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The Last Of The Hippies - An Hysterical Romance
by Penny Rimbaud of CRASS, a British anarchist punk band

The Last Of The Hippies - An Hysterical Romance
by Penny Rimbaud of CRASS, a British anarchist punk band

In this cell that is ours, there is no pity, no sunrise on the cold plain
that is our soul, no beckoning to a warm horizon.

All beauty eludes us and we wait.

'No answer is in itself an answer. '
Oriental proverb.

On the third of September 1975, Phil Russell, alias Phil Hope, alias Wally
Hope, alias Wally, choked to death on his own vomit; blackberry, custard,
bile, lodged finally and tragically in the windpipe. Blackberry, custard,
bile, running from his gaping mouth onto the delicate patterns of the
ornamental carpet.

He died a frightened, weak and tired man; six months earlier he had been
determine, happy and exceptionally healthy; it had taken only that, short
time for Her Majesty's Government's Heath Department to reduce Phil to a puke
covered corpse.

'The first dream that I remember is of myself holding the hand of an older
man, looking over a beautiful and peaceful valley - suddenly a fox broke
cover followed by hounds and strong horses ridden by red-coated huntsmen. The
man pointed into the valley and said, "That, my son, is where you're heading.
"I soon found that out, I am the fox!'

Phil Russell. 1974.

Phil's death marked, for us, the end of an era. Along
with him died the last grain of trust that we, naively, had had in the
'system', the last seeds of hope that, if we lived a decent life based on
respect rather than abuse, our example might be followed by those in
authority. Of course it was a dream, but reality is based on a thousand
dreams of the past; was it so silly that we should want to add ours to the
future? If the power or protest had dwindled, the power of rock was showing
no such faint heart. By the mid sixties, rock'n' roll ruled and no party
conference was going to bring it down. Youth had found its voice and
increasingly was demanding that it should be heard.

Loud within that voice was one that promised a new world, new colours, new
dimensions, new time and new space. Instant karma, and all at the drop of an
acid tab.

'My advice to people today is as follows: If you take the game of life
seriously if you take your nervous system seriously. you'll take your sense
organs seriously if you take the energy process seriously you must turn on
tune in and drop out.

Acid prophet, Timothy Leary.

Society was shocked, desperate parents backed off as their little darlings
'tripped' over the ornamental carpets. Hysterical reports that acid caused
everything from heart- burn to total collapse of decent society appeared
almost daily in the press. Sociologists invented the 'generation gap' and
when the long haired weirdo flashed a V-sign at them they got that all wrong
as well, it was really a peace sign, but, either way around it meant 'fuck
off'. In the grey corner we had 'normal society', and in the rainbow comer
sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll, at least that's how the media saw it. The CND
symbol was adopted as an emblem by the ever growing legions of rock-fans
whose message of love and peace spread, like a prairie-fire, world-wide. The
media, in its desperate need to label and thus contain anything that
threatens to outdo its control, named this phenomenon 'Hippy' and the system,
to which the media is number one tool in the fight against change, set about
in its transparent, but none-the less effective way, to discredit this new

By the late sixties, straight society was beginning to feel threatened by
what its youth was up to; it didn't want its grey towns painted rainbow, the
psychedelic revolution was looking a little bit too real and it had to be

Books were banned, bookshops closed down. Offices and social centres were
broken into and their files were removed, doubtless to be fed into the police
computers. Underground papers and magazines collapsed under the weight of
official pressure, galleries and cinemas had whole shows confiscated.
Artists, writers, musicians and countless unidentified hippies got dragged
through the courts to answer trumped-up charges of corruption, obscenity,
drug- abuse, anything that might silence their voice; but nothing could, it
all mattered too much.

As oppression became increasingly heavy, public servant bobby' became known
as public enemy 'piggy'; war had been declared on the peace generation, but
love wasn't going to give in without a fight.

We are a generation of obscenities. The most oppressed people in this country
are not the blacks not the poor, but the middle class. They don't have
anything to rise up against and fight against. We will have to invent new
laws to break . . . the first part of the yippy program is to kill your
parents... until your prepared to kill your parents you're not ready to
change this country. Our parents are our first oppressors.'

Jerry Rubin, leader of the Yippies (militant hippies), speaking at Kent State
University, USA.

Within a month of Rubin's speech, the university was in uproar. The mostly
white, middle class students, to show their objection to the way in which
both their campus and their country were being run, had staged innumerable
demonstrations and burnt down part of the university. The authorities called
in the army to 'restore peace', which they did in true military fashion =A5
by shooting dead four students.

'After the shooting stopped, I heard screams and turned and saw a guy
kneeling holding a girl's head to his hands. The guy was getting hysterical,
crying, yelling, shouting, "Those fucking pigs, they shot you". ' A Kent
State student after the shootings.

The system had got in first. What Rubin hadn't accounted for, although past
history should have been a lesson to him, was that parents would be prepared
to kill their children rather than accept change.

'Mother, "Anyone who appears on the streets of a city like Kent with long
hair, dirty clothes or barefooted deserves to be shot. "

Question; "Is long hair a justification for shooting someone?"

Mother; "Yes We have got to clean up this nation, and we'll start with the
long-hairs. "

Question- "Would you permit one of your sons to be shot simply because he
went barefooted ?"

