot of it just sittin' around and waiting,
and it was a great life. And you got these visions
of always havin' free dope." He said he
grossed about $2,000 a week, though profit varied.
"But all the dealers
are in it for the greenies, no matter what they
say. All capitalists. They say they're not, but in California they flash
these rolls, and they're drivin' 'Vettes, and they
is, with all that dope "you forget to be
careful, and you don't know what you're really
doing half the time. And you want to make money,
and you end up taking chances."
Knowing what he knows now,
would Hank try it again?
"I wouldn't sell an
What if he managed to stay
clean, and yet had the knowledge he's picked up?
Hank reflects for a moment.
"Maybe for three months, to make some money
fast and get out. But that's all. And I never had
anything to do with selling smack, and never
We also got to an important
possible defense in a dope bust: entrapment. Hank,
who says he has a "lot of respect for a good
crook," also seems to know a bit about the
Entrapment, he says,
would be a possible defense if he, as the set-up
man, initiated the buy through asking the victim
to sell him some dope. In short, police or their
agents can't ask you to do something illegal and
then bust you. The offer should come from you.
But -- and
this is extremely important -- the narc or set-up
man must be willing to testify that he used the
leading language. And it is all right, for
example, to say something like, "Do you still
have that hash you wanted to sell?"
It is a fine point, and not
much use to the average victim, especially one who
does not have a very good lawyer.
In actual practice, most
setups are entrapment. Hank admitted that many of
his were. In one, he later told the victim's
lawyer he would testify to that effect, but was
never asked to appear in court.
I brought up another thing
that worries a lot of people, especially those who
are into unpopular political activities: the
possibility of a plant, by the narcs themselves or
by an enemy.
"Very rarely is a plant
used. I can think of maybe three cases, and then
it was a small packet of heroin they palmed when
they frisked the guy.
"And it was somebody
they wanted pretty bad for something else they
couldn't prove, and was a known user. One was a
bail bondsman that was doing something for a
lawyer they didn't like."
Similarly, making a plant of
grass or hash at someone's house is a difficult
way to get a conviction unless the victim is a
known user with a record. If he's not, he can make
a good case that it was not there with his
"But never let anybody
know where you keep your stash, either. When they
do bust in, you'll notice they usually know where
to look, even if they pretend they're searching.
When they go for the eggs in the refrigerator, say
-- which is not uncommon -- they know what they're
As for the effectiveness of
the sick web of narcs and stoolies -- in which
police condone illegal activities by their agents
and violate citizens' rights to be free of
entrapment -- Hank summed it up this way:
"For every guy they
get, there are three cats that spring up to take
his place, and they know it. And they only get the
lowest guy on the ladder, next to the user. They
can't get the biggies, and they know that too. But
they do a good job of sending kids to jail who
might just as well be chosen on a random basis.
"And you can still get
a fix in the halls of 'Tosa East in 20
minutes. Of course, they're pretty heavily into
the dope scene there, especially smack.
figures the cops release are fairly accurate --
about 50% of the kids at Nicolet, for example,
at least smoke grass."
As for his own
past, Hank says candidly: "In New York I'd be
dead. In Chicago or San
Francisco too. But I hope now it's all over
-- I'm working my ass off in an honest gig, and
maybe I've helped somebody."
and, more importantly, future stoolies stay alive
will not be decided here but in the community they
help victimize. The people will decide -- and the
people will decide what to do about the secret
police in their midst, whose names appear in this
issue of Kaleidoscope.
[I wrote this for the
same May 1970 issue of
the article about Dobish &
the Journal on the
left. In light of the later flap over sexism & my role at
the paper, discussed on this page, it is
especially appropriate, if trivial in
3rd Grade Sexism
reporter Alex P. Dobish is not busy concocting
horror stories about drug abuse in high
schools, he puts his talents to perpetuating
the stereotypes about women in which the mass
In a no doubt well-meant story
about a third grade class discussion on
ecology, Dobish describes some some
interchanges between the kids and Whitefish Bay Village President Henry F. Mixter:
Mrs. Gloria Sison, the room 213
mentioned an experiment
some of her
boys had conducted.
pushed a glass of
to be water into
"You want me to try it?"
"Yep," they said.
"Very good," he replied.
The kids explained that it was
of desalted water they
from salt water.
"We distilled it," they said,
could be. Little girls
with worshipful eyes at
two successful experi-
Maybe little girls aren't
considered capable of such experiments in
Mrs. Sison's class, something Dobish might
have wished to question. But to have them
looking with worshipful eyes at the little
male heroes probably says a lot about what
Dobish thinks women are sup-
posed to be doing.
And if that passage didn't
strike you as a bit of role manipulation the
first time around, it just proves a point:
sexist attitudes are formed early, and
little boys and girls had better learn to act
the way middle-aged male reporters expect
THE NORTH CAROLINA
appeared in Kaleidoscope]
ON THE PATH OF
. . . PAUL GOODMAN
I made several attempts
at conversation with a rather distant,
obviously tired Paul
Goodman before and after his
recent poetry reading at UWM. I was
especially interested in his reaction to the
emergence of an underground press and the
organization of hippie and dropout types
around communal efforts at economic and
He said that the
idea of a decentralized press, autonomous in
an immediate community and joined to a
loosely structured press syndicate was
great. However, he personally disliked
most of the examples of this type of
publication he had seen. The psychedelic art
-- the pastel colors and Beardsley
stylizations -- are, to him, uncomfortable
throwbacks to the age of art nouveau.
