The Holy Mushroom - Evidence of Mushrooms inJudeo-Christianity
A critical re-evaluation of the schismbetween John M. Allegro and R. Gordon Wasson over the theory on the entheogenicorigins of Christianity presented in The Sacred Mushroom andthe Cross
by Jan Irvin, 2008
Christianityand the Piltdown Hoax share many similarities:In both stories the information was constructed and then salted into theinformation stream, and, through the word of noted scholars, presented as fact,the truth. Scholars have egos and once committed to their ideas throughscholarly publications, faculty meetings, and conferences, have difficultyseeing, hearing, or even appreciating an adverse view. To waver from a stronglyheld opinion could spell academic ruin and withdrawal of acclaim.This leads to lively debate, counter stories,and even character assassination if one side or the other is being out trumpedin the symbolic mêlée.
Jan Irvin(The Holy Mushroom) has captured what we might call an “anthropology ofclarification” regarding whether or not mushrooms, and mind-altering substancesin general, played any role in the development of not only Judaism andChristianity but the total culture in play at that time. It is now recognizedin many academic communities (anthropologists, sociologists, psychiatrists,psychologists) that sufficient evidence exists of the importance of thesesubstances, both textual and visual, to say “yes” in very large letters.It is no longer theory. The questions Irvin asks are these: “If mind-altering substances did play this major role, then howwould this affect our interpretations of the Bible and the Qur’an? Would thisshed light on the origins of mystical experiences and the stories, for exampleAbraham hearing voices and Ezekiel’s convenient visions? What would thissuggest about the shamanic behavior of Jesus? What impact would this have onorganized religion?" These are bold questions. This is a very useful volume forthose interested in the Holy Mushroom, and the politics of truth. Detailed andwonderfully illustrated; great bibliography.