Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Someone asked me to "like" their new Ayahuasca healing center...

So on facebook someone asked me to "like" their new healing center. I'm not with that. I think most of those centers are not good places, because most of the people running them don't know shit from shinola about the medicine, the process, the river, the jungle, the people, the history, the ailments or anything else. Hell, I've got more than 30 years expericnce and that's not nearly enough to open my own center.
   So I was asked and I responded. It wasn't nice, I know. But I think it was fair. Here's what I wrote:
So someone I don't know asked me to "like" their new ayahuasca center outside of Iquitos. I'm harsh. This is what I told them. I'm feeling lousy to have said it, but I know it needs to be said. Needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Why? Because good intentions have done more harm in the third world than all the bad men combined. That's why. Here's what I wrote, better or worse:
     I have to be a killjoy here. Have you 20-30-40 years experience with the medicine? If not, why are you serving medicine? I'm old school; this takes a lifetime, not a moment of infatuation. If you've earned the chops, good for you. If your company is in the infatuation phase that nearly every Ayayhuasca outpost in Iquitos/Near Iquitos is in, well, then I object. I object because without 10-20 years experience you cannot know a real curandero from a fake. Without 10-20 years experience you cannot know what wood to build with or how to maintain a place, so that when it needs to be replaced in two or three years,  you'll be cutting trees that wouldn't/shouldn't have to be cut to make up for errors--a well built house covered in layers of used motor oil will last 15-20 years. Without the experience you will not know how to handle a psychotic episode--and they happen frequently--or how to handle someone on SSRI's who lied to you and said they were not on that sort of med.
   So I don't know you. And maybe you have the chops. If you do, fantastic, I'm in your corner. If you don't, quit now, before people get hurt. Enthusiasm cannot replace 10-20-40 years of experience.
   I don't know you but you asked me to comment on the space. My general comment is that all gringos should go the hell home and leave the healing to curanderos on small rivers that take weeks/months to find. Making the medicine available means making phony people into curanderos: Fast talkers who can con the public. Again, if you've got the chops, I'm wrong and wlll sing your praises forever. If you are like the idiot Andrew O. or dozens like him who drank for a month and opened a center, well, please leave because you can only do harm.
    Just my two cents and they're probably only worth one half a cent by now. Peter Gorman

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