AJ2Ayahuasca (I-ya-wask-ah) psychedelic tours are a popular rage among worldly young people seeking enlightenment in the jungles of the Amazon rainforest. Why anyone would pay thousands of dollars to blow-up their mind by ingesting a brew containing the most potent hallucinogenic on the planet puzzles me.

AJ6This morning I was on Facebook and saw a feed from Michael Sanders, an author who was crowdfunding money to publish his book Ayahuasca – An Exectuive’s Enlightenment. I opened his link which opened me into a thriving world of scammers and con-artists who prey on the gullible that’ll risk their brain cells to find the next trendy mystic among the world of plastic shamans.

So what is ayahuasca? My friend Wikipedia says this.

Ayahuasca (usually pronounced /ˌaɪjəˈwæskə/ or /ˌaɪjəˈwaːskə/), also commonly called yagé (/jaːˈheɪ/), is a entheogenic brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine, often in combination with various other plants. It can be mixed with the leaves of Chacruna or Chacropanga, which are dimethyltryptamine (DMT) containing plant species. The brew was first described academically in the early 1950s by Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, who found it employed for divinatory and healing purposes by the native peoples of Amazonian Peru.

Hmmm… Dimethyltryptamine. DMT.

AJ8Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast. The last thing you remember, you were running for the door, trying to find the passage back to the place you were before.

Love to be there? Then DMT’s your ride. DMT is the most intense psychedelic toxin, as well as the most illegal substance, in the world. Paradoxically it’s the most rare drug to acquire and the most common to possess… because every time you go to sleep… a part of your brain produces this chemical and the product you endure is your dreams.

DMT is the drug which causes your pleasant dreams at night.

And your nightmares.

AJ5Ayahuasca amplifies the DMT response in your neurotransmitters a million fold and you can have this by paying any one of at least 94 service providers that I found on the internet site AyaAdvisor.com. It’s a TripAdvisor for people who really want to trip.

Leading the pack is an outfit called Pulse Tours. For $1995 they’ll pick you up at the airport in Iquitos, Peru, (you have to get there yourself) and host you for seven days & nights so you can fuck your mind on the Amazon Ayahuasa Adventure. Give ‘em $2995 and you can stay three weeks for a Total Human Transformation. But look what you get.

AJ1“Our 21 day program includes spiritual/energetic cleansing via our powerful and super concentrated jungle medicines and native Shamans; physical fitness/martial arts/yoga within our 88 sq. meter “Jungle Gym”, elite nutrition/super foods proprietary to the Amazon rainforest; topped off with our famous jungle adventures in the Amazon paradise where the Ayahuasca Adventure Center is located. Included are:

  • 12 Ayahuasca Ceremonies with authentic Shipibo Shamans
  • 3 Kambo (Frog Venom) ceremonies with a local Matses Shaman
  • 9 Floral baths
  • 20 nights/21 days accommodation at Ayahuasca Adventure Center in primary Amazon rainforest paradise
  • Pickup/drop off in Iquitos, Peru (International flights NOT included)
  • Daily jungle excursions with professional local jungle guides
  • Unlimited access to 88 sq. meter fitness facility including yoga mats, Onnit kettle bells, battle ropes, steel maces, Moving Zen suspension straps, punching bag, gloves, pads, jump ropes, spinning bike and free weights
  • Cell phone and wi-fi reception
  • 20 hammocks on site
  • 20 breakfasts, 20 lunches, 8 dinners, plus unlimited fruit, drinking water, and tea
  • Lifetime 20% discount on return visits to Ayahuasca Adventure Center and membership to exclusive Facebook group

There’s a caveat attached to the funding. Read carefully. 

AJ4“50% non-refundable deposit due upon booking. The rest of the balance is due in cash form upon arrival to Peru in bills of CRISP quality (unless mentioned otherwise). Your deposit is valid for a life time, should the need to cancel your retreat occur. Alternatively, you could transfer the deposit to someone else, at no additional cost.”

Sounds like a pretty intense and interesting deal for three grand. I’d look forward to the frog venom sessions. And the floral baths seem a nice touch, drinking water is considerate, and twenty nights in a hammock saves phosphates from washing the sheets. I did the math and see that I’d be getting 12 ayahuasca sessions over 20 days and 8 dinners which adds up to make sense. 

Yep, great service… for the service provider.

So the entrepreneur in me got thinking and I’d like to offer you a unique trip to an exotic location. 

AJ11For $995 I’ll pick you up at the Vancouver airport and deliver you for six nights and seven days to the Downtown Eastside where you can mingle with junkies and meth-freaks and hookers and hawkers in a feat of survival more violently thrilling than the Hunger Games. You’ll get to crank heroin and smoke crack-cocaine. Do mushrooms and MDMA. Weed? No big deal – everyone smokes weed in BC.

