". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘Not Something to Play With’: Experts Warn of Dangers of Psychedelics

September 11, 2023

The use of psychedelic drugs is becoming increasingly mainstream. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) co-sponsored a psychedelic therapy bill to advocate using psychedelics in treating depression and PTSD in military veterans. Many media outlets are promoting the use as well, claiming there are numerous benefits. However, despite the push to emphasize these supposed benefits, experts are bringing awareness to a host of concerns.

During the September 7 edition of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was joined by Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, director of the Center for Family Studies at FRC, to discuss the dangers of illicit drugs — especially in the spiritual sense.

“[Psychedelics] have been on Schedule I since the Nixon administration,” Bauwens said. “[For several years,] these drugs have been noted as having absolutely no medicinal purposes. And actually, the Schedule I also notes that these drugs are harmful.” She further pointed out not only a push to remove them from Schedule I, but to decriminalize them.

Bauwens’ concern, however, is not in the lack of medicinal purposes as much as it is in the spiritual dangers. “These drugs are not something to play with,” she said. “They are very spiritual in nature.” She further explained the root word for psychedelic means “to manifest” the mind or soul. Another term for these drugs is “entheogens,” which, as Bauwens stated, “refers to the divine within.” She added, “We’re talking about a class of drugs that are aimed at opening up the mind, opening up the person’s spirit to other experiences.” In response, Perkins noted, “As Bible believing Christians, and looking to Scripture, this would be opening people up to demonic activity.”

Strange as it may sound to some, as Bauwens put it, there is a spiritual reality to using psychedelics. “In many cultures, many different religions use [psychedelics] to access the spirit realm.” She added that even in the days of Moses, Egyptian magicians were using witchcraft to access evil realms with drugs — drugs we now know as psychedelics or hallucinogens.

Observers are noting an increase in demonic activity occurring in culture, clearly seen here in America with many celebrities promoting it in their songs and on social media. “[It is] interesting the timing of all of this,” Perkins said. “As we see a rise of lawlessness, … increased demonic activity, … we see governments wanting to legalize more and more drugs that, … as the experts say, open people up to this religious, spiritual experience. It’s not good.”

Bauwens highlighted there is little to no attention given to the negative affects of these drugs. “All we’re hearing about are the glory stories, so to speak,” she said. “[But] we’re not hearing the negative things reported. Which, by the way, should always be a red flag. … It’s very rare to have a research body that, especially in the social sciences, [doesn’t have] a contrary report.”

In light of this, Bauwens recalled a woman who participated in an early LSD clinical drug trial. As a blind study, she did not receive any prior knowledge of the drugs in which she would be taking. The drug caused her to suffer from persistent hallucinations, which Bauwens stated to be one of the common — and understudied — side effects. As Bauwens deduced, this woman’s experience “opened her up into the spiritual realm.”

“We talk about the … legalization and decriminalization of these drugs. Folks, it’s dangerous,” Perkins concluded. “We need to be discerning and understanding as Christians. And sometimes that means we have to say we are opposed to and say no to things that maybe the popular culture wants. … There is a spiritual side to this, and it’s not good.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.