And that was the period whose influence he
and his contemporaries grew up fighting
against. In his youth, he said, he
rejected the Victorian fantasies his mother
loved so dearly, and found in Picasso and
cubism a style suited to the present.
In a sense, the
psychedelic generation is 60 years out of
date, he feels. The art, after all, is
based on the same drug-induced states the
bohemian and artist of the Victorian age
found so romantically attractive. Opium,
hashish, absinthe -- these were all known and
used for their consciousness-expanding
effects, with, Goodman feels, rather
He made a similar
criticism of much of the writing found in
underground papers. He called it a
disjointed, spineless style, an impressionism
comparable to the Amy Lowell school of
imagism that was dubbed "Amygism"
by Ezra Pound. This again is something
he and his contemporaries rebelled against as
they established their own styles.
Preceded The Fad
The last part of our
fragmented conversation took place at what
turned out to be a rather subdued party,
given for him by Barbara Gibson.
Surrounded by a respectful audience, mostly
students, he responded to questions on a
variety of topics, though with little
enthusiasm. He agreed with me his novel
Making Do illustrated the functioning
of what was, in effect, a hippie community,
although it preceded the fad for beads and
bells. He pointed out that The
Empire City (his greatest and least-known
novel) went even beyond this point, to an
underground that invented its own rituals and
mythology as it reshaped American life
through communes that sprang up on the west
coast. This, of course, was written
long before Haight-Ashbury and the Diggers.
On the subject of
LSD, he commented to the room that anything
middle-class American kids take up in large
numbers has to be essentially harmless.
After about an hour
at the Gibsons', he finished his second small
glass of wine and left for the hotel where he
was staying. As he left he seemed a
rather lonely and dispirited figure --
qualities that had appeared in some of the
poetry he read earlier -- and I thought of a
remark he had made to me, that his reputation
seemed to be based largely on his efforts as
a social critic [much of it in Playboy],
rather than on his fiction and poetry,
though, for example, he considered himself to
be the best American short story writer since
Hawthorne. This surprised me, since l
had long admired his novels, had been greatly
impressed by the poetry in The Lordly
Hudson, and assumed that most people were
at least somewhat familiar with his work in
But as I questioned
some of the people who had come to the
Gibsons' to meet him, I found that very few
-- and there were many English majors in the
group -- had heard of his fiction, or even
knew he was a poet until the reading was
advertised. But he had also mentioned
before he left that Empire City has a
slowly growing reputation in what have almost
become cults, much as the influence of Stranger
In a Strange Land has grown.
It was a special honor for Kaleidoscope,
long after its demise in 1971, to be singled
out by the report of the Senate Select
Committee (the Church
Committee) on Cointelpro in
the section on the FBI's illegal
activities, specifically against the
"New Left," in the
"underground newspaper" portion of
its exhibits, the only paper mentioned there
by name by the Committee:
FBI COINTELPRO Documents
from the Church Committee reports*
* Books II and III of the Final
Report of the Select Committee to Study
Governmental Operations with Respect to
Intelligence Activities of the United States
Senate, 94th Congress, 2nd Session,
New Left, Students for a
Democratic Society, MOBE, NMC, LNS [Liberation
News Service], REP, National Lawyers Guild,
Columbia University, Princeton University,
anonymous letters to students' parents,
university officials, members of state
legislatures, press, use of drug charges
against, BPP [Black Panther Party]
informants create rift, split with YSA
[Young Socialists Alliance] and SWP [Socialist
Workers Party], FBI use of astrology and
mysticism, Kaleidoscope, Key Activists, Tom
Hayden, David Dellinger, Jane Fonda,
John Lennon, Jean Seberg, David
Herreshoff, David Simpson.
The Bureau's attitude towards the
growing movement may be summarized by the
following, from the Special Agent in Charge,
Newark, N.Y., to J. Edgar Hoover:
SAC, Newark to Director
May 27, 1968 p. 2
It is believed that in attempting to expose,
disrupt, and otherwise neutralize the
activities of the "new left"
by counterintelligence methods, the Bureau
is faced with a rather unique task. Because,
first, the "new left" is difficult
to actually define; and second, of the
complete disregard by "new left"
members for moral and social laws and social
It is believed that the nonconformism in
dress and speech, neglect of personal
cleanliness, use of obscenities (printed or
uttered), publicized sexual promiscuity,
experimenting with and the use of drugs,
filthy clothes, shaggy hair, wearing of
sandals, beads, and unusual jewelry tend to
negate any attempt to hold these people up to
ridicule. The American press has been doing
this with no apparent effect or curtailment
of "new left" activities. These
individuals are apparently getting strength
and more brazen in their attempts to destroy
American society, as noted in the takeover
recently at Columbia University, New York
City, and other Universities in the
It is believed therefore, that they must
be destroyed or neutralized from the inside [italics
added]. Neutralize them in the same manner
they are trying to destroy and neutralize the
... Newark believes that it might be possible
to attach the stigma of informant or
Government "fink" to HAYDEN because
of the apparent unlimited finances at his
disposal, enabling him to take numerous trips
in and out of the U.S., without a job or
other means of financial support.
SAC, Philadelphia to Director
May 29, 1968 p. 2
of the two younger reporters involved, Mike
Schmitz & Shirley
Hatchett, wrote me at Kaleidoscope to
explain how their copy had been taken away &
edited -- butchered -- by the senior editors,
their intentions ignored. One quit the
job to protest & the other planned to return
soon to Journalism School in disillusionment, for