Brits arrested for running a spiritual retreat where shamanic healing rituals were practiced

The Guardia Civil, within the framework of the Kambo operation, has arrested two people who were engaged in attracting clients to practice supposed shamanic healing rituals. The rural house they used as a spiritual retreat in the Murcian town of Yecla has been dismantled. There, a multitude of substances harmful to health have been intervened without sanitary control that they supplied to clients both national and from other European countries such as ayahuasca, snuff, sananga, and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The shamanic rituals were offered by a couple of British citizens through the Internet with advertisements where they advertised themselves as a healing house oriented to self-development groups, shamanic retreats and addiction recovery and detoxification, among others.

The Guardia Civil began an investigation to clarify the legality of these activities carried out in an establishment that did not have any type of license or administrative authorisation. Despite this, they were explicitly offered at a daily cost per person of 45 euro per day for a minimum stay of three nights, and even group offers of 500 euro per day for 16 guests.

Located seven people in a guided practice

The agents of the Guardia Civil in the Region of Murcia searched with the corresponding judicial authorisation the country house located in the municipality of Yecla and found an ayahuasca retreat being held. One of the rooms of the house was furnished with seven bunks and two armchairs from where the shamans were directing the ritual and the ingestion of hallucinogenic substances by seven people of various nationalities.

In the same room, blood pressure monitors were found ready to deal with any eventuality that might arise during the aforementioned spiritual practices.

In the property registry, 14 litres of ayahuasca were seized, an indigenous drink used in traditional South American medicine by native peoples that, due to its psychoactive components, generates hallucinogenic effects. Also, a pot of sananga, an Amazonian eye drops to treat eye ailments, also used in certain ceremonies to increase spiritual perception. Three kilos of marijuana, three kilos of snuff, 29 pots of pipettes with marijuana extract, 44 lollipops and sweets with San Pedro extract, 304 San Pedro cactus and 200 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms were also seized.

The investigation of the Guardia Civil has determined that the supposed spiritual guides facilitated the substances without sanitary control, producing in the attendees a series of physical effects: from sweating, dizziness, nausea or muscular contractions that could last between eight and twelve hours, to more severe complications of a cardiac nature.

Agents from the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil, Seprona, also took part in the intervention, verifying that ceremonies with kambó had been offered in previous announcements on the website. This substance, obtained from the skin secretion of an Amazonian frog and with a high content of natural opiates, is 40 times more powerful than morphine and can cause a serious health risk. This activity with kambó was offered by the couple of shamans with an increase in the initial subscription cost of 100 euro per person.

Several goldfinch wings (a protected species) were also found on the farm, placed to be dissected on some wooden planks, supposedly used for the ornamentation of some of the tools and supplies. Therefore, a crime against flora, fauna and domestic animals is attributed to them.

The detainees, a British couple of a 47-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman, together with the seized substances, were made available to Yecla Investigating Court number 1.