Charles Winans, an agent provocateur disguised as a hippie, moved to Carmel, California in November 1967. His home became a safehouse for meetings with members of the Manson family, specifically Tex Watson. Winans orchestrated, and Watson spearheaded the scenario of violence and witchcraft known as Helter-Skelter.
Charles Francis Winans
Key points discussed in this article are:
- Louise James, a resident of Carmel, watched a family of hippies move into a house next door with the help of an Army van.
- The head of the family was Charles Winans, a hippie artist from Texas.
- Suspecting the husband to be a government agent in disguise, James and her friend Mae Brussell watched the Winans family with earnest and sustained attention.
- After the Tate-LaBianca murders in August 1969, Charles Winans set aside his hippie garb and became a post-graduate at the Navy’s Monterey Language School.
- Four months later, when pictures of accused Manson Family murderers appeared in the news, Louise James recognized Tex Watson as a visitor at the Winans house.
- Susan Atkins met Charles Winans through Tex Watson. According to Atkins, Winans supplied the dope to the Manson Family.
- In 1972 Louise James was permanently disabled by a mind-altering drug.
- Mae Brussell suspected her friend was silenced by the CIA.
Charles Francis Winans (pronounced “why-nans”) was born in Alice, Texas, May 14, 1939. As a teenager living in San Antonio, he had a passion for Hot Rods – building them, displaying them, and racing them. As an airman in the Air Force, he became an expert in cryptography and signal communication.  In 1962, he married Carolyn Scriven, a divorced woman with two children. They went to California, first to Hollywood and then to Monterey, where Carolyn worked in a milk factory on Cannery Row.
Returning to San Antonio in 1966, Charles partnered with his brother Dan “Boogie” Winans to open one of the first head shops in Texas: Grandma’s Tea Shop and Jomo Gallery. They sold buttons, peace bead necklaces, and vests that Carolyn herself sewed. The gallery had Dan’s drawings, similar in style to those of R. H. Crumb. Charles’s psychedelic artwork attracted the interest of local musicians, who were looking for new ways to promote their music. Composer Philip Krumm said in an interview:
By 1967 I had teamed up with a great artist, Charles Winans, considered the original hippie in San Antonio. 
Old-timers in San Antonio still remember Charles and his outlandish ways. The following comments appeared on a San Antonio forum:
- There was a guy named Winans living in Balcones Heights that drove a hearse as his personal car in the 60’s. I also went to school with a guy named “Boogie” Winans. Would these be some of the same Winans brothers?
- Charles was the talk of the neighborhood with the hearse and his “hippy style”. His son attended Baskin GS and had shoulder length hair which caused an uproar. His mom would walk him from school down Balcones Heights road to Crestview and to his street. I think she also looked and dressed hip. 
The following comment was posted on April 23, 2018 on the Contratexts website regarding a book that Winans illustrated:
The artist that illustrated the cover art for Fabun’s “Children of Change” is Charles Francis Winans. Charles was always an erudite long-haired, bearded spear point probing at “the Establishment.” Charles was the “done that, been there” creative consultant and guide for Don’s little book in 1969.
Charles started the first “head shop” in South Texas in 1966 in the front room of his art gallery (Gramma’s Tea House: San Antonio). More underground newspapers from the East & West coast were distributed than Zigzag cigarette papers. He considered himself as a “watcher” or modern member of the Counter-Culture Committee of Correspondence, spreading news of the military industrial complex and their war in Viet Nam. Charles also created The Electric Kiss Light Show at the Mind’s Eye night club in San Antonio in 1966. Did light shows for bands like the 13th Floor Elevators, Conqueroos, and Jefferson Air Plane. Charles passed away in 2007. He was a creative enigma genius. 
In the summer of 1967, Charles, Carolyn and their five children (two from Carolyn’s previous marriage and three of their own) left San Antonio and again moved to Hollywood, where Charles associated professionally with some of the most celebrated names in rock and roll. He produced light shows and created posters for, among others, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa, Big Brother and the Holding Co., Chet Helms, Wavy Gravy, and The Velvet Underground.
The Winans family spent several months at the Log Cabin in Laurel Canyon,  a massive, rustic building that once belonged to Western movie star Tom Mix. It was located at the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Lookout Mountain Road. (The cabin burned down on Halloween 1981. The cause of the fire still remains mysterious.)
A picture of Charles Winans with a guitar seated among friends in the living room of the Log Cabin appears in an article called “Strange Days in the Canyon,” written by fellow Texan and close friend, Richard Williams.
“The cabin was a frequent stopping point for rock stars who lived in the neighborhood. I managed the place for a year before splitting to San Francisco just before the Manson murders. Apparently, Tex Watson had once knocked on the front door but we wouldn’t let him in.”
Tex Watson, whose real name was Charles Watson, arrived in Laurel Canyon in September 1967, about one or two months after the Winans family. Born and raised in Texas, Watson was an outgoing, clean-cut young man who lived in Denton, Texas, where he was enrolled as a business major at North Texas State College. He also worked as a baggage handler for Braniff Airlines at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.
When the spring semester ended, Watson got re-acquainted with David Neale, a college fraternity buddy, who had quit school and was then living in Los Angeles. Neale saw Watson when he returned to Denton to visit his family. After hearing about life in California, Watson decided to check it out. He got a half-fare ticket from Braniff (one of the perks of his job) and flew out to Los Angeles to visit his friend. Subsequently, he used half-fare passes to make three more trips to Los Angeles.
