In the fall semester of 1969 I was a sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Ridgefield, Connecticut. I had attended Woodstock that summer, and, like many people those days, was filled with the excitment of believing that I was living at the beginning of fundamental changes in the culture of the country, if not the world. Of course, we now know that the changes to come were to be much less fundamental than we'd thought, but at the time the term counterculture was taken seriously. One aspect of that counterculture was the underground newspaper. Underground papers were a way for people without wealth or connections to communicate their ideas beyond their immediate circles of friends, a function now provided by the Internet. All you needed was access to a mimeograph machine. I had that. I don't remember the details, but I got permission to use the mimeograph machine at St. Mary's School, which I had attended in fourth through seventh grade, and at which I still attended religious ed. classes. I and my friend Will Rhyins, whom I had known at St. Mary's, published an underground paper named The Heretic. I wrote it; Will and I published and distributed it.
The Heretic only lasted two issues, and the first issue was an abbreviated one. We got in trouble after the first one, got in more trouble after the second one, and lost our access to the mimeograph machine.
We went on to other things. Thirty-three years later, I met Will at our high school reunion. The Heretic came up in conversation, and it turned out that he had copies of both issues somewhere at his parents' house. He lent them to me, and that is the basis of this webpage.
The first issue was titled The Heretic and subtitled Prologue. It consisted of one page of quotes, with art on the back depicting a fist and a dove superimposed. The second issue was titled Haereticus (Latin for The Heretic), and consisted of four pages of articles and Latin declensions and a depiction of a U.S. flag. Will's collection also contains a typewritten article titled Nixon and the Draft. I believe this was intended for a future issue.
Actually, I'm not positive it only lasted two issues. I have a memory of a page containing artwork which incorporated a very large peace sign. I think this may have been intended for an unpublished issue, though. I am sure that the two issues in Will's collection are the first and last issues.
Will's collection consists of:
I have scanned copies of the two issues. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
The Heretic certainly reads like it was written by a high school sophmore. There is little subtlety in it, although there is a good dose of sarcasm. It is harsh in its critisisms and one-sided in portraying its targets. It does little to justify its arguments. It is silent on both how things got to be the way they were and how they might change to the way they should be.
And yet, it's right. I don't agree with everything in it, but its basic criticisms were valid, and its suggestions were, for the most part, things which the country would have done well to adopt.
The original text is in blue, approximately the color of the originals. Descriptions of the layout of the text is in black, with hyperlinked footnotes.
There is a symbol to the right of the title, an arrow pointing up with two short horizontal lines crossing the shaft, all inside a circle. The second issue has the same symbol. Obviously it meant something at the time, but I can't remember what.
"I'D RATHER HAVE MY COUNTRY DIE FOR ME" -JAMES JOYCE 
Malo Habere Patria Mea Pro Me Moratur
Prologue   Free   For the People
Founded, Edited, and Published by Will Rhyins & Dennis Himes (Seq) 
ORIGINALLY WE HAD PLANNED TO PUT OUT A REGULAR PAPER AT THIS TIME BUT WE
DIDN'T GET OUT STUFF TOGETHER SOON ENOUGH SO WE'RE ONLY PRINTING THIS
Slip down into the gutter, but am called after. "How did you do on the math
quiz?" they yell.
"In a short time the flowers will bloom," I answer. And almost all are hopelessly confused.
-Miik Wrinn 
Since this is only a Prologue and not a regular issue we will not be
printing any of our greatly enlightening articles or brilliantly executed
exposes. So if you don't see any don't get discouraged.
We would like to thank St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church for services
We would like to thank Denise McHugh 
for services rendered.
"Man, you'd better get your head together, you're gonna need it"
why? [sic] don't
the only ones in existence or join us and let us be the only ones in
existence or just stop bothering us
The bottom of the page has the text:
WE LOVE YOU FATHER NIKODEM 
The left side of the page has the text:
"AND ALMOST ALL ARE HOPELESSLY CONFUSED"
There is same arrow symbol as in the first issue is to the right of the title.
"I'D RATHER HAVE MY COUNTRY DIE FOR ME" -JAMES JOYCE 
Malo Habere Patria Mea Pro Me Moratur
Volume I Issue I   Free   For the People
Founded, Edited, and Published by Will Rhyins & Dennis Himes (Seq) 
Christianity is a Jewish heresy [sic]
CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR SCHOOL AND STATE   -D.Himes
Classify courses into two catagories; skill and value. Value courses are Literature, History, Humanities, Culture, Poetry, etc. Skill courses the Sciences, Alegebra, [sic] Geometry, etc. Foreign Languages are somewhere in between (more skill than value, but closer to value the more advanced the class is.) Value classes should be student participating discussion, with the teacher directing it, as Humanities is taught here. In skill subjets [sic] the student should be allowed to do as much independent work as possible, thus allowing for differences in student ability. The contract method for teaching skill subjects should be seriously considered.
