V’s Story

A while ago, I attended an ayahuasca ceremony led by Miguel Delgado. It was a two-night ceremony on the weekend, that took place outside of Berlin. As I got there, I met a group of around 15-20 people, all coming from healing, most of them coming to an ayahuasca ceremony for the first time. It was weird since the beginning. Everyone was there, but the organizers were missing… I got the feeling of a bad omen. We had to wait until they finally arrived. At the beginning, Miguel presented himself and his group as medicine lovers, who liked to share it with people. They assured us they didn’t have the pretention of calling themselves medicine people or shamans but that they would help us go through the journey. I wasn’t so convinced by their presentation from scratch. Because I immediately noticed that, even if Miguel didn’t call himself a “medicine man or shaman”, he behaved exactly as if he was one. He acted as the leader among his peers, reminding me of images of gurus surrounded by their followers.

Also, their promise of help or assistance didn’t go very far. His friends, instead of behaving as the assistants they should have been during the ceremony, revealed themselves to be real stoners. To me, it seemed that they were there to attend a psychedelic trip and to enjoy the maximum fun. As soon as they were having amazing hallucinations, they would make loud sounds like “oh ja, geil!”. I started feeling very unsafe, realizing how dangerous it was, that none of them (including Miguel) had any education in any field close to therapy, healing work, no initiation, nor blessing to be allowed to carry the medicine. Their philosophy was simple: take the medicine and everyone takes responsibility for himself or herself. During the ceremony, there weren’t any prayers, no ritual, just an empty void left by the pretension of wanna-be shamans, who even didn’t assume their pretension. The only thing that saved the night from being a complete chaos was the beautiful music a woman was playing. Through her singing, that woman was literally the one leading and holding the space for everyone. The other organizers, Miguel included, were either useless or even worse: harmful, as I will describe here below.

What shocked me even more as soon as the ceremony started was that among the other helpers (or organization group) were two women, one 16 years old girl (!) and another woman in her twenties who were both Miguel’s girlfriends (or playmates I don’t know). The mother of the 16 years old girl was present in the orga and allowed Miguel to do whatever he wanted with her, as if she was flattered be to so close to the guru… During the night of ceremony, the 16 years old girl would massage him, while the other girlfriend aimed for kisses and cuddles. On Saturday, after the first night, next to the room where the ceremony was held (and where we also all slept), there was another room with a “Hochbett” (loft bed) where Miguel and his girlfriends would cuddle or have sex. During that day, they were doing their erotic stuff in the nose of everyone as all participants of the ceremony were in the same space below them, where the food was served. While I am writing these words now, I am wondering why I didn’t leave, it sounds surreal… The sexual energy constantly leaking from Miguel made me really feel uneasy. He flirted with me at all occasions he had, during the sharings or when we were preparing food. Under the medicine, I could feel when Miguel’s sexual energy and lust would come towards me, it made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. On my way to the toilet during the night, he took me in his arms for a cuddle, without asking if I would like a hug or cuddle. It disturbed my process with the medicine greatly.

On the second night, another woman participant, who had come to a few ceremonies with Miguel, was completely fond of him. She was desperately looking for his attention. During ceremony, she started to freak out completely, throwing herself at the feet of Miguels, begging him to help her, acting as if he were her savior. She was shouting so much that it made everyone feel very uncomfortable, so Miguel took her to the room next door. A while later, I had to go to the toilet, which meant going through that room where they were together. What I witnessed there was so cruel… Accompanied by one of his friends, Miguel was shouting at that poor woman, being really angry and mean. I don’t remember the exact words, but basically he was telling her to stop wishing to be the center of attention. The woman was weeping and looked terrified, she was still screaming and completely lost. She still wanted him to hug her, to take her in his arms. In response, he would refuse to hold her in his arms and in the way he treated her, there was not a single gesture of reassurance or kind energy. I was disgusted and shocked. As I could hardly manage to go to the toilet myself because the medicine was so strong, I couldn’t even react. But under the medicine, I could see the darkness of his energy field, it was frightening.

After each ceremony on the next day, there was a sharing about our experiences. It was shocking that as soon as some participants finished talking, Miguel would start to interpret their experiences in front of everyone, throwing his own analysis on what they went through, which I found completely inappropriate. His main “teaching” at that time was that “if you suffer it’s your choice”… And that you are responsible for what is happening to you, always. On these occasions, Miguel not only showed his absence of knowledge in psychology or complete lack of emotional maturity, but also that he had no compassion at all. Later, I met another woman who attended a ceremony organized by Miguel and she told me another horror story about him. During the night, she went through a very intense experience, a real nightmare, overwhelmed by darkness. She got very very scared as she didn’t understand anything anymore. While that happened and she asked for help, no one wanted to help her. Instead, Miguel accused her of losing it and wanting too much “attention” (again the same accusation!). They were so mean that she freaked out even more and decided to go to hospital. They let her leave the ceremony… on her own… and in the middle of the night! So there she ended up, wandering somewhere in Brandenburg in a small village in the dark, completely terrified. Luckily after a while, she saw a car and she begged the person driving to take her to hospital. She arrived there totally high on the medicine and completely traumatized. It took 2-3 years and many therapy sessions for that woman to overcome the trauma she experienced with Miguel.

If I chose to testify, it’s because I want this damage to stop! With his ceremonies, Miguel Delgado is creating more harm than healing. He has neither the appropriate tools, nor the experience to be carrying such a powerful medicine. To me, he uses it for his own interests: to fill his own powerlessness by having power over others (in the disguise of helping them) along with prestige, and sex. This predator attitude belonging to the old destructive domination paradigm is disgusting and unacceptable, whether you’re a healer, a shaman, a policeman or a lawyer. People showing these abominable traits should not be allowed to work, especially in areas where they can find easy preys, such as medicine ceremonies, where most people coming are desperate to find healing. It breaks my heart to hear such experiences where people end up going back home more traumatized than they were before. This is what I witnessed at Miguel’s ceremony. This is why I think he should stop giving medicine and any shamanic pretensions.

To my opinion, holding such ceremonies demands integrity, wisdom, full responsibility, experience and endless compassion – among other qualities, which Miguel Delgado completely lacks. I hope the word will be spread around enough to raise the awareness towards the danger he represents for people. Thank you for making that happen.