Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler
The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The International Cultivators Handbook: Hashish, Coca, and Opium by Bill Drake. A review.
For those of you who read the blog on a regular basis you may recall I recently had an excellent opportunity to review Bill Drakes recently updated; "The Cultivators Handbook Of Natural Tobacco" a book I highly recommend to anyone and everyone who is interested in "Starving The Federal Beast" and producing their own natural, additive free tobacco for profit, fun, or sacrament. Even more so do I recommend it to those who want to be prepared for SHTF.
Bill however is not only a specialist who is knowledgeable about only tobacco, but he is also an expert incredibly versed in the uses and cultivation, both historically and in modernity in a myriad of other entheogenic plants and substances.
Take for example his other recently revised manual: The International Cultivators Handbook: Hashish, Coca, and Opium. One quick look at this book will reveal to you the breadth of Bill's valuable Shamanic knowledge and how it can be adapted the times of crisis that are soon and sure to come to our country.
Throughout the book Bill places a deep emphasis on focusing solely on the raw product of these historic "Third Eye Opening" plants as opposed to the highly concentrated derivatives or low quality drug dealer/government cartel supply derived thereof, and for good reason; it's time that both the laws were changed via the flow of information and time we realize just where the cartels make their connections.
Bill also does a fantastic job of highlighting historical texts in each chapter discussing the legitimate medical research and medical uses of each substance on the list with information which will absolutely blow your mind!
Mr. Drake takes us on a journey across continents, time, and man made boundary lines to explore and invoke the spirit of the indigenous cultures who cultivate these valuable plants and culture them into medicines for the body, mind, and spirit. Touching only briefly here on cannabis (which he also wrote THE book about in the late 60's) where he takes us on a quick overview of those peoples still engaged in the production of hashish and charas as well as their means and methods of producing such a highly valuable and potent substance.
Next (and to me the most interesting aspect of the book, at least in terms of making one rethink ones convictions) bill tackles the highly controversial plant that is coca, yes the very plant which the cartels have helped to demonize via their extraction and amplification of a single alkaloid with complete disrespect towards it's original and likely intended use. This section is heavy on medical literature which will open our eyes to the truth; a plant is never "evil" it is only through the machinations of greed that it becomes so. The legitimate use of this leaf in raw form seems compelling when viewed under the magnifying glass that is the information provided to us here; no better (well slightly) or worse than our current societies obsession with coffee and caffeine.
I went into the book thinking the coca section would be unlikely to convince me that it had any useful property whatsoever but came out a true believer. It is here that the author truly excels at getting his message across. I have legitimate hope that in time laws will be revised (or if anarchy hits that a source will be available) to allow for this powerful and respectable plant to be added to herbal pharmacopoeias across the land.
The third section deals with Papavier Somniferium, better known as the Opium Poppy. A plant/substance that nearly once collapsed the Asian empire due to the interference of the Brittish. I am well versed in the medicinal powers of opium as well as it's addictive properties (and while I don't advise cultivation of this or any of the previously mentioned, I am an advocate of knowing how to use what is available should SHTF), I would say that most Americans are with so many drugs mass marketed to us in the form of Opiates or Opioids for use in pain medication, but the truth is, those drugs are no better for you than shooting up Heroin (also derived from the majestic poppy plant). Here we are given a wealth of cultivation information and the respect needed to handle the raw opium substance in such a way as to respect it as opposed to abusing it. Funny how it's OK for pharmaceutical companies and doctors to push their derivatives on us but not for us to grow our own supply of much safer homegrown. Hell it's illegal to even grow this flower as an ornamental in this country. For that matter it's all good for the U.S. government to protect these crops in foreign countries we have invaded but they will gladly bust you for doing the same.
The book itself contains some wonderful photos Bill Himself took back when he was first putting it together in '72 and '73 as well as some great illustrations. As always Bill's humor and wisdom shine through in the words and never once does he advise anyone to try anything in this book without them assuming a great amount of risk (as neither do I).
I think anyone who has an interest in medicinal herbs, Shamanism, or entheogen in general would do well to add this one to the collection of valuable historical as well as operational information, it is a fantastic addition to the library of the supernaut, historian, shaman, or survivalist. 5 of 5.
-Alan Reed Bishop