It’s an innocent-looking photo, one many of us might have tucked away in a photo album: a fair-haired toddler pulling at the bow on a birthday present while Dad looks on and Mom snaps the shot.
Little did the 2-year-old know that Dad, sitting guru-style beside her, was stoned and that he, Mom and the family of “aunts” and “uncles” around her were wanted LSD-using and drug-smuggling felons.
The little girl was about to get an even bigger surprise, make that shock, when federal agents stormed the house and everyone scattered, leaving her standing at the windowsill alone. Minutes later, she was snatched up by protective services while her parents were hand-cuffed and hauled off to federal prison.
It’s one of several possible opening collages for a true-life, episodic docudrama about an unwitting drug cartel, the high-stakes drama and profitable adventures of the Laguna Beach-based Brotherhood of Eternal Love.
The Brotherhood’s hippie saga of the late 1960s has been written about, argued over, made into art, books and movies. But this time it’s different; the story is coming from the ones who witnessed it all from the inside out, the kids.
“There have been other documentaries on the Brotherhood of Love but this is a story people have never heard before, from the kids’ point of view,” said the project’s producer Doug Mirabello, an associate producer for “Star Trek: Enterprise” (2001) and senior vice president of development for reality shows “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Flipping Out.”
The kids, now all middle-age Gen-X’ers, are mad as hell, said Kali Bowyer, the little girl in the photo, now 46. Bowyer, a former journalist and promotions agent in Hollywood, is making it her mission to clear the haze (yes, there’s a connection to Hendrix) and reveal their story.
Six offspring have already signed contracts to expose the affluent, exciting, deceptive and dangerous LSD-worshipping commune they called home, said Bowyer.
“This is our story, and it’s not a pretty one,” she said in a telephone interview from Maui, where she was born. She grew up free-roaming in Laguna Beach, often living with family members other than her parents, Chester “Tiny” Bowyer and Mary Christine Marie (eventually Bowyer), now in their 70s. “I remember seeing my parents but it was through glass and bars.”
The Brotherhood took root in Laguna Beach in the late 1960s. Their mission was to create a utopian society of peace and love through a free-falling altered state with LSD—aka acid, Orange (as in Orange County) Sunshine—as the substance of devotion.
Instead, they made millions, sank it into other drugs and drug-smuggling travel, living a rock ‘n roll lifestyle of parties and celebrity friends as teenage pirates morphed into underground outlaws.
In the end, it became a story of excess, all played out behind a smokescreen of hippie earth-mommas and a gaggle of children. “I have fond memories of childhood, but my parents aren’t in them,” said Bowyer. “We were just decoys.”
The documentary, expected for release next year, will cover Timothy Leary’s questionable involvement, deadly overdoses, murder and a utopia cracking under cocaine, she said.
“Timothy Leary snitched on the Brotherhood,” Bowyer claims. “That’s going to blow some minds. He’s listed as an ‘informant’ on case documents.” The cases specifically mention the militant Weather Underground, which protested the Vietnam War during the Brotherhood era. “The Weathermen, the Panthers and the Brotherhood, they were all connected,” she said.
Shea Ackerly, son of Brotherhood members Bobby Ackerly and Pamela Leandro, doesn’t disparage his radical childhood. “I went to 28 countries, got to surf about 15 of them,” he said. “I would come home from high school and we’d have BB King or Eric Clapton or the Neville Brothers kicking back playing music with my dad.”
Ackerly now owns a personal-protection company that hires veterans and has worked for such celebrities as Demi Moore, Dr. Dre and Cameron Diaz. “After watching and living the smuggler’s life,” he said, “I’ve come full-circle. It’s pretty strange.”
Bowyer said her parents helped make the signed search warrant mandatory in California in Bowyer v People. “They smuggled hundreds of thousands of pounds of hash, weed and blow and yet they also changed laws,” she said. “These hippies, believe it or not, are the ones who put that into play. It wasn’t all dopey.” Her dad went on to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and practiced at the Betty Ford Center to right his karma by helping kids kick harmful substances, she said.
Bowyer, herself, ended up addicted to alcohol and cocaine for awhile. “It was no way to raise children,” she said of her upbringing. And she decided it was no way to raise hers. So she cleaned up and became what she describes as a hovering soccer mom.
But she’s not letting sleeping dogs lie either. Besides the film, she’s capitalizing on the reputation of the Brotherhood with a new business—baking medicinal-marijuana-loaded baklava, fudge and brownies with names like Maui Waui and Orange Sunshine. Her first order last month from a Los Angeles dispensary requested 6,000 munchies.
And she said she’s got a built-in clientele: the Brotherhood.
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Those people were bone heads. They were the reason we surfers moved from home in Laguna to Hawaii. Sorry for Laguna Beach.
Nice try. This author don’t know who he is! He just blowing gas from his ass out his mouth. Sic. He should take sum LSDMTHC. In Nature We have DMT in our Pineal Gland and other Psychedelics there also. The District of Columbia is not part of our country, nor the fed reserve bank and the folks running the Pentagon are pushing treason and are Traitors to the Constitution and trying to give us Human Rights instead of our Civil rights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=IFuvj6WKDvw
Some more Treason and Traiters.
Moved to Laguna Beach in 1948 right after I was born. I got involved with smuggling pot and hash. I liked LSD. We were neither trying to get rich or into consumerism. We were trying to enlighten people, stop wars, save nature and explore. I did do 6 years in prison total, but, even in prison I helped to create education and peace.
Blaming the culture. I see that with the Scientology cult children and the Christian cult children. They all think they had it so much worse than everyone else. Till they wake up and realize we all had it bad growing up. It motivates us to grow up and get over it. Of course there were bad parents in that cult, and some that were great. The growing up lies in finding oneself and stop blaming the world for the suffering.
I smell a rat!
I knew “Tiny” and Christine. They were different from the rest of the BOEL (brotherhood of eternal live) actually not part of it. Most of the children of the boel are now doing really well in life. My family life growing up wasn’t the best until I meet the boel then my life became full of love for all mankind, realizations of my purpose, my inner self, spirituality, and still living the same consciousness of spiritual discovery in each next moment. Sad to see this lady trying to capitalize on untruths to fed the ones wanting to believe what soiciety wants to think they (boel) were all about. I know the truth I was there. I wouldn’t change any if it.
Come to think of it Tiny snitched on his friends to save his own ass. Putting them and their families in harms way creating division from their father and family. He was weak not believing in the meaning of family. To wit his daughter never had the true family she deserved. Now blaming everyone except her own blood family for her unhappiness as a child. Sad she needs to learn more about her true self then she would stop blaming others and realize her life is part of her own past life come here to fill a better life not blaming others for it.
(Michale) think your misunderstanding the premis for or about the show. There are five others, besides myself, that have chosen to share “their” stories. This is not a show about blame placement against our parents. We are all successful in our chosen careers, we all have our own families as well. NO one is blaming or punting the finger at anyone for any reason persay. Again this is a show of OUT personal lives & journeys.
Pls excuse any typos from autocorrect
Tiny and Christie were not part of the Brotherhood. Christy did not leave the baby when the Santa Cruz house was busted and there is no way a 1 year old remembers any of it. As far as the other “not brotherhood” children go, how much do they remember before 1972 because after that the Brotherhood disbanded and was over. The worse thing about the whole article is there is so much untruth. Rita Robinson should be embarrassed as a journalist for not researching the facts before writing such a slanderous article. Good luck with your film. I just want everyone to know that none of it has anything to do with the Brotherhood and this article should be removed from this site.
I know Kali and have knew her for a long time and she has a lot of problems but to put the blame on this is absolutely crazy
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