Ken Kesey debate -- message from Joe Atwill

I wanted to post my email response to a comment made about my discussion with Allan as I covered an important point.

"Thanks for the comments. I wish Allan had attempted this tact during our discussion, as it would have led to a clarification of one of the most important dialogues in the history of our democracy.

You wrote that: “Leary is making a comparison between "our" undercover agents and "the" buses. If the buses were undercover agents, why would Leary compare their degree of public influence to that of other undercover agents?”

First, I assume you will agree that Leary is addressing a group of ‘agents’ – individuals who were engaged in the ‘secret op’ (the creation of the psychedelic drug counter culture that was organized via MK Ultra.) If not, please let me know and I will demonstrate this.

Second, Leary said, “our agents did more” than the painted buses. The question is, ‘more’ what? Understanding the nature of the group he is addressing makes it clear that Leary is claiming that our ‘LA agents’ engaged in the ‘secret op’, as this group could not have understood the “public influence” their agents created in any other way. If this is in any way confusing, or you disagree, please let me know and I will clarify.

If you accept the two points above then Leary is describing Kesey as part of the ‘secret op‘. He is clearly stating that Kesey was engaging in the same actively as did the LA agents, he only did less. In other words, the ‘undercover agents’ could not have done ‘more’ than the buses if they were engaged in a different activity.

Leary’s grammar only makes sense with this interpretation and the answer to your question is that Leary could only compare the two group’s influence unless they were engaging in the same activity.

To your point concerning the recording, I can only say that I disagree and that the burden of proof is on those that claim the tape was not a recording of Kesey. Kesey’s voice is very distinctive, and if it is not him, it is an excellent forgery. In terms of its analytic power however, note that it makes no different if the tape is a forgery or not. Whoever made the tape understood Freemasonry’s influence within the ‘combine’ and that Kesey’s purported LSD experiment were part of the ‘op’."


Jerry Russell

Staff member
Hi Joe,

I have two problems with the above:

(1) 'The busses' are plural, while Kesey's bus was singular. After 1964, the CIA could have been involved in funding more dayglo-colored busses. I have no evidence such a thing actually happened, but we're talking about a covert CIA operation. Who knows, they might occasionally succeed in hiding their activities.

(2) Even if 'the busses' means Kesey's bus, it doesn't prove that Kesey was an agent. Maybe several other Pranksters were CIA, and had infiltrated the bus.

I don't understand why we can't agree on this. In itself, Leary's statement about the busses is suggestive that Kesey could be guilty, but it's not an ironclad or specific reference.

If you were trying to get Wikipedia editors to accept this, or any peer reviewed journal, or a judge and jury, I seriously don't think you would get anywhere.

About the tape, on the other hand -- the statement that Gibney found the tape in Kesey's materials is reasonably well sourced, it's very clear in its expression, and the voice on the tape sounds like Kesey. In a courtroom, you would have to get Gibney to come in person and make the same statements he made in the interview I found -- but aside from that, I say that what we have is near courtroom quality evidence at this point.

The remaining question about the tape would be: was it really made during Kesey's first acid trip? Or did Kesey make it later, as a simulation of what happened at the VA hospital based on his memory of a real event, or even as an elaborate hoax?