Twenty priests from different denominations agreed to participate in the unexpected psychiatric experiment, which asked them scientists from the U.S. Johns Hopkins University. The clergy will feed a powerful dose of psilocybin – the active substance of hallucinogenic mushrooms, to ascertain in the firmness of their religious beliefs.
Guardian writes that the consent for participation in the study was given by the representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, Presbyterian Ministers, a Zen Buddhist and a few rabbis. Psychologist William Richards, who leads the work, adds that psychiatrists remained to convince the Imam and Hindu priest to represent all religions.
Scientists hope that the experience of hallucinations will help the priests more deeply to understand their religious heritage and to see how strong their faith is.
According to the publication, the same team of scientists at the time, proved the effectiveness of psilocybin to relieve the acute anxiety in cancer patients at the end of life, and now undertook the identification of the true believers priests.
Says the Professor of psychiatry Michael Vinogradov:
The priests from the powerful doses of psychotropic substances can go crazy, especially if previously none of them experienced hallucinations. Also, do not understand the scientific component of the research, it is well known that under the influence of hallucinogens could easily change their point of view and even stand up in an aggressive stance to his “sober” view of the world. As a member of the International society of emergency psychiatry I can say that this experience of the wider scientific community will not approve of, because it’s not traceable scientific value, but there is a great risk to the psyche of people.