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Title: W. H. "Radical Bill" Abney
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COPYRIGHT NOTICE


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Florida.

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
used.

For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida









D: Today is April 7, 1996, we are at 714 N.E. 12 Avenue, the house of Dirk Drake the
interviewer. This is William Abney, the interviewee. How are you doing Bill?

A: Pretty good. It is a cold day and it is going to get colder. Sitting here doing a little
oral history.

D: Your full name is William Abney.

A: Right.

D: What's your middle name?

A: Herbert. Abney is an old Norman name, Thank goodness I do not have
any Christian names, William (Scott-helman), Herbert(Norman), and Abney
(Norman name), no Christian names.

D: A little bit of your life history. You were born in Leesburg?

A: Yes, in Leesburg, Florida, June 1, 1947, except for a brief trip to California when my
father was in the Korean War, I lived there until I was nineteen. Then I was drafted
into the army.

D: So you were drafted into the army at nineteen?

A: Right.

D: What year would that have been?

A: 1967.

D: A conscription back then was two years?

A: Yes, two years in the military. I went to basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia,
advanced infantry training and personnel training at Fort Bicks, New Jersey, and
then spent about a year in Europe. Then I came back from a guided missile
command in Europe.

D: I want to back track a little. Is your family an original Florida family?

A: Yes, sure, they go back on my father's side to the 1870s when they came from
South Carolina. They planted orange groves around Leesburg. On my mother's
side they go back even further. A lot of my relatives, on both sides of the family,
were in the orange grove business, in one aspect or another. Some of them were
very rich. One of them was president of Florida Citrus Mutual; one was president
of the Florida Senate; very influential people. I just happen to be from the poorer
side of the family. They owned a lot of orange groves, I worked for them when I was









a kid.


D: So, you left the military and came down to study at UF as an undergraduate.

A: Right, I was accepted at the University of Florida, and I attended in the fall of 1969
under the G.I. Bill. I had a .36 grade point average from junior college where I had
attended in Leesburg before I was drafted. I used to hang out in the parking lot at
junior college and drink malt liquor and never went to class. It was one of the lowest
grade point averages they ever accepted. But they had to get their quota of
veterans in that semester and they were short. The Vietnam War had not quite yet
wound down, so they had to get veterans. So they let me in because of that, but on
probation.

D: So you were a record holder on your entrance to the University.

A: Absolutely. I made a 3.5 the first semester, so they took me off probation.

D: What department did you study?

A: I was in the University College and then basically was a history major. I attended
twice--from 1969 to 1971 and then 1979 to 1980. I never got a degree, but learned
a lot of history and some other good things. That was never my intention, to get a
degree, that is not why I went to school. I went to school, just because, I never had
thought about getting a degree. I would not know what to do with it.

D: You were just interested in learning.

A: Yes, just interested in going to school. That is the only reason that I went.

D: I know that you have a fasicnation with history from a lot of our conversations.

A: Oh yes, definitely. I still read history books, I have read hundreds of history books
since I quit going to school.

D: What work did you do at UF with the history department? Did you work with any
professors?

A: Dr. Chalmers, history of the 1960s. I still owe him an incomplete from fifteen years
ago. He just mentioned that the other day. I did my study on the Vietnam War.
Studying Life Magazine, how it changed its views on the Vietnam War and how they
were changing America's views on the Vietnam War. What happened first.
Chalmers just mentioned that, I still owe him work on that. But things happen, and
fifteen years later and I still have not done it. He wanted me to have it published
actually.

D: It sounds interesting. So your specific focus was the history of media and public









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 3


perception of the Vietnam War.

A: Right, and how it changed. How the media changed from being hoggish to govish
in a couple years. And how, by showing certain pictures, they could do that. By
showing different aspects, pleasant aspects towards the end. How the media
influenced the public opinion on the war, by the way that they covered it.

D: While you were at UF, especially with that focus that you just mentioned, what kind
of social circles did you run with?

A: The first year or two, I studied really hard actually. By 1970, I began to change.
That was the Kent State [Kent State University, Ohio] incident. The Kent State
incident on the University of Florida campus was very dramatic. They had to shut
the school down.
D: Now, for background sake, this was students in Ohio protesting.

A: In May 1970, they were gunned down by the National Guard. The next day on the
Plaza of the Americas, the University of Florida... I was very anti-military, I thought
the military was a very fascist institution. After two years in it I was glad to get out. I
was very conservative. I had worked for Barry Goldwater's campaign in 1964
with my mother. She was a born-again Mormon, since deceased. She had moved
to Arizona to be near Barry Goldwater after he failed in the election.

D: Goldwater was a liberal republican.

A: Goldwater was a very conservative republican. [He was] running against Lyndon
Baines Johnson in 1964. I voted for Nixon in 1968 by absentee ballot when I was in
Europe. But by 1972, to jump ahead, I voted for McGovern. So I changed
drastically between 1968 and 1972, by time in the military being one of the major
things, but the University of Florida is what really changed me around. I went to the
Kent State ralley. There were thousands of students on the plaza and we marched.
Now some people had the intention to burn down the ROTC building like they did
at Kent State. The ROTC building was [and still is] down near the O'Connell Center.
The oldest student attending the University of Florida had been in the Alliqator, I
cannot remember his name now, was about eighty years old. He got up, he had his
cane, and he said that he had seen strikers gunned down in the 1930s and we
should go down and take out the ROTC building. If we were men and women who
had any courage and that he was going to lead us. He said that he had been a
communist in the 1930s and a radical, and he was going to show us how to do it.
We went down there and by the time we got there the entire Gainesville Police
Department and the entire ROTC contingent had surrounded the buildings with fixed
bayonets and we could not get close enough. So we had a big ralley. I was
following along now, I was not radicalized then. I noticed that the radicals on
campus had the best drugs, the best looking women who would have sex with you,









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 4


and they gave the best parties.

D: So this was like social life.

A: So social life was like really good for the radicals. I began to see this and hang out
with them more and more, and talk less and less conservative stuff and paid more
attention to what they were saying. In the spring of 1971 some black students
occupied Tigert Hall. They were protesting the fact that there were not that many
black students at the University of Florida. There were not that many, there was
only a few maybe forty or fifty. They wanted more blacks admitted to the school. All
the radicals who were protesting the war decided to use this as another pretext to
have confrontation with authority. So they poured into Tigert Hall and occupied the
president's office with the black students. The black students were arrested before
we got there. We took over the entire building. One thing led to another, there was
some rock throwing, some gasing, some shoving, I just went in there out of curiosity.
I was an innocent person just seeing what was going on, I was curious about this. I
was hit in the head with the club, I was maized, I was knocked down by a fire hose.
By the time that I got outside I was very irrate and did some anti-social actions that I
will not go into here, and I became a local campus hero over night. I had proven
myself. The only way you can prove yourself was by engaging in a confrontation
with authority and was see by hundreds of people doing it, many of whom had
doubted by senerity in their cause. Then I became one of them. That is how I
became a radical. That is how I got my nickname, Radical Bill. The next year or two
I did other things that kind of added to this reputation. I became really radical.

D: You were clubbed and you were mazed, by whom?

A: UPD. I also got a good burst from the fire hose. All of this was because I was a
little bit tardy in moving back. They were establishing lines and trying to drive
people out of the building and I was a little slower and maybe a little anti-social. I did
not like being ordered around after being in the military.

D: So from that incident you established a reputation and a social life in the radical
movement. You were "Radical Bill."

A: I had proven myself out on the streets. This is how you proved yourself. This was
in the spring of 1971. Starting then, I attended demonstrations, helped organize
them, I went to Washington several times. I was arrested up there in several big
antiwar protests. [I] went to the Republican Convention in Miami Beach in 1972. It
was probably the greatest riot of all time, the most biazare. It involved Nazis
attacking us. Cuban long-shoremen attacking us. Black thugs from Liberty City
being paid by the republicans to attack us. And us beating the shit out of all of them.
The republicans hired right-wing Cubans to attack us.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 5


D: When you say us, you mean the organization of Veterans for Peace?

A: No, no. Vietnam Veterans Against the War. It was totally different. There is
another organization of Veterans for Peace that I was in. I never got into Camil's
[Scott Camil, one of the Gainesville Eight, a group of Gainesville Vietnam Veterans
who did a lot of protest against the government after the war] group. Scott Camil
had a pretty hard-core group. I call it a bike group without bikes. They liked guns, I
won't go into any more details. They eventually were put on trail here in Gainesville
for conspiracy to disrupt the republican convention.

D: They were known as the Gainesville Eight.

A: Right. Our group, that I went down there with was totally independent anarchists.
Norman Mahler wrote about one of the members of our group. There was a whole
half page dedicated to his anti-social acts.

D: This was in a magazine?

A: No it was in a book he wrote about the 1972 convention and Hunter S. Thompson
covering the same convention wrote about our group. Some very famous pictures
of us were taken and published in a magazine showing me defending myself against
a right-wing Cuban thug with an American flag with the brass eagle on the end of it.
I am just nudging him back gently, as I recall, and my friend, Loco John, comes in
from behind me with another flag and splits his head open. It is kind of
embarrassing, I had no intention of that happening, but shit happens.

D: Your organization is anarchist group.

A: We came as a group of anarchist for basically action. This is the same time that I
threw a beer bottle at John Wayne and missed.

D: Was there an official name for this group?

A: No, we just happened to come across a large collection of very beautiful American
flags with brass eagles that we flew upside down. This apparently enraged all these
right-wingers who saw us flying them upside down.

D: OK, so you are nudging the crowd back with the flags.

A: Everybody wanted to capture our flags. Everybody always wanted to get our flags
from us. We felt very great about these flags. We had undergone a lot of trouble to
get these flags, I cannot really go into how we actually got them. We ended up in
front of the Fountain Blue Hotel with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and
John Wayne and John Mitchell came out surrounding by bodyguards out of the









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 6


Fountain Blue, they had a police line drawn up about the Fountain Blue. It was the
top of the line hotel on Miami Beach back then. A lot of the republican delegates
that had money were staying at the Fountain Blue, John Wayne, unbeknownist to us
all was staying there. He came out with Mitchell, Nixon's attorney general, and gave
us the finger. We were saying John Wayne you pansy, you never served a day of
your life in the military. We started taunting him, and he gave us the finger. One
thing led to another, I had a small bud bottle that I was saving, it had not been
opened, and I gave it a big heed. I was never a strong person, so it fell short and
actually almost hit a couple of cops instead. That caused them to fire a lot of tear
gas canisters at us. I did throw a beer bottle at John Wayne and gave him and John
Mitchell the finger. Actually, that is one of the milder things that I did during that
demonstration.

D: This is still in Miami.

A: Miami in 1972. The protests at the republican convention in 1972. It was covered
extensively by Norman Mahler and Hunter S. Thompson. You can read the books
that they wrote on this that deal with this.

D: You were not part of the Gainesville Eight.

A: Even though I knew Scott Camil and actually did plan some demonstrations with
him. I dealt with him as a radical peer.

D: Scott Camil is still a local activist.

A: I believe so, I have kind of lost track of him. I do not know what he has been doing
recently really.

D: As I understand it the Gainesville Eight were charged with trying to disrupt the
national convention.

A: It turned out that half of the membership were FBI agents, which made the FBI task
a lot easier. Scott Camil had not done a very good screening of his group and a lot
of FBI informants were in his group.

D: But as independent anarchist you were removed from that group.
A: Absolutely.

D: And you were not charged?

A: In 1973 the last demonstration was held when a prisoner of war, who had graduated
from the Air Force ROTC at the University of Florida, had been shot down during the
Christmas bombing in 1972. [He was] put in a prisoner of war camp, and was









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 7


released when the treaty was signed six months later. They had a memorial service
for him on the Plaza of the Americas. Stephen C. O'Connell [president, University of
Florida, 1967-1973] was there to give him an award, a returned prisoner of war. He
spent six months in the prisoner, had been shot down over North Vietnam.

