How quickly this nation has forgotten the grave threat the Grateful Dead once posed to our sacred values. For several decades, mothers only mentioned the 60s rock band with anxious whispers. They were a ghastly apparition, a gang that crept up in the night to steal your child’s soul. Sex, drugs and Satan’s slavery awaited those who fell under the spell of these insatiable degenerates.
From the beginning, the Grateful Dead combined beatnik hucksterism with the hippie’s appetite for mass delusion. They unscrupulously took advantage of teenage angst with promises of narcotics and “free love.” The result was a large following of dedicated fans, known as “Deadheads,” who devoted their grubby lives to chasing down these musicians, no matter where that blind passion would take them.
There are many detours in the heinous saga of the Grateful Dead. The band was complicit in the production, distribution and popularization of the dangerous hallucinogenic “LSD.” LSD, in turn, caused an outbreak of mental schizophrenia among our young people. But this was okay, according to the philosophy of “Let you freak flag fly!” Crossdressing, nudism and sexual “role play” soon followed.
The Dead were also notoriously unpatriotic. They encouraged countless college students to drop out and protest our brave men fighting overseas against the scourge of communism. They demanded we stand down to the Soviet threat and insulted the presidencies of Nixon and Reagan with salacious delight.
America Wakes Up to the Hippie Menace
In the minds of the drug-addled hippies, this marijuana-fueled communist agitation was their utopia. The rest of America woke up and realized that vision was a nightmare. Charles Manson, Jim Jones, the violent riots over Vietnam, terrorist bombings by the Weather Underground, the epidemic of drug addiction and the crime that went with it, all resulted from this failed belief system that the Grateful Dead pushed on our children.
In the 1960s, the counterculture movement proclaimed peace and love as their goals. By the 80s and 90s, the Dead’s lyrics may have mimicked those syrupy ideals, but their music told a different story. It was grim and demonically dark. It spoke to the pain of heroin withdrawal. Songs like “Friend of the Devil” and “Cassidy” reflected the isolation of its listeners. They had abandoned families and morality. In turn, the juvenile optimism of the 60s had abandoned them.
In their solitude, the Deadheads were burnt out. Alone, addicted and soulless, they became conspicuously dependent on the Grateful Dead as their only spiritual outlet. There were no rules to this new mindset. It was simply the anarchy of the music.
Yet all that seems like ancient history now.
Cultural Inspiration or Continuing Threat?
For many years after the deaths of central players Brent Mydland and Jerry Garcia, it appeared that the Grateful Dead crisis had ended. But much like Al Qaeda rearing its ugly head in Syria and Somalia after Osama Bin Laden’s death, the undercurrents of the Grateful Dead movement are disturbing the waters once again.
For example, the Deadhead’s effeminate sensitivity to Mother Nature spawned the “green movement,” which, in turn, morphed into genuine homeland eco-terrorism and the “global warming” hoax perpetuated by our universities. Occupy Wall Street rioters are clearly the intellectual heirs of the 60s mass protest. They seek to destroy American capitalism and replace it with the failed socialism of Mao and Stalin.
In the Dead’s waning days, bass player Phil Lesh conspired to launch a spin-off cult known as “The Phish” (their name is a messy, LSD-induced amalgam of his “Phil” and “Lesh”). The Phish continues to lure the innocent into a life of marijuana addiction and sexual adventurism. (This cult was recently implicated in the downfall of teen pop star Justin Bieber, whose own pot problems have landed him in jail.)
Yet these examples pale in comparison to the coming anarchy that the Grateful Dead philosophy now heralds in the United States today. That threat is aimed directly at America’s internet infrastructure.
Are we prepared?
This is Part II in a three-part series. For Part III, click “Is the Grateful Dead’s Anarchist Legacy Threatening the Future of America’s Internet?” For Part I, click: “How the Grateful Dead Inspired Me to Devote My Life to Patriotism and American Values.”