10 thoughts on “Glastonbury Fayre”

      1. for 1st hand story on Wally, Phil Russel that is, read Penny Rimbaud’s booklet ‘Last of the Hippies’… here it is in full, though without the 2005 new preface which updates on the text with a realism gained through the Thatcher era and beyond, somehow bolstering the poignancy of it all and not at expense of the youthful insight that is written here with a scalpel pen…………………>;>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>;>>>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 DS4@ / Box 8 / 82 colston st. / Bristol / Avon / UK

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