Testimony 1: Inside Ayahuasca International and the European Ayahuasca School

Note: The following testimony comes form T. a person who spent almost a year working with Ayahuasca International (aka Inner Mastery) and...

Note: The following testimony comes form T. a person who spent almost a year working with Ayahuasca International (aka Inner Mastery) and went though a number of cycles in the European Ayahuasca School. We encourage others to share their own testimonies by contacting us at conoci.a.varela@hushmail.com


The email I received with an invitation from Alberto Varela decía "PRIVATE ENCOUNTER OF THE AYAHUASCA INTERNACIONAL TEAM" he loves to write thinsg using caps. I wan't a part of said team, but that's how he loves to communicate, everything they say is a contradiction and it is through these contradicitons that they manipulate people. The only one who also has the truth is Alberto Varela. The rest, constantly confused by the constant contradicitions, are never sure of what to say or what to do. From a psychological point of view it's a fascinating process to witness. One either joins the group blindly accepting everything Varela says o one has to leave.

The name itself is a contradiction, what is taught is not ayahuasca, but a marketing strategy, how to use deceptive communication in social networks, to capture people who are genuinely interested in using ayahuasca and to convert them first into customers and second into distributors for Ayahuasca International.

They elaborated a curriculum for the school that -in my case- was never followed. It was all a constant improvisation y they taught that was funny as hell. I didn't learn anything good in the Ayahuasca School. The only positive aspect was that I met some people that, like me, were on a personal search, people that became my friends and to thsi day remain my friends.

In the various times that I went to the [facilitators'] school, I never learned and was taught nothing about the use of ayahuasca. As they didn't drink ayahuasca, they saw no need to learn anything about it. What they taught was how to manipulate human groups....

In one of the formation cycles I volunteered to help with teh organization. That's where I began to see the group from the inside, the essence of what they do. Their main objective is the sale of ayahuasca (or whatever, selling is what is important) If there is a positive effect for the client is of secondary importance (and is used to make publicity)   What they really teach in the Ayahuasca School were only two things: number one was to sell, number two was to create others who will sell, new distributors of Varela's ayahuasca in other cities.

It's all about preparing people who will help Ayahuasca International (aka Inner Mastery) expand worldwide though ayahuasca distribution, within a pyramidal scheme, based on a chain of commissions, with Alberto Varela sitting on top of the pyramid, selling the ayahuasca to everyone and getting paid a commission for everything, while at the same time claiming (most likely advised by his lawyers) that he doesn't charge or ask for money, that's all donations.

H. explained to me that he received a percentage of all the sales that happened on "his" country as well as the group that speak his language, as he was to one to set up the group. H. himself explained to me how they bough 7000 likes in Facebook and how they bough Facebook's ayahuasca page (which belonged to somebody else and already had hundreds of thousands of likes).

They used this new platform to launch all their marketing campaigns, spending large amounts of money every month on Facebook publicity (Facebook ads, event boosting) in order to capture thousands of people who -in good faith- are looking for info on ayahuasca.

European School Session. Source: Ayahuasca International


Once you are in the circle of Ayahuasca International they begin to try to bring you inside, they promise you jungle trips, meetings with indigenous friends of theirs, and a salary of 2000 euros per month if you will become a distributor.


They told me constantly that I must separate from my wife and begin "a new path." They told me that being with them was that new path. I have never shown any intention of divorcing my wife, whom I love deeply, and their insistence made me laugh.

But I met people who did divorce and later paired up with members of the group, leaving themselves very exposed. They also gave much money to Alberto Varela, as "loans" or "investments" in the business. The result was that they were without work, without their partner, and without savings, leaving themselves totally exposed at the mercy of Varela. From this point, leaving Ayahuasca International becomes very difficult.


Another person who confessed -in front of a large group of us- her desire to leave Ayahausca International was L. But she'd already invested 20000 euros in the Hotel in Mocoa, Colombia, and leaving the group would mean losing the money. She's caught up in trouble much larger than herself, and being twenty thousand in the hole, she'd not coming out. I still worry for her, because she was weak, I fera they will drage her down with them, and I am sorry for her. 

There are many people working with Ayahuasca International right now who now all this I am telling you. They want to leave as well, but they are trapped.

It's incredible this organization is not persecuted by the law


I sincerely hope that other people will follow my example and have the strength to talk about their experiences, in order to prevent others and stop this from ending up with someone dead or killing themselves. In their ayahuasca sessions, there is no one who can help a person who enters into a profound process.

I saw this with my own eyes on two occasions. When I saw two people enter into very difficult processes, the supposed "professionals" of Ayahuasca International didn't know what to do. The people were left completely adrift. I wasn't participating that night, but afterward I spoke with these people, who were totally traumatized. Afterwards when I commented to the team that it seemed dangerous, and what would happen to the people who had left the house in this state of confusion, they shrugged their shoulders and replied,

"Once they leave, it's their problem."


If you have been with Ayahuasca international and you want to anonymously share your story (no hearsay, only first-hand experiences, please) please contact us by writing to conoci.a.varela@hushmail.com

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  1. My experience was entirely different... only positivity and love coming from the experience, with myself even getting a free extra night of ceremony and meeting some fantastic people, Antonio himself too.

    By the sounds of this response, maybe the negativity which you experienced is what has come out of your own manifestations... money is one party of this process which is a necessity for things to get done... whether he takes more than his fare share or is doing this for money is another question... but with the experiences that come out of interactions with mother ayah, it would be hard to believe so.

    I guess going into the true natural world (or re-entering for that matter), where we have been so detached from for so long, it would only be obvious that drastic changed and feelings of disconnection and fear would come from stepping out of the world that has been created.

    Maybe it is the own fault of persons diving too deep into a world they are not ready to take.