TRANSCRIPT – Iboga: Kicking Heroin Addiction with the Ultimate Ancestral Trip

EP23_Elizabeth Bast & Chor Boogie_640x344
This interview was originally produced as a podcast episode. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that’s not on the page. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print.

LL: Hello Visionary people of Entheo Nation. This is Lorna Liona, here today with a visionary couple who is going to share with us the book that they have written about their quest for a visionary obscure and sacred plant medicine called iboga from central west Africa. So I’m here today with Chor Boogie who is a world renowned scraping artist, color shaman and renaissance psychonaut. His partner Elizabeth Bast serves as a writer, poet, yoga teacher, fusion temple dancer and musician.
Now, Elizabeth’s book, Heart Medicine, tells the story of their quest for iboga as their bid to find the cure to Chor’s addiction and to save their marriage. So thank you so much for being here with me today Chor and Elizabeth and to share with us your story.
CB: Oh, well thank you.
EB: Thank you so much for having us Lorna.
LL: So I would love to hear about how your journey with iboga began.
EB: Sure. Well a little over two years ago, Chor confessed to me that he had had a heroine relapse and we’d been together a long time at that point. We’d been together six years and he was sober when I met him, militantly sober and I saw a very long term, slow change, the reintroduction of alcohol and ultimately heroine. At that time, I took a day of just really being in shock and in the back of my mind really buried under a lot of layers.
I remembered iboga in that moment, I couldn’t even remember how I knew about it or where I had heard about it, it came from the depths. That led me to a quest of research and there was a lot of fear and a lot of questions and there were moments I didn’t know that we’d make it there but that’s how it started. Yeah, I had heard that it was very effective for addiction. Specifically opiate addiction among others.
LL: Yeah, definitely, I met a couple of guys in Thailand who are running an ibogaine treatment center and these guys were like party animals and then they discovered ibogaine and basically both guys just totally cleaned up, got super healthy, they don’t even drink anymore, it was amazing. So when I heard their story, I found myself to be really intrigued and that’s why I’m really interested to have more stories about iboga and to hear about how to work with iboga especially around the treatment of really different addictions because there are some types of drugs out there where once you become addicted, it seems like it’s a life long struggle to stay on the wagon.
So Chor, I would love for you to share with us what your experience has been like as a heroin addict. Because it sounded like you were quote strict and militant and on the wagon, you had a relapse. If you can help us understand what it’s really like for people that are struggling with this disease and then also for you Elizabeth, to share with us, how it is to witness your loved one struggling with this? Because it doesn’t just affect the persons addicted, it affects their family and everyone around them.
So Chor, please share with us if you feel inclined.
CB: When it comes to damaging your heart, mind, body and soul with substances, it’s like pretty much the worst thing you can ever do to you. A brief history of myself is, I was an addict at a young age and was damaging myself at a young age and then from there, jails, institutions and death, all that stuff took place in my life and from there, it was like, I decided to take it upon myself, well through the help of a recovery system, to get clean.
I stayed clean for like 13 years and that’s like Elizabeth put it, being militant about it, yes, I was. I was very in love with my life at that point and then I built up my career, my art career and everything and it started taking me to certain places and certain levels of my life that just exposed me back to that, you could say, demon. Once I did that, over time it just gradually grew back into heroin.
From there, I knew I was going to lose everything and I couldn’t do that, especially my wife and mainly myself. I was going to lose myself and lose my career and lose everything. So like I said, I knew I wasn’t going to stay there. So I confessed everything to my wife and then iboga all of a sudden came into the picture and I heard about it two years prior to that and from a friend of mine, I didn’t really care for it at that point but it was — once I did the research and everything on it then there was a calling there.
There definitely was a calling there. But being an addict and dependent on a substance daily is a form of mental slavery, physical slavery, it’s not the truth, it’s not your truth and it’s definitely designed to kill you especially if you abuse it. You can put these certain, like heroin and cocaine, certain substances into a plant medicine category but if they’re used in a different context, what they have been manipulated to the point where you become dependent on them.
