The Dream that Saved Me from Prison and other hippie stories.
(Copyright Ian Faulkner Soutar)
LSD was the most powerful transformative tool that I had ever experienced in 1965 at the age of 17 and it was perfectly legal. In 1966 I was the LSD dealer in high school. That is why I met my partner Barbara a few years later who I have been with now for 44 years. I was the dealer and she was a customer! Barbara and I did not get together for many years yet, but that is where we met. I had yet to travel to New Zealand to live until she lured me back to Canada through letters and poems … but that is another story!
This story is about a dream that saved me from prison! I was a wizard in chemistry in high school. LSD and all psychedelics had become highly illegal at this point in time!
After experiencing LSD I played with Mescaline and Dimethyl Tryptamine or DMT and ended up building an incredibly advanced chemistry lab in the basement of my parents home where I lived when I was 18. My Dad was a well known United Church Minister and what better place to do my experiments. No one would suspect a minister’s basement.
My goal was to synthesize Mescaline and DMT. The lab was like a university chemistry lab. I had ground glassware and could distill things in a vacuum. It was not as large and sophisticated a lab as in the TV series “Breaking Bad” but it did the job and I was able to synthesize both Mescaline and DMT. I was old for high school because i had failed both grade 9 and grade 10 … not because I was a dumbo but rather because school was too slow for me. I never made drugs for profit … it was just to help my friends explore the philosophical and transformative world of psychedelic drugs! It was the era of Timothy Leary.
DMT was a favourite drug. I was in grade 13 at the time (thats not a typo … we had a grade 13 in Ontario). With DMT you could take a trip deep into the twilight zone after taking one puff of a joint spiked with DMT in a “spare” class and be back in 30 minutes to get 100% on a math exam in the next class! It was like LSD within 30 seconds but it only lasted for 10 minutes. The “business man’s high” it was called. Amazing drug, drug of choice for South American shaman healers I had read about.
Mescaline was also easy to synthesize and we had fun making that too. But at the time it was easier to go buy a Peyote cactus from Ben Velduis Cactus company in Dundas Ontario at the time. Peyote was legal at that time. I remember the RCMP told him to quit growing peyote but he asked “is it illegal?”. When he learned it was legal he continued to grow it, saying in the newspaper that it was his hottest selling cactus! So we quit making Mescaline and concentrated on DMT because it was such a convenient drug in high school!
We had fun brewing DMT in the sophisticated lab in my Dad’s basement. My Dad was a prominent United Church minister and what better and safer place to have a lab in the basement of a famous minister! One month my Mom and Dad went on holidays in Jamaica and left me alone for a month in the early summer. I kept myself busy making batch after batch of DMT to give away. But there was a problem … suddenly in 1967 LSD, Mescaline and DMT had become illegal. But I figured I was safe in the basement lab making my own, with no connection to the underworld of drug dealers!
The night after Mom and Dad had left town I was asleep when I was awoken by someone knocking on my window. It was Ron, my partner in crime. He woke me up from a terrible dream where I was going to prison for 10 years for making drugs! I went around to the front door and let him in and made some tea. He told me that he had had a terrible dream that we were going to spend 10 years in prison for making drugs! This was a “Shared Dream” I exclaimed and told him I had the exact same dream that night! We decided it was a message from God or the Universe or a guardian angel … whatever it was this was a serious message!
We spent the night gathering up the parts for my sophisticated lab, including the vacuum pump and buried it all in a farmers field in plastic bags so we could recover it. I then spent hours washing out the basement with a hose and washed all traces of chemicals down the drain. Even the walls were washed and the water all went down the drain in the basement floor.
I then put my childhood chemistry set that i got for Christmas I was 10 on the table that used to hold the drug lab. We went to Tim Hortons at sunrise to celebrate our safety and I rode my bike home to bed, planning to sleep the day away.
I just got to sleep for an hour or two when there was a knocking at the door … I staggered out of bed to see what was up. Much to my total amazement the driveway was full of cop cars. There were two Ontario Provincial Police, two RCMP and two Burlington cops. I said “whats up” but they were forcing their way in … I tried to close the door but they said they had a search warrant!
