Millegan and company work to expose secret power bases.
BY LANCE SPARKS
After a frenetic youth and edgy career, Kris Millegan has found a calling, perhaps a mission, and it's nothing less than saving the United States: "My hope is a revival … a beautiful opportunity for a revitalization of our republic."
His method involves exposure of the "sinister forces" — secret societies, covert cabals, deep cover fascists — that operate in the U.S. (and beyond) to control business, politics, culture, our very minds in their pursuit of power, wealth, and an oligarchic "New World Order." To counter their swords and steel, Millegan has taken up, not the pen, but the power of the desktop and the Internet. He started out just a few years ago on "$5,000 of borrowed money" and joined with partners to create TrineDay Books, based in bucolic Walterville, just a scoot up the McKenzie Highway outside Springfield.
Millegan, now 55, is slender with a graying ponytail and droopy 'stache, dressed country casual, Hawaiian shirt over reggae T-shirt. His upstairs office is crowded with bookshelves floor to ceiling, heavy with tomes bearing such titles as Official Secrets, The Seven Sisters, Secret Societies and Fraternities, Who Rules America? and the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. Millegan must have one of the area's most complete collections of reference material on conspiracies and secret societies: "The way I'd work is I'd get somebody's book, read that one, read the bibliography, then read those."
Then there are stacks of TrineDay's own titles (Kris's office also serves as the shipping department):
Fleshing Out Skull and Bones: Investigations into America's Most Powerful Secret Society (2003), a collection of about 30 essays exploring the deep background of the Yale secret society and its membership, which includes both Bushes, John Kerry, and many of America's most important family names: Taft, Whitney, Harriman, Bundy, a rogue's gallery of the rich and influential in business, politics, and intelligence. Millegan's own essay, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask, but Were Afraid to Know," anchors the book and tracks the "Order's" connections to a German secret society, to the China opium trade of the 1830s, to Prescott Bush (G.H.W. Bush's father) and the funding of Adolph Hitler's rise to power and the later "war" on drugs. And, "This is just the tip of the iceberg. You also have eugenics and population control, suppressed history and technology … profitable partnerships with 'terrorists,' the involvement with the Knights of Malta, war-mongering and profiteering, mind-control, secret societies for teens, ritual magic and more." The other essays trace issues of 9/11, connections to right-wing think tanks, penetration into intelligence agencies, "and more." They're uneven in the quality of the writing, and many could benefit from editing and proofreading, but the contents are frequently eye-popping
Peter Levenda's Sinister Forces: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft(2005): A grimoire is a book of magical spells and this one conjures the deep mystical sources that have corrupted America from before its beginnings up to the present, It's dense with interwoven threads of cults and politics, scholarly in its research. Millegan is pleased with the book's success: "Sinister Forces is quite a blockbuster. The reviews of it on Amazon have been amazing. Norman Mailer just loves it."
Peter Hager's The Octopus Conspiracy, and other Vignettes of the Counterculture (2005) opens with a provocative essay exploring the assassination of JFK, sorting through the evidence of the conspiracy that many people firmly believe was responsible for his murder. The rest of the book is another collection of essays, looking at the influence of the Masons and Masonic lodges, the 1993 ATF fiasco that destroyed David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in Waco, and assorted other nastiness. But Hager was a past editor of High Times, and his most interesting writing recalls his years on the fringe, from the hash oil competitions in Holland to the rise of graffiti and hip hop.
John Buchanan's Fixing America: Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media, and the Religious Right (2005) is less esoteric than TrineDay's other books, but it's also intelligent, well written, carefully edited, politically practical and thoroughly documented. Buchanan's passion for the dream of America and his understanding of American history could provide the grounding for a new and very patriotic critique of Bush-brand neo-fascism.
Expendable Elite: One Soldier's Journey into Covert Warfare (2003) was written by Lt. Col. Daniel "Dangerous Dan" Marvin, retired from Special Forces. The book is primarily a fairly typical warrior's memoir of the Vietnam War but focused on the conduct of "unconventional warfare," including violations of borders, assassination programs, illegal interrogations, the whole litany of irregular conduct fostered by Washington policy makers in the Defense Department, the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Marvin's tale reveals brave and capable professional soldiers following orders that often compromised their safety and their integrity. This book, more than any other, has brought Millegan and TrineDay under pressure, particularly from a lawsuit mounted by the Special Forces Association. The suit will probably fail, but the defense against it is draining the publisher's resources.
Millegan and his associates have, in a very brief time, succeeded in producing an impressive array of titles, with more planned. In a sense, the wild popularity of such books as The DaVinci Code and related work paved the way. The Internet has also opened new avenues for people to explore usually hidden issues in American culture and politics. Intelligent readers are ready to consider seriously the premise that powerful elites will collude and conspire in secret to promote their political and economic dominance. After all, the behavior of the Bush/Cheney axis has made such stuff daily news: huge no-bid contracts awarded to friends and business associates, secret bases, secret prisons and programs of torture, secret meetings with industry insiders to alter laws and policies that promote their interests, huge contributions of funds channeled to special-interest groups, ad nauseam. After a while, even a public clinging desperately to its comfortable illusions and entrenched denial might (some of them) be moved to accept the evidence of their senses — and take action. What's surprising is the role played in this unfolding drama by Millegan himself.
