This is posted on Facebook, April 2016, on the Ayahuasca Healings is NOT legal page. Dylan is Dylan Guss, one of the top three people, he runs support, funds, etc.
Dylan is defensive here, trying to control the narrative, and putting a spin once again on events. This is also an ad for their upcoming retreats.
This is an attempt to manage their brand.
This is Dylan from Ayahuasca Healings. I’ve been following what has been posted in this group for several months and have stayed in contact with Dhammahuasca and my former teammates Anthony, Mike and Kigan as well. I’ve always kept an open mind, was very receptive towards constructive criticism and have therefore put all my efforts into steering things in the right direction and correcting any mistakes that have been made. Everything I write here is my own personal opinion and is therefore not representative of Trinity, Marc, the church in Washington or Ayahuasca Healings.
Now before you judge me as being a ‘Trinity clone’, claim that I am lying or being deceptive in what I’m writing here, I would like to ask Anthony Merra, Michael Turek, McCabe Mccabe Mccabe and Dhamma Huasca, who actually know me to a certain extent, to have a say and be completely honest about how they feel about me personally and my intentions. I’ve been called ‘a swindler, a smug, an arrogant con artist’, ‘a bad person’ and ‘evil’ by certain people in this group. Please, go ahead and try to find ONE person who actually knows me that thinks I’m a bad person or that my intentions are wrong. You can’t. I can sincerely say that I have nothing but the highest intentions for the greatest good of humanity. Intense feelings of pain, anger, sadness and frustration in regard to the corruption, wars, poverty, racism and so on that I saw in the world is what led me to this path. If you don’t believe the words of people who actually know me in regard to who I am or what I stand for, then there’s not much else I can say to change your mind.
Over time I’ve noticed the energy of certain people in this group shift more and more from constructive and valid criticism towards increasing hostility that in my opinion served no one and only added more fuel to the fire. This made me want to leave and ignore it all, instead of listening, reflecting and trying to steer things in the right direction as I have been. There is also a lot of false information going around. I’m here for a constructive and civil discussion and will strive to be as honest and unbiased as possible. Non-constructive attacks or comments will not be answered. As certain information could be considered sensitive or discriminating due to the DEA application process, I may decide not to comment on certain questions. Here’s my story:
I’ve been working for Ayahuasca Healings since December and have been living with Trinity in the sacred valley for a bit over two months. The minimum requested contribution of $997 with a suggestion of $1497-$1997 was the first aspect that raised controversy among certain people who claimed the intentions were to exploit the medicine for money. This was not the case. The model that Trinity had imagined to be the best way of spreading this vision - purchasing or leasing large areas of land and building 30 churches in 15 years - would require enormous amounts of resources. As the church would become more financially stable, the suggested amount for contributions could be dropped considerably. It was not so that Trinity and Marc could purchase large mansions and cars for themselves. Trinity, a housemate and I live together in Pisac in a house that costs $500/month to rent. We're not living luxurious lives at all. The costs of setting up and running the church were severely underestimated and the expenses have in fact exceeded the contributions. A financial sheet of all of the received contributions and expenses has been added to the DEA exemption application and therefore is in hands of the “authorities”. Both Trinity and Marc have invested and lost a considerable amount of money from their own savings.
Before the church was launched, the local prosecutor’s office had been informed of the ceremonial usage of plant medicines. They gave their approval, emphasizing they would not prosecute the founders or members and said that “99 out of a 100 times, you would win a case in court.” Needless to say, the issue of legality turned out to be much more complicated than originally anticipated, after several critical articles surfaced. After continually seeking council from James Mooney and his legal team in regard to this issue, Trinity’s confidence in the constitutional legality remained strong. Critical voices would not hinder him from moving forward with the vision of spreading healing and awakening with the aid of sacred plant medicines.
