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The Psychedelic Community as a New Religious Movement:

The word psychedelic was coined by Humphry Osmond in 1957, its etymological root is meant to indicate the ‘spirit-revealing’ or ‘soul-manifesting’ nature of the chemicals concerned.

We know, beyond all doubt, that many of the users of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, DMT, Mescaline and Psilocin Mushrooms claim that these chemicals cause them to have experiences they describe as spiritually significant: usually in terms of allowing new spiritual insights about the nature of their being and its relationship to experience and the world, or in terms of some kind of spiritual healing effect.

Many, if not most, individuals who repeatedly use psychedelics do so with a primary motivation to explore the spiritual benefits of psychedelics: it is therefore, a part of their spiritual lives. Many of those individuals feel that the drugs themselves are sacred gifts, they use drugs like LSD to bring about experiences and states of being that are somehow “spiritual”,  “mystical” and “divine”.

All around the world, right now, there are individuals who are using psychedelic drugs. Not just individuals though, there is an increasingly cohesive and open community of psychedelic users: all united by the shared belief that they have been benefited by, and will continue to benefit from, psychedelic drugs.

Is it not conceivable that this community of individuals, who use the same sacraments, share similar spiritual motivations, and hold similar core beliefs represent a new religious or spiritual movement? 

Illustrating the unique aesthetic of psychedelic art.

It is, essentially, a ‘New Religious Movement’ (NRM) that is not allowed to become an organised religion. It cannot be given a name, nor can its places of communal gathering be made to explicit. It includes a great variety of belief and practice: but then the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, even Christianity all show a great variety of forms and expressions also. It has it’s own set of texts, but none are adopted as dogma, there is no cannon: but then many of the historical forms of human spirituality did not have a cannon either. It even has its own unique forms of artistic expression and aesthetic style, rife with themes of transcendence and spiritual discovery.

In Europe, especially in the summer, there are certain festivals attended primarily by the psychedelic community. At these festivals, an obvious form of neo-shamanism manifests itself: complete with music, dancing, and mind-altering chemicals, components of many shamanic traditions from all over the world. In fact, these festivals are becoming increasingly popular all over the world.

One of the implications of the continued growth of psychedelic festival culture is that the community of psychedelic users is becoming, with the help of the internet, more organised and more cohesive. Furthermore, now this ‘spiritual movement’ has community meeting spaces, with their own rituals, traditions, codes and conventions. At these gatherings there is a very strong sense of this community – people care for one another and help one another to have an enjoyable time, there is a sense of shared purpose and unity that is enjoyed by many when the psychedelic community meet.

Some might say “this isn’t spirituality, it is just hedonism’. Verily there are some who attend psychedelic festivals ‘just to have fun’, but there are others who feel, nonetheless, that psychedelic chemicals are an important aspect of their spiritual lives. Furthermore, who is to say that spirituality cannot be fun? Mystical texts from all world religions, including the bible, speak of ecstatic and joyous experiences that are encountered on the spiritual path: the Old Testament even describes singing and dancing as a result of spiritual attainment.

The Psychedelic Community has its own Places of Worship

When I walk down the street of Oxford on a Saturday night I see fighting, I see people throwing up, I hear glass smashing: people become rude, inconsiderate, violent. I have never seen a fight at a psychedelic music festival, I don’t see people stumbling around and throwing up, what I do see is people having the time of their lives and forming lasting bonds with people in the process.

Returning to the issue though, the psychedelic community needs to consider how it can go about becoming recognised for the legitimate spiritual movement that it is so that it can enjoy the same acceptance and according protections that are afforded to other religious communities.

In the mean time, psychedelic spiritualists will continue to be a persecuted and oppressed minority religious group. For walking their spiritual path, they face imprisonment, with all the hardships and consequences-on-life that are entailed by it. Let’s have a brief look at how this persecution came about.

Christian Puritanism & Moral Panics: ‘The War on Drugs’ as Hysteria

We must recognise that for the last thousand years (and then some) the population of Europe has had its native religious/spiritual practices oppressed by the ‘dominator religion’ that is Christianity. Wherever Christianity went it systematically destroyed any competing forms of spirituality: often through violence. In the background, that force is still an undercurrent of our society.

