Advocates for the free pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and religious practice by all persons, including those who use entheogenic substances as a Sacrament
Entheogenic substances (especially ergot derivatives, mushrooms, peyote, and ayahuasca) have been used for religious and spiritual purposes for millenniums. Whether Aztecs, Greeks, or others: the ancients understood the power of entheogens. The Eleusinian Mysteries were predicated on use of entheogens for achieving the transcendent experience of death and rebirth. The Vedic and Zoroastrian religions used Soma and Haoma, respectively, the entheogenic source of which is debated. Finally, John Marco Allegro revealed that early Christianity was based on the Sacramental use of entheogens. Early Christianity in particular found itself subject to harsh persecution; consequently, coded language was used to communicate the Sacrament while the moral Truths were carried forward by the Church we know today. Over time, the Christian Sacrament became a symbolic representation rather than a substantive experience of God.
The original League for Spiritual Discovery was founded in 1966 in the midst of Governments’ and the public’s hysterical reaction to the explosion of psychedelic (aka entheogens) use. Admittedly, much of this use was outside the context of spiritual or religious practice. Nevertheless, legitimate religious use was prohibited as laws were hurriedly passed in disregard for numerous studies that had shown the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics. The prohibition laws were so expansive that they effectively shut down all research into the potential benefits of entheogens. The original League for Spiritual Discovery dispersed around 1968 after persecution and arrest of numerous members.
Only recently has there been a relaxation of the prohibition laws in some countries, enabling limited research to resume. Still, prohibition of religious use of entheogens remains widespread with few exceptions, such as the Native American Church, The Psychedelic Society and various Ayahuasca groups. The League for Spiritual Discovery accepts the Sacramental use of entheogens as an essential practice and exercise of religion for those who freely choose such.
The United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” [emphasis added]
The United States Bill of Rights, the First Amendment states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” [emphasis added]
Freedom of Religion is a Natural Right (with others such as freedom of speech and assembly), a right endowed by our Maker from the inception of Creation. In the beginning, Freedom was absolute. In a free and just world, government’s primary purpose is to secure our Natural Rights from those that seek to infringe (e.g., criminals and power seekers) upon those rights
The United Nations, The United States, and other countries have enacted laws/mandates that violate the rights of those that seek to practice religions that use entheogenic substances as a sacrament. This violation of rights is generally argued as necessary to protect society from the impact of dangerous substances.
This is a false argument. A truly free person owns one’s body and the things one chooses to do with it (as long as the person harms no one else). In any religion, there have been those who have gone to extremes, injuring or killing others. When persons justify such actions by their religion, society (e.g., government) is justified in taking action against those persons as a matter of protection of its members. However, actions of those extremists should not nullify the rights of others to practice that religion.
The use of entheogenic substances as a religious sacrament by an individual, in and of itself, harms no other person. Acts of those who use such substances that harm others (body or property) are justifiably subject to restriction by society. However, the harm must be real, not simply that society or someone “feels hurt”, or “feels bad,” “feels threatened” or is “scared.”
Many people believe their religion is the one true religion. They are entitled to their belief and practice. They are not, however, morally entitled to restrict the religious belief and practice of other peoples.
The League for Spiritual Discovery advocates for all persons seeking God in all forms and ways. The Truth shall set us Free.
We have no membership application. No identification cards. No list of members. No sworn oaths. No dues. No organizational structure.
We are free individuals, united in embracing our Natural Right to practice our chosen religious beliefs.
We, the Disciples of Truth, are scattered across the globe. We seek to righteously fulfill our religious beliefs, but are persecuted instead. But we have seen the glory of Heaven and, therefore, know enlightenment is found in our Holy Sacrament. We have tasted the Divine Fruit and know its Heavenly Flavor. We have seen with the Divine Light the glory of Creation: that we are all connected by the Holy and as yet undetected energy and matter that permeates the universe. We understand the highest values are Truth and Love. We are grateful for the gift of Consciousness; that we may perceive Truth and experience Love, both giving and receiving.
We are as the early Christians, scattered, with differing practices and customs, no common liturgy or sacred text. But we are united in the knowledge that we need neither an earthly shepherd, nor governing or religious authority to achieve spiritual enlightenment: the Kingdom of Heaven. We are free to seek Truth and Love.
