First Fully Legal Ayahuasca Church In America To Open Soon

December 16, 2015   |   John Vibes

John Vibes
December 16, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) It was recently announced that the first public and legal ayahuasca church in America will be opening soon. A spiritual retreat in Peru called ayahuasca Healings applied for church status in the United States — and surprisingly, they were approved. The location the group has chosen is a 160-acre plot of land in Elbe, Washington.

The group says the world is suffering from sickness and a lack of clarity, and that ayahuasca could help reverse the dangerous path humanity has been walking.

Ayahuasca is the psychoactive brew that has been ritualistically ingested by indigenous tribes since before recorded history. The ayahuasca brew is traditionally prepared using the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and Psychotria viridis leaves. Psychotria viridis contains N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in its leaves, while Banisteriopsis caapi contains beta-carbolines like harmine and harmaline. DMT has long been known to have powerful psychoactive properties that can create life-changing spiritual experiences.

In a recent interview, Church founder Trinity de Guzman told Vice’s Munchies that “ayahuasca is a sacred plant medicine that indigenous tribes have been working with for thousands of years. And they’ve used it as a tool for healing spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.”

He continued:

“But most importantly, it’s a tool to connect with the spirit realm. It’s an uncontrolled substance. But DMT, which can be extracted from the plants, is a controlled Schedule 1 drug by the DEA. Ayahuasca itself is not a scheduled drug, but it’s legal in a religious and spiritual setting. So, simply stated, ayahuasca is legal if your intentions are sincerely religious. And it’s legal under a church. You have to be a member of a church, which has that legal protection.”

Trinity went on to explain how his church would be different from traditional American churches:

“Other churches talk about God, and the person, like a pastor, talking to the room is the connection to God. But in the Native American churches, this is about connecting with God yourself and having a direct experience with the Creator.”

He also gave more details on how they can operate legally without any fear of raids from the police.

“Basically, we were working with the New Haven Native American Church, which is a branch of the Oklevueha Native American Church and has the authority and the ability to use sacraments like ayahuasca by virtue of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, designed to protect and preserve the tradition and cultural practices of American Indians,” he explained. “As a result, pertaining to us, the government cannot interfere with our Native American ceremonies, sacraments, or our plant teachers like peyote and ayahuasca.”

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of the legal religious use of ayahuasca by the União do Vegetal, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the Santo Daime Church’s freedom to use ayahuasca for religious purposes. However, ayahuasca’s principally active ingredient, DMT, remains a Schedule I controlled substance, carrying a steep prison sentence.

In the past, there has been a variety of other small and private ayahuasca churches in the U.S., but these were very difficult to find and get involved with. Ayahuasca Healings, on the other hand, will be entirely open to the public — and advertised freely.

This article (First Fully Legal Ayahuasca Church In America To Open Soon) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to John Vibes and theAntiMedia.orgAnti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

Author: John Vibes

John Vibes joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in October of 2014. His topics of interest include agorism, anarchism, consciousness, the Drug War, and spirituality. Born in Philadelphia, he currently resides in Maryland.

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  1. I've been Hoping to Hear this News.. And Yes We need to all Heal and Open our minds as they are the Key to Many Doorways.. So Share the Love !

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  2. Uhh, so you’re appropriating a Santo Daime festival image there which has nothing to do with this other church which is now supposedly legal.

    There are only two churches in the United States with any legality, the UDV across the entire country, and Oregon specifically the Santo Daime is also legal. Of course because of the case in Oregon, it’s sort of a gray area for the rest of the country (but not one that’s likely to be won, given the Oregon and Supreme court precedents).

    But the UDV and the Santo Daime have existed for a lot longer than this little thing, and you can rest assured that a massively expensive retreat center is not actually legal. This is clickbait, and if this is actually going on someone’s probably going to come down on this church really hard.

    No Native Americans in the United States have a relationship with Ayahuasca shamanism and the basic premise they’re running under isn’t that fast and loose. It’s just simply not one of the sacraments that would be accessible to the Native tribes that lived in the United States prior to the conquest of the continent.

    Besides, the churches of the UDV and the Santo Daime don’t charge $1000 a trip. They ask for donations in the neighborhood of $60, and lots of that gets lost transferring the Ayahuasca from Brazil up to the United States.

    If you could, could you please take down the Santo Daime festival image? It’s not accurately conveying between traditions, and I’m sure the Santo Daimistas wouldn’t want to be represented as connected to whatever this guy is trying.

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  4. The Native American groups these sheisters claim to be protected by have already come out and disavowed this "church". It is not legal, and it is not protected. The price they are trying to rape people with should be warning alone, as the ingredients to make ayahuasca at home can easily be purchased online for less than $100 to make more doses than you will ever NEED or WANT. Articles spreading this nonsense are popping up everyday no matter how many times they are rebuked, which is another sign that this is bad news. Stay away from this "church" unless you take risk of your money, freedom, or your possibly your life. The websites continuting to spread this lie without researching it should be ashamed of themselves.

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  6. yes, I am also VERY offended that the image of a festive Santo Daime ceremony is emblazed across the top of this article which has NO Thing to do with the SD Church!!!! YOU MUST TAKE DOWN THIS INAPPROPRIATE IMAGE, or you may risk getting sued!!!

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  7. Please read on the dangers of doing this "natural drug". Native Americans familiar with ayahuasca and those that use it properly, advise humans with depression and other mental health issues, like drug addiction–NOT TO TAKE THIS. And article does not mention about the anti-dote for over dosing…it also doesn't advise that it can make you puke, give you the "runs" and that when taken, one's mind can be under control of the administrator………

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  8. Yes, first please remove this photo of a Santo Daime ceremony. It has nothing to do with this bogus "retreat center" and the reference will be very offfensive to Daimistas worldwide. Second there is no such thing as a LEGAL ayauahsca Church in the U.S.. The UDV and 3 Santo Daime Churches in Oregon were granted exemption from prosecution. That is not the same as LEGAL. Third, this organization claims to be the first legal aya church in the U.S. Even if they WERE legal, which they are not, they would be the 5th "legal" ayahuasca church in the U.S. (which in itself is a misnomer because they are NOT legal, they are exempt from prosecution). If these proprietors actually knew what they were talking about they would know this. And I do mean proprietors because this is not only a purely profit-driven endeavor it is a very dangerous one. Both of the founders have less than 3 years experience as participants in ayahuasca ceremonies and much experience in sales and marketing. Their entire claim of legality is false and endangers their participants. It is also the reason they quote such RIDICULOUS prices. For the record anyone can work with a legitimate Ayahuascero in the U.S. for between $80 and $150 per ceremony. You can go to a Santo Daime Work for about $30-$50, the cost of the medicine. Oh yes, and no one has been detained or prosecuted for posession of Ayahuasca since 2009 (that was Taita Juan of the Kofan tradition) and he was released with his medicine, no charges brought. That's because of the precedents set by the UDV and SD Churches.

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  9. Please remove the church photo in this article. It is missleading and has nothing to do with the retreat center you are promoting. Thank you. Erika Kightlinger

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