D: He was a UF student. Do you remember his name?

A: No. Unfortunately, some people in our group had a rather biazare sense of humor,
so they put up all these flyers all over campus announcing that they were going to
recapture him and put him on public trial in Gainesville for war crimes, to rope
torture him and get him to confess to these violent crimes against the Vietnam
people. Well, needlesstosay the police and the ROTC took this a little bit amiss.
We all showed up on the plaza in protest against him appearing, this war monger
being honored--the war machine that the University produced. My friend, Loco
John, who has since disappeared, who is also one of the people that I went down to
the Miami convention with, showed up on the plaza with a home-made Vietkong flag
that he had made himself. He had spent many hours making this, he was proud of
it. It is hard to buy one in the United States. So he went up, right in front of this
officer who was attached to ROTC was waving the Vietkong flag. The officer tried to
grab his flag, Loco knocked him cold. This caused Stephen C. O'Connell to grab the
microphone and said are you red-blooded American men going to let this communist
swine desecrate our country and attack your own officer. Needless to say,
immediately that resulted in an attack, we eventually had to retreat from the plaza
carrying our wounded with us. We did some damage. That was the end of that.
That was the last antiwar demonstration I attended at UF. Once again, I committed
no crimes, I was just innocent bystander watching all of this. I was shocked by the
over response. I will have to admit it was in bad taste to say that we were going to
capture the guy and torture him. That was never my idea, I did not put out that flier.
I think Loco did.

D: This man had been a prisoner of the Vietkong.

A: No the North Vietnamese. Shot down in the massive bombing in 1972 that ended
the war.

D: He was being recognized as a returning POW and the antiwar movement was
threatening to recapture him.

A: A small fringe group was going to capture him and talking about torturing him in
public and get him to confess to war crimes against people of Vietnam. It was
misinterpreted by people, people over reacted. Stephen C. O'Connell encouraged
the crowd to attack us, which they did.


D: These were the red-blooded Americans.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 8


A: Yes, and we were not any sloushes either, we dealt out a few punches.

D: With regard to the student body, it sounds like, when you described the red-blooded
American boys versus the antiwar protesters, it sounds like they were your
traditional students?

A: More or less. A large percentage of the student body was totally against the
Vietnam war. Even the frat boys had long hair back then. There was actually a lot
of popular support for our view that we were taking then. You would not have that
support now. Times were totally different then. There was a huge opposition to the
Vietnam war. It had grown every year since I got there.

D: It sounds like the issue of the war divided the student body, to the extent were you
were brawling on the plaza.

A: Oh yes, it did. We would brawl out in the streets. There was fighting on the streets.
There was a big demonstration where they blocked off University Avenue and 13th
Street. We would fight frat boys, we would fight red necks. There was a lot of
violence attached to this. Like it was violence on a personal level. There was no
shootings or killings that I know of, but a lot of people got hurt.

D: I am sorry to interrupt you, but I want to get this point clear. So society was
fragmented over the war issue.

A: Definitely.

D: And the student body was fragmented over the war issue.

A: Absolutely.

D: You get an idea just from people that I have heard talking and some other people in
the anthropology department. They have a book that was a study of the hippie
student ghetto.

A: I have actually read it.

D: That is a book produced at UF about the student body. A lot of the romantic notions
of the 1960s was that the students were against the war and it was a very big hippie
fesitval. But what I am getting from you is that there were a lot of students who still
supported the war.


A: Absolutely.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 9


D: Which reflects our society.

A: Yes. Back then. But you have to remember that the people who were opposing the
war were in very large numbers. They were not a small minority. There was a large
number of them, it was not just a small fringe group of radicals. You had a lot of
people who opposed the war, simply because they did not want to be drafted and
sent over there. If it was not for the draft, maybe there would not have been much
opposition at all. It was the draft that caused the opposition of the war on
campuses. People were hiding out on the campuses to avoid being sent into the
military. They got student deferments. They were under a lot of pressure not to
drop out of school or flunk out. Then when they graduated they new they had to go
into the military. Even at the height of radical politics there was always a very
substantial number of the student body who were very conservative and very right
winged. Matter of fact, the Young Americans for Freedom was a republican group
that basically had their own kind of counter demonstrations and opposed us. [They]
engaged in all kinds of dirty tricks against us. Later on I found out that Nixon had
been funding them to do that as part of his campaign of destabalizing the antiwar
movements. During this whole time the FBI was engaged in active harassment of
University of Florida students. They came to my house several times to try to
question me. I refused to talk to them.

D: The FBI?

A: And the Young Americans for Freedom it turned out were being financed by the CIA
to disrupt demonstrations and engage in all kinds of sabotage against antiwar
groups. This was the same time that Nixon is doing the Watergate. It is part of the
same campaign that was being waged against antiwar groups to disrupt them.

D: This sounds like part of infiltration you mentioned at Scott Camill's Vietnam


A: Absolutely. That would part of it too, and it is understandable in looking at from the
way they thought it. They were doing the patriotic thing. The communist were
infiltrating these groups and it was anti-American. But, I tell you there was a lot of
this by then, deep opposition to the war. Not just in the student body but in the
American public itself.

D: This brings to mind a question. Did the FBI or any of these forces infiltrate any of
these forced infiltrate the groups that you were involved with. This independent
anarchy.

A: The university police department did. They sent a man named Glenn Gabriel who
later on became a city manager. He was a Gainesville police officer. He was made
a Gainesville police officer right after this. We actually new he was an infiltrator so









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 10


he was not much of a problem. We used to follow him from our meetings to the
Gainesville Police Department.

D: These were the independent anarchist meetings?

A: All sorts of various meetings. Gabriel was always around trying to get us to do
illegal things and violent things. We got a little suspicious. He did not look much like
a hippie. He actually looked like a pig, physically. He looked like a pig, a huge pig.
We found out that he actually was. We followed him to the Gainesville Police
Department. He was a paid informant by them. Apparently I was told years later
that the Gainesville police had a big file on me, had pictures of me, they had people
who would spy on me and give them reports on me.

D: How did you find this?

A: This was told to me by a man who worked in the Gainesville Police Department as a
clerk and they had files on all the campus radicals and he looked and mine and said
it was really thick. They had kept track of me and always what I was up to.

D: So Radical Bill was an enemy of the state?

A: Well an enemy of the... yes, I guess so. So anyhow, that is basically the situation.
Anyhow, Glenn Gabriel became the city manager and got involved in a lot of
scandals and finally left town. He pulled a gun on me once and threatened to kill me
when he was in his patrol car.

D: Really?

A: Yes. Well he found out we found out about him and that was the last time we ever
saw him at our meetings. He confronted me and he was like afraid we were going
to do something to him. But as a reward for spying on us he became a Gainesville
police officer apparently. He had engaged in all kinds of brutal acts against women
and hippies over the years that made the paper every now and then. Not a very
nice person.

D: There is a lot here. I know the question that I prepared, I have in mind here, I
wanted to get your thoughts and your memories with regard to the radical movement
that you were involved with, obviously very deeply, and how that affected your
studies, how that affected the academic progress that the university as a whole, it
sounds like there was a lot of hands-on experience in some ways. I was curious
what you thought. Did it liberalize the faculty?

A: Definitely. Over the years you got a much more liberal faculty by the whole
movement, the whole antiwar movement, the drugs, the rock-n-roll. Actually people









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 11


were still able to go to school and make good grades and still do all these things.
Matter of fact, I am about the only one of the group that I was with that never got a
college degree and became a big success. I have visited friends of mine who are
millionaires who used to be out on these demonstrations with me on the streets and
do various other things and they are already millionaires by now. It did not affect
them that much. They are participating in the American society this day.

D: Apparently you had never really intended to get a degree?

A: I never really had. I was curious and wanted to go to college and that was it. The
government paid for it, from the GI Bill.

D: As I am hearing it, you basically were getting the education you were interested in
getting and you became involved in the radical movement and the results of that
movement, as we can see in society and academia, are that it did liberalize a lot of
peoples perceptions of the status quo of the government.

A: Oh yes. It made people distrust the government intensely. That and Watergate that
was following right at the time caused an intense distrust in the government.
Obviously for a while it definitely liberalized the faculty because so many people in
the baby boom got the and went into academia which accounts for a lot of
liberal professors probably still being around to this day even though the country has
become much more conservative, that are my age, than in the 1940s or 1950s.

D: Did you ever encounter any problems in your school? You refer to Dr. Chomer and
apparently he supported and understood your involvements there?

A: Oh yes, he did not mind them at all.

D: Were there other professors that were less tolerant?

A: Well, I should not name names and I probably will not name names but there was
an English professor who had an incident that reflects the times. This was a classic
incident that reflects the times. He was an English professor. I was in his class and
it was the first day of class and he passed out a three page questionnaire to all the
students they had to fill out. This involved your religious views, your sexual views,
your views on politics this is for an English class.

D: What semester would this have been?

A: Probably in 1970 sometime or 1971. Like I say, he is still a professor there. I am
not going to mention his name and am not going to offend anybody. He passed out
all these questionnaires and then after we finished our questionnaires we had to go
up in front of the class to the chalkboard with our name under it and he would take









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 12


our picture and then put our picture on the thing we just filled. It had nothing to do
with English literature at all. So, everybody did this.

D: This was English literature class?

A: Yes. Everybody filled out the things and he had us come up and do it and then he
says has anybody not filled out the folder and had their picture taken. And I raised
my hand. He said, what is the problem? I said, I just came out of the military and I
find this a little bit offensive. I do not think that any information in my life is any of
your business. I am here to learn English and I ripped up the folder and dropped it
on the floor that he had given me, the questionnaire. And I said, if you ever point
that camera at me I am gonna cram it down your throat. So, I am going down the
office and am going to withdraw from your class and file a complaint against you
because you have no right to have any of this information. To this day, this man still
hates my guts. He knows who I am and I know who he is but I am not going to
mention this name. That is a good indication of the 1960s spirit right there, standing
up refusing to be classified, refusing to be photographed like a prisoner, refusing to
give information to people that can use it against you. See, I already had picked
that up from being in the military. I did not want that to happen when I went to
school. He has never forgiven me. I talked to professors and he still talks about it.

D: Do you see him on the plaza?

A: Occasionally. But he still deeply resents what I did in his class by refusing to give
him personal information about my life, refusing to be photographed like a prisoner.
He had no business with this information at all.

D: I am curious why he was getting that information to begin with.

A: Because he is a sick Jesus freak, that is why. Right winged Jesus freak which I
found out years later.

D: What did he do with this information?
A: I think there were a few professors that made remarks. One of them had seen me
at antiwar demonstration and made a remark to me in the class about he had seen
me there. I said, yep. He did not like it but I think I still got a good grade from him.
He was a physical science teacher. I forget his name too. But beyond that I
received no harassment from the professors. It was just an incident that reflects the
times.

D: What do you think this professor was doing with the photographs and the file?

A: Well, I hate to say it but he could be a perverted, right winged Christian. He was
trying to get information, I have no idea. As a matter of fact, I did not care. I just









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 13


was not going to give him any information. I realize what I had done when I left the
class. I said, wow, I just did that. I had changed. Something had changed in me. I
was able to take up. I am not going to do this just because somebody tells me I am
going to do. Just because somebody is in authority over me I do not have to do
what they tell me to do.

D: Did you bring up Constitutional issues with him?

A: No, I just went down and ended up getting Harry Kruz class instead. They sent me
right into Harry Kruz class instead. The guy says, hey, you sound like the kind-of
guy that should be in Harry Kruz class instead of this guys' class. Sure enough, the
next day I was in Harry Kruz class and hit it off. He was wearing a biker outfit you
know, told us some dirty jokes and read weird literature a whole semester. Harry
Kruz class was apparently where they sent everybody who apparently could not fit
anywhere else in the English department. They would dump them on Harry Kruz.

