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The mysterious life of Thomas King Forçade, the High Times Publisher who shaped counterculture
An interview with author Sean Howe about Thomas King Forçade, the underground radical turned indie publisher who clandestinely ignited the psychedelic '70s.
Thomas King Forçade inhabited the shadows while secretly shaping the counterculture explosion of the 1960s and ‘70s. The new biography Agents of Chaos: Thomas King Forçade, High Times, and the Paranoid End of the 1970s by Sean Howe illuminates the life and influence of an underground instigator. Insinuating himself into radical groups, Façade sparked rumors he was an undercover agent. After arrests for radical activities, he mysteriously became the covert publisher of High Times magazine in 1974. Despite the magazine’s wide readership, legal troubles led Façade to shun the limelight. He instead channeled profits into lobbying for drug legalization, nearly spurring national marijuana decriminalization under Jimmy Carter. His uneasy stance on “selling out” rebel culture makes him an imperfect icon of monetized counterculture.