Religious cannabis case updates. Affidavits from My case against the Federal government and the Crown’s case against the G13

Here are affidavits in my case against the Government of Canada regarding their rejection of my request for a religious exemption to grow and possess cannabis, as well as some of the Crown’s affidavit’s against the Church of the Universe Mission G13, including the crown’s expert witness a Catholic Priest who calls the Church of the Universe a “parody” religion. Both, myself and Prof. Carl Ruck will be acting as expert witnesses for the defense.

Affidavits filed in my case against the Crown
My affidavit
My lawyer Kirk Tousaw’s letter of request to Health Minister Leona Aglukaaq
Affidavits from Expert witnesses
Crown’s affidavits and
– Affidavit of Jocelyn Kula
– Exhibit B former Health Minister Tony Clement’s rejection of a religious exemption request from Brother Walter and Brother Michael
– Ontario Superior Court decision Her Majesty the queen vs. Michael Baldasaro and Walter Tucker, april 25th, 2008,%20april%2025th,%202008.pdf
– Letter from the office of the Health Minister rejecting my request.

Affidavits filed by the Crown and other documentation in the G13 case (I am slated to appear as an expert witness in this case April 13th, 2010, in Ontario)
Affidavit of Crown expert witness Catholic Priest Roland Jacques
Affidavit of Crown expert witness Professors, Dr. Katherine Young’s and Dr. Paul Nathanson
Appendix A 10 Characteristic Features of Religion
Appendix B Peyote Religion


These are just some talking points in regards to the Crown’s reasoning on my exemption request denial”

Paragraph 4, 5,6
And exemption shave been made in regards to this for medical purposes. Precedents set in Jehovah witness’s and other religious medical cases [?] indicate exceptions for medical methods in regards to religious faith, have been put forth in some cases. We are asking for something similar to these decisions
Paragraph 22
“Society’s collective disapproval”
That is just no longer true according to the most reliable polls
Paragraph 24
It is stated in Mr. Bennett’s affidavit that the cannabis produced and grown will be for personal use.
But, philosophically, is the Church’s supplying of the Church sacrament by donation any different than the Catholic church’s use of wine as a Eucharist and accepting of donations? As with medical users, spiritual users of cannabis need to have access to their sacrament.
Paragraph 25
Cannabis has clearly been defined as the source of spiritual insight by Mr. Bennett, who referred to a life changing experience under its effects. [see paragraph 6 and 15 of Mr. Bennett’s affidavit]In this regard, one has to question whether the Minister or Crown’s counsel looked at the 3 books that Mr. Bennett has written defining the historical role of the religious use of cannabis. By definition of both his affidavit and his books, cannabis is the most holy of religious sacraments, the “Tree of Life” a means of communion, a source of spiritual knowledge, and a gift from God.
The Crowns use of R. vs. Baldasaro & Tucker , Exhibit C, should be disqualified as evidence in my case as it states that “although he harbours a sincere belief that cannabis marijuana is a sacrament of his church and its use confers significant medical benefits on the user, this is not a case about simple possession or use – it is about trafficking.” Page 423
My request is clearly designated for personal use, not distribution, thus is judgment is irrelevant in regards to my request.

Here is my “working response” to Professors, Dr. Katherine Young’s and Dr. Paul Nathanson’s “10 characteristics of a religion”, submitted as an affidavit against the Church of the Universe, this is not a court document, just some talking points I sent to the lawyers after I received a copy of the affidavits.

Professors, Dr. Katherine Young’s and Dr. Paul Nathanson’s “10 characteristics of a religion”.

As submitted as an affidavit by the Crown against the COU

1. They presuppose either supernatural dimensions or ultimate experience (or both) that transcends but also transforms everyday life.
2. Religious worldviews help people live with fundamental paradoxes of the human condition and respond to the existential questions which emerge from it.
3. Religious worldviews rely on symbol systems that give conference to both personal and communal life; apart from anything else, religion provides the symbolic glue that hold communities together.
4. Religious world views presuppose sacred time (as distinct from profane-not secular-time) and sacred space (as distinct from profane—not secular space).
5. Religious world views find primary expression in forms such as myth, hagiography, ritual and so on.
6. New Agers acknowledge some secondary features of religion, such as theology, philosophy, morality, law, the arts, commerce and so on.
7. New Agers refer often to “holism”, which connotes comprehensiveness. Because these movements have few secondary features, however, the word “comprehensive” is somewhat arbitrary:
8. New Age Groups often emerge to induce intense experience, but these individual groups tend to be both amorphous and ephemeral
9. New Agers adopt either pragmatic or individualistic attitudes to authority:
10. New Age Groups have not yet endured for a long time.

The responses

Regarding the co called ten characteristics of religion (which due to it being a definition contrived by Young and Nathanson, and not a standard definition, we shouldn’t even have to work with) I would respond with

1. They presuppose either supernatural dimensions or ultimate experience (or both) that transcends but also transforms everyday life.

We enforce no belief in a supernatural dimension, but we do claim a ultimate experience via the cannabis high which heightens the access to the “still small voice within”. It is this “still small voice within” which reveals to our members that cannabis is the tree of Life. When I had my own experience of this in 1990 it was the most transformative experience I ever had, and it changed me forever. Like many of the Church members it was after that experience that I became an activist for the Tree of Life Revelation and started promoting its many fruits, i.e, the industrial, medicinal and spiritual use of cannabis. Like many members of the Church before this “transformation” I was watching the world around me and fretting over its many problems, after that, I knew I has an answer to many of those problems and began actively taking part in the world promoting that despite the threat of persecution. How many of the other religions in Canada practice their faith despite the harshest of persecutions? That is alone is evidence of the power of transformation in the Tree of Life, we walk with that staff righteousness and fear no evil.

Scriptural reference to this would be the account of Moses using the keneh bosem (cannabis) infused Holy anointing oil in the tent of the meeting, covering his body with it, and pouring it over the altar of incense and speaking to the Lord in the pillar of smoke over the incense altar. This occurs in other Old Testament and New Testament texts as well as other accounts:

The Spirit of Yahweh God is upon me,
because Yahweh has anointed me
to bring good tidings to the afflicted;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison
to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn…
(Isaiah 61:1-2)

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” 1 John 2:20
“…the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.”(1 John 2:27).

The apocryphal book, The Acts of Thomas, refers to the ointment’s entheogenic effects as being specifically derived from a certain plant:

Holy oil, given us for sanctification, hidden mystery in which the cross was shown us, you are the unfolder of the hidden parts. You are the humiliator of stubborn deeds. You are the one who shows the hidden treasures. You are the plant of kindness. Let your power come by this [unction].

Such use can be found in other cultures as well:

“An Assyrian medical tablet from the Louvre collection (AO 7760)(Labat, 1950)(3,10,16) was transliterated as follows., ‘ana min sammastabbariru sama-zal-la samtar-mus.'[1] Translating the French [EBR], we obtain, ‘So that god of man and man should be in good rapport: – with hellebore, cannabis and lupine you will rub him'” (Russo 2005).

This is also the case in Zoroastrian accounts where bhanga “hemp”, referred to as mang in Pahlavi texts is used to open the “eye of the soul”:

To enlighten Vishtasp (and teach him)… and that he would attain a high post, permanent power, riches and food, Ohrmazd the Creator sent at the same time to the house of Vishtasp the yazat [a lesser divine being]Neryosang with a message urging… Arthavist to give to drink to Vishtasp the lightened drink that would grant the eye of whomever took it a glimpse at the spiritual world. And speak to Arthavist: ‘Lord Arthavist! Take the nice plate, the nicest of all that have been made. to take, from us, Hom [Haoma] and mang. (Denkird 7.4.84-86)

Gherardo Gnoli recorded: “bang was. an ingredient of the ‘illuminating drink’ (r?šngar xwarišn) that allowed Wišt?sp to see the ‘great xwarrah’ and the ‘great mystery.’ This mang ? wišt?sp?n (Pahlavi Vd. 15.14.) was mixed with h?m (D?nkard 7.4.85) or wine (Pahlavi Rivayat 47.27). It was an integral part of the ecstatic practice aimed at opening the ‘eye of the soul’ (gy?n ?ašm..)” (Gnoli, 1979). As Widengren explained:

Hemp and wine or hemp and haoma were mixed in the cup that was passed to Vistaspa….. it is said that Neryosang was sent forth to let Vistaspa drink ‘the eye of the soul’ with the view up above to the forms of existence of the heavenly beings, the illuminating potion thanks to which Vistaspa saw the great lucky splendour and mystery’. The typical expression gyan casm, ‘eye of the soul’, causes problems here. One could be tempted to replace this expression with ‘source of life’, and this in actual fact is how it was translated, which in a pure formal philological sense is completely possible. However the expression can be explained via two points in the Denkart, where, in regards to the enlightenment, it is stated that it is of two types: on the one hand it consists of a view with the eye of the body, tan casm, on the other hand it is a view with the eye of the soul, gyan casm, which is defined as ‘the opening of the eye of the soul to obtain knowledge’.’The eye of the soul’ means introspection. The visionary sight is conveyed to Kavi Vistaspa using a haoma potion mixed with hemp. With this his soul can repair to Garodman, [Paradise] to view the heavenly existence. (Widengren, 1965)[2]

As the Indian Hemp Drug Commission recorded in 1894:
The students of the scriptures at Benares are given bhang before they sit to study. At Benares, Ujjain, the other holy places, the yogis, bairagis, and sanyasis take deep draughts of bhang that they may center there thoughts on the Eternal.

The Hindu poet of Shiva, the Great Spirit that living in bhang passes into the drinker, sings of bhang as the clearer of ignorance, the giver of knowledge. No gem or jewel can touch in value bhang taken truly and reverently. He who drinks bhang drinks Shiva. The soul in whom the spirit of bhang finds a home glides into the ocean of Being freed from the weary round of matter-blinded self.