Like I said, I was doing it at a young age and then grew out of it, found it again because there was something in there that was letting me let it go. But once I found iboga it was like jeez, 24 hours transformation, one of the best things that ever happened in my life.
LL: I want to ask you for those of you in the audience who aren’t aware of what iboga is, what is iboga exactly? Is it a bark, is it a root? Is it a tree?
CB: Iboga is a plant medicine, it is a real plant medicine that comes from Gabon, Africa. It is a shavings of a root that take you to the spirit world, let’s just say that. I can go into the whole story behind it and how it was founded and everything when it comes to the Bwiti, wrapping it up in a nutshell, yes, it is a bark and that’s it. It will take you to places that you have never gone before.
EB: And it’s different from ibogaine is.
CB: Oh yeah, 110%
EB: It’s a pharmaceutical extract of the single operate that’s very effective, that detox. So that’s more often held in the medical model that you’ll find of treatments and sometimes I know, Dimitri, some people will use it with some guidance, a shamanic guidance and the iboga has a whole complex chemical profile with multiple accolades that are working in concert unless more often held in the shamanic traditions, primarily the Bwiti, and it originated from the pigmy people in Africa who shared it, they allowed it to go out.
So they’ve been using it for countless years since prehistory, we don’t really know exactly how long it’s been in use. Perhaps tens of thousands of years, we don’t know, for initiation and spiritual awakening and all different forms of healing. The shamans will use it to help them diagnose and to heal but also, every young person as they’re coming in to adulthood has an initiation ceremony. To circle back to your question Lorna, you were asking how it was for me and facing it from the other side and when I saw — Chor’s extremely passionate about his art. I have really never seen anybody work so hard.
I would see him work on paintings and murals for 12 or 14 hours straight without eating or drinking to the point where his hands are gnarled from this love of what he does. A genuine love for making art. But then I saw an overworking that was very dangerous with a lack of balance for nutrition and rest and spiritual practice and connection and then I saw that alcohol being reintroduced and as soon as alcohol came back in, I saw that he wasn’t drinking in a healthy way. It was really excessive and dangerous and I had to draw limits and he began to drink more heavily on work trips.
There was more and more travel, more and more work, more and more social gathering with the mingling and I saw this chasing of the ego, which can happen as people become really accomplished with what they do or some notoriety. That’s a lot for a human being to hold at times. So I saw it all spiral out, that was just my perception and I began to feel just more and more concern and yet love and guided every day to stay. Then we made it from there.
I really didn’t think I would ever be involved with a narcotics addict. I thought that, that would have me out in a second. In that moment when he confessed to me, I went into communion with spirit, I just prayed and the words were “pray, wait, and listen”, that came to me. So that’s what I did.
LL: When you start to do your research about iboga, where did you finally end up deciding to do it because isn’t it illegal in the United States?
EB: It is. It’s sadly, it is a schedule one substance which is supposedly no medical value and the highest criminal penalties. Even for Bwiti practitioners who — there are tradition has been using it forever, even for the ibogaine, it’s illegal for medical professionals who are proficient. It’s illegal for everyone, research is illegal here, which is unfortunate.
CB: It’s because it works, that’s why.
LL: It’s because it works so then the pharmaceutical companies would lose all of their revenue from the ineffective alternatives that they provide.
EB: People on methadone for 20 years or drug replacement therapy and it definitely is participatory, it’s not 100% sure thing but that’s what helps it to mature our consciousness is that it is participatory. It take’s preparation, participation and integration. There’s a whole bigger picture to working with that medicine. So it is illegal here and I looked, we looked at different ibogaine clinics and we also looked at some providers who were working with the shamanic model and the total [inaudible] plant medicine.
I read a lot of reviews, we looked at a lot of video testimonials and ultimately we were going on intuition. There’s a lot of different kind of people in the world who can have success with different kinds of providers and different containers of treatments. It’s so important to do a lot of research on the facts but then for us, to move in that intuition.
