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Organization Aims To Protect The Integrity Of Plant Medicines Worldwide

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There’s an international organization called ICEERS (The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service) that is dedicated to challenges that come with the globalization of ayahuasca and other plant plant medicines.

  • Reflect On:

    Are plant medicines overused today? Are they being abused? Are they being used in the correct way as they were intended to be used?

Before you begin...

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By now, many people have heard of the psychoactive brew ayahuasca. Native to the deep jungles of the Amazon, ayahuasca has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples of South America. Within the last several decades, however, the use of ayahuasca has extended to westernized cultures and has initiated profound healing for many, sparking recoveries from various mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and addiction. Practices with this ‘plant teacher’ have been life-changing for millions, undoubtedly saving many lives.

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That being said, “Psychedelics were used back in a time when the level of consciousness of the planet was not as high, which helped give insight to shamans so they could share it with their communities. It was meant for use in extreme cases where heavy trauma or addictions existed and people could not use other ways to work through their emotional challenges. Here in present time, we use them in a western fashion as THE GO TO for moving through all of our challenges. I’m here to remind you that you have so much power and ability as a being that in most cases, you don’t need any of these things to evolve. I’m not suggesting don’t do it, I’m simply saying truly ask your heart what you want, and don’t get caught up in the grand allure and peer pressure.” – Joe Martino (source)

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Not everyone who is interested in working with this brew and learning from traditional knowledge holders are able to travel to the Amazon. Because of this, indigenous and non-indigenous practitioners with the best intentions have been bringing this medicine to western cultures in an effort to assist those who could benefit from taking it.

Ayahuasca and some other traditionally used psychoactive plants (such as San Pedro and Iboga) fall into a legal grey area in many countries. According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), no plants or concoctions made from plants naturally containing alkaloids controlled under the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (e.g. mescaline or dimethyltryptamine (DMT)) are under international control. However, the INCB also states that governments at the national level can regulate these plants and preparations as they so choose.

The result is that there is a lot of legal uncertainty around ayahuasca, and most countries do not have specific laws regulating it. Some countries have some level of religious or cultural protection for practices with these plants such as Peru, Brazil, the US and Canada. However, the largely uncertain legal status of ayahuasca and other plants has led to prosecution of people working with them in dozens of countries.

Thankfully, there’s a dedicated international organization called ICEERS (The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service) that is dedicated to resolving these challenges that come with the globalization of ayahuasca and other plant practices, advocating for safe and responsible use, self-regulatory processes, and the respect of indigenous and cultural practices.

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According to Benjamin De Loenen, ICEERS founder and executive director, “These plants have been held sacred by indigenous communities for decades and even millennia, and along with their globalization has come a clash with the drug control system. A system that only came into being only during the last century. The lens through which this system looks at these practices is highly reductionistic – literally extracting DMT out of complex cultural systems – and often does not understand the important role they have played historically and can play currently in the benefit of communities.”

Many of the people who facilitate experiences with plant teachers are taking a huge risk and they can fall victim to drug control that is not based in evidence and human rights. In some cases, law officials have raided, arrested, and charged people who are doing this work and risking their livelihoods to assist those who are suffering or those who have a religious practice involving plant medicines.

Meet the Ayahuasca Defense Fund (ADF)

The ADF is an ICEERS program that works directly with those who are facing prosecution worldwide to assure the best legal strategy and defense for their case. The program advocates for sensible and tolerant legislation and public policy and educates and protects the global community by providing reliable information and resources.

ADF coordinator and attorney Natalia Rebollo stresses the importance of communities staying informed about their local legal realities and to be aware of trends, changes in legislation and outcome of cases.

“ICEERS has been in service of the global plant medicine community for a decade. We elevated our legal support in 2016 in response to the community’s express desire for more support. In this role I have seen firsthand the harsh reality of legal prosecution of people who have dedicated their lives to helping people. We have seen though, that these cases can be turned into opportunities for educating the judge and authorities about the important value of these plants and establish positive legal precedents,” she said.

