bird icon for twitter

Too Honest to Be Popular?

Why people hate me

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

April 22, 2024

y follower count keeps bouncing up and down like a heartbeat on an EKG machine attached to Charles Atlas in his glory days. The overall trend is up, thank goodness, but it's been a long and winding road to the dizzying heights of my (ahem) 1,000+ followers. [wait for applause] Of course, such numbers mean nothing, insofar as the lion's share of my followers may be serial killers for all I know (present company excepted, of course) - or more likely still, trolls and bots, and/or sworn enemies of mine who are keeping an eye on their nemesis with a view toward hoisting him by his own petard at the first possible occasion. ("Did he cite a problematic statistic in one of this hundreds of essays? Time to pounce!") But what to make of all this coming and going? Whence this fleeting fame? How am I so quickly turning everybody off after turning them on?

My guess is that I have blasphemed the modern God of Science. For even some of the most vocal enemies of the Drug War firmly believe that science has things "sorted" when it comes to fighting depression and anxiety, etc., and that "drugs" are only for recreational and/or spiritual purposes at best, but not for psychological conditions, which, so we're told, are susceptible to the one-size-fits-all cures of modern materialism: i.e., to blessed MEDS! Even Charles Hart1, author of "Drug Use for Grownups," toes that line, as does Rick Doblin2 and DJ Nutt3.

They all believe, tacitly or otherwise, that the only drugs that are legal today for the depressed (out of the thousands imaginable) just happen to be the ones that work. Of course, they have not been on the receiving end of those treatments for 40 years like myself, finding that they are depressed as ever, and now ineligible for psychedelic therapy thanks to serotonin syndrome. They are not, like my relative, living their life in a bedroom and faithfully switching from SSRI to SSRI, desperately convinced by their blind faith in science alone that there is a Big Pharma drug out there (or some miracle combination of those drugs) that is made just for them: one of these years they'll be sure to find it! (Meanwhile the clock of life keeps ticking, one missed opportunity at a time.)

Wake up, folks. Laughing gas or MDMA would get these people out of their bedrooms in double-time and into the real world, ready to start anew. A puff on an opium pipe would do the same, followed by a moderate dose of cocaine tomorrow morning, then by the guided use of salvia divinorum and then huachuma cactus, on the third and fourth days respectively of this common sense protocol. But scientists are blind to common sense in the age of the materialist Drug War. That's why Dr. Robert Glatter is actually unsure if laughing gas could help the depressed4, an astonishingly naïve viewpoint that only spurs on the FDA in their attempts to demonize the substance like any other "drug," notwithstanding the fact that William James5 himself told us that we must study the effects of such drugs in order to understand ultimate reality. In short, scientists WANT my relative to stay in her bedroom until such time as they COMPLETELY solve her depression with a one-size-fits-all-pill. My relative is clearly a luddite if she settles for a scientifically unacceptable cure.

I get it. I was a member of the Holy Church of Science 30 years ago. Science could solve any problem. I myself used to look down at people who scorned antidepressants as luddites - just like Jim Hogshire in "Pills a-Go-Go,"6 wherein the usually spot-on provocateur picks up the wrong end of the stick thanks to his blind faith in the ability of science, completely overlooking the goals of Big Pharma companies in flogging these highly dependence-causing pills and, worst of all, like almost all other authors these days, reckoning without the Drug War. For the question is not about antidepressants in the abstract, but the question is: do they make sense given the existence of all the criminalized alternatives available today in the real and synthetic worlds, all of which can be use far less addictively than modern antidepressants and some of which have inspired entire religions?!

Clearly not, Jim. For these miracle drugs in which you believe not only dull the brain, changing the personality unpredictably, but they ultimately render the user ineligible for godsend alternative therapies using psychedelics and entheogens. (What other drugs make it impossible to use alternative drugs, anytime, ever???) That's why SSRIs and SNRIs are an investor's wet dream: they turn the user into a patient for life, both by the fact that they cause dependence and by the fact that they render alternative drug therapies impossible thanks to contraindications such as serotonin syndrome, a generally mild side effect which, however, incentivizes clinicians, therapists and retreat managers to reject this demographic for fear of liability concerns and potential bad PR - concerns that they disguise, of course, in condescending boiler-plate blather about the potential impact on client health.