Philologist and Dead Sea Scrolls scholar - author of The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross that revealed early Christians used coded language in their texts, including the New Testament, to communicate the true nature of the Holy Sacrament – entheogenic substances that he proposed was the psychedelic mushroom. This revelation was immediately condemned by religious and academic authorities, resulting in severe ostracism and ruin of his career. The passage of time and more careful scrutiny has provided greater acceptance for his interpretations, especially those related to the use of entheogenic substances by early Christians and the coded words used to refer to such use.
“Thousands of years before Christianity, secret cults arose which worshipped the sacred mushroom—the Amanita muscaria—which, for various reasons (including its shape and power as a drug) came to be regarded as a symbol of God on earth. When the secrets of the cult had to be written down, it was done in the form of code….”
Comanche Warrior Chief turned Peace Prophet after revelation with the Sacramental Peyote Medicine; he was an instrumental leader in the foundation of the Native American Church. As a Peyote Roadman (Guide), he advocated the traditional Native American Half-Moon Ceremony (Tipi Way). Regarding the Peyote Sacrament, he said:
"The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus.”
Caddo Medicine Man who developed the Big Moon (Cross Fire) Peyote Ceremony after spending two weeks in the wilderness using the Peyote Sacrament; he also was instrumental in the formation of the Native American Church as a Roadman. The Big Moon Ceremony incorporated more Christian elements than the Half-Moon Ceremony.
Psychiatrist, LSD researcher and author of The Beyond Within: The LSD Story; he provided the LSD for the deathbed psychedelic experience of Aldous Huxley.
“LSD hints to us that there is an area of the mind which could be called ‘unsane,’ beyond sanity and yet not insane…This is perhaps where all the superlative efforts of humanity come from, not only of art but of science....”
Poet and author, notably of Howl, he helped spread the Word about LSD with Timothy Leary and participated in Acid Tests with Ken Kesey.
“Everything is Holy! Everybody's Holy! Everywhere is Holy! Every day is in Eternity! Everyman's an Angel!”
Chemist who discovered the effects of LSD on 16 April 1943; three days later, on 19 April 1943, he purposely ingested LSD, in the first “acid trip.” This date has become known and commemorated as “Bicycle Day,” as he rode home from his lab on a bicycle while under the influence. Author of LSD My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science, he considered LSD “medicine for the soul.”
“You, my dear friends, and millions all over the world who now commemorate the 50th birthday of ergot's child, we all testify gratefully that we got valuable help on the way to what Aldous Huxley said is the end and the ultimate purpose of human life--enlightenment, beatific vision, love.”
Author and psychedelic drug proponent, he wrote of his first psychedelic experience in The Doors of Perception, where he ingested mescaline (psychedelic obtained from Peyote) under the supervision of Dr. Humphrey Osmond. His final book was the fictional utopian novel Island, where the people take a psychedelic drug (Moksha medicine) that leads to enlightenment and induces a nirvana like state of liberation from the death and rebirth cycle. He provided a copy of the book to Albert Hofmann inscribed “To Dr. Albert Hofmann, the original discoverer of the Moksha medicine, from Aldous Huxley.”
“God isn't the son of Memory; He's the son of Immediate Experience. You can't worship a spirit in spirit, unless you do it now. Wallowing in the past may be good literature. As wisdom, it's hopeless. Time Regained is Paradise Lost, and Time Lost is Paradise Regained. Let the dead bury their dead. If you want to live at every moment as it presents itself, you've got to die to every other moment.”
Author and Psychedelic drug proponent, his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was partially inspired by his psychedelic drug use. He was the leader of the Merry Pranksters that organized Acid Tests using the LSD Sacrament in the San Francisco Bay area during the 1960s; immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
“When we first broke into that forbidden box in the other dimension, we knew we had discovered something as surprising and powerful as the New World when Columbus came stumbling onto it.”
