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Apr 26, 2019

Kevin Tucker is the author of 'The Cull Of Personality: Ayahuasca, Colonialism, and the Death of a Healer'.

He is on the show to talk to us about the history of resource extraction from the the Amazon, the devastation it wrecked on its peoples, and how he sees that history of extraction alive in the present in the form of the spiritual extractivism around ayahuasca, with the murder of Oliva Arévalo Lomas as an example.

This is a difficult episode to listen to as it contains a lot of hard to hear information such as explicit descriptions of horrendous violence, the unimaginable costs of our modern comforts, and some very divisive perspective on the global spread of ayahuasca.

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***full topic breakdown below
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Episode Breakdown

  • The thesis of the conversation - Ayahuasca as a part of colonialism
  • The impact and history of colonialism in South America
  • 70-90% reduction of the indigenous population — the incredible violence of the first wave of occupation, Pizzaro
  • The difference between colonial settlement and colonial extraction
  • The impact of European arrival on existing tribal warfare
  • The role of missionaries in the slave trade and ethnocide, past and present
    • New tribes mission, “brown gold," and yerba mate
  • The Hubris of Modernity
  • The discovery of vulcanizing rubber and the horror of the rubber boom
  • Mental health break, cause this is difficult
  • The dissatisfaction of modern life; enter ayahuasca
  • The intention of Sebastian Woodroffe
  • The ill consequences of domestication and the primacy of the individual
  • The murder of Arevalo and its connection to spiritual extractivism
  • What about the positive benefits of ayahuasca industry offers to ingenious people and culture?


***featured image courtesy of SalviaDroid:

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