Tag Archives: religion

Why psychedelics are illegal

Many people crudely think that all illegal drugs are illegal because they are physically dangerous to the user. That is not the case. Different substances have been made illegal at different times and for different reasons.

Some substances are rightly illegal because they are physically dangerous. Heroin, crack and GHB are examples of dangerous substances that pose a very real risk to the user. Ironically though the two most dangerous drugs – alcohol and tobacco – are not illegal.

Other substances are however illegal for very different reasons. Two reasons are very prominent: because they are perceived as dangerous to the status quo and to target and persecute specific groups.

Just the other day I was asked why psychedelics are illegal. They are obviously extremely useful medicines and also very safe when used correctly. Well, there are several reasons for them being illegal and most of them have nothing to do with health, but let us begin with the health issue.

Psychedelics are commonly non-toxic and pose no physical threat even at extreme doses. Most of these substances are not even possible to overdose to the degree that they would be life threatening. But there is one real health risk and that is to the user’s mental health. Psychedelics have the unique capacity of unlocking the doors of the unconscious mind. They can release what has been carefully locked away and repressed. This is of course what makes them such powerful therapeutic tools, but if the person isn’t open to taking care of what comes up the experience can be quite traumatic. The same goes for other kinds of therapy, meditation and contemplation. If you aren’t ready to meet what you have repressed you shouldn’t do or take anything that will uncover what you have buried.

nixon_militaryBut besides this, what were the perceived dangers that made psychedelics illegal? To grasp this one must look at the historical setting. Where did the push to criminalize come from and what is the backdrop? To understand this we need to go back to the USA in the mid 1960’s. Government at all levels were in a cold war state of mind trying to root out possible dissidents within. The Vietnam war had dragged on for ten years, US involvement was sharply rising, as was the death toll. It was a time for hardliners and hawks. JFK had been murdered and the much less diplomatic Lyndon B Johnson took his place. He was then followed by one of the fathers of the War on Drugs – Richard Nixon.

At the same time a very vocal and at times even revolutionary opposition was forming at home. There were many different movements with many different objectives, but when talking about psychedelics the hippies are of course at the focal point. What were they up to? They protested, burnt draft cards, let their hair grow, dressed strangely and promoted free sex, just to name a few things. In the eyes of a person like Nixon, and there were many like him at the time, they were trouble makers who were upsetting the status quo. They were anti-establishment peacemongerers and as such perceived as threatening by the establishment.

At the very core of that opposition was the experimentation with drugs and the one that has forever been associated with the hippie movement is of course the psychedelic LSD. So what was it about LSD that sparked this opposition and backlash towards the establishment? I think the ethnobotanist psychonaut Terence McKenna was spot on when he said that “they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”

Photo: DaveHippie by studio muscle on Flickr
Photo: DaveHippie by studio muscle on Flickr

What LSD did was to awaken people from their cultural programming and indoctrination and let them see the world with other eyes. When they did so they could not accept what they had been taught, so they rebelled. They rebelled against violence, militarism and domination and instead sought “peace, love and understanding”.

On a side note both the CIA the American military had experimented heavily with LSD before it found its way to the hippies. One notable side effect was that quite a few soldiers that had been given it laid down their guns and refused to pick them up again.

For a person like Nixon this was all extremely threatening. To him America was losing its youth to a drug culture that was in direct opposition to the establishment. And he certainly had a point. If you want people to follow orders, be aggressive towards one another, go to war and kill people you will not want to give them LSD, because they will start thinking for themselves, refuse to follow orders and will refuse violence.

LSD was not made illegal because it is physically harmful to the person taking it. It was made illegal because it makes people question authority and social injustices and prompts them to do something about it. LSD and psychedelics threatened and still threatens the fabric of domination culture by showing people that another world is possible.

While many believe that our drug laws are there to protect us we have in fact inherited most of them from a time when domination culture was scared of losing control. Our drug laws are in many cases in place to hinder mind expansion and rebellion against the violent domination culture and the status quo, and most certainly so when it comes to psychedelics.

This is a pattern of dominance which is repeating itself.

Today the political establishment are the ones oppressing and persecuting the users of psychedelics. Yesterday it was the church. The brutal persecution of witches, witchdoctors, healers, shamans and anyone seeking other modalities of healing or other ways of reaching the divine was the church’s version of the War on Drugs. The vocabulary surrounding it all was different but still quite similar. Instead of safety and health concerns the church would talk about being in contact with or possessed by the devil or evil spirits.

