[Ibogaine] Re: rant again MAPS and burning man attendees

Matthew Shriver matt at itsupport.net
Mon Aug 8 23:25:37 EDT 2005

I have been told by people who have moved here (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
that the NA is somehow special and that we are lucky.  I mean literally,
people will say that.  When I have enquired what they mean they say stuff
like "the recovery is very strong here."  I have been to meetings in other
places but I have never hooked into the NA community anywhere else so I have
never really understood what they meant.  But I am wondering if I am seeing
something related to it here.  

I don't want to be "Mr. NA" around here or feel like I have to be in a
position to defend NA, my attitude is pretty much like Tink's, if it works
great, if not that's fine also.  But what I hear people describing is not
what I know as NA.  When I got to NA they told me "Take what you can use and
leave the rest."  And they said, "If anyone ever tries to tell you they know
the one, exact, way you should work your program, run from them."  No-one
ever gave the impression that NA was the only game in town.  They were just
adamant that it worked.

My boss is on the NA world board and when I recently talked to people in NA
about the possibility of taking ibogaine again, he was one of the most
open-minded ones of all. When I told him I had had a spiritual experience
the last time I took ibo he took it at face value. Some people had politely
dismissed my claim suggesting it was a mere drug experience.  He was one of
the few who didn't even suggest that taking ibogaine might lead to using
other drugs again, something almost everyone else suggested.  And this is a
man who has helped write the NA basic text.  My understanding is that
open-mindedness is hugely important in recovery and so I try to be, but I
see it in my boss and other people in recovery around here.

I agree that the whole approach from the very first premise of powerlessness
is not for everyone and I wouldn't want to force feed it to anyone.  As Tink
pointed out anyway, you gotta want to get clean before you can get clean.
Treatment centers and jail prove that.  But just for the record I want to
quote this:
"We cannot change the nature of the addict or addiction.  We can help to
change the old lie 'Once an addict, always an addict,' by striving to make
recovery more available.  God, help us to remember this difference."
--The NA Basic Text page xiv

-----Original Message-----
From: Preston Peet [mailto:ptpeet at nyc.rr.com] 
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 7:23 PM
To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] Re: rant again MAPS and burning man attendees

>You've forgotten the meetings you've attended Preston ;-) the main
message is that all drug use is abuse and once you're an addict, you
are always a addict.<

Those in Rational Recovery would heartily disagree with you Krista. Yes, I 
did get some useful stuff from attending meetings, but in the end, for ME 
(I'm speaking ONLY for myself here) they did not much good for me, but for a

few months, they did give me a place to go to vent where there were others 
who understood what I was going through, whether they were accepting of me 
(and my continued use of methadone) or not.
Personally, I don't like the rooms, but that's just me. For some people, 
they are GREAT, and I support ANYTHING that might help just one person to a 
happier life, including going to NA/AA/CA/-A meetings, getting on methadone,

taking ibogaine, getting a good source of good heroin (like, living in 
Holland or Switzerland or England where they've begun distributing heroin to

addicts- who seem to be improving their lives simply by not having to worry 
about chasing their daily fix. It's a wonderful idea, and I fully support 
it. I support anything that results in Harm Reduction of any kind.

>In most twelve step meetings you'll have
a hard time finding any acceptance if you are on methadone
maintenance, much less doing hallucinogens.<

Um, as I noted above, some, no, many were not at ALL happy to have me pipe 
up with my issues while still taking methadone, as though I was "high" and 
not worth listening to. It was very strange to me, and I hated it. It was 
one of the main reasons I stopped going- the VERY main reason was because my

sponsor told me that my smoking pot was the reason I kept relapsing every 
month or so, and he was not going to call and check up on me anymore and 
until I was ready to do things his way and the NA way I was going to 
continue to relapse on cocaine. So I stopped going to the rooms and stopped 
relapsing on cocaine simultaneously, just because I couldn't stand the idea 
that this guy was telling me his way was the only way- something I heared in

the rooms a lot.
    NA is fine for some, rotten for others, and I find sayings like, "once 
an addict always an addict" extremely disempowering, and a surrender to 
addiction actually. At least, for me that is.
    I didn't think my reply was unfriendly, only a honest reply from my 
heart and soul, and it wasn't meant to offend anyone at all, including Mason

himself, so if you did take offense Mason I didn't mean it that way- I was 
only replying to your message honestly and meant no harm. Whatever works for

each person, I heartily support, so long as it doesn't take advantage of 
anyone else, or hurt anyone else, or cause undue pain, stress, 
ostracization, or indignity to others for their continued drug use or even 
abuse. All users are human being deserving of respect and love, unless they 
get violent against others- then they deserves whatever they get- for the 
VIOLENCE, not the drug use/abuse. I myself do not subscrxibe to any sort of 
mandatory treatment programs whatsoever:

Treatment or Jail- Is this Really a Choice? (Published in Disinformation's 
"Everything You Know is Wrong", edited by Russ Kick- posted August 29, 2002)
Is mandating drug users into jail really better than putting them in jail? 
Is either really doing any good?