Think about it. The American political system is still so obviously fixated on the values of Puritanical Christianity: that kind of ‘good christian wholesomeness’ that is expected of any presidential candidate, the obsession with ‘sexual misconduct’ on the part those in the public sphere, and wariness of the many other things deemed viceful within the puritanical Christian tradition. Is it a coincidence that this moral panic, this ‘war on drugs’, has come from a country whose dominant spiritual power is a form Christian puritanism?

Like the witch-trials, the ‘War on Drugs’ is another hysterical moral panic: something is judged as evil, all ‘the good people’ respond with unspeakable inhumanity.

A moral panic, and not the first. Can we think of some other examples from history where the Christian majority have deemed something to be ‘evil’ or ‘morally wrong’ and responded with unspeakable violence? The witch-hunts, for example, which also took on a distinctive ferocity midst the North American puritans. The Inquisition, a few hundred years of torture, persecution, inhumanity: based on a response to what is perceived to be an evil.

Perhaps you think the comparison extreme? It’s not like we’re burning people at the stake or torturing them, right? But we do lock people up: vast swathes of people (usually the most socially disadvantaged) all in response to the supposed ‘evil’ of drug-use. As in the inquisition, we interrogate people, we use fear and intimidation to make them betrays other human beings: is it not torture to go through a judicial system and be locked away for decades of your life?

The ‘War on Drugs’ is just another inquisition. The ‘Holy/Good people’ exercising hegemonic domination over ‘the evil people’, and in the process performing unspeakable evils themselves.

Is it not an evil thing to do this to an individual? It is a harmful action after all, to lock them in a prison for years on end. Is the act of imprisoning some one for using psychedelics not, in fact, more evil than that individuals ‘offence’ of using psychedelics?

When an activity carries risks only to oneself, does that make it unethical? If so, are horse-riding and mountain climbing unethical to? Clearly then the idea that drug use is morally wrong cannot be based on the risks associated with their use. If it is not a moral wrong, then to punish people for it is not just, and is unethical.

The ‘War on Drugs’ will be viewed by historians as just another silly moral panic, a hysteria that got carried away with itself, but a hysteria like never before. A hysteria fueled by new mass-media technologies, a hysteria on an unprecedented scale, and one which does an unprecedented amount of harm.

It is interesting to consider the extent to which Puritanical Christianity has been embraced by, what some might consider to be ‘the new dominator religion’, Capitalism; and the extent to which spiritual movements which are perceived to be a threat to capitalism are marginalised, and in this case, forbidden.

Conclusion:

The psychedelic community, as it stands, is a new religious/spiritual movement. Its members are subject to persecution and oppression, as they have been for the last fifty years.

Much of modern drug culture is simply an extension of much older spiritual traditions. Modern Britain has new sacraments now, and its tribal dances are to dubstep from massive sound-systems

This ‘war on drugs’ is just a part of a millenia-old pattern of ‘organised religion’ dominating more spontaneous & experiential forms of spirituality. It manifests the values of the puritanical religious fanaticism which has come to dominate American political culture.

If our Right to Religious & Spiritual Freedom is to mean anything, then it must accommodate entheogenic  and psychedelic compounds , which are an important component to many forms of spirituality.

One source of hope is the increasing unity of the psychedelic community around the world.

The Psychedelic Community as a New Religious Movement:

The word psychedelic was coined by Humphry Osmond in 1957, its etymological root is meant to indicate the ‘spirit-revealing’ or ‘soul-manifesting’ nature of the chemicals concerned.

We know, beyond all doubt, that many of the users of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, DMT, Mescaline and Psilocin Mushrooms claim that these chemicals cause them to have experiences they describe as spiritually significant: usually in terms of allowing new spiritual insights about the nature of their being and its relationship to experience and the world, or in terms of some kind of spiritual healing effect.

Many, if not most, individuals who repeatedly use psychedelics do so with a primary motivation to explore the spiritual benefits of psychedelics: it is therefore, a part of their spiritual lives. Many of those individuals feel that the drugs themselves are sacred gifts, they use drugs like LSD to bring about experiences and states of being that are somehow “spiritual”,  “mystical” and “divine”.

