[Ibogaine] Barcelona Ibogaine sessionsetforInternationalHarmReduction Conference

Nick Sandberg nick227 at tiscali.co.uk
Fri Feb 15 06:34:49 EST 2008

Hi Dana,


I don’t know Don, but I think you should take his feedback in, at least the
substance of it. You are not a scientist and in my experience you do not
follow a very scientific model when articulating arguments. I have not seen
you speak recently in conferences but from your posts I doubt you have
changed. You have done massive things for ibogaine. You are likely the
central worldwide mover and shaker. You can also rest in that and let those
who are more experienced, more qualified, and more naturally suited to
scientific presentation take over. It’s great you organize events and
conferences. But I’m sure you don’t do it simply so that you have a forum to
put crackpot theories out on. I mean, that’s what Patrick created this forum
for! Why not carry on creating events but create a different role for





From: ibogaine-bounces at mindvox.com [mailto:ibogaine-bounces at mindvox.com] On
Behalf Of Dana Beal
Sent: 13 February 2008 14:56
To: The Ibogaine List
Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] Barcelona Ibogaine
sessionsetforInternationalHarmReduction Conference


How convenient. It's not about efficacy, or the deletion of the GDNF
information. It's just Dana acting like a loon, again.


Even half dead from fatigue from the ride to New Orleans, I know way more
about the science of ibogaine than Alex Wodak.


And you'll be happy to know Ken Alper's new powerpoint is so good, that I
can cut my presentation in D.C. down to just the GDNF part.


If you attend, you're perfectly willing to ask me that question that leaves
me stumped. But Ken's on the panel, so he'll just answer it. If he had been
willing to go to New Orleans or Barcelona, there would be no need for me to
have developed my presentation. But this trip to D.C. is a first for him.
Previously he was unwilling to do anything outside New York City.


You're always free to organize your own ibogaine forum, and book any one you
please. My bona fides are that I remember all the stages of the evolution of
our understanding of ibogaine, and how to explain them terms lay folks can
understand. If you don't want me on one of the panels of your conference,
fine. Just don't put me on, and then kick me off.


I strongly suspect that Stijn, the INPUD organizer, was not the one behind
the decision to put Wodak on the panel in the first place, just as my
removal was not unrelated to the need of conference higher-ups to find a
slot for Perez Alonso. There's only so much time in two hours.




On Feb 13, 2008, at 3:40 AM, Eric Madison wrote:

I think there are two issues happening here. Alex Wodak's presentation is
heavily biased based only on his introductory paragraph, I can't imagine it
gets any better from there.

The other issue is a personal one for you Dana. You got banned from a panel
you were previously part of. For some reason I don't think that's because
they couldn't handle the truth, its far more likely that you really pissed
someone off who then threw you off the panel for acting like a loonie.
Having you not present on a scientific topic isn't something that makes the
world a worse place. 

There are a lot of people associated with ibogaine who are neither PHDs or
MDs who do present on science (Howard Lotsof, Patrick Kroupa, Jon
Freedlander), but when listening to them speak I believe they know what
they're talking about. On the other end of the board is you. Your
"scientific" and "medical" presentations are sloppy, borderline incoherent.
If there is anybody in that audience with even a basic scientific background
and they question you about anything you're talking about, you're dead.
You're not going to be able to give an answer that makes sense. I don't
think this is something the world needs to mourn. Your "scientific"
presentations are really not helping the ibogaine movement. Despite the fact
that you insist on booking yourself talking about science at all these
ibogaine conferences that you fund and despite the fact that all of these
HRC and DPA panels run by Lotsof or Kroupa, place you on them and then let
you talk about god knows what, it doesn't make you an effective speaker on
scientific or medical aspects of ibogaine. 

I remember you from the HRC conference in New Orleans in 2004, screaming
your head off at Dr. Peter Cohen and threatening to punch him because you
disagreed with him. Maybe the problem is you, not some committee being
unable to handle the truth.

Do you honestly think you understand even half of what you're talking about?

I've heard you talk on other aspects of ibogaine and you do a good job, I
don't understand why it's so important to you to keep presenting about areas
you don't understand or effectively communicate to anybody else.

On Feb 12, 2008 10:16 AM, Dana Beal <dana at phantom.com> wrote:

Yeah, but the point is that none of the other presentations speak to
efficacy, or present on GDNF. The information that would contradict Wodak
has been replace by his general observations on clinical trials, which are
not specific to ibogaine, and that is disingenuous.




On Feb 12, 2008, at 6:45 AM, Nick Sandberg wrote:

Hi again Dana,


Checking out a bit more, I see that there are 4 speakers and only one is
skeptic. I've written to Alex and cc'ed to Gerry, the UK head of IHRA,
saying I find it reprehensible that he compares ibogaine to thalidomide, but
I would consider it fair to have one skeptic in discussions also. My mail
copied below.








