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Published on May 30th, 2024 | by Bryson "Boom" Paul


Minority-Run Psychedelic Church Subjected to Troubling Raid, Raising Concerns of Racial Justice Act Violation and Illuminating Disparity Among Psychedelic Institutions in the Bay Area

Oakland, California – The Ritual Church of Community Ceremony, a pioneering minority-run psychedelic church in Oakland, finds itself grappling with the aftermath of a distressing raid conducted by the Oakland Police Department (OPD), potentially infringing upon our protected rights under the Religious Freedom Act. This intrusive action has shed light on a disconcerting disparity within the psychedelic community, as the majority of psychedelic churches operating in the Bay Area are owned by white males. We stand united in our belief that this raid may constitute a violation of the Racial Justice Act, highlighting the need for equitable treatment of psychedelic institutions.

On 5/20/24, the OPD conducted a forceful raid on the premises of the Ritual Church of Community Ceremony, an institution that has long provided a safe and inclusive space for individuals seeking spiritual exploration through psychedelics. As a minority-run church, we have been steadfast in our dedication to promoting religious freedom, personal growth, and communal well-being. The targeted nature of this raid raises concerns about potential discrimination based on race and ethnicity, potentially violating the principles enshrined in the Racial Justice Act.

One particularly striking aspect of this incident is the disparity among psychedelic institutions in the Bay Area. While there are multiple psychedelic churches operating in the region, it is disheartening to note that a majority of these establishments are owned and operated by white males. This stark contrast in ownership demographics underscores the need for a more inclusive and diverse psychedelic community, where minority-run institutions are afforded the same respect, protection, and opportunities as their counterparts.

The raid not only disrupted the operations of the Ritual Church of Community Ceremony but also infringed upon the rights of our congregation to freely practice their faith and engage in sacraments integral to their spiritual journeys. Our sacraments have been carefully designed to facilitate healing, self-discovery, and personal transformation, and their deprivation hampers the growth and well-being of our community members.

As a minority-run institution, we firmly believe in the principles of religious freedom and equal treatment under the law. The raid on our church not only raises concerns about potential violations of the Racial Justice Act but also highlights the need for greater scrutiny and accountability within law enforcement practices. We call upon the OPD, relevant authorities, and community leaders to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding this raid, ensuring that the rights protected by the Religious Freedom Act and the principles of racial justice are upheld.

We also urge the psychedelic community and stakeholders to address the disparity in ownership within the Bay Area’s psychedelic landscape. It is imperative that all psychedelic institutions, regardless of ownership, operate within a framework of inclusivity, diversity, and equitable treatment. By fostering a more inclusive environment, we can collectively work towards dismantling systemic biases and promoting a more just and harmonious society.

The Ritual Church of Community Ceremony remains resolute in our commitment to advocating for religious freedom, racial justice, and equal treatment of all psychedelic institutions. We will continue to engage in dialogue, collaborate with community leaders, and work towards creating a more diverse and inclusive psychedelic landscape that respects the rights and contributions of minority-run institutions

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About the Author

Bryson "Boom" Paul is a well-known journalist and media correspondent. He has written for OC Weekly, LA Weekly, Dallas Observer, Hip Hop DX, The Source and more. Throughout 13-plus years, he has interviewed the biggest names in music, like Tyler the Creator, 50 Cent and Sean Paul.

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