Sunday, December 08, 2019

Sapo/Kambo Letter to a Writer

A writer in Montreal published a story about frog sweat medicine that was fairly critical of the medicine's actual value to the humans who utilize it. I responded with this:

 
Joe: Hello, this is Peter Gorman, a journalist, and the person who brought the frog sweat medicine out of the jungle and into the Western World in 1986. One of the people who got my earliest reports on its use was Dr. Vittorio Erspamer of the FIDIA Institute at the University of Rome. He had been studying peptides in amphibians, including the Phyllomedusa bicolor, for years, and was thrilled that he finally had a report of someone who had personally experienced the frog's secretions in the human body, as there had been no previous reports of that.
   Erspamer went through my early paper describing what I claimed occurred to me while under the influence of the frog -- 99 percent of it physical -- then used some of the actual material I sent him to study whether what I was claiming could be explained by the peptides found in the frog secretion. He published his findings in Toxicon, a peer reviewed journal that can be found on-line (or I can send you a link). His early work discovered seven bio-active peptides in the material that easily explained all of the physical symptoms. There were two opiods, a vasodilator, sauvagine, a bradkinen that could jump the blood brain barrier, and others.
   The only thing he could not explain was my sensation of animals moving through me, which he chalked up to my having used a Theobroma cacao/wild black tobacco snuff just prior to the frog sweat.
   The indigenous who introduced me to the medicine were the Matsés/Mayoruna indigenous who live on the Rio Galvez, near the Brazilian/Peruvian border. They do not drink any water prior to the medicine use. They rarely vomit during sessions and never appeared to have any protocol regarding the medicine in terms of diet. They simply used the medicine when their arrows were missing targets, when they needed to take long hikes (sometimes days), got the grippe, among other reasons. I continue to work with a few Matsés and have for more than three decades, and still see no protocol.
    When the same medicine was later discovered to be used by nearby indigenous groups in Brazil, their methodology was claimed to include drinking copious amounts of water to induce vomiting. Gringos have since added layers of "spirituality" to the medicine's use because, well, that's what Westerner's do.
   I am belaboring things and I'm sorry. I just want to stress that there is certainly science behind why this medicine is being utilized by many people. My own account of that first use of the medicine -- including a lot of Erspamer's Toxicon material -- was published in Omni Magazine in the early 1990s with the heading Making Magic.
   Sorry to go on. If you wanted to do a follow up to this piece, I'd make myself available.
Thank you,
Peter Gorman
817-517-6620

Monday, November 25, 2019

Food in the Fridge

So I have someone coming tomorrow to start the 10 day sapo (frog sweat) medicine course I give occasionally--which means when someone wants it. When they come I have to clean the house. And in this case the person is paying a little extra for room and board here for the 10 days. So I was thinking about food and looked in the fridge and asked Devon what the hell was in the four bowls in there and could we get rid of it to make space for juices, and so forth.
Devon said: I think there is some fajita stew that you just made a couple of days ago, and a piece of lime chicken that was fantastic. There is also a piece of chicken parmesan you just made, and a bowl of Spanish red rice with garlic, chopped meat and veggies. Plus spaghetti bolognese.
I told him to hold the phone and I'd get back to him but not to throw away any of that. It sounded like an exquisitely tasty tasting menu. The hell with the new guy. We're eating this!!!!

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Crazy Life!!!!

