Author Topic: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)  (Read 20320 times)

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 895
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2016, 04:39:36 am »
Here is the other one of them with a separate page:
Aloha. My name is Marc Shackman, also known as Kumooja Banyan Tree.

I will add the the full text of the page in case it goes away:

Quote from:
Aloha. My name is Marc Shackman, also known as Kumooja Banyan Tree.

I am here to play a role in your life journey if we are called together to do so. For I already made the choice long ago to dedicate my life to simply add as much value as I can to other people’s’ lives, and therefore my own, to assist You to help yourself to remember again your own unique truth and powerful destiny that inevitably awaits. One rooted in Soul connection and a deep level of Trust. To guide you to guide yourself back to Freedom, back to Happiness and ultimately back to a state of Infinite Love and Blissfulness. Nothing less than that.

To re-ignite and re-spark the creativity within your own Heart space, to re-Inspire magic, re-Energize and re-Empower You, to clear away for yourself the dark clouds and illusory fears still holding you back, so you are more able to Remember your true life’s purpose.

That you are Really here to design and create your Dream life with your own hands, through Action, committed Focus and Heart-felt Intention. To use your own precious gifts to choose Now consciously to participate in this life, as the master creator that you Are. As there are really no limits to what we can do in this game of life together, when we can work as one family, one community and with the deep rooted mentality of unlimited abundance sourced infinitely from within our own selves.

For the only thing holding you back right now is You, the choices you make everyday and what you believe about yourself and what you tell yourself daily you are capable of.

So I look forward to meeting with you all very much very soon, when the right moment calls and the Great Spirit leads us to work together, and we are forever blessed with each others presence and divine light, to share in a mutual healthy balanced exchange of the giving and receiving of sacred energy, and to journey a part of this beautiful life together.

Remember, the Heart Energy Medicine Revolution is already here.

The only question then Really worth asking yourSelf is, are you Ready for it? And if not, that’s okay, because I then now ask, will you then at least be willing to make sure you are Ready for it tomorrow?

We. Are. Love.

Mitakuye O’ Yasin (All My Relations)

Mahalo Ke Akua

Interviews & Testimonials for Marc “Kumooja Banyan Tree” Shackman:
Gratitude and appreciations sound trite when compared with how I feel toward you [Marc], Francesca, Bear, the healing center, and such. Well, you know. To say you are talented and impressive and mindful falls short of all that you are and all that you do. You are one of those rare, multi-talented leaders who surfaces every once in a while, and I am thankful and enriched for having crossed paths with you.

With love and best thoughts,
Leah
                                           
Leah Blackburn, USA

There are two videos and an audio in there, too.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 895
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2016, 04:52:10 am »
http://www.chronline.com/services-are-now-in-session-for-church-offering-hallucinogens/article_bdf57074-d212-11e5-959d-af9732305a8e.html

The heading and introduction to that article:

Quote
Church Offering Hallucinogens
Visitors Pay About $2,000 to Attend Weekend Retreats Near Mineral

The rest of the article has been quoted by JJimmy, and Mr. Shackman is mentioned 34 times in it.

Offline JJimmy

  • Posts: 14
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2016, 10:34:42 pm »

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 895
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2016, 06:05:45 am »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmR1zymNbls

So Mr. Trinity de Guzman was Trinity de la Cruz at age 20. In this video, within the first three minutes you can hear him say: "My birth name is Christopher de Guzman". Much later in the video, he also says his nationality is "Filipino and Spanish".

Anyone who knows about even more names? And who is he actually, in the first place?

Offline Sandy S

  • Posts: 257
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2016, 03:18:16 am »
Christopher de Guzman's mother was born in the Philippines but is now a Canadian citizen.

Christopher's passport, issued in 2007, carries the official name of Christopher de Guzman. He was born in Vancouver, BC, May 23, 1989 and is a Canadian citizen.

Christopher's driver's license, issued in 2010, still carries the official name of Christopher de Guzman.

