After a mescaline trip in 1960, and an Enlightenment experience in 1964 at the Hitchcock estate in Millbrook, NY, Art Kleps (1928-1999) founded the Neo-American Church in April 1965 at Cranberry Lake, NY. The three principles of the Church defined the psychedelic substances as religious sacraments and claimed their use as a basic human right. In 1973, Kleps revised the three principles to make solipsistic nihilism, the philosophical position he had personally held since 1964, part of Church doctrine.
The OKNeoAC takes a light approach to institutional forms and avoids “churchianity”. A church is an organizational vehicle for the defense and representation of a religion, consisting of doctrine and practices. Our comedic style reminds us not to take our church, as opposed to our religion, too seriously, but we do not regard our religion, our church, or ourselves as a joke.
Membership in the OKNeoAC, its affiliates, and local bags (congregations) is based on assent to the three principles. The religious affairs of the mother church are in the hands of the Chief Bee Hee, but affiliates and local congregations are institutionally autonomous, make their own rules, and hold title to their own property. The only power held by the head of the Church over local congregations is control of the right to use the name “Neo-American Church”. The status of a church as an OKNeoAC affiliate or bag is conditional on continued adherence to the three principles of the OKNeoAC.
inquiries "at" okneoac.org
117 E. Louisa St. #384
Seattle, WA 98102