Gringo Self-loathing and Ayahuasca

by Captain Bill

Guest post by Chris Kilham, Medicine Hunter

The anonymous AIDESEP worker – who is without question a man – expressed the usual self-loathing that is so often the “white man’s burden.”  As someone who works with indigenous native rights globally, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and other treaties, I can respectfully say that the notion that foreign-owned ayahuasca lodges are illegal is patently false. But that isn’t the issue here, is it.

The issue is self-loathing pure and simple, and the anonymous rage arising from that troubled and terribly scarring state of being. J. Krishnamurti famously commented that “truth is a pathless land,” and others have noted that spirituality and consciousness belong to nobody. Who said the first prayer? Are we ripping them off? If all of us originated from Africa (genetically this is so), and the first cooking fires were African, aren’t all of us who make dinner on a stove ripping off our brethren of the so-called Dark Continent? All circumstances arise from a concatenation of causes. I defy anyone to find the actual origin of anything.  Everything goes back to something else.

Calling shamans who conduct ceremonies at gringo-owned centers prostitutes is a howling scream for help, not a truth of any sort. Consider the dignity, power and grace of don Alberto Davila at Blue Morpho, and the notion of prostitution should stick in your throat.  Real shamans live to work, to share the medicine, to help others heal.  I suspect that senor Anonymous AIDESEP could benefit from some deep heart healing.  Why not go to don Alberto? Hell work with you no matter how troubled you are.

The first gringos to sit in ceremony did so around the early 1600’s, invited into primitive jungle spots and given cups to drink. From that point forward, ayahuasca shamanism has taken in those who are not “pure” natives, and today mestizo shamanism is a huge dimension of the ayahuasca scene. Oh anonymous enraged self-loathing critic- are the mestizo shamans hookers as well? Was Manuel Cordova Rios a prostitute too? After all, he was a rubber-tapper.

My heart goes out to the man who wrote that sad article, both for his evident racial self hatred (he’s white for sure), and for his fear of self identification. Please, seek kind and loving help.

Consider yoga, Buddhist meditation, Tibetan teachings, Asian martial arts, and all the “whites” who run ashrams, dojos, meditation halls. Are all these people really just soul-sucking opportunistic hookers lifting their skirts and spreading their legs for a few dollars, or are they engaging in worthy practice, offering safe places (when they are safe) to learn, and spreading the dharma? Who owns God? Who owns truth? Who owns meditation? Nobody and everybody.

Some very good people are running ayahuasca centers, and people are undergoing healing. This is no jungle blowjob. This is healing. Would the self-loathing Anonymous AIDESEP deny that healing? And would that be to protect a racial ownership that does not exist? I think that allowing people to heal, to experience greater peace and happiness is at very least a good thing, and often noble, high and loving. Music, language, art, cuisine, and a thousand other things including healing modalities spread all over the world, and are taken up by one culture after another. Will Anonymous self-loathing AIDESEP next go after French owners of Thai restaurants?

I work to protect native people in many situations, and am sensitive to biopiracy and other acts of cultural theft. But when something is offered and given, as in the case of hundreds of years of non-native ayahuasca shamanism, then the situation is not the same. Anonymous AIDESEP missed his chance to rage and scream by about 500 years.

The most critical issue is not whether someone is dark-skinned, light-skinned, almond-eyed or has kinky hair. The real issue is whether or not they are practicing honestly, with dignity and a clean mind and heart, without deception or adverse manipulation. Give it a try,  Anonymous AIDESEP. Take a look around and open your mind and heart. A lot of people will welcome you.

Gringo Self-loathing and Ayahuasca

Chris Kilham
Medicine Hunter

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, author and TV commentator. He is the FOX News Medicine Hunter, and is the founder of Ayahuasca Test Pilots, a group dedicated to safe and healthy journeying with ayahuasca. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife Zoe and their dog Boo. Check out Chris’s fascinating web site www.medicinehunter.com

If you enjoy Chris Kilham’s style you will want to read these other articles by Chris;

Saturated With Spirit at Nihue Rao;

Mareado On The Nauta Road;

Another Iquitos Evening;

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Richard Grossman December 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Well said, Chris. The post you were referencing really rubbed me the wrong way as well. I was going to write something as well, and I’m glad you beat me to it as you said it with much more grace.

2 James Richardson December 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Interesting perspective! I am a strong advocate for the protection and proliferation of Indigenous culture. The North American Indians practice the Sun Dance and other Midewiwin ceremonies which have both spiritual, physical significance and a cleansing aspect. Mr Kilham, do you have the same view with respect to these ceremonies in that anyone can commercialize them? Careful…AIM will be at Fox´s doorstep!! lol

3 James Richardson December 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Indian Country Today Media Network
Educating is Key to Reclaiming Indian ‘Image and Identity’

Read more:
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/educating-key-reclaiming-indian-%E2%80%98image-and-identity%E2%80%99-146008

4 Chris Kilham December 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Hi James- I really don’t care who practices what, as long as they do it honesty. You undoubtedly know that many non-natives participate in the Sun ceremony. There’s no need to commercialize that, whether by red skins or white skins. As for AIM showing up at FOX’s doorstep, it’s about time.

5 James Richardson December 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

Mr Kilham..Are you referring to the sunrise or sun dance ceremonies and are you familiar with the Midewiwin lodge?

6 Chullachaqui December 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

Chris, you suggested that the Anonymous AIDESEP go to don Alberto? He’ll work with you no matter how troubled you are.

Good Idea BUT, Blue Morpho will charge him $380 per day of which only a minuscule amount will go to Alberto.

Thats the point Chris.

Great to see you and Richard Gtossman here providing aome very interesting debate. Thank You

7 Terry Raven December 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

$380 a day? What a bargain others have found at $2,000 for ten days stay with 6 ceremonies.

Of course the value is in the eyes of the consumer so who can put a price on spiritual health? If seekers are willing to pay then why not smile and take their money? This is big business in Iquitos.

8 James Richardson December 3, 2012 at 10:19 am

¨This is big business in Iquitos¨….you nailed it Mr Raven!

9 Joe Vaish December 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm

This a really well written article and makes many great points. A spiritual path belongs to no one tribe or group. All these people trying to make disparaging remarks about the “big business” of ayahuasca seem to be making up facts. I don’t think, for instance, that Don Alberto at Blue Morpho would stick around for minimal pay when others around him are reaping the benefits. Hamilton has way more integrity than that.

