Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Chemical Religion: The Truth About Drugs and Teens.
Turkel, Peter. (1969).
Glen Rock, NJ: Paulist Press Deus Books.
Description: hardcover, vi + 118 pages.
Contents: introduction, 12 unnumbered chapters.
Excerpt(s): It is a national disgrace that in this day and age an ever
growing number of promising lives are being shattered in head-on
collisions with chemicals. And as more and more young people seek to
disentangle themselves from the wreckage of their youth, their pitiful
pleas But I didn't know and I didn't think are being heard with
Read! Think! Decide for yourself!
Here are the facts. (page 2)
Leary's cultists draw inspiration from all religions and attempt
to expand it chemically. However, his critics charge he is given undue
respect as a man of the cloth. Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders
almost universally damn the claims of the high priest of acidheads.
Rev. Anthony Bosko, vice-chancellor of the Pittsburgh Catholic
diocese, states flatly: I don't believe in religious aphrodisiacs. If I
am to love God, I must love him with my whole conscious heart.
According to Dr. Robert Bruce Pierce of the First Methodist Church
in Chicago, Leary's religion is no different than erotic rites where
ancient men built religion around emotional and sensual experiences
that were largely sexual.
The Rev. Henry V. Malcolm, Presbyterian minister at Columbia
University, New York, thinks that it is reasonably accurate to
characterize Leary's faith as a religion inasmuch as the person on a
trip is recapturing his history in the same way religion does with
symbolism, like communion a primitive act of cannibalism. He adds,
however, that LSD is simply another form of esthetization, not an
answer, to the problems of social change.
Rabbi Joseph S. Shubow of Temple B'nai Moshe, Boston, bluntly
asserts: This is a satanic, terrifying and tormenting temptation to man
to look into worlds that may destroy his own world.
David Graubart of Chicago, the presiding rabbi of the
ecclesiastical court of the Chicago Rabbinical Assembly, comments: We
feel that the hallucinatory approach is non-intellectual and non-
Chicago theologian Martin E. Marty refuses to put down the
thousands of hippies who follow the teachings of Leary and others as
creative misfits. He sees them as spiritually motivated crusaders
striking out at society's lack of a soul.
The hippies' Christian message of love for all, a message
characterized by their irreverence for the established norms of society,
went out from the East Village in New York and San Francisco's Haight-
Ashbury district to campuses and school grounds across the country.
The price of a marijuana ciragette varies with the distance from the
source of supply. In California, the land of plentiful pot, puggy
"joints" can be purchased for as little as 25 cents each, while New
Yorkers have to pay five dollars for three anemic "sticks." Those who
can raise the price chip in as much as $200 for pound lots. The price
rises and falls depending not only on the crop, quality and distance but
also on police pressure. (page 79)
A Final Warning
Peyote, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT and STP are but a few of the
dozens of hallucogenic drugs available in this country. LSD, marijuana
and glue get top billing in the psychedelic world, but an industrious
person who is eager to twist his mind out of whack can find just the
tidbit to do the trick.
A dabbler in mind-warping drugs is begging for the life of a
vegetable. Many find it. Visit them in psychiatric wards. You'll never
be tempted again. (page 118)
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