Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream.
Stevens, Jay. (1987).
New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press.
Description: First edition,
xviii + 396 pages.
Contents: Prologue, 26
chapters divided into 3 books: I. The Door
in the Wall, 2. Pushing the Envelope,
III. The Pure Void, epilogue, acknowledgments,
chapter notes, bibliography.
Excerpt(s): Huxley preferred
a kind of quiet diplomacy that would spread the word "in
the relative privacy of learned journals, the decent obscurity
of moderately highbrow books"; American TV, with its audience
of "Baptists, Methodists and nothing-but-men plus an immense
lunatic fringe," should be avoided at all costs. But decent
obscurity was not [Al Hubbard's] forte. He seemed determined to
sell LSD as a specifically Catholic nostrum. "Would it not
be best to let Hubbard go his own way within
the Church?" Huxley wrote to Osmond. "It is evidently
there that he feels increasingly at home. It is evident, too,
that his loyalty to the Church makes him increasingly anxious
to use LSD-25 as an instrument for validating Catholic doctrines
and for giving new life to Catholic symbols." But the irritation
lasted only until their next dinner, when Hubbard again charmed
Huxley with his geniality and vigor. "Please
ignore what I wrote in my last letter about him," he told
Osmond, adding, "I still have doubts
about the general validity of his methods."
But Hubbard's methods generally worked, and late
in 1957 his campaign within Vancouver's Catholic hierarchy won
a rather astounding victory in the form of a notice issued by
the Cathedral of the Holy Rosary, which read in part:
We are aware of man's fallibility and will be protected
in our studies by that understanding and recognition of the First
Cause of all created things that govern them. We therefore approach
the study of these psychodelics and their influence on the mind
of man anxious to discover whatever attributes they possess respectfully
evaluating their proper place in the Divine Economy. We humbly
ask our Heavenly Mother the Virgin, help of all who
call upon her to know and understand the true qualities of these
psychodelics, the full capacities of man's noblest faculties and
according to God's laws to use them for the benefit of mankind
here and in eternity.
Today the Catholic hierarchy of western Canada,
tomorrow the first psychedelic corporation-Al's aspirations certainly
weren't modest. But in this case the one precluded the other.
Although Myron Stolaroff had laid the
groundwork perfectly, persuading Ampex's new general manage to
overlook Al's flaws and give LSD a chance, the result was disastrous.
The general manager was Jewish. The last thing he wanted to do
was look at pictures of Jesus Christ, but that's what Hubbard
kept waving at him. (pages 71-72)
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Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP