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Canadian man kills Brit in psychedelic ceremony in Peru's Amazon

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  1. Phungushead
    A Canadian man killed a British man after the two took a hallucinogenic plant brew known as ayahuasca together at a spiritual retreat in the Peruvian Amazon, authorities said Thursday.

    Witnesses told police the Canadian man, 29-year-old Joshua Andrew Freeman Stevens, killed the British man, Unais Gomes, 26, in self-defence after Gomes attacked him with a knife during an ayahuasca ceremony near the jungle city of Iquitos Wednesday night, said Normando Marques, a police chief in the region.

    Ayahuasca is a combination of an Amazonian vine and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) - containing plants that give users psychedelic experiences when combined. It is not normally associated with violence.

    The Canadian citizen was in police custody Thursday, Marques said.

    Witnesses said Gomes tried to stab Stevens during a bad trip, according to a police source in Iquitos familiar with the case.

    The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Gomes apparently used a knife from the kitchen of the alternative health centre Phoenix Ayahuasca to attack Stevens. Stevens ended up killing Gomes with the same knife, stabbing him in the chest and stomach, he said.

    Phoenix Ayahuasca did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Its Facebook page describes it as a safe place to "experience plant medicines and explore the true nature of the self."

    Ayahuasca tourism in Peru has surged in recent years, with dozens of jungle retreats offering the traditional indigenous brew to visitors under the supervision of a guide or shaman.

    Many tourists seek the drug out because of its reputation as a way to help ease depression and other mental troubles. Amazonian tribes in Peru and Brazil use ayahuasca, or yage, as an important spiritual and medicinal tool.

    "It might be folkloric, spiritual or whatever else, but that doesn't mean it isn't a drug that dramatically alters your state of mind," said Marques.

    In 2012, an 18-year-old American man died during an ayahuasca retreat in the jungle and the shaman leading the ceremony buried his body in an attempt to cover up the death.


    18 December 2015

    Mitra Taj; Editing by Leslie Adler
    Reuters
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-peru-crime-drugs-idUKKBN0U101720151218

Comments

  1. hookedonhelping
    Lovely. My favorite tryptamine may now be associated with violence. This is a first, hopefully mainstream media doesn't go nuts with this in the wake of a Washington church offering the sacrament to its parishioners.

    This is truly an isolated incident. Because you are coherent on an ayahuasca experience, it is within the realm of possibilities that someone can lash out at another. If there wasn't a weapon handy, this may have never happened. If the shaman administering the DMT laden brew was paying closer attention to the people's experiences, he/she may have noticed that the assailant was experiencing a difficult trip.

    While many people feel traveling to the Amazon gives you the true ayahuasca experience, I have to admit I find that silly. Phamahusaca is just as good, if not better. You can control the dosage, the amount of MAOI you are introducing into your system as well as DMT. You can experience this amazing psychedelic in a familiar and comfortable setting. Nothing beats lying face down on your bed, eyes closed, while you feel like you are flying high above a landscape that I would never be able to clearly depict.

    But hey, if you want to go to the Amazon to experience this, beware. It blows my mind that people go there and pay a guide for this experience. Google DMT and begin your journey to DMT on your own. It's way more rewarding than paying your way to that divine moment of truth.
  2. Phungushead
    Cambridge University graduate killed in psychedelic ceremony in Peruvian Amazon

    [IMGL="white"]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47479&stc=1&d=1450582018[/IMGL] A Cambridge University graduate and high-flying London financer was killed at a spiritual retreat in the Peruvian Amazon by a friend, after taking hallucinogenic drugs together.

    Unais Gomes, 26 (Right, in photo), was allegedly attacked by 29-year-old Joshua Andrew Freeman Stevens after the pair took ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic plant brew, at a spiritual ceremony near the jungle city of Iquitos.

    A witness reportedly told police that Mr Stevens, who is Canadian, was acting in self-defence after Mr Gomes attacked him with a knife while high on the psychedelic drug on Wednesday night.

    Mr Gomes allegedly used a knife from the kitchen of the alternative health centre Phoenix Ayahuasca to attack Mr Stevens, who used the same knife to stab his friend in the chest and stomach.

    A Peruvian worker at the health retreat suffered cuts to his body as he tried in vain to separate the two friends.

    A neighbour of Mr Gomes told The Telegraph: “He was very spiritual, it was a very big part of his life and he was very dedicated to it. It really is very sad, he was such a kind person.”

    Mr Gomes used to host a meditation group at his flat in St John’s Wood, the neighbour said.

    On Friday friends paid tribute to Mr Gomes. Michael Stothard said: “This is terrible news. He was such a wonderful man and my first friend at Cambridge.”

    Muhammad Billal Malik‎ said: "I met Izzy when we joined the graduate programme together at Citi. He was one of the funniest and liveliest characters out of our graduate cohort. Very sad to have lost you."

    He graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a 2.1 in Economics, where he had was a member of the rowing team and the Cambridge Investment Club, according to his LinkedIn profile.

    He went on to work at Goldman Sachs and then joined Citigroup on the competitive graduate programme.

    He then worked at MVision, a private equity advisory firm based in Green Park and SAV Group, a property development company in Pall Mall.

    Companies House records show that he briefly held a directorship at UFuture, but stood down in May of this year when the company was dissolved.

    [IMGR="white"]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47482&stc=1&d=1450582097[/IMGR] Phoenix Ayahuasca Retreat Centre says on its website that it offers guests "a perfect blend of solitary jungle isolation with convenient access to a modern city".

    It boasts that it is a safe place to "experience plant medicines and explore the true nature of the self".

    Iquitos has long attracted visitors for its 17th Century architecture and position as a gateway to the Amazon.

