Thursday, October 11, 2012

The House of Mellon Part II


Welcome to the second installment in my examination of the infamous Pittsburgh-based Mellon family. In part one I largely stuck to the life and times Andrew Mellon, the US Secretary of Treasury who oversaw the onset of the Great Depression and probably the most well known member of the family. As we saw, the Mellons were easily one of the most important and influential families of that era. Though they've never gotten quite the same attention as other aristocratical American families such as the Morgan or Rockefeller clans their wealth and influence is on a similar level. Further, they have remained major power brokers in the American (and international) political scene up to the present day.

Before moving along to the lives and times of more modern Mellons there's one final aspect of the family's World War II era days I would like to consider: Their long-standing ties to the US Intelligence community. These ties go all the way back to the OSS, America's chief WWII era spy agency and the predecessor to the CIA (which would be dominated by old OSS men such Allen Dulles for decades afterwards).
"A number of Mellons served in the OSS, notably David Bruce, the OSS station chief in London (whose father-in-law, Andrew Mellon, was treasury secretary during the Depression). After the war certain influential members of the Mellon family maintained close ties with the CIA. Mellon family foundations have been used repeatedly as conduits for Agency funds. Furthermore, Richard Helms was a frequent weekend guest of the Mellon patriarchs in Pittsburgh during his tenure as CIA director (1966-1973)."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pg. 246)
Richard Helms, the former head of the CIA who was in frequent contact with the Mellon family during his directorship

The frequent meetings between the Mellons and Helms during that era (1966-1973) will factor heavily in this piece, so keep them in mind. For now, I would like to consider David Bruce and the involvement of other Mellons in the OSS in a bit more detail.
"...David Bruce --the US Ambassador to the Court of St. James during the Profumo affair... A former and important member of the OSS during World War II, Colonel Bruce landed in Normandy with the head of the OSS: General 'Wild Bill' Donovan... Bruce had married (and later divorced) a Mellon. During the War, David Bruce's OSS network operated behind enemy lines in France, disrupting the German Army; at one point, Bruce had hundreds of French agents under his command.
"Bruce would later go on to even greater glory, not only as US Ambassador to England, but also to France and Germany. He would also be involved, with Henry Kissinger, in the Paris Peace Talks during the Vietnam Era. Bruce's connections in Europe during the War included high-ranking Italian Masons who held influential posts within Mussolini's government...
"There were other Mellons on board at OSS: Paul Mellon (Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon's son) served with the OSS Special Operations Branch in London, moving on to become commander of the morale Operations Branch, based in Luxembourg. According to Richard Harris Smith, "Other Mellons and Mellon in-laws held espionage posts in Madrid, Geneva and Paris... In addition to the Mellons, members of the Morgan, Vanderbilt, and DuPont families were very active in the OSS making it essentially a 'rich man's club.' David Bruce himself was the son of a US Senator and a millionaire even before his marriage to Alisa Mellon."
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pgs. 315-316)
David Bruce, a Mellon in-law and 'former' OSS man

Levenda's  description of the OSS as a "rich man's club" is most interesting in the context of what we learned about the American power establishment in the prior installment of this series. As was previously noted, the Great Depression was a slight blow to the financial stranglehold America's 'natural aristrocracy'  had over the nation. The post World War II era was marked by concessions that led to the highest standards of living for the American middle class that any human being in history had ever experienced. This came at a rather bothersome cost to America's elites. Don't misunderstand me, the Rockefellers, the Morgans, the Mellons and their ilk all remained obscenely wealthy, just not quite to the extent that they were in the pre-World War II era.

They also suffered a loss of prestige to the point that it became expedient to avoid public offices at all costs so as not to attract anymore blame for failed policies. Still, the wealthy wanted to remain close to the seats of power and the infantile US Intelligence community held much promise. Thus, the OSS was quickly taken over by a cabal of Wall Street lawyers like Dulles, William 'Wild Bill' Donovan and Frank Wisner along with old money families like the Morgans, DuPonts and Mellons. Thus, when the CIA emerged as one of the most powerful institutes in both the United States and abroad, with virtually no oversight whatsoever from the United States government, the old guard was well positioned to dictate its policies.