D: As I understand it you became friends with Harry Kruz?

A: Oh yes. Me and Harry became buddies going on fifteen years after that. I have not
seen Harry much recently. He is a busy man these days. I do not really see much of
him. But we hung out, drank together, partied together, we did a lot of things
together.

D: So you got out of the one class into a class that suited you better?

A: Absolutely. See, that is another spirit of the 1960s. Harry Kruz is the spirit of the
1960s, violence, sex, perversion in American literature. He added much more to my
life.

D: Why would that be more to peoples liking at that point? I have to bring that question
up.

A: I do not know, unconventional. Harry Kruz taught a unconventional class, a totally
unconventional.

D: And that was the spirit of your generation?

A: Unstructured. The literature we read was subversive, erotic, radical-type literature
that I would not have had in the other guys class, for sure.

D: So the spirit of the 1960s was to buck convention?

A: Anti-authoritarian. It encouraged you to become anti-authoritarian in all aspects of
your life actually. I did not really like anybody telling me, even a radical, telling me









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 14


what to do. All the radicals were always bickering with each other and we were
always bickering, no, you cannot tell me what to do.

D: A lot of these people have gone on to become authority figures themselves?

A: I would not say authority figures but, rich, very successful. Which I do not begrudge
them at all. But they were marching with me in these antiwar protest back then. I
go visit them sometimes in South Florida in their mansions. I am like the black
sheep who kind-of went wrong and they end up putting me up for a day or two and I
eat good food and other good things. Occasionally I will go and visit them and talk
about old times you know.

D: Alright, that is all real interesting. We are coming close to the end of the half hour if
the University of Florida was disrupted by this radical movement, this antiwar, anti-
authoritarian movement not that if it was but that it was where do you feel your
contribution was greatest? Where do you figure in that history?

A: I would say the disrupting of the university was incidental and almost accidental.
The whole idea was to get across a political message basically about the Vietnam
War although over the years there have been many other issues. We just happened
to be in the community of the university. The fact that it was actually disrupted was
a byproduct of this. I do not think there was any intentional, nobody wanted to shut
the university down. They wanted to go to school there so the last thing they
wanted to do was shut it down. Their actions might have disrupted it. But on the
other hand the reaction of the policy and the state to the demonstrations was also to
disrupt us and to violate our Constitutional rights. Remember, this was not one-way
violence. There was a lot of violence named at the antiwar demonstrators, a lot of
harassment. Like I said, nobody was ever killed in Gainesville, some people were
hurt, policy and students. We had one demonstration that five hundred people were
arrested in two nights.

D: Tell me about that demonstration.

A: Let us see, that would have been in 1972 during the mining of Haiphong which was
considered an escalation in the war. Or, it could have been 1971. It resulted in
University Avenue and 13th Street being blocked off by barricades, massive arrest
and tear gassing, armored cars were brought in, the whole student ghetto was like
doused with tear gas, people were flushed out of their houses and beaten with
clubs. All through the campus there were acts of violence. Five hundred people
were arrested. None of them arrested peacefully, incidently. They were all arrested
violently. This was not a sit down demonstration. They were arrested by the police.

D: Five hundred people sounds like a lot for the UPD to have to deal with.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 15


A: Oh no. They brought in all law enforcement agencies from various counties, they
hired patrol, they mobilized the national guard but did not send them into the streets,
they had them standing by to come in if it got out of hand. Out of hand being
somebody had shot somebody which did not happen, thank goodness it would
have been both ways. There could have been a lot. During the there
was kind of a task agreement not to use guns. It was pretty much honored
everywhere except in a few incidents like at Kent State and in Berkeley I believe
once or twice. I believe in a black college in South Carolina where a couple
students were shot down. There was a general consensus by the policy to not use
guns because eventually it might be used on them. But the police used clubs and
gas. The riders used stones and sticks. It was like a physical thing on the streets.
It was not any guns or knives used.

D: In your case, American flags in Miami?

A: Well, that is true too. A convenient weapon, a patriotic weapon. But, like I say,
those days are over now and since I am talking about this, I committed no illegal
actions. I was only an innocent person. I just happened to be there even though I
was planning demonstrations. The last thing I wanted was any acts of illegality to be
done. This is a disclaimer. I was only acting in self-defense.

D: Do not worry, we will not give this tape to the UPD. Well, I still got time left on this
tape. Let us finish this side here.

You mentioned five hundred people being arrested and the mining of Haiphong.
Was related to the bombing of Cambodia?

A: The Cambodia incursion was in 1970 and that was the cause of the Kent State riot.
What you had all through 1970, 1971 and 1972 where Nixon actually withdrawing
American troops but escalating the war in the process. I think it was becoming more
and more violent. Finally resulting in the Christmas bombing in 1972 that ended it.
So that was basically what these protests were all about. Even as the American
troops were coming home, the war actually escalated in violence in Vietnam.
American troops were not dying as much anymore. I mean they were still dying up
into 1971 I believe, on the ground. Actually see things became more radical not less
radical as the 1970s went on. The antiwar movement got bigger and bigger instead
of getting smaller until finally the war ended in 1972 or early 1973 so that ended the
need for the antiwar movement so it stopped. That was the end of it. No more
antiwar movement cause the war was over. Technically it was a draw. In actuality,
it was a victory for the cause by 1975 they had taken over Vietnam.

D: It sounds like you organized demonstrations based on you mentioned a Christmas
bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong?









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 16


A: The massive bombings that were carried out in 1972.

D: When the news of these episodes came you organized demonstrations to respond
to those episodes?

A: Right, right, and the mining of Haiphong Harbor, the incursion to Cambodia, various
things like that. There was a cause to these demonstrations.

D: The incursion into Cambodia resulted in the Kent State riot and then students being
killed their resulted in a demonstration.

A: I might be fuzzy on the months of these things but the main antiwar protest I
attended were from 1970 to 1973. Before that, I was in the Army and I did not really
attend any demonstrations in 1969, in the fall. I mean, they were there I just did not
pay any attention to them and there was a big antiwar movement.

D: There was an antiwar movement already mobilized when you came to UF?

A: Oh definitely.

D: And you were still rather conservative?

A: No, I listened to their speeches and stuff. But, I gradually picked up some of their
ideas, not all of them. I did not agree with some of the things.

D: By the spring of 1971 at that black student protest...

A: That is when I kind of like joined them and immediately got into the whole world of
the radical things, the politics, good looking women, drugs, the rock-n-roll, all of it.

D: Which was the cultural psychist at that time. A lot of this is anti-Southeast Asian
War and then from your reference in the spring of 1971 you were involved in a civil
rights demonstration for African Americans, were there any other issues that you
were involved in or was there more civil rights protest at UF that you remember?

A: Actually, the radicalism goes past this period when the war is over. I have taken
part at the University of Florida in demonstration for Indian rights, against the Shab,
Iran, against the Iraqi War, environmental demonstrations, you name it. I have
taken part in demonstrations against right winged Christian preachers who are out
there preaching hate. I have engaged in confrontations with them, not legal
confrontations, freedom of speech confrontations with them. So I have continued
over the years to take part occasionally in demonstrations, but not in the number
and the violence of these demonstrations. I took a part protesting in the
mid-1980s, for instance, ten years, twelve years after this, thirteen years after the









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 17


antiwar demonstrations. Occasionally I still will engage in some forms of protest.

D: I think I first remember you when I was an undergraduate protesting the Granada
invasion.

A: That was a stupid little thing. But, yes, I did. I protested in the invasion of
by the Israllies when the Israllies invaded Lebanon and got into a little brawl. We
used to come out and have demonstrations against the Marines.

D: Unification?

A: Occasionally I will engage in acts of protest, lawful protests on campus to this day.
The last one was the Iraqi War. I have been on many, many women' rights protest
about abortion, especially. The right of the women to have an abortion. I have
taken part in a lot of demonstrations for women having that right to have an abortion.
I have done some work with that and with Earth First, the environmental group in
this area.

D: So you are widening the dialogue?

A: But, see what I am saying is that there is some radicalism and it still continues but
the peak of it was in this early 1970s period.

D: With the Vietnam War?

A: Right. That was the peak of it. There has not been anything even approach that in
intensity sense then and the number of people you classify as being radical or liberal
has dropped every year since then. Now it is a very small number of people in
Gainesville that you would consider to be liberal or radical or left winged, a very
small number.

D: What percentage would you consider the student body at the height of the antiwar
demonstrations, 1971 and 1972? What percentage of the student body would you
consider to be left winged or I guess, antiwar?

A: 30 to 40 percent.

D: 30 to 40 percent?

A; Easily, yes.

D: So it was never a majority of the student body?

A: Right now it is a 1 to 2 percent and you would be pushing that. There was never









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 18


was a majority of people. Never was a majority to participate in these
demonstrations even of the students. A lot of them were apathetic and some of
them were very right winged like I had been before It is a southern state
actually like you would expect that.

D: UF was fully integrated by the time you came here in 1968?

A: Not fully integrated. It was integrated, but small integrated. The number of black
students began to increase dramatically over the years I was here. I think the first
black was only admitted in 1968 here and I got here in 1969. So, I never went to
school with a black person. I graduated high school in 1965 we had complete
segregation until late 1965. The first black to ever attend school was from
Leesburg, I think. So, yes, integration was fairly new here. Over the years there
has been some protest for the black students but nothing really intense. There were
not enough of them here when I was here during the 1970s. There were very few
blacks here on campus, period. That was all there was to it. Very few.

D: Thinking about UF. Do you feel that there is a fair amount of academic freedom and
freedom of speech and a lack of censorship? It seems to be, it has the reputation of
being, a liberal campus, is that true?

A: I find that hard to believe. But these right wingers will come out till this day and will
have rallies saying they are being discriminated against. That their freedom of
speech is being limited by left winged professors who have socialist views. Actually
what they are trying to do is get the left winged professors fired which is the exact
opposite of what they are talking about. They are basically trying to harass people
who do not believe like they do. They use the guide that somehow their freedom of
speech is being abused if they are not allowed to us racist terms or sexist terms. I
frankly find that they should be allowed as long as they do not address them to any
specific person. When you are calling a women a name or calling somebody a
name because of the race they were raised I think there is a point where you really
are harassing them and intimidating them. But as far as their right to give a speech,
I guess they have a right to do that. That is what freedom of speech is all about.

D: In general, you would say UF is pretty good about freedom of speech?

A: Yes, I think it has been very good about it.

D: Even though you see a lower percentage of liberals?

A: Yes, times have changed. That is the way things are.


D: I have heard UF referred to as the Berkeley of the south.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 19


A: It actually, probably was. Gainesville is probably still the most liberal town of Florida.
Probably more people with liberal views.

SIDE B, TAPE ONE

D: It the April 15, 1996, we are in the heart of the student ghetto here at the secret
hideout of Radical Bill himself.

A: My ghetto pad, man.

D: How long have you been living here in this ghetto pad?

A: About a month. My last roommate I had free rented his house. He is a manic
depressive paranoid schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur and persecution and I
was just sort of like living in psychiatry. But he is alright now, he gets along, I speak
to him every now and then. But I am living in my own place here.

D: Bill's got his own bungalow and courtyard here all to himself. It is beautiful.



Alright Bill, on the last tape we ended the tape to the conversation you were bringing
up sex on the plaza and I mentioned that every historian is interested in that field of
human behavior, of course, some more than others. You were saying something
about sex at the time of the war demonstrations, the great 1960s sexual revolution,
etc. I will let you pick up where you left off.