Clinical Psychologist and Psychedelic researcher at Harvard University, he was an advocate for the use of psychedelics for spiritual enlightenment. On 19 September 1966 he founded the original League for Spiritual Discovery that used LSD as its Sacrament. LSD was made illegal in California on 6 October 1966 (with the rest of the world following shortly thereafter). The League disbursed around 1968 after persecution and arrest of members. Timothy Leary co-authored (with Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert) The Psychedelic Experience as a guide for the safe use of entheogenic substances, emphasizing the importance of set (proper attitude of mind) and setting (supportive environment). The book is based on the revelation that the psychedelic experience parallels the death and rebirth experience.
“‘Turn-on’ meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. ‘Tune-in’ meant interact harmoniously with the world around you—externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. ‘Drop-Out’ meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean ‘Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity.’”
An Ethnobotanist, he was an advocate for responsible psychedelic use, especially in plant form, and author of the book Food of the Gods. He was an expert on shamanism and called the “intellectual voice of rave culture.” He proposed the “stoned ape” theory of evolution which hypothesizes that the use of psychedelics was instrumental in the mental development of homo sapiens.
“If the words ‘Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”
Psychiatrist and Psychedelic researcher into the medical benefits of entheogens; he coined the term “Psychedelic” in correspondence with Aldous Huxley. Author of the article Peyote Night (published in Tomorrow magazine), he recounted his experience using the Peyote Sacrament with the Native American Church.
“To fathom hell or soar Angelic, just take a pinch of Psychedelic.”
Botanist and Educator at Harvard University; considered the father of modern ethnobotany; a leading expert in the study of the use of entheogenic substances by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. He co-authored The Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers along with Albert Hofmann and Christian Ratsch.
“…a sophisticated mushroom cult existed in Guatemala 3500 years ago. Early Spanish chroniclers wrote…of the Aztec, Teonanacatl [“Sacred Mushroom” or “Gods Flesh”], eaten ceremonially for divination, prophesy, and worship….”
Chemist and Psychedelic researcher; referred to as the “godfather of Psychedelics” for his extensive research and use of rational drug design. He developed the Shulgin Rating Scale (measures the subjective effect of Psychedelic substances at a given dosage). He introduced MDMA (Ecstacy) to psychiatrists and psychologists, including Psychologist Leo Zeff, a pioneer in the underground psychedelic therapy movement. Co-author of Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved: A Chemical Love Story and Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved: The Chemistry Continues that comprehensively reports their study and personal experience with Psychedelic substances.
“The most compelling insight of that day was that this awesome recall had been brought about by a fraction of a gram of a white solid, but that in no way whatsoever could it be argued that these memories had been contained within the white solid. Everything I had recognized came from the depths of my memory and my psyche. I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and the Spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can catalyze its availability.”
Advocate of LSD use, he was the first private individual to mass produce LSD, producing over one million doses. A key supplier of LSD for Acid Tests, he worked as a sound man for the Grateful Dead. He also provided LSD to the Beatles during their filming of Magical Mystery Tour.
“One of the ideas that developed…was that the psychedelics…were some sort of important hormone-like substance which was necessary to the human race, like the various hormones which the body produces within its structure. Unlike these hormones, there are others, perhaps you could call them "planetary hormones"…Healing plants are part of this category. The ones which alter our state and perception of the universe around us are no less important to our development as enlightened entities than those which heal our bodies.”
Author and Ethnobotanist, he made significant contributions to understanding the historical use of entheogenic substances. His publications include Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality and The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries (co-authored with Albert Hoffman and Carl A. P. Ruck) that proposed the Eleusinian Mysteries used Ergot (source of LSD) as a Sacrament to achieve enlightenment and rebirth. The book introduced the term “entheogen” as an alternative to “psychedelic.”
“Ecstasy!... In common parlance…ecstasy is fun… But ecstasy is not fun. Your very soul is seized and shaken until it tingles. After all, who will choose to feel undiluted awe, or to float through that door yonder into the Divine Presence? The unknowing vulgar abuse the Word, and we must recapture its full and terrifying sense….”
There are many more Disciples of Truth in addition to those above who are worthy of mention. They are known and unknown; lost and found; dead and reborn. We are scattered across the earth, practicing our religion in the darkness of society’s ignorance, waiting for the day when we may freely practice our religious beliefs in an open, enlightened world.
The League for Spiritual Discovery
Copyright © 2015-2019 by The League for Spiritual Discovery