10 Chullachaqui December 5, 2012 at 8:39 am

OK Joe,

“Reaping the benefits” What benefits Joe?

Don alberto could do just a good a job outside Blue Morpho, right?
So why include Hamilton Souther’ what does he do? Except reap the benefits.

Joe, what do you think the locals would do or say if you went to India and opened up your own gringo Mari Krishna retreat?

What do you think the english would say if you opened up your own druid center within sight if Stonehenge?

Joe these are cultures which belong to the indiginous people and are not to be hijacked by money hungry entrepeneurs.

11 AIDESEP worker December 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Funny how you want to spin everything around and kill the messenger. Go ahead! Sure I am full of faults. Just ask me and I can give you a whole list. But I am not the issue here, jerk, foreign owned ayahuasca lodges are. But go for it doc. Use a little more Gestalt to muddle the issue. Funny how you would rather denigrate me than talk about the lack of ethics and the misuse of tribal intellectual property rights by foreign ayahuasca lodges. That says a lot!
Tell me do your views regarding indigenous ethics and foreign owned ayahuasca lodges properly reflect your friendly fascist FOX news channel’s views and their Monroe Doctrine’s free enterprise philosophy? Are you speaking for yourself now or for Fox’s fascism too? For any news company that would hire the neo-fascist Ollie North obviously cares little about international ethics and has little sense of shame. Guess they hired the right person. Knowing Fox News I expect nothing different from you. I suppose you conveniently don’t remember the Iran Contra affair, da, or your company’s propoganda lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction? So funny how you stand up for these lodges, and then say how you help indigenous tribes. Yeah just like we helped the Iraqis. Tell me some more BS. You, like Fox News, only help lower the ethical bar, which has never been very high with them or here to begin with. And now we can associate you with backing these unethical foreign ayahuasca lodges. Tell me how many Shipibo villages have you ever slept in? I dare say none. And I bet your owner friends at The Blue Morpho or any of their ilk make more annual money off ayahuasca ceremonies than many scores of poverty stricken Shipibo villages do off all their combined labors. And that is fine with you and you say that these ceremonies don’t belong to the tribe’s COLLECTIVE intellectual property rights, but rather they belong to the world. So then any SOB can come here from say western Mass or where ever and start an ayahuasca lodge and that is his right you say. Wow ! I, for just one, say you are very very wrong, Mister! You just don’t get it do ya ! If you say these ceremonies belong to the world, then why has the UN set out to protect these indigenous rights if they belong to everyone, even you white people? (Oh, I used that N-word white again. Oh no please, does that mean I am self hating doctor? F—off a–hole! But I just can not understand why you agree with commercializing these traditions by enterprising foreigners. That really sucks coming especially from a medical doctor. You must have some vested interest no doubt, or perhaps just lack of ethical standards. These lodges are illegal in Brazil and other places. Why do you suppose that is doccccctor?
Let me ask you this. Are you familiar with the US court case some years ago involving the Awajun, Monsanto, an unethical ethnobotanist from Washington State University, and the blood coagulant plant uruchnumi? Check it out for there are certain parallel ethical and intellectual property rights issues. So if you are on the side with these foreign owned lodges then you would have agreed with Monsanto too. We all know Fox approves of Monsanto and I expect you pull the company line. Well, the disgusting Monsanto lost in court and the opportunistic bio-prospecting ethnobotanist can never safely return to the Cenepa River.

12 Chris Kilham December 9, 2012 at 5:27 am

Despite the loathing and hatred you spew, AIDESEP, here are the sober facts. It is not illegal for “gringos” to own or co-own ayahuasca lodges in most parts of the Amazon. I work for indigenous rights around the world, and suspect that you do not. I broadcast on FOX in over 100 countries on issues pertaining to natural medicines, and have no connection to those who do political commentary. My work is entirely with FOX Health. You may be too lofty to want to reach tens of millions of people globally with messages of natural healing and empowerment, but I go for it to serve others. Oddly, FOX is the only network unafraid that I might piss off pharmaceutical advertisers. It’s strange, but true.
If you don’t like the idea of people going to Blue Morpho to sit with don Alberto, they can go to Hererra, where he holds his own lodge. Healing is healing, whatever you can work out.
Despite your howling peals of protest, a lot of people benefit from the healing that takes place in lodges, whether gringo-owned or native-owned.
I dislike Monsanto and everything they stand for, and was fighting them long before you ever knew their name, buddy. I was writing against them in the late 80′s. Where were you?
The position you take is that you know what others think and feel, and you have the definitive answers. But the truth is infinitely more complex. As long as you jerk yourself off to your own hate mantras, you’ll never actually be in the conversation; you’ll just be spoodging on everybody else’s parade.
Biopiracy sucks. I fight it in dozens of countries. Hate-mongers suck. I fight them too. Right-wing nutters suck, and I have opposed them since the late 60′s.
Wake up and smell the ayahuasca, AIDESEP.

13 James Richardson December 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

An Elder once told me…¨When you go into the bush hunting..you don´t go in with guns ablazing..you sit back understand the game, learn about their habits, their habitat and treat them with respect¨ The last two posters could benefit by applying that philosophy!