Witch BurningWhile they might well have believed their own story, just as many do with the story of domineering culture of today, it was ultimately based in a fear of losing control over people. As many, perhaps even most, who work with psychedelics will attest to, psychedelics are often a door to the divine. They break down the limitations of our cultural programming. When it comes to the church there has often been an idea that certain people should act as intermediaries for the rest of us, thus the control over the contact with the divine and the divine will has been hijacked by priests and such. What psychedelics often do in that case is give the user his/her own personal contact with the divine, making the intermediary superfluous. For someone who wants to maintain control over other people this is of course extremely threatening and also provocative to the point where the church would be willing to kill people.

One needs to remember that the greatest threat to the church is that each and every one of us would be able to have our own contact with the divine. If we did have that contact the church would soon be redundant, at least as an interpreter of God’s will,  so it lies in the interest of the individual career makers within and also in the organisations themselves to see to it that people do not have their own contact with the divine.

And that is of course the pattern of domineering that is repeating itself today. A lot of people, organisations and companies stand to lose a lot of money and power when psychedelics are let free. It is in their interest to keep them illegal. If you could solve addiction, PTSD, depression and such with one or a few psychedelic trips the medical and pharmaceutical industry would take a huge dive. If people would stop tolerating violence that would mean the end of the military and the industries that profit from war. If each and every one would be given the tools for connecting with the divine themselves the world religions would lose their strangle hold on the minds of people.

It is in the interest of anyone who wants to dominate someone else that psychedelics are kept illegal and are continually persecuted.

That is why psychedelics are illegal.

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A true spiritual path

Is it cheating to use psychedelics in the pursuit of personal and spiritual growth?

No.

Plant teachers and psychedelic medicines are part of an especially powerful spiritual path that only few can handle. They aren’t for everyone, just as tantra or vipassana meditation isn’t for everyone. It is a genuine path of healing and spiritual growth that has been around for longer than any religion we have today and that has at some point in time been part of the practice of all of them. They are at the very core of the mystical experience that once upon a time gave birth to religions, although those religions have since fundamentally perverted the insights given. Psychedelics are the tools of healers, shamans, witches, visionaries, psychonauts, spiritual explorers and messengers. They are tools of change and enlightenment, of love and transcendence. They are catalysts of evolution and reconnect people to the source.

Photo: DJ by Catrin Austin on Flickr

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The Demon God

I have been in contact with several demons and other parasitic energies. I have seen firsthand what kind of havoc they can wreck on someone’s life, but I have also seen how cleverly they disguise themselves. The cleverest among them won’t let you see them. They will simply manipulate people and make them believe that it is all their own idea.

Other demons will let you see them but will trick you into thinking they are something else. It isn’t unusual that such demons will present themselves in a bombastic manner and promise great gifts in return for something performed by you. In the beginning the gift might look huge and the price small, but with time you will pay much more than the gifts are worth; the greatest price being that you will be ensnared and make yourself dependent on the demons help. Your existences will be entangled. To help you swallow the bait the first contributions asked of you will often be such that you will want to give them for purely egoistic reasons, such as indulging in pleasure or slaying your enemies.

Of late I have been directed to look at a specific character and as I do so I realize that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is not what it presents itself as, but that it is rather mixed up with one or several demons playing with people’s minds. I am speaking about God as portrayed by the Bible.

Before going deeper into this let me say that I know God. I am not an atheist. Of the descriptions of God that I have read the one given by Neale Donald Walsch in the book Conversations with God seems to be the most accurate to me. That is the God that I know.

But the God of the Bible then? Is that the genuine God? Well, first of all the Bible was written by many people and has undergone many changes before it arrived in the version that you are familiar with. Even descriptions of the true God can be twisted beyond recognition when edited by people who are under the influence of lesser energies.

What I want to point out is that many of the biblical descriptions of God seem to be way off. They are simply not depicting God as I know him. In many cases I believe they are simply reflections of the insecurities, vengefulness and obsessive control behaviours of the people behind the pens. But all these religious accounts of God are most likely not made up to disguise the interests of the human author. Some are likely descriptions of real contacts with real entities, but many of these entities are not God. From what I know of demons and God they seem to be demons masquerading as God in order to snare people’s minds.

The result is demonic. At worst religion turns people away from God and makes them intolerant, hateful, vengeful and jealous. Religion is used to oppress, slaughter and destroy. To me this seems like the work of demons and people who follow demons. Believe it or not, but God isn’t interested in mutilating little boys penises. He isn’t jealous. She doesn’t care what you had for supper and it isn’t in the slightest worried about you being disrespectful towards it. These are all petty human concerns and are as such easily fuelled by demons.

God is far greater than so. If you believe in the biblical God it is a very small God you believe in. If you are truly worried of worshipping false Gods, begin by getting rid of these religious misbeliefs. Toss the Bible and stop listening to preachers. You will immediately be very much closer to God.