Dear Alex,


I wanted to get in touch with you as I was quite concerned by the précis of
your proposed talk at the upcoming Barcelona Harm Reduction Conference,
which I've copied below



Since the tragic experience of thalidomide some decades ago, medicine has
been based firmly on scientific evidence. All interventions are assumed to
be ineffective, unsafe and cost-ineffective until proven otherwise. Harm
reduction is also based firmly on scientific evidence while conventional
drug policy relying heavily on supply control has a weak committment to
evidence. Theoretical justifications for interventions are of interest but
they are no substitute for rigorous scientific evidence of effectiveness,
safety and cost-effectiveness. For example, oral naltrexone has been
strongly advocated by critics of harm reduction as a treatment for heroin
dependence on the basis of attractive theory. However, empirical studies
showed that clearly naltrexone is ineffective, unsafe and cost-ineffective
as a treatment for heroin dependence. Published evidence for Ibogaine as a
treatment for heroin dependence is unimpressive. Persistent and sincere
advocacy for ibogaine is no substitute for rigorous evidence. 'Evidence'
means several rigorous scientific trials published in reputable
peer-reviewed scientific journals demonstrating major benefits consistently
and in the absence of unacceptable side effects. Evidence of effectiveness
preferably (but not necessarily) requires randomised controlled trials where
this is possible. 'Evidence' is not a strong theoretical rationale.
Advocates for Ibogaine and harm reduction clinicians and scientists will be
brought closer together when all agree that all prevention and treatment
interventions have to be based on rigorous scientific evidence of
effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness.



It seemed to me completely misrepresentative of the drug and I felt strongly
to get in touch with you and try and see where you were actually coming
from. I have been involved with ibogaine in the UK for the past 10 years,
running the website www.ibogaine.co.uk <http://www.ibogaine.co.uk/> . I
mention here that I do not sell ibogaine, I do not treat people, and I have
no financial stake in the drug whatsoever. I set up and maintained the site
for nearly a decade because I was concerned about the plight of addicts and
saw first-hand just how incredible this treatment was. I am currently the
manager of a leading new-age community in Dorset, England and I am trained
and qualified as a Humaniversity Therapist, a humanistic psychology school
that run a Therapeutic Community, working directly with addiction, based in


Now, to be honest, I find the opening sentence of this précis to be utterly
manipulative. I find it hard to believe that someone who had any concern for
truth or for the treatment of addiction could make such a misleading
comparison. If you have a strong argument it will stand up without resorting
to such manipulative techniques. As to the argument itself, I find it only
fair that, whilst making the statements you do, you also accurately
articulate the means by which new drugs are assessed and come to the market.
I say this because when this is done the truth of the situation becomes a
great deal more clear. For sure, be sceptical. I've no problem with it, but
please at least do some basic research and represent the points fairly.


As point of fact, there have been proper scientific studies of ibogaine.
They have given a preliminary demonstration of the drug's safety and
efficacy. There certainly need to be more studies, but the issues that have
blocked them taking place thus far are not related to the drug's
effectiveness. The studies that have been done have taken place without the
financial backing of the Pharm business. They have been financed by private
money. Ibogaine has been so disregarded by the State and by the Pharm houses
that it is, in my opinion, nothing short of miraculous that the work that
has been carried out has happened at all. It has happened for the sole
reason that the drug's effects are so positive and so stunning that people
just get involved. In a political climate where big business effectively
completely controls the development of new medications, that so much work
has been done with ibogaine should be applauded, not subjected to
manipulative sermonizing. 


Ibogaine is not going to go away. If it was it would have done so years ago.
The reason for this is that it only takes one treatment for people to
actually see for themselves just how remarkable this drug is. People get on
board. They often just drop what they're doing and get on board. Dr Ken
Alper, an associate professor of psychiatry at the NY School of Medicine,
recently published an academic survey of clinical and non-clinical ibogaine
treatments, covering many thousands of sessions. In the background there are
more and more moves to bring psychoactives to the market. Clinical trials
are currently going on with MDMA, LSD and Psilocybin. MAPS are financing
more studies with ibogaine, again work which hasn't been sanctioned by big
business. Ibogaine will get legal eventually. I have personally no doubt
about this. 


I urge you to re-think your talk. For sure present the issues, but please do
it fairly. It's awful to see people who are in theory trying to do good for
addicts stoop to such manipulation, and absurd to think any good will come
of it.


Kind regards


Nick Sandberg

Thorngrove House, etc



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