14 AIDESEP worker December 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

to mista fox news medicine hunter,
You would make a good politician because you really have not much to say other than to attack your opposition. So screw you mista. Reading your stories on B. Grimes site reveals how much of a chump you really are. You are basically a sucker and surely fit right into the commercial aya-Disneyland theme park. If, as you say, that a “racial ownership of ayahuasca ceremonies does not exist”, then why do these foreign lodges exclusively use Shipibo shamans? Why don’t they use gringo shamans and sing Kuum By Ya instead, if there is no racial ownership? These icaros, rites, and prayers in the Shipibo language are certainly part of their traditional indigenous intellectual property rights, so how can you say that they belong to the world? Guess your a globalist that way huh? You are wrong and how big of you to decide that for them. So white of you, I am sure you would like me to say. Well, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says differently.Maybe we should ask AIM their opinion medicine man.I don’t think they would give you an eagle feather. And surely these ceremonies do not belong to the world of gringo commercialization like you believe, mista. Sorry if I poked your DMT soap bubble, but you allow these foreign owners of lodges more rights than the local indigenous tribes, which they took everything from. How white Fox-like of you. And Fox has always been a Ft. Apache style news station, so what do I expect. Business (war) first and ask no hard questions. You type of people remind me of Cazes, the British consulate here whom Roger Casement proved knew of, but denied both the Putumayo holocaust and slavery in Iquitos 100 years ago, because he enriched himself off it. Seems that these lodges have enslaved and enriched themselves off the indigenous rites in a somewhat similar way. And I suppose you really believe that native shaman today enjoy helping enrich their foreign lodge owners from their sacred tribal traditions not unlike their families liked selling rubber last century? Don’t fool yourself mista Fox. You are really naive if you think so. Talk to them about it and some will be candid. It is called survival. And besides that the shaman is just one person and usually the only one to benefit from tribal ritual infringement by foreign lodges. But the gringo lodge owners here are more than survivors and unlike the shamans they have economic choice. No, they are opportunists, who owe their wealth to the heritage of the indigenous not unlike foreign miners. They just strip mine certain parts of indigenous culture and leave the people forgotten. And some of these aya lodges go through shamans like caucheros went through castilla trees.
You wrote,” Who said the first prayer? Are we ripping them off?” YES, you certainly are “ripping them off ” if you charge money for prayers like foreign lodges do, because you have commercialized something sacred for private outside gain. You are ripping off life and the heritage of a very poor tribe. What does the tribe ever receive for ripping them off , mista. Guess you must really feel at home in the Blue Morpho or the Temple of Light then. For how much did their prayers cost you? Guess Fox paid for it. Now those are real dignified “temples” for you, ones which charge lots of money.Your spiritual materialism. And what aya lodge doesn’t charge money. All of them sell high cost icaros and prayers at the expense of native traditions and their collective tribal DIGNITY. The whiteman has made a business off the redman again. He can’t sell their bodies anymore, and no rubber, but tribal traditions are still up for grabs in Peru. And you say that is fine. You suck ! But lets talk about me and the whiteman right? How many of these good intentioned gringo $haman would stay around and set up ayahuasca churches such as in Brazil, when their lodges are outlawed. None I doubt. So what does that tell you? Yes, maybe money is the reason? And lodge owners I have talked to relate what idiots their pilgrims are for paying so much. They laugh like thieves all the way to their foreign banks, while whole tribes whose traditions enriched these gringos live in bitter poverty. So gringos like you just help to F— things up all the more. No one here can go to a shaman any more without being charged an arm and a leg, because of the dynamic of these foreign owned designer lodges and idiots like you, who pay them big bucks. And ayahuasca doesn’t need gringos to run things. It was doing fine before they ever showed up and it will be better when they are gone and replaced by indigenous. So, for you Mista Fox News, I suggest that you go do ayahuasca, chacruna, and a big big dose of toe with a shaman in a remote indigenous village alone sometime instead of with a crowd of gringo pilgrims; and needing to hold the hand of your wife. Maybe then you will see the light and realize that it belongs to them, not to gringos to commercialize. For these people have so little and then people like you become apologists for the rights of foreigners to come and enrich themselves from what really distinguishes the Shipibo culture from many others, namely their ayahuasca shamanism. Que vergueza ! Then I will hear you! Otherwise you are as full of shit as Fox News. But you wouldn’t last long in a Shipibo village eating carachamas and sleeping without white sheets. The whiteman needs his white sheets you know. A good white sheet will cover a multitude of sins. So go to gringos. They are a lot more savy about ripping off their pilgrims and making them feel good about it.

15 Chris Kilham December 14, 2012 at 4:33 am

Sad to hear your seething self-hatred, AIDESEP. I do go to indigenous maestros, sometimes very primitive places, no white sheets. Very beautiful ceremonies, fine visions. It is lovely.

I’ve lived with natives in a shack on the Amazon their way for extended periods; you know nothing.

May you find a way to heal your aching heart and gnawing rage.

I’m not looking for an eagle feather or your approval.

16 AIDESEP worker December 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm

CHRIS KILHAM ONLY HELPS LOWER THE WORLD´S ETHICAL BAR BY HIS RABID BACKING OF FOREIGN COMMERCIALIZATION OF INDIGENOUS CEREMONIES.

To bad mista Foxster that from the very start you have only tried to kill the messenger with all your accusations of gringo self loathing instead of confronting the ethical issues of foreigners making big bucks off commercializing the collective sacred rites of Amazonian tribes. To know that you back the commercialization of tribal ceremonies is really a slap in the face to indigenous rights. Just like your neo- fascist network you are on the side of big business. And I guess you must really be out of ammo if you can only attack me rather than what I stand for. For your ethics are back in the 19th century with Julio Arana and Fitzcarraldo, as your foreign lodges run in the same vein. Remember Arana tried to demonize Hardenburg for sticking up for protecting the lives of the indigenous. Maybe you should run for Senate like Arana did on the platform of helping the Indians. Why do you suppose that the UN decided that tribal intellectual property rights are important to protect? Ask yourself that mista. And to be protected from whom ? Maybe people like your aya lodge friends. It really seems that you are only out to protect the business rights of foreigners and spread their geedy gospel of commercializing ayahuasca. For it is clear that you are about as much an advocate of the indigenous as Sir Walter Raleigh. And it is obvious that you don´t consider their icaros, prayers, ceremonies, etc their intellectual property rights. For you say these ceremonies belong to the world. So nice of you to decide for them what is their´s or not. So let´s talk the issues mista. So then what are their intellectual property rights, tell me that? I don´t think you have an answer. So you just keep on attacking the self loathing gringo, for you have really nothing apropos to say. So sorry that you only lower the world´s ethical bar… like your friendly fascist Fox News network. So seeing that you say I know nothing then set me straight about the UN´s meaning of intellectual property rights ? Come on asshole wax elegant on how these foreign commercial lodges are the just and fair and legal and ethical standard bearers of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I really can´t believe that even fascist Fox hired you, for you can´t even state your case; but can only attack me for my opposition to this social wrong. Maybe I should email your elementary blog road rage to Fox and show them how professional you are not.

17 Chris Kilham December 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Intellectual Rights, Native Cultures, 11:59 p.m.
In answer to your question, AIDESEP, the intellectual rights of native people are, in my opinion, well outlined in CBD, the Convention On Biological Diversity. Ethical trade practices, environmental preservation and sharing market access and a number of other things are critical to the preservation of native cultures and their intellectual rights.