CB: Plus I’m pretty hardcore, so I needed something hard core to really get me back on track.
LL: What do you mean by hardcore? Like hardcore in a ceremonial standpoint? Like three days of iboga consumption or hardcore just because the medicine itself and how intense it is?
CB: I take it to the extreme. I take it to the extreme when I’m — everything. I needed something extreme to put me back in my place.
EB: Ultimately we chose to go with a shaman named Mugunda from…
CB: My brother.
EB: Yes, from Gabon, Africa and what we learned from him, a tenth generation shaman, he’s had multiple initiations since he was 12 years old and working with very old medicine and is grown in ceremony, that is processed in ceremony, that is sent in ceremony. He had then spent time in New York City and taught himself to work with addicts with a lot of experience. He was guided there by the medicine and I appreciated that he had a sense of American and western culture that we could communicate with him very fluidly. I mean that was a gift.
So the bigger picture and some of the video testimonials from people coming out of there touched my heart and resonated very deeply and one thing I talk about in the book is navigating when there are negative things said about a provider on the Internet, those aren’t always sure and not always relevant. So I had to navigate certain concerning things on the Internet about him and ultimately I think that happens to everyone at a certain point of shine in the world. If you’re doing what you need to do and getting a lot of attention and being very effective.
It’s not right for everybody so I prayed about all of it and the positive definitely overwhelmed those negative bits and I had to really question those, all sides of those things. That’s what led us to Mugunda and ultimately he was the one that could speak to him. I haven’t heard you really like listen to someone in a place of teaching like that ever since I’ve known you. Not to that degree. It was right, also then…
CB: It was like this, I had to get rerooted, I had to get rotated and my roots, my blood roots come from Africa. So listening to Mugunda was like listening to my dad and my grandfather and I even told Mugunda that because when we were doing a fire ceremonies and everything, I’m having the crazy déjà vu right now because it’s like, I’d heard all this before, I’d heard all this from my grandfather, from my dad, from my uncles and stuff and they were just basically tools to guide me through the spirit world, and in life.
EB: Those teachings really work with the medicine. They activate the medicine, they help people to navigate the medicine and I could see that as well, he had a profound sense of déjà vu of coming home that was unique for him and I also did the medicine because I learned it was very good for PTSD and that was something that I had been struggling with. I’ve been through other medicine experiences and still had this deeply rooted shield, like just so protective and it was painful to carry that caution all the time and that fear and so that’s what led me there.
So I had a different feeling. I definitely felt so grateful, so resonant, it’s a primary medicine that guides me now. So we approached it for different reasons and that’s honestly amazing. I felt his ancestors when we were there. I felt his ancestors like the stadium rooting for him on a spiritual levels of just like, “Welcome home.” So even though my…
CB: Yeah, that’s what it was. “Welcome back.”
EB: My roots are in Europe and a lot of Native American ceremony, I grew up with Native American ceremony and that set a foundation for me to be open to other forms of medicine and ceremony. So I definitely appreciated it. I loved that medicine, but it was awesome to watch this process and feeling his process and feeling his process with that.
LL: So I’d love to hear more about the ceremony itself. So the two of you went in together or were you doing the medicines separately in different rooms? Tell us everything about exactly how it went down?
EB: Oh, it’s both because, well we were next to each other for two ceremonies in an eight day retreat but Mugunda made this very clear and it was resonant for us that you have to go in for yourself.
CB: You have to go in for yourself.
EB: You are working on yourself in order to have healthy relationship, you work on yourself so I said, tonight, you’re divorced and tomorrow you can be together but tonight…
CB: That was more like towards our second ceremony but yeah, when our first ceremony, I didn’t know what to expect because I went in there scared as fuck, really. I was really scared and because I didn’t know what the hell was going to happen. I started seeing stuff online about pregnant people dying and stuff and just bad experiences. Not bad experience but…
LL: Literally or figuratively?
CB: Literally.