So I let them in … I was not that worried about the drug lab now but there were a few dozen marijuana plants in a flat in the back garden ready to transplant! They told me that they thought i was making drugs in my basement! So to distract them i said “Do you want to see my lab?” Most excitedly they followed me into the basement and I showed them the children’s grade Fisher Chemistry Lab … they were furious! But they never looked in the back yard and found my marijuana seedlings fortunately. Those were later planted all over town.
I had watched many a detective show and I was experienced with meditation so I stayed calm and did not crack! I offered them tea. No one wanted tea so I made some myself while they questioned me in the kitchen. They were astonished at how wet the whole basement was so I explained that we had a sewage leak and I was worried about germs and had disinfected the basement. They took a few scrapings from the floor but I knew they would find nothing. Still I was white with shock and they knew I was guilty … but I never cracked!
They did not give up and followed me for months. It was really annoying! They would stop my car several times each week and conduct an extensive search. One time they even stopped me and Ron at 2 in the morning on our bicycles. We were off for a midnight picnic at a local park and we had boiled eggs in our picnic basket. They “candled” the eggs in the headlights of their car figuring I might be hiding something in the eggs. Ron and I went to Tim Hortons on Plains Road in Burlington to decide how to stop this regular search. We came up with a plan that worked.
A week later i held an LSD party at Ron’s house with about 6 friends. We were all high and I explained that we would have some fun on LSD for a few hours and when people were starting to “come down” we had a project for them. We handed out hundreds of little note papers and lots of pencils so people could write notes saying things like …
“better luck next time!”
“got you again!”
“better keep searching!”
“nothing there this time!”
“Can’t catch me i’m the ginger bread man!”
Then we crumpled up the notes and wrapped them in aluminum foil just like you would for LSD or other drugs. We created thousands of these notes by sunrise and filled the floor of my red convertible Valiant car to a depth of several centimeters.
Then we all piled into my car … a motley bunch of crazy hippies .. and went for a ride at sunrise with the top down so everyone could see us.
(Several facebook friends reading this are some of those crazy hippies!)
Sure enough within 15 minutes we were pulled over for a search. We all sat on the hood of the car and laughed and had fun while the police opened hundreds of little notes and found nothing. They gave up after 30 minutes but to prod them I said “Think of how we will gloat about the one that they missed!” so back they went for another few minutes before leaving in disgust! We were laughing like crazy and chanting “You can’t do nothing about it!”.
The next day I was out driving on my own and a cop pulled me over. He wanted to search the car so I told him he better call the cop shop because he was wasting his time. So I heard him call on the radio and the answer was “Don’t bother to search that car!”
After this the rivalry between the hippies and the police became a friendly game, as can happen in a small town. The Burlington police were a great bunch!
I was never searched again … but I never made drugs again either. I had learned my lesson.
The dream stayed with me forever … someone out there was protecting us! It was the first time I realized there were forces in the universe that were beyond explanation! I had come to believe that I was protected by some invisible force! I believe dreams can change you life and sometimes they are worth paying attention to.
Ron and I laughed about this fiasco for years that followed. We went back and dug up our lab and sold the parts to some enterprising chemist at Rochdale College in Toronto.
The story of Rochdale College is a good one but that is another story! 5 years ago my life was transformed in a good way by a dream but that is another story too.
Stay tuned for more hippie stories from the 1970s and the 21st century too.
I met one of the cops about 5 years ago who was retired and he laughed at the story. The Burlington cops were great. They were after us but recognized we were harmless and were good natured about the rivalry.
One of the cops I met recently at Tim Hortons was an old timer, long retired. He used to give me a ride from downtown Burlington to Tim Hortons every Friday night many decades ago. Unknown to him I always picked up my hashish before catching a ride in the cop car. One trip he joked “you wouldn’t be carrying drugs would you!”. I said “of course not, I’m in a cop car!”. In the recent meeting I told him about the hash and he laughed and laughed … Said he knew I was carrying strong smelling hash. He was protecting my dad from controversy by driving me home. We both laughed and laughed. The joke was on me!
(This is a prototype of a story that i am refining for publication in the Elephant Journal. This story will get edited … It’s just a first draft. I’ve already made many changes since last night. I am writing a book on hippie adventures too)
Below you see me just before I got married to Barbara, the women in the story. The other picture is me today, still hanging out at the coffee shop.
#hippiefun #hippie #psychedelic #DMT #mescaline #organicchemistry #dreams #propheticdreams