Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 04:38:14 -0500 (EST)
From: "yatra-W.M. da Silveira Barbosa" <email@example.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have been in the web of addiction for 20 years using heroine and cocaine
and believe strongly in the treatment with ayahuasca. It's been 4 years now
that I am clean, and maybe I should tell a little of my story to bring a
little more understanding on the ayahuasca side of the story.
I went through the last kick off that took me 7 days on my own. That was
after I have been drinking ayahuasca already for a while, met many people
who stopped sniffing cocaine and drink alcohool with it and noticed that it
was doing some thing to me also . I decided to close myself at home, as I
had ayahuasca in the house. I was organizing trips for the brasilians to
Europe and to introduce the Santo Daime to the north of Europe as I was
already a member of the Santo Daime for a while.
I had the courage and went for kick off by myself. I had already all the
help I needed from people and institutions, and nothing would help, after a
while I would be back again into the drug. This was when I discovered that
therapy (I did so many therapy, that I became a therapist myself) or
medications fulfill only the time, but not the search, and the addict equals
the model of the spiritual searcher, but using the wrong carburater.
I woke up in the morning already suffering from the withdraw. Drank the
first cup of ayahuasca, spent the day throwing up, and drank another two or
three times during the day and again at night.
I spent one week like this, almost eating nothing, and throwing up all the
time, sweting and sick like a dog. The pain in my lower back would almost
kill me. I have a heart disease: Myocardy with obstruction in the mitral
valve, and had a clinical death with an AV Block in Chile, about 5 years
before this, where they brouth me back with eletric shocs. I also stayed for
a long time once in the heart bewaking at the AMC in Amsterdam for that, and
at the time of kicking off, I was taking calcium blocker for the heart.
It's amazing, but my heart went through it all. I did have lots of in
between bits but nothing that would disturb my decision.
After a week of hell, the first lights started to shine for me. During the
journeys with the ayahuasca that week, I could see only demons and darkness,
and finally, for the first time, I could see the way out. I was not afraid
to die because I was sure that I would die if I would continue using
heroine, so it didn't make much difference to die now or in a few months.
The cathartic and abreactive properties of the drink, cleaned me and brought
me to other realms where finally I could recognize many other aspects of
self and the threads that were ranging from it. The process was beautifull,
with many visits to past lives, and meeting the source that originated the
addiction in this life. Coming in connection with that and with other
aspects of self, living simultaneously, and simbolicly reliving the source
of the trauma that brought me to the addiction, I could reach understanding,
without words, and meet the divine in me, that I have been searching for so
Coming out of the addiction, I had in mind to stablish the churches here in
Holland first and later to start a program for drug addiction, but I needed
people here to work with me, dutch people, and they didn't know anything
really about it. In 1993, I started to stablish the Santo Daime churches in
Holland and in north of Germany, that are today the biggest churches in
Europe, teaching them how to do the rituals as I'm brasilian and know it so
well, and brought the Cefluris, the organ that takes care of the Santo Daime
Doctrine, and many brasilians. I became the Cefluris International here in
Holland. For a long time, I was receiving the Daime (name they give to
ayahuasca), and distributing to all the churches in Europe through Holland.
No body had the courage to pick it up at the airport as we were not sure
about it's legal situation, and I was determined to set the situation going.
In 1994, the duana confiscated one shipment of the Daime that arrived at the
airport, and opened an investigation against me, sent it to analize. News
paper: Holy tea or dangerous drugs??? bla bla bla... The case lasted for 6
months, and in november 94, finally they decided to give me the licence to
import under the code ....., as plant extract through alcohool, and charged
the highest import tax. From that day on, it was open the import of
ayahuasca in this country to any one, as I did not want this responsibility
on my shoulders only, and I distribute the Daime from here to all the churches.