All around the world, right now, there are individuals who are using psychedelic drugs. Not just individuals though, there is an increasingly cohesive and open community of psychedelic users: all united by the shared belief that they have been benefited by, and will continue to benefit from, psychedelic drugs.

Is it not conceivable that this community of individuals, who use the same sacraments, share similar spiritual motivations, and hold similar core beliefs represent a new religious or spiritual movement? 

Illustrating the unique aesthetic of psychedelic art.

It is, essentially, a ‘New Religious Movement’ (NRM) that is not allowed to become an organised religion. It cannot be given a name, nor can its places of communal gathering be made to explicit. It includes a great variety of belief and practice: but then the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, even Christianity all show a great variety of forms and expressions also. It has it’s own set of texts, but none are adopted as dogma, there is no cannon: but then many of the historical forms of human spirituality did not have a cannon either. It even has its own unique forms of artistic expression and aesthetic style, rife with themes of transcendence and spiritual discovery.

In Europe, especially in the summer, there are certain festivals attended primarily by the psychedelic community. At these festivals, an obvious form of neo-shamanism manifests itself: complete with music, dancing, and mind-altering chemicals, components of many shamanic traditions from all over the world. In fact, these festivals are becoming increasingly popular all over the world.

One of the implications of the continued growth of psychedelic festival culture is that the community of psychedelic users is becoming, with the help of the internet, more organised and more cohesive. Furthermore, now this ‘spiritual movement’ has community meeting spaces, with their own rituals, traditions, codes and conventions. At these gatherings there is a very strong sense of this community – people care for one another and help one another to have an enjoyable time, there is a sense of shared purpose and unity that is enjoyed by many when the psychedelic community meet.

Some might say “this isn’t spirituality, it is just hedonism’. Verily there are some who attend psychedelic festivals ‘just to have fun’, but there are others who feel, nonetheless, that psychedelic chemicals are an important aspect of their spiritual lives. Furthermore, who is to say that spirituality cannot be fun? Mystical texts from all world religions, including the bible, speak of ecstatic and joyous experiences that are encountered on the spiritual path: the Old Testament even describes singing and dancing as a result of spiritual attainment.

The Psychedelic Community has its own Places of Worship

When I walk down the street of Oxford on a Saturday night I see fighting, I see people throwing up, I hear glass smashing: people become rude, inconsiderate, violent. I have never seen a fight at a psychedelic music festival, I don’t see people stumbling around and throwing up, what I do see is people having the time of their lives and forming lasting bonds with people in the process.

Returning to the issue though, the psychedelic community needs to consider how it can go about becoming recognised for the legitimate spiritual movement that it is so that it can enjoy the same acceptance and according protections that are afforded to other religious communities.

In the mean time, psychedelic spiritualists will continue to be a persecuted and oppressed minority religious group. For walking their spiritual path, they face imprisonment, with all the hardships and consequences-on-life that are entailed by it. Let’s have a brief look at how this persecution came about.

Christian Puritanism & Moral Panics: ‘The War on Drugs’ as Hysteria

We must recognise that for the last thousand years (and then some) the population of Europe has had its native religious/spiritual practices oppressed by the ‘dominator religion’ that is Christianity. Wherever Christianity went it systematically destroyed any competing forms of spirituality: often through violence. In the background, that force is still an undercurrent of our society.

Think about it. The American political system is still so obviously fixated on the values of Puritanical Christianity: that kind of ‘good christian wholesomeness’ that is expected of any presidential candidate, the obsession with ‘sexual misconduct’ on the part those in the public sphere, and wariness of the many other things deemed viceful within the puritanical Christian tradition. Is it a coincidence that this moral panic, this ‘war on drugs’, has come from a country whose dominant spiritual power is a form Christian puritanism?

Like the witch-trials, the ‘War on Drugs’ is another hysterical moral panic: something is judged as evil, all ‘the good people’ respond with unspeakable inhumanity.

A moral panic, and not the first. Can we think of some other examples from history where the Christian majority have deemed something to be ‘evil’ or ‘morally wrong’ and responded with unspeakable violence? The witch-hunts, for example, which also took on a distinctive ferocity midst the North American puritans. The Inquisition, a few hundred years of torture, persecution, inhumanity: based on a response to what is perceived to be an evil.