By all accounts CIA was more than happy to have them on board. When one considers how individuals such as Allen Dulles, with long standing ties to Wall Street, deliberately subverted official US foreign policy to achieve their own ends (such as importing Nazi war criminals, as I noted before here) one can't help but wonder if the rise of the US Intelligence community in the 1950s represented a kind of coup de tet in which America's monied interest took back control of US foreign policy. But I digress.

Having established the Mellon family's ties to the US Intelligence community, I'd like to move along to one of the most influential and mysterious figures in the 1960s drug scene: William Mellon Hitchcock. Hitchcock was the grandson of William Larimer Mellon and grand nephew of Andrew Mellon. Hitchcock crops up time again in some of the strangest places throughout the 1960s. His first significant appearance was in the midst of the notorious Profumo Affair, a scandal that toppled the government of British Prime Minster Harold Macmillan. Secretary of State for War John Profumo had been having an affair with high end escort Christine Keller who was also sleeping with Yevgeni Ivanov, a Soviet naval attache stationed at the Russian embassy in London, at the same time. There were even some theories that JFK himself was also sleeping with Keller.

William Mellon Hitchcock (right)

A key figure in the Profumo affair was Stephen Ward, an osteopath and artist, who had introduced Profumo to Keller. Ward seems to have been running an upscale escort service that catered to British VIPs and had ties to at least one major intelligence agency.
"In spy parlance, this is known as a 'honey trap,' and today many suspect that Ward was doing the same thing with Christine Keller, Mandy Rice-Davies, and the other women associated with Keller (including, it is said, Mary Anne de Grimston of the Process Church of Final Judgement)... but not for Soviet intelligence. Instead, it is believed that Ward was working for British intelligence in an attempt to entrap such Soviet targets as Yevgeny Ivanov, the GRU (Russian military intelligence) rezident whose name turned up in the Profumo affair as one of Keller's lovers, causing the scandal that rocked the British government. Thus, Keller was simultaneously sleeping with both John Profumo --the British Minister of War --and Ivanov, the Soviet military intelligence officer assigned to Great Britain. And this, during the time of the Cuban missile crisis!"
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pg. 319)
Dr. Stephen Ward

At the time the Profumo Affair was unfolding David Bruce, the after mentioned Mellon in-law and former OSS man, was the US Ambassador to England. By 1962 Bruce was becoming uneasy about allegations he was hearing in regards to Profumo and decided he needed to get to the bottom of it. Thus he dispatched Thomas Corbally, a mysterious and elusive businessman, and William Mellon Hitchcock, his nephew by marriage, to a meeting with Ward to get the straight dope. Reportedly Corbally (and presumably Hitchcock) left this meeting convinced that the allegations surrounding Profumo were true. They informed Bruce, who in turn informed British PM Macmillan... but not the US State Department.
"Why did Ambassador David Bruce not report the details of the Ward scenario to his putative masters in the United States? What was the role of his wealthy in-law, William Mellon Hitchcock, in the affair? Was Thomas Corbally actually working for Bruce (via Billy Hitchcock?) when he began spying on Dr. Ward? What was Corbally --at the time over fifty years old --doing hanging out in London with William Hitchcock, who was at the time only in his twenties? The suave, urbane international businessman Corbally with a hip, young stockbroker like Hitchcock? One imagines that money would be a passion they shared; another might be intrigue."
(ibid, pg. 320)
Hitchcock's role in the Profumo affair has never been subjected to an in depth analysis. The same cannot be said of the role he played in the rise of LSD in the United States during the 1960s. It all began shortly after Hitchcock's part in the Profumo Affair was over with. From there he would go on to become the chief financial patron of the legendary LSD guru Timothy Leary. Leary was in a bit of a bind at the time. He had recently been fired by Harvard and needed somewhere for himself and his psychedelic hanger-ons to continue their 'experiments.' Fortunately Hitchcock had just the place.
"He first turned on to LSD after his sister, Peggy... introduced him to Leary. They hit it off immediately, and Hitchcock made his family's four-thousand-acre estate in Dutchess County, New York, available to the psychedelic clan for a nominal five-hundred-dollar monthly rent. At the center of the estate sat a turreted sixty-four-room mansion known as Millbrook, surrounded by polo fields, stables, beautiful pine forests, tennis courts, a lake, a large gatehouse, and a picturesque fountain. Two hours from New York City by car, this idyllic spread served as the grand backdrop for the next phase of the chemical crusade."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pgs. 97-98)
Leary at Millbrook

