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p.4 From Haight Ashbury to Novato

Ted Wise was a drug-using sailmaker, who in late 1965 was “saved” after one of his numerous LSD trips. Wise and his group kept their long hair, and showed dissatisfaction with middle-class Christianity (source: God's Forever Family).

Wise had started a storefront-type outreach in Haight Ashbury area, reaching out to the hippies who were flooding the city during this time.

Greg Laurie writes of Frisbee, Ted Wise encountered Lonnie Frisbee on the street one day, Lonnie was evidently preaching Jesus, UFOs, and Christ consciousness. He told Ted how he’d experienced the reality of God in the canyon a few weeks earlier . Ted discerned that his head had gotten a little messed up with drugs, and his theology was just a little mixed up too. He took him home, fed him, and invited him to come and live with the community. Lonnie studied the Bible with them, and over time embraced a more orthodox understanding of the gospel .”

This is not a little mixed up theology, but a lot. Lonnie at the time was more of a New Age mystic who read the Bible, then used it by combining it with his other beliefs. I fully understand how he became like that, for I too was an artist and once part of the New Age Movement, doing yoga, LSD and having spiritual experiences long before I was saved by the gospel. But when I was saved, I fully understood who saved me and what had taken place.

Exactly which Jesus did Frisbee believe in when he was on LSD, when he was allegedly commissioned? He tells us, and so does Ted Wise, (the leader of the Novato commune, the Big House) saying: “Some of the times he would be talking about Jesus being from another world, coming out of a flying saucer, which is not unusual in those days.”

Regardless of this being common then, (even among some Christians in the Latter Rain movement some believed in God’s UFO’s). These were bizarre beliefs, but Lonnie was not able to fully comprehend what had actually happened to him in his alleged canyon experience.

Laurie is soft pedaling how seriously dangerous all of this was, as do others who knew Frisbee or were discipled by Frisbee. Even Frisbee himself softens this,saying “I think I had just turned eighteen. I should mention that I was still slightly confused with my doctrine as a young believe.” (his birthday is June 6, 1949, this would mean his canyon experience would have happened in the summer of 1967). The center of his stories all focus on what took place in the canyon.

This goes beyond slightly confused. Biblically, Lonnie had a different Jesus. He may have thought that Jesus had something to do with it because he was reading the Bible on and off throughout his whole life prior to his supposed encounter, but he was dangerously misguided about who he thought Jesus was, not to mention the influence of the Christ consciousness of the New Age Movement.

Did Lonnie speak about Jesus to others, yes, but we don’t find the actual gospel that saves (The Deity of Christ, how a person is saved and from what) together in his teaching, nor is it (most importantly) not mentioned in his conversion experiences. In his book that was written many years after his death, we read Lonnie had said that the Holy Spirit, “ He is our guide, teacher, and comforter. He teaches us about Jesus the Godman.”

But all this is written years after, Frisbee would had a much more extensive knowledge about the Bible. In view of all the conflicts we have to consider, was it was truly what Frisbee had said or something that Sachs put in himself. But despite that, people are to know who Jesus is before they commit to follow Him, people need to know that they need to count the cost of who they are to follow and why, because just as in the early Church, their lives can many times, in many parts of the world be in immediate danger once they believe.

Meeting the brothers from Novato

Frisbee stated,“I hitched back to the Haight-Ashbury on fire for God. After school, I would go into the community and witness for Christ, … One day I was in a favorite teahouse sharing my heart out about Christ … I found a group of men standing around me, really listening to me like they were very interested in what I was saying. They seemed to be men at least in their thirties. I think I had just turned eighteen(that again would be June 6, 1967) …after I finished sharing, this group of men started talking to me.”

“One of the men introduced himself as Ted Wise. He explained that they had a mission in the Haight-Ashbury. He encouraged me to come around. As we continued to talk, he invited me to come to dinner with them at their farm out in Novato.

Which place is it that he and Ted met, on the street, or in a teahouse? How these and other events are written can confuse anybody who is paying attention to details.

