“Jesus Was A Hippie”

5 Nov

“Jesus Was A Hippie”
By: Bob Gersztyn

Bob G 1973 Full Frame
“Jesus was a hippie,” the long haired and bearded friend of Ostap’s named Sal, told me back in August 1969. I was still living in Michigan and was at Ostap’s place in Detroit for a party and Sal was sitting by himself in the living room on the couch, that didn’t have any legs and sat flat on the rug, with the cushions 18″ off the floor. Sal had a radiance about him, but then I was coming down off an acid trip on strawberry microdot, and I was drawn towards him.

A Gloria Miller and Fred Hernandez 1976
“Do you mind if I sit here?” I asked.
“The Lord brought you to me,” he told me. “Have a seat.”

Alfed Gomez #3
For the next hour, Sal, which is short for Salvador, I found out, immigrated from El Salvador, with his family, when he was a child. He told me that he didn’t use drugs because they weren’t necessary for a real religious experience.
“Drugs like LSD can only take you to the door. You still have to pass through it on your own with a clear mind, after you come down,” Sal explained.

B Praying together 1974
I understood what he meant, but I told him that I still hadn’t found the door, when he looked at me with a transfixing stare that penetrated me to the core and said. “Jesus is the Door.” He told me that after he had taken LSD, mescaline and even DMT over a hundred times that one day he realized that he had come to the conclusion that there was a God, whatever that meant. Therefore God must have left some clues about what life is all about, when he realized that there was a Bible sitting on the coffee table in front of him.

Holy Bible
He explained, “I picked it up and started reading from chapter 1 of Genesis and for the next month, in every spare moment that I wasn’t working or sleeping, I was reading. I concluded with the book of Revelation at 8:00 AM one Sunday morning in June and decided to go to church. Since I was Roman Catholic at the time, I went to Mass at 9:00 AM at St. Florian’s in Hamtramack and was overwhelmed by the liturgy and the beauty of the church itself. Then when it was over, I went to the Assembly of God church for their 11:00 AM service and was blown away by the contrast. After some incredible congregational singing led by a hippie looking guy with long hair and a handlebar mustache, the pastor who was dressed in a dark blue business suit, white shirt and black tie gave his sermon. He looked like a dork, with black framed Buddy Holly glasses, and a military crew cut, but when he spoke his words were like arrows to my heart. By the end of the service, I found myself down at the Alter along with half the congregation. They were all kneeling with their hands outstretched and it seemed like such a natural position to come before God. The minister came over to me and asked me if I had ever received the Lord Jesus Christ and I told him that I was baptized a Catholic. Then he put one hand on my head and with the other poured oil from a vial, onto my head, as he prayed.

Agape Inn 1973 Hosanna
“Wholly Other entity or nonentity, whatever you may be or want to be called I implore you and recognize the power that you have to direct our lives through the spirit of synchronicity, also known as the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. I ask you to help our brother into the fold by giving him a double portion of salvation the baptism in the Holy Ghost. Halleluiah and praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ who bought our salvation through his blood and death on the cross.”

Flo Field, Greg & Gerry Jaimes
Then Sal explained, “I was kneeling with my hands raised in complete surrender and was asking God to accept me as his servant as tears streamed down my cheeks. Suddenly I found myself speaking in tongues and then the next thing I knew, I regained consciousness in a nearly empty sanctuary. The only ones there were the pastor and 2 men and a woman. They told me that I had been slain in the spirit and fell into a catatonic stupor for a period and then without getting up off the floor, had prophesied for nearly half an hour, before I went into a catatonic state again for another 20 minutes before regaining consciousness.”

Worshipping together
Around this time the friends that I arrived with came over and said that they were leaving, so I told Sal goodbye. As we drove Tim lit up a joint and we smoked it on our way to the Duchess Lounge, where the Naked Lunch was playing. Sal gave me a new goal for tripping. Instead of just trying to find God, I was also looking for the door that leads into the transcendent. At the same time most freaks like me believed that Jesus was a hippie in his time, back in the day, but it would be another 2 years of psychedelic exploration for me before I found the door.



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