How Does The ADF Help?

In a nutshell, the aim of the ADF is to work with defendants and their legal representation to understand the peculiarities of the legal status of these plants at international and local levels. By providing scientific evidence alongside information about the history of the use of plants by indigenous people of the world, the ADF supports defendants in painting a broader picture of how these practices are legitimate.

“B” is someone who was helped by the ADF (she shared her experience but asked to remain anonymous) and faced charges in the US related to receiving a shipment of ayahuasca. She shared the following statement about her experience:

“The ADF walked me through a very challenging, terrifying and complex process of proving my innocence in the eyes of the law after I brought ayahuasca, the master teacher plant to the United States. The ADF’s expertise was the key to getting my freedom back. With the wealth of their expertise, their knowledge about ayahuasca, their understanding of the law governing each country and with my innocent heart, we are changing the course of how the sacred plants are being seen by the US government.”

The ADF will not help just anyone who is facing trouble with the law, but has strict criteria to ensure that those who are sincere and using these plants with the best intentions are supported. They will not provide assistance to those who do not meet eligibility criteria around ethical and responsible work with ayahuasca and other plants.

B goes on to say, “The ADF is an advocate for the responsible and honorable use of plants. Their work is essential to taking the sacred teacher plants and their humble human servants out of prison. This work is of the highest importance. It is fundamental to spiritually advance human civilization, to heal the wounds of the heart and mind and to move the earth from a place of scarcity to a place of love.”

The majority of those who have had experiences with various psychoactive plants — including ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, and iboga — know the benefits that are potentially life-saving to many who are struggling, and know the positive impact these practices have in reconnecting us to ourselves, our communities and the planet.

Like many advocacy programs that challenge the status quo, ICEERS’s legal defense work relies on community support to operate. If you wish to support the ADF and its efforts, please consider donating to their campaign to ensure their ability to continue supporting those who are risking their lives to serve others.

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Gaza Fights For Freedom: The Full Documentary

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A film showing Gaza’s protest movement. Filmed during the height of the Great March Of Return protests, it features exclusive footage of demonstrations where 200 unarmed civilians have been killed by Israel snipers since early 2018.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does mainstream media ignore a particular perspective? Why do social media giants censor it? What is going on?

Before you begin...

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Gaza Fights For Freedom is a film directed by Abby Martin of The Empire Files that portrays life in all aspects for the people of Gaza. It was released in 2019, but is quite relevant right now given the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity that are taking place there. The topics covered are varied but all are centered on the imprisonment and deprivation caused by the Israelis blockading the small territory. The Israelis have created a situation where most of the water is toxic, where electricity on a good day maybe lasts eight hours, but often only four and frequently never. Imports of food are limited, as put officially by the Israelis themselves to put them on starvation rations. Movement is restricted by the Israeli military on all sides, and no construction materials are allowed through to repair the severely damaged infrastructure from recent Israeli attacks.

Right now, people are marching all over the world in support of the Palestinians, yet there is absolutely zero appropriate coverage by mainstream media.  Facebook and other social media platforms have been quite active in censoring and blocking activists in support of Palestinians, and Israel just bombed a major press building that was the home of multiple media outlets, like Al Jazeera and the Associated Press

A statement from Al Jazeera condemned the attack, calling on “all media and human right institutions to join forces” in denouncing the bombing and to “hold the government of Israel accountable”. “Al Jazeera condemns in the strongest terms the bombing and destruction of its offices by the Israeli military in Gaza and views this as a clear act to stop journalists from conducting their sacred duty to inform the world and report events on the ground,” the statement read.

The film highlights the Israeli (and US) military and political leaders’ complete disregard of many international humanitarian and war crimes treaties.  All the great information aside, and all the great journalistic photography aside, “Gaza Fights For Freedom” allows the Palestinians to speak for themselves. Abby Martin serves as an occasional commentator not so much to offer an ideology but so as to introduce a topic.