Frisbee was attracted to those who served the Lord each day, “So I met with this group of radical Christians at their place in Novato, which is about twenty-nine miles north of San Francisco. There were four families and eight children who lived community-style in an old farmhouse. It was a group of ex-LSD freaks who were definitely born again and had stopped taking heavy drugs .”

What exactly is in the category distinction of heavy drugs is not explained. The leaders of the Novato commune - the Big House (The Living Room as Lonnie renamed it) supposedly steered Lonnie towards a “more orthodox” understanding of the Christian faith but a major problem still remained with him, (Lonnie was a seeker of experience and power / mysticism). Even though he was learning the scriptures in Novato he was still very unstable.

Here is a good example of that: “Before the meal that first day, we joined in a circle to bless the food. …. I had a little mindblowing experience in that kitchen, because it was the first time I ever felt the power of God in my body. As we stood and held hands in that family circle, asking the blessing over the food, I could feel an electric current flowing through my hands. It was the very first time I ever felt the presence and power of God in such a wonderful way. I took it as a sign from the Lord that he wanted me to be with these people. They asked me what I was doing with my life. I told them that I was in art school, but that I liked what I felt there with them.”

He tells us he went into the ministry full time at the age of eighteen with the help of these brethren, mostly Ted Wise. After completely dropping out of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, I joined the ranks of my new fellow soldiers of Christ, and we worked the streets. We rented a place in the community, which we named the Living Room .”

Yet we also read, By mid-1967 they’d started a storefront-type outreachin the Haight, reaching out to the hippies who were flooding the city.” Which is before Frisbee joined their community.

Frisbee tells us that he was still in art school while joining those at Novato. “I withdrew from art school shortly after moving to Novato.”  But it was not long until, “Lonnie left his new family of believers in The Living Room with an unusual message – he told them he was going to find the girl he would marry. When he left, he wasn’t even sure of Connie’s exact location.” (The early roots of the Jesus movement, as recounted by Connie Frisbee)

Why would Lonnie be hitching back to Tahquitz falls, the place he and so many others dropped acid, especially after he found a stable home at the ‘Big house’ in Novato where he was being discipled to learn truth?

In one detailed rendition, After his calling  (at Tahquitz) he tells us “On one of my many trips back home,’ he visited Tahquitz Canyon again and met Connie.  I returned to the place of my visitation and calling. That's a very different intent than going to find her to be his bride. in fact as he tells the story it is apparent that this is not the intent.

He then went back to the canyon where he initially had his historic LSD mystical experience and said, “I saw a beautiful young girl lying out completely nude, … I had my Bible and walked over to her. I felt the presence of God as she opened her eyes. She was a runaway and had just dropped some acid. I knew this girl and had witnessed to her before . She came from a very broken home. I gently started talking to her about the Lord. She was stoned, and I didn’t want to blow her trip.

“I sat next to her, opened my Bible, and started reading to her. Soon there were tears flowing down her pretty cheeks. I asked if she wanted to receive Jesus in her heart, and through the tears, she said, “Yes.”

She prayed with me, and it was absolutely glorious. I asked if she wanted to be baptized, and again she said, “Yes,” without hesitation. Just as she was, she walked with me into the pool of water, and I baptized her in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the mighty Holy Spirit. …

The drugs were completely overpowered by the manifest presence of God, and Connie Bremer became a child of the King. She immediately put her dress on, and I joyously brought her to our communal ranch way up north in Novato.” Frisbee also says, Several months later in April 1968, she became my lovely bride.”

Again, he says He witnessed to her prior? How was this possible, since this is supposed to take place in April 1967. But according to his timeline, he moved to Haight Ashbury for the summer of Love, (April, June) before he was with the brothers in Novato.

He speaks of her as not someone he left the Novato commune,“going to find the girl he would marry.” Which story is true? the many stories become difficult to piece together.

Connie instead says,he came and picked me up right away and took me up to Novato.” Not taking place at Tahquitz Canyon. We know this took place in approx. April ’67 because according to Connie they were married, in April 1968, a year later.  But the story from Lonnie does not coincide with Connie saying they were married a year later.