A: I think I was gonna say that to me, it seems like sex was like shaking hands. There
were meaningful relationships, but sex was so much freer then. I hate to be trite,
but before AIDS and the sexual revolution was definitely in full swing. It was quite a
shock. I had had a few experiences in Europe. I had seduced a Army nurse in
Switzerland on a USO Tour. I had seduced the wife of a captain on our base or
actually I think I probably had been seduced by them, I was a pretty naive fellow,
and a Canadian airline stewardess of Amsterdam picked me up in Amsterdam. So I
had had a few experiences. I had had a very few experiences in Leesburg where I
grew up. It was like Happy Days you know. It was like before the sexual revolution
had hit Leesburg or any kind of revolution had had Leesburg. Sex was very few and
far between for almost everybody there. Age of sexual repression I mean among
the high school kids especially.

D: So that changed when you became a University of Florida student?

A: Oh, it was like the land of milk and honey. I could not believe it. The first week I
was on campus I was out on the Plaza of the Americas just checking out the scene,









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 20


I was not really a part of the scene, I had just arrived in town and this woman who I
recognized as being in my anthropology class saw me and walked over and sat
down. She says, do you remember me, I sat next to you in the anthropology
lecture? I said, yes, I remember you. She says, you know, you really knew a lot. It
is like one of these classes with about three or four hundred people sitting in the
auditorium. The professor had asked a series of questions to see what kind of
knowledge people had about the world and I was the only one in the whole class
who knew what Coptic Christianity was. It was the religion of Ethiopia. I do not
know why I remember that, but I had raised my hand and said that and she was
sitting next to me apparently and was very impressed by it. She says, look, I would
like to come over and study at your place with you.

D: This was on the plaza?

A: On the plaza. I lived right across the street above what is now the Swamp. It is in
what is the Swamp now. I lived in two different places there where Amazons is and
where the Swamp is.

D: Where Chaucer's used to be?

A: Where Chaucers used to be. It was upstairs.

D: So that was student housing then?

A: Right, upstairs rooms were rented.

D: What year was this?

A: This was 1969. Downstairs was the first head shop in Gainesville. A head shop
being a place where you buy a lot of various kinds of hippie stuff.


Tape 2, Side A begins...


D: Today is April 7, 1996 C.E. We are at 714 N.E. 12th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida,
sitting here with an oral history interview project about the Plaza of the Americas on
the University of Florida. My name is Dirk D. Drake, I am the interviewer and the
interviewee is William H. Abney. Bill has extensive experience with many of the
interesting happenings on the plaza in the last, how many years?

A: Since 1969 which would make it twenty-five, twenty-six years.
D: Those would include the anti-Southeast Asian war protest that we mentioned in the
last interview which was a forty-five minute interview. We hope to conduct well over









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 21


two hours on this one. This will be the first tape with a hundred minutes. Where
should we start Bill?

A: Well, I was just thinking about the phenomena of campus preaching which started in
the early 1970s. Thanks to my research I found out why it started. The CIA and
various conservative republican organizations funded right-winged preachers to go
onto college campuses to disrupt antiwar activities. The first time I saw this was in
Berkeley, on their plaza, Stroll Plaza, which is a little bit different set up than the
Plaza of the Americas. Berkeley plaza is huge, much bigger, it is all concrete.

D: We you a student there?

A: No, I was visiting writer friends of mine. He lived on the west coast in the early
1970s. It was quite a literary scene out there. A fascinating place, San Francisco,
beautiful, beautiful city.

D: So you saw them in San Francisco and the first ones you saw in Gainesville...

A: I saw Holy Hubert Lindsey in San Francisco. We had Holy Hubert staked out
naked at the republican convention in Miami Beach and performed the tickle torture
on him. But I have got to say one thing, hippies captured Holy Hubert. He came
into our campground and was preaching to us and even though he was laughing
hysterically he kept preaching the word of God and the republican party to us while
he was being tickle tortured and then he was finally rescued by the Scott Camiles
vietnam veteran against the war who were the cops in the convention.

D: They were from Gainesville?

A: They were from Gainesville.

D: University of Florida created?

A: They escorted him out of the convention.

D: Did Holy Hubert preach on UF plaza?

A: Absolutely. But the first preacher that appeared was Jed George Smock who I still
associate with. I do not know if I would call him a friend or not, but I have never
figured out our relationship. He is from Terro, Indiana. It is in the corn belt there. It
is home of Eugene V. Debbs one of the great socialist leaders if you are into history
there and Jed George Smock. I visited him once when I was hitchhiking from
Colorado back to Gainesville and stopped into the Jed mansion. He had a picture of
Ronald Reagan on the wall, this is during Reagan's presidency in the 1980s, and at









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 22


the bottom it said, thanks for helping me get elected from Ron to Jed. I think that
was one of Jed's man jobs is getting ole Ronnie elected. Jed told me next to his
dear mother and sister, Cindie, who we will get into later.

D: Who was his wife.

A: Who was his wife, sister Cindie. A University of Florida, I do not graduate, she was
a journalism major who lived in Buchman Hall. Who he met during one of his
preaching stint at the University.

D: Know was Jet the first preacher you saw on the plaza?

A: He was really the first one that I can remember.

D: What year do you think that was?

A: It was when they were building the Alaska pipeline cause I hitchiked back from
Alaska, I had been working there for the summer building housing for the pipeline
workers.

D: Did you hang out with Harry Kruz up there?

A: No, but Harry Kruz and I had very similar experiences in Alaska in his
story going down in Valdez which is definitely a classic of 1970s literature. It was in
Playboy. Harry used to write for Playboy. It was quite the scene there during the
pipeline. I hate to think that I aided in the destruction of the environment in Alaska
but I guess inadvertently I did. I was not that environment conscious back then. I
do not think I would do that now. I would not work on the pipeline. It was a horrible
waste of everything, the Alaska pipeline. I remember it was the day I got back from
Alaska, I had my backpack on. I came looking for my roommate to get the key to
the place, we were living in the ghetto there, so I could put my gear up and there
was Jed. I immediately felt compelled, like the devil made me do it or something, to
start heckling Jed. Over the years continued this heckling. Rolling Stone magazine
interviewed me saying that I was one of the Jesus freak hecklers in the United
States, if not, the best. This was about ten or twelve years ago. My fame had
spread on the Jesus freak circuit.

D: Do you still hold the belt?

A: I think I can handle.

D: You are the champion?

A: I am number one. When I am in my good form nobody... There are many other









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 23


preachers now. I have heckled just about all of them that have come on the
campus. I believe in constructive heckling. I do not interrupt them I just wait till they
have to catch their breath and say something really sarcastic, ironic or obscene that
makes the crowd laugh at them. At the same time try to emphasize that these
preachers their god is basically a white, right-winged republican that lives up in the
sky and a god who loves the rich and hates the poor, a god who always votes
republican.

D: Likes to fight wars, is that a part of it?

A: Love wars, especially if they are against anybody that is against white, republicans
in country clubs, a god that is always on the side of white, American males in
country clubs. Basically, that is what the tradition is all about. God was an
American and a republican before America was ever discovered. There has always
been an internal American up in heaven according to these preachers where the
American dream has been with us forever. I mean God is an American leader. He
is an American and he is for the rich.

D: So this is the Jed doctrine?

A: Definitely, pure 100 percent American God. Now, there is a political message that
they work into this. They mix religion and politics completely together. Jed, being
on the foremost ones. Jed is the most accomplished I think of the preachers I have
met. Jed takes me out to dinner every time he is here, no matter how I heckle him.
I think he expects me to not be as severe as I was in the old days with him. I try to
lay off the sex things and stuff like that.

D: That is nice of you.

A: We used to go Sonny's bar-b-que which is a fine eating establishment but now that
Jed's gotten I think five or six daughters with sister Cindie, we have to go to
Morrisons. There is nothing like a Morrisons. It is very, very, very American. It is
very good, I like Morrisons.

D: It reminds you of armed forces service food?

A: No, actually, it is much better, Morrisons is much better. It reminds me of cafeteria I
went to when I was a kid in Central Florida, good ole home cooking, nothing fancy.
Jed is infamous.

D: He travels the United States?


A: He travels the United States.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 24


D: Does he go international?

A: Yes, of all places, South Africa. The South African government funded Jed to go
down to South Africa and explain how a part tithe was really God's will and come
back to America and spread it to Americans. Needless to say, Jed's suit case was
bulging with Krugerrands when he got into the airport after leaving JoHannasburg.
That was one of Jed's famous moments. He wrote a book called fire in the furnace
or something like that about it glowing defense of South African part tithe.

D: So Jed is a racist?

A: Racist. No, I think Jed believes that black people can go to heaven, if they are
republicans. But, he does not believe in race mixing saying that he would disavow
his daughters if they ever went out with a black man no matter how religious he was
or how American he was. I believe he does believe that blacks have their place and
have probably given him shoe shines.

D: So he is a racist? That sounds racist to me, man.

A: That part of Indiana was part of the Klu Klux Klan where Jed was from. It is central
to Southern Louisiana, Illinois and Ohio.

D: The birth of the nation Klu Klux Klan?

A: Yes, definitely. The Klan had its biggest membership...

D: The movie house klan?
A: Absolutely. The klan had its biggest membership in the 1920s and 1930s.

D: Those people are sick.

A: Jed is very, very interesting. I introduced Jed to his wife, Cindie. Now Cindie he
calls the disco queen.

D: What was her maiden name? Do you know her maiden name?

A: I believe Lassiter. She was from Brainer, Georgia, which I think is up north of
Atlanta. Cindie was a journalism major living in Buckman Hall. Well, I do not know,
we had another nickname for it but I do not know if I should go into this.

D: Go ahead.


A: Oh, we called it Fuckman Hall.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 25


D: Never heard that one.

A: For a good reason actually.

D: What year do you think it was that you introduced him to Cindie?

A: Late 1970s. Now Cindie was a journalism major. She was a disco queen, if there is
such a thing. Actually me the Jesus freak might be one step above being a disco
queen. I think that is one of the few professions I could put above it. Cindie went to
black discos. She told me that Jed was the first white man that she had ever slept
with. She basically went to fall night discothons. She once discoed for thirty-six
solid hours with the brothers down on 5th Avenue and she won the disco prize.

D: Wow, disco queen.

A: I personally think she discoed one to many the day she saw Jed.

D: Was she doing drugs during these disco days?

A: That is a good question. I really do not know. I would not be surprised getting the
disco scene in the 1970s it would be kind of a logical thing.

D: What drugs were they doing in those days?

A: I believe in discos, cocaine.

D: I have heard that.

A: Cocaine was very popular. Naturally only by hearsay. Radical Bill has never
committed any legal or immoral act any where in on or around the Plaza of the
Americas.

D: Or in the territory of the United States?

A: Right, I mean I am almost like a Christian out there. I mean, I am so pure as driven
snow.
D: Apparently Cindie was not so pure because she was a disco queen and stayed out
all night.

A: She would stay out all night like I say for thirty-six hours.

D: She talks about being a fornicator.

A: She apparently was a fornicator in her earlier years.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 26


D: Jed saved her?

A: Jed saved her. I was heckling Jed and Cindie came up and said that is the
handsomest man she had ever seen. I immediately said, Cindie I think you discoed
a little too long. One thing led to another and I introduced them during a break. Jed
always had an assistant preacher with him to take over the He has had
a long line of those, some of them are very interesting on their own.

D: We will talk about those a little bit later.

A: What it was is like me and some of the boys had gone to visit Jed at his hotel room
at the Holiday Inn. It was not called the Holiday Inn. It was called the Flagler Inn
then. Jed had rented out the auditorium for a revival, an old fashioned tent revival
inside. It was inside the auditorium of the Holiday Inn. Some of my friends and I
had gone up to Jed's room and drunk a case of beer and I believe one of them lit up
an elicit herb and smoked it in front of Jed.

D: Oh dear.

A: I know. The jest of it is that I knew Jed's motel room number and so when I did, I
told Cindie. I said, Cindie now, Jed says he has not had sex in twelve years. He
does not masturbate and he has not even had a nocturnal emission because the
lord is controlling his sexual desires. Now, if you think Jed is such a great guy and
he is so pure, why do not you go up to see him tonight at the motel room at the
Flagler and I gave her the motel room number.

