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New book reveals critical information that Symbionese Liberation Army resulted from mind control programs in California prisons, and that leader Donald De Freeze was a government stooge.As a young talk show host in Chicago in the 1970's, your humble host covered the rise of the SLA and the Patty Hearst kidnapping.
Brad Schreiber's new book, Revolution's End" The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control and the Secret History of Donald De Freeze and the SLA, is a must-read for anyone who lived through that era, and for younger listeners interested in the militarization of local police. Schreiber has done excellent research into CIA experiments with drugs for behavior modification conducted in California prisons, and how De Freeze, an informant with a background of minor crimes was made the leader of what appeared to be a left-wing revolutionary group.
Schreiber reveals that Hearst was secretly a revolutionary sympathizer who supported prison reform, and that she had met De Freeze while he was an inmate at Vacaville--and that De Freeze enjoyed many privileges denied to other prisoners, including conjugal visits with Hearst and other females who joined SLA.
Schreiber carefully documents his claims, and reports on many unsettling aspects of the case, like the LAPD using incendiary grenades in the "shoot-in" that killed De Freeze and 5 others, then blocking firefighters from extinguishing the blaze to ensure that the suspects were incinerated.
Our conversation touches on many figures from this period, from Gov. Reagan to President Nixon, and explains some of the lingering mysteries of the SLA story.