Make no mistake, however: they are concerned about their business's bottom line. For when it comes to drug use, safety comes first, unlike in any other risky activity on the globe. Horseback riding is the number-one cause of traumatic brain injury in the States, but equestrians unapologetically teach even kids to ride a horse. Why? Because we value freedom and personal growth - things that we put on the back shelf when the activity is drug use.

Of course, westerners have been taught from grade school to fear drugs, so they can see nothing but chaos resulting from their relegalization in America, or anywhere around the globe for that matter, since Americans are imperialists when it comes to drugs: for them to be drug free, they believe that the entire world has to follow suit: in other words, it's Christian Science uber alles: Mary Baker Eddy's way or the highway. But the problem has never been drugs, but rather our attitude toward drugs. And what is our attitude toward drugs? America's "philosophy of drug use" (to the extent that a hodgepodge of hateful biases merits such a lofty designation) is completely illogical and riddled with hypocrisy. If you want to see a rational attitude toward drugs, read up on the Cosmovision of the Andes. It is an entire humble philosophy of life, not just of drugs, whereas America's hatred of drugs is based on a variety of unexamined and false assumptions that recognize no guiding principles whatsoever, except insofar as the haphazard invocation of such tenets proves fortuitous in justifying a particular anti-drug law or action.

Do Caucasian Americans want to use peyote? No problem. The court can just manufacture a new principle out of whole cloth: that the right to practice a given religion is determined by your genetic makeup! Your genetic makeup! These are the kinds of outrageous ad hoc rulings that come about when you wage a Drug War based on nothing but expediency and the end result: you trash the American Constitution, in fact, which is how the 4th Amendment to the Constitution has already been de facto nullified by the war on drugs.

We've got to end this infantile idea that substances can be evil in themselves. That attitude has negative consequences for which the Drug Warrior is never honest enough to take credit: violence, cartels, the militarization of police forces, the overriding of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, the election of despots like Donald Trump thanks to the sidelining of millions of minority voters, etc. etc.

And as if killing off democracy is not a big enough crime for the Drug Warrior, their substance demonization campaign has turned addiction treatment into a billion-dollar industry - one which works for everybody but the addict, whom we could easily cure if we stopped insisting that drugs and drug use are the root of all evil.

For answers to addictions are not hard to find. There are many common sense solutions that use drugs to fight drugs, protocols that rely on the value of anticipation, inspiration and motivation. But these are all touchy-feely subjects in the eyes of today's reductive materialist. ("What is this inspiration of which you speak? It does not show up on any of my charts?") Besides, America's Christian Science weltanschuung still makes it impossible for us to think of drugs as anything but a snare. That's why we've invented the word "meds," so that we can deceive ourselves into thinking that Big Pharma pills are somehow qualitatively different from all other psychoactive substances and so can be considered inoffensive, nay, positively meritorious.

But we are just fooling ourselves and, alas, the entire gullible world. Drugs are not the problem: the childish American mindset is the problem, one that refuses to see the blessings of Mother Nature as blessings. Until we stop our prehistoric demonization of inanimate objects, we ourselves are to blame for all the downsides that we so conveniently blame on "drugs," including the much-ballyhooed addiction problem, which is just a natural result of substance prohibition. Nor do we have an excuse. We all know that liquor prohibition created the Mafia as we know it today. To pretend that today's substance prohibition causes no problems is to play dumb in an inexcusable attempt to shift blame for social problems onto the backs of the poor and disenfranchised, by turning them into criminals and removing them from public life.

Uh-oh. My follower count just dropped to 998! See what I mean? One does not attack the prevailing religion without consequences. But who cares, right? They were probably just a couple of axe murderers anyway.