It’s a great documentary to introduce people to what has been happening in Palestine.

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Notice of Application to Ontario Superior Court Could Halt All Covid Measures Forced Upon Children

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

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All the way back at the end of October 2020 I applied to join a lawsuit that was to challenge the Covid measures that were instituted in ten school boards in Ontario.

To make a long story short, the retainer fee I had submitted was eventually returned to me, as the legal counsel wanted to focus on only a few of the most egregious cases. In my particular case, I had obtained a mask exemption based on conscience for my 6-year old son, and after the complete runaround I experienced up and down the school board, where no individual from the principal to the director of education was actually willing to take responsibility in the event of any infringements of the exemption, I decided that I had lost all trust in the system and pulled my son out of school altogether.

From what I’ve heard from parents who reached out to me for help with their mask exemptions, as well as the heart-wrenching stories from other parents whose children have been traumatized by these measures, I have been waiting anxiously for an announcement that this action had been filed in court, which finally came on May 4th in the form of a press release on the website of Constitutional Lawyer Rocco Galati:

On April 20th, 2021 Children’s Health Defense (Canada), Educators for Human Rights (an Association of Teachers), as well as a group of seventeen (17) children (through their litigation guardian parents), along with three individual teachers, filed Notice of Application against the government of Ontario and various School Boards and Public Health Officers with respect to school lock-downs, lock-outs, and treatment of children under the COVID measures.

Notice of Application

This was the first time I had heard of ‘Notice of Application,’ but I have taken this excerpt from the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure which I believe covers this particular notice:

A proceeding may be brought by application where these rules authorize the commencement of a proceeding by application or where the relief claimed is,

(g)  an injunction, mandatory order or declaration or the appointment of a receiver or other consequential relief when ancillary to relief claimed in a proceeding properly commenced by a notice of application;

(g.1)  for a remedy under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194: RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

My aim here will be to summarize in layman’s terms the declarations and orders of this action, to the best of my ability, because I feel it is important for more people to know and understand the significance of this action being taken. Of course, I would recommend reading the entire 22-page Notice of Application itself to get the most detailed and accurate understanding.

Respondents

The notice of application has listed the following people and entities as respondents, meaning these are the people/entities whose past and ongoing actions are being challenged:

Eileen De Villa, (Chief Medical Officer, City of Toronto Public Health), City of Toronto, Dr. Lawrence Loh, (Chief Medical Officer for Peel Public Health), Hamidah Meghani, (Chief Medical Officer for Peel Public Health), Robert Kyle, (Chief Medical Officer for Durham Public Health), Dr. Nicola Mercer, (Chief Medical Officer for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health), Dr. David Williams, (Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health), The Attorney General for Ontario, The Minister of Education, The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, The Toronto District School Board, The Halton District School Board, The Durham District School Board, Robert Hochberg, Principal at Runnymede Public School, Superintendent Debbie Donsky of Toronto District School Board, Johns and Janes Does (Officials of the Defendants Minister of Education, Health and Long-Term Care and School Boards)

Declarations

The notice begins with an application for the court to make a set of declarations, the first one being (a) a declaration that s.22 of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act is unconstitutional and of no force and effect [in this or any other application].