After his fourth trip, which occurred in the latter part of August, Watson decided to pack up his belongings and move to California. For two to three weeks he stayed at the apartment shared by David and his brother Jay in the Echo Park District of Los Angeles (adjacent to the area of Silver Lakes). In mid-September, Watson started taking classes at Cal State Los Angeles, as well as working for a wig company. At the same time, he and David moved out of the Echo Park apartment and into a place in Laurel Canyon on Wonderland Avenue.
Both David Neale and Charles Watson testified at Watson’s trial on September 1, 1971. Neither one offered specifics about the nature or precise location of the place they were staying at in Laurel Canyon. Apparently, it was a place where mind control substances were being tested.
From Neale’s testimony:
We were given some seeds from – [testimony deleted here?]
Rosewood seeds, I believe they were. . . . We were on Wonderland; we were living in Laurel Canyon. . . . It was about probably two hours after we had taken the seeds, I was laying down in my bedroom and I heard Charles jump up and he was hitting the wall; and as I opened the door, he ran out of his room and into a hallway and there was a door to a bathroom — I don’t recall if he kicked it — I think he hit it with his hand, but he put a hole through the door; and I grabbed him and began talking to him and wrestled with him for a moment and finally calmed him down; and he went back to bed and I stayed in the room and talked with him for a few minutes; and that was it.
When Watson was asked what effect the rosewood seeds had on him, he said:
Well, a lot of hallucinations. I remember the room came in on me completely; and it seems like my head was just in one little room, you know, and the little room was around my head. And I remember I hit a door, hit the door and put my hand through a door; and kind of got mad at the guy that gave them to us, you know.
I never had did anything like that or anything, and I couldn’t understand why he had given me something that would make me do that.
No doubt Neale was the placebo-control subject, whereas Watson got the real stuff.
Some researchers suggest that Watson and Neale stayed at a house located at 8584 Wonderland Avenue, about a half-mile west of the Log Cabin at 2400 Laurel Canyon Boulevard. One-half mile in the opposite direction was a top-secret military facility that served as a haven for Hollywood celebrities and intelligence operatives.
Lookout Mountain Air Force Station
Located at 8935 Wonderland Avenue, Lookout Mountain Air Force Station occupied a two-and-one-half-acre site originally secured in 1941 to coordinate radar installations in the area of Los Angeles during World War II. A secret movie production studio, built in 1947, was utilized by an Air Force unit designated as the 1352 Motion Picture Squadron. It made motion pictures and still photographs for the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission. It produced thousands of propaganda films; documented atomic energy tests in Nevada; and edited films and photos of missile firings and rocket launches.
David McGowan writes in his book, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream:
It seems that intelligence operatives who didn’t even bother to pose as entertainers were streaming into the canyon to report to work at Lookout Mountain Laboratory for at least twenty years before the first rock star set foot there.
From Nick Bryant’s Foreword to McGowan’s book
Sprinkled throughout these pages is the ominous specter of the military/intelligence complex, and perched quite literally atop Laurel Canyon was the top-secret Lookout Mountain Laboratory, which seems to be McGowan’s grand metaphor for Dr. Strangelove having a bird’s-eye view of the nascent hippie movement, treating it as though it were a petri dish brimming with a lethal biological weapon that could be unleashed in meticulously monitored increments. Indeed, many of Laurel Canyon’s rock ’n’ roll idols had former incarnations steeped in the world of military/intelligence operations.
Elimination of people who posed a threat to the military-industrial-intelligence complex was among the operations conducted by Laurel Canyon spooks. From David MacGowan’s book:
As Laurel Canyon chronicler Michael Walker has noted, LA’s two most notorious mass murders, one in August of 1969 and the other in July of 1981 (both involving five victims, though at Wonderland one of the five miraculously survived), provided rather morbid bookends for Laurel Canyon’s glory years. Walker though, like others who have chronicled that time and place, treats these brutal crimes as though they were unfortunate aberrations. The reality, however, is that the nine bodies recovered from Cielo Drive and Wonderland Avenue constitute just the tip of a very large, and very bloody, iceberg.
To partially illustrate that point: Diane Linkletter (daughter of famed entertainer Art Linkletter), legendary comedian Lenny Bruce, screen idol Sal Mineo, starlet Inger Stevens, and silent film star Ramon Novarro, all have something in common — all were found dead in their homes, either in or at the mouth of Laurel Canyon, in the decade between 1966 and 1976. And all five were, in all likelihood, murdered in those Laurel Canyon homes.
As noted in other articles on this website, Diane Linkletter died just a few days after she discovered a partially coded message by her brother Robert indicating that he was the Zodiac Killer.
On July 1, 1969, Lookout Mountain Station was suddenly decommissioned, and the motion picture squadron re-located to Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino.  It has been alleged by Bill Kaysing, author of the book We Never Went to the Moon, that Norton was where the moon landings were staged and filmed for future broadcasts on television. Notwithstanding, the fake moon landing footage was probably already in the can by the time the motion picture unit left Laurel Canyon to go to San Bernardino.
After spending seven months in Laurel Canyon, Neale and Watson moved to a Malibu beach house at 18162 Pacific Coast Highway. In April or May of 1968, Watson met Dennis Wilson, a member of the Beach Boys. Wilson invited Watson to live at his house on Sunset Boulevard. There Watson met Charles Manson and his girls. In September, Watson went to Spahn Ranch and became a member of the Manson Family. Shortly afterwards, Neale went to see Watson at the ranch and noticed something different about his friend.
I had noticed a bit of a change in his personality . . . he seemed to have – he was beginning to have an absence of emotion. He had a very blank look on his face. I know he was taking acid — he had become to take a great deal of acid. . . .
In November of 1968, Charles Manson sent Watson up north to visit the “Candy Man.”
