Chor Boogie

Ordained N’ganga relates his personal healing and ancestral knowledge and healing through Iboga.

Chor Boogie, a renowned spray paint artist and ordained N’ganga in the Bwiti tradition, joins us on this episode of Plantscendence to talk about his work as an iboga healer in Costa Rica, and the sinuous path that got him there. Chor reflects humorously on his early psychedelic experiences, including a trip to Disneyland on LSD, and traces his journey from the world of graffiti art to that of plant medicine, which includes a decade of study and service in Gabon, Central West Africa. He describes how iboga helped him break free from addictive patterns – which he equates to “30 years of therapy” – and eventually reconnect with his ancestral roots. Chor addresses both the dangers and possibilities posed by Western medicine’s piquing interest in iboga, and emphasizes the importance of respecting and preserving indigenous practices amidst the backdrop of globalization.

Chor Boogie is a critically acclaimed spray paint artist and was ordained as a Nganga by his Missoko Bwiti elders. His Bwiti name, Gnyangou, means medicine of the sun.  His visionary murals and art exhibitions have appeared all over the globe including venues such as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Smithsonian, Scope Art Fair Miami Beach and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.  Gnyangou is one of few Westerners who has been inducted into the Maghanga ma Nzambe, a Bwiti leadership council based on spiritual lineage. Gnyangou leads guests on annual journeys to Gabon and is the founder of the SoulCentro retreat center.

Chor Boogie Art

SoulCentro Retreats

MAPS: Bulletin Returning to the roots of Iboga

Episode Transcript

Chor Boogie

All of a sudden, I just started screaming out loud within myself, I want to see my ancestors. I screamed, I want to see my ancestors.

And then all of a sudden, this pyramid-like structure just broke out through the darkness. And there’s a pyramid right in front of me and in my visions, I’m a superhero called Love-Man.  I have like a big heart on my chest instead of an S. And I shoot out hearts like a machine gun.  And I got a cape too. 

Jon Reiss

Welcome to Plantscendence, the podcast where we talk to people about their most significant psychedelic experiences and how those experiences profoundly changed their lives. I’m Jon Reiss.

I met Chor Boogie back when I was starting to research and shoot my film “Bomb It” about graffiti and street art around the world.  We had great conversations and Chor was very helpful connecting me with a number of artists. When I was starting this podcast, Sitaramaya Sita offered to introduce me to a few people – one of whom was Chor Boogie who she had written an article about for Double Blind magazine and I said – Chor Boogie – I know that guy – and I still had his email nearly 20 years later. 

Chor Boogie is a critically acclaimed spray paint artist and was ordained as a Gnyangou by his Missoko Bwiti elders. His Bwiti name, Nganga, means medicine of the sun.  His visionary murals and art exhibitions have appeared all over the globe including venues such as the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Smithsonian, Scope Art Fair Miami Beach and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.  Nganga is one of few Westerners who has been inducted into the Maghanga ma Nzambe, a Bwiti leadership council based on spiritual lineage. Nganga leads guests on annual journeys to Gabon and is the founder of the SoulCentro retreat center. 

Jon Reiss

I want to welcome today someone who I met many years ago when I was making my graffiti documentary “Bomb It”. Chor Boogie, who I know first as an amazing artist, and you should definitely check out his work. We’ll put a link in the show notes because his- his artwork is pretty incredible and very inspiring. But then recently I heard from someone else I interviewed that I should reach out to this person named Chor Boogie.

Do you know? And I said, Chor Boogie, I know who he is. And she said, do you need some help reaching him? I said, I don’t think so. I will see if he responds to my email. And so, and here we are. And so really welcome today. And, you know, I would- I would refer to you as an Iboga facilitator, but I don’t know whether that’s what you call yourself.

So, I’m kind of curious as to what you would how you would refer to yourself. 

Chor Boogie

Me, personally, I consider myself a healer, a healer on a large-scale level, and that level is considered a Nima. A Nima is one of the highest levels of healers that you can become within the Bwiti tradition. The tradition that I’m involved in is the Missoko Assenguidia branch in- in Gabon, central West Africa.

Jon Reiss

Cool. Cool. And where are we interviewing you from? Where? Where in the world are you? 

Chor Boogie

Okay, so. So, we are in Costa Rica in the Nicoya Peninsula. This is where my life has led me to living in Costa Rica now. And running retreats, serving the medicine, iboga, helping heal people one person at a time. So, yeah, this is this is where I’m located, and this is where my SoulCentro is located.

