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Santo Daime Church Raided in Netherlands
Oct 1999

Amsterdam - October 12, 1999 Raid on Santo Daime Church
Dear friends,

I am very sorry to tell you the latest development in Holland. Last
wednesday a service of the Santo Daime church was raided by Dutch police in
Amsterdam. Geraldine Fijneman, head of the Amsterdam branch of the church,
and Hans Bogers, head of the The Hague branch of the church were detained
for 3 days.

They are charged with leadership/membership of a criminal organisation with
the intent to distribute the Schedule 1 drug DMT.

The Amsterdam police raided the church after being tipped by the German
police. Some weeks ago a Santo Daime service was raided in Germany. The
Amsterdam police apparently followed one of the German Santo Daime members
on his way to the Amsterdam church. The police waited until the ayahuasca
was served before they entered the church. A Dutch historian told me this
was the first time in several hundred years that authorities entered a
church and arrested people.

I feel personally (as a Dutchman) quite embarrassed by this violation of
one of the basic human right, the right to freedom of religion.

Not only the Santo Daime church in Holland is severely hampered by this
situation, also the Amsterdam based Friends of the Forest are threatened by
this brutal act of the police. The service of the Santo Daime church took
place in a chapel that was hired by Friends of the Forest, together with
the Amsterdam branch of the Santo Daime. Nor the Santo Daime, nor Friends
of the Forest can conduct any services or rituals with ayahuasca anymore.
But the chapel is hired until May 2000, and the landlord refused to finish
the contract.

Luckily both the Santo Daime and Friends of the Forest have the same
laywer, a very talented and experienced woman. She knows the sacred brew
from her own experiences. Apart from that she is a laywer known for her
successes in the courtroom. I can't imagine the two arrested church leaders
will get any sentence. Unfortunately it will take quite a while before the
case will brought to court, and in the meantime both the Santo Daime and
Friends of the Forest can't conduct any services or rituals




November 20 Demonstration in Amsterdam

Last saturday 20 november 1999 about one hundred people held a
demonstration at the Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam. The
demonstration was organised to protest against the raid on the Amsterdam
Santo Daime church, and to demonstrate for the legalisation of ayahuasca.
The demonstration was organised by people from Friends of the Forest and
people from the ELF-building.
Leading members of the Santo Daime church were not present, but their
laywer was, and she brought good news: The prosecution feels embarrassed
about the raid and asked last friday morning to stop the case. The laywer
of the Santo Daime church refused to stop the case because the church wants
to have a clear verdict from the court. It will take 4 to 6 months before
the case comes to court.
The demonstration had good media coverage. A local television station
brought it in their news item, giving shots from happy people singing in
front of a beautifully painted bus, plus interviews with a psychiatrist who
told ayahuasca was a good substance, and an interview with me about the
impossibillity to use ayahuasca in a recreational way. They also
broadcasted a part of my speech, in which I compared Holland with China.
This news item was repeated every hour for 24 hours.
On monday two national newspapers brought long articles about the
demonstration. One newspaper focused on the Santo Daime case, the other
newspaper focused  on the activities of Friends of the Forest.
This is a translation of the speech I held on the Dam Square:

"Good afternoon,

my name is Arno Adelaars and I stand together with you here on the Dam
Square in Amsterdam becauseIi am schocked by the behaviour of the Dutch
Justice authorities.

If I tell you the police raided a church while a service was going on,
If I tell you the police arrested the pastors in their ceremonial robes,
If i tell you the police threw the pastors in jail,
you might think I am talking about China, or another country that is well
known for its violation of human rights,
But no. I don't talk about China, I talk about Holland.

On October 6th of this year the Amsterdam police raided a chapel where the
Santo Daime church was doing a service. The police started their raid when
the service had been going on for approximately twenty to thirty minutes,
and the ayahuasca, the holy sacrament was about to be served to the
faithfull. According to the police ayahuasca contains a substance that is
mentioned in the Dutch Opium Law.
Apparently for the Amsterdam police the Opium Law is more important than
Freedom of Religion. As we all know Freedom of Religion is one of the human
rights as mentioned in the United Nations charter.
We are here to protest against this violation of human rights.

Apart from that we also demonstrate for the legalisation of ayahuasca. It
is out of pure ignorance that DMT, one of the psychoactive ingredients in
ayahuasca, was scheduled as a hard drug in the Dutch Opium Law in the
1960's.
The criterion for a substance to be scheduled as a hard drug is: an
unacceptably high risk to public health. In the case of ayahuasca, as with
the case of the closely related psychoactive ingredients of psychedelic
mushrooms, an unacceptably high risk to public health is out of the
question.
In the 1960's DMT, psilocybine and psilocine where scheduled as a hard
drug. This happened because of pressure from the United States, a country
well known for its drug hysteria.
The Dutch lawmakers in that time didn't have the faintest idea what they
actually scheduled. In this context I would like to quote an advisor of the
Dutch minister of Public Health. This advisor, toxicologist professor De
Wolff from Leiden Academic Hospital, said literally in this weeks Vrij
Nederland Magazine:
"To be honest, nobody could explain to me why these substances are a
Schedule 1 drug. This applies in my opinion also for psilocine and
psilocybine. We see a specific group of substances, mostly from botanical
origin, that influence human consciousness, but don't have problematic side
effects. We know from most of these substances that they are not addictive,
and people don't show withdrawal symptoms when they stop using these
substances. I don't understand why such a fuzz is made about substanbces
that are even less toxic than marijuana."

It looks like the Dutch Justice authorities have started their own War on
Drugs. As you might remember the Dutch Justice authorities helped to
organise the import of hundreds of thousands of kilo's of cannabis from
Columbia. We heard of this news through a parliamentary enquiry some years
ago. This year it became clear the same authorities looked into another
direction during this operation. Some of the containers didn't contain
Colubian cannabis: They contained at least 15000 kilo's of Columbian
cocaine.

I would like to say to the prosecutors and to the staff of the Amsterdam
police: Stop this bullshit! Start chasing criminals. Do what you are hired
for. Stop complaining about rising crime figures and the scarcity of police
personnel if you waste your time with chasing people who didn't do anything
wrong. Stop criminalising ayahuasca drinkers. Start chasing REAL criminals.

No violation of human rights in the Netherlands!
Long live ayahuasca!
Viva Ayahuasca!"