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Proof that Westboro Baptist Church are legit

You know Westboro Baptist Church? They’re the ones with all the signs saying how much God hates fags, soldiers, Jews, America, Muslims, Sweden and pretty much everyone you know. I don’t know how it happened, but I came to think of them as I was taking a crap. A lot of people seem to be very offended by them – some don’t even think of them as a legitimate religion – but as I was sitting there I realized that they really capture the essence of religion very well.

God hates fags

Now what is more offensive? Is it a) a Westboro Baptist Church sign saying that God hates fags, or is it b) the fact that religions have persecuted homosexuals for thousands of years, killing, maiming, imprisoning, torturing and just being their nastiest towards people because of a difference in sexual orientation? And hey, don’t pretend that it isn’t still happening. Religion has been so effective in its hatred that the hatred has been woven into the very fabric of society, justifying hate crimes across the globe.

God hates the troops

What is more offensive? Is it a) Westboro Baptist Church picketing the funerals of dead soldiers, or is it b) sending millions of people to their death in the name of God, encouraging the soldiers to pillage, rape and torture their way across the land before they meet their maker? If one takes religion seriously God seems to be on every side of every conflict since the dawn of man. This God character the preachers claim are blessing all troops must really hate everyone.

God hates Jews

What is more offensive? Is it a) Westboro Baptist Church making signs saying that Gods hate Jews, or is it b) the ongoing persecution of an entire people, where the Holocaust was nothing more than a logical outcome of thousands of years of systematic harassment? Even Jews must think that God hates them, seeing what a total dick he is being to them.

What is more offensive? Is it stating the obvious, or is it justifying all nasty shit that we do to each other with religion? Who is the actual problem here? Is it a) Westboro Baptist Church, or is it b) organized mainstream religion?

Photo: MarriageEquality (14 of 109) by Stephen Luke on Flickr

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Get your head out of the books

Many religious books have been written by people who have had great insights, which they have tried to pass on. Unfortunately their followers have often totally missed the point. Instead of being inspired to find the same insight into life, many have become ignorant fundamentalist know-nothings who build belief systems and dogma from the texts.

That risk is present where ever people are trying to pass on insights. Some seem to think that the point of it all is to try to parrot what the person who seems to know has said. But a parrot does not become a human even if it wears a hat, just as someone with no insight doesn’t become insightful by reciting texts which they do not understand.

Don’t be a parrot.
Lift your eyes from the pages.
Explore for yourself.
Think and talk with your own words.

Photo: untitled by le vent le cri on Flickr

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Beware of religion

In a previous life I was a good Christian. The branch of Christianity I belonged to did however not believe in a Bible, in churches or priests. Instead it taught everyone to cultivate their personal connection to God and Isaac (Jesus). When one has that connection there is no need for anything else, because you have access to all the answers. Then there is no need for others to interpret God’s will for you, because you know God’s will, and therefore there is also no possibility for them to manipulate you with religion for their own human goals.

Then came the Roman Catholic Church and slaughtered us all. They killed every single one of us, even the infants, in an attempt to eradicate us – in an attempt to keep people from having their own contact with the highest divine and thus becoming aware of how corrupt people try to trick us using religion.

In this life I was brought up strictly Atheist and with a great dislike for religion. As I found spirituality and grew into accepting angels, Isaac and even God, I didn’t at first understand why that dislike didn’t subside. With time it became clearer to me how detrimental religion is to spirituality. The highest divine has pointed this out to me in so many ways. Religion is a shadow aspect created by people to assert power over others, mainly using fear.

Let me give you an example. Isaac has told me several times that reincarnation is real. This was common knowledge in early Christianity and the cyclic motion of life can be observed in nature all around us. One should understand that when it comes to matters of spirituality, angels, Isaac (Jesus) and God, the Bible is not a reliable source. But still, it is of interest to point out that the early Christian scriptures had plenty of references to reincarnation – but they were all stricken and anyone that held fast to the knowledge of reincarnation was condemned as a heretic and killed.

Now why is that? In whose interest is it that people have the misconception that we only live one life? This of course goes hand in hand with the misconception that those who are compliant and do as they are told by the church are going to heaven, while those that don’t are going to hell. These are not teachings derived from Isaac or God. These are dark illusions drawn up by manipulative corrupt people who will go out of their way to slaughter anyone who has a true connection to the source, in order to maintain their power over others.

I am a channel for Archangels, Isaac (Jesus) and God, among others. With the knowledge I have received from them I can tell you this with certainty: if you are into religion you are most likely being manipulated for human purposes.

If you are searching for true spirituality and a genuine contact with the highest divine, you need to break free and find your own contact. You can of course do that together with others, but don’t accept other people’s interpretations as truths and look out for manipulations.

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Give me spiritual freedom

People have always searched for the higher meaning of existence. In their search they have had sensations of the highest divine and tried to name that which cannot be named. They have sacrificed to Zeus, thanked Freya, asked Shiva for focus and God for mercy. They have searched inward and outward with dance, prayer, singing, yoga and meditation.

One of the oldest traditions in order to get in touch with the highest divine, and with the other realities that surround us, has been by using plants. In the beginning humans were very close to nature and talked with the sun and the plants, the wind and stones. Nature was a teacher who shared its wisdom, but who also helped humans to be able to get in contact to other realities.

department of truth by new 1lluminati on Flickr
department of truth by new 1lluminati on Flickr

Over time some people have however made the experience more academic than spiritual. While the original spirituality was based on every persons own experience and their own contact with the highest divine, nowadays many people are content to believe in a constructed religion. They do of course overlap, but I’m guessing that most religious people today do not have a personal experience of contact with the highest divine, but are satisfied with believing others’ descriptions of it.

To me there is big group of illegal substances that is intimately connected with spiritual exploration – mostly those we would call natural psychedelics. I’m talking about plants and preparations such as Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Peyote, Cannabis (semi-psychedelic), psychedelic mushrooms and Iboga.

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Ayahuasca is a preparation made from a jungle vine and another plant. Shamans have probably used it for more than 6,000 years to have contact with other realities and heal people. It is used almost exclusively in ceremonial contexts, but is banned in Sweden because it contains the natural substance DMT, which is also found in the human brain and appears to be heightened and released by prolonged meditation, sleep, and at the moment of death.

San Pedro and Peyote cacti are used in similar ways and in similar contexts, for deep transformative and spiritual experiences. As far as we know the knowledge to work with them is probably more than 4,000 years old, but as with all these substances it might very well have been used for much longer than that. Today the knowledge is kept alive by South American shamans and North American Indians. While the cacti itself is legal in Sweden, it is illegal to consume it because it contains the natural substance mescaline.

Cannabis is regarded in Hinduism as a gift from the god Shiva to mankind, created from his body. It has been used for more than 4,000 years, both spiritually as medically in Hinduism and Buddhism, but more recently also in religions such as Islam and Rastafarianism. It is celebrated for its spiritual, mystical properties, but also because it allows people to see through illusions and lies. In the drug context cannabis is among the least dangerous substances, much less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, but it is being fought with tremendous zeal. The active ingredient THC is easily spotted with a quick urine test.

Liberty cap
Liberty cap

Psychedelic mushrooms are available in hundreds of varieties and on every continent. The most famous Swedish psychedelic mushrooms are the Liberty caps, used by witches and shamans. In Europe, however, the Christian mass murder of dissidents makes it difficult to track past use. The mushrooms produce similar deep spiritual experiences including contact with other realities, past lives, a connectedness with nature and with the universe. Liberty caps are commonly picked in cow meadows after the first frost, but if you do so you are a criminal. All mushrooms containing the natural ingredient psilocybin are forbidden to handle.

Iboga is a West African shrub that contains the illegal natural substance ibogaine. It is documented to have been used in Africa in a spiritual context since the 19th century, but before that it is difficult to say. It gives deep transformative experiences and having taken Iboga one will often lie down for an entire day. Nowadays Iboga is most famous for its medicinal properties, as it has been proved to be able to break even deep rooted addiction with only one or two trips. But to do so is illegal.

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These are just a few of the illegal substances that have been used in spiritual practice for thousands of years before such recent phenomena as Christianity came along. Natural psychedelics are found on all continents, and maybe even in all countries. The tradition of using them in order to get in contact with other realities and with the highest divine has been preserved in many places in the world – by shamans in South America, witches in Europe, yogis and shamans in Asia and medicine men/women in North America, Africa and possibly Australia. However, they have for long periods been forced to go into hiding, because above all Christianity has violently persecuted them. Today this continues with the help of the disrespectful and discriminatory drug laws.

Drug laws thus not only violate minority rights, but also each person’s inherent right to their own spiritual experience and journey.

There are those who argue that these plants should only be used in their original cultural contexts, that is only the shamans of the Amazon should be working with Ayahuasca, and only the medicine men/women of North America with Peyote. With that logic the Liberty caps should of course be legal in Sweden. But besides that these people seem to overlook that we live in a globalized world and that the spiritual search has never let itself be confined to places or cultural context. Just as religions spread across the world and have borrowed freely from each other’s cultural contexts, shamanism is also worldwide and practitioners are inspired by each other. There have also been new substances used in similar ways, with similar spiritual effects and with similar healing properties – LSD, MDMA and Ketamine, to name a few.