Jon Reiss

Okay, great. So, what is the first significant psychedelic experience that you remember or, or and then I usually ask people because sometimes their first experience isn’t the most profound experience, but I always like to ask for the first experience, and sometimes people don’t remember those. But I’m curious, is there one moment, one experience that you remember? 

Chor Boogie 

I remember an experience that I can tell you. It’s a bit graphic. Yeah. From the early experience, like one of my first experiences was- was taking some LSD with some friends and these were considered gel tabs, black pyramids. And, you know, it was like a pyramid that would stick up on top of the sheet of acid. And it had like this, a black liquid in it.

You know, when it would hit your tongue, it would-  it would sizzle. And I guess each tab was equal to about 20 hits of acid. 

Jon Reiss

Wow. 

Chor Boogie 

So, I took two of those and we decided to go to Disneyland and then we went to Disneyland. And it was one of the craziest experiences I’ve had with psychedelics in my life.

You know, it was- it was just a surreal beyond experience that led to crazy, crazy things happening that Disneyland. Me and friends were just running around cutting in every line and- and actually succeeding in every line that we cut in. Smoking weed all over Disneyland. You know, they have jail, they have a Disneyland jail, Disneyland police, and we didn’t get bothered one time.  

But then it led to, you know, leading into that in the late hours of the night. And I had some markers on me, and I went to the bathroom and started writing on the walls. And- and then after I’m done hitting up the wall, I look up to the left, the stalls are filled up with people and they’re just like looking at me, this is crazy.

So, I was like, shit, I’m out of here. So, I ran out of the bathroom real quick and then all of a sudden, I run into this Asian family that had a video camera, they’re scanning me up and down with the camera, and I’m like following the camera and I looked down and my stuff was hanging out at Disneyland. And talk about a psychedelic experience that was caught on camera.

Jon Reiss

Yeah. That’s quite a first experience. Any like odd encounters with any of the characters, like Mickey or any of the princesses? Like, I can imagine that could be. Or what about do you have any remembrances for many of the rides like the Haunted House? That must have been a little crazy going through. 

Chor Boogie

Oh yeah, that stuff was that stuff was wild. You know, I remember we were cutting in lines that we kind of put of this guy and we just started screaming at him, ‘you’ll get shot for that shit’.

And we just like, whoa, he’s screaming this out loud as Disneyland. And so, we just kept cutting in the line. And then we confused the lines so much and it was Captain EO and Michael Jackson ride.

Jon Reiss 

Oh my God. 

Chor Boogie

Yeah. We confused it so much that everybody was going in in different directions. So, we were like the first ones in there and we’re sitting up in the front row and, you know, and that was like an interactive, like 3-D experience and they’re shooting water out at you and everything.

And, and it was 3-D and you’re on LSD and just woah so yeah, man, this is this is that was that was a pretty, pretty live experience. 

Jon Reiss 

Okay, well, that sounds that sounds pretty fun. 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah. All right. 

Jon Reiss 

So maybe we should then jump ahead to potentially your first iboga experience. 

Chor Boogie 

Okay. 

Jon Reiss 

You know, because that’s the path that you went down.

Chor Boogie

Yeah. 

Jon Reiss 

So, what- what drew you to that? What led you to having that experience? 

Chor Boogie

Okay, so I ended up getting clean at the age of twenty-two from everything and became militantly sober for like 13 years. And building up my art career and doing a lot of crazy things traveling the world, making money and all that good stuff. And during that thirteen years of- of being clean, I ended up in circles that I never thought I would be involved in.

Right. And lo and behold, you know, substances were back on the table again. And so, I ended up like relapsing, but it was more like a binge relapsing because I would only do it when I would be out of town because, you know, I didn’t want to lose everything like I did when I was younger. But it was getting to that point where I was about to just- just lose everything.

And so, I ended up like telling my wife. And then my wife ended up, you know, speaking to the trees and the trees told her iboga. And so, I started looking up iboga and started seeing all this crazy stuff about it. But I had no other choice. It was either lose everything or save my life. 

Jon Reiss 

So, when you said your wife spoke to the trees?

Chor Boogie

Yeah. 

Jon Reiss 

So, is she like a shaman as well, or does she work in mystical spiritual practice of her own? 