Perhaps you think the comparison extreme? It’s not like we’re burning people at the stake or torturing them, right? But we do lock people up: vast swathes of people (usually the most socially disadvantaged) all in response to the supposed ‘evil’ of drug-use. As in the inquisition, we interrogate people, we use fear and intimidation to make them betrays other human beings: is it not torture to go through a judicial system and be locked away for decades of your life?

The ‘War on Drugs’ is just another inquisition. The ‘Holy/Good people’ exercising hegemonic domination over ‘the evil people’, and in the process performing unspeakable evils themselves.

Is it not an evil thing to do this to an individual? It is a harmful action after all, to lock them in a prison for years on end. Is the act of imprisoning some one for using psychedelics not, in fact, more evil than that individuals ‘offence’ of using psychedelics?

When an activity carries risks only to oneself, does that make it unethical? If so, are horse-riding and mountain climbing unethical to? Clearly then the idea that drug use is morally wrong cannot be based on the risks associated with their use. If it is not a moral wrong, then to punish people for it is not just, and is unethical.

The ‘War on Drugs’ will be viewed by historians as just another silly moral panic, a hysteria that got carried away with itself, but a hysteria like never before. A hysteria fueled by new mass-media technologies, a hysteria on an unprecedented scale, and one which does an unprecedented amount of harm.

It is interesting to consider the extent to which Puritanical Christianity has been embraced by, what some might consider to be ‘the new dominator religion’, Capitalism; and the extent to which spiritual movements which are perceived to be a threat to capitalism are marginalised, and in this case, forbidden.

Conclusion:

The psychedelic community, as it stands, is a new religious/spiritual movement. Its members are subject to persecution and oppression, as they have been for the last fifty years.

Much of modern drug culture is simply an extension of much older spiritual traditions. Modern Britain has new sacraments now, and its tribal dances are to dubstep from massive sound-systems

This ‘war on drugs’ is just a part of a millenia-old pattern of ‘organised religion’ dominating more spontaneous & experiential forms of spirituality. It manifests the values of the puritanical religious fanaticism which has come to dominate American political culture.

If our Right to Religious & Spiritual Freedom is to mean anything, then it must accommodate entheogenic  and psychedelic compounds , which are an important component to many forms of spirituality.

One source of hope is the increasing unity of the psychedelic community around the world.

An Optimist’s View

In many ways cognitive liberty is an inalienable fact of the human condition. Whilst society always asks us to curtail certain liberties, it is important to recognise and appreciate cognitive freedoms our society does protect. This article argues that we are currently living in a golden age for psychedelic use.

Things we should be grateful for:

1. We are living in an unprecedented era of scientific and technological progress. One consequence of this is our ever-perfecting scientific mastery of mind-altering chemical compounds.

Scientists have created chemicals that never existed before: every new chemical allows for the human mind to explore new realms of experience that previous generations could not have witnessed.

We created LSD. The day that Hoffman first consumed LSD was a day in which humanity opened up an aspect of existence that no other human in our 200,000 year history could have experienced. The existential and metaphysical implications of the creation of these new states of being is something few take the time to consider; it is a form of progress difficult to quantify and evaluate, but it many ways it is the most extraordinary field of human endeavour.

2. The sheer extent of our access to psychedelic compounds is unmatched in the history of civilization. You can have entheogenic compounds shipped from the four-corners of the world; you can legally buy many of the mind-altering substances employed by the shamanic traditions of the four-continents. As for the illegal ones, an individual who really wants to get hold of a chemical is rarely stopped by the law: an invisible network of individuals form a psychedelic trading community that can never be stopped. For the price of a bar of chocolate you can buy a tab of acid and have a profound mystical experience far beyond the confines of the five senses and the powers of imagination.

3. Aside from the chemicals themselves, the internet has allowed for unbridled sharing of information about them. Sites like Erowid allow individuals to share experiences of every known psychoactive substance, the amount of literature available on virtually every aspect of psychedelic drugs is astounding, and much of it is being freely distributed on the internet. There is no explicit censorship on such matters: you are free to think what you like and express it to the world.