Leary's time at Milbrook, from roughly 1963 till 1966, became the stuff of legends.
"In many ways the scene at Millbrook was like a fairy tale. The mansion itself was beautifully furnished with Persian carpets, crystal chandeliers, and a baronial fireplace, and all the rooms were full of elaborate psychedelic art. There were large aquariums with unusual fish, while other animals --dogs, cats, goats --wandered freely through the house. People stayed up all night tripping and prancing around the estate... Everyone was always either just coming down from a trip or planning to take one. Some dropped acid for ten days straight, increasing the dosage and mixing in other drugs. Even the children and dogs were said to have taken LSD."
(ibid, pg. 99)
The one person who seemed out of place at Millbrook was Hitchcock himself, who kept his distance from Leary's clan.
"Billy Hitchcock, the millionaire padrone, never really entered into the close camaraderie of the Millbrook circle. He lived a half-mile from the 'big-hose' in his own private bungalow, a four-bedroom gardener's cottage with a Japanese bath in the basement. There he carried on a social life befitting a scion of one of the country's wealthiest families. Hitchcock never totally broke with his old routines even though he had begun to turn on. He still kept in close contact with his friends in New York and with various brokers and investors who visited his bungalow for private parties... Hitchcock would usually be on the phone all morning talking with Swiss and Bahamian bankers, setting up business meetings and fast-money deals. By afternoon he had taken care of his monetary affairs and would occasionally join the scene at the mansion...
"Hitchcock got along well with Leary and often joined the acid fellowship in group trips. At times he became very emotional and vulnerable on LSD. One night he had to be reassured that he did indeed own the estate. But unlike the others, Mr. Billy tended not to verbalize his feelings. He never developed any metaphysical system about the LSD experience, which was rather peculiar since everyone at Millbrook was into some kind of half- or full-cocked philosophy. Hitchcock's interest in LSD did not appear to be a simple matter of spiritual enrichment. He was not one to wax poetic over the prospect of merging with the Oversoul. When asked at the outset of one group session what question he wanted answered by the acid trip, he replied, 'How can I make more money on the stock market?'"
(ibid, pgs. 99-100)
Leary (left) and Hitchcock

Unsurprisingly, Hitchcock's motives for backing Leary and his commune at Millbrook are rather hazy.
"Why Hitchcock decided to throw his weight behind the psychedelic cause is still something of a mystery. Was he simply a millionaire acid buff, a wayward son of the ruling class who dug Leary's trip? Or did he have something else up his sleeve? 'Mr. Billy,' as his servants affectionately called him, claimed he got involved with LSD because kicking the establishment in the teeth was exciting. Of course, since Hitchcock was the establishment, some questioned what he was really up to. Michael Hollingshead, for one, never fully trusted him."
(ibid, pg. 100)
Of course, there were some rather sinister overtones to Leary's experiments at Millbrook as well.
"Leary's basic aim behind the psychedelic experiences was to erase previous conditioning --what he called 'imprints', borrowing from the ethologist Konrad Lorenz. Lorenz observed that soon after hatching, ducklings learn to follow real or foster parents. Lorenz proved his thesis by appearing before some newly hatched Mallards. Lorenz quacked, the new borns imprinted him and followed accordingly...
"Leary applied Lorenz's theory to human society. Human beings in mid-twentieth-century America had imprinted a whole mess of crippling behaviour patterns. His job was to undo these, and provide new ones."
(Turn Off Your Mind, Gary Lachman, pgs. 180-181
At Millbrook Leary would attempt to 'de-condition' the residents while in the midst of tripping. This of course bares remarkable similarities to some of the experiments the CIA attempted in the 1950s with LSD such as Ewen Cameron's 'psychic driving' technique. According to Lachman Leary's attempts at de-conditioning were by and large a failure but this hasn't stopped some from speculating that Leary had some kind of ties to the CIA.

