Commentng on an article about the Native American “church” (pre”tendian”) situation at ONAC Sugarleaf Rasta et al entitled
“The following email was set to Sachem Graves PRIOR to KM's decision to put our Mother Church on notice that we distrust them. We felt that we should go ahead and share it with you now so you're aware of what's in the works and planed for all ONAC churches future:”
(Originally published nov 13, 2017)
I sat in a room two years ago with an ONAC representative and heard a sales pitch for a church. Five grand, he said, and you will be legally covered under ONAC's legally recognised and supreme court victory enshrined rights to use and distribute peyote, ayahuasca, and cannabis sacraments. Buy into our church, he said, and you will have a virtual license to exchange cannabis for donations legally and without fear of arrest, so long as we followed a particular set of guidelines. I asked some hard questions at that meeting, and did some looking into the true legal status of ONAC.
What I found was that ONAC had a single court victory, over a case in which founder Mooney was charged with peyote distribution and mounted a religious defense. He won the right for ONAC to use peyote among its members, but only within the state of UTAH. He did not advance his case to the federal level, and thus never got the same acknowledgement of rights from the federal government. They had no legally recognised right to use peyote outside of utah, and no legally recognised right to authorize others to do so either.
Yet that is what they sold, a legally recognised right to use and distribute schedule one substances, and the promise of legal assistance if any police didn't follow the law and allow it. "Your membership card puts police on notice immediately" they told us... This is what people paid five thousand dollars for. They claimed that their court victory gave them the right to sell the right to use and distribute not only peyote, but any natural sacrament including cannabis, san pedro cactus, ayahuasca, and psilocybe mushrooms.
Two years ago they were going around selling licences to deal drugs, and whenever someone got busted, it was always the same, the old faith-healer's dodge "You didn't follow the instructions and so our promise of protection is void", just a variation of "your faith wasn't strong enough and thats why you weren't healed". Mooney used this dodge on his own son.