bird icon for twitter image icon of quiz


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.




Next essay: El Chapo Crappo
Previous essay: Blowing Up Arkansas

More Essays Here


LAUGHING GAS

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.
In a sane world, we'd package laughing gas for safe use and give it to the suicidal -- saying, "Use before attempting to kill yourself." But drug warriors would rather have suicide than drug use.
Now drug warriors have nitrous oxide in their sights, the substance that inspired the philosophy of William James. They're using the same tired MO: focusing exclusively on potential downsides and never mentioning the benefits of use, and/or denying that any exist.
MATERIALISM AND THE DRUG WAR

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.
That's why we damage the brains of the depressed with shock therapy rather than let them use coca or opium. That's why many regions allow folks to kill themselves but not to take drugs that would make them want to live. The Drug War is a perversion of social priorities.
Weaponizing science is a bigger problem. Even as we speak, Laura Sanders of Sciam is promoting Shock Therapy 2.0 for the depressed, this in a world wherein reductive scientists aren't even sure that laughing gas will help the depressed. https://abolishthedea.com/forbes_magazines_laughable_article_about_nitrous_oxide.php
It's because of such reductive pseudoscience that America will allow us to shock the brains of the depressed but won't allow us to let them use the plant medicines that grow at their feet.
David Chalmers says almost everything in the world can be reductively explained. Maybe so. But science's mistake is to think that everything can therefore be reductively UNDERSTOOD. That kind of thinking blinds researchers to the positive effects of laughing gas and MDMA, etc.
"Can I use poppies, coca, laughing gas, MDMA?" "NO," says Jonathan Stea, "We must be SCIENTIFIC! We must fry your brain and give you a lobotomy and make you a patient for life with the psychiatric pill mill! That's true SCIENCE!"
In "The Book of the Damned," Charles Fort writes about the data that science has damned, by which he means "excluded." The fact that drugs can inspire and elate is one such fact, although when Fort wrote his anti-materialist broadside, drug prohibition was in its infancy.
In other words, materialist scientists are drug war collaborators. They are more than happy to have their fight against idealism rigged by drug law, which outlaws precisely those substances whose use serves to cast their materialism into question.
Drug warriors have harnessed the perfect storm. Prohibition caters to the interests of law enforcement, psychotherapy, Big Pharma, demagogues, puritans, and materialist scientists, who believe that consciousness is no big "whoop" and that spiritual states are just flukes.
There are endless drugs that could help with depression. Any drug that inspires and elates is an antidepressant, partly by the effect itself and partly by the mood-elevation caused by anticipation of use (facts which are far too obvious for drug warriors to understand).
But materialist puritans do not want to create any drug that elates. So they go on a fool's errand to find reductionist cures for "depression itself," as if the vast array of human sadness could (or should) be treated with a one-size-fits-all readjustment of brain chemicals.
The search for SSRIs has always been based on a flawed materialist premise that human consciousness is nothing but a mix of brain chemicals and so depression can be treated medically like any other physical condition.
I'd like to become a guinea pig for researchers to test the ability of psychoactive drugs to make aging as psychologically healthy as possible. If such drugs cannot completely ward off decrepitude, they can surely make it more palatable. The catch? Researchers have to be free.
The drug war ideology of substance demonization actually outlaws such investigations. Why don't at least the saner half of the prohibitionists understand that this makes no sense in a purportedly free and scientific country?
Caveat: the experimentation must be done holistically, and not with the presupposition that brain waves and molecular analysis is more important than my perceptions -- for my perceptions are what really matter viz. psychological health.
I don't want purblind researchers telling me when I am happy or optimistic. Materialist researchers need not apply, especially those so immersed in minutia that they cannot even figure out if laughing gas could help the depressed!
To understand why the western world is blind to the benefits of "drugs," read "The Concept of Nature" by Whitehead. He unveils the scientific schizophrenia of the west, according to which the "real" world is invisible to us while our perceptions are mere "secondary" qualities.
This is why we would rather have a depressed person commit suicide than to use "drugs" -- because drugs, after all, are not dealing with the "real" problem. The patient may SAY that drugs make them feel good, but we need microscopes to find out if they REALLY feel good.
This is why the foes of suicide are doing absolutely nothing to get laughing gas into the hands of those who could benefit from it. Laughing is subjective after all. In the western tradition, we need a "REAL" cure to depression.
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. https://abolishthedea.com/four_reasons_why_addiction_is_a_political_term.php
Materialist scientists cannot triumph over addiction because their reductive focus blinds them to the obvious: namely, that drugs which cheer us up ACTUALLY DO cheer us up. Hence they keep looking for REAL cures while folks kill themselves for want of laughing gas and MDMA.
It's "convenient" for scientists that their "REAL" cures happen to be the ones that racist politicians will allow. Scientists thus normalize prohibition by pretending that outlawed substances have no therapeutic value. It's materialism collaborating with the drug war.
In the Atomic Age Declassified, they tell us that we needed hundreds of thermonuclear tests so that scientists could understand the effects. That's science gone mad. Just like today's scientists who need more tests before they can say that laughing gas will help the depressed. Science today is all about ignoring the obvious. And THAT's why scientists are drug war collaborators, because they're not about to sign off on the use of substances until they've studied them "up the wazoo." Using grants from an agency whose very name indicates their anti-drug bias: namely, the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
PHILOSOPHY AND THE DRUG WAR

The American Philosophy Association should make itself useful and release a statement saying that the drug war is based on fallacious reasoning, namely, the idea that substances can be bad in themselves, without regard for why, when, where and/or how they are used.
For those who want to understand what's going on with the drug war from a philosophical point of view, I strongly recommend chapter six of "Eugenics and Other Evils" by GK Chesterton.
If any master's candidates are looking for a thesis topic, consider the following: "The Drug War versus Religion: how the policy of substance prohibition outlaws the attainment of spiritual states described by William James in 'The Varieties of Religious Experience.'"

essays about
LAUGHING GAS

Listening to Laughing Gas
Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
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
How the Drug War is Threatening Intellectual Freedom in England
Why the FDA should not schedule Laughing Gas
How AI turned William James into a Drug Warrior

essays about
MATERIALISM AND THE DRUG WAR

How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Obama's Unscientific BRAIN Initiative
Materialism and the Drug War Part II
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
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

essays about
PHILOSOPHY AND THE DRUG WAR

The Drug War as a Litmus Test for Philosophical Wisdom
The Philosophical Idiocy of the Drug War
The Philosophy of Drug Use
The Philosophy of Getting High
Without Philosophy, Science becomes Scientism
Materialism and the Drug War
Calling All Philosophers
Critique of the Philosophy of Happiness
Heidegger on Drugs
In Praise of Thomas Szasz
Join Philosophers Against the Drug War
Libertarians as Closet Christian Scientists
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
Rationality Uber Alles
Scientism and America's Drug War hypocrisy
Nietzsche and the Drug War
What if Arthur Schopenhauer Had Used DMT?
How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Psychedelics and Depression
Drug Use as Self-Medication
John Locke on Drugs
Puritanical Assumptions about Drug Use in the Entertainment Field
Why Kevin Sabet is Wrong
I asked 100 American philosophers what they thought about the Drug War
The Great Philosophical Problem of Our Time
What We Mean When We Say 'Drugs'



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 AbolishTheDEA.com. 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 abolishTheDEA.com. (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)