Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Shamanism and the Drug Propaganda: The Birth of Patriarchy and the Drug War Paperback – November 1, 1998
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"A magnificent production. I find it not only brilliant, but beautifully organized and, of course, something that needs to be. It is a tremendous work and, by nature, a tremendous volume." -- Professor Richard Evans Schultes, Director Emeritus, Botanical Museum of Harvard University
"Dan Russell traces the roots of the modern Drug War back to their ancient unconscious origins. Beginning with the evolution of Paleolithic proto-hominids, Russell presents one example after another in support of his thesis that the Drug War is a psychological inheritance from ancient times, one which is now deeply embedded in and, in some cases, the driving force of our culture of power and profits. Russell draws extensively from archeological evidence, presenting object after object engraved with archetypal symbols of shamanic travels, and he deconstructs countless ancient stories and myths to show that many of them alluded to visionary states elicited by the ingestion of psychoactive plants and potions."
"Shamanism and Drug Propaganda is so detail rich that a summary does it an injustice. In essence, however, Russell argues that over time, the stories told by ancient people (culminating in the New Testament), have been co-opted, corrupted, and manipulated by forces bent on producing a conformist industrial culture." -- Richard Glen Boire, Esq., Executive Director, The Alchemind Society, Journal of Cognitive Liberties, Vol.1, Issue 1, Winter 1999/2000
"Dan Russell's book, "Shamanism and the Drug Propaganda" starts with questions of basic importance to ethnobotany. Anyone working in this discipline is aware of the profond and ancient relationship between man and plant. Not only in tribal societies, but even in our own industrial society plants still have enormous cultural impact. Ethnobotany has demonstrated the worldwide importance of plants not only in material culture - as the raw material for tools, goods, medicines and foods - but especially as powerful symbols in all the world's folk cosmologies." "Most of the plants which have acquired the status of sacred or divine symbols are psychoative plants, i.e. plants which contain active substances closely related to our own neurotransmitters. In fact it is hard to find a pre-industrial society which hasn't made a sacrament of a psychoative plant. Using studies such as my own among the Maku in the northwest Amazon, ethnobotany can demonstrate the relationship between psychoactive plants and the tribal roots of human religion." "But if the psychoative plants are so deeply rooted in our evolved sense of the sacred, why are they so viciously banned in contemporary industrial cultures? Dan Russell's book answers this question. This important volume show clearly and easily how the cultural evolution of the occident has created the present situation. Starting in the 'golden age' when humankind had free access to the "mysterium tremendum," Russell shows with competence how little by little the state and the church have coopted and banned direct access to traditional sacred states." "Shamanism and the Drug Propaganda" traces the cultural evolution of our species from shamanism to the mass media religions. It is an important book, very well written, a must for anyone interested in psychoative plants and in the cultural evolution of humankind. It is also a very pleasing volume to read, the kind of book that will keep you holding your breath until the end. I strongly recommend this heavily illustrated, original, yet rigorously empirical historical vision." -- Anthropologist and Ethnobotanist Pedro Fernandes Leite da Luz, M.A.
"I had to write in appreciation of the invaluable contribution you've made to realizing the possible human. Immediately, I was impressed with the multi-perspectives through which you see the classics. I find your book a major ally in delivering truth today." -- Jeannine Parvati, author of "Hygieia: A Woman's Herbal"
About the Author
Dan Russell went to undergraduate school at the University of Buffalo and CCNY, graduating with a BA from CCNY in 1970. He ran an online business for many years. His scholarly writing was done independently on his country homestead in the Adirondacks.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 67%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The second part is an angry denunciation of orthodox Christianity in favor of gnosticism. Using rather creative methods the author develops a picture of Jesus as a military leader who sought to overthrow the Roman empire. This is certainly different than the description one usually encounters. He continues to find in gnosticism the "true" tradition of pharmacological shamanism.
The book suffers three major flaws. First, the author never really describes what shamans are or how they function in society. The reader is left wondering if the term isn't simply used as a catchall to describe people who take drugs. Second the author never distinguishes between sacramental use of psychoactive plants and recreational use. Thirdly, in the middle ages there was validity in railing against the temporal power of the Christian church. Writing in America today, hundreds of years after the reformation, in a judicial climate openly hostile to the expression of Christianity in a public forum, blaming the injustice of the world on the Christian faith hardly makes sense.
Still, in the end, the author's principal thesis holds. As he argues, for the government to wage war on the sacraments of other cultures is to wage war on those cultures. In a society that advertises itself as multicultural and open to diversity it is unclear why this is the case.
The Birth of Patriarchy and the Drug War - 1998
This book, at first glance, appears somewhat difficult to comprehend with its lack of introduction, conclusion and explanation of chapter direction. However, the title does say it all.
Mr. Russell first takes us on a history of the shamanic use of herbs and entheogenic plants and calendrical time tracking through the matriarchal ages of the Bone, Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages, showing the progressive development of patriarchy with the advancement of agriculture, which eventually led the tribes away from the female-as-shaman ancient (matriarchal/lunar) practices.
He then delves into the history of entheogenic plant usage in Sumerian, Babylonian and Canaanite/Judean rites as well with the Essenes at Qumran and the take over of patriarchal sun worship. Then he follows into the Greek shamanic Olympian and Eleusinian Mysteries, their entheogen practice, suppression--and the development of Christianity out of the politico/religio mess of the shamanic-suppressive fascism of the times.
He shows us how the Christian icons used today are related to ancient, shamanic rites and entheogen use as John Allegro suggested in the Sacred Mushroom and the Cross with the Amanita Muscaria. However, Russell doesn't stop with just Amanita, he makes many plausible suggestions toward alternative entheogens that may have also been employed.
The final tie in he makes is with the ancient shamanic tradition and the War on Drugs. The Modern Inquisition, written by Harry J. Anslinger, is almost verbatim of the Pius outlawing of entheogens over 1600 years earlier.
His presentation of the history of entheogens reminded me much of Professor Carl Ruck's style of writing whom he does quote often, though without the heavier Christian slant.
Those whom are offended by direct and honest commentary on the horrific history of Christianity may find this book offensive or "attacking Christianity." Russell doesn't find the need to sugar coat the disgraceful and murderous shamanic-inquisitional origins of Christianity.
The problems with the book: 1) it is a little dry. 2) His ideas of the origins of patriarchy with the invention of agriculture does not coincide with new research by Dr. James DeMeo in Saharasia, based on Textor data, showing the Saharasian region's desertification as the actual cause of patriarchy and armament (see also Discover Magazines Aug. 2005 article: Are the Desert People Winning?). Furthermore, it would have been helpful for Russell if he had tied in the work of Social Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski in "The Sexual Life of Savages" (1929), or, for that matter, the work of Dr. Wilhelm Reich in "Invasion of Compulsory Sex-Morality" with this excellent work.
Overall, the book is very well researched with many new ideas. A great addition to any library. 5 Stars!
The book lacks statements of how the line of argument proceeds through the chapters and sections, but the content is excellent and much needed.