Priests and rabbis are getting high on shrooms for science

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Scientists at Johns Hopkins are giving two powerful doses of psilocybin to two dozen religious leaders from a wide range of denominations — Catholic, Orthodox, and Presbyterian priests, a Zen Buddhist, and several rabbis:

“It is too early to talk about results, but generally people seem to be getting a deeper appreciation of their own religious heritage,” [Dr William Richards] said. “The dead dogma comes alive for them in a meaningful way. They discover they really believe this stuff they’re talking about.”

There is also a suggestion that after their psychedelic journey, the leaders’ notions of religion shifted away from the sectarian towards something more universal. “They get a greater appreciation for other world religions. Other ways up the mountain, if you will,” said Richards.

“In these transcendental states of consciousness, people seem to get to levels of consciousness that seem universal,” he added. “So a good rabbi can encounter the Buddha within him.”

The notion that hallucinogenic drugs can bring about mystical experiences is not new and was previously studied in a famous Harvard study known as the “Good Friday experiment”. The study involved a group of seminary scholars being given psilocybin during the Easter-season service to see how it altered their experience of the liturgy. The latest work is thought to be the first involving religious leaders from different faiths.


  1. Grasspunk says:

    Now what can I eat to get that bicameral mind. It seems awesome.

  2. Graham says:

    I’m a little surprised that Dr Richards used the term “dead dogma”. I appreciate that it might not be his belief system in any particular or all cases, but that’s rather a loaded way to put it.

    Then again, I find I’m surrounded by living dogma of belief systems not yet dead because no one admits they are religion.

Leave a Reply