    During the rubber boom of the early 1900s Iquitos was a magnet for Europeans looking to capitalise on the trade, building vast mansions and bringing in waves of immigrants. It also became an important hub for trade in timber and minerals trade.

    In recent years it has become a launch pad for tourists taking trips into the Amazon.

    Wilder Saldana from Iquitos police told The Telegraph that Mr Stevens, from Winnipeg, appeared in court on Thursday night, and was handed over from police to the public prosecutor, Sandra Paola Hittscher Angulo, from the sixth court of Maynas region.

    Wearing a bloodied khaki shirt, his long curly hair tousled, he looked dazed as he was handcuffed by Peruvian police.

    "We are aware of a Canadian citizen released from detention in Peru," said a spokesperson for the Canadian foreign ministry.

    "Canadian consular officials are in touch with local authorities and providing consular assistance."


    [IMGL="white"]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47481&stc=1&d=1450582018[/IMGL] What is Ayahuasca?

    Ayahuasca is a combination of an Amazonian vine and dimethyltryptamine, which contains plants that give users psychedelic experiences when combined.

    Many tourists seek the drug out because of its reputation as a way to help ease depression and other mental troubles.

    Ayahuasca tourism in Peru has surged in recent years, with dozens of jungle retreats offering the traditional indigenous brew to visitors under the supervision of a guide or shaman.

    Amazonian tribes in Peru and Brazil use ayahuasca, or yage, as an important spiritual and medicinal tool.

    As part of the BBC’s 2009 series Amazon, Bruce Parry visited the Achuar people, a remote tribe in Peru, and took the hallucinogen ayahuasca in a traditional ceremony with them.

    At the time, he said: “My ayahuasca experience last night was one of the more humbling nights of my life. There is no doubt that for many, taking ayahuasca is a religious experience.

    "Whatever your school of thought, it is certainly one of the most profound experiences imaginable.”

    He described the ayahuasca brew as “thick as molten glass” and “as acrid as battery acid”.

    In 2012, an 18-year-old American man died during an ayahuasca retreat in the jungle and the shaman leading the ceremony buried his body in an attempt to cover up the death.


    18 December 2015

    Camilla Turner and Harriet Alexander
    Telegraph
    Images: Enterprise News and Pictures, Alamy, Getty Images
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...chedelic-ceremony-in-the-Peruvian-Amazon.html
  3. Calliope
    Winnipegger freed after fatal stabbing of British man during Peru drug ceremony Canadian said to have acted in self-defence after being attacked by Briton at jungle retreat.

    Authorities say a Winnipeg man who allegedly killed his British friend in self-defence during an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru has been released from police custody.

    Joshua Andrew Freeman Stevens, 29, killed his friend Unais Gomes, 26, after Gomes reportedly attacked him with a knife during the ceremony, police told Reuters. Stevens was freed after investigators concluded he acted in self-defence.

    Amy Mills, a spokeswoman for the Canadian government responding to a request for information about the case, would only say that a Canadian has been released from detention in Peru.

    "Canadian consular officials are in touch with local authorities and providing consular assistance," she wrote, adding they are not releasing a name due to privacy concerns.

    Stevens 'filled with extreme sorrow'

    [IMGR="white"]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47486&stc=1&d=1450588172[/IMGR]Reached in Peru via social media, Stevens said he was OK.

    "I loved Unais. I'm quite sore ... and beat up bad ... filled with extreme sorrow. But I'm alive and thankful," he said.

    His fiancée, Sarah-Anne Allen, said Stevens is a kind and gentle person and the victim was his friend.

    "He really loved Unais. He has told me they became much like brothers," said Allen, who is in Winnipeg. "He never would have done anything that was not completely necessary."

    The attack happened during a ceremony near the jungle city of Iquitos on Wednesday night, Normando Marques, a police chief in the region, told Reuters news agency.

    Allen told CBC News that she has spoken with Stevens and he is now staying at a hotel in Iquitos paid for by Phoenix Ayahuasca, the retreat centre where Stevens planned to take a spiritual journey.

    "Authorities have his wallet and personal belongings. He is trying to have them mailed so that he can return home," said Allen.

    Stevens is always the first to offer help to anyone in need, she said.

    "I want what is best for Joshua and his family, also what is best for Gomes's family. No one would have wanted this," she said.
    
    What is ayahuasca?

    [IMGL="white"]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=47485&stc=1&d=1450588170[/IMGL]Ayahuasca is a concoction of plants traditionally used by around 70 indigenous groups in the upper Amazon, and the formula varies between locations. Banisteriopsis caapi, a vine, is always included as an ingredient, along with leaves from psychotria viridis (a bush from the same family as coffee). The plants are boiled together for several hours and then reduced.

    The plants give users psychedelic experiences when combined. Ayahuasca is not normally associated with violence.

    Winnipeg filmmaker Jim Sanders said he has used ayahuasca hundreds of times since first discovering it about 11 years ago while filming a documentary in Peru.

    The concoction is supposed to be used as a way of inducing spiritual experiences, Sanders said, adding he's never seen anyone turn violent when taking the substance while in the presence of a shaman.

    "You take it to kind of visit your past, present and future and find inner peace and centredness and calmness," he said.

    Sanders said he was shocked to hear about what happened between Stevens and Gomes. Sanders said he only takes the substance under the guidance of an experienced shaman.

    "I think what is dangerous is who is running it and how it's being administered," Sanders said. "Ayahuasca itself is not dangerous, but who is running it and the intentions behind them is very dangerous."

    Dec 18, 2015 8:03 AM

    Jillian Taylor
    CBC News
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manit...itish-man-during-peru-drug-ceremony-1.3371245
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