The Completely Other Side of AIDS: Ibogaine and the Cult of Bwiti

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Of all the
ironies associated with the international AIDS machine, none has
struck me more profoundly than the following:

It is widely
believed that "HIV/AIDS" originated in Africa, a belief
that found almost instant acceptance in the still essentially racist,
and ignorant of Africa West. The evidence that the African origin
of AIDS (as well as a sexually transmitted epidemic of immunodeficiency)
is stuff and nonsense is abundant, and easily available – through
the links on the AIDS
Wiki
homepage for example.

What is ironic
is that instead of being the source, Africa in reality holds the
potential for curing the underlying cause of non-iatrogenic AIDS
in the industrialized West. In the equatorial belt of West Africa
grows a shrub called in Latin Tabernanthe iboga, and from
which is extracted a possibly unique in its properties psychomimetic
indole alkaloid called ibogaine.
Among these properties is one of immense therapeutic promise for
societies plagued by illicit drug abuse.

In Gabon, the
bark of the root of this sacred plant has been used for centuries
as the sacrament of the major indigenous religion called "Bwiti"
because the state of u2018intoxicated concentration' it produces permits
the initiate to partake of an internal dialog (sometimes for 18
hours) in which his life is revealed much as though he were watching
a theatrical performance and could question the director of the
play as it unfolded. Ultimately the initiate encounters Bwiti itself
(the ancestor of all the ancestors) and in their conversation the
"god" reveals the meaning and purpose of his life.

When purified
ibogaine is ingested by heroin or cocaine addicts, the results are
that the addict awakens from his trance free of withdrawal symptoms
if a heroin abuser, and more importantly free of the need to consume
whatever addictive drug had been the preferred poison. Whether these,
by now, heavily documented results (see the ibogaine link above)
are due to changes in specific brain biochemistry related to the
action and metabolism of the drug, or whether they are the result
of some larger scale neurological deprogramming, or some mixture
is an area of active (although sadly under-funded) investigation
at the moment.

Predictably,
the NIH and the FDA have been extremely reluctant to pursue this
avenue of addiction intervention, preferring their own brands of
narcotics like methadone. Equally predictably, when an idea is that
good, private enterprise in one form or another will discover it,
as can anyone by typing "ibogaine treatments" in an internet
search engine.

You do not
have to agree with Peter Duesberg that "recreational and pharmaceutical
drug use" are the real causes of the immunodeficiency related
and unrelated diseases from which AIDS patients suffer to agree
that heroin and cocaine abuse are problems in the United States
and other western countries of a magnitude that makes HIV/AIDS pale
in comparison.

I
have the dream that one day Africa will be seen as the source of
the cure of America's worst "disease" rather than the
source of its cause.

May
12, 2006

Harvey
Bialy, Ph.D. [send him mail]
is resident scholar at the Institute of Biotechnology of the National
University of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico. He is the author of Oncogenes,
Aneuploidy and AIDS: A Scientific Life & Times of Peter H. Duesberg
.

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