AJ9You’ll sleep in an alley and shit in the street and lay claim to a dumpster and panhandle and pimp. You can get beaten and burned. Rolled, robbed, and raped. And have a chance for some gunshots or being knifed while you sleep. You can pontiff with head cases and seek relief shelter. Or OD on horse tranquillizer and do NarCan and paddles. And experience Code-3 CPR, a white body-bag, or quietly shoplift your ride into the back of a VPD squad car and be booked into cells.

Blow your mind and your wallet on the the experience of a lifetime – an intoxicating trip into a concrete jungle with authentic shopping-cart shamans in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A most exotic trip, TripAdvisor says.

So send me your deposit. Now while it lasts.

And make sure you arrive with bills of CRISP quality (unless mentioned otherwise).


  1. Nick

    Thanks for sharing this. I had a psychotic breakdown, PTSD and paranoia after taking Ayahuasca/DMT.

    Please know the risks before taking it. It is like playing with a loaded gun. I know of several people who have died or gone insane after doing it (I know of people, sadly).

    See for more info: https://www.ayahuasca-risks.org

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks for sharing this, Nick. Occasionally, I get comments from people who are proponents of ayahuasca/DMT and ridicule me for my “ignorance about the great benefits this drug has on enlightenment”. I never publish comments like those.

  2. Honest John

    After retiring from decades as a clergyman, I was forced to realize that all my faith, dogma, doctrine and theological training were good… but not good enough. At age 60 I ventured into the Amazon after much due diligence researching Ayahuasca centers and “Shamans” with alleged credibility. Long story short, I visited many centers in Peru and Colombia, partaking in about 60 ceremonies. My conclusion (just my 2 cents; a subjective evaluation) is that Ayahuasca is good medicine and can be helpful for some on both physiological and psychological levels. It can also be useless (long-term) for the hordes looking for a “quick fix” or “experience” to remedy their problems and in many specific circumstances (documented) it is deadly. Research like a PHD candidate before entering into this realm. Like all religion, the Ayahuasca arena is full of bullshit and outright con-artists. (Pardon my language, but I call it as I see it for effect.) If one is paying more than $50 USD for a ceremony, the profit motive is in full effect. As a lifelong spiritual worker, I can attest that people like Shamans, Ministers, Priests, Rabbis, Gurus and all such ilk, can be helpful, but should not be trusted entirely. Bottom line; a valid spiritual experience is all about an individual connecting to God (the Universe, Life, Elohim, Spirit, etc.) and Ayahuasca can help re-set you or facilitate revelation. On the other hand, it’s simply good medicine (take God out of the picture if you wish) and enjoy the blessing of Nature and natural healing; a purely scientific case and effect. I discovered that I enjoy some of the music and find the various group dynamics interesting (often annoying too) but I don’t need a Shaman to, as they put it, to “hold my space”. I do that myself; thank you. FYI, in the Shaman’s Alley of Iquitos, you can buy a high quality bottle of Ayahuasca for around $20 and serve yourself several times if properly prepared and informed… or become another SCAM-ARTIST and open a new Ayahuasca Center LOL. My best experiences were going deep into the jungle and drinking with the Elders as a guest. Real Shamans don’t charge for their service… just like REAL Servants of God don’t charge for their service either. Good luck finding the real-deal; it’s there but VERY rare… anywhere. IMHO, Ayahuasca tourism is both a service and a travesty. As my personal hero once said, “Seek, and you will find…” I would urge avoidance of ANY foreign owned / controlled Ayahuasca Center even though I have experienced a couple of relatively good ones. The LOVE of money IS the root of all evil; it’s true I realize this will fall on deaf ears for those who want immediate gratification, someone else to do all the heavy lifting research-wise, a false sense of guaranteed “security” or a convenient spiritual pilgrimage. That’s okay. I did the same thing and it worked out. Some lessons in life must simply be learned the hard way. Blessings!

  3. Dan

    I do not seek “enlightment” I tried ayahuasca after searching a lot for alternative healing programs for lyme disease. Guess what? there are documented cases of people who had a recovery or full healing from using these plants. Also Johns Hopkins ,NYU and others are already doing trials on the healing (physical and psycological) properties of these plants. It does work. I admire the skepticism, but you have not seen the full story to the level where you can just blindly criticize all plants of the amazon and the people who use them.

    On the other hand , YES there are scamers yes there are pseudo guru cult leaders using these plants. The aboriginals have used these for hundreds of years or more healing. Now some gringo-locos appear and charge thousands of dollars. This is a clear example of how a abusive system is messing up healing cultural traditions and ruining the reputation of medicine plants.

    Yes there are young confused or immature people who venture to have “a trip” or a “quick enlightment” experience. But not all, people like me took these plants after careful research of the place ,the people, the plants, and guess what? I did not became addicted, I healed after western medicine failed me and I came out really peaceful and happy after the experience (which at the start was not nice but it ended good)

    Please research the academic literature on these plants. Very different from crack, cocaine, etc.

  4. noodlebowl

    Dear Gary and friends:

    Gary forgot to mention other initiatory experiences to be had alongside the shopping cart shamans in the concrete jungle:

    * Pissing down your leg/waking up in your piss.