Mother; "Yes". '

A mother speaks after the shootings at Kent. The days of flower power were
over; the piggies were out grazing in the meadows

'I'm very proud to be called a pig It stands for pride, integrity and guts. '
Ronald Reagan

By the end of the sixties, throughout the western world, the 'people' had
returned to the streets. The dream was cross-fading with the nightmare. In
France, the government was almost overthrown by anarchist students; in
Holland, the Provos made a laughing stock of conventional politics; in
Germany Baader-Meinhof revenged itself on a state still run by ageing Nazis;
in America, peace became a bigger issue than war; in Northern Ireland, the
Catholics demonstrated in demand for civil rights; in England, colleges and
universities were 'occupied', embassies stormed. People everywhere were
calling for a life without fear, a world without war and were demanding a
freedom from the authorities who for years they had dismissed as almost
non-existent. The system, for far too long, had had it all its own way.
Amongst the people themselves, however, a long standing animosity was
becoming evident =A5 the conflicting interests of anarchism and socialism.

Disagreements aside, the movement for change continued. Anarchist, socialist,
activist, pacifist, working class, middle class, black, white - one thing at
least united them all, a common cause, a universal factor, a shared flag -
good old rock'n' roll

In the late sixties, Woodstock in America, and Glastonbury in Britain,
created a tradition in rock music that has now become part of our way of life
- the free festival. Free music, free space, free mind; at least that, like
'once upon a time', is how the fairy story goes.

Many of the clashes between the authorities and the youth movement in the
late sixties and early seventies were, broadly speaking, of a political
nature, leftist platforms for social discontent, rather than anarchic demands
by individuals for the right to live their own lives The free festivals were
anarchist celebrations of freedom, as opposed to socialist demonstrations
against oppression and, as such, presented the authorities with a new problem
how do you stop people having fun? Their answer was predictable - stamp on

Windsor Park is one of Her Majesty's many back-gardens and when the hippies
decided that it was an ideal site for a free festival, she was 'not amused'.
The first Windsor Free had been a reasonably quiet affair and the authorities
had kept a low profile. Next year things were different and the Queen's
unwanted guests were forcibly removed by the police and the royal corgis
were, no doubt, suitably relieved, free once more to wander undisturbed. At
the front of the clashing forces that year, dressed variously in nothing, or
a pair of faded jeans and a brightly embroidered shirt emblazoned with the
simple message 'Hope', was one Phil Russell He danced amongst the rows of
police asking, "What kind of gentle-men are you?", or mocking, "What kind and
gentle men you are." The boys in blue were probably men, but they were
neither kind nor gentle. Phil came away from Windsor disturbed; he hated
violence and was sickened by what he had seen. Love? Peace? Hope? It was
shortly after this that we first met.

For many years we had been running an open house, we had space and felt we
should share it. We had wanted a place where people could get together to
work and Live in a creative atmosphere rather than the stifling, inward
looking family environments in which we had all been brought up. It was
inevitable that someone Like Phil would eventually pass our way

Phil Hope was a smiling, bronzed, hippy warrior. His eyes were the colour of
the blue skies that he loved, his neatly cut hair was the gold of the sun
that he worshipped He was proud and upright, anarchistic and wild, pensive
and poetic. His ideas were a strange mixture of the thinkings of the people
whom he admired and amongst whom he had lived. The dancing Arabs The peasant
Cypriots The noble lasai The silent and sad North American Indians for whom
he felt a real closeness of spirit. Phil had travelled the world and had met
fellow thinkers in every place that he had stopped, but always he returned to
England. Perhaps it was his love of the mythical past, King Arthur and His
Knights, that brought him back, or perhaps he felt as we do, that real change
can only be effected in the place that you most understand home.

Phil could talk and talk and talk. Half of what he spoke of seemed like pure
fantasy, the other half like pure poetry. He was gifted with a strange kind
of magic. One day in our garden, it was early summer, he conjured up a
snowstorm, huge white flakes falling amongst the daisies on the lawn. Another
time he created a multi-rainbowed sky- it was as if he had cut up a rainbow
and thrown the pieces into the air where they hung in strange random
patterns. Looking back on it now it seems unbelievable but, all the same, I
can remember both occasions vividly.

On our first meeting he described Windsor Free; we had always avoided
festivals, so our knowledge of them was very limited. Phil outlined the
histories and then went on to detail his ideas for the future. He proceeded
to unfold what was, to us, a ludicrous plan. He wanted to claim back
Stonehenge (a place that he regarded as sacred to the people and stolen by
the government) and make it: a site for free festivals, free music, free
space free mind; at least that, like 'happily ever after', is how the fairy
story goes.

It is sad that none of that 'freedom' was evident when we attempted to play
at the Stonehenge Festival ten years later. Since Phil's death, it had been a
dream that one day we would play the festival as a kind of memorial to him.
In 1980 we had the band and the opportunity to do it.

Our presence at Stonehenge attracted several hundred punks to whom the
festival scene was a novelty, they, in turn, attracted interest from various
factions to whom punk was equally new. The atmosphere seemed relaxed and as
dusk fell, thousands of people gathered around the stage to listen to the
night's music. suddenly, for no apparent reason, a group of bikers stormed
the stage saying that they were not going to tolerate punks at Their
festival'. What followed was one of the most violent and frightening
experiences of our lives. Bikers armed with bottles, chains and clubs,
stalked around the site viciously attacking any punk that they set eyes on.
There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to escape to; all night we attempted to
protect ourselves and other terrified punks from their mindless violence.
there were screams of terror as people were dragged off into the darkness to
be given lessons on peace and love; it was hopeless trying to save anyone
because, in the blackness of the night, they were impossible to find.
Meanwhile, the predominantly hippy gathering, lost in the soft blur of their
stoned reality, remained oblivious to our fate.

Weeks later a hippy newsheet defended the bikers, saying that they were an
anarchist group who had misunderstood our motives some misunderstanding! Some

If Phil and the first Stonehenge festivals were our first flirtations with
'real' hippy culture, this was probably our last.

