Joe Rogan Sparks Controversy with Claims About Biblical Prophets

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.09 - 2024 2:34 PM CET

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube
Joe Rogan's latest commentary on The Joe Rogan Experience suggests that biblical prophets may have been under the influence of psychedelic drugs.

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Joe Rogan, the outspoken host of The Joe Rogan Experience on Spotify, has once again stirred the pot with his provocative take on religion, this time suggesting that some of the Bible's prophetic visions might have been the result of hallucinogenic drug use.

Known for his controversial remarks on various topics, Rogan's latest comments came during a discussion with writer and documentarian David Holthouse.

Rogan's Controversial Takes on Religion

The conversation turned to the biblical story of Ezekiel, who described seeing four creatures each with "four faces and four wings" in the sky.

Holthouse remarked, “I mean, to anybody that’s done DMT [dimethyltryptamine] or ayahuasca – really tripped on psychedelics – you read that and it feels sort of familiar … The glory of God, these visions of these beings."

Rogan added, “And the fact that these things are constantly changing their experience. That’s the thing about the DMT experience, it’s not a stationary static experience, it’s like constantly changing and moving in front of you."

When Holthouse suggested “maybe [Ezekiel] found some of those mushrooms”, Rogan replied with a “Maybe.”

DMT, a substance derived from plants, is classified as a Class A drug. The Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation notes that it is the active psychoactive ingredient in ayahuasca, known for causing potent, brief hallucinations.

The Burning Bush: A DMT Encounter?

The podcast host then referred to an academic theory from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, suggested by cognitive psychology professor Benny Shanon in 2008, which speculated that Moses' encounter with the burning bush—a seminal event where God delivers the Ten Commandments—might have involved DMT from an acacia tree, common in the region and known for its high DMT content.

“So you’re smoking this tree – this burning bush – and you’re seeing God, and God has brought you Ten Commandments of how to live life, which sounds like a lot of what you experience when you have the DMT experience. When you have that and you have these contact with the entities, they kind of give you guidelines on how to live.”

Shanon's hypothesis, which Rogan referenced, proposed, “As far as Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event (which I don’t believe), or a legend (which I don’t believe either), or finally – and this is very probable – an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effects of narcotics.”

“I Never Said Moses was Stoned When He Saw God”

NBC News reported that Shanon commented, “In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation, the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings.”

However, Shanon clarified his views in a March 2008 opinion piece for The Guardian titled “I never said Moses was stoned when he saw God.”

In this article, he expressed his profound respect for Moses, Jewish traditions, and religious faith as a whole.

“I would like to assure you that I have the deepest respect for Moses, the Jewish tradition and religious faith in general … I agree with Rabbi Pete Tobias (Face to Faith) that the spiritual, cultural and historical import of the biblical events, and of their associated texts and religious messages, is not diminished by their association with psychoactive plants,” he explained.

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