In an article entitled
Why Are A Growing Number Of Ex-Mormons Using Psychedelics?
KUER’s RadioWest reports
Author. Benjamin Bombard
A Salt Lake native, Benjamin Bombard served numerous internships in the KUER newsroom before becoming a producer of RadioWest. He aspired to the position for years, and in his sometimes wayward pursuit of it he has worked as a print and radio journalist in Utah, Wyoming, and California, a horse wrangler, golf course “bag rat,” dishwasher, janitor, bookseller, children’s museum guide, barista, linecook, and a male nanny or “manny.” He has dished up gelato to Mafiosos in Rhode Island, and worked as a volunteer for a health NGO in Mali, West Africa, where he politely declined an offer to act as a blood-diamond mule. He values holistic personal fitness and good, honest food. Most of his free time is spent writing, reading, preparing for hunting season, hunting when it’s hunting season, and otherwise pursuing an overabundance of diverse interests and passions.
Contact Benjamin. https://radiowest.kuer.org/people/benjamin-bombard
Late last summer, Steve Urquhart, a lawyer and former Utah state legislator, announced that he was forming his own church. Urquhart was once a highly conservative lawmaker, which was in line with his background as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from Washington County.
But personal challenges, and, surprisingly, psychedelics, changed Urquhart’s mind. He left the church and became a vocal advocate for progressive causes, including medical marijuana.
His new church, The Divine Assembly, bears little in common with Mormonism, particularly because its sacrament is psychedelics rather than bread and water,.
After reading about Urquhart’s church in a column by Robert Gehrke at The Salt Lake Tribune, I attended a virtual conference held by The Divine Assembly.
“Load up the handcart and join Utahns and Mormons who are trekking into psychedelic spaces,” read an advertisement for the conference on Facebook. Many of the attendees, I learned, were former members of the LDS church who were interested in trying psychedelics or already doing so.
Who were these people, I wondered, and why, after leaving a demanding, orthodox faith, had they turned to psychedelics? Was there something about the Mormon experience that primed people for seeking out these drugs?
Over the past several months, I’ve spoken with more than a dozen individuals, all of them once devout, faithful and committed members of the LDS church. For various reasons, they fell away from the faith, and in time, they found psychedelics.