The dress of the student should be left to parental discretion allowing some restrictions concerning public health.
A student should be allowed to skip [unclear] classes he knows will be useless, and if he feels it nessesary [sic] to [unclear] (with parental permission for high school [unclear] students.)
Exams and most major tests (especially in value subjects) should be abolished.
Although the grade system does have [unclear] advantages, its disadvantages are greater. It should be replaced [unclear] the pass/fail system.
The ultimate goal of the school should be knowledge, not the placement of the child into the American capitalistic system. Fr. Starratt, principle [sic] of Fairfield Prep,  probably the most respected high school in southwestern Connecticut, said, "Let's say it is decided by government and industry what are the needs of the country in order to keep our international superiority. They decide that we need so many engineers, so many doctors, so many foreign diplomats, etc. they [sic] put pressure on the colleges to provide programs to insure them the specific number required. The college in turn puts pressure on the high school. This is actually happening; this is something that we as administrators have to fight, with you."
Neo-colonialism should be abolished. Inheritance should be abolished. Capitalism should be abolished. It its place should be a communistic socialism (under a democracy of course.)
American involvement in Vietnam, which is unjust because it is in support of a dictatorship which has neber [sic] held free elections, should be terminanted immediarely. [sic]
The inalienable right of liberty and the 13th Admendment should be guaranteed. I.E.: abolish conscription.
Laws restricting the freedom of press and speech, other than those concerning slander and libel, should be abolished.
Cultural and political repression, both official and unofficial, should be ended.
All political prisoners who are not also civil prisoners should be freed.
Prisons should be made rehabilitive.
GIs should be treated like people.
Women should be treated as equals.
Abortion should be legalized.
Marijuana should be legalized.
The school system should be changed (see previous page.)
A person should not be discriminated against because of economic status, race, sex, sexual tendencies, or political or cultural affiliation. 
IMAGE: A RESPONSE
Me'n'Will had a talk with Dr. Healy and Mr Maderies.[sic]  a responce: [sic]
Although Dr. Healy and most Communists are diametrically opposed politically they do agree on one thing: a revolution must be of the poeple. If we are to radicallize[sic] the people we must be with the people and of the people and for the people. People: we are for you. Everythind [sic] we stand for is for the people. We did not do anything to any flags. 
Dr. Healy also told us to mention the good things as well as the bad. We
agree (more or less) on the good things. Ther is no need to do anything
about the good things. The bad things must be changed. But to show the
people that we are not anarchists, I hereby proclaim:
WOODSTOCK IS POSSIBLE
AMERICA GIVES AT LEAST IT'S
He also said that I should be more realistic and less idealistic, but no matter what Dr. Healy says, I WILL NOT resort to violence, at least not yet.
Dr. Healy: this may seem to you to be more distructive[sic] than constructive, but the solutions are obvious: stop the war immediately, abolish the draft, abolish repressive laws and construct the school so the student participates and so the student's goal is knowledge, and institute democratic socialism.
RANKING OUT AMERICA
The government is for the people,[sic] I'm sure you've heard that one before. Governments are instituted among men to preserve the rights of the people. Among these rights are the inalienable rights we all learned in grade school: Life, Liberyt, [sic] and the Pursuit of Happiness. There is also the very concept of all men being created equal. The United States claimes [sic] to be run on these four concepts. Bullshit.
Life: The people of Vietnam are people. The war is being fought to preserve an unpopular dictatorship so therefore the war is unjust and immoral. Vietnamese soldiers and civilians are being killed by the American government in the Vietnamese war. Ergo the U.S. government is violating the Vietnamese people's right of life.
Liberty: The violation of this is obvious. Selective Service is not only tolerated, it is condoned. And the odds that the 13th Admendment will be enforced are nil.
The Pursuit of Happiness: Laws to force people to conform and to deny personal freedom abound. In the school, whose purpose it is to condition the child into accepting the pre-determined culture, politics, and sometimes religion, this is exaggerated to the extreme. (The school is designed to prepare the student for his place in society.)
Equality: No country which practices neo-colonialisn,[sic] keeping the ghettochild in the ghetto, can call itself a nation of equality. I am 15 and have never seen a rat in my life. Some of my fellow countrymen of my age live with the rats.
RANKING CON'T[hand written]
Right now I don't think violent revolution is nessesary[sic] (and it should not be emploted [sic] unless absolutely nessesary.) [sic] And I don't like most of the fovernments [sic] my conpreers intend to replace this one with. But something must and will be done.
