A Church That Uses Hallucinogens During Its Services Has Opened a Maine Location
Let's cut right to the chase and answer the biggest question right out of the gate, shall we? Ayahuasca is considered illegal unless it is being used during church services.
According to an article from WGME 13, Pachamama Sanctuary, a church that has been operating in New Hampshire, has now moved to, and opened up in, Casco, Maine. The church had been operating in New Hampshire until recently when zoning changes, and threats of fines, forced a move.
The church has since moved to a 40 acre property in Casco, Maine. WGME says that the church operates as both a church and as a retreat. The founding pastor of the unusual church, Derek Januszewski, told WGME that people think their practices seem a little strange to many because of their use of a hallucinogenic tea called ayahuasca.
“When consumed it creates a mystical, spiritual experience. That energy comes up in ceremonies and we can see it a lot more clearly", Januszewski said in part.
According to the Alcohol & Drug Foundation,
Ayahuasca (pronounced ‘eye-ah-WAH-ska’) is a plant-based psychedelic. Psychedelics affect all the senses, altering a person’s thinking, sense of time and emotions. They can cause a person to hallucinate—seeing or hearing things that do not exist or are distorted.
A&DF also goes on to explain that some of the effects, which can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours include panic, fear, anxiety, euphoria, feelings of unity, increased body temp, a potential for slight increases in blood pressure and heart rate and intense visual and auditory hallucinations.
They also go on to say that the drug does not appear to have any long-lasting negative effects on the body and while some people may see the drug as a cleansing healing journey, others may experience symptoms of a 'bad trip'.
What do you think of Southern Maine's newest church? Do you think you would ever try anything like this? If you have done something similar, share your experience with us through our app chat.