Charlie had sent us up north to see a man called the Candy Man and going to bring back some candy. So we went up north and Charlie wasn’t with us then you know, like he had told us to go up there and see about the candy and so a couple of guys and I and some of the girls went up north in a school bus. When we got back down from north this is when I called Dave. . . . I came back down, from north in the school bus and I had been away from Charlie for a little while, because he sent us up to the candy man to get candy and I came back down and I called David and I told him that I was just losing myself.
Further details of this episode are given in Neale’s testimony:
He had gone through a complete reversal of anything that he ever believed as far as Manson, it seemed. He was almost frightened over the phone and asked me if there was room for him to come stay, he was afraid of the girls and also of Manson. . . . He said he was frightened, he was frightened of what Manson and what the girls were doing and he felt that he was going insane, could he come stay with me.
When Watson was at David’s apartment in Highland Park, they had discussions about Charles Manson.
We talked of Manson’s philosophy and we talked of the hold that he seemed to have on him and the hold that he seemed to have on the people were at the ranch; and I remember explicitly Charles saying that he felt he was losing his identity, didn’t really know who he was when he was there.
On December 2, David was inducted into the Army. Watson continued to stay at the Highland Park apartment with David’s brother for about a month and a half. In February or March, Watson returned to Spahn Ranch and rejoined the Manson Family.
In June of 1969, Neale was home on leave, having just got his orders to go to Vietnam. He made a phone call to Spahn Ranch, trying to get in touch with Watson, but failed to reach him. Watson later called David’s brother and found out that David was staying at a friend’s house. Watson went to visit Neale with three Manson girls, one of whom being Patricia Krenwinkel.
When Neale first saw Watson, he could not recognize him.
. . . physically, he had lost a great deal of weight. He was smoking cigarettes, which I had never seen him do and he had a stare, absence of emotion almost. . . . He asked me to come to the ranch and to live and he explained Charles Manson’s philosophy, which was now his, and he explained helter skelter and he told me that there was going to be a revolution in the country. . . . and that it would be happening in this country within a matter of months. . . . [His appearance and conversation] disturbed me mainly because I didn’t — he had completely lost his identity from the Charles that I knew. It wasn’t the same person.
Watson’s zombie-like enslavement to Charles Manson was actually a ploy to conceal his dedicated commitment to the Helter Skelter plan. The mind control that he suffered did not rob him of his mental faculties, but rather it turned him into a ruthless killer.
Helter Skelter was basically a false flag operation. The Manson gang would invade the homes of rich white people, slaughter them, and leave behind clues that indicated, initially, that the Black Panthers were to blame. Later the blame for the murders would fall on the hippies. Although the killers came out of Spahn Ranch, the actual direction and control of this complex plan came out of a safehouse in Carmel 300 miles away.
The Winans family had been living in Carmel since November 1967. Four years later, when they were living in Pacific Grove (thirteen miles from Carmel Valley), Mae Brussell mentioned a hippie provocateur on her radio program Dialogue Conspiracy, October 13, 1971.
I had a friend I met who worked at the Diggers, and they were being handed bad acid by disguised agent provocateurs, to begin to burn their bellies out and rob their minds. [And that’s the way] the Diggers were [being treated] up there. This can be documented. I know that the federal government were throwing things out at pop festivals. They allowed people like Melvin Belli — who worked with Jack Ruby — was the man in on the Altamont thing. That brings the pressure. We’ll go on to that some other day; on pop festivals and music, and what happened to the music scene, and the musicians at the Monterey Pop Festival.
So I was watching how the hippie scene would be put down and what evidence there was that they had to crack it. I’ve mentioned on two different programs that in my neighborhood a man moved in from Texas. I think he gets tired of me talking about this, so this is the last time I’ll mention him. He was dressed as a hippie, but he wasn’t a hippie. He brought his children into this community. He lived a block from my house. He wrote a book for Henry Kaiser called Children of Change. (I’m repeating for somebody who hasn’t heard the show.) A non-hippie from Texas, he lived here for about one or two years, walking down the coast, going the music scene. And he wrote, just prior to the Sharon Tate murders, that, “…the hippies would have made it…” — this is what Henry Kaiser published — “…would have made it if, number one: they had a sense of humor. And number two: they weren’t so violent.
If anybody had a sense of humor that generation did. Because there wasn’t much to be funny about — the way the Cold War was going after Korea and everything like that.
I have a button collection. People who’ve been to my home see it. I started this around those years, and I have a whole wall with thousands of buttons. And it’s funny. They did have a sense of humor. The kids were beautiful. And they laughed. There were very funny things. If you read the button, it says sociological things. I have the sense of humor of that generation. And I collected the car bumper stickers for a while, but it got too expensive, so I save the buttons.
They did have a sense of humor, and there was no violence at all. This same particular man referred to his wife and hippie-women as witches. And she wasn’t a witch. She was a very establishment Texas girl who is the wife of this man that was dressed as a hippie.
He is now at the Navy post-graduate school; He’s Navy. He had to be Navy Intelligence. How did he get into the Navy post-graduate school if his undergraduate school was being a hippie on Big Sur road, walking back and forth on the highway?
So this particular man had his gun and his scopes and his knives and things. And I watched, and there was no massacre. And I was watching the phenomena. How was our government going to handle it?
According to Brussell, the “non-hippie from Texas” wrote the book Children of Change. Actually the author was Don Fabun, and Winans was the illustrator. This fact does not necessarily preclude the possibility, as indicated by Brussell, that Winans had a hand in guiding and helping Fabun in the composition of his book.
