In Pursuit of Hidden Truth
Publisher works to clear what he sees as government smokescreens
WALTERVILLE — It was the late ’60s, and like many teenagers at the time, Kris Millegan had let his hair grow long and was smoking a little weed.
And like many fathers, Lloyd Millegan disapproved of his son’s drug use, although the way he justified that disapproval was hardly the norm.
“I just remember one day we’re arguing, and I say that I smoke some pot,” Kris Millegan, 59, of Walterville recalled. “And he says, ‘Well, you’re just making money for them!’ ”
Lloyd Millegan was a former CIA operative who had left the agency in 1959. He later moved the family to the Eugene area, where he worked as a middle school teacher.
Mostly silent about his intelligence work through Millegan’s childhood, he began telling his son in his teen years that the Vietnam War was fueled by the drug trade and orchestrated by secret societies. Later, he told Millegan the government was conspiring “to opiate” the nation’s youth with marijuana to dull their wits.
It was basically “them” — the powerful — against “us” — the unsuspecting masses.
Millegan at first assumed it was just his father’s creative attempt to discourage his smoking habits. But something about the way he said “them” on this occasion just shook him.
“The way he spit that out,” Millegan says. “I’ll just never forget it.”
Thus was the seed planted for Millegan’s TrineDay publishing house, which to date has produced more than 20 books considered to fall under the conspiracy theory genre. (Millegan prefers the term “suppressed”).
The lessons imparted by his father have led to an enterprise that, at its core, is a tireless search for the unvarnished truth. In Millegan’s eyes, this is a more difficult quest than most realize. In his world, there are sinister forces, secret societies and insidious collusions between government and the elite that constantly veil the truth from an unwitting populace. These shadowy figures’ only friend is the oligarchy they’re working to maintain — the enemy of social justice.
Sitting recently in the trailer he uses as his office, Millegan is easily roused to outrage as he speaks about the clandestine conspiracies his books investigate.
“It’s just amazing, the real history that’s out there and documentable,” he said. “And how it contradicts what we’ve been told.”
The long hair he first grew as a teenager is now tied neatly in a ponytail. He sports a fuzzy moustache with just a hint of gray, and his frame is trim and wiry, like a coil ready to spring on the next purveyor of deception.
“I think it’s a heartfelt endeavor,” says his wife of 20 years, Johanna. “It’s what he lives and breathes. It’s his passion.”
But a winding path led Millegan to this passion.
From those teenage conversations with his father, TrineDay wouldn’t bloom for another circuitous 30 years. During that time, Millegan said he started several businesses, wrote songs for a couple of rock bands, was ruined by a fire and even approached by mobsters looking to cut him in on some scams.
After studying for two years at Portland State University, he opened his own music store, Long Hair Records, in 1968 in Portland. He even met Fred Meyer to discuss record pricing.
“We were just a bunch of hippies,” he said. “We didn’t know anything about profit cycling.”
Millegan was forced to sell the store two years later when the house he was renting burned down with all of his musical instruments, records and other belongings.
“A fireman asked about how much I’d lost, and I figured it was about $15,000,” he said. “He took one look at us and wrote down $3,000.”
Mired in penury for the next few years, Milligan worked odd jobs before getting in on the bottom floor of the prerecorded video business. He owned his own video store for a while on West 11th Avenue in Eugene, and he helped set up shop for others in the area.
It was during his years in video that he says the mob approached him twice, in an effort to recruit him for some video piracy scams. Why did he turn them down?
“You only tell the mob ‘yes’ once,” he says.
TrineDay’s Web site welcomes visitors to its “little library of dangerous books,” a collection with such provocative titles as “Sinister Forces” and “How to Overthrow a Fascist Regime for $15 a Day.” Although he’s told constantly his offerings “aren’t real books,” some of the authors have worked in the mainstream media, and one book includes a preface by Norman Mailer.
“They (the authors) usually think they’re on their way to the Pulitzer, not on the way to the hippie out here in Walterville,” Millegan said. “It’s because no one will touch this stuff.”
There are, in fact, several conspiracy theories that have been proven undeniably true, such as Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair. And many of the topics of Millegan’s books are built on a foundation of well-established facts.
“I’ve never had anyone call me up calling me a nut,” he said. “I get people calling me up to thank me for printing this stuff. They say I have courage, but to me it’s just what I do.”
“Trine” can mean harmonious or auspicious, and Millegan settled on it for a publishing house name when he discovered Good Day was already taken. It’s also a play on the word “trying” — as in every day at work can be “trying.”
Millegan founded the publishing house on $5,000 of borrowed money in 2001 after helping another writer publish his own book about a conspiracy between intelligence people and mobsters to commit political assassinations. The two first came in contact through an Internet communication mechanism Millegan created in the mid-1990s called CIA Drugs.
That first author, like many who would come later, sought out Millegan because he had been turned away by everyone else.
“I’m a musician by trade,” Millegan said. “I became a publisher because no one else was doing it.”
It’s been a struggle to turn TrineDay into a profitable business. Millegan concedes he still faces cash flow issues even though he’s had a couple of books sell as many as 30,000 copies.
“He has true character and courage,” said retired U.S. Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Dan Marvin, who wrote “Expendable Elite.” “He’s committed to the truth above all else.”
Marvin should know. His book was the target of a lawsuit by seven former Special Forces operatives who accused Marvin and Millegan of libel.
In the book, Marvin writes that the men illegally fired weapons into neutral Cambodia in 1966 and nearly committed mutiny during the Vietnam War.
Even though the trial was held in U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C., home to the Citadel, the judge threw out the charges. But the proceedings cost Marvin and Millegan almost $200,000.
The prospects for TrineDay may be looking up. Millegan says literary agents are contacting him with book proposals, and that he expects to publish eight books this year.
He hopes to presell a few thousand copies of his latest release, which will allow him to budget for advertising and marketing for the first time.
“I think my dad would be proud of the work I’m doing,” Millegan said. “I think I’ve got stories that people want to hear, stories they need to hear.”
Selected titles: “Rigorous Intuition” by Jeff Wells; “The 9/11 Mystery Plane and the Vanishing of America” by Mark Gaffney; “The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal” by Nick Bryant; “The True Story of the Bilderberg Group” by Daniel Estulin
On the Web: www.trineday.org