Okay, so two or three or ten things are going on in my head. On the front page, I was due to talk in Austin today, at a meet and greet for an hour, and then to tell a story or two prior to a film that includes me, More Joy, Less Pain, is being shown. So last night I had a dream that my Saturday Night car, a 1999 Crown Vic with a 4.6 liter engine that purrs like a cat, overheated. And today, after we bought sandwiches — the we is Devon and I — water, a tank of gas, and whatever else we needed for the 380 mile round trip, we're on the road for less than 20 miles when the car actually started to overheat. I mean it was redlining and I had to stop, wait for it to cook, then discovered that the antifreeze was about empty. Leak? Who knows. Prescient dream? Absolutely, since that's never happened in the two years I've owned that car. Actually, I trust the spirits and it was probably their way of keeping me out of an approaching accident.
In any event, we added the water we bought and hobbled a few miles to a gas station, allowed the car to cool again, then added antifreeze. By that time we would have been at least an hour late and missed the entire meet and greet, but I would have been a nervous wreak the whole time since I don't know what caused the loss of fluid.
I had to turn around and return home. I feel lousy about that. I'll do a projected skype at the place where the film is being shown to apologize and tell a story or two.
But now that I am home, I'm starving. I don't want to cook, don't want to eat the sandwiches we bought for the road trip. So I looked in the fridge.
There was a whole plate of Deviled Eggs I'd made last night that I'd completely forgotten about. Wow! I am so insanely trying to write/cook the recipes for the Peter Gorman Hell of a Day in the Kitchen cookbook that I am sleep-making freaking food!
Once I saw them I remembered making them, but in the flurry of things I was making last night — none of which I ate, I stuck to ice cream — I just forgot that I'd made them.
So I am officially out of my mind. I get it. I'm sure you all see it too.
Yikes!
Now I got to go tell stories to a small group of movie goers that hate me for not being there in person. How can I explain? I will apologize, of course, and point to my hair looking nice, to my clean-shaven face, to my freshly washed shirt. They will still hate me.
Ah well, if you don't get into the fray you will never even have a chance of winning, eh?
Still, yikes!!!!!

Friday, November 01, 2019

Short and Sweet

Try to be a good and generous person. Try to turn selfish ideas into selfless ideas, cowardice into courage, fear to fearlessness. Take care of as many as you can without suffocating yourself with their woes and misery. Have a wonderful life.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

On People Training to give Frog Medicine

Someone asked me about training to give Frog Sweat, Kambo or Sapo, as a White Person, Versus being an Indigenous Person. This is what I wrote:
Dear X: I answered that at the very top of this thread, a few weeks ago. But here it is again, the answer to the original question in full: To the OP: I do not have any direct experience with IAKP, but have met some of their practitioners and they appear well trained. I know that when I occasionally train people -- and I don't know where I get the right to do that other than wanting people to use the medicine in a careful and positive fashion -- it is not at all similar to someone being brought up in an indigenous culture that depends on the medicine for hunting, for eliminating the grippe, and so forth. Those kids are around the medicine from birth, just like they are around the jungle from birth and so are at home with it without any need for formal training. But then you take a kid from Whitestone, Queens, New York, like me and put me in the jungle and I need lots of training to be able to survive well out there. I think the same applies to sapo/kambo training. Yes, a person can just use it once or twice and then give it to other people, but what happens when something goes wrong? What happens when you allow a guest to walk, unattended, to a bathroom and they black out and hit their head on a counter top? Or wind up with their head in a bad position and start to vomit and then choke and panic? What do you do when someone absolutely freaks out on taking the medicine? There are so many things to learn to use the medicine in our cultures that it is impossible to compare the learning to indigenous culture learning. I have guests who need two or three hours to come together again after a session, and other guests who are good to go 20 minutes after initial application. How do you judge when to give them back their car keys and let them drive off? I am not a believer in shrouding the medicine in a whole lot of mysticism and pomp theatrics, but I do sing people into the first four or five minutes of the experience to help them go into it gently -- as you all know it's darned abrupt!!! So while I do not know the IAKP directly, I think that training people to the things to be aware of prior to serving others, is probably a good thing. And I do not know what they charge, but if they are giving you 10 days or two weeks' attention, well, someone has to get paid to do that. That is a lot of work.

