This Day in Cannabis History:
The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, aka the "Hippie Mafia," was the largest drug syndicate on the planet during the late 1960s and early 70s–smuggling tons of hashish and marijuana into the country, and producing and distributing millions of doses of LSD. But their entheogenic empire effectively ended on August 5, 1972, when the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs executed Operation BEL—the largest drug raid in American history—against them, shutting down the majority of their operations.
On October 3 of the following year, the US Senate's Judiciary Committee held a hearing related to the case, the purpose of which was "to look into the related problems of international drug trafficking and passport fraud—both of which have a direct bearing on the internal security of our country." As part of this hearing, they released a report on Operation BEL entitled Hashish Smuggling and Passport Fraud: "The Brotherhood of Eternal Love," portions of which were later excerpted in the second issue (Fall 1974) of High Times (we have both that issue and an original copy of the Senate report in our museum collection).
The report explains that the hearing would "focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the activities of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, an organization founded by Dr. Timothy Leary, which has combined a mystical fanaticism with criminal activities, and which has been massively involved in passport fraud and in the production, smuggling, and distribution of various drugs, LSD and hashish in particular."
As detailed in the report, Operation BEL had allegedly resulted in over 100 arrests and 29 indictments, as well as the seizure of 546 acres of property (including four LSD labs, six hash oil labs, and two marijuana canning operations), nearly $2 million in cash, an Orange Sunshine pill press, three tons of solid hashish, over 30 gallons of hashish oil, eight pounds of amphetamine powder, over 13 pounds of cocaine, 104 grams of peyote, 1.5 million doses of LSD, and 3,500 grams of crystal acid, capable of producing another 14 million doses...not to mention an assessment of over $70 million in back taxes.
To learn more about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, check out the related articles featured below.