Dream filled hippies were a phenomenon of the early seventies, lost souls
whose brains were governed more by dope and acid than by common-sense. They
were generally a bore, waffling on about how things were 'going to be' in
about as realistic a way as snow describing how it will survive the summer's
sun. For all his strange ideas, Phil seemed different. Drugs, to him, were
not something to 'drop out' with, but a communion with a reality of colour
and hope that he actively brought back into the world of greyness and
despair. He used drugs carefully and creatively, not for 'escape', but to
help realise 'a means of escape'.

In many respects we could never have been described as hippies. After the
usual small amount of experimentation we had rejected the use of drugs
because we felt that they confused thought and generally interfered with
relationships rather than contributing to them.

We had opened up our house at a time when many others were doing the same.
The so called 'commune movement' was the natural result of people like
ourselves wishing to create lives of co-operation, understanding and sharing.
Individual housing is one of the most obvious causes for the- desperate
shortage of homes, communal living is a practical solution to the problem. If
we could learn to share our homes, maybe we could Learn to share our world
and that is the first step towards a state of sanity.

The house has never been somewhere where people 'drop out', we wanted
somewhere where people could 'drop in' and realise that given their own time
and space they could create their own purposes and reasons and, most
importantly, their own lives. We wanted to offer a place where people could
be something that the system never allows them to be themselves. In many
respects we were closer to anarchist traditions than to hippy ones but,
inevitably, there was an interaction.

We shared Phil's disgust with 'straight' society, a society that puts more
value on property than on people, that respects wealth more than it does
wisdom. We supported his vision of a world where the people took back from
the state what the state had stolen from the people. Squatting as a political
statement has its roots in that way of thought. Why should we have to pay for
what is rightfully ours? Whose world is this?

Maybe squatting Stonehenge wasn't such a bad idea. Phil kept coming back to
the house with new plans. His enthusiasm was infectious and finally we agreed
to help him organise the first Stonehenge Festival, Summer Solstice, June 74.

'Then called King Arther with loud voice "Where here before U5 the heathen
hound who slew our ancestors now march we to them . . . and when we come to
them myself foremost of all the fight I will begin.' 'Brut' Layamon

By the beginning of 1974 we had printed thousands of hand-outs and posters
for the festival and Phil had sent out hundreds of invitations to such varied
celebrities as the Pope, the Duke of Edinburgh, The Beatles, the British
Airways air hostesses and the Hippies of Katmandu. Needless to say, not many
of the invitees turned up on the appointed date, but Phil was happy that a
motley crew of a few hundred hippies had.

For nine weeks Phil and those who were prepared to brave the increasingly wet
summer, held fort at the old stone monument, watched in growing confusion by
the old stone-faced monument keepers.

Wood-smoke drew into the damp night air, grey smoke against grey stones.
Leaping flames illuminated the story- tellers who sat, rainbow splashes in
the plain landscape, telling tales of how it was that this fire was lit in
this place, at this time, on our earth.

'Our generation is the best mass movement in history - experimenting with
anything in now search for love and peace. Knowledge kicks religion life but
even if it leads us to our death at least we're all trying together Our
temple is sound we fight our battles with music drums like thunder cymbals
like lighting banks of electronic equipment like nuclear missiles of sound.
We have guitars instead of tommy-guns' Phil Russell, 1974.

Rock 'n roll revolution, day in, day out, the talk went on, the rain came
down and if this year there'd only been a battered old cassette player to
pump out the sounds, next year they'd do better.

Eventually, the Department of the Environment, keepers of the old stone-faced
monument keepers, served the 'Wallies of Stonehenge' notice to withdraw from
government property. The various inhabitants of the fort had agreed that,
should the authorities intervene, they would answer only to the name of
Wally; the name originated from a lost dog, much sought after at the Isle of
Wight Festival of many years back. The ludicrous summonses against Phil
Wally, Sid Wally, Chris Wally etc. did much to set the scene for the absurd
trial that followed in London's High Courts.

Government enquiries are frequently used to lead the public into thinking
that something positive is being done about situations where the system has
been seen to step out of line. These token gestures allow the authorities to
commit atrocious crimes against the people while suffering no real fear of
reprisal The tactic has been employed in cases of military and police
violations in Belfast, Brixton etc.; environmental violations such as deadly
radiation leaks from power stations like Wind scale in Cumbria; compulsory
purchase orders, official theft, on land for motor ways, airports and more
nuclear plants, all of which are more likely to be a part of government plans
for the event of nuclear war than to be for the convenience of the public;
other 'mistakes' such as corruption by government officials, the maltreatment
of inmates in prisons and mental homes, violence by teachers in schools,
whenever, in fact, the authorities need a cover-up for their activities.

Those in government are perfectly aware that they and the authorities to whom
they have been given power, daily commit crimes against the public and yet,
unless they are exposed by that same public, who rightly might fear for their
own well-being, nothing is done.

In cases where the public do become aware of inexcusable behaviour by the
authorities, the government sets up its own enquiry to 'investigate' the
issue. Something 'appears' to be happening and the gullible, silent, violent
majority are satisfied that 'justice has been done'. The crude fact however,
is that the government will have done nothing at all except to have produced
and printed a few White Papers that hardly anyone will read and no one will
take any notice of. Meanwhile the 'official crimes continue, un hindered .

Wally Hope came away from Windsor bruised and depressed. Once again he had
danced amongst the boys in blue in a vain attempt to calm them with his
humour and his love - he had been beaten up for his efforts.

