Collaboration with Ben de Loenen (ICEERS) and the Temple of the Way of the Light, Peru

The healing properties of ayahuasca are much discussed, but to date few studies have attempted to explore them systematically. The main objective of this longitudinal project is to evaluate and monitor the personal development, well-being, and mental health of participants in the Temple of the Way of Light (TOTWOL) programme throughout the course of a year, before and after having taken ayahuasca. Changes, if any, will then be monitored over a second year. This study will be the largest of its kind (sample size approximately 580 per year). One of its main aims is to test the claims of the International Narcotics Control Board regarding motivations people have for using ayahuasca and its addictive properties. The study will also investigate the effects of ayahuasca on the well-being of people in personal development processes, as well as the therapeutic effects of ayahuasca. The project also includes a documentary film about war veterans who are participating in the study at the Peruvian centre.

Research Team and Institution

ICEERS is a philanthropic, tax-exempt non-profit organization (charity) dedicated to 1) the integration of ayahuasca, iboga and other traditional plants as therapeutic tools in modern society, and 2) the preservation of the indigenous cultures that have been using these plant species since antiquity on their habitat and botanical resources.

Benjamin De Loenen studied audiovisual media and communication in The Netherlands, where he graduated with honors in his Masters with his documentary “Ibogaine-Rite of Passage” (2004), a film that would become a world reference about this subject matter until today. Benjamin worked as a film director and editor in the field of television, documentary, publicity and fiction from 2004-2010 while he traveled the world as public speaker about iboga and ayahuasca. He organized the International Ibogaine conference at the Catalan Health Ministry, gave courses about ibogaine for health professionals and government agencies such as the Portuguese Governmental institution SICAD and served the Board of Directors of the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance. Since the production of his film he has been very dedicated to the advancement of ibogaine and ayahuasca as therapeutic and personal development tools in contemporary society. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service.