A Nation of Mystics – Book Two: The Tribe

nation2In Book Two of A Nation of Mystics, author Pamela Johnson resumes her skillful exploration of the late-1960s and the counterculture through the eyes of a communal family, following the strengthening relationships of the tribe as its members search for enlightenment through mind-expanding hallucinogens and work for political change.

Christian Brooks, now twenty-one years old, expands his underground activities in a visit to Europe to acquire chemicals for his LSD lab in Los Angeles. Kathleen Murray struggles to develop her own business in a male-dominated world, searching for a balance between spiritual enlightenment and money, binding love and independence. Forced to leave the Bay Area, Myles Corbet becomes an undercover agent working for Interpol in Germany and Amsterdam. Using all the botanical talent of his young life, Jerry Putnam produces the beautiful and vision-manifesting mushrooms of the Mazatec shamans of Oaxaca. Supervisor Dolph Bremer, more frustrated and therefore more ruthless, turns his police investigations on Lance Bormann, attorney, as he contemplates a way to pay Bormann back for his successes in the courtroom.

The different threads of each family member’s conflicts, acquired knowledge, and personal resolutions, finally intersect in the building of a community park on university land in Berkeley. As the youth movement pits itself against the establishment, the idealism of People’s Park ultimately explodes in tear gas and gunfire.

Although set in the 1960s, Book Two: The Tribe addresses questions that continue to be relevant today—what constitutes true crime, police reaction to civil disobedience, the nature of religious freedom, and needless violence when money, spirituality, and legal access to sacramental hallucinogens collide.