In a medieval dissertation on Hashish, the Sufi al-Badri referred to an elaborate hashish eating ritual attributed to a Shaykh Qalandar, which gives us some idea as to the piety and intent of the medieval mystics that were using the drug, as well as the transformative experience it provided:

“You must know that it behoves the intelligent, educated, virtuous, and sophisticated individual, who wishes to use this drug which has the advantage over wine of being lawful, to cleanse his body of impurity and his garments of stains and adorn himself with the acquisition of the virtues and to discard the commission of the vices. He must ask for it someone who knows its secret and disapproves of keeping it concealed, and eat it in his place and not partake of it in the company of non-users. He must hold it in his right, not in his left, and say:

“In the name of God, the Lord of the last world and the first, who brought forth the pasturage (qur’an 87: 4/4), created and then formed (87: 2/2), provided and gave, destined and guided (87: 3/3), and taught the secret and disclosed (it). May God pray for Muhammad, the prophet of right guidance, and his companions, the leader in piety! (I know) that you have deposited wisdom in Your creatures and created usefulness in the things You have made. You have shown their specific properties to those with whom You are pleased, and revealed their secrets to those whom You have chosen. You have managed this plant with Your wisdom, brought it forth with Your power, and made it a nourishment for many of Your creatures by Your decision, volition, power, and will. Thus I am asking you by Your generosity that encompasses the elite and the common people, to let me succeed in using it in obedience to You and with avoidance of any disobedience to You, that you remove from me desires with their hindrances, the doubts with their consequences, and the troubles with their disturbances, that You let me see the existent things that really are, and that you provide me with the benefits and ward off from me its harmful results, You who has the power over everything and sees every situation!”

“He then puts it into his mouth, grinds. it very strongly (with his teeth), drinks (something to go) with it, moves his jaws, and sends it down into his guts. Then he praises God for his kindness. He cleanses his mouth of its remnants, washes his face, and raises his voice in song. for the Creator of beauty, for (beauty) provokes hashish intoxication. and rest. He rubs antimony on his teeth so that coarser souls. will not notice what is the matter with him, and he braids the hair of his beard. Cheerfulness (?) does not leave his mind, and he is restful (?) in the way he walks and in his commands and prohibitions. He uses the most delicate food and the noblest of sweet speech. He gazes at beautiful faces and sits in the most pleasant of places. He stays near where water is murmuring, and keeps company with experienced friends. He turns to reflecting about the cause and the thing caused, about doer and thing done, about event and result, about speaker and thing spoken, and about agent in sweetness (?) and the thing caused by action. In this condition, (enough) of the eternal knowledge of God and His universal grace emanates upon him to let him perceive the views and their meanings and to show him the things with their contents. He notices the heart with the eyes and controls the eyes with the hearts. He seperates from his idea of humanity and joins with the idea of divinity. The name of which the poor are known. becomes lawful for him in reality, and he reaches the degree of divine success. (al-Badri, 1463)[3]

According to legend, hashish was first introduced to the Sufis by the Persian Isma’ili Shayk Haydar (1155-1221). As Haydar himself is said to have said of this Sufi sacrament “God has granted you the privilege of knowing the secret of these leaves. Thus when you eat it, your dense worries may disappear and your exalted minds may become polished.”

I could elaborate much more on this but these few examples suffice to make my point, and they clearly provide are cross-cultural evidence in support of the Church of the Universe’s claims of transformational experiences from cannabis.

2. Religious worldviews help people live with fundamental paradoxes of the human condition and respond to the existential questions which emerge from it.

Well first of all, I would suggest that Young’s own description of this dichotomy is more wrapped up in her own struggle to define sexuality and particularly feminism via religious doctrine, as in her book, Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young, eds., “Women’s Perspective on World Religions” (contract with Westview Press, division of Harper Collins)

The Church of the Universe see’s man and woman as equals, who can hold equal roles. We use are herb and discuss this topic, and each member can express their own views on it. We are a living Gnostic tradition, not a dogmatic dead one where such definitions are carved into stone like the ten commandments. Historically, we know that many Gnostic sects, wit whom the COU identifies, gave equal status to both men and women, a fact strengthened by their association with Mary, and that the church founded through Peter, many of the Apostles and later Paul, consigned the female to a place of subservience[4].

How about the dichotomy of existence on a planet in environmental peril as an example? This dichotomy is expressed in the Biblical view by man’s dominion over nature, and this world view has resulted in the devastation of many of our natural resources and extinctions of whole species. This dichotomy is answered in our view, by the healing powers of industrial hemp and the environmentally friendly products that it can provide.

We would say of our Tree of Life:

When we were naked–with the fibers of her stalk, hemp clothed us.
When we were hungry–with the protein and essential fatty acid rich oils of her seeds, hemp fed us.
When we wanted to record our thoughts and share them with others–Hemp offered us the paper to do it with.
When we wanted to see the world–hemp offered us the sails and ropes for the ships as well as the caulking for the boats that made it possible.
When we were dying of AIDS, vomiting from chemotherapy, going blind from glaucoma, shaking from epilepsy–hemp offered us a natural medicine that eased our pain or treated are maladies.
And when we sought a means of communion– the joint was passed and the sacred circle reformed.
Truly, the Tree of Life is not about death, I personally hold no belief in a heavenly after life. The Tree of Life is about life here on earth and that experience. I do hold that there is a collective aspect to human consciousness that is eternal, and that cannabis aids in directing ones consciousness to that source, and that source likes cannabis.

A 19th century Persian scholar, Edward G. Browne noted in A Chapter from the History of Cannabis Indica,[5]

“…Cannabis Indica… appears to have been known in Persia in very early times, as students of the ancient Zoroastrian scriptures assert, allusion is made to it in the Avesta… At the present day it is extensively used here… as the inspirer of the wildest pantheistic speculations, the most disordered metaphysical phantasies, and the most incredible visions and ecstasies. It is known generally as hashish – an Arabic word meaning cut grass or dried herbs, – or by its Persian name, bang. Besides these there are special preparations known by special names, such as chars, barsh, [related to barsom?]and hub-i-nishat, or “pills of delight,” of which preparations the first is smoked, the last two eaten… At present as I am informed by one of my Persian friends, the method most fashionable amongst the dervishes of Tehran is to employ the bug-i-wahadat, or “trumpet of unity.” A small piece of paper or cardboard is rolled up into the shape of a funnel, of which the smaller end of the funnel is placed in the mouth. A piece of chars, laid on the lighted end of a cigarette, is then held under the larger end of the funnel, and the smoke of the burning hemp is then inhaled. The effects of the drug are produced much more rapidly when it is smoked than when it is eaten. Subjectively it produces an extraordinary dislocation of the ideas of times, space and personality…it seems that all those present in the assembly are in reality animated by one spirit and that the barricades of personality and individuality are, in some inexplicable way, broken down. It is this sensation or illusion which is specially craved after by the dervishes, who find therein a foretaste of Nirvana, or Absorption into the Universal Spirit, which is the aim of their pantheistic mysticism to attain; and this is the “unity” alluded to in the name of the bug-i-wahadat of which I have spoken. (Browne, 1897)

The sense of ego-obliteration, or what one medieval hashish using poet saw as the “removal from existence in existence,”[6] possible with cannabis preparations, as in the case of the bug-i-wahadatin in the description above, was likened to a mortal death in medieval literature. This was also true of the use of hashish itself, which had to be sacrificed, i.e. eaten, to have an effect, “puns on the term ‘to kill’ [were]used in connection with the preparation and use of hashish. {A] play upon the ‘killing’ of hashish. is apparently the case in a verse stating that ‘the green one’ is ‘a hashishah that makes every man a hashishi (assassin) unbeknown to himself’ ” (Rosenthal, 1971).

As the 19th century Indian Hemp Drugs Commission also reported:

“To forbid or even seriously to restrict the use of so gracious an herb as hemp would cause widespread suffering and annoyance and to large bands of worshipped ascetics, deep-seated anger. It would rob the people of a solace in discomfort, of a cure in sickness, of a guardian whose gracious protection saves them from the attacks of evil influences, and whose mightly power makes the devotee of the Victorious, overcoming the demons of hunger and thirst, of panic, fear, of the glamour of Maya or matter, and of madness, able in rest to brood on the Eternal, till the Eternal, possessing him body and soul, frees him from the haunting of self and receives him into the Ocean of Being. These beliefs the Musalman devotee shares to the full. Like his Hindu brother, the Musalman fakir reveres bhang as the lengthener of life, the freer from the bonds of self. Bhang brings union with the Divine spirit. “We drank bhang and the mystery I am he grew plain. So grand a result, so tiny a sin.”

In SADHUS-INDIA’S MYSTIC HOLY MEN, Dolf Hartsuiker explains more about Shiva’s special relationship with cannabis:

“The smoking of charas [cannabis]is. regarded as a sacred act.Intoxication as a ‘respected’. method of self-realization is related to soma the nectar of the gods, which is recommended in the Vedas as a sure means of attaining divine wisdom.”

“Mythologically, charas, is intimately connected with Shiva: he smokes it, he is perpetually intoxicated by it, he is the Lord of Charas. Babas offer the smoke to him; they want to take part in his ecstasy, his higher vision of reality.” (Hartsuiker, 1993)

This cosmic union is our answer to the “fundamental paradoxes of the human condition” and our response to the “existential questions which emerge from it”, and these cross cultural examples identify that this use of cannabis has played a role in other cultures. This serves as more evidence that our religion is the true religion that goes beyond words in books, and is inspired by a divine plant sacrament, a “botanical messiah”.

3. Religious worldviews rely on symbol systems that give conference to both personal and communal life; apart from anything else, religion provides the symbolic glue that hold communities together.

The Tree of Life is a symbol in itself, (as is the 7 pointed leaf of cannabis), the Tree of Life is both a personal sacrament providing a personal experience and a communal one. The symbol of the Tree of Life is the pillar of the Church of the Universe and it is that symbol which binds us together.

