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In the Exercise of Conscience

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In the Exercise of Conscience is a videotaped oral history of an historic legal case involving fundamental challenges to the practice of religious freedom in the United States of America.

The story involves a church that originated in Brazil, known there as The Centro Espirita Uniao Do Vegetal (which translates in English to The Beneficent Spiritist Center Union of the Plants), generally known as “The UDV”.

The UDV use a sacramental tea in their religious ceremonies that contains a substance deemed “illegal and of no benefit” by the U.S. Government. This oral history recounts the UDV’s 8-year effort to achieve proper sanctions and official permissions (including a unanimous Supreme Court ruling) to practice their religion legally and without interference.

William Gazecki is an American film director and former sound mixer best known for his documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement, which earned a News & Documentary Emmy Award and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.


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