In this episode, Joe interviews Greg Lake, Esq.: Co-Founder of the Church of Psilomethoxin, author, and attorney specializing in working with entheogen-based religious practitioners in establishing their right to consume their sacraments under existing religious freedom laws.
Psilomethoxin (4-Hydroxy-5-methoxydimethyltryptamine or 4-Hydroxy-5-MeO-DMT) was first synthesized in 2021 by mixing 5-MeO-DMT with psilocybin substrate, and after initial tests and months of user reports, it was deemed safe to use.* Lake co-founded the Church of Psilomethoxin in 2022 with the goal of shifting the paradigm of religion to primary direct experiences and individual beliefs rather than a dogma everyone must follow, with a big focus on community and discussing the ultimate questions of life together – with Psilomethoxin as the sacrament of choice. While he prefers member-to-member referrals, there is an application on the site, and he hopes to grow the church through linking people up regionally, (eventually) training people to facilitate, and partnering with a data collection company to gather real-world data on both Psilomethoxin and on why people are seeking out psychedelic churches in the first place.
He discusses several cases that brought us here and inspired his work; why he believes Psilomethoxin won't be a target of the Federal Analogue Act; the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the need for states to establish similar state legislation; the importance of new churches establishing evidence in the public record; how much courts take sincerity into consideration; and the concept that, while we're quick to think of the law as the enemy, courts often don’t want to go after churches – religion is a sacred and intimate thing, so who is the victim if a court brings a church to court that hasn't harmed anyone?
*Update, April 17, 2023: Results from analytical testing released on April 12, 2023, reveal that there is no evidence to suggest the compound psilomethoxin is present in the samples of sacrament material the Church of Psilomethoxin is offering to their members online. The report, prepared by Samuel Williamson and Alexander Sherwood of the Usona Institute, states, “Psilocybin, baeocystin, and psilocin, were, however, unambiguously identified in the sample, suggesting that the claims regarding the biosynthesis of psilomethoxin may be misguided. The implications of these findings should be critically considered within the context of public health and safety.”
We are following this story at Psychedelics Today and are working to update our community with commentary from the researchers. Stay tuned to our social media channels for more on this topic.