- HONOLULU, HI -- Retiree wants
you to 'blow your mind' at his new church - that literally goes up in holy
- Bernard von NotHaus, who recently retired, explains that
now is the time to get high and talk to God. So he founded the Free Marijuana
Church that uses a 'chemical' to practice his religious belief. He even
has a name for it: Chemicalology.
- Von NotHaus offers high-grade marijuana to Church members
so they get high and tune into their higher consciousness just has he has.
What a heady idea indeed!
- Von NotHaus is certainly not your usual dope dealer.
In fact, he does not sell marijuana at the Free Marijuana Church. He gives
it away - for free! Church members simply step into the "high room"
for one toke of sacramental marijuana then retire to the Meditation Room
and close their eyes in serene bliss.
- Those who have tried the Free Marijuana Church praise
the concept of simply getting "high" and tuning in to the God
within their own minds. But is this new 'Church of Higher Consciousness'
- Von NotHaus is adamant his church is legal - quoting
the First Amendment and pointing to court decisions regarding the Native
America Church that uses peyote as its sacrament. Plus he says that the
church is financially well prepared to defend its use of marijuana as a
- It does seem like the time has come for a new spirituality.
Recently, the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine in Baltimore conducted a double blind study to evaluate
the psychological effects of a psilocybin - used for centuries for religious
purposes. Of the 36 volunteers, 67% rated the psilocybin experience as
being among the five most spiritually significant experiences of their
lives; 64% indicated that the experience increased well-being or life satisfaction
and 58% had a 'complete' mystical experience.
- The idea of using drugs to induce a spiritual or mystical
experience is certainly not new or "far out." Well informed researchers
point out that history is full of mystics and visionaries who have used
all kinds of drugs, yoga, meditation, fasting, self-flagellation and other
methods to take themselves beyond the mundane daily consciousness.
- Von NotHaus confesses to using marijuana for over 40
years and has kept a Journal of his sacramental usage every Sunday for
the past 12 years. He sounds like a modern day Martin Luther who is well
prepared to challenge the current religious landscape.
- But von NotHaus credits his mentor Dr. Timothy Leary,
the legendary High Priest of LSD, with blazing the chemical trail to God.
- Not doubt about it. The Free Marijuana Church is truly
a 'mind blowing' religious concept. And it will probably blow a lot of
minds as his church is in Hawaii - home of Maui Wowie.
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