D: You pimp.

A: I know. The next day I saw Cindie and I said hey, how did it go Cindie and she
would not speak to me. My opinion is that Cindie went down on her knees in the
motel room and it was not So, I think this is the reason that Jed takes
me out to dinner to commemorate this awesome event that changed his life forever.


D: How shortly after that were they married?

A: A couple of years. They had a long engagement as is very proper. According to
Jed they did not kiss until they were married.

D: Lots of praying.


A: Lots of praying, lots down on the knees.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 27


D: So, this international...

A: Do not forget, how did Oral Roberts really get his name. That is one of the
questions I have always asked Jed and he has never given me a clear answer to
that.

D: So, on the Plaza of the Americas you introduced this internationally famous campus
preacher to his wife. She was Cindie Lassiter from Brainer, Georgia, and commonly
known on campus as the disco queen.

A: Actually disco Cindie. I think Jed used the term disco Queen.

D: What semesters does Jed usually show up at UF?

A: Nowadays he shows up in what they used to call dead week in December, right at
the end of the Fall semester. He has been very regular about that in the last ten
years or so. People look forward to him coming.

D: Was he more common in the past that you are talking about?

A: No. He might have come several times in one year but he usually puts in three days
to a week, but he has many assistant preachers who come and preach with him and
they also come and then there are other preachers who comes.

D: And does Cindie...

A: Cindie has soled out there by herself. Remember, they have five daughters now.
The Lord appeared to Jed in a vision and said to Jed that Jed must have as many
daughters as sons. Cindie's work is hardly over yet since she has five daughters that
means she has got to have five sons, still.

D: Maybe they ought to try a new position.

A: Well, we call it the missionary position. I have always asked him about that. You
know I say Jed what is your missionary position and he always refuses to show us
out there. I have seen many bizarre events out there connected with Jed, totally
bizarre.

D: Tell us about them.

A: One guy showed up with a penis-shaped gun filled with shaving creme, I hope it was
shaving creme. It was very obscene looking and I have no idea where he got it and
in the shall we say straticular part of the gun was where you squeezed it and he
went up to Jed and shot a horrible load of whip cream all over Jed's face.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 28


D: Was this a student?

A: I believe so, at the time. It might not have been. Another thing that I saw, a fellow
had a dog that was in heat, very badly in heat.

D: Lord have mercy.

A: I know. There is no limit to this once the devil gets the people going. And he got the
secretions from the female dog and somehow put them on a Windex squeeze type
bottle and he had every friend of his in town that he knew show up with their male
dogs...

D: Was this guy a veterinary student at UF?

A: I have no idea. I cannot really remember. I do remember the event, how it came
down though.

D: What year was this?

A: This was probably in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Anyhow, he ran out and sprayed
Jed with the mist of the essence of bitch. They had this all arranged, I had no
knowledge of this prior to it happening. He sprayed it all over Jed. Now Jed thought
some guy was just spraying him with water, which is bad enough, so Jed took a
swing at him. They guy ran back into the crowd and all of a sudden all the dogs that
were there, like twelve male dogs, came charging out after Jed and shall we say
trying to achieve canine ecstasy with Jed's legs.

D: Canine connubial bliss?

A: I believe so.

D: Were they dancing?

A: Jed was being pursued actually by a pack of dogs. Unfortunately, other people
intervened and stopped it before it got out of hand. There was also the attempt to
crucify Jed. Which, incidently, I had no knowledge of either.

D: You have any memories of the year of that?

A: Once again, back probably in the early 1980s. Some fellows got together and made
a cross. They were not really going to crucify him. They were just going to tie him
up. They had a post hole digger and a cross. It got to be very well known
apparently and they made the mistake of coming out a little too soon and somebody









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 29


called those wonderful servants, the University Police Department, some of the
finest law enforcement officials on the campus.

D: They are helpful.

A: Yes, they are helpful and they intervened in time to stop it.

D: They were not going to nail him were they?

A: No. They were going to tie him up.

D: Like one of the thieves?

A: Right. They were going to tie him up there in his suit. Incidently, Jed only preaches
in his suits. Jesus wears suits apparently. Jed has said this.

D: Has he said that?

A: Of course.

D: Did he explain what scriptural basis he has for that?

A: Basically, Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon or something like that. No, that God
loves the rich, that is why they are rick. God obviously hates the poor, that is why
they are poor. So therefore, God must wear a suit because only a decent American
would wear a suit. Like I said, this is the Jed type of Christianity.

D: Most of these hecklers you are describing with the squirt gun, the dogs in heat, the
crucifixion...

A: This is what you call low class heckling, white trash heckling.

D: Yes.

A: It is not intellectual.

D: Some of them are students, former students?

A: Yes, oh definitely. Students or former students, most of them.

D: Do any students heckle him on intellectual, political or religious grounds?

A: Definitely. Not only students but professors. I have seen professors come out there
many times and debate with Jed.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 30


D: Let us hear about some of those.

A: I mean, it takes all kind of humor so you have the low and you have the high and
you have very straight conversations. Remember Jed thrives on antagonism, he
thrives on heckling.

D: I do not think he would like canine connubial bliss though?

A: No, those things got a little bit out of hand. Nobody wants to be seen having sex
with a pack of male dogs in the middle of an open area. I have seen very serious
intellectual discussions out there. Actually, the people who get the maddest at Jed
are Christians that think Jed is putting their religion to ridicule which is absolutely
100 percent correct. I always wondered, Jed never took up a collection but Jed
always drove around in Cadillac town cars and stayed at the nicest hotels, motels
rather. Always seemed to have plenty of money, a wallet full of money. I began to
inquire. I said, Jed, obviously your parents support you. You see, his daddy was a
professor at the University of Southern Illinois.

D: In ?

A: In or some god forsaken place in the Indianas. Indiana is horrible. I have
nightmares when I hitchhike through there.

D: Southern Indiana or Southern Illinois?

A: Central Indiana. It is the heart of the bible belt well, that might be in the south. It is
definitely heart of the corn belt.

D: Butternut Clan, Indiana.

A: That is it. Jed told me that he was funded by the right-winged political and religious
groups. The Businessmans Fellowship for Christ being one of them who gave him a
grant and the Heritage Foundation and the James Madison Foundation which goes
back to my original assertion that Jed got his start with government money probably
to disrupt liberal radical activities on campus. Holy Hubert Lindsey definitely got his
start doing that. That is what he was doing down at the republican convention that
time he was captured and naked tickle tortured by the yuppies, no hippies, hippies.
It is how some of those names are.

D: That was back in the 1960s right?

A: That was 1972, actually, at the republican convention in Miami, the Summer of
1972. My radical years peaked between 1970 and 1973 at the university there.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 31


Basically over the years I have been to a demonstration on the plaza for everything
you could possibly think of, against the Shah of Iran, for American Indians, for
women' rights, for women right to choose, demonstrations to support the
environment, demonstrations against the American War in the Middle East, against
the Israeli incursion in Lebanon, against our Central American policies. There still is
a lingering tradition on the plaza of demonstrations. It still is for the very, very small
radical community one of the centers they go to. Actually now they have this media
center on University Avenue. The radical community actually has an official
headquarters now in the Civic Media Center on University Avenue. It has a very
wide array of reading literature and it is basically a meeting place now for the radical
community in Gainesville.

D: Let us go back to the heckling of Jed.

A: I use ironic humor and I do have an extensive knowledge of the Bible because I
used to be an episcopalian until I was nineteen. I still have great fond memories of
the church. The fact that our preacher was caught with his pants down on several of
the alter boys resulting in a horrible scandal back in the early 1970s I heard about
this after I had left Leesburg.

D: That is quite common.

A: That is quite common actually. Boy scout leaders, preachers, priest, they are going
to have to intensively analysis boy scout leaders and priest these days because of
those tendencies. I had from the American Atheist Convention I went to in Austin,
Texas, I met Madelline Merle Hare.

D: Have they found her yet?

A: Is she hiding out, I was not aware?

D: She disappeared.

A: Oh my God. Maybe, huh, well, who knows well she went. One of her sons turned
against her. But I had my five hundred biblical contradictions, which are five
hundred scriptures in the bible that contradict each other...

D: So here we have some theocratic heckling for a change.

A: So I would bring up these contradictions in the Bible to Jed and see if he could
reconcile them. Jed made great efforts to do this.


D: Give us some examples of some of those.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 32


A: Well, okay. You start out with God created the sun, the moon and the stars. He
created night and day three days before he created the sun, the moon and the stars
so right off the bat in Genesis you begin to get into Adam and Eve's children went
out and made the people who were living in the land therein, there is no mention of
it. There are two creations in Genesis that totally contradict each other. There are
five hundred of them that I knew about, five hundred biblical contradictions. Some
of them are on my own, I found a few myself.

D: Jed will not acknowledge there were other people before Adam and Eve?

A: No. According to Jed, the Bible must be interpreted literally except when Jed wants
to interpret it figuratively. Only Jed is allowed to do this. Jed says well, that is just
figurative, Bill. Well, Jed you just told me the Bible is literal. Well, it is figurative
when a man of experience like me can analysis and realize that God was preaching
to simple minds like you and had to use figurative language. The Bible is just one
long saga. The Old Testament is nothing but carnage and blood shed by the Jews
on their fellow human beings and God is either punishing their enemies or punishing
them for not worshipping him enough. In the New Testament y. One thing led to
another and I introduced them during a break. Jed always had an assistant
preacher with him to take over the He has had a long line of those,
some of them are very interesting on their own.

D: We will talk about those a little bit later.

A: What it was is like me and some of the boys had gone to visit Jed at his hotel room
at the Holiday Inn. It was not called the Holiday Inn. It was called the Flagler Inn
then. Jed had rented out the auditorium for a revival, an old fashioned tent revival
inside. It was inside the auditorium of the Holiday Inn. Some of my friends and I
had gone up to Jed's room and drunk a case of beer and I believe one of them lit up
an elicit herb and smoked it in front of Jed.

D: Oh dear.

A: I know. The jest of it is that I knew Jed's motel room number and so when I did, I
told Cindie. I said, Cindie now, Jed says he has not had sex in twelve years. He
does not masturbate and he has not even had a nocturnal emission because the
lord is controlling his sexual desires. Now, if you think Jed is such a great guy and
he is so pure, why do not you go up to see him tonight at the motel room at the
Flagler and I gave her the motel room number.

D: You pimp.

A: I know. The next day I saw Cindie and I said hey, how did it go Cindie and she
would not speak to me. My opinion is that Cindie went down on her knees in the









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 33


motel room and it was not So, I think this is the reason that Jed takes
me out to dinner to commemorate this awesome event that changed his life forever.


D: How shortly after that were they married?

A: A couple of years. They had a long engagement as is very proper. According to
Jed they did not kiss until they were married.

D: Lots of praying.

A: Lots of praying, lots down on the knees.

D: So, this international...

A: Do not forget, how did Oral Roberts really get his name. That is one of the
questions I have always asked Jed and he has never given me a clear answer to
that.

D: So, on the Plaza of the Americas you introduced this internationally famous campus
preacher to his wife. She was Cindie Lassiter from Brainer, Georgia, and commonly
known on campus as the disco queen.

A: Actually disco Cindie. I think Jed used the term disco Queen.

D: What semesters does Jed usually show up at UF?

A: Nowadays he shows up in what they used to call dead week in December, right at
the end of the Fall semester. He has been very regular about that in the last ten
years or so. People look forward to him coming.

D: Was he more common in the past that you are talking about?

A: No. He might have come several times in one year but he usually puts in three days
to a week, but he has many assistant preachers who come and preach with him and
they also come and then there are other preachers who comes.

D: And does Cindie...

