Originally from France from a multicultural family background, Yann Guignon has spent over 10 years practicing and studying the traditions of the Gabonese Forest people. Initially working with Aristide Nguema of E-BOGA in France before iboga was scheduled there in 2007, he was initiated in Gabon in 2006 by Atome Ribenga and has trained to be a ‘Kambo’ (Temple Guardian) with him, ‘Tatayo’ (Hugues Obiag Poitevin of the NGO E-bando) and other initiatory masters from different branches of the tradition collectively known as Bwiti.
He has intensively researched iboga and worked alongside Professor Jean Noel Gassita, the worldwide doyen of iboga research. A pharmacist, he was Gabonese President Bongo’s advisor and opened the door to Howard Lotsof who was credited with discovering the anti-addictive properties of the extracted alkaloid of iboga, ibogaine. As wild resources of iboga became increasingly under pressure due to global demand, Yann and Professor Gassita hosted a meeting with the Gabonese authorities through the First Lady of the Gabonese Republic, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba’s Foundation, to find out the current situation with regards to iboga in Gabon. For six months in 2011 he brought together the views of representatives from all the branches of the Bwiti tradition, data collected from 7 years of his own research and 60 years of work by Professor Gassita. He submitted a 50 page report to President Ali Bongo Ondimba in 2012 announcing that iboga could disappear from the public domain by 2018 if something was not urgently done to protect this precious resource.
As a direct result of this report, iboga was integrated into the Nagoya Protocol (ratified by Gabon in 2012) which provided a major international legal instrument for the protection of this tree and the traditional knowledge surrounding it. The Gabonese Minister of Culture recognized Yann Guignon as a benefactor of Gabon’s Cultural Heritage and gave him the mandate to represent Gabon at the 4th international conference on iboga(ine), organized by the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance in Durban (South Africa) in September 2014.
Yann spent a total of 9 years living in Gabon where he made and participated in several Gabonese television programs (including La tradition Bwitiste and l’iboga au Gabon in French or Ca c’explique that has English subtitles) which started a public debate on westerner’s enthusiasm for iboga and the perspective carried by French institutions in this regard. While in Gabon, alongside working as an intercultural consultant through his consultancy Traits d’Union, Yann also led a number of community development projects, such as helping the NGO Ebando to restructure its work around integrating young, disadvantaged Gabonese through the manufacture of traditional jewelry, and working in collaboration with the Gabonese National Park Agency to track iboga smugglers, who are closely connected to the trafficking of ivory.
Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of Breaking Open the Head (2002), 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (2006), and Notes from the Edge Times (2010). His new book, How Soon Is Now, came out in Februrary, 2017. Featuring a preface from Sting and an introduction from Russell Brand, How Soon Is Now? looks at the ecological crisis as a rite of passage or initiation for humanity and proposes a “blueprint for the future” – how we must redesign our technical and social systems to avert the worst consequences of ecological collapse.
He was executive director of the think tank, Center for Planetary Culture, which produced the Regenerative Society Wiki. His essays and articles have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, ArtForum, The New York Times Book Review, The Village Voice and many other publications. He has written columns for Conscious Living and Dazed & Confused.
David Graham Scott is a documentary maker from the Highlands of Scotland. His highly authored films are unique visions of the world he inhabits and the offbeat characters he encounters.David has worked on hard-hitting projects including WireBurners, Detox or Die and Iboga Nights. His films have aired across the BBC at both local (BBC Scotland) and national (network) level and won numerous awards (Best UK film at Open City Docs Fest 2014; BAFTA nomination 2002; Palme Dewar winner 2009).
Boaz Wachtel was an ibogaine treatment provider from 1989 to 2009 in the Netherlands, Panama and Israel. He has authored numerous articles (both in the popular press and scientific journals), including the co-author of the first ibogaine treatment manual (with Howard Lotsof). Wachtel was the founder of the Green Leaf Party in Israel. He was a nominated member of the Israeli parliaments drug committee examining the legal status of cannabis. He is also the founder and executive Chairman of CrescoPharma, an Australian publicly traded CBD-based nutraceutical company.
Dr. Ehud (“Udi”) Bastiaans is the grandson of Prof. Jan Bastiaans who was the first medical doctor that treated opioid addicts with the help of Ibogaine. Prof. Jan Bastiaans was a pioneer in psychedelic therapy who treated Nazi victims for their PTSD caused by their experiences in concentration camps with the help of LSD and MDMA – the method that became known as the “Bastiaans-Method”.
Udi witnessed the first treatment of Prof. Bastiaans and a team consisting of Howard Lotsof consisting of Howard, his wife Norma, Bob Sisko and Boaz Wachtel. He was deeply impressed by the outcomes and became interested in doing Ibogaine himself. Even though not beeing addicted, he was initiated by Howard out of curiosity in 1993. He assisted his grandather in all his ibogaine treatments. Just before his grandfather passed away, Udi promised him to continue his legacy. He treated people with ibogaine alongside his regular job until he went underground in 2007. Udi will share some anecdotes of the pioneer days of Ibogaine research.