A consequence of this is that psychedelic use if safer, it is literally ‘more informed’. Individuals need not rely on the state sanctioned information. The state-sanctioned discourses on the issue of psychedelics are losing their grip: people can tell the truth about their experiences and the effects (for better or worse) psychedelics have on them.

Information on the manufacture, refinement, and creation of psychedelic compounds floats around the internet (seemingly) unchecked. This spread of information allows for an unstoppable grass-roots system of production to cater for the needs of the population.

4. Despite the laws, there is a relatively accepted community of psychonauts in the UK. Music festivals are an established part of British culture, it is a cultural movement that seems only to gain more momentum. It is the opinion of the author that the token police presence at such events often turns a blind eye to the use of psychedelics and other drugs: they keep the peace, whilst they know that if they could arrest 90% of the festival-goers for possession if they wanted to, they don’t. They see that nothing good would come of it.

Alongside this the internet brings the community together: The Shroomery, Drugs Forum, and Erowid are just a few examples of sites that allow free communication between psycedelic users. Then there are the myriad Facebook groups and pages that bring people together.

In the UK academic circles focussed on studying psychedelics are going through something of a renaissance of late.

5. Online anonymous black markets (such as The Silk Road) allow for global trade in banned chemicals. The good old Royal Mail becomes a tool in the unstoppable network of psychedelic trade.

6. Whilst drug laws are an indefensible persecution, they are so ineffective, that few are deterred, despite the many injustices done because of drug laws, most users can find what they want, and get away with it.

7. Times are changing: as time goes on, a greater portion of the population have tried psychedelics and drugs in general and have come to see the nature of the lies and propaganda that surround them. Our generation is the next generation of politicians and legislators: I remain optimistic that they will forge a more reasonable set of attitudes and policies towards drugs.

Conclusion

These are good times we’re living in but we mustn’t be complacent. Forces are at work that will continue to try to restrict cognitive liberty as much as possible, and there are many limitations that are currently imposed on us that could be removed. Stand up for your cognitive liberty and join us.

It’s a class-A drug with some of the lowest risks/harms when compared to other drugs. It’s a class-A drug which therapists want to use to treat alcoholism, opiate-addiction and depression. Research has indicated again and again that it can be of great help to those dealing with the fear and anxiety of terminal illnesses. It’s most well-known effects are to encourage feelings of unity and love in relation to fellow man, to encourage religiosity and spirituality.

When we look at the motives people have for taking LSD, it should seem obvious that imprisoning them is a perversion of justice. People take LSD for spiritual revelation and healing, to bring about positive transformation in their lives. Whether or not this is a sensible approach to reaching those goals is an open question: but it should be clear that they have committed no moral wrong.

We are taking mystics and locking them up with murders and rapists. For what? Where are the winners in all of this? A deterrent? Yet no one is deterred by the law, people may be deterred by drugs education and the greatly over-stated mental health risks associated with LSD, but it seems the very act of criminalising a drug simply turns it into a forbidden fruit and encourages use.

An individual LSD user need only posses two tabs to be accused of having an “intent to supply”, but two tabs is generally viewed as a single (quite weak) dose. In effect, if an individual possesses ANY amount of LSD, the current system assumes they are drug dealers: this is nonsense.There is a massive moral difference between an individual having LSD for personal use and intending to supply it: for in the latter case he is putting others at risk, in the former only himself.

The average sentence for possession of LSD is just under two years, but in terms of future prospects every prison-sentence is, to some extent, a life-sentence: 6 out of 10 employers refuse to hire an ex-convict out-rite, the individual cannot accrue employment experience or education in the two years he is locked away. Long-term prospects are severely damaged.

Whilst the individual psychedelic user has committed no moral wrong, the state’s position is morally dubious. Firstly, the psychedelic user commits no harm to others, the state imposes a harm on the individual by imprisoning them and thoroughly derailing their lives. It justifies this action by claiming that it is “making an example of the users so as to deter others”, in doing so it objectifies that individual, it uses them as a means to an end in an unconscionable way.

