Why ayahuasca is [often] a new age spiritual scam
“What’s often overlooked is that ayahuasca powers an entire micro-tourism industry that has sprung up in the Amazon. Opportunistic shaman prey on naive Westerners for cash and compete with each other by sometimes using dangerous ingredients to create ever-stronger brews that will reel in customers that want more bang for their buck. People have died as a result. This isn’t magic, it’s capitalism at its crudest.”
But what can you expect? The shadow of the War on Drugs creates a dank breeding ground for crooks and hacks. Legalization and regulation is the only sane answer. Moral puritanism costs lives. The point of this whole rant isn’t to try to put people off of ayahuasca or insult the people who worship it – not at all. Bruce thinks it certainly has its benefits and would recommend it to everyone. Bruce just thinks that there’s a lot of vested interests out there trying to sell easy answers to complex problems, and too few people scrutinizing their hyperbolic claims. Ayahuasca is almost certainly not going to magically make all of your problems go away. Neither are anti-depressants. Your psychiatrist is not your Fairy Godmother. We live in a transaction-oriented culture where we’re taught that if you buy this shoe you will feel cool. If you wear this perfume you will feel sexy. If you take Zoloft you will be fixed. Life is much more complicated than that. That’s what they won’t tell you, because how do you sell someone an easy solution to complication? This is something that needs to be shouted loudly, clearly and often. Some problems can’t be solved, only managed. And accepting that is often the first step in moving forward.