Chor Boogie 

Oh yeah. She’s- she’s very intuitive and very connected to the plant spirits. And- and she was working with ayahuasca and other plant medicines until we both ended up going to meet with this shaman in Costa Rica, a traditional shaman from Africa, to do iboga.

And then once we did iboga, it is changed our entire lives because it’s- it’s me and her that run the center out here in Costa Rica. And when I first did iboga, like, I felt like nothing was working at first, but I can- I can feel the medicine in my body. And it was working on me physically and honestly, how I ended up to iboga or how I ended up relapsing was stepping back a bit.

How I ended up relapsing was I did ayahuasca and after I did ayahuasca it woke up something dormant within me out of that thirteen years. And then I ended up relapsing. 

Jon Reiss 

Interesting. 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah, very interesting. I felt like a demon hopped in me. And when I, when I did ayahuasca man, I feel like something. Yeah, I feel like something dark hopped me because that’s what I saw.

And, you know, these medicines are capable of doing that. They’re able to kick open doors wide open and things are allowed to come in without you even knowing it. 

Jon Reiss 

Yeah, I just want to pause there for a second, just to remind people that it’s really, really important to be, you know, that these things are not to be taken lightly. 

Chor Boogie 

No.

Jon Reiss

They’re very, very powerful medicine. 

Chor Boogie 

Very. 

Jon Reiss 

And it’s super, super important to make sure you pick the right person to do something with. And that just to say set and setting again for the umpteenth millionth time, it’s really super important. 

Chor Boogie

Yeah, and that’s where I was leading to, is that it’s definitely about the container. That’s why you see the repercussions of when people go and do these medicines that, you know, there’s- there’s this pink bubble that that they’ll have for maybe about a good two weeks, two weeks to a month with the medicine and then it goes away, you know, behaviors and everything comes back in.

Everyone’s back to the way it was versus- versus iboga, which gives you educational steps. It’s more of a- it’s more of a mind body soul medicine that you’re going to get the tools and the guidance from the medicine and the answers from the medicine that’s going to help you on your everyday path. Stepping forward. 

Jon Reiss 

Yeah. So just getting back to your first experience with iboga, kind of. We took a little sidestep, but so 

Chor Boogie

yeah, yeah, yeah, we did. 

Jon Reiss 

So, I think. Yeah, well, I was just working on your body. 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah, I was going to lead back to that. So, my first experience, like I said, it wasn’t. So, there’s two sessions, two ceremonies within a retreat and the first ceremony is kind of the ceremony that breaks you in with the medicine.

Sometimes people have visionary experiences, sometimes they don’t. It just depends on the person. So, my first experience, it was more physical until, you know, I started seeing this dark thing. The same thing that I saw with the ayahuasca. The medicine iboga was telling me like that came from- from ayahuasca and hopped in my body and it was showing me what it was. I can hear these voices telling me what it was, 

Jon Reiss 

What was it? What did they say it was? 

Chor Boogie 

Some dark spirit, some demonic spirit that needed that needed to be extracted from my body. And then so the iboga was saying that it was going to get rid of it and take that out. And it did. So even though I wasn’t having a full-on visionary experience, I was having an auditory experience and I was like, Who the hell is talking?

Who the hell is saying this stuff? So, I’m like, well, maybe that’s my soul talking, you know? And it was just telling me, like to calm down and tell me to relax. And so, I did. And I just let the medicine just take over and just start healing my mind, body and soul. And then all of a sudden, I fell asleep.

I fell asleep during this experience. And these are experiences that you don’t really fall asleep to, you know. Because this medicine is it’ll keep you up. It’ll keep you up for either all night or a couple of days. And so, I fell asleep. And then I woke up. And then when I woke up, I was like, the sun was right in front of me.

I was looking at the summit. I was like, I just started screaming out, I love my life. Like, I love my life. I just felt like I was unplugged from the Matrix and just a whole new person like cravings of- of substances. I didn’t want to put anything bad in my body ever again it was like 30 years of therapy.

I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that there was something on this planet that was like this that could do something like that, really break addictive patterns. From there, I led into the second ceremony, and I told the shaman, I said, you know, I because that, you know, this this is not a cheap medicine. You know, the time that I paid for it.

And I told him that, you know, I needed to see some things. And so, he said, okay, I’ll take you there. And so, he- 

Jon Reiss 

So wasn’t good enough for you to have a brand-new life and end all your addictions, you actually then wanted to have some hallucinations or visions as well. In addition to that, 

Chor Boogie 

The thing is, is that me and my wife were doing this at the same time, and I’m hearing him guiding my wife and I’m hearing all this crazy, amazing stuff that she’s going through that she’s seeing.