Author's Follow-up: April 22, 2024

picture of clock metaphorically suggesting a follow-up

You can hardly blame them. I mean, my short-lived followers should obviously not kill people with axes. But if they're currently using SSRIs and are optimistic about their results, I am the last person that they will want to be reading. And if they're psychiatrists who has been prescribing such drugs for decades, they certainly do not want to hear my message. But I am not running for political office, I am simply stating what for me is the hard-earned truth, without attempting to judge past actions, the more so in that I myself was a cheerleader for "Science uber alles" in my youth.


1 Hart, Carl, Drug Use for Grownups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear, (up)
2 Doblin, Rick, Maps founder Rick Doblin, (up)
3 Nutt, DJ, Drug Science, (up)
4 Can Laughing Gas Help People with Treatment Resistant Depression?, Forbes Magazine, 2021 (up)
5 James, William, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Philosophical Library, New York, 1902 (up)
6 Hogshire, Jim, Pills-a-go-go : a fiendish investigation into pill marketing, art, history and consumption, 1999 (up)

Next essay: The common sense way to get off of antidepressants
Previous essay: Replacing antidepressants with entheogens

More Essays Here

Addiction Tweets

ME: "What are you gonna give me for my depression, doc? MDMA? Laughing gas? Occasional opium smoking? Chewing of the coca leaf?" DOC: "No, I thought we'd fry your brain with shock therapy instead."
Until we get rid of all these obstacles to safe and informed use, it's presumptuous to explain problematic drug use with theories about addiction. Drug warriors are rigging the deck in favor of problematic use. They refuse to even TEACH non-problematic use.
Until we legalize ALL psychoactive drugs, there will be no such thing as an addiction expert. In the meantime, it's insulting to be told by neuroscience that I'm an addictive type. It's pathologizing my just indignation at psychiatry's niggardly pharmacopoeia.
We don't need people to get "clean." We need people to start living a fulfilling life. The two things are different.
Chesterton might as well have been speaking about the word 'addiction' when he wrote the following: "It is useless to have exact figures if they are exact figures about an inexact phrase."
The government causes problems for those who are habituated to certain drugs. Then they claim that these problems are symptoms of an illness. Then folks like Gabriel Mate come forth to find the "hidden pain" in "addicts." It's one big morality play created by drug laws.
Chesterton wrote that, once you begin outlawing things on grounds of health, you open a Pandora's box. This is because health is not a quality, it's a balance. To decide legality based on 'health' grounds thus opens a Pandora's box of different points of view.
Using the billions now spent on caging users, we could end the whole phenomena of both physical and psychological addiction by using "drugs to fight drugs." But drug warriors do not want to end addiction, they want to keep using it as an excuse to ban drugs.
Jim Hogshire described sleep cures that make physical withdrawal from opium close to pain-free. As for "psychological addiction," there are hundreds of elating drugs that could be used to keep the ex-user's mind from morbidly focusing on a drug whose use has become problematic.
And this is before we even start spending those billions on research that are currently going toward arresting minorities.
When doctors try to treat addiction without using any godsend medicines, they are at best Christian Scientists and at worst quacks. They are like the doctors in Moliere's "M
As Moliere demonstrated in the hilarious finale, anyone can be THAT kind of doctor by mastering a little Latin and walking around pompously in the proper uniform.
Like the pompous white-coated doctor in the movie "Four Good Days" who ignores the entire formulary of mother nature and instead throws the young heroin user on a cot for 3 days of cold turkey and a shot of Naltrexone: price tag $3,000.

William James Tweets

William James knew that there were substances that could elate. However, it never occurred to him that we should use such substances to prevent suicide. It seems James was blinded to this possibility by his puritanical assumptions.
So he writes about the mindset of the deeply depressed, reifying the condition as if it were some great "type" inevitably to be encountered in humanity. No. It's the "type" to be found in a post-Christian society that has turned up its scientific nose at psychoactive medicine.

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, Too Honest to Be Popular?: Why people hate me, published on April 22, 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)