The Pharmacratic Inquisition is a provocative film from Gnostic Media that makes the argument that virtually all of the mythology, symbolism, and story of Jesus and related Christian traditions relate to two basic subjects: astrology and shamanism. For those unfamiliar with the evidence in support of this claim, this film can be truly eye opening and revolutionary.
Much of the material for this film rests upon the work of John Allegro. Allegro was one of the original scholars chosen to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Christian texts that were discovered in Qumram near the Dead Sea in the middle of the 20th century. Unlike his colleagues, Allegro was not beholden to the Catholic Church and therefore was able to develop his theories and interpretations free from Catholic dogma. The result was the radical claim that Jesus was a psychoactive mushroom. In particular, Allegro argued that the mythology and symbolism surrounding the Christ figure all point to Amanita muscaria mushrooms, the iconic red and white mushroom so common in Christmas symbolism and imagery.
The amanita mushroom plays a central role in this film and is presented as the basis for the shamanic elements in Christianity. Amanitas have a long history of use among northern European and Siberian shamans – the very cultures from which the term “shaman” originates. Within these cultures, “shamanism” was synonymous with amanita use and knowledge of its psychoactive properties were well known throughout that region of the world. That the shamanic use of the amanita might influence Christianity should therefore not necessarily be a surprise, but the argument that Jesus actually is an amanita, and not a historical figure, is probably a surprise to most.
The film makes a compelling argument for this connection between Jesus and the amanita, and even psilocybin mushrooms, through the presentation of Christian symbolism, iconography, and imagery. When one looks closely at the Catholic Church, amanita symbolism appears to abound from the clothing of popes and cardinals to frescos, arch ways, and church architecture. Even the myths themselves, such as that of the Holy Grail, seem to fall within the category of amanita symbolism. Indeed, when the images are presented in this manner, the comparison to amanita becomes immediately obvious and difficult to argue against.
Even Santa Claus gets the amanita treatment in this film. Here the jolly old elf is presented in the context of northern European shamanism where, according to tradition, the shaman would dry his amanitas from a conifer tree and then visit the yurts of his community, entering through the smoke hole to bring gifts of sacred mushrooms to the people. It is not much of a stretch to see that these reindeer herding shamans were the iconic model for the fat red and white clothed Santa, who himself looks very much like an amanita mushroom.
In addition to the influence of shamanism and psychoactive mushrooms on Christianity, the film also investigates the relationship between astrology and astronomy to the Christ myth. Here the filmmakers provide compelling arguments for the correlation between the Christ myth and the Winter Solstice sky and the zodiacal ages, graphically demonstrating how such tales of the shining star, the three kings, and the death and resurrection of Jesus all fit within previously known facts about the night sky and the change of seasons.
Ultimately, the Pharmacratic Inquisition challenges many of the assumptions and beliefs we may have about Christianity and its central figures, providing provocative evidence that things are not as they seem within this tradition. If true, the question then becomes: does the Catholic Church still use amanita mushrooms secretly within the confines of the Vatican? Have they really been withholding this fundamental truth for two millennia, or have even they come to believe the myths that were created to both communicate and conceal the true identity of Jesus Christ? Watch this film and make up your own mind.
by Martin W. Ball, Ph.D., author and host of the Entheogenic Evolution Podcast