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December 22, 2018

Dirty Minded Drug Warriors

by Ballard Quass

whites not allowed in peyote churches per u.s. government

A 1988 court ruling gave Native Americans the right to use peyote in worship. Native Americans only, mind, not Caucasians, nor African-Americans, nor Hispanics, nor Jews. Why not? (Wait for it, folks...) Because these latter groups do not have a history of religious peyote use.

Huh? Elizabeth, I'm comin' to join ya!

Only imagine: a court telling you that you cannot engage in a religious practice because your ancestors never found it necessary to do so. Pope Leo X should have rolled out a papal bull to that effect back in 1521 and he could have forestalled the entire Reformation. "Sorry, Martin Luther, but your descendants have no history of being saved by grace, so you must continue to find your salvation in DEEDS just like the rest of us, thank you very much."

The Conquistadores certainly never required that the Aztecs demonstrate a family history of Christian worship before welcoming them into the faith. To the contrary, the Spanish warriors downright insisted on the heathens becoming Christian or else.

This, of course, is all par for the tyrannical course.

The surprising part of this story is that many Native Americans agree with the judicial ruling mentioned above (though not necessarily with the "reasoning" behind it), contending that non-native Americans do not have the correct mind set to use peyote with due reverence.

Now, I loathe both the court ruling and the racial prejudice that informs it, and yet the Native Americans in question have a valid and a very telling point.

Non-native Americans are like little children when it comes to "drugs." They have been taught to consider the use of Mother Nature's psychoactive medicines as prima facie evidence of hedonism and "getting high." And so when they see a Native American using a "drug" for religious purposes, the non-native is kind of like a little kid in an art museum pointing at the statue of David and saying: "Aww, he's nekkid, dude!" - only in our case, the childish little kid is saying: "Aww! He's getting high, dude!! Tee-hee-hee!"

I encounter this childish attitude when a fellow Caucasian finds out inadvertently that I'm publishing a website called "Abolish the DEA dot com." They usually respond in a kind of awed and conspiratorial voice, as if to tell me: "Oh, yeah, dude, drugs! You're all about partying hearty and gettin' it on! I gotcha! Wink, wink, wink!"

And I'm thinking to myself: "No, dude. I am all about the restoration of natural law, the re-legalization of plants, and the overthrow of America's State Religion, i.e. Christian Science."

But America is under the spell of Drug War propaganda which insists that Mother Nature's psychoactive plant medicines can only be used for "getting high." And that mindset is constantly re-enforced by books, magazines, news, TV shows, and movies, all of which studiously ban the positive depiction of illegal "drug use" and simply remove from the history books any references to, say, Freud's use of cocaine, or Benjamin Franklin's use of opium, or Plato's use of psychedelics in the Eleusinian Mysteries. (Of course, JFK's use of "speed," as Monty Python would put it, is "right out.")

This propaganda of omission has turned Americans into little children with respect to psychoactive substances, and in two ways:

First, by convincing us that we could never possibly learn to use such substances wisely, that we are children for life as far as that is concerned; and second, by convincing us that banned psychoactive substances can only be used for naughty purposes.

If the latter proposition is true, then we non-natives can, indeed, only sit back and snicker at the profound ceremonies of the First Americans, thinking to ourselves, "Religion, indeed! Ha ha!"

In short, we are dirty minded, just like the child tittering foolishly in front of Michelangelo's masterpiece.

Given this state of affairs, one can almost say that the judicial ruling mentioned above was actually right, though certainly not for the absurd reasons that were adduced by the blatantly racist judge in the case. Non-natives cannot be allowed to use peyote in religious ceremonies. Why not? Because they are simply too immature to do so reverently. Drug War propaganda has seen to that.

Of course, there's an even bigger threat to the respectful use of sacred substances such as peyote, and that is capitalism itself. If non-natives can use peyote, then the substance could presumably be marketed freely, in which case irreverent advertising would not be far behind. But that's a topic for another essay.

The author has been accused of being "reactionary" for comparing the modern drug warrior to the Conquistadores of yore. Here is his response:

There is an ideological current running through western culture that can be discerned from Columbus to Donald Trump, wherein we, the west, think we know what's best for other countries. When the Conquistadores shut down the mushroom cults in South America and killed thousands of the adherents, the act was motivated by the same self-assured scientistic and religious hubris that America demonstrates when it travels overseas today to eradicate plants that have been used responsibly by other cultures for millennia, and doing so without a care in the world for the feeling of the locals. The motivation is philosophically the same, then as now, as is the goal: to spread western ways around the world and make the world safe for alcohol and tobacco and Christianity and give them a monopoly.

I believe using the term "conquistadores" is important to show how modern drug warrior attitudes are not appearing out of nowhere, as if by magic, but that they are part of a western intolerance toward other cultures that dates back many centuries, at least to the time of Emperor Theodosius II when he outlawed the psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian Mysteries in 389 AD. For while the west has largely abandoned the intolerant church, they have not abandoned the intolerance associated with it.

To summarize: I did not mention "conquistadores" randomly and in order to shock, but rather to highlight a thread of intolerance toward other cultures and "other ways of being" that runs through western history. For again, the drug war mentality did not spring like Venus, ready-made out of a clam shell. It came from a European Christian culture that has long felt it acceptable to run roughshod over the religious and cultural practices of non-westerners. We shouldn't hide this fact from our adversaries in an effort to sound conciliatory, but rather get them used to hearing the truth, that, unbeknownst to them, they are perpetuating a reign of western intolerance for other cultures that has been going on now for millennia.

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Are you wondering why I stopped you? Well, aside from the fact that you're Black, of course. No, seriously, seriously! (Sorry, my mom always said I should have been a comedian.) I stopped you to give you a warning. No, not about your dodgy right headlight (tho' you really should get that fixed). I wanted to warn you that this website is all about criticizing the willful ignorance of society when it comes to so-called "drugs." It is not -- I repeat NOT -- about encouraging either "drug use" or the LACK of "drug use." Ya feel me? It's about encouraging EDUCATION about substances rather than DRUG WARRIOR DEMONIZATION of substances.


So if you're contemplating using anything from table salt to heroin, you've come to the wrong site. The author is neither a doctor nor a pharmacologist. This is a philosophical website, not a practical website. You dig me? You need to study up on any and all substances using reliable sources: don't get your medical opinions about specific substances from a philosophy website like this one, for Peter's almighty sake! Ya feel me? Is the copper right or is the copper right?

Now, be on your way -- unless, of course, you're Black, in which case, get out of the car this instant and put your hands on the top of my vehicle! Move! Move! Move! Papa's gonna rough you up a bit. (Tee-hee.)

Just kidding. I really should have been a stand-up comedian, you know.

And get that right headlight looked at, ya numbskull!


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