January 08, 2014 Slideshows

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Closer Look: A Remote Arizona Church Offers Followers Peyote-Induced Psychedelic Trips 

Take a visual journey to Peyote Way Church of God. Although not a house of worship in the traditional sense -- there's no steeple, no ornate architecture, no flowing robes or pulpit -- Peyote Way is, in fact, a church. It was founded based on the beliefs of Peyotism, a Native American religion that uses the hallucinogen peyote as a sacrament and combines the teachings of various other mainstream organized religions -- including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Hinduism, and Islam -- in its doctrine. Read the full story on Peyote Way here.

Photos by Andrew Pielage
The Peyote Way Church of God near Safford offers followers psychedelic "Spirit Walks" fueled by the hallucinogenic cactus peyote.
Courtesy Todd Pierson
Peyote Way Church founder Immanuel Trujillo (right) stands with Reverend Anne Zapf and Rabbi Matthew Kent.
Courtesy of The Peyote Way Church of God
Peyote Way Church founder Immanuel Trujillo as a young man.
Courtesy of The Peyote Way Church of God
Peyote Way Church founder Immanuel Trujillo (left) with Reverend Anne Zapf and Rabbi Matthew Kent on the church property near Safford.
Courtesy of The Peyote Way Church of God
Peyote Way Church founder Immanuel Trujillo (right) with Reverend Anne Zapf and Rabbi Matthew Kent standing near the front gate of the church property.
Courtesy of The Peyote Way Church of God
Trujillo pictured in the Bronx in 1993.
Wikimedia Commons/ Philip H. Bailey
"Timothy Leary pictured in 1989, in Los Angeles, California."
Andrew Pielage
After 26 miles of dirt road, a large, red mailbox marks the entrance to the Peyote Way Church of God.
Andrew Pielage
The front gate leading to Peyote Way Church.
Andrew Pielage
The Peyote Way sign next to the front gate of the property is painted with the church's tax ID number in case any curious government officials come knocking.
Andrew Pielage
The grave site of Peyote Way Founder Immanuel Trujillo maintains a prominent place on church property near where church members take spirit walks.
Andrew Pielage
The grave site of Peyote Way Founder Immanuel Trujillo maintains a prominent place on church property near where church members take spirit walks.
Andrew Pielage
This rustic camp site where members take the holy sacrament peyote is a short walk from the main house.
Andrew Pielage
This rustic camp site where members take the holy sacrament peyote is a short walk from the main house.
Andrew Pielage
A friendly horse roams the church property.
Andrew Pielage
Reverend Anne Zapf sits in the peyote house where there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 peyote plants in various stages of growth.
Andrew Pielage
Peyote takes years to grow and is considered an endangered plant by some.
Andrew Pielage
Peyote takes years to grow and is considered an endangered plant by some.
Andrew Pielage
Peyote takes years to grow and is considered an endangered plant by some.
Andrew Pielage
Peyote takes years to grow and is considered an endangered plant by some.
Andrew Pielage
Peyote takes years to grow and is considered an endangered plant by some.
Andrew Pielage
Peyote takes years to grow and is considered an endangered plant by some.
Andrew Pielage
Zapf prepares peyote for sacramental use. First she cuts the tops of the peyote (buttons), then dries them, and measures out 20 grams for the final gruel-type mixture church members imbibe.
Andrew Pielage
Zapf prepares peyote for sacramental use. First she cuts the tops of the peyote (buttons), then dries them, and measures out 20 grams for the final gruel-type mixture church members imbibe.
Andrew Pielage
Once the correct weight of peyote is measured, the dried peyote is put into a coffee grinder.
Andrew Pielage
The peyote is ground up into a fine powder.
Andrew Pielage
The powder is screened to take out the larger pieces to be reground and then put into a pot of hot water.
Andrew Pielage
The peyote powder is left to steep in the water.
Andrew Pielage
Zapf then mixes the tea before pouring it into a pint-sized jar.
Andrew Pielage
Zapf then mixes the tea before pouring it into a pint-sized jar.
Andrew Pielage
Zapf then mixes the tea before pouring it into a pint-sized jar.
Andrew Pielage
The sacramental tea is now ready to be consumed on the spirit walk by church members. Instructions are also provided.
Andrew Pielage
Rabbi Matthew Kent and Reverend Zapf work in their Mana Pottery shop creating ceramics and paintings.
Andrew Pielage
Kent prepares the Mana Pottery mold.
Andrew Pielage
Inside Peyote Way's Mana Pottery small gift shop.
Andrew Pielage
Mana pottery items on display.
Andrew Pielage
A painting by Peyote Way founder Immanuel Trujillo.
Andrew Pielage
A painting by Peyote Way founder Immanuel Trujillo.
Andrew Pielage
A Mana Pottery plate featuring a dancing peyote button.
Andrew Pielage
A Mana Pottery plate featuring a dancing peyote button.
Andrew Pielage
Peyote Way founder Immanuel Trujillo (right) with Zapf and Kent and their two sons after his acquittal in the Globe court case in 1987.
Andrew Pielage
A decorative fireplace outside the Peyote Way gift shop.
Andrew Pielage
Overlooking Peyote Way with the Granite Mountains in the background.
Andrew Pielage
A spirit walk site in the beautiful Araviapa wilderness.
Andrew Pielage
A spirit walk site in the beautiful Araviapa wilderness.
Andrew Pielage
Rabbi Mathew Kent stops for a photo.
Andrew Pielage
Reverend Anne Zapf.
Andrew Pielage
Kent and Zapf outside the peyote grow house.
Andrew Pielage
Kent and Zapf in their Mana Pottery gift shop.
Andrew Pielage
Kent and Zapf outside the church's main house.
Andrew Pielage
Rabbi Mathew Kent of the Peyote Way Church of God.
Andrew Pielage
Reverend Anne Zapf of the Peyote Way Church of God.
Andrew Pielage
Kent and Zapf outside Peyote Way.
Andrew Pielage
Kent and Zapf outside Peyote Way.
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The Peyote Way Church of God near Safford offers followers psychedelic "Spirit Walks" fueled by the hallucinogenic cactus peyote.
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