EB: There’s a lot of cases on the internet, not a lot. Some cases are on the internet that there are deaths. That was part of our research was learning. This is one of the most volatile and complex plant medicines that we know of that they’re letting out of the jungle at least.
CB: You got to take it serious.
EB: It’s very intense and intricate with the heart. So what we learned was that in those cases, especially if you look at the study done by Kenneth Alpert and his associates over two decades looking at all the deaths from iboga and ibogaine is that it was mixed with contraindicated drugs, it was held by inexperienced people. It was the wrong dose, it was contraindicated medical conditions, people not knowing what they were doing and being alone.
LL: By themselves, alone?
EB: Some were, all of them with massive doses or they were inexperienced providers or contra indicated medical condition or contraindicated drugs, they were mixing it with other things that have a reaction with iboga. So there were these different reasons and it’s still — the field is still on the frontier. My people are still learning a lot about it, I just went to the Global Ibogaine Therapy Conference this last year which was amazing, all kinds of doctors and scientists and Bwiti shamanic people there together sharing information because there’s still a lot to learn.
For example, the traditional shamanic community, especially from Africa might not be familiar with some of the medical conditions or pharmaceutical drugs that we’re dealing with in the west. So important to know those interactions and then the scientific community, the medical community has a lot to learn about the shamanic technologies from the people that have been honed for a thousand of years.
So there’s still some things to learn and sadly, what can happen sometimes is that a really great provider, this happened to a friend of ours in Canada where the medicine is unregulated. Someone came in and wasn’t honest about a medical condition that was really important and it sent him to a arrhythmia and to the emergency room because they weren’t forthright. Someone really wants to get treated and they’re not being honest.
So once in a while, this kinds of things will happen or someone who is struggling with addiction, sneaking in drugs and not giving the medicine a chance to work and it’s fatal to take opiates after a ceremonial dose of iboga is in your system. Sometimes these things can h appen even with really great protocol after the community is getting better and better all the time at developing safe protocol. Prohibition is a tremendous obstacle. Prohibition is stunting research, it’s stunting the flow of information and what we can learn. A little bit about the dangers, yeah.
LL: Yeah, a lot of it sounds kind of very similar to ayahuasca and so the iboga conference was produced by ICEERS, which is based here in Barcelona and they also do the ayahuasca conference so I’ll be going to the World Ayahuasca Conference in October and it does sound like too, you know, in a similar way, it is a mix of medical researchers and doctors and scientists and shamans because there’s so much information sharing that needs to be done.
Going back to that ceremony that you participated in, can you describe what that was like? Was that a traditional ceremony?
CB: Definitely, yeah. It most definitely was a traditional ceremony. Even though it took place in Costa Rica but we’ve been to an actual real ceremony, we went to Africa.
EB: This is six months after.
CB: Yeah, like eight months.
LL: You went to Gabon?
CB: Yeah, we went to Gabon.
EB: After his healing.
CB: Joined a tribe, yeah, we joined the Bwiti, she went through the right of passage, I went to the right of passage, we both went to through the initiation and we also got married out there in a real wedding. So getting deep down to the nitty gritty of the actual ceremony, you’re talking about like from seven at night till seven in the morning in Africa.
EB: Tell her what you call it.
LL: That’s longer than a peyote ceremony and those are long.
CB: It’s like a freight train on a roller coaster ride.
EB: On a rocket ship.
CB: On a rocket ship, yeah. That’s what it is. It’s like you’re moving with spirits and you’re dancing all night and you’re dressed up Bwiti style and it’s really, the whole temple turns into like a freaking rocket ship.
LL: So is there drumming for example? Is there singing?
CB: None stop music, singing all night.
LL: Is the tribe also eating iboga with you or are you only the ones eating iboga?
CB: Pretty much everybody gets the ceremonial dose but during initiation, when we go to initiation, that’s when they really, they pump you up. They pump you up full of medicine and then blast off.
LL: Does it make you vomit?
CB: You can.
