Tag Archives | 1960s

The Psychedelic Christian Radio of Pastor John Rydgren

rydrenFeel the need for some old time religion on this Christmas Day? The best delivery method may be the bizarre late-’60s psychedelic Christian radio programming of John Rydgren. WFMU writes:

Heading into the Summer of Love, Pastor John Rydgren was the crafty head of the TV, Radio and Film Department of the American Lutheran Church. The straight-looking Rydgren created a daily radio show called Silhouette in which he became the reassuring, resonant-voiced Hippy for God.

Rydgren wrote, announced and programmed Silhouette, taking his musical and cultural cues from The Electric Prunes, Herb Alpert and the cover of Time (Is God Dead?), with a vocal delivery that was straight out of the school of breathy baritone radio seduction.

New York’s WABC-FM picked up Silhouette on a daily basis, but Rydgren and the American Lutheran Church aggressively syndicated the show beyond New York, and in that effort, they issued a double LP in 1967.

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LSD Concentration Camps In ‘Wild In The Streets’

If you’ve never seen the film Wild in the Streets, a lost classic of trashy hippie-sploitation, it’s well worth a viewing. Released in 1968, it envisions a dystopian near future in which counterculture-loving young people, fed up with the older generations, take over the government and rewrite the laws to center around youth and hedonism.

Under the new order, at age 35, all adults are permanently imprisoned in psychedelic re-education “mercy centers” where, as revolutionary leader Max Frost explains, “in groovy surroundings, we’re going to psyche ‘em all out on LSD.” Is it a nightmare, or a future model for a humane and fun form of euthanasia?

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How The CIA Doped San Franciscans With LSD

expanded-cinema-data-garden-24Did the CIA accidentally turn San Francisco into America’s grooviest city? SF Weekly on newly uncovered details on Operation Midnight Climax, one of the absolute strangest slices of U.S. history:

Wayne Ritchie may be among the last of the living victims of MK-ULTRA, a Central Intelligence Agency operation that covertly tested LSD on unwitting Americans in San Francisco and New York City from 1953 to 1964.

There were at least three CIA safe houses in the Bay Area where experiments went on. Chief among them was 225 Chestnut on Telegraph Hill, which operated from 1955 to 1965. Inside, prostitutes paid by the government to lure clients to the apartment served up acid-laced cocktails to unsuspecting johns, while martini-swilling secret agents observed their every move from behind a two-way mirror. Recording devices were installed, some disguised as electrical outlets.

To get the guys in the mood, the walls were adorned with photographs of tortured women in bondage and provocative posters from French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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The Hidden Story Of The Up With People Singers

UWPColwellslowres Failure Magazine examines the bizarre hidden story of “Up With People”, the gigantic 1970s singing ensemble which operated almost as a cult, performed at the Super Bowl and met with presidents and the Pope, and was quietly funded by corporations such as Exxon and Coca-Cola that were eager to put forward a youth-y alternative to authority-questioning counterculture:

Before there were yuppies, there were uppies—the term Up With People members use to refer to themselves. Most Americans over the age of 35 are vaguely familiar with Up With People, as its cast members have sung to more than 20 million people worldwide, and at the height of the ensemble’s fame it provided the halftime entertainment at four Super Bowls (1976, 1980, ’82, ’86). But many are unaware of the group’s cultish utopian ideology, its political connectedness, and how it was funded by corporate America, part of a deliberate propaganda effort to discredit liberal counterculture in the 1960s and ’70s.

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