Danesh Oleshko, is master of international laws and graduate student of counseling psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). In 2012 he co-founded Living Clean Ibogaine; the residential therapeutic aftercare program, that specializes in post-detox rehabilitation.
Emphasizing the role of multidisciplinary therapeutic team, family-systemic and integral approach to recovery, the therapeutic model of LCI also incorporates ceremonial and therapeutic use of Yage (Ayahusaca) in collaboration with doctors of traditional medicine from Putumayo region of Colombia.
Danesh believes it is important to address addiction as complex biopsychosocial issue that calls for comprehensive therapeutic support and social re-integration as essential to any Ibogaine-assisted addiction treatment. This approach focuses on client’s needs, which inform therapeutic goals and necessary phases of recovery: from detox and inpatient care to family participation and long-term outpatient support.
His presentation will address the following topics:
What are the central themes, i.e. integral principles of the post-Ibogaine aftercare? What pitfalls to avoid in post-Ibogaine recovery and how is it different from conventional addiction rehabilitation?
How can the framework of therapeutic aftercare reflect contemporary conceptualization of addiction as attachment disorders and coping with the effects of trauma? What makes family therapy indispensable aspect of recovery? When and if to introduce Ayahuasca ceremony and how it improves the treatment outcomes?
Finally, Danesh’s intention is to suggest the parameters for collaboration between the clinics and aftercare programs.
Jamie McAlpin holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in 2000. Her specialties include Coronary Care Unit, Cardiovascular Intensive Care, Cardiothoracic/Open Heart Intensive Care, Code Blue Team, Interventional Cardiology Lab (adult/pediatric), and Electrophysiology Lab (adult/pediatric). In 2014, she began working with Iboga and researching safety and best practices. She also began volunteering with the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA) to co-author the Clinical Guidelines for Ibogaine-Assisted Detoxification, which led her to deepen her research into the medical considerations and risks related to Iboga/Ibogaine. In 2015 she completed training to become an American Heart Association BLS and ACLS certified instructor and continued working with GITA to develop the first ACLS for Ibogaine, and Heartsaver CPR & AED training courses offered at the 2016 Global Ibogaine Conference in Tepoztlan, Mexico. She also presented on the Ibogaine Therapy Ethics & Safety panel discussion at the conference. Jamie is co-founder of IbogaSafe, an organization dedicated to on-site training and education to reduce harm and increase safety in ibogaine treatment.
Jamie is focused on harm reduction regarding Ibogaine treatments. She has observed and heard of practices and beliefs about Ibogaine safety that can be damaging, and sometimes life threatening to an Ibogaine patient. She has assembled a short list of common myths to research and debunk using a medical literature review of 34 case studies: Is Ibogaine a safe treatment option for all dependencies? After the psychotropic effects wear off, is one safe from adverse events? What are the risks associated with low doses and microdosing? What are the safety issues surrounding the purchase of Ibogaine online and self-administration? These are some of the topics that need to be openly addressed in regards to Ibogaine safety. She believes that most adverse events and fatalities due to Ibogaine ingestion can be prevented with proper provider training, careful patient screening/preparation, and emergency protocols.
Thomas Kingsley Brown has been researching ibogaine treatment for substance dependence since 2009, when he began conducting interviews with patients at a treatment center in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico and collected data for the purpose of studying quality of life for those patients. In 2010 he began working with MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) on a Mexico-based observational study of the long-term outcomes for people receiving ibogaine-assisted treatment for opioid dependence. That study is complete, and the first research article on the study has been published (American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2017). In 2013, he published a review article on ibogaine treatment in Current Drug Abuse Reviews. Thomas is on staff at the University of California, San Diego as the Coordinator of the McNair Scholars Program, which prepares first-generation, low-income undergraduate students and those from under-represented ethnic groups for doctoral programs in all fields of study. His own academic training is in chemistry (B.S., University of Pittsburgh and M.S., California Institute of Technology), neuroscience, and anthropology (M.A. and PhD, UC San Diego).
His presentation will summarize the results of a recently published study of ibogaine-assisted treatment for opioid dependence, based at two treatment centers in Mexico, and will introduce two prospective research studies. The results of the already completed long-term study provide clear evidence that ibogaine is effective as an aid in both detoxification and in long-term reductions in opioid use. In the days following treatment, ibogaine produced significant reductions in withdrawal symptoms for the study population. Over the long term, treatment resulted in significant reductions in drug use severity and improvements in legal status and family and social status, as measured by the Addiction Severity Index. Some results not included in the recent publication will also be discussed, including data from the Beck Depression Inventory and the States of Consciousness Questionnaire (SoCQ) as well as personal subjective reports of ibogaine experiences. These SoCQ data and subjective reports suggest that ibogaine may confer psychotherapeutic effects that contribute to its efficacy in treating addiction, and that the visions reported experientially may have an impact on treatment outcomes and on psychiatric health and well-being. Also discussed in the presentation will be two prospective research projects, including an update on “The Ibogaine Medical Subculture” (Alper, Lotsof, and Kaplan 2008), an ethnographic overview of ibogaine treatment around the world, and a clinical study of ibogaine treatment for people who inject drugs (PWID’s) in Tijuana, Mexico.