Landlords want ouster of Indian group specializing in peyote, marijuana
By Don Bauder, June 11, 2017
On Friday, June 9, another possibly controversial lawsuit landed in the lap of federal Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, who made headlines for his handling of the Trump University case, which ended with President Trump agreeing to pay the plaintiffs $25 million.
This case, the Razooky Family Trust vs. Oklevueha Native Indian Church of Sacramental Healing, Inc., was moved Friday from superior court to Curiel’s chambers. Samir and Raidh Razooky, who run a Lakeside grocery store, among other things, charge that the Sacramental Healing group rented space at 13313 Highway 8 business route in El Cajon, and said they would not sell peyote or marijuana, their specialty. The suit charges that the defendants immediately began selling marijuana. So, the plaintiffs filed an unlawful detainer action in superior court in April.
In the notice of the removal of the suit to federal court, the church says that “as a Native Indian Church of Sacramental Healing, [the church] is a sovereign nation and the litigation violates its civil rights. The plaintiffs’ unlawful detainer suit in state court would prevent the group from practicing its rituals, says the church, citing other legal reasons the suit must go to federal court.
swell June 11, 2017 @ 12:08 p.m.
The beauty of this and similar nonsense is that it helps us to focus on the special place of religion in the US. Around the country are some very strange and sometimes dangerous religions and religious practices.
Yet, because our Founding Fathers had a certain attitude toward religion, we let them do whatever they want — and they don’t have to pay taxes. Every city, town and village has at its center some prime real estate that produces no income. These churches can have few members and still prosper because of their low cost of operation.
Modern Americans have evolved somewhat in our attitude toward religion. Maybe it’s time to expect them to be responsible public entities and answer to some regulatory control.
BTW, I was ordained in 1965 by the Missionaries of the New Truth. Yes it cost me; ten dollars plus postage at a time when a dollar was almost worth a dollar. I’m watching this case in hopes that it might open the door for me to sell some drugs.
Don Bauder June 11, 2017 @ 4:44 p.m.
Rev. Swell of the Missionaries of the New Truth: sorry, you can’t get a tax-free liquor license despite your $10 donation. The outfit in question gets to sell hallucinogenic drugs because a court has supposedly recognized it as an Indian religion that uses these drugs in its rituals, although you don’t have to be an Indian to join.
Have you tried peyote or ayahuasca? Marijuana? Best, Don Bauder
Don Bauder June 11, 2017 @ 12:36 p.m.
swell: I agree with you 100 percent on that point. Through the years, I have done a number of stories and columns on crooks setting up a phony church, and pulling various scams including, of course, dodging taxes. Apparently, a court has said this church of alleged Sacramental Healing, providing then-illegal drugs to its members, is a legitimate church.
Pardon me, but I would like to look further into it. Best, Don Bauder
No state shall convert a liberty into a license, and charge a fee therefore.” (Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105)
“If the State converts a right (liberty) into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.” (Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, 373 U.S. 262)
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