This is followed by an application for the following to be declared by the court:

  • (b) the state of emergency was invoked illegally, and even if it was legal, it is under federal jurisdiction, with regards to quarantine, lockdown, stay-at-home orders and curfews; further, the measures were invoked without people’s right to consult, a breach of the Charter.
  • (c) the municipal Covid measures ordered and taken by the medical officers is beyond their powers, and even if it is within their powers, reasonable and probable grounds for their invocation have not been met.
  • (d) the Covid measures taken were not scientifically based, and were justified solely by a fraudulent PCR test; further, the quarantining and isolation of asymptomatic children in their bedrooms is particularly abusive and against the Charter, and even more egregious is the lack of appropriate consideration for children with special needs.
  • (e) the consensus opinion of the world’s scientific community is that masking and all other Covid measures are ineffective, and in some cases irreparably harmful to children.
  • (f) mandatory masks, isolation and PCR testing violates applicants’ and childrens’ constitutional rights.
  • (g) the notion of transmission of this virus from asymptomatic children to adults is completely without medical or scientific basis or merit.
  • (h) masking, social distancing and testing in schools is unscientific, non-medical, unlawful and unconstitutional and should be halted immediately.
  • (i) children do not pose a threat to their teachers with regards to Covid-19.
  • (j) teachers who do not wish to mask have the statutory and constitutional right not to mask.
  • (k) the masking of children is unscientific, non-medical, and harmful, and children should be prohibited from wearing them even if their parents want them to.
  • (l) none of the above Charter violations can be dismissed by s.1 of the Charter.

Orders

Following these applications for declarations are applications for the following orders to be proclaimed by the court:

  • (m) the respondents are prohibited from registering a PCR test above a cycle threshold of 25 as a screening test, and must administer specific additional diagnostic methods (as recommended) to determine the presence of a live virus; the respondents are prohibited from locking down schools, requiring children to wear masks, or requiring that children isolate themselves; the respondents are prohibited from declaring an ‘outbreak’ based on two positive PCR results, and from conducting school and classes by remote online distance learning over a computer.
  • (n) the respondent Ministers are required to reveal the source and substantive evidence they received, and the specific scientific and medical evidence used to justify the measures imposed; they are required to reveal the cycle threshold rates for ALL PCR tests administered, and provide specific demographic data on all case mortalities, with distinctions provided between those who died ‘of’ as opposed to’with’ Covid-19; children are able to attend in-person school without masks or PCR test requirements.

Remainder of the Application

These declarations and orders were followed by: a request that costs of the application and other relief be paid by the respondents; the grounds for the application based on the various pertinent laws, legal decisions and arguments; and a list of the documentary evidence and expert testimony that will be presented at the hearing.

For those wondering why this action does not appear to be an immediate injunction or a lawsuit in which defendants are being sued for damages, Rocco Galati said the following in a May 6th press conference announcing the filing:

This is by way of application, we’re not going to waste our time trying to get interim injunctions, we’re going to argue this on the merits, as a final application, and I hope that scheduling for urgent matters, which we consider [this is], we will have a scheduling and a hearing date by fall…

We will be following this application by an action for monetary damages, which is a separate proceeding. We did not want to bog down and delay this proceeding in terms of declaratory and prerogative relief, injunctive relief, to wait for the long, drawn-out statement of claim. We will, in time, we’re going to give the 60-day notice to the Crown’s office that we will be coming at them, these same people will be coming at them for damages, on behalf of the damage that they’ve caused these children and the grief they’ve caused to their parents and their families because they did not respect the law.

The Takeaway

It was a little disconcerting to learn that the hearing would at best be scheduled in the fall, and even that is not guaranteed as delay tactics from the government are expected. However, it gave me satisfaction to read a thorough and decisive document that cuts through the Covid narrative promoted by mainstream media (who, as expected, chose not to attend this important press conference) and highlights what many of us have long known to be obvious: that these measures have been ineffective in preventing the spread of the virus, and have caused severe mental, emotional, and physical damage to our children, the extent and permanence of which will be impossible to determine.

Perhaps the silver lining here is that parents like myself have awoken to the fact that our educational system is a bureaucratic mess, and its agenda is to serve the state rather than the children and their families. This ‘Pandemic’ agenda has laid bare the people and institutions who don’t care about the rights of individuals nor in particular the well-being of our children, and this application is a big step in the direction of holding these people and institutions accountable. If this case is scheduled and heard, and the application is successful, the orders will immediately take effect throughout the province and perhaps the whole country. It could actually be the fatal blow to this entire ‘Pandemic’ agenda.