Might be time for Canadian customers of de Guzman to consider contacting the RCMP or other law enforcement/consumer protection folks about this AHNAC racket and his refusal to offer refunds. And have 'em round up Chuck Spezzano and Erick Gonzalez while they're at it, two characters also active in BC who have already graced this forum in the "Fraud" category.

This information and attached images supplied by the best researcher of frauds I know, a secret agent who is a friend of NAFPS.








Offline Sandy S

  • Posts: 257
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2016, 02:01:39 pm »
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/2191566

Quote
Bankruptcy Orders
Shackman, Marc Roland


Arin, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Arin, Cusco, Peru

Birth details: 15 November 1980

Marc Roland Shackman of Arin, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Arin, Cusco, Peru, Lately Residing and carrying on business at 26 Longhill Avenue, Chatham, Kent, ME5 7AR, as a non-Profit Organisation Trading as Soul Projects and Kupuri Native roots Foundation

In the High Court Of Justice

No 3341 of 2014

Date of Filing Petition: 27 August 2014

Bankruptcy order date: 27 August 2014

Time of Bankruptcy Order: 11:50

Whether Debtor's or Creditor's Petition—Debtor's

T Neale 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, LONDON, SW1P 2HT, telephone: 0207 6371110, email: LondonA.OR@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

Capacity of office holder(s): Receiver and Manager

27 August 2014

Offline Sandy S

  • Posts: 257
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2016, 03:49:31 pm »
I have never been a member of Twitter myself, but found this NotTrinity de Guzman parody account that made my morning. This "church" has probably already regretted the day they ever set foot in Washington State:

https://twitter.com/NotTrinitydeGuz

The Cult Education Forum is another source of info:

http://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?12,131244






Offline JJimmy

  • Posts: 14
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2016, 04:44:07 pm »
http://entheonation.com/trinity-de-guzman-controversy-interview/
TRANSCRIPT – Ayahuasca Healings Controversy

Quote
LL: Okay. Going back to your relationship with the Oklevueha Native American Church. My understanding is like the native American church tradition, really involves like a long tradition with specific rituals and songs, protocols, sacramental use of peyote and I think one of the questions that comes up from the medicine community is how is it that you guys are a native American church when you’re not working with peyote, you’re not working in the tradition of the Native American church.

The fact that there is some doubts, there’s some question as to whether the ONAC is really a true Native American church. There seems to be some division within the Native American community especially around the practice of ONAC giving online memberships to other organizations, under the auspices of the Native American Church. What are your thoughts about that?

TDG: First of all, I want to very specifically point out that we definitely are working with Native American traditions and Native American elders. We for example like you said, the Native American church and the Native Americans have very specific rituals and ceremonies and ways of working with the sacraments and the plants that are particular to the Native Americans and the Native American Church.

So for example, in our four day healing retreat that happens at our church, we have on the first day, it’s really about cleansing day and on this day, we have a Native American actually open ceremony with us. This dear brother, dear elder, teacher, his name is Bear and he’s a 70 year old elder and he comes every weekend to open ceremony with us, to lead the sweat lodge. He built the sweat lodge for us.

This is a Native American and he’s 70 years old and we have received the blessings from so many different Native Americans to be able to do what we are doing and if you speak to the Native Americans about that question, they say that it is not this rigid structure that defines a Native American culture or tradition. It is the guidance in every moment. They have given us their blessing because they understand that it’s not about setting rules and having a rigid structure that we have to follow and only then will be considered a Native American church.

But they look at the spirit of the plant as exactly that, as a spirit, as a teacher and she, mother Ayahuasca for example will always define and lead and guide the ceremony. So to be a Native American tradition, these people who are saying this, they clearly do not understand the culture of the Native Americans, which is a deep surrendering to the plant in every moment.

We have received their blessings because we, like all we can really do and this has come from like such dear elders in the Native American culture and tradition who specifically say, “I don’t do anything. All I can do is take the medicine and the spirit just works through me.” That is the spirit of true Native American tradition. So we are working with these plants, we look at them as spirits, as teachers, as guides, to be able to allow us to connect with ourselves, to open our hearts, to connect with who we really are. That is the teachings of the Native Americans. It is looking at everything.