Brussell did not reveal on her program the name of the phony hippie from Texas, but she revealed it privately to Paul Krassner, publisher of The Realist. According to Adam Gorightly, author of the book, The Shadow Over Santa Susana, p. 151:
Mae Brussell informed him [Krassner] that a Naval Intelligence agent named Nathaniel Dight [a pseudonym] had associated with Tex Watson prior to the murders. . . . Dight, Brussell claimed, was a Postgraduate at the Navy’s Monterey Language School – where only intelligence officers were admitted. Dight, she said, had used the cover of a “hippie artist” while working as an undercover agent provocateur to infiltrate Charlie’s Family.
According to Brussell, Dight was the Manson Family’s main drug supplier. After the murders, Dight, “. . . cut his hair, put his shoes back on . . .” and returned to the Monterey Language School, setting aside his hippie guise, which had served its purpose. Prior to shedding these hippie trappings, Dight had done artwork for an underground magazine that, Brussell asserted, “. . . was a conduit for CIA funds for medical research in mind control, intelligence money for electrode implants and for LSD experiments, according to documents I got from the Pentagon.”
Paul Krassner revealed the name of the hippie artist from Texas in an article written for Rolling Stone, October 23, 1975, entitled “My Trip with Squeaky: Just One of Charlie’s Girls.”
I had hoped to get confirmation of the heaviest lead in my research. I’d been tracking down the path of Charles Winans, an individual in Navy intelligence who had posed as a hippie artist, orchestrating the scenario of violence and witchcraft in meetings with Tex Watson, who then fulfilled the prophecy of this agent provocateur with all that shooting and stabbing. Manson had merely instructed his ladies to go and do whatever Tex told them.
Further in the article, Krassner said that he went to the California Institute of Women and interviewed a trio of convicted Manson killers: Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel.
When I asked about Charles Winans, Susan Atkins replied, “Oh, yeah, Tex took me to sleep with him. And he gave us dope.”
Was Charles Winans the Candy Man?
Charles Winans brought a libel suit against Krassner and The Rolling Stone in 1976. A discussion of the suit appeared in New West magazine, April 10, 1978, in an article entitled “Winans vs Rolling Stone: A Case of New Journalism that May Cost $450 Million” by Laura Daltry:
By 1975, he’s moved back to Texas. His wife had divorced him and remained in California with the children. When the suspicion that he was an agent surfaced in Rolling Stone, Winans says “I just tried to block it out of my mind.” In fact, it wasn’t until February, 1976 – four months after the article appeared that Winans saw a copy.
Soon afterward on a trip to Carmel to try to regain custody of his children, Winans asked an attorney to demand a retraction from Krassner and RS. When they refused, standing by the story, Winans filed a libel suit. Four hundred fifty million dollars in damages is being sought, and the case has attracted superstar attorney Melvin Belli.
“At the beginning,” Winans says, “I would have settled for a retraction and let it go at that.” Private detective Hal Lipset says Jann Wenner, editor of RS, showed him a galley proof of a retraction shortly after the suit was filed. Francis Coppola’s now defunct City magazine published an article by Krassner with similar information. City later published a point-by-point retraction in San Francisco magazine and settled with Winans for a reported $4,000. But the RS retraction was never published, and Wenner denies showing such a galley to Lipset.
Rolling Stone’s chief attorney in the case is Jerry Doughety of Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro, a powerful 220-attorney law firm whose major clients include Standard Oil. Dougherty says he plans to show “substantial truth” to the allegations about Winans, and prove the fact-checkers and editors of RS did the “best possible work” in checking the facts before publication.
Krassner first heard about Winans in 1972 from 54-year-old conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell. Brussell lives in Carmel Valley on a hill overlooking the ranch home where Winans and his family lived in the late sixties. According to Krassner, Brussell told him that Winans was a naval intelligence agent. Brussell said she’d heard Winans was taking classes at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.
Winans’s alleged connection to the Manson family was furnished by Louise James, a friend of Brussell’s. James, an artist in her fifties, had lived next door to Winans, and told Krassner that she had seen a strange man visiting the Winans in early 1969. She said she later recognized the visitor as Tex Watson from newspaper photos published after the Manson killings; therefore, James, reasoned, Winans was an agent who met with Watson to inspire the Manson killings.
Louise James suffered a mental breakdown in 1972 and now lives in a board-and-care home. Other people in Carmel say that James, who was active in the Peace and Freedom party and the anti-war movement, was “extremely politically paranoid” and “all tensed up about the CIA” long before she spoke with Krassner.
Mae Brussell calls Krassner “totally irresponsible” for printing the statement about Winans without further confirmation. But she claims that the mere fact that Melvin Belli is Winans’s attorney is positive proof that Winans is an agent. “Belli has worked for the CIA all his life,” Brussell contends, pointing out that Belli represented Jack Ruby.
“I may have worked for the CIO,” Belli responds, “but not the CIA.” And he adds: “She sounds like she’s going to be an interesting witness.”
Convicted Manson-family murderer Susan Atkins was another one of Krassner’s sources. Atkins now claims she never knew Winans and can’t remember telling Krassner that she did. Krassner’s fourth source was Hollywood television writer Stan Ross, who supposedly told him he’d seen Winans’s name listed as an informant on an LAPD report. Ross now says that he never saw Winans’s name on a police report and doesn’t remember Krassner asking about Winans.
According to the above article, Louise James saw Watson at the Winans house sometime in early 1969. This was probably after Watson rejoined the Family in February or March of 1969, for Watson was accompanied by women, whom James later recognized as Manson followers, when their pictures appeared in the newspapers in December after arrests were made.