Treatment or Jail- Is This Really a Choice?
by Preston Peet
(originally published in Everything You Know Is Wrong-
Disinformation Books, 2002-
edited by Russ Kick)
posted at Drugwar.com August 29, 2002

"Madness is not enlightenment, but the search for enlightenment can easily 
be mistaken for madness." --Martin (Asylum 1996-1997)[1]
Some people take drugs to escape difficult life situations. Some take drugs 
to assist in treating pain, physical or psychological. Some take drugs 
simply to get high. The reasons for taking drugs are legion. But under the 
War on Some Drugs prohibition, the US government has given itself the right 
to dictate which drugs and highs are acceptable. Now a movement is growing 
in the US to push those convicted of drug charges into drug treatment 
instead of jail.

Although US jails can be hellish and cruel, a certain percentage of people 
willfully continue to get high on any assortment of illicit (and licit) 
substances no matter what the law says. So they must be crazy or sick and 
therefore in need of behavior modification and mind control. In other words,

drug treatment.

While living in Florida in 1987, I was arrested on a misdemeanor charge 
completely unrelated to drugs. Sitting in jail unable to make bail, I was 
taken from my cellblock one morning to meet with a man from TASC (Treatment 
Alternatives to Street Crime).[2] Naïve and unsuspecting, I was open with 
him about my drug use, listing all the drugs I had ingested up to that point

in my life. It was a long list.

A week or so later, when I finally got to court, I was stunned when the same

TASC evaluator stood up before the judge and told her I had a "drug problem"

and needed to be placed into treatment. The judge sentenced me to a year of 
probation and to successful completion of the TASC program.

I fought it all the way. I was using some drugs then, abusing some others, 
and dealing with other problems, as well. I was told that the TASC program 
lasted twelve to eighteen months on average and that my probation would not 
be finished in twelve months unless I'd graduated from TASC. After a couple 
of months in the outpatient treatment program, I was being urine-tested each

week--Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then Tuesday and Thursday on 
alternating weeks. After dodging these testing sessions as much as possible,

and repeatedly trying to fool the tests, marijuana and cocaine turned up in 
my urine. I was taken to see the head of the program, who told me he was 
notifying my probation officer and would be in court to recommend the 
maximum jail time for me, as I was "incorrigible and untreatable."

Basically, he was right. I was, and still am, incorrigible but not 
necessarily untreatable. This doesn't mean that I personally want or need 
treatment now, nor do I support treatment for others unless it is entirely 
voluntary. Under current US War on Some Drugs policies, how often is drug 
treatment really voluntary?

The Therapeutic State

"Coerced treatment is an oxymoron. Government intrusion by police and arrest

is anti-treatment. I am not against treatment; I am against 
government-compelled treatment," said ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser at

the Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation's[3] international drug policy 
reform conference.[4] Continuing with a dire prognostication, Glasser said, 
"Fusing the police power of the state with medicine corrupts medicine and 
makes it a tool of the state. Then we get the therapeutic state and pretend 
that is progress. The worst danger is an ever-expanding net of social 
control. The 'benevolence' of coerced treatment is a trap. It will allow the

state to define acceptable treatment, and that means abstinence and 

Deborah Small, Director of Public Policy and Community Outreach at 
Lindesmith-NYC, countered Glasser's statements by asking, "How can you 
question anything that gets people out of the living death of prison? We 
have to engage with what is actually happening in the criminal justice 
system, and coerced treatment is an alternative to incarceration."

I can personally vouch for the fact that jail is not healthy or fun, nor did

spending time inside ever keep me from wanting to get high. When the judge 
first mandated me into treatment, I thought it was a far better choice than 
a trip through jail. Not by any means do I support incarceration for any 
drug offense (which I hadn't been charged with at that time, anyway), but 
treatment at that point wasn't better for me. It merely exacerbated my 
already high stress levels by focusing on immediately eradicating my drug 
use to the exclusion of all else, which I in turn dealt with by doing more 
drugs. This was when I first heard that I had a disease called "addiction," 
that I had no control, that all substance use was substance abuse, that any 
drug use would lead me straight to jails, institutions, or death. As I 
wouldn't accept this, even daring to question these assertions, I was in 
"denial." Coerced drug treatment ordered by the court did nothing but 
prolong my legal and personal difficulties.