In February the church received a letter from the DEA that stated they were aware of the ceremonial usage of Ayahuasca. In this letter, the DEA recommended (not requested or demanded) the church to file for an exemption under the RFRA and to stop facilitating ceremonies in the meantime. In order to establish a healthy relationship with the government, our lawyer strongly suggested to follow the DEA’s recommendation and to stop holding retreats for an undefined period of time. This was a difficult decision for us to take and Trinity was in the jungle at the time. After discussing this in a meeting over the phone, everyone agreed it would be the best decision for the safety of us all and so we made the public announcement that we were putting a hiatus on retreats.
This brought forth an even more difficult situation. Members who were expecting to attend a retreat within several days were unexpectedly called and informed of what was happening. While a lot of members were understanding and respectful of the decision, others felt angry and frustrated, rightfully so. Some no longer wanted to attend a retreat and demanded back the money they had contributed. All members had accepted the terms of conditions which stated their contribution would be “a gift without consideration in support of the church’s mission and vision, not an exchange for service”. Despite these terms of conditions, of course it would be the most ethical thing to monetarily compensate those who had lost trust in the church. But there was no money left to do so. As stated earlier, the expenses had exceeded the contributions, which were used as investments. Despite claims of the contrary, neither Marc nor Trinity have profited from members’ contributions. I know for a fact that Marc has lost $5000+ from his own savings which he put into the church's bank account. The only thing we could do at this point was to make sure members would get what they originally had expected: an Ayahuasca healing retreat, whether in Washington, in Peru or in Mexico.
After strongly reflecting on the entire situation we came to several important conclusions. Trinity has recognized that his conquistador-like visions of purchasing 30 large areas of land and building these huge churches and conscious communities was clearly not the most effective way of serving the medicine. We moved forward way too fast and should’ve applied for a DEA exemption before leading Ayahuasca ceremonies in the US. There was ego involved and the reason things turned out this way was because the church was created more from the mind than from the heart, even though the intentions felt right. Trinity admits to having been ungrounded (by nature) and to feeling disconnected from the kind of issues that the average member was going through. He regrets telling them it was a “gift” and sincerely feels bad for the mess that has been created. He felt guided to create a better world by spreading the transformational medicine of Ayahuasca but of course never intended things to turn out this way. He recognizes that it's not his job to 'save the world' either, the world will save itself. I’m sure these are empty words to most but he’s really not the evil monster as some portray him to be, quite the contrary. Perhaps ungrounded and too audacious.
We’re doing everything we possibly can to correct any mistakes and set things straight and personally I’m very content with the way things are heading. All members will be fully reimbursed for money lost to airfare and/or hotels. They can choose to attend an amazing 8 day retreat in Peru which will contain Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Kambo, guided meditation, yoga, breath work, a sound healing journey, a sweat lodge ceremony and a day trip/hike. If they can’t or don’t want to attend a retreat in Peru or wait for a response from the DEA, we will ensure that all people who have sent money to Ayahuasca Healings will be fully compensated.
How we're planning to move forward from here: we’re currently in the process of organizing two beautiful transformational retreats in Pisac. Part of the seats will be filled up by registered members, of course free of additional costs, the rest by other guests wanting to attend a retreat in Peru. Part of this income will be used to rent property in Urubamba which will be turned into a beautiful holistic healing center with a wide range of healing modalities that I'll be leading, logistically speaking, with several amazing people by my side. I feel that it’ll be incredibly heart-centered, I couldn’t do it any other way. The income generated by this center will be used to send any registered members monetary gifts for any inconveniences experienced and of course members who were expecting to attend a retreat in Elbe can also choose to attend an 8 day retreat here. A set monthly amount will go towards Ayahuasca preservation projects and each retreat there will be several seats for people who are extremely financially burdened to attend for free. I’ll be living and working here and will be putting all my energy and love into this center. In two months, after setting everything up for this new healing center in Peru, Trinity will be going offline and taking a long break for deep self-work and reflection.
Of course this is an unfortunate situation that could've been prevented. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused but no one was 'scammed' or 'defrauded'. We're not evil, we're just human beings like you that have made mistakes and are now doing everything we can to correct them. Despite possible ongoing attacks and criticism, I will continue to follow my heart and do what I feel is right. Thanks for reading.