And I’m like, whoa, I need to see some stuff like that. So, the second ceremony he did that, he did that, that very thing. And all of a sudden, man, I was in this spirit world. I was seeing past, present and future and seeing the unexplainable, man. And I couldn’t believe this existed. And out of all the psychedelic experiences I’ve had with all different types of psychedelics, this one was the one that that felt more real.

It felt more like reality, and it felt like I can see, I can see everything like clear as day. 

Jon Reiss 

Can you describe any of the unexplainable? Are you able to describe that or just kind of some of those visions that you had? 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah, like, you know, I had a visionary experience. This is years into the medicine. I can describe a visionary experience to you about visiting my ancestors.

I was sitting with the medicine and wanted to visit my ancestors because my wife, she, she, she got to visit her ancestors, and they ended up giving her, like, some gifts from the spirit world. And I was just like, wow, they give you gifts inside the spirit world as well. And so, I’m like, okay- 

Jon Reiss 

I want some of those.

Chor Boogie

Yeah, yeah. It’s time. Let me let me let me get some of those. And so, nothing was happening. You know, it was just black is just dark. I have a blindfold on my in the bed and all of a sudden, I just started screaming out loud within myself, screaming within, I want to see my ancestors. I screamed I want to see my ancestors.

And then all of a sudden, this pyramid like structure just broke out through the darkness, boom. And then all of a sudden, I’m in this world that I’m like, wow, this is this is really real. And like, you could taste the air and there’s a pyramid right in front of me and in my visions, I’m a superhero called Love-Man.

I have like a big heart on my chest instead of an S. And I shoot out hearts like a machine gun. I got a cape, too. And so, I fly up to the top of the pyramid and land on the top. And I look in the center of the pyramid. I see this like 12 foot tall being- right, this 12-foot tall, being with his hands up in the air and a beam of light shoot through his hands.

And so, I’m like, whoa, this is really happening. It’s just so surreal. But it’s real at the same time. And it’s just like it feels like- like a movie. And I’m analyzing the skin and his body and inside his skin was just like the universe through the entire being was just the universe. So, I’m like, looking at him and he has this big smile on his face, and all of a sudden, he brings his hands down, and it makes this amazing sound, the sounds that are not of this world. And I look at his hands and then all of a sudden, I see like a live beating heart.

And so, my instinct was telling me that I need to grab that heart. So, I grabbed the heart and as I grabbed the heart, this music just started just illuminating louder, like- like he’s back home. And so, the ancestor looks at me and says, now what are you going to do with it? And so, I’m like, oh wow, what am I going to do with it?

So, I open up my chest like a board game, opening it up. You see everything live, and direct. And twitching and guts and all that stuff. And then I look at my heart and there was like, no heart there. There was no heart there. And it was just consumed by this darkness. I called it nothing. I just. Just demonic darkness and it was hissing and making this noise.

And I’m like, my gosh, what happened to my heart? Like, I always thought I had a heart. And so, I ended up this is this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to put my heart over it. And it consumed the darkness all the way until it was gone. Nothing, just snapped out of existence didn’t exist anymore.

It was gone and I could feel it reconnecting my heart. And mind you, I’m laying down with a blindfold on. I’m there with my chest wide open, like in this dazed and confused state. And I’m looking up and I see the sun. The sun right- right in front of me. All of a sudden, I start hearing my soul and iboga telling me, like, Put your hand in it.

Put your hand in the sun. And so, I’m like, okay. So, I put my hand in there and it felt like I was just putting my hand in a hole. But it was the sun. I ended up started feeling around then I grab something, and I pulled out this cup and I’m like, what is this? And then iboga is telling me that it’s the Grail.

And I’m like, The Holy Grail. Holy Grail. You’re like, Yeah, but not the Grail that you guys think it is. What’s in a Bible? That stuff is not real. It said, this is like the first cup ever made by man. It was like a piece of wood with a hole in it and it had this liquid. The same liquid is as bright as the sun.

And then they said, Pour it on the heart. And so, I was like, okay, okay. I poured it on the heart, and I poured it on the heart, in the spirit, like adhering to the heart like it was getting it was hot and then it turned the heart into gold, and they said, Put the cup inside the heart.