"In thinking about linkages between drug treatment and criminal sanctions, 
it is important to distinguish between questions of effectiveness and 
fairness," explains a recent report from the National Academy of 
Sciences.[5] "Supporters of using the criminal justice system for 
therapeutic leverage typically view treatment participation offered to 
offenders as an ameliorative device--an opportunity for mitigating the 
sentence they would otherwise receive (i.e., probation with treatment is 
offered in lieu of incarceration, using the threat of incarceration for 
noncompliance). Others worry that programs of mandated treatment will 
actually have the effect of increasing the severity of punishment compared 
with what the offenders would otherwise have received. As an example, 
offenders who otherwise would have been sentenced to traditional probation 
could be subject to treatment conditions that create a risk of imprisonment 
(for noncompliance) that otherwise wouldn't have existed. Or an offender 
whose case might otherwise have been dismissed could be sentenced to 
conditional probation. These are classic 'net-widening' concerns, because 
they widen the reach and deepen the intensity of punishment. This issue 
should be kept in mind in considering research on coerced treatment."

Lock 'Em Up, One Way of the Other

"Because when the smack begins to flow I really don't care anymore, about 
all the Jim-Jims in this town, and all the politicians making crazy sounds, 
and everybody putting everybody else down, and all the dead bodies piled up 
in mounds." --Lou Reed[6]

Reading through the statistics, the numbers of people being arrested and 
going on to jail in the US for drug offenses are offensive. At first glance,

it would seem that putting people into treatment programs instead of sending

them to jail with hardened, sometimes violent, predatory criminals simply 
makes good sense. At time of this writing (August 2001), the US is about to 
surpass one million people arrested for drug offenses this year, with 
someone being arrested every 20 seconds. The US is locking up nearly 648 
people a day for drug offences. A new report from the US Justice Department 
shows the number of adult Americans under "correctional supervision" rose 2 
percent in 2000. In the US, federal and state prisoners, plus those on 
probation or parole, now number 6.5 million.[7] The federal and state 
governments are spending, in 2001, approximately $19 and $20 billion, 
respectively, on the War on Some Drugs.[8] As with any war, this means all 
kinds of established profit potential in conducting all facets of this war.

With the new push for drug treatment, there comes a lucrative new business 
and means of control that can be instituted without giving up the profits 
currently pulled in by the War on Some Drugs industries. When announcing his

resignation as head of the White House Office of National Drug Control 
Policy (ONDCP), then-US Drug Czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey bemoaned the use of 
war terminology in the fight against drug use, saying that perhaps when 
discussing the situation in the Andes, "war" is an apt term, but not when 
discussing efforts in US cities. This might seem an odd stance for such a 
stalwart proponent of US military and law enforcement involvement in waging 
the War on Some Drugs, but McCaffrey "agreed" on July 24, 2001, to join the 
board of directors at DrugAbuse Sciences Inc., "the world's first 
pharmaceutical company worldwide devoted solely to developing medications 
for the treatment of addiction."[9] McCaffrey's newfound love of treatment 
is now explained.

"DrugAbuse Sciences has the potential to make a historic difference in the 
health of Americans through its understanding of treatment and its broad 
portfolio of new medications under development," asserted the retired 
general. "They have created a company consisting of the leading medical 
researchers, clinicians and most exciting new product candidates. This 
combination offers the promise of developing highly effective medical 
treatment options for addictions. Addiction is a disease that costs our 
country over 100,000 lives and over $250 billion per year."[10] Which is 
odd, as McCaffrey said only the year before, in July 2000: "Each year 52,000

Americans die from drug-related causes. The additional societal costs of 
drug use to the nation total over $110 billion per year."[11]

Spouting spurious numbers to promote and justify repressive (and profitable)

anti-drug policies has been a favorite ploy of prohibitionist Drug Warriors 
since President Nixon first uttered his declaration of a War on Drugs in 
1968. As related by author Dan Baum, by 1972, "The conservative Hudson 
Institute estimated that New York City's 250,000 heroin addicts were 
responsible for a whopping $1.7 billion in crime, which was well more than 
the total amount of crime in the NATION. 'Narcotics addiction and crime are 
inseparable companions,' said presidential candidate George McGovern in a 
speech on the Senate floor. 'In 98 percent of the cases [the junkie] steals 
to pay the pusher...that translates into about $4.4 billion in crime.' 
Senator Charles Percy of Illinois saw McGovern's bid and raised him. 'The 
total cost of drug-related crime in the US today is around $10 billion to 
$15 billion,' he said.

