The documentary, "I'm Dangerous With Love", directed by Michel Negroponte, brings viewers face to face with real stories of drug addiction, withdrawal and recovery, following closely the underground practice of administering Iboga, a psychedelic plant medicine commonly used in Bwiti ceremonies. Iboga has been covertly used to treat addiction in the U.S. since the 1960's. However, due to its psychedelic properties, this Bwiti sacrament is presently a Schedule 1 listed substance in the United States. Through the lens of this film, follow Bwiti N'ganga (Shaman) Dimitri Mugianis as he travels underground through the U.S. offering Iboga as a treatment to compassionately disrupt and break heroin addiction.
A quick search of the term "Iboga" will bring up many references online, most of which are related to the treatment of addictions to substances including heroin, cocaine, alcohol and tobacco. Iboga is also referenced as being effective treatment for depression and anxiety. Iboga should not be taken lightly or recreationally, but should be approached with respect and awareness that it is a powerful medicine. Often credited with reducing the pain and harmful affects of withdrawal, there are very few reports of fatalities related to Iboga. These are often associated with pre-existing heart or vascular conditions. Combining other drugs or substances with Iboga can also have a very detrimental and sometimes deadly effect.
The Bwiti of Gabon have been known to use Iboga in mild doses as a stimulant, taken to enhance energy and reduce cravings. Led by a Bwiti N'ganga (or Shaman), Iboga is also taken in larger doses ceremonially as a sacrament in Bwiti ritual. The initiatory rites centered around the Iboga sacrament are offered and available to adults at any stage in life. Iboga is also traditionally used in Gabon during Rites of Passage, being safely taken in ceremony by young men & women (ages 10-12) who are entering adulthood.
Iboga, or Ibogaine, extracted from the root of the Tebernanthe Iboga plant, induces a visionary state where users commonly experience meeting with ancestors and are shown scenes from their life as if in a dream, or on a movie screen. While in this visionary state, individuals are shown mistakes they have made in life and given perspective on what other choices they might have made to prevent or reduce suffering in their life and the lives of those around them. The experience is commonly described as difficult and trying – worthwhile and healing – but not necessarily pleasant. It is in this life review that many find the root cause(s) of their addiction, depression or anxiety. Discovering the source of their wounds, often also the root cause of addiction and depression, they can begin to truly heal and discover or re-orient to their life's path and purpose.
From Dimitri, "Bwiti practice is knowledge of the pharmacology and healing aspects of the forest, acknowledgement and veneration of the ancestors, and healing through dance & music."
The practice of Bwiti is not presently recognized as a religion in the United States and the administration or consumption of Iboga, root medicine and Bwiti sacrament, is illegal. In early 2011 during a Bwiti ceremony in Seattle, Dimitri and two others were detained at gun point by the DEA for practicing Bwiti. The Harm Reduction Coalition has started the Bwiti Now! fund to support the recognition of Bwiti in the U.S. as a religion and legalize Iboga as a sacred plant medicine and sacrament of the Bwiti practice. Get involved and take immediate actionby contacting the Harm Reduction Coalition, a 501(c)3 non-profit, and making a tax-deductible donation in support of the Bwiti Now! fund.
Donate online at HarmReduction.org be sure to designate your gift for a specific purpose by using designation code "Bwiti Now!"
Checks are also gratefully accepted & should be made out to HRC with Bwiti Now! in the memo line and sent to:
Harm Reduction Coalition
c/o Erica Poellot (Bwiti Now!)
22 West 27th Street, Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10001 USA
(212) 213-6376 x18
**Join Evolver Salt Lake on Oct 24th, 7pm for a ~Special Screening~ of Michel Negroponte's film "I'm Dangerous WITH Love" at Brewvies Cinema Pub (ages 21+ w/ID). Directly following the screening, stay seated for a LIVE Q&A with Dimitri Mugianis, Bwiti N'ganga (Shaman) & Healer and Michel Negroponte, Director (live via Skype). Admission is $10 / Proceeds will be donated to the Harm Reduction Coalition in support of the BWITI NOW! fund. Please arrive early and carpool when possible.