So, I put it inside the heart and that’s also how I got my- my Bwiti combo, which is my pretty name, which is Gnyangou, which means the sun. And so that’s how I got my name. And I ended up closing the board game and I ended up giving thanks to my ancestor, and man- and then I just shot off into my journey finding out how the creation of life and how life began, and the universe began and all types of things.

Jon Reiss

How did so many, many people want to know? How did the universe begin? 

Chor Boogie

See, those are those are things that people are going to have to come and do the medicine to find out. 

Jon Reiss 

Okay. All right. Fair enough. 

Chor Boogie

Yeah. Because there’s certain things within a Bwiti I can reveal them. There’s certain things in the Bwiti that I can’t reveal.

The- the Bwiti is probably is the first secret society. And the only way to find out is if you’re walking down the path of the Bwiti. If one walks down the path of the Bwiti and there’s certain things that people can’t like, if they found out certain things, they wouldn’t even …

Jon Reiss 

Yeah. 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah. So, I’ll tell you this, that we Bwiti- Bwiti began when the earth began. That’s how old the Bwiti is. 

Jon Reiss

Interesting, 

Chor Boogie 

You know, Bwiti was the first scientists and the first doctors and- and it passed down in involved evolution to what it is now. 

Jon Reiss 

Interesting. Interesting. So, you had this first experience with iboga? 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah. 

Jon Reiss 

And then how did that lead you to your path that you’re on and being part of the Bwiti?

Chor Boogie

Yeah. 

Jon Reiss

So what? 

Chor Boogie

Yeah. When I, when I, when I did iboga the first time, it was just it was part of my ancestral bloodline. I have African in my bloodline, and it was just a calling I did. And after I did iboga the first time, I think like six months, six months after I did iboga, me and my wife went to Africa, and we ended up doing our initiation and we ended up getting married in the Bwiti tradition.

And that was six months later. And we’ve been with it ever since for the past ten years. So going back and forth to Africa and- and that’s how I’m in the position I am today, in the highest position within Bwiti, because my spiritual father Nganga, he said that he’s only going to teach me the ways to help the people, to help people in the West.

Jon Reiss

Right. 

Chor Boogie

So, he he’s putting that power in my hands and responsibility in my hands because, you know, it’s hard for people in the West to really grasp and understand what the traditions are about because they come from Africa, because they’re African traditions. And, you know man, we’re so used to- to our colonial ways that we kind of don’t want to embrace any other understandings, you know, and you need you need somebody that can relate to the people that can relate to the West so they can understand it.

Jon Reiss

Yeah. 

Chor Boogie

And that’s kind of how this all started, especially with- with the shaman that we started working with ten years ago. He took the tradition and translated it to where people from the West can understand it. But me and my wife knew that there was stuff that was missing traditionally that needed to be implemented into the teachings for the West.

And so that’s why we kept our practices and studying with Africa. And so, they ended up teaching us a whole lot more, a lot of stuff that was missing. And we actually implement that and bring that to our ceremonies here at SoulCentro in Costa Rica. 

Jon Reiss

Yeah. So, I think you mentioned that when we talked earlier, like the importance of the traditional ceremonies, it’s like what can you talk about a little bit about why that’s important?

Chor Boogie

Yeah. So, when it comes to what we do here at SoulCentro, so the traditional aspect is a majority of the knowledge and of the teaching and of the healing. And we also implement Western therapy as well because, you know, it’s what people understand and what’s needed too. But the traditional aspect helps bring the protection and keeps the container strong, keeps a container protected because if an individual is going to a container that’s not protected, like I said, they’re more susceptible to opening, opening or blowing up in those doors wide open, the things coming in.

Jon Reiss

So, what’s a container like in this regard? 

Chor Boogie

Container is like a retreat. Like a retreat scenario. Like, is- is the actual ceremony itself. That’s the container is the ceremony. So, we are taught and knowledgeable about keeping the container, the ceremony protected. So, the people that are coming for that, for the healing, the ultimate healing, are protected the entire time.

Jon Reiss

Right. 

Chor Boogie

You know, 

Jon Reiss 

Yeah. 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah. And that’s- that’s the most important thing when it comes to traditional ceremonies. I don’t care what it is. Ayahuasca, psilocybin, iboga, peyote, anything traditional plant wise, if they’re not holding it in, in the traditional way that involves protection, then it’s not real. 

Jon Reiss 

Yeah. No, that makes sense. What is actually iboga? 