        "In fact, only $1.28 billion worth of property was stolen in the US 
in 1972, (the figure had actually fallen slightly from the previous year). 
That includes everything except cars, which junkies don't usually steal 
because they can't easily fence them, and embezzlement, which isn't a junkie

crime. The combined value of everything swiped in burglaries, robberies, and

muggings, everything shoplifted, filched off the back of a truck, or boosted

from a warehouse was $1.28 billion. Yet during the heroin panic of Nixon's 
War on Drugs, junkies would be blamed for stealing as much as fifteen times 
the value of everything stolen in the United States."[12] As the original 
fallacious numbers bandied about by prohibitionists convinced the nation to 
support mass-jailing of druggies, so too do they steer us toward coerced 
treatment today.

Is it Really Worth It?

"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober,

responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and 
immature." --Tom Robbins[13]

According to public hearings for "Changing the Conversation: A National Plan

to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment," sponsored by the US Center for 
Substance Abuse Treatment: "Over the last decade, spending on substance 
abuse prevention and treatment has increased, albeit more slowly than 
overall health spending, to an estimated annual total of $12.6 billion in 
1996. Of this amount, public spending is estimated at $7.6 billion.... One 
of the main reasons for the higher outlay in public spending is the 
frequently limited coverage of substance abuse treatment by private 
insurers. Although '70 percent of drug users are employed and most have 
private health insurance, 20 percent of public treatment funds were spent on

people with private health insurance in 1993, due to limitations on their 

If the current "rush to rehab is indeed going to ease our nation away from 
the disasters of addiction, we must first determine if treatment indeed 
keeps addicts off drugs," notes author and photojournalist Lonny Shavelson 
when discussing US treatment efforts, primarily San Francisco's September 
1997 plan of treatment on demand for any addict who said he or she was ready

to stop using drugs. "If, as the data seem to show, treatment doesn't 
actually keep addicts clean, this new push for rehab will simply become 
another dogma-based government strategy doomed to failure.

"Rehab has to work for the hardest-core of the dope fiends--those who create

the vast majority of troubles we've artificially lumped into a single set 
phrase: the drug problem. The US Department of Justice has concluded that 
only a small percentage of the nation's drug abusers create 'an 
extraordinary proportion of crime.' Yet those most destructive addicts are 
the least likely to enter or be helped by rehab. This latest push towards 
treatment, then, may do nothing more than get the 'better' addicts off 
drugs, leaving the hard-core troublemakers still disastrously addicted.... 
Those hard-core addicts (10 to 20 percent of users) have, depending on your 
point of view, either brought on the drug war, or are the tragic casualties 
of its battles. But if frenzied addictions are indeed responses to lives 
often complicated by irresolute ghetto-poverty or psychological 
disturbances, then rehab programs that fail to address these underlying 
conditions will barely make a dent in our nation's drug disasters."[15]

Rather than addressing the root causes of hardcore drug abuse, the 
prohibitionists have a much easier time directing attention to that most 
benign of plants, marijuana. The Office of National Drug Control Policy 
estimates the numbers of hardcore drug abusers between 1988 and 1998 at 3.2 
million to 3.9 million (cocaine), 630,000 to 980,000 (heroin), and 300,00 to

400,000 (methamphetamine). With these numbers, the Warriors should be 
hard-pressed to justify the billions spent on the war--unless they drag pot 
into the picture.

"Marijuana is the gateway drug for the growth of state-mandated drug 
treatment. This important policy issue deserves greater public scrutiny and 
debate," writes Jon Gettman, Ph.D.[16] Admissions for treatment of 
adolescent marijuana abuse increased 155 percent, from 30,832 in 1993 to 
78,523 in 1998, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services. Total 
marijuana admissions increased 88 percent, from 111,265 in 1993 to 208,671 
in 1998. Almost half of those admitted to treatment for marijuana abuse were

under the age of 20.

All marijuana arrests increased 84 percent, from 380,689 in 1993 to 698,477 
in 1998. Arrests for simple marijuana possession rose by 92 percent, from 
310,859 in 1993 to 598,694 in 1998. Out of a reported 208,671 admissions to 
treatment for pot use in 1998, slightly more than half (53.4 percent) were 
referred by the criminal justice system, all of which goes a long way toward

"explaining a great deal of the increase in marijuana treatment admissions,"

notes Gettman. "Police and drug treatment specialists are caught up in an 
economic system. When criminal justice system referrals provide over half of

admissions for treatment of marijuana abuse, it is clear that in this 
economic sector arrests move the market. Marijuana can be abused and the 
source of dependency, and these problems can be alleviated with medical 
treatment. Most debate focuses, with good reason, on whether the actual 
abuse liability of marijuana justifies arrest and criminal sanctions. A more

fundamental question though is whether law enforcement and/or judicial 
personnel should be making medical decisions and enforcing them with the 
power of the state. At what point does the state dictate the treatment as 
well as provide the patients?"[17]

The Assassins of Youth

"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the 
impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation." --Pearl S. 

