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Speaking Truth to Academia

my unanswered question for Philosopher Patrick Grim

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

March 27, 2022

esterday, I joined a YouTube chat with Philosopher Patrick Grim arranged by Wondrium, formerly known as Great Courses Plus. I wanted to finally ask one specific philosopher what he thought about the way that the Drug War bars him from studying the effects of plant medicine on human consciousness. After all, Patrick lectures on the Philosophy of Mind and Body and draws conclusions about the nature of consciousness and ultimate reality. Surely, it would be problematic for him (at very least) to have his study in such a field limited by a government which criminalizes consciousness-changing plant medicines that have inspired entire religions and given users perceived glimpses of an afterlife. For it was the soma plant medicine that inspired the Vedic religion and the psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian Mysteries that interested Plato in the afterlife.

The Drug War Censors Science

Scientists: It's time to wake up to the fact that you are censored by the Drug War. Drive the point home with these bumper stickers.

So I posted my question -- or rather I tried to. However, the black-listing software that runs behind the scenes at YouTube removed my question shortly after I posted it, giving me the eerie feeling that American prejudices on the topic had been so inflamed by racist politicians that merely mentioning the "Drug War" was now considered hate speech. Fortunately, my question was restored after I brought the ham-fisted digital deletion to the attention of the moderators, and to my surprise, my question was soon put to Professor Grim himself. In paraphrasing my post, the moderator basically asked Grim, "How can we study mind and body in a society where a Drug War keeps us from studying psychoactive plant medicine, given that such substances have inspired entire religions and given saints and philosophers hints of new worlds, etc.?"

Unfortunately, Professor Grim dodged the subject almost entirely. He first cited William James' use of psychoactive substances (such as nitrous oxide), which sounded like a promising start, but then he switched to the topic of human souls (apparently grasping at that topic as to a life vest, since the word "souls" happened to have been used somewhere in the moderator's casual iteration of my drug-war-related question), beginning with the observation that James saw no proof of the soul, then branching out to the modern disbelief in souls, which he apparently shared, saying that there was no reason to believe that such a thing existed, and then tracing the origins of this seeming myth to the insights of Plato (failing to mention, however, that Plato's own ideas on this topic have been ascribed to his participation in the psychoactive mysteries mentioned above).

I asked my question, not hoping to ambush Grim, but rather to clarify my own views about philosophic silence about the Drug War. Were things really as bad as they seemed? I've written to over 100 of America's top philosophers on the topic of the Drug War and never received so much as a single response. I wanted to see if philosophers -- especially ones specializing in "mind and body" -- really felt indifferent to that the way the Drug War circumscribed their studies. I was hoping to finally get an answer on the question, rather than to simply be ignored. For I just could not believe that philosophers of the mind could really ignore the Drug War, since to me that would be like Galileo (in some hypothetical modern interview) ignoring the role that the Church played in limiting his astronomical researches.

I don't blame Grim for avoiding the topic entirely, any more than I blame the other 100 philosophers who ignored my letters on the subject -- theyv'e got their jobs to consider -- but I do blame US drug policy, which is so draconian that it not only limits scientific research, but it so frightens researchers (with implicit criminal threats and threats of ostracism) that they dare not even protest those limitations.

This is not a free academia, folks, it's an academia made complicit in its own muzzling.

There's an additional problem with a materialist like Grim remaining silent about the Drug War. It is like a democrat remaining silent about the fact that the republican party has been outlawed (or vice versa). The democrat profits politically from the silencing of his opposition, and so does the materialist. The materialist's "opposition," after all, comes from those who gain practical and ontological insights from the use of psychoactive plant medicine -- and if such use is forbidden, then Grim wins the battle against the spiritualist school by default. No need to argue, his opposition has been silenced.

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

"When two men who have been in an aggressive mood toward each other take part in the ritual, one is able to say to the other, 'Come, let us drink, for there is something between us.' " re: the Mayan use of the balche drink in Encyc of Psych Plants, by Ratsch & Hofmann
The Drug War is based on two HUGE lies: 1) that prohibition has no downsides, & 2) that drug use has no upsides.
Now the US is bashing the Honduran president for working with "drug cartels." Why don't we just be honest and say why we're REALLY upset with the guy? Drugs is just the excuse, as always, now what's the real reason? Stop using the drug war to disguise American foreign policy.
I never said that getting off SSRIs should be done without supervision. If you're on Twitter for medical advice, you're in the wrong place.
"Dope Sick"? "Prohibition Sick" is more like it. For me the very term "dope" connotes imperialism, racism and xenophobia, given that all tribal cultures have used "drugs" for various purposes. "Dope? Junk?" It's hard to imagine a more intolerant, dismissive and judgmental terminology.
Richard Evans Schultes seems to have originated the harebrained idea (since used by the US Supreme Court to suppress new religions) that you have no right to use drugs in a religious ritual if you did not grow up in a society that had such practices. What tyrannical idiocy!
"Judging" psychoactive drugs is hard. Dosage counts. Expectations count. Setting counts. In Harvey Rosenfeld's book about the Spanish-American War, a volunteer wrote of his visit to an "opium den": "I took about four puffs and that was enough. All of us were sick for a week."
In fact, that's what we need when we finally return to legalization: educational documentaries showing how folks manage to safely incorporate today's hated substances into their life and lifestyle.
SSRIs are created based on the materialist notion that cures should be found under a microscope. That's why science is so slow in acknowledging the benefit of plant medicines. Anyone who chooses SSRIs over drugs like San Pedro cactus is simply uninformed.
Imagine if we held sports to the same safety standard as drugs. There would be no sports at all. And yet even free climbing is legal. Why? Because with sports, we recognize the benefits and not just the downsides.
More Tweets

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Keep Laughing Gas Legal
William James rolls over in his grave as England bans Laughing Gas
The Criminalization of Nitrous Oxide is No Laughing Matter
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How AI turned William James into a Drug Warrior

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Materialism and the Drug War Part II
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Materialism and the Drug War
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Why Science is the Handmaiden of the Drug War
David Chalmers and the Drug War
The Placebo Effect and Drugs
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Without Philosophy, Science becomes Scientism
Materialism and the Drug War
Calling All Philosophers
Critique of the Philosophy of Happiness
Heidegger on Drugs
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Join Philosophers Against the Drug War
Libertarians as Closet Christian Scientists
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
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Scientism and America's Drug War hypocrisy
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Psychedelics and Depression
Drug Use as Self-Medication
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Puritanical Assumptions about Drug Use in the Entertainment Field
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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, Speaking Truth to Academia: my unanswered question for Philosopher Patrick Grim, published on March 27, 2022 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)