By 1967 the Millbrook scene was collapsing. The place was under 24 hour police surveillance making many of the residents, but most especially Billy Htichcock, most uneasy. Mr. Billy decided that it was time for a change of scenery. Hitchcock gave Leary a $14,000 parting check after evicting everyone from his house and  headed off for the Bay Area, then the capital of Hippiedom thanks to the nonstop media coverage the Summer of Love had received.

Hitchcock seemingly became involved in the LSD market there almost upon arrival. His timing was of course highly fortuitous. Owsley 'Bear' Stanley, the legendary LSD chemist who was the first private individual to manufacture the drug on a mass scale, was arrested late in 1967, leaving a rather gaping hole in the LSD supply line. Hitchcock just so happened to know two chemist from the Millbrook days who were ready to step in and fill the void left by Stanley. One of them was Tim Scully, Stanley's former assistant, and the other was Nick Sand.
"Hitchcock and Scully first became acquainted when the young chemist passed through the psychedelic menagerie at Millbrook in the spring of 1967. They hit it off immediately, and Hitchcock was pleased when Scully called on him in Sausalito a few months later. They agreed to form a business partnership. Hitchcock would lend money for supplies and equipment, and Scully would synthesize LSD and other psychedelics. At first Scully proposed that they give the acid away free of charge, but his financial mentor would hear nothing of it. People wouldn't appreciate what they didn't have to pay for, Hitchcock argued, and after all, he was the boss.
"Hitchcock also bankrolled another chemist named Nick Sand, who began his illicit career making DMT, a short-acting super-psychedelic, in his bathtub in Brooklyn... When the Millbrook scene unraveled, Sand followed Hitchcock out to the Bay Area and started making STP in an underground lab in San Francisco. He would have preferred to make acid, but he was hard-pressed, as was Scully, to find ergotamine tartrate (which they referred to as 'ET'), one of the key ingredients of LSD-25. Hitchcock saw a way past the bottleneck. He contacted a European source with legitimate access, and Sand and Scully were off and running. The demand for street acid had skyrocketed ever since the Summer of Love, and these young men intended to fill the void created by Owsley's sudden demise."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pg. 240)

Tim Scully (top) and Nick Sand (bottom)

It was at this point that Hitchcock also started having either indirect or direct associations with organized crime. As to the former, there was Sand's ties to the Hell's Angels.
"...Sand, the hard-nosed street tough eager for economic gain, who cultivated contacts among all manner of fringe types, including the Hell's Angels. Scully didn't want to have anything to do with the bikers, who had distributed STP for Sand..."
(ibid, pg. 241)

As to the latter, Hitchcock's group quickly developed ties with the legendary Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a quasi cult of LSD users that transformed into an international distribution ring from the late 1960s to the early 1970s.
"The saga of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love is a bizarre melange of evangelical, starry-eyed hippie dealers, mystic alchemists, and fast-money bankers. Federal investigators described them as a 'hippie Mafia' of approximately seven hundred fifty people that allegedly grossed $200,000,000. But the Brotherhood's secret network of smugglers lived by a code different from that associated with organized crime. They were fired with idealism, committed to changing the world by disseminating large quantities of psychedelics."
(ibid, pg. 236)
Wanted poster for members of the Brotherhood

The Brotherhood's association with Hitchcock would have disastrous results for many of the members but at the time it seemed like a match made in heaven.
"...a delegation of Brothers led by John Griggs first made contact with Sand and Scully. The powwow, which had been suggested by Leary, took place at Hitchcock's villa in Sausalito, with the ever-obliging Mr. Billy in attendance. The Brothers were looking for a good connection, and they couldn't have asked for a more righteous brew. A few weeks later Sand traveled south to Idylwild to finalize the arrangement.
"With the Brotherhood ready to serve as their distribution arm, Sand and Scully embarked upon a full-fledged manufacturing spree. Hitchcock bought some property in Windsor, a small town sixty miles north of San Francisco. He helped Scully move to the premises, hauling large metal drums and wooden crates full of glass beakers, Bunsen burners, flasks, rubber tubing, chromatography columns, vacuum evaporators, and bundles of semiprecious compounds --all the equipment necessary for a sophisticated drug lab."
(ibid, pg. 241)
'Farmer' John Griggs, the founder of the Brotherhood