Chor Boogie 

Iboga is it comes from a tree called the Tabernanthe. It’s a root from the tree, it’s shavings from the root of the tree. So, it’s like the second layer of the root and you’re shaving off the iboga from that root into piles of wet, damp iboga, which holds hundreds of alkaloids. There’s a medicine that’s derived from a derivative from iboga, which is called ibogaine, and that’s the active ingredient.

That’s one of the active ingredients within iboga. Like I said, there’s thirteen known alkaloids that are known, but there’s hundreds of alkaloids within- within the medicine itself that are needed to help fulfill the process and help heal people, especially when it comes to the spiritual context. Ibogaine is understandable because it’s the medical model, and the West is the only way the West is going to understand it is if it goes down a medical model path. 

Jon Reiss 

Right.

Chor Boogie

And that’s the only way to accept it. But- but

Jon Reiss 

So, when people are synthesizing it, what they’re synthesizing is ibogaine. 

Chor Boogie 

They’re synthesizing ibogaine. They can totally do that. They can synthesize ibogaine. But the only thing the medical model doesn’t understand is that you need the spiritual element. You need the spiritual context. In order for this to really be 110% successful, you could be successful with ibogaine and detox somebody and get somebody off of drugs and even potentially heal them from their substance, but it won’t have an effect on them spiritually.

You need to close the door spiritually, honestly, they don’t even know what know what they’re messing with when it comes to even dealing with ibogaine. They only know the medical and scientific side of it. No, not realizing that that spiritual element is needed. You know which ibogaine and iboga industries can work hand-in-hand, you know, but there’s not enough iboga in Gabon to be sustainable enough to help seven billion people.

You would have to turn Gabon into an entire plantation, which I can see happening in the future in its surrounding countries. You have to turn them into plantations, which I can see them turning into epicenters of healing the world. You know, the two Wakandas, where people are coming to Gabon to really get healed, you know. But the medicine is definitely being regulated because it needs to be protected because what we like to do in the West is consume and rape and pillage and- and take and take everything and not leave anything for anybody else.

Jon Reiss

Is that- is there dangers of that happening in Gabon? 

Chor Boogie

It’s- it’s there. I’ll say it’s there. It’s on the horizon. America, Israel, China, industries that are realizing that this stuff really works, and they’re trying to plant seeds and trying to grow plantations. They’re trying. But this is what I do know. I know they have a synthetic version of ibogaine, which- which is good because we can use a synthetic version to detox people and lead into the plant spirit.

We could totally do that, you know, or it’ll detox people to the point where they’re not using the substances anymore and it’s going to be up to the person’s choice and volition to go deeper and step in the path of the Bwiti. Yeah, if they’re called to it, you know, but there’s also another plant called voacanga africana, which is another plant that has ibogaine in it, not as much ibogaine as iboga, but has enough ibogaine in it that, you know, if you use enough of voacanga africana that you can get the equivalent of ibogaine.

And this is I think this is what the ibogaine industry is using now, is voacanga africana because, you know, you can grow like weeds, and they can use those. So, 

Jon Reiss

Where are you where do you source your iboga from? 

Chor Boogie

Mine comes from. So, I have a sustainability project going on in Gabon with- with my village, my village in Lobi, and we’re rebuilding the village and rebuilding new homes, bought new trucks, new wells.

We’re- we’re just rebuilding the village, you know, and these are things that they’ve asked for. And a part of what they asked for is, is growing plantations, you know, so 

Jon Reiss 

Can- can iboga be grown elsewhere like in Costa Rica, for instance, or is that something that people don’t want to even think about? 

Chor Boogie

Yeah, yeah. No, it’s not. It’s- it’s definitely on the radar of anybody that’s involved with iboga, for sure. The best place it will be grown is in Gabon because that’s where it came from. They do have a growing outside of the surrounding countries of Gabon. They do have it growing there. I’ve heard of other locations in Africa. They have tried to grow it after the success stories. And I’ve heard I’ve heard very little success stories and I’ve heard more nonsuccess stories, 

Jon Reiss 

Right.

Chor Boogie

Yeah, it may have something to do spiritually, the spiritual context with the medicine, but I’ve heard of it being grown in Hawaii, Florida, Costa Rica. I know, I know, I know. There’s some growing here there, some in South America, Peru. And it takes it takes seven years for this plant to mature. 

Jon Reiss 

Wow. 

