Jesus Christ was charged with, and executed for—not blasphemy, as is commonly believed—but sedition. He publicly questioned the authority of the Roman empire, and of the leaders of the church. In other words, he was a dissident who brought into question the authority and/or legitimacy of the established institutional order.
And crucifixion was the standard means of execution of seditionists, because it was long, grueling, and horrific—and, most importantly, public. The tortured execution of seditionists—those who publicly questioned the authority and/or legitimacy of the establishment—was put on public display, for all to see.
“See? THIS is what happens to those who question our authority!”
Crucifixion was a method of torture, not merely death; Jesus is said to have expired after six hours. For others, it could be a day or more. It was a horrible way to kill someone, and it was meant to be.
(For a well-researched historical account of the life of Jesus, within the context of the cultural, political, religious, and societal climate of the times, I would recommend the book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan).
And the idea of sedition is precisely why, in more recent times, those accused of witchcraft or satan worship (or any other belief outside the established institutional order) were often persecuted, prosecuted, and even executed—not so much out of fear of their activities, but because they brought into question the authority of the established order. The church has always enjoyed a monopoly on access to God, or the spiritual realm; we can’t be having people going around accessing the spiritual realm outside of the proper channels of the church—and, of course, paying the appropriate tolls for such access—now, can we?
My point: those in power at the top of the institutional order want to be our God—and our only God.
And presently, with the church being somewhat politically neutered (separation of church and state), and with science routinely discrediting much of the historical teachings of ancient religious texts, many people are abandoning the church, and religion altogether; and this abandonment can certainly leave a void in people’s lives, if they don’t pursue a personal spiritual quest. And guess what? The state is all too happy and willing to step into that void…
So today, we have rampant statism, the world over. It seems the vast majority of people have come to believe that all things good are bestowed by the state, and all things bad are the fault of those who question the authority and/or legitimacy of the state—i.e., seditionists. Or worse, from Capitalism (i.e., freedom, another form of heresy), those greedy Capitalists who do nothing but get rich by preying on everyone else (ignoring, of course, the wee little detail that Capitalism is nowhere to be found in the world today).
And since the state enables the unchecked manifestation of all that is weak, bad, or even evil in people, then we can readily see the result of this worldwide statism—what I call “peak government”—manifesting all around us: the evil, the atrocities, the violence, the perpetual lies and fraud, the never-ending wars, the plundering of resources, the lack of stewardship of the planet, the mortgaging of the lives of future generations; in short, the intellectual, economic, spiritual, philosophical, ethical, and cultural bankruptcy of society that proliferates the news each and every day.
And of course, the state, and its propaganda arm (mainstream media) work diligently to keep us all divided and fighting amongst ourselves—be it by race, creed, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, class, education, relationship status, health status, you name it—thus preventing us from forming a unified front and focusing our attention on the true enemy: our oppressors, the established institutional order.
But until recently, I’d never considered the “War on (people who do non-state-approved) Drugs” to be just one more tool of the established order. Certainly, it’s a war on liberty, as it is a direct violation of the rights of the individual. And certainly, there’s the bribing of the state by Big Pharma and Big Beer (and perhaps Big Tobacco?) to keep many drugs illegal, so they can maintain their monopolies on their respective markets.
But I’d never considered the state’s war on drugs from the viewpoint of sedition; since drugs enable people to achieve altered states of consciousness, and therefore question the perceived values (indoctrination) of mainstream society—and thus the authority, legitimacy, or even the need, of the state or the established institutional order—then obviously, the institutional order will do all in its power to curtail such heresy.
I say “until recently” because I only yesterday stumbled upon the following bit of narrative from Graham Hancock, in an audio clip that was appended to the end of his video presentation Fingerprints of the Gods; but, try as I might, I could not find the original source of his statements; so I transcribed it myself from the audio file.
I think what he says here is important, as it pertains to one more possible incentive for those in power to perpetuate the insane war on drugs:
“Our society today, speaking broadly of Western industrial society—including, of course, countries that aren’t in the west, like Japan, but that are basically attached to a very similar model—values highly a particular kind of consciousness: our society values alert, problem-solving consciousness. And it devalues all other states of consciousness. Today, if you want to insult somebody, you call them a ‘dreamer.’
In ancient times, dreaming was considered to be a very positive state of consciousness, from which we might learn something of great value.
Any kind of consciousness that is not related to the production or consumption of material goods is stigmatized in our society today. Of course, we accept drunkenness; we allow people some brief respite from the material grind. They may annihilate their consciousness for a few hours with large quantities of alcohol, and that’s perfectly allowed, because it doesn’t really challenge the basic model that the only good consciousness is alert, problem-solving consciousness. It’s almost seen as a kind of temporary relief from that, so that we can come back and be even more alert, more problem-oriented afterwards.
So a society that subscribes to that model is a society that is going to condemn states of consciousness that have nothing to do with the alert, problem-solving mentality, but have to do with the exploration—you know, dare I say it—of non-physical realm; once we admit the notion of non-physical realm, then our commitment to the physical world, and to physical reality, starts to be undermined slightly, and it’s easy to see why people in powerful positions in our society would not wish that to happen, and would feel threatened by it.
And if you go back to the 1960s, when there was a tremendous upsurge of exploration of psychedelics, I would say that the huge backlash that followed that had to do with the fear on the part of the powers that be that if enough people went into those realms, and those experiences, the very fabric of the society we have today would be picked apart—and most importantly, those in power at the top would not be in power at the top anymore.
And I personally think that’s what the so-called war on drugs is all about; it’s all about maintaining the status quo, the hierarchy, the power structures of the society that we have today. And I actually do think that if a much greater number of people had intense experiences in altered states of consciousness that it would, definitely, change our society, and it would unpick the power structures in our society. So in a sense, those in positions of power are right about that—their power base would be threatened.
But in terms of the long story of human evolution, this could be the best possible thing. If you look at the disastrous, horrendous state that the world is in today, based entirely on this deification of the alert, problem-solving state of consciousness, maybe it’s time we had a change. And maybe we need powerful plant allies in order to make that change. Maybe we don’t have the resources just within ourselves in order to do that.
Now of course, the accepted established religions also have an investment in denying people access to altered states of consciousness, because the moment that you have direct contact with spirit realms—if that’s what they are—that’s the moment you don’t need the priest anymore; you don’t need the church; you don’t need that whole structure, because you can explore those experiences for yourself.
Now, to my mind, nothing could be more liberating than exploring those experiences for yourself. We do not need the church; we do not need the structure that has been built up over the last 2,000 years. The time has come to change that. But I can understand why those who have a vested interest in those power structures feel very threatened by altered states; so you wouldn’t just have to change the religious framework, you’d have to change the whole ethic of society, before such experiences were encouraged, and nurtured, and valued by society.
But it’s a circular process, because the more people who have those experiences, the more society will change.”
UPDATE: Just so happens, Graham Hancock was recently a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast (episode #1284), primarily to promote his new (or updated) book America Before, but during the conversation, they delved into the subject of drugs, particularly cannabis and psychedelics, and Hancock once again explained his hypothesis as to why the ruling class wants to keep drugs (or, as he puts it, not altered states of consciousness as such, but particular kinds of altered states of consciousness) illegal. So I’ve added a video clip below. (If you want to save some time and skip ahead, the crux of the discussion as it relates to this article begins at the 4:58 mark):