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The Mother of all Western Biases

an open letter to Science News

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

July 7, 2022

In response to: "The idea that many people grow following trauma may be a myth" by Sujata Gupta.

Once again, Science News reckons without the Drug War. Ms. Gupta does not even mention MDMA, which has delivered fabulous results for PTSD sufferers over the last 35 years - albeit only in trials, since the self-serving DEA decided against the advice of its own counsel to criminalize the ultra-safe substance in 1985. Meanwhile, there is plenty of prima facie evidence that psychoactive botanicals could work wonders for PTSD patients in the proper settings. Some of these substances have inspired entire religions after all and given Plato his visions of an afterlife, but the Drug War either criminalizes such research or stigmatizes it such that little or no funding can be found for pursuing these tantalizing new approaches.

One can hardly blame the writer, however, since the experts that she interviews are also in denial about the way that the Drug War has limited their research on PTSD, as if they were approaching the problem from a natural baseline when nothing could be further from the truth; rather, they are approaching the problem in a country in which drug-war proscriptions have become so internalized that scientists do not even realize that they are censoring themselves. And how are they censoring themselves? By completely ignoring the role that psychoactive medicine could play in changing the prognosis for conditions like PTSD. This self-censorship on the part of scientists is the mother of all "western biases" and yet it is apparently invisible to psychologists like Iara Meili and Andreas Maercker, who are otherwise so sensitive to the mere theoretical possibility of culturally-based presumption.

And they're not the only scientists in this article who have been bamboozled by the Drug War. Psychologist Richard Tedeschi is quoted as saying: "You can't expect people to change their spiritual beliefs in eight weeks." But actually you can, if you dare to consider the use of medicine that the Drug War has gone to such great pains to demonize over the last 100+ years (since anti-Chinese politicians first effectively criminalized the poppy plant in 1914). People have changed their spiritual beliefs in less than eight weeks, and usually for the better, under the influence of properly administered psychoactive medicines like psilocybin and MDMA. (See the work of such researchers as James Fadiman, Stanislav Grof, Rick Doblin, David Nichols, DJ Nutt, Julie Holland, Charles Grob, Michael and Annie Mithoefer, and Amanda Feilding.) But Richard Tedeschi is apparently not aware of such research. And why not? Because he has ruled out the consideration of "drugs" a priori in fealty to the Christian Science metaphysic of the Drug War.

There is yet a third psychologist whose comments only make sense in the age of the Drug War, namely psychologist Eranda Jayawickreme, who helps conclude Gupta's article by telling us:

"The most compassionate response to suffering is to validate survivors' feelings."

This is just plain wrong. The most compassionate response, at least to PTSD suffering, is to end the war on drugs and call for the immediate legalization of godsend medicines like psilocybin and MDMA.

PTSD sufferers want help, not kind words.

Moral: the Drug War is impeding scientific progress, and Science News should not be writing articles that imply that such a war does not even exist.

Next essay: Drug Testing and the Christian Science Inquisition
Previous essay: The Invisible Mass Shootings

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You have been reading an article entitled, The Mother of all Western Biases: an open letter to Science News, published on July 7, 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)