But really, isn’t this just the type of rebellion you’d expect to find at a Jewish youth group retreat/convention?
[Read the full article.] Articles like this make me wish Mordecai Richler would write a sequel to Solomon Gursky Was Here, the novel based on the Bronfmans.
Bronfman scion’s temple plans aren’t U.S. town’s cup of tea
Jeffrey Bronfman is stirring controversy in a remote New Mexican town where he is seeking to build a massive temple for his obscure religious sect to practice an unconventional brand of worship – drinking psychedelic tea to bring them closer to God.
The religion was founded by a Brazilian rubber tapper in 1961 in the Amazon rain forest, and has about 8,000 followers worldwide whose beliefs fuse Christian theology with certain aspects of native spirituality.
Mr. Bronfman brought the religion, known as UDV, to the United States in 1992, and the religion has since grown to attract about 130 followers, mainly in the Santa Fe area.
This is not the first time Mr. Bronfman, whose family once owned Seagram’s, has found himself at the centre of high-profile controversy linked to his religion, which prohibits the consumption of alcohol.
Three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in favour of his group’s religious right to drink the tea, known as hoasca, which is brewed from two plants grown in the Amazon that contain DMT, a hallucinogen that is considered a controlled substance by the U.S. government.
Mr. Bronfman, an environmentalist who discovered the religion and the tea on a trip to the rain forest in the early nineties, successfully argued that the drink was a religious communion, necessary for followers to fully connect with God.