"With America's Number One Drug Problem [marijuana] identified as the one 
teenagers are most likely to use, and every sneer, slammed door, and blast 
of Joan Jett pegged as evidence of a 'drug problem,' the War on Drugs became

a powerful weapon for parents to use in their struggle with their 
 teenagers," writes Dan Baum about the shift in emphasis by Drug Warriors to

marijuana under Carlton Turner, President Reagan's first Drug Czar, in 
September 1981.[19] "Blaming drugs for kids' troubles also worked in wider 
society: it obviated concern for 'root causes' and let parents take their 
own behavior off the hook. If drugs were, as the Florida pediatrician Ian 
McDonald liked to assert, a problem teenager's 'only' problem, then parents 
needn't examine their own role in their children's troubles--divorce, career

obsession, neglect- or for that matter failing wages, the need for both 
parents to work long hours, and slashed funding for education and 
after-school programs. While some nasty kids did have drug problems that 
required intervention, the parents of all nasty kids were urged--in magazine

articles, PTA handouts, TV spots, and exhortations from the White House--to 
band together and 'fight back.' And in 1982, the most bellicose pro-parent, 
anti-child manifesto of them all rocketed up the best seller list: Tough 
Love."[20, 21]

Saving our children is one of the most oft-quoted justifications given by 
rabid anti-drug warriors and supporters for continuing the War. As Arnold 
Trebach, chairman of the Trebach Institute, so eloquently put it at the 
Saving Our Children From Abusive Drug Treatment conference: "Anything for 
the kids. Like the phrase in Vietnam, we had to destroy the village to save 
it, some people say I've got to destroy my kid to save it."[22] Scores of 
both now-adult and adolescent survivors--whose parents, under the influence 
of "Tough Love" philosophy and anti-drug hysteria, forced them into 
adolescent drug treatment programs such as Straight Inc.[23], Safe, Kids, 
and many more--came together to relate individual experiences of being 
beaten, starved, spit on, deprived of sleep, subjected to constant 
surveillance, and isolated from schools and communities while in these 
so-called treatment programs. They also tried to figure some way to stop 
this industry from continuing. Many of these people were forced into 
long-term, confrontational drug treatment over minor experimentation with 
drugs or natural adolescent rebellious behavior, finding themselves locked 
in horrific programs that aim to tear people down and rebuild them as 
contributing members of society (as the treatment programs define it).

"During my involvement with the Seed and Straight, extreme physical violence

was not very much a part of the Program," says survivor Ginger Warbis.[24] 
"Physical coercion, such as restraint, which sometimes resulted in injury 
and forced exercise, were. But these were not everyday occurrences. I don't 
think I ever saw more than one person pinned to the floor at a time and very

rarely any obvious and serious physical injury." Until witnessing a severe 
incident of terror perpetrated against another Straight inmate, Warbis notes

that, "I knew it was all theatre designed to intimidate and coerce sincere, 
internal compliance. I'd thought that eventually we'd each get out one way 
or another and either live as good little Straightlings or just shake it 
off. But I've come to realize that 1) the very basic thought reform methods 
used in these programs are extremely harmful psychologically and emotionally

in themselves and 2) escalation to more extreme physical and psychological 
abuse is just about an eventuality under these conditions.

"The most important message that I wanted to deliver [at the conference] is 
that many of the most influential people in public policy, the drug war, 
juvenile justice and child protective services are big believers in using 
these very harmful methods. Some of them, I believe, should be in prison 
right now. Others just need a better understanding of what they're 

A few parents attending the conference said that having put their children 
into a confrontational therapy-based behavior modification program had 
"saved their kids' lives."

"I think the parents are sincere. But they're confusing the issue," says 
Warbis. "If you'll remember, Brian Seeber [a parent who put his child in 
SAFE, yet another drug treatment program for adolescents] talked about how 
much his son hated him before and how much he loves him now. They're not 
saving their children; they're saving their own egos. They're not aware of 
this, though, as they cloister themselves with people who constantly 
reassure them that they're right and they demonize all others. I wish I'd 
gotten my hands on the mic to answer the question, 'Well, what do we do if 
not this?' Basically, there comes a time when you have to realize that, as a

parent, you don't have any guaranteed right to your child's affection. 
They're always your babies and you'd do anything to help or protect them; 
that never changes. But there comes a time when they're also young adults 
who may not want your help or advice or even your company. Whatever you do 
you have to respect that, even when you know they're making horrible 
mistakes. These people are doing great harm by crushing their children's 
egos. If I could find a way to make them understand that, I'd try it on my 
mother. I haven't spoken with her in years for just this reason."