Chor Boogie 

And the tests that have been done and from the people that I know that have been growing this medicine, I think the ones here in Costa Rica, I think they still got it may be like one or two more years to really see where they’re at.

I know the ones in Peru were around five years, I think five or five or six years, and they tested them, and they said it was really good. So, I was like, wow, that’s good to hear, you know? But, you know, that’s our plan here in Costa Rica is like, you know, because we have like 75 acres of land that we’re building, world class retreat center on, we’re going to expand bigger. We’re going to plan on growing some iboga for sure. 

Jon Reiss 

Nice. And so then how what would your advice be to people listening if they’re thinking of getting involved in it even before they come to you? 

Chor Boogie

I’m glad you asked that question. I’m glad you asked that question. So, yeah, this is this is a big question, you know, because this definitely needs to be put out there, especially when it comes to practitioners, because there are practitioners out there that have gone to Africa and, you know, join the Bwiti.

But, you know, there’s- there’s the Bwiti has gotten way more organized and there’s a council now. There’s a council now called Maghanga ma Nzambe which I’m a part of. And they are saying that if nobody is a part of this organization in the West, they are not authorized to serve this medicine and they’re not authorized to practice the traditions. So, if one is going out to- to seek iboga and they’re- they’re concerned about the integrity of it, this is these are the questions to ask.

Are you a part of Maghanga ma Nzambe? The Bwiti council in Gabon. If they’re not, it’s not real. Are you a Nima or a Nganga? But a Nganga that can serve medicine, a Nganga that is approved to serve medicine. And I have all these requirements because it took me ten years to get here to becoming a Nima. And if they don’t have these requirements, they it’s not real.

It’s not real. You know, they can go ahead and be rogue agents and rogue servants in the medicine, but they still have to go down the proper channels and- and go down the proper paths of getting approvals to serve this medicine. That’s just this is the way this is the way of the Bwiti. And they- they are not playing because if one doesn’t respect the tradition and they’re saying they’re from the tradition, then things can happen spiritually that they will not like. I guarantee that because I’ve seen it. 

Jon Reiss

Yeah. 

Chor Boogie 

So, you know, this is real serious stuff. Like you have to know how to heal these people. One just can’t see that they’ve done this and now they’re authorized to do this. And you’ve got to show proof. There’s proof in the pudding. And if they don’t have the proof, you know, then it’s not real.

And this should go for any tradition, any plant medicine. I think all plant medicines need to be regulated in and controlled to the point where they’re respected. 

Jon Reiss 

Yeah. 

Chor Boogie

You know, 

Jon Reiss 

Yeah, I would agree with that. So besides picking the right practitioner, what would you say would be the determining factor in someone deciding whether this is the right medicine for them or that they’re going to like come down to Costa Rica and do it with you? Like what would be the proper intention or like what? 

Chor Boogie

Yeah. So, basically if you feel the calling and, and you have the calling to come and do this medicine, the medicine, the medicine is going to choose you. That’s why I call when people come and do this medicine, I call them the chosen ones because the medicine called them to come and do this medicine.

If it’s knocking at your door, trust me. Take my advice. Listen to that calling. If not, then you’re gonna let it pass, you’re gonna let the opportunity pass you by. And- and, you know, maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s not the right time with that moment, but if it’s knocking on your door, listen. That feeds and into the spiritual context, the spiritual side of things based off your intentions, your intentions, what you really need to heal and how much, how much you need to heal.

Because when it comes to this medicine, it’s based off all your deepest, darkest secrets, everything that you need to bring from the bottom up and face it and face everything to the point where- where you already have to let it go. So, you know, the hype that’s put out there to get people iboga is like, okay, this is addiction based.

No, it’s not just addiction based. It’s a it’s a mind body soul medicine. So, it covers all spectrums. All balance of the spectrums when it comes to- to healing one’s mind, body and soul. It’s not just for addictive purposes. Addictions run, run so deep, you know? And if you need healing from those addictions, then, you know, this is the place to be.

This is the medicine to use. But it’s ultimately going to be based off your intentions on what you need to heal for yourself. 

Jon Reiss

But it’s not just for people seeking freedom from addictions. 

Chor Boogie 

No, it’s not. 

Jon Reiss 

I would say that addictions just indicate something deeper that potentially needs to be healed. 