Even if the laws worked as a deterrent (they don’t) a clear social harm is done. The individual psychedelic user, who may well have been in employment and paying taxes or en route via education to being in such a position, has had their prospects derailed: society suffers. Not to mention that the way the state has treated the individual will breed anger, hatred and contempt, and make them less likely to harmoniously work with society in the future. Aside from this, the tax-payer has to foot the bill for this total waste of time, over £35,000/year per inmate, then there are the court costs, the law enforcement costs etc. The financial burden on the mental health service are only exacerbated by laws which force production underground: making quality and dosage dangerously unpredictable to individual users. The basic goal of protecting individuals isn’t achieved.

In the background, scientists struggle to gain access to the drug which may have revolutionary treatment potential in various mental health applications. The research the government ought to be basing its policies on is thoroughly stifled by the laws as they stand. Early research suggested could result from correct application of LSD in the treatment of  alcohol and drug addiction, depression and other mental health conditions will never been explored whilst it remains illegal. These conditions cost society vast sums of money, and they are ills that may well be treatable with this remarkable substance.

The current laws on drugs are symptomatic of the general trend of overcriminalisation in this country: instead of punishing moral wrongs, criminal law is used to “solve” every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce citizens into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives. Under Tony Blair’s government over 3000 new laws were created, almost a new law for each day they ruled, this 85,000 strong prison-population continues to boom (a 66% increase in the last decade), do we really want to continue in this direction?

Possession of LSD for personal use should not be a crime. Large scale unlicensed dealing of LSD should be a crime. Researchers, scientists and clinicians should be allowed to thoroughly investigate the chemical, its risks and its potential clinical applications. Given that its risks are seemingly no higher than other prescription psychoactive medication, LSD should be available to those it can help through the NHS. Licenced psychotherapists and psychiatrists should be allowed to use the chemical for treatment of patients if they see fit.

Those wishing to use the substance for spiritual and religious development should be encouraged to do so under the supervision of a trained and licensed psychotherapist.

Since research indicates both genetic and mental-health correlates in individuals who are susceptible to the negative effects of LSD, it is plausible that physicians could test individuals to ensure safety: individuals could then get LSD via paid prescriptions.

One of the key advantages of this is that the quality, purity, and dose of the LSD would be controlled by experts, making it much safer than the present system. Further: LSD would lose much of its allure, it would no longer be seen as a rebellious act: any more than going to the doctor to pick up Prozac is seen as a rebellious act, illicit use would drop.

Psychedelics are associated with mystical and religious experiences. The psychedelic experience is often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as trance, meditation, yoga, and dreaming. Many users feel these chemicals are essential components to their spiritual lives and of profound significance to it: locking people up for exploring their spirituality is unconscionable. Many of the users of psychedelics are not motivated by hedonism, but seek the insights and transformations that psychedelics can bring.

The United Kingdom is a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights which provides a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 9 guarantees: “the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance”

Can right to use psychedelic compounds be defended based on their role as sacraments within one’s spiritual practice, even if this practice occurs outside an established or organised religion?

Article 9 adds some limitations however:
“freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.

Since the risks asosciated with psychedelics are, according to research, relatively small. We maintain that the use of psychedelics does not sufficiently contradict any of the above provisos of the ECHR. Further, the abilty for psychedelics to improve mental and physical wellbeings must be taken into account.

Psychedelic compounds have been used in shamanic rituals for thousands of years. A country that respects spiritual and religious freedom would not forbid its citizens from exploring such rites. Ancient cave-painting depicting psilocybin mushrooms suggest they were considered to be of vital importance to people in early civilizations.

The ability to form new religious traditions involving psychedelics as sacraments is made impossible by current drug laws: many feel that such movements are the best way to integrate safe and responsible psychedelic use into mainstream society. Current freedom of religion laws seem merely to protect pre-existing religions. Previous attempts to establish organised religious movements that involve the use of psychedelics have been thwarted by Western governments. There is some evidence to suggest that psychedelics had a role in the genesis of some of the world’s present day major religions.

By changing the laws and decriminalising psychedelics we grant the population of Britain a greater degree of spiritual and religious freedom. Provisions must be made so that individuals who use psychedelics with a view to spiritual development are not incarcerated: the imprisonment of harmless mystics is a travesty of justice.

The advancing of Britain’s spiritual life should motivate policy makers since it strengthens the psychological wellbeing and the moral constitution of the nation.

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