This is a segment of episode #182 of Last Born In The Wilderness “Death Of A Healer: The Ayahuasca Industry & The Shadow Of Colonial Violence w/ Kevin Tucker.” Listen to the full episode: http://bit.ly/LBWtucker
Purchase a copy of ’The Cull of Personality’: http://bit.ly/CullOfPersonality
In this segment of my discussion with Kevin Tucker, author of ‘The Cull of Personality: Ayahuasca, Colonialism and the Death of a Healer,’ we dive into the reality of the ayahuasca eco-tourist industry, and place it within the centuries-long history of colonialism and resource extraction in the Amazon Region. ‘The Cull of Personality’ begins with the description of the murder of 81-year-old Indigenous rights activist and healer Olivia Arevalo, a member of the Shipibo-Conibo people in Peru, by Sebastian Woodroffe, a Canadian man seeking to extract the methods of the Shipibo-Conibo practice of administering the psychedelic brew ayahuasca for healing purposes. On April 19 of last year, Arevalo was killed in her home in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Records show Woodroffe purchased a gun from a local police officer, and was the individual that confronted Arevalo at her home, subsequently leading to her death. Several days after this occurred, Woodroffe was lynched by several members of the community, after his image was posted around the region by relatives of Arevalo. Woodroffe’s lynching was documented in a shaky cellphone video, which ultimately led to this story gaining international media coverage after it was share online.
These events, while often discussed and framed in isolation by the Western press, fits within a far larger and richer context — expressed vividly in ‘The Cull of Personality.’ The extractivist and appropriative nature of the ayahuasca industry that has emerged and grown over the past several decades is embedded within the centuries-long colonization and exploitation of the Amazon Forest and its Indigenous inhabitants. In whatever form it comes in, Indigenous societies have been deeply traumatized through hundreds of years of enslavement, mutilation, and torture. How does the commodification and appropriation of Indigenous healing practices by Westerners in the modern era fit into the long and bloody history of the conquest of the Incan Empire in the 16th century, the vulcanization of rubber in the 19th century, as well as the subsequent enslavement of the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon under a debt-peonage system in order to extract rubber for Western markets? We answer this question in this episode.
Kevin Tucker is a primal anarchist, writer, editor, independent researcher, publisher. Kevin is the author of numerous books, including ‘The Cull of Personality,’ ‘Gathered Remains,’ ‘For Wildness and Anarchy,’ and numerous upcoming projects. He the host of Primal Anarchy podcast, the co-founder of the Black and Green Network in 2000 and started Black and Green Press at that time. He is the founder and co-editor of Wild Resistance: A Journal of Primal Anarchy.