Chor Boogie 

Exactly. And it also has an effect on PTSD traumas. And usually that’s what people come in here for, is- is to heal a lot of PTSD and traumas. The medicine loves it when you when you come to the medicine clean. 

Jon Reiss

And how do you come to the medicine clean if you have these issues. 

Chor Boogie

Yeah. So- so depending on depending on okay say we’re- we’re walking down the path of addictions and substance abuse.

So, if somebody needed to come and do this medicine and they feel like they can’t get clean, they’re going to they’re going to have to get to a point where- where they’re going to have to free their body physically of the substances like detox. They’re going to have to detox before they come see this medicine mentally, physically and spiritually.

And it’s when it’s coming to SoulCentro, we give people the proper guidance and proper tools on how to detox mentally, physically, spiritually, even when it comes to traumas, even when it comes to depression, even when it comes to substances, you know, just giving people moderate tools that can help them with their transition or their path to freeing themselves from all that nonsense that they that they have in their lives.

Jon Reiss

Right. So similar to like a dieta in a sense from, you know. 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah, it’s- it’s you could see a dieta, it’s similar but we don’t have the requirements of what you really need to eat. 

Jon Reiss 

Right. 

Chor Boogie

You know we- we give we give people advice on cleaning themselves out physically before they get here, certain things that they should do for their body.

It just it just it just helps the medicine adapt to your body and helps the medicine helps you relate to the medicine even more to it. And it gives you more healing, healing abilities when you come to the medicines clean. 

Jon Reiss 

Got it. 

Chor Boogie

It just it just makes sense. Mentally, physically and spiritually. Yeah, man, 

Jon Reiss 

Anything that I haven’t covered or any last parting, you know, really appreciate this is really wonderful and thank you for your time and- and so wonderful to connect with you again, around this. 

Chor Boogie   

Yeah,nah, bazi, I’m like yeah this is, this is good. I think we covered we covered a pretty, pretty significant ground of what iboga of- of what to look for in iboga and what to look for when it comes to the container. Those are, those are the most important things and- and if the practitioners is getting those requirements. 

Jon Reiss 

Right. 

Chor Boogie

You know because you know an individual doesn’t want to step into a container that doesn’t have the right requirements because it’ll also affect them spiritually as well, 

Jon Reiss 

Right. Yeah. 

Chor Boogie 

Because you’re dealing with somebody that is acting and thinking like they really know how to heal you. But no, they’re just not there. 

Jon Reiss 

Yeah, 

Chor Boogie

They’re just not. And I speak from experience. I call them, I call them- evangelical iboga providers. They got touched by the medicine and they want they want to heal the world. 

Jon Reiss 

Right.

Chor Boogie

You know, they want they want everybody in the world to heal. But it doesn’t work like that. It just doesn’t. People have to be called and chosen for this medicine. It’s not the way the practitioner wants it, or the way you want it, or I want it. It’s the way the individual needs it for themselves. They have to have the calling for the medicine.

They have to they have to choose to come and do it or be chosen by the medicine to do it. People need to be careful of putting their lives in people’s hands, you know, and this is and this and this is the honest way. The honest way, the honest truth from my heart, talking to everybody that’s going to listen to this.

Anybody and everybody that’s going to listen to this, because if you’re feeling it, you will hear it. If not, then you’re going to have to learn the hard way. 

Jon Reiss 

Right. 

Chor Boogie 

Bazi. And that’s the meaning of that’s the meaning of the Bwiti tradition is truth and nothing but truth. That’s it, you know, and we live by it. And we, we practice the art of truth, practice the art of knowing.

And like I said, this is not a medicine to be played with. This is the top of the line. This is the top-of-the-line medicine. And there’s nothing above it.

Jon Reiss 

Right. 

Chor Boogie

Not that we know of. And if there is, it hasn’t been discovered yet. 

Jon Reiss

Right. 

Chor Boogie 

Yeah. 

Jon Reiss 

Well, again, thank you so much. You know, really appreciate having you. And maybe I’ll be coming down to SoulCentro and, you know, participating myself any time in the next couple of years when I’m called to it. Although I hear a little ringing going on in my phone lately. But I do want to make sure I do it at the right time. So 

Chor Boogie

Whenever you whenever you’re ready, you know, the doors open, doors are open.

Jon Reiss

Well, thank you. 

Chor Boogie

Right on brother

Jon Reiss

Great. Well, thank you again and you know I look forward to being more in touch.

Chor Boogie

Yeah, yeah likewise and take care.