'I saw the police d ragging away a young boy punching and kicking him I saw a
pregnant woman being kicked in the belly and a little boy being punched in
the face. An around the police were just laying into people. I went to one
policeman who had just knocked out a woman's teeth and asked him why he'd
done it he told me to fuck off or I'd get the same. Later on I did. ' Fleet
Street loved it, there hadn't been any suitably unpleasant murders, rapes,
wars or 'natural' disasters, so the Wallies, with their leader Phil Wally
Hope, became this week's 'disposable' stars. The grinning heroes appeared
daily in the pages of the papers, flashing peace-signs and preaching the
power of love, next to that day's tits 'n bums an old message in a new

Having lost the case and been ordered to immediately vacate the land, Wally
Hope jubilantly left the courtroom to face waiting reporters announcing, "We
have won, we have won Everybody loves us, we have won," Everybody was, if not
in love with, certainly confused by Wally and his disposable statement. All
the same, for a day or two, the Wallies had been good copy. In a way they had
won, they had moved on, but there's always a next year and a tradition had
been born. In a way they had won, but the system doesn't like being made a
fool of; the tradition has now become one of the only yearly major free
festivals. So, in a way they had won, but Wally Hope had pushed a thorn in
the side of the system and the system wasn't going to let him get away with
it again.

From Stonehenge the retreating Wallies moved to Windsor. This year the
festival had attracted the biggest gathering ever. Tens of thousands of
people had come to ensure that Her Royal Majesty remained unamused and she,
in turn, was waiting in the guise of a massive police presence. Tension
between the two factions existed from the start and eventually things
exploded when the police staged a vicious early morning attack on the
sleeping festival goers. Hundreds of people were hurt as the police randomly
and brutally laid into anyone unlucky enough to be in their way. People were
dragged from their tents to be treated to a breakfast of boot and abuse.
Protesting hippies were pulled away to waiting Black Marias to be insulted,
intimidated, beaten up and charged.

The media pretended to be shocked and the government ordered a public
enquiry, neither of which did much to improve the condition of the hundreds
of injured people.

Wally Hope, after the party was over. Bit by bit, we were learning. The days
of flower-power were over, the pigs were out grazing in the meadows. Our
parents, at least their public servants, are our first oppressors. The
daisies w... being eaten. The nightmare was becoming reality.

'Where today are the many powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished
before the greed and oppression or the White Man, as snow before the summer's
sun, '

Indian Chief.

Things don't seem to change much. We should have known. Bit by bit, we were

In the winter of that year Wally started work on the second Stonehenge
Festival; posters, hand-outs, invites. This time round he had the
questionable success of the first festival to point to, so the job was
easier. Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool of the underground and
already people were talking about what they would do to make it work.

Wally spent much of the first two months of 75 handing out leaflets in and
around London. Dressed in his 'combat uniform', a bizarre mixture of
middle-eastern army gear and Scottish tartans and driving his rainbow striped
car complete with a full sized Indian tepee, a large multipoled tent,
strapped to the roof, he was a noticeable and colourful sight, a sight that
those greyer than himself, in appearance and thought, would certainly not
have missed. In May, he left our house for Cornwall; we had done all that we
could to prepare for the festival and Wally wanted to rest up in his tepee
until it began. The day of his departure was brilliantly hot; we sat in the
garden drinking tea as Wally, glorifying the golden sun, serenaded us and it,
with a wild performance on his tribal drums. He was healthy, happy and
confident that this time round he'd win again.

As the rainbow coloured car drew away from our house, Wally leant through its
window and let out an enormous shout, something in between an Indian warcry
and the words 'freedom and peace', he was too far away to be properly heard.
The next time that we saw him, about a month later, he had lost a stone in
weight, his skin was white and un- pleasantly puffy, he was fail, nervous and
almost incapable of speech He sat with his head hung on his chest, his tongue
ran across his lips as if it were searching out the face to which it had once
belonged. His tear filled eyes had sunk, dull and dead, into his skull like
some strange Halloween mask. His hands shook constantly in the way that old
men's do on a cold winter's day. The sun which he worshipped had darkened for
him, he was unable to bear its light or its heat. Every so often he would
take pained, involuntary glances around the walled garden in which we sat.
Occasionally our eyes would follow his and always they were met with other
more sinister eyes watching us from across the perfect lines of the neatly
cut green lawns. Wally Hope was a prisoner in one of Her Majesty's
Psychiatric Hospitals, a man with no future but theirs. This time round he
was not winning

A couple of days after Wally had left us he had been arrested for possession
of three acid tablets. The police had mounted a raid on the house at which he
had stopped for the night claiming that they were looking for an army
deserter. It just so happened that while they were looking for the deserter
they decided, for no reason at all, to look through Wally's coat pocket. Of
course they hadn't noticed the rainbow coloured car parked outside, nor were
they aware of the fact that the owner of that coat was the laughing hippy
anarchist who had made such an arsehole of the courts only a year before, or
that he was the same colourful character that had been handing out leaflets
about Stonehenge 2 in the streets of London just a few days ago. The police
don't notice things like that; their job, after all, is to catch fictitious
army deserters.

Whereas most people would have been given a large waggle from the
trigger-finger and a small fine, Wally was refused bail and kept in prison on
remand. He was refused the use of the phone or of letter writing materials,
so he had no way of letting people or the outside know what had happened to
him. The people from the house in which he was arrested did nothing to help,
presumably because they feared similar treatment by the authorities. He was
alone and hopelessly ill-equipped for what was going to happen to him.

After several days in jail, he appeared on parade wearing pyjamas claiming
that the prison clothing, which he was obliged to wear, was giving him
rashes. Rather than suggesting the simple remedy of allowing him to wear his
own clothes, the warden, clearly an expert in medical matters, sent him to
see the prison doctor who, in his infinite wisdom, had no trouble at all in
diagnosing the problem as 'schizophrenia'.

'Just because they say that you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that you're not
being followed. ' Unknown hippy wit.

