A Las Vegas man who drowned while using a shamanic drug is not the first death to be blamed on so-called ayahuasca tourism, in which individuals participate in shamanic experiences that include taking the drug ayahuasca.
The mother of a man who drowned while using a shamanic hallucinogenic drug has filed a lawsuit against the New Age spiritual retreat where the incident occurred.
Garth Dickson, according to his mother, was under the influence of an herbal mixture known as ayahuasca (pronounced eye-uh-WAH-skuh) when he walked into Shasta Lake and drowned in 2012 while at a retreat called the White Flame Institute, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The White Flame Institute for Consciousness and Liberation offers “transformational life classes” and a “shamanic certification program” along with classes on healing and personal growth, according to the institute’s website. Mrs. Dickson accuses the institute and its leader, Bonnie Serratore, of negligence and encouraging the use of ayahuasca as part of the treatments.