Flipping through the latest issue of Skunk Magazine,
…I noticed a very nice article and photo-spread about the 25th anniversary of the Boston Freedom Rally, held each August on the Boston Commons. For many years, the Boston Freedom Rally was the largest cannabis legalization event in the country. Perhaps it retains that distinction to this day. I don’t know, but the piece brought back a lot of memories, most fondly, the night the author of the Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer, dosed me with LSD, and we spent the night in a hotel together reading Gideon’s Bible.
I remember the very first Boston Freedom Rally very distinctly. I had been working on it all summer. I designed the flier for it.
I provided the sound system and helped paint the backdrop for the stage. I even performed a few original prohibition protest songs at it,
…but my most significant contribution to getting the first Boston Freedom Rally off-the-ground, was the newsletter I started: Mass Grass.
Mass Grass remains in publication as the official newsletter of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition AKA Mass Cann, but in those days, the Spring of 1990, there was no Mass. Cann. There was a lawyer in Marblehead, MA named Steve Epstein who had a list of about 250 names from a defunct MA NORML, and there was Ron and Linda Noel, who had bought a bunch of Jack Herer’s books, T-shirts and bumper stickers which they sold (or more accurately, gave away as premiums for donations) at something they called the “Hemp Table,” they had collected about 200 names from people who had signed-up to a mailing-list at the table. We sent them all the very first issue of Mass. Grass, and suddenly, we had a roomful of volunteers and a pile of checks. Mass Cann was born.
We didn’t hold the first Boston Freedom Rally at the Boston Commons, however. We decided to hold the first Boston Freedom Rally adjacent to the dock where the USS Constitution, the famous warship known as Old Ironsides, from the Revolutionary War, was docked, as a tourist attraction, in Charlestown, on the Freedom Trail.
We booked Jack Herer as our key note speaker, who revealed in his, then new, book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, that it took 60 tons of cannabis sativa hemp to outfit the ship in its heyday, detailing all of the different ways hemp was used. By our choice of venue, we hoped to provide Jack Herer with a convenient visual aide, and we booked him as our key note speaker.
As hard as it is to believe today, in 1990, almost nobody knew about hemp. The only hemp clothes you could buy in the US were shapeless blue work-shirts and cream colored drawstring shorts made in China with big yellow labels warning you not to smoke them. There were no hulled hemp seeds at the health food store, in fact I had to help bail Ron Noel out of jail when an overzealous Boston cop arrested him for giving away free samples of, completely legal, sterilized hemp seed. Americans knew nothing about hemp in 1990. Jack Herer changed that, almost singlehandedly with The Emperor Wears No Clothes.
Jack arrived in Boston two days before the rally. On the day before the rally, I chauffeured him up north to the Statehouse in New Hampshire, where he spoke at another event. We took a banner I had made for Ann Arbor’s Hash Bash earlier that year that depicted a lit joint, upended, and wrapped in barbed wire, like the Amnesty International logo, except with a joint instead of a candle, with the words Free Prisoners of Consciousness written around it. I held the banner while Jack spoke.
We didn’t get back to Boston until late in the day, and we returned to a very busy night of packing up, last minute phone calls and trips to the copy shop. We did not get to sleep until very late, and the alarm clock went off just a few hours later.
In the morning, the pace became even more frantic. One of our new members, John Migliorini had built a stage that we needed to assemble on site. I had to set up the sound system, we had booths to set up, banners to hang and signs to post, and before long, we were surrounded by a huge crowd of people. I sang my protest songs, Steve Epstein spoke, Linda Noel spoke, Elvy Musica, one of the first federally recognized medical marijuana patients, spoke, Don Fiedler, then the National Director of NORML spoke, and Jack Herer whipped the crown into a frenzy to conclude the event. The event went off without a hitch, we had a big crowd, and no one got arrested.
By the time we broke down the stage, cleaned up the mess and packed all of the vehicles, we were elated, exhausted, and hungry. We took Jack out to dinner at Boston Chicken, a cafeteria style fried chicken eatery. While we stood in line in front of our trays waiting for gloved hands to fill our plates from the other side of the steam-tables, Jack took something out of his pocket and tore it into tiny pieces. He then dropped a hit of blotter acid on each of our trays. Naturally, I immediately put the quarter-inch square of paper in my mouth. Other members of our party quickly followed suit.
We had booked Jack as a guest on a radio show, which meant he needed to be at the studios of WBCN at 8:00am the next morning. We reserved a couple of rooms at the Holiday Inn downtown, both for an after-event-party, and because it was close to the radio station. We ate dinner, and got to the hotel just as the acid started to kick-in. At first, we had a dozen or more people in that hotel room, and the atmosphere was quite celebratory.
John Migliorini broke-out a bottle of vodka, into which he had stuffed a huge cola of fresh cannabis, at the peak of fluorescence. I don’t know how he got that huge bud through the neck of the bottle, but the bud looked as perfect as the day it was harvested. He poured everyone a glass, and Jack proposed a toast. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it before or since, pure essence of cannabis. Joints were lit and passed and we partied for a few hours.