The symbolism of the Tree of Life:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. 6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

The River of Life is the stream of human history, the tree of life which grows along each side of the river, is the role cannabis has played in countless religious traditions and cultures, the twelve manners of fruit, identify the many uses of hemp, (paper, fuel, fiber, food, etc.) . Yielding its fruit each month, cannabis is now harvested everyday of every month. The leaves for the healing of the nations, identifies cannabis’ spiritual and medicinal qualities, qualities that have been recognized historically by many nations.

The symbolic and communal qualities naturally inherent in the cannabis experience is exquisitely stated in the following comments taken from Marijuana: The Symbol and the Ritual, by U. Ballante of the Psychology Department of the San Francisco State College. Although written thirty years ago it seems to contain an even more relevant message for the ears of humanity in our own time:

“…The time we live in also has an effect on the current upswing of marijuana use. Does the current milieu require, and yet lack, a ceremonial activity to bring people back together; not just physically, but in such a way as to yield a real feeling of interpersonal relatedness and connectedness?

“ In his fictional work, A STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, Heinlein describes a water ritual used by the inhabitants of Mars. upon sharing water together, the people become bound eternally to one another as profound friends. They become, in effect, “soul brothers”. The contention here is that marijuana use may fulfill the need for such a ritualistic binding.

“Previously our culture did not lack ritualistic gatherings. It was not long ago that our churches still yielded mystery, meaning and vitality. It was not until recently that the church, in its attempt to hold onto its position and form, began to be widely perceived by the intellectual elite as a “…denial of life, a denial of God, a denial of the Spirit”.

“But the church was not the only source of ritualistic vitality. Competing with the church and surpassing it as a widespread source of envitalized ritual was the state. What the hour in church on Sunday no longer accomplished for the individual, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem did.

“ It is absolutely essential for the individual, no matter how intellectually oriented, to have moving experiences which relate him to other people and to a higher moral order. Ritual is one of the primary keys to this kind of experience.

“It must be realized that simply carrying out a series of common actions does not establish a state of ritual. Ritual cannot be detached from its ends. It is only when the series of actions yields a derived sense of personal interrelatedness and a sense of moral connectedness that the “pattern of action can be designated as a ritual. Should these effects cease, there is no longer ritual, there is no longer meaning.

“For many, if not most, the rituals of the church and state can no longer function as rituals. Not many are any longer profoundly moved, at least positively, by the Pledge of Allegiance of the National Anthem.

“We are in the process of building up an argument which more over perceives marijuana as an instrument of historical forces rather than as a significant entity in and of itself. If marijuana were not so readily available and ideally suited to fill the needs and void of the times, something else would have been seized upon or created. But because marijuana is a physiologically rather innocuous drug, because it’s effects are readily influenced by the environment, because it has history rich in mystery, because it exists principally outside the system, and, most of all, because it has a nature and tradition ideally suited for a highly social “happening”, marijuana has become the focal point and symbol for solving a most urgent historical crisis. This crisis is none other than man’s separation from his fellowman, and, just as disastrous, his separation from himself.

“The highly social nature of marijuana is unmistakable; one of the most striking features of the drug is that marijuana is rarely consumed alone. For a variety of reasons, but particularly because of its adaptability to a social ritual, marijuana is almost always consumed in the form of smoking. It is passed from hand to hand, making the elements of sharing and giving central and crucial to the experience.

“The setting of the situation also tends to promote a feeling of being relaxed and comfortable. A typical setting will find the people sitting on the floor in circular fashion. A refreshing gentleness tends to pervade the atmosphere. Flickering candles, the mellow and often child-like facial expressions, music–all tend to contribute to the sensation of peace.

“It is not unusual to seek out a natural environment in which to “turn on”. The beaches, parks, and woods are frequent choices. No matter what the choice of setting, the intent and preference is to seek out a place of relative peace and beauty. This choice of setting has much to do with the derived effects.

“Marijuana is also a form of social offering. To refuse it in such a situation is to turn down one of the few remaining instances where people still reach out to one another.

“The social component of ritual is more than amply satisfied by the circumstances surrounding and encompassing marijuana smoking. The direct goal of the marijuana ritual in distinction to traditional ritual, seems to be the strengthening and creation of personal ties. For example, in rituals of initiation, the direct goal of the ceremony is to pave the way for the assimilation of the adolescent into the role of the adult. Here the general bonds of the tribal members are strengthened only indirectly by virtue of participating in a common and deeply meaningful ritualistic ceremony. In contrast, the positive marijuana ritual not only receives the benefit of this indirect boost to social connectedness, but also the ritual directs the aim of the activity itself towards this principal end- the bringing of people together.

“It must be recalled that there is nothing inherent in marijuana that can make people subjectively feel closer. Granted there are certain predisposing qualities such as its peculiar history, wickedness, availability, and ambiguity of effects that make marijuana an ideal rallying ground for a social “happening”. However, one must look to the total encompassing atmosphere surrounding marijuana smoking to actually account for its generally positive social effects.

“So far we have pointed out the highly social and ceremonial aspects of marijuana smoking. Earlier we designated one additional factor that is crucial to defining a state of ritual. We mentioned that the activity must serve as a basis for linking the individual up with a higher moral order. Another way of stating the same thing is that the ceremony must serve to kindle positive and optimistic forces in the individual.

“To the extent that church ritual still survives for particular individuals, the above kind of transcending effect is obvious. In addition, it must be realized that when The State is the ritualist source, there is still this highly moral and transcending quality. However, in this situation, The State takes over the function of God. It is The State that is perceived as the source and promoter of a higher moral order. Instead of linking oneself with God, the individual links himself up with The State. Psychologically the same process is taking place. When The State is no longer viewed as morally perfect; when the shade of gray supersedes the black and white, then the influence of The State is reduced as a source of ritual.

“One way in which the total marijuana smoking environment seems to prompt a transcendental experience is by seemingly generating a state of increased aesthetic awareness. Sometimes it appears to be more than a simple kindling of increased awareness of nature and beauty. At these moments the intensity seems to become so great that one no longer senses a distinction between one self and nature. A certain continuity of experience is effected.(Ballante 1968)[7]

4) Religious world views presuppose sacred time (as distinct from profane-not secular-time) and sacred space (as distinct from profane—not secular space).

In our view the profane demonized plant cannabis, is the sacred tree of life to those with the eyes to see it. Unlike the placebo sacraments of the Catholic bread and wine, our sacrament has a notable effect, and a actual history that make identifies it as a true sacrament to numerous cultures and traditions ,not a placebo one as with the Catholic Eucharist.

In regards to time, I would suggest that concepts of time itself begin with cannabis and its sacred use.

The Pygmies say “We have smoked hemp since the beginning of time. There are great fields of hemp in the kingdom of the dead. God gave hemp to the pygmies. Hemp keeps us healthy and happy” (Hallet & Pelle, 1975). The “beginning of time” to the Pygmies, likely means; since the pygmies’ conception of time.

As well, many of the worlds Holy-days, have their origins in agricultural cycles, a deeper awareness of seasonal time may have developed alongside agriculture and the necessity of keeping track of the growing season. In his study on the botanical history of cannabis and man’s relationship with the plant, Dr. Mark Merlin put forth that “perhaps hemp was one of the original cultivated plants… [of]the progenitors of civilization” (Merlin, 1973). Merlin was not alone in this train of thought. In his THE DRAGONS OF EDEN: SPECULATIONS ON THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, the late Carl Sagan also speculated that early man may have begun the agricultural age by first planting hemp. Sagan used the pygmies from southwest Africa to demonstrate his hypothesis; the pygmies had been basically hunters and gatherers until they began planting hemp which they used for religious purposes (Sagan 1977). More recently Entheobotanist Christian Ratsch explained:

No other plant has been with humans as long as hemp. It is most certainly one of humanity’s oldest cultural objects. Wherever it was known, it was considered a functional, healing, inebriating, and aphrodisiac plant. Through the centuries, myths have arisen about this mysterious plant and its divine powers. Entire generations have revered it as sacred…. The power of hemp has been praised in hymns and prayers. (Ratsch 1997)

A common effect noticed by novice users of cannabis is a differentiation in the usual experience of time; i.e., “It seemed like an hour but it was only a minute”, or visa versa. Noticing a difference in the experience of linear time may well have played a role in the conception and formulation of the idea of time itself. Interestingly, both Father Time and the Grim Reaper hold a scythe, an ancient tool used for harvesting cannabis and whose imagery and name go back to the Scythian cult of the Dead, who used hemp for ritual ecstasy. In the ancient world, such an effect on the experience of time contributed immensely to marijuana’s reputation for containing magical properties. Cannabis time, is clearly sacred time. When we of the Church of the Universe use cannabis we are taking part in a ritual that transcends time and space, with all those who have used it before and after us. Further, the Tree of Life is a symbol of eschatological time, occurring not only at the beginning of time, as in the Eden myth, but also, importantly for the COU, at the end of time, as in the Book of Revelation and the last paragraphs of the Bible. The Tree of Life is ultimate symbol of the time of Revelation, and the River of Life which it grows along is the long history of humanity and the sacred relationship we have had with this, the most holy of plants. Our ultimate sacred place is Earth, and our ultimate sacred time, is the here and now, and how the tree of life is intertwined with that.

it could conceivably have been with a more liberal time such as our own in mind, that the texts which make up the Nag Hammadi codexes, important documents in the COU, were originally hidden from the editorial flames of the Roman Church’s canonizers. The Gnostic scriptures themselves give clear indications that the ancient initiates who hid them, believed that their rediscovery would aid those who understood their meaning in eventually overcoming the tyranny of Iladabaoth and his Authorities. As the ancient author of The Gospel of the Egyptians recorded before committing the texts to their hiding spot for long over a millennium;

“The Great Seth wrote this book with letters…[and]placed it in the mountain that is called Charaxio, in order that, at the end of the times and eras, by the will of the divine Autogenes, and the whole pleroma, through the gift of the untraceable, unthinkable, fatherly love, it may come forth and reveal this incorruptible, holy race of the great savior, and those who dwell with them in love, and the great, invisible, eternal Spirit, and his only begotten son, and the eternal light and his great, incorruptible consort, and the incorruptible Sophia, and the Barbelon, and the whole pleroma of eternity.”[8]

The tractate’s author Seth, indicates that he had the foreknowledge to do this after inhaling certain fumes: “Therefore the incense of life is in me…in order that I may live with thee in the peace of the saints, thou who existeth really truly for ever.” The reference to “the incense of life” and “the peace of the saints” is most interesting when compared to these two quotes, taken from the prophecies of Revelation: “incense… with the prayers of the saints”(Revelation 5:8; 8:3). As discussed earlier, this verse could well be a reference to cannabis incense, which had a long history concerning its prophetic powers in the area.

