Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fifteen Things You Might Not Know About Bill Levin

Bill Levin, founder of The First Church of Cannabis.
Bill Levin (Indianapolis Star Photo)
The Indianapolis Star has a big spread this weekend on Bill Levin, the Grand Poobah of the First Church of Cannabis. Because Gannett likes list, I'm providing a list of 15 take-aways from the lengthy story authored by Mark Alesia and Tim Evans. They didn't leave too many stones unturned. It's too bad these folks can't devote more time to doing investigating reporting on the rampant corruption in local government instead of promoting this clown and his faux church, but it's the Gannett way and it's not likely to change. The newspaper scarcely covers a mayoral candidate or other candidate for public office with this kind of in-depth coverage.
  • He was born into an upper-middle class Jewish family in 1955 (age 59)
  • His family owned a successful toy distribution business where he occasionally worked in his younger years.
  • He smoked pot for the first time in his early teens after it was offered to him by an older guy. He was the kid in the neighborhood who turned the other kids onto pot. 
  • He rebelled against his parent's country club lifestyle (they were members of Broadmoor Country Club), and they sent him away to boarding schools in Maine and Ohio.
  • He's been an "inveterate huckster" most of his life: "I can look at something and have it marketed before the person finishes the first sentence."
  • He spent most of his younger adult years working as a punk band promoter.
  • He's had minor brushes with the law, including charges for public intoxication and growing marijuana.
  • In the 1980s, he briefly made a living selling a high-caffeine soft drink, Jolt. 
  • He ran a party bus in Broad Ripple for about 10 years.
  • He started a group to legalize marijuana in the 1990s.
  • He fled the country and lived in Thailand for several years because he said his life "was falling apart."
  • He filed for bankruptcy in 2005, claiming he had no income in 2003 or 2004.
  • He's been married a couple of times and has two grown daughters to his first wife, Julie Lahr, who sees his role as the Grand Poobah of the First Cannabis Church as just the latest of his exploits and attempts at reinventing himself.
  • Levin has twice run for public office unsuccessfully as a Libertarian candidate for city-county council and state representative in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
  • Levin says he's not in it for the money: "I want to see the church grow and expand," Levin said. "Again, I don't need s---. What the f--- do I need? I got a 36-year-old girlfriend. I'm 59 years old. I'm happier than f---. ... I see it as a huge growth of a loving religion. I'm not looking at it as a cash cow. I'm looking at it as helping others to develop freedom of religion."


Anonymous said...

I believe that Levin is crazy. But I'm wondering who is paying for his legal bills....

Is George Soros financing it?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Crazy like a fox.

Anonymous said...

A bit of history your readers should know about. The Star's story mentions Bill's father, Robert Levin, served on the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation's board. He was on their board when Rabbi Maurice Davis was with the congregation. Davis is an interesting character. He helped start the American Family Foundation, which was a cut-out organization for the CIA's MK-Ultra mind control program. Rabbi Davis put on this front of fighting Christian fringe cults, but he actually was a key backer of Rev. Jim Jones and, at a minimum, complicit in the mind control experiments occurring all over the country under the direction of the CIA. Rabbi Davis allowed Rev. Jones' People's Temple to use his congregation's former synagogue, at 10th & Delaware Streets. He vouched for Rev. Jones' work, which is quite ironic when he supposedly was so interested in fighting cult movements. Your police chief may not have been too far off the mark when he linked Bill Levin and Jim Jones. They have much closer associations than Mr. Levin would care for his followers to know about.

Anonymous said...

Maybe NORML is helping him with his lawyer bills. This thing is just on another one of his cheap stunts to make money. As much as it pains me to say I hope The O'Reilly Factor keeps after Levin!

Anonymous said...

Annon 6:54 maybe the reason Levin is getting so uncomfortable about the Jim Jones comparison is he doesn't want people to know what you are alluding to. Check this article for his opinion on it:

Anonymous said...

I had the "pleasure" of being introduced to Mr. Levin during his Indianapolis City County Counselor-At-Large candidate comedy exercise a time or two by his then Mass Av "PR" firm.

I attempted to have an honest conversation with Mr. Levin. What I heard from him were disparagements about most everything, "slogan thinking" (the hallmark of all illiterati liberals-but I digress), and what I felt oozing from his marrow was pure hucksterism. I walked away wondering how my PR friend could at all engage in representing such an obvious shyster with no substance in his DNA except perhaps THC.

That performing meaningful work to expose the rampant endemic local and state wide Democrat and Republican political corruption is now rarely even a second thought to "journalists" is indicative of how shallow the pool has become.

tryexcept said...

The more your write about Bill the more I like the guy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry,,,, but this cats an ego maniac allll dayyy lonnng. I'm all about spreading what should be the universal human staple of love and good will to your fellow human. Levin spouts this out as well, but in a way that lacks genuine passion. Much of his basis for meshing marijuana and religion is comparing to cultures throughout history that I'm some way have included similar substances in their own beliefs or Faith. Deep rich cultures that have lasted for GENERATIONS. The FOCUS of their Faith, was Not the substances they used. Levin's own history reads like so many other humans beings does. Flawed misguided man, trying to carve out an existance in this world. BUT, COME ON NOW, you like Weed, Cool Bill. You think it should be legal, Cool Bill. You think people should focus on love and good will to man, Cool Bill. But do you really Need to hunt for loopholes in the system that "questionably" allows you to merge them together. And spit out timeless cliches to the masses in order to win members that will back you in this egomaniacal crusade you think your in to fight "the good fight" against the corrupt system that outlaws a substance that shouldn't be illegal. Your church is based on love and Cannabis... Bill that is self sabotage of promoting the Love part. Cannibus becomes the centerpiece, the "12 commandment" (gimme a f#'%ing break Bill). Your diluting the genuine love spreading message by attaching it to pot dude. But, you historically have shown, that you are a salesman. Who is smart enough to know So Many humans are internally unknowingly lost and will cling to anything or anyone who talks about what they think they relate too. And you know this. At one point it likely worked on your "36 year old girlfriend" and she sipped on your koolaid,,, untillllll, I'm guessing her retired disabled Military father that is her life's focus and love, and herself maybe got tired being milked$ and manipulated by Stoner Bill's now transparent mission to take on the system while making a mockery of true FAITH. Because mommy and daddy didn't love you enough...? I'm allllll about religious freedom, and I don't pretend to know one belief is THE one vs all others. Open to hear all perspectives is the road to wisdom, in my opinion.
Bill I WANT to like you.

I respect your individuality.
when youre in your home, smoke weed. When you go to church, spread love and positivity and helping other fellow humans.
If You think pot should be legal, then lobby for it, and vote for the guy that has the most in common w your perspective.
As you walk through life, be the change you want to see.
....... It's that simple. And don't bitch about tax dollars being misspent PLEASE..... none of those tax dollars were paid by YOU good sir. Money and you're twisted version of respect.... THATS YOUR DIETY. I WANT to like YOU Bill, but I'm having trouble with it after all the homework I've done on YOU and your Mission. Besides, in your heart of hearts Bill... When no one's around, and it's just you and a Mirror, tell me. No!, tell yourself... You Knowing your own true motivation.... Why the f×'# should anyone follow a "grand poobah" Who has already broken his own self created "1st Commandment"....... ?

Nonono, don't tell ME your answer Bill,,,, tell the Mirror.

And go ahead and use these words to gain more supporters to your "Church"... You'll only be confirming every. single. word. ive. written.

Namaste, and God Bless.