Psychedelic Mind Expanding Drugs and the Jesus Movement

13 Dec

Stained Glass Zoom

Psychedelic Mind Expanding Drugs and the Jesus Movement

All Photography Copyright: Bob Gersztyn

By: Bob Gersztyn

Jesus Freak guitar

Back in 1971 when the Jesus movement was exploding around the USA and Western Free Europe it was cool to be a Jesus Freak. That was because there were two halves to the Jesus movement. The first half were children of old time religion Southern Gospel listening parents, who wanted to Modernize the Protestant church the way that the Roman Catholics were trying to do with their Vatican II changes. The other half was made up of former drug using hippies who met Jesus on an acid trip, like Oden Fong, Chuck Girard or Keith Green.

Chuck Girard #2

In case you aren’t familiar with them or their stories, I’ll clue you in. Keith Green was a successful secular musician who experienced Jesus on an LSD trip andΒ  became a Jesus Freak and became a lightning rod for the Jesus movement, until his death in 1982. Chuck Girard already had 3 top 40 hit records, played with the Beach Boys and tripped on 500 hits of acid before becoming a born again Christian. Oden Fong was the son of Hollywood movie stars and ran drugs for Timothy Leary before finding Jesus on 100 hits of LSD.


Today, stories like this are not politically correct, but once again truth is stranger than fiction. before LSD, and all the other entheogens were made illegal beginning in October 1966 there were a number of valid observations and experiments about the relationship between psychedelic drugs and religion. the most famous experiment was conducted by Walter Pahnke a medical doctor working on his Phd. in religion at Harvard University. Under the direction of his professor, Dr. Timothy Leary, he conducted “The Good Friday Experiment,” in 1962. He had 30 volunteers. Half were given a synthetic derivative of psilocybin from psychedelic mushrooms, while the other half was given a placebo. An account of the experiment can be found at the website below on a pdf document.

Stained Glass

Long term change is what the observer is looking for. In the case of Keith Green he stayed committed until his death in 1982. Oden Fong and Chuck Girard are still alive and continuing the religious path that they began in 1970. The funny thing is how a testimony like this was common in 1975 but is politically incorrect today. The Crazy thing is recreational marijuana is now legal in 8 states and Washington D.C. and I live in one of them. By the time that I’m ready to die, they’ll have LSD clinics for terminally ill patients to go to.


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