As the evening progressed, the room cleared-out a bit, as guests excused themselves. By about 1:00AM, only the people that Jack had dosed, remained, and the topic turned to psychedelics. As a hard-core dead-head, Jack learned to use LSD the way most people use coffee. He talked about meeting Timothy Leary, and how he used Timothy Leary’s method to quit smoking cigarettes.
Timothy Leary’s method of beating nicotine addiction went something like this: You smoke your last cigarette, and then set the pack of cigarettes on the table in front of you. Then, you take 10 hits of LSD. Wait an hour, then take one more hit of LSD every hour, for 10 hours. Then wait 10 hours, after which you take 10 more hits of LSD. By the time you come down from that, apparently, you’ve broken the acute physical addiction, and you’ve reprogrammed your mind. Jack said it worked, and he hasn’t had a cigarette since.
I’ve never had to deal with nicotine addiction, but I’ve had enough experience with LSD that I don’t doubt his story. We talked about how powerful psychedelics were, and how they had the potential change people, both individually, and as a culture. Eventually, Jack brought up The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by John Allegro, and asked if anyone had read it. I had not yet read it at the time, but I had heard of it, and even looked it up in the library, but instead, only found books by other authors either dismissing Allegro’s work, or struggling to put their religious beliefs back together after Allegro had so convincingly shattered them.
I knew that John Allegro was a leading ancient-language scholar who spent many years studying the Dead Sea Scrolls. In The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, Allegro explains that the story of Jesus, in the New Testament, is actually a coded message, describing the beliefs and practices of a secret cult of mushroom worshiping Jews, who used amanita muscaria mushrooms as their sacrament. According to Allegro, the stories were strictly an oral tradition, and it was forbidden to write them down, but between 66 and 74AD, this cult was all but wiped-out in a Jewish rebellion that the Roman authority crushed, brutally, and mercilessly.
These dire circumstances led to the cult write down the stories that explained where to find, how to identify and how to safely use the strongly psychoactive, but also deadly poisonous mushroom. Told as a story of Jesus, the Son of God incarnate on Earth, any child could understand it, but only an initiate, who was given special instruction, would understand the hidden messages about the mushroom cult. If you’re not familiar with The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, I encourage you to read it. That’s what the John Allegro says, and if you believe his credentials, he’s the guy who should know.
I’m not particularly religious, or interested in learning Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, but psychedelic drugs fascinate me to no end. Jack was raised Jewish. He didn’t care that much about Jesus, but, like every good Jewish boy, he learned Hebrew for his Bar Mitsvah, and in his passion to learn as much as he could about the history of cannabis sativa, he also taught himself some Aramaic and Latin, and spent a lot of time studying religious texts.
According to Jack, Allegro was right. The Gospel is a work of fiction, and Jesus probably never existed as a human being, but instead, was an anthropomorphization of the amanita muscaria mushroom. However, Jack also discovered a whole different level of deception and subterfuge concealed within the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.
Jack noticed that the Old Testament, as it has been translated in the Christian Bible, reads a lot differently than the Jewish Torah, which contains the same stories, but in their original Hebrew. Jack also noticed something very strange about the way the Christian Bible uses Arabic numerals. We could tell that Jack was really passionate about this, and if he had lived long enough to see the complete legalization of cannabis, to which he was completely dedicated, I bet he would have written a book about it. He gave us a preview of it that night:
According to Jack, in the 3rd Century, when Constantine had his life-changing, and politically convenient “vision” and converted to Christianity, founding the Roman Catholic Church, he had actually become an initiate of this mushroom cult. Constantine then constructed the new official church of Rome, using the same kind of secret code, using stories that had an overt message, that anyone could understand, and a covert message, that only an initiate with special training would comprehend.
Jack postulates that Constantine had two goals he hoped to achieve by establishing the Roman Catholic Church and declaring himself the first Pope. Constantine hoped to use the church to pacify the unruly masses who increasingly threatened the stability of the Roman Empire, but also to protect himself, close associates, and other members of the cult from the one thing they feared more than anything else, Gonorrhea.
According to Jack, the Catholic Church was founded by a secret cult of homosexual pedophiles, who used the cover of a celibate priesthood to conceal their activities from scrutiny, and the knowledge gained through the confessional, to target only the most chaste virgins for their sexual gratification, and recruitment. The Catholic clergy was constructed in such a way as to create layers of disease prevention through a strict protocol of who gets to fuck who, insuring that the Pope himself had multiple layers of protection from the disease carrying public.
I am not kidding. I’m pretty sure I did not hallucinate that. I was high that night, but not that high. Personally, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in anything the Bible says, but when Jack Herer, the guy who uncovered the hidden truth about marijuana, tells me that he’s discovered evidence that the Catholic Church was founded by a secret cult of psychedelic mushroom worshiping gay pedophiles, I was intrigued.
Enough of his story seemed to check out. I knew that the Sacred Mushroom and the Cross was a real book, and I knew that it made some big waves in Theological circles. I also knew, as I’m sure you do, that Catholic priests are notorious for molesting children, but I went to bible school for 12 years. I’ve read enough of the Bible to know that it’s boring as hell, and if there were any wild sex-scenes in it, I would remember them. Naturally, we asked Jack to explain.