EB: Yeah. Oh well the ceremony in Costa Rica was also a traditional ceremony but it was just Mugunda and one apprentice. It was very simple but they used the ceremonial elements, they’re working with the spirits, it starts with a ritual fire and oral transmission from this oral tradition and specific kinds of shamanic guidance and protection, spiritual protection. It was very simple but still traditional and then in Africa it was just opulent, it was very powerful…
CB: It was the real deal.
EB: …very collective. But yeah, it can definitely make you throw up. Even though he was at a detox, I threw up like six or seven times.
CB: You would have thought she was detoxing.
EB: Well I was though. What I was detoxing was my addiction to…
LL: You could detox for somebody else, you know? Easily.
EB: What I realized is how much our lives were connected on very subtle levels and I was addicted to negative thoughts and resentment and fears and on very deep habitual levels. Iboga made me more aware of my mind. More than any other medicine, I’m really grateful for all of my medicine experiences but iboga was such an initiation of really what’s happening on all the layers of the mind from conscious to unconscious and I realized every thought we have can produce biochemical poison or bio chemical medicine. Cortisol, adrenaline or it can produce oxytocin right?
It can really produce these different elixirs in the body and so I had a lot of those toxins stored up in me and they were all coming out. I realized a lot of my habitual thoughts were very powerful. Like Mugunda says, “Look at any skyscraper around you, they all started with a thought, that’s how thoughts can manifest in the world in a very concrete level.” I realized how my thoughts were affecting my relationship and my life and how many of my decisions were fear based despite my good intentions. So it really helped rewire in a positive way.
CB: It’s a good navigational tool, especially after you built in ceremony and after you do medicine it’s like, you learn how to show your mind and not let your mind control and navigate through the life easier. Yeah, when it comes to the ceremonies, yes, they deal with all the elements and the senses. You are definitely schooled in all those areas of importance because they are important, when really think about it and you really look at it. Versus the day to day metrics that we live in and how that manipulates us and controls us. When, like I said before, you have to get re-rooted, get rooted to really understand yourself, what’s going on within. Then you know how to focus on the outside and navigate and control your life more, better. Yeah.
It’s a beautiful medicine but you also have to participate and make it happen. You have to participate in your own recovery. I took recovery tools that I learned from being in 12 step programs and all that stuff in the past, the lessons that I learned from my grandfathers and fathers, then the lessons that I learned from Mugunda, I took all those tools and combined them in to one and when I went in to the spirit world to heal myself, I had to do a lot of cleaning up in there and when I did that, I noticed things getting lighter and lighter because it was just a darkness. I was consumed by darkness and once I started getting rid of the darkness.
I can give you an example. I became a super hero within myself called love man, had a cape and everything and I went in and I saw all this demonic, just craziness dark, darkness, the nothing and I grabbed a piece of it, it was like some negativity, it’s just like a little sign that said
“negativity” or “drugs” or “fear”. I was like, “What am I going to do with this?” Some trashcan popped up and I threw it in the trash can, I was like, “No, no, no, that’s not good enough.” Then some gas can and a lighter popped up and I poured gasoline on it, set it on fire and I was like, “Oh, no, no, no, that’s still not good enough.”
Then a grenade formed in my hand and threw it in there and it just blew up and I said, “Now there you go.” Then it just turned into some form of like mental video game and I’m just grabbing all this negativity and darkness. I’m grabbing, I’m doing some real cleaning. I’m shoving it in the trash can and just setting it on fire and then blowing it up. It was doing that the entire ceremony, entire night, again in my peripheral vision and I started noticing the darkness start turning in to the light red and getting like really lean and just transforming my life like no other. I’ve tried all the other plant medicines, nothing compares. I’m not saying that they don’t do what they’re supposed to do, because all plant medicines are in cahoots and they all work together.
EB: And they’re helpful at different times too.
CB: Yeah, for many different reasons but this plant medicine really brought me back, it actually either brought me back to the point where I left off at when before I started going back into lesson, as I call it and then some. It’s a plant medicine like we were just talking about. It does brain surgery and heart surgery at the same time, soul surgery. Actually no, your soul is infinite. It’s like, you actually connect with your soul and when you connect with your soul, you’re home and when you make amends with your soul, you are like, you’re gold.
