Richard & Linda Nathan
It was 1962, and there was a sense of awakening in the air, a call to a different kind of life.
Young people hearing the siren song were pouring into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District from across the nation. A declining neighborhood, the Haight blossomed overnight into a counterculture Mecca, spreading the new consciousness in a chaotic profusion of hippie pads, light shows, and drugs.
One sunny spring day, we met at an anarchist meeting.
Richard’s father, Julius, was a tough Marxist revolutionary who had known Chinese premier Mao Tse Tung prior to the 1949 communist takeover and had organized cannery workers from Monterey to San Francisco. Now he supported a hotbed of radical leftists who ran Ye Olde Anarchiste Bookstore in the Nathan storefront apartment on Ocean Avenue.
Although we attended UC-Berkeley for a while, we soon lost interest in school and in 1963 headed for Europe on an old freighter, an odyssey that took us through the slums of Morocco, Naples, and London.
Upon our grateful return in 1965, we landed an apartment by Golden Gate Park where the hippie movement was just taking off. From there, we watched gigantic “be-ins” teeming with “flower children,” loud bands, and drugs overflowing the park.
Swept into the ’60s maelstrom, we plunged into the new psychedelics-LSD, mescaline, and marijuana-and became fervent “evangelists” for the world they opened-one of occult mysticism with its own “born again” experience.
It was a brief flush of what felt like innocence.
For fourteen years, we explored everything that promised freedom, from humanistic and psycho-spiritual therapies to Eastern religions and “white” witchcraft, while Linda sporadically pursued her degree in psychology-a field rapidly melding with Eastern religious and occult concepts. Eventually, we became psychic “channelers” and “healers” in a New Age spiritualist church where Linda, now “Lady Linda,” became eligible for minister’s papers.
Surely, we thought, we were on the cutting edge of new revelation for humanity.
Meanwhile, the early convulsions in San Francisco were mere birth pangs for the explosive resurgence of the occult/New Age Movement and green Marxism. For by the early ’70s, these radical seeds were growing and mutating into an interlocking philosophical and spiritual root system that began transforming, especially among the youth, America’s social-spiritual structures.
What once was viewed as mere San Francisco eccentricities ignited a movement that is moving like wildfire through every level of society, expanding and coalescing worldwide today.
The Glittering Web was born out of that crucible.
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