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News (Media Awareness Project) - UK: Shaman's Potion Helped Sort My Life Out: Witness
Title:UK: Shaman's Potion Helped Sort My Life Out: Witness
Published On:2011-08-04
Source:Bristol Evening Post (UK)
Fetched On:2011-08-09 06:01:42

A MAN who paid to drink a mind-altering herbal liquid dispensed by a
"shaman" during a spiritual ceremony at a disused Weston-super-Mare
hotel said the experience helped sort his life out.

William Morrow told Bristol Crown Court he attended the session at the
Dorville Hotel on New Year's Day 2008, when healer Peter Aziz gave him
a cup of Ayahuasca, a herbal brew used by Amazonian people in
religious ceremonies.

Giving evidence yesterday, Mr Morrow described what happened to him

He said: "I became introverted. Everything became laid out on a plane;
everything seemed clear. I was going through an illness. I was trying
to find rhyme or reason.

"The Church doesn't look after our needs. This gave me co-ordination
in my life and when I finished the journey I knew what I had to do
next in order to get my trip, my life together."

He stayed at the hotel in Madeira Road overnight and returned home the
next day.

The court has been told people paid UKP 100 a day for sessions in which
they supped on Aziz's plant-based potion.

Aziz told police he produced two brews, only the second of which
contained illegal drug N, N-dimethyltriptamene, or DMT.

The 51-year-old, of Buckfast in Devon, denies two counts of producing
and two counts of supplying a Class A drug.

Kate Brunner, prosecuting, said Aziz made the drink by boiling plant
matter, including leaves from the Chakruna plant.

The jury has been told Aziz practised alternative medicine and magic
and referred to himself as a healer, priest, homeopath or "shaman" -
someone who practises magic and contacts spirits in tribal societies.

The court has already heard from other people who paid to drink the
brew and reported effects including vomiting, hallucinations and
"healing" experiences.

Dr Graham Mould, a pharmacist, confirmed the Chakruna plant contained
the hallucinogenic compound DMT, similar to the drug LSD. He said DMT
could make people "more together" but there could be physical effects
including raised blood pressure, temperature and heart rate as well as
nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Aziz first told police he had a letter from the Home Office saying
what he was doing was not illegal. He said he trained in the art of
Ayahuasca in the Amazonian jungle for four years, as well as with a
shaman in Peru.

The case continues.
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