Stockbroker Stoney Burke sent his two sons, Scott and David, into treatment 
with Teen Help,[26] the umbrella name for a consortium of companies 
headquartered in St. George, Utah, that operates behavior modification camps

in the US, Mexico, Western Samoa, Jamaica, and the Czech Republic. According

to a news series by Lou Kilzer[27], Burke sent Scott into treatment "because

'he was the extreme picture of what you didn't want your kid to be at 13 
years old.' He said he sent David 'because he wouldn't stay with me. The 
court granted me custody, and he kept running back to his mother. He was not

functioning properly in life.'"

The boys' mother, Donna Burke, is suing Teen Help for its treatment of the 
boys while they were at its Tranquility Bay facility in Jamaica, alleging: 
"Both are changed from the wonderful, spontaneous young men they were before

Tranquility Bay into robotic victims, afraid of any authority figure. They 
have lost their individuality, their spirits are broken, and their 
characters ruined. Instead of independent men, they are afraid, haunted by 
nightmares, subject to panic attacks and refuse to go anywhere near a 

"She may have been thinking, 'Well maybe I'll injure myself, hurt myself, 
and that way I can manipulate and get home,'" said Teen Help spokesman Ken 
Kay to reporter Kilzer[29], offering several possible reasons why Valerie 
Ann Heron, a 17-year-old Alabama girl, plunged to her death from a 
35-foot-high balcony at Tranquility Bay in August 2001. Heron had been taken

against her will from her parents' home at 4:00 AM the previous day by a 
Teen Help "transportation team," then shipped to Tranquility Bay, where she 
bolted from a room, jumped the balcony, and died. Kay refuses to entertain 
the notion that Heron was trying to commit suicide, while simultaneously 
acknowledging that Heron was not at Tranquility Bay of her own free will.

"The State Department said it received 'credible allegations' in 1998 of 
abuse against American teens at Paradise Cove [Teen Help's facility in 
Western Samoa] about the time that Corey Murphy's stay there was coming to 
an end," writes Kilzer.[30] Seventeen-year-old Corey committed suicide when 
his mother, Laura Murphy, threatened to send him back to Teen Help, where he

previously had been sequestered for 22 months. "'The abuse alleged to have 
occurred includes beatings, isolation, food and water deprivation, 
choke-holds, kicking, punching, bondage, spraying with chemical agents, 
forced medication, verbal abuse and threats of further physical abuse,' 
according to a September 1998 State Department cable sent from Washington to

the US Embassy in Apia, Western Samoa. The State Department asked the 
Western Samoan government to investigate."

Authorities in Mexico and the Czech Republic raided and closed Teen Help 
facilities over allegations of mistreatment and abuse, but Teen Help still 
exists, running a booming business elsewhere. They unfortunately are not the

only ones, with scores of these programs continuing to open around the 

Un-American Dogma

"Without deviation, progress is not possible." --Frank Zappa[31]

I am not arguing that drug treatment never helps anyone, but I am strongly 
asserting that coerced drug treatment by courts and government is not the 
answer to incarceration for recreational, or even abusive drug use. In my 
own experience, I did eventually come to a point where I felt I could use 
help and tried numerous times without success to get myself into one drug 
treatment program or another, both medical and non-medical modalities. 
Heroin withdrawals are harsh, and while living the life of a street-bound 
junkie, I was unable to arrest the cycle of self-abuse on my own. At that 
point, my drug use was no longer simply recreational. Maintaining the 
financial and physical costs of my habit, inflated beyond all rhyme or 
reason by prohibition, was a full-time job. After detoxing more than once, 
normally a five-day spell, only to find I couldn't enter immediately into 
any sort of long-term treatment facility, I would find myself back on the 
streets, homeless, jobless, and soon strung out again. The couple of 
long-term residential treatment programs I did experience weren't offering 
the help I needed, and I soon left.

Finally, after swearing up and down for years that I would never do so, I 
took an opportunity presented to me while in jail on Ricker's Island, 
requesting entrance to a methadone maintenance program. Substituting a 
legal, officially sanctioned yet much more addictive drug that didn't get me

high for an illicit other that did enabled me to avoid withdrawal symptoms 
(until I decided to kick methadone five years later) and remove myself from 
contact with the worst of the black-market dope scene.[32]

I was one of the hardcore drug abusers committing petty crimes that Drug 
Warrior politicians rant about when allocating ever more taxpayer money to 
waging the war. Yet I was not mandated into methadone maintenance; methadone

did nothing to assist my successful attempt to stop using cocaine, nor did I

receive treatment when I kicked methadone. Though still feeding my head on 
occasion, I'm no longer abusing drugs nor committing real crimes. There are 
undoubtedly some uses and even benefits to be had by drug abusers and those 
around them by offering a vast assortment of voluntary treatment options for

drug abusers who desire a change.