A librarian at the Carmel Clay Public Library checked the phone books for the 1960s and early 1970s. Louise James was listed at a P.O. box for the years 1960 to 1965. No listing for her appeared in the directories of 1966 through 1970. A 1971 directory listed her as living on Schulte Road, no street number given. It was about three miles from where she was living before (near Mae Brussell’s house). There was no listing for Charles Winans in the directories of 1968 through 1970, but a 1971 directory showed him at 153 19th Street in Pacific Grove.
A conjectured reconstruction of the neighborhood relationships of Brussell and James to the Winans house are shown in the map below, drawn from Google Maps.
A. Mae Brussell’s house at 25620 Via Crotalo; B. 25615 Via Crotalo, suspected of being occupied by a surveillance team in 1988; C. 25620 Tierre Grande, believed to be Louise James’s bungalow; D. 25640 Tierre Grande, believed to be Charles Winans’s house.
Aerial view of same area
A digression from the story of Charles Winans is necessary at this point to explain the house marked as B at 25615 Via Crotalo, across the street from Mae Brussell’s house, marked as A, at 25620 Via Crotalo. The following article appeared in The Monterey Herald, October 3, 1988:
Sunday Morning Fire Guts House in Carmel Valley
An estimated $200,000 damage was done to a Carmel Valley house in a fire Sunday morning that started in the garage, and a Mid-Carmel Valley firefighter suffered a broken leg in a fall during the blaze.
The fire, reported at about 7:30 a.m., virtually gutted the house at 25615 Via Crotalo, according to a spokesman for the Mid-Carmel Valley Fire Department, who said that “very little was salvaged.”
Identity of the occupants of the house was withheld. It was not immediately known whether the house was a rental or owner-occupied.
The occupants were inside the house when the fire started in the garage, which is attached to the house, but they were able to get out unharmed, the fire department spokesman said.
The spokesman identified the injured fireman as Steve Crosswell.
Cause of the fire is under investigation.
Six fire trucks and 30 firefighters, including help from the Carmel Valley Fire Department, were on the scene a total of about three hours, the spokesman said.
Brussell died the following day, Monday afternoon on October 3 from a suspicious case of cancer. The house across the street, as well as any evidence of what the unidentified occupants were doing there, was completely destroyed. They might have been a surveillance team assigned to watch Brussell.
The New West article said that Mae Brussell’s house was “on a hill overlooking the ranch home where Winans and his family lived in the late sixties.” According to a comment by Brussell (see below), the Winans home was very close to the bungalow of Louise James. The houses marked C and D on Tierre Grande best satisfy the conditions of being 1) close together and 2) downslope from and within the line of sight of 25620 Via Crotalo. My surmise is that the house at 25640 Tierre Grande, marked as D on the map, was the Winans house and the house at 25620 Tierre Grande, marked as C, was Louise James’s house. According to real estate records, it was sold on December 18, 1972 for $56,500 and a single family four-bedroom house was built on the property in 1973. These details are suggestive of a homeowner who suffered a severe hardship and had no hope of returning to her property.
Mae Brussell spoke about Louise James on her Dialogue Conspiracy program, April 9, 1978. She said:
There is an article in New West, a brief mention of a big lawsuit that’s going to be coming up. It’s a $450 million lawsuit by Charles Winans against Rolling Stone. It has to do with an article Paul Krassner wrote for Rolling Stone, making allegations about Charles Winans, a man who was living on the Monterey Peninsula, a neighbor of mine. New West said there were four sources for information on this story. One is Stan Ross, who told Paul Krassner certain pieces of information about Charles Winans and then backed down and probably was wrong; Sue Atkins, who talked with Paul and then she denied what she had said. The third one was Louise James, and New West described her as not being a credible witness, and then the fourth is Mae Brussell. So there is a $450 million lawsuit coming up, and the primary witness is going to be Mae Brussell. The attorneys for Rolling Stone are the same law firm that represents the Rockefeller combine. They’re up in San Francisco. The attorney for Charles Winans is going to be none other than Melvin Belli.
I really welcome meeting Melvin Belli in court. I met him at a lecture and asked him questions about Jack Ruby, because I know Belli worked for the CIA. I am very anxious to meet him head on in court. It will be an interesting trial. I think it will be up in San Francisco around June, if it isn’t settled out of court. Next week on Dialogue Conspiracy I am going into details about Louise James, and the mind control of Louise James, and why she was forced out as a witness and therefore she cannot be presentable in court as supporting the allegations that she made at the time she made them.
The following week, April 16, she had more to say about her friend:
Last week on Dialogue Conspiracy I said that I would talk about Operation Mind Control [a book by Walter Bowart, published in 1975], about the article in New West – it’s April 10, 1978. It’s about Paul Krassner and a lawsuit in San Francisco. It involves San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli, who was Jack Ruby’s attorney. He’ll be in court this summer. This is what the article in New West says, and then we’ll talk about it. They are seeking $450 million in a libel suit against Rolling Stone and against Paul Krassner. The case will be up there in June, and I’ll let you know on the air. Some of you may want to go to the court – and I’ll be testifying – if you want to go observe this trial. It’ll be interesting.
In 1975 Rolling Stone published a story by Paul Krassner called “My Trip with Squeaky Fromme, Just One of Charlie’s Girls.” He was researching the Charles Manson Family when he stumbled across the name of Charles Winans. This is what the New West article said. He stumbled across the name of Charlie Winans. Krassner wrote that Winans works in “Naval intelligence,” and that he was “an agent provocateur, who had posed as a hippie artist” and who “orchestrated the scenario of violence and witchcraft” that led to the killings in Los Angeles at Sharon Tate’s home and the killing of Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca. The article says Krassner had four sources of information: 1) noted conspiracy theorist Mae Brussell; 2) Louise James, Winans’s next-door neighbor; 3) California author Stan Ross, who told Krassner he saw Winans’s name as an informant on a police record; and 4) Sue Atkins of the Manson Family. New West says that Krassner now admits that Stan Ross may have misunderstood and gave him wrong information by mistake. Sue Atkins denied knowing Charles Winans. Louise James, according to New West, can’t substantiate any information, and that of course then leaves Mae Brussell as really the primary witness in a $450 million lawsuit.