So I had to do that, once I made amends with my soul, with myself, I was like, “Wow.” It was like finding my brother, like finding my inner brother and it just — and he forgave me but he said, “Don’t do it again or I’m going to fuck you up.”
LL: Wow. So I’m just going to highlight that what you just said for all of us here, “making amends with your soul” and when I hear that, it makes me realize too, that is, in the sense like the core of true healing because when we are fragmented for whatever reasons through whatever traumas that we’ve gone in life and we’re not in alignment with our soul and we’re maybe even just in an adversarial relationship with our soul then there’s so much pain and so much negativity can come in from that from emotional pain to psychological imbalances and addictions even. So making amends with your soul, I like that a lot.
CB: Not to cut you off, but when it comes to negativity and I developed a way that helps me navigate through negativity because negativity is not going anywhere. There’s a balance in life and you just need to know how to control that negativity. Just like how you control the positive things in your life, you can control the negative things in your life. So whenever I have a negative thought or something negative happens, I am like — I basically just say, “Next.” Keep it simple and it just goes away.
EB: Jedi training is every day.
CB: It’s Bwiti Jedi training. “Next. Next.” Even if I have to keep it on repeat, as long as it’s gone and it goes just like that. It’s that simple. We tend to overcomplicate things and we need to really understand that we can — it’s right in front of our face, it’s right there, we can do it. It’s, “Next.”
LL: All right, I just want to be mindful of time. Just a few more questions I want to ask you and one really do see one that I know that the audience of EntheoNation will absolutely love. What is the difference between ayahuasca ceremony and Iboga ceremony?
EB: I went through ayahuasca ceremony once or twice a year for the good part of the decade before coming to iboga and the ceremonies that I went to were with the Brazilian maestro and the person that — another person that he trained and empowered sometimes. It’s such a different spirit. Aya is so feminine and really helps clear a lot of blockages in my body and awaken Kundalini and feel a true primal healthy sense of my womanhood and femininity. So it was very healing.
The body and the iboga is for me, well they say it’s a dual gender spirit that it can be the father or the mother and they also call it the godfather medicine in that it’s the dreamer, the progenitor of all sacred medicines. A lot started with that plant and it’s more the ceremony itself feels more of a masculine spirit also in ways. So that’s what the difference is for me.
CB: I used to think she was crazy when she used to talk about Ayahuasca all the time. I was on my militant sobered life and I was like, “Nah. No, I’m not going to do that, never.” I was — I’m not about the psychedelic life even though I’ve experienced a lot of LSD and mushrooms and stuff my whole life. Not my whole life, but in my younger life. But when I first did ayahuasca with her, one time, it opened up a door for me to where I felt like it opened up a door for me to where I relapsed.
Because I felt like, “Oh,” — I guess it must have felt so good that I was just, “Oh, well, maybe I could get away with this,” and started partying a little bit more and I’m not placing blame on ayahuasca but I’m saying that’s what happened because it literally did after I did it.
EB: One thing that came up in conversation was that with my aya teacher and also with him was that maybe the aya was awakening something that would lead him to a deeper healing that he needed, a bigger picture.
CB: That’s what happened, the shawoman that brought us to the ayahuasca ceremony, she brought that to attention and what she said was, “These plants work in mysterious ways,” pretty much. It’s basically, like I said, earlier that they’re in cahoots because it’s like ayahuasca led me to iboga. You asked the difference. The difference between ayahuasca and iboga is 110% different. Like I said, I only tried ayahuasca one time and I think I’m good on that one but like, it didn’t bring me there as much as iboga did.
Because I’m a visual person, I’m an artist, I need to see this shit, I need to see. You know? I understand ayahuasca can be visual. It was visual in a different context, but iboga was real. It was so real that I was just like, “Is this really fucking happening? Is this really happening right now?” I couldn’t believe it.