That’s why I’ve used CBD guidelines, which as you know are suggestions but not law, in various trade projects. Additionally, I favor as much benefit sharing as possible. That includes but is not limited to sharing revenues, community development, and helping with anything from medicine to communications to legal help, depending entirely on what the native people themselves say they need. Sometimes people just plain need a new well and basic supplies. Hell, I was one nation’s consul to the US for three years, just because it enabled me to make a marked difference in the economy of some of that country’s poorest people. Whatever makes a difference.

Good projects are long-term, and there is always opportunity to improve on rights, relations, projects, benefits. Native people globally are very badly on the ropes, are being marginalized, ripped off, brutalized, subjugated. You name it, it’s happening out there. In some places and situations, finding even a decent starting point for fair relations and intellectual rights protection is a challenge, due to the innate chaos and corruption of entire social systems. I’ve worked on a lot of projects designed to improve on the social and cultural norm in various countries, and always want to do more. And every day, the future looks more bleak for native groups, especially those living in more remote areas where abuses go largely unseen by outside eyes.

In general, native people are being eclipsed. For them it is 11:59 p.m. The situation is disheartening, requiring diverse forms of real action, not just fatuous blowhards screaming with spittle at the corners of their mouths, ranting like street corner lunatics. Hard to be you, buddy. Making a real difference means working with communities, year after year. It almost doesn’t matter where you touch, as so much help is needed.

18 It's about time December 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Shit adiesep dude, stop comparing them to rubber barons. I dislike the commercialization of these things but as far as I know, there has been no mass murders from ayahuasca lodge owners.

Sure they pay their workers peanuts but at least they pay them!
They are free to leave and work somewhere else, there is nothing chaining them to the gringo run lodges.
And even if they were in debt to the owner, they could just leave and forget about the debt like so many others do

The more I read, I wonder why you haven’t posted the name of your preferred ayahuasca lodge
Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending the charlatans, kilham or Fox News.
I do not know kilham enough to slander or say Good things about him. It seems that he can only defend what he knows and that is that ayahuasca helped him with some internal issues.

I do know the charlatans and fox news enough to say that they should be piled up on the compost pile so they may once in their life cycle serve some good! Fertilizer!

19 Kurious December 16, 2012 at 11:29 pm

AIDESEP worker, may I ask why you choose to remain anonymous in all of this? Just a question because where I come from (born and raised in Harlem, New York City) we had a name for men who talked loud, called people names but hid behind a curtain (kind of like what you are doing right now by remaining anonymous)… we called guys like you a pussy. It appears that Mr. Kilham has the courage to represent who he is and state his opinions openly while you, well you hide behind the internet… between that and the ad hominem attacks, your credibility is coming undone in the eyes of a third party reader.

I don’t know enough about the lodges and the ownership structures to discuss it but I have been reading the back and forth and it’s fascinating. If you are real, post your name and represent what you actually do in the world outside of this blog, because we know it’s not with AIDESEP. We know what Mr. Kilham has done, the record is there with plenty of google links. But can we google you? Your turn, step up to the plate, point us to your resume, body of work that shows what you are doing and your solution to helping the people you claim to want to help. Talk is cheap, and given the weight and importance of the topics you claim to be so passionate about, I would imagine you have done many great things. Sharing this would do wonders for your credibility.

And if you do not have the balls to put a face to your words, then I think that is telling to all the readers on this blog. Because why should they agree with you, when you don’t even agree with yourself?

signed,
kurious

20 aidesep worker December 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

For Kilspam, (remember hambone as Cabrero Infante wrote,¨spam is to ham as socialism is to capitalism.¨) just a joke, but it seems that your taste prefers the packaged kind with the pull top. Kinda like aya lodges.

—But let me be real clear and say that I like ayahuasca, but loath your beloved foreign owned lodges, which rip-off ancient poverty stricken indigenous cultures. Sorry that you do.
—So it seems that you believe in plant spirits, good,(¨for even the stones would call out¨) and YET you agree to foreign owned aya lodges commercializing their access by selling ayahuasca ´entrance
tickets´ to those spiritual realms and dimensions. Are you from Disney Land or Disney World? It seemjs from Disney World because you say that ayahuasca ceremonies belong to the world.
—So it seems that IF you believe that ayahuasca ceremonies and the
icaros and rites surrounding them belong to the world, and are not the intellectual property of Amazonian tribes like the Shipibos, THEN why do these lodges use Shipiubo shamans? YOU AVOID GIVING AN ANSWER. And then why did the UN and other world organizations make laws to protect indigenous peoples´intellectual property? And your friends´lodges are exempt you think.
—So it seems that you showed us more of your hand than you realize when you back the commercial blitzkrieg of these foreign owned ayahuasca lodges into the shores and realms of autochthonous, entheogenic ceremonies and rites, of indigenous tribes.
—So it seems that you believe then that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples really has no say.
—For it seems then you believe that because Peru does not enforce the UN

21 Chris Kilham December 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm

AIDESEP- when I’m in Shipibo ceremony, the icaros are Shipibo. When I’m in Mestizo ceremony, the icaros are Mestizo. One guy sang all Spanish all night. It’s the quality of thenwork that matters.

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples is good. I simply said that I am more attuned to CBD. You’re so reactionary, you don’t even read right.

I’ve shown you my hand from the beginning.It just took you long to notice. While you hide behind the curtain, I remain up front. Think about it.

22 Zoe December 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Have you, um… even taken a look at any of Chris’ work? Fox is just a short chapter in a very long and interesting life. It is true you are not willing to come forth, and that is not to your favor. But you are, in fact, fighting the wrong person here. That I can tell you. Best to you, aidesep worker. All of the humans in the world are of mixed blood anyway.

23 James Richardson December 18, 2012 at 6:04 am

Oh, Oh! AISDESEP! You stirred the pot enough to get Mr Kilham´s wife Zoe in on the act! I agree with the thrust of your argument having seen the exploitation of indigenous peoples in all corners of the world but ¨to treat a person with dignity and respect is beyond all else!¨

24 aidesep worker December 18, 2012 at 10:52 am

to the foxes,
Oh, getting tag teamed here by the aya www heavyweights. Well, tell your gringo lodge owner friends that the US and British embassies are sending people to Iquitos to investigate and try to convince Peru to make them illegal. Perhaps sales taxes and another tax is the way to go. Blue Morpho and Refugio Altiplano pay some, some. SUNAT may have something to gain.

