10. iBogaine Thailand Review: Third time's the charm in overcoming spiritual stagnation....
I first heard about the possibility of taking iboga / ibogaine in Thailand about 2 and a half years ago and I was immediately interested as it seemed a lot more convenient and easier than going to Africa or central America [I am an Australian man of about 50, living in Japan].
Two friends of mine with a lot of psychedelic experience had tried it and were very impressed. It has the reputation as the Granddaddy of psychedelics , the strongest thing there is. I have considerable experience with various plant medicines and other psychedelics and yet have still felt that I needed to go deeper to 'get to the source of the matter'. I wanted to reprogram myself , psycho-spiritually ,to get out of an ongoing mid-life ,existential crisis, recurrent depression and ingrained negative habits and mental [not physical] addictions. Spiritual stagnation...
Initially I searched online and found a place on Koh Samui, not imagining that there could be more than 1 in Thailand. I contacted the woman who offering the treatment , we corresponded several times and I made plans to come . I was asked to pay 800 US dollars from a total of 2000 dollars as a deposit to her bank account. I made the deposit and within a week , her website had disappeared along with my deposit and my plane ticket already booked. Some time later, i was looking online and found that there was another ibogaine provider on Koh Samui . I contacted this person [another woman] and told her of what had happened and asked if she knew anything about the other woman and what had happened . She told me that the woman hod gotten into trouble of some kind and disappeared . I enquired about the possibility of going to her centre for treatment and after waiting several weeks, she too stopped communication with me and disappeared [although her website is still up]. I gave up for some months when again I found that there was another ibogaine treatment centre on Koh Phangan . I contacted this centre ,operated by 2 men and they informed me that both of these women had either killed someone [ in the first case ] and hospitalised someone [in the second case ] and that they were both dangerously inexperienced to be doing this treatment and that I was fortunate not to have done it with either of them . They seem a lot more experienced and claimed to have been the original Ibogaine treatment provider in Thailand . I thought about it for some weeks while I was in Australia and decided to try again with these guys . However when i googled the centre , the first thing that came up was a news story about how a man from Western Australia had recently died at their centre in very dubious circumstances .
By this time my friends and family was telling me that it was madness to pursue this quest as it was obvious that these ibogaine providers were dangerous fraudsters and vagabonds with no integrity. I let it drop for about another year , but still curious and feeling increasingly desperate ,I looked again on the net and found yet another treatment provider in Thailand , Ibogaine Thailand .
At first I thought that it was another site set up by the Koh Phangan crew who have shut up shop since that tragedy , however upon contacting Sasha and discovering that the centres were not connected, I explained my story to him and my deep skepticism about the integrity of so called ibogaine providers and he filled me in on some of the unknowns in my story and answered all my questions sincerely and honestly . He explained that these people had not adhered strictly to the Ibogaine Providers protocols and that by cutting corners ,or looking for cash, had come to tragic outcomes .
Sasha has done the proper training and adheres strictly to the protocols which have been scientifically shown to be safe if one doesn't go outside the parameters of the protocol [the basic instructions and contraindications for administering ibogaine] , which if done correctly, eliminate most of the risk. He will refuse anyone whose health or condition falls outside the prescribed parameters. After some correspondence, and despite many of my friends and families wishes, i decided to go ahead with the treatment with Sasha.
I could spend a lot of time detailing the experiences of the ibogaine treatment/ trip itself which was incredibly arduous, exhausting and fantastical , but I will try to break it down into stages and what I interpreted from it in as much as it might be interesting to anyone contemplating trying ibogaine. About an hour and a half after ingestion, just when I began to think I would need more, I felt the bed I was lying on sink through the floor ,down ,down ,down deep into the Earth and when looking up, I could see a tiny lit of light above me and I thought ,”I am the dead man”... the bed hit the bottom and stopped . What next ? a door opened and numerous hideous demon entities with machine guns jumped out started haranguing and abusing me . This was very intense psychedelia and although I knew they weren't real, it was so intense and quite unpleasant because it seemed to go on for so long.
After some time [?] ,the intensity lessened somewhat and other slightly less malevolent entities began provoking, or testing me. They seemed to present me with scenes, or images which would be repeated again and again unless I pushed the correct button to make it stop , and then another scene or image would appear and I would have to do it again and again. The format of this was much like some kind of video game with lights and buttons and the entities were somewhat like computer game creations.
Upon reflection ,it seemed that the first ,most aggressive demon like entities were a bit like being in a hell realm [and they appeared straight after I symbolically ‘ died `] and they were punishing me /abusing me for my sins ,failings. guilt or whatever like a kind of hell. Then the second group when the intensity had dropped a notch were showing me scenes; images that'd to be learned or acknowledged before I could move on . It seemed like deep, psychic neuro -reprogramming but mostly happening too fast to consciously follow what was going on .
After perhaps 8 to 10 hours, the ‘psychedelic peak ‘ eased and the experience entered a less intense period of visions and images . Throughout the experience , i had the feeling that there were 4 or 5 other people in the room with me and several times I pulled off my eye mask to check [but there was only Sasha or ] . I could “see” ghostly apparitions sitting on the edges of the bed ,in the corners of the room [although wearing an eye mask ,I really felt like I could see] etc , but if I tried to look directly at them , they would shrivel or turn away . It was quite an eerie experience however there was nothing during the whole trip that made me really frightened and I never really felt in danger ,even during the intense psychedelic stages. It was however long and arduous and I remember after about 14 hours thinking “This stuff is bat shit crazy and I would never try this again “
Throughout all of this Sasha or his other sitter [changing in 8 hour shifts ] remain constantly in the room with you , monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure regularly , making sure you remain safely hydrated and comfortable and assisting you to go to the bathroom [not possible to walk on your own ] and basically being reassuring presences during the long ,arduous inner journey. Around 6 am on the following morning [about 20 hours after ingestion] , I went to the bathroom for my final of 3 major purges , and I vomited more than at any one time in my life . Nothing in my body but water , but after the final hurl , I really felt like I was completely empty and that I had expelled years of psychic shit out of my system. I was thoroughly exhausted , perhaps as close as a man can come to the feeling of giving birth and also what seemed the most arduous experience since my own birth . I was very tired and but also elated. It felt so good that the WORK was over and I felt so clean ,light and free , I was also still as high as a kite , but it was a terrific feeling,
Sasha then left for several hours as it was obvious that I was safely through the tunnel and I spent the rest of that day and the next night [ I couldn't sleep for 3 nights ] in the most delicious ,serene and magical space that i have ever experienced . At this point , insights came and a beautiful sense of rebirth , clarity and harmony arrived . My vocabulary,and mental faculties improved and I felt sharper and clearer than I have for probably 15 years .
Unfortunately such lofty peaks could not be maintained and I returned after a few days to a kind of new normalcy .
Now over 3 weeks after the experience , I still feel profoundly effected by it although I realise that it will still require my own drive and inertia to effect meaningful change in my own life upon returning to my mundane ,daily existence . On the day after the experience , I was beginning to think that perhaps I could indeed try it again . By 2 days after , I was feeling “When can I do it again ?”. I don't know what the long term affects will be on my progress and evolution but for sure it is a terrific cleansing and well worth getting rid of such psychic baggage that i would have no hesitation about doing it again if whenever possible .
I was very impressed by Sasha and team's professionalism and service. He seems to have the right intent and dedication to this path and is a very sincere person . I wish him and all the best with their future plans and have faith in the potential of ibogaine to help those who are desperate , brave or fortunate enough to face this challenge. Having a provider /facilitator who you feel safe with and feel has the right intention and seriousness is I think, very important .