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Chris Cox

The Man Who Named MDMA "Ecstasy" Was a Catholic Priest

Decades before anyone had used the term "Molly" to describe MDMA, a Catholic seminary student named Michael Clegg used the drug, and was inspired to share it with the world.

"I had my whole life wanted to know the thoughts of God. When I had my first experience with Ecstasy, it was like Moses on the mountain... with the revelation. I think I had three callings in my life: one was to the priesthood, one was falling in love with my wife and to get married, and this was the third one. My mission was to get Ecstasy to the whole world."

He began to give the drug away, and as demand rose and the cost of giving it away for free became prohibitive, he started selling it. He came up with the name "Ecstasy" to make the drug seem more accessible, but also to reflect the experience of religious ecstasy that he compares taking the drug to.

Clegg's story is just one of the many facts covered in the YouTube channel Controlled Substance's excellent educational video "MDMA and ecstasy in 4 minutes"

And for a bit more detailed history about Clegg and the rise of MDMA as a popular recreational drug, check out the original clip below, from ABC's Ecstasy Rising special.

image: MDMATeam

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Tags drugs mdma

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