Use of illicit drugs is the currently accepted stigma in American society. 
It is no longer considered socially proper or politically correct to hate 
one's neighbor for their skin color or their sexual preferences (not to say 
it doesn't happen), but it is perfectly okay to advocate harsh jail 
sentences or behavior modification for those who have an innate "drive to 
transcend consensus reality," as Dr. Andrew Weil phrased it.[33]

"Hunger is not volitional. Neither are inebriative instincts and urges," 
says author and researcher Dan Russell.[34] "That's why it is not 
controllable by law. It's like trying to control sex by law. It can't be 
done, and has never been done. It has to do with the process of enslavement.

When you take a free tribe and enslave it, if you destroy the central 
sacrament of its culture, it's how you commit cultural genocide, and how to 
domesticate them."

Indeed, the War on Drugs has much more to do with controlling culture than 
it does with health. Baum writes: "In an article titled 'White House 
Stop-Drug-Use Program: Why the Emphasis Is on Marijuana,' the magazine 
Government Executive profiled [Carlton] Turner and summarized his views this

way: marijuana, like 'hard-rock music, torn jeans, and sexual promiscuity,' 
was a pillar of 'the counter culture.'" Turner was quoted: "'Point is, 
illegal, i.e. non-prescription, use of drugs...is not only a perverse, 
pervasive plague, though it is that. But drug use also is a behavioral 
pattern that has sort of tagged along during the present young-adult 
generation's involvement in anti-military, anti-nuclear power, anti-big 
business, anti-authority demonstrations; of people from a myriad of 
different racial, religious or otherwise persuasions demanding rights or 
entitlements politically while refusing to accept corollary civic 

While many countries around the world are beginning not only to debate but 
also to implement decriminalization and legalization of some drugs[36], and 
while yet others lean toward harm reduction methods to help their hardcore 
drug abusers and society at large[37], US police, courts, and government 
continue to dogmatically deem all use of currently illicit drugs, whether 
recreational or abusive, to be morally reprehensible and criminal, as well 
as a sign of a disease that requires treatment with or without the patients'

cooperation. This is simply dangerous and even, dare I say, un-American.


1.Jansen, Karl L.R., M.D., Ph.D. "Ketamine: Dreams and Realities." 
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (2001): 260.

2. See: <www.uwsrq.com/First_Call/7y12yg7a.HTM>.

3. Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation: Broadening the Debate on Drugs 
and Drug Policy <www.lindesmith.org>.

4. Held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 30 May - 2 June 2001. "Conference 
Report: As Drug Reform Edges Closer to Mainstream (or Vice Versa), Fractures

Emerge Over Politics of Treatment." Week Online With DRCNet 189 (8 June 
2001). <www.drcnet.org/wol/189.htmlconferencereport>.

5.Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs, Charles F. 
Manski, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie, Editors. "Informing America's 
Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don't Know Keeps Hurting Us." Committee on 
Law and Justice and Committee on National Statistics, National Research 
Council (2001): 238.

6. Reed, Lou. "Heroin." Performed by the Velvet Underground. The Velvet 
Underground and Nico. Verve, 1967.

7. Unsigned. "US Jail Population Hits Record 6.5 Million." Reuters, 26 Aug 

8. For up-to-the-minute statistics, see DrugSense.org's Drug War Clock at 

9. DrugAbuse Sciences, Inc. Press release. 24 July 2001 

10. Ibid.

11. McCaffrey, Barry. Letter to Los Angeles Times 14 July 2000.

12. Baum, Dan. Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of 
Failure. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1996: 69-70.

13. Craven, Cyndi. "A Journey in Word: A Collection of Quotes." 

14. "Changing the Conversation: Improving Substance Abuse Treatment: The
National Treatment Plan Initiative: Panel Reports, Public Hearings, and
Public Acknowledgements." US Department of Health and Human Services (Nov 
2000): 12. <www.natxplan.org>. For ease of reading, internal references in 
the quote have been left out.

15. Shavelson, Lonny. Hooked: Five Addicts Challenge Our Misguided Drug 
Rehab System. New York: The New Press, 2001: 7.

16. Gettman, Jon. "Marijuana and Drug Treatment: An Introduction." From an 
article presented at the Saving Our Children From Abusive Drug Treatment 
conference held by the Trebach Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, 21-22 July 
2001. For conference details, see: <trebach.org/conference.html>.