Hitchcock was apparently so impressed with the Brotherhood's operation that he took over as their banker.
"Hitchcock served as banker for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, although later he insisted he was nothing more than a financial adviser. In truth he had a lot to say about how things were done. According to Scully, he was involved in numerous planning sessions at his house in Sausalito... But Hitchcock never expected to make big money from LSD. He was in it more for the adventure. He enjoyed his status as the behind-the-scenes facilitator who brought people together and made connections."
(ibid, pg. 244)
It was all fun and games until 1969 when one of Hitchcock's bag men ran afoul of Customs when re-entering the United States with $100,000 in cash. Customs alerted the IRS who began sniffing around Hitchcock. It was at this point that Mr. Billy felt it best to make a strategic withdraw from the drug trade, but not before hooking the Brotherhood up with another supplier and financial 'advisor.'
"It was at this point that a mysterious figure named Ronald Hadley Stark appeared on the scene. The first time anyone had heard of Stark was when one of his emissaries turned up in New York to see Hitchcock. The man claimed to represent a large French LSD operation. He was seeking to unload his product through covert channels. Hitchcock, who was then trying to distance himself from the drug trade, directed his visitor to the Brotherhood ranch. A few weeks later Stark and his assistant traveled to Idylwild."
(ibid, pg. 248)
Ronald Stark

Stark is a most curious figure whom I shall write more on in a moment. For now, let's wrap up with Hitchcock's saga. The last notable event associated with Hitchcock, before he seemingly disappears from history, occurred in 1973 when he turned state's evidence against Sand and Scully in order to secure immunity from tax evasion and stock market malpractice charges then pending.
"The case against the Brotherhood acid chemists came to trial in San Francisco in November 1973 and lasted thirty-nine days. The trial pitted Billy Hitchcock against his former colleagues, Sand and Scully, who were accused of being the largest suppliers of LSD in the US during the late 1960s. Since Hitchcock had already been granted immunity, the defense strategy was to pin all the blame on him, portraying him as the 'Mr. Big' who single-handedly directed the entire acid operation. Hitchcock, for his part, tried to walk a fine line, giving just enough information to satisfy the prosecutors, but not enough to convict the defendants... The publicity generated by the trial crystallized in a sensational Village Voice article by Mary Jo Worth, 'The Acid Profiteers.' The article depicted Leary as a Madison Avenue huckster who was a front for Hitchcock's money. The whole psychedelic movement, according to Worth, was nothing more than a scam perpetrated by a profit-hungry clique."
(ibid, pg. 277-278)
Scully got 20 years while Sand received 15. Hitchcock received a five-year suspended sentence and a $20,000 fine, the very definition of a slap on the wrist. Thus, despite serving as the banker for the largest LSD distribution network in the world at the time, there were no real consequences for William Mellon Hitchcock.

Of course, this would hardly be the first time a rich man escaped justice in this nation, but Hitchcock's ties (both direct and indirect) to so many pivotal individuals and institutions behind the US psychedelic movement is rather striking. Was Hitchcock simply a bored heir looking for a few thrills or maybe even getting back at his upper crust upbringings? This is the view typically taken concerning Hitchcock yet it just doesn't seem to jive with what is known about him. Other than getting high, Hitchcock seemingly wanted no part of the hippie lifestyle many of his associates were embracing at the time. In fact, Hitchcock seems to have gone out of his way to maintain his establishment lifestyle. Further, Hitchcock seems to have few interests beyond making money. He reportedly didn't expect tot make much out the LSD racket yet he seems to have turned a pretty handsome profit anyway. Still, there were surely any number of other things a man with Hitchcock's status could have done to make fast money.