LL: So when you say you have the blessing of the Native Americans, have you been working with the Native Americans in the community where your retreat center is located in Elbe, Washington?

TDG: Yes, we’ve definitely been doing outreach to the different tribes that are in the Washington area. We have received the blessings from the Native Americans in many different forms. One is of course is to create this independent branch of the Native American Church in which we are leading everything.

You see, the Native Americans, they don’t discriminate based on race, color, or age. That’s the first thing to understand about Native American culture. That it’s not like you have to be born into a Native American reservation for example or how to have the bloodline to be able to practice Native American spirituality.

But they are all under the belief that we are all brothers and sisters no matter what our skin color is. It is this unifying energy of looking at mother, our planet as our mother earth and our father, father sky. It is this connection with the spirits, with the plants, with the trees, with the mountains, looking at them as spirits, teachers, as guides that is the root of Native American tradition.

This question clearly came from people who did not understand Native American tradition and were pointing fingers at us because we aren’t Native American blood line born. Where as if they really understood what the Native American tradition is all about, then that won’t be coming out of their mouth.

LL: Okay. So moving along here. We spoke a lot about the legal considerations of your church and especially around the safety of your participants from a legal standpoint. So just to kind of summarize that before we move on to health, based on the statements that you’ve made about the legal status of your church are people that participate in your retreats, are they protected from prosecution?

TDG: Absolutely. So it is a very primary, fundamental requirement for anybody who comes to our land, anybody who comes to our church, anybody who comes to our healing retreats that they are a member of the Native American Church because it is through being a member of the Native American Church that this protection is extended.

If you were to look at any case law studies, if for any reason that is very farfetched that there was any implications or any interference between what we are doing and the government. It is, if you look at case law, it’s always the leaders of an organization that are the ones that are prosecuted.

If you look at the case of James and Linda Mooney versus the state of Utah for example, it was James and Linda Mooney who were the ones were prosecuted, not the people that they were leading ceremonies for. If ever in some very rare other dimension that this does happen where there is interference with the DEA or with any type of government officials, it is the leaders of the organization that would be prosecuted and not the members of the church.

Because, what would they do? Prosecute every single member of the Oklevueha Native American church who has been sitting in this ceremonies or thousands of people. It’s basically as a member of our church, you are completely legally protected to be able to sit in these sacred sacrament ceremonies with us and if you are wanting to look at it in a worst case scenario, if there is government interference, it is the leaders of an organization that are the ones that are taken down or prosecuted.

Offline Sandy S

  • Posts: 257
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2016, 01:54:06 am »
Got the word today about some new information that has come to light:

http://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?12,131244,133765#msg-133765

Some revealing primary documents can be found at this link:

http://heartenergymedicine.blogspot.com/2016/07/drug-enforcement-administration-case.html

Piff

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2016, 12:26:33 am »
Several people lost thousands of dollars each when Ayahuasca Healings in Elbe, Washington closed suddenly. Trinity has not paid anyone back. Some people have been able to recoup their losses through their banks.

Trinity said they would reopen in Mexico, then he changed that to Peru. He made a video with two Peruvians, he said they would lead the ayahuasca sessions.

Reports are that the sessions in Peru were horrible, because of Trinity and crew. The two local people left in disgust.

Trinity then announced he had a new shaman on board, Paul Diamond. Paul Diamond is a white Brit shame-on.

Now Trinity says that he is setting up a retreat center in Mexico. He says that he himself will be the leader of everything. Trinity says drug ceremonies and a rune divination reading told him that he needs to be everything - leader, guide, teacher.

He cannot operate in USA legally but he wants to profit from USA $.

Trinity has been driving this dangerous trainwreck for months now, in public. He refuses to listen to feedback or learn from consequences.


Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 895
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2016, 02:11:39 am »
There is a Facebook group (about 350 members) with numerous updates about the wheelings and dealings of Trinity de Guzman:

Quote from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1019591274765819/ Ayahuasca Healings is NOT legal
DESCRIPTION
This group is dedicated to refuting the claims of "Trinity de Guzman", James "screaming eagle" Mooney, the ONAC, et al in regards to illegitimate claims of their ability (and intent) to distribute ayahuasca in the state of Washington legally.