25 aidesep worker December 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

And to Kurios,

And you want me to give my name in order for you to ¨hear¨¨my words. Ok, kurios my name is Jack Shit, are you satisfied ? Now you can say, ¨I don´t know Jack Shit.¨ Or, how about¨the voice of one crying out in the wilderness.¨¨That was an answer given once by someone very put off with pilgrim pharisees. Sorry that your structuralist ontology needs a name to accept the legitimacy of words. Have you ever thought about warnings I have had about my stirring the pot? I´ll definately have to thank Kilham and Fox News for his incendiary reprisal contributions if I get -ucked up here, because of the fires my words started in the heads of some quite irate and powerful people here.

26 James Richardson December 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Mr, Shit, your stinky attitude detracts from the very valid points you raise. I agree with your points but….Remember this Elder´s words to his grandson who asked … .
‘What do you think about the world situation?
The grandfather replied, “I feel like two wolves are fighting in my
heart. One is full of anger and hatred.
The other is full of love, forgiveness and peace.”
“Which one will win” asked the boy.
To which the grandfather replied, “The one I feed.”

27 Chris Kilham December 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Well, that was loads of fun. but all good things must pass. AIDESEP, good luck on your campaign. To all the rest, thanks for your various and thoughtful contributions. We are on re-runs from here on out, so I’m stepping off to have a long breath of clean air and wait for the next tempest in a teapot to blow up the kitchen table. happy trails.

28 Kurious December 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm

ah yes, you are as you describe yourself… “The Voice of One Crying Out in the Wilderness” on behalf of us people of color no doubt. so typical, your ‘white savior’ complex. and so sad.

well, as a person of color with African and Native American blood flowing freely and strongly in my veins, I speak for many like me who say we don’t need your ‘protection’. Your self-righteous garble might work on others, but not here. I’ve seen many of your type. You are the white guy in search of brown people’s forgiveness for your skin color, and our appreciation for your heroism. How ridiculous. Trying to be something you are not. Pledging your allegiance to exposing the plight of people of color and the injustices against indigenous people. So hilarious, so lame, so unnecessary. Afraid of who you are, ashamed of your own ancestry, drowning in self-loathing. A human machine gun of ‘injustice factoids’ randomly and anonymously spraying blogs to exercise your personal demons. seek help brother.

29 James Richardson December 19, 2012 at 8:13 am

Mr Kurious, I am surprised that you would critize those supporting the betterment of indigenous people around the globe. The Native American blood does not flow strongly through your viens. If it does..you are like an apple..red on the outside but white inside!!

30 Zoe December 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

Anyone who talks about ‘white’ people, as far as I’m concerned, is racist. I’m mixed — whatever that actually MEANS. I’m ME. I also respect my ancestors and they are and/or were VERY tribal, and all different shapes and sizes and ‘colors’ of human, with all sorts of interesting cultural gifts for the world.

My mother married outside of her tribal group, and I grew up with relatives on her side calling my father a ‘White Boy’. They liked him because he is a good man, but the elders never stopped calling him a ‘White Boy’. The truth is, my father is a mix of all sorts of amazing tribal ancestry(!) including Romanian, Hebrew, Scottish, French, and Bavarian. You’re telling me you can shrink such richness of background down to ‘Gringo’? Really? Wow, “Aidesep”.

The world is about LOVE. Mother Ayahuasca is reaching out to the world, and this is a GOOD thing. The world is a big mess right now. What blood flows through your in terms of tribe or color or even culture is only one part of who we are… what are you doing in THIS LIFE? That’s what really matters.

For the community in Iquitos: I have TREMENDOUS respect for the native people of the area (the art, the ceremony, the knowledge of the jungle and the river, etc.) Love to you.

Don Alberto Davila at Blue Morpho is a wonderful man, and someone I feel completely comfortable trusting my spirit to in the deepest places I go in ceremony. Beautiful heart. He is ‘mixed’. Some of the Shipibo purists I know and also respect and love may not even say he should be a shaman, or if he is, he is of lesser value. Not so. His healing work has great value on the people who have had healing experiences in part due to his leadership. So it all depends, doesn’t it, on where you draw your ‘color’ line?

What about the whole Catholic thing? You could have an entirely new debate about that. Can a Shipibo native shaman who is also Catholic really be a traditional native shaman? Again—where do you draw the line? And who are you to judge?

I prefer to witness the INDIVIDUAL. I meet individuals all over the world. What a sad thing it would be were I to meet and greet them with racist preconceptions?

I have also witnessed some ‘Gringo’ Shaman in the Iquitos doing excellent healing work and I know how it has helped some great human beings—from all over the world. I see it in their lives, long after ceremony, and the world needs all the good healing it can get. Honestly, I prefer traditional Shipibo cermony (Ricardo at Nihue Rao is extraordinary, inspired, trustworthy, and in his prime), but there are some excellent shaman of ‘mixed’ blood and/or ‘white’ skin but wow, just that language alone doesn’t sit well with me. What is ‘Gringo’ but another word like ‘Nigger’? Not bad in and of itself but when used in certain mean-spirited ways, not very nice, and certainly not very evolved.

No one should be exploited and not paid well for work well done, but greed has no color. I have seen some extremely greedy, sick people of every ‘color’ you can imagine, abusing their own people. But ‘aidesep’ before you send arrows to Blue Morpho, I ask you—have you seen the books? Do you know where the money goes? I haven’t, so I’m not going to assume I know what profit as in actual money left-over from all of what they provide there is left to share amongst the native people who are part of the scene. I know that the people who go there to heal are VERY generous and deeply appreciative, and that the money flows when they leave for wherever they call home—flows into the hands of workers there who have been helpful and hospitable. Anyone sincere who goes to a place like Blue Morpho is going to have some healing happen, and they know the people who are running the place—from the person leading ceremony to the person cleaning up vomit—they’re all part of the team.

Friends, as I’m sure you know, the heart and the soul and spirit has no color.

31 James Richardson December 19, 2012 at 11:03 am

An excerpt from the 2010 Defense Act: The United States, acting through Congress … recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the federal government regarding Indian tribes; apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all native peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on native peoples by citizens of the United States …

Unfortunately this was not a public apology but buried in a document…Here is a feeling expressed by a Navajo re the maltreatment by the US Government et al… “As a Native American, I feel offended that the apology was buried in this bill,” he said. “It demonstrates our country is not ready to apologize…He goes on to tell people..Being Native American and living in the United States feels like our indigenous peoples are an old grandmother who lives in a very large house. It is a beautiful house with plenty of rooms and comfortable furniture. But, years ago, some people came into our house and locked us upstairs in the bedroom. Today, our house is full of people. They are sitting on our furniture. They are eating our food. They are having a party in our house. They have since unlocked the door to our bedroom but it is much later and we are tired, old, weak and sick; so we can’t or don’t come out. But the part that is the most hurtful and that causes us the most pain, is that virtually no one from this party ever comes upstairs to find us in the bedroom, sits down next to us on the bed, takes our hand, and simply says, “Thank you. Thank you for letting us be in your house.”