This is where it gets complicated and hard to remember after 25 years, but I’ll do my best. Anyone who takes the Bible seriously should do their own research. I’m just conveying my experience. According to Jack, when they talk about “damnation” in the Bible, they really mean, gonorrhea. The word “damn” is apparently derived from the same word as “dam” meaning to obstruct the natural flow of water.
The “n” on the end of “damn” modifies the meaning to mean an obstruction to the natural flow of “living waters.” “Living waters” according to Jack meant “semen.” So,, damnation means: an obstruction to the natural flow of semen.
Gonorrhea definitely obstructs the natural flow of fluids through the genitalia. In severe cases puss drips from the end of the penis. This dripping puss looked more like semen than urine, so they assumed that the extreme pain they felt during urination resulted from the the dam blocking the natural flow of semen. In those days, long before the discovery of penicillin, gonorrhea was untreatable, and almost worse than a death sentence. You could think of gonorrhea as the AIDS of their time, and it especially worried the more sexually promiscuous among them, Roman Emperors being more promiscuous than most. That’s how jack explained “damnation.”
Then he explained the sexual symbolism behind the Holy Trinity. According to Jack, whenever they use the word “God” or “God the Father,” we should read it as “the erect penis.” Jack said these people worshiped a “Sun God,” and that the sun was the head of a giant penis that thrust itself into the womb of the Earth every morning, and pulled-out every evening.
Whenever you see a reference to the “Son of God” or “Jesus Christ” we should translate that as “sacred mushroom,” amanita muscaria. Jack told us that the “virgin birth’ referred to the fact that they could find no seeds for mushrooms, and they were thought to spring directly from the rain, which these ancients believed to be the semen of the great “Sun God.”.
The mushroom was therefore sacred, because it sprang up entirely from the semen of the Sun God, without an earthly mother, and because the mushroom looked so much like a penis, they assumed it was the perfect embodiment of masculine energy. It’s psychedelic, so it must have blown their mind, and it could also kill them, so they must have been very careful with it, but that’s what Jack Herer, and John Allegro, for that matter, tell us we should think of, when we think about Jesus Christ.
Finally, the “Holy Ghost” according to Jack, “Holy Ghost” means “semen.” Got that? Whenever you read the Bible and you read something about the “Holy Trinity,” they really mean, the dick, the toadstool, and the jizz. You can see how this kind of interpretation would render the Bible a much more sexually explicit book.
Now we get to the Arabic numerals. If you look at the Bible, you’ll see that the names of the books of the Bible use Roman numerals, as in Samuel I and Samuel II or Kings I and Kings II, but chapter and verse are always denoted with Arabic numerals, John 3:16 for example. According to Jack, there is sexual symbolism to these numbers.
For instance: 1 symbolizes the erect penis. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that, but Jack also said that 1 symbolizes half of the amanita muscaria mushroom, the mushroom being so sacred that no symbol could represent it in its entirety. The number 2 symbolizes the other half of the mushroom. I can almost see it, I guess. The number 3, he explained, symbolized “the tush.” Sure, the number 3 looks like a naked butt on its side. I’ve even seen that image used to represent the number. That’s about all I can remember about the sexual symbolism of Arabic numerals.
Do you follow me so far? I mean, by the time we got this far into the conversation, it was really late, pushing 3:00AM. The acid was still there, holding back sleep, but I could feel the cumulative fatigue of two long, exciting days with very little rest. Still, I found this whole discussion pretty mind-blowing, and even in my altered state of consciousness, I tried to grasp what I was hearing.
To review: When you read your Bible, remember that “damnation” means “gonorrhea,” “God” means “boner,” “Jesus” means “magic mushroom,” and “Holy Ghost” means “special sauce.” Then the verses of the Bible all have numbers, which all have sexual significance, and provide clues as to what kind of sex acts are covered in the text. As you can imagine, we were skeptical. We had all read The Emperor Wears No Clothes. We knew that Jack knew how to do research and present evidence, but this seemed pretty over-the-top. The only thing left to do was check it out.
I pulled the Gideon’s Bible out of the hotel dresser-drawer. Jack suggested we look in a particular book, saying something like, “look in Leviticus, that book is full of smut.” So, I opened the Bible, turned to the book of Leviticus (I think) and read from Chapter 1, verse 3 and the text read something like: “And God came to him in the place of darkness and said, ‘Behold. I come quickly’ and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit was in him.”
I kid you not. We looked up one verse after another and they were all equally full of homosexual innuendo. It was like discovering the economic symbolism behind Gilligan’s Island, once you see it, you really can’t ignore it. There we were, zonked on acid at four o’clock in the morning, reading Gideon’s bible, and cracking-up like we were listening to Redd Foxx or some equally smutty comic.
Eventually we stopped laughing, Jack went into the adjoining room to rest his eyes for an hour or two before we got up, checked-out, grabbed a coffee and scone and got on the T. Two stops later we emerged on the street just a block or two from the radio station. I don’t own a Bible anymore, and I haven’t researched this theory any further, but that was a memorable night.