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CLOAKED IN SECRECY

    The dawn of religious beliefs for all races and peoples—Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Persian, Babylonian, Greek, Doric, Germanic and other European tribes, and even those of Africa and North, South, and Central American—derived from accidental discoveries.

    There were near-death experiences, deprivations—starvation, fasting, breath control, thirst, fever—and uncontrolled revelry due to accidental fermentation or extraction of wine, beer, psilocybe and Amanita mushrooms, cannabis wine (bhang), and other psychoactives which, when consumed, induced inexplicable, elevated experiences (compared to normal brutish experience). Chemicals in these sacred plants and herbs gave our ancestors unexpected, unprepared for, unbelievable visions and journeys into the far corners of incredible consciousness and, sometimes into feelings of universal brotherhood.

    Understanding these drug-induced experiences and medications eventually became the most wondrous, desirable, and necessary spiritual knowledge for each tribe. Healing! From which extraction? At what dose?

    Holding this mystical tribal knowledge for future generations was a priceless task. To know which plants induced which experiences at what level and mixture meant power for the bearer of such wisdom!

    Thus, this “sacred store” of knowledge was jealously guarded by the herbal doctor/priest, and cryptically encoded in oral and written traditions and myths. Plants with psychoactive powers were embued with human or animal attributes, for example, the Amanita Muscaria mushroom ring was represented by faeries.

    To keep their political power, the priests, witch doctors, and medicine men deliberately withheld these traditions from the “common” tribal members (and all other tribes). This also prevented the dangerous “sin” of accidental ingestion, concoction, or experimentation by the children of the tribe; nor could captured tribal members give up this sacred knowledge to their enemies.

    These “old-time” drug and out-of-body religions and rituals, dating back to pre-history, were called “Oriental Mystery Religions” by the Romans from the Caesars’ time on.

the authorized on-line version of Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”
text from “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” © Jack Herer
CD-ROM and web presentation © 0=2

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