There is a distance yet to travel to right the wrongs of the past and those with Indian blood running through their viens must support their brothers and sisters living on reservations in the US or Canada or on the streets of major cities and not act like an apple..red on the outside but white inside..or perhaps they are just wannabe’s!!

32 Kurious December 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm

James: Word of advice, people do not like being referred to by physical attributes that bring to mind derogatory terms like “redskin” so I would avoid that type of language. I get the sense you are calling me um, let’s see, a “sellout, uncle tom, oreo, house negro”, etc… hilarious, given the fact that you don’t know me. Well let me explain something to you so…

No one argues with the ‘spirit’ of the original post.. that indigenous people and people of color have had a foot on their neck for ages and that something must be done to address the problem. That is obvious, and I don’t need you or anyone else to give me a history lesson or preach to me about what my ancestors went through or go through today. But just because you can ‘talk about it’ doesn’t mean you are really ‘doing something about it’. Ultimately, actions speak louder than words and when someone gets on a soapbox, claiming to be the ‘lone voice in the wilderness’ on behalf of indigenous people, but can’t reveal himself or offer a constructive or positive solution… it smells. And people of color and indigenous backgrounds don’t need a mysterious no-face person waxing poetic on the internet, we need leadership and we need people who take action with well thought out solutions.

No one racial group has a monopoly on violating other people and some of my most hurtful memories of being violated happened to me at the hands of my own people. The original post accused all foreigners (read: white people) as being the main culprits in abusing indigenous people, and that shutting them down would be the solution. That is what I would call racist and when it comes from a person within the white community, it hints at a person who hates himself. He doesn’t have a problem with indigenous-owned businesses that might abuse their own, but he does have a problem with foreign-owned businesses and that does not make sense to me.

Instead of attacking people who can potentially make a difference for indigenous families (who depend upon every potential dollar that can come into the community), why not propose a more inclusive approach. The unknown poster has identified a problem, so why not be part of the solution and bring everyone to the table? Why not invite these unethical businesses to the table, present the evidence of these activities, include the government, the greater community and structure standards and guidelines for ethical and safe operations, that pay fair wages, that include the community and respect age-old traditions that should be protected? That would be a more positive and uplifting approach to the problem. But the fact that no constructive solutions are ever offered by this person (who I will cease to call AIDESEP worker) and that he would instead attack those who have dedicated a lifetime to solutions, is suspect to me.

Bottom line, I have a problem with any type of person (Brown, Red, Black, Yellow or White) who views himself as a ‘savior’ of other people. You are not a real soldier if you operate anonymously on the internet. Real soldiers operate in the real wilderness of the real world, they put their reputation on the line for what they believe in and they respect all people. We are all one, and if you have ever sat with the medicine you know that.

This is my last post as I have other things to do than rally back and forth. People have jobs and more important, families. I wish peace, love to all as the holidays approach, including those who I have clashed with on this blog. One Love.

33 James Richardson December 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

Mr Kurious, I cannot see the difference between using former AIDESP worker and Kurious so you throw rocks in a hypocritical fashion . You are an impostor on a soap box! The Mi” Kmaq blood flows strongly through my viens and I am no apple both in words and in action.

Peace and love to you Mr Kurious and may the creator bestow the fruits of life to you and your family.

34 John Doe December 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

These people have survived for thousands of years. Times have changed though, what worked back then doesn’t work anymore.

If they don’t adapt to change they won’t survive no matter what these “do-gooders on a mission to save the poor indigenous people” think or do.

It is brutal, but honest truth. That is the way things are and always have been. Numerous species have disappeared for god for numerous reasons.

I think these gringo owned lodges ARE good to local people there. I am currently saving up thousands of dollars, just to spend it in Iquito. I personally don’t give rats arse if the locals don’t get fair cut from what I pay.

I have no problem using this laptop or my mobile phone or car etc. buying food here in the big old west, KNOWING that there is exploitation involved at all levels of manufacturing and selling all these items.. It is just how things are, greed is part of human landscape, profiteering too.

You can cry crocodile tears all you want about that, but you CAN NOT separate yourself from exploitation and suffering of others. No matter what you do. Pain is pain, whether it is small or large.

How can some people be so naive as to think things wouldn’t change for worse eventually, if all stopped going to gringo owned lodges, and only went to natively owned lodges? It is impossible, as it is against the way things are. Eventually the locals would become influenced and corrupt by the influx of westerners and tourists, better let them be safe in their villages and let some of them work for us. Keeps their way of life a bit longer intact. But eventually their lands will be taken by the stronger, people die or move and things get lost forever.

Always has been, always will be so.

There is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it in the long run.

Just take off the rosy glasses, quit living in your cozy pink fluffy bunny world and join us in the REAL world. A world where people, animals and plants suffer constantly and we are not separate from or above it, no matter how good our intentions or actions might be.