We will provide links to and text of the multitude sources of factual information in regards to this situation. Discussion on these links will obviously be editorial and opinion based, but we strive to source all information to assure its accuracy. We are not spreading gossip or airing dirty laundry. Please keep the language in your posts civil and instances if abusive language, threats, and vulgar language will be censored and egregious offenders banned. This is a place for mature discussion.

I, and the others who have set up this page are ardent supporters of the cognitive liberty movement and wholeheartedly support the use of entheogens in any of the myriad valid uses for them in a conscious practice. These include using them as adjunct to or solely addressing the treating of physical and emotional disorders, expanding consciousness, enhancing ones spiritual awareness, or many other legitimate uses.

We view the actions of AA, Guzman et al as at the best ignorantly idyllic and at the worst greedy charlatanism but the end result is the same. In the name of harm reduction, we seek to educate and raise awareness of the illegality of these enterprises and our goal is to intercept potential damaging situations that could arise from their activities. Many people finding the posts about AA may take it at face value and follow the pipers tune straight into the arms of law enforcement or much worse. We hope to help avoid damaging consequences and urge people to take other routes if they seek the guided use of ayahuasca or other entheogens.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 895
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2016, 02:17:10 am »
I have never been a member of Twitter myself, but found this NotTrinity de Guzman parody account that made my morning. This "church" has probably already regretted the day they ever set foot in Washington State:

https://twitter.com/NotTrinitydeGuz

Yes, it was hilariously funny! Unfortunately, we are now met with: "Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!"

Piff

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2016, 10:03:58 pm »
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/in-2016-the-first-legal-ayahuasca-church-got-shut-down-was-it-a-scamor-a-new-religion New article out on Ayahuasca Healings

Mooney says AH is no longer in good standing with him. But he never bothered to inform AH of this fact.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 895
Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2016, 02:12:59 am »
AHNAC and Trinity de Guzman are heavily criticized in many Ayahuasca-related forums and groups, e.g. this discussion in "Ayahuasca Forums" (247 posts so far):

Ayahuasca Healings: Not Legal and Not a Church

Post by ayalight » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:00 am
I'm starting a new thread because there have been new developments.
We can summarize and outline emerging developments here.
Lets start with this excellent article that just came out in reset.me

http://reset.me/story/first-legal-ayahuasca-church/

The reset.me story linked to there (and its comments) is well worth reading, too.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Ayahuasca Healings Native American Church (AHNAC)
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2016, 01:32:40 pm »
I'm reposting the most relevant parts of the reset article and comments. Bolding is mine. What Guzman is doing is incredibly reckless and money hungry, even by Nuage standards.

---------

Concerns about the organization arose quickly after the news went viral. Questions about the legality of Ayahuasca Healings claims were first raised on December 4, 2015, in a blog post on the website of anthropologist Bia Labate, who has written 12 books on psychoactive substances, drug policy, and shamanism.

“The claims of the ‘Ayahuasca Healing Retreats’ as being ‘completely legal’ in the United States are false…[Ayahuasca’s] unauthorized importation and distribution is considered a felony criminal act punishable by imprisonment,” the post states.
Within weeks, Labate’s website published three more posts related to the legality of de Guzman’s Ayahuasca Healings, including a strongly-worded warning entitled, “Don’t Believe the Hype about the ‘Legal Ayahuasca USA Church’ going around Facebook — it’s not legal, it’s dangerous, and here’s why.”

These blog posts raise concerns about not just about the legal status of the church, which asks for a minimum suggested donation of $1,497 to $1,997 for a Friday to Monday retreat in Washington State, but also about the commercial nature of these retreats, which is a growing phenomenon in the world of ayahuasca tourism. Amongst the plant healing community, there’s widespread concern that the ayahuasca liquid gold rush is attracting unscrupulous charlatans, who are motivated by money rather than a higher cause, and who may put ceremony participants in unsafe situations.
The Legality And Legitimacy Of Ayahuasca Churches

To find out more about the legitimacy of Ayahuasca Healings, Reset contacted Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a non-profit organization that educates and advocates for the safe and therapeutic use of psychedelics and marijuana.