Lady Girl open hands by Beshef on Flickr
Lady Girl open hands by Beshef on Flickr

Some people speak of religious freedom. I guess that would be the freedom to settle for believing in other people’s descriptions of the highest divine. I’m not interested in religious freedom. I require spiritual freedom – the freedom to have my own spiritual experience and my own contact with the highest divine. If my spiritual path happens to involve working with plants and in a tradition that is older than any religion, that is my business as long as I do not harm anyone else. A law that tries to stop me from doing so is nothing more than oppression and discrimination institutionalized.

Main photo: Headlong by Brad Hammonds on Flickr

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Stop Swedens human rights violations now!

This is a statement by the sami shaman Jungle Svonni that was recently given at a human rights conference in Warsawa.

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My name is Jungle Svonni, and I am a Sami shaman. We Sami are the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula. Currently our land is occupied by Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. My family migrates with our reindeers between Sweden in winter and Norway in summer.

Our ancestral culture and religion is shamanic. However, the colonizing countries, like Sweden and Norway, have for centuries acted to exterminate our religion. By cutting our spiritual connection to nature through shamanism, the connection of all our culture is lost.

Practicing shamanism has been illegal for centuries. Any cultural expressions related to shamanism, such as joik (the sami way of singing) or having a shamanic drum was severely punished, even by death. The heavy persecution resulted in the near extinction of shamanism among us. The persecutions of our roots have created social marginalization, a high rate of suicides and environmental problems, due to a decreased understanding for nature.

My grandfather and great grandfather were all shamans, but without any possibility to know or practice it fully. As a child I realized that this destructive situation must be fixed, if we Sami people are going to have any future. About ten years ago I left on a journey to the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon, to rediscover my shamanic roots. I stayed with the native people for eight years, learning my own culture. In the end I worked as a shaman on a large healing center, where we among other things were curing drug addictions with great success.

Jungle Svonni.
Jungle Svonni.

Two years ago I moved back, to share the shaman knowledge with my people. Swedish authorities arrested and jailed me for 18 days. They confiscated my sacred plant medicine, the San Pedro cactus, and I was accused of smuggling narcotics – mescaline. The San Pedro plant is completely legal and can be bought in any Swedish flower shop. It was only the shamanic context that triggered the judicial to actions and imprisonment.

Media portrayed me as a criminal, fuelled by ignorant and false statements from the prosecutor. Surprisingly it took the judge one and a half year to find that the legal San Pedro has nothing to do with mescaline or the drug market. I became the first Sami shaman ever to win against the Swedish authorities, without denying being a shaman. But the core problem remains. One of the most important shamanic and natural sacraments Ayahuasca, is still not fully legalized.

Today shamanism is supposed to be legal in Sweden and Norway, protected by the fundamental rights. In reality shamanism is still persecuted. It is only accepted as a “play” for eccentric adults. If it is serious, if you gather knowledge from the nature as our forefathers did and use the natural plants sacraments, you can still today get arrested and imprisoned. The Swedish authorities would use the excuse that you allegedly have violated their narcotic law. But the shamanic ceremonies of Sami people have no connection to the drug problems of Swedish society. What about our human rights to search our roots and practice our religion, shamanism?

Today, the Sami people are prevented by law to educate us directly from nature through natural medicine. Plant medicine is a fundamental part of shamanism and to prevent people to practice their traditional religion is a serious violation of human rights and minority rights.

The wounds on my people are so deep after centuries of persecution that we must turn to our shaman brothers in the Amazon for our cultural survival. For centuries we were forced to practice a foreign religion, and speak a foreign language, our own being forbidden. Our mountains are destroyed by foreign mining companies, the lichen necessary for our reindeers are polluted by a foreign society. Our forests are cut down by foreign companies with foreign technology. But WE are NOT allowed to share the shamanic plant knowledge from our shaman brothers and sisters, which we so badly need to recover our own culture.

I was imprisoned and prosecuted. The reason was not the fully legal San Pedro itself. The prosecutor tried to incriminate me because it would be used in my Sami shaman practice. The human rights violations in my case show the arrogance and ignorance of Swedish authorities. Sami shamanism is finally reawakening after centuries of oppression. Sweden and Norway must reconsider how to deal with it, in order to hinder further violations of our fundamental rights!

Jungle Svonni

Main photo: A Sami Lapp family in Norway around 1900 by tonynetone on Flickr

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