A: Cindie has soled out there by herself. Remember, they have five daughters now.
The Lord appeared to Jed in a vision and said to Jed that Jed must have as many
daughters as sons. Cindie's work is hardly over yet since she has five daughters that
means she has got to have five sons, still.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 34


D: Maybe they ought to try a new position.

A: Well, we call it the missionary position. I have always asked him about that. You
know I say Jed what is your missionary position and he always refuses to show us
out there. I have seen many bizarre events out there connected with Jed, totally
bizarre.

D: Tell us about them.

A: One guy showed up with a penis-shaped gun filled with shaving creme, I hope it was
shaving creme. It was very obscene looking and I have no idea where he got it and
in the shall we say straticular part of the gun was where you squeezed it and he
went up to Jed and shot a horrible load of whip cream all over Jed's face.

D: Was this a student?

A: I believe so, at the time. It might not have been. Another thing that I saw, a fellow
had a dog that was in heat, very badly in heat.

D: Lord have mercy.

A: I know. There is no limit to this once the devil gets the people going. And he got the
secretions from the female dog and somehow put them on a Windex squeeze type
bottle and he had every friend of his in town that he knew show up with their male
dogs...

D: Was this guy a veterinary student at UF?

A: I have no idea. I cannot really remember. I do remember the event, how it came
down though.

D: What year was this?

A: This was probably in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Anyhow, he ran out and sprayed
Jed with the mist of the essence of bitch. They had this all arranged, I had no
knowledge of this prior to it happening. He sprayed it all over Jed. Now Jed thought
some guy was just spraying him with water, which is bad enough, so Jed took a
swing at him. They guy ran back into the crowd and all of a sudden all the dogs that
were there, like twelve male dogs, came charging out after Jed and shall we say
trying to achieve canine ecstasy with Jed's legs.

D: Canine connubial bliss?


A: I believe so.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 35


D: Were they dancing?

A: Jed was being pursued actually by a pack of dogs. Unfortunately, other people
intervened and stopped it before it got out of hand. There was also the attempt to
crucify Jed. Which, incidently, I had no knowledge of either.

D: You have any memories of the year of that?

A: Once again, back probably in the early 1980s. Some fellows got together and made
a cross. They were not really going to crucify him. They were just going to tie him
up. They had a post hole digger and a cross. It got to be very well known
apparently and they made the mistake of coming out a little too soon and somebody
called those wonderful servants, the University Police Department, some of the
finest law enforcement officials on the campus.

D: They are helpful.

A: Yes, they are helpful and they intervened in time to stop it.

D: They were not going to nail him were they?

A: No. They were going to tie him up.

D: Like one of the thieves?

A: Right. They were going to tie him up there in his suit. Incidently, Jed only preaches
in his suits. Jesus wears suits apparently. Jed has said this.

D: Has he said that?

A: Of course.

D: Did he explain what scriptural basis he has for that?

A: Basically, Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon or something like that. No, that God
loves the rich, that is why they are rick. God obviously hates the poor, that is why
they are poor. So therefore, God must wear a suit because only a decent American
would wear a suit. Like I said, this is the Jed type of Christianity.

D: Most of these hecklers you are describing with the squirt gun, the dogs in heat, the
crucifixion...


A: This is what you call low class heckling, white trash heckling.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 36


D: Yes.

A: It is not intellectual.

D: Some of them are students, former students?

A: Yes, oh definitely. Students or former students, most of them.

D: Do any students heckle him on intellectual, political or religious grounds?

A: Definitely. Not only students but professors. I have seen professors come out there
many times and debate with Jed.

D: Let us hear about some of those.

A: I mean, it takes all kind of humor so you have the low and you have the high and
you have very straight conversations. Remember Jed thrives on antagonism, he
thrives on heckling.

D: I do not think he would like canine connubial bliss though?

A: No, those things got a little bit out of hand. Nobody wants to be seen having sex
with a pack of male dogs in the middle of an open area. I have seen very serious
intellectual discussions out there. Actually, the people who get the maddest at Jed
are Christians that think Jed is putting their religion to ridicule which is absolutely
100 percent correct. I always wondered, Jed never took up a collection but Jed
always drove around in Cadillac town cars and stayed at the nicest hotels, motels
rather. Always seemed to have plenty of money, a wallet full of money. I began to
inquire. I said, Jed, obviously your parents support you. You see, his daddy was a
professor at the University of Southern Illinois.

D: In ?

A: In or some god forsaken place in the Indianas. Indiana is horrible. I have
nightmares when I hitchhike through there.

D: Southern Indiana or Southern Illinois?

A: Central Indiana. It is the heart of the bible belt well, that might be in the south. It is
definitely heart of the corn belt.


D: Butternut Clan, Indiana.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 37


A: That is it. Jed told me that he was funded by the right-winged political and religious
groups. The Businessmans Fellowship for Christ being one of them who gave him a
grant and the Heritage Foundation and the James Madison Foundation which goes
back to my original assertion that Jed got his start with government money probably
to disrupt liberal radical activities on campus. Holy Hubert Lindsey definitely got his
start doing that. That is what he was doing down at the republican convention that
time he was captured and naked tickle tortured by the yuppies, no hippies, hippies.
It is how some of those names are.

D: That was back in the 1960s right?

A: That was 1972, actually, at the republican convention in Miami, the Summer of
1972. My radical years peaked between 1970 and 1973 at the university there.
Basically over the years I have been to a demonstration on the plaza for everything
you could possibly think of, against the Shah of Iran, for American Indians, for
women' rights, for women right to choose, demonstrations to support the
environment, demonstrations against the American War in the Middle East, against
the Israeli incursion in Lebanon, against our Central American policies. There still is
a lingering tradition on the plaza of demonstrations. It still is for the very, very small
radical community one of the centers they go to. Actually now they have this media
center on University Avenue. The radical community actually has an official
headquarters now in the Civic Media Center on University Avenue. It has a very
wide array of reading literature and it is basically a meeting place now for the radical
community in Gainesville.

D: Let us go back to the heckling of Jed.

A: I use ironic humor and I do have an extensive knowledge of the Bible because I
used to be an episcopalian until I was nineteen. I still have great fond memories of
the church. The fact that our preacher was caught with his pants down on several of
the alter boys resulting in a horrible scandal back in the early 1970s I heard about
this after I had left Leesburg.

D: That is quite common.

A: That is quite common actually. Boy scout leaders, preachers, priest, they are going
to have to intensively analysis boy scout leaders and priest these days because of
those tendencies. I had from the American Atheist Convention I went to in Austin,
Texas, I met Madelline Merle Hare.

D: Have they found her yet?


A: Is she hiding out, I was not aware?









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 38


D: She disappeared.

A: Oh my God. Maybe, huh, well, who knows well she went. One of her sons turned
against her. But I had my five hundred biblical contradictions, which are five
hundred scriptures in the bible that contradict each other...

D: So here we have some theocratic heckling for a change.

A: So I would bring up these contradictions in the Bible to Jed and see if he could
reconcile them. Jed made great efforts to do this.

D: Give us some examples of some of those.

A: Well, okay. You start out with God created the sun, the moon and the stars. He
created night and day three days before he created the sun, the moon and the stars
so right off the bat in Genesis you begin to get into Adam and Eve's children went
out and made the people who were living in the land therein, there is no mention of
it. There are two creations in Genesis that totally contradict each other. There are
five hundred of them that I knew about, five hundred biblical contradictions. Some
of them are on my own, I found a few myself.

D: Jed will not acknowledge there were other people before Adam and Eve?

A: No. According to Jed, the Bible must be interpreted literally except when Jed wants
to interpret it figuratively. Only Jed is allowed to do this. Jed says well, that is just
figurative, Bill. Well, Jed you just told me the Bible is literal. Well, it is figurative
when a man of experience like me can analysis and realize that God was preaching
to simple minds like you and had to use figurative language. The Bible is just one
long saga. The Old Testament is nothing but carnage and blood shed by the Jews
on their fellow human beings and God is either punishing their enemies or punishing
them for not worshipping him enough. In the New Testament you have this totally
contradictory book that has nothing to do with the Old Testament except for a few
vague prophecies that Jesus Christ allegedly fulfilled whenever he was born.

D: So I believe I asked you about theocratic heckling and you had mentioned some
professors. You had professors engaging Jed and some of these other campus
preachers?

A: Right. Graduate students and professors especially. learning at Rabbis,
obviously Jews take offense at this because they are going to go to hell according to
Jed's doctrine. Matter of fact, Catholics are all going to hell. Everybody is going to
hell except for the people who believe exactly like Jed does.


with telling them that?


D: He has no









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 39


A: Oh, not at all. His fellows Christians get the most irate. I have seen people break
down in tears. Just the last time he was here a women broke down in tears cause
Jed implied that she was a whore because she was wearing a skirt that went up
above her knee line and she said she was a devote Christian and Jed called her
Jezebel and she broke down into an hysterical fit and went running off the plaza
crying. This is your typical caring Christianity here. He says that any women who
wears pants is a whore, any woman who wears a skirt is a whore, any women who
wears shorts is a whore, well you get the jest of what I am saying. It becomes quite
a show on the plaza.

D: What does he believe women should be?

A: At home taking care of the kids and cooking. He does not believe that women
should work, he does not believe that women should vote and he does not believe
that women should hold office.

D: Really.

A: The only women I heard him talk womanly about was Maggie Thatcher, who
obviously Ronald Reagan should have married.

D: Well I do not think she does much cooking.

A: No, no, this is an exception. Maggie Thatcher was an exception because of her
exceptional right-winged political views that Jed made an exception for her. Maggie
Thatcher could be prime minister of Britain.

D: For her war like tendencies.

A: Right. I do not know, it is quite a show. It is entertainment and it also has a very
intellectual, theocratical I guess that is the word you would use.

D: I did.

A: It is entertaining. It can be very, very charas and vulgar. Jed loves to talk about
sex. He just gets into it.

D: So you think he pretty much inspires these students with the penis squirt guns and
the dogs?

A: Absolutely, he encourages it.


D: What kind of things does he say about sex?









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 40


A: For instance, that masturbation is the root cause of homosexuality. Anyone that
masturbates is on the road to becoming a homosexual. Now Jed says that he never
masturbated as a child, that somehow he was blessed to control this. A fornication
is a you were going to go to hell. Homosexuality is just obviously beyond,
beyond the You would have to say that Jed encourages this x-rated
conversations which I am very good at getting into when Jed leads the way into
these things.

D: You have some expertise in those areas.

A: Well, yes, yes, I guess I do, a little experience as everyone does. Jed is quite good
at bringing out the worst in people. It becomes an open air circus. There is
something very medieval about it. It is something about the origins of religion.
Maybe Jesus actually did this kind of thing, who knows. There have been many
other preachers besides Jed, Holy Hubert Lindsey who went stone blind eventually
and quite coming. Max Lynch, ole potato head we called him, homo Idahoest
another Indianan who was famous for being arrested for heckling Jimmy Carter,
Jim Jyles who found God at a Van Halen concert. There is a whole line of these
creatures that have come down the line that Jed has trained and now they are out
on their own. They used to appear with Jed as a sort of apprentice. I say there are
other groups that have come out there. I am trying to remember the name of this
guy who comes here every year he tries to give some kind of veneer sophistication
and intellectualism to Christianity, which is really absolutely impossible. I call him
the pseudo intellectual for Jesus. I believe his name is Cliff. He shows up with an
official campus group. I cannot remember what it is. Like I say, he puts on this big
show about trying to prove scientifically and philosophically the existence of God
which is quite, quite impossible because faith is what it is based on and faith is
believing in something that you cannot really prove. So his name is Cliff. This is just
one aspect of the plaza. Probably another interesting aspect that in a way has to do
with religion are the Hari Krishnas.

D: Before we get off on them I want to hear more about Jed's henchmen.

A: Well, I just listed them.

D: Do they have specific focuses, do they compliment Jed or do they have their own
kind of thing?