“As you know, its totally a sham,” was the first thing Doblin said.
“They do a disservice to the Santo Daime and UDV churches, which have obtained legal permission for their use of ayahuasca within their specific and limited religious ceremonies, and to the Native American Church, which has obtained legal permission for their use of peyote in their limited religious ceremonies,” he continues.

Santo Daime and the UDV (União do Vegetal) are both Brazilian churches that utilize ayahuasca as a sacrament, and both have won court cases to establish their specific right to do so — within the state of Oregon and within the United States as a whole respectively. The Native American Church was granted a concession in the Controlled Substance act of 1971 that allows for “the non drug use of peyote in a bonafide religious ceremony.”
But Ayahuasca Healings takes things a step further, claiming “100% legal rights to use the sacred sacraments of Ayahuasca, Peyote, San Pedro — any plant that grows from the earth — inside of America, according to the laws of the land,” according to their website.
Via: AyahuascaHealings.com
Via: AyahuascaHealings.com

On the same page, they claim that their legal status is guaranteed by their affiliation with the Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC), run by James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney.
“There is no higher elder in the Native American Church than James ‘Flaming Eagle’ Mooney,” the website claims. “He is the highest order of authority in the bloodline of the Native Americans that exist in America today.”

However, further research on James Mooney and the ONAC reveals that things are not quite so clear cut.
According to a recent article written by Native American writer and tribal judge Ruth Hopkins, which was published on the Indian Country Today Media Network website, Mooney is a “pretendian” who is not actually enrolled in a federally recognized Native American tribe at all, and ONAC is not really a legitimate member of the Native American Church either.

“When non-Natives steal ceremonies from us, it creates a spiritual harm,” Hopkins writes. “These sacred rites have real power, and that’s not to be taken lightly.”

In fact, a coalition of several branches of the Native American Church actually filed a court brief denouncing a chapter of the ONAC run by Michael Mooney (Jame’s son) in 2014:
“This brief explains that the Amici NAC organizations do not recognize the Oklevueha Church of Hawaii, Inc., as a chapter, nor do they recognize Mr. Mooney as a member of a legitimate chapter of the Native American Church,” the document states.

Mooney’s ONAC did win a legal victory in 2004 however, which gave the church’s members, who are mostly non-native, the right to consume peyote in Utah. But the ruling centered on the argument that it violated the equal protection clause of the constitution and is discriminatory to allow Indians but not non-natives to consume peyote in church and has nothing to do with ayahuasca or marijuana, which their members also claim the right to use freely and wherever they want, not just in the state of Utah.

ONAC members have actually been arrested recently for trying to assert those rights. A female member of the church was indicted in 2014 for felony cultivation of marijuana in Oregon, which means she could face a $300,000 fine and 10 years in prison, while another ONAC member was busted by a Northern California tribe for growing a commercial marijuana crop on their sacred ceremonial grounds.

Of more concern here is Ayahuasca Healings’ claim that they have the right use ayahuasca as an affiliate of church of ONAC, especially since the legal precedent they operate under is limited to peyote and the state of Utah. So is there really any basis to their claims at all?

Michael Morris is the leader of a branch of the Santo Daime church in Peru, and was part of the successful lawsuit brought against the federal government that allowed ayahuasca to be legally consumed by Daime members in Oregon. We contacted him to find out more about the legal issues raised by Ayahuasca Healings.

“The exemption from prosecution [that Santo Daime has in Oregon] is based on individual cases involving specific churches and granted as such [explicitly by the courts], it is not generally or globally applied in any manner,” Morris tells Reset. “Otherwise every Santo Daime Church in the U.S. would now be legal, and they are not.”

“The considerable splash of news about ‘The First Legal Ayahuasca Church’ in the U. S. was the result of a well-structured PR campaign,” Morris continues. “The claims of everything from being ‘first’ to being ‘legal’ to being ‘safe’ are complete fiction.”

