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> * An Organized Entheogen Religion *
evenstill
post Oct 25, 2007, 10:37 AM
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I'm trying to get feedback and start as much conversation going as possible within the entheogen community regarding this topic. I started this conversation on another thread so please visit the EDOT forum at entheogen dot com and search for the thread with the same topic as this one to see my ideas and hear the discussion up to this point. Thanks.

evenstill
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maximus242
post Oct 25, 2007, 11:02 AM
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This sounds like a very sneaky form of advertising to me..
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evenstill
post Oct 26, 2007, 05:50 AM
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No, I’ve basically made a thread on a number of entheogenic forums with this same topic name to stir up as much conversation as possible. I didn’t want to post another forums content here so thought I’d just direct folks there to see what’s been said so far before posting their comments here. Here are my posts from that other forum:

evenstill 24th October 2007 07:36 PM
________________________________________
* An Organized Entheogen Religion *

This is a subject that I haven’t really seen thoroughly addressed. Entheogens have been suggested as the root cause of the evolution of human consciousness, language, and religion and are the ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage of nearly every person on this planet. It would seem that the whole point of the process of evolution is the development is this thing we call consciousness, mind, soul, or spirit. This said, anything that expands the mind/consciousness/soul/spirit is in reality a most holy religious sacrament to the human species (or any species really) . . . which makes Entheogenics truly the universal human religion. What if we could establish a religion that basically looks back to the time when there weren’t any complicated systems of deities or impressively long lists of oppressive dogmas . . . when religion was simply the individual or communal use of “sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from”? It could simply be called “Entheogenics” and I see it as sort of like the Unitarian Universalist Church where you can be a Unitarian Universalist and still be “Christian”, “Pagan”, “Hindu”, or “Atheist”. There would really essentially only be one core foundational tenant: “The religious and ethnic/cultural use of sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from”. An individual could be an “Entheogenic Christian”, “Entheogenic Pagan”, “Entheogenic Hindu”, “Entheogenic Atheist”, or simply an “Entheogenic Practitioner”. This could be a truly “organized religion” to which every individual in the world that uses “sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from” for religious and/or ethnic/cultural purposes could belong! HUGE!

Why hasn't anything like this every really been done before? Does anybody have any ideas about how to go about organizing something like this? How about the process for getting a “new” religion officially recognized? Would we need to develop a “declaration of intent” sort of like the one found at the Council for Spiritual Practices website for every member or something?

I was just playing around the other day and came up with this personal declaration:

ENTHEOGENIC DECLARATION OF [TYPED NAME]

I _[typed name]_ do hereby declare that I am a resident of the State of _[state]_, __[county]__ county, city of __[city]___, and reside at _[street address]__.

1. I have written this document on the date attested below for the purpose of documenting my sincerity and noncriminal intent with regard to my religious and ethnic/cultural use of sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from including, but not limited to: Banisteriopsis Caapi, Psychotria Viridis, Mimosa Hostilis, Diplopterys Cabrerana, Reed canary grass, Harding grass, Salvia Divinorum, Psilocybe mushrooms, Amanita mushrooms, Cannabis, Peyote cactus, San Pedro cactus, Peruvian Torch cactus, Morning Glory, Argyreia Nervosa, Erythroxylum Coca, and Solanaceae Datura.

2. The sacramental use of sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from is a central and indispensable element of my religious and ethnic/cultural heritage, traditions, and practice. I sincerely believe that sacramental use of sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from is to partake of communion with the Ancestors, Nature Entities, and/or the Divine a.k.a., God/s.

3. I am aware that all forms of historical evidence, including but not limited to the archeological and literary records, attest to the fact the these sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from have been central to the religious and ethnic/cultural practices of nearly every people group, on nearly every continent, from time immemorial. I am also aware that sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from have been suggested as the root of the evolution of human consciousness, language, and religion. [insert history of specific plant, fungi or substance's historical link to religious use.]

4. As part of my religion and ethnic/cultural traditions, I partake of the sacramental use of sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from on a daily, weekly, monthly, and/or yearly basis in keeping with the traditional use of these substances and their associated rituals. These religious and ethnic/cultural rituals are observed on private property, in a safe environment, and in a thoughtful and responsible manor which presents no reasonable danger to myself or to others. [Insert other details if relevant.]

5. I use sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from solely for religious and ethnic/cultural purposes and believe that the recreational use of sacred entheogenic botanicals and the substances derived there from is both irresponsible and sacrilegious and could possibly precipitate harmful consequences.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of _[state]_ that the foregoing is true and correct.

Date:
______________________
[type name here]

NOTARY PUBLIC:
[Have Notary sign and date.]