The way I met Charles Winans:
In September 1967, I went to New Orleans to meet District Attorney Jim Garrison, who had arrested Clay Shaw for participating in the assassination of John Kennedy. Louise James, a close neighbor, the witness that the New West article said can’t substantiate her information, was the next-door neighbor of Charles Winans and his family. She lived about fifteen feet away from them in a small bungalow, and they had a larger home. The home belonged allegedly to a family of military intelligence, who were overseas and lived in Korea, and they were renting the house to another military family, I believe.
When I got home from New Orleans – this was the end of September 1967 – a family was living in the house next to Louise, who was my close friend. Around November, the family all of a sudden moved out, very fast. They didn’t tell Louise James they were moving out. She knew them. She talked to them all the time. They had a friendly neighborhood relationship.
One day the van came:
They just completely moved out, which floored her, and then an Army van moved in, a dark green type of khaki van with an identification of some Army base. Another family moved in, which isn’t unusual for the Monterey Peninsula, because we’re close to Fort Ord, and we have the Presidio Language School near Hunter Liggett. And so a family moved in. But out of the house came these hippies. They were dressed as hippies, and for all the world looked like the California variety of a 1960s-1970s hippie.
At the time (one day one family moved out so fast, and the other one moved in so quickly with the Army helping them) Louise and I were very concerned about this, and we watched them. We were observing them, just because we were active politically.
I will give you a rundown of what Louise was doing at the time. The reason I am building up this story of Louise James is because New West says that as a witness to this trial, she is not a reliable witness anymore, she can’t substantiate her information. But I believe that Louise James is a classic example of what is described in the book Operation Mind Control. Because of what she saw in regards to these various conspiracies and because of her very heavy political involvement, she was neutralized with a substance put into her water and food, which reduced her to a literal zombie so that she can’t remember anything or see anybody involved in the case anymore.
When this family moved in, Louise and I were politically active, and we were exposing the system. I was in New Orleans there with Jim, and I was working hard on the Kennedy assassination. I was involved calling the police department and exposing the Robert Kennedy assassination in Los Angeles, which took place in 1968 – about one year later. But in ’67, in the winter of ’67, we were already watching the Winans family, and then in June 1968 was the time of the Robert Kennedy assassination.
We were watching the system and how it operated and managed. We were watching the use of doubles in the house, of late-night meetings, of sources of income that were unexplained, the separation of a husband and wife with low-key visibility similar to Lee and Marina Oswald, mail drops, guests, trips in the dark that didn’t take place at night, and the kind of people going in and out of the house, because, as I say, Louise was very political, and she wanted to see and observe the operations over at the Winans house. So in a sense we were playing spy, because we thought the Winans were too close to us. We thought that, for things that they did immediately – their outward appearance versus how they came in – they were agents or agent provocateurs. We were watching them very closely.
We couldn’t have been too careful. There was an article just this last week that came out of Zodiac News [Service] that the CIA had undercover informants with local police in the late Sixties. This was in the period of ’67, ’68, and that they worked with field offices on the campuses, state and local police, the FBI, the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy, and the operation was called Project Resistance. The whole United States was infiltrated with these agents. It was at the height of the anti-war movement; so we were watching these people.
Then in 1969 the murders took place at Sharon Tate’s home, August 9, 1969. Steve Parent was murdered, Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Jay Sebring. The next night Rosemary LaBianca and Leo LaBianca. It was around December when these men and women were apprehended for being suspect in the murder case, and the arrests took place.
And when this happened, Louise James said – her allegation was – that she recognized these people that were over at Charles Winans’s house. She recognized some of the members of the Manson Family. She saw when Charles Watson’s name came out, she recognized Charles Watson, and she recognized some of the women. I don’t remember which ones they were, whether it was Squeaky Fromme, or Sue Atkins, or Leslie Van Houten, or Patricia Krenwinkel, or Sandra Good. She recognized some of the women from the Manson Family, and Charles Watson specifically, over at Charles Winans’s home, her next-door neighbor. That was in 1969. But we both have been having contact with the Winans – she, living within fifteen feet away, and I, socializing with them, making a point to know them and actually liking them. Their children and our children played together. So Louise was close to the scene from 1967 to 1969, when the photographs of the members of the Manson Family came down.
Now Louise was not only a next-door neighbor just happening to watch an interesting family operate, she was probably my best political teacher, just in the practical sense. I was naïve and innocent in terms of politics in those days. I still am in a way, but much more then than when I met Louise. She was the most dynamic political woman on the Monterey Peninsula as an activist. She was in the forefront of the anti-war movement, which was constantly bugged and taped at meetings, and I went to them with her. She opened the GI coffeehouse in Seaside for war resistors and helped soldiers get politicized and informed about the war in Vietnam.
When the Seaside community had their Fourth of July parade [in 1970], she challenged the military. She was told that the members of the Peace and Freedom Party and so forth [abbreviating a list of five groups the city would not allow to participate], that they couldn’t have floats, that they couldn’t march in the parade. They had to stay on the sidewalk. When the parade was over and the last float came, she and Roger Lorenz were crossing the street, and they were arrested just for putting their foot on the street, and picked up by the military police.