Since the beginning of time, mental illness has been a powerful political
weapon against those seeking, or operating, social change. A lot of the
definitions of 'madness' are bogus inventions by which those in authority are
able to dismiss those who dare to question their reality. Terms like
schizophrenia, neurotic and paranoid, mean little more than what any
particular, or not so particular, individual chooses them to mean. There are
no physical proofs for any of these 'conditions'; the definitions vary from
psychiatrist to psychiatrist and depending on which is considered undesirable
or subversive, are totally different from one country to another. Because of
these different standards, the chances of being diagnosed schizophrenic in
America are far higher than they are in Britain and this led one psychiatrist
to suggest that the best cure for many American mental patients would be to
catch a flight to Britain. The label of 'mental illness' is a method of
dealing with individuals, from unwanted relatives to social critics, who,
through not accepting the conditions that are imposed upon them by outsiders,
are seen as 'nuisances' and 'trouble makers'.

The works of psychologists, notably Freud, Jung, and the school of perverts
who follow their teachings, have, by isolating 'states of mind' and defining
some of them as 'states of madness', excluded all sorts of possible
developments in the way in which we see, or could see, our reality. By
allowing people to learn from the experience of their so called 'madness',
rather than punishing them for it, new radical ways of thought could be
realised, new perspectives created and new horizons reached. How else has the
human mind grown and developed? Nearly all the major advances in society have
been made by people who are criticised, ridiculed, and often punished in
their own time, only to be celebrated as 'great thinkers' years after their
deaths. As mental and physical health becomes increasingly control- able with
drugs and surgery, we come even closer to a world of hacked about and
chemically processed Mr. and Mrs. Normals whose only purpose in life with be
to mindlessly serve the system; progress will cease and the mind-fuckers will
have won their battle against the human spirit.

Once labelled 'mad', a patient may be subjected to a whole range of hideous
tortures politely referred to by The Notional Health Service as 'cures'. They
are bound up in belts and harnesses, strait jackets, so that their bodies
becomes bruised and their spirits beaten. They are locked up in silent padded
cells so that the sound of their own heartbeat and the smell of their own
shit breaks them down into passive animals. They are forced to take drugs
that make them into robot-like zombies. One common side effect of long term
treatment with these drugs is severe swelling of the tongue; the only
effective cure is surgical - the tongue is cut out - what better way to
silence the prophet? They are given electric shocks in the head that cause
disorientation and loss of memory. ECT, electro- compulsive therapy, is an
idea adopted from the slaughter- house where, before having their throats cut
open, pigs are stunned with an identical form of treatment- ECT is a
primitive form of punishment that owes more to the traditions of the witch
hunters than it does to the tradition of science. The ultimate 'cure', tour
de force of the psychiatric profession, is lobotomy. Victims of this obscene
practical joke have knives stuck into their heads that are randomly waggled
about so that part of the brain is reduced to mince-meat.

Surgeons performing this operation have no precise idea what they are doing;
the brain is an incredibly delicate object about which very little is known,
yet these butchers feel qualified to poke knives into people's heads in the
belief that they are performing 'scientific services'. Patients who are given
this treatment frequently die from it; those who don't can never hope to
recover from the state of mindlessness that has been deliberately imposed
upon them.

Disgusting experiments are daily performed on both animals and humans in the
name of 'medical advance'; there is no way of telling what horrific new forms
of treatment are at this moment being devised for us in the thousands of
laboratories throughout the country. In Nazi Germany, the inmates of the
death camps were used by drug companies as 'guinea-pigs' for new products.
Nowadays the companies, some of which are the very same ones, use prisoners
in jails and hospitals for the same purposes.

Mental patients are constantly subjected to the ignorance of both the state
and the general public and, as such, are perhaps the most oppressed people in
the world. In every society there are thousands upon thousands of people
locked away in asylums for doing nothing more than question imposed values;
dissidents dismissed by the label of madness and silenced, often for ever, by
the cure.

Wally was prescribed massive doses of a drug called Largactil which he was
physically and often violently forced to take. Drugs like Largactil are
widely used not only in mental hospitals, but also in jails where
'officially' their use is not permitted. The prison doctor's 'treatment' for
'schizophrenia' reduced Wally to a state of helplessness and by the time he
was dragged into the courts again he was so physically and mentally bound up
in a drug induced strait jacket that he was totally incapable of
understanding what was going on, let alone of offering any kind of defence
for himself.

When finally we did hear from Wally, an almost incomprehensible letter that
looked as if it had been written by a five year old child, he had been taken
from the jail, herded through the courts where he was 'sectioned' under the
Mental Health Act of 1959, and committed, for an indefinite time, to a mental

Sectioning, compulsory hospitalisation, is a method by which the authorities
can imprison anyone who two doctors are prepared to diagnose as 'mad'. It is
not difficult, naturally, to find willing doctors, since prison hospitals are
riddled with dangerous hacks who, having sunk to the bottom of their
profession, are willing to oblige.

Once sectioned, the patient loses all 'normal' human rights, can be treated
in any way that the doctors see fit and, because appeal against the court
decision is almost impossible, stands no chance of release until certified
'cured' by those same doctors.

Recently Britain was forced by the European Court of Human Rights to allow
patients, prisoners, the right to appeal against compulsory hospitalisation.
Although this might appear to be an improvement on what existed in Wally's
time, patients still have to wait six months before the appeal will be heard,
by which time, like Wally, they are liable to be so incapacitated by the
treatment that they have received, that the appeal procedure would be
impossible for them to handle.

Sectioning enables the state to take anyone off the streets and imprison
them, indefinitely, without any crime having been committed; it enables the
state, within he letter of the law, to torture and maim prisoners and suffer
no fear of exposure.

Compulsory hospitalisation is the ultimate weapon of our oppressive state, a
grim reminder of the lengths to which the system will go to control the
individual Whereas the bomb is a communal threat, sectioning violates
concepts of 'human rights' in its direct threat to the freedom of personal
thought and action.