EB: There was something very special and destined in iboga. For me, I feel a resonance and a connection to different plant medicines at different times, and especially since we can’t get iboga here, I’ll go sit in a Native American church with wachima and feel iboga through wachima. That’s how I work with it. There was something remarkable with their connection that was ancient. It was really amazing.
CB: It’s roots, it’s African roots. There’s no doubt about it, it’s in my blood, it’s in everybody’s blood. All these plant medicines are within everybody, they help create us. So we have a relationship with them that we need to acknowledge and this freaking pharmaceutical companies and these devils that just want to keep you blind. You can go ahead and stay blind but if you feel a calling to wanting to or needing to heal yourself, they’re put here for a reason. They’re put here to wake you up and take the red pill because you will wake up and understand, over stand yourself, like I said, 110%.
EB: One reason I wrote the book was that because I was telling people, “This medicine saved my husband’s life,” and 90% of people I talk to had never heard of it. They had no idea and it was very volatile, the friend he learned about it from it originally, I had a very, not a positive experience and he was approaching it, I feel like, without ceremony, without respect, without knowledge.
CB: He did that. That was the thing he did, the wrong thing he did.
EB: It wasn’t the ideal situation, the medicines will not be exploited. So we want to help educate people and help keep people safe and help support people in understanding the best way to approach this medicine. I just want to mention that the book is not just a chronicle of addiction and recovery. That’s a part of it.
CB: Yeah, Iboga is not — okay, yeah, it will help you with your addiction but it’s going to help you with everything that you’re addicted to, you know what I mean? Everything. It’s like, it’s going to heal more than just your addiction if you let it.
EB: It helped to heal our relationship. Our book is…
CB: Yeah, oh my gosh.
EB: …just to say, it’s a love story and that was one of the things that the medicine wanted to help heal for us was in the intimacy, sensuality, sexuality, sacred union and I noticed that most of the books out are written by western men in the world of psychedelic literature and this is definitely from the voice of the feminine, there was a lot of transmissions in my vision about the divine feminine and love. So that rich element is there and there’s also a communication between iboga experiences and the teachings we’ve had with yoga, meditation, tantra, there’s a rich cross pollination that’s happening there too.
CB: It’s not a magic bullet. It works if you work it and the things is it’s like, people have these expectations, we need to learn to let the expectations go because — and really, over stand that it’s deeper than your expectation and you need to really learn yourself in order to heal yourself. So like, she brought up a friend of mine, that’s how I found out about it before hand was that he ordered it online and…
EB: Don’t do that.
CB: Which is a no, no because you got to book the ceremonial context, the ceremonial container in order for this to really work and he did all that, he did that and just to get off heroine and it worked for him but it didn’t work for him because he didn’t have that container and the shamanic ways, and then it ended up kicking his ass in the long run because he thought he had a magic bullet that every time — that he can mess around or party a little bit and I got this magic bullet over here to straighten me right out. No, no, no. That’s a big no, no.
EB: He was trying to manipulate the medicine to impure ends.
CB: The medicine’s like, “Okay, I’m going to show you something, I’m going to teach you a little something my friend,” and it really did a number on him.
EB: But that said, it’s beautiful medicine in the right hands.
LL: So how complete was the healing from heroin addiction for you? Speaking of the magic bullet thing, is it something where you feel like you’ve gone through one ceremony and now you’re like done with heroine? Or is it going to take a couple or more ceremonies to really get it fully out of your system?
CB: 110%, within 24 hours, I was done because I also know that the clean time that I had before the 13 years also played a major role into it. Then I went back into lesson for five years abusing myself but once I got back on track, it was, like I said, it was like within 24 hours I was a brand new person and the addiction, everything was just, the cravings or whatever, it was gone. They were gone.
EB: What I saw Lorna, we walked in there with this toxic possessed goliath. His soul was so polluted, I could barely recognize him and his behavior, I could barely recognize him in his face and 24 hours after that first journey, it looked like he had 10 facials and just did a triathlon and his eyes were clear, he looked 10 years younger and I could see his spirit again. I do feel that the second journey — the first journey was the detox for both of us and the second journey was a crystalline clear transmission of the way, of the deeper teachings from the spirit world.
