Detective Inspector Nemu

“Your silence gives consent” Plato

The film-makers at Ancestral Seeds have written an article about recent developments in ayahuasca-land, and I’m in it as a kind of global policeman:

I’m not sure what I think about this. It seems a bit rich for me to tell people what the proper way to drink ayahuasca is. And if careless (or damaged) people want to give away large sums of their hard-earned cash to a messianic charlatan with nothing but creamy New Age nonsense to share when he speaks, then perhaps it isn’t my job to get in the way of his business.

Then again, it seems to me that if we use our liquid friend decently, then we become more decent human beings, and also more proactive about challenging some of the hateful things in the world. Some people have had a marvellous time drinking with Varela. Others have gone straight to the police with stories of abuse.

I’ve been concerned about Varela and his hyper-capitalistic coca-cola ayahuasca trade for a while now, from the perspective of the legal implications of what happens when something goes horribly wrong. But I became involved when I was worried about a friend. She wasn’t much interested in my opinions at the time, and the whole thing was pretty uncomfortable, as speaking your mind often is. She got back to me some time later though, when the glitter had fallen from her eyes, thanking me for trying to warn her.

Whatever it is selling, ayahuasca or apple juice, the global marketplace doesn’t care about your well-being – and neither does the state. If we don’t regulate ourselves, at a basic level, by alerting each other to dangers, it will be difficult to make a case to the authorities that the best thing they can do is to leave us alone.

My question to anyone thinking about drinking ayahuasca would be this:

Would you trust the facilitator to look after your baby for the night?

Would you trust them to take care of your most valuable possession?