A: Max Lynch we called old potato head because he had a head that looked
remarkably like a baked Idaho potato. This is kind of hard to believe unless you saw
him, but he had no neck. I thought of the name homo Idahoest, man of Idaho, man
and potato combined as a proof of evolution or devolution as you would say. Now
Max's has a story about his wife. Max laid around the house telling his wife that God









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 41


was going to give him guidance about what to do and this went on for months. Max
would lay around on the couch reading the Bible. He had been fired from his job as
a math teacher in high school for preaching the Bible instead of teaching math in the
class which I think was kind of a rational thing for the principal to do. After this he
was unemployed and so his wife kept nagging Max saying Max, when are you going
to get a job? He would say later women, I am waiting for God to inspire me. I am
waiting for God to inspire me. God will give me the message. Finally, the women
irritated him so much that she came over to Max and said Max, when are you going
to get to job, Max leaped up slammed his wife on the side of the head with a Bible,
knocked her out cold and said God just told me I am going to preach the gospel.
This is how Max got his calling.

D: Did she tell you this story? Where did you here this from?

A: Max Lynch told me this story. He is quite proud of it. This is how he got his calling.
A calling is when you get called into the business and Max did it by knocking his wife
out cold for telling him to get a job, with the Bible incidently.

D: Not a bottle, a Bible?

A: A Bible, it was the Holy Bible.

D: Lord have mercy.

A: I know. This is just one of the many of Jed's followers.

D: I remember a guy named Jim.
A: Jim Jyles. Now Jim Jyles he found God at a Van Halen concert.

D: Was he on drugs?

A: He was on drugs, but apparently he was purified, miraculously purified, when Eddie
Van Halen said something about the devil with the crowd, instantaneously Jim Jyles
received holy purification of all the drugs in his body at the time and

D: What kind of drugs were they?

A: Could have been LSD.

D: I think I have heard him say that.

A: Could have been other things too. God knows there is a whole list of them.


D: So he found Jesus on LSD?









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 42


A: Jed found Jesus at a Burger King, he was sitting at Burger King. According to Jed,
Sister Cindie found Jed at the Krystal restaurant across the street there. It has since
closed down.

D: So hamburgers and LSD?

A: So apparently fast food and rock-n-roll...

D: Joe tells a story about being on the beaches of Moroco.

A: Yes, Jed went to San Francisco toward the height of the summer of love type
activities there and did lots of marijuana and LSD and ended up dropping out and
going to Moroco and an Arab Christian came up to Jed with a cross. Jed was naked
on a beach meditating, doing yoga or something like this on the beach in North
Africa, and this old Arab came up and stuck a cross in front of Jed and gave Jed a
Bible, had some Bibles on him.

D: For accuracy I remember hearing Jed saying he was high eating hashish while he
was meditating.

A: That is quite possible. Jed admits doing drugs.

D: I have heard him say things like that.

A: Jed has several very interesting books, Rise Up, which would actually not
be the greatest religious books that were written but definitely the greatest comedy
books that were ever written where Jed describes his life story and how he was
converted. It is very funny actually. The stories are so familiar to the people that
are listening to them. After years of hearing them, even without a book, there are
punch lines. Jed will say something and the whole crowd will respond. It is very
much like the Rocky Horror picture show.

D: Ring of fire or lake of fire?

A: Lake of fire. Jed's stories are very well known and so the audience looks forward to
hearing them and knows what he is going to say before he says it and they chant
along with Jed by going into certain ritual like chants. Jed will say something and
the crowd will answer.

D: Like what?

A: He will go into these names of the bands he heard in San Francisco and Jed will
say, there was this band called the Grateful ... and the crowd will go, Dead. The









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 43


greatest singer, Janice Joplin, and her number one hit was ... and the crowd will
go, cheap thrills. There is a chanting that goes back and forth. I did a video on it
with a guy named Steve Elliott to place on the plaza. Steve videotaped me
heckling Jed on the plaza and then later on we went to Cox Cable in the studio, had
the complete studio with all these cameramen and everything, and did a half hour
interview show with me and Jed. I was popping a six-pack of tall Buds and talking to
Jed about theological matters. It was shown in New York and San Francisco and
got good reviews. It was his project for school. It was shown on a lot of public
access T.V. all of the country apparently.

D: Steve Elliott was in the English Department at UF?

A: I believe so or he was in journalism, I cannot really recall. He left town and moved
to Atlanta and I have not seen him in a long, long, long time. I have no idea what
happened to him.

D: So are there any other henchmen or associates of Jed that come and preach on the
UF plaza?

A: He brings new ones. There have been I would say twenty or thirty of them. Most of
them are from the mid-west, they show it. Horrible place, horrible, a region of
darkness if there ever was one. Not of the light. The corn belt, Ohio, Indiana,
Illinois, places of conformity, the mind numbing conformity.

D: But the Plaza of the Americas is a place where there is lots of freedom of expression
and thought?

A: Absolutely. Just recently this year there has been radical poetry readings. Oh, I
forgot, these are not Jed's, we call them the men in red. They wear red suits and
come out and yell and scream at everybody and if you say you do not want to listen
to them they start telling you you are going to go to hell. We think they are all
clansmen from some little inbreed section of Tennessee or something and they will
not admit it. They definitely act like clansmen. There has been a lot of people out
there on the plaza. I have seen Manson's followers out there, there were Klu Klux
Klan on the plaza, Children of God, the White Robes, no sex, no killing, no
materialism, there has been quite a few groups.

D: Were the Moonies ever out there.

A: Oh yes. The followers of Reverend Sun Moon. You would never forget those
people. They are probably the most brainwashed people I have ever met in my
whole life. Reverend Moon being a South Korean evangelist who turned out to be
under one of the major players in the South Korean Central Intelligence Agencies
whose whole mission was to make sure the United States always supported South









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 44


Korea. In order to assure that you would have the most right-winged militarist
government in the United States would always support South Korea's right-winged
militarist government. The moonies were totally brainwashed. They believe that
Reverend Moon is Jesus Christ.

D: Would they preach this on the plaza?

A: Yes. At first they would deny who they were and then later on they received orders
to go ahead and admit they were moonies. They would always try to get people to
come over to their house for dinner then they would try to get you off to one of their
work camps, I do mean work camps. I went to one in California to investigate it
when I was at Berkeley and they worked the kids sixteen hours a day and preached
to them the next day. Needless to say, you do not get any sleep but you sure do get
good brainwashing that way after a while. You wait till people are complete fatigued
from working incidently doing meaningful work that makes a lot of money for the
moonies. Then you would preach to them when they were tired and eventually you
are going to work them to a point when they are not going to do much work after a
while but you are going to get your message across. That is the nature of
brainwashing, using fatigue. They were out there. they are probably still around but
in a much more subdued form. A very frightening group really, totally into
brainwashing and control. The Maranatha Church is another one that was really big
and why Bob Weina a real estate salesman has spent a little time in the federal pen
for real estate fraud. they were another right-winged group that had their
headquarter right across from campus. They were definitely into brainwashing, they
had a newspaper called the Forerunner. They would come out and preach all the
time. As a matter of fact, I got the impression they would always send their
preachers out for me to work them over to see if they could take it under fire. I
remember we had a women' right to abortion on the plaza. I do not men we, I did
not sponsor it. A woman professor spoke and there must have been twenty or thirty
people because it had been raining that day. It was a very bad day to have it. They
had a little platform set up n the plaza.

D: What year was this?

A: It had to be in the 1980s. This is when the Maranatha's were in their hay day. They
had their headquarters in an ex-frat house across the street from Tigert Hall. They
all showed up to counter protest this little rally and we had gathered around the
speakers platform pretty close. There must have been thirty or forty people
attending the rally. Then, five hundred Maranatha's showed up and ringed us. This
must have been how Custer felt. We thought there might have been a little fowl play
going to go on around here and so we kind of formed a defensive parameter around
the stand. Then we began to realize that they were not going to do anything. They
all had signs condemning abortion. So when I realized that they probably really
were not going to do much of anything I made a round of the circle using some of









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 45


my, shall we say, tasteless abortion humor, in each one of thems face. It seems like
it never provoked any of them. Nothing happened. They all left. I exercised my
freedom of speech. I just wanted to see how far they were going to go with this
intimidation, total intimidation. They all marched off and left in single. It was very
eerie. These people about abortion are just total fanatics, Jed is, they all are. They
are not really concerned about living children. It does not appear to bother them
about killing babies in Iraq or children in the ghettos dying of diseases or
malnutrition, only fetuses bother them. They do not care about living children that
much. It is just a chance to control women' bodies.

D: Were the young men they sent to war?
A: Oh, not at all. It would be a privilege to die for God in a country, some God forsaken
place where exploiting for our arms manufacture and where our big businessmen
are employed.

D: That is what they believe?

A: Well, they would not put it in those terms that you are dying for American and God
actually you are dying for arms manufacturers and big businesses. It has been the
whole history of our foreign policy especially since World War II. We dominated the
world, basically we still do. We are getting a little shaky. Jed and these religious
people back up that philosophy totally that an American empire is essentially what
we have had.

D: What do they call the women or the female students that are pro-abortion or that
have had abortions?

A: Murderers.

D: The language gets very, very strong?

A: Very strong. I have seen them harass rallies out there. I have been to abortion
clinics in Gainesville where I have seen what goes on when they picket them.
Abortions are not a very pleasant thing, neither is having your appendix out. There
might be some deep moral implications but I get very suspicious about people who
do not believe in school lunches talking about saving fetuses. Those who do not
believe in medical care for children, being guaranteed for children, that are very
concerned about fetuses. You begin to think that this whole fetus issue is just an
attempt by a male God, over the male dominated religion to control females. That is
my opinion. I know there probably is some disagreement over that.

D: There is some strong language, they throw a lot of very judgmental accusations at
female students?









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 46


A: Absolutely harassing them.

D: Condemning them as sinners.

A: The last thing these people like is to have people tell them what you think of them.
They love to dish it out but they really cannot take it. It is fun to see them when they
are really exposed and that is one good thing about these religious people that come
out onto the campus is that they are exposing their religion to public questioning
unlike in their churches. If they are going to come out there and try to force people
to listen to their religious dogma it is going to get criticized and that is something that
you do not get in church. I think a lot of people have been turned off to this kind of
born again Christianity by the Plaza of the Americas. A lot of Christians who have
seen what goes on out there have been turned off by it. It is freedom of speech.

D: Has any of their speech over been determined to be too much?

A: I do not understand what you mean by that? What do you mean?

D: Have they insighted violence?

A: I have seen minor violence on the Plaza of the Americas during demonstrations,
during rallies. I have never seen anybody seriously hurt or anything like that. I have
seen the police have to intervene in some of these things to calm things down.

D: People were fighting?

A: Scuffling I would call it, a little scuffling. I have never seen anything major, anybody
hurt very bad or anything like that. I have never seen that. Obviously when you
have these religious and political and religious feelings and you have deeply held
feelings of both sides and the police will show up and intervene many times. They
will find out what is going on and they have gotten in and stopped things before,
gotten in between people out there. They do that quite a lot. They show up at
certain types of demonstration that they think there is gonna be some problems at.
They will show up and make their presents known. It is probably a valid use of
policy force to prevent violence. I see nothing really wrong with it. Like I say,
people have a freedom of speech and they have designated the plaza as a free
speech area so until they change that that is the way I guess it will be. Until they
make it a closed campus meaning you have to show your id. when you go onto the
campus and it is closed off to everybody.

D: That will limit free speech?

A: Closed campuses are different that open campuses. Like the University of Florida is
an open campus. Anybody can go onto the campus as long as they do not break









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 47


any laws and as long as they are not disrupting the university.

D: Have you seen any laws broken out on the campus with regard to the religious
speakers?

A: Like I said, I have seen minor scuffles which would not be anything major, minor
scuffles.

