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

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  330 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Few stories in the annals of American counterculture are as intriguing or dramatic as that of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love.


Dubbed the “Hippie Mafia,” the Brotherhood began in the mid-1960s as a small band of peace-loving, adventure-seeking surfers in Southern California. After discovering LSD, they took to Timothy Leary’s mantra of “Turn on, tune in, and drop out” and
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 04, 2012 Katey rated it liked it
Interesting as a historical document, though pretty disjointed as a story.
Jan 16, 2017 Jake rated it really liked it
After reading this I suggest watching the newly released documentary by the same title. The way the film presents the characters highlights their passion and mission in a way that the book couldn't. For instance, the love story between Carol and Michael is lovely and a real tear-jerker, and I could see that more apparently through the doc. The stories are stunning, albeit insane and often stupid.
Mar 16, 2010 Tim rated it liked it
When people hear the word LSD or the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out," a couple images likely come to mind. One is Timothy Leary, the most publicized advocate of LSD. Another is a group of spaced-out hippies in psychedelic clothing (often optional) at a "be-in." What probably doesn't come to mind is a smuggling operation responsible not only for bringing tons of marijuana into the country from Mexico, but manufacturing LSD and smuggling hashish from Afghanistan. Yet as Nicholas Schou explores ...more
David Ward
Aug 23, 2010 David Ward rated it really liked it
Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World by Nicholas Schou (Thomas Dunne Books 2010)(363.45) tells the story of an organization known as The Brotherhood of Eternal Love which served as one of the principal distributors of LSD in the United States in the 1960's and 1970's. The BEL also was the first outfit to import and distribute hash from Afghanistan into the U.S. The BEL was a collection of surfers and drug-dealing hippies in L ...more
Timothy Hallinan
Jul 29, 2012 Timothy Hallinan rated it really liked it
A terrific look at a group of 1960s dopers who set out to change the world, one tab at a time. In the wilds of Laguna Canyon, even then a refuge for artists and eccentrics, a band of marijuana connoisseurs formed a brotherhood to smuggle the best dope available in from Mexico and make it widely available at low prices. Meantime, across the country, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert were getting kicked out of Harvard for experimenting with LSD, and on the West coast, Owsley and others were beginni ...more
Adam Miller
Jun 28, 2014 Adam Miller rated it really liked it
Story goes back to surfers in California who became idealistic after trying LSD and started the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. They then tried to "turn on the world" by dealing hashish from Afghanistan and LSD. They operated a store front as a cover in Laguna Beach where they sold exotic goods. This group pioneered drug smuggling through airports, surfboards, Mexico, cars shipped from other countries, etc. They also started the cannabis strain maui wowie in Hawaii when they attempted to start an i ...more
To give you a reference point I graduated high school in the west side of Los Angeles in 1973. I have 2 older cousins, one of whom is one of the original hippies who lived in the Haight, Berkeley, and Bolinas. I lived in Manhattan Beach, only a few miles from the location of this book. I may or may not have been exposed to or involved in some or all of the aspects in this book.

With that being said, this book was a complete flash back! It is as if I was reliving a portion of my life that seems t
Inanna Arthen
Mar 28, 2012 Inanna Arthen rated it really liked it
So far, this book is an absolute trip (if you'll pardon the expression :) ). As you can see from my "read" shelf, I've already gone through a whole pile of books about the 60s and drugs specifically, so I recognize lots of the names and references. At the same time, this book fills in huge amounts of back-story and sidebars that the others did not, so it's not at all redundant. The descriptions of the drug-smuggling operations from and/or through Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and so on are mesmerizi ...more
Apr 05, 2013 Jaky rated it liked it
An engaging read, if you are interested in some of the big players and events of the 60's counterculture and how we (partially) have ended up where we are in regards to drug culture. Something about this book is sad, though. The Brotherhood reminds me of many religious organizations that started out with good intentions, but soon became overrun with greed (and in the Brotherhood's case, pure hedonism) and lost the vision. It also does not endear one to Dr. Timothy Leary, who is portrayed as an e ...more
Nick Black
May 28, 2010 Nick Black rated it liked it
Recommended to Nick by: Carmen Zumot
None of the characters are significant enough to make this anything more than a period piece (save ol' Tim Leary, who's much better documented in, among others, Storming Heaven). I liked the pictures of undercover officers (beards and big, friendly, lethal smiles! tricky!); I'd like to see a serious (preferably at the level of policing textbook) study of drug interdiction techniques. Anybody know one?
Dec 03, 2013 Donald rated it really liked it
Some interesting info - like, now I know where Maui Wowie came from. The Brotherhood is largely absent in other books, such as Storming Heaven. They were, however, pivotal in a lot of key branches of the drug underground - both good and bad.