When we heard of Wally's fate, we were convinced that the experience would
destroy him; some of us indeed, were convinced that the authorities intended
to destroy him. Inevitably, we were assured by liberal acquaintances that we
were 'just being paranoid about the intentions of the state'; those same
liberals say the same about any of the horrors of modern technological
society, from the bomb to computer systems, that they are afraid to confront
within that society and themselves. Paranoid or not, we made efforts, firstly
legally, then, illegally, to secure Wally's release. All of our attempts

We spent days on the phone contacting people whom we thought might be able to
help or advise us. The most useful and compassionate help came from
organisations like Release and BIT, underground groups, some of which still
operate today helping people over all sorts of problems, from housing to
arrest. Critics of the 'hippy generation' would do well to remember that the
majority of such organisations, plus alternative bookshops, printing presses,
food shops, cafes, gig venues etc., are still run, for the benefit of us all,
by those same hippies; old maybe but, because of the enormous efforts many of
them have made 'to give hope a chance', not boring.

We found that appeal was as good as impossible and realised, in any case,
that to follow 'normal' procedures could take months and by then we thought
it would be too late. We employed a lawyer to act on Wally's behalf, but the
hospital made it impossible for him to contact Wally; letters never got
through and telephone calls proved point- less. The 'patient' was always
'resting' and messages were incorrectly relayed to him.

When we attempted to visit Wally in hospital we were informed that no one but
his close relatives could see him. His father had died and his mother and
sister, neither of whom would have anything to do with him, were abroad.
Gambling on the chance that the staff knew little about his family
background, one of us, posing as Wally's sister, finally gained access to the
hospital The aim of the visit, apart from simply wanting to see Wally, was to
plan a means Or kidnapping him so that It could be taken somewhere where he
could recover from his ordeal

On our second visit, two of us were able to see him without arousing
suspicion. We had hoped to finalise the kidnap plan, but we found him in such
a bad state that we decided it could be damaging to him to have to deal with
the kind of movements we had planned.

What none of us realised at the time, was that his condition was the direct
result of the 'treatment' that he was being given rather than the 'symptoms'
of mental illness. The sad shuffling half-people that can be seen through the
railings of any mental hospital are like that not because of the illness that
they supposedly have, but because of the cures that they are being subjected
to. The social stereotype of the grey-raincoated loony is a tasteless twist
more worthy of a B movie than a civilised society. The stereotype is one that
is forced, surgically or chemically, by an uncaring system, onto the
'patient' whose 'moronic and lifeless appearance' is used, by that same
system, to 'prove' the patient's illness'.

Since his admission into hospital, Wally had been receiving pills to 'cure
his illness' and injections to counter-act the side effects of the pills.
Naturally, he had been slipping the pills under his tongue and spitting them
out later. The injections were unavoidable, the hospital nurses were mostly
male and considerably stronger than Wally, so polite refusals weren't much
use, but in any case, as they were to cure the side-effects, they didn't
really matter. What neither he nor we knew was that the hospital staff had
deliberately lied to him about which medicine' was which The result was that
the injections, of a drug called Modecate, of which he was receiving doses
massively above those recommended by the manufacturers, were creating
increasingly serious side effects that were not being treated. It should have
been obvious to the staff that something was going amiss, they must have
realised that Wally was gobbing out the pills, but that, after all, was part
of their 'cure' - he was being made into a mindless moron

Meanwhile, Stonehenge 2 took place. This year thousands of people turned up
and for over two weeks the authorities were unable to stop the festivities.
Wood-fires, tents and tepees, free food stalls, stages and bands, music and
magic. Flags flew and kites soared. Naked children played in the woodlands,
miniature Robin Hoods celebrating their material poverty Dogs formed woofing
packs that excitedly stole sticks from the innumerable wood piles and then
scrapped over them in tumbling, rolling bundles of fur. Two gentle horses
were tethered to a tree and silently watched the festivities through the
dappled Light that danced across their bodies Old bearded men squatted on
tree stumps muttering prayers to their personal gods. Small groups of people
tended puffing fires upon which saucepans bubbled and bread baked, the many
rich smells blending across the warm air. Parties of muscular people set out
in search of wood and water accompanied always by a line of laughing,
mimicking children. Everywhere there was singing and dancing. Indian flutes
wove strange patterns of sound around the ever present bird song. The beat of
drums echoed the hollow thud of axe on wood. Old friends met new, hands
touched, bodies entwined, minds expanded and, in one tiny spot on our earth,
love and peace had become a reality. Just ten miles down the road, Wally
Hope, the man whose vision and hard work had made that reality possible, was
being pumped full of poisons in the darkness of a hospital cell.

A couple of days after the last person had left the festival site. Wally was,
without warning, set free. The great- I..en hau lept the smiling, bronzed,
hippy warrior from his festival and now, having effected their cure, ejected
a nervous gibbering wreck onto their grey streets.

It took Wally two days to drive his rainbow coloured car from the hospital to
our home. Seventy miles in two days, two days of terror. He found himself
incapable of driving for any length of time and had to stop for hours on end
to regain his confidence. No one knew of his release and, maybe to restore
some kind of dignity for himself, he was determined to do it alone. When he
finally arrived at our house he was in worse condition than when we had seen
him at the hospital; he was barely able to walk and even the most simple of
tasks was impossible for him It is hard to believe that he was able to drive
those seventy miles at all This pale shadow of the person who we had once
known now found it agony to sit in the sun, his face and hands would swell up
into a distorted mess The sun that he worshipped was now all darkness for
him. At night he would lay in his bed and cry; quiet, desperate sobs that
would go on until dawn, when he would finally go to sleep. Nothing seemed to
help his pathetic condition. We tried to teach him to walk properly again,
but he was unable to co-ordinate and his left arm would swing forward with
his left leg, his right with his right. Sometimes we were able to laugh about
it, but the laughter always gave way to tears. We couldn't understand and we
were afraid.

