Position of the União do Vegetal Regarding Recent Articles in the Brazilian Press
| February 17, 2023
Recently, some media outlets reported on a lawsuit filed against the Beneficent Spiritist Center União do Vegetal (UDV) in Brazil, asking for the suspension of the use of Hoasca Tea (also known as Ayahuasca) in its Sessions, due to the political positions expressed by some of its members. The content conveyed by the media was generated or reposted from an article originally published in the Folha de São Paulo newspaper on February 11, 2023, which contains an official statement by the União do Vegetal.
In our statement to the Folha de São Paulo newspaper, we reiterated the guidelines that have been repeatedly sent to members of the UDV, emphasizing that the Beneficent Spiritist Center União do Vegetal is a non-partisan religious institution, that the UDV does not profess any political ideology, that it does not have any preference for, nor did it promote, any candidate for the Presidency of Brazil in recent or past elections. The expressions of political preferences by some members of the UDV do not represent the UDV, as they are strictly personal political preferences.
Every official position expressed by the UDV over the past few years regarding politics have always been in the sense of reiterating the UDV’s respect for the choices of its members regarding their political party and the peaceful expression of their political opinions. However, the UDV does not allow political propaganda or campaigning within the institution and has taken disciplinary measures in cases where it was confirmed that political expression crossed the line, including the removal of members of the UDV’s leadership.
For this very reason, we consider the proposed lawsuit against the União do Vegetal to be an unfounded initiative, without any evidentiary basis or merit, especially since the UDV has, among its more than 22,000 members, people with affiliations to numerous different political parties. Since the institution of the UDV was founded, people across the political spectrum, who consider themselves to be of the political left, right and center, coexist fraternally and peacefully within the religious organization.
In summary, we consider the principles that govern this institution and its purpose of working for peace in the world, to be above the existing political differences among its members.
With this objective in mind, the União do Vegetal instructs its members not to have prejudice or discrimination of any kind, following the example of its founder, Mestre Gabriel, who always treated all people with respect, dignity, and friendship, without distinction.