Orange Sunshine barrels were around in the 70's, and they were definitely one of the standards by which we measured other acid. If you are or have been on the bus, you should read. This book is now in a new category for me - must buy.
Tom Hamrick
Sep 22, 2010 Tom Hamrick rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and the way the writer writes. I will now get his titles from before. It was fascinating that some do good have fun loving hippies just wanted people in orange County in the 60's to be High and have a great experience, but then as in any group or business greed plays a role and it became a multi million dollar operation which then brought problems. I was so into the stories that I can't wait until january when I'm in that part of Cali. so I can spot some of the places from the ...more
Oct 17, 2010 Jason rated it really liked it
I did not know that Timothy Leary ran (briefly) against Ronald Reagan for Governor of California. Until I read this book. It's a wild ride. A sad, interesting, and unbelievable tale about the intersection of idealism, enlightenment, commerce, surfing in the Southern California. It's hard to believe it all took place in the span of about five years. I wonder what happened to all of the characters - the ones that didn't die or end up in padded rooms. I imagine I'll find out when I finish.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Jan 15, 2012 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it liked it
Shelves: beat-other
A collection of hoods and street racers from the 50's turn to pot and acid in the 60's and discover a lucrative career in smuggling drugs from Mexico and Afghanistan under the guise of a religious philosphy based in Laguna Beach. Along the way they bamboozle Timothy Leary into their scheme of a psychedelic tuned-in Utopia while kickstarting the bad-vibes, cynicism and let-down of the 70's. Interesting read about the times.
Murat Aydogdu
Jun 19, 2013 Murat Aydogdu rated it liked it
This was a nice distraction from stuff I normally read. A recommendation from the owner of the video store that I go to (yes, they do exist still!), I decided to read this since I trust his taste. An interesting insight into hippie/surfer/spiritual-religious/drug-dealer folk in California right around 1970, the book flows well. And the story itself is quite amazing which helps the narrative.
David Schwarm
Aug 03, 2010 David Schwarm rated it really liked it
This is a very great history of Orange County! The early Laguna Drug Days stuff if fantastic hippie nirvana wild ride read stuff. The Ending Cocaine Crash is predictable and tough--but never-the-less a fun read. I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in Orange County Counter Culture--a must read.
Jan 12, 2014 Liam rated it it was amazing
"Later on Christmas Day, a propeller airplane flew low over the crowd. As people scanned the heavens, thousands of pieces of paper floated down toward them: the remainder of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love's Orange Sunshine invitation cards, air-dropped party favors for the already-tripped out audience." (238)
J.M. Rosenberger
May 08, 2014 J.M. Rosenberger rated it really liked it
Tells the story of the "the secret hippie mafia" of the 60s and 70s in fascinating detail. Not as vibrant in language as say, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, but still fun to read; this book takes a more journalistic approach in its attempt to cover a wide range of happenings, truly grand in scope, but with plenty of meat.
Barry Hammond
A well-written true crime book about the group of California hippies who became one of the largest drug-smuggling operations in the world. With a colorful cast of characters ranging from Timothy Leary, Jimi Hendrix, to the acid-chemist Owsley, it's a stranger-than-fiction tale that spans two-generations and the whole world. - BH.
overall, this is a pretty middle-of-the-road book as far as 60's and drug culture-related non-fiction goes. it certainly tells an interesting story, but tends to be pretty disjointed at times. all in all, a good supplement to other books about lsd, especially storming heaven and acid dreams.
Feb 07, 2011 Malcolm rated it liked it
Gave me some insight into the 60's and hippie culture. I forgot that LSD had been promoted as something that would bring people together and solve problems. Could have been much shorter but I gather the author wanted to use large portions of his interviews.
Ann Evans
Dec 09, 2012 Ann Evans rated it it was ok
skip it...unless you're particularly interested in the LSD trade of the sixties
Sep 12, 2010 Bob rated it it was amazing
adventurous read of hippies, acid and hash smuggling
Mar 24, 2010 Stacy rated it liked it
Boy. We were so dumb in the 60's. What a bunch of fools.
Dec 28, 2012 patty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Remarkable tales of acid for the people! Of interest to persons living on Maui - past or present. Details include the origination of the "Maui Wowee" strain.
Rebecca McNutt
If there was one thing the hippie counterculture was known for, it was acid. This book discusses the crimes that revolved around the drug and the many young adults trying to get some.
Aug 17, 2011 Beatrice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: united-states
I don't think I'll ever refer to myself as a hippie again. Just kidding, but it's a heavy book, man!
Aug 12, 2010 scott rated it it was amazing
Acid, surfing, Leary, Afganistan. This book has it all and it's all true!
Melissa Renee
Dec 29, 2015 Melissa Renee rated it it was ok
What a boring take on such a wild history! I forced myself through the entire first half and still couldn't finish it.
Feb 06, 2010 Erik rated it really liked it
This book is made to be a movie
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