I created the financial structures of the churches, forwarding most of the
money from the rituals to the Amazon forest, for their survivel and ecologic
After a few years, following up the development of it, I've noticed that the
churches only reached a population of the old middle class population, and
that the young people and drug users population were not even touched by
them, the few that came up to a ritual, would never come back, and
complained about the strict structure and Christianity pressing bottons of
That was when I decided to start to do other rituals using the same compound
(ayahuasca), extracted from different plants like peganum harmala and mimosa
hostilis, using different settings, exploring different belief systems, to
explore spirituality without dogmas. I created a few settings to attend the
needs of here now in this culture, and of different populations like we do
rituals with Mantras (exploring the belief system of the east), or rituals
with ambient trance music, the young music from the sub-culture that brings
lots of young people, rituals with music from the forest, etc.. On those
rituals we run PEP experiences, sharings and follow ups to bring it to a
more scientific research and to start to prepare the treatment for drug
addiction with those plants.
I left Cefluris and the membership with the Daime church in 1996, although I
still participating up to date at their rituals as they are my own culture
and back ground, and my heart is there too. I became affiliated with the
university of Maastricht, here in Holland and started to work on a research
with other plants and other rituals. I had to make a choice, or I stayed
with the Santo Daime church under their rules, using only their ayahuasca
under their rituals or leave and carry on with my research and work. There
was no room for what I had intentions to do in the church at that time
because they were not open for any kind of experiments or other kind of
rituals and other structures either than their own, under the Christian
So I created the Foundation "Friends of the Forest", ethno pharmacological
agents & rituals and drug dependency treatment research. I didn't want to be
part of the board as I like to do the work, so I became the executive
director. The board was formed and right now we are preparing to submit to
the Europian commission for funds for an interdisciplinar project that
involves 10 universities, 6 in Europe(Holland, Finland, 2 in Germany and
Brussels) and 4 in South America(2 in Brasil, Bolivia and Peru) for an Alpha
Project, Net work Beija-Flor, to study drug dependency treatment through
ethno pharmacological agents and rituals. We have applied last november, but
one paper was missing and not signed, so it came back and we are reapplying
next april 97.
Meanwhile, I've settled the supply of those plants from Brasil, from
different indian tribes, who have an enourmous supply of it as it grows wild
in their area, and we have unlimited amount to work with, without having to
fall into the monopoly and rules of many traditions that uses it in South
America. we are bringing the return to the indian tribes that are in
agreement with us, and who are furnishing us with this supply, implanting a
new economy for their survivel.
After leaving the Santo Daime church, I could negociate with the churches in
Holland in a better way. I proposed that towards the end of the treatment
for drug dependency with us or with the clinics that will be handling it,
the church would come in and give one ritual a month for the patients. In
this way, after having had already many rituals, and getting in touch with
their innermost and consequently making their own spiritual link, the
cristian structure does not matter any more as one is more open to integrate
any form of religious expression as it will be the same if you sing for
Shiva or for Jesus. And like that, the patient will have the choice to
follow up after their treatment and to develop their spirituality if they
whish. The church will also restablish their connection with the community
world and support their new set of values.
I have it strongly in my mind that the treatment should start with Iboga for
the withdraw syndrome (also in a ritualistic way???) and should be carryed
on with ayahuasca. I believe that if I would have had Iboga during my own
experience of kicking off, I would have spared lots of physical and mental
suffering. We have a group of people working with us in the Foundation (we
are all doing voluntaire work at the moment) with a psyquiatric nurse, a
general doctor who worked with drug addicts before, a psychoterapist, myself
and others who are studing and putting up a protocol together for this
treatment. All of us have been drinking the ayahuasca compound from both
combinations of plants for at least three years,(I've been drinking for the
last 5 years and I've been working with people and ayahuasca for the last 4
years.) We are a very especialized crew.
I believe that if we put our knowlegde together with the knowledge of
Iboga/Ibogaine, we probally can come up with the cure for drug addiction. I
have been in both ends and so have been many of you, and it is in our hands
to help the ones that stayed behind.
We know that when we find the light, we only grow inside it when we share
it. And we only change the world, changing simultaneously with it. I truelly
wish that the king of the stars keep the light shinning in our path, to
guide our work with wisdom in the direction of this light.
Yatra-W.M. da Silveira Barbosa
"Friends of the Forest"
Ethno pharmacological agents & rituals
and drug dependency treatment research
Amsterdam - Netherland