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Materialism and the Drug War Part II

open letter to the Discovery Institute

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

February 28, 2023

There is a somewhat lengthy backstory as to why I am addressing these concerns to the Discovery Institute. But since I do not have the time to clarify this connection, I hope the reader will consider the issues here on their own merit without an undue regard for my choice of correspondent. Of course, if I'm honest with myself, I might as well have addressed this essay to the Moon, given the infantessimal odds of this organization responding in anything but the most impersonal and rote manner. But SOMEONE has to eventually win the Powerball Lottery!

I think it's great that you are pointing out the downsides of materialism and how many scientists have a "pre-commitment" to ignore such criticism.

I fear that, as an avowedly "conservative" group, the Discovery Institute may have a blind spot of its own, however, namely a previous commitment to the war on drugs.

Materialism has conspired with the Drug War to hook 1 in 4 American women on big pharma meds that were touted (falsely) as curing depression via a reductionist approach.

Meanwhile, we have outlawed all substances that could be used intermittently to elevate mood -- either on a regular basis, as for instance the Peruvian Indians chewed the coca leaf daily for over a thousand years, or via the life-guiding epiphanies that can be wrought in the guided therapeutic use of psychedelics.

Materialism + the Drug War has kept us searching for "real" cures (i.e. reductionist cures) for mental issues while denying us the godsends that grow at our feet. Why? Because the actions of the latter drugs are holistic in nature and cannot be referred to a known reductionist cause.

In other words, materialists ignore medical godsends for the same reason that they ignore intelligent design and teleology in general: namely, their previous commitment to reductionist causes.

This is why Dr. Robert Glatter could write an article in Forbes magazine in 2021 with the absurd title: "Can Laughing Gas help fight Treatment Resistant Depression"?

Even the Reader's Digest knows that "laughter is the best medicine."

But Robert's answer is a very worried "Maybe." He wants to keep the chronically depressed from using the substance that inspired the philosophy of William James -- because it might be dangerous.

He ignores, of course, the dangers of letting the depressed remain depressed -- not to mention the sociopolitical dangers of outlawing philosophical research a la William James.

The materialist approves of euthanasia -- but does not want folks to use medicines that would make them want to live -- like the hundreds of psychedelics synthesized by Alexander Shulgin which elate and inform without addicting.

The materialist would rather damage the brain of the depressed with ECT than to let them use godsend and time-honored medicines like soma that have inspired entire religions.

I hope, therefore, that the Discovery Center does not have a "previous commitment" to the Drug War-- because it is the Drug War combined with materialism that has kept me now from using godsend medicines for 45 years!

I urge you not to fall for the notion that drug prohibition is a conservative doctrine. It is a brand-new unprecedented American idea, surprisingly coming from a nation that claims to be founded on Natural Law, including what Locke called the right to the use of the land and all that lies therein. But the Drug War represents a prehistoric mindset which feeds us the following lie: that some substances have no positive uses for anyone, anywhere, at any time, ever.

In reality, there are no substances of that kind. Even botox and cyanide have valid uses.

The Drug War is thus a war on science and scientific understanding and should be denounced as such by the Institute. But again, I fear that conservatives have a previous commitment to scaring us about drugs rather than teaching us about them.

I hope this email will inspire dialogue on this subject at Discovery. I would be glad to take part. I have tried for years to get philosophers to discuss this matter and they're terrified.

Of course, this is the kind of email that is usually ignored, but I hope you will share it with the likes of Behe and Meyer.

Materialist reductionism has more downsides than the fact that it keeps us from understanding the origins of life. It also keeps us from using obvious godsends to treat mental shortcomings, forcing us to search instead for the holy grail of reductionist drug research: a cause found in brain chemicals, which is the approach that results in modern antidepressants to which 1 in 4 American women are now addicted to Big Pharma meds for life: a veritable Stepford Wives come true, and no philosophers even notice it.

The Drug War also gives materialism an advantage in talks about origins because the Drug War outlaws all the substances that give us experiential evidence of a greater reality. Nitrous oxide convinced William James that we only see a small part of reality in our daily lives, but Drug Warriors in Britain are already doing their best to outlaw the substance and thus keep philosophers from following up on such leads.

Thanks for not ignoring me!