Tom Wolfe once said “A cult is a religion with no political power” and Terence McKenna was always saying that if we ever wanted to change the global environment of political and religious oppression we need to come together, organize, and not be afraid to stand up and be visible. There are so many people practicing Entheogenesis that if we began the process of organizing under a model similar to the Unitarian Universalist Church (which would leave enough room for everybody’s individual beliefs to be grafted onto the core value of entheogen use) our numbers would probably grow exponentially as the word got out and it wouldn’t be long before we become an unstoppable political and religious force for freedom and goodness on this planet!

Any thoughts or ideas?

evenstill


evenstill 24th October 2007 11:47 PM
________________________________________
Re: * An Organized Entheogen Religion *

Whoa there . . . down boy. I can see now why nothing like what I’m proposing has ever been successful.

The model of the UU church is that of a core doctrine that is open enough to allow its members to build upon it without compromising the integrity of the whole. For instance, if we say the core “doctrine” of Entheogenics is the religious use of entheogenic botanicals, then this core binds us together regardless of what the individuals might think about Jesus, Buddha, the Goddess, or aliens. You see? It’s a successful model of organizing a religion without really leaning on the dogmas of any other specific religion.

Scyhop:per, I’d like to keep this thread free of emotional rants and personal attacks so please, no more evidence-less conspiracy theories. If you can’t say something intelligently constructive I’d appreciate it if you said nothing at all. Thank you.

evenstill


evenstill 25th October 2007 01:38 AM
________________________________________
Re: * An Organized Entheogen Religion *

tealmeld,

Dogma = evil

Fundamentalism = evil

Religion = good & evil

I totally agree that everyone needs to adopt their own beliefs/faiths and respect those of others and that is part of what I’m saying. The only chance we have to change (or do away with all together) the so called “war on drugs” is to organize under a religious label. Essentially what I’m saying is that everybody have their own faith and respect the faith of others while being identified under a unified religious label that entails nothing more then the spiritual use of entheogenic botanicals. You see? It is unfortunate that the current political climate only allows religious exceptions to the drug laws but that’s just how things are right now and this is where we will have to start if we are ever going to change things.

evenstill


evenstill 25th October 2007 02:15 PM
________________________________________
Re: * An Organized Entheogen Religion *

Jbmac,
Perhaps the Church of the Tree of Life didn’t seem to work out because it just wasn’t the right time . . . the political and social climate was not conducive to it then. We’ve seen a number of changes in the last 15-30 years including more countries softening there drug laws and positive ruling by the US Supreme Court regarding religious use of entheogens. I think the time is right to take a serious look at this again.

crazydewman,
“no true religion can be put on a piece of paper”
True. Unfortunately, the government only recognizes “paper religions” at this time. So if we want legitimate religious status restored to our practices we’ll have to temporarily accept that.

Moonbreeze,
Thank you very much for your kind words regarding my other post.

I agree that Set & Setting is vitally important, but so too are the substance and the dose. Different entheogens take us to different parts of the Mandela (fractal) of life/reality and the higher the dose the deeper into the Mystery we are taken. Terence Mckenna always said that he felt the really powerful entheogens (Psilocybe mushrooms, DMT, etc) should be used infrequently and at “heroic doses” because it’s only at these higher doses that truly self-transformative boundary dissolution & ego death occur. At these “heroic doses” the individual MUST let go of their ego or they’ll have such a terrible experience that they’ll likely never want to attempt it again. I totally agree that we need to open ourselves to the deeper mysteries and integrate that experience into our daily lives and a little organization offers the benefit of small groups helping each other achieve the proper Set, Setting, Substance, and Dose in order to bring this about more safely and effectively.

All of us are currently subject to be victimized at any time by political and religious oppression, repression, and Gestapo-like tactics and abuse. Our freedom and inalienable human rights are being violated on a daily basis and the only thing we need in order to be able to do something about it is legal/political clout. And how does a group get legal/political clout? With numbers and a label. There was a time in the not so distant past when African Americans, homosexuals, and women had no rights. What changed that? They had the numbers and they organized those numbers behind one or a few labels. We too have the number. All we need now is the label and the only real loophole in the law regarding entheogen use right now is religious so we’ll need to start things off with a “religious label”. If we unify behind a fairly neutral label like the term “Entheogenics” it leaves plenty of room for the various individual spiritual and/or cultural practices. There are so many of us that once we have a simple way of organizing and the word gets out our numbers could be several hundred thousand strong before you know it! Even if the wheels of change turn slowly here in the US they would turn more quickly for our members in other, more enlightened countries. And once we have a foothold in the religion arena we can turn our attention to opening the doors to things like “medicinal use” and “ethnic/cultural use”. But we have to start somewhere and that somewhere is right here . . . right now . . . with the simplicity of a label. It is so doable it’s a no brainer.

evenstill


evenstill 25th October 2007 05:24 PM
________________________________________
Re: * An Organized Entheogen Religion *

As a species, our physiological evolution seems to have sort of slowed down and stabilized somewhat. I think that the current arena for human evolution is cultural and cultural evolution can only happen in concert with linguistic evolution. A good first step in changing the legal/political/social environments is to start identifying ourselves under a common name. Our numbers would start growing as more and more people do this and we haven't even really started to organize yet. See? The political & social climates are beginning to change but we may still have to wait 5, 10, or 15 years for a younger generation to be in control of the governments before we see any major shifts.