Interestingly, the ancient texts, although written in cryptic language, indicate that the authors may have foreseen the prohibition of their entheogenic sacraments and their future rediscovery as well. “Do you think these rulers have any power over you? None can prevail against the root of truth…..the authorities cannot approach them because of the spirit of the truth present within them; and all who have become acquainted with this way will exist deathless in the midst of dying mankind. Still this sown element will not become known now.”(The Hypostasis of the Archons). The unfortunately fragmented ancient text prophesizes that the tyranny of Iladbaoth and his followers would last “Until the moment when the true man, within a modeled form, reveals the existence of [missing words; possibly a further reference to the entheogens in light of the anointing reference that follows directly]truth, which the father has sent”:

“Then he will teach them about everything: and he will anoint them with the unction of life eternal, given him from the undominated generation. Then they will be freed of blind thought: And they will trample underfoot death, which is of the authorities: And they will ascend into the limitless light[9]..”

“Then the authorities will relinquish their ages: And their angels will weep over their destruction: And their demons will lament their death.”

“Then all the children of the light will be truly acquainted with the truth and their root, and the father of the entirety and the holy spirit: They will all say with a single voice, ‘The father’s truth is just, and the son presides over the entirety’: And from everyone unto the ages of ages, ‘Holy – holy – holy! Amen!’”(The Hypostasis of the Archons).

Considering the Apocalyptic tone of this text, it is interesting to note that many scholars believe the New Testament’s apocalyptic conclusion the Book of Revelation, is in fact a Gnostic text that somehow made its way into the official cannon. In comparison both the Gnostic apocalyptic documents not only contain references of the end times and passages that could be interpreted as indicating the ingestion of entheogens, they also make reference to the rediscovery of a certain long forbidden tree. In both cases this is one of the key issues of the ancient prophecies. The Gnostic author’s reference to “the incense of life”, certainly brings to mind the symbol of the Tree of Life, as does the above The Hypostasis of the Archon’s “unction of life”. Additionally the oldest of the Gnostic sects, the pre-Christian Ophites, refer distinctly to their anointing oil as coming from the Tree of Life itself. Further, much like the eucharistic relationship of Shiva being bhang in India, and the ancient Soma\Haoma being both a plant and a god, elsewhere in Gnostic literature we find the spirit of Christ inhabiting both the mortal Jesus, whom it entered at his anointing, and this same Tree of Life. “For the Tree of Life is Christ. He is Wisdom…the Word…the Life, the Power, and the Door. He is the Light, the Angel, and the Good Shepherd”,(Teachings of Silvanus).

The true vine, the plant of kindness, the incense of life, the unction of life, the anointing from the tree of life, the spirit of Christ as the Tree of Life, all point to evidence of a “Botanical Messiah”[10]. An identity which is given an even more descriptive portrayal at the end of the Book of Revelation, with a reference to its “leaves… for the healing of the nations”(Revelation 22:2). It is the “healing” aspect, present in both the “holy oil” which contained the “plant of kindness”, and in the leaves of the Tree of Life, which further unites symbol and plant. A connection that aids us in identifying the early Christian use of hemp; for as we have documented, cannabis has been used from ancient times until the present as a valuable medicine and healing unguent.

Again like the book of Revelation, Gnostic scriptures give prophecies of the Tree’s eventual re-appearance, only they take this a step further, stating the location where the Tree of Life will one day be found; “And the tree of eternal life is as it appeared by God’s will, to the North of Paradise, so that it might make eternal the souls of the pure, who shall come forth from the modeled forms of poverty at the consummation of the age…..”(On the Origins of the World)”[11]
Curiously, the rediscovery of the ancient Gnostic teachings in our own century has also coincided with the widespread reintroduction into the typically Christian West of the ancient entheogenic sacraments the Gnostic’s used, particularly cannabis.

Even from an atheistic point of view, hemp is certainly a “miracle plant” that could through mass agricultural reintroduction, solve many of the ecological and environmental concerns of modern times by offering an eco-friendly viable alternative to products which now come from our vanishing forests, and the highly polluting petro-chemical industry. Amongst the many applications for this miracle plant: High quality paper can be made from hemp[12], as well as building products such as fiber board. It is estimated that bio-mass and seed fuels made from hemp could meet the worlds energy needs, not to mention their use for paints and sealants. Hemp also has a high quality fiber for ropes and cloth that can be produced organically and replace soil depleting cotton. As well, and as has been discussed, a variety of remarkable medicinal benefits can be derived from its leaves and flowers.(Herer 1985: Conrad 1992; Robinson 1996)

Besides the hemp seeds industrial applications in fuels and paints, it is an excellent source of protein and the highest source of the important essential fatty acids. With the hemp seed’s long-standing relationship with humanity, it is interesting to learn that modern science has revealed that they contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary for human life, as well as a rare protein known as globule edestins that are very similar to the globulin found in human blood plasma. Because of this, hemp seed has been touted by some as “Nature’s perfect food for humanity”. Four short years after the Marijuana Tax Act passed in the US, criminalizing all forms of hemp in America, a researcher writing for a 1941 edition of Science lamented the loss of access to the hemp seed’s rare and important globule edistins; “Passage of the Marijuana Law of 1937 has placed restrictions upon trade in hempseed that, in effect, amount to prohibition…. It seems clear that the long and important career of the protein is coming to a close in the United States.”

When we consider the history of cannabis, even within the short period of the last century, it is hard not to perceive its catalytic potential for social change, equal in both its power and its persecution to the early Christian movement. In the 1930’s when young people started smoking cannabis, long established racial barriers began to fall between blacks and whites for the first time, something pointed out as negative in the anti-marijuana propaganda of that time. In the 1960’s when young people started smoking pot, they began to question the Government, the ethics of their elders, and the war in Viet Nam. In the 1980’s when young Russian soldiers fighting against Afghani rebels began smoking pot, they started to question why they were there, and many deserted their ranks. This type of tolerance and compassion for others appears again and again throughout the history of cannabis, something that has always made it a threat to those who would enslave and separate mankind.

5) Religious world views find primary expression in forms such as myth, hagiography, ritual and so on.

All doctrines and writings identifying a sacred role for cannabis, could be considered the COU’s hagiography and myth. As noted the tree of Life is a “mythical” symbol which has broken through into reality. The ritual is partaking of cannabis with the inner knowledge that it is the prophesized tree of life, and to fulfill are roles as its recipients by becoming activists in order to “make way for the Tree of Life”, as Ghandi said “politics is my religion” so to in the COU “activism is our religion”.

6) New Agers acknowledge some secondary features of religion, such as theology, philosophy, morality, law, the arts, commerce and so on.

Well the COU definitely acknowledges many of the features referred to, as references to art on the site shows, as well I am the author of 3 books on the role of cannabis and religion, and this is all directly related to the mandate of the church to be active and make way for the Tree of Life.
The COU is intensely individualistic, as a Gnostic religion, the focus is on the development of the individual’s relationship with God and life on earth, enhanced by the sacrament of the Tree of Life. Curiously Young and Nathanson use the example of medieval Christian art as evidence of an actual religious artistic traditions. These scholars seem to forget that such artistic values were maintained at the price of persecuting other artists who saw tings “differently” and many artists of the period were forced to conform to the Catholic view. The medieval dark Ages were referred to as “dark” because of the scarcity of artistic and cultural output. Thus the intense realism and stylization of Roman and Greek art of pre Christian Europe, declined to the primitive and child like levels of art of the early medieval period, and it was only the renaissance and the considerable liberty it brought, that saw the return of great art to Europe.

7) New Agers refer often to “holism”, which connotes comprehensiveness. Because these movements have few secondary features, however, the word “comprehensive” is somewhat arbitrary:

Before answering this, the pervasive use of the term “New Agers” in the document prepared by Young and Nathanson, needs to be addressed.

The COU is not a New Age religion, our religion is actually older than any existing religion, and many of the world’s “great religions” grew out of the cannabis-religion experience, i.e. Hinduism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism.. To name some. As archeological evidence of the sacred use of cannabis goes back 5500 years, the tradition of the COU goes back that far, and likely beyond to the first person who performed the simple ritual of giving thanks for cannabis to something that was higher than themselves.

In regards to the rest of the statement made by Young and Nathanson, they only reveal their prejudice, as cannabis medicines, industrial products, nutritional products, and spiritual use is a “comprehensive” answer to many of the world’s problems, that no organized religion has adequately addressed.

There is more healing power for, body/spirit and the world, in the cannabis tree of Life, than all the Churches of the world. That is reality. Comprehensive is also the comprehensive role cannabis has played throughout time and history in numerous religions, and we are completely connected to that vast history, as the “leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nation”.

8) New Age Groups often emerge to induce intense experience, but these individual groups tend to be both amorphous and ephemeral

It is hard to understand why, in the Young and Nathanson document, which is supposed to ten standards that define a religion, seems to be instead focused much of the time on defining New Age religions and classifying the COU as one.

