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Gluten-Free Drug Warriors

or why digestion is not destiny

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

July 4, 2024

have trouble believing that any shaman would ever end a healing ceremony by concluding that their client required a gluten-free diet. True, the shaman's suggestions may include dietary habits that just so happen to minimize gluten intake, but the shaman would never believe that digestive complaints were caused solely and exclusively by one single factor, like the presence of gluten. This is very different from the western mindset, where we look for easy answers and so we search for villainous singletons: one particular substance upon which we can blame all that is wrong with our life, and gluten is one such scapegoat that is singled out these days by many modern hypochondriacs from the lineup of the usual controversial substances.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am sure that the ingestion of gluten can be positively correlated with health concerns in certain individuals. What I object to is the reification of gluten intolerance as a concrete physical illness: it is rather just a way that 20th century westerners can make sense of their suffering in a kind of causational shorthand. For the fact is that the discomfort that we associate uniquely with gluten intake can more properly be considered as an outcome of a vast array of life circumstances, including one's psychological outlook. The west, however, tends to consider gluten intolerance outside of all context, as a stroke of destiny with which one has to live for a lifetime, and that one need look no further for the culprit of one's discontents, for it has been caught red-handed, as it were: gluten is the self-sufficient villain of this piece. But life is really not that simple.

Take me, for instance. I used to suffer from stomachaches in my late teens after drinking a lot of milk. But I loved milk shakes and never considered myself lactose intolerant. Actually, the term did not even exist at the time, but the point is that I never considered milk to be the problem. Why not? Because like many teenagers, I was dealing with a lot of issues at the time and it somehow made sense to me (on some subconscious level at least) that my angst could affect my digestion. In fact, I had often noticed a direct correlation between my mood and my digestion during my teenage years. And indeed my apparent milk intolerance disappeared in subsequent years as the teenage angst was replaced by a somewhat more confident outlook on life and its troubles. Now, I could have "come out" in my teenage years as "lactose intolerant," had either of those terms been in public parlance at the time, but such a declaration would have simply disguised the more fundamental nature of my gastrointestinal problems, namely, my poor self-image. Yes, there was a positive correlation between milk drinking and stomach pain back then, but correlation is not cause - and certainly not the "final" cause of Aristotle's philosophy -- except when we seek easy answers to complex problems.

Of course, this is just the way science likes it. By focusing on this one apparent cause, which exists far downstream of many other unacknowledged factors and influences, science can claim both to have discovered a new disease, like gluten intolerance, and the "cure" for that disease, in this case with their prescription of a gluten-free diet for the suffering. And so the myth of all-knowing science is perpetuated, as it claims mastery both in the physical and the psychological realms (which, to materialists, however, are ultimately one and the same). Science, however, continues dogmatically to ignore the most important thing of all when it comes to our health: namely, one's psychological attitudes, about life, about love, and about oneself.

This is no surprise because materialist science considers that consciousness itself is a mere freak, an accident that came along as a result of mindless evolution. Just ask Richard Dawkins, or Neil deGrasse Tyson, for that matter. This, I think, is why we so often hear of doctors being astonished when patients have the nerve to keep living well in spite of being diagnosed as terminally ill based on clear medical facts: because the power of the mind has yet to be calculated and is only now becoming apparent in the usage reports of those seeking healing from entheogens, like psilocybin and ayahuasca. The latest reports I've been reading about psilocybin speak of it curing diabetes, in light of which it would be no surprise at all if a properly guided entheogenic experience could make "quick work" of gluten intolerance as well.

What, then, does the gluten-free proponent have in common with the Drug Warrior? They both are motivated by a search for easy answers. The gluten sufferer tells us that gluten is bad, end of discussion: not bad in this circumstance or that, but simply bad, bad, bad. When it comes to psychoactive drugs, the Drug Warrior tells us the same thing: that drugs are bad; not bad in this or that circumstance, but bad, bad, bad. And the knock-on effects of this childish attitude? We box with shadows instead of combatting the real villains in our lives.

