By Tom Love © 2005
It was the spring of 1969, Paris. Me and my friend Bob were on a three-day pass from our Army base in Germany. We were roommates and big on smoking hashish that we would score for $30 an ounce. Hash from Lebanon formed in big blonde slabs. Our plan was to load up a Galois with a mixture of tobacco and hash and stone up in public in Paris. What were we thinking???
So we walked into a crowded cafe that served wine and sandwiches, and lit up. Within seconds, the air took on a quality of hazy blueness. An electric buzz filled our heads. The sour Galois smoke paralyzed us. We noticed that everyone in the room was looking at us, all those dark French eyes, the paranoia was palpable. We exited and hurried down the boulevard. We looked at each other and shared a nervous laugh, still reeling from the smoke and the experience.
We walked a couple of more blocks, eyes bloodshot, eyelids puffy. In front of a pharmacy, we were approached by two cute British girls in miniskirts who started a flirting conversation with us. One of them pulled out some comic books depicting Biblical Revelations. Bob and I took one and looked at it feigning interest. Out of the corner of my eye to my right, I noticed a guy in a trench coat who had been reading a newspaper, was walking toward us. To my left another trench coat guy was walking hurriedly in our direction. Suddenly a black Mercedes pulled up behind us on the street. All of this occurred simultaneously. Two guys, same trench coats, jump out of the car. One says "Passports please!"
Bob and I knew we had just been busted! Smoking hash in public, walking around Paris stoned, plus we were holding a good five ounces of the blonde Lebanese. Man, it was over. We pulled out our military IDs (back then they served as passports in Europe). The head trenchcoat said in heavily accented English, "You two get out of here." Bob and I started backing away in stoned confusion. We overheard the head guy tell the girls that they were under arrest for being in the country illegally. The trenchcoats were Interpol, conducting sweeps to rid the country of the Children of God cult who were selling sex for Christ in order to gain converts. Bob and I escaped with our stash and manhood intact and beat the hell out of Paris that night.
This would not be my last experience with the COG. They used the same ploy to kidnap me in LA three years later. Will I ever learn not fall prey to the prostitutes for God? Serves me right!
Tom Love is a writer and musician from Atlanta, GA.