Brian Quass
The Drug War Philosopher

March 1, 2023

It's amazing how many philosophers believe that the Drug War is just its own separate issue, like, say, abortion or gun rights. What they fail to realize is that the Drug War ideology causes all sorts of issues that affect everybody. The Drug War ideology of substance demonization both discourages and outlaws research on psychoactive agents that have prima facie value in treating conditions like depression, Alzheimer's and autism, given the fact that psychedelics can grow new neurons. The Drug War, in other words, censors science, as much or more than it was censored in the time of Galileo. The Drug War also violates the Natural Law upon which America was found, meaning that the Drug War should be front and center in all discussions of American jurisprudence, yet I've audited entire lecture series on the history of the legal system in America and the professors have never even MENTIONED the Drug War, let alone described how it has overthrown Natural Law.

So, again, the Drug War affects all sorts of aspects of American life, and yet most experts in the variously affected fields are silent on the subject.

Some materialists are no doubt happy for this scientific censorship because it tends to outlaw only those medicines that work in an holistic way, leaving them free to ignore the hints about non-physical reality that philosophers from William James to Plato have gleaned from using psychoactive substances.

Next essay: How Scientific American reckons without the drug war
Previous essay: In Praise of Opium

More Essays Here

Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

The Shipiba have learned to heal human beings physically, psychologically and spiritually with what they call "onanyati," plant allies and guides, such as Bobinsana, which "envelops seekers in a cocoon of love." You know: what the DEA would call "junk."
The goal of drug-law reform should be to outlaw prohibition. Anything short of that, and our basic rights will always be subject to veto by fearmongers. Outlawing prohibition would restore the Natural Law of Jefferson, which the DEA scorned in 1987 with its raid on Monticello.
We need a scheduling system for psychoactive drugs as much as we need a scheduling system for sports activities: i.e. NOT AT ALL. Some sports are VERY dangerous, but we do not outlaw them because we know that there are benefits both to sports and to freedom in general.
If psychoactive drugs had never been criminalized, science would never have had any reason or excuse for creating SSRIs that muck about unpredictably with brain chemistry. Chewing the coca leaf daily would be one of many readily available "miracle treatments" for depression.
There are a potentially vast number of non-addictive drugs that could be used strategically in therapy. They elate and "free the tongue" to help talk therapy really work. Even "addictive" drugs can be used non-addictively, prohibitionist propaganda notwithstanding.
The December Scientific American features a story called "The New Nuclear Age," about a trillion-dollar plan to add 100s of ICBM's to 5 states, which an SA editorial calls "kick me" signs. This Neanderthal plan comes from pols who think that compassion-boosting drugs are evil!
Mariani Wine is the real McCoy, with Bolivian coca leaves (tho' not with cocaine, as Wikipedia says). I'll be writing more about my experience with it soon. I was impressed. It's the same drink "on which" HG Wells and Jules Verne wrote their stories.
Drug use is judged by different standards than any other risky activity in the western world. One death can lead to outrage, even though that death might be statistically insignificant.
NEW TERM FOR LOGIC CLASSES: "The Oprah Winfrey Fallacy," which is the idea that a statistically insignificant number of cases constitutes a crisis, provided ONLY that the villain of the piece is something that racist politicians have demonized as a "drug."
By reading "Drug Warriors and Their Prey," I begin to understand why I encounter a wall of silence when I write to authors and professors on the subject of "drugs." The mere fact that the drug war inspires such self-censorship should be grounds for its immediate termination.
More Tweets

essays about

A Quantum of Hubris
Unscientific American: the hypocritical materialism of Elon Musk
Modern Science as a symptom of insipient madness
The Book of the Damned continued

essays about

How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Obama's Unscientific BRAIN Initiative
How Thomas Nagel Reckons Without the Drug War
Materialism and the Drug War
Alternative Medicine as a Drug War Creation
Why Science is the Handmaiden of the Drug War
David Chalmers and the Drug War
The Placebo Effect and Drugs
Why Rick Doblin is Ghosting Me
How Bernardo Kastrup reckons without the drug war
The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment
Physics has found a theory of everything
The Handicapped NEED Crutches
Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
Speaking Truth to Academia
A Quantum of Hubris
Unscientific American: the hypocritical materialism of Elon Musk
Modern Science as a symptom of insipient madness
Materialism's War on Drug Addicts and Alcoholics
This is your brain on Neuralink
The Book of the Damned continued
The Muddled Metaphysics of the Drug War
Illusions with Professor Arthur Shapiro

front cover of Drug War Comic Book

Buy the Drug War Comic Book by the Drug War Philosopher Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans

You have been reading an article entitled, Materialism and the Drug War Part II: open letter to the Discovery Institute, published on February 28, 2023 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)