In light of the recent death of British teen after an ayahuasca ceremony in Columbia, VICE investigates why ‘crappy’ shamans are making Ayahuasca dangerous. VICE speaks to ayahuasca expert and author, Robert Tindall, who says its vital to carefully research your shaman and know which psychoactive plants they are adding to the brew.
From the VICE conversation:
Why are tourists falling victim to these supposed shamans?
It used to be that it took about at least 20 years to really apprentice as a shaman, and now there are people claiming they are shamans within two or three years. There’s no quality control – there’s no knowledge of lineage – so Westerners go online, see “Amazonian retreats” and It doesn’t even occur to them to enquire who the shaman is, what his lineage is, whether he has recommendations… it doesn’t even occur to them. It seems to be a Disneyland mentality.
It’s a set-up for disaster, because with all these naïve people bringing money in, there’s an explosion of people setting up centres, making brews of different levels of quality – people without expertise. People are going to keep dying as long as this goes on.