The Complications Of Ayahuasca Commercialism
“Let’s also address the ‘safety’ of individuals from a spiritual perspective rather than legal, because that is my greatest concern,” says Morris. He goes on to explain the dangers that could be involved with commercial ayahuasca operations pretending to be church or native groups.
“This medicine is carried forward into society by way of traditions that protect both the integrity of ceremonies, the people who lead them, and the people who participate in them,” says Morris.

“Shipibo, Shuar, Kofan, Yaminawá, Kaxinawá, Santo Daime, and UDV are all tightly held traditions that protect their ways and prescribe the specific ‘container’ within which the medicine is applied… AH is not, nor are they affiliated with, any legitimate tradition other than the business relationship they have with the questionable NAC chapter of ONAC.”

In fact, the only tradition we could find while looking up de Guzman was a history of internet-based marketing operations. Just a couple years ago he was hawking outsourcing tips online designed to empower you to “travel the world for years while your remote team does all the work.”
Via: EntrepreneursForaChange.com/
Via: EntrepreneursForaChange.com/
In a 2014 interview about his “lifestyle” and “business plan,” de Guzman explains how he pays people a dollar an hour in third world countries to do his work for him while he travels the world skiing and surfing.

This may explain why de Guzman has no qualms about asking potential participants for a large minimum “donation” for a 4-day weekend retreat, and framing it as part of the spiritual healing process.

“If $1000 is a lot to you right now, then that discomfort of making that donation is already the start of your healing,” He writes on the Ayahuasca Healings website.

He then goes on to justify the substantial minimum “donation” request by suggesting the 4-day retreat is worth much more:
“I’ve even invested as much as $5,000 for a 4-day retreat, and it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.”
Does this kind of marketing speak sound familiar?

“In short, what I see is a very strategic use of language and marketing criteria to position this organization for profit,” Morris cautions. “For me, as a Daimista, this is not only mal-aligned, it is deceptive.”

But for de Guzman, money making marketing strategies and spirituality seem to be one and the same. According to his Couchsurfing page — which also lists among his favorite books Think and Grow Rich, Secrets of a Millionaire Mind, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad — he claims to have “Mastered the Art of Manifestation, and can now, literally, turn any thought I want, into a physical reality.”

The danger of these kinds of big money marketing schemes applied to spiritual healing has been exemplified in the past by cases such as that of new age author James Ray, a narrator in the movie The Secret. Having established a lucrative career as a motivational speaker, he began charging thousands of dollars for sweat lodge retreats in Arizona. Unfortunately, three people died and a further 18 were hospitalized while participating a doomed sweat lodge session during a 2009 “Spiritual Warrior” retreat. Before entering the sweat lodge, which itself had major design flaws and was unsuitable for such large numbers, the group had been subjected to rigorous physical rituals, and had been recklessly encouraged to forgo food and water for extended periods. Ray was subsequently convicted of three counts of negligent homicide and sentenced to two years in prison.

Sweat lodge ceremonies are usually free of charge. A typical Santo Daime ceremony usually runs between $30 and $40 — just enough to cover the cost of the ayahuasca itself. Single ayahuasca ceremonies usually run no more than $50 in South America, often far less, although that price could double or triple in the United States when the cost of transportation and travel are factored in.

But Ayahuasca Healings charges many times that for an ayahuasca-based retreat with an organization that is not being honest about their legal status.
“Retreat centers that peddle the fiction of legality are not trustworthy, nor are they likely to be fully supportive since they are seemingly more interested in money than in healing,” says Doblin, seconding the emotion that there is ample reason to steer clear of overly commercial ayahuasca retreat operations.

“Psychedelic experiences open people up in a way somewhat similar to brain surgery. It’s important that the context be supportive and trustworthy,” Doblin explains.

Unfortunately, there have been alarming cases of tragedy at for profit ayahuasca retreat centers in Peru over the last couple of years, including a teenager who died and was buried secretly in the night by a shaman and a knife fight that lead to a death right in the middle of a ceremony.

