bird icon for twitter image icon of quiz

Using Ecstasy in Church

Reviving church attendance with the use of entheogens

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

February 1, 2023

t's a well-known fact that the attendance numbers at houses of worship are in decline. For the first time in 2021, the percentage of attendees dipped below 50%, from a high of 73% in 1937, when Gallup first started keeping score1. Pews are going empty. Ministers are wringing their hands. And yet nobody mentions the obvious solution to the problem, one that's been staring theists in the face for at least the last 50 years, were they not blinded by the light of the Drug War ideology of substance demonization.

It's time for churches (and dare I say mosques and synagogues as well) to start using Ecstasy (and/or similar entheogens) in their religious rituals.

In this way, church-going would become a sensual sort of full-body experience and not just a mental exercise for the tired brain of overthinking homo sapiens. Instead, the churchgoer would experience the oft-cited truths of the gospels, namely, that God is love.

Quanah Parker of the Native American Church best summed up the problem with the status quo as follows:

"The White Man goes into church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus."2

This statement should be read as a wake-up call for the hand-wringing preachers mentioned above, but unfortunately said preachers are carrying on with business as normal, apparently convinced by their drug-war indoctrination that to do otherwise would be heresy, if not against the church itself then against the reigning orthodoxies of our time.

For the Drug Warrior has taught us to associate the super-safe drug called Ecstasy with irresponsible youths, notwithstanding the fact that those "irresponsible youths" took part in the most peaceful multi-ethnic get-togethers in world history during the rave phenomena of late 20th-century Britain. You remember how that ended, right? The politicians demonized ecstasy, cracked down on the same, and the dance floor soon devolved into liquor-fueled violence3. This shows the insane priorities of the Drug War: they do not want even peace and safety if it means okaying the use of substances that help the mind think sanely about the world.

And ecstasy is far from the only entheogen whose ritual use could increase church attendance. Alexander Shulgin has synthesized literally hundreds of substances whose use safely conduces to emotional harmony and love for one's fellows.

In fighting for these new experiential religions, which I call Church 2.0, we would be doing our bit to end the hateful Drug War by insisting to the brainwashed world that drugs are not evil in and of themselves, but that they can have beneficial uses as well. This fact would have been obvious to our 18th-century forebears, but it needs to be vigorously defended in an age in which agenda-driven and bribe-taking politicians are determined to quash our right to freedom of thought and consciousness.

By creating these new religions, we will be calling the Drug Warrior's bluff: saying, in effect: "Go on, tell me that I can't practice my religion, so that the world can see the full anti-democratic ignorance of the Drug War ideology that you represent."

Not that the DEA will back down without taking every challenge to the Supreme Court if necessary. Even as I write, the DEA is denying the legitimacy of a Florida religion which seeks to use ayahuasca in its religious rituals. This is such an obvious attack on religious thinking -- one in which a government organization is second-guessing the calls of a religious group -- that one scarcely knows where to begin in protesting it.

This is why the DEA needs to be abolished, not argued with. And then its leaders should be tried for crimes against humanity, in light of the billions who have gone without godsend medicines since that organization started criminalizing and lying about drugs in its politics-based scheduling system in 1973.


1 Swartzwelder, Scott, Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy, W.W. Norton, New York, 1998 (up)
2 Watts, Alan, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness, Vintage, New York, 1965 (up)
3 Friedman, Milton, Wall Street Journal, WSJ, New York, 1989 (up)

Next essay: Drug War? What Drug War?
Previous essay: Drug Warriors Anonymous

More Essays Here


"My faith votes and strives to outlaw religions that use substances of which politicians disapprove."
The DEA conceives of "drugs" as only justifiable in some time-honored ritual format, but since when are bureaucrats experts on religion? I believe, with the Vedic people and William James, in the importance of altered states. To outlaw such states is to outlaw my religion.
The Holy Trinity of the Drug War religion is Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and John Belushi. "They died so that you might fear psychoactive substances with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
Today's war against drug users is like Elizabeth I's war against Catholics. Both are religious crackdowns. For today's oppressors, the true faith (i.e., the moral way to live) is according to the drug-hating religion of Christian Science.
The Drug War is a religion. The "addict" is a sinner who has to come home to the true faith of Christian Science. In reality, neither physical nor psychological addiction need be a problem if all drugs were legal and we used them creatively to counter problematic use.
This is a "prima facie" truth, based on the already established power of drug-aided sleep cures combined with the drug-aided ministrations of a pharmacologically savvy empath, especially in a world in which we spend billions on achieving this goal, rather than on arresting users.
Unfortunately, the prohibitionist motto is: "Billions for arrest, not one cent for education." To the contrary, drug warriors are ideologically committed to withholding the truth about drugs from users.
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

How the Drug War Banned my Religion
Hey, You, Get Off Of My Creed!
Modern Addiction Treatment as Puritan Indoctrination
What Terence McKenna Got Wrong About Drugs
Drug War Ideology:
the modern superstition

So, Your Faith Votes?
How the Drug War is the Establishment of Christian Science as the State Religion
Addicted to Christianity
Drug War U.
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
The Drug War as a Litmus Test for Philosophical Wisdom

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, Using Ecstasy in Church: Reviving church attendance with the use of entheogens, published on February 1, 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)