Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World

Nicholas Schou, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $24.99 (306p) ISBN 978-0-312-55183-4

Drug dealers with delusions of grandeur populate this colorful but overwrought history of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a 1960s-era narcotics ring–cum–hippie “church.” Influenced by psychedelic prophet Timothy Leary—who called the group's leader, former high school bully John Griggs, the “holiest man” in America—the California-based Brotherhood styled its cheap, extra-strength “Orange Sunshine” brand of LSD as a pathway to God. Journalist Schou (Kill the Messenger ) takes the “spiritual purpose” of these “psychedelic warriors,” along with their solemn acid-dropping sacraments and utopian pipe dreams, rather too seriously. (He likewise inflates their sporadic ventures scoring Mexican marijuana and Afghan hashish into a “global smuggling empire.”) His narrative quickly devolves into a haphazard picaresque of drug deals, drug busts, overdoses, surfing, rock concerts (Jimi Hendrix does a cameo), orgies, and people living in teepees. Schou sometimes forgets that reading about other people's acid trips—“The whole sky took on huge forms of dancing Buddhas and the energy got really bright”—is a drag. Still, the mixture of lively freakery and stoned pomposity gives his portrait of countercultural excess an authentic period feel. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-9666-2
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-312-60717-3
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.