The intense experience offered by the COU via the Tree of Life, as noted, is not a new experience. Shamanic use of plants, particularly cannabis is the fountain from which religions emerged. By the documented 5500 year role of cannabis in the spiritual traditions of man, by comparison, all of the religions referred to in the Young and Nathanson document, would be better termed New Age, than the COU.

The intense experience provided by the cannabis/tree of life unites COU members beyond physical boundaries. The power of this experience is channeled into all areas of social activism, and activism is mandated by the Church in face of vicious opposition, such as that contained in the completely prejudiced document prepared by Young and Nathanson, and the Crown’s choice of a Catholic Priest as an expert witness against the COU. We shall overcome.

9)New Agers adopt either pragmatic or individualistic attitudes to authority:

Again that loose use of the term “New Agers” in the Young and Nathanson document. The anti-authoritarian attitude of the COU is an ancient tradition. Ancient Gnostics in opposition to the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church, for example, had men and women members take alternating positions so that the power lusts of hierarchy so pervasive in Catholicism, would not occur amongst the Gnostics. The COU particularly identifies with the ancient Gnostics, due to their use of the cannabis tree of life in anointing oils, incenses, and other preparations. Thus the following references gives clear indications of our view in hierarchies.

“They will cleave to the name of a dead man, thinking that they will become pure. But they will become greatly defiled and they will fall into the name of error and into the hand of an evil, cunning man and a manifold dogma……there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. These people are dry canals.”
–The Gnostic Jesus speaking in ‘The Apocalypse of Peter’

10) New Age Groups have not yet endured for a long time.

Again the loose use of the term New Age, we devotees of the Tree of Life have “endured” for at least 5500 years, are traditions have survived the inception of the Dark Ages, and the worst persecutions of the Catholic Church throughout the medieval period, as well as the current persecution of the State. As the true religion, the natural perennial religion, we will not be stopped, and lie a weed breaking through the pavement, the tree of life will crack through the pavement of the Highway to hell our culture is on, and liberate us, one and all

Cannabis Has Always Played an Important Role in Religion

Interestingly this affidavit refers to a number of religions that were intimately intertwined with cannabis,

see the Indian Hemp Commission





Intellectual responses to the comments made in the affidavit of the Catholic Priest Roland Jacques, this is not a court document, but rather some talking points sent to the G13 lawyers

Jacques says
Rather than syncretism, the intellectual approach of the “Church of the Universe” to borrowings from existing or extinct religions could be called eclecticism. From the material submitted by the defendants it can be demonstrated that the “Church of the Universe” makes no real attempt to
reconcile the various elements drawn from various sources into a recognizable pattern, or an orderly body of tenets. This demonstration will need a careful analysis of these elements.

Untrue, the various religions we identify in reference to their use of cannabis are cross cultural unifying evidence of cannabis’ spiritual effectiveness. The reality is there is more identifiable healing power and spiritual potential in cannabis, than there is in the whole history of the Catholic Church, the catholic church prays for healing – in the dark Ages there was a ban on all herbal medicines in favor of this. Cannabis actually heals, and it has been used by numerous religions for its potentiating of the spiritual experience. Moreover cannabis’ role at the inception of numerous religions identifies it a a source of inspiration in the religions of man. Men wrote the Bible, and in regards to catholic documents, decided what was to be included and what was not. God, on the other hand, created cannabis.

Jacques says
“In other words, rather than coming to religion through justification for marijuana use, it would come to marijuana use through its seeking towards the fulfillment of a higher purpose; this higher purpose would be the central part of a genuine and comprehensive system of belief.”

The higher purpose would be unifying man’s relationship with nature, healing the earth with hemp products, and healing the spirit and body with cannabis and breaking the illusions instilled by such faiths as Roman Catholicism and its unholy burden of original sin and its equally unholy persecution of countless other religious beliefs.

Jacques says:
“The chrism of his [Jesus’] anointment would have been the one described above for the Jewish ordination, which is to say, Jesus would have to have experienced the effect of cannabis.” No part of the Bible describes any actual anointment of Jesus, and the theory that the anointment of Jewish high priests be made with cannabis is not supported by any scholarship whatsoever.

In regards to the Jewish priests, Jacques’ claim regarding to scholarship, this only identifies his limited knowledge on this subject, as numerous scholars have identified the account of Exodus 30:23 as referring to a priestly recipe for the holy oil that contained cannabis.

One of Anthropologist Sula Benet’s, original articles regarding the keneh bosem theory…
As Sula Benet herself notes: “In the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament there are references to hemp, both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant” (Benet 1975: 1936). Through comparative etymological study, Benet documented that in the Old Testament and in its Aramaic translation, the Targum Onculos, hemp is referred to as keneh bosem (variously translated as kaneh bosem, kaniebosm, q’neh bosm ) and is also rendered in traditional Hebrew as kannabos or kannabus. The root “kana” in this construction means “cane~reed” or “hemp”, while “bosm” means “aromatic”. This word appeared in Exodus 30:23, whereas in the Song of Songs 4:14, Isaiah 43:24, Jeremiah 6:20, Ezekiel 27:19 the term keneh (or q’aneh) is used without the adjunct bosem.
Anthropologist Vera Rubin (Jewish, so she knows the language)
Vera Rubin noted, that cannabis “appears in the OLD TESTAMENT because of the ritual and sacred aspect of it” (Rubin 1978).
The German researcher Immanuel Low, in his DIE FLORA DER JUDEN (1926\1967) identified a number of ancient Hebrew references to cannabis, here as an incense, food source, as well as cloth, noting the keneh, and keneh bosem references amongst others in this regard, independent of Benet . Interestingly, Immanuel Löw, referred to an ancient Jewish Passover recipe that called for wine to be mixed with ground up saffron and hasisat surur, which he saw as a “a kind of deck name for the resin the Cannabis sativa” (Low, 1924). Low suggests that this preparation was also made into a burnable and fragrant concoction by being combined with Saffron and Arabic Gum (Low, 1926\1967).
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, a noted American Orthodox rabbi and author. In THE LIVING TORAH, Kaplan notes that “On the basis of cognate pronunciation and a Septuagint reading, some identify Keneh bosem with English and Greek cannabis, the hemp plant” (Kaplan, 1981). Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan has also noted of early Kabalistic magical schools who used magic and other means of communion for mystic exploration, that “some practices include the use of ‘grasses,’ which were possibly psychedelic drugs” (Kaplan, 1993). The Kabalistic text the Zohar records:
“There is no grass or herb that grows in which G-d’s wisdom is not greatly manifested and which cannot exert great influence in heaven” and “If men but knew the wisdom of all the Holy One, blessed be He, has planted in the earth, and the power of all that is to be found in the world, they would proclaim the power of their L-rd in His great wisdom.” (Zohar.2,80B) Like the Zoroastrian royalty and priesthood, there are indications that early Kabbalists enjoyed the use of the herb, but prevented its consumption by the common people. In the P’sachim, “Rav Yehudah says it is good to eat… the essence of hemp seed in Babylonian broth; but it is not lawful to mention this in the presence of an illiterate man, because he might derive a benefit from the knowledge not meant for him.- Nedarim, fol. 49, col. 1” (Harris, et al., 2004). Other sources have noted a Kabbalistic comparison to the effects of cannabis with divine perception, noting an “intriguing reference to cannabis in the context of a fleeting knowledge of God: Zohar Hadash, Bereshit, 16a (Midrash ha-Ne’elam)” (Gross, et al., 1983). Thus, evidence for the use of cannabis in Jewish mysticism does exist,and this fits in well with the suggestions for the role of q’neh in pre-reformation Israel and Judea.
In 1980 the respected anthropologist Weston La Barre (1980) referred to the Biblical references in an essay on cannabis, concurring with Benet’s earlier hypothesis. In that same year respected British Journal New Scientist also ran a story that referred to the Hebrew OLD TESTAMENT references: “Linguistic evidence indicates that in the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the Old Testament the ‘holy oil’ which God directed Moses to make (Exodus 30:23) was composed of myrrh, cinnamon, cannabis and cassia” (Malyon & Henman 1980).
As well, William McKim noted in DRUGS AND BEHAVIOUR, “It is likely that the Hebrews used cannabis… In the OLD TESTAMENT (Exodus 30:23), God tells Moses to make a holy oil of ‘myrrh, sweet cinnamon, kaneh bosem and kassia’” (McKim, 1986). A MINISTER’S HANDOOK OF MENTAL DISORDERS also records that “Some scholars believe that God’s command to Moses (Exodus 30:23) to make a holy oil included cannabis as one of the chosen ingredients” (Ciarrocchi, 1993).
Independent support for Benet’s view of the Semitic origins of the term kaneh can be found in THE WORD: THE DICTIONARY THAT REVEALS THE HEBREW SOURCE OF ENGLISH, by Isaac E. Mozeson. In reference to Hebrew kaneh, Mozeson follows a similar view to Benet’s that the “so-called IE root kanna… is admitted to be “of Semitic origin”….the IE word kannabis (hemp – a late IE word borrowed from an unknown source)” (Mozeson, 1989)….KANBOOS is an early post biblical term for hemp… The word HEMP is traced to Greek kannabis and Persian kannab… The ultimate etymon is conceded by Webster’s to be “a very early borrowing from a non-IE, possibly Semitic language…. In seeking related words… consider Aramaic… KENABH… and [Hebrew] KANEH…” (Mozeson, 1989) Interestingly Mozeson makes no reference to calamus in the context of the term kaneh.
Prof. Carl Ruck, Classical Mythology, Boston University , (also a linguist)
Cannabis is called kaneh bosem in Hebrew, which is now recognized as the Scythian word that Herodotus wrote as kannabis (or cannabis). The translators of the bible translate this usually as ‘fragrant cane,’ i.e., an aromatic grass. Once the word is correctly translated, the use of cannabis in the bible is clear. Large amounts of it were compounded into the ointment for the ordination of the priest. This ointment was also used to anoint the holy vessels in the Inner Sanctum or Tabernacle (‘tent’). It was also used to fumigate the holy enclosed space. The ointment (absorbed through the skin) and the fragrance of the vessels (both absorbed by handling and inhaled as perfume) and the smoke of the incense in the confined space would have been a very effective means of administering the psychoactive properties of the plant. Since it was only the High Priest who entered the Tabernacle, it was an experience reserved for him, although as the chrism of priestly ordination it was probably also something experienced in a different way by the whole priesthood. This same psychoactive chrism was later used for the coronation of the kings.
As well, my co-author of Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible, Neil McQueen, who has a Masters in religious Studies and a degree in Hebrew, is also a supporter of Benet’s theory

