Recently a page was posted on the website of “Psychedelic Society Germany” that I found disturbing.
Joe Schraube’s “investigation” report seems to me like a conscious attempt to publicly shame and terrorize N. S.. This is a strange and twisted scenario, and here I will describe my relation to these events.
Four years ago I participated in a weekend ayahuasca retreat led by Miguel Delgado/Martinez. During this experience I met some of the most aggressive, manipulative and harmful behaviors I have ever seen. The retreat also resulted in one of the participants getting hospitalized.
(To whomever is interested, I will happily send a description of this experience.)
This made me decide to warn people of this harmful person, and share my experience. I wrote a public mail to people involved in Miguel Delgado/Martinez’s retreats. Through this public mail I came in contact with N. S. and other people who had similar experiences in Miguel’s retreats. In the time that passed however, Miguel continued and still continues to operate, and I heard more and more very disturbing stories, which I will not go into here.
Some time later I heard that Joe Schraube was interested in this case. My first reaction to this was positive. I was happy that someone who has influence in the psychedelic community was interested in this, and might help in informing people and potentially help prevent further harm.
Joe contacted me while he was collecting information, in what I assumed to be an attempt to understand what had been going on in Miguel’s ceremonies. Surprisingly though, he was not interested in my experiences with Miguel. This confused me.
Nevertheless, I sent him a copy of my testimony- which he did not publish. I also gave him the contact of a person who described seeing and stopping Miguel from pulling a young woman into a bathroom, during a ceremony, while she was on ayahuasca- trying to convince her that having sex with him will be good for her.
Joe talked to this witness, but did not publish his testimony as well.
I soon realized that Joe’s interest in contacting me was getting contacts of women who were abused by Miguel. I found this request disturbing.
I work in the field of psychotherapy, I work with trauma. When dealing with sexual abuse, one has to be very careful. For abuse victims, a stranger calling them and asking them on the phone if they were raped or molested is potentially triggering and re-traumatizing. This can be traumatizing in itself. This is why, in abuse cases, police use female investigators who are especially trained for this matter. Joe asking for the contact details of abuse victims was very disturbing to me. I tried to explain a bit of the sensitivity of the matter to him. It didn’t seem that he understood or was interested.
The whole interaction with Joe was confusing. At first he presented himself as a mediator in the case, which was bizarre since no one had requested or had any wish for mediation. Then he said that he was conducting an investigation, and was persistent in trying to get contacts of abuse victims.
It seems to me that Joe Schraube was not interested in finding what goes on in Miguel’s retreats, and had no desire to help protect people from harm. But rather he had an agenda to disproove N. S.’ testimony, and present her in a very specific light. In order to do that he completely ignored testimonies, and only showed one-sided opinions on his page, including of people who are unrelated to the events, and had never seen Miguel in action, but support Joe’s position.
With the popularization of psychedelics, and with the growing consensus about their healing powers, many new people are looking for experiences. Sadly, this gives many opportunities for charlatans. And indeed there are more and more of these, especially in the ayahuasca practice. Most of the people who are new to this don’t know how to recognize good and kind-hearted practitioners from sloppy or dangerous ones.