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Thursday, December 1, 2022

A Psychedelic Exploration by Dr. Bronner’s, the Soap Corporation

Dr. Bronner’s, the liquid soap business best known for its teeny-tiny-font labels advocating brotherly love and global peace, would want you to think about the advantages of mind-altering medications before you use them.

On limited-edition soap bottles that sing the praises of psychedelic-assisted therapies, as well as in the trippy pronouncements of David Bronner, grandson of the company’s founder and one of its top executives, who is not shy about sharing details of his many hallucinogenic journeys, this sentiment is promoted.

Possibly less well-known is Dr. Bronner’s involvement as one of the country’s most generous financial backers of campaigns to gain public acceptance of psychedelics and to reduce government prohibitions on all illicit substances, including marijuana and cocaine.

Over the years, the corporation has also invested millions of dollars in attempts to legalise cannabis, including litigation that, in 2018, assisted in the overturning of a federal ban on the growing of industrial hemp.

In spite of the fact that George Soros’s left-leaning organisation, the Open Society Foundations, has discreetly invested millions on drug policy reform, it is uncommon for a firm to embrace a sensitive topic with the same fervour that Dr. Bronner’s has.

The Bronner family’s increasingly high-profile generosity comes at a critical juncture in the decades-long battle to soften the nation’s just-say-no attitude toward illegal narcotics, which has been underway since the 1960s. The changes have been dramatic, ranging from bipartisan congressional support for drug-sentence revisions to the cascading acceptance of recreational marijuana by states one after another in recent years.

Ketamine treatment for depression has grown into a multibillion-dollar business, and a growing number of states and municipalities are attempting to follow in the footsteps of Denver, Seattle, and the dozen other towns that have decriminalised psychedelic substances. Another watershed event, according to researchers, is on the horizon: the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to approve MDMA, sometimes known as Ecstasy, for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

In fiscal year 2018, Dr. Bronner’s made approximately $170 million in sales, according to corporate filings, an increase from $4 million in fiscal year 1998, many years after the firm emerged from bankruptcy with the help of Emil’s two sons, Jim and Ralph, and other investors.

It was Emil’s choice to register his firm, “All One God Faith, Inc.” as a religious organisation that brought about the near-death experience for the corporation. A crushing fine was assessed by the Internal Revenue Service because the IRS was dissatisfied.

As a performer, he is gifted with the ability to draw attention to himself. This has led to his detention on two occasions, first for cultivating hemp seedlings on the front lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration and again for grinding hemp oil while imprisoned in a cage outside of the White House.

Michael’s recent experimentation with psychedelics erased any remaining doubts in her mind. The turning point came last year, when the meds he had depended on for years to cure his anxiety and melancholy failed to provide any relief. It was at that point that he decided to attempt talk therapy in conjunction with ketamine, a legal anaesthetic and recreational drug that has been garnering greater recognition among mental health specialists in recent years.

He described the experience to receiving a brain massage, which he said helped to alleviate a lot of his anxiety and sorrow. “I don’t want to oversell ketamine treatment as a magical cure, but it just took away the rust, reset my system, and put me in a very wonderful place,” he added.

Doctor Bronner’s treatments are administered by Enthea, a health plan benefit administrator. Enthea said that ten other firms have already followed in his footsteps. Many are motivated by the potential of lower expenditure on mental health care, as well as the prospect of increased staff productivity, according to Lia Mix, founder and chief executive officer of Enthea.

Emil Bronner was adamantly opposed to medications and wary of conventional treatment, refusing to see a doctor even when he started to lose his vision in his 60s. He died in his 70s. He is believed to have approved of his grandchildren’s choice to make psychedelics a significant component of the family company, according to his grandchildren.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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