New testament and Gnostic documents make clear reference to use of this same Holy Oil

The Hebrew title Messiah reads in Greek as Christ, and translates in English as the Anointed. It was through Jesus’ initiation by John that he became the Christ, or Anointed, and it can be seen that Jesus’ initiation by John included an anointing as well as the epithet makes absolutely no reference whatsoever to any sort of water-baptism. “Celsus reports of the Ophite Gnostics that they possessed a ‘seal’ the recipient of which was made a ‘son’ of the ‘Father’; his response was: ‘I have been anointed with the ointment from the tree of life…. In some [Gnostic] texts like the Pistis Sophia and the Books of Jeu [Ieou] the ‘spiritual ointment’ is a prerequisite for entry into the pleroma, by which the highest ‘mystery’ is meant.”(Rudolph 1987) Likewise the Naasenes “claimed to be the true Christians because they were anointed with the ‘ineffable chrism,’ poured out by the serpentine ‘horn of plenty'”(Mead 1900). In the Gnostic viewpoint, as recorded in the Gospel of Philip, the pseudo-initiates of the empty rite of Baptism “go down into the water and come up without having received anything,”.

In the New Testament we read:

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” (1 John 2:20)
“…the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.”(1 John 2:27).

“…the Christians, the “smeared or anointed one”, received “knowledge of all things” by his “anointing from the Holy One” (1 John 2:20). Thereafter he had need of no other teacher and remained for evermore endowed with all knowledge.

and as Jesus claimed
: “today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”(Luke 4:16);

The Spirit of Yahweh God is upon me,
because Yahweh has anointed me
to bring good tidings to the afflicted;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison
to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn…
(Isaiah 61:1-2)

And that day is about to come again for the Lie that is the Catholic Church.
A similar claim was made about hashish by the medieval Sufi poet Fuzuli, who recorded in his treatise Bang and Wine, the story of Basra, a disciple whose sheik felt that he had reached the ultimate degree of perfection through the consumption of hashish, and that he was no longer in need of further guidance. This story led to Fuzuli’s proclamation that “hashish is the perfect being…for the seeker of the mystical experience”.. (The Sufi movement can be seen as the phoenix that raised from the ashes of the earlier Gnostics.)

Jacques says
One key element in this regard is the profuse use of Biblical quotations to justify the practices of the “Church of the Universe”. Nowhere in the material filed by the group is the status of the Bible as a sacred book explained, integrated, or justified in any way. One might ask: Why would the Christian Bible be considered as normative rather than the writings of, say, William
Wordsworth or George Woodcock? Nowhere in the material filed is a justification to be found for the importation of this authority, other than its fuzzy reading, potentially sympathetic for the legalization of marijuana use. The absence of foundation or justification undermines the claim that the“Church of the Universe” adheres to the Bible for a deeper religious purpose.

The same could be said for the Native American Church, which recognizes the Bible and Native religious elements alongside each other, although they conflict.

Jacques says
Further questions which present themselves are: if the Bible is indeed a sacred book in this “faith,” how does it shed light on the belief of members, and how is it conducive to their spiritual welfare? Are only those few verses allegedly showing the use of cannabis “inspired?” What is the status of other books, chapters, and verses contained in The Book? On what basis should some pericopes of the Bible be believed and others periscopes rejected or ignored?

The role of cannabis in the Bible and other religions is our dogma, the other books are open to discussion via the inspiration provided by cannabis. Most of them are more mythological and historical documents rather than religious in my view. Moreover that is what the Church dos, pick ad choose. What does this expert say about these Biblical passages? Does he claim they are edicts from God?

like women being put to death for having sex without their father’s consent. For if she has already been deflowered on her wedding day, “she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of the town shall stone her to death.”(Deuteronomy 22:21)? Or this “If a priests daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.” (Leviticus 21:9)?

Or this? So concerned was the Law for modest decorum in the wives of Israel that the severest penalties were decreed. For example, “When men fight with one another, and the wife of one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall have no pity” (Deuteronomy 25:11-12). This served as a warning to any and all women that the private parts of a man were taboo.(Cole 1959)

Or the commandment to kill homosexual men?

In the rules against homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13), which was punishable by death, only the male relationship is condemned. There is no mention of lesbianism in the whole Bible. Although transvestitisms of both sexes is strictly forbidden. “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God.”(Deuteronomy 22:5)

Or Biblical spiritual eugenics?

The Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron: “For the generations to come none of your descendants who has any defect may come near to offer the food of his God. No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; no man with a crippled foot or hand, or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has an eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles …because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary.”
(Leviticus 21:16-23).

Jacques says
The notion of “Sacrament” is also utilised in the English language by the Native American Church: in this group the “Holy Peyote Sacrament” is a means of communion with the Great Father. The peyote is a medicinal plant.

Change cannabis for peyote and the Church of the Universe for the Native American Church and the same could be said to be completely true. Although there is a momentous amount of more cross cultural information identifying this role for cannabis over peyote.

The true parody religion is the Catholic church, and in reference to this I point out that the voice of God has been silent for that organization since its inception, and they have only maintained their power and influence through intimidation, murder and cultural brainwashing.

Moreover, Jacques’ affidavit reeked of the spiritual ignorance, superstition and poison that is Catholic Church.

Here is some material from Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible regarding the Catholic suppression of Gnostic Christian sects that used cannabis:


It is better if a man knows nothing and does not perceive a single cause of things created but abides in faith in God and in love, rather than that, puffed up by such knowledge (scienta), he falls away from the love that makes man alive… and… into godlessness through the subtleties of his questioning and through hair splitting. (Irenaeus Adv. Haer.)[1]

In its struggle for control the Catholic church went far beyond forced asceticism, male chauvinism and ensuring a patriarchal rule; it focused on the most pivotal and key attribute of those who stood in the way of their rise to power — Knowledge, as in Gnosis. Through the Catholic church’s rise to power, scientific evaluation, and philosophical speculation in the West, was brought to an almost complete standstill and the world was held in the grip of a literal biblical world view for over a millennia. From the Roman Catholic Church’s inception, the repression of free thought and knowledge has been its main agenda, and the key to its continued domination[2].

As St. Augustine related: “Nothing is to be accepted save on the authority of Scripture, since greater is that authority than all the powers of the human mind”. Further “hell was made for the inquisitive”. Augustine himself, had been converted to Catholicism from the Gnostic sect of Manicheaism, (whose orgiastic practices have been discussed) after hearing the preaching of St. Jerome. Augustine said he was “led… to prefer the Christian doctrine,” feeling that “her proceeding was more unassuming and honest in that she required to be believed things not demonstrated”[3]. Words that echoed those of the earlier Tertullian, who wrote “Truth from her first appearance, is an enemy”;

“And the son of God dies; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And he was buried and rose again; the fact is certain because it is impossible….”

“After Jesus Christ we have no need of speculation, after the Gospel no need of research. When we come to believe, we have no desire to believe anything else; for we begin by believing that there is nothing else which we have to believe…”

“My first principle is this. Christ laid down one definite system of truth which the world must believe without qualification. “
Tertullian,-The Testimony of a Christian Soul[4]

The words of the Church apologist and historian Eusebius, bishop of Palestine, considered to be pivotal as a source of the first three centuries of Christian history, show how the early Roman church, in its lust for power, went above and beyond the repression of developing knowledge, teaching its controlling force of priests and bishops that it was lawful to cheat and lie to further the cause of their church and faith. “Ch.31, bk xii of Eusebius Prae paratio Evangelica is entitled ‘How far it may be proper to use falsehood as a medium for the benefit of those who require to be deceived’; and he closes his work with these words: ‘I have repeated whatever may rebound to the glory, and suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace of our religion.'”(Doane 1882).

Besides outright lying, and forging false documents, the Roman church tried to ensure the repression and spread of knowledge by not only destroying all Christian tractates that conflicted with Pauline theology, but, when they rose to power, by trying to control all information, and destroying the collected knowledge of the ancient world. The anti-Christian works of Pagan philosophers who wrote against Christianity like Hierocles, Celsus, Porphyry, and others were dedicated to the flames, leaving only excerpts to come down to us, through the Church Fathers condemnations of their texts. Likewise, with Gnostic texts, which until the middle of this century and the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library, were only known to us through quotes in their refutations and a few surviving samples.

In retaliation, the Gnostic sects began to infiltrate the Roman church, and likely this attributes much to the survival of Gnostic texts such the gospel of John and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. As early as Irenaeus (130-200 CE), who is considered the first Catholic theologian, accusations that there were secret Gnostics amongst the churches membership and even priesthood, began to appear. The angry Church Father, condemns those who, appearing righteous and in roles of prominence to others, “do evil deeds in secret saying, ‘No one sees us'”[5]. Irenaeus labels all those who meet without the authority of a Catholic bishop as heretics[6].

Recording the view of the persecuted, the Gnostic author of the Second Treatise of the Great Seth, believing that he and his fellow “sons of light’ represented the “true church”, wrote that “…we were hated and persecuted, not only by those who are ignorant [pagans], but also by those who think they are advancing the name of Christ [i.e. the Roman Catholic Church], since they were unknowingly empty, not knowing who they are, like dumb animals”[7].