She published an alternative newspaper here on the Peninsula called The Nose. In The Nose, I wrote many articles for her, and we had pictures of Louis Tackwood, agent provocateur from Los Angeles she recognized here in the Monterey community.
She helped Jesse Philips, a black man. She was a white woman in Carmel Valley helping a black man get out of prison, out of Soledad Prison, and talking about the CIA and the FBI and the California prison system and their drugging of them long before anybody else was aware of it. She informed groups of the prison savagery, about the segregation. Then when the murders of three black men took place in Soledad Prison January 14, 1970 – William Nolen, Cleveland Edwards, and Alvin Miller – by these guards, the purposeful murdering of three black men, just shooting them, right out in the yard, she was right in the forefront of exposing it. I was at her home when the information came about their murder.
She wrote articles, and she spoke for and organized the Peace and Freedom Party. She worked with the Black Panthers, she helped form the women’s movement. She was one of the first activist women that I ever met and was active in the Peace and Freedom Party, when they had an office down in Alvarado, and the office was bombed, and tires were slashed.
She helped Brady Avery, a black man who had a car repair shop in Seaside, an all-white community out by Fort Ord. A civil rights suit got going, because he couldn’t let cars park in front of his shop he repaired. Brady won a $40,000 law suit. It went to the California Supreme Court against Sand City, and the jury allocated him $40,000 and his partner. Then before they paid the $40,000, the judge rescinded the agreement of the jury, called Brady in, and said take an amount (I believe it was five or seven thousand) or nothing. Within a week or two before Brady could decide whether he wanted to take it or fight for his $40,000, he was murdered with a seven-gauge shotgun and shot down brutally by a man from Fort Ord named Mr. Buffington, who never went to jail. All he had to do was go to Vacaville and wait and pay the funeral expenses for Brady Avery’s family and be released. The excuse to release him was he never killed a man before. This was one of the most important civil rights cases, because a black man had won against a small city like Seaside out here, because he couldn’t earn a living in this country. Brady was at my home two weeks before he was murdered. I sat with the family. I figure the way [Brady Avery was shot was like the way] Larry Flynt was shot and the articles about him stretched out and too weak [to move]. I stayed at the hospital, moved Brady, and tried to save him from bed sores. He was brutally slain and he laid there about a week or two, maybe a week, and then expired [on November 5, 1972]. When the funeral expenses were paid, they wouldn’t bury him unless two or three thousand dollars was put up right there in cash, and we all helped out. Then Buffington paid the funeral and is free on the streets today.
Louise was active with the long Presidio Trial, the mutiny trial. A man, Mr. Bunche, was murdered in the stockade there. He was deranged, he lost his mind. The other fellows saw him shot down by the guards. They sat in the court and chanted for their attorney, Vincent Hallinan [actually his son, Terence Hallinan], and wouldn’t go to work that day. They were charged, I believe, twenty or twenty-one men with mutiny. Two or three got stiff sentences, like twenty or thirty years. There were so many demonstrations in San Francisco, they moved the trial down to Monterey Peninsula. Then Natalie Gentile, whose son was one of these defendants, stayed at my home. Louise went to the trial every day, and she was very active in those things.
Now Louise was exposing the Los Angeles Police Department and Evelle Younger. The reason I talk about Louise James at length, and I talked about her on another show when Lillian Castellano died, is that this woman was active in many, many things, and each one of them would be a reason to silence her: her publication of The Nose, the Peace and Freedom, the womens’, the Panthers, the prisoners, the seeing of the [Tex] Watson gang. Now the reason I go into her background is that she was totally reliable with appointments. She was precise, she was organized. She would have no reason to make up anything that she saw, because she never had hallucinations or anything like that.
When the men were arrested at Watergate Hotel, June 17, 1972, Louise told me that she also recognized James McCord from a time when she lived in New Mexico and was an artist. She recognized the Watergate defendants. She helped me with my article “Why was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped?” [published in the August 1972 issue of The Realist].
We were working on it, and all of a sudden Louise got what is called a heart attack. At the time, living in her home was a young woman who came out here from Brandeis University to Carmel, California. Her father is a psychiatrist in Pasadena, California. She moved into Louise’s house to help “with the womens’ movement,” or The Nose. Louise had blamed this person – I won’t name her on the air – as putting some substance in her water. Louise remembers, it says, “something was put in my water,” because she only drank bottled water that she got at the store. She was a health food freak and very healthy, clean, and particular. This person moved into her house, and then the house began to fall apart, and Louise had what they called a heart attack, violently sick.
Now the similarities to what Louise got in 1972 physically were identical to what my son had in 1967 while I was in New Orleans with Jim Garrison. The only difference was that two people were at the house and saw a woman, Caroline Gilman, who lived on the Peninsula, whose husband worked with Aristotle Onassis and the Central Intelligence Agency. Two people saw that this person, Caroline Gilman, I can name it, because they can come on the show and tell you that she handed to my son Marvin Goodwin this acid and that gave him a violent heart attack. He was writing songs for Bobby Darin and going to University of California. He had what was supposed to be a heart attack at 19 years old. Louise had a heart attack. She was older than Marvin, in her thirties, maybe in her early forties at that time. I guess she’s about 45, and Marvin was 19, but they had the similar symptoms. Their memory was gone, they became rigid, catatonic, wasted away, almost starved to death, had similar symptoms. She became a hermit, he became a hermit, they were cut off from their friends. Two people, different in age, but the mother of one [Mae] working with the other one.
Marvin was sent down to a hospital in Los Angeles and has recurrent cases. He is in a trauma now. He has been on Dialogue Conspiracy with me. He has blacked out in the last three weeks, since Los Angeles when I saw him in February in Larry Flynt’s office, challenging Mark Lane [author of Rush to Judgment] and an agent of the FBI. Marvin has flipped out. But Louise flipped out chemically some way, because all of her memory and political activity ended, just as drastically as you turn a light off in a room, and it’s over. You turn the oven off and walk out of the kitchen. Louise’s mind went, she was half starved, she was taken away.
She now lives in Salinas. The only person she would see after her mental transition was a man whom she accused of being an agent on this Peninsula, a CIA agent. She accused him publicly and everywhere. That man came around all the time to see her, and that was the only person she trusted after she had the breakdown. And the old friends couldn’t get around with her. There was a sudden overnight change. Louise is in Salinas, as I say, has a conservator. She lives like you see these pictures of The Borgia Stick. She lives quietly, does some artwork and sewing. She does no political work at all.
It reminds me of the book Operation Mind Control, which we’ll talk about. On the back of the book, it says, “For over twenty-five years the CIA has developed a technology of terror.” Its purpose is “to devise operational techniques to disturb the memory. Its purpose is to devise techniques to discredit people through embarrassed behavior. Its purpose is to alter sex patterns or to create an emotional dependence.” Louise has her memory disturbed; she is discredited because of her behavior; she has emotional dependence and has to be the ward of the state. My own son Marvin, now at last released, has gone through hell. He has had another relapse. He claims that people were in his apartment, reading ledgers. He is going through a memory disturbance. He is discredited because of his behavior. He has created another emotional dependence.
Louise James was a fantastic political person. When the New West says, or when people in the court try to say, that Louise James is not a credible witness, I will go to court in June and tell them exactly what I am telling you here and accuse the Central Intelligence Agency because of the symptoms of her disease and the way she suffered and what happened to her. I will accuse them of having altered her mentally and neutralizing her, because there is every possibility, a good possibility, that she did see those people in that home and had to be neutralized, and was neutralized.
Well, we’ll do more about the Holocaust next week and mind control. This is Mae Brussell of Dialogue Conspiracy. Take care, keep your eyes open, and read the papers to see what’s going on.
Not surprisingly, Winans’s libel suit was settled out of court. Apparently one result of the settlement was a court order imposed on Krassner to refrain from mentioning Charles Winans ever again. 
The woman who gave a debilitating, hallucinatory drug to Marvin Goodwin was the wife of Peter Gilman, the author of a novel called Diamond Head that was made into a movie in 1962. Columbia Pictures paid Gilman $100,000 for rights to the book, the highest amount the studio ever paid to an unknown author.
The Borgia Stick is a television movie released in 1967 starring Don Murray and Inger Stevens (mentioned earlier in this article as among the mysterious deaths of Laurel Canyon). The movie is about two agents, a man and a woman, pretending to be a normal married couple living in a suburban neighborhood in order to carry out money laundering duties for a crime syndicate. An interesting scene in the movie is a bank president at a nursing home. He had been reduced to a helpless, infantile state by means of psychosurgery, forced upon him by the syndicate. The reference to this movie indicates Brussell’s belief that her friend also suffered a mind-altering event, albeit with a drug and not with surgery, by the CIA.
Project Resistance was a CIA program that sought the cooperation of campus security and local police in finding and recruiting informants to conduct covert intelligence gathering on antiwar protestors, political dissenters, and campus “radicals.” The project was launched in December 1967, two months after approximately 100,000 people converged on Washington, DC during the weekend of October 21-22 to protest the war in Vietnam. Johnson’s inner circle consequently became increasingly alarmed by the strength and growing numbers of antiwar groups and feared that they would move from dissent to outright resistance and disrupt the machinery of government.
One of the groups targeted by Project Resistance was the Peace and Freedom Party in California. The following notice appeared in the Hearings, Reports and Prints of the Senate Select on Intelligence, 1980:
CIA/Resistance/Peace and Freedom Party; 1968-1974: 85 pages. This file was obtained by the Peace and Freedom Party under FOIA. The Party was an object of CIA domestic surveillance under Project Resistance. This file shows that more than 50,000 names of PFP members from a single state (California) were indexed by Resistance; the figure given by the Church Committee was 12-16,000 names nationwide. These indexes were retained at least as late as May 1974.
In December 1967, Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers opened negotiations with the California Peace and Freedom Party. It would be the first time a black nationalist group allied with a predominantly white group for common goals. The alliance between black and white citizens involved in the civil rights movement and in the antiwar demonstrations had the potential of affecting the outcome of the election. Eldridge Cleaver was the Peace and Freedom candidate for president in 1968. His campaign fell apart on April 6, 1968, two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., when Cleaver and fourteen other Panthers had a violent confrontation with Oakland police. Two officers were wounded. Cleaver was wounded, and one Panther was killed.
Undoubtedly, Charles Winans was an informant under the Project Resistance umbrella. The Helter Skelter project was an additional assignment. It is interesting that shortly after the Tate-LaBianca slayings, he set aside his hippie clothes and became a post-graduate at a school dedicated to training intelligence officers, even though he never previously took a college course. Winans’s elevation to the upper ranks of intelligence was probably due to a recognition by fellow agents that Winans had recently achieved something notable in the nationwide effort to suppress the hippies.
- Obituary of Charles Winans, San Antonio Express-News on Mar. 18, 2007.
- .Interview with Philip Krumm http://ronsen.org/monkminkpinkpunk/17/krumm.html
- Obituary of Carolyn Scriven Kelly, October 1, 2017, at https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2017/oct/1/obituary-carolyn-scriven-kelly-1942-2017/
- Los Angeles Times, “Stars will celebrate Lookout Mountain Date,” June 26, 1979
- Charles Winans discussed his art in 1995: