But something was clearly amiss. Todd and I had to speak in code over the phone and often used temporary cell phones from 7-Eleven. Even so, I didn’t ask questions. He was a mystery and I was happy to be along for the ride. It was the polar opposite of the life I’d been living, but I felt equally as happy. I felt as if I’d been speaking in code my whole life. The drug dealing I grew up with prepared me for this type of lifestyle. We traveled a lot. We always stayed in the best accommodations. Todd rented a house on the hill in Stinson Beach and he had a one hundred-thousand-dollar sound system installed in the living room. We took crazy, off-the-market drugs and blasted new-agey techno music.
Todd owned an underground missile base in Wamego, Kansas. I think he told me that it was built on one of the Native American energy hot spots, which was a factor in his decision to purchase it. He had converted it into a living space. Todd’s base was surrounded by farmland and a few scattered homes, and was located down a small road off a two-lane highway, guarded by an electronic gate. The silo was covered by tall green grass. A large metal door sat at the bottom of a wide, cement slope. The door opened to the four-thousand-square-foot missile bay. A standard-sized, metal door sat to the right and lead to the living quarters and hidden rooms. The base had a beautiful marble kitchen and wood sauna. The living quarters—which included an eleven-hundred-gallon hot tub, three large, carpeted rooms, and a massive bath complex made out of jade and imported marble with several showerheads—were connected by a one-hundred-twenty-foot cement and metal tunnel to the missile bay. A large dark room with a shorter ceiling sat in-between.
Todd had the sound system from the Stinson Beach house shipped to the base and installed by professionals. In the center of the bay sat a Chattam and Wells king bed. There had hundreds of glass candles and with one flick of a switch, you could open the titanic, horizontal, sliding metal door to the outside world.
One night during another one of our massive pure MDMA escapades, we opened that enormous metal entrance late at night and we sat on the driveway, music cascading out of the bay and into the misty Kansas air. This was my life for a little while, taking strange and powerful drugs at all hours and recovering for two days. On our recovery days, we’d drive to the nearest big town (ironically called Manhattan), to eat steak and ice cream.
[Author's note: there's more to this story, these are teasers, the tale is in my memoir, which will be out in 2016]
I had been living in Los Angeles for a short time when I got a disturbing call from Todd saying that our friend the “Hundred-Dollar Man” was in jail. He had been caught outside the missile base with an estimated ten million hits of liquid acid. It seems that they were in the business of making acid. I knew they were business partners in something, but I had no idea what it was. Suddenly, all the cash and speaking in code made more sense. After that bust, there was a ninety percent drop in the availability of LSD worldwide. But the story wasn’t clear, and Todd wasn’t telling me much over the phone. I hated the fact that such a sweat and tender soul was sitting in prison. He was later sentenced to three life sentences. It’s abhorrent. All drugs should be legal. Our jails and prisons are overflowing with men and women who shouldn’t be there, and hard-working, tax-paying citizens are paying out the ass to warehouse them.
Not long after Todd’s call, I was up at my house in San Francisco when the DEA came knocking on my front door. Two agents came inside and questioned me. I lied about some small things but I mostly told the truth. I really had no idea that they were manufacturing the LSD, nor was I involved. Turns out my phones were tapped—I had always taken Todd’s paranoia with a grain of salt—and I had been on their radar for a while.
They contacted me a couple more times, but I wasn’t super nervous; I knew Todd wouldn’t put me any legal danger. The DEA eventually decided that I wasn’t a key player and left me alone, which was a relief. But the fact that I was even peripherally associated with the largest acid drug bust in the history of the country is nuts.