Thoughts on the Source of a WT Quote?
So, I posted this thread:
on another forum, and as well posted it here primarily to ask a question.
An astute redditor went to the beginning of the 2004 article -
The WT quote there is:
“WHEN religion is not encouraging strife it is acting as a drug which numbs the human conscience and fills the human brain with escapist fantasies. . . . [It] causes human beings to be narrow, superstitious, full of hatred and fear.” The former Methodist missionary who wrote that added: “These charges are true. There is bad and good religion.”—Start Your Own Religion.
The redditor posted that that book was written by Timothy Leary.
Timothy Leary did write a book of that title
I do not feel like shelling out $20. to verify if that quote is in the book or not, and the local library does not have a copy.
The statement that religion "is acting as a drug which numbs the human conscience and fills the human brain with escapist fantasies," certainly sounds like it would have come from his book.
However, the statement: "The former Methodist missionary who wrote that" does seem confusing, although there is the typical WT ... in the quote, which could break up what the Methodist missionary said, and what Timothy Leary himself wrote.
Of all people, did WT actually use a quote from Timothy Leary?
My guess is that "The former Methodist missionary" refers to Huston Smith.
Leary and Smith hung out together.
Huston Smith was raised Methodist.
Strange sources for Watchtower literature. Very strange.
Due to his connection with Heard and Huxley, Smith went on to meet Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), and others at the Center for Personality Research, where Leary was Research Professor. The group began experimenting with psychedelics and what Smith later called "empirical metaphysics." The experience and history of the group are described in Smith's book Cleansing the Doors of Perception. During this period, Smith was also part of the Harvard Project, an attempt to raise spiritual awareness through entheogenic plants. During his tenure at Syracuse University, he was informed by leaders of the Onondaga tribe about the Native American religious traditions and practices, which resulted in an additional chapter in his book on the world's religions. In 1990 the Supreme Court ruled that the use of Peyote as a religious sacrament by Native Americans was not protected under the US Constitution. Smith took up the cause, as a noted religion scholar and, with his help in 1994, Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendment, basically overturning the Supreme Court's decision.
Smith is a practicing Christian who credits his faith to his missionary parents who had "instilled in me a Christianity that was able to withstand the dominating secular culture of modernity."
berrygerry: I do not feel like shelling out $20. to verify if that quote is in the book or not, and the local library does not have a copy.
I found a free copy of Leary's book on archive.org
I downloaded the pdf version, did some searches, but found nothing at all to match the quote in the WT.
Checked those links - nada.
Only question left is that the original book in the links is 56 or 58 pages and the Amazon edition is 128 pages.
Colin Morris wrote a book of that title to accompany a BBC series. He was a methodist minister and missionary.