Schou, a reporter for the OC Weekly, did a feature article on the Brotherhood in 2005. With Orange Sunshine he delves more deeply into the group, interviewing not only about a half dozen of the original members, several later members and law enforcement officers. Even if spreading peace, love and LSD to the masses was the Brotherhood's goal, Schou leaves little doubt that its criminal activity was equally, if not more, widespread. Members of the group smuggled tons of marijuana in from Mexico and distributed millions of hits of acid. In fact, starting in 1967 the group would be responsible for the manufacture and distribution of millions more hits of a form of LSD with 200 times the regular dosage, an LSD tablet Griggs would call "Orange Sunshine," Several members of the group also made repeated trips to Afghanistan to smuggle tons of hashish into the U.S. The book also suggests that members of the Brotherhood who ended up living on Maui after smuggling tons of marijuana into the state were responsible at least in part for the development of a strain of marijuana that came to be known as "Maui Wowie."
Some of the smuggling reflected a blend of two California cultures. Many of the prominent Brotherhood members were surfers. Surfboards often became the mechanism for smuggling marijuana, hash or LSD across borders. In fact, not only does one of those surfboards appear in the Jimi Hendrix film Rainbow Bridge that was shot on Maui, members of the Brotherhood appear in the movie.
Orange Sunshine seems less focused than Schou's prior book, Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb but there are a few reasons for that. First, this is a far broader subject involving dozens and dozens of individuals. Additionally, many who were involved in the Brotherhood remain reluctant even today to talk about it and its activities. In fact, it is perhaps surprising how many people agreed to be interviewed by Schou, although as the book occasionally notes, the arrangements for some interviews were rather unique. Yet all this leaves the book feeling a bit amorphous at times and it is at times difficult to track the various alliances within and associated with the organization.