It must again be pointed out offering to ‘receive Jesus’ in her heart is not the gospel that saves, that is what takes place after a person believes by faith that Jesus is God who became man that is saving them from the power of sin by his sacrifice. It is only at that point that the Holy Spirit indwells those who believe from the heart and follow Christ from that time forward.

Yet Lonnie's friend, Mark Ellis writes another very different account of them meeting, “Lonnie and Connie had lost touch with each other, God brought them together on the streets of Haight Ashbury. Connie had parted ways with the Brotherhood and moved in with a group involved in white witchcraft.

When Lonnie recognized her in the streets he called out: “Connie, where are you going?” “We’re hitchhiking to Southern California, going up to Joshua Tree.”  Well I’m going too,” he replied. They “were dropped off on his mother’s front lawn in Costa Mesa,” she recalls.

“they hitchhiked to Palm Springs and made their way to Tahquitz Falls. As a new believer, Lonnie was still rough around the edges, straddling his nascent faith with his “roper doper,” drug-filled past.

We dropped acid out there and Lonnie led me to the Lord. When I got saved I was under the influence of LSD and I was naked,” Connie says “ Lonnie and the other two men were also unclothed.

This contradicts Lonnie’s whole story that she was alone and only she was naked, as well as him hitchhiking down there to meet her to marry her! And what about them dropping acid, did this include Lonnie? This story has Lonnie as a believer being with them when they turned on.

Neither one of Connie’s fellow travelers got saved, but they hitchhiked on to Joshua Tree and Lonnie left to go back up to Novato. Connie says she, returned to her parents’ house for the first time” and found a note that Lonnie ‘miraculously’ left word for me on the same day I arrived. I hadn’t been there for a year and a half!”

Again the other story is, “Lonnie left his new family of believers in The Living Room with an unusual message – he told them he was going to find the girl he would marry. ” When he left, he wasn’t even sure of Connie’s exact location.

According to Connie, when they re-connected at Tahquitz, “he came and picked me up right away and took me up to Novato.”

Connie says, didn’t know about Lonnie’s romantic intentions. She saw him as more of a friend at this stage of their relationship. “He was attracted to me spiritually and I became attracted to Lonnie spiritually. I began to see him in a completely different light after I was able to see through my spiritual eyes.” (The early roots of the Jesus movement, as recounted by Connie Frisbee May 25, 2018 By Mark Ellis)

What are we to believe about these many conflicts in their many stories?

At Novato

One of the main couples at Novato, “Steve and Sandi went away one summer for an intensive Bible study on a farm in Ohio under the direction of Victor Paul Wierwille, the originator of The Way International.”(The Way international denied Jesus was God in the flesh as the Scripture teaches).

When they returned from Ohio, we are told Connie learned about their new study of the Word, she began to follow Sandi around. “Every morning before I got out of bed she was dressed and sitting at the door of my bedroom with a paper and pencil ready for me to teach her. She followed me all day long, day after day. This went on day after day. She was waiting for me to get up and teach her. I never saw anybody with that kind of hunger for the Word.”

She hungered but to learn from the Way International teachings was not a good influence. On the topic of Jesus founder Victor Paul Wierwille taught Jesus Christ is not God, he denied the Trinity. Wierwille went to the House of Acts in 1968 and met Ted Wise, who said to him, " You know, it says in I John you test the spirits. We usually ask everybody here to confess the Lord Jesus Christ, or they freak out and they can't. So where do you stand on this"?"And that pleased Wierwille," said Heefner, "he liked that up-frontness. And he gave his witness. After a few minutes they said, 'Okay, fella, we believe you".

Lonnie and Connie Frisbee and the Wises began taking Wierwille's PFAL classes and discontinued them when he left hitching and connected with Chuck Smith.

As serious as Lonnie was about sharing the gospel, we could not find the complete actual gospel that saves being proclaimed in his teachings, it is mostly only the name of Jesus being mentioned, along with his death. In his book we do see a portion of it said stating Jesus is the God-man and at the end of the book in a prayer ‘Jesus Christ came in the flesh and is the Son of the living God.’ Good to hear but again this is years after.

