Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jesus the medical marijuana user?

Who are you going to side with — the DEA or Jesus of Nazareth?

The ILLUMINATUS! trilogy has a couple of brief satirical references to Jesus, I seem to recall, including one scene in which Jesus teaches the disciples Catholic-style church bingo. But here is something interesting: A classical scholar says that Jesus "was almost certainly a cannabis user and an early proponent of the medicinal properties of the drug," according to an article in the Guardian, which quotes Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University.

The Guardian's piece cites an article in "High Times" magazine, entitled, "Was Jesus a Stoner?" It says that Jesus used anointing oil and incense that had a cannabis extract.

"High Times" is not exactly a disinterested observer, but when I poked around the Internet, I also found this article in a Canadian newspaper, the National Post, which also cited Professor Ruck. Participants in the Eleusinian Mystery initiation drank a potion with a substance "similar to LSD," Ruck says.

I can't shed any light on the professor's claims, despite my hobby of reading classical history. Professor Ruck has degrees from Yale and Michigan and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has written 12 books, including two Latin textbooks, and a tome called Sacred Mushrooms of the Goddess: Secrets of Eleusis.


beowulf1723 said...

Carl Ruck is one of the authors, along with Albert Hofmann and R. Gordon Wasson, of The Road to Eleusus, which speculated that the Greeks could have developed a method of extracting the hallucinogenic compound(s) from ergot without getting the poisonous ones. Ergot grows on cereal grains and, of course, is what Hofmann developed LSD from. (Wikipedia, with some competing theories as to the drug involved.)

The "selected list" of publications on Ruck's website shows he's also interested in more recent possible occurrences of entheogenic influences on art.

Why no links to the Guardian and National Post articles?

Jason Pilley said...

John Allegro's "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross" makes a similar claim for Jesus and his disciples but involving fly agaric mushrooms. Personally I found the evidence to be completely underwhelming but it's an interesting speculation and it would explain a whole lot...

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

beowulf -- Look more closely. The links are there.

Illiaminated said...

Aww come on, a fictional character was a stoner? In which story do these events occur?

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