35 AIDESEP worker December 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

The key word to the problem of foreign owned aya lodges is the word AUTOCHTHONOUS, something they are not. But It is obvious that people like the Kilhams, who side with these foreign owned aya lodges are really just hypocrites, because the only reason these lodges can exist, is because of Peru’s dereliction to the international conventions it signed. “You people” benefit financially by Peru’s dysfunctional ways and dereliction of duty. That is how you lower the ethical bar, Kilham(s). For you say that you respect the international conventions, but then you make a mockery of them by backing your beloved foreign aya lodges. What do you pay, $380 a day? What yuppie suckers ! And these indigenous rights, I’m sorry, don’t spill over to your fancy chez Francia restaurants. Again, the key word to this problem is the word autochthonous. For you back these foreign owned ” mining claims” on autochthonous entheogenic territory, as if they are up for grabs for anyone to exploit. Zero control ! Rapes, a murder, thefts, beatings, etc have all taken place at some of these foreign lodges this last year. And for you it is alright that anyone can come here and commercially capitalize and trespass on these autochthonous ceremonies, with no regard for collective tribal rights. That sucks ! That is how you are like the foreign mining companies and oil companies, but you just help exploit their autochthonous rites. On another dimension I wonder what the spirit world thinks about being commercialized into a high dollar aya Disneyland? Next time ask them. And have you been to the jaguar throne yet? For an extra $50 you can get access. And it is obvious that the educationally challenged Kurious george, and others don’t read history and have never heard of Walter Hardenburg. Nor have they heard of Richard Marsh, Father Fritz, Sahugun, Las Casas and others as a continual thread of often nameless human rights workers. How about Mandela, he didn’t help (save) part of humanity from itself? It is you who is hung up on saviors. For none of these people saw themselves as such. No, Hardenburg was too modest to ever make that claim, but he was. For who knows how long, how many years it would have taken if Hardenburg hadn’t stumbled over the truth and exposed it? And by that time all of these tribes would have been extinct, like hundreds of others before them. But if there was ever a “savior” of the Native people of Peru (or anywhere) it was that 21 year old American honkey hick kid named Walter Hardenburg. In reference to this I can imagine him telling “you people” to drink more ayhuasca, with cascara sagrada because you are really full of shit. “Churchhill once said that, “Men stumble over truth from time to time, but most men just pick themselves up and walk off like nothing happened.” Well not Hardenburg ! For he is the source responsible for Casement’s 1912 investigation here in Iquitos, which proved that Arana’s Amazon was worse that Leopold’s Congo. Just 100 years ago you could buy a Huitoto or other tribal slaves on the back streets of Iquitos for just 40 English pounds. And all under the watchful blind eyes of the British consul / businessman, Cazes. So because of this hard headed tenacious “river tramp” Hardenburg there are still today Bora, Huitoto, Ticuna, Andoke and other tribes. Their extremely rare 5 tone languages would have disappeared, their massive 5 story high nails-less malocas gone, and their huge manguire drums silent, if not for him. For by 1912 some 80% of these peoples were killed here in the Amazon; and if not for him the remaining 20% would have also been killed. Show your ignorance some more kurious. I’m sure you went to visit the Bora topless dancers, right? Well, you can thank Hardenburg, for there would be no Boras left to have danced for you, if not for him. And not only did he”save” these tribes, but he also opened the British imperial closet and documented the skeletons and named the demons. And to John Doe, the rich young ruler, who doesn’t give a rats ass about justice and has “thousands of dollars to spend in Iquitos.” I suggest you spend some $ with Promotora de la Solidaridad, a partner with Caritas, which sells inexpensive medicine in Callao. (613-7272). Fill up a few new five gallon buckets (with tops) with various types of medicine and deliver them to the poverty stricken neighboring villages of your foreign lodge. It’s really a disgrace that the neighboring communities of these lucrative foreign aya lodges most always never even have an aspirin. That is another very hard pill of injustice to swallow. And that would be the best medicine for your self-centered egoism. Bye bye Kilham, I won’t waste any more words on the deaf.

36 Kieth MacCartney December 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

I have been an avid reader of this blog for sometime but have read with interest the last 2 posts on ayahuasca, the one by the AIDESEP worker and the latest be Chris Kilham.
Being completely nuetral I swung from one side to the other, one time with the anti foriegn owned group and then the other.
It looks like its all over now after great comments by many including Chris Gilham, the Aidesep worker (wished he/she had given his real namebecause would like to shake his or her hand), James Richardson and others.
I, as a nuetral onlooker I have come to a verdict, for what its worth. I agree that foriegn owned lodges are NOT a good thing. The comment
that made me come to a conclusion was that of John Doe when he said ” I am currently saving up thousands of dollars, just to spend it in Iquito. I personally don’t give rats arse if the locals don’t get fair cut from what I pay”. Its over now I hope. Captain Bill please lets have a positive post for a change.

37 Captain Bill December 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Thanks for reading along and making your comment Kieth. I have a positive post coming up soon, and plan to change the course of the Captain’s Blog in 2013. Wishing you a Happy New Year.

My best,
Bill

38 Bruce January 2, 2013 at 12:25 am

I have read with interest this thread. What I believe that AIDESEP is missing is the simple fact that this medicine, needed by the world’s people to heal and protect the planet and all of its inhabitants would not be as well known without the “gringo-owned” lodges. Years ago, native tribes shared their magical brew with European pioneers. For both good and bad reasons, most natives did not communicate with nor understand Western cultures. If it were not for people like the great gringo businessman, Hamilton Souther of Blue Morpho and the incomparable American shaman, Scott Petersen of Refugio Altiplano, thousands of Occidental persons would never have had the opportunity to heal and to evolve with this medicine. Is AIDESEP saying that his concept of “indigenous rights” should prevail over the health and well-being of the planet? I’m afraid, the answer is “Yes.”
I reject AIDSDEP’s belief that ayahuasca is a secret to be shared only among the few. Those of us who’s fate was to be born white need ayahuasca every bit as much as those born to native mothers. My hat is off to the leaders of the one country which understands that truth.

39 It's about time January 4, 2013 at 7:22 am

What ever happened to fair trade? We are not talking about trinkets or cheap electronics. We are talking about services that you are able to pick from a variety of providers. Unfortunately the loudest ones are heard first, and I have no recommendations or alternatives to offer you all

The main divide in opinions here comes from one side which is the consumer and the other side which is producer or behind the scenes observer.

If you are a consumer, everything you see is neatly prepared to give you what you want, the details behind it do not interest you? It seems slightly ironic that someone who wants to be enlightened by ayahuasca does not care about where their money goes seeing how the majority of consumers come with open minds and have a ” green ” sense to them

If you are an observer or producer, you get to see the dirty laundry and behind the fabricated scenes made for consumers.

Please do not credit these business men with revealing ayahuasca to the world, they too came here as tourists too .

If you would like to credit someone for revealing the medicine to the world consider people like Francisco Cordova and the “gringo”Bruce Lamb for writing about it many years ago.

Others such as Alwyn Gentry , Rodolfo Vasquez and Wade Davis deserve much more credit than these run of the mill non academic business men

40 Kieth MacCartney January 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Oh Yes I got it, I saw a comment earlier denouncing Captain Bill’s actions in removing posts contra foreign owned ayayhuasca lodges on this blog. The post was from “Its about time” and he or she complained about Captain Bill deleting anti ayahuasca comments both on this blog and on Trip advisor-

What do you expect from a mam who has sold his ass to the ayahuascaros. Delete this Grimes and shame on you.

