John Allegro wrote one of the most compelling books about psychedelic mushrooms ever published. The Sacred Mushroom And The Cross argues that Christianity is rooted in an ancient sex-and-mushroom cult and that Jesus was not a man but the psychedelic Amanita Muscaria mushroom.
Allegro’s method is to delve behind the surface meaning and context of biblical words, conjuring instead with their frequently erotic root meaning (“Christian,” he says, is a derivation from the Sumerian meaning “smeared with semen”). These half-forgotten roots, Allegro maintains, link the characters and stories of the Bible to the orgiastic, often outlawed mushroom cults of the Near East.” (from Time magazine, 1970).
Allegro uses etymological arguments to propose that Christianity originated as a hoax in which the rabbi Jesus was invested with the powers and names of the fly agaric (Amanita Muscaria), the true body of Christ. In effect, according the Allegro, Christianity was the exoteric disguise of a secret mushroom cult whose original content was eventually forgotten.” Roque Nuevo
Come mushroom hunting season in the Rocky Mountains around Boulder, my friends and I used to pick the bountiful Amanita Muscaria and make tea from it. I found it to be a very challenging trip, always riding the fine line between bliss and terror.
Here’s one of the rare filmed interviews Allegro gave in his lifetime. Recorded for and broadcast on Dutch TV in December 1976.