73. Mormons, Magic & Drugs

Mormons, Magic & Drugs The Earth Keepers Podcast with Amy Dempster from Following HawksSeason 3 of The Earth Keepers Podcast continues with a discussion on Mormons, Magic & Drugs with amateur historian and ex-Mormon researcher Cody Niconi.

In this season, I'm taking us on a journey to explore what happens when an entire society of people lose their connection to the only land they’ve ever known.

And I'll be exploring this question by following just one branch of my family tree back through the Mormon Pioneer days in Utah and Idaho and then back to my ancestors who left Sweden for America.

In this episode we're diving into the childhood of Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith Jr to learn more about his background with the occult, treasure digging, and his run-ins with the law.

We explore the reasons behind why plant medicines may have been incorporated into the sacrament in the early church days and why that practice ended and whether or not Mormon temple ceremonies were patterned after Masonic temple ceremonies.

If you've done any genealogy research into your own family origins, want to know more about how organized religion influenced your ancestor's beliefs, are curious about how plant medicine and shamanic ritual was integrated into early religion, and want some ideas about how you can reconnect with the land in a place and time your ancestors wouldn't recognize, you're going to love this season of The Earth Keepers podcast.

If you want to hear my entire discussion with Cody, you can find it on my YouTube channel.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Pandora | Spotify | Amazon Music | Google Podcasts | Android Devices | Stitcher | RSS | Audible

Here's what I share in this episode:

  • How are Mormon beliefs different from other Christian religions
  • What was happening in the Christian occult scene in the early 1800's
  • Where the Burned Over District was and how it contributed to Mormonism
  • What beliefs the early American colonists had that were escaping religious persecution in other countries
  • How the Erie Canal contributed to the expansion of religious ideas
  • Other religious groups near Joseph Smith's childhood home that had similar customs to the Mormons
  • Who the Fox Sisters were and how they contributed to Spiritualism's popularity
  • What John Calvin’s Doctrine of Predestination says
  • Joseph Smith's family's treasure digging business and his first run-in with the law
  • How early church members continued to believe in the religion even after losing faith in Joseph
  • Joseph's parents' knowledge of plant medicine and the occult
  • How early herbalists had both plant and magical knowledge
  • Joseph Smith's early prophetic visions and how he translated the golden plates
  • The first time Joseph got a group of people together to lead a visionary experience
  • What kind of plants Joseph may have used to create visionary experiences
  • Why Joseph's polygamous unions didn't produce any children
  • How early members were recruited to the church
  • Why members may not have questioned whether the sacramental wine was drugged
  • What promises the early church made to converts
  • Things early church members were doing to bring the end of the world on sooner
  • How Mormon temple ceremonies are similar to Masonic temple ceremonies
  • What Joseph Smith had to know to become a Master Mason in one day
  • The drama that unfolded in early Mormon temple rituals
  • What happened at the Kirtland temple dedication to convince Cody they were using psychedelics
  • Things that were changed in the temple ceremonies after Brigham Young became the prophet
  • Why the visionary experiences in the church ended after Joseph's death

Links & Resources

Transcript for this episode

Connect with Cody Niconi

Learn more and join the Earth Tenders Academy

The Fox Sisters and the Rap on Spiritualism

Alchemically Stoned – The Psychedelic Secret of Freemasonry