D: Have any of the students pressed charges against these prophesiers or did Jed
press charges against the...

A: I do not think any charges have been pressed. One time the police were going to
shut Jed down and all the people that were heckling started to chant, free Jed, free
Jed.

D: Why did the police want to shut Jed down?

A: Cause they thought he was insighting a disturbance on campus and the people that
were opposing him the most were the ones that wanted to keep him around there so
they could keep heckling him or harassing him.

D: For entertainment?

A: Yes, for entertainment value if anything else. Actually they felt that Jed did have a
right to do it even though they disagreed with what he was saying that he had the
right to say it. The cops were going to arrest him and they just let Jed go when they
realized that a lot of people just wanted to have him out there.

D: When they attempted to arrest him was it just because it was strong, loud language?
A: Well, there is some kind of law they have about interfering with the function of the
University, because it is state property. I guess they interpret the law is that they
could intervene and stop it because it was creating a public disturbance. There are
laws like that everywhere, creating a public nuisance, disturbance. It is definitely
interpreted by the policy involved that would have an interpretation of it, their
interpretation of the law. It is not a fine clear cut thing, what a public disturbance is.

D: You mentioned some of these right-winged, Christian, republican God types and you
have talked of the Moonies and you have talked about this newest, these right-
winged preachers with the red coats. Are there any other Christian type minsters
out there before we go to completely different religions?

A: I think I have pretty much covered them. There have been preachers who preached
a socialist Jesus, a hippie, socialist Jesus. A guy named Ronald McDonald being
one them rather eccentric character. There have been others like him who come









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 48


out there and preach a different kind of religion. They do not get heckled very much.
Republicans are not very good at hecklers. They are good at yelling things at
Clinton about his sex life or something like that. They are not very good at it. They
do not have a very good talent for it. I have never seen it done very well by them.

D: Well I guess you would have to have an intellectual foundation to heckle very well.

A: Well the kind of heckling I do you would. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable in
religion and history and political science, enough to carry on a conversation with
anybody. Professors have come out on campus and asked my opinion on things,
especially about history. They have come up and had conversations with me. Many
times they seek me out when I am out there and just sit around and talk a little bit
about history. I still study history. I find it fascinating.

D: I have heard you talk about some of the Bible history when you were heckling some
of these ministers. I think one example might be you try to put the doctrine they are
preaching in historical perspective of bronze age sheep herders. I think that is a
good one. Give us some examples.

A: The nature photographer who did all the beautiful photographs of California, what is
his name?

D: The photographers name was?

A: Ansel Adams. Ansel Adams was asked by Bill Moreyers, they were sitting in a
beautiful amphitheater in Park, all these beautiful granite mountain and
Bill Moreyers said, when you see all this wonder do you think of the Bible, do you
think of God being behind this? Ansel Adams just laughed, he said, frankly the
babbling if a bunch of bronze age sheep herders in the middle east have nothing to
do with this. I think that I might have picked it up from that. I do not think that Ansel
Adams picked it up from me, I think I picked it up from them.

D: That is a good one.

A: However, if you do study the Bible and I am not coming down on people of the
Jewish faith that the Old Testament, that Christians call the Old Testament, is
basically a book by a bunch of very vindictive sheep herders. I believe it is in the
Bible there, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, he leadeth me to green
pastures. Alrust Huxley had a great little reflection on that. He said, why does a
shepherd look after his sheep and he said, for three reasons. One, is to fleece the
sheep of their wool when they need it the most, when it is cold. Two, is to castrate
all the males except for a handful and three, is to eat any animal when it becomes
useless for producing wool. A horrible analogy there. There was that human beings
are sheep and that God is their shepherd. Well believe me a shepherd does not









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 49


look after his flock for the good of the flock because that flock is ordained for the
oven or for castration or for having the hardship of having their wool taken off when
it is needed the most. The Bible I consider to be the judeo-Christian religion and
that includes the Muslim religion that came out of it too. Although the approaches
from different angles are horrible, horrible. Anti-nature, anti-woman, anti-freedom,
anti-intellectual, it is a horrible religion now. Joseph Campbell had a reflection on
this. He was fast to compare Buddhism and Christianity. He started laughing
hysterically, he said, here is this one philosophy that you are the center of the
universe and you study it or reflect it your whole life or you try to achieve unity with it
and you have this other religion that you are this inferior underlain of a huge male
God in the sky who you either serve forever as a slave or you will be torted forever.
He says, which one of these is like Buddhism. There is a capability that
you can consider Christianity to be a valid answer for almost anything all though he
does say that the myths of Christianity are valid, the lessons are valid but the
religion itself is basically an inhumane religion, it is a horrible, horrible religion. That
is one of the reasons that I think I like to heckle Jesus freaks. I would never go to a
church and heckle anybody. I would never really heckle anybody who just got out
there and read the Bible. But when you mix politics and religion together which
incidentally is very much prohibited by a lot of scriptures in the Bible then you are
open for having your religion challenged.

D: On the Plaza of the Americas, Bill, have you found yourself challenging or heckling
any other religions, non-judea Christian, any of the other religions that are out there?
Do you have experience with any of them that you can talk about?

A: No. I remember I angered a lot of Jewish students once when a handful of Iranian
and Palestinians were out there protesting the invasion of Lebanon by Israel and I
sided to them and I was exposed to a little abuse for that. I was able to endure it. In
fact, the Palestinians were so impressed they made me an honorary member of the
PLO on the spot.

D: What year was that?

A: Let us see, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon which resulted in the deaths of a couple
hundred thousand people that was early 1980s. I cannot remember the exact year
they did that. Utterly destroyed Lebanon as a country by the result of the invasion.

D: Now, I think I recall you had said that the Hindu or East Indian guru who started the
Krishna consciousness movement was on the Plaza of the Americas in 1971 or
something like that.

A: Well, a little bit later than that. I told you about Liebermann and how he met the first
Hari Krishna who had ever came out to the campus. That was not their guru. Two
or three years later the Krishnas instituted their food program, which still goes on









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 50


today.

D: Now who was Liebermann?

A: They called him radical Jack Liebermann, I believe. He used to hang out with his
sister, interesting girl, I have no idea what happened to her. He became the first
leader of the Hari Krishnas. He was the first Hari Krishna in Gainesville, Convert.
He dropped out of radical politics and became Hari Krishna, the president of their
temple.

D: His name was?

A: Jack Liebermann, I believe. I could be wrong with that but I think I am right. He is
their chief attorney for the whole Hari Krishna religion. He went back to law school
and got a degree. He is their number one attorney.

D: A Krishna lawyer?

A: Yes, he is their number one attorney.

D: Fancy that.

A: Yes, I know. Pra Boo Pod, the man from India who founded the America Hari
Krishna movement came onto the Plaza of the Americas I would say in 1974,
maybe.

D: So this man Liebermann had met a traveling Krishna on the plaza?

A: Right.

D: And become a Krishna...

A: Right, on the plaza. Like converted it.

D: And he started the Gainesville Krishna Temple?

A: Right and started their food program which they are famous for. They go out and
they feed everybody a meal Monday through Friday and ask for donations on the
plaza. Now Pra Boo Pod visited the plaza. To this day since I saw this and most of
the Krishnas here are too young, many of them were barely born at the time or
maybe unborn at the time, but not many Krishnas saw Pra Boo Pod except the ones
my age.


D: Well, they may have been in previous incarnation.









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 51


A: Absolutely. Well there might have been convenience stores all through histories
where.... well that is another story. They come up and ask me exactly where Pra
Boo Pod sat on the plaza. I remember it distinctly where it was and I will go over
and show them the spot and they will bow down and start worshiping it. I will not
say worshipping it, I would say they go through some sort of, whatever they go
through.

D: Chanting?

A: Yes, but that is considered to be a holy spot where Pra Boo Pod sat, literally, or
anything that he did. I mean, there are scriptures...

D: He came out during the day and spoke for a few hours?

A: He spoke and they had chanting and dancing and various things like that.

D: Was he funded by the university?

A: That I do not know. I really do not. I would doubt it.

D: I was told he was recently.

A: Maybe he spoke at some function on the university besides the plaza. He might of
had a meeting that I did not attend in the auditorium or something. That is entirely
possible, it might be, I really do not know.

D: So you saw him on the plaza?

A: On the plaza, yes.

D: And spoke with him?

A: Yes, I think I asked him about my theory of reverse reincarnation called negative
karma. According to the Krishnas, you are reborn higher and higher in life the better
you lead your life. I asked Pra Boo Pod if you led such a base disgusting life should
you be born lower and lower and reach the same goal as the person higher and
higher of not being born again and being at one with the universe. I said if you were
a rock or something like that you must be pretty at one with the universe. He
immediately denounced me and called me a rascal. Now, I did not realize at the
time what a rascal meant to a Hari Krishnas. I thought it was kind of cute.


D: Rascal Bill?









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 52


A: Rascal Bill. Basically that means s.o.b., low down, scum sucker, bottom feeder of
the universe. When they use the word rascal it is not a nice term.

Tape 3, Side A Begins...

A: An illusion that you are in an unchanging population because the students come and
go every four years, three years, a new generation comes along, but they are all the
same age. So, it is kind of interesting. It is not like the real world. The people there
have not had to sell out yet. There still in this never, never land that society has
created for them, namely the university, which is a kind of a very easy way to spend
three or four years. It is not very hard and I think everybody knows that that attends
college. It is not really very difficult. Almost any kind of knowledge you get there
you sit down and spend a little time you will be able memorize it enough to pass the
test and go onto the next level. The university is very deficient in teaching people
basic things about history or even science that they need to know.

D: I do not mean to interrupt, but I would interject that I think that is part to the public
schools as well. Being a middle school teacher and seeing a lot of what is coming
out of the high schools we have a lot of deficient education even these students
entering college needing remedial classes. I interrupted you Bill, what were you
going to say.

A: What I was going to say is what the plaza provides is ... Gainesville is the most,
probably now, especially now, is the most liberal city in Florida. In the old days you
could say that Miami Beach or parts of Miami might be have been very liberal
because of its high Jewish population, mostly from the northeast, but now that is no
longer the case. A lot of Cubans are not very liberal even though Miami did vote
democrat for some reason the last election, they voted for Clinton and the Jewish
population has become a lot more conservative because of Israel. So, Gainesville,
believe it or not, is the most liberal place in Florida and the Plaza of the Americas is
probably the most liberal place in the City of Gainesville. Therefore, you have this
little mini environment that has gone on now for twenty something years essentially
in the same form. It is a place where people with say values that are definitely
different than the American mainstream are congregating. This is very aggravating
to a lot of people.

D: What time of day is this activity you are talking about?

A: The activity goes on essentially from, I would imagine, 11:00 to about 2:00 or three
in the afternoon and then it ceases. It only goes on during the week days and it only
goes on when school is in session. In the summer it slacks off because the plaza
slacks off during the summer. There is a lot less students and it is very hot and
there is not that much activity, but it has basically going into your Fall and Winter
semesters. Therefore, since I believe your class is studying the history of the plaza









UF 302, Radicall Bill, Page 53


that seems to be what it was. Before 1969, I do not really know. I heard it was a
ROTC drill field and I was told by the head of the physical plant department when we
had our little protest about the paving of the plaza that it was not a very major
hangout. It was only until the library was built. What will be the future, I do not
know. It is different. It is the only place where a right winged preacher would come
out and probably get really soundly heckled on campus. Everywhere else people
would either ignore them or agree with them, but on the plaza they are going to get
some opposition. I think that is one reason they like to come out to the plaza. It is
the last place where they think they can convert people to their cause that are
unbelievers. It is the last little place that has a little bit of where the
people might think things that are not taught in class or might experience things that
are not taught there, as opposed to other parts of the campus.

D: So they get a very unique education out there?

A: Yes, it is part of their education.

D: It is a social education between 11:00 and 1:00 when the Krishnas are...




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