lives in Somerset West, close to Cape Town in South Africa. Born in 1945. Widowed in 2005. Now her home is open to people on a spiritual path of some kind who need a place to stay short- or long-term. The 56 years of her working life, before her work with mushroom retreats began, included many years in the position of Life Line director – a counselling service free to the public, where she managed the service and trained counsellors. She also worked for some years in the corporate world in strategic planning management, and for nine years, together with her husband, operated a small publishing company from her home. Now over 70 years of age, she is well-known in her country as an astrologer, which has been the main focus of her work for more than twenty years. She has a Bachelors degree majoring in psychology and sociology.
Monica Cromhout will talk to us from South Africa in a live video stream.
For the past seven years she has been the overall caretaker of almost weekly Soma psilocybin retreats at her home, where groups of up to 25 people meet to work together with mushrooms for purposes of enlightenment and expanding consciousness. Over the years, more than 1,000 people have attended the retreats.
In December 2014, in the early hours of the morning, she was arrested while taking care of one of these groups. At the local magistrate’s court she was released on bail, and since then has continued with the retreats without being arrested again. In 2016, in the Cape Town High Court, the charges of dealing in an illegal substance were temporarily lifted, allowing her to take the matter of the illegal status of psilocybin mushrooms to the highest court in South Africa. Her contention is that this law is out of harmony with the South African Constitution which claims to offer to its people a higher level of freedom than other parts of the world. Seven senior governmental ministers have been summoned to the Supreme Court, and the case will take place in early 2017. She is supported by a strong and committed legal team, and other experts.
At present, in preparation for her court case, she is involved in researching the long-term results in the lives of those who have attended the psilocybin retreats, assisted by a professional sociologist.
Es ist etwas lang bei 0:28 die Frage nach Monikas Inhaftierung