[Ibogaine] BarcelonaIbogainesessionsetforInternationalHarmReduction Conference

Phillip Fiuty phillipfiuty at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 21 16:24:10 EST 2008


I know Alex and know how he came to be a fixture in the harm reduction/legalization world... mainly for his amazing work around methadone maintenance in jails and prisons. Great stuff with great outcomes. The problem is that there are a growing number of people within the harm reduction movement whose interest in it tend to be more about the right of people to use drugs than the plight of those who would like to stop, and not visualizing the continuum.
Whenever we bring up something that might help someone in this position we get attacked as the radical wing of the twelve steppers, not to mention by the twelve steppers themselves. My understanding of harm reduction is anything that makes life better for someone...i.e. achieving their goals, be it using their drugs better, quitting, or staying quit.
Personally, having been one of the few people who actually worked for a state government administering a state wide legally mandated harm reduction program, I think Gov't run maintenance programs are a creepy idea. At some point it becomes about what the surrounding community wants from it's addicts, not about what the programs partcipants want or need. Even when I was worried that I might not be able to live without drugs, I wouldn't go near methadone, and adderall didn't change the things that speed did that hurt.
I accept that this will be different for other people, so by all means it should be developed. I've also been helped immensly by acupuncture, Ibogaine, Ayuhuasca, NA, etc. but I don't understand this anti-harm reduction position of discrediting and attempting to block another harm reduction option, such as Ibogaine, when even the few of us that there might be agree that it significantly improved our lives. This is the same type of non-sense that has us continuing to argue about the medical or other benefits of marijuana after a hundred years.
There are plenty of junkies to go around, and more than enough work for us, and it bothers me that I see the formation of meaningless energy draining divide and conquer arguments that have nothing to do with harm reduction and do not pose the slightest threat to anyone whose living depends upon people using drugs.

Phillip Fiuty



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> From: nick227 at tiscali.co.uk
> To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
> Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 11:52:08 +0000
> Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] Barcelona IbogainesessionsetforInternationalHarmReduction Conference
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> Sorry, meant Eric, not Don.
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> Nick
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> From: ibogaine-bounces at mindvox.com [mailto:ibogaine-bounces at mindvox.com] On Behalf Of Nick Sandberg
> Sent: 15 February 2008 11:35
> To: 'The Ibogaine List'
> Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] Barcelona IbogainesessionsetforInternationalHarmReduction Conference
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> Hi Dana,
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> 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 yourself?
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> Nick
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> 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
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> How convenient. It's not about efficacy, or the deletion of the GDNF information. It's just Dana acting like a loon, again.
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> Even half dead from fatigue from the ride to New Orleans, I know way more about the science of ibogaine than Alex Wodak.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> Dana/cnw
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> On Feb 13, 2008, at 3:40 AM, Eric Madison wrote:
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> Do you honestly think you understand even half of what you're talking about?
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> 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.
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> On Feb 12, 2008 10:16 AM, Dana Beal> wrote:
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> 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.
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> Dana/cnw
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> On Feb 12, 2008, at 6:45 AM, Nick Sandberg wrote:
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> Hi again Dana,
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> 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.
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> Nick
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> ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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> Dear Alex,
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> 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….
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> 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.
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> 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. 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 Holland.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> Kind regards
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> Nick Sandberg
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> Thorngrove House, etc
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