in praise of the ibogaine forums

HSLotsof at HSLotsof at
Wed Oct 11 19:48:32 EDT 2006

For those of you who may not have linked to the Multidisciplinary Association 
on Psychedelic Studies article on the NYC 2006 Ibogaine Forum, I have copied 
the text, though you will have to select the link below to view photographs. 
The NY Forums allowed for the first presentation of ibogaine safety data by Dr. 
Jeffrey Kamlet and a review of dose regimens of different providers by Howard 

The New York Forums have been exceptionally well done.   My understanding is 
that the 2007 forum may be held in another city and I hope we can find a venue 
as exciting as Alex Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. All of the participants 
are thankful to the work of Dana Beal in organizing these events.


In a message dated 9/29/06 3:03:44 AM, freedomroot at writes:


2006 NYC Ibogaine Conference

John Harrison, Psy.D. (candidate)

The skies were a slippery gray and the air was wintry cold on the February 
weekend of the 2006 NYC Ibogaine Conference. The chilly weather, though, did not 
in any way inhibit the fervent and passionate panel discussions and genuine 
warm vibes that permeated the gathering.

I am currently preparing a program evaluation protocol for ibogaine treatment 
clinics in Canada (Iboga Therapy House) and Mexico (Villa Serena) for my 
dissertation at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS). As a witness 
to the healing potential of ibogaine, I have sought to work with providers to 
help them better analyze the variables that affect the long-term outcome of 
ibogaine treatment.
Thus, I was delighted to be immersed in the diverse and colorful assembly of 
journalists, researchers, street providers, neurologists, psychologists, 
physicians, activists, artists and successful veterans of ibogaine treatment that 
joined me at the conference. The positive energy was palpable and as the 
conference unfolded, the various presenters articulated the breadth of interest in 
this little root from the Tabernathe iboga plant from West Africa. MAPS members 
and Bulletin readers are most likely familiar with the potential of ibogaine 
to reduce drug craving and its concomitant symptoms, and the political and 
financial obstacles hindering its accessibility.

Jeffrey Kamlet, M.D., (ibogaine treatment provider) and Patrick Kroupa 
(ibogaine activist and founder of Mindvox) opened the proceedings with a crash 
course in Ibogaine 101. Dr. Kamlet, who is currently President of the Florida 
Society for Addiction Medicine, impressed mightily with his unimpeachable medical 
expertise. Jeff spoke in depth about safety, particularly emphasizing medical 
prescreening prior to ibogaine administration. Patrick Kroupa captivated the 
crowd with his unfaltering integrity and honest self-disclosure regarding his 
own tortuous process through addiction. Declaring “ibogaine is a gift,” Kroupa 
also reiterated that “ibogaine is more than detox; it’s a catalyst, not a 
cure.” Patrick’s street credibility and his insight into the human toll of 
addiction was a poignant and profound balance to Dr. Kamlet’s clinical knowledge. 
Truly a formidable tandem of truth from two who have been in “the belly of the 

Medical journalist Brian Vastag discussed the circuitous route of ibogaine’s “
forty years of flirtation with legitimacy” as a viable treatment protocol for 
heroin addiction.

John Harrison and Howard Lotsof, who first discovered ibogaine as a viable 
treatment for heroin addiction in 1962, at the NYC Ibogaine Conference (see 
Beal opined, "supporting and legitimizing clinics in Canada and Mexico will 
have the effect of embarrassing the United States by saying 'why everywhere 
else but not here?'" (sidebar)

Kenneth Alper, M.D., (NYU Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology) 
presented a sweeping discourse on ibogaine’s mechanisms of action on the human 
brain. Dr. Alper presented a sampling of his scientific research while making 
the case for clinical trials in the U.S. Ken managed to convey challenging, 
complex, and important data in straightforward language that both the novices and 
the experts in the audience could comprehend.

Introduced as special visitors to the conference were physicians and 
treatment providers Drs. Alberto Sola and Adolfo Martinez from Villa Serena, an 
ibogaine treatment center in Cancun, Mexico. As activist Dana Beal opined, “
supporting and legitimizing clinics in Canada and Mexico will have the effect of 
embarrassing the United States by saying ‘why everywhere else but not here?’”
Howard Lotsof, the sagacious and insightful ‘Grandfather of ibogaine’ gave a 
comprehensive slide presentation on the history, politics, policy, profit, 
prejudice, and science of ibogaine. Lotsof, who first discovered ibogaine as a 
viable treatment for heroin addiction in 1962, reflected the tone of the 
gathering by emphasizing inclusiveness, and by celebrating the common goal of making 
this valuable medicine available to the people who would most benefit from 
safe and unencumbered access.
The opening day session culminated in an extraordinary and spirited political 
panel which included Dmitri Mugianis (ibogaine treatment provider and former 
patient), Lotsof, Douglas Greene and the peripatetic Dana Beal (Cures Not 
Wars). Saturday evenings reception featured the powerful documentary Ibogaine: 
Rite of Passage, by film-maker Ben de Loenen.

Then, on Sunday the conference shifted to the wonderful and inspiring 
environment of Alex Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (COSM) on W. 27th Street. Grey’s 
vivid colors and breathtaking images provided appropriate and stimulating 
surroundings for topics and presentations that included “Ibogaine as a Source of 
Revelation” (an exploration of the spiritual dimension of ibogaine), and “
Ibogaine for Self-Development,” featuring authors Lee Albert and Daniel 
Pinchbeck. Others included, “Ibogaine and the Ritual of the Bwiti,” “Iboga Visions,” 
(including a discussion of the oneirophrenic or dreamlike phase of an iboga 
session), and a fantastic “Unexplanation of Ibogaine and Sacred Art,” featuring 
the stunning and visionary work of artists Geerte Frenken, David Hunter, and 
of course the inimitable Alex Grey.

Though the opinions shared and discussed in NYC were hardly monolithic, the 
enthusiastic debate around the interface of health and politics and the 
occasionally sharp ontological deliberations seemed to foment what was already an 
unmistakable esprit de corps and camaraderie amongst the highly energized 

As for myself, the weekend left me feeling honored and inspired to meet so 
many learned, sensitive, and committed people who, though the work they do is 
often solitary, found hope and encouragement in this encounter with so many 
likeminded and like-hearted individuals.

As Lee Albert said so eloquently as the conference came to a close, “we grow 
in the spirit or die in the body.”


Also see

Conference photos available from
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