In a way, the cult of secrecy was part of Millegan's patrimony. He was born Sept. 22, 1949, in Washington, D.C., the third of the four children of Lloyd and Eudora (Woodworth) Millegan. As he was growing up on a Fairfax, Va., farm, his father was advancing as a career official in the CIA, a career, Kris Millegan later learned, that began when his father had been an exchange student in Shanghai in 1936, and led to an appointment to Gen. McArthur's staff during WW II. That career also produced some sudden and frequent changes in Kris Millegan's life: "We were told as kids that [my dad] was an ad person for a local newspaper." What he was actually doing was "producing the daily briefing for the intelligence services." Kris Millegan's schooling was also tricky: "By the time I moved to Eugene in 1959, following my dad … I'd been in about 10 different schools."
While his older brother graduated from South Eugene High School, where their sister also attended, another family move took him to McMinnville where Lloyd and Eudora Millegan had roots. Lloyd Millegan by this time had left the Agency and was involved in a marquetry business. Kris Millegan graduated from McMinnville High in 1967. Around this time, Lloyd Millegan called his son aside and asked what he thought about the Vietnam War. The father had at one time been branch chief for all Southeast Asia so had some inside knowledge. Kris Millegan's response was typical: "I was raised on John Wayne and all my uncles were in World War II and this type of stuff and I was a teenager and so I said, 'Well, you got this sack of hand grenades and you got some rice paddies and you go throw the hand grenades and win for the good guys in the white hats'…. I gave him this flip little answer and he said we had to have this little talk."
Lloyd Millegan revealed to his son that the Vietnam War was about drugs — who controlled the opium trade, who was going to make the big profits — that all the rest — fighting communism, preserving freedom, protecting America — was just "the show." Kris Millegan "was not really listening. I thought this was 'the drug talk.'" It was years later, when he really began to read ("I like books; I read a lot.") that the penny really dropped and he began serious explorations into the secret societies and conspiracies that so often underlie the surface of American government behavior, "the show."
Millegan spent nearly two years at PSU, studying anthropology and drama, both of which prepared him for his next moves. But first he found his way into the music business. With a partner, he opened Longhair Music Faucet, Portland's first retail outlet for the great black blues of the period. The store was a success but Millegan sold out to start his own blues band, a dream that burned up in a house fire. He followed that with a move back to Eugene and into video rental, coming in on the ground floor, just as VCRs were entering the market. Millegan had some success in sales, but he kept coming back to music and for 10 years was part of a band. But he kept reading, beginning with probes into the "magic and mysticism" of Alistair Crowley and Edgar Casey, but more and more plucking at the threads his father had shown him.
His life raveled and unraveled — marriage, divorce, odd jobs to hold it together while writing songs and playing music. He remarried in 1986 to Johana, whose family were, in an odd coincidence, the Millicans of Walterville (Walter Millican the founder); they have a 15-year-old son, Blaze, now a student at Thurston. In 1991, Kris Millegan hooked up with a group of musicians to form Powertrain, played gigs here and there, especially down in Humboldt County. The band lasted until 1996-97, then Millegan went solo, still writing, playing harp, still germinating ideas. Meanwhile, technology — home computers, the Internet, desktop publishing — was preparing the ground for Kris's biggest change.
Friends Ed Bishop, Russ Becker and Millegan came together to form TrineDay Books, LLC, in 2002. Their first project was a re-print of Anthony Sutton's America's Secret Establishment, an intriguing investigation into the secret workings of Skull and Bones. Other titles quickly followed: to date, TrineDay has done about $400,000 in sales and sold more than 25,000 books.
Millegan is excited, and when he's excited, his hands fly around like a manic weaver's working a complex tapestry, and his discourse falshes from one connection to another, like a spider dancing across the strands of a web. He leaps from Masons to the Illuminati, the drug trade ("These guys stand on three legs: drugs, guns and oil."), mind control through television and school curricula ("They want us dumbed down."), the link between China and Wal-Mart, the Bush family/Saudi family nexus: "I could go on and on."
He plans to go on: more books, an Internet project called Deep Goat, video. Millegan sees this work as long-term, but he's amazingly confident of his purpose: "These people [secret cabalists] can be exposed and can be driven from their virtual power — all they have is virtual control — by pots and pans in the streets. All it will take is a massing of people."
It's happened before, could happen again. But many Americans would prefer their myths to truth, especially if the truth asks them to change and to act. And these folks tell themselves fables as shields against prophets who come to warn or chastise: Is Kris Millegan Chicken Little? Is he the boy who cries wolf? Is he just another Quixote, tilting at windmills? Or is his the voice of Cassandra, cursed to know and tell the truth and never to be believed?
Millegan is neither worried nor daunted: "What's coming about is an understanding." And it's no secret that he plans to play his part.