The intellectual revelations of the Gnostics were sadly beyond the comprehension of the simple minds of the peasants around them. This enabled the Catholic Church and its simpler doctrine to rise to popularity amongst the masses, especially the poor who found the faith highly appealing with its punishment of the rich and oppressive, and especially with its forgiveness of sin. As the Gnostic teacher Simon Magus was recorded to prophetically lament after his battle with the Catholic Saint Peter, “… the foolish people will agree with you, indeed will come to love you, for you teach what is customary with them, but they will curse me, for I proclaim something new and unheard of…”(Recognitions)[8]

Chapter 16;
The “Holy” Roman Empire

With the faith’s rise in popularity, came its acknowledgment from the powers that be. By the beginning of 300 AD there were enough Christians in the Empire that it was in the political interest of the Emperor to treat them with more respect. The increasing Christian population in Rome, undoubtedly resulted in the rise of Constantine “the Great”, the first Christian emperor in the world. His conversion to the formerly persecuted religion, which through the mass appeal of the Catholic faith had ironically become the most organized of the existing sects in the Empire, was likely influenced by the teachings of Eusebius (263-339 AD) and Lactinius (240-320 AD), the last of the Church apologists, who proclaimed that Christianity was the only means of saving the crumbling Roman empire.

The account of Constantine’s conversion amply demonstrates his suspect character and fickle faith, indicating he was capable of feigning his acceptance of the popular religion of the people, in order to gain their support. At the time, Constantine was contending with Maxentius, (who was inimical to the Christians), for the throne of Rome. In his preparations for the battle Constantine supposedly had a vision of a luminous cross that held around it a banner with the words “In this sign thou shalt conquer”. Like Paul, who justified his claim to the supremacy of his Christianity through his own visionary hallucinations, Constantine claimed that Jesus had appeared to him the following night bidding him to adopt the words as his standard. With his victory against his opponent and fellow contender for the crown Maxentius, Constantine’s conversion was complete, as was his loyalty thereafter to the symbol of Jesus’ death, the cross[9]. Although Constantine’s “comprehension of Christian doctrine was never very clear….he was sure that victory in battle lay in the gift of the God of the Christians”(Chadwick,1967). (As did, we might add, his popularity!)

Constantine found little conflict between his new religion of Christianity and the solar worship practiced by his ancestors: “In other words, Constantine was not aware of any mutual exclusiveness between Christianity and his faith in the Unconquered Sun”(Chadwick 1967). The Roman Catholic Church went on to change many of the existing Roman holy days into Christian holy days, most notably the celebration of December 25th, the birthday of the Sun-god at the winter solstice, which was previously celebrated by worshippers of Dionysus, Mithras Tammuz, and other similar solar deities. “The transition from solar monotheism (the most popular form of contemporary paganism) to Christianity was not difficult. In Old Testament prophecy Christ was entitled ‘the sun of righteousness’. Clement of Alexandria (c. A.D. 200) speaks of Christ driving his chariot across the sky like the Sun-god. A tomb mosaic recently found at Rome, probably made early in the fourth century, depicts Christ as the Sun-god mounting the heavens with his chariot. Tertullian says that many pagans imagined the Christians worshipped the sun because they met on Sunday and prayed toward the East”(Chadwick 1967). By assimilating pagan holy days and aspects of their mythologies, as well as eventually eradicating any vestige of pagan cults that they could, the Church was able to virtually rewrite history and maintain their own limited world view for many centuries[10].

At the time of Constantine’s conversion, around 325 AD, the Roman Empire was falling apart[11] and losing control of its ‘tax-paying population’, much of which were joining the many scattered groups that had formed around the personality of the “crucified savior” Jesus Christ. Constantine, likely made a politically motivated decision, and aspired to bring all “his people” together under one unified form of the faith. The world would have been a much different place if his choice for imperial unification had fallen on any of the other existing and popular religious sects, pagan and Christian alike. Anybody who didn’t fit in with the Pauline brand of Christianity that he championed was labeled a heretic. Constantine began his rule, “by conferring many dignities on the Christians, and those only addicted to Christianity, he made governors of his provinces”(Doane 1882). He went on to command that gold coins be minted, which held his image, with hands clasped in front of him, and eyes piously averted to heaven.

[Constantine] then issued edicts against heretics,–i.e., those who… did not believe that Christ was “of one substance with the Father,” and others — calling them “enemies of truth and eternal life,” “authors and councilors of death,”… He “commanded by law” that none should dare “to meet at conventicles,” and that “all places where they were wont to keep their meetings should be demolished,” or “confiscated by the Catholic church;” and Constantine was emperor “By this means,” says Eusebius, “such as maintained doctrines and opinions contrary to the church, were suppressed.”(Doane 1882).

When this editing of the gnosis of the ancient world knowledge took place it was recorded that the Baths and Bakehouses of Alexandria were fired for six months. This book burning was accomplished through the Council of Nicea which and was attended by three hundred bishops who jointly decided upon which texts were “authentic” and to be included in the newly formed New Testament. Included were only books that acknowledged Jesus as the virgin born, dead and resurrected Christ[12]. The council also finalized the dates of such holidays as Christmas and Easter, and labeled numerous groups, both Christian and pagan alike, as heretical, thus sealing their fate of near total annihilation. Almost immediately after presiding over the Council of Nicea and inaugurating the new age of Imperial Christianity, Constantine saw fit to murder his own son Crispus, and his wife, Fausta, likely seeing himself cleansed of any sense of sin or guilt by his baptism in the blood of Jesus.

Under Constantine, Christianity had gained equal recognition with, and even superiority over, other pre-existing Roman religions. Shortly after, by the reign of Theodosius the Great (r. 379-395) Christianity was proclaimed the only religion permitted, and the formerly persecuted Christians became the persecutors. Having in earlier times warmed themselves with the thought of those who they saw as their oppressors roasting in the flames of hell in the afterlife, the Christians took this dream into the realm of reality when they finally seized power. With the Imperial support at last behind them and the sanction of the Roman emperor, the Christian hordes began the work to which they were so well suited- the destruction of the pagan temples and houses of knowledge and the violent conversion of the world to their truth. Throughout the Roman world, an army of religious fanatics, with no authority or discipline, invaded peaceful towns to destroy the fairest structures of antiquity. Surviving remnants still display the ravages of those zealots who alone had the time and the inclinations to execute such laborious destruction. The Christian monks ran amuck destroying the pagan temples and sites of the Mystery Schools, and similar to their adoption of formerly pagan holidays, they erected their own churches on sites strongly associated with religious worship of other deities.[13]

Following Constantine’s example, Theodosius released a decree stating that “all writings, whatever… written against the Christian religion, in the possession of whomsoever they shall be found should be committed to the fire; for we would not suffer any of those things so much as to come to men’s ears, which tend to provoke God to wrath and offend the minds of the pious”[14]. “Thus, in 391 C.E., under Theodosius I, the… Christians burned the great library in Alexandria, one of the last repositories of ancient wisdom and knowledge”(Eisler 1987)[15]. “[L]ikewise in Callinicum on the upper Euphrates a [Gnostic] Valentian church was destroyed by enraged monks under Theodosius.”(Rudolph 1987).

Those who produced heretical writings, could expect a similar fate to those that had failed to accept the doctrine of the Trinity: “Besides the condemnation of divine justice, they must expect to suffer the penalties, which our authority, guided by heavenly wisdom, may think proper to inflict upon them”-Theodosius. Thus burned the bonfires of the church with the fat of human sacrifices for over a millennium afterwards.

Finalizing the Dark Ages prohibition of the entheogenic sacraments, Theodosius decreed that all sacrifice to idols, meaning libations of wine and burning of incense, were declared treasonous- crimes against the state punishable by death. “Many of these rites were hardly connected with the pagan cult….”(Seligmann 1968). Indeed, as much as for ridding the land of all pagan deities and their various Mystery Cults, Theodosius’s prohibitions were directed at ridding the Empire of the entheogenic sacraments and the shamanistic revelations they provided. Foreshadowing the seizure of assets in our own modern war on drugs, those “caught contravening Theodosius’s draconian laws were prosecuted for high treason and all their property confiscated.”(Douglas 1997)

“The Christian enmity [of the entheogens]is easy to explain. Since the Christians were promulgating a religion in which the core mystery, the holy sacrament itself, was conspicuous by its absence, later transmogrified by the smoke and mirrors of the Doctrine of Transubstantiation into a specious symbol, an inert placebo entheogen, the imposture would be all-too-evident to anyone who had known the blessing of ecstasy, who had access to personal religious experience… Thus a concerted attack on the use of sacred inebriants was mounted, and the supreme heresy was to presume to have any direct experience of the divine, not mediated by an increasingly corrupt and politicized priesthood. The pharmacratic Inquisition was the answer of the Catholic Church to the embarrassing fact that it had taken all the religion out of religion, leaving an empty and hollow shell with no intrinsic value or attraction to humankind, which could only be maintained by hectoring, guilt-mongering and plain brute force.” (Ott 1995)

The words of the early church father Ignatius, show distinctly the substitution of the placebo sacraments of the Catholic Church, in place of the Gnostic entheogens, setting the stage for drug war hysteria that has lasted into our present day. “At these meetings you should heed the bishop and presbytery attentively, and break one loaf, which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote which wards off death but yields continuous life in union with Jesus Christ…. Thus no devil’s weed will be found among you.”[16]