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If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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New Footage of “Transmedium” Sphere (UFO) Disappearing Into The Ocean From The U.S. Navy

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The US Navy photographed and filmed “spherical” shaped UFOs that seem to be capable of travelling not only in air, but underwater also. Footage of one of these objects has been leaked.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we rely on government to give us an accurate depiction of what these objects may represent or what they actually know? Should this be a citizens initiative? Has government manipulated our perception of major global issues? Will this be different?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Footage filmed (video below) in the CIC  (Combat Information Center) of the USS Omaha on July 15th 2019 off the coast of San Diego depicting an unidentified flying object (UFO) has made its way into the pubic domain. It’s one of several incidents when U.S. warships were what seems to be continuously observed by multiple objects of unknown origin. One video and multiple images have been released of these particular incidents, and the Pentagon confirmed these leaks that are apparently being investigated by the Department of Defense’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).

The Pentagon has also confirmed this particular video to be authentic as well.

The Debrief reached out to the Pentagon about the newly leaked video asking whether it could be confirmed as authentic, and whether it was obtained by Navy personnel aboard the USS Omaha.  “I can confirm that the video was taken by Navy personnel, and that the UAPTF included it in their ongoing examinations,” said Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough in an email response.

This particular video is the second one that has been leaked, the first one mentioned above shows triangular or “pyramid” shaped UFOs flying near the military vessels, again, the footage was confirmed to originate from Navy personnel. They did not release anymore information about the incident.

In the new video below, we see a small spherical object hovering, changing direction, flying above the ocean and also capable of “flying” underwater it seems, hence the term “transmedium.” Navy submarines searched for the object but did not recover anything. This object was filmed using Night Vision and FLIR technologies, and was also tracked on military radar. It was released and published by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell.

One thing that’s important to stress is the fact that military encounters with UFOs is not a new phenomenon, in fact it dates back decades.

The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious…The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability, (particularly in roll), at the actions which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically or remotely. -General Nathan Twining, U.S. Air Force, 1947. (source)

Common themes among these objects, based on our research here at Collective Evolution, seem to be evasive maneuvers as well as the capability to travel at speeds and perform maneuvers that no known man made piece of machinery can. It’s not uncommon for these “vehicles” to enter and exit our oceans, and what seems to be materializing and dematerializing, starting and stopping on a dime, splitting into multiple objects and much more. In one incident released by the U.S. Navy in 2016, the pilot described one of the objects descending from 60,000 feet and stopping right above the ocean surface, instantaneously.

Critical equipment failure, like radar and weapons systems going offline, also seems to be common in various instances of documented encounters with military aircraft. Here’s one example from Iran in 1976 when military jets attempted to fire on one of these objects. At that exact moment, their weapons and electronic systems were “paralyzed.” How could the occupants or “controllers” of these objects know the exact moment they would be fired upon?

As far as what these objects are, where they come from, why all of a sudden the mainstream is legitimizing this topic after years of secrecy and ridicule, it’s impact on human consciousness and more, we’ve had these discussions and speculations quite a bit. You can access our article archive on the topic here if interested. There are a lot of articles we’ve published that go more in depth than this one.

We’ve been covering this topic since our inception in 2009, and one thing we believe is that it’s OK to speculate and discuss possibilities. Relying on mainstream media as well as government to constantly tell us what something is doesn’t seem to be, in our opinion, the most intelligent thing to do. Years of lies, propaganda (perception manipulation) on various global issues make it clear that independent investigation into this issue is quite important. We must ask ourselves, why does information and evidence need to come from the government for it to be confirmed as real? What does this tell us about ourselves and the influence these “institutions” may have over human consciousness? That being said, it’s great to see more legitimacy pertaining to this topic emerge into the public domain. So far,what we’ve seen is great.

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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