17. Ibid.

18. Op cit., Craven.

19. Op cit., Baum: 155-6.

20. Ibid.

21. York, David, Phyllis York, and Ted Wachtel. Tough Love. New York: 
Doubleday, 1982. See: Tough Love International 

22. In Bethesda, Maryland, 21-22 July 2001. <trebach.org/conference.html>. 
Also see: Peet, Preston. "Drug Treatment for Teens: A Secret Shame." High 
Times Online, 1 Aug 2001.

23. The man who founded Straight Inc. in 1976--Florida real estate developer

and Republican power broker Melvin Sembler--was nominated in July 2001 by 
President Bush to be Ambassador to Italy. Sembler was Ambassador to 
Australia under the former President Bush, and resigned in January 2001 as 
head of the Republican Party's national finance committee. Unsigned. 
"Florida Developer Tapped to be Ambassador to Italy." Associated Press, 28 
July 2001.

24. For more info about Warbis and adolescent treatment programs, see 
Anonymity Anonymous <fornits.com/anonanon>. For more treatment survivor 
tales also see: <pub70.ezboard.com/fstraightincsurvivors30607frm1>

25. Warbis, Ginger. Email correspondence with author, 25 July 2001.

26. Teen Help Adolescent Resources: Support for Families with Teen 
Challenges. <www.vpp.com/teenhelp>.

27. Kilzer, Lou. "Desperate Measures: 'I Call it Teen Torment'." Denver 
Rocky Mountain News, no month or day, 1999 

28. Ibid.

29. Kilzer, Lou. "Teenager Leaps to Her Death at Compound in Jamaica." Rocky

Mountain News 18 Aug 2001.

30. Kilzer, Lou. "Desperate Measures: Lost Boy." Denver Rocky Mountain News,

no day or month, 2000. 

31. Op cit., Craven.

32. For more on methadone, see: Peet, Preston. "M Is for Methadone." 
Disinformation Website, 7 Feb 2001. 

33. Weil, Andrew, M.D. The Natural Mind: A New Way of Looking at Drugs and 
the Higher Consciousness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972. As noted in 
Jansen: 150.

34. Russell, Dan. Interview with author (Feb 2001). 
<www.disinfo.com/pages/article/id911/pg1>. Dan Russell is the author of Drug

War: Covert Money, Power and Policy (Kalyx.com, 2000) and Shamanism and the 
Drug Propaganda (Kalyx.com, 1998).

35. Op cit., Baum: 154.

36. As of August 2001, Jamaica, Canada, and Great Britain were debating 
decriminalizing and even legalizing personal use of marijuana; Spain, Italy,

Switzerland, and Portugal have decriminalized all personal possession drugs;

Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Venezuela were calling for rational debate on 
regulating the commerce of drugs in order to do away with problems of 
violence and corruption, both results of current US-exported War on Some 
Drugs policy (which are much more damaging to society at large than any drug

use and dependency). Even nine US states have passed laws allowing the use 
of medical marijuana, although the US government is insisting it will 
enforce federal anti-marijuana laws anyway, denying even the terminally ill 
legal use of marijuana.

37. Germany, Switzerland, and the Nederlands all have safe injection rooms 
for heroin, as does Australia. For more information on international harm 
reduction methods and implementations, see: <www.harmreduction.org>, 
especially the links section.

Peace and love,
Preston Peet

"Madness is not enlightenment, but the search for enlightenment is often 
mistaken for madness"
Richard Davenport-Hines

ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Editor http://www.drugwar.com
Editor "Under the Influence- the Disinformation Guide to Drugs"
Editor "Underground- The Disinformation Guide to Ancient Civilizations, 
Astonishing Archeology and Hidden History" (due out Sept. 2005)
Cont. High Times mag/.com
Cont. Editor http://www.disinfo.com
Columnist New York Waste

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Krista Vaughan" <krista.vaughan at gmail.com>
To: <ibogaine at mindvox.com>
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] Re: rant again MAPS and burning man attendees

For someone whose background is "the rooms" and attends twelve step
meetings, his message was very thoughtful and reasonable. Scary as it
might be to contemplate what he wrote was a open minded version
version of the message that you'll find at nearly all twelve step
meetings. There are different ways to use the steps and many examples
from this list come to mind, but for the most part his thoughts would
be considered enlightened and accepting by "recovery" standards.

You've forgotten the meetings you've attended Preston ;-) the main
message is that all drug use is abuse and once you're an addict, you
are always a addict. By the standards of the twelve steps and our
medical establishment, especially the doctors working specifically
with addiction, what he wrote was a tame and open minded version of
the party line and all the groups he mentioned and grouped together
have in common that they are full of people who do drugs, promoting
the freedom to do all drugs. In most twelve step meetings you'll have
a hard time finding any acceptance if you are on methadone
maintenance, much less doing hallucinogens....

remainder cut for space. 

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