Entheogenesis: an Alum’s Banned Paideia Class

The monumental Paideia schedule dominated the GCC Lobby from January 18th until the first day of classes, directing knowledge-seekers to an exhaustive list of educational and recreational opportunities. One of the week’s events, however, appeared nowhere on the list.

On January 24th, the Friday of Paideia, alumnus Richard Milsom led an unofficial, unsanctioned “Entheogenesis Seminar” in the Student Union. Participants discussed legal issues surrounding psychoactive drugs used for spiritual purposes, or entheogens. Conversation focused especially on the 2006 Supreme Court case UDV v. Gonzalez — in which the Court unanimously upheld a religious movement’s right to the sacramental use of ayahuasca, a Schedule I substance — and its implications for religious freedom and drug policy in America.

The Grail spoke to Mr. Milsom a week later about his past, his class, and his motives in holding it even though he had been denied permission by the Paideia czars.