Was Hitchcock then working for some branch of the US Intelligence community throughout the 1960s? Certainly the possibility has much merit. As noted above, the Mellon family has rather extensive ties to the US Intelligence community and Richard Helms, the Director of the CIA from 1966 till 1973, was in regular contact with the Mellon family in Pittsburgh during this time. Incidentally, this was also the same time frame that Mr. Billy became involved with the illegal drug trade.

What's more, Hitchcock had ties to several banks with known CIA connections, some of whom he potentially used to launder funds generated by the Brotherhood.
"While William Hitchcock's intelligence role is not known to any degree of certainty... he certainly surrounded himself with spooks, mobsters and... Republicans. His deep involvement in Castle Bank and Trust is just one such instance. A CIA front in the Bahamas run by former OSS China hand (and former boss of E. Howard Hunt) Paul Helliwell, it was used as a personal bank by Richard Nixon, George .H.W. Bush, and Robert Vesco, as well as by an assortment of Republican movers-and-shakers and the occasional drug runner and Mafia don. Those who enjoy wallowing in Watergate will recall Castle Bank, but perhaps not realize that Billy Hitchcock was an important supporter of the institution.
"His similar involvement with Resorts International, a spook-front and private Republican vault, is also well-known. The history of Resorts International has been brilliantly detailed in Jim Hougan's Spooks, and we will not go into any great detail here, but it is enough to say that Resorts is in the middle of not only the Watergate affair but also a vast array of intelligence operations that include anti-Castro Cubans, Mafia bagmen, illegal campaign contributions, and money laundering. The Nixon and Rebozo involvement with Resorts is only the tip of a very old and very dirty iceberg, and Hitchcock has managed to stay quietly in the shadows of these infamous politicos.
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pg. 321)
Castle Bank & Trust, a notorious CIA front William Mellon Hitchcock was heavily involved in

And all of this was apparently going on while Hitchcock was allegedly sticking it to the establishment via his drug operations. Or was it the establishment sticking it to the idealists behind the original hippie movement? Consider the man who took over Hitchcock's role in the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Ronald Stark. While there is no conclusive evidence that Hitchcock was working for the US Intelligence community, the same cannot be said of Stark.

The fall of the Brotherhood would hardly effect Stark, who would continue as a major international drug dealer for the rest of the 1970s. He relocated to Europe and spent a decent amount of time in Italy hobnobbing with radical groups of both the left and right while continuing to cultivate drug connections spanning the globe. Stark was eventually arrested in Italy on a petty charge stemming from his involvement with various terror organizations. Just as it seemed as if Stark's luck had final run out an Italian judge made a rather startling revelation about him.
"The Italian government subsequently charged Stark with 'armed banditry' for his role in aiding and abetting terrorist activities. But he never stood trial on these charges. True to form, Stark dropped out of sight shortly after he was released from prison in April 1979 on orders from Judge Giorgio Floridia in Bologna. The judge's decision was extraordinary: he released Stark because of 'an impressive series of scrupulously enumerated proofs' that Stark was actually a CIA agent. 'Many circumstances suggest that from 1960 onwards Stark belonged to the American secret services,' Floridia stated."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pg. 281)

This is just one of many mysteries surrounding Stark. Another is his alleged association with legendary cult leader Charles Manson. I've written more on Stark's association with Manson here so I shall be brief. Manson's potential links to Starks were first proposed by Maury Terry in the highly controversial The Ultimate Evil. In this work Terry alleges that Manson, as well as David 'Son of Sam' Berkowitz (among others), was a member of a nation wide cult connected to drug and (child) sex trafficking, snuff films, and contract killings. This cult, sometimes referred to as the 'Four-P Movement' or simply 'the Children,' was said to have begun as an offshoot of the Process Church of Final Judgement, a British-based outfit founded by ex-Scientologists and active throughout the United States from the mid-1960s till the early 1970s. Supposedly this cult had ties both to organized crime (specifically various 'one-percenter' MCs) as well as the US Intelligence community.

Charles Manson (top) & David Berkowitz (bottom), two of the more notorious figures linked to an underground cult network Ronald Stark may have also had dealings with

According to Terry (via Berkowitz, allegedly) Manson was either a member of, or working for, this cult when the Tate/LaBianca killings occurred.
"Berkowitz informed a fellow inmate that Manson, who belonged to the Los Angeles chapter of the cult, was working 'on orders' when he directed his Family to commit the Tate/LaBianca murders. In The Ultimate Evil, Terry places Manson --two days after the Tate murders --driving a Mercedes-Benz belonging to a big-time LSD dealer, who, in Terry's description, was 'said to have been a former Israeli who had strong links with the intelligence community.' Terry took this to be one of the truly fascinating players in LSD history: Ronald Hadley Stark. In The Ultimate Evil, Stark is identified under the alias of Chris Jetz.
"Although not an Israeli, Stark posed as one upon occasion, as he was fluent in several languages, and fond of assuming multiple identities."
(The Shadow Over Santa Susana, Adam Gorightly, pg. 163)
What I find most fascinating about William Mellon Hitchcock is how he seems to have indirect ties to the whole Process/Manson circle. As noted above, Hitchcock had some kind of link with Dr. Stephen Ward, the man who most likely ran the sex ring involved in the Profumo Affair. Reportedly one of the women involved in this sex ring (also noted above) was Mary Anne DeGrimston, who would go on to co-found the Process Church of Final Judgement with her husband, Robert. Hitchcock also had indirect ties with the Hell's Angels, who were supplied with STP by Nick Sand, a chemist he was bankrolling at the time. Outlaw MCs have long been associated with conspiracy theories surrounding the Process. Both Manson and the Process actively sought alliances with one percenters as has been well documented.

Mary Anne DeGrimston, co-founder of the Process Church of Final Judgement and a possible member of Dr. Stephen Ward's sing ring

And finally there's Hitchcock's association with Stark, a man an Italian judge ruled was a US intelligence agent and who seemingly had some kind of connection to Charles Manson. I shall wrap up this installment with a little bit of speculation: If Hitchcock was in fact a US intelligence agent, then was he serving as a handler for various 1960s fringe individuals and movements --i.e. Leary, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the Hell's Angels, etc? Is this why then-CIA director Richard Helms was regularly meeting with the Mellon family in Pittsburgh throughout his directorship? Was he keeping tabs on Mr. Billy's operation? If so, was Stark a kind of replacement once Hitchcock became bogged down in legal entanglements? Or was it felt to be expedient to withdraw Hitchcock before things turned violent on the West Coast (i.e. the Manson killings, Altamont, etc) so as not to draw suspicion? After all, a dubious character like Stark being linked to Manson is one thing, but a member of one of America's oldest and richest families? That would certainly raise some interesting questions, such as why the wealthy were seemingly infiltrating left-leaning/populist movements on behalf of US intelligence.

Such questions will be further examined in the next installment. Stay tuned.


  1. Ha ha-the comment 'eater' is back!
    Hadn't had one taken in awhile.
    Suffice it to say for now that I love this series and am so glad you are enjoying researching it because I am sure enjoying reading it!!
    The connections are just amazing -from Profumo to the Manson/Berkowitz stuff, Tim Leary, Mellon scions, just wow!!
    hope you are doing great my friend,

  2. Devin-

    Sorry the comment monster is back.:)

    I think you'll be very pleased with part three as well --the Mellon's were/are involved in an extremely broad spectrum of groups, if nothing else.:)


  3. Anyone know anything about the Hitchcock/Mellon gothic mansion in Los Angeles? Specifically, what's the address?

  4. I used to live & work on Peggy's ranch in Tucson. I met Billy a couple times.

  5. I used to live & work on Peggy's ranch in Tucson. I met Billy a couple times.

  6. WOW, one of the most interesting stories I've read in a while. I wondered why Hitchcock would spend his money or give his property to Leary etal. But the whole thing looks like "SPOOK" Mind Control experiments. The LSD and "Imprinting". Maybe a derivative of SOMA?