David Wilkerson comes to San Francisco encountering the Jesus people

David Wilkerson, a well-known preacher came to the Jesus community to make a documentary, called ‘The Runaway Generation’, this turned out to be a rebuke to them by David Wilkerson because he did not believe them when they said they were not mixing drugs with the Gospel.

KTVU News footage from December 7th 1967 David Wilkerson

We see Lonnie in the living room, getting into the picture when Dave Wilkerson showed up.

This is Lonnie after Haight Ashbury San Francisco. Lonnie says about being in Haight Ashbury previously “My hair grew longer and longer, and my style changed.”

He presented himself to the church as a hippie convert but he started dressing like a hippie long after his mystical experience. Here he is seen in December 1967, many months after with only a scruffy small beard and hair over his ears. He grew out his beard and hair afterwards to ‘look like a hippie.’ How do we know this? Because of pictures of him prior when he was on the dance show and here at the end of 1967.

He is not dressed like a hippie in San Francisco like we see later at Calvary Chapel, why? Because all the evidence shows that he carved out the hippie niche to be noticed, to get a name for himself.

Later during his time at Novato, he tells us: “I had an animal-skin satchel (kind of like Johnny Appleseed). I carried my Bible in it and a wine bottle full of oil—virgin olive oil from the Holy Land with frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon sticks, and witch hazel. It was my secret biblical anointing oil with a cork in it. Whenever people would listen to me and I’d win a convert, I would pray for them and then––pull the cork. I was very generous with the anointing oil. I poured it on.

When I went out, I wore a deerskin cape with a painting of Jesus on the back of it. I had these neat animal-hair Indian moccasins that laced way up. I wore beads. You know, hippies like to wear a lot of jewelry and like to be “hip.

This is when he began looking like a hippie, at Novato. It is during this time Lonnie tells us he took a Nazirite vow. “I had shoulder-length hair, and I did not trim the edges of my beard. In addition to being a hippy, I had taken a Nazarite vow, which meant I could not cut my hair, trim my beard, or drink any wine or grape products. It’s in the Old Testament. (Book)

Yes, and this was also stated by the false teacher/prophet William Branham who claimed “I was born under Nazarite birth.”

We read of Children being dedicated by their parents before their birth to be Nazirites all their lives in scripture, examples such as Samson (Judg. 13:5, 12–14), Samuel (1 Sam. 1:11), and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15) was dedicated when Israel was still under the law. It means to be set apart from others for the service of God for life or for a defined period of time. In Israel, when the period of the vow was fulfilled, the Nazirite was released from it and was required to offer an ewe lamb for a burnt offering, a sin offering, and a ram for a peace offering, with the usual accompaniments of peace offerings (Num. 6:13–20) and of the offering made at the consecration of priests (Ex. 29:2; Num. 6:15).

There is now no longer a Nazarite vow for any New covenant believer to take, and prior to this, for the expiration of a vow he would have his head shaven and would have had a priestmake a sacrifice on his behalf. After the destruction of the Temple for anybody remaining with a Nazarite vow therewould have been no way for his vow to end, he would have lived out his days under it. Again, without a Temple there is no way for a Nazirite to take his vow nor end his vow!

For Branham, Frisbee, or anybody else that claims to take a Nazarite vow in our day, they show they are ignorant of the Scriptures, or, to willfully go against the scriptures in order to puff them-self up to make them-self look and sound much more spiritual than everybody else. With Lonnie it probably was just Biblical ignorance.

David Wilkerson’s visit Novato

Dec.7 1967 KTVU News featured a live debate in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district between Reverend David Wilkerson and four other preachers (two are later referred to as "Ted and Steve"), focusing on Christianity and hallucinogenic drugs.

