"I think he was a little too willy-nilly on, you know, everyone taking LSD and stuff like that," he says. "I wasn't a proponent or an advocate of that. Nor did I join any brotherhood, nor did we have meetings, nor did I pay dues. It was actually: I got a job, literally."
Kelley also doesn't recall seeing much of what netted Mystic Arts World its more infamous reputation. While he remembers pot-smoking in the meditation room, he glimpsed little of the more extreme side of the store — which, according to Nicholas Schou in his book "Orange Sunshine," helped "transform Laguna Beach into the epicenter of Orange County's acid scene, where teenagers from as far away as San Diego and Glendale knew they could find the most powerful LSD anyone had to offer."
The tale of the Brotherhood would play out in court for years — the Orange County Grand Jury indicted 46 alleged members in 1972, with multiple convictions to follow — but the saga of Mystic Arts World ended June 4, 1970, when the shop burned down overnight. Sawdust veteran Dion Wright, whose "Taxonomic Mandala" painting hung in the meditation room, believes members of the right-wing John Birch Society lit up the building and even says the "ringleader" of the act once bragged about it to him, unaware of whom he was addressing.