I am not, of course, suggesting that anyone change their diets here and now. If you have associated health issues with gluten, that association is probably real. As Vox magazine reports, "There are, in fact, a tiny fraction of people who have celiac disease or wheat allergies and truly can't eat gluten." But gluten intolerance for most of us is not the same as having blue eyes or red hair. It can be overcome, as can agoraphobia, and fear of heights, and fear of flying... or even lactose intolerance, for that matter. These conditions are life sentences only in the minds of westerners who have yet to learn of the mind-improving powers of psychedelics like psilocybin. Remember, Paul Stamets learned to stop his teenage stuttering in just one afternoon thanks to his consumption of psychedelic mushrooms. That's a far better outcome than needlessly embracing one's disability and being proud of it. "My name is Paul St-St-Stamets and I am pr-pr-proud to be a stutterer." We'd be like: "No, Paul, don't embrace your stuttering: rise above it with godsend medicines!"

Now, I have nothing against vegetarians and vegans. They may even be "right" in the metaphysical sense of that word when it comes to the morality of our food selections. But I have noticed that all the gluten-free people I know were (or are) also vegans, and all those vegans were also vegetarians in the past. In other words, there seems to be a trend here. To say that one is gluten-free these days seems to be a statement of personal identity as much as it is a comment about one's personal health-related shortcomings. What identity? Well, it depends on one's point of view. A generous soul might say that a gluten-free person is someone who is particularly careful about their health... whereas a curmudgeon might complain that they are hypochondriacs with a penchant for putting their moral superiority on display whenever the topic of discussion turns to food preferences. I am personally willing to take the sufferer at their word, that their claims of gluten intolerance are meant as statements of fact rather than as coy winks toward a certain sociopolitical outlook, but in that case, I hope they'll also reflect on the fact that digestion is not destiny and that they have the power to change in this age of the psychedelic renaissance.

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

This is the mentality for today's materialist researcher when it comes to "laughing gas." He does not care that it merely cheers folks up. He wants to see what is REALLY going on with the substance, using electrodes and brain scans.
They drive to their drug tests in pickup trucks with license plates that read "Don't tread on me." Yeah, right. "Don't tread on me: Just tell me how and how much I'm allowed to think and feel in this life. And please let me know what plants I can access."
Both physical and psychological addiction can be successfully fought when we relegalize the pharmacopoeia and start to fight drugs with drugs. But prohibitionists do not want to end addiction, they want to scare us with it.
If drug war logic made sense, we would outlaw endless things in addition to drugs. Because the drug war says that it's all worth it if we can save just one life -- which is generally the life of a white suburban young person, btw.
More materialist nonsense. "We" are the only reason that the universe exists as a universe rather than as inchoate particles.
In "The Book of the Damned," Charles Fort shows how science damns (i.e. excludes) facts that it cannot assimilate into a system of knowledge. Fort could never have guessed, however, how thoroughly science would eventually "damn" all positive facts about "drugs."
Laughing gas is the substance that gave William James his philosophy of reality. He concluded from its use that what we perceive is just a fraction of reality writ large. Yet his alma mater (Harvard) does not even MENTION laughing gas in their bio of the man.
Here are some political terms that are extremely problematic in the age of the drug war: "clean," "junk," "dope," "recreational"... and most of all the word "drugs" itself, which is as biased and loaded as the word "scab."
I might as well say that no one can ever be taught to ride a horse safely. I would argue as follows: "Look at Christopher Reeves. He was a responsible and knowledgeable equestrian. But he couldn't handle horses. The fact is, NO ONE can handle horses!"
John Halpern wrote a book about opium, subtitled "the ancient flower that poisoned our world." What nonsense! Bad laws and ignorance poison our world, NOT FLOWERS!
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You have been reading an article entitled, Gluten-Free Drug Warriors: or why digestion is not destiny, published on July 4, 2024 on For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)