Lonnie was there when Wilkerson came out, and this is what he had to say in his book,

“At one point David Wilkerson, … came with a production team to film our household for a documentary. I was eighteen years old in that movie, …They gave us a small amount of money and had us sign away our rights. They filmed everything. It was supposed to be a story of redemption about our efforts to reach people with the message of Christ. However, they named the film The Runaway Generation, and it was very negative. In fact, it was an extremely negative film. They misunderstood what we were all about , but we still had nothing but love for them.”

Did David Wilkerson not understand what they were about? He confronted those called the Jesus people because he claimed they're going around and telling people about Jesus while also telling them that it's okay to continue to smoke dope and to take LSD. Wilkerson claimed they said this directly to him off-camera, they would take LSD and sit down and read the book of Revelation, however, on camera they denied it.

Here is part of the transcript. Wilkerson states: "From what I hear, you fellas seem to be telling these young people that they can have Christ and still have their LSD, have their pot."

The confrontation escalated when Wilkerson said, “y ou fellas told me you went out and took LSD and read the book of Revelation now I'm getting a little angry because I can I go out in the street preaching that Christ delivers and you guys are out here preaching can you that you can smoke pot you can take LSD and I think that's a permissive statement that's going to damn the lives of thousands of our teenagers.”

Wilkerson is confronting them on camera about what they previously said to him. They immediately took offence with his line of questioning and retorted: "You haven't been listening!" One of them goes on to address the camera and claims: "You know what this guy told us? He told us that this wasn't rigged. That he was going to give us a straight interview of some kind. And he's deliberately loaded his questions to stimulate a reaction from us, instead of asking what we think ." At this point Wilkerson is adamant that: "You cannot enter the kingdom of God and still smoke pot and take LSD. You can't do it!" Eventually, many people move into the video frame from all over the room, this is where we see Lonnie in the background.

Wilkerson says “my idea of preaching Christ is to go out in the world and tell young people they can be cured of their habits they can be set free but what I've heard here you fellow seem to be telling these young people that they can have Christ and still have their LSD have their pot”

Mark Ellis comments“There were some magazine articles being written about us at that time,” Connie recalls. Because the men didn’t shave their beards and cut their hair or dress conservatively, they had some friction with a Christian outreach in Haight Ashbury operated by Dave Wilkerson.”(The early roots of the Jesus movement, as recounted by Connie Frisbee May 25, 2018 By Mark Ellis)

Was it because of their long hair, they seem to be dressed normal, not as hippies.

Was Frisbee still part of the rainbow Christianity that Wilkerson rebuked them for practicing? Did Frisbee stop taking drugs like he said? It apparently continued after his conversion as his wife Connie describes an LSD session they had together.

I think that Lonnie must have fixed this one particular room up. There were candles lit and everything. The room filled up with people and we had taken some LSD and he was reading the Gospel of John out loud, and we’re goin’ through the whole gospel. And we get to the end of it, it’s the crucifixion stuff, everybody’s crying, you know, and not one person left the room. And then it was over. He was a planner of experiences. (Connie Bremer-Murray, “Lonnie’s Ex-wife” Special Features section on DVD of David Di Sabatino’s documentary; The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher)

Apparently this is the similar to what he did in the canyon before his mystical experience. This seem to place the timing when he was at Novato, before Calvary.

In Sach’s book we have Frisbee honestly state , “… we did have our weaknesses. We would usually go out into the community in pairs. If, however, people in our household went out alone, sometimes they would take drugs. It was a really strong weakness. We finally got to the place where we would never go out alone. If some of us went out and got isolated by the people we were trying to help, sometimes those people offered up LSD— everybody had LSD—or they got us stoned on hash or something like that. I mean, I’m being honest. We were just coming out of the drug culture. It took a long time to eventually come out and completely not do it at all. It was the sway of Christianity that drew us out of decadence, immorality, and drugs.”

Apparently what we have just read shows David Wilkerson’s concerns had validity. It certainly sounds like Lonnie is including himself with them, using ‘us’ and ‘we’. We find that Wilkerson publically apologized in 1973 for his attitude toward the long-haired Jesus People of this interview that he filmed.

p.5  The Lonnie Frisbee most do not know- The change to be a Nazarite hippie and the power he exhibited that changed the church


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