    * Passing out in the bathroom of the Main Library or a fast food joint after shooting up and the manager is standing over you as you wake up, and you gotta come up with a fast alibi, like “It’s Okaaay, I’m a diabetic.” (A former junkie pal told me he did this.)

    * Massive constipation if you’re an opiate drug user.

    * Being attacked by someone who is coming down from drugs and is sure *you* have what he/she

    * Being set on fire or your tent set on fire by sickos.

    * Receiving various gifts that keep owwwwnnn giving:

    Lice (body lice and crabs — crabs can jump, btw. One doesnt have to ball to get them.)

    Abcesses and cellulitis and infections of the heart valves from injecting dirty drugs. Some needle users end up with amputated limbs. You may meet some of them, The ones without hands need a buddy to shoot them up. If all their veins are used up, they get geezed in the jugular. Try it, kids.

    TB (Super drug resistant TB is becoming a major player. Get that and if you are infectious
    you are involuntarily detained until your treatment makes you non communicable.)

    Alphabet hepatitis – Hep A, Hep B and Hep C. Immunizations are availble for the first two, but not for Hep C; for Hep C, cost of the cure runs about $80,000 unless you have insurance or other forms of financial assistance.

    Months later, you find out you infected your spouse and your unborn child.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Thanks for this very realistic look at the uuuuugly side of drug use, Noodles. You nailed it and it should be read by anyone who thinks in the slightest that hard-core drug use is to be condoned. And to think that VANDU exists (Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users)like some kind of honorable, respectable trade union. Check out their Facebook page folks : https://www.facebook.com/Vancouver-Area-Network-of-Drug-Users-186273414998/

      Oh, yeah – and besides the internal health devastation to the end-user, it’s not good for the pusher. This morning, Surrey alone (Vancouver suburb) racked-up it’s 30th drug-related shooting since January 1st, 2016. That’s lemme see… 10 a month.

      1. noodlebowl


        Dear Gary and all:

        I live in San Francisco. I worked for two years as a week end supervisor at a homeless shelter, and later did a two year stint as a volunteer street outreach worker on something called the Homeless Death Prevention Project. And I live in a neighborhood that is a destination for young persons who romanticize drug use. The air is thick with both tobacco and cannabis smoke, plus heavy motor traffic.

        That is yet another affliction if one lives on the streets: lung infections that turn chronic. After awhile, people forget what it is like to feel healthy.

        It should be kept in mind that very many people using drugs and alcohol to excess are
        self medicating underlying conditions. I have been honored to be given permission to attend
        open AA meetings. What is staggering is the number of people in recovery who can tell you that
        they suffered from diagnosed conditions such as depression, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia. With a combination of recovery and astute medical-psychiatric care, many have
        described what it is like to be restored to genuine freedom – freedom to give service, to be friends, to become capable of being a worker among workers.

        One tragic feature of California law is that it is nearly impossible to compel an unwilling person to get medical psychiatric treatment against his or her will.

        It is a sad thing. If an abusive spouse forbade a person to live at home, legal remedies would be readily available.

        If a person has voices inside his head claiming that his home is infested by devils, and that person remains out of doors, nothing can be done to compel treatment until the person is
        in such a state that dignity is lost and health is endangered.

        Back when I worked at a homeless shelter in a dangerous neighborhood, we did have a
        guest — a lady who had a home and family. She was convinced that evil entities were in the house, so she felt safer in our dangerous neighborhood and in our shelter!

        (Slow shake of head)

  5. Steven Hunt

    I look for visceral and authentic experiences, and I would like to apply for your BC inner-city tour.

    The crack and heroin are included in the $995.00 price? –because I would opt to be left to my own devices to obtaine these drugs.

    There is no problem for me to sleep on the streets, as I will bring my own hobo-bedding.

    It is amazing and brave for you to offer this authentic experience to people like me and you spouse. We are so tired of the fake mediated tours, like the Ayauasca retreats you expose in this post.

    Please forward a mailing address. I can advance you the full amount for me and my spouse in advance.

    Thanks, Peace.

  6. Marina

    Look what the google brings up.. Interesting, thank you for the provocative thoughts.
    Your choice of song for DMT description implies injecting drugs? I apologise, I am not very familiar with the context…

  7. Heather Burnside

    I love your ironic sense of humour Garry. Unfortunately, the sad fact is that some people spend a fortune (begged, stolen or borrowed) to live the very lifestyle that you describe. It makes no sense, does it?

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Heather! Glad you appreciate my sometimes twisted look on life 🙂 In my pushing sixty years on this planet I never cease to be fascinated with how stupid some people can be – especially some people with money. But they make great material for blog posts!

  8. Sue Coletta

    I laughed so hard I cried. You are too funny! But your trip makes as much sense as theirs. Why not, go for it. I bet you get a few candidates. As long as you get your CRISP bills up front there’s no down side.

    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Good point, Valerie. Wi-fi is included in the jungle package. In the Downtown Eastside experience you have to mug some tourist who wanders off track, steal their smart phone, and burn their arm with a lit cigarette to give up their wi-fi password.


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