P.S. Remember what was said here the next time you say, "with liberty and justice for all."   -DPH
REPRESSION IN AMERIKA 
Right now one of the main worries of the Movement is repression. This is a result mostly of the Chicago 8 conspiracy trial. Rennie Davis, Dave Dellenger, John Froines, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, and Lee Weiner have been accused of crossing state lines with the intent of inciting a riot. Since they did not intend to start a riot and since the prosecution's case has not proved anything exept[sic] that hte [sic] prosecution knows how to contradict itself, the 8 at first did not seem to be much worried. However, Judge Julius J. Hoffman denied Bobby Seale his constitutional rights by not letting hin [sic] defend himself and after Seale refused to respect the court he got 4 years for contempt. Now they're not so confident.
Repression also takes place on the local level. I got a bloody nose from a brief fight with my freindly[sic] neighborhood jock.  Dr. Healy says that if we want to print up something and give it to our freinds [sic] in school it must be censured [sic] by him. So we are planning to distribute this outside of the school grounds.
What to do with the F.B.I. man who hunts down draft resisters, with the policeman who plants dope on people, with the army officer who will charge protesters with mutiny, with the policeman who will crack your skull, with the people who bomb radical offices, with the concentration camps in this country, and with the police tail who has a bullet with your name on it is a problem.
As John Kennnedy said, "Those who make non-violent revolution impossibl[sic] make violent revolution inevetable." [sic]
This next section is handwritten.
PAX PACES PACEM PACES PACIS PACUM PACI PACIBUS PACE PACIBUS  -REVEROF HSAH & SSARG 
At Thursday night at Woodstock  on a stage near the Hog Farm there was some group playing and between songs people could come up to the stage and make announcements. A lot of people were calling other people "motherfuckers," so a guy got up and said something like, "You ain't got no right to call nobody a motherfucker."
Then another guy got up and said, "My father was a motherfucker."
And the crowd cheered.
HAERETICUS HAERETICA HAERETICUM HAERETICUM HAERETICAM HAERETICUM HAERETICI HAERETICAE HAERETICI HAERETICO HAERETICAE HAERETICO HAERETICO HAERETICA HAERETICO HAERETICI HAERETICAE HAERETICA HAERETICOS HAERETICAS HAERETICA HAERETICORUM HAERETICARUM HAERETICARUM HAERETICIS HAERETICIS HAERETICIS HAERETICIS HAERETICIS HAERETICIS 
At the end is a hand drawn U.S. flag.
This is typewritten in black ink.
Months before Richard Nixon was elected to office there was much of his campaign literature titled "This time Vote As If Your Whole World Depended On It", Inside these pamphlits [sic] were his goals he would reach if he were elected. Well now that he is elected whats [sic] he done? In one of his statements about the draft he said, "After Vietnam, eliminate Selective Service completely. Change to an all-volunteer armed force, with better pay so that it becomes an attrctive career" [sic] The first two words of this statement imply and almost state that Richard Nixon has no intention of getting out of Vietnam until it is won,, [sic] which will be never.
We will have an endless war on our hands for years to come UNLESS we pullout [sic] now.
 This was quoted by the Jefferson Airplane in the song rejoyce which is how I became familiar with it. I understood "my country" in the phrase to mean the government, rather than my fellow citizenry, and the phrase to mean that the government should serve the people rather than the reverse. It is a measure of my naivete then that it didn't occur to me that it might be taken differently.
 The Joyce quote in Latin. I can't guarentee that the Latin is correct, though. At this point I only had one year's worth.
 "Seq" was a nickname I was using then, derived from the name of the Cherokee linguist Sequoia.
 Miik (a.k.a. Mike) Wrinn was a friend of my brother's. I'm not sure where this quote comes from. I'm also not sure Mike was even aware that I'd used it.
 Denise McHugh was a classmate of ours. I don't remember what services she rendered.
 Father Nikodem was a priest at St. Mary's who let us use the mimeograph machine, at least until he saw the second issue.
 Haereticus is Latin for The Heretic. I suppose that the asterisk was intended to refer to a noting of that fact, but I can find no such note.
 The correct text for some of this section is unclear due to the superimposed "CENSORED".
 which my brother was attending at this time
 Surprisingly, in light of my later writings, no mention of religion.
 Harold Healy was the principal of Ridgefield High School. John Medeiros was an assistant principal.
 A flag had been stolen from the school. Somehow a rumor had started that I was the one who stole it. A particularly aggressive student had, in fact, punched me in the face on account of that rumor. In reality, however, I had no idea what had happened to the flag. A year or two later I heard another rumor naming someone else as the thief. This was supported by several people claiming to have seen the thief with the flag, so I was inclined to believe it.
 no "[sic]" -- This was intentional.
 See footnote 12.
 This is the declension of the Latin word for peace.
 Read it backwards. I'm surprised I actually put this in.
 14 August 1969
 This is the declension of the Latin word for heretic.
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