So when we were clean, we could enter that place but it was also very helpful to connect with our Bwiti community and to go to Africa six months later and to continue to work with the medicine very periodically to stay connected. So it’s a bigger picture of community. Community is so important to be able to talk to people about what we went through and integrate.
CB: One of the major factors and this is one of the Bwiti ways is that during that process and then also came to me intuitively too that I had to get honest with myself and real truthful, and tell the truth about everything in order for this medicine to work. Once I did that, flying colors. I was, like I said, 24 hours. But definitely, it brings up a good point, integration. When it comes to integration into the matrix, the world.
LL: Did you say the hatrix?
CB: The matrix
EB: The matrix.
LL: The matrix okay. That’s a good one too, the matrix and the hatrix, right?
EB: The rat race, the conditioning.
CB: The integration is definitely key and it’s definitely important because it’s like, you’re reborn again, you’re like a new baby.
EB: This is some of his integration here behind us. One of the three paintings he painted straight off the bat. The first one is on the book cover, I wrote the book, these are great forms of our integration. I know time is coming to a close.
CB: Yeah. Actually Aubrey Marcus, he just blessed himself with one of those paintings.
EB: Aubrey Marcus is the new owner of the Love Dance, which is on the cover of the book which is amazing because a little magical story there was that his podcast with Joe Rogan was for us, a pivotal factor in our journey to get to iboga and to trust that medicine and then he ended up — and a big portion of that went to support MAPS because we gave 30% of that to maps to support that research. So it’s a magical story with that part of his integration.
CB: Yeah. Their podcast really helped and another testimonial video by one of my Bwiti brothers, his name is Jeff. Jeff Cook who runs Iboga Wellness Center with his father Gary Cook and another Bwiti brothers, Steve Callahan.
EB: Roots healing.
CB: He is root healing and they run a good, nice little tight ship out in Costa Rica and his testimony was something that I related to because we were pretty much on the same…
EB: Five gram a day heroin addict at that point, five gram a day that he recovered with the medicine.
CB: Yeah, and he recovered with the medicine. That’s what really sold me. Then look at Mugunda’s video, testimonial videos or his videos about Iboga House when it was around, I can just sense that he was a real dude. He is a real dude. That had me going right there but as I was saying before, integration is key, meditation, yoga, some simple things in life, don’t’ make it too complicated, it’s not that hard.
LL: So on that note, I’m going to wrap up this interview, thank you so much for sharing your story, I feel the love from both of you and I think it’s really important for people to know that there are alternatives to the conventional ways of treating addiction and that something as powerful as this visionary plant medicine that has been used for thousands of years can heal heroin addiction in one ceremony, we need to know that. We need to know that that’s there. Thank you. How can people best stay in touch with you?
CB: You can find me on Instagram or other social networks @chorboogie, or you can just go to my website, that’s how you can find me, or Google. Google my name.
EB: yeah, likewise. I’m EBast or enectarbast. I’m Instagram. I have a Facebook page and my website is and there’s also a page dedicated iboga where I keep fresh, very vital information and resources and links to organizations like MAPS and ICEERS and GITA, they’re all there. If anyone’s curious, also there’s links to some providers that have trained through our shaman and really useful info.
LL: Will you share that link with us so we can include it in the show notes?
CB: Yeah. We’ll also be giving out, putting information on modern hieroglyphics, you can find that on Facebook, Instagram.
EB: Yeah, modern hieroglyphics magazine. One other thing you can find, heart medicine now on Amazon, on Barnes & Nobles and Book Depository which ships worldwide and there’s links to that on my site as well. It’s from an independent press so the reviews really help. Post about it on social media, it’s a great help to get this story off love and healing out there.
CB: That’s the truth.
LL: Thank you so much and you have a beautiful rest of your day.
CB: Thank you. Thank you too.
EB: Thank you Lorna.