6

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Big Boat Ride

The other day I posted regarding my last two Amazon Jungle Jaunts, where I take people out to the deep jungle and we do some walking in high jungle while learning about local medicines, some swamp walking with ancient trees, some jungle medicines that include (for those who want them, never pushed on anyone) Ayahuasca, Amazonian magic mushrooms, and the indigenous Matses medicines, Sapo (aka Kambo), and Nü-Nü, a snuff. We also collect the frog with some Matses friends of mine, bathe in a beautiful tributary of the Amazon, eat ridiculously good and healthy food, laugh up a storm, learn a lot about life on the Amazon. Those dates are Jan 18-27, and Feb 1-10.
BUTTTTTT!!!!!! I didn't explain why they will be the last trips. Here's why: With the rate the jungle is trying to kick me out — whether it's dengue, septic spider bites, poisonous snake bites, flesh eating bacteria — coupled with my age, a measly 68, I only have a limited amount of trips left in me. Maybe 10, maybe 12, I don't know.
What I do know is that I have some legitimate exploration left to do, and that can't be done if I'm entertaining guests. I love guests, but this Spring, 2020, I'm gonna try to raise about $25 grand to find, rent, rebuild to my specifications, outfit a boat to take from Iquitos down to Leticia, and then up the Javari river, and into the Alto Javari and the Galvez rivers.
I'll have 7 crew beside myself, and I'm planning on the trip running about 42 days from setting off from Iquitos to return. Now this is a trip I've done twice, though they were slightly shorter trips at 29 and 30 days, so my ambition is up this time. And I've never gotten bored while piloting my own boat in the Amazon.
On this trip, 25 years since the last, i want to record for the record the changes that have occurred on the Javari since I last ran it. I want to return to the villages I collected medicinal plants from -- for a pharmaceutical house -- to see if the sons and daughters of the headmen from whom I collected plants are still working that trade. I want to revisit some old friends and make some new ones.
I'll be honest: I know this is a selfish expedition. But I also think it's valuable as very few rivers in the Amazon have a record that stretches 26 years. How much development has occurred? How much larger are the military outposts and the villages around them? How far have the indigenous villages moved and have any disappeared altogether?
I'm going to need a lot of money for this, and i don't want anyone giving up their lunch money or money they were going to send to the local food bank sending that money to me. I'm going to need angels, four or five or 10 who have capital and want to be part of something special. Who want to be there when it's time for the boat painting party in Iquitos, or spend the first 4 or 5 nights with my crew on the first leg of the journey to Leticia (where we'll drop you off and send you back to Iquitos with one of my team). There will be an accounting of every damned penny spent and people can hold me to that.
Anyway, I hope I can pull this off and that it will be the first of several genuine explorations that I will do before the jungle gets me for good, or I just get too old to do the work.
I just wanted to share that. Thanks. Peter G

Friday, October 11, 2019

LAST JUNGLE TRIPS COMING UP

What follows is absolute self-promotion, so proceed at your own risk. I'm going to be taking two more small groups into the deep Peruvian Amazon. The dates are Saturday, Jan 18 through the morning of Monday, Jan 27, and then Saturday, Feb 1 through the morning of Monday, Feb 10. The trips run $2200 US per person and cover everything but airfare and walking around money.
I've been doing these trips for 21 years and love introducing people the the Northwest Amazon, her rivers, her peoples, and her medicines. But I'm coming to the end of the line on them and it's nearly time to turn them over to my friend Devon, who has been apprenticing with me for several years. So these two will, in all likelihood, be my last.
So if you have dreamed of spending a night on a flat-bottomed riverboat heading up the Amazon beneath an Amazon sky, this is the time to join. If you have dreamed of being offered Amazonian magic shrooms, or doing the indigenous Matses medicines Sapo (aka kambo) and nu-nu with a Matses headman — as well as collecting those medicines with the same headman — then now is the time to join. If you would like to utilize ayahuasca in the same setting as I have been drinking it for 35 years with the nephew of my old teacher Julio, then now is the time to join.
This is not a trip to a luxury lodge. This is swamp walking, high jungle medicine walking, nighttime trips in dugout canoes, bathing in a beautiful tributary of the Amazon, getting plenty of dirt under your fingernails, and doing all that while having a rollicking good time.
If any of this piques your interest, you can message me or email me at peterg9 at yahoo.com and I can answer your questions.
Trips are limited to a maximum of 12 guests, and my crew will always outnumber my guests to ensure a safe trip.
The trip is not physically difficult, but it is the real deal.
Thanks for listening.