Finally, in desperation, we got Wally to a doctor friend who diagnosed his
condition as being 'chronic dyskinesia', a disease brought about through
overdoses of Modecate and similar drugs. Wally had been made into a cabbage
and worse, an incurable one.

Bit by bit the realisation that he was doomed to live in a half-world of drug
induced idiocy made its way into what was left of Wally's brain. On the third
of September 1975, unable to face another day, perhaps hoping that death
might offer more to him than what was left in life, Wally Hope overdosed on
sleeping pills and choked to death on the vomit that they induced.

In the relatively short time that we have on this earth we probably have
contact with thousands of people with whom we share little more than half
smiles and polite conversation. We are lucky if amongst those thousands of
faces one actually responds to us with more than predictable formalities.
Real friends are rare, true understanding between people is difficult to
achieve and when it is achieved it is the most precious of all human

I have been lucky in that I am part of a group of people who I regard as
friends and with whom I can share a sense of reality and work towards a
shared vision of the future. I have met many people whose only aim, because
of their own cynicism and lack of purpose, appears to be to prevent people
like ourselves from expressing our own sense of our own life; I see people
like that as the dark shadows that have made our world so colourless.

Wally was a genius, I can't pretend to have completely liked him, he was far
too demanding to be liked, but I did love him. He was the most colourful
character that I have ever met, a person who had a deep sense of destiny and
no fear whatsoever in pursuing it. If friends are rare, people like Wally are
very very rare indeed. I don't suppose I shall ever meet someone like him
again; he was a magical, mystical, visionary who demonstrated more to me
about the meaning of life than all the grey nobodies that have ever existed
could ever hope to do. Wally was an individual, pure energy, a great big
silver light that shone in the darkness, who because he was kind, gentle and
loving, was seen, by those grey people, as a threat, a threat that they felt
should be destroyed.

Wally was not mad, not a crazy, not a nut, he was a human being who didn't
want to have to accept the grey world that we are told is all we should
expect in Life. He wanted more and set out to get it. He didn't see why we
should have to live as enemies to each other. He believed as do many
anarchists, that people are basically kind and good and that it is the
restrictions and Limitations that are forced upon them, often violently, by
uncaring systems, that creates evil

'What evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst ' Phil Russell 1974.

Wally Hope had both the strength and the courage of his own convictions, but
like ourselves had been hopelessly ill-informed about the workings of the
state. He demanded the right to live his own life and was met with savage
resistance. He was killed by a system that believes that 'it knows best'. It
is that system and hundreds Like it, that oppress millions of people
throughout the world. Left-wing oppression in Poland, or right-wing
oppression in Northern Ireland, what's the difference?

The prisons and mental hospitals of the world are full of people who did
nothing but to disagree with the accepted 'norms' of the state in which they
lived. Russian dissidents are American heroes, American dissidents are
Russian heroes; the kettle simply gets blacker. To defeat the oppres- sor, we
must learn its ways, otherwise we are doomed, like Wally, to be silenced by
its fist.

Wally sought peace and creativity as an alternative to war and destruction.
He was an anarchist, a pacifist and, above all, an individualist, but because
of the times in which he naively lived, and innocently died, he was labelled
a 'hippy'.

In the coroner's court, the police officer responsible for investigating
Wally's death dismissed him in one sarcastic sentence, "He thought he was
Jesus Christ, didn't he" Wally certainly did not think of himself in that
light, but judging by the way in which the state dealt with him, they did.
The same inspector claimed to have thoroughly interviewed everyone who had
had contact with Wally from the time of his arrest to the time of his death.
Although we had twice visited Wally in hospital and he had later stayed with
us for around two weeks, this guardian of the law had not once been in touch
with us. The few witnesses that were called had obviously been carefully
selected to 'toe the official line'. Amongst them was one of the doctors who
had been responsible for Wally's treatment. Throughout his statement he told
lie after lie and then, rather than being subjected to the possible
embarrassment of cross- examination, was reminded by the coroner that he
mustn't miss his train nod nod, wink wink.

The court passed a verdict of suicide with no reference at all to the
appalling treatment that had been the direct cause of it. We loudly protested
from the back of the courtroom the grey men simply met our objections with
mocking smiles.

Wally's death and the deceitful way in which the authorities dealt with it,
led us to spend the next year making our own investigations into exactly what
had happened since he left us that hot day in May. Our enquiries convinced us
that what had happened was not an accident. The state had intended to destroy
Wally's spirit, if not his life, because he was a threat, a fearless threat
who they hoped they could destroy without much risk of embarrassment.

The story was a nightmare web of deception, corruption and cruelty. Wally had
been treated with complete contempt by the police who arrested him, the
courts that sentenced him and the prison and hospital that held him prisoner.
Our enquiries led us far from Wally's case; as we tried to get to the truth
of any one situation, we would be presented with innumerable new leads and
directions to follow. We got drawn deeper and deeper into a world of lies,
violence, greed and fear. None of us were prepared for what we discovered,
the world started to feel like a very small, dark place.