Along with the strictly prohibited entheogenic sacraments, were all forms of erotic-ecstatic worship, especially the homo-erotic rites so strongly associated with certain early branches of Gnosticism. “Theodosius, on August 6, 390, issued an edict that unquestionably applied to… gender-variant men and men engaging in same-sex eroticism: ‘All those who shamefully debase their bodies by submitting them, like women, to the desire of another man, and giving themselves to strange sexual relations, shall be made to expiate such crimes in the avenging flames, in view of all the people.'”(Conner 1993)[17] From that time onward, anybody, men or women, who were known to openly enjoy and live out their sexuality for reasons other than procreation, heterosexual and homosexual alike, could expect to find themselves before the church authorities to face accusations of witchcraft, and likely burn at the stake.[18]

By the time of St. Cyril (412-444), the Roman church had almost completed its campaign of wiping out the wisdom of the ancient world, and instilling a fundamentalist Roman Catholic paradigm in the minds of those who survived. As the Christian virus spread from Rome throughout the ancient world to Alexandria, the philosopheress Hypatia[19] in attempting to escape a vicious group of Cyril’s monks, found herself overtaken, stripped naked and dragged through the streets, clubbed to death, and the flesh from her bones dug out with scallop shells by frenzied and fanatical Catholic monks! The only offense of the ancient female sage being that in the view of Cyril, she was “an iniquitous female who had even presumed, against God’s commandments, to teach men.”(Eisler 1987). “For this frightful crime Cyril was never called to account. It seemed to be admitted that the end sanctified the means. So ended Greek philosophy in Alexandria…. The fate of Hypatia was a warning to all who would cultivate profane knowledge. Henceforth there was to be no freedom for human thought. Every one must think as ecclesiastical authority ordered him.”(Doane 1882)

The men in control of the new orthodox church might in ritual raise… the cup of Holy Communion filled with the symbolic blood of Christ, but in fact the Blade was once again ascendant over all. Under the sword and fire of the alliance of Church and ruling class fell not only pagans, such as Mithraists, Jews, or devotees of the old mystery religions of Eleusis and Delphi, but also any Christian who would not knuckle under and accept their rule. They still claimed their goal was to spread Jesus’ gospel of love. But through the savagery and horror of their holy Crusades, their witch-hunts, their Inquisition, their book burnings and people burnings, they spread not love but… repression, devastation, and death.(Eisler 1987).

As much as Catholic Christianity prospered with its newfound reigns on the Roman state, Rome began to crumble and weaken through its association with Christianity, losing control of many of its subservient countries, and falling to the attack of outsiders. Much like the Priestly editors of the Old Testament books who tried to justify Yahweh’s impotence, in his De Civitate Augustine vainly tried to explain to the questioning masses how the Lord of History could let an Empire that had stood for millennia under the rule of pagan deities, crumble in only a few short decades under the leadership of his own Church. The Dark Ages had arrived.

[1]As quoted in (Rudolph 1987).
[2] As with its fundamentalist offshoots as well.
[3]A tenet that Augustine himself, a documented liar, must have cherished. Showing himself to be an extremely untrustworthy source of truth, the Catholic saint wrote: “I was already Bishop of Hippo, when I went into Ethiopia with some servants of Christ to preach the Gospel. In this country we saw many men and women without heads, who had two great eyes in their breasts; and in countries still more southly, we saw people who had but one eye in their foreheads”[quoted in (Doane 1882)]. Despite his obviously spurious character, Augustine is widely considered the “greatest of the Latin church fathers and possibly the most influential Christian thinker after St. Paul”(THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY DESK REFERENCE 1989).
[4]The pioneer of the faith Tertullian could hardly wait to “laugh” on that joyous day when he himself could watch with heavenly glee, as “wise philosophers, who teach that gods are indifferent and men soulless, roasting and browning before their own disciples in hell”[As quoted in (Bufe 1988)].
[5]As quoted in (Pagels 1979).
[6]Two and a half centuries later, a similar scandal rocked the church under Pope Leo I (440-61), who was horrified to discover an infiltration of Gnostic Manicheaens amongst his congregation,[see (Chadwick 1967)]. Alternatively, Epiphanius (315-403 AD), wrote of infiltrating a Gnostic sect, “reading them and their books, understanding their true intent and not being carried away with them, and after escaping without taking the bait – I lost no time reporting them to the bishops there, and finding out which ones were hidden in the church. Thus there were expelled from the city, about eighty persons, and the city was cleared of their rank, thorny growth.”[As quoted in (Robinson Ed., 1988)]
[7]As quoted in (Pagels 1979).
[8]Quoted in (Rudolph 1987).
[9]Prior to this, the more popular Christian symbol had been that of a fish. Demonstrating once again that the early faith was similar to other secretive Mystery Cults, early Christians not wanting to expose themselves to persecution, would draw the simple image of a bowed line in the ground at a marketplace or other place of meeting, and would return later to see if anybody had come to complete the symbol with a meeting bow that completed the image of a fish. Further symbols were inscribed and a place of meeting was decided upon.
[10]An agenda that has continued into our present day, with the church’s adoption of indigenous arts and characters in trying to make their faith more appealing to native peoples. When a snake changes its skin, its still the same old snake.
[11]Rome had been greatly weakened and never recovered when, in the year 167 A.D. under the rule of Marcus Aurelius, Germanic hordes broke through the wall erected by the Romans between the upper Rhine and the Danube and swarmed into Northern Italy. This event marked the turning of the tides against the greatest Empire the world had known. The military might of the Empire could not oust these invaders who eventually settled as farmers on lands assigned to them on the frontier. At the same time as the Germanic tribes were overrunning northern Italy, the Goths were pressing in from the north. Coupled with this was a new threat coming from the eastern frontier in the form of the Persian Sassanid dynasty. In Rome itself, long before Constantine, chaos and political intrigue had become rampant. In 192 A.D. the Emperor was assassinated. His successor, Pertinax was overthrown in the next year by a mutiny of the royal guard. The army then put M. Didius Julianus on the throne. But the legions spread throughout the provinces each put forward their own contender for the royal purple, leading to a vicious civil war.. The unity of the empire was shattered by all this infighting. Eventually one Severus claimed the throne, but after his more stable reign, his son, Caracella, who succeeded him was assassinated by his own guard while warring with the Parthians in 216 A.D.. This tumultuous and violent period of history amply illustrates to what extent how corrupt and unstable Rome had become.
[12]Even this edited version of the life and times of Jesus was not to be left in the hands of the people, lest they interpret something in the text not acceptable to the orthodox church. As the influential 18th century theologian Johan Solomo Semler wrote, “The Christian doctors never brought their sacred books before the common people; although people in general have been wont to think otherwise; during the first ages, they were in the hands of the clergy only”. [Quoted in (Doane 1882)].
[13]For example the “chief Mithraic temple in the Western world was on the hill where the Vatican is now located”(Douglas 1997). Where they did not replace a Mithraic temple with their own shrine, “Christians, in order to render [Mithraic holy] places contaminated by the presence of a dead body ever afterward unfit for worship, sometimes slew the refractory priests of Mithra and buried them in the ruins of their sanctuaries, now forever profaned.”(Cumont 1956).

[14]As quoted in (Doane 1882).
[15]As with the “Ministry of Truth” in Orwell’s 1984, the Church Fathers and rulers of the newly theocratic state, ensured that only texts that authenticated the history and cosmology of the church were allowed to survive. Evidently some historical texts may only have survived because they were altered by Christian copyist to fit in with the history of the faith. John Dominic Crossan suggests that such alterations occur in the works of Flavius Josephus whose account of Jesus in his Antiquities is referred to by many Christians as non-Christian evidence of Jesus’ historical existence. “Josephus’s work were preserved and copied by Christian rather than Jewish editors; such additions would have been easy to insert”(Crossan 1994). Crossan suggests the following italicized words from Josephus’s Antiquities 18:63, were likely the inserts of later Christian copyists: “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless marvelous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has to this day not disappeared.”
[16] As quoted in (Russell 1998).
[17]”…Christian propagandists called for the destruction of paganism because of the prevalence of homosexuality in the religions of the old nature cults. Augustine… repeatedly called attention to this love of sexuality and urged that it be destroyed. He was particularly incensed by the worship of the Great Mother, whose chief priests were gay transvestites. After ridiculing various rural sex gods, he says, ‘The same applies to the effeminates consecrated to the Great Mother, who violate every canon of decency in men and women. They were to be seen until just the other day in the streets of Carthage with their pomaded hair and powdered faces, gliding along with womanish languor, and demanding from the shopkeeper the means of their depraved existence'(Augustine)”(Evans 1978).
[18]A tenet that lasted well over a millennia, as to later “medieval witch-hunters the figure of the devil became sex personified. The Malleus Maleficarum, a manual used for detecting witches, stated, ‘the power of the Devil lies in the privy parts of men’…. Many times women were condemned precisely because they were associated with sex. The heterosexual men who controlled Christianity viewed sexual feelings as sinful; since women aroused these feelings, they too must be sinful. The condemnation of women was a natural consequence of the condemnation of sex.”(Evans 1978).
[19]Hypatia was a “remarkable mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher….[she is]now recognized as one of the greatest scholars of all time…”(Eisler 1987).

Re: the peyote religion
Religious worldviews are successful enough to endure for a long time

Indeed, cannabis is the sacrament of the original religions and its use has continued to the modern day in spite of the harshest persecution.

Chris Bennett
Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett has been researching the historical role of cannabis in the spiritual life of humanity for more than a quarter of a century. He is co-author of Green Gold the Tree of Life: Marijuana in Magic and Religion (1995); Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible (2001); and author of Cannabis and the Soma Solution (2010); and Liber 420: Cannabis, Magickal herbs and the Occult (2018) . He has also contributed chapters on the the historical role of cannabis in spiritual practices in books such as The Pot Book (2010), Entheogens and the Development of Culture (2013), Seeking the Sacred with Psychoactive Substances (2014), One Toke Closer to God (2017), Cannabis and Spirituality (2016) and Psychedelics Reimagined (1999). Bennett’s research has received international attention from the BBC , Guardian, Sunday Times, Washington Post, Vice and other media sources. He currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.