Brian C. Muraresku’s just-released book Immortality Key: The Secret History of a Religion with No Name explores the history of how psychoactive substances shaped the development of Christianity and Western civilization.
Armed with the new science of archeological chemistry that accurately detects and analyzes residues found in ancient pottery and cave paintings, and combining it with a Jesuit education in the Classics and linguistics, Muraresku describes the accidental brewing of beer 13,000 years ago when the last ice age receded. Some lucky person added yeast from their hands to a mixture of wheat and water and let it sit until it fermented. With wheat beer later came ergot mold that spiked the brew that could produce an after-worldly glow without priests or charlatans intervening or getting in the way — a prospect that irritates certain members of the clergy and their followers to this day.
Variations on the spiked or fortified wine meme began in roughly 3000 BCE. The wine included additives from whatever was widely available at the time, the stuff of witches’ brews, like cannabis, psilocybin, henbane, and nightshade, as examples. A more recent and familiar example of a fortified vintage is the famous Vin Mariani that contained coca and was a preferred beverage of Pope Leo XIII, Pope Saint Pius X, and aficionados like Ulysses S. Grant and Thomas Edison. The list is long.
A Joe Rogan Experience interview of Brian Muraresku and Graham Hancock discusses the fantastic journey into the past undertaken by Muruesku in the footsteps of pioneers such as ethnomycologist Gordon Wasson, Carl A. P. Ruck, and chemist Albert Hofmann to bring us a highly detailed and scientific overview of our ancient ancestors who consumed scary drugs initially provided by female shamans. The drug war is revealed as a war waged by a reactionary clergy determined to retain their middle-man status between heaven and earth: