In this episode, Joe interviews Greg Lake, Esq.: Co-Founder of the Church of Psilomethoxin, author, and trial and appellate attorney specializing in working with entheogen-based religious practitioners in establishing their right to consume their sacraments under existing religious freedom laws.
Psilomethoxin (4-Hydroxy-5-methoxydimethyltryptamine or 4-Hydroxy-5-MeO-DMT) was first synthesized in 2021 by mixing 5-MeO-DMT with psilocybin substrate, and after initial tests and months of user reports, it was deemed safe to use. Lake co-founded the Church of Psilomethoxin in 2022 with the goal of shifting the paradigm of religion to primary direct experiences and individual beliefs rather than a dogma everyone must follow, with a big focus on community and discussing the ultimate questions of life together – with Psilomethoxin as the sacrament of choice. While he prefers member-to-member referrals, there is an application on the site, and he hopes to grow the church through linking people up regionally, (eventually) training people to facilitate, and partnering with a data collection company to gather real-world data on both Psilomethoxin and on why people are seeking out psychedelic churches in the first place.
He discusses several cases that brought us here and inspired his work; why he believes Psilomethoxin won’t be a target of the Federal Analogue Act; the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the need for states to establish similar state legislation; the importance of new churches establishing evidence in the public record; how much courts take sincerity into consideration; and the concept that, while we’re quick to think of the law as the enemy, courts often don’t want to go after churches – religion is a sacred and intimate thing, so who is the victim if a court brings a church to court that hasn’t harmed anyone?
“I think eventually the courts will come around to realize that where medical and scientific and religious and spiritual begin or end within this space is not crystal clear, because as we’re all aware, in the research, people, even in clinical settings, are having mystical, religious experiences. And then they see that that really, at many times, translates to positive outcomes. If people, even in a medical setting, can have a religious experience, well then where does ‘This is a religious exercise, this is not’ come into play?”
“One of our core beliefs is that in the peak entheogenic experience like 5-MeO, where you experience unitive cosmic consciousness, that’s basically our moral code – that once you experience unity with all, that tells you pretty much everything that you’ll ever need to know about how you should be treating other people, how you should be treating other beings, and how you should be treating the environment.”
“One thing I’ve learned (and I learned real quick working with these churches) is that, especially post-Covid, the community, for a lot of people, is just as, if not more healing and spiritual than the actual ceremonies.”
Psychedeliceducationcenter.com: Psychedelics and Religious Liberty in the United States
Cognitiveliberty.org: Ask Dr. Shulgin Online (Shulgin’s response to a question about Psilomethoxin)
Tripsitter.com: What Is the Federal Analogue Act?
Psychedelics in Mental Health Series: Psilocybin, by George G. Lake Esq.
Law.justia.com: United States v. Meyers
Wikipedia.org: Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Wikipedia.org: Employment Division v. Smith
Wikipedia.org: City of Boerne v. Flores
Wikipedia.org: State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts
Law.justia.com: New Hampshire v. Mack
Leary.ru: Timothy Leary: Start Your Own Religion
Justia.com: Church of the Eagle and the Condor et al v. Garland et al
Psychedelics Today: Psychedelics, Religion, and the DEA’s Quest for Soul
Casetext.com: Ariz. Yage Assembly v. Garland