Y’s Story

Y’s story

My report of the events of the 27th-30th July 2017 The event I went to, took place in Portugal. the invitation to the event seemed very nice. It was inviting for a “SHAMANIC NATURE RETREAT”, it portrayed Miguel as a therapist who “has a background in Indigenous Shamanic Traditions, Naturopathy, Holistic Bodywork, Rebirthing Breathwork, Transpersonal Psychology, and Systemic Therapy Approaches”. and it was inviting to work with the grandmother spirit. I came there from a farm where I was volunteering, along with another couple whom I didn’t know well. for me it was the second time drinking ayahuasca, for M and his girlfriend it was about to be the first experience. M came with great respect to the medicine, and was preparing and following the diet meticulously. During all the event, many things were very much “off”, but I couldn’t really put my finger on it. On the opening circle, I said that I have doubts and fear that I won’t feel safe. Miguel’s reaction to that was getting annoyed, and in his voice occurred an undertone of aggression, that will grow stronger during the weekend. of course it didn’t help my feelings of being unsafe, which grew stronger during the night. after the second cup, I just had to leave the circle for a while, which ended in me tripping alone by my tent, in what was possibly the worst night of my life.

The next morning in the sharing circle I said that I am basically shattered. Miguel’s response was super unemphatic. Despite this, I decided to stay, with the help of some kind and wise words of M. His girlfriend though, also did not like the vibe, and decided not to stay for the second night. During the next day Miguel’s aggression was again climbing. in the circle, I was mentioning the spirit of ayahuasca, which triggered Miguel that shouted at me – “don’t bring this shit here! there are no spirits, there are no ghosts!” he said how he came from a family of witches, and he doesn’t believe in this crap. He also said that he is no shaman. Even though the invitation to the event was for a “shamanic retreat” and mentioned “working with spirits” more than once. I was holding to the perspective of shamanism, which annoyed him more. At some point I mentioned a shaman I was drinking with before, and her approach that I liked. This made him talk nasty about her, diminishing her. the environment that he was creating was becoming more confusing, full of mixed messages and gaslighting. he could shout and humiliate you in the circle, very violently, and then will speak to you normally a minute later. This was very effective in confusing. Despite all this behavior, I did stay there, for three nights. part of me thinking that there must be a logic to what he is doing, that I don’t understand. In the second night of medicine, it was M who left the circle and spent the night by himself. the next day he was showing clear signs of distress. But no one of the organizers approached him to talk to him and see what he is going through. When he spoke in the sharing circle the next morning, he was silenced aggressively. In all these nights, no one of the organizers went to check on people who are missing from the circle. No one noticed or cared. the third night M left the circle again. at around 5:30 AM two police cars showed up, right at the ceremony. Apparently, M ran away far. While being on the medicine, he saw Miguel and his partner P as demons, he knew they might kill him, and had ran away, barefoot, through the thick wilderness. Got his clothes all torn and scratched real good.  When he couldn’t go any further, he sat down and shouted. Woke up a nearby village. They came to get him and called the police, who handcuffed him and took him to a hospital. He was in a very intense mental stage. What is commonly described as psychosis.

He told the police to go to the land of the ceremony, where they will find our dead bodies, because Miguel and P had murdered us all. The police just looked around the ceremony ground and asked for his papers. they said he might be transferred to a bigger hospital in Lisbon in the next hours, and left. It was obvious to me, that someone has to go be with M. One of us is tied up in a hospital, psychotic, with an open channel, still on ayahuasca, and might end up in a psych ward. Miguel and P did not have any intent to go see him. They didn’t care about him and were only concerned about the police visit. I was confused. I told them that if they won’t go then I will. Miguel became mad at me and shouted- “what are you? his father?? what are you going to do?? Just go there and ask to see him?? They will take care of him. He is in good hands!” I suggested I would call someone else that would go see him. I had a friend nearby, who is experienced with harm reduction practices. It just made Miguel and P more angry. They didn’t want anyone to know about this. Somehow they even made me promise that I will not call him. After tuning in to myself, I decided to go to the hospital, another participant came with me. M was released, they didn’t know what to do with him. He was very much out there and very intense. Miguel asked us to bring him back to the circle, he said he knows what to do.

The drive back was intense. Back at the ceremony, we all sat down, and Miguel just unleashed his rage on M, shouting and accusing him- accusing him of leaving the group, accusing him of bringing the police, accusing him in risking “all the work that we do”, accusing him of putting them and all of us in danger. These sentences were said: YOU ARE BEING A COMPLETE DICK!… LOOK AT YOURSELF, YOU ARE ONLY EGO!… YOU ARE BEING A TOTAL JERK!… IT IS ONLY YOUR EGO TALKING NOW!… YOU CARE ABOUT NO ONE BUT YOURSELF!… SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN! Miguel also said- “You know why your girlfriend left this retreat after the first evening? it was because of you! she didn’t want to do this next to you!” I was confused and afraid for M. Somehow I still hoped Miguel knows something I don’t. when he finished with M he turned to attacking me. Saying all this happened because of me. Because I left the circle the first night, because I brought “all this bullshit talk about spirits”. He said I polluted he’s ceremony with “these harmful ideas”. Said that I am selfish and that my ego controls me, and so on and so on. At some point later, Miguel called M’s girlfriend, to tell her to come pick him up. he told her on the phone that M had run away and was hospitalized. And a second after giving her this shocking news he accused her, on the phone, saying that it is her fault, and that it happened because she left the retreat on the second day. When I later saw her, she was simply devastated. In the following days Miguel also made up a story that M had mixed drugs with the medicine. Later on he accused me of giving M cocaine. I heard this from different people. During the retreat, Miguel told me about someone “going crazy” in one of his retreats, and he said it was because she mixed the ayahuasca with amanita. Which sounded strange to me. It seems that there is a pattern of people getting into severe distress in Miguel’s ceremonies, and he blames it on them mixing other drugs. Basically, he just accuses everything and everyone, and never assumes responsibility. When the “retreat” ended, Miguel just left. M was alone, still 100% ‘out there’. a foreigner on some farm. super intense and open and sensitive and confused. And Miguel and P just got in a car and went to town to grab something to eat. They had zero sense of responsibility for a man who broke down in their retreat. Just left him stranded on some farm.

These are the main events of my experience with Miguel Delgado. There were more things. More lies that he said and I figured out. Another disturbing thing was that throughout the retreat, he was pushing another participant, 14 years old, to drink larger and larger amounts of ayahuasca. a kid that was there by himself, and Miguel was pushing him to drink and making him small in front of everyone. This man has the darkest soul I’ve ever seen. As for M- I came back to pick him up the next day. He, and his girlfriend were in a bad state. And we were afraid. We didn’t know what would happen. Together with a good friend, we all went to a nice spot in nature, next to a beautiful stream. We stayed there for 5 days and nights, supporting M in his intense crisis. It was beautiful and scary sometimes. There were nice people around who were not getting too excited about the weird behaviors and occasional shouting. It was some of most intense and best days of my life. And Marco settled down. Good friends and beautiful nature were the exact medicine we all needed. Thank you for reading.