Now is the time to start unifying under a neutral common name like "Entheogenics". If we spread this simple idea of unifying through identification with this common neutral name, when the time comes for a shift we will already have the foundation built and all we'll need to do is some organization. See? Many "Entheogenic practitioners" are already starting to use the internet to identify with each other through the common bonds of their entheogenic knowledge, use, and experiences (as is evident by the many entheogen based websites, blogs, and forums). The next step in this process is to identify with each other through a common name/identity. This will have a focusing affect, subtly shifting our awareness away from a sort of "loner" mentality and towards a more cohesive whole. Considering the kind of numbers we have on our side (nationally and globally) a relatively short term coalescing of identities (coming together under a common name) followed by some organization and we'll have a daunting force for political and social change.


scyhop:per,
Organization does not equal totalitarianism. Democracy is freedom of choice and personal autonomy. If a group of individuals wishes to organize and unify behind a purpose greater then themselves and other individuals chose not to, that is their choice and neither side should try to force the other to come around after the open and honest sharing of their various, thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Unity and harmonious, balanced organization within a democratic framework is the only way to really get anything of consequence done. This effort I'm proposing isn't about gaining control and maintaining it through manipulation, force, fear, and ignorance . . . it's about achieving unity with the only ambitious desire being that for freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and human rights. Here’s a story for ya:
The Quail King and the Hunter (a Jataka tale)
Once upon a time, there was a Quail King who reigned over a flock of a thousand quails.

There was also a very clever quail hunter. He knew how to make a quail call. Because this sounded just like a real quail crying for help, it never failed to attract other quails. Then the hunter covered them with a net, stuffed them in baskets, and sold them to make a living.

Because he always put the safety of his flock first, Quail King was highly respected by all. While on the lookout for danger, one day he came across the hunter and saw what he did. He thought, "This quail hunter has a good plan for destroying our relatives. I must make a better plan to save us."

Then he called together his whole nation of a thousand quails. He also invited other quails to attend the meeting. He said, "Greetings to our quail nation and welcome to our visitors. We are faced with great danger. Many of our relatives are being trapped and sold by a clever hunter. Then they are being killed and eaten. I have come up with a plan to save us all. When the hunter covers us with his net, every single one of us must raise his neck at the same time. Then, all together, we should fly away with the net and drop it on a thorn bush. That will keep him busy, and we will be able to escape with our lives." All agreed to follow this smart strategy.

The next day the hunter lured the quails with his quail call as usual. But when he threw his net over them, they all raised up their necks at once, flew away with the net, and dropped it on a thorn bush. He could catch no quails at all! In addition, it took him the rest of the day to loosen his net from the thorns - so he had no time left to try again!

The same thing happened on the following day. So he spent a second day unhooking his net from sharp thorns. He arrived home only to be greeted by his wife's sharp tongue! She complained, "You used to bring home quail to eat, and money from selling quails. Now you return empty-handed. What do you do all day? You must have another wife somewhere, who is feasting on quail meat at this very moment!"

The hunter replied, "Don't think such a thing, my darling. These days the quails have become very unified. They act as one, and raise up their necks and carry my net to a thorn bush. But thanks to you, my one and only wife, I know just what to do! Just as you argue with me, one day they too will argue, as relatives usually do. While they are occupied in conflict and bickering, I will trap them and bring them back to you. Then you will be pleased with me again. Until then, I must be patient."

The hunter had to put up with his wife's complaints for several more days. Then one morning after being lured by the quail call, it just so happened that one quail accidentally stepped on the head of another. He immediately got angry and squawked at her. She removed her foot from his head and said, "Please don't be angry with me. Please excuse my mistake." But he would not listen. Soon both of them were squawking and squawking, and the conflict got worse and worse!

Hearing this bickering getting louder and louder, Quail King said, "There is no advantage in conflict. Continuing it will lead to danger!" But they just wouldn't listen.

Then Quail King thought, "I'm afraid this silly conflict will keep them from cooperating to raise the net." So he commanded that all should escape. His own flock flew away at once.

