[Ibogaine] Eco Man and the Peter Cohen Principle

Nick Sandberg nick227 at tiscali.co.uk
Wed Aug 16 08:09:44 EDT 2006

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Dana Beal [mailto:dana at phantom.com]
  Sent: 16 August 2006 01:08
  To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
  Cc: Eco Man
  Subject: [Ibogaine] Eco Man and the Peter Cohen Principle

  Nick Sandberg wrote:

    Hey Dana,

    I find Peter Cohen a real drag. I mean, you could argue that any social
phenomena is a social construct but for what purpose? I think it's a
disgrace that this man re-hashes a variety of philosophical perspectives,
things which no one with half a life could even be bothered thinking about
anyway, and proceeds to cobble together some idiotic pseudo-humanist theory
with which he then batters one of the most promising treatments for drug
dependency around, ie ibogaine. I mean, if you want to be a philosopher,
fair enough. But please go and do it somewhere where you aren't actively
fucking people up with your theorizing. Peter Cohen really needs to learn to
take a reality check once in a while. He's bringing his theories into an
arena where people are already being battered by society and the state and
taking a stance against drug treatment because of his personal philosophical
fantasies. It's really a disgrace.


  The problem I'm addressing is not Peter Cohen, but the faction of people
in the drug reform movement and the harm reduction community who espouse his
position, who impatiently reject ibogaine outright because they really
believe this shit. I remember talking to the leading activist in Winnipeg,
who simply refused to process the ibogaine information because he militantly
believed addiction is a myth fostered by the prohibitionists.

  Considering the impact ibogaine could have on the debate if it were more
widely talked about, and its potential to foster widespread social change,
the worst thing the legalization side can do is to be more concerned with
winning the Cohen/Morgan argument than in actually changing a few laws.

  Hi Dana,

  Thank you for replying. The thing is...no one can win any of these
arguments. It's just not possible. Any social phenomena, be it football
hooliganism, rape, religious militancy, or drug addiction, can legitimately
be considered a "social construct." It can be viewed like this. For me, this
is just part-and-parcel of being human, we can choose to view anything a
multitude of ways.

  But these guys are simply not aware of this, that is what I see. They are
taking a prejudicial position without self-awareness. The belief is that
they are being fair, that they are trying to counter prejudice, but actually
they are simply unaware. I have met people from heavy drug-using backgrounds
who would regard addiction as a prejudicial social construct simply because
they themselves did not want to examine their own behaviour. This most
definitely happens.

  What you can do in this kind of situation is not so much to engage these
guys mentally, in some grand debate, because this cannot really get
anywhere. What I would do with people like Peter Cohen or those who seek to
avoid self-awareness through this mentalising is to simply body-slam them
verbally, repeatedly, until they themselves start to feel. Because it is the
feelings that will drag them back to a real position for themselves, not the
avoiding mentality of trying to make the world fair. If a drug-user started
to me with this whole "addiction is a social construct" thing I would simply
put it right in their face that they are terrified of examining their own
behaviour, with a lot of power, and that it is this that is really
motivating them to go with this idea, nothing to do with altruism. Like
this, you can break down some of the defences and allow feelings to start to
come out, that they can come back out of the mind and start to feel their
own emotional reality. And, if they have examined themselves anyway, there's
never a problem with this approach.

  I have dialogued previously with Peter Cohen, both on and off this list,
and this guy is mindfuck central, in my opinion. He is reacting to some
early situation in his life with a compulsion to try and set people free or
stand up for the oppressed. His behaviour is OK but his motivation is purely
a reaction. He is totally lacking in self-awareness. This is my opinion.
Repeated confrontation will work with someone like this. They cannot feel,
they can just verbalize and mentalize. If you challenge them enough the
feelings the behaviour is seeking to repress will rise and there will be a
change in their outlook.

  Put it in their faces, man. I will also do what I can.


  The most common tactic is to bury ibo by including it in a lot of already
known-about and accepted measures espoused by harm reductionsists which
really aren't of equivalent salience or importance, as in the following, my
last post from Eco Man--
  tents444 at yahoo.com wrote:
    Hey, there are lots of strategies, tools, and organizations involved in
drug reform. We do what we can. By the way I recently updated the info on
the wikipedia page on the Global Marijuana March:

    I think all the strategies for harm reduction are good. Including heroin
maintenance, ibogaine, needle exchange, non-prescription needles, injection
rooms, legalization for adults, limited legalization for adults, special
legal places to get high away from the kids, tribal ceremonies, religious
exceptions to drug laws, etc., etc... I like the common sense approach of
tribal societies concerning strong drugs. Making strong drug use part of a
controlled ceremony so that individual use is frowned upon, and so that
individuals don't hurt themselves by using a strong drug alone, or in
traffic. I could go on for days....


  This is like Clinton and the school uniforms. It's also pitched toward
continuing to use heroin, crack and crystal, not using ibogaine to get clean
or at least to switch to less dangerous substances. There's going to be
tribal use or heroin and crystal meth? Burroughs says there are peyote
cults, mushroom cults, ayahuasca and ibo cults, cannabis cults --- but
there's never been a religion around doing smack.

  The fact is that for $9 million we could have 18 MC available in this
country, paid for by Medicare or yr insurance, as a safer alternative to
ibo. But Rob Kampia, Ethan Nadelman and Peter Cohen have managed to
concentrate all the legitimacy and media credibility-- and they are not
using that tot make it happen.

  Cures not Wars has to do itt, and frankly, we're being subjected to a lot
of nasty personal shit from these people for pushing the envelope.


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