A Long Overdue Look at The Ayahuasca Industry

I’ve had many feelings about ayahuasca over the years; curiosity, indifference, repulsion. In reading The Cull of Personality, I realized that my perception of ayahuasca was all wrong: my feelings about the plant and the psychoactive spiritual communities and industries that surround it don’t matter. I shouldn’t be thinking about how I feel about it, I should be thinking about how the people of the place where it originates feel about it. It’s too easy, sitting in a place of relative “comfort” as a white American male, to forget that colonization is an ongoing process, a living history in which we are all active agents. In The Cull of Personality, Kevin Tucker brilliantly illustrates the consequences of such blindness exemplified in the recent rise of ayahuasca tourism in South America. This book takes the reader on an historical journey through Peru, bending time and space, showing the threads that overlap the past with the present. It sits as a reminder of how civilization is just one devastating blow after the next to indigenous people everywhere, and always comes under the guise of salvation from the colonizer. In the past it was saving souls by missionaries, in the present it’s white people wanting their own souls saved-and perhaps conscience-through the use of traditional plant medicines. This book is a must read for anyone who has ever mentioned an interest or partaken in the consumption of ayahuasca. Get your copy today.