And it was just in time too! Suddenly the quail hunter threw his net over the remaining quails. The two arguing quails said to each other, "I won't hold the net for you." Hearing this, even some of the other quails said, "Why should I hold the net for anyone else?"

So the conflict spread like wildfire. The hunter grabbed all the quails, stuffed them in his baskets, and took them home to his wife. Of course she was overjoyed, and they invited all their friends over for a big quail feast.

The moral: There is strength, safety, and peace in unity. Conflict offers only danger and destruction.


crazydewman,
even if our government is no longer of, by, and for the people, it is supposed to be. And if enough pressure is put on it by the people and by other governments of the world then change can be pushed through so to speak.

You're right. A piece of paper could never even come close to encapsulating an individual’s belief/faith. But it seems very strange to me to say that you are not willing to declare what you're faith/beliefs are . . . especially when doing so could win you and others like you the freedom to practice your supposed faith/beliefs free from harassment. Seems kind of non committal and cowardly. A faith/belief you (and others) are not allowed to practice isn't free and if spirituality isn't free to grow and evolve through practice it is (or will soon become) a dead faith/belief. Even if you for some reason enjoy the harassment, subjugation, oppression, fear, and paranoia, to think that you are unwilling to stand up for yourself, much less lend a helping hand to others is despicably inconceivable to me.

mindgarden,
I understand your sentiment towards organized religion. I too got off that band wagon a number of years ago and do everything in my power to help free those still within it's clutches. What I'm proposing isn't your usual "organized religion" with it's usual shopping list of do's and don'ts and strict dogmas to peddle. I'm really speaking more of a group loosely organized under a common name who's only really cohesive tenant is the sacred (religious, spiritual, etc) ritual use of entheogens. Not so much a "religion" (in the modern sense of the word) that binds us together but a "religious practice" that brings us together and aims us toward a common goal of legal, political, and social change. and since it is a "religious practice" that brings us together we would that access to this particular legal loophole . . . assuming we could all stop bickering and get proactive.

If you study the historical record you'll see that every people group on the plant (except perhaps some of the tribes native to the far polar regions) has "authentic" native, ethnic, cultural, & religious claims to the use of entheogenic botanicals. This fact has been well documented in the archeological and literary records.

There wouldn't be a need to "join" anything for a while. The first step is to begin using a common name to identify ourselves within the entheogenic community. Then when the time is ripe for change we would organize . . . this is the point when "joining" would come into play and by that time we would have the numbers and enough of a global presence that there really wouldn't be anything the DEA could do about it.

evenstill


evenstill 25th October 2007 06:15 PM
________________________________________
Re: * An Organized Entheogen Religion *

scyhop;per,
Quote:
________________________________________
the current so-called democracy is a hypocracy promoting the illusion of freedom of choice & personal autonomy...
________________________________________
:roll:

I agree 100% but it is neither here nor there and doesn't really have any bearing on the subject at hand. This is not the thread for that discussion. :dissap:

To repeat myself: "I’d like to keep this thread free of emotional rants and personal attacks so please . . . If you can’t say something . . . constructive I’d appreciate it if you said nothing at all. Thank you." :thumb:

evenstill

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Flex
post Oct 26, 2007, 08:23 AM
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I think it is an interesting way to bring about a Supreme Court Case; however, I am personally opposed to the constitution, and do not find it to be the "Supreme law of the land", nor do I find government has any jurisdiction on freedom. Why play their game? If you think that freedom of choice is important to you, then maintain that right, don't find ways to claim it is your religious right.
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Rick
post Oct 26, 2007, 09:09 AM
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The Supreme Court has ruled that the government has the right to persecute entheogen utilizers. Back in the 60s, there was a "Church of LSD", in Berkeley, I think. Their motto was "No Horseshit". Timothy Leary advised that everyone should start his own religion.
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Flex
post Oct 26, 2007, 12:55 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Oct 26, 2007, 10:09 AM) *

The Supreme Court has ruled that the government has the right to persecute entheogen utilizers. Back in the 60s, there was a "Church of LSD", in Berkeley, I think. Their motto was "No Horseshit". Timothy Leary advised that everyone should start his own religion.


The Supreme Court is absolute nonesense, and anyone who believes that they determine "rights" certainly is not a liberated individual. The governent has no rights. Individuals have rights. Rights are inalienable. If a law governs a "right" it is not a right, it is a privilege.

No man shall be abridged the rights to life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. You do not have the right to life, liberty, or property in this country, these things are merely privilege so long as you play by their rules. I on the other hand object.
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Rick
post Oct 26, 2007, 01:49 PM
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I sympathize, but as a matter of practicality, we need courts to protect the weak and ethical from the strong and ruthless.
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