“There is a lot of momentum and public agreement that ayahuasca is a valuable and good thing,” says Morris. “But you have to ask yourself who these people are that you are in ceremony with. How long have they been drinking? Where have they been studying?”

According to de Guzman himself in a blog post (which has since been deleted, but can be found archived here), his first ayahuasca experience was in March of 2013. That means he has less than three years’ experience drinking the medicine, which makes one wonder how much practical time spent preparing, serving, and facilitating ayahuasca ceremonies he has under his belt.

To add to the controversy, on Ayahuasca Healings’ website, de Guzman also claims an affiliation with a center in the Peruvian Amazon called The Garden of Peace, where his organization also appears to offer retreats. However, in a December, 2015 post on the Garden of Peace’s Facebook page, a candid statement to the contrary was shared publicly:
“We the owners and operators of El Jardin are in NO WAY involved with the Ayahuasca Church of USA project nor do we have a formal opinion on the project as we simply do not know enough about it to comment,” the post states.

On January 27, 2016 the Garden of Peace posted a press release on their website that further clarifies that, aside from an initial investment, the only ongoing relationship de Guzman has with the center is as a booking agent who earns commission on retreats booked via the Ayahuasca Healings website.

It seems that in almost every direction we looked when researching Ayahuasca Healings, false claims and marketing hype are being used to cover up a very shaky foundation. And, in fact, it seems like the newly minted church is already imploding.

On January 24, 2016, Scott Montgomery, one of the core founding members of Ayahuasca Healings, posted a lengthy video on Youtube that asks the organization to stop its retreats and rethink its organization. He also warns that the “church” is not legal, that there is no real indigenous presence involved in the operation, and that it is overpriced and over commercialized.

“I reached out to the core team and demanded that they stop promoting and advertising that they hold ayahuasca retreats that are legal,”  he states.
Several ex members  of Ayahuasca Healings and other concerned people have now created a Facebook group, called “Ayahuasca Healings is NOT legal” where more in depth information about Ayahuasca Healings can be found....


Comments

Shannon Clark • 8 months ago
I was on AH's mailing list for a while. I had the same concerns mentioned already in both the original post and in the comments. I have a self taught background in online marketing and one of my biggest turn offs with AH was Trinity's outdated and heavy handed marketing. It was completely inauthentic. But I thought I could get past that since Washington is way closer to me than Peru. However, my boyfriend and I really got repulsed with Trinity's "application" process. Many retreats have applications of sorts, but in his case, the whole thing felt like being approved was a privilege, and that only if Trinity 'liked my energy' would I be allowed into his tribe - allowed to make a donation, allowed the honor of his 'guidance'. Ew.

That feeling is something I associate with someone who is a pretender and just lacks integrity all around. Although he has apparently taken Ayahuasca, it seems he has not really done the work that Aya requires us to do to truly transform anything within ourselves. He is young and acts young. (Where some are young and act mature.) This seems to be confirmed by others commenting here and elsewhere about AH and Trinity.

I hope he finds his way eventually to something that doesn't require large amounts of cash from others for a poor quality product in order to make himself feel important or whatever it is he's trying to accomplish within himself. His insight is lacking, and I feel for those who are taken in by him.

Thank you for writing this article and for responding to the comments below. I'll be joining that Facebook group now.



Michael Turek  Ocean Malandra • 8 months ago
Hi Lorna,

Here is my story and a few of my concerns. Maybe you could bring some of them up during your interview with Trinity this week.

I am a former member
of Ayahuasca Healings. I was involved with the core team directly for
about 2 months while they began recruiting
their first retreat participants. I and other colleagues left because
we felt that this organization is entirely without integrity. It
functions completely top-down with Trinity de Guzman making all of the
decisions. The operational structure is reminiscent of a multi-level
marketing scheme. They are claiming to be legal while they are not.
They claim they are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization while they are
not. Trinity De Guzman himself confirmed that he was turned away at the
border and not allowed entry into the United States. Rumors abound from
within the organization that this is linked to his involvement with the
business of Ayahuasca Healings.