41 Captain Bill January 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Hi Kieth, The two comments in question were links to TripAdvisor reviews that were taken down by TripAdvisor so the links no longer exist, so I deleted them. I have never drank ayahuasca, and I haven’t “sold my ass” to anyone.

42 Dag Walker January 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm

It bothered me, the use– not to mention the capitalisation– of autochthonous. I couldn’t recall any Classical writer, Attic or otherwise, ever using such a word. Thus, I looked into it and found it to be, as I suspected, a neologism (from 1845.) I think the most interesting if not most important term one could use here is philobarbarism. If it’s good enough to describe Herodotus, it’s certainly good enough for what’s his name above.

Sorry, my looking into stuff is limited to the profitable.

Yalla,
Dag Walker
Iquitos, Peru
Jan. 2013

43 Supay February 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm

AIDESEP worker asks: “why do these foreign lodges exclusively use Shipibo shamans?”

That is a very good question. The Shipibos, alone among all the peoples who drink Ayahuasca, have embraced Ayahuasca tourism. It is a fast-growing business among the Shipibos, and, far from complaining about the competition from foreign-owned Ayahuasca lodges, they are happy to accept employ in those lodges, where they make much more money than they would just practicing among their own people. and glad that foreigners are promoting Ayahuasca tourism to their regions. Fewer and fewer Shipibo shamans work with their own people — all the money is in working with foreigners.

I have wondered why it is that the Shipibos are the one tribe that has embraced Ayahuasca tourism this way. Do you have any insight into that, AIDESEP worker? (Or anyone else?)

44 AIDESEP worker February 27, 2013 at 9:55 am

To Supay
Perhaps ask yourself why were the Shipibos the major tribe acting as intermediaries during the slaving centuries. They are very prone towards commercialism and their assertiveness has always been loathed by other forest tribes.

45 Stace April 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm

“This is no jungle blowjob”
Love it !!
Fine response sir !!
Keep up the good work :-)

46 Stace April 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Dear mister ‘AIDESEP worker’
Whilst i understand (mas o menos) your argument, i do believe that it takes a modicum of humility to admit to one’s self that you don’t have all the answers and that perhaps you cannot make sweeping, disparaging statements that are applicable to many different people of various different creeds… Especially when you haven’t spent the time to thoroughly acquaint yourself with the complete picture.
It appears to me that, sooner or later, on these types of blogs the issue pretty quickly gets forgotten about and it descends into just different ‘egos’ trying desperately to be ‘right’ whilst proving the ‘other’ is ‘wrong’ ?? (oh shit !! Think i’m doing it as well !!)
Why can’t we all spend our energies finding a ‘common ground’ ??
Why does it have to be all out war ??
There ARE definitely, thousands of people each year benefiting enormously from these ‘shamanic centers’ (whoever runs them)
Don’t they have a say ?? Don’t they have any rights ??
There are so many grey areas in this issue that the only way we are going to find any solutions is if we all work TOGETHER.
You can be part of the problem or part of the solution.
The choice is yours.
Here is a case in point.
Whilst 2 months pregnant with my baby girl, my (meztizo) Peruvian wife accompanied me to a (mestizo) curandero’s center where we both drank Ayahuasca.
She drank just a tiny little dose, the main objective being to ‘invite’ the spirit of Ayahuasca to ‘adopt’ our as-of-yet-to-be-born daughter in a certain manner.
To be a ‘guardian spirit’ if you like, someone to watch over her for the rest of her life…..
This is originally an indigenous practice, ‘expecting’ parents inviting particular plants spirits to ‘watch over’ their offspring….
It seemed like a beautiful thing to do at the time but now i am concerned ??
Did we offend anyone doing this ??
Did we break any laws ??
I payed the shaman for the ceremony….. Should i report him to the authorities ??
Will the U.N. being breaking down my door at some point because of the terrible thing we have done ??
I really don’t want to get into any trouble………
Any advice on this matter would be deeply appreciated :-)
I am a ‘gringo’ living in Iquitos though technically i’m not from the U.S. so i’m not a real gringo am i ?? And now i have Peruvian nationality….. This is getting all so confusing !!
Somebody please tell me what i am ??????

47 Stace April 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Just one more question…. ( i promise)
What about all the foreign-owned wildlife tour operators, lodges, boats that take people up and down the Amazon ?? (you own one of those don’t you bill ??) Sometimes they even stop off at ‘indigenous villages’ so the tourists can get a photo of themselves with one of the natives in traditional dress. (they of course change back into shorts and a T-shirt once they’ve left)
Couldn’t the entire Amazon region be considered ‘indigenous heritage’ ??
Quite a lot of these tour operators charge pretty hefty fees……. Shouldn’t they also fall under the umbrella of ‘Gringos abusing the natives’ ??
Or maybe a good percentage of their profits goes towards native communities ??
I have no idea….. Just curious is all.
Where does it all end ??
Maybe Peru should just close it’s borders and chuck out all of the foreigners…..
That should do it :-)

48 chris January 19, 2014 at 6:34 am

Yes, very interesting points from all on this thread. I have to admit that i was recently talking about this on Ayahuasca.com.

Ok, i’ll try and get my point across with as much transparency as possible:
1. Firstly the traditions of Ayahuasca belong to the people of the jungle, and this should never be forgotten.

2.If we are to blame Gringo retreats for capitalising on their culture, then we must blame the Peruvian authorities for allowing this to happen.

3.Whilst i don’t agree with Gringo run retreats, i CAN see that some Shipibo people MAY benefit by working in them and developing the skills to set up their own established centres (that would appeal more to western tourists), and thus empower themselves.

4. It seems that the main issue of Gringo run retreats is lack of ‘fair trade’, ie Gringo’s make big money, Shipibos, ets, get very little. This is very wrong on every level and plain greed. Centres that charge big fees like $380 per day are really taking the piss, and that negatively messes up local dynamics.

5.Whilst the Ayahuasca tradition belongs with the people and the jungle, the Entheogenic/Shamanic experience does not. There are many other Entheogens and Shamanic traditions all over the world capable of deep healing if used with intelligence. If people think that Ayahuasca is the only way, then they are misguided.

6.Finally, what has been ALLOWED to happen has happened. I hope that this thread helps spread awareness to people considering trying the medicine. At least one can decide if paying $$$ is right or wrong, and wether the locals see their fair share.

Over and out!

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