Acid Brotherhood of Eternal Love Hero Busted

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Sep 30, 2009, 8:04:35 PM9/30/09

[UPDATED WITH NEW PHOTOS] Fugitive Buddhist Monk Arrested in Hippie-
Era Hash Smuggling Case!
By Nick Schou in Breaking News, Gunkist Memories
Wed., Sep. 30 2009 @ 8:50AM

​After nearly 40 years on the run, the last member of the so-called
"Hippie Mafia" to evade the long arm of the law, has finally been
captured, the Weekly has learned. Brenice Lee Smith, who grew up in
Anaheim, was one of the founding members of the Laguna Beach-based
Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a group of hippie hash smugglers who
befriended Timothy Leary and sought to turn on the entire world
through their trademark acid, Orange Sunshine. He was arrested by U.S.
customs agents at San Francisco's International Airport at about 9
p.m. on Sept. 26, just minutes after arriving from Hong Kong in the
second leg of a trip that started a day earlier in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Smith (pictured above, second to left, bottom row, in the famous 1972
Brotherhood of Eternal Love wanted poster) is now being held at a jail
near the airport in Redwood City thanks to two nearly 40-year-old
warrants relating to his involvement in the Brotherhood. A jail
spokesperson said Smith was expected to be extradited for arraignment
in Orange County sometime this week. However, Susan Schroeder, a
spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney, said she had no
information about any extradition or warrants involving Smith,
although she stated that could be because the warrants are so old.
Along with many other members of the Brotherhood, Smith, better known
as "Brennie" among family and friends, traveled to Kandahar,
Afghanistan in the late 1960s and smuggled hashish back to California
inside VW buses, mobile homes, and other vehicles. The Brotherhood
also distributed more LSD throughout the world than anyone else, and
famously raised cash with acid sales to bust Leary out of prison and
help him escape to Afghanistan, where he was finally arrested in 1973.
Smith was indicted for his role in the group but was among about a
dozen members who managed to evade arrest in August 1972 when a task
force made up of federal, state and local cops raided Brotherhood
houses from Laguna Beach to Oregon to Maui--where many members of the
group had fled after OC became too hot--and arrested some 50 people.

The last Brotherhood fugitive to be captured was Orange Sunshine
chemist Nicholas Sand, who was arrested in British Columbia in 1996.
Sand spent several years in prison for manufacturing LSD. Two years
earlier, a friend of Smith's named Russell Harrigan, was arrested by
police near Lake Tahoe, California, after they learned his real
identity. However, a judge dismissed the charges against Harrigan
because he'd lived a crime free life, quietly raising a family.

Details now emerging about Smith's life in the past few decades
suggest he too may have a strong case for having his own charges
dismissed. After living underground in California for several years,
Smith finally fled for Nepal in 1981. "He absolutely wanted to go,"
says Eddie Padilla, another founding Brotherhood member who is also
married to Smith's niece, Lorey James. "He was tired of running around
trying not to get arrested here in the US. Then he left and went over
to India, then Nepal and lived in the mountains 8000 feet up in this
monastery for five, six, seven, or eight years as a shaved head monk.
He fell in love with this guru, Kalu Rinpoche."

According to Padilla and James, Smith kept in touch with them in
frequent letters from Kathmandu, where he moved after Maoist
guerrillas began attacking monasteries in the Himalayan foothills. In
Kathmandu, Smith, who took the name Dorje at the behest of Rinpoche,
married a Nepalese woman, Rukumani, and fathered a daughter, Anjana,
who is now 21 years old.

Recently, James says, her uncle seemed worried about both the mounting
political violence in Nepal and his daughter's future there. "He was
starting to get concerned about Anjana," James says. "He wanted her to
be here, because the opportunities for her are so vast here compared
to any kind of life she could have in Nepal." So Smith went to the
U.S. Embassy in Nepal and applied for a passport under his real name--
something he hadn't done since before smuggling hash in the late
1960s. "He got the passport and I think he was thinking, and so were
we, that if they [the cops] wanted him, that would be the time to get

Both James and Padilla were waiting at the airport to greet Smith
along with William Kirkley, a filmmaker who is working on a
documentary about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and his co-producer
and cinematographer, Rudi Barth. Kirkley says he had hoped to travel
to Nepal to interview Smith, but had to cancel the trip. "We were
talking to the Nepalese embassy, but it seemed so dangerous and we
didn't know if we'd have power there half the time," he says. "It
seemed kinda sketchy. So Brenny agreed to come out here and we got him
a round trip ticket. We were there at the airport and we had our
cameras all ready to go and the microphones ready to go."

​After 30 minutes or so, however, it was clear that something was
wrong. Padilla, James and Kirkley's documentary crew watched other
passengers clearing customs on a flat screen TV in a nearby lobby.
"Everyone came and went and 10 or 15 minutes later, we see two police
officers on the screen. Seeing them at that point, we totally knew it
involved [Smith] and it wasn't good." Kirkley says he hopes to
interview Smith soon, and says he hopes the interview won't be through
the bars of a jail cell. "I am hoping they see that [Smith] completely
changed his life around, became a Buddhist monk and is much more
rehabilitated than he would have been if he had gone to prison. We're
all hoping for the best outcome."

Check Navel Gazing for updates as this story develops. Meanwhile you
can read more about Kirkley's film here and here and pre-order my
upcoming book about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love here.


Sep 30, 2009, 10:31:24 PM9/30/09
Or, you know, he could have stolen a presidential election, started a
couple of wars, killed maybe a million innocent bystanders, turned his
country into a torture regime, and sabotaged the world economy, and
never gone to prison.

Stay away from marryjewwanna, kids!

Time Bungler

Mar 13, 2019, 3:26:59 PM3/13/19
true love:
"He absolutely wanted to go,"
says Eddie Padilla, another founding Brotherhood member who is also
married to Smith's niece, Lorey James. "
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