We found evidence of murder cover-ups, of police and gangland tie-ups, of
wrongful arrest and imprisonment on trumped up charges and false evidence. We
learnt of the horrific abuse, both physical and mental, of prisoners in jails
and mental; hospitals, doctors who knowingly prescribed what amounted to
poison, who were unable to see the bruises inflicted, by courtesy of Her
Majesty's officials, on an inmate's body wardens and interrogating police are
requested to punch below the head, where the bruises won't be seen by
visiting relatives. We learnt of wardens who, to while the day away, set
inmates against each other and did 'good turns' in return for material, and
sexual favours. We learnt of nurses in mental hospitals who deliberately
administered the wrong drugs to patients 'just to see what happened'; who,
for kicks, tied patients to their beds and then tormented them. The official
line, that the purpose of prisons is 'reform' and of mental hospitals is
'cure', is total deception - the purpose is 'punishment'; crude, cruel and
simple - punishment.

Beyond the world of police, courts, jails and asylums, we were faced with the
perhaps even more sickening outside world. Within this world, respectable
people, smart and secure, work, day in, day out, to maintain the lie. They
know about the abuse and cruelty, they know about the dishonesty and
corruption, they know about the complete falsity of the reality in which they
live, but they daren't turn against it because, having invested so much of
their lives in it, they would be turning against themselves, so they remain
silent - the silent, violent, majority.

Beneath the glossy surfaces of neatly combed hair and straightened nylons, of
polished cars and sponged-down cookers, of pub on Friday and occasional
church on Sunday, of well planned family and better planned future, of wealth
and security, of power and glory, are the 'real' fascists. They know, but
they remain silent.

'First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a
Jew. Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out - because I
was not a communist. Then they came for the trade Unionists - and I did not
speak out - because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me - and
there was no one left to speak out for me ' Pastor Niemoeller, victim of the

They remain silent when the windows of the house across the street are
smashed in, the walls daubed with racist abuse. Silent when they hear the
footsteps at night and the beating of doors and the sobbing of those inside.
Now, perhaps, a whisper, the quietest whisper, 'They're Jews you know' - or
Catholics, West Indians, Pakistanis, Indians, Arabs, Chinese, Irish, Gypsies,
gays, cripples, or any minority group, in any society, anywhere - they only
whisper it once before the warmth of the duck-down continental quilt soothes
away their almost accidental guilt. Silent again as they hear them led away
into the darkness. Silent, as through the cold mist of morning, they hear the
cattletrucks roll by. And when they hear of the death-pits, of the racks, of
the ovens, of the thousands dead and thousands dying - they remain silent.
Because security is their god and compliance is his mistress, they remain
silent. Against all the evidence, against all that they know, they remain
silent, because convention decrees that they should. Silence, security,
compliance and convention - the roots of fascism. Their silence is their part
in the violence, a huge and powerful, silent voice of approval - the voice of

It is not the National Front or the British Movement that represents the
right-wing threat; they, like the dinosaur, are all body and no brain and
because of that will become extinct. It is the 'general public in their
willingness to bow down to authority, who pose the 'real' fascist threat.
Fascism is as much in the hearts of the people as in the minds of their
potential leaders.

The voices of silence, at times, made our investigations almost impossible.
The respectable majority were too concerned about their own security to want
to risk upsetting the authorities by telling us what they knew. They did know
and we knew that they knew, but it made no difference - they remained silent.

From the enormous file of documentation that our enquiries produced, we
compiled a lengthy book on the life and death of Wally Hope. During the
enquiries we had received death-threats from various sources and were visited
several times by the police who let us know that they knew what we knew and
that they wanted us. . . to remain silent.

We felt alone and vulnerable. Finally our nerve gave out and one fine Spring
morning, one and a half years after Wally's death, we threw the book and
almost all the documentation onto a bonfire and watched the flames leap into
the perfect blue sky. Phil Russel was dead.

As nearly all the documentation that we had on Phil was burnt, this article
has been written largely from memory As a result, some of the fine details
exact periods of time etc., may be slightly incorrect. The rest of the story
is both true and accurate.

Throughout the 'hippy era we had championed the cause of peace, some of us
had been on the first CND marches and, with sadness, had watched the movement
being eroded by political greed. Throughout the 'drop out and cop out' period
we hung on to the belief that 'real' change can only come about through
personal example, because of this we rejected much of hippy culture, notably
the emphasis on drugs, as being nothing but escapism. It is sad that many
punks appear to be resorting to the same means of escape while in their blind
hypocrisy they accuse hippies of never having 'got it together' - neither
will these new prophets of the pipe dream.

We had hoped that through a practical demonstration of peace and love, we
would be able to paint the grey world in new colours; it is strange that it
took a man called Hope the only 'real' hippy with whom we ever directly
became creatively involved, to show us that that particular form of hope was
a dream. The experiences to which our short friendship led made us realise
that it was time to have a rethink about the way in which we should pursue
our vision of peace. Wally's death showed us that we could not afford to 'sit
by and let it happen again'. In part, his death was our responsibility and
although we did everything that we could. it was not enough.

Desire for change had to be coupled with the desire to work for it, if it was
worth opposing the system, it was worth opposing it totally. It was no longer
good enough to take what we wanted and to reject the rest, it was time to get
back into the streets and attack, to got back and share our experiences and
learn from the experiences of others.

A year after Wally's death, the Pistols released 'Anarchy in the UK', maybe
they didn't really mean it ma'am, but to us it was a battle cry. When Rotten
proclaimed that there was 'no future', we saw it as a challenge to our
creativity - we knew that there was a future if we were prepared to work for

It is our world, it is ours and it has been stolen from us We set out to
demand it back, only this time round they didn't call us 'hippies', they
called us 'punks'.

Penny Rimbaud, London, jan/Mar., '82.

This was scanned in from a copy of this essay printed by DS4A, it originally
appeared in booklet that came with album 'Christ the Album' by CRASS

For the complete crass catalogue and thousands of other subversive records,
tapes. Cd's. Books, zines, videos, badges, patches, shirts etc. Send an sae
($1 outside uk) to [email protected] / Box 8 / 82 colston st. / Bristol / Avon / UK
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